September 9, 2023

What to make of Musk?


Click to enlarge
Above from Musk on X: Our US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter! and If this continues, we will have no choice but to file a defamation suit against, ironically, the “Anti-Defamation” League. If they lose the defamation suit, we will insist that they drop the the “anti” part of their name, since obviously … 😂

By Hal Brown

If you follow the exploits of Elon Musk, you know, the X-Man, you are aware of the two stories above. Here's a story from HUFFPOST about Ukraine and Musk:

Elon Musk 'Committing Evil' By Blocking Internet Access, Top Ukrainian Advisor Says

There are two Americans who exemplify what happens when power and grandiose egomania are combined with a heaping helping of sadism.

By now anybody following this blog and reading about Trump here and on other websites like Salon knows the defintion of malignant narcissism is that it is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissismantisocial behavioraggressionsadism and grandiosity. They know that these people are quick to raise hostility levels. They know that the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and that they dehumanize the people with whom they associate.

Those old enough to remember the early videos about what happens in a nuclear reaction know about the ping-pong balls and mousetraps demonstration:

Click to watch video

This is akin to wha happens when power is combined with a pathological need for attention, for being right all the time, for being intolerant of being challenged, combined with sadism. The result when feeling undermined is a nuclear explosion of destructive rage. Would this merely be ping-pong balls. In Ukraine it is claimed that because of Musk people actually died (reference). It seem to be a taboo topic to note that Trump's underplaying the danger of Covid caused uncountable lives and his cruelty led to deaths on the Mexican border.

Trump and Musk both got used to getting their way. Trump is now cornered and hence has become explosive, and if he is reelected will be a danger to democracy. Musk has far less potential power but nonetheless he is cornered because of a disaster of his own making. He bought Twitter for far more than it was worth and proceeeded to make it over in his own image.

His reasoning behind this probably was that Muskifying it would magnify its monetary value making it as magnificent as he believes himself to be.

In doing so he ruined it. His changing its name to X was an attempt to brand it as belonging to him. Consider this from Time:

Click to read

Now Musk is having a hissy fit blaming X's troubles on the ADL:

Elon Musk blames the ADL for 60% ad sales decline at X, threatens to sue - CNN

Loath that he would blame himself... this would take the ability to be self-critical, the total lack of which he shares with Donald Trump.

Being aware of one's ability in any area or endeavor, even with someone who is among the very best at what they do, can also come with humility, self-awarenss, and self-doubt. A current example is Simone Biles who has made a triumphant return to competition after taking two years off to work on her mental health. 

There's also mega-mega (not MAGA as this article shows) pop star Taylor Swift who has every reason she could be behave like a diva or prima donna but is self-effacing from all I can tell  and is just a normal young woman who happens to be one of the most prominent cultural figures of the 21st century. She demonstrates her self-awareness in interviews.  Watch an interview with her here to see what you think.

An older example is Barbra Streisand who has only recently been able to overcome most of her stage fright (reference).

Returning to Elon Musk: 

Elon Musk is hard to love. Elon Musk is hard to like. On his way to becoming the world’s wealthiest person, Musk has emitted so many metric tons of self-indulgent puerility he might have violated the Paris Accords.

Musk’s short fuse is legend. If something’s wrong and it’s important to Musk, employees have learned to avoid his presence if possible.

What to make of this man?

While for me to make a more informed assessment of him I'd have to examine him in person and since as a clinicaL social worker I can diagnose but I can't do psychological tests I would probably refer him to a clincial psychologist who would conduct a baterry of tests including the true/false MMPI and projective tests like the Rorschach and Thermatic Apperception Test( TAT).

Judging him just by behavior the way we can assess Trump's mental status it seems likely he fits every criteria for being a malignant narcissist. See what you think here.

What can be done to remedy his problem? First off, he doesn't think he has a problem. However, say he did. This is what Wikipedia says about therapy for these people:

Typically in the analysis of the malignant narcissist, "the patient attempts to triumph over the analyst by destroying the analysis and himself or herself";[19] an extreme version of what Jacques Lacan described as "that resistance of the amour-propre... which is often expressed thus: 'I can't bear the thought of being freed by anyone other than myself'".[20]

Since Malignant Narcissism is a severe personality disorder that has far-reaching societal and familial effects, it requires attention from both the psychiatric community and the social science community. Treatment is recommended in a therapeutic community, as well as a psychoeducational preventative program aimed at both mental health professionals and the general public.

In this world to achieve great success one can be either kind and competent or cruel and competent. One can have empathy or no empathy. One can be reasonable or ruthless. One can be rational or reactive.

One can be Bill Gates or Elon Musk.

For that matter, one can be Joe Biden or Donald Trump.


September 8, 2023

If escapee Danelo Cavalcante wants to live he should surrender because he has a lot more to fear from Chester County residents than the police


By Hal Brown

Sept. 12 Update: Last night "at about 10:10 p.m., police received a call from a resident who said a shirtless male entered his garage and grabbed a rifle in the corner, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said in a news conference. The homeowner fired his pistol at Cavalcante as he fled, but there is 'no reason to believe' the fugitive was injured, Bivens said. Reference This supports my contention, below, that the escapee has a lot to fear from homeowners since if this resident had been a better shot he might have been killed.


Not to stereotype by poltical party but facts are facts and more Republicans own guns than Democrats:

Click for reference
Chester County, where the ruthless psychopathic killer has so far evaded capture, has voted very slightly Democratic (see reference) but this doesn't mean Democrats don't have guns in their households.

There are lots of gun stores in and around Chester County if that's any indication of how many people there own firearms.
From Yelp, link here Danelo Cavalcante
was last spotted near number 3 above
in Longwood Gardens

It's a safe assumption to make that every adult in the county is familiar with what this man did and knows how dangerous he is. I wouldn't be surprised if some Democrats who never considered buying a firearm either have done so or are thinking of doing it.

I assume that those people with guns at home have considered what they would do if Cavalcante turned up on their property or on their doorstep. I would give Cavalcante a much better chance of surviving such an encounter than if he was surrounded by the police and gave up.

My impression of the typical spree shooter who ends up commiting suicide when the police are about to apprehend him is that they have something of a death wish. My impression of someone like this murderer is that he escaped from jail because he wanted to live.

He knows what will happen to him if he's captured. He'll go to a supermax prison where for a long time he may be isolated from the general population. However he might know that in time if he did get out into the general population he'll be a rock star, a literal wall climbing star who evaded capture by a small army of law enforcement officers using  both tracking dogs and high tech methods to find him.

It wouldn't matter whether he ended up in the gunsights of a terrified citizen or someone who wanted to be a vigilant hero the chances they would give him a chance to surrender peacefully are less than they would be with the police.

The $47,000 Question: What will it take for Trump cultists to fall out of love with him?


By Hal Brown

I'm showing my age in the title. The 64 Thousand Dollar Question was popular in the early 1950's when it was hosted by Hal March, the only famous person with my first name who I knew of even though actor Hal Holbrook was on Broadway playing Mark Twain at the time. I am old enough to remember when $64,000 was a small fortune. The household median income in the U.S. in 1950 was $2,990 and you could by a nice house for $7,000.

I titled this "The $47,000 Question" because Trump is running to be the 47th President of the United States and is making a big deal of this number. I suppose you could call this the $47 trillion question.

He even has something of a Mein Kampf-like manifesto called Agenda47 which I wrote about yesterday here.

There are Trump cultists and there are Trump cultists. A few can actually have an immediate effect on his electability if they fall out of love with him. One is Judge Aileen Cannon. 

We have no idea whether Judge Cannon is following Trump's shenanigans like this with another Florida judge:

If she has a EUREKA! moment where she falls out of love with her dreamboat she might actually rule in the Mar-a-Lago documents case treating Trump like he was any other defendant.

Then there are people like Walt Nauda:

Click above to read

I can't imagine that the other defendants in the Georgia case who aren't named Trump are thinking that the limits of loyalty ends along the line to the lockup.

The most important members of the Trump cult are the millions who worship at the fatasses' feet:

Experts have tried to analyze the appeal of Trump for ordinary people and cult experts like Steve Hassan have been trying to educate the country about the psychological hold Trump has on his folowers (read Cult Expert Steve Hassan is on a controversial cursade in Slate).

The millions of voters who will make the difference between Trump winning or losing in the primary and if he wins against President Biden may flush him down the drain not because of one revelation, but more likely I think they will experience the drip-drip-drip of damning news about him having decieved them into believing he was divine. I expect they won't wake up one morning and say "I'm so done with him" but instead will vacilate back and forth for a period of time.

It is incredibly difficult to admit you were taken in by a master con man. It takes a lot of self-awareness to admit one was gullible. Much will depend on where ordinary Trump cultists gets their news and how they shape their opinions. Peer groups have a major effect so if they surround themselves with other cultists their beliefs won't be challenged. If they have friends and family who try to get them to see the truth about Trump it might help break through their denial of reality.

We also have those in the right-wing media who influence Trump cultists. What will it take to disabuse them of their alligance to Trump? The answer is that they will drop him like a hot potato when their bosses tell them to because supporting him and giving him a forum no longer brings in revenue. This is all the better for the likes of Tucker Carlson on X and Steve Bannon (with his Warroom show) but they don't have the reach of television. Still, Fox News is on everyone's TV and has a major impact on what people think about Trump.

The known unknown that may have a huge impact is the Georgia trial and if Trump testifies is how his behavior under cross-examination will be perceived by his cultists. Trump is aggressive this has worked with his cult, they love it, but he's always snarled, blustered, and blown his stack on his own terms. He's never done it from a witness stand on live TV.

Another group who can tarnish Trump's golden glow are the other GOP candidates for president. I suppose you can break them into a few groups. Of course, there is Chris Christi. He doesn't stand a chance of winning the nomination.  He can only go after Trump if they ever share a debate stage. Then there those who have their sights on Trump chosing them to run as vice president and those who don't want to incur the ire of his base. Notably there's Nikki Haley who has come fairly close to breaking with Trump probably because she thinks DeSantis may crash and burn leaving her as the only credible candidate with a chance of success to take him on once she exposes Vivek Ramaswarmy for the fraud that he is.

One way for Trump cultists to fall out of love with him is to fall in love with someone else. It won't be the the dour DeSanstis for obvious reasons not the least of which is that Trump has dumped on him dubing him Ron DeSantimonious, but I can see it happening with Nikki Haley. This could happen if the bigots among the cultists overlook the fact that she's an Indian-American. 

They also might take into consideration that she might stand a better chance of beating Biden in the general election than Trump. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Hail Haley movement among Republicans that really want to win back the presidency and make sure America doesn't turn into the kind of country Trump, DeSantis, and Ramaswarmy want it to be.

I think she's a more appealling candidate for the Republicans to chose for the general election than Pence, Asa Hutchenson, or Tim Scott or  the currently declared candidates (here).

In conclusion:

Click to enlarge

September 7, 2023

If you're reading this in the US it is highly likely that if Trump becomes president you will be "Royally" or dictatorially "effed"

By Hal Brown

My original title was as follows: If you're reading this it is highly likely that if Trump becomes president you will be "Royally" or dictatorially "effed" but in recognition that by far I have more readers in Singapore which has many American expatriots and students living there (5,750 blog readers this week), China (1,400 this week), Germany, and at various times in Russia and other countries I changed it to add "in the US."

If someone is keeping track of even the most minor anti-Trump bloggers so that if Trump gets to be president and Agenda47 (not Agenda 47 with a space) is initiated people like me will join the prominent critics in new American gulags, or suffer worse fates. If you are reading this today sometime in Trump's administration this blog will be offline because I'll be sleeping on a narrow steel bed in a cell with no Internet let alone my trusty laptop.

Want to be depressed and not a little frightened? Read this:

"Trump's plans to become a dictator — denial will not save you" by Chauncey DeVega in Salon.

Here's enough of an excerpt to justify my point. 

Trump and his advisers are actively creating the infrastructure for him to follow through on his plans to be a dictator when/if he retakes the White House in 2025. Trump's Agenda 47 is a plan to radically remake the presidency and American government (and American society) in service to his neofascist vision that includes such goals as ending birthright citizenship, criminalizing migrants and refugees, putting homeless people in camps, instituting national stop and frisk laws, restricting freedom of the press, ending academic freedom at the country's universities and colleges and other institutions of higher education, replacing quality public education that teaches critical thinking and the country's real history with a form of fascist "patriotic" indoctrination, ending environmental regulations, more gangster capitalism and power for the richest Americans and corporations, reversing the progress of the civil rights movement and the Black Freedom Struggle, taking away the rights of gays and lesbians and other queer people, further restricting women's civil and human rights, and ending US support for Ukraine.

Project 2025 is a strategy that has been developed by right-wing think tanks and interest groups such as the Heritage Foundation. The main focus of Project 2025 is to launch a blitzkrieg assault on the American government by ending career civil service and replacing it with Trump loyalists with the goal of eliminating any internal opposition to the Trump dictatorship. In essence, these Trump loyalists will place his vision above the Constitution and the rule of law.

This is Vega's article about Trump's Agenda47.

Be very afraid: Trump's "Agenda 47" is no joke

 It is subtitled: "This is not a joke or funny: You should be very afraid of Trump's fascist Agenda 47 plan."

Here's an excerpt: 

Agenda 47 would consist of an end to birthright citizenship, further criminalizing transgender people and the LGBTQI community more broadly, expanding the thought crime and other censorship laws to end the teaching of "critical race theory" and to defeat "Woke" and "Black Lives Matter", attacking academic freedom and replacing it with "patriot education", implementing a national stop and frisk law, pardoning the Jan. 6 terrorists, putting homeless people in camps or some other designated area under threat of arrest, building high tech "freedom cities", ending the professional civil service and replacing it with right-wing political appointees and other such partisan agents, gutting the Department of Justice and other parts of the government that opposed Trump's attacks on democracy and the rule of law, executing drug dealers, starting a trade war with China, and making "peace" with Vladimir Putin by withdrawing support for the Ukrainian people and their freedom struggle. In many ways, Agenda 47 is a continuation of the fascist and other authoritarian policies Trump put in place during his first regime but now made even more extreme and cruel.

The "you" referred to above is you (unless you are a secret agent of Agenda47) the reader of this blog, and it is certainly me, the writer of these words.

I think I was in denial because I was puzzled why this was called Agenda47. I was wondering where the number 47 came from. I actually had to do a brief web search to find out it came from his plan of what he'll do as the 47th president.

Trump's Agenda47 is real. You can go to his website here for more details, but I doubt you will. I'll share screenshots for those who don't want to give him a click. Here's how the page opens (click to enlarge, does not link to Trump's website):

Above: Agenda47:
Ending the Nightmare of Homeless, Drug Addicts, and
 Dangerously Deranged on American Streets.

One might note that Trump's use of the term "dangerously deranged" (above) defines someone who is a malignant narcissist poised to become president of the United States.

Without going to the Trump website you can read the top of the website featured "plan" Ending the Nightmare of the Homeless, Drug Addicts, and Dangerously Deranged on American Streets by clicking here. It should be obvious none of this was written by Trump. You can also read it by scrolling down this page and clicking "Read more" which is a part of this blog on a second page.

Scrolling down his website this is what you see:

You can click each image to enlarge - this will not take you to Trump's website. You can read a very brief summary under the titles but to really see how chilling these plans are you have to go to his website.


On page two of Trump's website here's some of what is explained in detail:

  • Preventing World War III, 
  • Reversing Biden’s EO Embedding Marxism in the Federal Government, 
  • Protecting Americans from Radical Leftist ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Investments, 
  •  Plan to Stop the America Last Warmongers and Globalists,
  •  Plan to Protect Children from Left-Wing Gender Insanity, 
  • Plan to Save American Education and Give Power Back to Parents, 
  • Calls for Probe into Intelligence Community’s Role in Online Censorship, 
  • Total Ban on Taxpayer Dollars Used to Free Illegal Aliens and Criminal Penalties for Administrative Noncompliance, 
  • Free Speech Policy Initiative

You really have to read each of these to see why Agenda47 means that Trump's vision of America is that it will become a dictatorship where nobody but a favored group feels safe from oppression and disenfranchisement.

We all know the meaning of "fucked" in this context - it has nothing to do with sex. It means to be in a really bad situation. Preface this with "royally" and it means to be in a really, really, really, really bad situation. Capitalize royally and it means not only to be in a really, really, really, really bad situation but to be fucked over by royalty, or in Trump's case, by a dictator.

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