Showing posts with label Thom Hartmann. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thom Hartmann. Show all posts

August 10, 2023

You may be able to convince Trump cultists mermaids aren't real, but de-programming them from believing Trump is innocent of crimes is far more difficult


By Hal Brown

Thom Hartmann wrorte 

How to de-program Fox News watchers on the Trump Indictment

I have admired Thom Hartmann (Wiki profile), who like me is a MIchigan State University graduate and a resident of Portland Oregon, ever since I got a car with Sirius radio and listened to his radio show. I rarely if ever disagree with him. In addtion to his radio show Thom writes for Raw Story + (where this article also appears) and Salon. He has his own blog The Hartmann Report and for a fee you can subscribe to podcasts.

Today, however, I think he is being unrealistic.

In his blog column he explains how to de-program Fox News watchers on the Trump indictment. I assume he means all the consumers of Trump supporting media. Aside from my understanding from a friend who regularly checks in with Fox News the station is barely covering news of the the legal jeopardy Trump is in. I won't tune in to Fox News on TV but do sometimes look at their website which, as you can see below, has no stories about the indictments.

This being noted, obviously whatever is being reported about the Trump indictments is bascially that they are bogus, politically motivated, and anything that Trump did was justifed because it was free speech. Meanwhile as their website shows they engage in a combination of what-aboutism (Joe and Hunter Biden stories) without mentining Trump's legal troubles, and distraction (the death of some kid, NASCAR, and the Lady Gaga story for example).

Thom lays out the reasons why what Trump did wasn't free speech was in furterance of a criminal conspiarcy to overturn an election and then writes as if addressing believers in the Trump claims in bold:
As you can see, this wasn’t an exercise in free speech: it was a planned, organized, carefully executed conspiracy to defraud Biden voters in those seven states out of their right to have their votes counted.

Thom cocludes his essay (his bold):

The media outlets who gloss over Trump’s lies do so because it’s profitable for them: when, for example, Fox “News” stopped supporting Trump’s lies for a few weeks they lost a large chunk of their audience to another TV network that was willing to parrot his lies. Which is why they’re now back to supporting his lies and are again making money.

The politicians who approve of or repeat Trump’s lies do so because they see it as their path to fame and power: they want you to believe those lies and then vote for them.

And the billionaires who push Trump and his lies through their publications, think-tanks, and media outlets do so because they believe if he’s re-elected, they’ll get even more tax breaks and that Trump will continue his efforts to gut the IRS and EPA, which they hate.

The simple reality, dear Trump-lover, is that you’ve been suckered.

Now might be a good time to change the channel…

There's one phrase that leaps out at me: "simple reality," and in that  phrase the modifier "simple" is what I want to briefly address.

It is anything but simple to alter beliefs that are deeply held and supported by family members, friends, and an enomroious group not just composed of talking heads on TV but actual people if you attend Trump rallies.

How could all of these people be wrong? How could so many people you love, like, or are aquanted with be suckers?

It's easy enough to laugh at being suckered and accept it when you go to the county fair and pay 25¢ to see the real mermaid and see the mermaid was a woman with an phony fish tail. (See image above)

When you build an entire belief system around someone like Trump and worship him as a diety, as does a group that makes you feel like you belong (aka, a cult), and realize you've been lied to and bought the liie like a fool, it is far, far, more difficult to admit you've been suckered.

The usual way that people who have been in an actual cult are de-programmed, whether they were in the Moonies or Scientology, or dombday cults like Jonestown, the Branch Davidians (Waco), or Heaven's Gate if you can get them before they kill themselves, is to first remove them pyhsically from the cult. Then with expert de-programmers, ideally with parents and family if they had good relationsips with them, the psychological work can begin. 

How does one de-program members of the Trump cult? Using the de-programming model the first steps would be to remove them from the influence of the pro-Trump propaganda. This would entail not allowing them to use pro-Trump media and not associate with other members of the Trump cult. 

Unfortunately legal education, reason, and logic will rarely be enough. Punitive measures like prison might work, time will tell whether any of imprisioned Jan. 6th insurrectionist will realize they were suckered. 

Our legal system won't allow the kind of Clockwork Orange de-programming where instead of having their eyelids clamped open while watching violent images and getting electric shocks they are forced to watch MSNBC while being rewarded with their favorite sweet treats.

Addendum: I went to the Ringling Circus sideshow at Madison Square Garden,  which was in the basement, twice as a child. I re,meber my father buying a ring from the giant for a quarter who handed it to me (a thrill). It could fit around my 10 year old wrist.  

They didn't have a mermaid. All of the people featured what were disparagingly called "freaks" although, like the Fat Man, Giant, and World's Skinnest Man were just at the extreme end of physical development. Some had a phsycial condition like the Bearded Lady. Others like Tattooed Lady might have done things to make themselves look unusual.

Here's an article about nine famous freak show attractions. 

I never did see Tom Thumb although he and his wife Lavina by chance made their home in Middleboro, MA,. where I lived between living in Michigan and Oregon. There's a appropriately very small Tom Thumb museum than and the house theye lived in is preserved.

Some people made thier living because of a rare genetic condition, perhaps the most famous being the conjoined twins Chang and Eng.

Carnival sideshows like you might go to at a county fair often had a mixture between real people doing intersting thinks like the sword swallower and the snake handling lady and obvious fakes. Many, though not all, featured a "real" mermaid, either a living version or a preserved mermaid corpse.


I never did see Tom Thumb although he was, for a time, part of the Ringling Circus show. He and his wife Lavina by chance made their home in Middleboro, MA, where I lived between living in Michigan and Oregon. There's a appropriately very small Tom Thumb museum there and the house they lived in is preserved. The public library has large portraits of them in their reading room.

February 3, 2023

DeSantis and Mussolini" Thom Hartmann compares the two

DeSantis and Mussolini: Thom Hartmann compares the two
By Hal Brown

Above: Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler at Munich Station in Germany in September 1937, with DeSantis who happens to be walking in lockstep added by me. Scroll down to see how photo was made.

Below is the photo that was used to illustrate Thom Hartmann's Raw Story article 

America finally facing politician who has Mussolini’s guile, ruthlessness and willingness to see people die

Above: It only took me a few minutes to add DeSantis to the photo.

Here's the comment I added to Hartmann's Raw Story + option essay:

Thank you for the important history lesson, Thom. The comparison between Mussolini and DeSantis is right on. The evils of Mussolini don't resonate with most Americans the way those of Hitler do, arguably because he didn't, from what I know of Italy, have an easy to demonize portion of his population to try to exterminate. Had one been in the place of the other I think Mussolini would have had his own version of the Holocaust. DeSantis is a straight on sociopath minus the grandiose narcissism and delusional thinking of Trump. It is chilling to think he could become president.  

Hartmann makes excellent comparisons between DeSantis and Mussolini. He also has examples of quotes from people sharing their stories of how DeSantis' policies hurt them. The article is on the subscription Raw Story +

Hartmann's main point can be summarized in this excerpt:

Historians and political observers have been predicting that America would get our very own Mussolini ever since the days of Barry Goldwater. And there’s been no shortage of candidates: bribe-taking Nixon; Central American fascist-loving Reagan; Gitmo torturing and war-lying Bush; and, of course, Trump.

But with Ron DeSantis, we may finally be facing an all-American politician who has Mussolini’s guile, ruthlessness, and willingness to see people die to advance his political career, all while being smart and educated enough to avoid the easily satirized buffoonishness of Trump.

Since the essay requires a subscription to read, here are a few bullet points for those who don't subscribe:

  • Ron DeSantis refuses to expand Medicaid, even though 93 percent of the cost is covered with money from Washington, DC. It’s the principle of the thing, apparently: he’s one of 11 red state governors who believes that working poor people simply shouldn’t get health coverage. After all, they didn’t have the good sense to be born into a wealthy family!
  • Violence, hate, bigotry, and cruelty are the four cardinal points of fascism. Compassion and concern for the greater good, for the poor and weak, for the victims of fate and accident have no place in the fascist world.
  • George Washington, in his Farewell Address, warned us of the possible rise of politicians like DeSantis who would suggest other Americans are enemies of the nation’s values, who would exaggerate policy differences in war-like terms, and who would ascribe the most evil of motives and intentions to simple political opponents.
  • Using rhetoric that feeds bigotry and hate against gay, lesbian, and trans people.
  • Intimidating the college board so they strip the Black Lives Matter movement out of their advanced placement African-American Studies curriculum.
  • Lying to asylum-seekers to get them on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard as a stunt to elevate his own political fortunes.
  • And now as many as 2 million more Floridians will join the ranks of the uninsured in the coming months.

In giving examples of Mussolini-like things DeSantis has done, Hartmann inserts these lines eight times:

Quote of the day is from Mika Brzezinski 
"I mean, we're saying this with all seriousness and without trying to -- I mean, it's hard," she said. "You have to say it like it is. We have a stupidity problem on the Republican side, literal stupidity, or something worse then -- stupidity with a violent edge to it. I mean, they want to have loaded -- this is -- what has become of Republicans in Congress?" In 

'Headache-inducing' Lauren Boebert claim shredded by MSNBC's Mika

This relates not only to many members of Congress, particular those in the House Freedom Caucus, but probably more significantly and tragically to many of the people who voted for them and are eager to vote for Trump, DeSantis, or another far-right candidate. 

It has become, perhaps always has been, a third rail of American politics to disparage the intelligence of one's opponents lest you be considered an elitist. Whether it is true or not doesn't matter.

Here's another way to put it:

For my aprox. 200-300 weekly readers in Russia:

Лучшим веб-сайтом для чтения последних американских новостей является Raw Story. Я суммирую статьи на веб-сайтах, доступных только по подписке, а если вы подписаны на Raw Story +, на нем есть отличные эссе с мнениями.

Using InPixio

September 24, 2022

QAnon lunacy about harvesting live children plus the world of incels

QAnon lunacy about harvesting live children for  fictional super-powerful psychedelic, adrenochrome which came from Hunter S. Thompson, plus the world of the wacky incels.

by Hal Brown

Comment on stories from the bottom of this page, or you can make them on Facebook here, or re-Tweet or reply with your opinions on Twitter hereClick to enlarge images that aren't links to stories. Archives are in right column.

Breaking news will be posted on the bottom of page.

Photograph credited to "Cashman Photo Enterprises, Inc." Published by Random House. - Originally published on the back of the dust jacket for the 1972 first edition of Thompson's novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published by Random House. 

We now know where a belief central to the QAnon list of certifiably insane claims comes from. 

Thom  Hartmann, American radio personality, author, former psychotherapist, businessman, and progressive political commentator took a deep dive into the "dangerous mental illness" of Donald Trump and how he has spread it to his followers. In doing this he reveals where one of the most bizarre claims coming from QAnon originated. 

It came from the mind of American journalist and author who founded the gonzo journalism movement, none other than Hunter S. Thomspon.

The following is the portion of this long Thom Hartmann article which explains this.

When I was young my favorite writers were Ernest Hemmingway and Hunter S. Thompson, and my favorite Thompson novel was his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Which is why a caller last year who started on a rant about Democrats harvesting “adrenochrome” from children caused me to both cut him off the air and go back to my copy of the novel to see if my memory was right.

Sure enough, there it was. Thompson was bemoaning running out of hashish and being almost out of opium when his “fat Samoan” sidekick offered an alternative: 

“As your attorney,” he said, “I advise you not worry.” He nodded toward the bathroom. “Take a hit out of that little brown bottle in my shaving kit.” 
“What is it?” “
QAnon lunacy about harvesting live children came from Hunter S. Thompson,” he said. “You won’t need much. Just a little tiny taste.” 
I got the bottle and dipped the head of a paper match into it. 
“That’s about right,” he said. “That stuff makes pure mescaline seem like ginger beer. You’ll go completely crazy if you take too much.” 
I licked the end of the match. “Where’d you get this?” I asked. “You can’t buy it.” 
“Never mind,” he said. “It’s absolutely pure.” 
I shook my head sadly. “Jesus! What kind of monster client have you picked up this time? There’s only one source for this stuff…” 
He nodded. 
“The adrenaline glands from a living human body,” I said. “It’s no good if you get it out of a corpse.”

When Thompson pushes his “attorney” about where the adrenochrome came from, the fictional character tells the fictional tale of having once been hired to represent a child molester/murderer who’d presumably extracted it from one of his victims:

“Christ, what could I say?” Thompson’s sidekick told him. “Even a goddamn werewolf is entitled to legal counsel. I didn’t dare turn the creep down. He might have picked up a letter opener and gone after my pineal gland.” 

That little seed, entirely fictional, planted in the national subconscious back in the early ‘70s, has now blossomed into a full-blown flower of a belief held by literally millions of Americans. 

As Rightwing Watch documents, uber-Trump cultist and “journalist” Liz Crokin explains in one of her many videos:

“Adrenochrome is a drug that the elites love. It comes from children. The drug is extracted from the pituitary gland of tortured children. It’s sold on the black market. It’s the drug of the elites. It is their favorite drug. It is beyond evil. It is demonic. It is so sick.”

People who have been ensnared by the

 QAnon cult and are gullible enough to believe this kind of thing are the explicit targets now in Trump’s crosshairs....

There is another group being courted by Trump which is every bit as weird as the QAnan cray-cray. These are young men who consider themselves to be proud and superior Incels. 

You probably heard this term and know it has something to do with attitudes towards women and may even know that the letters stand for involuntarily celibate. This article explains that at least many of these men aren't involuntarily celibate. Rather, they embrace their celibacy and eschew any intimate relationship with women.

This is explained in this Salon article:


The affidavit blandly describes America First, an ardently pro-Trump group, as motivated by "a belief that they are defending against the demographic and cultural changes in America." The deeper truth is this group — whose members call themselves "groypers" — is among the most shamelessly fascist of the many far-right gangs that invaded the Capitol that day. Their leader, Nick Fuentes, has declared that "Trump was awesome because he was racist," engaged in Holocaust denialism and heaped praise on various historical dictators, including like Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Indeed, he did the latter at a conference attended by Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona, signaling how far Fuentes' fascist worldview has crept into the Republican Party. 


It's not just that Fuentes and other groypers identify as "incels," a nickname for the virulently misogynist online movement of "involuntary celibates." Fuentes has tried to reinvent "incel" as an aspirational identity, telling his followers that pursuing sex with women is degrading and will only distract groypers from their true calling as warriors for the brand of white nationalism (mixed with far-right "trad" Catholicism) he's peddling. As Tess Owen at Vice reported in July, "Fuentes has called himself a 'proud incel,' urged his supporters to abstain from sex, and made bizarre assertions like 'all sex is gay.'"

No, seriously, this is his argument for why heterosexual sex is "gay": "Think about it this way: What's gayer than being like 'I need cuddles. I need kisses … I need to spend time with a woman.' That's a little sus."

Wikipedia hasn't been able to copyright the term Wiki so it isn't surprising that there are lots of websites using the word, and there's even this one:

Vector Stock royalty free

Two from the BBC: 

The woman who founded the 'incel' movement

By Jim Taylor
BBC Radio 5 Live

I do not know where members of this group stand on male masturbation. If they are adamantly against it. For all the material about healthy masturbation there is a cottage industry of books giving advice on how to stop this supposedly terrible addiction:

One might say that if a movement can harness the frustrated normal strong impulse to masturbate in post pubescent males , it would be akin to discovering how to create cold fusion to safely fuel the plant, and thus these groups would be unstoppable.

Instead what will inevitably happen is that almost all of the men in the group of incels will eventually go stark raving mad with pent up sexual frustration unless they decide to pursue healthy sexuality whether it is with solo sex or with a partner.

Rioting on January 6th might have been a temporary sexual release, but how many of these men went to bed that might and had a wet dream about storming the Capitol and experienced an orgasm when they marched like maniacs carrying their stupid Trump flags?

Click above to enlarge
Search Google for Trump flag images.

Perhaps is is ironic that Trump is a serial molester of women and adulterer. He is their titular leader if not their divine gift from God or the Second Coming and may or may not be currently involuntarily celebrate depending of what sexual favors Melania deigns to bestow on him. 

I have an impression that he likes golfing because using his little putter is for him a phallic symbol which he  believes demonstrates his sexual prowess whenever he sinks a ball.

Trumps "Truth" posts add up to the only psychological test you need to diagnose Donald Trump as a dangerous maniac. All the leaders of our allies need to do to be terrifed that he'll be the next president is to read them, by Hal Brown, MSW

In 2017 Dr. John Gartner, the founder of Duty to Warn, wrote  All I Ever Wanted to Know about Donald Trump I Learned From His Tweets: A Psyc...