Showing posts with label Trump trial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump trial. Show all posts

October 3, 2023

What does Trump have in common with Elaine Benes?

Click to watch video

By Hal Brown

There are several classic moments from Seinfeld. One is the Soup NAZI's "no soup for you" segment and another is the segment with Elaine dancing in the episode "The Little Kicks" which is described on Wikipedia here. In the segment she dances horribly at a staff party.

In order to perform the dance as badly as the script called for Juila Louis-Dryfus, who choreographed the dance herself, had to dance with without the music since that distracted her. The music was added later.

After George watches her spastic dancing George says "sweet fancy Moses."

Less well known is how Jerry told Elaine that she couldn't dance.

Click to watch

When she complains to Jerry that the next day she'd lost complete control with her staff who were at the party he has to explain to her that she was a horrible dancer. Kramer tells her that her dancing stinks and leaves the apartment. Then she asks Jerry if she really stinks and with trepidation he tells her that her dancing is beyond stink.

Elaine's reaction (below upper left) was shock, and she exclaims "it was that bad? (below lower right).

Elaine believed she had all the right moves. When she was told she had anything but the right dance moves she seems to reluctantly accept this and when Jerry leaves to take the garbage out she looks at the camera on a counter so she can view a tape of herself.

It is unfair to compare Elaine's illusion with Trump's delusion. After all Elaine was willing to consider that Kramer and Jerry were right.

Trump thinks he has all the right moves. He also thinks he can dance:

Here he is dancing to YMCA

Read: Trump the dancer? His moves to ‘YMCA’ at rallies are a hit

While all the main Seinfeld characters are in various ways narcissistic and they often hurt the feelings of people they associate with, none of them are sociopathic malignant narcissists.

When it comes to what Trump did in his trial yesterday, it was beyond stink even though the vainglorious egomaniac thought he put on an glorious performance.

I doubt any of his lawyers, his sons, his daughter, or his wife, have the guts to tell him his actions in court were beyond stink.

Glaring at Letitia James when he walked by her was a bad idea. He could have simply maintained some class and dignity and walked by her. Eric Trump stopped and shook her hands using both of his hands as he followed his father out of the courtroom (Reference). Blasting the judge outisde the courtroom was downright stupid.

Trump refuses to recognize the power that the judge in this trial or judges in his other trials have over him. His delusional arrogance and ignorance hopefully will come back to bite him bigly if, and hopefully when, a judge holds him in contempt.


NEW YORK — The judge overseeing a civil trial over alleged business fraud committed by Donald Trump and his company issued a gag order in the case Tuesday barring the former president from making public comments about his court staff. 

The decision by Judge Arthur Engoron, announced about a day and a half into the trial, came soon after Trump posted on social media about a staffer for the judge and included a picture of the person.

Engoron announced his decision publicly following multiple closed-door sessions with Trump, James and their attorneys. The judge said he had ordered the post deleted, and it appeared to be removed from Trump’s TruthSocial site by Tuesday afternoon. Engoron also said that violating his gag order would lead to “serious sanctions.

  Washington Post

August 11, 2023

Trump's aspirational defense rests on his being either an imbecile, delusional, or both

Top: A man's head seen from the front and back showing large ears and a deformed scalp by George Edward Shuttleworth, 1842-1928. Both images public domain

By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist

It should be becoming clear to Trump's lawyers that the First Amendment defense just won't fly. This seems to leave him with two viable defenses.

Consider this from 

Not just the coup: Trump used the "aspirational" defense in the E. Jean Carroll rape lawsuit by Amanda Marcotte

There was no conspiracy to overturn the government. Trump is just a delusional old man babbling at people! And empty chatter ain't no crime! 

Trump himself is leaning hard into the argument that he's too big of an imbecile to take seriously as a threat.

There are two words above, delusional and imbecile, which alone or together can be used and indeed have been used successfully to keep people either from being tried for a crime or on being convicted from being sent to a regular prison.

This has to do with laws about competency to stand trial:

It is a denial of due process to try or sentence a defendant who is “insane” or incompetent to stand trial.1 When it becomes evident during the trial that a defendant is or has become “insane” or incompetent to stand trial, the court on its own initiative must conduct a hearing on the issue.2Although there is no constitutional requirement that the state assume the burden of proving a defendant competent, the state must provide the defendant with a chance to prove that he is incompetent to stand trial. Thus, a statutory presumption that a criminal defendant is competent to stand trial or a requirement that the defendant bear the burden of proving incompetence by a preponderance of the evidence does not violate due process

 You can more read about the relevant laws here.

The term imbecile was once used to denote a category of people with moderate to severe intellectual disability as well as a type of criminal.[1][2] The meaning was further refined into mental and moral imbecility.[7][8]  (Wikipedia)

We all remember stories like "Tensions escalate after Tillerson calls Trump ‘moron’" from 2017 using another old medical term now slang for to insult someone either with low intelligence or who may be smart but who does something stupid. 

Trump's bet is to avoid being tried at all with the claim that he's too incompetent to particpate in his own defense.  If found guilty of felonies and sentenced to incarceration The Federal Bureau of Prisons can accommodate him and provide apropriate treatment and programs:

This Program Statement provides policy, procedures, standards, and guidelines for the delivery of mental health services to inmates with mental illness in all Federal Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) correctional facilities.

For the purpose of this Program Statement, mental illness is defined as in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

“A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinical significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning. Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress or disability in social, occupational, or other important activities.

Classification of an inmate as seriously mentally ill requires consideration of his/her diagnoses; the severity and duration of his/her symptoms; the degree of functional impairment associated with the illness; and his/her treatment history and current treatment needs. Mental illnesses not listed below may be classified as seriously mentally ill on a case-by-case basis if they result in significant functional impairment. Reference.

Trump could go down in history as the most famous felon who ever served his time in a prison psychiatric hosptial. He'd be on the list with John Hinkley (who tried to assassinate Presdient Reagan and spent 34 years as a prisoner being treated at St. Elizabeth's Psychiatric Hospital) and Boston Strangler Alberto DeSalvo who spend years in the DOC psychiatric facility Bridgewater State Hospital before he escaped and was sent to the maximum secutiry Walpole Prison.


Recommended reading for Trump if this happens to him:

What Life Is Like for the 'Criminally Insane' at a Maximum-Security Psychiatric Hospital


How and why do people end up in forensic psychiatric hospitals? 

All the patients have committed crimes and have been sent there by a judge, but they’re not actually criminals—they’ve been judged not responsible for their crimes.

Some are there because they’ve committed serious felonies and are being held for competency evaluations, to see if they have the capacity to stand trial. Some are inmates who come from other state psychiatric facilities because their behavior has been violent or aggressive and they meet the criteria for involuntary commitment. Most, however, have been found incompetent to stand trial or convicted of a crime that was committed when they were under the influence of a mental illness, like Brian.

Can they ever get out? 

They’re sent there until they have recovered or are considered stable enough to gradually return to the community—no matter how long that takes. For some of them, this never happens, and they stay in the hospital until they die. There’s no federal agency charged with monitoring them and no registry or organization that tracks how long they’ve been incarcerated or why.

August 7, 2023

If Trump testifies in one of his trials could he have a Captain Queeg breakdown?

By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist and mental health center director

Click above to watch the video of the famous court martial scene when Captain Queeg has a parnoid mental breakdown from the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny. Unless you have a good memory of the scene in the movie to fully appreciate what I am saying could happen you need to watch at least the court martial scene which is considered a classic. I also have included the missing strawberries clip.

Credit: My friend R. gave me the idea for this story. 

Below is the strawberries scene that is refrred to in the court martial and and was, dare I hestitate to write, the final straw(berry) that led to the mutiny:

Click above to watch three minute clip

For those not familiar with the plot of the Herman Wouk novel or the movie  (it was also on Broadway) here's what led to the mutiny in the navy destroy Caine:

As the Caine begins its missions in the Pacific under his command, Queeg begins to lose the respect of the crew and the loyalty of the wardroom through a series of increasingly unusual incidents — including running over and severing the cable to a valuable target, which he blames on John Stilwell, the helmsman — that reveal his cowardice, paranoia, and inability to accept responsibility. Queeg becomes increasingly isolated from the other officers, who come to dread his rages and unreasonable demands, which often entail loss of leave privileges and, at one low point, a 48-hour moratorium on drinking water while the ship is sweltering near the equator. Keith realizes that De Vriess was a far more competent, effective, and fair-minded leader, and inwardly grimaces at the irony of his original, naive judgements of both captains. During the following invasion of Kwajalein, Queeg is ordered to escort low-lying landing craft to their line of departure. But instead, Queeg orders the crew to throw over a yellow dye marker to mark the spot, and hastily directs the Caine away from the battle area. The officers nickname him "Old Yellowstain."

Queeg's next act of paranoia begins when over half of a prized container of strawberries is discovered to be empty. He concocts elaborate and time-consuming procedures in which to catch the thief. These occupy all of the officers and crew for long hours and further erode confidence in and respect for the captain. When Queeg's pet theory is finally decisively flouted, he disappears into his cabin, leaving the ship in executive officer Lieutenant Stephen Maryk's hands for days. Wikipedia

As you can see the straw that broke the camel's back with the crew involved strawberries.

In my blog of Aug. 5th, "Chance some of Trump's aides may be witnesses in trials could lead to a paranoid breakdown" which explains why under stress maligant narcissists sometimes have paraoid psychotic breaks I wrote:
It stands to reason that if there's anything would put Trump on the brink of having an actual episode of clinical paranoia, a real psychotic break from reality possibly requiring hospitalization, given his existing psychopathology, it would be the legal jeopardy he is is.
Let's say for the sake of argument that Trump makes it until his first trial without having a psychotic episode so obvious nobody except his brainwashed MAGA cult supporters could deny he needed to be committed to a psychitric hospital.

Short of actual conviction of a crime and being sentenced to prison there's no stress greater than the unrelenting cross-examination he'd be subjected to by Jack Smith who he already has a visceral hate for.

It is possible that we could see Trump out-Humphery Bogarting Humphery Bogat's performance of Captain Queeg's paranoid breakdown. Only in the case of Donald Trump it wouldn't be acting. It would hapopen in a real courtroom. The consequences of this could result in his lawyers requesting, or the judge issuing, a ruling that would put the trial on hold until such time as Trump recieves treatment and is able to particupate in his own defense.

If you didn't watch the video of the court martial scene on the top of the page you can click below:

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Nixon and Kennedy were evenly matched intellectually in their first debate. Nixon lost because of how he looked on TV. Trump may lose because he "loses it" on TV. By Hal Brown, MSW

  Read: Team Biden bets an unfiltered Trump at the debate can shake up the race GOP pollster Frank Luntz said the June 27 faceoff will be &q...