The Trump “Hustle” … What would Jesus do?

Tom Spencer (TX/USA) teilt seine Gedanken über Donald J. Trump mit uns (bild: olt)
It is apparent, that there is a significant portion of the population, who do not have any concept of “The Hustle.” Their lives must be so … routine or rigid , that they don’t know any “Hustlers.”

(by Tom Spencer/TX)

Then there are the people who are, by necessity, busy earning a living. They don’t have time enough or inclination enough to pay much attention. They do occasionally run into a personality type that tells them what they want to hear; flatters them; misrepresents the truth; lies directly to them; and finally takes advantage of them either physically or financially. But it’s specific and personal to them and they don’t recognize that those behaviors that they see and experience generalize and build into a Grifter personality type. And the Grifter’s M.O. is what is described by the shorthand term, as “The Hustle.”

And then there are the Hustlers.

Grifter : Noun
(plural grifters)
1. A con man. Someone who pulls confidence games.
1939. „We’re all grifters. So we sell each other out for a nickel“. The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler
1958. „That was the train the drunks and the sinners rode–the gambling men and the grifters, the big-time spenders, the skirt-chasers, and all the jolly crew“. That Hell-Bound Train. Robert Bloch

We are experiencing “The Hustle” writ large on our national scene.

Donald J. Trump was born and raised in a Hustler/Grifter’s household. His Father figure was dominative, calculating and … less than truthful as the recently documented revelations by the NYT clearly demonstrate. He is also described elsewhere as a racist and as supporting racist organizations.

The Grifter calls that “fake news” and continues “The Hustle” and 28 to 40 percent of the population depending on the issue says “oh yeah, I like what I hear , tell me more.” And so he does, because in our now mediafied society he recognizes that with the number of people the 24/7 media cycle allows him to reach means that if he says it enough times and enough people hear it, it becomes the TRUTH.

And we are here. In our current mediafied, self-absorbed , selfie-obsessed, society, we have become a culture not of, “We are all in the together,” but a culture of, “I got mine to Hell with you.” And Grifter Trump is stoking and milking our condition for all it and he are worth.

I’m choosing not to go that way. Actually I’m thinking, oddly enough, in a more Christian manner.

What would Jesus do?

Opinion: 9/11 was not the beginning and anyone who believes this will end is …naive.

Tom Spencer
Tom Spencer/Texas hat sich Gedanken zur NSA gemacht. (foto: spencer)

After the Snowden leaks came out, I remembered that back in 1972 or ’73 or there abouts, Denton, Texas along with Austin was one of the 2 bastions of Hippiedom in Texas.

In graduate school at the time, I was part of the group of students sampling the alternative lifestyle and letting my „Freak Flag“ fly. Denton had lots of students selling the recreational drugs of choice to each other and basically anyone who was interested, many times the local cops.

At that time a local dealer I knew lived off campus with a real „Brainiac“ whose father was a General in the Air Force. At that time he was assigned to the NSA.

On one surprise visit to see his son, he wore a briefcase chained to his wrist. I note this was about the time satillites started being used to transmit „long distance“ telephone calls. Local calls used landlines and required a physical „tap“ to be recorded.

Knowing that his son was living in a den of hippies, the General told his son, „Don’t be talking about drugs on a long distance telephone call because if it goes through the air, we get it.“

It is obvious to me that the NSA has been listening ever since it could. 9/11 was not the beginning and anyone who believes this will end is …naive.

For further reading see: Gwynne Dyer, The downfall of the NSA

USA 2011: I think it is pretty much like this…. We will all pay for it in the end.

Tom Spencer/Texas hat uns ein paar Gedanken zur Situation in den USA geschickt. (foto: spencer)
Tom Spencer/Texas hat uns ein paar ehrliche Gedanken zur Situation in den USA geschickt. (foto: spencer)

The grandfatherly face of responsible Conservatism (Ronald Reagan) is gone.

In his place the ever dogma influenced Republican party has inserted the hatchet-faced visage of neo conservatism, Eric Cantor, a man who doesn’t understand as Ronald Reagan did, that things could get worse… have been and will be if the debt limit isn’t raised.

That’s where we are going. All the people who knew that things could be worse are dying off and guys like Eric Cantor who haven’t seen any real hardship in their lives are posturing to Dogma. Young guys and girls like Eric Cantor have never seen any hardships to match the effects of defaulting on the national debt. Anyone who supports that position is uniformed, dogma driven, and naïve.

No tax increases is the mantra of Tea Party influenced politicians. It is a destructive dogma. Our infrastructure crumbles and yet we yell no taxes.

I am the son of moderate to conservative Goldwater Republicans. I worked and believed in a reasonable Republican agenda of smaller government and a responsible population. I am a pragmatist, I will pay for what works and I am performance based and data driven. But, data doesn’t suit anyone’s dogma. “The tax legislation enacted under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2006 cost $2.48 trillion over the 2001-2010 period. This includes the revenue loss of $2.11 trillion that results directly from the Bush tax cuts as well as the $379 billion in additional interest payments on the national debt that we must make since the tax cuts were deficit-financed.

We need to repeal the Bush tax cuts and return to the Clinton era rates…they worked just fine as I see it.

I supported the original Bush bailout because I believed it was the only way to avert a financial calamity that would have precipitated a depression… conservatives who have a limited understanding of our financial underpinnings said let it happen it doesn’t matter. Now the same types are playing with shutting down the Gov’t. Those who have always been and are comfortable now don’t understand the potential real consequences. One of the problems with dogma is that it forces perfect to be the enemy of the good.

Americans are so used to listening to what someone says on TV and believing it if they hear it enough times. I call it our videofied mentality. Thus the Republicans stay on message so perfectly. The media handlers of the Reagan era really understood the use of the media and taught it to the Republican Party. They knew the image and appeal of their candidate was more the result of Death Valley Days, GE Theater, and “Win One for the Gipper” than is was about his policies.

Now extremists, both religious and social, have taken over my former party and let people like Glen Beck and Michelle Bachman speak for the party. It’s a downhill slide. Gives a good fiscally responsible Republican a bad name. You notice I didn’t say fiscally conservative. I believe fiscally responsible is a much more necessary characteristic. I believe, as does Warren Buffet, that to whom much is given much is expected. We have become a culture of “I got mine to Hell with you.”

We will all pay for it in the end.

Egypt: What’s next?

Tom Spencer/Texas hat uns ein paar Gedanken zur Revolution in Ägypten geschickt. (foto: spencer)
Tom Spencer/Texas hat uns ein paar Gedanken zur Revolution in Ägypten geschickt. (foto: spencer)

We had some friends over for dinner last night and we talked some about the peoples’ movement to challenge the established authority in Egypt.

Americans support democratic movements and are pleased and probably amazed that Egyptians pursued it so peacefully and with such determination. We, at dinner, are hopeful that it remains peaceful and that the military will turn over control to whatever civilian leadership is chosen in some sort of democratic process.

There is concern, mostly from the Right, that a more anti-American government will evolve when the people speak. But generally I think there is a feeling that the protests were not really anti-American but rather initiated by the youth, a nationalist movement of the Egyptian people seeking economic opportunity and the freedom to live their lives in a manner they choose.

Good Luck and Peace to them. Let us hope that this demonstration of peaceful change will show young Arabs what is possible and that the radical Islamist, al Qaeda, is not a vehicle for any positive change and only leads to more oppression and dictatorship of another kind.

Now it is time for a peaceful revolution in Israel. Will Zionism allow peace?

One can hope.

Best Regards,

A Letter from Texas concerning Tucson Arizona

Tom Spencer/Texas hat uns ein paar Gedanken zum Attentat in Arizona geschrieben. (foto: spencer)
Tom Spencer/Texas: Gedanken zum Attentat in Arizona (foto: spencer)

Denton. (tom) I have been up here listening to the news. All of the networks have their political shows on Sunday mornings and they have been full of comments on and discussion of the terrible event in Tucson.

All comments from reasonable people are calling for a dialing down of the heated rhetoric. There was some talk show radio host (who’s name I forget) on CNN’s „Reliable Sources“ who was accusing the President and his wife of using speech which was inciting people and he was close to yelling and our own Dick Armey was on „This Week“ on ABC saying that people have „legitimate concerns about the policies, they should be expressing, but hopefully they will be more civilly done.“

So my answer to your question of „has anything changed in the US?“ … is, unfortunately no. I have to say the verbal behavior of radio talk shows and the internet have not been beneficial to the process of „civil“ government. Talk by candidates about 2nd Amendment remedies against the „Government“ are inflammatory and as a former psychologist I know that verbal behavior is just as much a physical behavior as getting up and moving about your living room. We are all just critters. We are susceptible to verbal and other physical stimuli … just as is our household pet.

In spite of my dour frame of mind, I wish ya’ll a more positive and peaceful 2011.

Best Regards,


Wahlen in den USA: „Money takes care of Money. Always has, always will“. Ein Kommentar.

Tom Spencer/Texas kommentiert die US-Wahlen (foto: spencer)
Tom Spencer/Texas kommentiert für uns die US-Wahlen (foto: spencer)

Tom Spencer, ein alter Freund aus Denton/TX, ist nicht das, was man einen Südstaatler oder Konservativen nennt. Er betreibt im US – amerikanischen Bundesstaat Texas sein kleines „business“, engagiert sich in der Lokalpolitik und ist ein unabhängiger Kopf, dessen Meinung über die US-Politik wir immer gerne zu Rate ziehen. Wenige Stunden vor dem Ausgang der Wahlen in den USA baten wir Tom um eine Einschätzung.

Hier seine Stellungnahme noch vor Schließung der Wahllokale:

I will … In a few hours, but I’ll tell you now the Democrats will lose control of the house and maybe the Senate, but that is less likely.

The corporate and political action money flowing into the campaigns is ludicrous. $3 Billion. The conservative right has done nothing but say no and Obama let the most liberal Democrats be the face of his administration. Nancy Pelosi has been demonized in the right wing media and on the internet.

The American Public has what I call a videofied mentality. They get all their news from TV so they get sold propaganda ….about everything.

I also think that here in the South and to some degree nationwide, that many Americans have a problem with a black man attaining a status or position they can never see themselves attaining. Call it a latent racism or “white folk” insecurity.

It may be a good thing that Republicans and the Tea Party activists do get control, so everyone will see they haven’t got any thing either. The fickle public has forgotten that the pro business deregulation policies of the business class and Republicans running our government have put us all at jeopardy. Under the guise of individual freedom and responsibility, fiscal conservatism has come to mean „I got mine, to Hell with you.“

Many of the small government types want to shut down big government. Dogma has no room for nuance, so they take a meat cleaver approach to policy. Let’s see how long my spoiled fellow Americans will be pro Tea Party or conservative dogma if they don’t get their garbage picked up or their social security check stop coming? Not long I’d wager. It really isn’t about Democrats versus Republicans. Money takes care of Money. Always has, always will.

More later


Rush Limbaugh lässt es nicht sein: ein Leserbrief

Vorbemerkung: Der unten abgedruckte Leserbrief an eine US-amerikanische Zeitung stammt von meinem Freund Tom aus Texas. Toms Stellungnahmen zur lokalen und nationalen Politik sind für mich immer sehr interessant und aufschlussreich.

Um den Leserbrief zu verstehen muss man wissen, dass Rush Limbaugh seit zwei Jahrzehnten das US amerikanische „talk-radio“ maßgeblich beeinflusst. Das „talk-radio“ wird von konservativen bis hin zu reaktionären und rechtsradikalen „hosts“ beherrscht. Limbaugh ist einer von ihnen, mit einer Zuhörerschaft von bis zu 20 Millionen Zuhörern pro Woche sogar der Größte.

Limbaugh hat sich schon an seiner Gegnerschaft zu Präsident Clinton gesund gestoßen, soll heißen er ist durch seine Hass-Tiraden gegen das liberale Amerika mindestens Multi-Millionär geworden.

Clinton selbst hatte in seiner Zeit – genau wie Obama heute – eine Gesundheitsreform, Krankenversicherung aller US-BürgerInnen, auf der Agenda, ist aber mit der Umsetzung gescheitert.

Für Reaktionäre des Schlages Limbaugh gilt ein Gesundheitssystem, wie wir es bisher noch in Deutschland haben, als „Sozialismus“.

Die reaktionären „talk-radio hosts“ hetzen mit sehr großer propagandistischer Wirkung Tag für Tag auf den Wellen der vielen US amerikanischen Radiosender.

Das Gift und die Galle, die sie speien, setzt sich für die Radiobetreiber in Werbeeinnahmen um.

Liberale „hosts“ sind im „talk-radio“ eine verschwindende Minderheit.

Wenn Obama mit allen Projekten, die er verfolgt scheiterte und lediglich eine Krankenversicherung für alle US-Bürger durchsetzten könnte, wäre er für mich ein großer Präsident.

Die Einführung eines funktionierenden Krankenversicherungssystems in den USA ist eine Herkulesaufgabe, die wir vom europäischen Kontinent gesehen, nicht unterschätzen dürfen.

Den Rest erkläre ich bei Bedarf auch noch, aber nicht mehr heute.

January 1, 2010

I just listened to a CNN report on the release of Rush Limbaugh from the hospital after his experience of chest pains two days before. The piece included a tape of Mr. Limbaugh speaking to gathered reporters at what appeared to be a press conference. He states that his experience demonstrates to him that there is nothing wrong with the US health care system. „The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer,“ he said. „I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine.“ It is, if you have large amounts of money and can afford to pay regardless of cost.

He claims “I got nothing special. I got no special treatment other than what anyone else would get…” For him to stand there speaking to gathered reporters and say that a celebrity of national stature does not get any special treatment is ludicrous. One can only assume that he has such a narrow vision that he really doesn’t realize how utterly preposterous that statement really is, or he is actually to his core , ever the disingenuous huckster who only functions to benefit from keeping his listeners roiling around the anti-topic du jour so he appears in the public expanding beyond his listener base.

I think the over-wrought Mr. Limbaugh may have just experienced a plain old anxiety attack.  He’s got the potential…. I think he’s scared.

… quotes to sleep on …

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. – Noam Chomsky

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded, and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as to the most free and most popular.“– David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian, „Of the First Principles of Government“ 1758

If we’d been born where they were born and taught what they were taught, we would believe what they believe.“– A sign inside the front door of Holy Cross primary school in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, explaining the origin of intolerance and hate.

How did we pronounce the name of that Texas town?

Flatulence leads to knife fight in Waco

01:46 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Associated Press

WACO — Waco police say a fight over flatulence left one man stabbed and another facing an assault charge.

A statement Wednesday says police were called to a motel where several men from the Houston area were sharing a room.

Police say 35-year-old Juan Antonio Salano Castellano allegedly passed gas in the room Tuesday night.

Police say one of the other men became upset, picked up a knife and threw it at Castellano, who was cut in the leg. The suspect is accused of then stabbing Catellano in the chest.

Castellano was transported to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where police say he was treated for non-life threatening wounds.

The alleged attacker was arrested and faces an aggravated assault charge.