Why Do We Only Hear About Trump’s Father?

I practiced divorce law for 15 years. Part and parcel to such practice is domestic violence. You can’t avoid it. Even absent a history of physical abuse, divorce is such an emotionally charged process for the parties involved that frustrations, impatience and tempers often reach dangerous levels. Practicing Family Law is an education in relationship dysfunction, its causes and its effects.


One of the insights I gained, both from my practice as well as from my own life experience, is that how individuals are raised and how their nuclear family members treat and relate to one another forms the foundation for how people later choose life partners.  No influence has a more profound impact upon that foundation than that of our parents. Without going down such a simplistic path as did Freud (daughters want to sleep with their fathers and sons want to sleep with their mothers) there is none-the-less an undeniable influence that both parents have upon how children, of both genders, relate to the opposite sex. How that influence plays out, however, is fact based and varies in every situation.

In addition to the aforementioned, generally speaking, where a mother is present in a family she has an undeniable influence upon the type of home and family life that is created.

I had a very charismatic father. He was successful, charitable, and personable with an undeniable presence. My mother was much more the background to his main event. She was less vocal, less impressive and very much maintained the stage upon which my father performed.  I can recall many times during my childhood and young adulthood when I, or my sister, was in disagreement with my father. He would often respond with “Sure, it’s always my fault. I’m always the bad guy.” At the time, I pretty much saw things that way. He was the major influence and had the apparent concentration of power so, of course, he was the obvious target for grievances. He was, in all fairness, also the recipient of credit for all things good.

It took me decades into adulthood, in fact until after my father died, to begin to understand the silent power my mother had wielded in our family and the effects it had upon familial relationships both then and later in creating and dismantling my own marriage. It tuned out that it was a very complicated and unseen dance that had played out between my parents. What is undeniable, in hindsight, is the influence each brought to the table, for good and for ill, and how that influence affected choices and attitudes in my own life, particularly as they related to men.

Which brings me to Donald Trump.

I have been following this primary season with great interest. I happen to believe this election to be of unimaginable importance to the future of the nation. As such, while always a political junkie of sorts, my attention and my efforts to be informed this time around surpass any level of interest I’ve had in prior elections. I have also tried to be informed from the perspective of a variety of sources and political agendas. My goal has been to have the most comprehensive education in order to make the most informed choice. I take voting very seriously.

No matter what the source, Donald Trump is often quoted as praising his father for what he knows about business as well as for financing Donald with his start in the world of real estate.  His father is referred to as smart, successful, and powerful. Nary is a word ever mentioned by Trump about his mother. I find that curious. In fact, in light of Trump’s apparent dysfunction with women and women’s issues, I find it an omission of gigantic proportion. Who was she? What was his relationship with his mother? What influence did she have upon his life and values? Upon his opinion of women and how they should be treated? How did his father treat his mother? What was the dynamic of their marriage?

No such silence exists regarding Ted Cruz. His family history is a centerpiece of his campaign. To the contrary, the silence from Donald Trump about his mother is deafening.

We all know from his own books that Trump is a serial philanderer. He has admittedly cheated on his wives. He is obsessed with looks and in particular, women’s bodies. If a woman isn’t attractive he has little good to say about her and, at times, is outright cruel in his descriptions of women (e.g. Carly Fiorina and Heidi Cruz). He makes inappropriate sexual innuendos at inappropriate times. In the past several months and escalating in recent days, Trump has used foul language to disparage individual women he dislikes, staunchly stood up for his campaign manager who is charged with battery of a woman (based upon video evidence of the battery and resulting injuries) and said that a woman who has an abortion should get jail time (Disclosure: I am pro-life but his position is none-the-less offensive and without thought).

I am not saying that Donald Trump’s emotional stagnation at about age 15 as it relates to women is his mother’s fault. What I am saying is that there is an obvious imbalance within his own mind and in his expression of the proportionate role his parents played in the formation of his principles and his values. No one is all good and all bad. But when there exists a one-sided perception of a relationship, such as I had early on regarding my own parents and as Donald Trump has regarding his, there is also either an unwillingness or an inability to face the totality and reality of that relationship.  Refusal to look at anything head-on and evaluate it based upon what is, or was, only leads to denial and development of skewed and unbalanced ideas and behavior.

So what I surmise, and its only conjecture, is that Donald Trump’s father and mother had a difficult relationship; that Donald grew up in an environment influenced by that difficulty; that Donald developed perverse survival mechanisms to survive the difficulty and perhaps most importantly, that Donald’s mother played a significant (if even a significantly passive) role in his formulating demeaning opinions of women and how to treat them.

I close by acknowledging that I am not a psychologist. I am a lawyer and citizen who wants the best for my country. It is my personal and professional experience that denial is dangerous and not the way to get to where it is you want to go.  Therefore, for me, Donald Trump’s penchant for denial eliminates him as a viable Presidential candidate.





The New Industrial Revolution

I spent the last few days at SXSW here in Austin, where I played around with hundreds of gadgets and electronics from the Maker Fair. If you have never been to one of these expositions, I would highly recommend you check one out. You will be blown away by what is taking place in the field of technology and the changes that are taking place in manufacturing.

3d printer

Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic improvement in the quality and durability of electronic components and plastics. Engineers, artists and creators now have access to three dimensional printers that can produce physical products. We have gone from printing words via printers to printing three dimensional objects by the same process! If you have a machine and the blueprints, which can be found online, you can literally make cups, art, jewelry, parts, even guns… just to name a few. The designs are open sourced, so if you need to make a certain cup you can go online to see if somebody already has uploaded one on the web and then download the file and make your own. In addition, you can create your own design for a product and then upload it online for other people to use.

Over the last thirty years, the U.S has become a laggard in manufacturing for a variety of reasons.  Higher wages, a more onerous regulatory environment and a stronger currency, all of which have made manufacturing physical products here in the U.S almost prohibitive.  However, with the onslaught of 3D printing and some revolutionary changes taking place in the space and auto sector, manufacturing is enjoying a renaissance here in the U.S

At Tesla Motors, founded by Elon Musk, they are starting to produce cars in the U.S. and manufacturing their component parts here as well. What Musk discovered is that most car makers have hundreds of suppliers located all over the world, which makes implementing changes a process of dealing with a myriad of long distance suppliers. Frustrated by the lag time and inefficiencies of such procedures, Musk decided to make and manufacture most of the products right at his plant in California.  As a result, he has been able to speed up production of his autos and make  adjustments quickly.

Musk believes this approach has saved him a fortune.  Older car companies now complain that because he was able to start a car company from scratch, he has been able to revolutionize the manufacturing process. Imagine that!  Car companies are upset that Musk is able to manufacture the majority of his parts here in the U.S.  It was only a few years ago that the same car companies were saying that it was impossible to manufacture cars here in the U.S due to the high costs.

At SpaceX, another company founded by Elon Musk, they have been able to drastically lower the cost of manufacturing rockets. Part of the philosophy of his design and manufacturing strategy is to have the engineers work side by side with the builders of the rockets.  This process allows the engineers to see and fully understand what their designs are like when brought to life. Previously, it was unheard of  to have engineers and builders working side by side; but, SpaceX has made it work and has been able to revitalize the U.S. space industry while simultaneously creating thousands of jobs. One of the main manufacturing achievements of SpaceX has been in being able to weld large sheets of metal without rivets. This advancement not only makes the rockets safer it is also an innovation that will soon accrue to the benefit of other industries as well.

Combine the “Do It Yourself (DIY) Movement” and 3D printing, along with some of the breakthroughs taking place at SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and the U.S has good reason to be optimistic about the resurgence of our manufacturing sector. We have talented engineers and scientists that are revolutionizing many business and technology sectors. One only need look at the gas and oil sector where geologist and engineers, through fracking, changed the whole scope of the extraction process and its end product productivity. This new method of extracting oil has enabled the U.S  to garner untold amounts of oil which had been previously unreachable.

Over the past eight years, the problem facing U.S. businesses, and therefore the GDP, has been the restrictive regulatory policies implemented by the Obama Administration.  These crushing regulations and policies, such as Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, have hamstrung U.S. growth.  I believe, given a change of direction by the Federal government in it’s approach to private sector regulation and taxation, the U.S. economy could well see growth rates in GDP above 3%.  The private sector has made some major strides in manufacturing and technology that I believe could get the U.S economy back on track and begin to create many of those jobs that have been lost if the Federal government will just remove the stranglehold it has placed upon the development and operation of free enterprise.

If not, my prayer is that the government at least steer clear of this truly amazing innovation revolution and allow the U.S. to, once again, be the global leader in manufacturing and an example of free market capitalism functioning at its best.


Steve Clark



In Defense of Glenn Beck

Assuming Glenn Beck needs to be defended he doesn’t need me to do it. He seems quite capable of doing it himself, and has on more than one occasion when he has felt wronged, misquoted or misinterpreted. He has also apologized on more than one occasion when he has actually been wrong. So why would I bother with defense of a media personality that so many seem to think is either a fraud, religious zealot, or both?

Lady J ustice

I have listened to and watched Beck’s radio and internet programs for several years. The radio show’s intro defines the show as “the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment” while the live streaming internet program is more educational than entertaining or enlightening. Over the years that I have been a listener, Beck has definitely evolved. While in the early years the radio show was more entertainment and politics than enlightenment, with a fair amount of hangover (no pun intended) from his shock-jock days, it slowly began to morph into something more than that, as did Beck.

I could say I saw the handwriting on the wall. Over five years ago I contacted Beck’s CEO. Having done radio myself, I sent a demo tape of my on-air abilities and a video introduction of myself as a “video letter” to Beck himself. In it I told him that I saw where he was trying to go but was unlikely to get there using the path he was on at the time. I said he had to move beyond politics and organized religion as there were millions of people who were outside of either political party and who were more spiritual than religious and those people could not be reached through the Republican Party (Beck was a proponent at the time) or exclusively the Christian religion. I subsequently had the opportunity to meet Beck in person and, after a few moments exchange of conversation, he told me to give my contact information to his assistant which I did. The connection went nowhere. However, I have felt that either Beck or his staff has followed my posts on more than one occasion and used my material without credit which is something he has been accused of by both the late Andrew Breitbart and Michael Savage. I also think he did change course, as I had advised, and doing so expanded his media empire and his footprint.

I share the above in order to make the point that I could have my own gripe with Beck. I could be bitter, resentful and feel glee at the many slings and arrows that are directed at him by the likes of breitbart.com, Alex Jones, and Jon Stewart just to name a few. I could, but I don’t. Why? Because with all his human failings, Beck has been right much more than he has been wrong in sensing the trajectory of the nation and making serious efforts to inform, enlighten and caution as many people as possible as to where we are headed. Perhaps the three that most readily come to my mind are his early warnings about the Caliphate, the demise of the Republican Party, and the infiltration at every level of civil society and both political parties by Progressivism and its debilitating effects upon our way of life. On all three he was relentless. That relentlessness caused him to be the object of endless mockery and derision. But here’s the thing.

He was right.

I get that Beck is an entertainer. He can be wickedly funny or deliver a deeply compelling story while acting out a myriad of characters and personalities along the way.  He can also offend my sensibilities at times when he, his co-host and producer go over the edge with humor based upon bodily functions. But he is also a relentless seeker of truth and a self-educated man whose efforts at both are commendable and too rare. I get that as an alcoholic turned religious Mormon one could argue that he has traded one addiction for another. However, we are all enslaved to something. For most it’s money, success, fame, sex, chocolate, heroin or technology. The list goes on and on. It’s the nature of this reality we call life. So as I see it, Beck could be addicted and enslaved to something much worse than a loving, all-forgiving, grace granting God who is the seemingly most important source of guidance in his life…that and the wife he loves and for whom he credits turning his life around.

So, I prefer to put aside the cheap shots, motivated oftentimes by envy, and instead focus on the good Beck has done and is doing.

His charitable organization, Mercury One, has not only been the first on the scene of domestic disasters but also the most forthcoming and action oriented in its efforts to rescue Christians from genocide in the Middle East. He went to the border to take toys and express love for the children trapped in immigration holding facilities through decisions made by their parents and no fault of their own. He held inspiring and peaceful rallies dedicated to honor, courage and love that drew hundreds of thousands of people both in the U.S. and Israel. He marched for racial unity after Ferguson and Baltimore. He continues to warn the nation of the suicidal consequences of failing to stand with the Constitution.

Currently, he has prayed and concluded that Ted Cruz is the best candidate in support of that stand. In standing for his belief, he has literally gone on the road campaigning for Cruz and for the first time in his public career, endorsed a Presidential candidate. He believes Cruz is a man of destiny. Beck may be right on Cruz or not. But as Shakespeare said in Henry IV, and if I may paraphrase, let’s not shoot the messenger because we don’t like the message.

These area troubling times. We are in need of asking serious questions and finding meaningful answers. Whether you agree with his delivery, his politics or his God, Beck continues to shine a bright light before a nation wandering in the dark in search of its own identity. Shame on those who, for personal or political reasons, are trying to diminish or extinguish that light.

We could do worse than pay attention to someone who has been right more often than he has been wrong. How many of his critics, or us, have that track record?



An Easter Choice: Love or Fear?

There are no easy solutions to complex problems. Certainly not in times of rapid change.  There are, however, simple solutions that are not necessarily easy to apply.  Perhaps the greatest challenge we face in this moment of our culture’s evolution is that the problems we face are more complex than ever before in human history. This complexity is the result of technological advances which have exposed our undeniable interconnectedness to everyone and everything on the planet. The more interconnectedness there is the more complexity.  That’s the bad news.


The good news is that both humanity and the earth are inherently complex systems. In fact, they are complex adaptive systems. This means that 1) they are inherently complex by design and, 2) adaptability is a built-in characteristic of that complexity. Not only can they change, they are imbued with a process and a mechanism to facilitate change.

What, exactly, are the process and the mechanism?

The process is fixed. Change occurs whenever any single part of the whole system is altered internally or externally. Every action within a complex adaptive system automatically and naturally affects every other part. It’s where the saying comes from that “when a butterfly flaps its wings in Texas, wind patterns change in Tokyo.” If you’re standing near the butterfly you may never experience the wind change in Japan but it none-the-less will occur… no matter how infinitesimally small that change may be.  It’s also why, if you manage a department within a large corporation and make some changes to correct an inner-departmental problem, you can be assured that those changes will affect other departments that will have to adapt or they will eventually manifest their own reactionary problems. Simply put, any single part of a complex adaptive system cannot change without inevitable impact upon the system as a whole.

The process for change is organized chaos. A healthy process is in a continuous dance seeking an equilibrium that is never achieved because true equilibrium is a static state. Remember, the complex adaptive system we call humanity is designed for change, not stasis.

While the process for change is fixed the mechanism for change is not. How change is initiated among humanity is initiated by one of two triggers:  love or fear. Before looking at how this actually occurs, let’s set forth one overriding premise.

All positive emotions are a derivative of love. All negative emotions are a deravitive of fear.

It’s simply a matter of degree. Happiness, joy, gratitude, peacefulness for example, are derivatives of love. They flow from a state of endless possibility. To the contrary, anger, doubt, separation, stress and depression, for example, flow from a state of powerlessness.

Now that we understand that we are designed to change, provided with a process to change, and have a choice about the mechanism we use to trigger the process, we can each select, empower or disempower ourselves, by our choice of mechanism.

That you will change is undeniable and inevitable. How you will change is predetermined. But why you change is your choice to make. If you are frightened, worried, stressed, or feeling victimized it is likely that you will act from fear.  When acting from fear you initiate change that is fear-based. Fear based change is limited and leads to outcomes that are disempowering. Fear-based change by one is an act of desperation that affects the whole. Fear-based choice maintains deceit, disease and dysfuntion.

If, however, you are joyous, hopeful, or happy, for example, then choice is made within a construct of personal empowerment and is seen as endless possibility. Love-based people choose to honor their neighbor as themselves and by so doing optimize wholeness, unity and harmony. Love-based choice maintains the integrity and dance of organized chaos.

So, as we approach a critical choice in 2016 regarding the future of our country and our culture, ask yourself one simple question: “Am I choosing from love or fear?




It All Begins With You

What if Love is literally a sound and light frequency that can be broadcast and received? What if there is a way to access this frequency? What if once you access this frequency you are immediately aligned with everyone else who is also on this frequency? What if being on this frequency means that you are in perfect alignment with the source of all energy? What if?


Oneness is a spiritual reality not a political solution. The political application of oneness is Socialism. The spiritual application of Oneness is harmony and unity. Socialism is externally imposed and enforced. Harmony begins internally and aligns externally with like energy. So how do you get to internal harmony? In fact, if harmony begins internally, what is it that you must harmonize within before you can even begin to join externally with like energy?

Within each of us are a multitude of frequencies upon which we can receive and/or transmit energy, not unlike other forms of transmissions such as radio waves or broadband. Which frequency you tune into determines which information, data or tone you will be able to access. Everything in the physical universe, all energy, is vibrating to its own specific frequency.  In us humans, every organ of our body vibrates to a different frequency. What can be transmitted and received by the brain cannot be transmitted and received by the heart.

As a species, we are at a point in conscious evolution where we have begun to awaken to the memory of unity, of Oneness. Its a compelling memory that is beckoning us to return to a state of wholeness. Since perception is reality, when the mind perceives the path to unity, to Oneness, it does so as the political solution we call socialism.  Socialism is the most in-lightened view that the brain frequency is capable of conceiving. However, the brain has less access to more comprehensive in-formation than can be accessed on the heart frequency. On the frequency at which the heart vibrates (receives and transmits energy) wholeness is experienced as harmony and unity. This is a spiritual state of being which can be accessed by opening oneself to Love.  Remember, Love is an actual sound and light frequency.  Accessing it satisfies the desire for Oneness we are experiencing personally and globally.

Love is Source energy. Everything in the physical world begins with Source energy. However, different levels of consciousness (think rocks vs. humans) have different capacities to align with that Source. And, within highly evolved consciousness (think humans) there is the capacity to choose to tune in and access Love. However, this can only be done through the heart. Remember, the brain has limited access. It’s not a philosophical limitation. It’s a vibratory limitation. The pathway through the heart leads to places the brain cannot go.

You are formed of Source energy. It is not all that you are but it is the animating principle that gives you your life and awareness. Therefore, you have within your DNA frequency, and specifically your heart frequency, the ability to BE Source energy in motion. Your ability to do this is directly correlated to your willingness to tune in through your heart rather than your brain.

You are a physical and non-physical representation of all that is Source energy. Source energy vibrates to a frequency we call Love and perceive as light. Your being contains a fractional representation of all that is Source. It is our life’s purpose to perceive beyond the physical perception of light and identify with the non-physical perception of Love. Once you know that you are Love, all limitations imposed by the narrow perceptions of the brain are overridden.

Remember that you are the physical manifestation of Love in action. When you forget this, you become limited by all that can occur in the absence of Love…worry, doubt, regret, and fear. These are of the brain not the heart. You also begin to think there are false solutions to separation. There are none. There is only one. This solution is wholeness and it only occurs in harmonic Oneness with Source.

There is only One of us. Everything else comes from being tuned into the wrong frequency.





You Are God In Action

These are difficult times filled, it seems, with more intolerance and outright hatred than I can ever remember. The tragic bombing in Brussels today is but the latest reminder that there are people whose hatred knows no civil bounds while, thanks to some, our Presidential primary season has been a political version of The Jerry Springer Show.


While I often write about world and national events, I am acutely aware of the fears and frustrations now held by so many people. Therefore, I want to post about the opposite of hate…which is love. By so doing, I want to share my awareness of what ails us and what will heal us, both as a nation and a species.

Many people on the spiritual path, and even some on deeply religious paths, speak of the concept of “light” as being an integral part of having a spiritual or mystical experience. In fact, it’s often reported by those who have had NDE (near death experience) that they have seen, sensed or been drawn toward a brilliant light which beckons them onward.

I have been on a spiritual journey as a student of metaphysics my entire adult life. On such a quest, there is never a definitive moment when all that you have been seeking is known. This is so because no matter how awakened or aware one becomes, there is always another level of understanding that needs to be explored on the way to union with the Presence of All That Is. What I’d like to share is my current understanding of the concept of light.

We, here in this 3-D reality, perceive light as illumination. In its purest form, light is not illumination. It is love. This is why beings such a Moses, Jesus, Mother Mary and others were perceived as “glowing”…as having an extraordinary amount of light emanating from in or around them. These were individuals filled with love. Highly evolved spiritual beings, filled with love, emanate light. Hence, degrees of love, in our reality, are perceived as degrees of illumination.

Each one of us is capable of emanating light. The amount of light we emanate is directly related to the amount of love we hold in our heart. Have you ever noticed how people who have fallen in love seem to glow? Or pregnant mothers, joyful in their pregnancy, seem to glow? How they see the world differently, with more tolerance and optimism, as they experience increased love?

The question is “How do we become more filled with love?” The answer is to remember that God/Source/the I AM Presence is love in its purest and most powerful state. You are the manifestation of God in action in the physical world. Once you internalize, or become in-formed, that you are the manifestation of God in action, you begin to think, speak and act as Love would do.

Further your connection to God, which literally provides you with the spiritual nourishment and guidance that is your birthright, is only available to you in the present moment. God is not present in the past or the future; rather, only in the now, in this and every microsecond. This is because Creation is an ever-present, ongoing process. God’s total attention is in the now… as yours must be in order to connect with that Presence. So, regret and guilt (past) or worry and fear (future) are places you go in your mind that disconnect you from God/Love.

Notice how “dark” life seems when you are lost in regret, guilt, worry or fear. That darkness is real. You have cut yourself off from the Source of Love which then diminishes the amount of illumination you can experience here in this reality.

This is what ails us now. Regret and fear. What heals us then is Love and light.

The remedy is simple to remember but admittedly difficult to do until you become in-formed with the truth of it: You are God in action. Be Love…in thought, word and deed. Refuse to be otherwise. Fill yourself with the truth of who you are and for what purpose you have come.

You are God in action. You have come to allow God to have a physical experience through you. This is your highest purpose. Not wealth. Not fame. Not power. You are God in action. Open to that memory, allow it to in-form you, be love in all you do, then watch the world change.





Let’s Go Into Business

I want to be your partner. Here’s the deal.

You put up all the capital and I put in nothing. You provide all the labor and I provide nothing. I will tell you the minimum wage you can pay your employees. From the wages they earn, I will collect a percentage.moneylink

You will have to comply with the edicts I make on all aspects of our business from 1) the types of products you can sell; 2) the materials that are to be used and, 3) how to dispose of the waste.  I have laws and regulations that you will need to follow covering everything from plumbing to lighting and more.

Every year you will pay me a percentage of your sales regardless of whether you make money or not. If you don’t pay me I will fine you and, if necessary have the authority to imprison you. From time to time, I have the right to raise or lower the amount you have to pay me.

Should you leave or sell the business, I automatically become the partner to whomever you sell the business. If we are successful and sell the business at a profit, I will charge you a fee (call it a capital gain fee) on the price of the sale. Sound fair? Ready to deal? If you already own a business you know who I am.

I’m Uncle Sam.

Sound ludicrous, doesn’t it? And people wonder why we have close to 100 million people out of the labor force.

Bernie Sanders is leading the charge to solve this malaise by offering more “free stuff.”  How does he plan to get and pay for it all? He’s telling you the answer in advance: from his business partners, of course, who are going to be less than delighted to fork even more of their money to their partner (a/k/a the Federal Government by way of the IRS).

The fact is that neither candidate on the Democrat Party sounds as if he/she truly understands how business works; therefore, they continue to ask for more and more money from private business owners.

Currently,  the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Because of this, the largest and smartest companies shield their revenues and assets from the U.S government by creating offshore entities. They then book their revenues through these stand alone enterprises. Such  maneuvering shields them from having to pay U.S. taxes. So, the tax burden then gets shouldered by smaller and smaller enterprises who are unable to get the same treatment, or concoct the same schemes with government acquiescence, that larger companies can.

It is easy for a multinational corporation such as Google to move much of its revenues off shore since much of their transactions are global. But the local restaurant, whose customers are within a 100 mile radius of their location, are unable to do the same. The IRS would never allow a local entity to park its assets offshore.

So, the freebies that Bernie Sanders plans to give away will come from this already overburdened business class.

It is easy to see by the demands and promises that Bernie Sanders is making that he has no real understanding of, or connection to, the business community and the Herculean efforts small business owners make to succeed at their ventures. This disconnect between big government and the small business owner, and the adverse effects it has on the nation as a whole, can be understood by an example within the medical field.

When I was younger and played sports, I had many injuries that required extensive physical therapy. I had several shoulder injuries as a result of many years on Aikido mats. This happened because when I threw my opponents to the ground, I failed to connect my torso to my shoulders. As a result, my shoulder would become stressed. Instead of moving in unison with my torso, the shoulder moved separately and bore the entire stress.

When I then needed physical therapy, I encountered physically healthy people who had been recommended to physical therapy by their mental health practitioners. They were directed to physical therapy in order to connect the body back with the mind. Most of these were white collar professionals who had long stopped using their body properly and suffered mental issues. The physical therapy was a way to connect the body back with the mind.

This whole notion of working the (literal and figurative) body and mind together for matters of wellness and wholeness applies to everything we do…from physical injury to business to politics: the same principles apply.

The Democrat candidates for President are promising more free stuff without any idea of who pays for it. This disconnect is causing turmoil and sickness to the body politic. Over the last few weeks, there has been increasing aggression at political events and agitation by the citizenry over fear and confusion for the country’s political and economic future. The business class is upset due to its declining margins as well as the demands of the political class for more and more money. Instead of working together to grow a larger economy where all can benefit, business owners know that the proposals from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will, to the contrary, kill their businesses once and for all.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton need more of a connection to small business owners and the realities of operating a profitable enterprise. If they had that connection, they’d never be touting more free stuff. Then again, if the didn’t tout more free stuff they’d never be the top two candidates for the Democrat Party’s nominee.

Now there’s logic and a very good reason to vote Republican… if case you need one.




An Open Letter To Charles Krauthammer

Dear Mr. Krauthammer:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the post “The Holocaust and the Jewish Identity.”  While I agree with both the premise and the conclusion, I must take issue with one particular conjecture.

In highlighting Mr. Sander’s identification with the Holocaust as the point of reference for his Judaism, you note in your post that “Sanders is 74, but I suspect a growing number of young Jews would give an answer similar to his.” I disagree.  Sadly, I think American Jewish youth would identify with neither the accomplishments of their ancestors nor the Holocaust. I believe they would identify mostly with Socialism as both their ideology and their religion. This is the legacy of decades of American Jewish assimilation and identification with the political Left, surrender to political correctness and an organized effort within our education system to 1) condemn Israel (and by so doing Judaism as well) and 2) promoting Socialism as the saving grace of humanity.

I am the mother of an American Jewish daughter who was born in China and raised in the United States. My daughter was educated in Orthodox Jewish day schools from ages six to eleven following my ex-husband’s conversion to Orthodox Judaism. I myself was raised in a non-practicing family that held holiday dinners and rarely went to synagogue.  Pride in my Judaism was more theoretical than practical, based more upon tradition than practice.  However, in honoring my then husband’s choice, we became an observant family and, therefore, our daughter had an early and deep foundation poured in the spiritual practice, ethics and rituals of Judaism. When we divorced, our daughter was eleven and I returned to my “more mystical than observant” brand of Judaism and my daughter entered public school.

Fast forward eleven  years. My daughter is now completing a three-year voluntary service as a Lone Soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces as a Commander in a Combat Search and Rescue Unit. Despite her having left the U.S. a fairly observant Jew three years ago, she is no longer observant. She is now a Zionist through and through. This initially surprised me; yet, I have come to understand why and how this is so.  She has had a benefit unavailable to most American Jewish youth and Jewish young adults.  No longer finding emotional or spiritual sustenance in the practice of Judaism, she has chosen instead to find it through pride in the land and its People.  Such a choice does not exist for young American Jews who do not have the Israeli experience in one form or another.

Absent an observant family steeped in both tradition and religious practice, seeing the Holocaust as something predominantly historical rather than personal, and influenced by the pressures of political correctness, these young American Jews turn instead to Socialism as their anchor and cause celebre. It is a tragedy of monumental proportion. The treasure trove of identification with either the religion or the land is lost to these newly defined “wandering Jews” who seek through the darkness what is only available in the light. It would behoove American Jews to take advantage of the many programs and vehicles for sending their children to Israel (Birthright, Young Judea, Garin Tzabar etc.)  for even a brief period of time to gain a perspective and a connection that is only available by walking the land and internalizing what it means and feels like to not be a minority in your culture.

I hope a time will come when your belief that many young American Jews would identify with the Holocaust as their defining moment is replaced by an identification with the achievements, contributions and uniqueness that is Judaism and its People.




The Adoration of Trump

Donald Trump’s ego is not news. However, what Trump revealed today definitely is. I hope America was watching and listening. I know I was.

leaky vessel

Trump spoke today in Bloomington, Illinois following several days of both organized, and individual, protests at his speeches in Chicago and Kansas City. The press has noted, and so it seems, that neither protesters, Trump behavior nor the facts have any negative effect upon his popularity with an increasingly adoring public.

Perhaps today’s revelation is a reason for pause.

During today’s stump speech, Trump made a noticeable shift from talking about himself as a solitary phenomenon to “us” and “we”…shifting to include his supporters into an identification of both him and them as a single entity on the same team. Under different circumstances, a therapist or advertising executive might conclude that this was a deliberately executed psychological or marketing ploy to manipulate the listener. But that’s not the cause. You had to catch another key moment in his speech to fully understand what precipitated that shift.

Elsewhere in the speech, in discussing his past use of what has been called inflammatory or crude use of language, Trump said he didn’t care if it wasn’t “smart.” In fact, he acknowledged that both Ivanka and Melania advised him that the use of such language is “not Presidential’” (on the word Presidential he mimicked and mocked them both by his tone of voice and facial expression).

However, what he said next was stunning! He said, as an aside, “We’ll have to get IQ’s tested to see….” Donald Trump publicly turned on his wife and daughter because they did not agree with him. He questioned their intelligence and implied that his own was superior.

This was an incredibly insightful and revealing moment. Yet it is totally consistent with what many third parties who have had past personal or professional dealings with Trump have said about him. He’s with you so long as you see it his way and so long as you fall in line with his intentions. The moment you no longer fit that description, you become his adversary…even his enemy… and he sets out to destroy you.

It’s unlikely that Trump will destroy his wife or daughter (although jettisoning wives is one version of just that and he has certainly done that in the past so Melania is hardly destruction-proof). As for his daughter, there are many ways for a father to devastate a daughter without all-out war. The withholding of love and approval is usually its own devastation.

What I took away from Trump’s speech today regarding the shift in his relationships, both with his followers and with his wife and daughter, is that it’s not about money at all for Trump. It’s about adoration and worship. It’s about being revered without question. Melania and Ivanka fell out of favor this week and by so doing, Trump needed to find a new source of unquestioning adoration. To that end, he turned to his followers. They stand just far enough away to only see the glitter without being able to see the dross.

The time will come when they, too, will question their idol’s behavior. When that occurs, so too will come their time of falling out and retribution.

The most pressing question they, and we as a nation, should be asking now is “What does Trump do when the crowd is no longer enough?” That time will surely come because you cannot fill a damaged vessel. Trump is such a vessel. The damage is the “leak” evidenced by his insatiable need to be worshiped. It’s why he has said he’s never done anything for which, as a Christian, he needs to seek forgiveness. He sees himself as perfected. He sees himself as a savior. The savior of the nation. What he is seeing is merely what he wants to see. He is a false savior and an emotionally needy man.

The moment of truth is upon us. What matters now is not what Trump is seeing. What matters now is what are we willing to overlook?




Institutional Corruption

As a child I wandered the street of New York City in the 70’s when crime was rampant. Not once was I ever stopped by a cop for the many mischievous pranks my friends and I pulled.  Looking back, the cops had neither time nor bandwidth for my sophomoric pranks. They had real issues with which they had to deal. I really grew to like the N.Y.P.D. because they never concerned themselves with law abiding citizens or silly kids; rather, they focused on the criminals.

CorruptionWhen I was in middle school, a friend and I were mugged and beaten up by by a gang who stole our money and our jackets. Luckily for us, the police were nearby and helped us get us out of the jam before it got truly ugly. I admired them for the help they gave us. It left me with a sense of justice for the wrong that had been committed against us. Other than this one incident, I never had any run ins with the police as a child.

I no longer live in New York and so my contact with the workings of NYC are infrequent. However, in the past five years I have had to travel there and that has resulted in my having to deal with the N.Y.P.D on three separate occasions. In each instance, I had done nothing wrong. The police simply wanted to know “what [was I] up to?” That same admiration that I had as a child for the N.Y.P.D. (and all other police) is pretty much gone. Over the years, I have become more Libertarian in my views and now feel the police have become more authoritative and abusive with their power… not just in N.Y. but all across the country.

When Rudy Giuliani became Mayor of NYC in the early 1990’s, one of the first things he did was to implement a “stop and frisk” policy which allowed the police to stop anybody and inquire about their activity. This procedure enabled the police to frisk people if they believed they were armed or were transporting drugs. Potential criminals were stopped before they were able to commit a crime and although this helped bring down crime rates, it also had the end result that many innocent people were stopped and questioned about their activities. Even though  crime plummeted from the policy, the citizens of NYC had made a trade. Unwittingly, they had traded freedom and liberty for safety.

As the police became more aggressive, policing smaller and pettier crimes, the city came to realize aggressive policing was a profitable business. More policing meant more tickets, more fines and, therefore, more money for the city coffers. The courts were kept busy by all the ticket writing and incarcerations. The judges, lawyers, and prisons all got more work. The city then got addicted to the revenue and they implemented quotas on the N.Y.P.D. in order to keep the revenue stream rolling in. (While the police deny quotas exist, Matt Taibbi in his book The Great Divide has numerous examples of this policy run amok).

The role of police as the line between law abiding citizens and criminals has become something other. The police now have a dual mandate as 1) quasi tax collectors of the state and 2) protectors of the public at large. Given NYC’s high taxes and similar cost of living, citizens have little stomach for additional taxes. Politicians know this; so, they know use the police via ticket quotas to make up for income shortfalls. Given the multitude of laws on the books, it is virtually impossible for citizens to always and fully be aware of the crimes they are may technically be committing. Don’t believe me. Check out this great parody by Casey Neistat when he got ticketed for riding his bike in N.Y.C.

This problem does not exist in alone New York but in all cities. Recently, I had a polite conversation at a party with a female police officer in the Austin area.  I expressed some of my dislikes about the current state of policing in Austin. I made my point that the police have far too much leeway in their ability to stop and question citizens.  She replied that I was insufficiently informed of all the laws on the books that allow them to stop us. Unbeknownst to her, she had proven my point. Because there are now so many laws on the books, the police have assumed more and more power by which they can detain law abiding citizens. While the police officer was making her point that the laws (numerous in nature) allowed them to legally stop us, she did not perceive the tyranny and confusion that regular citizens experience when they are continually being stopped by the police.

The dangers in driving through the many of small towns in New York State are common knowledge. Most of these towns would not exist without the tax revenues supplied by the police. It is not uncommon to drive through any of these towns and be bombarded with a multitude of traffic signs indicating speed limits that change every few miles. The confusion of the varying speed limits succeeds in ensnaring the driver to break the law because a driver is never sure what the speed limit actually is.  The brilliance of this trap is that police are not taxing the local populace but rather area outsiders just passing through. The same situation has existed in the Southern U.S. forever. In addition the system is set up so that it’s easier and better to pay the ticker as the first option is to pay a lesser fine with no points assessed to your license. The 2nd option requires you to show up at Court in that venue, take off a day of work and wait around for hours to contest the ticket. If you are found guilty, the ticket penalty will be higher and you will have points assessed to your license, thereby increasing your auto insurance premium.

The funny things is anyone who drives knows this racket. As citizens, we know this is corrupt; but, we have come to accept it. In the “land of the free and the home of the brave” we know we live with institutionalized corruption. This corruption provides jobs for a multitude of people who otherwise would not work.

When I drive in Latin America and get pulled over I know I am in for a simple trade. The police will berate me for some terrible violation that I have allegedly committed and then offer me a way to get out of the problem. A simple bribe or donation is usually sufficient and I am swiftly on my way again. When I travel with my American brethren, they are shocked by the corruption of the police.  I just tell them that they are naive. The difference is that in Latin America the corruption is localized. For the most part, I can get out of any problem with a simple bribe or donation. At least in Latin America they are honest about their corruption.

If I were to try to bribe an officer in NYC,  or any US city for that matter, I would be met by righteous indignation by both police and the courts and surely be subjected to harsher penalties. This institutionalization of corruption has permeated all aspects of our society. Americans, especially small business owners, feel the brunt of it as they struggle to comply with a plethora of government edicts, regulations and paperwork just to do ordinary business.

In Latin America, many of the same laws exist that we have here in the U.S.  However there is no pretense.  A hundred bucks and a handshake brings the end of the issue. While neither system is desirable, at least the Latin American version is more honest.

Funny, but sad, that “honesty” can be a relative term.