Trump Like Me

There was a time in my life many years ago when I would loved to have stood in Donald Trump’s shoes. I wanted nice things. I wanted to live in a castle.  I would have loved to own a Rolls Royce.  I would have loved to travel the world and see everything and enjoy good wine and have the most beautiful wife. 

It wasn’t because of greed.  It was because all these things are attractive. To call it greed is to make a case that I wanted to do it at the expense of others, by taking advantage of the poor, and and crowding out the many with whom life presents as competition for such things.  I thought that I could remain a good person and still do all these things.  Perhaps, more to the point, I never quite realized what road I would have to travel in order to achieve, to live the dream.  . 

I became a stock broker and worked in the industry until I discovered that the men I worked with were corrupt and willing to lie to make a transaction. It was disgusting to me, and it wasn’t long before I began looking for work in another field. 

I then hooked up with a multimillionaire who had designed the NASDAQ computer system and owned a capital holding company.  He was a mergers and acquisitions specialist who bought floundering companies for pennies on the dollar and converted them into profitable companies.  I thought that was a good thing.

I then began flying gamblers to Las Vegas, an idea he financed when I took it to him as a business venture,  He was greatly attracted by the idea.  I made a deal with Caesar’s Palace in which they would provide swank hotel accommodations and the cost of flying wealthy people in a Learjet to Sin City if these gamblers would put up a stake that was attractive to the house.  And it worked for awhile. . Until, that is, my wonderful partner made an effort to get it all for himself.  I think that’s when I began realizing that living the good life came with a price.  That’s also when greed really made an impact upon me and started entering the picture in a very personal way. 

Many ventures later and the crushing blows that came with them put me on the street, homeless in Beverly Hills, California.  I I had just walked away from a business that was doing well over six figures a year.  I left everything—cars, trucks, equipment, along with a contract to purchase a home in Bel Air—and began wandering the beach, looking for some truth within myself that answered many deep questions about what I wanted from life.  It was then that I came to face the real truth about who I was, and what all this meant to me.  How corrupt did I have to become in order to succeed with my dream of being rich? Who would I have to cheat?  How many lies would I have to tell? What ugly games would I have to play?  And who were these men whom I had chosen as my business partners, my companions, my world?  Did I really want to live in such a world?

What began creeping up on me was that self respect based upon good moral values was much more valuable to me than all these “good things” that I had wanted. 

Certainly, today, if someone offered me a million dollars with no strings attached, I’d take it.  I’m not sure I’d buy a Rolls or use it up on fancy Learjets, because I can think of many other ways to spend that money that would mean a lot more to a 72-year-old coot like me.  I’ve discovered that having friends who respect you for being genuine and compassionate by itself is worth more than all the money in the world. But it is self-respect more than anything else that is the true life-giver.  Being whole within oneself by being true to oneself is the only path to happiness. 

When I weigh the path of a man like Donald Trump, a man who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, and had a freeway paved ahead of him for the kind of success he has known, I really can’t hate him.  It’s very difficult to find any truth in all the propaganda I read about him, so I have great difficulty judging him.  I know that, had I been given his opportunities, I would be a much different man.  I wouldn’t have the moral sense that I do now.  I came from a very middle class background, but I have known deep poverty in my struggle against the bricks, because I was thrown to the wolves like most people are who live in this capitalist world where the rich have all the advantages and the poor just have to suck it up and try to compete on very evil terms. 

I don’t hate capitalism, but I hate what it does to people.  I don’t hate Trump, but I hate what it has done to him.  I feel fortunate that I didn’t get caught in that same trap, because, with slightly different opportunities, that would be me as well. 

With Trump as President elect, I know what we are headed for.  I know well his state of mind.  It doesn’t frighten me, because he lives in a world of men who are not much different from him.  Power and money has its rightful competitors.

The Democrats lost, and their fortune was cast when they sold out to the very principles that Donald Trump lives by.  And they got beat by a man who knows that game much better than they do. You can’t play the image of being for the downtrodden and forsaken while doing dirty deeds behind the scenes.  It’s a cutthroat business,a fuck you man kind of business, and good old Donald was right out front with it.  He proved to be better at being honest about it than these lefty fools who tried to play both sides of the fence.

He faces great odds in pulling off as President what he has done in the business world.  In many ways we are helpless in changing what’s coming for us, the “little people,” the deplorables.  He’s going to do great damage to many of our progressive causes.  But he will not change those of us, who, like me, have come to value more than wealth and power.  We will survive. We can do so without the fine clothes and the diamond rings.  And we will win, because it is a greater power that lives inside us.  .   

Trump, it’s Time to Clean House

Most of my lefty friends are not going to agree with me, but that doesn’t deter me from saying what I believe.  To start with, I do not believe 99% of the allegations I’ve read about Trump. I didn’t vote for him, but I believe that the left has so demonized him that the extremists on the far right actually believe such nonsense. The KKK and David Duke and people who hate blacks, Hispanics and other non-whites have been inspired and emboldened by all the lies the left has perpetrated. We don’t do justice to American politics with lies. We don’t encourage people to lean left with their views by propagating bullshit that anyone with common sense will not believe. I don’t believe that I ever came across an article in the mainstream press that ever gave him a fair shake.  They have done nothing but write their own epitaph.   The calculated raids on his campaign appearances by the left have fueled the violence and hate. George Soros and MoveOn.org have never been reputable guides to political solutions.  The left has said things about Melania that are far worse than anything Trump himself has ever said about women. I’m frankly deeply ashamed of where the left stands as a movement.  Now they want Sanders to run again?  What a joke.   

I don’t for a minute believe that Trump is a saint, but I don’t believe that he is much different from most businessmen. I know a number of millionaires and they are all self-centered egotists. That’s a natural human flaw that accompanies financial success. He is no doubt a womanizer to some degree, he’s probably very guilty of  misogyny, but what about Bill Clinton?  That’s again a flaw that comes with being a successful man in American society. It should not be accepted, but that’s quite different from singling him out for being some kind of icon of male perfidy.  His family has never criticized him, so how bad is it really?   Does it make him unqualified to be President?  What were our choices?  He has probably abused his employees as most wealthy men do. They get wealthy by taking advantage of the weaknesses of others. Trump is a capitalist, but no more evil than the capitalism of a woman who makes millions off her speeches to Wall Street or seeks to enrich herself through corporate graft. The machinations and manipulations of the DNC in order to rig the primaries and the election are about as evil as anything I can imagine in a country that calls itself a democracy.

His domestic policies are not based on racism. I think that they are misguided, but way overblown in terms of what they suggest to others. Trump ought to be spending a billion on helping Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia and other South American countries with jobs programs so that people don’t have to come here in order to survive. But I didn’t see the left proposing such solutions it was more important to them to demonize him. They said he was a racist because he wants to build a wall. Yes, a stupid idea, but it wasn’t racist.  it was simply a proposal to win over people who have a problem with illegal immigration.   it got him votes.  What else can you say about it?  We need firm policies regarding illegal immigration. There’s no question about it.  But hate obviously didn’t convince the voters. Lies are lies, and they can sooner or later be understood as lies.

The issue of Muslims immigrating to this country was nothing more than a proposal about security. If I held a party and thought about inviting Muslims, but I knew that there were some who wanted to hurt me, but didn’t know who, I’d probably want to think about that twice and try to establish some kind of screening mechanism as well. I might even cancel the party.   That isn’t racist. That’s good sense. Trump has done a lot of business in Muslim countries. I don’t believe that he has an attitude about Islam and I don’t believe that he hates Muslims.

All our time has been wasted on Trump’s personality instead of exploring his policies.  No wonder he is such a mystery to people. 

What is worth considering, however unpredictable he may be, is that Trump represents — hopefully — a revolution in how government works. What’s good is that he is an outsider. He will bring a revolution in policies that haven’t worked and will never work. I’d like to see an end to the huge deficit spending on military adventurism and regime change. Trump will work with Syria and Russia to defeat the Islamic State. He’s got NATO scrambling to try to figure out how it’s going to survive, since it’s purpose of taking down governments and installing new ones friendly to the US is all that it knows. What is NATO going to do, now that war with Russia is no longer on the drawing boards? What about that huge military buildup on Russia’s border?

Trump has been noted in the past for being to the left politically. It seems clear to me that he went right in order to get elected. And he sunk the ship of fools Hillary was steering with all her neoliberal friends. May God bless him for that. We need fresh blood in government, and despite the pain it may cause to some liberal institutions and causes, a little suffering for that revolution is worth it. It’s time to clean house.

The Left Needs Honesty and Integrity and a True Heart for the People to Win

What’s most interesting about the results of the election is how unpersuaded people have become about the mainstream press and its views. That’s a good thing. I don’t know of a single news site that has any credibility that wasn’t preaching against Trump. Somehow, the voters didn’t buy it. The results will even further disqualify the usual pundits, as well as the pollsters, and demonstrate how much they are in the pockets of corporate America. Hooray for the independent press. Indeed, however corrupt the Hillary machine was, it simply didn’t have the power to change the will of the people. We can talk about how disreputable Trump is, and how rude and crude and unsophisticated a man he is, but it’s clear that the Establishment has been trounced, and that’s also a good thing.

It’s obvious that the Democrats are going to have to change, and hopefully die as a genuine party. The power of the left is going to swing toward what’s left of the Bernie supporters, but it won’t be Bernie Sanders this time. He showed what a sellout he is. We will need a true voice crying in the wilderness, a dark horse who will rise up and lead us with honesty and integrity. Hillary lost because she’s a fraud, a woman too entrenched in the status quo of corporate largesse. She was never for the people.

The American domestic scene doesn’t look very good from here on out, and just as American blacks were greatly energized by Obama’s election, we’re going to see a lot of people on the fringe right who believe that this is their time as well, and that’s not a good thing. Muslims and those immigrants from the south need to beware, not about Trump but about the average hater who believes that he can do anything he wants and not suffer the consequences.. But this will be a time to re-assess, a time to get closer to our true values,and to get behind not the lesser of two evils but someone who truly has our interests and will stand for the things we believe in.

Frankly I worried about civil war if Trump wasn’t elected. But the animals have been unleashed anyway. Take stock, my friends.  Watch your back.  Unite with those of us who believe in a better future, so that we can pull together our forces and achieve a position of strength.

And I suspect that the gridlock will continue in Congress, but for the opposite reasons. But maybe not. The Democrats have always caved in to the Republicans. But I don’t think we’ll be going to war with Russia anytime soon.

Rita Harrison: A Willow For You

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The Willow System: What is It?

A drop of poison in the blood from the bite of a snake will soon spread throughout your body and kill you. Ideas about who we are also have that kind of power.  If you believe that you are a cripple, you are or soon will be.  If you believe that you are the greatest singer on earth, you will have to fight for that prize, but you’ll probably get pretty damn close.

Ideas about self set limits to growth.  They can turn us into street gangsters selling crack and ten-dollar whores and they can also turn us into astronauts.   They are like the forms a contractor uses to pour concrete into.  We create these ideas of self, pour ourselves into them, and then we harden like concrete.

Life, at least how we perceive it,  is largely the product of our imagination.  We believe that we are bright or stupid or better because we know how to brush our teeth in the morning and do something ritualistic, like wind-up automatons,  every day for money to pay the bills for a lot of garbage we don’t really need.  We fight everyday to belong to something, to anything, by either an artfully designed scam or by spending years in academia learning how to mate bees in space in order to prove our worth. I think most people do ask why, but never get beyond that.  Becoming who we are is as unique for a man who spends a career stamping metal in an automobile factory as it is for someone who believes in self improvement and is out climbing mountains and learning to play the sitar.

Imagination, as we all know, has its flaws.  Chicken Little imagined that the sky was falling.  Some of us can’t do much better than that.  The people in the village were not prepared for the truth because they believed that the boy who cried wolf was always lying.  And right now, wolf or not,  you believe that you are commonplace, attractive only to the rude and the crude, so you’re in the bars looking for love.  What would happen if you believed that you were beautiful?  Who would you reach out to then?  Would you stop going to IHOP and start going to Vino’s? Would you stop using Cover Girl and switch to Dior?

Opening Up the Pathways of Self

Understanding the relationship between mind and body has long been recognized as the key to solving many riddles that are presented in diagnosing various illnesses.  What we imagine infiltrates our entire system.  Cardiovascular problems are linked more closely to depression, a psychological disability, for example, than to physical attacks on the body through smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.  Maintaining healthy relationships, particularly in your family, and having a positive attitude are just as important as eating the right foods and getting plenty of exercise.

The Holistic View of Self

It is not by accident that Rita Harrison, founder and creator of the Willow System, named her holistic health program after the Willow tree. “The weeping willow,” she says, “is a perfect metaphor for holistic healing.”  Holistic health focuses on the whole body and mind as a highly integrated and balanced system of health management rather than viewing particular physical symptoms as being isolated, localized problems.  If your knee is out of joint, maybe it’s because your nose is too.

In the Willow System, various elements of the Willow tree are used to symbolize different aspects of human life.  Family and relationships are represented by the roots, the trunk represents the physical body, and the branches reflect our energy and emotions,  The life of the tree, however, is very dependent upon making all these parts work together harmoniously, so the function of integration is significant in completing the picture.   Human life is like that also.

It is no coincidence that the willow bark has for centuries around the globe been a recognized cure for many ailments, particularly to ease pain and reduce fever, as far back as the time of Hippocrates, and was long used in Europe, China, ancient Egypt, Sumer and Assyria. In America, the Cherokee and other Native Americans were very familiar with its healing properties as well.

In 1763 Bayer, the pharmaceutical company founded in the same year, began synthesizing  acetylsalicylic acid, a modification of salicin, the vital health ingredient produced by the bark of the Willow tree.  Acetylsalicylic acid is more popularly known as aspirin,  Often called a “wonder drug” for its many medical applications, aspirin is a known cure for heart disease, strokes and blood clots, and has recently been found helpful in curing several forms of cancer, including both prostate and lung cancer. Just a little dab every day from the willow tree will do you.

It goes without saying that the willow tree itself is a system that, like holistic health, serves a larger purpose, not only in being a beautiful tree, but in producing a healing substance that is valuable to other living things.  It “lives kindly” by adding this substance to the soil out of which other plants grow.  A holistic view of life is that when all things are working together and are respected for what each contributes, we will have peace and harmony.  We too must live kindly not only in respect to our whole body and mind, but in respect to the world around us too.

When all the parts of the tree are healthy, it can fulfill that function.   When applying a holistic health system to your lifestyle, you can become a valuable and productive human being worthy of all that oxygen you suck up from the atmosphere. If your family life is a mess, you’d better find out why and fix it.  As on earth, so in heaven.  The simplest struggles we have are mirrored in everything we do, because they are a product of the root core of your beliefs, the original form in which you poured your concrete.

 It is no accident that people drive themselves off psychological cliffs.  If the doctor can’t find a drug to stop that pain in your lower right thigh,  then maybe you should be seeing Rita.  Psychosomatic disorders frequently cause psoriasis, eczema, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and heart disease, but those are only the most obvious.  They cannot be treated with drugs.  They might better be treated with that smile you get from the nurse at the doctor’s office.  Or Rita’s.  They must be treated with change in how you manage life, in how you see yourself, and in what you project in values about yourself. 

Bringing the Consciousness of You Into Focus:  Learning Who You Are

Rita Harrison, through the Willow System, can help you find some of those concrete blocks and blow a few of them up with the dynamite perspectives she has.  Rita provides training, seminars and private sessions “to bring forth shifts and changes in your thoughts, feelings and actions.”  When the holistic approach is used, the relationship between who you think you are and the discomfort or pain you suffer in your life, whether physical or mental, becomes apparent. She uses an integrative method that unites health, relationships, spirituality and career into a single you, showing you how one aspect of your life can have an impact on another.  enabling people to be the best that they can be. She uses you as the source of your healing.

When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears

Rita engages her clients directly, in live class settings as well as in person-to-person, one-on-one counseling, but she also provides counseling via Skype and other virtual-based methods available through modern technology.  She recognizes the spiritual connection that people can make without the need for physical presence or being in the same geographical space.  But she also recognizes very clearly that the source of healing is not Rita but you yourself.  All healing comes from within.  The mind and the body together are like a Rubic’s Cube. To be whole, things must be in their proper place.  Whether it is pain caused by an idea that you cling to, or some person or thing you believe is responsible for your unhappiness, the true source of healing is within the self.  With your openness to that thought, Rita is there to guide you to it.

The Practice of Becoming You

Self-empowerment is fundamental to the process.  It is you who have set yourself in stone, and sometimes you’ve built the bathroom where the kitchen should be.  It is only you who can free yourself from it through the dynamic of first loving who you are, where you are, and realizing that you are much more.   This brings about a change in your behavior, a shift in your habits, thereby bringing about healing.

The healing is about freeing yourself to love, to be able to love and to accept it when it is given, to enjoy and to make the most of what is instead of waiting for what might be.  Anger, hatred, a refusal to forgive, blame and resentment are greatly disabling.  These are very much like snake poison.  They bind you as though committed in marriage to those things that hurt you, and prevent you from moving on toward habits that are healthy, creative and satisfying.

An integrative, holistic treatment & education system that creates self-empowering shifts will produce revolutionary changes in your body, mind and soul.  Get ready for it.

To contact Rita, send her an email at info@willow4u.com.or see her contact page at http://www.willow4u.com/contact/

She also has a toll-free number,  1-800.790.6140

In Honor of Those Who Resist

I posted a photo of a bloody hand holding a large rock the other day as a cover photo for my Facebook page, and my comment about it said, “In honor of those who resist.” It signified the tragic insignia of Kashmir’s stone pelters—those who pick up stones and throw them at their oppressors, the Indians who wear all the trappings of military force who would take aim at such men and women who dare to defy the authority and dignity of the Indian state and blow their heads off or at least blind them with shotgun pellets..

I’m sure that there was some reaction among some of my peace-loving friends, who may have said, “What? Paul Barrow alleges to be an ambassador for  the Global Village Forum. Where is the dove? Where is the olive branch?  How can you be an ambassador for peace and celebrate violence?”

Certainly, it is a valid question.  It is undeniably appropriate to advocate peace at all times wherever there is conflict. But let’s face it: in Kashmir’s normal state of affairs, there really is no conflict. Not most of the time.  Normalcy is merely the pain and suffering of those who must endure, and endure, and endure, and have endured 69 years of a hostile and very unfriendly occupation by men who do not, and will not, acknowledge the rights of free men.  They endorse, sanction and give lip service only the power of the state; they dedicate their lives and support their families in service to the power of dictatorial rule, the power of sit down and shut up or you will be jailed, or executed,and your wives and daughters raped. Your sons will disappear into the darkness never to be seen again, except at those rare moments when a lonely unmarked grave is discovered in a field, a child lost to the emptiness of an uncelebrated and undignified martyrdom.

Is that our peace? Do I commit my ambassadorship to such a fate? Should I be telling these young men who throw stones, “go home.  Please don’t do that.  It doesn’t help.  Leave such affairs to us grownups, the men in suits who parade on red carpets, sip tea together in ornate halls, acquire fancy titles, and talk, talk, talk, while the oppression continues and gets worse and worse and worse.

Kashmir, they say, is not a disputed territory.  It is an integral part of India.  What are  you going to do about it?  Sit down and shut up, or you will be jailed, or executed, and your wives and daughters raped. You will be charged for sedition for even mentioning the notion that Kashmir is an independent state with its own right to sovereignty, its own right to self-determination.

Believe me when I say, I am not an ambassador for that kind of peace.  .

The very loud and outspoken fact is that, were it not for the stone pelters, were it not for the massive civil disobedience and all the deaths and blindness that Kashmiris subject themselves to, these men in suits would themselves have to go home and shut up, and entertain their wives with talk of sweet nothings, and pretend to an importance that has no backbone, whose words drift through the air like so much putrid smell of an outhouse.

Don’’t get me wrong.  I am not discounting the noble efforts of true diplomats who seek an honest and fair resoluition to the dispute.And I know such men.  But their role is not a primary one.  It is secondary to the role of the real champions, the men who have dared defy a power that acknowledges only itself for its own sake. If it were not for these champions, there would be no place for them.  they could raise no funds for their glamorous institutions.  They would have no titles that would mean a goddam thing. Because the real truth is that there must be war before there is a justifiable peace.  Millions of men,women and children have invariably died and will continue to die so that you and I can live in dignity and choose how and where we want to live in pursuit of a life that truly has meaning.

India still doesn’t get it.  That toothless tiger, the UN, still doesn’t get it.  Not enough blood has been shed.  Not enough people have starved.  Not enough women have been raped. The demand for self-determination still echoes in our head like stones cascading off a brick wall. Kashmir’s voice is only dimly heard as a faint whimper in a world where massive violence and genocide is the order of the day.  If Srinagar were Alleppo, do you think the world would pay attention then?  Sad to say, but just maybe.  Just maybe.

It should not have to come to that. But until there is global acknowledgement, Kashmir’s pain will not go away.  The suffering will continue because its cry is a small cry in such a terrible world that only pays attention to the Aleppos, the Mosuls, and other great tragedies our men in suits commit.

I say it is not time for Kashmir to cry.  It is time for kashmir to get angry, to get angrier, and  to reach a point where the world cannot look upon it without feeling shame that it participates in such horror,and has the guts to really do something about it.  All of us must be brave and make those sacrifices if we really want peace.  And to that peace I am truly dedicated.