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We are out to break the knees of licensed clinical psychologists along with the academicians who deliver these mental defectives to a trusting public!
Emotionally charged reactions, and gross disappointments from a number of readers move me to give their more difficult experiences in therapy a sharper voice. Adding considerably to their accounts will be those from my personal experience offering analyses with PDC/BDP (Biometric Definitions of Personality) over a period extending 40 years and more. Hence this blog.

It would not be stretching the truth to say that no accredited group of professionals have taken so much from so many and given so very little of value in return as have this pretentious coterie of educated ignoramuses. To paraphrase the bard, "thievery by any other name is as much a crime." Academically accredited clinical psychologists are probably more ignorant of the human psyche than a diminutive chihuahua, and certainly the least qualified to undertake therapy in issues seriously crippling the lives of those seeking their intervention. Inasmuch as their walls are bedecked with elegantly framed and ribboned diplomas attesting to the time they spent in academia they are literally intellectualizing robots programmed to think and speak in a singularly mechanical format.

Excepting the management of behavioral phobias, there is nothing essentially human here. A creative imagination, a capacity for abstract conceptualization and the expansion of meaning, are light years removed from their mental apparatus. Even expressions of empathy from cognitive behaviorists extend from contrived formula. As a rule, their longest standing clients are lonely ladies desperate to be with someone who has patience for them, or assuring them that their opinions have substance.

If I was to generalize, the impression of many was the sense that their therapist was about as helpful as a rock.
Many who went with the hope of healing a troubled marriage met up with a therapist who believed only in the advantages of separation and divorce. Several others suggested "polyamory" - extra-marital affairs with the partners sharing their experiences as the most promising therapy. Then there were sex therapists who seemed to relate to their clients as would a garage mechanic a dead car.

A good number complained of the therapy sessions wholly dependent on their own leads without the therapist contributing any constructive ideas, insights or direction. Equally numerous were those peeved that the therapist was determined to go along with a program that had absolutely no bearing on the issues needed resolving (dumber than a rock) - only adding to the shame and guilt already heavy in the weave of the burdens they bore. Some complained that the therapist would not remember the issues raised in earlier sessions, or would take phone calls at the expense of their allotted time. The reasons were many including such as questioned the integrity, the professional behavior or even legitimacy Of their therapist's license.

What seemed clear was that no single complaint was unique. And, clearly, knowing that others shared virtually identical experiences had its own therapeutic value. Were these experiences resolved in a manner that might be useful to others? This, essentially, is the reason for this blog. This blog is free and open. We aren't asking for names, or passwords. If you wish to be notified of new contributions that would be fine. Otherwise just save your access to the website, and help us pull the rug out from under these intellectually impoverished elitists.

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Without a Trace of Shame

26 May, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

50 years ago, and several decades beyond that, when clinical psychologists found themselves failing in their efforts to alleviate the difficulties which so damaged the quality of their patients' lives, they invented a diagnosis they called Minimal Brain Damage, or MBD. If they decided that the problem was somehow organic in origin their professional efforts could not be faulted. MBD became, without question, the most preferred dump for all their clinical failures, and remained so for about 20 years.

With remarkable suddenness the MBD diagnosis vanished like the proverbial pot of gold at the edge of a rainbow. It was immediately replaced by another dump labeled Borderline. Borderline was a shortened reference to Borderline Personality Disorder which had "self-damaging behavior" as only one of at least 5 prominent behavioral characteristics that, when found together, merited a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Suddenly, "self-damaging behavior" became the only symptom that mattered. And if one considers that virtually every troubling neurotic condition is "self-damaging" then one can understand how virtually every troubling issue became labeled Borderline and delivered to the waiting dump. And the therapist is safely insulated from blame. There is no mode of therapy that can resolve Borderline Personality Disorder (or any of the organic personality disorders). Particularly amusing is the opening line in the foreword by Dr. Allen Frances to Professor Michael Stone's 355 page "The Fate of Borderline Patients" - "Dr. Stone has discovered that borderline patients tend to get better if only they live long enough."

The Borderline diagnosis also had a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. At this time, it is lost to eternity in the dusty labyrinth of psychobabble idiocies. But only to be replaced by an insidious and often crippling diagnostic monster specifically when identified in young children. This would be Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD.

In adults ADHD is virtually a non-starter. It is diagnosed in instances when the individual complains of missing deadlines or forgetting planned meetings. It is diagnosed as an explanation for impulses of gross impatience and anger when waiting in line or managing traffic. Mood swings and impulsiveness fall into the same package of symptoms. But with adults this constitutes a diagnosis that is inherently meaningless - totally empty of content - inasmuch as years of academic education and clinical practice would seem to invest it with singular importance.

Virtually every grade school teacher suffers the experience of a restless child who constantly disturbs others, constantly misbehaves, suffers a short attention span, seems not to learn anything, when the child's parents are themselves helpless, and punishments are of no avail. Enter the school doctor, or child psychologist, to the blare of victory trumpets. He/she now introduces the magical elixir that changes everything. The drug Methylphenidate, or by its popular name Ritalin, is administered to the child who immediately metamorphoses into another child by the very same name. But this child is calm, reasonable, attentive, and otherwise in total contradiction to its former self. The teacher praises God as do the child's grateful parents.

If the child is under nine years of age with its brain still developing the Ritalin may have crippled that child for life. I am not a medical person therefore without the qualifications to expand on this assertion. But the internet offers many tens of laboratory studies and concrete medical evidence to underline the very serious anomalies that the developing brain may be subject to in the wake of Ritalin administration. I offer just a few.

The damage is irreversible. Yet Ritalin continues to be prescribed and administered to young children diagnosed as hyperactive at schools and medical health centers.
I can envision the day when massive class action suits will be brought against Ministries of Education, and perhaps other offices, in many countries- and for all the right reasons.

Clinical Ignorance of Primal Pleasures and Traumas

07 June, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

I'll start this session with a decidedly problematic, if not an altogether inelegant subject for discussion in polite society - that of a bodily function, specifically the experience of flatulence. Nevertheless, it will illustrate and powerfully underline a feature of human development that is almost universally denied in the Western education of clinical psychologists, and, unfortunately, with licensed therapists of virtually every other order as well.

This feature of human development holds that every experience, recorded from the moment of birth - and perhaps even earlier - is etched permanently in memory. That such early experiences would not be available to conscious memory is not an issue we are debating - yet it is precisely their terribly skewed conception of subconscious recollection that is responsible for so many of the therapists' failures. We focus specifically on therapists' denial of trauma - trauma that may have been experienced at these very early developmental phases - as meaningful reference(s) to the individual in any program of psychological intervention. Here, again, is the glaring flaw responsible for the gross disappointment and abject failure of most professional efforts at intervention.

Consider the experience of the neonate when first delivered to the breast of its mother. It will be some time before the neonate/infant will recognize the mother and the security of its bonding with her body as the source of all the pleasurable and gratifying experiences it absorbs. Until then it is the infant's very own body - the highly charged receptor of these (hopefully) rich and pleasurable experiences - which serves as their source.

Returning then to the wholly unglamorous theme of these lines, let us consider the nature of this experience. If a person is alone in a room when he, or she, experiences the escape of flatulence, and the experience immediately registers in that person's nostrils, is he or she overtaken by a measure of discomfort or having cause to feel particularly upset? Hardly. In truth, it even delivers a measure of calm pleasure, not unwelcome and is altogether kind to the senses. But how much of this calm pleasure persists if this same person in the company of others senses a discharge of flatulence originating with another person. Not a whit! Quite the reverse! This individual would seek to quickly leave the room, or open a window, or whatever else that might permit repair to the violated senses.

If the neonate experiences its own body as the source of all that delivers its global sense of well-being, and if it is its own body that serves as the origin of its security and most exquisite pleasures, then consider what else is implied when the nature of these total experiences, in fact, extend from its body. This would include its feeding, when the warmth of the mother's body, her embrace, her sounds and her gentle caring has its source, not yet with the mother, but at the periphery of its own body. These pleasures would also have to include its own excretory functions in the context of which we have the flatulence.

However irregular and awkward the subject matter, what is underlined here nevertheless explains the sense of calm and even serene pleasure when the subconscious mind knows to link the experience instantly, and powerfully, to the neonate's very own warm primal pleasures (if such they were). But (and here's the rub) what if these very early primal experiences included trauma, as often they do? Herein is the very core of perhaps the majority of failures in clinical intervention. Trauma suffered by the neonate/infant at these very early developmental stages will only be recalled by the client/patient if he, or she, was specifically told about it later in life by another person - often a parent. Just as often that parent will reflect on that experience merely as an experience not necessarily with any lasting influence on the life of that person as an adult.

For example: failure to effect a bond with a partner in intimate relationships can be traced to the mother's failure, for whatever reason, to bond physically and/or emotionally with her newborn. That experience is simply not available as a reference that adult may have to himself, or herself, to repeat with another. The possibilities are virtually endless. Consider the individual who fails to persevere at any extended study or profession. With blatant abruptness they invariably walk away from whatever they had originally undertaken. This individual had very likely experienced a very severe and possibly life threatening trauma at birth, or shortly afterward. Imagine a person falling off a tall building when only a concrete sidewalk, ending his, or her life, is only a moment away. In the course of that fall would that unfortunate individual plan for the morrow? Hardly. But the memory of that trauma remains as vivid, as sharp, as immediate, as frightening, and as painful in the deep recesses of his, or her, subconscious mind, however distant from that trauma that person would be in years. For these people there is no tomorrow of substance - nothing beyond that concrete sidewalk.

Corrective experiences singular to the trauma constitute the only mode of intervention available to the therapist. No simple task at the best of times. However, if the therapist can succeed in raising this primal experience from its seat deep in the subconscious mind to effect true conscious awareness, there can be no better leverage for successful intervention.


23 June, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

I would like to believe that in academic departments other than those purporting to educated students in the behavioral sciences, the material and intellectual, corruption so infesting the ersatz "psychology" disseminated in the latter is not repeated there.

The responsible agent for these corrupt learning programs is, as in most criminal issues, easy money, and lots of it.

In academia, the failing of schools of learning in the behavioral sciences extends from their unwillingness to promote, indeed legitimize, Freudian principles and constructions. It hardly matters if it is Freud's psychoanalytic designs proper, Jung's analytics, Rank's Will Therapy, Winnicott's brilliant and comprehensive Object-Relations insights, Maslow's striving for significance or Kohut's Self-Psychology among others. These do not, and cannot lend themselves to measurement as they include strong subconscious derivatives, abstract conceptualizations, sublimated instincts, a core identity, and the willfulness to autonomy and independence. Without the tools to give the latter their physical, concrete measure in human development, their efforts, however creative, cannot lend themselves to laboratory testing. Without laboratory testing in an environment conducive to scientific examination, the money, normally funding laboratory testing for the university, is just not there.

Universities would have a problem here. Funding from external agencies and foundations is their bloodline to the massive financial resources necessary to support the exceedingly generous salaries, benefits and lavish lifestyles bestowed upon those assuming responsibility for its operations. Understandably there would be no problem with physics, chemistry, biology and other programs defined as sciences. Psychology is another kettle of fish.

The professors advancing Cognitive-Behavior as the central discipline in the study and practice of psychology may suffer distorted intellectual references to the human condition, but they are neither blind nor stupid. They have packaged the study of Cognitive-Behavior into a clinical program visualizing the individual largely as an engineered mechanism responsive to external phenomena, and introduced it in academia as a legitimate science and worthy of study. In this context they conduct endless laboratories delivering masses of statistical evidence supposedly proving one thing or another. The universities ask for nothing more.

Inasmuch as these laboratories eschew every reference to subconscious mental and emotional determinants, including behaviors originating with pre-genital histories, a dearth of the neonates organic experiences of attachment or belonging, inherent genetic faculties, the concept of Self and the capacity to be willful among many other constructs in personality which remain largely abstractions, the masses of statistical evidence produced contribute virtually nothing to the clinical management of serious neuroses, or more damaging mental health issues. No matter. With their mechanical modes of intervention, they can have their clients register success with PTSD and other phobias in the course of being molded by conscious awareness of traumatic experiences.

This, at least is what they offer to underline their legitimacy. On record, however, are serious complaints that efforts to duplicate the results delivered by their laboratories almost invariably fail. Nevertheless, as we said, these professors are not stupid - especially where finances are concerned. And they can be dangerously aggressive and confrontational when questioned. They would not risk their very generous salaries and equally generous benefits were they passed over for their share of the incomprehensible mega millions made available to their universities.

Consider the following.
Research money made available to an extensive list of universities in 2019 include:

Harvard University, Boston, MA……………………….$1,652,587,117-
University of Washington, Seattle, WA…………………. 783,477,354-
University of California (Geffen) Los Angeles, CA………707,494,950-
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA……………700,452,348-
John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD………………...663-031,818-

Reputation certainly delivers the facade to these institutions of higher learning. Contributing to this facade is the horrifically exorbitant tuition fees demanded of the students. Loans are dispensed with seeming generosity, only to have these same students overwhelmed with crippling debt for many years after graduating. The investment may nevertheless be worthwhile for students of medicine, physics, math, engineering and related fields. However, considering what the studies in the behavioral sciences contribute, psychology in the main, that investment is outright robbery.


1 July, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

I doubt if there is another issue so challenging of social propriety, so rabidly contentious and wrought with more unforgiving rage than is the issue of homosexual sexual identification. It is no wonder that even the most practiced clinical psychologists have surrendered to political correctness.

The lines that follow will not address transgenderism, however burning an issue it may be nowadays. Whether a biological male identifying as a female may be permitted to compete in women's athletic competitions, or shower in the women's shower room is far more hotly debated than a biological female preferring the company of men in a men's dressing room. But the tumult this issue raises far exceeds the actual statistics relevant to their numbers.

By far the majority of homosexual instances, both male and female, are not of genetic origin. Those that might be, may verge on transgender states. Others, in due course, I'm sure, will have better license to deliver the final word here. But the enormous number of "gays" distributed virtually everywhere around the world suggests the entrenchment of an etiology - the essential why - that must surely lend itself to some exposure. This exposure has defied comprehensive studies of the genome and the best efforts of interested parties to grace this practice with rigid medical/genetic evidence. Simply put, that's because no such evidence exists.

Homosexuality has always been a station on the continuum of singular parental experiences from the neonate's first days of life through its pre-genital stages of development. As such the issue is inherently one of conditioning. Much as fingers shape plasticine and soft clay, so too is one's sexual orientation as an adult shaped by the mother/father home environment virtually from the day of birth. And how shameful, if not grotesque is cognitive-behaviorism as the dominant discipline of academic study of psychology - a study founded on the principle of conditioning, and which claims a virtual monopoly as a legitimate science - failing to venture even the faintest hint of a reference to conditioning as a relevant factor.

I introduced the etiology and described it at length in my original PDC textbook The Illustrated Textbook of Psychodiagnostic Chirology in Analysis and Therapy in 2004. It was repeated in 2 subsequent editions, the latter entitled Biometric Definitions of Personality extending the diagnostic program from psychology to psychiatry as Biometric Markers in Psychopathology.

Oddly enough, and inasmuch as the textbooks reached almost 80 countries, there was nary a single issue raised concerning the etiology of homosexuality as described.

Illustration 1
Here we find all that describes the experiences of the neonate/infant when first introduced into the world. The mother collects the infant into her arms and all the libidinal needs and drives flow from the infant to where they find their natural targets on the mother's body. The picture that emerges is of the perfect "organic" attachment the infant knows with its mother. It is total and comprehensive. Before the infant recognizes the mother as the source of all its pleasurable experiences, it will, ideally, have registered that source as its own body. These experiences psychologists define as being auto-erotic. Within this parcel of its auto-erotic experience the infant registers a perfect sense of security, containment, belonging, and general well-being. The infant's entire world at this time is the profound dimension of its mother-experiences that should be ideal.

Conscious memory of these early and critical mother-experience including the experience of its environment at this time will, of course, be lost. But the infant was born with an inherent core identity that records and acutely sensitizes it to all experiences. This core identity has the wherewithal to identify and respond to every experience that triggers its survival sensitivities. It can smile happily, gurgle and move its limbs with some excitement demonstrating its experience of joy. It can cry or holler demonstrating distress of one order or another. Evidently, and by whatever name given it, there has to be some mechanism entirely beyond consciousness that is wholly knowledgeable of its very physical existence and instantly responsive to just about every manner of stimuli.

Illustration 2
With continued development the infant is made consciously aware of a world dimension external to its original organic mother-experience. In this new dimension - one entirely concrete and now people oriented - it welcomes a second organic attachment, that being with its father. We would speak of its father-experience, and it is precisely here at this juncture of the infant's development that homosexuality often finds its roots.

Beyond the father, but populating the very same dimension, is everyone else. We define this external organization of people as the child's social world and can speak of its social world experience, Ideally, the child's father-experience now bridges the distance between its original mother-experience and this new other-people world where its future life will unfold. But for this to effect as noted, the child must successfully record several very fundamental father-experiences, which, at first, don't appear exceptional or all that demanding, yet critical they are indeed.

1) Ideally the child must experience the totality of the father's inherent identification with it.
2) The child must experience the inviolable bond between the father's life and its own.
3) The child must record a physical component such as being held and carried by the father to complement its global father-experience.

At first glance there seems to be much in common between the experiences with both parents. The critical exception, of course, would be the experience of its global well-being in the matrix of its auto-erotic, namely body centered source of its earliest mother-experience.

When the child records its father-experience as inclusive of the three factors just noted, that child will find its bridge to its social world untempered by its auto-erotic references to itself. These are indelibly linked only to the mother-experiences. Admittedly, not always will the father-experience carry to the ideal, but in all instances it must nevertheless be the father's bridge that defines the child's social world relationships. This child, boy or girl, will never, as adults, question their heterosexual preferences.

Homosexuality takes root when the father is largely absent in the child's early life, and a strong-willed mother replaces the father as the child's bridge to the world of people. In the package of this bridge, however, would be all the auto-erotic - self-body - sources of gratification and well-being - all of which would be heavily weighted with singularly intense emotional investments. Almost without exception this child, as an adult, male or female, will identify as homosexual.

These auto-erotic experiences would include the gratification centered on the child's own sexual organs, along with a general sense of gratification delivered by a host of other body functions and experiences. Given such circumstances a young adult may quite invite same sex partnerships and unions in response to the virtual dictates of his, or her, early auto-erotic, self-body program, to experience those early intense pleasures anew. There is no way around it. That program will have insinuated itself in the individual's core identity and conditioned its virtually lifelong responsiveness to same-sex sexual stimuli.

It never escaped my absolute certainty that these lines would deliver a tsunami of challenges to the essence of these assertions. There will be those who will point to the children of single mothers and those who will have uncontestable experience with virtually ideal home environments where a son or daughter nevertheless gravitated to same sex relationships. There will be other arguments by those no less convinced that I am in error. In my 40 and more years as a diagnostic clinician I think I have witnessed them all. With regard to single mothers, whether divorced, unwed, or by the grace of a sperm bank, it is highly doubtful that the infant's mother-experience will verge on the ideal. The infant may, unfortunately, be without a father figure, but there is no fallback position, as it were, to gratifying, pleasurable, self-body mother-experiences. These women may have to commit critical hours to keeping a job. Most would have troubling neurotic issues which would, from the start, invariably belie a healthy mother-child relationship. Again, no auto-erotic programs here to replicate. And what is frequently visualized as an ideal home environment may extend largely from what wealth and position may deliver. But the father may be committed to a highly demanding work schedule with few hours to spare for the child. With the father's blessing it would normally be a dominant mother who assumes responsibility for the child's experiences. The bottom line, however is this: same sex relationships would largely extend from largely ideal auto-erotic self-body experiences that move the individual to gravitate in his, or her social spheres to another person that may promise convenient and marvelous access to those very same, very singular, early self-body experiences.

Somewhat off-track, but don't wait for clinical psychologists or their professors in
academia to contradict the "woke", seditionist, (only) Black Lives Matter and Antifa" progressives".
They present themselves as partner to a superior understanding of human behavior and mental health.
In both respects a furry mongrel dog has far clearer vision.

Black Lives and Black Matters
14 July, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

Inasmuch as my grades may not have matched the grades of rejected Asians or Caucasians, had I been born to black African-American parents and had been accepted to a ranking university, I would have carried my indelible shame as the proverbial Mark of Cain. In both my mind and my heart nothing would so clearly challenge the level of my intelligence and capacity for scholastic achievements in the eyes of all, as having had the demeaning Affirmative Advantage legislation shoehorn me in.

If Affirmative Advantage is a legitimate social ethic, and a program given legislative distinction, then why should it not be applied equally to sporting organizations that compete nationally? Football and basketball clubs, for example, are overwhelmingly populated by black African-Americans. On basketball courts, in the main, it is not unusual to find twelve Black players competing against each other at the very same time. Which is to say that Affirmative Action is unabashedly selective and racist by design.

A Flash of History

When the Europeans colonized America slavery was rampant among virtually all the native Indian tribes. Warfare among the tribes invariably delivered slaves from among the vanquished natives, and there was a rich cultural tradition regarding the freedom the victors allowed themselves with these slaves.

The Knights of St John, ruling Malta for 250 years after their eviction from Jerusalem by Saladin, then driven from Akko, and a third time from Rhodes. were essentially pirates trapping the commercial ships plying the Mediterranean carrying textiles from Venice, returning with spices from Turkey. Many of the hostages were Jews kept as slaves until a ransom for their release would be forthcoming. Often the sums demanded could not be met. These Jewish slaves were forced to build the original thick stone walls surrounding and defending the Island. Many perished.

Then, to the everlasting shame of Rome is the Arch of Titus carrying the wealth stolen in the wake of the Roman forces total destruction of the Holy temple of David in Jerusalem. Did their spoils include the Ark of the Covenant? The Jewish slaves they captured are also clearly depicted along with the icons singular to their faith. It was with this wealth that they built the Colosseum, with their Jewish slaves forced to labor in its construction.

On the 10th of June, 1940 Mussolini bombed Malta's walls destroying them completely. And the great earthquake of 1349 effected the collapse of the colosseum. Some see heavenly intervention and Gods covenant with the Jews as responsible for both ignominious disasters.

Jewish slave labor in the concentration camps was a central component throughout the length of the holocaust inasmuch as those who survived their incarceration considered themselves the fortunate ones.

The major Atlantic slave trading nations, ordered by trade volume, were the Portuguese, the British, the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, and the Danish. During this infamous Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil received more African slaves than any other country. Portuguese fleets delivered an estimated 5 million slaves from Africa to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866. Until the early 1850s, most enslaved Africans who arrived on Brazilian shores were forced to embark at West Central African ports, Angola, in the main, (then called Luanda). It was the very black West Africans who delivered most of these slaves to the traders.

The fact remains that however shameless and grotesquely immoral, the trading of slaves was practiced in just about every country and people on the face of this earth, virtually from the beginning of time. It remains prevalent today largely throughout central Africa. Beyond the African continent countries where slavery persists on a large scale include India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.

In the United States, however, the issue of slavery has moved legislators, mainstream media, universities, limelight seeking celebrities, and all those with a political agenda that is essentially seditionist in intent, to sledgehammer into existence programs intended to mask their nefarious intentions. They would invest the practice of slavery in the United States with a loud aggressive and very immediate urgency intended to identify the role of the government in office as its primary protagonist.

Perhaps what boggles the mind most is the fact that their major agency of finance is a wartime criminal, an admitted Nazi abettor, responsible for the enslavement and deaths of Hungary's Jewish population. He walks about freely.

The Black African-Americans, by whatever stirring logo they elect to be called, do not for a moment believe that Black lives, or any lives, for that matter, actually matter. But however stirring their mesmerizing logo, it does not mask a political agenda that supposedly identifies with Marxist programs. Do any of their self-appointed leaders have even the essence of an education in Marxist philosophy or understand what socialism really entails? But they have their idols including mega murderers like Che Guevara, and brainwashed soldiers answering for their vacant lives. But a manner of profit does come from exposing the pitiful and crass boorishness and spinelessness of the many rewarded with high-ranking social and legislative responsibilities. "Let's impeach the mother******" is what initially comes to mind.

Tell them that about 700,000 mostly white Caucasian soldiers gave their lives in the American Civil War to free the Blacks from the plantations. Have the Blacks dedicated a single monument to their memory? Or are monuments only there to be torn down. Have the Blacks ever considered paying some form of restitution to the widows and children who were left without husbands and fathers?

Agonizing grievances live in the hearts of many. But grievances at this period in American history serve only as leverage in the drive for totalitarian power.

Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life

29 July, 2020
(C) Arnold Holtzman

Make no mistake, before it is ripped from the womb the fetus had suffered the paralyzing trauma of its murder. A knowledge of rocket science or nuclear physics is not required to underline the accuracy of this assertion. Merely ask any mother who smiled, warmly coddled and played with her weeks old baby and was rewarded with the happiest smile and excited arm waving in return.

The infant, at best, would only now have begun to recognize its mother. But it is without a single reference to past, conscious experiences that would explain why it can so enjoy, and respond with such remarkable enthusiasm, to its mother's joy and enraptured demeanor when she plays with it. The reverse is no less true. If the baby is within earshot of expressions of anger or shouting it may cry hysterically. We would say the baby was frightened. But why, in spite of the harsh and angry tones, was it frightened and so moved to cry?

Very near the start of the second trimester, the medically labeled ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, comprising the specialized germ layers of the fertilized egg cell, start out to determine the ultimate physical and mental architecture of the human that will eventually emerge from the womb. Among the limbs and organs being developed is an extension of the brain we identify as core identity. This core identity may be without linear definition in the cortex, but it becomes a critical fixture in the deepest dimension of the subconscious mind. In its primal form it serves a single purpose - to sensitize the organism to the condition that is life.

It responds to stimuli promoting its security and well-being, (the baby's joy), or conversely, to stimuli threatening its security and well-being, (the hysterical crying). The argument today is not whether the fetus can, or cannot, experience the agony of its imminent death at the end of its 2nd semester in the womb, but whether it should be anesthetized first so as to spare it at all suffering that experience. The thrust of these lines holds that the developing core identity would well experience this acute threat to its existence even in the early phases of the 2nd semester.

Weighing heavily in the balance for Pro-Choice would be serious medical concerns such as may endanger the mother's life. But those in the Pro-Life camp are determined to defend the continued development of the fetus from the pregnant woman's wishes they may describe as verging on selfishness or even frivolousness. However the fate of the fetus becomes decided, it would be gross error, if not criminal, to effect the termination of its existence without giving the measure to the trauma it would suffer. This core identity is perhaps the most primal development in every living organism and not exclusive to humans. One need only consider the rush of baby turtles to the sea when hatched only moments earlier, or watch a newborn wildebeest emerge from its amniotic sac to struggle immediately to its feet and begin to run for its life with the herd, to grasp the profound contribution of the core identity in securing the marvelous condition of existing.