A Letter to My Clergy:RMV Psychiatrist not an Alienist

Most Psychiatrists are humanists as the following illustrates;

Dear Clergy of XXXX

Many Christians,I amongst them,stand aghast at the kidnapping of children,especially small children,tearing them from mothers’arms to suit some political end.It is illegal,immoral,cruel and blasphemy…”suffer the little children to come unto me”.The profound psychological damage done to these now thousands of innocent children is brain-disruptive,irreparable, and long lasting ;to be reflected in lives torn by horrific nightmares,withdrawal,distrust of others,and often a propensity to rebellion,violence and self-mutilation.For sure,not everyone will succumb to the worst of PTSD symptoms, but for those already at risk,already burdened by gangland trauma in their home country,along with the suffering entailed in fleeing, incarceration and abandonment become the last straw.As the weeks draw on to months, what is to become of them ? How many thousands more will be crowded into warehouses and tents, to be locked up 22 hours a day ? Will they turn on each other–form gangs ? : A personal note: I know whereof I speak.For 25 years I served as Dartmouth Medical School Professor Psychiatry responsible clinically for New Hampshire Hospital and as Medical Director overseeing its 250 beds and some 1200 admissions a year; more than 20,00 during my tenure , a fair proportion of which,adolescents particularly, I care for personally.(As their attending psychiatrist).I know the damage PTSD can wreak in borderline individuals.

My dream ( admittedly a personal dream) would be for the Clergy of XXXX to stand firmly against the torture of children,to take to Copley Square after Church and give silent protest, offering equally silent support to the children,mothers and families. Standing ther in Copley would afford the rest of us opportunity to stand behind you.How many would follow?27…207…2007 ? Would outsiders join us ? It doesn’t matter.Rather it would speak eloquently to everybody out there that in the 21st century XXXX matters.

 

Addendum:I was baptized some 70 years asgo in Riverside Church in NYC, the Church of Fosdick, McCracken and William Sloane Coffin where social justice was preached from the pulpit on a weekly basis.My soul cries out to hear again their special message amidst the turmoil of today’s world. Your ‘word’ offered from XXXX’s pulpit is a blessing to Jinny’s and my heart and lets us again hear Jesus’ message to us all.  Thanks.

ROBERT MAXWELL VIDAVER     M.D.,DLFAPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 Comments

  1. Faith allows our feelings about life to soar. Perhaps, it is only through faith that we can tap and enjoy the most imaginative of the “high” places. Perhaps we as human beings, existing in a social as well as physical world, MUST employ the devices of faith in order for our species to survive. This possibility has for years intrigued me and I have been hoping that the Octogenarians might someday address this issue. I have wondered about it in part because contrary to many of my peers, I have found myself completely at ease, even inspired, understanding my life (and that of others) to be of a material nature not requiring any kind of spiritual, good-evil explanation.

    Faith is used when we want more certitude about any issue; more certitude than all the available evidence would allow. (Science relies on probability. Its truths are hypotheses intended to be tested and corrected.) With faith we can “leap” beyond the evidence. It frees us from the dictates of empirical and logical issues that would otherwise disrupt or diminish our ability to cultivate the desired intensity of feelings. A major downside of faith is the fact that people can select faith directions that contradict those of other faiths. Added to this conflict is the fact that in order to build a “faith” one tends to protect it rather than test it. This, as any basic understanding of human history clarifies, often leads to clashes resulting in death and destruction. About immigration Alexander asks what we are afraid of. For one, we are afraid (or justly concerned) that we will introduce too quickly too many of diverse faith who would bring “into our house” attitudes and methods that generate deadly conflict. For instance, according to PEW research large percentages of members of the Muslim faith believe in sharia law. This attitude about governance is in conflict with our “separation of church and state”. I think that Alexander is correct in his projection of events flowing toward an eventual world government. I am guessing that we all want this unavoidable process of unification to be as painless as possible. In this light the now clearly legal efforts of Trump to select compatible (and deny incompatible immigrants) makes good, life-saving sense.

    1. WHAT ARE LARGE PERCENTAGES ? What is clearly legal ? (Internment was,slavery was etc),I guess the unavoidable process of unification is a concession to the logic of the need for global solutions. DS FAILED TO NOTICE THAT THE POINT OF THE RMV POST WAS MORAL OUTRAGE.The malice of MOM AND HIS LARGELY INCOMPETENT MYRMIDONS are noisily moving us toward massive economic and political reprisal..

      1. DS: “Faith allows our feelings about life to soar … I have found myself completely at ease, even inspired, understanding my life (and that of others) to be of a material nature not requiring any kind of spiritual, good-evil explanation.”

        There is a tinge of contempt in the first statement with outright arrogance in the second. However, if the second assertion allows DS to soar … be inspired … that is another form of belief (faith). We are all entitled to that soaring feeling … however we achieve it (spiritually or materialistic) … as long as it is not malicious, sadistic, and cruel. Is there human morality? What are its measures?

        DS: “Faith is used when we want more certitude about any issue; more certitude than all the available evidence would allow. … In this light the now clearly legal efforts of Trump to select compatible (and deny incompatible immigrants) makes good, life-saving sense.”

        Where is the empirical and logical evidence for DS’s leap of faith or certitude in Trump to have the capability to arbitrarily “select” or “deny” worthiness? How blind is DS’s faith?

        DS: “For one, we are afraid (or justly concerned) that we will introduce too quickly too many of diverse faith who would bring ‘into our house’ attitudes and methods that generate deadly conflict.”

        This is a response to AT’s incisive question as to why fear immigration?! Oh, ye of little security and moral conviction! What next … the Inquisition … for surely we’re in the Dark Ages, not the Enlightenment?! What defines “sophisticated civilization,” a term used by DS some time ago?

        daedal2207 … a resounding “AMEN” to your response to DS, who never addresses the points raised nor backs up incendiary assertions, choosing to mock beliefs with the usual platitudes. It must say something of the character of the person for whom Trump defines morality, decency, and acumen. Perhaps “worshipper”?

        It’s easier to remain silent … but, then, one risks being misunderstood, approving the indefensible.

        P.. S. I thought we were talking about the children … little innocents.

      2. Response to Daedal2207 comment dated 26 Jun 8:53 pm:
        On April 30, 2013 PEW listed 38 predominantly Islamic countries reporting the percentages of its Muslims who favored sharia. 25 out of 38 countries showed such favoritism to be over 50%. For instance, Malaysia was 86%. Indonesia was 72%. Iraq was 91%. The Palestinian Territories were 89%. Niger was 86%.

        Daedal2207 states that I did not address the “moral outrage” that was central to the RMV post.
        I think that I established a logical foundation that addressed this point and other questionable emotional states as well.
        My comments of June 26 outlined attitudinal and pragmatic differences caused by a mind’s reliance on “faith” OR the “scientific method”. I tried to explain the mechanisms by which we construct sometimes beneficial, but often addictive and distorting convictions – the feelings we love to love – and those that often put us into conflict with those that others love to love. Beliefs “felt” to be “moral” are an important example. “Moral outrage” erupts from a person’s CONCEPT of “moral”. To the degree that such beliefs are not based in objective truths (which, as in the scientific method, are INTENDED TO BE TESTED to the highest probability), actions judged to be “moral” are likely to be inappropriate as regards the advancement of human life. Indeed, behaviors inspired by exaggerated beliefs about one’s “goodness” can increase misery and pain for self and those in the believer’s orbit. Rage and its twin called hate are nature-given emotions that prepare us for action. Context is crucial. When inappropriate, they foment unnecessary violence (as in a mob lynching). Telling falsehoods is another facet of violence. The spreading of “fake news” is a propagandizing tool of war. “News” that compares the upholding of U.S. congressional laws regarding family immigration policy to Nazi techniques that intended murder is an extreme and obvious example. Another is the demonizing of others’ motives and character. It is claimed that Donald Trump is a “merchant of malice” and is surrounded by “largely incompetent myrmidons”. Because supporting evidence is so weak and measurable evidence to the contrary is greatly expanding, I see this as just an inaccurate opinion. It becomes somewhat playful coming from Daedal2207. I haven’t seen the word “myrmidons” in years. I have noticed that many TV “talking heads” are still telling their audiences that regarding the Charlottesville demonstrations Trump equated Nazis with “good people”. A brief look at the press-Trump transcript shows this to be a lie. CNN and MSNBC (and to a somewhat lesser degree ABC, NBC, and CBS) have presented a drumbeat of negativity, innuendo, and excess certitudes, as regards nefarious collusions with Russia. If core beliefs about “morality” are built upon falsehoods, it is logical that such believers will eventually find themselves not only in (deadly) conflict with others whose beliefs comport better with the objective realities, but in conflict with that which is most truly “moral” – that which measurably “works best” to advance human life.

    2. DS, you can take my question, “what are you afraid of,” and modify it to, “is your fear logical, justified, and–key–specific?” The issue I have with your comment about Muslims is that, based on it, I’m pretty sure you don’t know any. As someone who knows many Muslims, whose grandmother is a Muslim, I feel obliged to educate you on the points you bring up about a culture that you clearly do not understand. 1) “For instance, according to PEW research large percentages of members of the Muslim faith believe in sharia law.” Okay, but do you know what ‘sharia’ means? It means “path, way”. The only statement you’re making here is that people believe in the way of their religion. Just as Christians believe in their ‘sharia’, and Buddhists theirs, etc. An orthodox Jew practices his ‘sharia’ by observing the Sabbath, for example, whereas a reformed Jew may celebrate shabbat dinner Friday night, but still do some work on Saturday (or not). The point is, the “way” is malleable; all “ways” have some general principles, but they are practiced at the individual level. Christianity encourages forgiveness, but there are many Christians who have no intention of forgiving anyone. Islam discourages drinking, but there are many Muslims who drink (especially the militant, who claim to be “more muslim” than anyone). So, to be crystal clear, there is no universal sharia law. It’s not the same in Pakistan as it is in Saudi Arabia, or Lebanon, or Iran, for example. In essence, it’s a meaningless statement, akin to, “according to my research, large percentages of members of the Christian faith believe in the 10 Commandments.” True, and yet devoid of any real meaning. The issues that countries in the Middle East face have far more to do with a brutal history of colonialism and economic sabotage than anything religious. Can you be unfairly convicted in an Iranian court for a trumped up charge? Yes. But your conviction is related to a repressive regime, not a religious one. That is, the same thing could happen to you in China, with no religious language at all. The result would be the same though, because the issue is the repressive nature of the regime. We like to talk about separation of church and state as if we’ve ever actually accomplished it. Did Jeff Sessions not quote Corinthians in his defense of immigration policy, only a week ago? How is that different? It’s an equal violation of church and state. In fact, it’s worse, because Iran can say that they’ve only had 50 years of attempted secular government, with several foreign and CIA interventions and crippling economic sanctions in that time. What’s our excuse? “In God We Trust” is on my penny, in my pledge of allegiance (added in the 1950’s to separate us from the “godless Commis”, by the way), and above every courtroom in the land. It seems that we, too, practice our sharia.

      This leads me to your comments on “faith,” which, again, I fear you have misunderstood. You are defining it as “cultural motif,” hence, 2) “we are afraid (or justly concerned) that we will introduce too quickly too many of diverse faith who would bring ‘into our house’ attitudes and methods that generate deadly conflict.” You can have different cultural motifs under one roof, diverse and yet united by the larger faith they have in each other as human beings, and in our potential to bring harmony and peace into the future. What do you think a “university” is? It’s many diverse motifs under one roof, conflicting with each other but allied to the larger principle of coming together and generating harmony through the very act of debate and dialectic. A university doesn’t deserve the name if it’s not constantly engaging people of different backgrounds and philosophies. I have had arguments and agreements with people who come from places ranging from Cairo to Connecticut. That’s what makes a university an intellectual breeding ground. That’s what makes this country great (which is why “make [it] great again” has more irony behind it than a Greek tragedy). We wear different clothes, and yet are cut from the same cloth. The World Health Organization, for example, has physicians and PhDs from all over the world under one umbrella, with the goal of healing the sick around the planet. Red Cross or Red Crescent? Who cares? Do you have my polio vaccine or not? This is the founding principle of our “melting pot” nation. This is true faith–reaching beyond ourselves–and it’s not new, though it’s also never been the most popular. Respect of the other–whoever that other may be–must be forged, just like any other moral principle. To say that immigrants are dangerous, or that Muslims are “incompatible,” is to show a lack of respect for the individuals and families who make up these communities. It is the application of the worst aspects of the worst people to ALL people within a designated group; it’s stereotyping; it’s racist. It’s equivalent to opposing Italian immigration through arguments about “incompatible” Catholicism (following the ‘sharia’ of the Pope!) or the dangerous criminal intentions of the Mafia (“we’re letting the mobsters in!”).

      But we let the Italians in (by the boatloads). And we did have mobsters….and lawyers, judges, politicians, police officers, doctors…..we added PEOPLE. And ‘people’ will include all of these elements. Furthermore, it was Italians themselves (e.g., Guiliani) who stopped the Italian-American crime syndicates. If we had, alternatively, banned Italians and Catholics, would that have served us better? Failure to communicate is inherently hostile, and the first step towards ever-greater hostility. How many genocides around the world have been justified by cultural “incompatibility”? In fact, it’s impossible for me to think of one that hasn’t.

      When I say “faith,” what I mean is the strength to proceed despite fear, with the belief that the struggle (which is inherent to any transition state) will reap fruits beyond what we can currently imagine. If you wish for a more secular term (although I think the difference is negligible here), you can just use “courage.” Semantics aside, it’s about extending the short-sighted. I am only a man, and these fears exist within me, as they do in everyone. But I pilot my emotion through logic, and I overcome that instinct with the eye of memory (i.e., History), for the sake of the greater good. One is not born courageous, but becomes it, through practices that span a lifetime. We are familiar with Muhammad Ali’s (speaking of ‘incompatible’ and criminal Muslims….) quote, “I am the greatest.” But we often omit the second half of it: “I said that even before I knew I was.” Faith is the driving force that encourages us to move forward, and charge toward the unknown, even when we seem outgunned and bereft of hope. Compare London to Paris in WWII: one got bombed, the other didn’t; one gave up, the other didn’t. London lost many more lives, and yet, was Churchill wrong to say, “we’ll fight them on the beaches, on the shores[?]” Should our self-concern and our safety outweigh our principles? In hindsight, what is our judgment? Was London’s sacrifice for the greater good? I think we would agree that it was. It is not enough to simply survive; we must be worthy of survival.

      3) “Perhaps, it is only through faith that we can tap and enjoy the most imaginative of the ‘high’ places. Perhaps we as human beings, existing in a social as well as physical world, MUST employ the devices of faith in order for our species to survive.” Yes, I agree. Why? Because every species is outpacing its own destruction (for a time). If we fail to look ahead, to imagine the ‘high’ places beyond our current condition–to adapt and progress, using the gift of intellect (hindsight and foresight) granted to us– then we will be the next species fossilized. The next step of that adaptation in the global era is the acceptance of our species as one tribe, and working towards ever-greater plural unity (after all, E. pluribus unum, the “United States,” what do these terms mean? “Out of Many, One.”) You can use science or religion, historical evidence or personal stories, but the allegiance to–and faith in–this principle remains. If we take the opposite stance in this era, with the horrifying technologies we now possess, and pursue a course of distrust and enmity amongst each other, we–the whole tribe–will become extinct, our logic overcome by our instinct to destroy ourselves. We must make efforts towards unity and peace, no matter how much to our chagrin, nor how many generations away it may seem from us. Our job is to take the next step for the next generation.

      History is filled with examples of war and peace; oppression and freedom. We write our history through our actions. Again, which character will you scrawl? What archetypal persona do your actions share the most qualities with historically? In other words, who do you look like? Are you displaying tenacity or timidity? Shutting up your borders and cutting off relations with others does not scream, “courageous,” to me. Are you extending an olive branch, or retracting one? I can only be responsible for my own actions, and I will continue to move my people–all people–toward greater prosperity in my lifetime. I consider it my duty as a human being. This makes good, life-saving sense. The duty of a man, and the courses of action he takes to fulfill that duty, is the essence of his character.

      4) “contrary to many of my peers, I have found myself completely at ease, even inspired, understanding my life (and that of others) to be of a material nature not requiring any kind of spiritual, good-evil explanation.” I felt I had to address this because you are seemingly conflating spirituality and ethics. Of note, you can have secular concepts of good and evil. They are not eliminated by the erasure of superstition; ethics is a consequence of intelligence, the ability to see many ‘options’ for the future, how they affect various peoples, and to choose one based on these calculated factors. The Nuremberg trials established the evil nature of the Final Solution, and they did not require angelic spirits to do it. “Spiritual” is tricky, because it depends on what you’re defining. Are you referring to superstition (e.g., ghosts), or the inadequate but necessary natural philosophical term we use to describe the elusive essence of the being (whatever that is)? I use the term ‘spirit’ in the latter sense, synonymous to ‘character,’ ‘sentiment,’ or ‘disposition.’ If you understand it this way, then every dead person you’ve ever quoted has a spirit. How else were you ‘touched’ by their sentiments, if not by the migration of feelings from their own heart and mind, to paper, to the heart and mind of the reader? The superstitious would use the term ‘spirit’ as an extra-corporeal manifestation through which control of the corporeal world can be enhanced. Literally, this seems unlikely. And yet, as one who has taken great inspiration (note the etymology) from many who died thousands of years ago, are their sentiments not breathed into me, and passed on in my attempts to enhance the corporeal world in my generation? This is, again, semantics; but semantics is important if terms have been poorly defined and poorly used. This leads to poor execution of basic ethical principles.

      All in all, you seem to be saying that, “the world, as it is, is good enough for me.” This is also not a new thought. But it is ordinary. The lack of imagination means that nothing extraordinary can come out of it. It must be imagined BEFORE it is realized, the prosperity WORKED FOR and BUILT, not stumbled upon by serendipity. For the extraordinary is, by definition, that which goes beyond (“To BOLDLY go where no one has gone before”). To paraphrase Schopenhauer, all ideas go through three stages: 1) they are ridiculed; 2) they are violently oppressed; 3) they are deemed self-evident. Historically, this has happened to both the Christs and the Galileos. They push us to greater heights until the ordinary threaten to kill them. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail–generation after generation. Battles are finite, lost and won; but this war within us–and of us–is infinite. Choose your shari’a. I have chosen mine: to seek out new life and new civilization, to boldly go where no one has gone before, to enhance peace and prosperity and the brotherhood of all sentient beings.

      “If one issues to you the salutation, ‘Peace,’ one cannot say he is not a believer.” –Prophet Muhammad, from the Hadith of Bukhari

      1. You demonstrate the power of Socratic education in contrast to training and its algorithmic responses suited to robots. The humanistic content of the mind of the other is a necessary component of the exchange of knowledge.In partial answer to your hypothetical…this ensures that there will be a next generation.You have earned “The Salutation of the Dawn” and helped me “look to this day”…Thanks

      2. Regarding comments by Alexander Thomas 27 Jun 9:41 am

        Thank you Alexander for your investment of considerable time and thought. These issues deserve our respectful effort at clarification. I will address major points in the order in which they were presented:

        It is true that I have known few Muslims. But in military barracks I have directly observed a genuine religious-based hatred physically leveled at a Jew by a member of the Islamic faith. But I also know that anecdotal experiences (yours or mine) are poor evidence when trying to understand big truths. For this we must rely on accurate readings of accurate statistics. Today, a high percentage of all terrorist killings are done in the name of Islam. I have no doubt that most Muslims are decent, loving individuals. How to separate the decent from the indecent is our central challenge. Until we can do this, how much risk should we accept for what degree of good? For instance, is one terrorist among 100 acceptable? What about one in a thousand? Or? Of course it could be argued that among the good ones admitted there may be many of such merit that they will save lives that otherwise would be lost. This is the way to rationally, respectfully, and productively debate the path forward. Accusations of poor motive and evil character prevail among those certain that they possess the “superior morality”. Also, consider: Sharia, “The Pathway” is defined by Islam’s religious leaders. You are accurate as regards the influence of religious belief here in the United States. All our beliefs, religious and otherwise, impact in many ways the running of our government. However, our constitution, except by amendment, prohibits our adopting and supporting a state religion. Just the opposite is the reality in most Islamic countries. I doubt that we will ever legalize sufficient members of the Islamic faith such that our constitution would be amended to support this aspect of their desires, or “pathway”. Sufficient degrading of the Supreme Court to embrace a “living constitution” could change the rules of the game. But the recent announcement from SCOTUS of a retirement will likely result in strengthening the original promise of limited government, thereby raising the level of liberty (and personal responsibility) for we the people.

        You are echoing my observations about the importance for our school system, and constitution too, to protect “the running argument”. That is the essence of the scientific method. But we are today (unlike when we were students in university) seeing too many examples of administrators supporting those who would prevent arguments that are challenging, that are “offensive”, deemed “unacceptable”, or even just uncomfortable (safe space needed anybody?). Conservative speakers, if invited at all, are those who need physical protection and are likely to be shouted off the podium (Research Ben Shapiro). Students and faculty who violate free and challenging speech are seldom, if ever expelled or fired. To say that all immigrants are unacceptable would indeed be an inappropriate generalization and thus would represent a true xenophobia. To say that immigrants are never unacceptable also displays a foolish, drink-the-poison generalization. Cultures differ in dangerous as well as pleasant ways. Not all cultures can intermingle with zero degrees of clash. Conflicting cherished beliefs require a time factor as we evolve to a safely blended unity. Too swift a mixing process and it can explode.

        Because it is true that genocides have been justified by cultural “incompatibility does not mean that safe cures for incompatibility do not exist. Fact: Cultural incompatibilities exist – some to a dangerous degree. It will take time for cultural learning curves to arrive at a peaceful integration. Today in these United States we are currently experiencing a growing divide. A widening fracture is being exacerbated by mostly one side progressively choosing to “resist” rather than accept constitutionally based law.

        About courage: An accurate-to-the-real-word vision as to what works best (hopefully to provide for humanity’s best possible future) sharpens the nature of what must be done. Seeing clearly an accurate play of events is an important part of courage. Doubt destroys courage. Faith can erase doubt, but because it leaps away from objective evidence the goal envisioned, and perhaps achieved, may be a fool’s errand, empty of substance. Example: Great was the courage of Japanese fighters who believed “faithfully” that their “worthiness” hinged on supporting to their death the interests of their Emperor.

        Faith and probability are different. Faith and a hypothesis are different. When used in conducting human activity these differences have immense consequences for good and ill.
        There is no need to use “faith” except to generate desirable feelings that cannot be evoked rationally with existing evidence. “Probability”, which is the heart of science, allows us to function consistently well and keeps us grounded – in touch with the most probable objective realities. With this most accurate-to-reality navigation “chart” we have a better (best) chance of avoiding “real” threats and finding the healthiest pathways to “real” destinations that are truly friendly to our needs.

        I know of no person of importance who is interested in “shutting our borders”. There is interest in closing our borders to those who would weaken or threaten our successful values. There is interest in opening our borders to more of those who bring the kind of merit that supports our efforts to invent and expand the resources that allow humans to thrive – and allow us to demonstrate to other countries how to do this ever-so-important thing.

        I referred to “spiritual” because for many in our population the “feelings” they desire and cultivate (often addictively) through faith are described by them to be spiritual. Many turn to what they call spiritual sources such as the Bible or Koran for their feelings of worth, for “knowing” how to behave, for “knowing” the difference between good and evil. Being “other world”, or “in another realm”, this allows a mind to ignore “worldly” disciplines and complexities in regard to such judgments. I define “ethics” to be the study of how best to behave thereby diminishing death and suffering (Navigate with the most accurate charts available.). I avoid the “spiritual” and “faith” criteria chosen by many for the faith-probability reasons already explained.

        Alexander writes: “you seem to be saying that, “the world, as it is, is good enough for me.”
        So far from the truth!
        I have written often about increasing resources such that more can not only survive, but can thrive. We, in the US have proven that we “are exceptional” in knowing how to do this good thing by choosing a focus on individual liberty and competitive free markets. There are opposing political forces that advocate the faith-based, good-feelings concept of socialism, “social equality” and more equal distributions of product, represented as having greater importance than individual rights and productivity. I think they need enlightenment. But they would say the same about me. May the best empirical and logical evidence prevail. Possibly this is why we fail to communicate. I get the sense that faithful believers in the political left would say: May our certainly-superior sentiments pertaining to what we certainly-know is good and evil prevail.

        Similar, but in some ways different than that recommended by Alexander, I say go boldly, Explore promising hypotheses, but do not blunder about foolishly. Prepare your vessel and crew as well as possible to meet not only all the likely stresses, be prepared for inspiration as you embrace the adventure.

  2. Well-written.

    Jeffrey E. Thomas, M.D., FAANS, FACS

    Diplomate, American Board of Neurological Surgery

    Medical Director, Cerebrovascular and Neurointerventional Neurosurgery

    Washington Hospital and Washington Township Medical Foundation 2500 Mowry Ave., Suite 222 Fremont, CA 94538 510 248-1160

    Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jeffrey E. Thomas Stroke Shield Foundation 3053 Fillmore St. , #268 San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 830-6031

    http://www.jeffreythomasmd.com<http://www.jeffreythomasmd.com>

    http://www.strokeshieldfoundation.org<http://www.strokeshieldfoundation.org>

    ________________________________

  3. With due & utmost respect & admiration of my mentor professor who tremendously supported me in my early career at New Jersey Medical School & continues to provide me with his wisdom, support & friendship something that I cherish & shall always continue to do, I’d like to mention that the cause of this problem is the parents of these children who took advantage of the fact that our country failed to protect its borders, allowing for decades foreigners to break our laws & illegally trespassing our borders. I join Dr. Vidaver for praying for the children, as well as for the leaders of our country to continue their efforts to stop illegal immigration & enforcing our laws. Illegal immigration &failing to protect our borders is the root cause of the problem.
    Anwar Ghali, MD, MPA, DLFAPA

    1. There is a very narrow-minded view of immigration … still ignoring the humanistic call in the sight of despair. The below column might enlighten those, if not remove racist excuses, as to the overall implications of immigration:

      Immigration laws must be addressed, but in the climate of hate and fear of the “other,” it requires the valor of our congress … a quality which is lacking due to job security. This too shall pass and will offer opportunities for the reconstruction. It is the blame assignment to the weak and desperate that will make the renewal transition long and painful. Our descendants will have every right to ask … “where were you in times of moral breakdown?”

    2. When looking at immigration, it is important to ask what you’re afraid of. That the economy can’t “handle” this many people? Have you seen China? Every Golden Age has the mixing of peoples at its core, from Rome to Constantinople to Shiraz to New York. These places are intellectual breeding grounds because of the intercultural immersion and communication that takes place. Very simply, more communication=more ideas=more competition=more production. The most decrepit areas of our nation lack this quality, and those areas that are desirable–where many wish to live–share this intercultural quality. If you want America to be truly great, you should stick to this time-honored principle. The fear of immigration now is no different from the Nativist fear that existed in the past; only the group that is targeted has changed (e.g., Mexicans instead of Italians, Irish, Chinese, etc.). The “illegal” aspect of the argument is thinly veiled cowardice built upon a combination of privilege and laziness. The former reflects a failure to put yourself in the desperate position of someone fleeing with her family, and occasionally getting a meal out of a trash can, and the latter reflects a failure to accept the natural increase in competition that occurs with each successful generation. Overcoming both aspects of this cowardice is the path to becoming a better people, a better nation, and a better world. Our historical progress as a species is marked by our ability to see ourselves as one tribe, growing larger and larger. It began with the city-state, which became the imperial state, then the nation-state. The next step is world government, which we have already seen the beginnings of (e.g., UN, EU). We are moving towards a borderless world, towards the ideal of a United Federation of Planets (for the Star Trek fans). That is the successful future of humanity. When I say that each chooses his character in the History we are all writing, I’m saying that we decide our own judgment by our own deeds. There is an historical pattern here: one man builds, and the other fractures. Which are you? Which does each border stance represent? It is harder to mend than to break; it is easier to be selfish than self-sacrificing. If you don’t understand, “there, but for the Grace of God, go I,” then you don’t believe in the equality of men, because you truly believe “you’re special”. If you believe that, then you’ve betrayed American principles, and by extension, you do not believe in the alliance of humanity. You are the crab in the barrel that prevents us from leaving the barrel. However, in a twist of irony, the fear (of competition) may ultimately stem from the exact opposite realization: you know that you’re not special. Julio Perez can do your job, if given equal opportunity (which is what he’s seeking), and he may even be better at it! And may the best man–born here or elsewhere–win. That’s America. So, if you fear “the illegals,” either you’ve betrayed this immersion principle that has been the cornerstone of all human progress (and if you need further evidence of this, I’d recommend looking at how isolationism has stifled every civilization that tries it), or, equally likely, you’re just scared of being replaced. Either way, do better. Otherwise, you risk being judged by the next generation as the archetypal enemy of human progress.

  4. God is in all good men; regardless of form or affect, their actions reflect it. The duty of each generation is to provide a model for the next to follow. Do we accept the tempest-tossed, and lift our lamp beside the Golden Door? Or do we betray the essence of the principle when it becomes inconvenient? Are we faithful in our duty, or do we turn our back on it? The answer is particularized at the individual level, through the actions that separates the cynical from the faithful, the cowardly from the courageous. American ideals have never been embraced by all Americans. If they had, there would never have been a civil war. Ideals are, by definition, that which is beyond our current reality–that which we grasp for. The duty of the good is to continue the chase. We accept the unknown and the arduous, with faith in the principle that we emerge from a Common Source (e.g., God, the Singularity), and we walk toward the brotherhood of all men. We share this sacred task with all those who came before us, and all those who shall succeed us. As we write our chapter in the Book of Life, which character shall we each scrawl? Choose strength and honor–compassion–over the petty and iniquitous intentions of the resentful.

    1. daedal2207: “Most Psychiatrists are humanists …”

      The very nature of the profession would appear that that is a natural assumption. I was appalled by the lack of those feelings in one of the respondents’ comments. It had a tone of deserved privilege without acknowledging that there are other realities which seek desperate solutions for what they are confronted. I sincerely and earnestly apologize to RMV for unintentionally having lumped him in my concern for the profession … my ignorance in the inability to shun individually.

      RMV: “My soul cries out to hear again their special message amidst the turmoil of today’s world. “

      Yes … is there a danger of communal depression because we’re witnessing with a sense of helplessness?

      AT: “We accept the unknown and the arduous, with faith in the principle that we emerge from a Common Source (e.g., God, the Singularity), and we walk toward the brotherhood of all men. … As we write our chapter in the Book of Life, which character shall we each scrawl? Choose strength and honor–compassion–over the petty and iniquitous intentions of the resentful.”

      The passionate appeals from RMV and AT give us hope in a universal majority of human conscience. In the process, however, I once again refer to the allegories of the ages: with the present debauchery of the worship of the Golden Calf (a.k.a. The Orange Monster, MOM), will we be wandering through the proverbial desert for 40 years before Restructure?

      Thank you, daedal2207, RMV, and AT.

    1. The response of XXXX church was to invite all of the area churches to join in in Copley square.They din’t expose RMV’s identity not that he would have minded.I anyway (for those who still await a messiah) Exodus was all about children.

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