Essential Reads

The Uses of Shame

How society makes use of shame to enforce its values

Fugitive Facts Escape from APA Headquarters

What we already know about the APA's alleged collusion with the CIA.

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Can there be democracy without idealism?

The Delusion of a Savior Nuclear and Otherwise

A recent novel warns about trusting what threatens to destroy us.

Recent Posts on Politics

On the Battlefield of the Psyche

By Pythia Peay on May 25, 2015 in America On The Couch
Decker said, I once had an interview with the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama. When I asked him for his advice on how to work with veterans he said . . first, they had to have some kind of spirituality. And secondly, they had to know that it was their job—their duty—to kill people. He also made a distinction between having to kill during war, and committing murder.

Why Are Christian Numbers Dropping?

By David Niose on May 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
The rise of religiously unaffiliated 'Nones' is sometimes explained as a reaction to the religious right, but there's more to it than that.

Privatization Has Been A Colossal Flop

By Allen J Frances M.D. on May 23, 2015 in Saving Normal
Privatization is no more than a cover story for tax evasion by those who don't need public services and would greedily deny them to those who do.

Beyond Bread and Butter

Progressive political activists are too fixated on economic inequality and justice, reflecting a narrow and incorrect view of what people really need.

Fourteen Dead Men: Link or No Link?

Recent book provides comprehensive overview of Smiley Face incidents, offering unique serial murder theory.

The Drama of the Drone Warrior

By Yosef Brody Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in Limitless?
The new drone warfare movie starring Ethan Hawke may be fiction but ironically it gives a better sense of the workings and effects of our actual drone program than has been offered so far by government officials.

Flying Home From Home (Part 2)

During the Combatants For Peace event, families from both sides speak their grief and tell their stories of loss, in all the wars, translated into Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Knowing that despite fierce and vicious criticism of this alternative ceremony there are more and more people who attend feeds my hope that there may yet be a collaborative future.

The Uses of Shame

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Shame
In different ways, the religious right and the liberal left both make use of shame to enforce their values.

The Juggernaut of C.E.O. Compensation

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Hidden Motives
All efforts to rein in CEO pay seem to have failed. One has to wonder why

Fugitive Facts Escape from APA Headquarters

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
As they wait for an investigator’s report, APA leaders claim that they’ve already refuted allegations of collusion in the Bush Administration’s abusive “enhanced interrogation program.” Such pretense is a disservice to APA members, to the profession as a whole, and to the public at large.

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Governments answerable to the people can exist only due to the fact that we’re emotional, social creatures, not isolated, rational, strictly selfish individuals. A better appreciation of human nature can help us secure a democratic future.

The Delusion of a Savior Nuclear and Otherwise

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on May 17, 2015 in Pura Vida
It's a common delusion: there exists a potential savior that/who will swoop in and rescue us. This error is depicted in a fascinating new sci fi novel, even as it is acted out in today's nuclear policies.

Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Deserve the Death Penalty?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 15, 2015 in Psych Unseen
How did jurors decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate?

Shocking Pseudoscience

By Amy S.F. Lutz on May 15, 2015 in Inspectrum
In their quest to ban ECT, protesters ignore thousands of studies that support the safety and efficacy of this treatment to ameliorate the symptoms of debilitating and intractable psychiatric illnesses.

A Workover: "I Want to Create Social Change"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

The Extreme Humanity Of Napalm Death’s Marc Greenway

Napalm Death’s vocalist Marc “Barney” Greenway shares his core humanitarian message and commitment to bring attention to when people are not treated with respect and dignity.

Flying Home from Home (Part 1)

In the eyes of many people in the US, Israel is, primarily, a local superpower that is making the lives of Palestinians a grinding daily misery. Only a marginal minority of Israeli Jews have a similar awareness

Protecting Mental Health Research from the War on Terror

Have we done enough to prevent government officials from forcing mental health professionals to act unethically?

Iran is Very Big

If the attempt to negotiate and ratify a nuclear agreement with Iran fails, an escalation in our confrontation is likely, possibly leading to war. Before contemplating war with Iran, we need to get a sense of the size of the country.

How The Media Betrays Public Trust

By Donna Flagg on May 11, 2015 in Office Diaries
Have you ever been duped by an Astroturfing campaign?

Fixing Corruption

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 10, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Recently, The Economist looking into the effort of containing bribery, noted that “the cost and complexity of investigations are spiraling beyond what is reasonable. What can be done about it?

Emotional Ideologies

By Eyal Winter on May 08, 2015 in Feeling Smart
We vote out of passion and not out of reasoning

The APA's Disappearing History

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 07, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
Amid mounting evidence that the American Psychological Association colluded with the CIA in protecting the Bush Administration’s abusive “enhanced interrogation program,” it appears that someone has been steadily removing valuable, relevant content from the APA website. Perhaps it’s true after all: idle hands are indeed the devil’s workshop.

The CIA’s Torture Consultant Darlings

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in The Violent Mind
How the American Psychological Association has supported the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" (aka Torture) program.

Role of Youth: Countering Violent Extremism, Promoting Peace

By Scott Atran Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in In Gods We Trust
An anthropologist addresses the UN Security Council.

Who Wants to Grow Up To Be A Spy?

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in Time Out
Although the actor playing James Bond changes, audiences remain loyal to the brand. The spy fantasy is a classic, from John Le Carre’s spy who came in from the cold, to today’s favorite undercover Soviet family hiding in plain sight on TV's The Americans, the idea of leading a secret life grips our imagination. You can talk with a real spy tonight!

The APA Relied on the CIA for Ethical Guidance

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
Last week’s release of previously undisclosed emails provides further evidence of the American Psychological Association’s extensive and secret involvement with the CIA and White House in crafting ethics policies that permitted psychologists to participate in abusive “war on terror” detention and interrogation operations.

Baltimore Isn't About Race, But It Is About Racism

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on May 03, 2015 in Love, Inc
Some of the officers charged in Freddy Gray's murder are black.What does this mean? It means that we are all shaped- and misshapen- by the ideology of racism. Black and white Americans are stuck in a system that marks white bodies as safe and marks black bodies as dangerous.

Medical Ethics Are Healthier Than Business Ethics

Traditional medical ethics puts patient welfare first. As corporations increasingly control health care, business ethics replace medical ethics. Doctors and patients must work together to defend the doctor-patient relationship.

In Baltimore, an Empty Stadium and a Lack of oise

Quiet baseball symbolizes a potential for hope as protests rack the city