Why Can't I Delete This Blog Account?

Gimme a Break, Salon. There Should Be a Way Out of This!

The other night I was watching an NBC Nightly News story about Americans who had adopted kids from Haiti and it occured to me that as far as I know, nobody has even mentioned the fact that all the couples featured in these stories are white people adopting black kids. I'm… Read full post »

Can someone tell me how to close this account? I've looked through the setting options and sent two emails to Salon at "contact us." Nothing. I've been waiting months. I just want to close this and leave. Why is it so difficult?

 Update: I've decided it's not necessary to erase my… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2009 6:58PM

Abusing Kids to Save Them (From Sex)

 A little over a hundred years ago, John Harvey Kellogg, a physician, claimed the moral authority to instruct parents on the proper sexual education of their children. If you're unfamiliar with the writing of Kellogg and others of his day, their gloating disdain for basic human eroticism is chil… Read full post »

Here's what Jimmy Carter actually said: "An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American."

By "intensely demonstrated animosity," one can safely assume that Carter meant the Obama=Hitl… Read full post »

Richard Evans Schultes (Jan 12, 1915 - April 10, 2001) was the sort of character Hollywood hasn't the imagination to invent. Although certainly one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, few have heard of him. This didn't bother him. His idea of a good time involved being… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2009 9:11AM

Sloppy Thinking on Drugs

Over at the Reality-Based Community, Mark Kleiman recently offered a critique of an argument for drug legalization that stands as an example of how even brilliant, well-informed people can slip into sloppy arguments on this issue. My purpose here is not to agree or disagree with the original aRead full post »

My previous post generated quite a bit of impassioned, often insightful commentary. I'm going to respond to the principal lines of critique in individual postings over the next few weeks.

Probably the most common response is to point out that our species' consciousness and intelligence shouldRead full post »

"Making love with a woman and sleeping with a woman are two separate passions, not merely different but opposite. Love does not make itself felt in the desire for copulation (a desire that extends to an infinite number of women) but in the desire for shared sleep (a desire limited to… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2009 12:17PM

Circling the Drain

Here's a bone-chiling report from a recent meeting of the Ecological Society of America. One of the presenters calculates that "if everyone on Earth adopted American lifestyles overnight, we would need four extra worlds to supply their needs."

He traces the origins of the consumerist frenzy to… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2009 1:41PM

Chimps and Suicide Bombers

Anthropologist and science historian Eric Michael Johnson has posted an excellent essay on how altruism and murderous spite are two sides of a coin called "inclusive fitness" and -- according to him -- only exist in humans.

Personally, I find the theory of inclusive fitness to be a tad strained… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2009 8:48AM

America Causes Cancer

Hispanics living in Florida have a 40 percent higher cancer risk than those who live in their native countries. A new study reconfirms previous findings (with Japanese) that Americans have a carcinogenic way of life.

Is there any logical connection between what really threatens American lives a/… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2009 4:07AM

On Sex and Violence

Fellow PT blogger Dr. Stephen Diamond has posted another interesting essay in his series about the existential rage that fuels the sorts of outbursts like what happened in the Pittsburgh gym recently, where several women were shot and killed by a lonely, angry, frustrated man. The murderer had… Read full post »

I've been living in Spain for well over a decade, off and on, but I've only recently noticed that all the old people seem to be disappearing. Nobody seems to know where they're going. One day, you meet your spry, 80 year-old neighbor at the mailbox. Next day, you hear some… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2009 3:08AM

When Monkeys Attack

And now for something completely different. A monkey story.


"Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above."
Katharine Hepburn, as Miss Rose Sayer, in "The African Queen"

If we're above nature, it's only in the sense that a shaky-legged surfer is above the ocean. Even if we n… Read full post »

JUNE 29, 2009 6:56AM

Men Will Be Boys

No need to even try listing them all (Swaggart, Haggart, Spitzer). We all know the look they get when they're trying to appear dignified and honorable while they grovel and apologize for privately doing what they have publicly deplored and denied (Sanford, Vitter, Clinton). We've all heard the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 26, 2009 2:57AM

Conservative Brain, Liberal Penis*

It's been a busy week for anyone trying to keep track of political sex scandals. (I assume such people must exist in a world populated by bird-watchers and train-spotters.) Two major Republicans going down and out ... both formerly top prospects for a presidential run in 2012.

You've got to won/… Read full post »

While I agree with Dr. Saad that some of the common criticisms of EP are a bit weak and that EP has some theoretical strengths, I think he overstates things by dismissing Sharon Begley's critique in Newsweek as an "antiquated and perfectly erroneous set of criticisms." After all, it's not easy/… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2009 2:48AM

Tune In, Turn On, Hook Up

NPR (National Public Radio) recently joined the ever-growing list of media outlets and authors expressing confusion and poorly-veiled condemnation of what they call the "culture of hooking up" a.k.a. "sex without intimacy." According to these no-doubt middle-aged sources, intimacy-free sex is/… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2009 10:52AM

$ for "Terrorists"?

At this point, there can be little doubt that the "thinking" behind sending battlefield captives to Guantanamo was deeply flawed and has left a huge mess in its wake. The legal justifications for the prison were never clear and have only grown murkier with time and examination.

Many of the capt… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2009 7:57AM

Is Human Life Sacred? (Part II)

First things first. I want to thank all of you who have commented on my half-baked thoughts on the question of whether human life truly is sacred. Especially given the provocative tone of the piece, your comments and interactions with each other have generally been very thoughtful, respectful, and to… Read full post »

Continuing this series on false premises and lame logic, let's take a look at the abortion "debate." One hardly need mention the irrationality of killing someone because you think killing is wrong. The doctor who was murdered yesterday in Kansas was the victim of this illogic. So are the tens… Read full post »

In response to Stephen Mason's excellent piece about how permeated even scientific research is by intellectual sloppiness and ethical myopia, I've been thinking along the same lines, but in terms of politics.

The torture "debate" is illustrative. The discussion of whether or not torture "works"… Read full post »

MAY 29, 2009 6:40AM

In Search of the Clitoral Truth

Matthew Hutson's recent musings on why "socially dominant women enjoy sexual submission fantasies more than other women" reminded me of what I consider a major flaw in most sexuality research. Matthew was kind enough to send me a copy of the research he is discussing and like almost all resear… Read full post »

On NBC News last night, I saw the first of Tom Brokaw's series "in search of the American character on Route 50." Reporting from Maryland, Brokaw visited a crab-picking operation and was confused and appalled that the owner was having trouble finding people to work there. "With an unemployment… Read full post »

On NBC News last night, I saw the first of Tom Brokaw's series "in search of the American character on Route 50." Reporting from Maryland, Brokaw visited a crab-picking operation and was confused and appalled that the owner was having trouble finding people to work there. "With an unemployment/… Read full post »