Monday, October 31, 2005


Cathy Seipp at Cathy's World Blog has a post on lung cancer which asks the same question I do. Why is it that breast cancer and other illnesses get so much more funding than the major diseases that kill both men and women such as lung cancer and heart disease? Some people have said to me that lung cancer or heart disease is avoidable--and therefore, not as deserving as something like breast cancer. Afterall--the former happens to people for "personal decisions" I am told. Bad health decisions account for fewer cases of many diseases than we realize. Rationalizing why someone gets a particular illness may make other people feel good but it is just an illusion--a way of distancing one's self from the person with the disease. Ms. Seipp's description of the typical interaction with a disillusioned soul is accurate:

Cancer does have a couple of upsides. One is that you can put the fear of God into people with hardly any effort at all, and occasionally, I have to admit, I do this when they start waving their illusions around in front of me. “But…but…you never smoked? Not at all? So then…you lived with a smoker, right? You worked in a bar?” Etc. Mostly I just smile and answer the usual series of “no”s. But sometimes I say, “I know you’re looking for a reason why you’ll never get this, even though I did -- sorry, can’t help you.”

People want to believe that our motality is within our own hands--that somehow, if we are virtuous enough, disciplined enough or just plain relaxed enough, nothing bad will happen. But eventually reality wins out and we are left to cope with an illness in the best way we know how. I hope that I learn to cope as well as Ms. Seipp.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Women Can Be Jerks Too

Maureen Dowd's article on the modern dilemmas of women finding a date are laughable. I started to write a post summarizing the error of Ms. Dowd's arguments but found that Roger Simon and his commenters had done it for me. Read it, it's a great post.

Update--Ok, I have to weigh in on this issue on Maureen Dowd and her snarky take on why she can't find a date with a man. Newsflash--anyone writing a book called "Are Men Necessary? shouldn't be asking that question. (The book-cover is cool, though.) I have spent more than my fair share of time around women like Ms. Dowd who think that their lack of male companionship has more to do with their "independence" and brains and less to do with the fact that they are ballbusters. Even everyday women who pride themselves on being feminists fall into this trap when it comes to being dateless.

Case in point: I was at at the manicurist one day who happened to be a Dowd clone except for the low status job. She spent the next hour (it seemed like more) discussing the redneck men in Tennessee who wouldn't go out with a woman like her who had strong opinions, the lack of educated people in Tennessee, Southerners fear of change and the horrible condition of our healthcare (never mind the fact that our Medicaid program, Tenncare, spends more per person than just about any state, but that is a whole other post). By the time I left the salon, I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach with the insults and putdowns. I can only imagine what a man who was involved with this woman would feel like. I was turned off by her and her negative views of men and traditional Southerners and I am neither one.

The truth is, most men like women who like men (except for some psychological cripples). I am opinionated, have a PHD and (hopefully), a decent IQ. I rarely meet a man who minds this. Why? Because I like men, enjoy their company and treat them as fellow human beings. These are the ingredients that many of these "feminist" women are missing in their interactions with men. They believe that because they are women, they can get away with saying anything and others should think they are enlightened, instead of just bullies or jerks. That's what they think men are--and that is why they will remain dateless.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Can a Psychopath Fake a Polygraph?

I went to a really great birthday party for a friend the other night. The guests were mainly in law enforcement and the chatting alternated between how people felt about their work to politics. A retired FBI polygrapher and I talked about the polygraph test and whether or not it could be faked (I know, it's a party and I should stick to talking about cheese dip but I hate small talk and I can't eat cheese dip due to my heart healthy diet). The polygrapher was adamant that the polygraph test was accurate but I remained a skeptic.

For the most part, psychologists believe there is little evidence to show that polygraphs are accurate lie detectors. I also pointed out to my colleague that psychopaths who show few physiological responses to lying might be able to pass a polygraph. His view was that we have so few psychopaths in our midst that he was unlikely to encounter one. This could not be further from the truth. Of course, as a forensic psychologist, I encounter more than my fair share (so my views may be skewed), but psychopaths are more prevalent in our normal society than most people, even in law enforcement, realize.

In fact, Dr. Robert Hare, the author of Without Conscience, estimates that there could be as many as 100,000 psychopaths in New York City alone--and at least 2 million in North America. Given that psychopaths--those without empathy for others who are typically con artists and users--have a higher rate of violent crime--it is very probable that my polygrapher friend would have numerous opportunites to encounter a psychopath in his work. I just wonder how many false negatives (a person is lying but looks like they are telling the truth) have been released based on erroneous results and how many innocent people who looked guilty have been charged after taking a polygraph.

It is an unsettling question and one that calls for further research into the use of the polygraph as a tool for spotting deception. There is work being done on functional brain imaging which shows that during lying, there is more activation in five brain regions. This research has not yet advanced to the stage where it can be used for real world application.

By the way, in case you were wondering about the large number of psychopaths in NYC, my guess is that psychopaths like to live in big cities where they can get away with their crimes and abuses. In a small town, it is likely that someone would know you and let others know about your bad deeds. That would make it harder to find victims.

Friday, October 28, 2005

That Cartier Watch Seems Awfully Expensive

Here is an interesting post on how some companies make money with Breast Cancer Research.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

6000 hits in thirty minutes

Ok, Instapundit Readers--so it is about the boobies!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Is it political correctness or altruism?

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so maybe you've noticed all the ads, publicity and Races for the Cure going on in your town. I know I have; my local newspaper, The News Sentinel, had a front page story entitled, "Pink Panters" describing the 10,000 runners who showed up, despite the rain, to show support for breast cancer victims. A few days before the race, swarms of concerned women headed to the mall to pick up their t-shirts and register for the race. I turned on the tv and celebrities and famous people were doing their part to increase breast cancer awareness. Yesterday, on a trip around town to do errands, I could not escape the onslaught of breast cancer literature, t-shirts, ribbons and yes, even a breast cancer stamp which I was offered at the post office. Even the stores at the mall advertised part of their profits going to breast cancer research. At first glance, all of this concern looked very altruistic and I thought about my grandmother and other relatives who have died of breast cancer and what a triumph this would be for them. Yet, somehow, I felt unsettled, and I finally pinpointed my sense of ill-ease.

It was from an article I had read recently at Slate, entitled, "Condi, Hillary....and Angelina? When celebrities act like politicians, and politicians act like celebrities." The article stated, "Big companies shun political controversy, but these days all of them want credit for behaving in a "socially responsible" manner." The media and companies (and of course, celebrities) have a love affair with breast cancer because it shows their support for women (and has to do with boobs) and yet, is not a controversial topic. It puts them in a good light and helps raise more money or recognition for their product, image etc.

So, what harm does this do? It convinces most women (and men who are concerned about women) that breast cancer is just around the corner, especially for younger women. This could not be further from the truth. In 2001, only 900 women under 30 had invasive breast cancer. In fact, almost half a million women die every year from heart disease compared to 40,000 from breast cancer. Yet, heart disease gets little publicity--our local newspaper is not even expected to show up at this year's heart walk; and there are almost no celebrities I can think of that have taken up the cause for heart problems. Heart disease is thought of as an "old person's disease and a good way to die (even if this is true, which it is not, isn't this a little cruel?)."

Yes, it is wonderful that we are finding cures for breast cancer, but if we are doing so at the expense of finding cures for other diseases that take more lives, even those of younger women, are we really fighting diseases to extend the lives of those who have them or are we just trying to make ourselves feel good?

Monday, October 24, 2005

More Than You Wanted to Know About My Heart Attack

A lot of my readers have asked me to tell the full story of my heart attack--so here it is.

At the age of 37, I thought I was in great health. I had run regularly from the age of 12, worked as a weight trainer at the New York University gym and practiced karate. Although I never thought I was invincible, I had no idea that I would have a heart attack. My family had always had a history of cancer so I figured that if I got sick, this would be my fate (hopefully later on down the line). However, one day I finished working out in the gym and was driving home with my husband when I became short of breath. It was an awful feeling--I felt like I was smothering to death and going to pass out. My husband called 911 and was told to get me to the nearest hospital which he did.

Despite the fact that I was short of breath and shaking like a leaf, the doctor decided I was allergic to something in the gym and gave me a shot of benadryl. Actually, I later learned that shortness of breath and a sense of impending doom or death were signs (especially in women) of heart problems. I felt ok once I left the hospital and even for a week or two later. I was on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina when I again got short of breath and could not walk. I was so dizzy, scared and light-headed that I spent the day in bed until finally that night, I went to an emergency room. I told the doctors about the allergy reaction that the last emergency room thought I had and they tried some breathing treatments for asthma.

Amazingly, while in the emergency room, a man in his thirties or forties came in with shortness of breath. He was whisked off for heart tests and his wife and two little children were there crying. I felt so sorry for them. Later, I saw a doctor telling his wife that he had stomach problems and his heart was in good condition. If only I could have said the same! The doctors finally did an EKG after I told them that the breathing treatments were not working. The results said that I had a possible MI. A cardiologist came into the room, looked at the reading and shrugged, stating that many thin women in their 30's who were athletic had a similar reading. I took his word for it and left.

Two doctors and an emergency room visit later, I still had no answer to why I was shaking, short of breath and could barely walk at times from weakness. I thought at times I was having mini strokes. One emergency room doctor refused to look at my abnormal EKG when I came to the hospital; he was too busy dealing with a female coke addict and decided that I was another example of an anxious woman having a panic attack.

I finally persuaded my regular doctor to quit prescibing me Effexor (an antidepressant) and to look at my heart. He finally sent me for tests. He called back and told me to get to the hospital. My father was with me at the time and took me to the hospital where the orderlies thought he was the one with heart problems and told him to get in the wheelchair. I would have laughed myself silly if I had not been so ill. I had tests including a heart cath that helps doctors to see inside the heart. Later, when I was back in my room, the cardiologist came in and told me that I had suffered from a heart attack and also had a ventricular aneurysm (a ballooned out area of the heart) as a result of not resting my heart after the heart attack. I had been told that I had panic disorder so I thought that exercise would be good.

I would like to say that once I got treatment that my problems were over but they had just begun. I was sick with panic attacks for several years. Finally, after more tests in February of 2005, I was told I had ventricular tachycardia and venticular fibrillation (which was triggered during testing). A few days later, I received an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) which is a device that will shock you if you have a serious rythm problem. I also received the life-saving drug Tikosyn, which is so potent, I had to take it for five days in the hospital to make sure I could tolerate it.

For the first time in years, I feel almost normal. I give thanks everyday for the amazing advances in heart research over the past 15 years. I know it sounds cliche, but I feel lucky just to be alive. When other people in their thirties and forties complain about their aches and pains, I just laugh--I feel lucky to get up in the morning without feeling dizzy or nearly fainting.

Women have been led to believe that breast cancer is the number one killer of women. This could not be further from the truth. Almost one half million women die each year from heart disease. Breast cancer kills only 40,000. The sad part is that half of all the women who have a heart attack each year die before they reach the hospital. I believe this is partly because women do not take symptoms of heart attacks seriously--they wait too long before going to the hospital and do not address heart issues with their doctors. Doctors are to blame at times; they buy into the myth that women are more likely to get breast cancer and that heart disease is for men. In order to change this, women must start asking their doctor to discuss heart disease prevention with them from an early age and to demand testing if they have symptoms. Hopefully, awareness of heart disease will infiltrate the public in much the same way breast cancer awareness did--but it will not begin until women decide that red dresses for heart disease are just as important or maybe more so (given the large number of women dying) than pink ribbons are for breast cancer.

Update: Here is a link to my story and more info on women's heart facts at

Another Reason We Need Men in College

Buried in the back of my American Psychologist (the Journal of the American Psychological Association), in the comment section, there is a blurb from Vicky Phares and her colleagues at the University of South Florida. The blurb comments on a 1992 article entitled, "Where's Poppa? The Relative Lack of Attention to the Role of Fathers in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology." The authors did further studies and found that in the past thirteen years, fathers are still coming up short when it comes to being included in research studies in child and family research.

When dissertations were reviewed, it was found that fathers were neglected significantly in research that focused on developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology. Sixty percent of the dissertations explored mothers only, 30% studied "parents," and 10% explored fathers only. The authors note that few personal or professional characteristics distinguished between those graduate students who did and did not include fathers in their research. The only difference was that male graduate students were more likely to include fathers in their dissertation research.

Why is this important? Because the role of fathers in the development of their children is crucial in understanding adolescent pathology, particularly that of aggression. For example, I believe that fathers teach their children, particularly boys, about aggression and boundary issues during play. Fathers teach boys to wrestle and fight but also how to stop before they hurt someone. We need to explore the father-child dynamic, just as we need to understand what boys need in the classroom to prepare them to go out in the world with some degree of success. And who is going to do that if we do not have a male perspective in colleges and schools to tell us and guide us in helping boys?

Some of my commenters have stated (like Grim) that it is not important for men to go to college, or that they will find their own way regardless, and get high paying jobs in the technical world. ("Men are pretty good at sorting out problems. It's what we do.") I don't know why they think that, as most men don't have high-paying jobs in the technical world. We need men in higher education, though, for the same reasons that gender-diversity advocates have said we need women -- because we miss out on an important perspective without them.
Ginny, of the Chicago Boyz blog, has an excellent piece on gender issues, blogs and the cofferoom.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Only Liberals Need Apply

Here is another USA Today article looking at the disturbing trend of fewer men attending college--especially liberal arts colleges (gee, there's a surprise). It is easy to see why boys avoid these types of feminine empires--to succeed, one has to adopt a liberal point of view:

UCLA higher education professor Linda Sax says such a discussion should address what effect, if any, the gender composition of a college has on men and women. To find out, she examined data from more than 17,000 students at 204 four-year colleges.

Preliminary results show that on campuses that were predominantly female, both men and women got higher grades. Predominantly female campuses also led to a "significant increase" in men's commitment to promoting racial understanding and led males to more liberal views on abortion, homosexuality and other social issues, her research found.

"What we're talking about here is the impact of women's attitudes and values," Sax says.

As if all that matters is the impact of certain women's attitudes and values. What happened to diversity for the rest of us? We women who hold more libertarian points of view or men who are conservative? Where do we apply?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Self Help Books in Cognitive Therapy

Some readers have commented or emailed me to ask for suggestions for books on cognitive therapy techniques that apply to everyday life. Here is a list of those books from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. I have not read all of these books but some look pretty good.

Maybe Bloggers Should Heed Advice From Father of Cognitive Therapy

One of my commenters mentioned that Albert Ellis got ahead by popularity and is now being ousted from the very institute he started due to shifting fashions. That's not really true as this story shows.

When Albert Ellis, PhD, conceived of REBT in 1955, "it was denounced by practically everybody," he recalls. "But one of the principles of REBT is not to take criticism too seriously, so I survived."

Indeed, Ellis believes people should consider critiques of their behavior, "but never damn your being and spirit--your essential self" in the process. His address will thus urge psychologists to "hold their ground, take a stand and not defame themselves when they are defamed by others," he explains. By doing so, he believes, "maybe their views will prevail."

Ellis says he stood by his unpopular theories long enough to gain professional regard. Then "science won out" in the 1970s when "study after study started showing that REBT and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) were quite effective."

This is also good advice for bloggers--even when your view is unpopular and the controversy flies, just remember not to take the criticism too seriously.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

For Some Psychologists, Being Different Means Getting the Boot!

In just another example of how dysfunctional some psychologists can be in their interactions with each other, Albert Ellis, one of the founders of cognitive behavioral therapy is being ousted from the very institute he founded in New York City. I was in graduate school in the 1980's at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan and studied the principles of Albert Ellis's work. His rational-emotive therapy focused away from childhood trauma and instead, dealt with the distorted beliefs that patients had about their current lives. I have found cognitive behavioral therapy to be extremely effective with many of the clients I see now. It is a shame that such a maverick should have to deal with those who do not understand his genius.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Women and Wages

Here is a good article on the gender paygap by Warren Farrell, one of my favorite authors. I haven't read his new book, Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It, but I did like The Myth of Male Power.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Where Have all the Men Gone?

There is a severe shortage in the US of male teachers--just 21% of teachers are male. The top three reasons men no longer go into teaching? The low pay, teaching viewed as "women's work," and fear of being charged with child abuse. Some men report not being able to get a job interview because people think there is something wrong with men who want to work with children. Thanks alot, Oprah. The male shortage is a big loss for our children--the exposure to different teaching styles is important for kids to be exposed to at an early age. What effect is the male teaching shortage having on our children? Not a good one, I'm afraid. Young men no longer want to go to college, perhaps because no male teachers equates a feeling on their part that education is not important to men. What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Thanks so much for the donations. The life you save may be your own.
Please support me in the American Heart Association Walk!

I am taking part in Knoxville's American Heart Association Walk on November 5th. Donations will go directly to funding for education and research of heart disease. My heart attack at 37 taught me that being athletic and a woman was no protection from heart problems. I am lucky that all of the advances in heart treatment are allowing me to move on with my life and engage in really fun stuff (like blogging). Please help me to raise money to continue the medical advances--who knows, maybe one day, doctors will grow us new hearts! Here is the webpage to donate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Even a Washington Post article agrees that Blogging is Therapy!
Battered Men are Ignored

In my therapy practice, I used to see men all of the time who were abused--but there was little support in the community for them. Finally Canada is starting to see the light--maybe the US will follow suit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is funny.
Men, Depression and Suicide

I was particularly distraught to read that David Perino, a teacher in Prince William county falsely accused of sexual abuse, (and who subsequently lost his job) mentioned the suicide of another male teacher who had gone through a similar experience. As a psychologist, I wonder if his mention of the other teacher's suicide is a reflection of how he feels inside. Job loss is a major blow to men and a trigger for suicide. In Japan, out of 33,000 suicides in 1999, one half of the victims was unemployed.

Suicide among men and boys is also a disturbing trend in the US--four times as many men kill themselves as women. Given that Mr. Perino is a teacher and highly educated, he is at a higher risk for suicide as the more highly educated a person is, the more likely he is to follow through with suicide. Perhaps an educated person has more to lose when they suffer a job loss as they invested a great deal of their life to training for their job.

If women were killing themselves at four times the level of men, there would be an outrage. The talk shows would be buzzing about it and funds would be funneled to programs in schools, colleges and communities just as they are for domestic violence against women.

But apparently, men and boys' lives are expendable in today's sociey--and the worse part is, men and boys are internalizing this belief and are afraid to speak up in the current anti-male climate. Prior to the civil rights movement, African Americans may have felt the same way--dejected and hopeless, so much to the point that they figured nothing would help. Men are taking their lives in record numbers and no one blinks an eye--except for maybe the wives, daughters, sons and family of the deceased. Men's depression and suicide risk affects us all on some level. The first step in understanding this problem is to be willing to hear what men have to say. Maybe if we women would take the focus off ourselves for a moment, they would tell us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Here is a story in the Washington Post suggested by a reader (thanks!) that is the perfect example of how a charge of sexual abuse can ruin one's career--even if acquitted by the justice system.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What's Fair for the Goose is Fair for the Gander

Reading over the comments to my last post about the Oprah sexual predator offender list really opened my eyes to the sad state of how adults (mainly men) fear involving themselves with kids due to being accused of child molestation. This fear is very real, given the current milieu in America where being called a sexual molester seems to strip one of all normal due process rights. In a world where kids, particularly boys, are in desperate need of male role models, this loss of male influence is dire.

Here is a petition for the one strike law from a few years ago that Oprah now proposes today. I love the comment on this petition from a Betty Keyes in California: "Anyone who would put there hands or anything on a child should get death. Why should the tax payers pay for garbage like that. They don't belong on our streets, hurting our children. period!" All right Betty! Lets hear it for compassionate women!

Seriously, given this line of reasoning, one could say that the 58% of perpretrators against children who are women (found by the National Clearing House for the Maltreatment of Children published this year) should be given the same penalty--life in prison or worse. Where is Oprah's show about female child abusers who should get life in prison? I haven't seen it yet. Maybe I should suggest it on her website.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hype and Hysteria

Ok, now this is ridiculous. Here is Oprah's list of offender characteristics of child molesters--included on the list are adults who know too much about children's fads or music. I know many people who would fit this bill--I guess they should turn themselves in. But wait--states such as Alabama are tightening up on laws against child molesters--and Oprah promotes one sexual offense and life in prison, so it would probably be too risky. And the courts have very little in the way of restitution if a person is accused unfairly (see this article). In fact, you get more punishment for being cruel to a chicken in Arizona than you do for falsely accusing someone of being a child molester.

The emotionally driven laws and the media hype on child molesters could actually backfire--and some of the victims of its aftermath are children. For every list of "offender characteristics of child predators" that includes normal adult behavior, there are thousands of adults who will decide that the risk of mentoring children, talking to children or caring for children is too high. The child who is in need of a hug will get a shrug instead, the kid who is depressed will get a dismissal and the boy who needs a male mentor will get a cold shoulder.

I am not saying that child molesters should not be put behind bars--they absolutely should--but making laws and promoting social policy driven purely by emotions have a way of backfiring and hurting those they were most meant to help.
Girls Rule, Guys Drool?

I am practicing shooting video with my Canon GL2 Digital Camcordertoday which has been sitting dormant since I revised my last video, Six. The filmmakers who helped me make the documentary used a Canon XL1. In the new version, I used the GL2 to shoot some scenes in Kentucky under a bit of duress--I was standing in a field behind a dairy bar with mosquitoes eating my legs and on a very short time schedule. To my surprise, the video I shot of some relatives of a convicted murderer came out precisely the way I had imagined (actually better). The quality of the picture was excellent and I thought, better than the XL1.

My current project is getting together some web video on how boys feel about the current anti-male climate. I do think all this "girls rule, guys drool" (like the poster for a girls' fashion store above) affects guys in a negative way--more than they let on. If anyone has any suggestions for what they would like to see in a short web video--email me or post a comment.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

You may now post comments on this blog.
Queen Oprah

So yesterday I'm watching Oprah's show on child molesters featuring the Idaho case of Shasta Groene. This gruesome case is enough to get anyone up in arms, yet Oprah goes over the top at times. Her solution to keep child molesters off the street---put all molesters in jail for life the first time they molest a child. At first glance, this sounds like a good way to handle the monsters who are out there stalking children. But wait a second--what happens to the defendants who are accused of molesting a child but are innocent? How would the courts handle that?

I think what we really learn from Oprah's anger is that she will get back at anyone she does not like without thought to the repurcussions it could have on other people. For all the people out there who would vote for Oprah for president (which I find preposterous) ask yourself if you would want to incur her wrath. Just look at the poor Hermes president groveling on Oprah's show for not giving her a personal shopping day in a closed store. Oprah stated that this episode was not about shopping for a purse--but from the looks of it--it was about shopping for a purse and people not realizing how famous she is. Look how angry she gets when Katrina hits Louisiana. For Oprah, if the world doesn't go the way she wants, her tendency is to lash out. If Oprah isn't happy, someone is going to pay. Is that the kind of president you would want?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Telling Lies

Some of what forensic psychologists are asked to do is try to determine if people are lying (or malingering) about symptoms or information. How often do psychologists or psychiatrists figure out if people are lying? Not often. In a study of Secret Service agents, psychiatrists (both forensic and non-forensic), and college students, only the Secret Service agents excelled at catching liars. Paul Elkman, a professor of psychology who conducted this study, uses facial expressions and body language to catch liars.

I think that one reason for the poorer ability of psychiatrists to catch lies on video tape is that psychiatrists and forensic psychologists rely more on cognitive clues than on facial expressions to determine if a person is misleading them. I usually figure out if someone is lying by comparing their words to the the data I have before me; for example, if a kid tells me he shot a friend by accident and then I see a story he has written in school about a desire to kill his friend prior to the murder, it is probably a tip-off that something is not right.

I do find it interesting to try and determine who is lying (excuse me, I mean exaggerating) when looking at politicians' behavior on tv--take for example, Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin, when descibing all the babies being raped at the Superdome on Oprah. You have to ask yourself why someone would bring that up at all.

Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriageis a good read if you would like to understand more about how to spot a liar. It seems to me that all citizens could benefit from this training--given the misinformation and downright lying that appears more often then we would wish on tv and in the media.