by JP Briggs
Briggs and Briggs | Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions
According to John P. Briggs, MD, and J.P. Briggs II, PhD, President George W. Bush prides himself on "making tough decisions." But many are sensing something seriously troubling, even psychologically unbalanced, about the president as a decision-maker. They are right. Because of a psychological dynamic swirling around deeply hidden feelings of inadequacy, the president has been driven to make increasingly incompetent and risky decisions. This dynamic makes the psychological stakes for him now unimaginably high. The words "success" and "failure" have seized his rhetoric like metaphors for his psyche's survival.
Briggs & Briggs | Bush's Inner "Reality" Poisons Troop Plan
"The president has included an extraordinary fatal flaw in his plan for additional US troops in Iraq, a fact that may not make much sense to his advisers and allies, but is psychologically understandable in terms of a mechanism that governs his inner reality. As with many other aspects of the president's sometimes odd behavior, the root of this new self-subverting plan lies not in political expediency, in the advice he's received, or in his intellectual abilities as such, but in a psychological twist that begins with his long and well-documented history of failure (and his sense of his own failure) within his family of origin," according to John P. Briggs, M.D., and J.P. Briggs II, Ph.D.
13,000 word version of Bush psychology published by Scoop
A Terrible Secret
The Psychology Behind George W. Bush's Decision-Making John P. Briggs, M.D. and JP Briggs II, Ph.D.When we feel inadequate about some aspect of our lives, we work to submerge those feelings with compensations and defenses. Evidence is that in the case of George W. Bush, deep feelings of inadequacy and powerful defensive behaviors employed to submerge them and cover them up cripple the decision-making process he needs for his duties as president.
Dick Cheney's Psychology | Part 1: Almost Pleasantly Adrift
Psychotherapist John P. Briggs, and Western Connecticut State University Professor JP Briggs II begin a two-part series for Truthout on the psychology of Dick Cheney. They write: "The name Dick Cheney conjures images of Svengali or Rasputin. Even Republican White House staffers have called him 'Edgar,' referring to the vaudeville ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy, whom they see as Bush."
Dick Cheney's Psychology | Part 2: The "Attendant Lord"
John P. Briggs, M.D., and JP Briggs II, Ph.D. conclude their Truthout report on the psychological side of Dick Cheney.
JP Briggs II, Ph.D., and Thomas D. Williams | Bush, Mideast Wars and End-Time Prophecy
JP Briggs II, Ph.D., and Thomas D. Williams report for Truthout, "President George W. Bush has become dangerously steeped in ideas of Armageddon, the Apocalypse, an imminent war with Satanic forces in the Middle East and an urgency to construct an American theocracy to fulfill God's end-of-days plan, according to close observers."
For Truthout, John P. Briggs and JP Briggs II analyze the abusive psychology of George W. Bush; Kerry set to endorse Obama at South Carolina rally; voter confusion and apathy mar Michigan presidential primary; Blackwater USA ramps up lobbying activity on Capitol Hill; an investigation into US allegations of counterfeiting against North Korea; Pentagon considers sending additional 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan; and more ... Browse our continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
t r u t h o u t | 01.10
Briggs and Briggs | What Is He Capable of?
Psychotherapist, John P. Briggs, M.D., and distinguished professor, JP Briggs II, Ph.D., write for Truthout: "In defiance of his circumstances as an unpopular, lame duck president with a minority party in Congress, George W. Bush pursues a sharply autocratic tone. He has intimidated both parties in Congress and violated the Constitution. Through dissimulation and delay, he has forced the nations of the world to conclude they must wait until his term ends to negotiate any serious treaty on the imminent perils of climate change."
This commentary also appeared on The Public Record
On McCain and Obama
Briggs and Briggs | McCain, Obama and the Psychology of Decisions
John P. Briggs, MD, and J.P. Briggs, PhD, Truthout: "For the past eight years, American voters afforded themselves the rare opportunity to observe a president who claims to be immune from any ambivalent feelings in making the kinds of decisions that would give any other leader pause: sending troops to engage in an elective war in Iraq, torturing human beings, saving the planet from climate change, saving the financial system. He has sold himself as a great leader on the basis of his self-confident certainty, and for a long time the public bought it. From a psychological perspective, Bush's repeated assertions that he never experiences doubt in critical matters are simply not credible. They're a dangerous fantasy."
Can also be found on: http://www.pubrecord.org/commentary/414.html?task=view
Air America Interview with Mike Papantonio—Ring of Fire: Jan 12, 2008
Nova on Fractals
Excerpt from Fractals, the Patterns of Chaos on the Nova website:
CREATIVE WORK ON THE WEB
A Shaman's Fear
Steel City Review
Everyone knew that the village shaman had popped into life on a day when he paddled along the river and a lightning bolt struck his head. The lightning burst him into fragments and the fragments floated downstream where an old shaman collected them, pieced them together, and smeared on new skin. Once born in this way, the new village shaman could hold burning coals in his mouth; he could swallow poisonous frogs without illness, except that they would hatch into butterflies which emerged from his turds or fluttered out his anus. He could launch his eyes from his head to zoom across the countryside like dragonflies or like piranhas through water.
The summer issue of Steel City Review is now online:
It's a grand issue. Thank you for sharing your work with us.
Read. Reflect. Reason.
Steel City Review
American DebutThe snakes darted and skimmed in the swimming pool with their arrow heads flexed above the blue water. They moved like cartoon streaks in every direction, no one knew whether poisonous—though they certainly looked it. A butler in black tails holding a test tube of blue liquid bent over one end of the pool, which was shaped like a kidney or lopsided heart. Waiters and waitresses circulated trays of drinks and canapés around to guests sitting at tables under white umbrellas or lolling along the waterside terrazzo. Meanwhile, in the inverted bubble of blue sky above, puffy white clouds boiled and imploded spectacularly as if performing for an audience, though no one at the party paid them the slightest attention.
Here's a review of the Quay issue:
Volume 1 Issue 1
Reviewed by Stefani Nellen
A new journal appearing both in print and online, Quay offers a crisp collection of fiction, non-fiction and drama. The print issue's format (almost square) is unusual without trying too hard, and the same is true for the content. One of my favorites among the fiction pieces was J.P. Briggs's "American Debut," in which an agent and a producer discuss a starlet called Eva, "the next big icon of a generation," while "[t]he snakes darted and skimmed in the swimming pool with their arrow heads flexed above the blue water." I was also impressed with Myfanwy Collins's "Cowless, Rainbowless," a sequence of vignettes revealing the narrator's hurt in nightmarish slow-motion. The beauty of the writing is an almost perfidious contrast to the narrator's pain and loneliness. Completely different in style: Scott Humfeld's "Capt. Spaulding and the Missing Motor," a tale set in the Peruvian jungle, delivered with the authority and wit of first-hand experience.
New Pages Review of Fall 2007 Issue of Connecticut Review
Volume 30 Number 2
Review by Denise Hill
Reading for review forces the consumption of entire publications in very short periods of time: not recommend for this particular journal. This is the kind of publication that would make a reader grateful for her own copy to read and linger over at intervals.
“Driving with the Dead” by Cavenaugh Kelly reads like non-fiction. The character, a physical therapist, drives to home visits for patients, several of whom end up on “The Board” – where deaths are charted in the office. Kelly gives insight to the difficult daily struggle these professionals have both personalizing and de-personalizing death.
“The Nonlocal Heart” by Patricia Monaghan is an essay on her Irish heritage and sense of place in the U.S., a sense that is surface at best, lacking the deeper attachment heritage provides each of us to our “homeland.” She writes: “I do not live in a place I love. In this, I am more typical than not.” This commentary is threaded together with discussions of quantum theory – Einstein, Ulsterman, Bell, Bohm – concluding on the concept of self as particle, the spinning, chaotic nature of our lives that “is the pattern that connects.”
The special section of this issue focused on journalism. JP Briggs’s lead essay, “Aristotle’s Unintended Consequences,” was an exciting read for all the connections it makes between philosophy, literature, contemporary media, mythology, and brain theory. Briggs explains how/why news stories are molded around Aristotelian components of story, thus marginalizing the full truth of reality for the sake of story. It ends with the “grand resolution” that “Our most significant stories alert us to the reality that something vital is always left out of the story. In fact, the story’s vitality – even a news story – depends on our understanding of what it cannot include.” This essay, combined with Edward A. Hagan’s “News Story or Sports Story? The Hypnosis of Ersatz Triumph & Defeat,” provides a sound deconstruction of contemporary media, with Vivian B. Martin’s “The Usual Suspects: Typecasting in the News,” a revealing look at archetypes in daily news.
The Noam Chomsky interview, though it seems cut short and isn’t more than what he has said elsewhere, enhances this section and is a good primer for those not familiar with his works. Likewise for the Howard Zinn interview. Vanessa Furse Jackson’s story, “Write to Learn,” was almost painful to read through. I predicted its ending, yet fought against it: how a new teacher’s feedback directs a student to write more academically, resulting in the suppression of a beautiful story beautifully told. Every writing teacher should read this. Now.
There is so much more to be said about this publication, but better to be said: “It should be read.” And take your time. This is smart writing that deserves not to be rushed.
The essay "Aristotle's Unintended Consequences" also appeared on The Public Record