Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – some backstory

Like many of you, I’ve been struggling to interpret what has been occurring in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022. This action is a violation of international law and is bringing death and destruction to Ukrainian civilians. I condemn Russia’s action unreservedly. Russia’s action cannot be excused or rationalized away. However, it can’t be understood without recognizing that the roots of this conflict go back at least 30 years, and the US has played an important role in the tragedy.

Friends trying to interpret the recent news have asked for resources that might add some missing context or balance to the mainstream news coverage. I thought it might be useful for me to post the various materials I’ve recommended. Note that I am sharing resources aiming to complement the information contained in mainstream coverage, which consistently supports the elite-promoted narratives and interpretations of what is going on.  And, of course, the elite coalition has further intensified the scope and intensity of censorship since the invasion began – so the likelihood of hearing alternative views is ever lower.

The most critical events that have been airbrushed out of the Western media’s coverage and narratives related to the current Ukraine-Russia crisis are:

– the violation of agreements Western leaders made at the end of the Cold War not to expand NATO into Eastern Europe (note that many esteemed US foreign policy practitioners and experts warned that the policy was unwise and would provoke conflict with Russia;

-the failure to establish and institutionalize security relationships within Europe that can account for Russia’s security concerns; and,

-the transformation of NATO from a defensive alliance into…a different kind of security organization (e.g. one which bombed Serbia in 1999, and destroyed the Libyan state in 2011, among other things);

– the shift to a more aggressive posture toward Russia signaled by, inter alia, the US exiting treaties designed to contain weapons proliferation e.g. ABM treaty, installing new “defensive” weapons systems, as well as the waves of sanctions targeting Russia;

– the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in February 2014;

-the efforts to blame the Government of Russia for the downing (July 2014) of flight MH17 and to ensure the crash investigation did not exonerate the Russia government and attribute blame to Ukrainian forces (see brief description from Robert Parry in 2017);

– the role of far-right political operatives & neo-Nazi militias in the 2014 coup, and in the post-coup government, including their engagement in violence in eastern Ukraine. They have formed new “National Guard” units engaged in the assaults on the separatist People’s Republics.   Source. Aaron Mate 2022, also Robert Parry 2014.

– the fact that Maidan (pro-coup) forces engaged in mass killing during the 2014 coup, and that a sustained effort has been made to keep this fact from becoming known by the public. See Katchanovski 2020.

-the fact that the Trump administration reversed the Obama administration’s position and provided $39M in lethal weapons to Ukraine in October 2019.

-the fact that on February 19, 2022, Ukraine’s president Zelinsky said that Ukraine might pursue nuclear weapons.

Useful recent references giving broader background on US-Russia-Ukraine relations pertinent to current crisis.

Horton, Scott. Feb 26 2022. Speech on the History Behind the Russia-Ukraine Crisis SLC, Utah. Video approx 2 hrs.

Mate, Aaron. March 3 2022. By using Ukraine to fight Russia, the US provoked Putin’s war

“After backing a far-right coup in 2014, the US has fueled a proxy war in eastern Ukraine that has left 14,000 dead. Russia’s invasion is an illegal and catastrophic response.”

Richard Sakwa interview on Jerm Warfare podcast, March 6, 2020, audio, approx 1.5 hours.

Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J. S. Davies, Feb 2 2022. US Reaping What It Sowed in Ukraine. This reference covers the important role Vice President Biden played in the 2014 coup operation.

Coincidentally, a dear old friend of mine, Amy Boone, has responded to a similar query by writing a wonderful article on this topic. I am amazed at how similar our perspectives are, given our backgrounds and personalities are quite different. We do share the experience of having spent many years studying the Soviet Union/Russia and then having spent time living there in the 1990s. Here is her February 7, 2022 piece: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Ukraine.

I recently watched the 2017 documentary “Ukraine on Fire” and found it well worth watching, in particular for the presentation of the history of the far-right and neo-Nazi groups operating in Ukraine today, as well as examination of the (considerable!) evidence that a USG-sponsored regime change operation was behind the 2014 coup which forced Yanukovych from power.  Oliver Stone was an executive producer of the film. Here’s a worthwhile piece on the film from Consortium News. I gather YouTube recently removed the film. You can watch it on Rumble however.

In case anyone gets super intrigued and wants to read a book on this topic, I highly recommend Richard Sakwa’s 2014 book Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. A good book review from 2015.

Does COVID vaccination or infection generate more social benefit?

The US (and many other) governments currently deploy considerable resources and effort to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates above whatever rate might occur if left to spontaneous provider and individual decisions. Compared to support for other health interventions, the magnitude of government support for C-19 vaccination is unprecedented. 

The rationale for this support is the societal benefit produced by the vaccinations. Plainly speaking, in addition to whatever personal health benefit I get from a C-19 vaccination, it also reduces my likelihood of spreading the virus for some period of time. The latter is the societal benefit, or in economics-speak, the positive externality that constitutes a rational for government action to increase the vaccination rate.*

Current COVID vaccination policy presumes this societal benefit from individuals getting vaccinated is sizable. The societal benefit production process can be understood thus: a virus-naïve person is vaccinated and thereby acquires some immunity, rendering him a non-spreader**. He thereby contributes to the proportion of immune or non-spreading people in the community, and renders interpersonal interaction in the community “safer” for other people. In particular, high risk people who are self-isolating gain because at some higher level of safety – they are able to return to normal social interaction.

If this mechanism of producing a societal benefit is indeed the positive externality justifying unprecedented state support to induce individuals to get vaccinated, then, here is what perplexes me.

Let’s assume the naïve person does not get vaccinated, but instead gets infected.  Then, he either dies and is gone from the community; or, he recovers and has acquired natural immunity. Compared to the person getting vaccinated, this transformation puts him in the nonspreader category for a longer period of time, and also keeps him in that category more reliably in the face of virus mutation. For the high risk person, the community’s “safeness” depends on the proportion of nonspreaders in the population on a continuous, sustained basis. Thus, they obtain more societal benefit when someone gets infected compared to getting vaccinated – because the recovered person maintains their nonspreader status longer (& more reliably) than a vaccinated person.***

I realize additional potential externality issues may arise here. See this awesome paper Leeson, P. T. and L. Rouanet (2021). “Externality and COVID-19.” Southern Economic Journal 87(4): 1107-1118 for a more refined elaboration. However, the production of the “community safeness level augmentation” positive externality that I outline here does seem to be the one that dominates COVID vaccination policy discourse. That is, government support (subsidies to vax development, subsidies to vax delivery, marketing and other communications to persuade members of the public to get vaccinated; coercive tools such as mandates & passport regimes to establish burdens and barriers in daily life that incentivize unvaccinated people to get vaccinated) appears to be predicated on this type of positive externality being significant.

Yet, if my logic is correct, people highly concerned with reducing their probability of getting infected – gain more benefit from people getting infected compared to getting vaccinated. If this is correct, then the unprecedented government support to increase vaccination rates is, to put it politely, unmerited.

I welcome comments elaborating what I am missing or what is wrong with my logic on this.

* Note that for an intervention with significant positive externalities to merit public support also requires that the intervention be cost effective and spontaneous private demand be inadequate. See Musgrove (1999) Public spending on health care: how are different criteria related? Health Policy.  

**I realize that it would be more accurate to refer to the person’s status as “relatively unlikely spreader”.

*** The calculus is different for vaccinations leading to eradication or elimination.  For viruses that are susceptible to eradication or elimination, achieving a high proportion of nonspreaders at a single point in time could conceivably end transmission and exposure risk for a very long period of time or even permanently. In that case, the positive externality of transforming a large proportion of the community into nonspreaders via vaccination would be dramatically higher than is the case here.

Constructing and using delegitimizing labels: “conspiracy theories” and “stereotypes”

Are all claims that two (or more) people worked together to commit a crime conspiracy theories? What about this claim? “Multiple members of the Reagan administration violated the law to sell arms to Iran and used the proceeds to illegally give funds to the Contras in Nicaragua.”

–Is this a conspiracy theory or just a claim that people conspired?

Are all claims that two groups manifest differences, on average, on some trait, stereotypes? What about this claim? “Men are, on average, physically stronger than women.”

–Is this a stereotype? Or, just a claim about group differences?

More generally, when is a people-conspired claim or a groups-differ claim just a claim? When do such claims constitute something specific, and, specifically…bad? Meriting special bad- or irrational-claim treatment? Or, to put it differently, when should we avoid engaging with the substance of a claim – and reflexively categorize them as irrational and beyond the pale? Do we really need special social practices regarding putatively dodgy people-conspired and groups-differ claims, so that this subset of claims, when they are voiced, can reliably be walled-off from interrogation and contestation?

The most casual review of public discourse confirms that we have routinized practices (associated with the labels “conspiracy theory” and “stereotype”) that reliably do precisely this walling-off work. Why? Where did these practices come from? How do they function? Are these collective short-cuts for responding to these claims making our public discourse more sound? Or, are they doing something destructive?

If you want these questions answered, I recommend reading this excellent 2007 paper [“Dangerous Machinery: “Conspiracy Theorist” as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion.” Symbolic Interaction 30(2)] in which Boise State sociologists Ginna Husting and Martin Orr isolate and track how labels can function as discursive control tools. They examine how the conspiracy theory/ conspiracy theorist labels function, though much of their analysis applies well to other labels including, for example, stereotype.

Their analysis illuminates the process whereby labels are imbued with interactional or (what they call) micropolitical power. That is, they examine the process whereby the phrase conspiracy theory/theorist is ‘loaded’ with meaning such that, when linked to a claim, it will reliably nudge audiences toward perceiving the claim as inaccurate and the claimant as irrational. Their elaboration shows how discourse managers can construct labels that can be linked to a speaker or their speech to diminish their legitimacy. I’m persuaded that the label stereotype functions similarly. That is, when linked to a claim, it nudges audiences toward perceiving the claim as inaccurate, and the claimant as irrational if not bigoted. It is likely the ‘loading’ of the label stereotype was accomplished through very similar means to conspiracy theory.

While they don’t emphasize how labeling is implemented, their analysis nevertheless sheds light on how rhetorical devices such as labels can be developed and disseminated such that they can be utilized by a decentralized network of operatives to control discourse in a desired direction. Given that most contemporary censoring involves implementation by such operatives these insights are most welcome.

Why you should be listening to the History of Byzantium podcast (review)

I stumbled across the History of Byzantium podcast and fell head over heels in love. Host Robin Pierson tells the story of the Roman Empire from the collapse of the West in 476 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Most episodes convey the history in a chronological and state-centric narrative; that is, it focuses on the actions of emperors, high officials, religious leaders, as well as military leaders’ actions and battles and the like. At the end of each century though, Pierson surveys what’s going on in nearby regions and societies. These episodes are invaluable in helping listeners connect Byzantium’s story with what’s taking place in, say, Western Europe, Russia, the Balkans, or the Middle East. Many listeners are doubtless more familiar with that history, so this helps connect what you are learning with what you already know. He also discusses Byzantine society and culture. These episodes offer a glimpse of real people and what their lives were like, and how they may have perceived the events taking place. As sources for much ancient history are spotty, I particularly appreciate Pierson’s commentary on the strength, weakness, and likely direction of biases of important sources.

Pierson’s writing and narration is superb, exceeding all other history podcasts I’ve listened to. He helpfully supplements the audio content with graphics, very often maps, and occasionally pictures of the locations or characters he is discussing. At the end of each century, he also responds to listener questions. These episodes are very well done and they combine with the podcast episode blog commentary and Facebook page to engender a feeling of community among podcast listeners. I listen to at least an episode a day; I am always in a state of anticipation, wondering what will happen in the next episode. I highly recommend the podcast to anyone with even a passing interest in the topic.

Who is deploying those dodgy women’s-victimization claims? And why?

Book review of: “Who Stole Feminism” by Christina Hoff Sommers

Four years ago, I was sitting with a friend getting updated on her daughter’s college application process. My friend mentioned her concern about campus safety and in particular, her worry that her daughter might get raped. She said one in five girls are sexually assaulted while in college. I was surprised & skeptical, and I said so. A week or so later she forwarded a piece with comments by Hillary Clinton confirming there was an ‘epidemic’ of sex assault on campus.

I responded by doing research into the claims and into the data behind the claims. Suffice it to say, I did not find any trustworthy evidence of a sex-assault-on-campus epidemic; but I did discover an extraordinary strategic communication campaign to create the perception of one. NB. An excellent overview of these claims, the data and the communication campaign can be found in The Campus Rape Frenzy by Stuart Taylor, KC Johnson (2017) – see Chapter 2. Once I started to pay attention, I discovered signs of similar propaganda hyping women’s and girls’ plight all over the place (e.g. domestic violence claims; girls education claims).

The discovery piqued my interest into the managers of these communication campaigns: Who were they? What did they want? How did they benefit by persuading Americans to believe that our universities are rife with would-be rapists? That men regularly beat their wives? That most schools are short-changing girls? I decided to investigate the ideology and the political movement behind it. I’m a social scientist and a policy wonk, and I did not want to read polemical content. I wanted to read something scholarly – and I wanted to find a scholar who took a balanced look at the political movement. Sommers’ book fit the bill perfectly. Of all that I have read on the gender feminist movement in the ensuing years, Sommers’ book is the most valuable. It makes an invaluable contribution to creating the understanding and the public discourse that is necessary if the gender feminist political movement is to be recognized and, where appropriate, challenged.

I would like to urge women in particular to read the book. Why?

  • Checking on our ‘representatives’. Gender feminist advocates across many domains are acquiring and using power in *our* name. We should all have at some familiarity with what these ‘representatives’ are up to.
  • For love of men and boys. Gender feminist supported initiatives often have detrimental effects on men and boys in our society; domains include: schools, family courts, universities, civil and criminal courts. These effects are often hard to see, and occasionally they are deliberately obscured. Voices to contest these initiatives based on harm to men and boys are quite weak in public and political discourse. Most women care not only about what happens to women and girls but also to men and boys. Women who read this book will be in a better to position to think through the implications of gender feminist supported policies and initiatives, in terms of *all* the people they care about.

The market for health system analysis – the most broken market of them all

You’d think I’d be accustomed by now to famous pundits selling their bad health systems analysis from their large soapboxes. The truth is, I still get annoyed. Atul Gawande’s 2009 New Yorker piece – “The Cost Conundrum” was a memorable instance. It was a beautifully written and highly influential piece of policy advocacy. I’m not exaggerating when I say “highly influential”; President Obama was clearly taken with Gawande’s findings (see this 2009 speech). And, now we know (from this StatNews piece) the genesis of Gawande’s recent selection by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to lead their new cost-cutting disruptive healthcare venture was the same 2009 article. Gawande revealed the backstory in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Evidently the article so impressed Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, that Munger sent an unsolicited check in the mail to support Gawande’s work. One thing led to another and Atul Gawande got the job. Thus, I feel it is not inappropriate to point out that Gawande’s piece was WRONG WRONG WRONG in its analytics, findings and recommendations. Atul Gawande is probably a great surgeon and he’s surely a brilliant writer. One thing he is not is a health system expert.


In the New Yorker piece Gawande laid out what was driving US health care cost growth, and what US policymakers should do to contain it. In the piece he compares how much it cost to treat Medicare patients across “local health systems”. By scrutinizing the practices of “low cost” versus “high-cost” providers, he determined that policymakers can reduce costs in the US healthcare system by spreading the practices of the “low-cost” group. Here’s the rub. Gawande was looking only at costs for Medicare patients; that is, he was looking only at the healthcare services market segment within which prices are regulated by Medicare. This leaves out what is going on with the (larger) private insurance market. There is no reason to think that insights from the Medicare segment would apply to the whole set of delivery activities at the provider or provider network level. And, in fact, once someone checked, it turned out that the Medicare patterns look very different from those of private insurance.

MedCare vs priv costs us health

If he submitted his piece in my (admittedly, not-yet-existent) course on comparative health systems, I’d make him review the readings on segmented healthcare delivery systems and do it over. Unfortunately, he submitted it to a New Yorker editor – and thousands upon thousands of smart people learned his erroneous insights. Including, evidently, the US president and Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger.


An excellent piece in the NYTimes in 2015 – “The Experts Were Wrong” [also the source of the map graphic] drew on the work of Zack Cooper and others and explained the error in Gawande’s logic. NB: The link to Cooper’s work on the NYTimes site does not work – here is a working link. The insights from this analysis suggest that, to constrain health care costs, the  US should strengthen anti-monopoly regulation and pursue (much) broader price regulation. This work merits the attention that Gawande’s piece does not.

What will UK health officials do with all that excess demand?

Ever growing numbers of drug_shortageUK citizens are turning to private, self-paid, health care in the UK.

Mark Hellowell’s excellent piece “How the NHS will die” examines the forces at work, and ponders what actions may be taken to resolve this ‘excess demand’ problem. When the problem manifested in the late 1990s, UK officials ultimately resolved it with 10 years of public expenditure increases. Few predict public expenditure increases sufficient to resolve the problem will be forthcoming this time around.

Health officials invariably pursue efficiency gains to close such gaps. Efforts to do just that in outpatient drug spending, however, appear to be rebounding with a vengeance – to eat up ever larger chunks of the healthcare budget. For much of the past year, the Department of Health has been forced to resolve widespread drug shortages with month-to-month agreements to reimburse pharmacies at prices much higher than the official NHS tariffs. The Times put the extra costs for April – November 2017 at ₤200M. Ben Goldacre and co at Oxford give a tally through December of ₤285M. And, the unpredictable reimbursement of higher-than-official prices works more as a band-aid than a solution, since the shortages don’t appear to be diminishing.

Am I being too pessimistic? Are promising developments underway that I’m missing? Silver linings to accompany the gray cloud?

Updating practitioners as knowledge changes: the (discouraging) case of dietitians

I’ve become increasingly interested in the mechanisms through which health systems bring about practice changes among frontline providers. Pharmaceutical companies appear to do much of the work to reach and educate providers, if the practice change involves deploying a new pharmaceutical product. For the many other changes, I’ve yet to identify any approach which reliably and rapidly works across health systems. Health systems rely heavily on practitioner retirement and new entry – where the new entrants are educated on the new practice in their professional education. As the rate of medical knowledge accumulation accelerates, dissatisfaction with existing mechanisms is sure to grow.


Among medical knowledge domains, nutrition science has experienced relatively rapid change in the past 15 years. Naturally, this makes me curious about dietitians. How is the profession dealing with the changes? More to the point (for those of us interested in health systems): how well are different countries’ mechanisms for deploying practice change responding to this particular challenge?


A July 2017 paper by McArdle et al in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics presented some alarming answers to this question in the UK. McArdle and co-authors studied dietitians’ practice – focusing on what they advise diabetic patients with regard to carbohydrate consumption. NB: this is a domain where the appropriate advice has changed substantially in the past few years; in a nutshell, dietitians should be advising carbohydrate restriction.


The inestimable Zoe Harcombe synthesized the key findings thus:

This article shows that dietitians generally are confident in their advice – diabetes specialists especially so. Yet, fewer than one third (29.4%) of dietitians would recommend carbohydrate restriction even 50% of the time. More, (32.2%), would never, or hardly ever, recommend carb restriction. In the uncommon circumstances when carb restriction is supported, 92% of dietitians would advise type 2 diabetic patients to consume more than 30% of their total energy in the form of carbohydrate. Only 1 in 320 would advise the therapeutic level of carbohydrate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

dietitian old photo
Let me just check my class notes…..

Health services research regularly confirms how difficult it is to change the practice of doctors. Apparently this applies to dietitians as well. Given how many people are suffering with diabetes, I’d say we can’t afford to rely on the “wait for retirement” mechanism to work.

The library in your living room: free ebooks from your public library

Free books. What’s not to like about FREE books? Nothing. Which is why I’ve always loved my local public library. Our public libraries have even more to love now – and I want to spread the word.

Public libraries throughout the US now offer their members access to a gold mine of digital resources. I will talk about ebooks here, but keep in mind they offer digital access to all kinds of classes and magazines, periodicals, and journals, and music and films too.

Free e-books. The majority of public libraries in the US ‘rent’ a digital collection of their choosing from a company called Overdrive. The Washington DC Public Library’s Overdrive ebook collection this year is 26,101 books, for example. Your library membership permits you to access this collection, and check out e-books, which you can then read either on an e-reader or tablet or (even) your smartphone.

How to get your free ebooks. To get a book on your tablet you need to download Overdrive’s app – Libby to your device, and then enter your library membership credentials. tablet ereader booksOnce you do this, you can browse your library’s collection, and check out or place a hold on the book of your choice. If you have a Kindle e-reader, you need to link to your Amazon account and then checked-out books will show up in the same place as Amazon purchased books, including on your Kindle (instructions from Amazon). To get a book on most other e-readers, you access Overdrive on your pc, via your browser, and download the book file using Adobe Digital Editions [free software; you need to register for an Adobe ID to use the software in this way; instructions from Overdrive]. Then you connect your e-reader to your pc, and transfer the book (instructions from Overdrive). There are different ways to do this, depending on your e-reader model. You might be using Nook software from Barnes and Noble for example.reciprocity list libraries

But wait. There’s more -> R.E.C.I.P.R.O.C.I.T.Y.

Now that you check out books digitally – the hassle of getting books from, and back to, the library, is gone. Yes, that’s right. No more overdue books. Ever. The library is, for all intents and purposes, in your home, in your living room, you might say. Now, when I tell you that all the localities in the DC metro area (see list) have a reciprocity agreement – you will naturally be very excited. Anyone eligible to enroll in one library, can enroll in any and all libraries. This gives you access to well over a hundred thousand ebooks. For free. From your living room. Truly an embarrassment of riches.

Happy reading my friends.

Is religion a bad or good thing for society? An engaged discussion between Sam Harris & Jonathan Haidt

Is religion a bad thing overall for society? The new atheists certainly seem to have a case. I’ve seen, first hand, too much evidence for the benefits coming from religion-based groups to be satisfied with this simple conclusion. The topic is an important one, clearly. I’d like to sort out what I think. I just listened to a very meaty discussion on this topic between Sam Harris and Jonathan Haidt – and I’d like to share it with you. But first, a bit of background.

I have been an admirer of Sam Harris’ work since I read his 2004 book The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Over time, I grew to have reservations about some of the more strident anti-religious positions taken by Harris and other leading thinkers of the “new atheist” movement. Reading Harris’ recent work, I’ve discovered his thinking on the role of religion in society is more subtle that I thought. Yes, he argues faith (the belief in historical and metaphysical propositions without sufficient evidence) is problematic because it is inherently irrational and excludes any attempt to criticize it. However, Harris’ most strident criticism targets fundamentalist forms of religion; adherents of fundamentalist forms of religion uphold belief in strict, literal interpretation of scriptures and commitment to societal changes to manifest the ideals described in those scriptures. I find Harris’ criticisms on this score persuasive.

I am also a fan of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt‘s work. Haidt views religion as playing a relatively benign role in society. In The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, he looks at the achievements of communities through sustained collective actions and concludes that religion has contributed to making these collaborations possible.

When Harris and Haidt clashed publically on this topic starting in 2007 [NB: they present an overview of their exchanges starting at minute 30 in the interview to which I link below], I found it amusing, at first. Upon reflection, I was annoyed. These two influential scholars present themselves as open-minded; both take strongly positive positions on the critical value of discourse to scientific and social progress. Yet, on such an important topic, they resorted, in my mind, to clever sniping rather than real engagement in what was behind their different views.

Last week, as I made my way through earlier episodes of Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast, I made a happy discovery. Harris had invited Haidt to engage in discussion on his podcast in March 2016. I commend it to your listening enjoyment, for the substance as well as for the pleasure of hearing discourse that is engaged rather than entrenched. By engaged, I mean that the discussion helped illuminate the substance and limits of their disagreements. Haidt, for example, makes clear that his position that religious bonds can help a society to sustain collaboration toward their betterment, does not conflict with Harris’ argument about the harms flowing from fundamentalist religion. All in all, it was a much more interesting exchange than that which occurred in their heated sniping over previous years.

Waking Up Podcast with Sam Harris Episode #31, March 9, 2016

Evolving Minds: A Conversation with Jonathan Haidt

You can stream or download the audio from the podcast website episode page here or stream it from youtube here. Note: the exchange between Harris and Haidt starts at 26 minutes in; they first discuss their clash and their views on religion. Then they turn to political correctness and free speech issues on campus.