Saturday, July 28, 2007

"I didn't think anybody was stupid enough to try to kill anybody over an internet fight"

Do you ever wonder if internet feuds ever turn into reality? The answer is rarely--most people may shoot off their mouth over the internet but rarely does it turn deadly. But in the case of a Navy guy who couldn't stand being called a nerd, revenge seemed to be the only answer:

ELM MOTT, Texas - A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a "nerd" over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states' borders, as if to prove to his Internet friends that he meant business.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy's trailer down.

Tavares was given seven years in prison for his anger management problem. So what's the lesson here? No internet squabble is worth getting so upset over that you would give up seven years of your life to seek a few moments of revenge. Keep your cool on the internet--it may be a matter of life or death.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Tips for Finding a Therapist

Many readers email me to get suggestions on how to find a therapist. Counseling has some good suggestions on how to find a therapist. You can read their tips here or see my post on "How to Tell if Your Therapist Sucks like a Bilge Pump."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shocker: Lefty Book Reviewer gives Right-leaning Book a Bad Review

David Harsanyi, the author of Nanny State, is miffed that the left-leaning Publisher's Weekly gave his book a rather negative review:

Nanny State recently received a short review from the trade publication Publishers Weekly. It was unfriendly. I came away with the feeling that the reviewer hadn’t actually read the book. (I won’t bore you with the specifics.) But then again, who knows, perhaps the review was deserved.

As this is my first book, though, I decided to investigate other Publisher Weekly reviews on Did a negative review effect sales? Did the reviewer typically betray a ideological position as this one had? This curiosity led to non-scientific stroll around and a discovery. One that Tammy Bruce had already noted. I work in mainstream media. Though I’m not someone who buys into the widespread liberal media meme, the one-sidedness of the PW reviews was inescapable. After all, a provocative or combative political book can be well written and worth reading even if you disagree with the central thesis. I’ve reviewed books for almost a decade. I know this can happen.

I wrote about the bias of Publisher's Weekly in a post here, after finding the same negative reviews of conservative books and positive ones of liberal books. Tammy Bruce states that "conservative authors agree, you know you've done a good job when you've made Publisher's Weekly collective head explode. ... if PW is foaming at the mouth about a book, and uses the words "screed," "strident," or "unfortunately," (in an effort to appear thoughtful), I consider it a must-read and put it immediately on my list of books to get." So Mr. Harsanyi, congratulations, maybe that unfriendly review was just a hint that your book will be a real success.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

RIP Dr. Ellis

I was at work all day and just saw the news at Instapundit and Ann Althouse's blog that Albert Ellis has died. I have followed Ellis's work since I was in grad school in New York and he gave free Friday night seminars to students and others on his rational emotive behavior therapy techniques:

As a practicing psychoanalyst from 1947 to 1953, Dr. Ellis grew increasingly doubtful about the efficacy of that form of psychotherapy, concerned that no amount of talk would help his clients if they failed to take action against their habitual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By late 1953, he had stopped calling himself a psychoanalyst and begun developing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), an action-oriented therapy aimed at making emotional and behavioral change through challenging self-defeating thoughts.

REBT is today widely acclaimed as a pioneering approach to psychotherapy and the foundation of all modern cognitive behavior therapies. In 2003, the American Psychological Association named Dr. Ellis the second most influential psychologist of the 20th century, second only to Carl Rogers. In 2005, Dr. Ellis’s 78th book, The Myth of Self-esteem, was published.

My favorite Ellis book is How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable about Anything: Yes Anything! The main theme of the book is that "No matter how badly you act, no matter how unfairly others treat you, no matter how crummy are the conditions you live under--you virtually alway (yes, A-L-W-A-Y-S) have the ability and the power to change your intense feelings of anxiety, despair, and hostility. Not only can you decrease them, you can practically annihilate and remove them." His book goes on to explain his methods for doing so.

Does it always work? No, but I have used his methods in my work at times and have found it moderately successful with certain individuals. What I admired most about Ellis is not the fact that he wrote 78 books, but that he was rejected many times in his life and did not let it cripple him in any way:

“I was hated by practically all psychologists and psychiatrists,” he recalled. They thought his approach was “superficial and stupid,” he said, and “they resented that I said therapy doesn’t have to take years.”

In 2005, Dr. Ellis sued the institute after it removed him from its board and canceled his Friday seminars. He and his supporters claimed that the institute had fallen into the hands of psychologists who were moving it away from his revolutionary therapy techniques.

In a recent short interview in Psychology Today, Ellis talks about self confidence, having a happy existence and learning to accept rejection no matter what and he encourages people to "keep moving, moving, moving and to try scary things and not to give a s**t when they are rejected." He practiced what he preached and was an authentic individual.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Interview: Michael Yon on the Surge

Michael Yon joins us by satellite phone with the latest developments from Baqubah,Iraq. He discusses how the surge is going so far, what progress, if any, is being made, and if he will join up with Middle Eastern blogger, Michael Totten, who just got to Baghdad. You can read more about his current work at

You can listen directly -- no downloading needed -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the whole file and listen at you leisure by clicking right here. And you can get a lo-fi version, suitable for dialup, by going here and selecting the lo-fi version. And, of course you can always get a free subscription via iTunes. You can visit our archives at the GlennandHelenShow here.

This podcast is sponsored by Volvo at


Alert the Media: Girlfriend Shocked by Feelings of Jealousy when Wife Won't Leave Boyfriend's House

Fausta at Fausta's blog sent me this article from the NYT's entitled "The House of No Personal Pronouns." The writer of the article, Ada Brunstein, provides us with a glimpse into her rather pathological life in which she is living with her "boyfriend," his wife, and her lover as well as a cat. The article reads like some kind of twisted satire from the Onion when the author contemplates why she is jealous of the wife's presence around the apartment they all share, complete with side by side toothbrushes. As if this isn't enough, the author complains that the wife leaves all of her things around the apartment and she finds herself feeling hostile towards the woman's clothes that are thrown all over the house. As if she has an epiphany, this disgruntled girlfriend states:

WOMEN don’t wage war the way men wage war, not at first, not unless there’s no other way. Men wage war in the open plains and deserts, donning full body armor, lugging lethal weapons. Women wage battles so imperceptibly that it’s not always clear there’s a battle at all, like tremors in the earth that you can’t quite feel, but you may notice the wind is suddenly odd or the animals are acting funny.

Lady, the war's out in the open, you just don't have a clue. This woman is so unaware of her ridiculous situation that she has to wait for the house cat to act funny and start taking a whiz on her and her boyfriend's bed and then on the wife and her boyfriend's bed before she gets the idea that something is amiss. What a psychic.

Ms. Brunstein justifies her decision to move in with the boyfriend and his wife with this pathetic challenge to herself:

At first I liked the edginess of it all. I considered it a personal challenge. In the past, my jealousies had gotten the better of me. I once argued with a boyfriend over whether I would be O.K. with him sleeping with Uma Thurman (should he ever have the chance). Two months later she showed up in a bar we frequented in the West Village and the argument started all over again.

That was the old me. This was going to be the new me. A stronger, cooler, nothing-fazes-me sort of girlfriend who would prove I’ve outgrown the formerly jealous me. I would be unconventional, brave, hip and oh-so-bohemian in my nonchalance.

Girlfriend, you are so utterly conventional (who isn't trying to be edgy in Manhattan?), cowardly, out-of-control and gullible in this situation that if you can't see that, I have some swampland in Florida to tell you about. You haven't outgrown anything, you are as immature and naive as an adolescent who wonders if she can get pregnant by kissing. A mature adult realizes what he or she can and can't live with, they do not ignore their feelings in order to be considered cool and "edgy." The "new you" is not new and improved, it is regressive and immature and cares more about appearances than about substance, but then, isn't that what forcing yourself to be "edgy" when you may not be is all about? Real edginess and bravery in the relationship realm is about knowing what kind of relationship you feel comfortable with, and following suit, even if you look like a dork.