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Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.

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  1. We all perhaps tell lies at one time or another. Most are little white lies to spare somebody’s feelings, or to get out of a commitment that we probably should never have made. The majority of people feel guilty after telling a lie, probably because they took advantage of somebody’s trust; somebody who cared enough to believe what they said. Lies fall into several categories. The first is the lie we tell because we don’t know how to say “no.” We’re asked to do something, and we say “yes” because it’s easy and it feels good at the time. But when the chips are down, we don’t follow through. How many times have you been stood up by a service person, a friend or family member who simply chose not to follow through? They might have said “yes” before, but they never meant it. Did this increase your respect for them? The second category is a lie told to mislead or cheat. Sadly, the more regard a person has for you, the more likely he or she is to believe you. In most people, the toxic combination of betrayal and deception can lead to a sense of guilt that lingers long after the short-term benefit of the lie has worn off. Either way, lying can be hazardous to your mental health. As kids, we are duly instructed not to lie, but usually without any explanation other than, “it’s wrong.” But as adults, when lies can so conveniently become woven into the fabric of our daily lives, it’s important to realize that they not only damage our self-esteem, but also bring about a sense of anxiety. Let’s face it: It takes enough energy to keep up with the things that are real; much less keeping track of things that are fictitious! Honesty isn’t just a blind commitment to doing the right thing. It’s the end result of self-awareness and a clear understanding of what’s going on in your mind. Obviously, a key aspect of mental health is a solid grounding in reality. We tend to think of people as “crazy” when they’re wildly out of touch with facts, logic and reason. What better way to ground yourself in reality than to know the truth and have the courage to act on it? For example, a friend or relative asks you to stay at his house when you visit from out of town, but you’d actually prefer to stay in a hotel. Do you tell him that? Or do you do what you think he wants you to do? What purpose has been served by making your stay less enjoyable? Or, a person writes substantial lies in her resume in order to get a job. She now has to live with the nagging apprehension that someone might discover her deception. The threat of being found out is like an emotional time bomb — maybe it will go off; maybe it won’t. For people who are self-aware, lying feels foolish and contradictory. They want no part of it. They understand that once they lie to somebody, they’re depending on that person’s ignorance of the truth in order to maintain the lie. Having to rely on the ignorance of others doesn’t sound very healthy to me. For people who are emotionally repressed, it’s easier in the short run to fudge and fabricate. But in the long run, they feel conflicted. Most people who lie are not con artists; they’re just psychologically unhealthy. They’re not comfortable in their own skin, and they never will be until they stop trying to make themselves up. Honesty is both an ethical and a psychological matter. Instead of faking parts of your identity, or telling stories to get out of what you don’t want to do, an honest person looks at the facts and sticks by them. All the platitudes and childhood lessons aside, honesty is truly the best policy. It’s a tribute and a compliment not only to yourself, but to your friends and loved ones as well. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 The post Lying Doesn’t Feel Right When You’re Mentally Healthy (DE Wave) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  2. Thomas Merton wrote, “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone — we find it with another.” How you interpret this quote, if you agree, will determine whether love brings you joy or misery. Merton’s quote implies a major error. You can’t find meaning in life through loving another. If you did, then you’d depend on that person for your life’s meaning. But can’t life first be valuable and meaningful for yourself? Does the person you love add to that joy, or is he or she the only thing responsible for it? If all you need is love, then once you find the person you love, you have peaked. It’s all over. But isn’t a spouse or lover someone who shares the joys of life with you, along with the unfortunate sorrows and disappointments? Aren’t you in love with each other, and spending time with each other, in pursuit of life itself? Doesn’t your meaning come from your productive work, your sense of purpose, raising your family, experiencing life fully, and all the other things that make life meaningful in the first place? There’s one thing worse than not finding love. And that’s being stuck in a relationship with someone you don’t love, or no longer love. People in that spot will tell you it’s one of the loneliest places to be, far lonelier than not having your soulmate on Valentine’s Day, at least not this year. For love to be true, it has to rest on the foundation of an already existing love of life and self. Only then can the person you love, who embodies all you hold dear, be someone you cherish and treat with respect as well as kindness. The biggest problem people experience in their romantic relationships is the desire to change another — or, the other side of the same coin, the struggle of being loved by someone who wishes to change you. People who seek to change their loved ones — whether their loved ones want to change, or not — are on a mission or purpose. The person they love is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That’s not how love should work. If you love someone, your feeling of love celebrates the fact of who they already are. If you can’t feel this way, you don’t really love them. They’re just a project, or a career goal, or a charitable cause. Those may be laudable things, but they’re not romantic love. The purpose of love-as-changing-another is not to celebrate an already meaningful life, now made even more meaningful by the presence of someone lovable. The purpose is to create value in life by changing the person one supposedly loves. It’s dependence on this person changing in order to be happy. True love is one of the most beautiful things there is. But it arises only when each partner honestly feels, “Wow. You are exactly as I want you. You’re the one for me.” It’s an intoxicating way to feel, and when years pile upon years it can become more intense, in a way. And when it’s mutual, you’re set to go, for years and maybe even for the rest of your lives. Many people have children. When the children grow older and each lover knows they’re still with the right person, they know they’ve found a beautiful thing. The best lovers are those who love life first. They fall in love with people not to attain meaning, but to celebrate the meaning that’s already there. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post How to Know When Love is True appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  3. Feminist opponents of President Donald Trump protest in the streets because Trump said lewd things about a woman’s body when he didn’t know he was being taped. Yet imagine what would happen if President Trump, or one of his supporters, said something like, “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex.” What if a Trump-supporting religious activist defined consent as a flawed Western concept that emerged with women’s suffrage and female body autonomy, and that marital rape is properly an invalid concept in God’s eyes? Because these statements are exactly what Jonathan Brown, a professor of Islamic studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC, recently said at a lecture. Brown, of course, was trying to justify Islamic-based Sharia law, which states that Muslim law overrides secular law such as the Constitution, the First and Second Amendments, and the historic separation between church and state. If an advocate of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religious/ideological movement made such a statement at a prestigious American university, the expressions of outrage, the tantrums in the street, the sobs of Hollywood award winners and the calls to withdraw all federal funding from the university would be swift and comprehensive. Yet will there be any of that now? Not a chance. Professor Brown attempts to justify slavery of the kind endorsed by Islamic law by comparing it to the slavery of the West, the Chinese and others. According to Brown, there is good slavery and bad slavery. As Jihad Watch reports, Freelance writer Umar Lee expressed his shock over the 90-minute lecture, which included explicit endorsements of rape and slavery. Brown himself uploaded the lecture to YouTube. According to Lee, Brown’s lecture was supposed to revolve around slavery in Islam, but the lecturer moved its focus to criticize the United States, United Kingdom and China. Brown described slavery in these non-Muslim societies as brutal, which they were, but lauded the historically inhumane practice in Arab lands and Turkey. “Indeed, according to Brown, slaves in the Muslim world lived a pretty good life,” wrote Lee. “I thought the Muslim community was done with this dishonest North Korean style of propaganda. Obviously not.”… Perhaps most revealing of all? Brown’s justification of citizens using force against one another, in the form of slavery: “I don’t think it’s morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us and we’re owned by people,” he said. It sounds a lot like democratic socialism or Marxism, doesn’t it? The premise that all property is theft is used to justify all manner of activities by the welfare state, and that Democrats now propose extending to a more complete form of socialism, if not all-out Communism. Perhaps this best explains the kinship between people like this Muslim professor, who openly advocate slavery, and proponents of the all-encompassing state, such as today’s socialistic Democrats and others in both parties who comprise the enterprise of wealth redistribution and controlling government regulation. What ever happened to the concept of individual rights? We’re all masters over our own lives. There are no slaves. Government exists to make sure we get to remain our own masters, i.e., sovereign over our own minds, bodies and lives. Islam and Marxism are two political movements that seek to obliterate the last vestiges of individualism and individual freedom from our minds and psyches. Each of these movements, in its own way, tries to argue: “What the heck. We’re all slaves anyway. Let’s just make sure that the right people enslave us.” It sounds a lot like the arguments of behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, who claimed none of us can be free because we’re conditioned to be who we are. We have no choice but to be slaves, according to this view — and to the masters who will gladly enforce it. It’s a recipe for Nazi dictatorship, or Communist dictatorship, religious dictatorship or any other kind of dictatorship yet to be devised. None of will ever be new, no matter how “progressive” or supernaturally enlightened they claim to be. Totalitarians of all stripes agree on one crucial thing: We’re all slaves anyway, no matter what. They only differ on who gets to be our master. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Religious Totalitarianism at Georgetown University: Where’s the Outrage? appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  4. North Korea fired a ballistic missile into nearby seas on Sunday, drawing a joint rebuke from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump. Abe, speaking at a briefing with Trump in Florida, said the missile test “can absolutely not be tolerated” and called on North Korea to fully comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. The launch was the first provocation by North Korea since Trump took office. “The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent,” Trump said in brief remarks. Neither Abe nor Trump took questions. Kim Jong Un’s regime has accelerated North Korea’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons and missiles that can strike the U.S. and its allies in Asia. In response, the U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system known as Thaad in South Korea, a move opposed by China, North Korea’s primary ally. Naturally and predictably, Donald Trump will get the blame for the North Korean dictatorship’s choice to launch this missile. But North Korea was North Korea long before Donald Trump came to office. And the North Korean Communist dictatorship was coddled, ignored and enabled by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, who sought “engagement” with North Korea, rather than holding them accountable in any way. Donald Trump, like the rest of America, has merely inherited that mess. Nevertheless, how Trump responds to this crisis in coming days, weeks and months will tell you a lot about his administration. Will he come up with something different, something with actual teeth, to hold North Korea accountable? Or will he default to the same engagement or appeasement process that has failed us up to this point, not only with North Korea, but with every other enemy of freedom, including Iran, ISIS, Russia, China and much of the world? The basic premise of military and foreign policy for a free country is best summed up by the phrase: “Don’t tread on me.” During the Bush years, we lost sight of that premise by acting as if it was our responsibility to make every nation on earth democratic, as if democracy alone were enough to secure liberty and individual rights (look at what happened in Iraq). During the Obama years, we installed in office a president whose loyalty to liberty and individual rights, and the United States itself, was largely in question, given his almost complete refusal to address any military threat with anything other than appeasement, apology and a perpetually bended knee. It’s time for something very, very different from these two approaches, and we’ll soon find out if Donald Trump is able and willing to deliver. Japan is to the Far East what Israel is to the Middle East. While not a perfect example of a free republic (particularly a free economy), it’s a bastion of freedom compared to the thuggery, Communism and dysfunctional dictatorship surrounding it. If Americans value freedom, they’re right to want Japan to survive in that part of the world. At the same time, Donald Trump has been right to emphasize that Japan should not depend on the United States for all of its military defense. In fact, with the military in such bad shape after years of the Obama administration, it wouldn’t be wise for them to count on us anyway. We’re barely prepared to defend ourselves. Watch how the media and the Republicrat establishment respond to this crisis with North Korea. They’ll blame Trump for it. But blaming Trump is like blaming the victim. At this stage, he merely inherited the mess. If North Korea continues to launch attacks with incrementally greater strength each time, doesn’t that suggest it’s only a matter of time before that nation’s government does something really toxic and destructive? And if and when it does, doesn’t that make North Korea’s government the enemy – not Donald Trump or any other Americans who still support a strong American military force for self-defense? Moreover, North Korea has been at this for decades. Why was nothing done to address it before now? The weaker we get, the stronger that villainous dictators become. It’s not because dictators are really all that strong, at least when faced with principled and liberty-loving, life-loving people. It’s only because the countries (like the United States) with strong doses of freedom and liberty ignore, negotiate with, make deals with and otherwise enable terrorizing thugs at their own peril. North Korea is a symptom of an ongoing bipartisan failure to confront a problem head-on and do something about it. Whatever “do something” might mean, it certainly cannot mean bribing North Korean thugs with more gifts, goodies and subsidies in exchange for never-honored “agreements” not to attack Japan or, ultimately, the West Coast of the United States with nuclear missiles or worse. It’s just one more reminder that advocates of freedom and liberty have to stop blaming themselves. Because when you constantly blame yourself, as our last America-hating President did with the United States, you’re blaming the victim. In the process, you’re making the world safer for thugs and dictators, even the otherwise impotent kind who dominate North Korea. Remember that dictators, especially Communist ones, only get by on the starvation of their victims at home and the wobbly weakness of their opponents in freer countries. One cannot help but note the irony, either. The Western coast of the United States – primarily California – consists of more Trump hatred than just about any other part of the country. Many wish to secede from the United States altogether, under a Trump administration. Yet they’re now dependent on Trump’s administration to keep them out of harm’s way. Because sooner or later, on the course we have enabled for decades, North Korea will manage to build something that goes well beyond the Sea of Japan. Obama’s and Bush’s prior “deals” with that dictatorship will not save them. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post The Weaker We Get, the Stronger North Korea Looks appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  5. “We have in this country a large ‘hate-America left,'” author David Horowitz recently said. “It dovetails with the Democratic Party. It’s a party of hate.” “The spirit of the whole Democratic Party looks on people that disagree with it as racist, sexist, homophobes, Islamophobes,” Horowitz added. “That’s why we can’t have a civil discussion in America anymore.” There’s nothing wrong with hatred, so long as your hatred is based on love of something rational. What, exactly, do Democrats love when they rant with hatred about any and all dissenting opinion? That’s the question. If you want support for Horowitz’s comments, look no further than the recent statements of left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore: “Civilized countries that have universal healthcare – no country, no group of people, no tribe sh*ts on their own to the extent and the level that we do to each other; it’s the most embarrassing and humiliating thing about this great country,” Moore said on a conference call Thursday held by the Progressive Democrats of America. “Humans anyplace else, what they don’t do is sh*t on their own,” Moore said. “They need their own for their own defense. They need their own for their own survival – they need their own. They need to protect their children, not say to the child, ‘sorry, no, we got rid of Obamacare. We won’t help you. You’re sick? Tough.’” Michael Moore hates Americans because, he claims, the majority of Americans are mean and cruel. What makes them mean and cruel? Their refusal to permit the government to force them to take care of strangers. Note how he upholds a tribe as the standard of a proper society. Tribes live as brutal savages with virtually no material, economic or scientific progress for generations on end. Is that what Michael Moore and other socialists who enjoy the benefits of material and semi-capitalistic civilization really want — to live by the standards of backward savages and tribes? Actually, Americans give voluntarily to charity more than any other society on earth. It makes sense because America, the place with less socialism or government dictatorship than any other place on earth, is also the wealthiest. People cannot be generous with what they have if they have nothing. Moore, like other collectivist-leftist-socialists, ignores the distinction between voluntary giving and government mandated “charity.” He interprets the lack of widespread support for government-mandated socialism as the equivalent of acting with hostility against others. In his mindset, if you steal, rape or attack another you’re immoral; but you’re just as immoral if you fail to support Obamacare or other mandated coercive schemes designed and imposed by an all-powerful government. Loving your liberty and freedom makes you a scoundrel and worthy of hatred, according to this mentality. It makes no sense on its own terms. If Moore and other leftists like him are really so upset that Americans won’t support complete socialism, then you think they’d use their international visibility, wealth and connections to expand the work of charities. If helping others were really their goal, why would they engage in a non-stop, around-the-clock temper tantrum instead of doing what they claim to consider the most important thing: giving away money and property to others? There’s nothing in the Constitution, and there’s nothing in any of Donald Trump’s proposed policies, to stop this. Somebody should say to Michael Moore and other self-righteous, angry and often wealthy left-wing socialists, “If you want to help them, we won’t stop you.” Of course, this would generate even more hostility and hatred of the kind David Horowitz mentions in his comments that Democrats are the party of hatred. Why? Because whatever these disgruntled Democrats are after, it’s not help. It’s not charity. It’s not giving. It’s coercion that they’re after. That’s why they support the modern equivalent of Communism, and are not content with voluntary giving. They’re not content with the considerable amount of government-mandated charity, subsidies and regulations we already have imposed on us. There’s a deeper question here, as well. Is giving the essence of what makes a human being moral? Or are achievement and productivity at the root of morality? America was always the land of opportunity. To this day, the appeal to many immigrants is that sense of opportunity. Why does opportunity matter? What makes it worthwhile? The ability to achieve. Achievement implies keeping what you earn, for yourself and your family or loved ones. Sure, you’re free to give some of it away; but that’s up to you. People didn’t rush to the United States so they could achieve great things and then be forced to give it all away. It’s true that people who enjoy freedom and liberty do accomplish the most, and those who accomplish the most usually are the most generous. But if you don’t leave people free to produce and achieve, you don’t enable them to earn the wealth and money that people like Michael Moore and his supporters so detest in the hands of those who earned it. Obamacare is not a charity, either. It simply took an already semi-socialized and over-regulated health care “market” and made it even more expensive and dysfunctional. Before Obamacare, those who worked and paid for medical care picked up the slack for others who didn’t. They didn’t do so because they wanted to; they did so because they were forced to, by the laws, regulations and incentives of the government-controlled health care sector. Obamacare merely took it one step further and made it all even more expensive and onerous. In the end, these laws and regulations end up hurting everyone. Moore and others are not really screaming about Obamacare. They’re screaming about their sense of impotence that they can’t control other Americans. And in their screams and cries of impotence, they call all dissenters “racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic” a**holes who s**t on their fellow man. Wow. What a convincing argument! I feel really motivated to go over to the Democratic side now. Don’t you? It’s not harming your fellow man to demand liberty and individual rights equally for yourself and others. And until or unless people like Michael Moore and the Democrats come to understand this fact, they will continue to hate all dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, that’s where David Horowitz is right: the Democratic Party has become the party of hatred. Michael Moore is the ugliest, yet the most honest and clear articulation of this hatred: People like him hate liberty, they hate individual rights, and they hate America when the winds blow even slightly in that direction. That’s why they’re doing everything in their power not only to bring down Donald Trump, but everything that even hints of freedom. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Michael Moore Reveals the Reason Socialists Detest America appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  6. “Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is to find out WHO is right and a discussion is to find out WHAT is right.” I don’t know who said this. But it’s more profoundly true than you may know! The issue here involves objective truth — and reason. Rational people seek to find out what’s true using reason. Reason, logic and facts are the way we discover and discern what’s true. Granted, it’s not always obvious what’s true. In complex areas, it can be debatable. Sometimes there are mere options and preferences. But it’s the methodology that counts here. When you’re disagreeing, either you do so in a rational way, using reason, or you let it degenerate into name-calling, hostility or personal attacks. Reason and logic often get a bad name. “It’s cold to reason. What about emotions?” But it’s a false choice. You can be rational and still have emotions. The difference is that when using reason, your emotions don’t run the show. You utilize facts, reason and logic to guide your emotions. You don’t accept something as true just because you feel it, or someone else feels it. More than feelings are needed. When an argument or debate collapses into name-calling, fact-evading, threats of violence or other forms of irrationality, it’s a symptom. It’s a symptom that somewhere along the way, the reasonable method and tone have been lost. When you find yourself dealing with someone irrational, then you have one of two choices: (1) take a break and walk away; or (2) use reason. It’s hard to use reason when things have become so emotional. Take it from a therapist: This is often a good time to ask questions. For example, “Help me understand what you mean? What’s important to you here? Where do you disagree with me? I’m trying to understand what you have to say, and I’m just going to listen.” And mean it. WHAT is right matters more than WHO is right. When you focus on WHO is right, then it becomes personal. But think about it. If someone proves you wrong, they have not offended or insulted you. They’ve shown you something you didn’t previously know. If it’s better to know than not to know, isn’t this a good thing? In personal or marital relationships, the biggest problem is treating your partner as an adversary when he or she is not. Your loved one is not an adversary. More than any other relationship in life, your romantic partner or spouse is the one you choose. You don’t choose your parents, your siblings and even if you choose to have children and raise them a certain way, you don’t choose the kind of people they become. And you don’t have a choice about the fact they remain your children. But your spouse or romantic partner is the one you choose to be with, and with whom to remain for as long as you both choose. They’re not the enemy. If you take the simple step of not treating your friends or loved ones — chosen friends and loved ones — as enemies, the door is open to reasoning through any difficulty. That’s how you get to finding out WHAT’s right rather than WHO is right. If anyone is worth knowing or having in your life, it’s the only way to go. In the end, we find out what’s true using reason. Something is never true because of WHO says it. Something is true or valid only because there’s a fact-based, convincing and rational case to back it up. If your goal in life is to be right, you’re set up for a constant series of battles based on an adversarial premise. If your goal in life is to know what’s true, the act and art of using your mind is one of the most beautiful things imaginable. Others, in this quest, are your potential friends, not your adversaries. It’s a benevolent universe, because we’re capable of knowing what’s true and becoming better and better all the time for it. It’s only when people ignore this fact that things get ugly. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post WHO’s Right or WHAT’s Right? appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  7. People often react badly when you say something they’d rather not hear. But it’s just as bad when you don’t say what they want to hear. The perfect example is an email I received from a reader: “Dear Dr. Hurd: My mother just doesn’t get it. My new husband and I have a great relationship. No matter how hard I try, I can’t convince her. She’s nice to him and doesn’t talk badly about him. But I know my mother, and I can tell she doesn’t really approve. We’ve done everything she’s asked, including having the wedding she always dreamed of me having. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I hoped it would appease her. Nothing works.” The woman who wrote this isn’t hearing what she wants to hear from her mother. Her mother is not necessarily being critical of her new husband. But the daughter is still seeking approval that for whatever reason is not forthcoming. My reaction? So what! I can’t give advice on how to appease her mother. That would assume that the daughter should have her mother’s approval. She loves her mother and her husband, and she’d like them to like each other. But not everybody’s the same, and this isn’t always possible. So her marital happiness is being held hostage to somebody else’s whims. The problem comes down to “magical thinking.” Magical thinking is the pursuit of things that are not possible. Having the approval of others is not always possible, and it’s not always necessary either. Life goes on. Here’s another email: “Dear Dr. Hurd: I’m gay and my family is evangelical Christian. Needless to say, there are problems. Is there anything I can do to convince my parents to be more reasonable on the subject? I don’t yet have a partner, but I’d like to someday. I don’t want them to know all my personal business, but I do want them to know who I am, and to accept it.” Again, this person is not hearing what he wants to hear from his parents. And I’m sure he’s hearing a lot that he doesn’t want to hear. But his happiness cannot be held hostage to their opinions. Parents either love you or they don’t. If they do, then at first they might be worried you’re doing something they mistakenly believe will make you unhappy. It’s worth trying to educate, but all of this assumes they are open to reason. We read of young people who commit suicide when they don’t get the approval they want. How unspeakably tragic to sacrifice your life because you didn’t get the approval you mistakenly believed you needed. So many people lack serenity because they don’t hear what they want to hear from significant others. Growing up occurs at the moment you stop caring about what others think. How do you stop? You just stop! To care – or not – is a choice. Of course, sometimes you have to please others; a boss, perhaps, or your customers. But you’re never going to please everyone, and you don’t have to. You only have to please yourself, using rational standards. If your standards are indeed rational, others will acknowledge and appreciate them. But not everybody is rational, and not everybody cares about the same thing, and that’s OK! Don’t look for others’ validation. Don’t make yourself dependent on others for your happiness and stability. You can achieve this with common sense and your observation of facts. If help is offered, evaluate it. Don’t accept anything blindly; from parents, teachers, politicians – from anybody. It’s amazing that we’ve come as far as we have, given how so few people grasp that they don’t need the approval of others to be happy. Imagine how much we could accomplish if people could get past this psychological hurdle. Your own mind and your own reasoning precede somebody else’s any day. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Tell me what I want to hear! (DE Coast Press) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  8. Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, almost didn’t make it. Vice President Mike Pence had to cast the deciding vote for her confirmation by the U.S. Senate. The objection involved the nominee’s support of charter schools. All Democrats and some Republicans dislike charter schools. Why? Don’t they increase quality and standards? Yes, but … they also increase accountability. And as irrational as it sounds, accountability is the last thing that supporters of public schools want, because it could eventually put those public schools out of business. It’s so easy to be in favor of “public schools,” as a factless, out-of-context abstraction. To be against public schools, we’re told, is to be against education. “You don’t want government funding of education? What’s wrong with you? Are you in favor of illiteracy and ignorance?” As if education could never occur without the government! Actually, opposition to illiteracy and ignorance is the best reason to be against government involvement in education. Particularly when the government has a virtual deadlock and monopoly on the whole process of educating children, as it currently does in the United States. The majority of Americans can plainly see that billions upon billions of dollars — more billions piled on every year — do not lead to greater quality in education. The dumbing down of American culture fostered by public schools has been gradual but unmistakable. It has led to more politicization of education, where children are groomed to become good little socialist progressives. Based on the recent election, at least half of the population doesn’t approve. So why do we still have public education? The more the federal government promises to get education right this time, the more mediocre (or worse) it gets. Hope springs eternal. And denial is an amazing thing. Sadly, even if Trump and his new Secretary of Education get their way, the vouchers and other faux privatization ideas they propose will not resolve the problem. Taking government money and giving it to private schools will alter the nature and dynamics of private schools the first moment they receive government funds. Look at America’s universities. The most prominent private ones all receive billions in government funds. What happens? They’re bastions of political correctness and intolerant of any and all dissent. Government dollars have a way of chilling intellectual curiosity and expression, as well as hurting just about everything they touch. Charter schools are an attempt to inject some level of choice, quality and accountability into education as we know it. And that’s precisely why the opposition to them is so intense. Find me one high-profile politician in favor of public schooling and against charter schools who sends his or her children to public schools. Barack Obama was the most recent example. His kids went to elite private schools just like all good Democratic politicians’ children. This tells you something. The people who impose this government monopoly on everyone else will never participate in it themselves. It’s not hypocrisy. It’s tyranny. The bottom line difference between a free market for education and the public school system we have now? Private schools can go out of business; public schools cannot. In fact, the worse public schools perform, the more money we send them. It’s the precise opposite of what a free market provides. Earth to Americans: You would never permit the federal government to monopolize and completely control the sale and manufacturing of computers or cell phones. So why on earth do you insist that something as important as teaching children how to think be left to corrupt politicians and bureaucratic ineptitude? Allowing politicians largely monopolistic control over education would be like placing convicted child molesters in charge of sex education. It’s beyond insane. It’s time for public education as we know it to end. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Why Public Schools Can Never Be Private Schools appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  9. When dealing with others, it’s important to be careful about the way we phrase things. And “being nice” has nothing to do with it; the way we phrase things has an impact on how we view them, and sometimes it can be unhealthy. For example, if you say, “I think I’m addicted to cigarettes,” you’re implying helplessness. I know everybody says we’re supposed to think of things like this as addiction, but that doesn’t do you any favors. Why not validate your power over smoking by saying, “I shouldn’t smoke, but I like the effect I get from it. But it’s more important that I commit to stopping.” It’s more honest and closer to the truth. Another example: “Johnny is rude and hostile. He should work through his issues.” The implication is that he can’t help his insulting behavior and attitude. If so, then what does “work” have to do with it? Perhaps it’s more accurate to say, “Johnny is rude and hostile. If he doesn’t stop, he’s going to alienate people who are important to him.” In other words, Johnny changes his behavior or he faces the consequences. How many times have you heard somebody say, usually in reverent tones, “Please be supportive.” In reality this often means, “Please agree with me.” If you want me to agree with you, just say so. Don’t giftwrap it in guilt by implying that not agreeing with you is failing to be supportive. Nonsense. Of course, if you ask me to agree with you and I cannot comply, I have to be honest with you too. Make-believe doesn’t accomplish anything. One of my favorite phrases is, “I’m not motivated.” When translated into reality, it means, “I’m not going to do this because I don’t feel like it.” “I’m not motivated” is just a convenient bypass around having to give a reason. In reality-speak, one could say, “I don’t see the point of doing this, and here’s why…” – a perfectly valid reason. Another way to handle not being motivated is to say, “I have weighed the pros and cons and I don’t see doing this as important enough to warrant the effort.” At least you’re being honest with yourself. How we talk to others and to ourselves is a reflection of the way we end up acting, feeling and thinking. It’s really important to listen to yourself and make sure you’re clear and consistent in everything you say, think and do. And feel free to examine the words of others in the same way. A lot of this has to do with thinking. People often ask me what a cognitive behavioral psychotherapist does, and I say that he or she invites you to look objectively at what you’re doing, saying and thinking. By subjecting your thoughts and statements to the honesty test, a therapist helps you to help yourself. Another phrase with no clear meaning is, “Get help.” More often than not, when someone says that, what they’re really saying is, “This person should do what I want him or her to do.” Oops … control is not the same as help. A psychotherapist can help you help yourself, but when you leave the therapy office, it’s all up to you. Therapists don’t “treat” you as if you’re a medical case, or “operate” on you to mold you into something you’re not. You mold yourself. If you’re not getting the results you want out of life, it most probably goes back to erroneous thinking. Therapy or not, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to what you say and how you say it. Remember: When you speak, you’re also listening to yourself, and it all starts with the words. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Listen to Yourself (DE Wave) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  10. Everywhere you turn these days, someone claims someone else’s ideas are “dangerous.” Latest example: Santa Clara University students hoping to form a chapter of Turning Point USA were denied by their peers after claims the nonprofit organization stands against “humanity.” Turning Point USA is a youth group that promotes limited government, free markets and fiscal responsibility on over 1,000 campuses nationwide. A chapter request by conservatives at Santa Clara University was rejected by a 16 to 10 vote on Feb. 2 due to unfounded claims TPUSA is linked to white supremacists. Advocates of unlimited government, unfree markets, fiscal negligence and (in the case of Black Lives Matter) black supremacy and anarchy naturally don’t like groups or movements with dissenting views. But is that any reason to call their ideas dangerous, or as somehow “against humanity”? In truth, there’s only one dangerous idea: The false idea that someone else’s idea can be “dangerous.” Yes, ideas can be toxic or wrong. Racial supremacy groups (from either direction) are toxic and wrong. So is militant Islam, which teaches savage intolerance and death to nonbelievers. So are Communism, socialism, Nazism, fascism or any other form of collectivism. But just because ideas are toxic and wrong does not mean it’s dangerous to express them. Holding an idea and acting on it are two different things. Such an irrational fear of ideas can only come from one thing: an insufficient confidence in the use of reason to refute them. That’s why there’s no need for laws against freedom of speech. Unfortunately, that’s not the dominant attitude today. It’s especially not the dominant attitude on college campuses, where the free exchange of ideas ought to be the most prevalent. I view this as a sad and dangerous byproduct of the decline of reason. There’s so little rationality left in our culture that people with strong views feel they have no choice but to obliterate, even physically attack, those with differing ideas. While it’s entirely reasonable to reject/eradicate ideas you dislike on your own property or in your own personal mental/intellectual space, there’s no basis for extending that policy to the entire society. While I know that movements such as Nazism, Communism, fascism and Islamism will — if put into consistent practice — lead to the murder of millions and despair for the planet, I feel no need to authorize the force of government to prevent people from holding these ideas. So long as that same government protects the right of the individual above all else, there’s nothing to fear from the mere existence of an ideology that doesn’t. America flourished for more than two centuries largely because of its preservation of free speech, despite the presence (if not dominance) of bad or mistaken ideas throughout that entire period. “Your ideas are wrong. That makes them dangerous.” But an idea is only as dangerous as your inability to refute it. People like these Santa Clara University students who have to shout down or make illegal ideas with which they disagree have made a confession: That they have no means of refuting those ideas. Undoubtedly they already know that Turning Point USA does not stand for white racial supremacy. If they did, it would be easy to refute them, and they would not be widely popular. The problem is that Turning Point USA does stand for things like free markets, individual rights, a strong defense and a tougher stance against indiscriminate Muslim immigration. Reasonable people could debate any of these points, but unreasonable and unthinking people have nothing but name-calling and ultimately censorship on their side. It’s sad. And it’s dangerous, because the battered (yet still standing) First Amendment is all we have left between America as we’ve known it and the kind of miserable societies that have been most of human history. If and when that goes, everything else will go with it. People who hold ideas without objective reason on their side inevitably resort to threats, intimidation, screams, shouts and other forms of immaturity and irrationality. Don’t give them more power than they deserve. Instead, uphold freedom of speech, private property and individual rights, including the right never to fund or listen to these ideas, if you choose not to do so. Freedom is the only thing that works. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post With Freedom of Speech, No Ideas Are Ever “Dangerous” appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  11. A disturbing wave of seven suicides and likely drug overdoses has swept through Columbia University so far this school year — and students say cutthroat academics and inadequate campus counseling programs are in large part to blame. The student deaths include three in January alone — two of whom police suspect overdosed, plus an exchange student from Japan who killed herself by leaping from the seventh-floor window of her Broadway dorm. The four other student suicides came once a month, from September through December, The New York Post has learned. They include a promising 21-year-old journalist, a 29-year-old Navy veteran, a Moroccan exchange student and an 18-year-old freshman from Brookfield, Missouri, named Taylor Gilpin Wallace. “You don’t know how badly I want to jump out that window right now,” Wallace, who would be Columbia’s October suicide, said in a Facetime call from his John Jay Hall dorm room to his mother in Missouri — days before quitting school, moving back home and hanging himself in his basement. Why? What’s going on here? Yes, progressives, we already know your answer: It’s due to the “hatred” stirred up by Donald Trump. But academic environments are immune to Donald Trump. Elite universities like Columbia are bastions of left-wing, “social justice” progressive ideology. Dissidents are not permitted. Conservatives are routinely shamed or screamed off campus; they have been for decades. Modern academia provides a utopian vision of “all-for-one-and-one-for-all,” where all but the welfare state has long since withered away. It’s a brave new universe where young persons are prepared for a future of guaranteed equal income and legislatively required equal results. Safe spaces and trigger warnings are rampant. “Microaggressions” are punished more severely than theft or assault. And yet, inexplicably according to the progressive dogma most of us are exposed to these days, suicide is rampant at Columbia University. What gives? It’s hard to pin down one central cause for suicide. But it’s reasonable to assume that the common elements for all suicides include (1) overwhelming despair and (2) profound fear. What quality of human nature is least present in a person who commits suicide? Self-esteem. Or self-respect, if you prefer. What gives rise to and fosters self-esteem? Confidence in one’s reasoning, thinking and comprehending mind. If you don’t enjoy confidence in your mind’s ability to think, reason and ultimately to know, you’re a very strong candidate for mental disorder including, in the extreme case, suicide. In theory, universities should be the safest haven of all for the thinking, objective, independent and unencumbered individual mind. Mental health should flourish there. Yet that’s where universities are failing their students. Thanks to rampant political correctness, they’re failing to provide an intellectual environment where students can ask honest questions and learn how to reason and think. Schools are so saturated with political correctness these days that even comedian Jerry Seinfeld no longer wants to perform on campuses. There’s a constant and pervasive sense of walking on eggshells, offending the wrong people and risking harassment or even expulsion for failing to tow the intellectually correct line on any number of subjects. How on earth can anyone be expected to thrive in such an atmosphere? There are other more personal, individualized reasons that young people will commit suicide. You cannot literally blame all of it on political correctness, of course. But something is deeply wrong when you see suicides on the rise at college campuses. The university atmosphere ought to offer relief and confidence, not despair and fear. Something has gone deeply wrong with our educational institutions. You can’t blame deplorables, conservatives or Donald Trump. Their presence and influence are less discernable on these campuses than just about anywhere else. If progressives are right, college campuses should be the most inspiring and happy places to be. Yet they’re apparently not. College campuses of America, institutions which charge tens of thousands a year: Look at yourselves in the mirror. You’re doing something deeply, profoundly wrong to young people. By terrorizing their intellectual states, you’ve sent their psychological states into a tailspin. You’ve made academia an appropriate place for suicide. And throwing money at the problem by providing more counseling will not address the root problems; not even close. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Wave of Suicides at Columbia University: More Evidence P.C. Kills appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  12. Gay conservative and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannapoulos’s speech on the University of California Berkeley campus Wednesday night was cancelled after violent rioters shut down the university, setting fires that turned the campus into what CNN anchor Jake Tapper described as “an inferno.” The protesters were described as violent by witnesses on social media and video of the riots confirm that description. Video shows rioters violently attacking Milo supporters and people wearing Trump apparel, mercilessly spraying them with pepper spray. One video shows a college-aged girl giving an interview before getting pepper-sprayed at the end of the interview by an off-camera assailant. The girl was not the only one pepper-sprayed by protesters. “For 30 years, the left has been able to bully people into silence by name calling and they’ve forgotten how to argue,” Yiannapoulos said in an interview with Fox News. Yes. But why? Clearly, the progressive left has no reason, facts or logic on its side. When you have reason on your side, you don’t need to set fire to campuses where speeches you don’t like will be given. Particularly when 99 percent of what’s said on these campuses conform to your own views. You don’t want to physically assault others for their views when your own views are grounded in reason. You don’t fear others’ opinions, as progressives always claim about dissenters (“You scare me”) because you rationally understand their errors and feel confident in fighting those errors via facts, logic and reason. It reveals a lot that the left’s first and foremost response to dissenting opinion is almost always violence. The left, who dominates much of government, and virtually all of academia and media, has nothing else to do but – quite literally – set fire to its opponents. It’s shameful. But for decades, as Yiannapoulos points out, they have been able to get away with it. To a large extent, they still do, and will continue to do so. Why? Because too many people foolishly believe socialists and Democrats – the ones who set fire to their opponents – “care” about others. But who do they care about, and how do they show this caring? Those are the questions never asked. Yet at incidents like this latest Berkeley rioting, we see exactly which side the socialists and Democrats are on: the side of tyranny and force. Most of these attacks on dissenting speech happen with the help of federal and state dollars, since those dollars fund the activities of these campuses. Remove all government funding from higher education and watch how quickly these intellectual scumbags will diminish as an influence. Stop forcing people who work, think and produce to pay for them. Actor and comedian Tim Allen recently said that “the left” should “stop telling” people what to do, adding, “no one is stopping you from paying more taxes.” He sums it up well. If you want to help people, there’s nothing in a free society to stop you from doing so. George Soros, who funds many of these attacks against people who disagree with the socialist left, could happily donate all or most of his billions to any number of charitable causes. He has enough money to constitute an entire government welfare state. So why doesn’t he do that instead of doing everything possible to extinguish liberty from the American economy and American lives? The question answers itself. It’s not “helping people” that the left is after. It’s control. They call themselves “progressive.” But remember that heart disease and cancer are progressive, too. These illnesses develop over time and eventually destroy their host. Progressivism, which includes socialism and the destruction (they call it “transformation”) of liberty, is the social equivalent of a disease. It does not help anyone. It does not stand for the things human beings require in order to intellectually, economically and individually breathe: individual rights and liberty. That’s why proponents of leftism have nothing left to offer but death, fire and destruction. They’re in a rage, and they want us to feel their rage. Turn on the news every day since Trump’s election and you’ll see. It’s not going to stop. Their rage does not stem from the fact that they’re no longer allowed to help others. They remain eminently free to help anyone they want. Their rage stems from the fact they can no longer control others. Progressivism and socialism never were about care and concern for others. They are about control, and always were. Watch the rioting, the violence and the hatred coming from their mouths and minds. It’s self-evident. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Why Progressives Are So Violent appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  13. The mass shooting committed in Orlando last year brought the issues of homosexuality and religion into the forefront. In the aftermath, I received an interesting email from a website visitor who asks, “I’m not sure I can give proper advice to my brother. He’s gay and really loves our parents, who are slightly religious but don’t practice. They’ve made anti-gay remarks in the past, and he’s afraid they won’t approve of his sexuality. He’s 18 years old and a freshman in college. I’m really at a loss for what to say.” When your parents make anti-gay remarks, they’re not talking specifically about your brother. They’re talking about the “floating abstraction” of homosexuality. For your parents, there’s a disconnect between “the gays” whom they dislike in the abstract, and your brother, whom they presumably love. When they learn of his sexuality, they will have to abandon one or the other of these contradictory assumptions: Either, “Our son, whom we love, is a good person who happens to be gay,” or “Being gay is bad and wrong.” One of these things has to be false. In other words, they’re either going to stop disliking gay people or stop loving your brother. But not both. In my experience, they’ll most likely keep loving your brother. This is because they are, as you say, only slightly religious and don’t practice with excess fervor. In this (relatively) enlightened time, many – but not all – religious people are rather liberal on the subject of same-sex relationships. There are numerous exceptions. For example, a male couple I knew adopted three young children back in the late ‘80s – very early, culturally speaking, for that kind of thing. The mother of one of the partners was an unyielding fundamentalist Baptist who, upon learning of her son’s homosexuality a few years earlier, had cut him off. But once the grandchildren were on the scene, she began to show up at the household, offering to babysit, giving advice and the like. It went as well as it possibly could. One of the reasons homosexuality is such a hot-button issue is that it forces people to confront their contradictions. In particular, the contradictions surrounding “selfishness” and self-interest. Religious or not, we’re all taught that selfishness and self-interest are bad. Then, in contradiction, we’re taught that we must go out into the world, pursue our dreams, and act with self-preservation. The vast majority of people are exposed to this inconsistency. No wonder there are so many emotional problems and disorders. This dichotomy takes a special form in the case of romance and marriage. Many religious conservatives teach their children that marriage is selfless, its sole purpose is to create a family and that personal happiness has nothing to do with it. Homosexuality challenges that assumption. If one accepts his or her sexual proclivities, then, by definition, he or she has elevated personal fulfillment above the supposed “virtue” of self-sacrifice. This stirs up a lot of uncomfortable feelings – feelings that go beyond the boundaries of sexual orientation. You said your brother doesn’t want to disappoint your parents. I would tell him, “So what? Disappointment is based on a standard. If the standard is reasonable, then you’ve disappointed yourself as well. If that standard is based on something unreasonable that doesn’t apply to you, then accept the fact that you’re an adult and get on with your life.” I would go so far as to say that disappointing your parents, or anybody, is all part of growing up. If one doesn’t know how to handle that, then he or she is not yet their own man or woman. That, not sexual orientation, is your brother’s primary issue. We don’t need approval from anyone in order to survive and flourish. Once we liberate ourselves from the myth of perpetual self-sacrifice, the emotional reward of freedom and self-esteem is ours to enjoy. Tell your brother that this is his life to live, and not anybody else’s. In order to be a happy and well-adjusted adult, he must stop apologizing for being who he is. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 The post Your Life: It’s Either Your Own, or It Isn’t (DE Coast Press) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  14. California Democrats are going on the offensive, firing the first shot in their pitched battle with President Donald J. Trump, and threatening to “cut off the Feds” by withholding taxes. According to CBS San Francisco, former State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, Jr. said: “California could very well become an organized non-payer. … They could recommend non-compliance with the federal tax code.” Democrats are considering the tax revolt as part of what CBS San Francisco called an “all-out war” against the Trump administration, which could also include holding back state transfers of funds to the federal government. California Democrats proposing a tax revolt against the federal government? We really do live in interesting times! It also shows the terrible dilemma Democrats, in particular, now face. With Donald Trump in the White House, Democrats no longer support the federal government. Yet the federal government, as we know it, is almost entirely the product of Democrats. Medicare, Social Security, SSI, public education, government subsidies to unprofitable “green” businesses — the list is endless. While career politician Republicans are also involved in these activities, they’re mainly the outgrowth of the Democratic philosophy. The election of 2016 changed everything. Now that Democrats, at least for the moment, no longer control the federal government, they’re left with opposing the very centralized authority they hold so dear. It’s no wonder unprecedented numbers of Democrats in California — a one-party state — actually think of seceding from the United States. Or at least temporarily doing so, under the Trump administration. But it’s a truly awful dilemma for Democrats. Why? Because their whole ideology of government — indeed, their whole philosophy of life — requires a centrally managed society managed by like-minded progressives who oversee everything. Political correctness, environmental correctness, money flowing to the “right” people (e.g., Clintons) and away from the “wrong people” (anyone who disagrees with them) — all of this relies on the premise of an all-powerful, all-knowing federal government. When that government is taken over by people they consider thugs or psychopaths, it ruins their lives. Why do you think Hollywood and other celebrities with too much time on their hands are so distraught? It’s bad enough for Democrats when that federal government is run for 4 or 8 years by, say, a Ronald Reagan or one of the various George Bushes. But when someone like Donald Trump — blunt, brash, unblinking and uncompromising — takes over, they’re truly out of their minds. Their whole world comes tumbling down because their entire world — not just politically but psychologically, even metaphysically, because government is a social religion for them — collapses from within. It’s amusing to watch, on one level. It’s also sad, because it’s a reminder of just how deeply divided our nation actually is, with no improvement on the horizon. Democrats scream, cry, and threaten in their effort to ignore the most awful truth of all: That even if they get a Hillary Clinton or equivalent back in the White House in 4 or 8 years, the opposition such a person will encounter will make the current Democratic opposition seem tame by comparison. You see, all of this political upheaval is worse for Democrats. They’re the ones who had the most to lose by the resurgence of dissenting opinion. Those of us “deplorables” on the other side had nothing to lose, because most of us never wanted the federal government so involved in the individual lives of citizens of the American republic in the first place. We’re used to the hostility and arrogance displayed by intolerant, rude progressives during the Obama years. When Donald Trump throws it back in their faces, it provides a refreshing sense of justice in what many feared had become a malevolent universe. No matter what the future holds, we know it’s possible to fight back and sometimes win, while the Democrats will face a better struggle — to the end — when it comes to imposing their totalitarian mindset onto the population as a whole. Deplorables now can take comfort in the fact that there’s a real battle on our hands. The Democrats and progressives had sneered themselves into believing they had won it for all time. The overconfidence they displayed in a Hillary Clinton landslide was defied not only by Trump’s victory, but by the overwhelming landslide against the Democrats on every other level of government. Donald Trump is a daily reminder of just how wrong they were, and just how painful the road ahead will be for them. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post The Awful, Awful Truth for Democrats appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
  15. We’ve all heard that it’s wrong to make excuses. It’s a rare mental health professional who even talks about the issue, much less takes the position that excuses are bad. Other than myself, one of the few who has addressed the issue in writing is retired psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Daniels, known to many by his pen name, Theodore Dalrymple. Dr. Daniels has called excuses a “barrier to self-understanding.” Excuses like, “It’s not our fault if we’re obese,” for example. “It’s a disease. It’s the food manufacturers’ and restaurants’ fault. Portions are too big… or it’s genes, evolution, neurochemistry, brain scans, chemical imbalances, our childhoods…. I have a friend who goes up to people at parties and says, ‘I hate my parents; don’t you?’ People always go on about how their parents caused all their problems.” It’s true. Excuses are barriers to self-understanding. When a person blames his or her parents for … whatever, that attitude reveals a failure to understand the real causes of the problem. Your problems are in the present, not the past, and they are primarily due to errors in thinking and/or behavior. They might be subconscious, but that doesn’t make you any less responsible for those errors — and capable of changing them. If your parents treated you poorly, the effect of that lurks in your ideas, attitudes and outlook on life. Different individuals respond differently to poor parenting. Some conclude that, “This isn’t how people should act, and it’s not how people have to act. I will do differently.” This can be easier said than done, and it can take time to identify all the errors in thinking that lead one to dissatisfaction with relationships. But it is indeed possible. In its truest form, “therapy” means interrupting cognitive, behavioral or interpersonal cycles that are erroneous or otherwise counterproductive to happiness. The concept of “interrupting” implies two things. First, that you’re capable of looking at yourself objectively and rationally. A good therapist can be a sounding board to help with that process. Second, that you’re capable of changing or interrupting those cycles once you identify them. Excuse-making short-circuits this otherwise healthy process. It’s an easy-way-out write-off of yourself. By externalizing blame, you remove responsibility from yourself and poison any opportunity to make your life better. Dr. Daniels points out that we’ve loosened the definition of “depression” to include most forms of unhappiness. The result is that 13 percent of adults (2013 Mayo Clinic research) are on antidepressants. Yes, some people who are on antidepressants do benefit from them. I have even recommended that some people be on them. But that’s only if the person fits a profile of what psychiatry defines as clinical depression, and if nothing else has really worked. It might take a few weeks or longer to determine if they do actually help. Excuse-making has extended the definition of clinical “depression” to include just about every form of unhappiness, to every degree imaginable. In the process, the term has been rendered almost meaningless, not unlike other now-debunked psychiatric labels such as ADD, ADHD and the like – “diagnosed” in just about every boy in public school. Using the crutch “depressed” instead of “unhappy” means someone has to cure it for us, says Dr. Daniels. He calls antidepressants the modern-day equivalent of exorcising alien spirits. But the reality is that the only treatment to which you can passively submit, in the psychiatric realm, is medication. You take it, you see what happens. It’s passive. But even if you take medication, and even if medication reduces your symptoms, you still have to actively identify the cycles of thought and behavior that created the problem in the first place. Therapy, or some similar commitment to ongoing self-change, is the only sure-fire way to move beyond mere functioning and into the realm of actual happiness. Beware the excuses and labels! They’re bad for you. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 The post Excuse-Making Blocks Personal Improvement (DE Wave) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
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