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April 11th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

Is it a Crime to Snoop on Your Spouse?

spouseEmail1Should it be considered a crime to read your spouse’s email?

That’s what some prosecutors in Michigan believe. Relying on a legal statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft, they have charged 33-year-old Leon Walker with a felony, after he logged onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife, Clara.

Why did Leon use her computer? According to reports, he used her password to access her Gmail account, because he suspected she was having an affair. Indeed, he found out, she was. And what did playing detective get him? A trial date this month where he could be sent to prison for up to five years. Prosecutors insist that by snooping through his wife’s email, Walker was committing a felony. (more…)

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April 4th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

The Stoicism of the Japanese

JapanAP_largeFor the last several weeks, we have all watched, horrified, as Japan has been devastated by one of the worst earthquakes in modern history, followed by a massive tsunami, and then culminating in plumes of radiation seeping into the atmosphere from its damaged nuclear reactors. The images of physical destruction are simply mind-boggling, and the emotional toll also seems unimaginable. This is a country that is going to be dealing with this tragedy for years to come.

Yet, do you know what astonishes me? It’s watching the people of Japan face their catastrophe with a kind of stoicism and, strangely, a grace. We haven’t seen any looting in Japan for desperately-needed supplies, like bottled water. We haven’t seen fistfights break out among the people waiting in line for hours to get gasoline or groceries. For years, I’ve heard about the legendary politeness of Japanese people in everyday life, but I just thought it was a cliché. How are they able to maintain such calm in the face of overwhelming disaster?

(more…)

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January 18th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

Anger and Unanswered Questions in Arizona

victims2I still can’t wrap my mind around the senseless shooting in Arizona that left 13 wounded and six dead. I’m glad to hear that doctors are optimistic about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords recovery. This is a woman who has dedicated her life to public service, and she and her family remain in my prayers. My heart goes out to all the families affected by this tragedy.

Whenever we hear stories of a guy who starts firing into a crowd, we shake our heads in horror and ask, “Could this have been predicted?” As a mental health professional, that’s a question that I always think about. But the truth is we don’t have the psychological test to predict the next Columbine or Virginia Tech shooting.

A lot of people are hurt, angry and want answers. I get that. Here’s what we know about the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner: He railed on about the government. He listed Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as among his favorite books. We know he had been arrested for drug paraphernalia, although that was ultimately dismissed. On December 30, he posted on his Facebook page: “My shot is now ready for aim,” and “I define terrorist.” (more…)

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November 20th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Larry King: The End of an Era

Larry blog picI first appeared on Larry King’s show on CNN over a decade ago, back when I was still appearing regularly on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He graciously would bring me on to talk about a book I had written, or have me help analyze some breaking news event or a tragic or controversial event that had taken place somewhere in the world. I was a pretty frequent guest, and last week, I had the honor — and I mean it was truly an honor — to appear on his final CNN show. 

It was a star-studded lineup featuring everyone from President Barack Obama, to former President Bill Clinton to Regis Philbin. Bill Maher and Ryan Seacrest were there, as were Donald Trump, Suze Orman, Barbara Walters, and of course, CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Tony Bennett sang a tribute to Larry. The three major network anchors — Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams — made a rare joint appearance to bid their farewells. And, by the way, if you want to get a look at the next great King, be sure to watch the end of the show where he introduces his kids, Chance and Cannon. I especially want you to watch Cannon, all of 10 years old, do an impersonation of his father. As I said on the show, “I’ll tell you what, we have met the talent here in the family.” (more…)

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November 1st, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Our Ninth Season: Ending the Silence

silence1Here we are, ready to begin our ninth season, and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this could very well be the most exciting, inspirational, and absolutely most important season we’ve ever undertaken. Seriously, if you were in our offices right now, you would feel the surge of enthusiasm up and down the hallways as we get ready for what’s to come. We are launching two new groundbreaking series that I know you are going to find riveting. And, you’ll get your first look at them this coming week on our debut shows.

First, I want to talk about what you’re going to see on Monday’s show. We’re beginning a powerful and very dramatic season-long campaign against domestic violence. Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused in this country. At some point, one out of four women will fall victim to domestic violence. Those are shameful statistics, and little about the situation seems to be improving. Today, domestic violence remains one of the most under-reported phenomena in American society. (more…)

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