Diane Dimond from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 21 Aug 2018 23:28:08 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Diane Dimond from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/diane-dimond-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond b7cf900e425d6ee719ea3873839f02b9 Pamela Smart: How Long a Prison Sentence Is Enough? for 08/18/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/18/pamela-smart-how-long-a-prison-sentence-is-enough Sat, 18 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A petition has been filed with the governor of New Hampshire that breathes new life into an old and very sensational case. It asks Gov. Chris Sununu to embrace this era's evolved thinking on prison sentencing, specifically the sentence of life without parole. </p> <p>A key section of the 695-page petition reads, "The New Hampshire Constitution's goal of punishment being 'to reform, not to exterminate' warrants relief for Pamela Smart through commutation of her sentence to time served or to make her parole eligible."<p>Updated: Sat Aug 18, 2018</p> 0ce7c693633d6669dabf073c5a49d3af Safer Schools Through Better Communication for 08/11/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/18/safer-schools-through-better-communication Sat, 11 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Here's an idea: Instead of turning our schools into fortresses to try to prevent the next school shooting, how about we do more? As we contemplate adding metal detectors and bulletproof safe rooms to schools, how about we try an additional approach? </p> <p>How about setting up dedicated lines of communication within schools so students, teachers and staff can confidently share what they know about troubled kids and get them the attention they need?</p> <p>In most cases, school shootings are carried out by angry current or former students. And who is in the best position to observe these disturbed kids? Other kids, of course! If Sebastian overhears his classmate Luke incessantly talking about guns, or if Ruby knows Owen is talking about his romantic heartbreak and suicide, shouldn't we give these kids a fast and safe way to relay that information? <p>Updated: Sat Aug 11, 2018</p> c174719705030c202806608804c84511 Don't Be Duped by Social Media Propaganda for 08/04/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/18/dont-be-duped-by-social-media-propaganda Sat, 04 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Americans are so gullible. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Even after all we know about Russian trolls' attempts to influence our 2016 presidential election with phony social media posts, we still fall for their shenanigans. </span>Even after special counsel Robert Mueller's team indicted the Russian Internet Research Agency, nicknamed the "troll farm," and 13 Russian nationals on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States via these fraudulent posts, we still join their deceptive Facebook pages and share their divisive Twitter messages.</p> <p>In a PR move designed to make Facebook look like it is ever vigilant, it released startling information this week about having discovered and eradicated a new secret campaign to spread divisive political messages across the United States. Company executives explained that they had removed dozens of accounts from both Facebook and Instagram "because they were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior." It makes me wonder how many of these covert misinformation accounts they haven't found.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 04, 2018</p> 3d3229e0d4cec21eda78fb6b5a2427ee Profile of the Next Mass Shooter for 07/28/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/18/profile-of-the-next-mass-shooter Sat, 28 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The news alerts us to another mass shooting at (fill in the blank). A school, a theater, on a busy street or at a shopping mall and we shake our heads in disbelief. What's the toll this time &#8212; five dead? Ten? Twenty? Who would do such a heartless thing? And, isn't there a way to stop sick and violent predators before they kill?</p> <p>You probably have a vision of the typical mass shooter. A mentally ill scruffy loner, a brooding, friendless young man who suddenly "just snaps." But a new FBI study reports that impression is all wrong. </p> <p>The Bureau's Behavioral Analysis Unit has been studying mass shooters for years now. First, they looked at 160 so-called "active shooter incidents" that took place between 2000 and 2013 and focused on the locations the shooters chose, how they carried out the carnage and what impact their actions had. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 28, 2018</p> c6035bd3e95191654aef86b4f97d6a57 Harvey Weinstein Behind Bars: Don't Hold Your Breath for 07/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/18/harvey-weinstein-behind-bars-dont-hold-your-breath Sat, 21 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Eighty-seven women say Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Some charge they were forcibly raped by the 66-year-old ex-movie maker. The now-disgraced Weinstein all but admitted his disreputable behavior when he reportedly said in a recent interview, "I did offer (women) acting jobs in exchanged for sex, but so did and still does everyone." It came as no surprise when Weinstein's criminal defense attorney, Ben Brafman, quickly announced that his infamous client had been misquoted and has always denied all the charges. </p> <p>No matter. The question remains: Will Weinstein, who is currently free but wearing a restrictive ankle monitor, actually see the inside of a prison any time soon? Don't bet on it.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 21, 2018</p> 2e8c991103bdbfda4a9d8c26d03528ec Second-Look Sentencing for 07/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/18/second-look-sentencing Sat, 14 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do you believe in second chances? To be more specific, do you believe in second chances for convicted felons, even those sentenced to life in prison or life without the possibility of parole? </p> <p>Your answer probably depends on details of the original crime committed, right? You might say yes to a second chance for a young adult who was sentenced for accessory participation in a felony and no to a convict who committed a horrendous murder or sexual attack and continues the violent ways in prison. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 14, 2018</p> bf282e656faf106dca767d1659cad135 America at 242: A Nation of Self-Imposed Segregation for 07/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/18/america-at-242-a-nation-of-self-imposed-segregation Sat, 07 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A recent editorial cartoon by artist Gary Varvel features what appears to be a biracial couple at the maitre d' podium at an upscale restaurant. The pompous-looking greeter's line has stuck in my mind ever since I saw the cartoon in my local newspaper: "Dinner for two ... liberal or conservative section?" </p> <p>Yes. This is what we've come to, I suppose. So many of us purposely isolate ourselves into groups who think like we do. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 07, 2018</p> fc4514d7860e28f4959f297bc49cbb8c Let's Drain the Congressional Money-Spending Swamp for 06/30/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/18/lets-drain-the-congressional-money-spending-swamp Sat, 30 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Whether you believe the involvement of the federal government in our everyday lives is a good thing or a bad thing, I'm betting we can all agree on one thing: Lawmakers in Washington continue to misspend our money. Big time. There ought to be a law, but there isn't.</p> <p>Pork barrel politics is still alive and well in the United States Congress. Bipartisan congressmen and congresswomen still elbow one another to win special-interest money for their state while decrying the practice to voters.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 30, 2018</p> ed50c830918f7eed84e557f3349820e4 Shame on Washington for Allowing the Immigration Mess to Fester for 06/23/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/18/shame-on-washington-for-allowing-the-immigration-mess-to-fester Sat, 23 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What was that all about?</p> <p>After months of defending his policy that separated children and parents who illegally enter the U.S., after searing images of crying children being held in chain-link cages were met with howls of worldwide disapproval, President Trump declared, "we want to keep families together. It's very important." Then he signed an executive order that ended the separation practice. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 23, 2018</p> 62f52446f05035469f148678e04caf1d Taking Care of Kids Who Witness Death for 06/16/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/18/taking-care-of-kids-who-witness-death Sat, 16 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Normally, small research studies don't interest me much because they usually don't include a large cross section of participants. I mean, how can you reach a generalized conclusion if you have only questioned or studied 20 or 30 people, right?</p> <p>But a newly reported effort from the Boston Reentry Survey caught my attention. During a project that spanned more than a year, departing prison inmates were asked all sorts of questions. The one that caught my attention focused on the inmates' childhood: "Did you ever see someone get killed during that time?"<p>Updated: Sat Jun 16, 2018</p> afd9677f8ed37f8aefbb426f2063f245 A Citizen's Letter to Robert Mueller for 06/09/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/18/a-citizens-letter-to-robert-mueller Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Mr. Robert Mueller: I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am writing as a concerned American to beg you to reveal whether there is any end in sight for your Russia-Trump collusion investigation.</p> <p>We all want to know the truth behind whether President Trump or any of his associates colluded with the Russians to sway the 2016 election. We'd also like to know whether the FBI first started investigating Trump months before the election based on a dirty-tricks tip from Democrats. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 09, 2018</p> d513a9bd08770f6f3bdd25f5a4508a7b Smart Homes Are Dumb for 06/02/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/18/smart-homes-are-dumb Sat, 02 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Smart homes are dumb. There, I said it. I'm sure those involved in the nearly $1.5 billion dollar-a-year connected-home technology business in the United States won't be happy with my statement, but I'm sticking to my guns. So-called smart technology is not your friend.</p> <p>I know, I know. There are those who can't imagine life without their voice-activated gizmo that turns on lights, the heating and cooling system or their home entertainment center. Others brag about their smart refrigerator that scans items and lets them know when to buy more. There is even a smart mattress that tracks "over 15 factors about your sleep and health, including REM sleep, deep sleep, heart rate and respiratory rate," according to the company website.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 02, 2018</p> 914ec58aa2869130dffa62d3f5316e4b Colleges Are Not Responsible for Your Child's Well-Being for 05/26/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/18/colleges-are-not-responsible-for-your-childs-well-being Sat, 26 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Across the nation, parents are in the process of either welcoming their college kids home for the summer or making preparations to send them off to college in the fall. Some will be letting go of their children for the first time, excited and anxious about the next chapter of life. Let this be a wake-up call for those parents who believe the school will keep them informed if anything goes wrong with their kids. It probably won't.</p> <p>Thanks to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, colleges and universities are under no legal obligation to tell tuition-paying parents anything about their child, not even if their child is having a serious mental meltdown. Institutions of higher learning share a basic philosophy that students are adults. And FERPA is invoked as the reason to keep education records private. Parents are often baffled that they cannot get information about their child &#8212; not even their grades &#8212; unless and until the child signs a written consent form.<p>Updated: Sat May 26, 2018</p> ef5e396dd845432bb820b300f0b251ba Reducing Racial Profiling Depends on All of Us for 05/19/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/18/reducing-racial-profiling-depends-on-all-of-us Sat, 19 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The post-9/11 mantra "If you see something, say something" appears to have taken an ugly turn these days. It used to relate to concerns about terrorism. If you saw an abandoned backpack or van, or if you discovered evidence that could be construed as bomb-related, the instruction was to immediately call police to investigate.</p> <p>Today, citizens seem to have twisted that advice; they call police with the pettiest suspicions or complaints about people who don't look like they look. Thanks to ever-present cellphone cameras, we can confirm several instances of racial profiling that have happened in just the last few weeks. <p>Updated: Sat May 19, 2018</p> 9939b8b91181c5798d753e3e4af9944c Time to Bring Back the Asylums for 05/12/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/18/time-to-bring-back-the-asylums Sat, 12 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What does the word "asylum" conjure up in your mind? An overpopulated mental ward with screaming patients frothing at the mouth? A snake pit, as depicted in the 1948 movie of the same name in which actress Olivia de Havilland's character battles schizophrenia, shock treatments and a sadistic nurse? </p> <p>The word "asylum" simply means "an institution offering shelter and support to people who are mentally ill." So why don't we have more psychiatric asylums to help the ever-growing number of Americans who battle serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? <span class="column--highlighted-text">"Asylum" is not a dirty word.</span><p>Updated: Sat May 12, 2018</p> 14cf56052233755305959f9fd2431026 Confronting Tough Questions Following the #MeToo Movement for 05/05/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/18/confronting-tough-questions-following-the-metoo-movement Sat, 05 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Bill Cosby is a convicted felon. A jury has declared him guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault.</p> <p>If you'd told me a few years ago that I would one day be writing lines like that about the actor called "America's Favorite Dad," I would have thought you were nuts. But there it is. The first post-#MeToo trial conviction and, I daresay, it probably won't be the last.<p>Updated: Sat May 05, 2018</p> 60d24b228fc37d2c214df85557f90634 Child Sex Abuse: Men Break Their Silence for 04/28/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/18/child-sex-abuse-men-break-their-silence Sat, 28 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Each of the men on the dais was successful in his field. There was a Broadway actor from the hit musical "Hamilton," a popular TV personality and a district attorney. All came to talk about have been sexually abused as a child and how it had impacted their life. Each story was unforgettable because men often keep sex abuse secret, sometimes for their entire life.</p> <p>The symposium was sponsored by the New York State Office of Victim Services. The keynote speaker had also been a victim. <p>Updated: Sat Apr 28, 2018</p> 145111917c1d2d31e2bb3ff6d8f3d47e Punished Because He Asked for Help for 04/21/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/18/punished-because-he-asked-for-help Sat, 21 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Could everyone reading this just pause for a bit and really think about our fellow citizens who put their lives on the line for us every day?</p> <p>I'm talking about police officers and firefighters who face deadly dangers and serious stressors on a regular basis: gruesome car accidents, raging fires with trapped victims screaming for help, domestic abuse calls that can easily end with officers injured or killed, hostage situations and the ever-present possibility of having to respond to a mass shooting or bombing. Blood, terror and death are a way of life for these brave first responders.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 21, 2018</p> 69c5e6fa5e7c0c8ffcf2d959c177e8f6 Even Baby Steps to Curb Sex Trafficking Are Valuable for 04/14/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/18/even-baby-steps-to-curb-sex-trafficking-are-valuable Sat, 14 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>WASHINGTON &#8212; "The Justice Department announces the seizure of Backpage.com, the Internet's leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children."</p> <p>All I can say is, it is about time. <p>Updated: Sat Apr 14, 2018</p> ea8fc444c61c4a17fc1005c7b6f8e92f Beware the Con in Uniform for 04/07/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/04/18/beware-the-con-in-uniform Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>They blend in to veterans groups and military parades, and usually sport a hat or jacket displaying the logo of a branch of the service. They tell intriguing stories about their military exploits with highly trained and super-secret special operations forces like the Navy SEALs, Green Berets or Army Rangers. Some may let you see their Medal of Valor, Silver Star Medal or Purple Heart. You instinctively want to thank them for their service. But beware. Those patches and medals can be bought online as fast as you can type in a credit card number.</p> <p>The reality is that <span class="column--highlighted-text">people who pass themselves off as a war hero by displaying a medal they did not earn are guilty of violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2013</span>. An earlier version of the act was found to have abridged free speech and declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the latest version is very specific. It is a federal crime to flash a medal and pose as a war hero for personal gain. An imposter can be fined, sentenced to prison for up to a year &#8212; or both. Twenty-seven states have passed similar laws, New Mexico being the latest.<p>Updated: Sat Apr 07, 2018</p>