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 Mon, 22 Oct 2018 08:52:42 -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 181754c335b163b9d193cfba994de1f0 Breaking the Blue Wall of Silence for 10/20/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/breaking-the-blue-wall-of-silence Sat, 20 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For the first time in nearly 50 years, a Chicago police officer has been convicted of murder after shooting a civilian to death while on duty. It took a while, but officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one count for each of the 16 bullets he pumped into teenager Laquan McDonald back in 2014. Van Dyke is white; McDonald was black.</p> <p>The shooting took place in an isolated area while several other Chicago Police Department officers watched. But the public was kept in the dark because the dashcam video of the incident was kept secret for more than a year. When a judge finally ordered it released, everyone who saw the young man's final moments was shocked. He seemed to be slowly dancing and twirling in the street holding a 3-inch pocketknife and not, as cops claimed, lunging at armed officers who had him surrounded.<p>Updated: Sat Oct 20, 2018</p> 85de83b91cd1c627fa9d0e2d8c0556af Need a Unifying Midterm Issue? Curb Government Spending! for 10/13/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/need-a-unifying-midterm-issue-curb-government-spending Sat, 13 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Call me crazy, but I think if federal employees routinely waste millions of taxpayer dollars, someone ought to be held accountable &#8212; criminally accountable, if possible. </p> <p>And anyone who signs off on obviously outrageous spending, like the person who approved buying coffee cups for the Air Force at $1,200 each, or the one who OK'd spending $3 million to study how shrimps perform on tiny treadmills, let them come before Congress and explain their actions. If their supervisor made them do it, I want to know. Let's figure out how high up the food chain these nutty expenditures are being approved. <p>Updated: Sat Oct 13, 2018</p> df9c8decfc23bcc680525cbcfcd70a73 Due Process in the #MeToo Era for 10/06/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/18/due-process-in-the-metoo-era Sat, 06 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The U.S. Constitution guarantees that no American citizen shall "be deprived of life, liberty or property" without being afforded due process of the law. It is one of the bedrocks of our legal system. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every person, including those in the country illegally, "equal protection" under the law. And everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. </p> <p>What has happened to those ideals?<p>Updated: Sat Oct 06, 2018</p> 4fdcd51f1988e4396ba79bf5ef589971 The Boy Under the Billboard for 09/29/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/the-boy-under-the-billboard Sat, 29 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Every law enforcement investigator has one, that one unsolved case that preys on their mind and gnaws at their soul. For Major Tim Horne of the Orange County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, it is the case that's come to be called "The Boy Under the Billboard."</p> <p>Twenty years ago, Horne first saw the murdered child, discarded by the side of the road at the intersection of Interstates 85 and 40, near the town of Mebane, North Carolina. The boy was discovered by a man who was mowing the brush under a tall billboard. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 29, 2018</p> 88986f16aabb1a9aa8d379f68f4ff9e1 Tackling the Opioid Crisis -- Finally for 09/22/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/tackling-the-opioid-crisis-finally Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Can I get a round of applause for our United States Congress? Yes, indeedy, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for both Democrats and Republicans! They have miraculously come together to approve one of the only major pieces of legislation set to become law this year. Amazing. </p> <p>It was a rare moment as the U.S. Senate put the needs of American citizens before party loyalty and overwhelmingly approved a sweeping package of bills aimed at alleviating our epidemic of opioid deaths. </p> <p>How significant is the opioid crisis? According to preliminary numbers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71,000 Americans died of overdoses in just a one-year period, a majority from heroin and other street drugs laced with the insidious synthetic opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and so deadly that just a few flakes of it can kill. It has typically been shipped into the U.S. by criminals from China and Mexico, according to U.S. law enforcement. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 22, 2018</p> 6c280f0391bd5641386e92f35d503d4b Gun Violence Target: The Bullets for 09/15/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/gun-violence-target-the-bullets Sat, 15 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The mantra "It's the economy, stupid," propelled Bill Clinton's candidacy during the presidential campaign in 1992. His decision to highlight the nation's then-struggling economy (and promise to fix it) helped him win the White House.</p> <p>One theme in this year's midterm elections is the renewed call for more gun control laws, especially from students worried about school shootings. I'm left wondering when someone will come up with the rallying cry "It's the bullets, stupid." After all, guns don't work without bullets.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 15, 2018</p> 819cd073676cd4c1fa9f6ce43e602c71 A Come-to-Jesus Moment for the U.S. Catholic Church for 09/08/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/18/a-come-to-jesus-moment-for-the-us-catholic-church Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Pope Francis has called for silence and prayer from those who criticize the Catholic Church's attempts to root out and punish priests who are committing sexual abuse. But it is clear the time for silence has long passed.</p> <p>Priests who prey on children are criminals, not souls to be saved for the sake of an institution.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 08, 2018</p> d41a11d7edf2d3d86f54634729d2e4d1 Getting Away With Murder in America for 09/01/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/18/getting-away-with-murder-in-america Sat, 01 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Turn on prime-time television any night of the week and it's likely you'll find a show about a cold case murder. The program will feature an intrepid detective or two who dig in and &#8212; voila! &#8212; solve the most perplexing cases.</p> <p>The reality, however, is very different. Statistics reveal that more than 40 percent of the time, murderers in the United States get away with it, a chilling thought because those who kill without detection can become emboldened and are, of course, free to kill again.</p> <p>Statisticians keep a running tally of what's called the "murder clearance rate" to determine how many cases are solved each year. Included in the count are those cases that end with an arrest or the identification of suspects who can't be apprehended for whatever reason (e.g. they fled the jurisdiction; they are deceased) According to the latest figures, the U.S. murder clearance rate now stands at its lowest level since the FBI first began tracking such figures. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 01, 2018</p> 3b3194cf9351af00f5785d04420cfc9f The Reality of Young People Sentenced to Life Without Parole for 08/25/2018 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/18/the-reality-of-young-people-sentenced-to-life-without-parole Sat, 25 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, I wrote about the plight of Pamela Smart, who, in 1991, at the age of 22, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband. Gregg Smart was shot dead by his wife's 16-year-old lover and another teenager. Pamela was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.</p> <p>To this day, Smart, now 51, expresses deep remorse for her affair with Billy Flynn but steadfastly maintains she did not plot with him to murder her new husband.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 25, 2018</p> 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>