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 Sat, 19 Oct 2019 02:28:23 -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 1606ebcb8b02982109e5a9ad6817d93c If You Share Your DNA, Should You Expect Privacy? for 10/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/19/if-you-share-your-dna-should-you-expect-privacy Sat, 19 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Imagine a day when hardly anyone is able to get away with murder. Think about that. If there were a way to almost guarantee a killer would be discovered and punished, wouldn't the murder rate go into freefall decline?</p> <p>Frivolous thinking, you say? Well, consider the forensic crime-fighting advances that have been developed in recent years.<p>Updated: Sat Oct 19, 2019</p> 93e126ee0678da7614430f8770680d95 Facebook Needs to Face Facts on Criminal Behavior for 10/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/19/facebook-needs-to-face-facts-on-criminal-behavior Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Say you invented something that became so popular more than a billion people around the globe used it. Wow! You'd be famous worldwide and one of the richest people on earth.</p> <p>But then, say you discovered some of your customers were criminals using your product in nefarious ways. Terrorists were using it to communicate deadly plots among themselves. Con men were using it to scam millions of dollars from unsuspecting and vulnerable people. Child predators were using your invention to transmit horrific child pornography. What would your obligation be if law enforcement came knocking at your door asking to see information about your suspect customers? <p>Updated: Sat Oct 12, 2019</p> 4e1ef2389e9c273edecd5bd06578b7c9 This Impeachment Won't Work for 10/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/10/19/this-impeachment-wont-work Sat, 05 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>This is not a column about impeaching our current president. This is a column about the impeachment process and the history of the legal route our nation is obliged to follow to oust a federal official. </p> <p>In the 231 years since the U.S. Constitution was ratified, Congress has seriously considered impeachment only a handful of times &#8212; just 19, to be exact. Most of the cases involved federal judges accused of "high crimes and misdemeanors" like being habitually drunk, showing blatant favoritism on the bench, using the office to enrich themselves, committing perjury or filing false expense accounts or tax returns. <p>Updated: Sat Oct 05, 2019</p> f97405efae3342c41938558c895d5e92 The Supply-and-Demand Solution to the Drug Crisis for 09/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/19/the-supply-and-demand-solution-to-the-drug-crisis Sat, 28 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A famous Greek myth recounts the tale of the diabolical King Sisyphus. He was punished for his many murderous actions by being forced to roll a huge boulder up a hill. No matter what method he used, each time Sisyphus neared the top of the hill, the boulder would crash back to the ground, ensuring his punishment was eternal. </p> <p>I'm reminded of the king's futile actions every time I think about U.S. efforts to stop illegal drugs from entering this country. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 28, 2019</p> 686d04defe50b7f33c2bc86175280e7d Science and Making Babies: Buyer Beware for 09/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/19/science-and-making-babies-buyer-beware Sat, 21 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>We live in a remarkably overregulated world. Yet, almost unbelievably, there are few hard-and-fast laws to protect those who want to create a baby the nontraditional way. When something goes wrong following a surrogate or in vitro arrangement, the aggrieved parties often find themselves in a murky space without a clear-cut legal leg to stand on. </p> <p>Consider the case of an Asian couple from New York. In a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit, they revealed that after spending some $100,000 dollars on in vitro fertility treatments, they gave birth to two male babies that were obviously not of Asian descent. Further, DNA tests proved the two implanted embryos were not related to each other! The breastfeeding wife and her husband were then forced into the painful position of having to surrender both babies to two different biological parents who were also customers of the same California-based IVF treatment center. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The Asian couple still doesn't know what happened to their embryos, the ones that were supposed to have been implanted in the wife's womb.</span> <p>Updated: Sat Sep 21, 2019</p> 5732ce619f8e99df016328e8d66d7780 Romance Scams Target Lonely and Elderly for 09/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/19/romance-scams-target-lonely-and-elderly Sat, 14 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The woman's Facebook page reveals she is a high school graduate, fit and trim-looking and nicely dressed. She lives in small town in the southern U.S. and is a devoted Christian who loves animals. Each photograph shows her with a beaming, trusting smile. She is almost always seen standing alone, and a simple scroll down her Facebook page makes it clear her husband is gone. She is a widow and a prime target.</p> <p>I learned about this 76-year-old woman &#8212; let's call her "Jane" &#8212; from her devoted son and my friend, "John." His father died about two years ago. Even though John lives across the country, he remains very attentive to his mother and makes sure all her material needs are met. They have a joint bank account, and in early September, John noticed a $700 internet transaction from his Mom to someone named Abubakar Abdul. He began to gently question Jane, and a devastating story spilled out. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 14, 2019</p> 0af21647b2a27746ef6109dade545546 Crime Fighting at Your Front Door for 09/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/09/19/crime-fighting-at-your-front-door Sat, 07 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nothing is perfect. Can we all agree on that? Especially when we're talking about all the digital technology that surrounds us these days. But when deciding whether a technological advancement is worthwhile, shouldn't more weight be given to the amount of good it can do, not to the <i> possible </i> misuse of it? </p> <p>Case in point: Privacy advocates expressed serious worry recently when it was learned that Ring, one of the nation's largest home security companies, announced it is now cooperating with more than 400 police departments nationwide and will share videos from customers' doorbell cameras to help solve crimes. The words "big brother" were uttered more than once. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 07, 2019</p> 4e40ba7f491125f0f687bfab5cbea9de Fact: School Shootings Are Rare for 08/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/fact-school-shootings-are-rare Sat, 31 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If schools aren't already back in session where you are, they soon will be. As a sign of our times, many parents will worry about the safety of their child and the possibility of another deadly school shooting.</p> <p>The fact is while mass shootings in the U.S. seem all too frequent, occurring between 10 and 20 times a year, shootings at schools are extremely rare, and their numbers have been on the decline since their peak in the early 1990s. That said, even one more catastrophic event at a school is one too many.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 31, 2019</p> 9f886a2a3a002b459de1faff35a05cc3 How the Media Politicizes Crime Coverage for 08/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/how-the-media-politicizes-crime-coverage Sat, 24 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Words matter. So does equal treatment. So when The New York Times recently devoted a three-column article on the top of the front page equating the actions and words of the El Paso mass murderer to those of "right-wing media," I was curious, to say the least. Was The Gray Lady saying conservatives somehow convinced someone to commit mass murder? </p> <p>Extensively quoting (mostly) Fox News hosts and their guests, The Times concluded that when speaking about the nation's immigration crisis at the southwestern border, the words "invaders" or invasion" were used unashamedly and all too frequently by those they labeled "right wing pundits." The Times also reported that those same people regularly used the word "replace" while discussing immigration. The paper quoted Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson as saying, "I'm not against the immigrants. I'm just &#8212; I'm for Americans, and nobody cares about them. It's like, shut up, you're dying. We're going to replace you." <p>Updated: Sat Aug 24, 2019</p> c29a13f913f0bc1a863a69996557cafd The Trend Toward Distrusting Police Could Hurt Us All for 08/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/the-trend-toward-distrusting-police-could-hurt-us-all Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>All Democrats want to take your guns. All Republicans are racist. So is law enforcement, and police brutality is commonplace. </p> <p>Of course, none of those statements are true, but they highlight the groupthink that has infected the national conversation. When a police-involved death occurs, it seems there are no shades of gray anymore, no need for facts, clarifying details or perspective, just the knee-jerk conclusion that the police officer was wrong.<p>Updated: Sat Aug 17, 2019</p> 10eac14e1e5f13b12a11625be9dc9ed0 Wanted: Leaders to Tackle Mass Shooting Epidemic for 08/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/wanted-leaders-to-tackle-mass-shooting-epidemic Sat, 10 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After the recent horror of multiple mass shootings &#8212; at a garlic festival in California; a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; and, finally, a popular nightlife neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio &#8212; I went to social media and posed two questions: "What is wrong with America? Why does this keep happening?" The responses were wildly different.</p> <p>"Pundits will make this political, each blaming the other side's ideology. But something bigger is happening here. It's called evil."<p>Updated: Sat Aug 10, 2019</p> a876e18d93447055d22022fa6a8f0efc Remembering Betty for 08/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/08/19/remembering-betty Sat, 03 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The marvelous Betty Winstanley died recently, just shy of her 98th birthday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died in the captivity of a court-sanctioned guardianship that haunted her final years. Her life never should have ended this way. </p> <p>Winstanley was an elegant, eloquent, remarkable woman. In an era when women were undereducated, she became a trained chemist. She was married for 72 years to her loving and supportive husband and was the mother of his three children. After Dr. Robert Winstanley died in 2014, Betty wanted to leave their retirement home in Pennsylvania and find another place in Maryland, closer to her two youngest children. The estranged oldest son protested and took the matter to the courtroom of Judge Jay Hoberg. Hoberg spent almost no time before declaring Betty to be "incapacitated." He appointed strangers to take control of all of Betty's life decisions. The legal battle, which lasted nearly four years, ate away at the $1.9 million nest egg the Winstanleys had worked so hard to amass. Betty hated every minute she was under court control.</p> <p>Hers was the first guardianship story I ever wrote about, back in early 2016. I almost couldn't believe that a judge could declare an American citizen "incapacitated" and a "ward of the court" without so much as having a meaningful conversation with the elder person. I soon learned it was a frequent occurrence. <p>Updated: Sat Aug 03, 2019</p> 227a148b3072428375233d5aac59a9ef America's Drug Crisis Happened Because We Let It Happen for 07/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/americas-drug-crisis-happened-because-we-let-it-happen Sat, 27 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Here's some good news. Last year, for the first time since 1990, deaths from drug overdoses actually dropped in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports it wasn't a big drop &#8212; about 5% fewer deaths. But might this indicate a trend? </p> <p>Let's hope so, because even with that decline, a staggering 68,577 Americans died from overdoses in 2018. Some died from street drugs like heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, but a majority OD'd on prescription opioid painkillers. Last year's death toll was higher than all the U.S. fatalities during the Vietnam War. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 27, 2019</p> 00289eafca04b4ab1c8bf3333b7e23de Do Sex Registries Really Protect the Public? for 07/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/do-sex-registries-really-protect-the-public Sat, 20 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Sex registries are in the news again thanks to a couple of high-profile child sex abuse cases. (Think multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and singer R. Kelly.) Keeping track of ex-cons who have sexually preyed on others sounds like a good idea. But do these registries really help keep us safe?</p> <p>Under a 2006 federal law, each state, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes and U.S. territories are required to set up and update a tracking system with the names of convicted sex offenders.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 20, 2019</p> 3eecdcbd4e729fa69d5e7cb4e52d3898 Jeffrey Epstein -- Justice Delayed for 07/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/jeffrey-epstein-justice-delayed Sat, 13 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>We live in a country where justice is supposed to be blind. Citizens expect that people who bad things will be caught and arrested and spend an appropriate period behind bars. Not so if you are an uber-wealthy guy named Jeffrey Epstein. </p> <p>He got away with a lot. Until now.</p> <p>Jeffrey Epstein is a suspected serial pedophile who was allowed to dodge allegations that he sexually abused some 40 girls (from mostly troubled or low-income families) with only minimal punishment. An award-winning Miami Herald series puts the number of Epstein's victims at 80.<p>Updated: Sat Jul 13, 2019</p> b8bdd9bdb4f83ea55c0c7b62e9c3b9a8 America's Mindset This Independence Day for 07/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/07/19/americas-mindset-this-independence-day Sat, 06 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have you been enjoying the 243rd birthday of our country over this long weekend? Wait a minute. Do I hear some grousing out there? Is that grumbling I hear about the state of the nation? Complaints that everything is not perfect in the USA? </p> <p>Get a grip, people. No nation can be faultless in its operation. We are, after all, a group of flawed human beings trying to govern ourselves as best we can. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 06, 2019</p> 2679f0122eef3a9dcc54202f5ab2c4f1 Policies That Make the Poor Poorer for 06/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/19/policies-that-make-the-poor-poorer Sat, 15 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>See if you can find the logic in this. A local government issues traffic fines to residents for infractions like not wearing a seat belt, expired registration tags or a broken taillight. If the fine isn't promptly paid, then interest and penalties pile up, and a $50 or $100 ticket can quickly balloon to be thousands of dollars. If a person cannot afford to promptly pay the full ticket, what sense does it make to keep piling on extra monetary demands?</p> <p>It happened to Leah Jackson in Otsego, Minnesota. She was ticketed for obstructing traffic and fined $135. She had just gotten a new job but hadn't gotten a paycheck. Immersed in her new position, she inadvertently forgot about the ticket. Unbeknownst to her, the city suspended her driver's license, but she had to drive as part of her job. She then got three $200 tickets for driving without a license. Over time and overwhelmed with the financial burden, Jackson's fines and penalties rose to a grand total of $13,000.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 15, 2019</p> 937e73f1cbce01319fb1730ab4e05233 D-Day's Youth Vs. Today's Youth for 06/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/06/19/d-days-youth-vs-todays-youth Sat, 08 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Seventy-five years ago, tens of thousands of brave and selfless young men from the United States, Canada and Great Britain took part in the largest seaborne invasion history has ever seen. It was carried out on the beaches of Normandy, France, and propelled by the ideal that no one man should dominate others, no foreign power should be allowed to conquer another.</p> <p>In coordination with young people from the French Resistance who staged elaborate pre-invasion sabotages against Hitler's invaders, we ousted the dreaded Nazis from their unlawful occupation of France. Even after much blood was shed on that beach, surviving warriors would go on to rescue Western Europe from German domination as well. The Nazi regime was crushed. Democracy emerged alive and well.<p>Updated: Sat Jun 08, 2019</p> 85595183d016e279a6462ab09a059748 Horrible Harvey for 06/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/horrible-harvey Sat, 01 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>How is it that someone accused of dozens of criminal acts can throw millions of dollars at a problem and pay his way out of trouble? </p> <p>That is what's happening with Horrible Harvey Weinstein, except if all goes as planned, he won't be paying out anything. His insurance companies will handle the payoffs to the tune of at least $44 million. </p> <p>I have called him Horrible Harvey after accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape by not just 10, 20 or 30 women but by more than 80 women! According to The New York Times, over the last three decades, Weinstein paid out settlements to at least eight female actresses and other employees. Astoundingly, he never seemed to learn his lesson. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 01, 2019</p> 2d0892bd4841cc704a5ccb7c26689113 The Staggering Costs of Imprisonment in the US for 05/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/diane-dimond/05/19/the-staggering-costs-of-imprisonment-in-the-us Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Guess how much our nation's system of mass incarceration costs each year? I'm talking about the taxpayer-funded budgets of prisons, jails, probation departments and the public employees who staff them. Add in the cost of running the criminal justice system; the amount spent on health care, food and incidentals for inmates; and the financial burden on families that have a person in the system. Put all that together and guess how much we, collectively, spend on our system of imprisonment in the United States: $182 billion a year. </p> <p>Let that sink in for a moment. At least $182 billion &#8212; <i> each year</i>, according to criminal justice think tank the Prison Policy Initiative. At a time when the nation's crime rate is declining (except in a few major cities), the cost of incarceration is ever increasing. Why is that? <p>Updated: Sat May 25, 2019</p>