May 2011

False Prophets and Their Profits

by Diane Dimond on May 30, 2011

What a Load of Religious Based Crap

There ought to be a law. But there isn’t.

So, religious hucksters like 89 year old Harold Camping continue to operate monumental con-jobs that bring in multiple millions of dollars in donations from gullible people.

In case you missed the details: Camping’s latest Doomsday prediction stemmed from what he described as an intricate mathematical formulation taken directly from numbers in the bible. As he figured it, all good and righteous Christians would be taken up to heaven 722,500 days after Jesus’ crucifixion – on May 21 at 5:59 pm. (He didn’t bother to say which time zone would be hit first) The rest of the world’s population, his outlandish prophecy promised, would be left to suffer five months of cataclysmic earthquakes and other biblical tribulations until the whole planet ceased to exist sometime on October 21st. [click to continue…]

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Time for Professional Jurors?

by Diane Dimond on May 23, 2011

Taking a Seat Here Can Change Your Life

Having spent the better part of the last two weeks watching an excruciatingly long jury selection for a capital murder case I’m left wondering – is it time for the United States to begin using professional jurors?

During the last couple weeks I watched intently as prospective jurors took the stand to explain to the court the financial hardship that leaving work to judge another would bring to their lives. Some of them work for employers who grant paid leave for jury duty but often it covered only a day or two. Many others worked for struggling small businesses or are self-employed and they explained that every day they didn’t show up at work was lost profit or a day’s pay docked off their paycheck. [click to continue…]

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Adjusting What We Think About Sexual Abusers

by Diane Dimond on May 16, 2011

Sex Offenders Must Be Punished

We’re pretty good at punishing people who are caught and convicted of sexual abuse. We’re not so good at stopping the abuse in the first place, especially when children are involved. After all these years of open discussion about this scourge why is it still so prevalent?

Because, we keep attacking the problem the same old way!

A new project from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, funded by the Ms. (magazine) Foundation, concludes it is time for us to adjust our collective thinking about sex offenders.

Perhaps the A.T.S.A.’s most important conclusion is that media coverage of abuse “monsters” has warped our sense of who they really are. Television news, movies and books mainly focus on the most extreme “stranger danger” cases, those in which a child is kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered.

In reality, the sexual abuse of kids doesn’t usually come from outside their circle and murder is extremely rare. [click to continue…]

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America’s Reaction To Bin Laden

by Diane Dimond on May 9, 2011

And, It Restored Our National Unity

Doesn’t it seem sad somehow that it took the assassination of Osama Bin Laden to re-ignite our national patriotism?

For ten very long years Bin Laden has been our Public Enemy Number One, our officially sanctioned Bogey Man. After his death was announced the spontaneous gatherings that occurred outside the White House, at sporting events and other locations around America were truly inspiring, especially when the crowds began to sing the National Anthem.

For me it brought back memories of a decade ago (has it been that long?!) when all of us banded together after the 9/11 attacks and regardless of race, class or political affiliation we collectively declared our pride in – and allegiance to – our country.

After September 11, 2001 we agreed justice would be ours. But, as the years passed we drifted away from that feeling of national unity and our public discourse became mired in ugly and divisive political rhetoric.

Now, with Bin Laden’s death we’ve finally gotten that justice. Feel better? [click to continue…]

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Could Her Mother Have Killed Her?

We are presumed innocent until proven guilty in this country. We are guaranteed a fair trial by an impartial jury. That’s the bedrock of our justice system.

 

But what about the high profile defendant who lives through months and sometimes years of sensational media coverage before their case comes to trial? The potential jury pool in their community can become saturated with negative news about the accused, leaving people to justifiably ask how in the world a fair trial can be conducted.

The upcoming capital murder case of 25 year old Casey Anthony of Orlando, Florida makes my point. [click to continue…]

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