February 2013

Calming the Volume of TV

by Diane Dimond on February 25, 2013

The Calm Act – How Effective Is It Really?

Don’t look now but we have another new law on the books. This one has the soothing acronym “The Calm Act.” That’s short for The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. In layman’s terms it requires TV stations, cable operators, purveyors of satellite TV and other providers to make sure TV commercials aren’t so darned loud! The Calm Act requires commercials be no louder than the surrounding program in which they are shown.

I always figured TV ads were extra loud so you could still hear them from other parts of the house – like the kitchen or bathroom – if you stepped away during the commercial break. My husband, the audiophile, maintains that commercials are really no higher in volume than the accompanying program and that it is just, “The dynamic mid-range of sound advertisers use to get our attention,” – things like swelling music and explosions along with the announcers. I nod my head as if I understand what he’s talking about but I really don’t. To me loud is loud.  [click to continue…]



by Diane Dimond on February 21, 2013

Welcome to my home base where you’ll find my weekly Creators Syndicate crime and justice newspaper columns re-posted.  The paper of my childhood — The Albuquerque Journal — continues to be my column’s showcase spot for as long as they’ll have me.

My writings here are  always different.  Sometimes I’ll simply tell you a story. Sometimes I’ll share my opinions, praise or criticism. Other times I’ll hold a mirror up to our society and invite you to form your own opinion. I hope the columns will give you something new to think about each time you visit.

It’s a complicated world out there, full of situations of good versus evil, right versus wrong. My job is point them out.

I’m also a contributing writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and you can find my articles at my homepage here.

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“The Great Brain Robbery”

The worldwide headlines say it all. 

From the United Kingdom: “Pathologist ‘Stockpiled Children’s Organs.’”

In Canada, the headline: “Ontario Service Has 4,000 Autopsy Organs, Unmatched to Families.”

From Las Vegas, this shocker: “Misplaced. Thrown away. Stolen. Sold? Nobody Knows What Happened to Richard Boorman’s Missing Organs.” And from New York: “Parents Shocked to Learn Examiner Kept Son’s Brain.” 

The cleverest headline for this macabre topic: “The Great Brain Robbery.” 

It is the last thing grieving next-of-kin should have to worry about. But if burying an intact body is important to a family’s religious, moral or ethical beliefs, they should ask the funeral home to make sure their loved one has all of his or her organs in place.  [click to continue…]


Mandatory Drug Tests – For Kids?

by Diane Dimond on February 11, 2013

Can Underage Drinking and Drugging Be Stopped?


There’s a community wide conversation going on in Kansas City, Missouri that should also be taking place around the country. It has to do with high school kid’s use of drugs and alcohol. The discussion revolves around the question: How can adults adequately convince a teen-ager that drinking too soon or using narcotics can, literally, cost them their lives? 

At Rockhurst High School in Kansas City the Jesuit leadership has answered that question with, “You can’t.” You can’t fully convince or trust teens not to drink or experiment with drugs. So, later this year at the all-male Rockhurst High they will begin to randomly drug test the student body by taking 60 hairs from the head of each teen. This will be repeated every 90 days. One of the Rockhurst faculty members, someone with a background in barbering, will collect the sample hairs and send them out for testing. Lab techs will look for traces of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs as well as alcohol consumption. [click to continue…]


America’s Homegrown Killing Fields

by Diane Dimond on February 4, 2013

Going “Postal” in America since 1983


It has been a long time since the first postal worker went postal back in 1983. Since then America has endured countless other mass shootings. But, the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut was supposed to change everything.

We collectively declared that the horror of innocent children being gunned down in cold blood was a game changer. A troubled son shooting his mother to death in her bed and then rampaging through an elementary school was our national wake-up call. Finally, we told each other, it was time for America to do something about its gun problem!

It would have been a glorious homage to the Newtown victims. Sorry to say, however, those 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School died needlessly. So did victim number one, Nancy Lanza, the mother of the shooter. [click to continue…]