August 2013

Kaitlyn’s Calamity – A Mess of Her Own Making

by Diane Dimond on August 26, 2013

She Got A Golden Ticket & Squandered It

Here’s a lesson everyone needs to learn. Don’t violate a court order. It will only make your problems worse. There is never an acceptable excuse for going against what a judge has ordered. Not even if you think it is unfair. Not even if it’s a matter of the heart.

Not long ago I wrote a column – actually, a rather sympathetic column – about the plight of Florida teenager Kaitlyn Hunt.  At 18, Hunt’s high school sweetheart was just 14 and female. Because Florida’s statutory rape law stipulates that no one under 16 can legally consent to sexual contact – Hunt was expelled from her high school where she had been an excellent student and athlete.

In mid-February, Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg issued a no-contact order instructing Kaitlyn to have no further contact with the younger girl. [click to continue…]

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America’s Family Court Fiasco

by Diane Dimond on August 19, 2013

Family Courts Are an Overburdened Mess

We, in America, like to say that what happens behind closed doors is nobody else’s business. But what if what happens between consenting adults results in the rest of us having to pay out billions of dollars when things go wrong?

It is happening year after year. Taxpayers are footing the bill for countless ugly divorces, separations and couples who have babies out of wedlock.

Experts who keep track of this call it, “Family Fragmentation” and estimate that we, collectively, pay more than $112 billion annually in an oftentimes vain effort to fix the problems of troubled couples.

The Institute for American Values, a conservative group with a mission to “study and strengthen civil society,” added up the public’s cost of supporting divorcing and unmarried households. Using figures from 2008, they looked at the justice system’s cost of dissolving a typical marriage, the average amount of a custodial parent’s reliance on government programs like food stamps, Medicaid, Head Start, housing assistance and cash payments. Over the course of the previous decade, the Institute concluded, taxpayers shelled out more than $1 trillion. [click to continue…]

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Softening the Rhetoric on Race

by Diane Dimond on August 12, 2013

 

Who Can Curb Racism? All of Us

              ~ Let’s take a cue from an African American college student

Now that the flaming rhetoric over the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting case has mostly subsided it seems like a good time to more calmly discuss the issue of racism in America.

Does it exist? You bet it does. But intellectually honest people have to admit prejudice is a long-standing exercise practiced by people of all backgrounds. In this instance, blacks and whites.

I got to thinking about this recently after reading a column entitled Profiling Obama written by Bill Keller of the New York Times, a writer I have much admired. It described our president’s dilemma of appearing “too black” to some people and “not black enough” to others. [click to continue…]

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Abandoning Babies The Safe Way

by Diane Dimond on August 5, 2013

Who Could Abandon a Baby?

They have been found in places where no newborn baby should ever be left:  A trash can at a Phoenix, Arizona middle school, in the NY city subway, in the toilet of a North Carolina circus, on the floor of a Lawrence, Kansas laundromat and along hiking trails in California and Texas.

Abandonment happens because the baby’s mother is either absent, impaired or simply unprepared to be a parent.

There are no firm statistics of exactly how many American babies are abandoned every year or how many are harmed or die after being left in a vulnerable place.  States that might bother to keep such figures have no national data base in which to deposit their sad statistics. [click to continue…]

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