September 2013

Forgotten Veterans and the Legacy of Agent Orange

by Diane Dimond on September 30, 2013

MSgt Foster on Left, Sgt Ralph Stanton on Right

For this Band of Brothers the Vietnam War never ended. Forty years after the fighting stopped they continue their struggle to be recognized as part of the unenviable group poisoned by the deadly herbicide Agent Orange.

These men who dedicated years to the U.S. military were stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. In the mid-60’s it was an important stop-over on the way to warzones in Southeast Asia. B-52 bombing missions targeting the Viet Cong – with names like Operation Arc Light and Operation Linebacker II — were launched from Andersen. Two years after the conflict the base became a way-stop for more than 100-thousand Vietnamese refugees seeking a new life in America.

Andersen AFB was a well-oiled machine thanks to the dedicated soldiers stationed there. Two of those men – Master Sargent LeRoy Foster and Sargent Ralph Stanton – found each other late in life and began to compare their multitude of similar health problems. [click to continue…]

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Missing the Clues That Lead to Massacre

by Diane Dimond on September 23, 2013

Heard Voices, Murdered Twelve

How can I not write about what happened at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC this past week?

Once again a mentally troubled American picked up a gun and committed mass murder. A dozen dead in the blink of an eye, murdered by a former Navy man, who had left a trail of clues about his volatile mental state.

If only we could figure out a way to collect and analyze these types of red-flag clues – displayed ahead of time, according to research, in more than 60% of mass shooting cases – we might be able to stop massacres before they happen.

Navy officials say Aaron Alexis, 34, showed a “pattern of misbehavior” during his service. [click to continue…]

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Lopsided Outrage Over Racially Motivated Crimes

by Diane Dimond on September 16, 2013

Ginger Slepski, Attacked by Black Teens – Why?

~  Let’s Talk Less About Race and More About Life

It keeps happening.  Nearly every week there are more brutal crimes that bear all the earmarks of being racially motivated but because the victims are white you will probably never hear about them.

We’ve all seen the rallies around black victims of white perpetrated violent crime – and I’m fine with that. It is the right of every American citizen to peacefully protest.  But when did it become acceptable to ignore the same types of crime when the roles are reversed and the victim is white?

Why is it that we hear so little hue-and-cry on behalf of Caucasians who are victimized by blacks?

I know this is a provocative topic but it is high time America talks about it and embrace the idea that no matter what the color of skin involved preying on others is not allowed – ever – period.  [click to continue…]

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Better Ideas For Divorce

by Diane Dimond on September 9, 2013

Headed to Divorce Court?

Are you or someone you know contemplating a divorce? Are there plans to hire a lawyer and take the matter to court? At the risk of raising the ire of matrimonial lawyers, I say, you might want to re-think that idea.

I’ve written in this space about alternative ideas to Divorce Court, the less painful process called “collaborative law” where specially trained lawyers act as mediators not adversaries. More recently, I wrote about how the Family Court system is overwhelmed with divorce and custody cases. Some divorces take years to wind their way through the courts.

In the meantime, the warring factions continue to funnel money to their divorce lawyers – lots of money – that would likely be put to better use in establishing a new household or college funds for the children. [click to continue…]

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Disabled Americans Deserve Special Handling Under the Law

by Diane Dimond on September 2, 2013

Ethan During Happy Family Times

Ethan Saylor wasn’t like you and me.

He was born 26 years ago with Down syndrome. He was a happy, loving, “goofy” brother to younger siblings Emma and Adam. His parents adored him. At one point, Ethan had moved out to live independently but he had recently moved back to an apartment on his parent’s property.

By now you’ve noticed I speak of Ethan in the past tense. Sadly, he died in a confrontation with law enforcement officers who apparently had little training in how to deal with people who suffer from disabilities that make them unable to comprehend, feel or react as the rest of us do. [click to continue…]

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