In The News

The Great Bathroom Debate

The Great Bathroom Debate – How Does it End?

This too shall pass from the headlines in time, but while the issue of who-can-legally-use-what-public-bathroom is still red hot here are some thoughts.

We are a nation of almost 320 million people. Statistics are not plentiful. There are no national figures kept but it’s estimated the number of transgendered Americans is about 700,000 or 0.3% of the population.

Since the biggest controversy these days seems focused on transgender students and what might happen in their school bathrooms or locker rooms perhaps the best statistic to focus upon comes from a 2014 survey of millennials by the Public Religion Research Institute. That survey found 1% of young people identify as transgender.  [click to continue…]

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He Should Have Been Deported - Then He Murdered

He Should Have Been Deported – Then He Murdered a Woman

Decisions always have a consequence. That’s what I told my daughter as she was growing up. Make a decision to do something but, realize, you must then live with the consequences. I’m left wondering if Washington politicians had mothers who taught them the same lesson.

The consequence of Washington’s long-term failure to fix our fractured immigration policy just keeps getting more dangerous. The upshot for the rest of us? Ticking human time bombs walking among us.

For more than three years the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) has been forced to release thousands of deportation-ready criminal immigrants out on to American streets. More than 86,000 of them are, presumably, still out there. [click to continue…]

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Headline Writers Call - or the Reporter's

Headline Writers Call – or the Reporter’s

A federal prosecutor friend wrote me recently and attached a news article with the headline, “Decision Time for FBI on Clinton.”

“Why does the media say stuff like this?” he asked.  “The FBI has no say in this or any investigation.” And he went on to muse about how reporters just don’t seem to understand that the only entity that can make a “decision” on whether to indict Hillary Clinton for the way she (mis)handled her State Department e-mails is the office of the U.S. Attorney General.

He’s right. The the final decision is up to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. With that said, I figure it is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Elephant, is thy name partisan politics? [click to continue…]

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How Many Gun Suicides Could Be Prevented?

by Diane Dimond on April 25, 2016

Now More Gun Suicides Than Gun Homicides

Now More Gun Suicides Than Gun Homicides

Thank goodness there have been no headline grabbing mass shootings in America recently.

I was thinking about that this week after reading about the 17th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot dead 12 of their fellow students, one teacher and injured many others in a senseless bloodbath at their Colorado high school.

Let’s hope this lull in school/office/theater shootings continues. Yet, sadly, it is surely temporary given that in the United States there are as many 310 million guns in civilian hands. [click to continue…]

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Hastert was Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Hastert was Speaker of the House until 2007

Later this month one of the most powerful men ever to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives will face a federal judge to learn his fate. Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty to evading U.S. banking laws, illegally structuring payouts to conceal other crimes and lying to the FBI. But that’s only a small part of his sordid story.

It’s a textbook case of why critics are able to say there is one system of justice for the rich and connected and quite another for the rest of us. It’s also another condemnation of our statute of limitations laws that say suspects can’t be tried for certain crimes if too much time has passed.  [click to continue…]

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Rape Matters – Catching Rapists Does Too

by Diane Dimond on April 11, 2016

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

Mounds of Rape Kits Waiting for Testing

So get this. Top justice officials have figured out a way to make the bad guys finance programs that help solve crimes. It’s such a unique solution to a long standing problem that I just have to share.

The District Attorney’s office in Manhattan – a jurisdiction that includes one of the preeminent financial centers of the world — is in a matchless position to collect billions of dollars from international banks that concoct schemes to get around U.S. sanctions.

For example, the French bank officials at BNP Paribas were forced to admit they illegally moved hundreds of millions of dollars through New York banks for clients in terror-sponsoring countries like Iran and Sudan. For threatening the security of our nation’s banking system and breaking our sanctions the French bank was fined more than $8.8 billion in penalties and criminal forfeiture. [click to continue…]

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Is Football Worth Damaging the Brain?

by Diane Dimond on April 4, 2016

Concussions and Kids - A Dangerous Mix

Concussions and Kids – A Dangerous Mix

It was the admission that made every parent of every kid who wants to play football gasp.

The question from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was simple. “Do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE?”

The answer, from no less than the National Football League’s senior vice president for health and safety, Jeff Miller: “The answer to that question is certainly yes.”

Wow. Now, it doesn’t take an Einstein to know that repeated, solid blows to a person’s head will cause problems. [click to continue…]

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Terrorists Need Another “Shock and Awe”

by Diane Dimond on March 28, 2016

Brussels terror aftermath

The Aftermath of the Brussels Attack

Another week, another deadly terrorist attack, this time in Brussels. The aftershocks heightened security across Europe and here in the US.

Understanding why Muslim extremists continue to kill innocents and what they are likely planning for the future can best predicted by someone who used to live, eat and pray among them.

Meet Emad Salem, a devout Muslim who, after serving as a Major in the Egyptian military, became a US citizen 31 years ago. But he became more than that. He became one of the FBI’s most valuable undercover assets in the War on Terror, beginning in the early 90’s. [click to continue…]

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California Overcrowding Among the Worst

California Overcrowding Among the Worst

It’s easy to understand the intent behind the current move to reduce prison overcrowding but are we sure we’re doing it right?

In 2010, when President Obama signed The Fair Sentencing Act to reduce federal prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders he specifically targeted those who had been convicted of crack cocaine crimes. In the past, anyone in possession of crack — an inexpensive drug most often used in poor black communities — was routinely sentenced to harsher penalties than those who had dealt in the more expensive powder cocaine that was used almost exclusively by more affluent whites. [click to continue…]

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Public Enemy #1 – The iPhone?

by Diane Dimond on March 14, 2016

A Criminal's Best Friend If It Has OS 8 Installed.

A Criminal’s Best Friend If It Has iOS 8 Installed

In this corner – the FBI – which says that all high tech company Apple cares about is protecting its mega-profits brand and not the nation’s security.

And in that corner – Apple – which says the feds will put everyone’s privacy in jeopardy if a court forces them to disable password protection on the iPhone of dead terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook and his wife shot to death 14 of his San Bernardino County co-workers last December and seriously wounded 22.

There might be valuable information on Farook’s phone, information that could help thwart future terrorist attacks. But then again, maybe there’s nothing on that phone at all. Both sides say it’s the principal of the issue at stake. [click to continue…]

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