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What Glorifying Football Says About Us

by Diane Dimond on October 27, 2014

Football Fans Can't Get Enough

Football Fans Can’t Seem to Get Enough

This question is going to sound like blasphemy to some but here goes: Why do we glorify the game of football and its players the way we do?

I’m not really an NFL fan but I watch occasional games with my husband. I can take it or leave it but I know there are millions of others who live-breathe-and-eat the game. But, why?

In the aftermath of yet another round of NFL scandals I’ve been thinking about what the game of football, and the fallout from its disgraces, really says about us. I wonder what football’s influence has done to generations of America’s boys. [click to continue…]

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Rembrandts of the Courtroom

by Diane Dimond on July 14, 2014

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Charles Manson Nearly Caused a Mistrial

Okay, show of hands. How many readers have actually sat inside a courtroom and watched a trial? Having been assigned to cover countless high-profile trials over the years I have to admit I relish it.

I love going to courthouses with their stately facades and imposing corridors. And inside it’s like watching a big vat of human soup. We all get stirred up together in a courthouse. The poor, the middle-class, the rich. People seeking justice, people in big trouble with the law, people whose families are falling apart. The process is fascinating to watch.

Inside courtrooms where the most-watched trials take place there is a group of unsung regulars that I have never written about – professional courtroom artists. Whenever I can I try to get a seat next to one of them. Watching them work is a treat. [click to continue…]

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Learn to Respect Each Other’s Opinions

by Diane Dimond on July 7, 2014

Are We Really an Independent Nation?

Are We Really Independent Thinkers?

Another 4th of July holiday has come and gone and every year I try to think past the BBQ’s and beer and ponder the origin of Independence Day.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

That is, of course, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

We learned that quote as school kids but these days it seems out of touch with where we are as a nation, doesn’t it? [click to continue…]

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Time to Remember the Victims

Time to Remember the Victims

As the coroner’s van took away one of the bodies, I walked toward the bloodied sidewalk outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo. I’ll never forget what I saw that day. Law enforcement had come and gone and left behind only some strips of yellow police tape.

It might have been 20 years ago, but I can still see the rivulets of blood between the pavers at the condo’s entryway. Later I would learn that the paw prints and feathery marks punctuating the bloodbath were made by Nicole’s dog. In his confused state, the Akita had obviously circled the bloody scene, its leash traversing through the red and leaving a swoosh of stain all the way down to the corner stop sign.

With the evidence gathering clearly over, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t someone wash away all this blood?” [click to continue…]

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firingsquadOld

Should We Return to the Old Days?

It’s clearly time to bring back firing squads.

If we’re going to keep carrying out the death penalty in this country and if we are going to continue to grandly insist that they are “humane executions” then only a return to a firing squad will insure a speedy and relatively pain free death for the condemned.

You might think I’m kidding but I’m not. I say, line up six to eight sharp shooters, employ the old practice of giving one of them a blank instead of a bullet and instruct them to aim for the prisoner’s heart. I guarantee the convict will be dead before they drop to the ground. [click to continue…]

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Kids and Guns and Public Safety

by Diane Dimond on January 27, 2014

In Homes With Guns, Teach Kids Gun Safety!

Uncle Jim used to herd a group of us kids into the car on a sunny Saturday morning and head to an isolated area outside town. His son, little Jim, my two cousins Sandy and Terry and I were full of anticipation.

We were going target shooting – with a real gun – guided every step of the way in gun safety by Uncle Jim. I was about ten or eleven years old, the oldest kid in the group.

“Always keep a gun pointed toward the ground until you are ready to shoot,” Uncle Jim would say as he set up soda cans on a fence post about 20 yards away. “Never, ever point a gun toward another person.”

There on the southwest mesa outside Albuquerque we would wait patiently until it was our turn to handle the pistol. Uncle Jim would stand right behind us and guide the gun into our hands, showing us the proper technique of cradling the hands around the bottom of the gun while placing an index finger on the trigger. Then he’d take a step back as we raised our arms and tell us to shoot when we were ready. [click to continue…]

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A Columnists Favorite Column, An Homage to Charley Reese

by Diane Dimond on December 16, 2013

Newspaperman Charley Reese

Professionals of all types admire others in their field. Architects respect certain other architects, singers style themselves after singers who came before them, artists can find inspiration from someone else’s work.

As a columnist I have a favorite too. The best columns I ever read – and ones I remember for their common sense ideas, written in common-man language – were penned by veteran newspaperman Charley Reese.

I didn’t agree with everything he wrote but I cherished his style. Although I write about crime and justice and Reese wrote about politics and international issues for the most part, I admit I have tried to achieve his simple way of communicating ideas. [click to continue…]

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Enough Surveillance Already!

by Diane Dimond on July 22, 2013

 

Too Much Spying on Innocent Americans?

Okay, now I’m mad.

I know we live in a hyper-vigilant time. I know there are terrorists who would like to kill as many Americans as possible and some are living right here in the United States actively plotting murder and mayhem. But, I have had just about enough of our government snooping and conducting surveillance on innocent Americans. And so many Americans!

Look, I’ve worked in the area of crime and justice for a long time. I get the need to conduct undercover and clandestine operations – but the sheer scope of what’s been going on is absolutely chilling.

Think of it this way: You go to the airport to catch a flight and every single passenger is treated as a suspicious character, right? The grip of political correctness forbids airport security from singling out those who history has shown would be most likely to perpetrate a terrorist act on a plane – i.e. Young men of Middle Eastern Muslim heritage bent on conducting acts of jihad against non-believers. At the airport everyone – from tiny babies to old people in wheelchairs – gets treated like a potential criminal. [click to continue…]

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Does Dept Make You Feel Secure?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our Department of Homeland Security lately. The DHS was formed after the September 11, 2001 attacks, of course, but since then it has grown to mammoth proportions. It now has more than 200,000 employees and it is the nation’s third largest Cabinet department after the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs.

The taxpayer’s bill for DHS is also enormous. If all goes as planned you and I will send $59 billion more of our hard earned dollars to the DHS this year to advance their mission to, “prevent attacks and protect Americans – on the land, in the sea and in the air.”

Here we are more than a dozen years after 9-11 – and hundreds of billions of dollars later – and we still have no foolproof way to sift through our own suspected terrorist watch list. [click to continue…]

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Is Your Stoplight Watching You?

by Diane Dimond on April 15, 2013

Traffic Camera Are Everywhere

I didn’t realize I had broken the law until I opened an official envelope with a traffic ticket inside. Each time this has happened I’ve thought, “Darn those traffic cameras!” Okay, I likely said something spicier than that because there’s little else to say in one’s defense when confronted with photographic evidence that you have run a red light.

Twice New York State has sent me tickets for running a red light as I struggled to turn left in crushing New York City traffic. The third time the news came from my cousin, Sandy Hays, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She called to tell me that when I had borrowed her husband’s car during a trip to my hometown I had been caught speeding on an off-ramp near the University of New Mexico. Embarrassed, I sent her a check for $75.00 to cover the fine. A month or so later Sandy sent me a return check saying the city had [click to continue…]

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