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The Disabled Deserve a Better Tax Code

by Diane Dimond on August 18, 2014

Sara Wolff at US Capitol -A Remarkable Advocate

Sara Wolff  (L) at US Capitol -A Remarkable Advocate

It’s time for the U.S. Tax Code get in sync with the times. What used to seem like sound tax policy decades ago just isn’t anymore. Here’s a case in point.

Meet Sara Wolff. She is a remarkable, hardworking young woman of 31 who lives in Moscow, Pennsylvania. She takes on multiple jobs and lives with her father and brother. Her older sister lives nearby. Sara has another brother who lives in Florida and, all told, she has eight nieces and nephews and two godchildren who love her to pieces.

Sara’s full-time job working as a law clerk keeps her busy but she also finds time to volunteer at the Keystone Community Resources Center which services those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. [click to continue…]

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Preparing Students to Protect Themselves

by Diane Dimond on August 11, 2014

Robert Tipton, Hazing Victim

Robert Tipton, Hazing Victim

                     “Vicious, even deadly, hazing is still a shameful college tradition….” 

It’s the time of year when, all across the nation, parents are getting their college-bound students ready to leave the nest. May I suggest as you shop for the essentials — you know, the bed linens, the mini-microwave and the ubiquitous bean bag chair — you tell your child the story of Robert Tipton, Jr..

Robert left Memphis, Tennessee with big plans for the future. He attended High Point University in North Carolina. In the spring of 2012, Robert pledged to become a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity because what college kid doesn’t want to feel like they are part of a popular group, right?

Robert left Memphis, Tennessee with big plans for the future. He attended High Point University in North Carolina. In the spring of 2012, Robert pledged to become a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity because what college kid doesn’t want to feel like they are part of a popular group, right?

On the morning of March 26, 2012 young Robert was found beaten, unconscious and not breathing in an apartment not far from the High Point campus. When paramedics got him to the hospital he was declared dead. [click to continue…]

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It’s Mexico’s Turn to Give Back 

by Diane Dimond on August 4, 2014

This Veteran Needs to Come Home

This Veteran Needs to Come Home

Okay, I’m going to propose something radical. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the strict confines of how our U.S. State Department conducts foreign policy but here goes …

How about we ask Mexico to do us a favor for once? Not only has that sieve of a country sat back and watched as more than 100-thousand desperate Hondurans, Guatemalans and El Salvadorans streamed through on their northward search for a safer life, they have also taken decades of generous U.S. foreign assistance without so much as a what-can-we-do-for-you?

Well, here’s what they can do for us. They can expedite the judicial process for U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, held in Mexico since the last day of March, 2014. He is due back in court in Tijuana this coming Monday but without some high powered attention being applied it’s unlikely he will be quickly released. [click to continue…]

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Poliical Fundraising - An Business

Political Fundraising – An Divisive Business

Let’s face it. We have too many antiquated laws on the books. Our laws often fail to keep up with the times.

I mean, do we really need a statute that prohibits rams from trespassing as they have in New Jersey? Or a law that makes it a crime to carry fruit in an illegally sized container as Minnesota recently struck down?

Nonetheless, I would like to propose a new law that would benefit every man, woman and child in the United States. It has to do with how the top leadership in this country operates.

Let’s adopt a law that prohibits presidents from engaging in overt political fundraising. [click to continue…]

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Lee Boyd Malvo Self-Portrait

Lee Boyd Malvo Self-Portrait

Lee Boyd Malvo, inmate No. 330873, incarcerated at the super-maximum Red Onion State Prison in Pound, Va., has a business plan to make himself some money. He either doesn’t know it is against the law or he doesn’t care.

You won’t learn about this story anywhere else. I was only able to piece it together after speaking to sources, correction officials in Virginia, exchanging emails with a woman in a foreign country and putting two and two together.

You may remember Malvo was half of a two-man killing squad that terrorized, robbed and killed people in about a dozen states back in 2002. When the pair were at the peak of their killing spree, the media incorrectly dubbed the then 17-year old Malvo and his 41-year-old accomplice, John Muhammad, “The Beltway Snipers” and the “D.C. Snipers.” [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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The Migration Mess of Our Own Making

by Diane Dimond on June 30, 2014

U.S. Satellites See What's Happening on Earth

U.S. Satellites See What’s Happening on Earth

Global Positioning Satellite systems can pinpoint our location no matter where we are in the world and precisely tell us where to turn to get to our destination. U.S. satellites monitor just about anything on earth — from the path of a forest fire to the route of a convoy of trucks. We know for a fact that the National Security Agency has had eyes and ears on just about every phone call and e-mail sent or received, worldwide.

So can someone please explain to me how we apparently missed the substantial exodus of migrants from Central America headed for our southern border? By all reports this mass migration — which has now resulted in a major humanitarian crisis – began last October. Yet the public is only just hearing about it now, after it has reached catastrophic proportions. [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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Bad News After Bad News

Bad News … And More Bad News

News Announcer: “There’s been another school shooting. This time at the Troutdale High School in Oregon, about 16 miles east of Portland….”

I don’t want to write about this. It feels like screaming into the wilderness with no one listening. And I feel silly now admitting that I really thought things would change after the December 2012 mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

I honestly believed the senseless deaths of 26 little children and teachers (as well as one horribly misguided mother) in Connecticut was going to be a watershed event that would spur a host of new ideas to curb violence. [click to continue…]

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