Identity theft was the number one consumer complaint at the Federal Trade Commission last year. So far in 2015, the data breach problem that drives so many identity-related crimes has gotten worse. The massive compromises at Anthem and Premera alone put a combined 91 million records in harm's way.
People who focus on death as an appropriate punishment for the offender seem to focus on the offender. People who say that the death penalty should not be applied seem to focus on who we are as a nation.
Around 11:30 on Tuesday night I witnessed something incredible. A man was out of his mind screaming nonsense along the Seawall that extends from Vancouver, BC's West End neighborhood around the 4 sq. km. region known as Stanley Park.
How then can we reconcile the wildly disparate and seemingly arbitrary outcomes in such cases? How can we be sure that the ultimate punishment is reserved only for the "worst of the worst?"
Support for the death penalty is support for the government having the power of life and death over its citizenry. It's not a power the people should support, especially when the government in question has as troubled a record with legislative matters of life and death as the United States.
We slaughter the innocent and guilty alike in the United States. As parents, we teach our children that killing is wrong then send them off to war and celebrate when an alleged criminal is put to death.
It's easy to forget that childhood poverty is a devastating reality in the United States. A few years ago, in a New Yorker article entitled "Spoiled Rotten," Elizabeth Kolbert wrote: "contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world." Evidence of that claim is all around us.
We are at a pivotal moment. Supporters of mass incarceration have argued that locking people away is needed to fight crime, but the imprisonment rate has climbed regardless of fluctuations in crime rates, giving the United States the highest incarceration rates in the world.
While this is a grossly overdue first step of sorts, it is nevertheless a first step from an administration that has been utterly complicit in accelerating the transformation of America's police forces into extensions of the military.
Growing political unity on the Left and Right on the need for criminal justice reform is an important development. But if bipartisanship fails to incorporate the experiences and voices of those previously ignored, it won't lead to the breakthrough we need.