Friday, July 16: Teach Your Children Well
Summer is the time of year when most child abductions occur. There are a few simple things you can teach your kids to keep them safe. For more information on Fighting Chance, call 1-800-479-9933, or go to www.kidsfightingchance.com.
Apologies — and My Own Story About Nearly Being Kidnapped
First, apologies for continued problems with our DaySide e-mail account. It went down again, so I couldn't receive any of the letters you sent about Martha Stewart. Yikes.
Second, apologies for interrupting (and abruptly ending) the segment today on how to protect your child from kidnapping. Sorry about that — many of you have called in upset that we broke away from something that is so important. I agree completely — as it happens, a stranger tried to kidnap me when I was 12 years old, growing up in Ohio.
I've never revealed that publicly until now.
It was a classic case: I was waiting alone at the bus stop in the morning when a man drove up in his car, his dog in the back seat. He asked for my help in finding out what time the bus came. Trying to be helpful, I stood there answering him, explaining it was due in a few minutes. Then he ordered me into the car. I noticed he was exposing himself as he was talking, and I took off running to a neighbor's house. I escaped and the guy got away.
I was afraid to tell my parents, thinking they'd somehow be mad at me. In fact, I didn't confide in them 'til years later, when I was in college. I only wish there had been some advice available to our family back then that we all could have been better prepared.
Because of what happened to me, I am especially concerned about the right way to teach kids to protect themselves from harmful strangers. So I want you to know that I've re-scheduled our interview with the co-founders of the "Fighting Chance" DVD for Monday. I hope you'll tune in.
In the meantime, if you have any strategies that you've found successful with your own kids, send me an e-mail. (Technicians are busily working to get that darn account working) — the address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a terrific weekend.
Thursday, July 15: Martha, Martha, Martha
Some wise person said it, and over and over it proves true: It's the cover-up that kills ya.
Friday, Martha Stewart (search) gets sentenced and we shall see where she spends her court-ordered jail time. Her company appears to be surviving and Ms. Stewart shows no sign of being nervous about what awaits her in prison.
Some of you have said it seems like she's going to jail for such a "small" crime, compared to the countless people defrauded by companies like Tyco, Enron and Adelphia. Others say, "you do the crime, you do the time."
Until now, it was all just talk and the picture of Martha reporting to a prison seemed far off in the distance. Not anymore: That time has come.
We'll cover it, of course, on "DaySide" Friday — see you then.
And to contact Open Hearts Mission, e-mail: email@example.com
Wednesday, July 14: Paternity Problem
The “DaySide” e-mail account — along with other the accounts of other programs here at FNC, have been down temporarily — and we couldn't access your e-mails until just now. So to those of you who e-mailed me about Carmen bin Laden, I'm sorry I didn't get to use them on the air — I would have liked to. The e-mail account is fixed now, so I can once again receive your letters.
We’re still working on some of the elements for Thursday's “DaySide,” a paternity (search) case in Los Angeles. A woman there had a baby out of wedlock and named Manuel Navarro as the father. He missed his chance to challenge this (there's a limited period in which one can file a challenge). He was branded a 'deadbeat dad' by county authorities, which in L.A., means you can be blocked from basic things like getting a driver's license and other licenses (a teacher's certificate, for example).
Years passed, and eventually Navarro learned he was not the biological father of this boy, but L.A. County said he still had to pay child support.
Seems odd, don't you think, that he'd be still be ordered to pay child support even though the boy was not his son?
Then, just days ago, a California appeals court ruled in Navarro's favor.
What do you think of this? What do you think of the fact that, in California at least, a woman does not get punished in any way by the law if she files a false paternity report?
Send your comments to my newly-repaired e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 12: Bin Laden's Sister-in-Law Speaks Out
Carmen bin Laden, who is now divorced from Usama bin Laden's (search) older brother, is scared to the point of shaking, but she is daring to reveal what it's like inside the bin Laden family. I'm set to interview her Wednesday — I'm racing through her book right now, called "Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia."
Some things Carmen says:
• That the bin Laden brothers totally support each other financially and socially (which I take to mean that he's getting help on the lam from his family).
• That Usama refused to look at her, because she dared to refuse to wear a veil and showed her face.
• That the bin Laden family respects and admires Usama for his dedication to the Koran and his piety (EXCUSE ME?!)
• That she was effectively a prisoner in Saudi Arabia, where the Wahhabist custom confines women to their homes; listening to music or reading a book other than the Koran is branded a sin.
Carmen fled Saudi Arabia, and now she says the bin Ladens want to shut her up. She says she has written this book to explain to her daughters why she took such desperate steps.
What would you like to say to Carmen? What questions do you want to ask her? Send them to me at: email@example.com and I'll read as many of them as possible on the air Wednesday.
See you then,
Monday, June 12: Child Abuse Case in Utah
A 12-year-old boy in Salt Lake City has testified that his father and step-mother locked him up in handcuffs, chained to a concrete block in the basement; that they deprived him of food; that twice his stepmother stabbed him in the head with a fork until he bled; and that she beat him with a 2 by 4.
The alleged abuse was discovered by a friend of the family, who found this boy chained to a bunk bed at the family's home and confronted them.
The couple in question is Mark and Christina Gray. Mrs. Gray even admitted she hates this boy and had beaten him until he was black and blue.
The Grays have now been ordered to stand trial. But here's the thing: They are also being allowed to keep custody of their five other children. Why? According to the Division of Children's Services in Utah, "Only the one child was targeted for abuse... we haven't seen a single sign of abuse on any other child."
What do you think of that?
Some social workers claim it's true that in abusive families, it's possible to have only one child that is targeted. Do you believe that? Let me know what you think: Drop me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm planning to do a story on this for Tuesday's show.
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET