Monday, June 20, 2011

A big "Thank You!" to some people who really made my daughter Christina's wedding on Friday wildly special – to my wonderful bride Gina who provided lodging for her first 9 months and modeled for her how to truly love a man and build a family, to her family and friends who helped mold her into the fantastic and amazing woman she is today, and to Ron and Delia Smallwood for producing my daughter's prince Joshua – someone we've been praying for her whole life. 

I'd also like to thank Diver's Cove in Laguna (link) for it's generous contribution of scenic beauty and of course, tar, for our barefoot wedding in the sand.

To Andre at Las Brisas Restaurant ( for hosting our delicious reception, and to the Inn At Laguna ( for the over-the-top helpfulness with the all the pandemonium of the girls getting ready and all the craziness that goes with hosting a wedding.

But most of all to my little girl who made everyone at her wedding feel comfortable and who led the way in showing us all how to have a great time – especially while dancing with daddy!  DIP!

400-408 – • Fox News (6/20/2011) U.K. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Leaves Friends $160G for Las Vegas Party. 

A British soldier killed by a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan left $161,500 in his will -- so his friends could go on vacation to Las Vegas, The Sun reported Monday.

Royal Marine David Hart, who had taken out a $403,800 life insurance policy before he was deployed to Afghanistan, stipulated in a letter that in the event of his death, his friends and their partners should travel to Sin City for a massive party in his memory.

"In his letter David said he had had a great life and had no regrets about anything. He always said he would do something like this if something bad happened," friend Andy Hare said. "He said, 'Go and have a good time and spend all this money.'"

Now, one year after 23-year-old Hart's death, 32 friends will fly to Nevada to honor his final wishes.

Hart, a combat medic, also set aside money for his family as well as $80,700 for a charity for wounded Marines.

"He was the best brother I could have wished for," Sarah Hart, 27, told the newspaper. "He was caring, funny and had an infamous grin. He would always be there for you. I'm proud to have been his sister and of his career as a commando."

Lt. Col. Paul James characterized Hart as the "perfect Marine -- magnificent in personality and profession."

413-423 – • USA Today (6/20/2011) Despite the loss of a leg, Army Ranger is back in the fight.

FORT BENNING, Ga. — From the moment his broken body was pulled from an armored vehicle in Iraq — after an enemy grenade, dropped through a hatch, detonated inches away —Army Ranger Joseph Kapacziewki vowed to be back in the fight.

"Is this going to ruin my chances of being a squad leader?" he asked as he was carried into a medical ward.

The soldier's lower right leg was shattered. Nerve damage left his right arm useless. And from hip to upper thigh, the flesh was shredded by the blast.

It was 2005, and doctors feared Kapacziewski (pronounced Capa-CHESS-ski) would never walk, much less be able to remain in the elite, physically demanding Army Rangers. //

428-438 – • Huffington Post (6/20/2011) Texas Mom Rosalina Gonzales Sentenced For Spanking.  PDF that talks about no spanking.

Spanking children is a long time hot button issue for parents, but a Texas court just sent a warning to parents with a "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality to change their ways.

Rosalina Gonzales was sentenced to five-years probation after pleading guilty to the charge of Injury of a Child for spanking her then nearly two-year-old daughter.

The Corpus Christi mom of three reached an agreement with prosecutors requiring her to take parenting classes and pay a $50 fine to the Children's Advocacy Center, reports KZTV10.

"You don't spank children today," said Judge Jose Longoria. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children."

According to KZTV10 Gonzales was arrested last December after the child's grandmother noticed red marks on the girl's behind and took her to the local Children's Hospital to get checked out.

Gonzales currently does not have custody of her three children, who will remain with their paternal grandmother until the Department of Family and Protective Services agrees she is ready to have them back.

Courts across the country and beyond seem to be getting tougher on spanking -- especially when the child isn't your own. In April, 67-year-old James Freeman was sentenced to one month in jail and 11 months probation for spanking a two-year-old who tore tore up plants in his yard and ignored his orders to stop.

And in a seemingly more serious case, the Calgary Appeals Court in Calgary, Canada decided that a two-year probation sentence was inappropriate for Mark Anthony Harris who was convicted for assault with a weapon after he spanked his nine-year-old daughter with a belt. The Appeals Court ruled that Harris should serve nine months of jail time instead.

(:35) Spanking NBC story full. Original story is from KZTV in Texas.

(:11) Judge Jose Longoria short.

443-452 – Calls – "To spank, or not to spank?," that is the question.  Do you spoon or belt or use your hand?  BTW, aren't hands supposed to be for loving?  What about the "if it leaves a mark it's illegal" policy?  Family counselors are told to report any marks they see on a child that may be due to abuse or punishment?  Would you report someone spanking their child, have you?  Parents of young children, what's your discipline strategy – does it include spanking?  Foster parents, how does the "no spanking" policy affect your parenting?  Is spanking a "failure of parenting skills?"  Have you ever been reported to CPS for spanking your child?  Teachers, how do you deal with such pervasive permissiveness?

458-508 – Calls – "Chris" did two years of graduate research on spanking.  Dr. Robert Larzelere has done a lot of research on this.

512-523 – Calls – "Clabe" has eight kids, and has needed to spank a couple of them, most recently his 13 year old that kept sneaking out late at night.

528-539 – Calls – Wikipedia "Corporal punishment in the home."  Many countries have banned spanking.

544-554 – Calls –

558-608 – Calls –  Any CPS workers want to weigh in on this?

612-623 – Calls – Kathy in Whittier works for CPS and says you can legally spank in California, but only with your hand on covered buttocks and it must be within a reasonable time of the offense.  And this is mind blowing! – Who knew? – It is illegal to strike a child with any object other than your hand.  If you do so, say with the proverbially rod, wooden spoon, or belt, then you can be reported to CPS, and you may lose your child, and the judge will order you to take a mandated parenting class.  Put it this way, if your child tells his teacher or another adult that you spank him with a spatula, you will be disciplined!

628-639 – Calls – Kerry the cop called to say that CPS has no authority to remove a child directly, it must be through the police.  Kerry never heard about the "hand only" policy.

Jan in Pasadena works with CPS and affirmed the "hand only" policy and says you can't even strike a 13 year old boy across the knuckles with a ruler – and the kids know this.  Single moms are most vulnerable.  Nor can you slap a 15 year old girl on the cheek, as an RN mom found out. 

644-654 – Calls –

• Michael Muskal (LA Times, 6/20/2011) Prejudice against Mormon candidates persists, poll shows.

• Fox News (6/19/2011) NBC Apologizes for Omitting 'Under God' From Pledge During U.S. Open Broadcast.

• OC Register (6/20/2011) 870,000 Californians leave the state.

• Christian Post (6/18/2011) $5M Lottery Winner: 'God Put Us Here to Help People'.  Calls – Have you ever used money you were saving for something else to help a friend in need?

A man from Ohio who won $5 million on the state lottery has said that he will use the money "to help people because I love it … and I think that's what God put us here for."

Phillip Withem, 54, from Logan, Ohio, won the Ohio State Lottery. According to The Daily Mail he originally won just $2,500. However, that automatically entered him into the "Top Prize Drawing," where he won the $5 million.

He told ABC6: "I played a lot of tickets and won a lot. But I never dreamed I won big money."

However, it has also been reported that Withem receives kidney dialysis, and is also in need of a kidney transplant.

Nevertheless, Withem reportedly plans to give much of his winnings away to children's charities and to friends that were in need of help.

According to NBC4, Withem said, "I'm going to help people because I love it. It makes me feel good and I think that's what God put us here for."

He explained that he especially wanted to help some of his former work colleagues at the Hocking County Courthouse, who helped him as he fell sick previously. "The people at the courthouse were really nice to me when I got sick," he said. "I really appreciate that."