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I have strung words together for The New York Times, Vice, and more. I write and shoot people (with a camera, you guys) from my home in upst...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Are you one of those people who can't believe parents allow their young kids (way younger than 13) on Facebook? Oh lambs, that bit of crazy is old news. There is a new crew of nutso parents in town. They're the ones who build a Facebook page for their kids ... and then maintain it themselves. Not sure what I mean? Well, imagine you log online to see a photo of a little boy and his mom at the park in your feed. Underneath, you'll read a caption that says something like, "Mom and I went to the park." It's written from the kid's point of view. Only the kid didn't write it.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Have you seen the photo of a NYPD officer giving shoes to a homeless man that has gone viral this week? If you haven't, you need to take a look. It may be the best thing you see this entire holiday season. What 25-year-old Officer Lawrence DePrimo did is incredible. But there's something extra to this story that has really ensured the photo at right will keep on moving around the web.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There is little in this world that strikes me as worse than parents who hurt their kids. But Roland Dow and Jessica Linscott have topped even that. Cops arrested the parents of a little boy fighting for his life while they were at Universal Studios in Florida. The boy? Oh yeah, he was way back in their hometown in New Hampshire. Yes, you got that right. These "parents" were tearing it up at a place made to put smiles on children's faces and meanwhile their little boy had been burned and beaten so badly he was in a hospital clinging to life hundreds of miles away.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In case you need additional proof that the world is full of idiots, the big news on the parenting front today is that Moms and Dads are looking to give their baby a "cool" name. Well, of course they are! Naming a baby is just like choosing an outfit for hitting the clubs on New Year's Eve, isn't it? Isn't it? Please, don't answer that. At least, don't if you're going to depress me further. Society has (sadly) reached a point at which the following needs to be stated.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We all want to be the parent of the kid who has strong convictions and stands up for what they believe in. But what happens when what they believe in is dead wrong? Take the teenager who complained to the school administration after his teacher had played a song about tolerance and same sex marriage. Susan Johnson, the performing arts teacher who allowed Seattle rapper Macklemore's song "Same Love" to be played in her classroom, has been suspended without pay. All because this one kid told the administrators that he was uncomfortable.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Do they ever know how to pack the excitement in on Glee!? In one night we got the return of Quinn Fabray (aka Dianna Agron). We got Gangnam Style. We got sectionals. And to top it all of, it was Thanksgiving. Technically the turkey-eating was a week late because somehow on the actual holiday the writers were freaking us out with the threat of Blaine heading back to the Warblers. But it seems the holiday zinger was just a way to make us really appreicate what we now know Santa's bringing to Lima this Christmas! Or should I say who?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Dear Cellphone, We've been together, what is it, two years now? Yes, almost two years have passed since I spied you on the shelf in the mall kiosk and finally shelled out for the data plan because I knew in my heart that you were the one. It's been a wild ride, my sweet. I remember that one moment when I was running across the road. I'd tucked you in the pocket of my hoodie, and as I hopped through puddles, out you flew, skittering across the concrete. I thought I'd lost you forever.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Had a baby lately? I've got good news and bad news for you. The United States isn't the worst place in the world for a baby to be born. Then again, it's not the best either. In fact, being born in the old U.S. of A. isn't a whole lot better than coming into the world in certain Middle Eastern countries! At least, that's the word from the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of the magazine The Economist, that decided to look at everything from geography to the political climate of countries around the world to determine whether kids have a chance at health, safety, and prosperity in their birth countries.  Any guesses whose babies have got it made in the shade?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? The carols doing their magic? No? Maybe this will. A Secret Santa has been wandering around areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy handing out $100 bills to every storm victim he meets. His elves are members of the NYPD, New Jersey cops, and even some folks from the FBI who are keeping the red-suited guy and his load of cash -- literally, it is all his own money -- safe. But somehow that just makes this whole thing that much more inspiring. And his message that much more clear. You, me, we could all do more.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Is it me or is there a new trend developing in discipline? There's a new way of torturing kids under the guise of punishing them for misdeeds: making them touch each other, whether they like it or not. In one school in Arizona, a principal even forced two teenage boys to hold each other's hands for an hour. Clasping hands during lunch, in front of the rest of the student body, was supposed to teach the boys a lesson for fighting in gym class (it was that or be suspended). The public humiliation, apparently, was supposed to set the kids on the straight and narrow. But if anyone should be punished right now, I'm thinking it's the principal.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There's nothing like people making fools of themselves in the grocery store over who gets the last Twinkie while thousands of people are losing their jobs to make you sick to your stomach. Oh, except maybe this. The Hostess company has just gotten permission to hand out nearly $2 million in bonuses to a group of top executives. Maybe that doesn't sound like such a big deal. After all, there are about 19 executives who will be splitting up the cash, so that's only about $92,000 apiece.  Only. As a bonus as the company is being shut down.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Alright, how many times have you threatened your kid with Santa already this holiday season? Five? Twenty-five? More than you will ever admit? Moms, Dads, I've been there. Last year, I put my kid on Santa's naughty list. It was not one of my finest moments as a parent. But I'm willing to bear the brunt of the trolls if you'll listen for just a moment, if you will let me spare you the pain of what came after.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The older my kid gets, the more time I find myself spending trying to convince her things from my childhood were so much cooler than anything she has on her list for Santa. Now before you roll your eyes at the desperate old lady, let me tell you, it's been working! I pull out something I loved as a kid, and what do ya know, she tends to fall in love too. It's got me thinking. What if this Christmas we all mixed it up a little? Sure, get them some things from the hot holiday toy list. But what if we all went back to the basics and purchased some of the old standbys as holiday gifts? We loved them so much, why wouldn't our kids love them too? Bonus here is a lot of these old favorites are pretty easy on the wallet! Need some ideas? Here's a whole list that is guaranteed to work:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    When a big-hearted NYPD officer bought a pair of shoes for a homeless man in Times Square recently, he became an Internet hero. But Officer Larry DePrimo's incredible gift wasn't the best thing that's ever happened to the man we know now is Jeffrey Hillman, a former New Jersey resident. The homeless man is already back to being barefoot. It's a fact that is already drawing the Internet's ire. The grumblings of "ungrateful" and backlash against the homeless community has begun. But let's just hold on to our righteous indignation for a moment, shall we? Jeffrey Hillman lives on the streets. He understands them much better than we do. And hiding a pair of $100 Sketchers is the right move here.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The LEGO company is getting big props from the internet this week for bestowing an amazing gift on a little boy with autism. Ten-year-old James Groccia had been saving for two years for the LEGO set of his dreams only to find out it had been retired from the market. When he sent the company a letter, the Secret Santas there dug around in their archives and sent him the $250 collectible totally free. Wowza! Makes me happy to be a LEGO customer for sure. But can we talk about the elephant in the room here?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Another church became a crime scene this weekend when a man walked into the First United Presbyterian Church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, and allegedly shot his ex-wife. Darlene Sitler, a popular music teacher, died. Other members of the congregation were spared physical injury, but they had to wrestle the suspect, Sitler's ex-husband, Gregory Eldred, to the ground and hold him until the cops arrived. It's a sad story for the Sitler family, for the school district where she was a beloved teacher, and for a neighboring district where Eldred was likewise a music teacher. And it adds to a growing list of shootings in places of worship in this country. It's as though the havens so many Americans depend on are under attack.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    This season of Teen Mom 2 has been more than a little confusing with the divorce going on on-screen for Leah Messer Calvert and her pregnancy progressing off-screen. So why not add another twist to it all? Ex-husband Corey Simms is engaged! Surprise! The news came out thanks to Simms' dad, Jeff, who took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that his son and girlfriend Miranda Patterson are planning to tie the knot. That's one way to quiet down the haters, isn't it? So what does Leah think of all of this?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Is there anything more disturbing than a teacher having sex with a student? How about this? A former California high school teacher is walking off with just probation and 30 days in a work program after being convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old student. So how'd Nadia Diaz get off so easy? Her teenage victim asked the court to go easy on her. Um, what???

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Oh, no poor Kate Middleton. After years of bump watch, the Duchess of Cambridge is finally pregnant! It's a happy Christmas miracle. Well, sort of. Because the poor princess is royally sick. I don't mean "acting like a princess, has to be catered to" sick. I mean really, really sick. Had to be admitted to the hospital sick. So much for the super, special "I'm carrying the next king or queen" pregnancy the world has been wish on her, huh?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out just in time to kick off the holidays, but man, oh, man, is this a rough season for Twilight fans. The finale of the saga is out. But then again, the finale of the saga is out ... it's all over! And Team Jacob fans really got hit hard, didn't they? Taylor Lautner's faithful could use some awesome gifts to pick them back up! SPOILER ALERT (but there are some awesome holiday gift ideas, so you might want to click through anyway, m'kay?).

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