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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
    Ever wondered what goes through the heads of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church? You know, the Kansas-based group that regularly threatens to picket the funerals of soldiers and innocent children, most recently those of the precious babies killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School? You're about to find out! Two granddaughters of Westboro's most vocal hatemonger, Fred Phelps, have escaped the cult. Now Megan Phelps-Roper and sister Grace Phelps-Roper are speaking out, along with Libby Phelps Alvarez, another of Phelps' granddaughters who escaped the clutches of the hate group several years ago. So what do we know now about this crazy group? 

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It never ceases to amaze me that when people encounter moms, their sense of tact goes right out the window. I've been asked the strangest and most insensitive questions in the years since I got pregnant -- most of them having to do with my decision to have an only child. But the questions I get have nothing on those that my lesbian mom friends encounter on an all-too-frequent basis. In fact, when I asked a few lesbian mom friends what it's like out there for them, the answers were astounding. People are just plain RUDE! Not sure if you've accidentally offended a lesbian mom? Check out the list of things you really should NOT be saying to these ladies:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    My husband ranks right up there as one of the most involved dads I have ever met. He never thought twice about jumping in to change diapers or read bedtime stories. But even Super Dad takes one look at long little girl hair and goes screaming for Mom. Our daughter's locks are his kryptonite. So when I read about the children's center that is offering up hair care classes to fathers of daughters, I seriously contemplated signing him up. Why should I be the only one wielding a "magic brush" and that bottle of detangler? Does he really think I'm the only one who can yell, "hold STILL" while clenching a ponytail holder in her teeth?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Things are not looking good for Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of killing two people over the weekend. A massive manhunt is now under way with the LAPD on high alert after three police officers were shot, allegedly by a man who was once their brother in blue. And from the looks of a manifesto Dorner himself posted online, this will not end well for him. Dorner, who lost his job on the force in 2009 for allegedly making false statements about his training officer, stated in the rambling and angry manifesto that he wants it publicly stated that he was innocent of the charges. But even as it begs to have his name cleared, the statement warns of plans to hurt LAPD officers and their families. It's as though he's made his own nightmare a reality.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It was supposed to be all about the divas on Glee this week. Kurt Hummel challenged Rachel Berry to a sing off in New York, and back home in Lima, Tina Cohen-Chang was trying to prove that she's not just a back-up singer. There was so much going on the biggest news of the night almost got lost in the shuffle. So here it is: Finn Hudson is finally getting over Rachel. And boy did he ever pick the wrong woman to help him move on. Really wrong. Epically wrong!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Calling in your neighbors for suspected child abuse can be scary, but here's proof that it's worth it. A frail and malnourished teenage boy was rescued this week after months of being handcuffed to a steel pole in his family's basement. Missouri cops say the 17-year-old had been living like that since September, subsisting only on meager meals of instant oatmeal, ramen noodles, and bologna sandwiches. When they rescued the boy, cops say he was cowering in the basement, pleading, "I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything." The details get worse from there. But now the unidentified boy is safe and sound with a foster family that's already helped put meat on his bones. And it's all thanks to one woman: a neighbor who isn't afraid to come out and talk about the role she played in getting this child some help.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If your dog bites someone, what do you do? Put them down immediately or fight for their life? What if you knew your beloved pup, a service dog no less, was being beaten when he turned the teeth on his attacker? Iraqi war veteran Jeremy Aguilar claims that's why he's fighting to keep his 4-year-old dog, Dutch, from court-ordered euthanasia. According to Dog Heirs and a host of other animal sites, Dutch has been accused of biting a woman who admitted to animal control officers that she was beating him at the time of the alleged attack. But his owners say that hasn't swayed a judge who says the registered service dog and certified AKC Canine Good Citizen needs to be put down.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    When I first heard about the 9-year-old boy kicked off the school bus for exposing himself to little girls, I could only think as the mother of a daughter. In my mind, I put my daughter on that bus, and I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to race to Pittsburgh and have a long, hard talk with that boy's mother. He's 9 and already a sexual predator!? What is this world coming to? Folks, I've calmed down since the story first broke, and I've taken off my "mom of a daughter" shoes and thrown on a new pair.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Do you realize it's been four years since Rihanna was forced to skip the Grammy Awards because her boyfriend had beaten the ever living snot out of her? FOUR years. And yet, here we are again, talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna at the Grammys. The Barbadian singer decided to follow the Grammys dress code -- despite her threat to ignore it -- and she looked absolutely stunning in red. It's too bad she didn't ignore Breezy too. Too bad for her, that is ...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    By now you've probably seen the numbers. One in every 88 kids today is being diagnosed with autism. There are autistic kids on TV shows, autistic kids in the news, autistic kids in your kid's classroom. It's safe to say Americans know that autism exists. But that doesn't mean they know the first thing about the spectrum disorder. This is the next hurdle for parents of kids on the autism spectrum: breaking down the myths that follow their kids everywhere they go. Think you know better? Test your knowledge with these autism myths:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's prom time! That time of year when kids get all gussied up and start picking on their gay classmates for daring to be a little different. Yes, it's happening again. In one Indiana high school this year, there's even a call for a traditional prom that would outright ban gay kids. Outraged yet? Let me throw this log onto the fire: the kids who are trying to organize this so-called "traditional" dance at Sullivan High School are being backed by their parents.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    With a movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden up for an Oscar, it may feel like the death of a terrorist has turned from an American triumph into an American money-making scheme. Except for this: the member of SEAL Team 6 known to the world only as the "Shooter" for taking the kill shot that downed the world's most wanted terrorist has come out now to tell his side of the story. The Shooter is broke. He doesn't have a military pension. He can't get a job. He doesn't even get government health insurance. This is the life of an American hero. So how could this happen?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If you look the word worrywart up in the dictionary, I'm pretty sure you'll find a picture of a new mom. She'll be unshowered, of course, and ready to tear her greasy hair out of her head. Moms, it's because I've been there that I'm going to offer the following advice: lighten up! I am coming to you from seven years in your future, and it's with the benefit of that awesome hindsight that I can tell you that you're just wasting your time. Your baby doesn't care about any of it. Just look:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It was tempting to poke fun at Adele's Grammys dress, wasn't it? It's the biggest night of the year for the British singer, and she showed up in something that one friend described as a tablecloth, another some curtains from the 1970s. I would have joined in, but it hit much too close to home. I've been facing my own red carpet nightmare. I'm all set to join the celebrities at the premiere for the new Wizard of Oz movie -- Oz the Great and Powerful -- for The Stir. But I'm the kind of mom who embarrasses her 7-year-old with her awful style. Going clothes shopping brings me to tears. So what is a mom to do when she's got a big event to dress for and she has no clue how to do it? You get brave ... and you hand over the reins to someone else. Take heed, ladies, this could be the most freeing moment of your life.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    An English teacher and administrator has been fired for coming out on the Internet in support of same sex marriage. So what kind of backward school would drop Assistant Principal Mike Moroski from the faculty simply for being nice to gays? A Catholic one ... of course. Moroski is both straight and married, by the way, and he's already earned hero status in my book. Purcell Marian High School gave him the chance to sign papers retracting his pro-gay rights statements, and Moroski said uh uh, no way, no how. He's sticking up for what's right ... even though it cost him his job. Gee, who could learn from someone like that?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The rumors have been swirling for weeks now that season 4 of Teen Mom 2 will be the last for the MTV series, and every finger points to Jenelle Evans being the cause for the cancellation. Maybe it's true. Maybe it's not. But it turns out the fans aren't the only ones fed up with the reality star and her near constant state of drama. Even her co-stars are turning on her these days. Last week it was Corey Simms' dad, Jeff Simms. This week it's Chelsea Houska's dad, Randy Houska, and even one of the other Teen Moms herself.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We've been getting a lot of good news about breastfeeding lately. The number of moms doing it is up, and the resources for parents who need to get breast milk for their babies are growing too. Last year, donor milk banks dispensed 2.5 million ounces of milk. So why are parents turning away from the banks in droves? It turns out many parents who want to give their baby breast milk but don't have the means are doing it the old-fashioned way -- they're going straight to moms. This helps parents avoid the costs of a bank and make sure the bank's milk goes directly to babies in hospital NICUs. It also makes sure babies get all the antibodies in breast milk, some of which is cooked out of donor milk during pasteurization. Going personal should be big win, right? Maybe.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Have you been to one of those healthy birthday parties yet? The pinata is stuffed with kale chips. The snacks are raw. And the cake, well, who are you kidding? You don't give kids cake! Welcome to 2013. Say goodbye to just letting kids be kids. The healthy birthday party is officially a trend. And I, for one, am refusing to buy in.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    When Ayla Reynolds, then 20 months old, went missing from her father's home in Maine in the middle of the night in December 2011, we all hoped the nightmare would be over quickly for her family. But now here we are, more than a year later, and not only has Ayla not back home, but her family's been delivered a staggering blow. Ayla's step-grandfather has come out to say that his granddaughter is dead. What's more, he says his family has been forbidden from discussing how they know the little girl is gone.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Sometimes being a parent means making some tough decisions for our kids. It also means realizing some decisions aren't yours to make. It's something the parents from Texas who allegedly tried to force their 16-year-old daughter to have an abortion are about to learn. The pregnant teenager has taken her mom and dad to court, asking a judge to help her stop what she describes as verbal and physical threats pushing her toward abortion. Already two months along, the girl says she wants to keep the baby, but she fears she won't be able to. The girl even claims family members have talked about slipping her an "abortion pill."

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