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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

    Emily Creno KingAnother day. Another cancer hoax from an Ohio mom who allegedly claimed her 4-year-old was dying just to bilk people out of their hard-earned dollars. Wasn't it bad enough the first dozen times this happened in America? Do we really need yet another child being victimized by his mother, yet another mother being dragged into the courts to answer for a despicable lie?

    Of course, Emily Creno King should answer for her alleged cancer scam. But what do these crimes do to society, to the people out there who are truly struggling?

    Isn't it hard enough fundraising without scammers?

    For years I shaved my head annually for St. Baldrick's, a legitimate charity that raises money for children with cancer. Year after year, I'd solicit donations, and year after year, it got harder to reach my goal. People just don't have extra money lying around, not in this economy.

    And yet, when bad things happen to good people, they try. They open their wallets up and pull out a $20 for that little kid with cancer, for that father of four undergoing radiation. Despite the horror stories we read daily in the news, there are a lot of good people out there who would give you the shirts off their backs.

    But then there are moms like this.

    There are people who know that people are inherently good and who look for ways to work that to their advantage.

    The result is a cancer scam that hurts a little boy -- 4-year-old JJ thought he was going to die because of the things his mother had allegedly done to him including forced medications, frequent visits to hospitals, and shaving his head -- and hurts a community as a whole.

    There is a domino effect when people are burned by fundraising hoaxes like this. They stop donating out of fear that it will happen again.

    Who can blame them? I don't want to give my hard earned cash to someone who is abusing my trust.

    The trouble is, this leaves the people who truly need it with nowhere to turn. They are struggling in a bad economy with the typical health insurance issues, and they need help that won't come because someone else abused the system and used their innocent child to do it.

    Emily Creno King is facing a third-degree felony charge for child endangerment, and cops are investigating claims that she took money and gifts from people across the country.

    Could the punishment include some sort of community service to the very people screwed by scams like this?

    Do you donate to private people in need? What stops you?


    Image via Utica Police

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    televisionAre you a TV mom? You know what I'm talking about: one of those parents who prays to the cable gods and has taught her 2-year-old how to work the remote because, OMG, this modern technology thing is a LIFESAVER?

    Me too. Funny thing too, I was raised in a TV-free household as a kid. I considered going that way. I really did. And then I got wise to all the glories parking your kid in front of the boob tube has to offer. Yes, it's true, there are marvelous reasons to let your kids watch TV; don't let that woman who reeks of patchouli dissaude you. Just look:

    1. Mommy needs to have a sex life.

    2. Dinner isn't going to make itself.

    3. How else will they know they absolutely NEED a light up blender that sings you to sleep for Christmas?

    4. Knowing how to say backpack in Spanish will coming in handy when they want to go backpacking through Europe after high school. Probably?

    5. The teenager down the street thinks she can charge $15 an hour? Pshaw.

    6. Two kids staring at a TV = two kids who are not beating the crap out of each other. Sibling rivalry, schmibling rivalry.

    7. Have you tried tracking down a good sitter lately? Ain't nobody got time for that.

    8. They're leaving the darn dog alone.

    Come on, spill -- why do YOU let the kids watch TV?


    Image via .reid./Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Kanye WestBad news for Kanye West this week. Kim Kardashian's beau may have avoided felony charges for his scuffle with paparazzi a few months back, but his nightmare is far from over. Kanye has been charged with multiple misdemeanors for allegedly attacking a photographer!

    And don't let the word misdemeanor fool you; if he's convicted, baby North's daddy could be headed to jail!

    The rapper was caught on video back in July, lunging at cameramen. He got a lucky break when the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office declined to press felony charges. But the case was moved over to the city's DA's office.

    According to TMZ, the same municipality that brought Khloe Kardashian's husbandLamar Odom up on DUI charges earlier this week has now dropped criminal battery and attempted grand theft charges on Yeezy that carry a maximum sentence of a year in jail!

    As if baby North West doesn't have enough craziness in her life right now, now she could have a jailbird for a daddy?

    Watch the video of Kanye's paparazzi scuffle -- do you think the charges are warranted?


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    Kanye West Goes Postal on Another Photog - Watch More Celebrity Videos or Subscribe


    Image via TMZ

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    sara GilbertReady for a secret? Actress Sara Gilbert hopes so. The Talk co-host was spilling them this week in a special week of letting the cat out of the bag, and her's has as much to do with her one-time Roseanne star Johnny Galecki as it does herself.

    It turns out Gilbert, who quietly came out of the closet three years ago, has known she was gay for a long time. Heck, she says she knew way back in her child star days, when she was working with and dating Galecki. And she was dating an older woman part of the time!

    So how does the Big Bang Theory actor feel about his ex-girlfriend sharing that she was not really into him?

    According to Gilbert herself, Galecki knew! And he kept her secret for her! Aww! That is true friendship.

    Explaining what it was like telling her boyfriend why she would get depressed after a make-out session, Gilbert said:

    He was super sweet about it ... No one knew at the show, and Johnny held the secret the whole time. I was always so scared if it came out.

    It's hard enough for someone to come out of the closet to friends and family, but an actress has to do it to the whole country -- and people aren't always as accepting as they should be. Keeping that secret for her meant protecting Sara emotionally and probably even protecting her career.

    Good for him! And good for Sara for finding the strength to be herself.

    See this video on The Stir by CafeMom.

    Are you a Galecki fan? Did this just boost him in your eyes?


    Image via CBS

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Justin Bieber Batman scriptIf the news that Ben Affleck is slated to play Batman has you bummed, the latest casting rumor for the next superhero flick will have you absolutely out of your mind. Justin Bieber? As Robin?

    Please, please say it isn't so!

    The young singer started the rumors himself when he posted a photo of himself with what appears to be a script for Batman Vs. Superman. The photo garnered nearly 700,000 "likes" in just the first 17 hours after being posted, but it's not being met with the same amount of appreciation from DC Comics fans.

    Hopefully it is just a joke -- after all the Biebs' last tweet indicated he's working on something for Funny or Die.

    Would you watch the Batman movie with Bieber in it?


    Image via Instagram

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    George ZimmermanWeren't happy with the George Zimmerman trial verdict? Neither, it seems was the police chief of the Florida town where the controversial former neighborhood watch commander hails from. Thought he was acquitted earlier this summer of murder in the Trayvon Martin case, Zimmerman seems to have the cops in his community worried.

    Emails from Lake Mary Police Department Chief Steve Bracknell were released by Think Progress this week with some pretty damning comments about Zimmerman. Among them?

    Bracknell allegedly agreed with assessments that referred to Zimmerman as a "ticking time bomb" and "Sandy Hook, Aurora waiting to happen."

    Scary words! Bracknell has since told NBC News that although the emails are legitimate, he was really "trying to reassure a citizen concerned with Zimmerman."

    Not sure what about that sounds reassuring!

    What do you think? Are these descriptions of Zimmerman right on?



    Image via police


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Jersey Shore

    My stomach sank when I heard that the famous Jersey Shore boardwalk in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights was on fire this week. The area that made Snooki and JWoww household names hasn't even completely recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Now this? How much can these poor people take?

    Now that the flames are out, the hard work of ferreting out the cause of the fire is under way. Already they have one major determination.

    Officials have said the fire -- which is reported to have begun near Kohr's Frozen Custard on Thursday afternooon -- is "not suspicious." That means there's nothing to indicate anyone started the fire.

    I guess that's good news?

    Not that you can really find much good in a fire that damaged some 30 businesses in two towns, properties owned by people who have already suffered so much. But at least no one was sick enough to deliver more devastation on these people. 

    The official cause itself is expected to come after investigators finish poring through the rubble, but people will have to patient with them -- or as patient as they can be. Small fires are still cropping up, sending firefighters back to work to stomp them out. Rebuilding will have to wait until that is done.

    The Jersey Shore slogan since Sandy has been "stronger than the storm." Hopefully they are "stronger than the fire" as well.

    What was your reaction to news of the fire?


    Image via Bojangles/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Caylee AnthonyIt looks like Casey Anthony is about to spill the beans on the question of the century. She never testified in her murder trial, but Anthony will not be able to stay mum about what happened to daughter Caylee Anthony for much longer. She could have to open up as soon as next month!

    Anthony is facing a defamation lawsuit from Zenaida Gonzalez, a woman who says she was harmed by Anthony's alleged claims that a babysitter by the same name had taken off with her 2-year-old daughter. Police later learned there was no babysitter, and Caylee's mother got in legal trouble for lying to police.

    But she has never been completely clear on what exactly did happen to her daughter ... at least not until now.

    According to Gonzalez' attorney, Anthony will not be allowed to plead the fifth during a deposition about the case scheduled for October 9. Said attorney Matt Morgan:

    We look forward to getting answers to the questions we have had for a very long time.

    Him and the rest of America.

    What do you think Casey is going to say?


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Miley Cyrus Liam HemsworthThings between Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth have been interesting of late, what with her crotch grabbing at the VMAs and his maybe sorta relationship with January Jones. And just how is a modern girl supposed to respond to a fiance who isn't out there publicly professing his love for her butt nekkid wrecking ball makeout sessions? Miley did what she had to do folks. She dumped Liam's sorry behind.

    Well, on Twitter anyway.

    Yes, Miley Cyrus has stopped following Liam Hemsworth on Twitter. They are no longer Twitter officiall, y'all!

    More From Our Partners: Miley Cyrus Goes Underwear-Free!

    Which means ... what, exactly? Tongues are wagging that it means the engagement is officially off ... for real this time. But Miley's tongue seems to be back in her mouth for once -- she hasn't said, out loud, that she and Liam are done-zo. Maybe she was just getting bored with a dude who hadn't tweeted since August!

    But then ... he did put up one last night about hitting the Floyd Mayweather fight. If only ol' Miles had been patient. Tsk. Tsk..

    What do you think? Is this the 2013 version of breaking up?


    Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    crime sceneAs if a mother's suicide attempt wasn't bad enough news, police responding to a car crash outside a California supermarket said they were sent to a second crime scene where the horrors were even worse. The woman's two children were found dead in a hotel room, victims of an alleged murder-suicide attempt by their mom.

    Although the tragedies occured in Southern California, the mother hailed from Scottsdale, Arizona and was driving a car with Georgia plates. Police now have to track down the children's father before they will release their identity.

    Their mother's name and mugshot are also being withheld, but she has already been charged with murder.

    Cops say the 42-year-old had purposely crashed her car into protective poles surrounding an electric box near a supermarket in an alleged suicide attempted and was combative when they arrived. It was statements she made while allegedly struggling with paramedics that led police to the third-floor room at a Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana where her two children were found.

    The heartbreaking investigation is continuing.

    What do you make of this sad situation?


    Do you have suicidal thoughts or do you worry that someone you know might be considering suicide? There is always someone to talk to. Call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.


    Image via Tex Texin/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Paula DeenShe's been hiding out all summer, but she's baaaaack! Paula Deen has made her first public appearance after her n-word scandal got her canned from the Food Network and dropped by a host of companies in June. And it didn't take long for her to break down in tears.

    Deen has been pretty darn quiet since June aside from showing up on a pre-recorded episode of Gordon Ramsay's Fox showMasterChef a few weeks back. Her appearance drew some criticism but nothing like the holy hellfire that erupted after a worker filed a lawsuit accusing the Southern cooking queen of racial and sexual discrimination.

    So apparently she thought it was OK to come back?

    Fans at the Metro Cooking and Entertainment Show in Houston, Texas apparently agreed. They gave Deen a standing ovation, to which she responded by busting out the waterworks, reportedly stating:

    These are tears of joy, y'all ... This is my first time out in three months.

    Would you have clapped for her or are you thinking she should have stayed in hiding?


    Image via Splash News

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Camden Lachey's birthday partyThere are some parents who think a birthday party for a 1-year-old is a big waste of time. Vanessa Minnillo Lachey and Nick Lachey are not those parents. Their son, Camden Lachey, turned 1 this week, and he got a party.

    But before you roll your eyes, you might want to hear what Vanessa Lachey had to say about how they celebrated their baby boy's first birthday.

    According to Vanessa, they kept things simple for Camden's first birthday. Instead of a Hollywood blowout, the family had some adorable cupcakes with uncle Drew Lachey and his wife Lea back home in Ohio.

    As Vanessa told People:

    I won’t do a pool party for his first birthday ’cause I feel like we have the rest of his life to do pool parties. He’s 1, this one’s for Mom and Dad.

    Finally! A mom who gets it! And a celebrity mom who is totally down to earth! 

    What do you think of birthday parties for babies? Are they a waste or do you go all out?


    Image via Twitter

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    powerball lotteryThink your chances of winning the lottery are pretty slim? They just got upped. The Powerball lottery jackpot just got hiked to $400 million after Saturday's numbersdrawing yielded no winners.

    Got that? Not a single person in any of the states that take part in the Powerball jackpot came up with the matching numbers needed for a winning ticket. According to the Powerball site, there were no Match 5 Power Play winners either!

    If someone had come up with the numbers needed -- 1-17-25-37-44 and the Powerball, 20 -- they would have won $317 million. Since it didn't happen, the Powerball jackpot has gone up to $400 million. That's a $223.6 million cash-option value.

    I guess you could say that since no one won, it's now easier for you to do so? I mean, come on, you're getting a second chance!

    Think you have it in you to win? You can enter in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, so good luck!

    Do you buy a Powerball ticket? How high does the jackpot have to go to entice you?


    Image via rockinfree/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    cellphoneWe were sitting outside a restaurant enjoying a mother/daughter meal when my 8-year-old pointed to a girl at another table with her eyes wide. Perched on a bench was a girl about my daughter's age, a cellphone in a pink jeweled case in her hands. I didn't even let her start a sentence before I dropped my bomb, "You're not getting one."

    She looked at me, a little wounded. It turns out she was just going to comment on how rude the girl was for using her cellphone at the table. Pheww! My kid has manners!

    But she's still not getting her own cellphone. Not for a loooooong time.

    I have thought about it. I upgraded my smartphone a few months ago, and I had the old one, still in working condition. I debated handing it over to her to use as a music player, with the possibility of hooking it up to a wireless service down the road.

    My husband and I talked about it, but we were worried: would this rush the inevitable? Would "sometime down the road" become "this Christmas"?

    I know an increasing number of parents are doing it for kids her age and younger. One recent survey found one in 10 kids were getting a mobile phone as early as age 5!

    To which I have to ask: who is a 5-year-old so desperate to call?

    I know my 8-year-old is already like a teenager, going into her room and closing the door when she talks to her friends, but she still has only a handful of people she'll chat with on the phone. There are no emergency calls that she has to make, nothing that can't be handled on our home phone (yes, we still have one) or one of her parents' cellphones.

    This may be the easiest way to tell if a child is ready for their own cellphone: who are they going to call ... and can they call that person with a phone that already exists?

    Right now, for my 8-year-old, the answer is yes. She can call her friends and her grandparents with any phone in the house.

    She doesn't need a cellphone for the calls she makes right now.

    By the time she's 12, when she goes off to junior high and may stay after school for clubs and sports, that answer may be no. She may have reason to call home to her father and to me about changes in game or practice schedules, although even then I'm guessing a coach's phone or school phone will be available for her use. We'll see at that point if we have to revisit this subject.

    But if you're wondering if you should cave to your child's request, maybe it's time you sit down and ask yourself the question I've asked myself: are your kid's current phone call needs already being met? Then they don't need a cellphone.

    If they're not, well, then maybe it's time to consider the purchase.

    Do your kids have cellphones? How old are they?


    Image via Kubosh/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    waiting for busI have a message out there for all the moms who loathe morning drop-off. If you've got busing in your school district, it's time to give it a try. It will change your life.

    I know, I know. You've heard horror stories about the bus, where your precious little dumpling risks learning that Santa is not real and the true meaning of bumping uglies at the tender age of 5. I'm not going to lie; there are some bratty kids on the school bus these days.

    But did I mention I put my kid on a school bus every morning? And some 25 million other kids in this country ride a bus every day?

    And I wouldn't have it any other way ...

    It's so much better than drop-off.

    No. Really. Let's talk about this:

    1. You have to get dressed for morning drop-off.

    This morning I walked to the bus stop wearing the same t-shirt I wore to bed. I threw a hoodie on over it and a pair of sweatpants, but still, I don't consider that "getting dressed." Do you?

    This is one of the things I love most about taking advantage of the marvelous modern convenience known as the school bus.

    2. You don't have to get up too early. You see, we are not morning people in my house. I'm not. My husband isn't. And my daughter definitely is not.

    But when I drop her off at school, I have to rise early so I can jump in the shower and do a full morning routine (even we married ladies have to look presentable when we show up in the school driveway; you don't want it following your kid through their elementary school career that they are the one whose mom dropped them off in her curlers). 

    3. You don't waste time. But, but, but you'd thinking rising early would be great for my day, really get me going? Wrong-o!

    Because school drop-off is nothing but a giant time-suck. You drive all the way over there, and then you get on a long line of cars that inch forward at turtle speed as, one by one, each child hops out and runs off to class. There is no getting around this hurry up and wait just because you have a day to get to. It's how things are done. With the bus, we can walk outside one minute before the big yellow machine makes the turn onto my road, and I can be back in my house and already back to work in two minutes. Talk about efficiency!

    4. You can avoid people. The people at drop-off? They want to talk to you. And they're chipper! Much. Too. Chipper. At least for that time of the morning. I don't have any of these problems at the bus stop. Sure, the driver and I wave to one another, but she has things to do -- she's not about to stop and chat.

    So there it is -- why I avoid drop off like the plague. 

    How about you? Do you love the school bus?


    Image by Jeanne Sager

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Katie Yeager Teen Mom 3Just when you didn't think Joey Maes could come off as any more of a jerk, the Teen Mom 3 star tops himself. On tonight's episode, Katie Yeager was invited to appear in a runway fashion show, modeling dresses and some (tasteful) lingerie. But when she told her boyfriend, he hit the roof.

    Because, ya know, his just-had-a-baby girlfriend should only be proud of her rocking bod in the comfort of their apartment (read: in front of her controlling man) -- not out in public. Sigh.

    I'll admit when I heard the word lingerie, I was a little worried myself about what Katie might be wearing down that runway, but there was no reason for Joey to freak out on her without letting her explain herself. And when she did walk the runway in a corset and a tutu, she was waaaaay more covered than your average girl at the beach. Of course, he'd stormed out of the place to go have a smoke before he could really get a good look at her, so what would he know?

    The issue here clearly isn't Katie -- it's Joey. He needs to learn that Katie is not his property, and he needs to learn that loving someone means supporting them, not tearing them down.

    More From The Stir: The Reason Behind 'Teen Mom' Mackenzie Douthit's Second Pregnancy Is Hard to Believe

    Speaking of issues, it was good to see Alex Sekella trying to work through hers tonight. She and Matt McCann may be done with a capital D, but she's still talking to a counselor and trying to do the right thing by their daughter. She's lucky to have her mom talking her through things.

    So is Briana DeJesus. Her sister, Brittany, went away for a week-long girls' road trip, leaving Briana to fend for herself with baby Nova. The dichotomy of the two sisters' paths -- remember, Brittany also ended up pregnant as a teen but chose to have an abortion -- is a potent reminder of what could have been for Briana, and she clearly takes it to heart. Tonight she burst into tears in front of mom Roxanne, apologizing for her mistakes making her -- and baby Nova -- a burden. But Roxanne is quickly becoming the uber parent (think Randy Houska) of Teen Mom 3, and she immediately steps in to let her daughter know that she loves her daughter and grandchild, and she will never treat them like a burden.

    Go Mom!

    As for Mackenzie Douthit (McKee), her storyline continues to be the most stable. Josh isn't exactly effusive (seriously, could the guy BE any quieter?), but in many ways he's Joey Maes' polar opposite. He supports Mackenzie's tumbling, and she has decided it's time to support his return to bull riding.

    What did you think of Joey's meltdown? Was he out of line?


    Image via MTV

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Marilyn EdgeThe mother arrested for allegedly killing her kids in a California hotel room over the weekend now has an identity: Marilyn Edge is the woman charged with two murders. And with her name has come a possible motive for poisoning her 13-year-old autistic son and 9-year-old daughter. But the tragic case reminds us all once again that motive does not mean excuse. It doesn't mean reason.

    According to police, Marilyn Edge had been ordered to hand over daughter Faith and son Jaelen to her ex-husband, Mark Edge, after a Georgia judge ordered her to allow for joint custody. Instead, she allegedly moved to Arizona and continued to refuse Dad access to his kids. 

    Now he'll never see them again.

    Faith and Jaelen were found dead in a hotel room in Santa Ana, California on Sunday after cops say Marilyn crashed her car in a suicide attempt. It was while she was allegedly fighting with paramedics that police say Edge alluded to a crime that had happened, leading them to the hotel and the dead children.

    If the allegations are true, it appears the mom got what she wanted: to keep her kids from their father.

    But what about what the kids wanted?

    I'm not even talking about seeing Dad -- although a court seems to see no reason why he shouldn't have been able to see his kids, kids he hadn't seen in a year and a half because of their mother.

    I'm talking about living. Growing up. Being who they dreamed of being.

    These cases of parents killing their kids rather than allowing an ex-spouse to have custody aren't just punitive to the ex-spouse -- although clearly they are -- they're the height of selfishness. Jaelen and Faith Edge were just kids with no control over what was happening to them. They were just kids who should have had so much ahead of them. Instead, they are dead.

    And for what?

    So their father could be punished by a vindictive ex?

    These kids weren't toys to be thrown in a game. They were real human beings. They deserved so much better.

    What do you make of this twisted case?


    Image via Santa Ana Police

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    mom shamedIt's the last thing you want to see when you turn on your television at night: your kid on the news in one of those "can you identify this man" surveillance videos. It's what one mom from Kansas City saw last week. So she called the cops and turned her own son in, identifying him as one of a group of teens who robbed an 85-year-old veteran at his own home.

    Bravo, Mom. We need more people like you in this world; more parents like you.

    I'm sure it wasn't easy for Michael Bray's mom.

    The "turning in your own kid" part had to be hard.

    But that's not what I mean.

    She saw her baby boy allegedly pull a gun on an 85-year-old man, a veteran of our military, while his buddies ran into the man's house and ransacked the place. In the end, cops say the group of nine teens and young men stole a rifle, handgun, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and a smartphone. This was just days after the veteran was badly beaten in another robbery.

    Yes, the same man.

    According to court records, the poor guy didn't resist the second robbery because of the first beating.

    And a mother had to watch her son with his hand on the gun, watch her son terrorizing an innocent man.

    After that, turning him in to the police is a cake walk. As hard as it might be to think of our kids with a pair of metal bracelets wrapped 'round their wrists and a raft of charges, it's harder still to think that they might deserve to be there.

    The shame you feel. 

    With an 8-year-old, I've never been in Mrs. Bray's shoes, and I hope never to be there. But I know the feeling of humiliation that washes over you when your kid misbehaves, especially when they do so in front of others. You feel that all your hard work was for naught. True, they made the choice to do something wrong, but you raised them, you taught them to be better than that, and you feel in that moment that your teachings did not work.

    But Michael Bray's mom did at least one thing right here. She didn't ignore that news footage. She didn't let her son get away with his alleged crimes.

    Hard? Of course. But that's part of being a parent -- not just teaching our kids not to do wrong but making them face the consequences if and when they do.

    Michael Bray allegedly confessed to the crime, and he's facing first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and two counts of armed criminal action. Hopefully the parents of the co-conspirators in this case step up and do the right thing for this poor veteran and, quite frankly, for their kids. If they ever want them to have a chance at being solid citizens down the road, they need to get them off the path they're on at the moment.

    What would be harder? Facing that your child did this or turning them in?


    Image via Rob Growler/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    seat belt Are you one of those parents who lets their kid ride in the car without a seat belt? You know the ride I'm talking about. We're so close to home! What could go wrong? I don't want to deal with your bellyaching about the belt, so we're just going to coast on home.

    You're out there. I know. Some 20 percent of parents fessed up to letting their kids ride seat belt-free for "short" trips.

    Are you people crazy?

    I know, I know, I sound like some judgmental harpy here.

    But I have good reason. I was in a car crash at 16 less than two miles from my parents' house. Short trip, short schmip, you know what I'm saying?

    You know why I'm here today? Because I was wearing my seat belt that day. When the car finally came to a rest, on its side, down a river bank, I was alive, hanging from that belt.

    I was wearing my seat belt because my parents taught me to wear my seat belt. It was ingrained in my head that if you're in a moving vehicle, you are wearing a belt. I still remember that day like it was yesterday, and I remember automatically buckling myself in because ... that was what you did when you got in a car.

    That split second, don't think about it move is what saved my life.

    This is what floors me about the "eh, just on short trips" issue. It isn't just that 60 percent of car accidents happen within 10 minutes of home (see above regarding car accident less than two miles from my house). I can't understand why you'd split hairs on something this important, why give your child a chance to argue? Because if your kid is anything like mine, she sees an inch, and she takes a mile. She's a kid. That's what kids do.

    No safety restraint on a quick trip home quickly becomes ammunition for "but you didn't make me do it thennnnnn." And what happens when your child is out of your sight? When they're in another car and you're not there to fight with them to put it on?

    Is it a pain in the butt to have to climb in the backseat with kids who are whining about not being able to buckle themselves in? Yes. It is.

    But I'd rather a pain in the butt today than a dead kid at 16, and I don't know a parent out there who would disagree.

    Do you let your kids ride without a seat belt if the trip is going to be short? WHY?


    Image via goodgerster/Flickr

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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    gay veteransIn a beautiful reminder that true love knows no bounds, a veterans' home held its first ever gay wedding this weekend! A World War II veteran married his Vietnam veteran boyfriend. The happy couple is 95 and 67 years old (respectively)!

    C'mon, let yourself smile. It's hard to keep it in with a story like this! The law is finally on their side, and so is the US Department of Veterans Affairs!

    John Banvard served during the Second World War and Gerard Nadea served during Vietnam. They've been together for 20 years, even moved into the same veterans' home in Chula Vista, California, but it wasn't until recently that they were legally allowed to marry -- when the Supreme Court struck down California's Prop 8 law that prevented same sex marriages.

    The couple wanted to be married at their home, and they gained permission from the facility director after a town hall meeting that made it clear to the residents that they have the legal right to do so.

    Of course, it's only recently that men like them have gained the ability to serve openly in the military -- something both did for their country -- which really makes this rarity at a veterans' home the talk of the country. There have been plenty of gay folks who served quietly in the military, and it's high time they were able to enjoy the legal rights they fought for!

    Check out the happy couple:


    What do you think of this historic moment?


    Image via Fox 5

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