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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
    Seventeen-year-old Kaleb Langdale had a choice. He could give an alligator his arm, or he could risk losing his life. He did the smart thing. The teenager swimming with friends in a Florida river let the gator take his arm. I don't know this kid from Adam, but my chest is swelling with pride for him right now. Somewhere along the way, Kaleb's parents managed to do the unthinkable: they taught a teenager that some risks aren't worth taking.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Former bus driver Marjorie Jones got lucky. She won't be going to jail for duct-taping the mouth of a 7-year-old girl with special needs. But even losing her job and facing community service and probation doesn't seem to have convinced the 63-year-old that she did something wrong. Jones was convicted of child endangerment for her mistreatment of little Angelina Kio, a girl who can't speak and whose cognitive abilities are equal to that of a toddler. But when she stood in front of a judge facing a possible year in jail for the act, the woman who used to drive a bus full of children was still claiming it was all in good fun.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Prepare for a sentence you never expected to see written. Snooki is a genius. Well, when it comes to taking the pain out of fashion that is. The pregnant Jersey Shore star has been taking a lot of flack for refusing to kick her heels off despite her growing belly. But leave it to Snooki to find a way to have her cake and eat it too. The mama-to-be has found her happy medium.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Officials at a Michigan school district decided they were tired of dealing with Kathy Lindsay complaining that her daughter was being bullied. They told her she can't come on the campus of her own kids' public school without written permission. So much for involved parents being the backbone of a child's education, huh?  I'd like to think that school staff appreciate parents who advocate for their kids. We're all in this together, right? But this shocker just ratchets up the fear of being labeled as "that mom" when you try to get some results.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In 15 years of being a vegetarian, I've had one big rule. If I want people to respect my choice, I have to respect their choice. So yes, I married a meat-eating man. Yes, I hired a babysitter who hasn't met a piece of bacon she didn't like. I've been trying not to become one of those vegetarians. You know, the type you avoid at all costs? So it's true, when I saw the survey that claims meat eaters are more judgmental than vegetarians, I felt ever so slightly vindicated. Those of us on the veg side may have work to do to be more accepting, but all you carnivorous types could make it a lot easier if you'd just stop saying ANY of the following to the vegetarian folks in your lives:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It sounds like something out of a science fiction flick. But the testicle-eating pacu fish is the real deal. They can grow up to 55 pounds and have mouths full of teeth. Got that? TEETH. In a fish! Oh, and gentlemen, you may want to invest in a cup, because it has been found right here in the good old US of A. Of course no one is sure exactly how they got to the States from their native South America, where the pacu goes by the nickname the "ball cutter" (has such a nice ring to it, right guys?). But one was caught in Lake Lou Yaeger last month, and another is said to be swimming around the Central Illinois lake. It's kind of well, OK, I'll say it ... fishy! Isn't it? Everything about this creepy critter is so strange that how it got here might actually be the least mysterious part of it!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I woke up this morning and realized we are already well into July and started panicking. This is hands down my favorite season -- and the favorite of just about every kid in America. But there is so much to do in the summer, and so little time to do it. We've got swimming in the creek and running in the sprinkler checked off. We've got a long weekend planned, an outdoor concert booked ... what else? Oh, right! Fishing! We haven't done that yet. If you're wrinkling up your nose and shuddering at the fishing trip idea, you need to stop a moment and reconsider this. Even if it's just one day out on the local lake or river, fishing trips make for great family bonding. Behold:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's finally happened. A woman has blogged her abortion. Some will call it crazy. Some will call it pathetic. Some will call it ... wait, I don't care what they'll call it. Because I'm going to call it brave. I'm going to call it important. The anonymous woman behind This Is My Abortion has just four simple photographs atop the sole post on her site. They're the only photos she needs. Because not one looks like the photos of fully formed babies with fingers, legs, eyelashes that you'll see held high by anti-choicers outside of any abortion clinic. These photos are shocking and even a little gross, but they have on their side what the anti-choice crowd does not.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If Glee is the TV show most likely to remind bullied kids that they're not alone, Chris Colfer is the star most likely to give them hope that one day it will all be over. It wasn't that long ago that the 22-year-old Golden Globe winner was one of them. Parents, listen up, what he has to say could change the way you treat your own kids too. It would be enough that Colfer has given the world a tender and moving portrayal of glee club member Kurt Hummel's slow move from closeted gay teen to out loud and proud. But now that he has opened up even more about what it was like to grow up as a gay kid in Clovis, California, the actor has given a real gift to American parents.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Every Mom I talk to seems to have a different theory on how to introduce solids to a baby. Veggies then fruits was my pediatrician's plan. Green foods then orange was another. But I haven't found a single path that guarantees your baby is going to love everything you put in their mouth ... and one adorable little guy named Andrew was caught on video recently showing just how bad things can go when your baby gets a taste of something they don't like. The cutie is more than happy to suck down spoons full of pears, but when Mom pulls a bait and switch and tries to give her little guy peas, well ... just watch what happens.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There's a tempest brewing in a teapot, and who better to light the burner than the Tea Party? Seems members of the political movement have brought out the angry American in us with the Confederate flag they hoisted on their parade float. They say it's just historical, but here's the problem: they brought out that bit of "history" for the July 4th parade. Not getting the irony yet? Perhaps a history lesson is in order: the members of the Las Cruces Tea Party celebrated our nation's Independence Day with a flag that represents a group that wanted independence FROM us!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Multi-tasking. You've done it. I've done it. But it seems the one trick every parent has employed to actually get things done is responsible for the latest "baby in washing machine" horror story. The 5-month-old's dad was trying to do laundry and change his son's diaper at the same time, and somehow the little guy ended up IN the family's washer. The worst part? It was just beginning to fill with hot water -- 150-degree water no less -- and his tiny body was covered in vicious burns.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I always tend to get worried when we're headed out on a family road trip. And now I have a new one for the list. Flying truck parts. That's what killed an 8-year-old Georgia girl this week and took off her mom's arm. The way the authorities tell it, the transmission of a semi just blew off the giant tractor trailer, flew across the median, and crashed through the windshield of Jameka French's SUV. Her daughter, Cameron Mcilwain, was all the way in the backseat where kids belong (along with her younger sister), but the impact killed her.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    A physical education teacher from a Los Angeles middle school led police on a crazy car chase Tuesday afternoon. The cops think Kip Arnold was suicidal. They also say he molested a little girl. Folks, if there's anything that could possible make me madder than a teacher who kids trusted allegedly molesting a little girl, it's a suspected pedophile thinking he can take the easy way out. Because that's exactly what smashing your truck into a tree after leading the cops around town is -- trying to escape.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Authorities in Utah rescued a man this week who'd spent three weeks wandering alone in the desert, surviving on roots and a few frogs, while he waited to be found. William LeFever's story has grabbed national attention in no small part because he is an adult with autism. It's one of those stories that could easily have gone the other way. LeFever apparently ended up in the desert by choice -- at least initially. An outdoorsy type of guy, the 28-year-old called his dad in June to say his hiking gear had been stolen. But this is where the story gets ... odd.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Every day there are thousands of Americans sitting, waiting, hoping that they'll get the phone call that their baby is coming. They are the parents who want to adopt. It can drive people to desperation. And yet, I will never understand how a couple decided it would be a good idea to exchange their truck for a baby. And yet, cops say Heather Kaminskey, 30, gave her newborn son to Jamiee and Jeremy Brown, and they gave her their truck. Now everyone involved is in deep trouble, and there's a little boy in the middle of it.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Need more proof the justice system is more than a little off kilter? A woman who knew her friend was forcing her kids to sleep locked in a dog kennel got off on probation this week. And if that's not shocking enough: Samantha Eyten, who left her own kids in the house and knew about the kennel, was the fourth adult involved in the Nebraska abuse case to get nothing more than probation. Eyten was picked up by cops in North Platte last year and charged with felony child abuse after authorities learned Ashley A. Clark was making her 3- and 5-year-old sons sleep in her dog kennel. Eyten's own kids were just 8 and 8 months, and they were living in Clark's home along with mountains of trash, dirty clothes, and animal feces. And yet, she got probation. Apparently justice is blind. And it can't smell very well either.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    My fellow Americans, this weekend marks a very special occasion. No, not Bastille Day (didn't I say my fellow AMERICANS?). July 14 is the birthday of the one, the only, Sue Sylvester. Um, I mean Jane Lynch, aka the reason people started watching Glee in the first place! Yes, the singing is undeniably awesome. But Jane Lynch has brought snarky sniping to new heights with insults that are as clever as they are cruel.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In a culture where we update Facebook every time someone sneezes, it's hard to believe there were some of us raised in families where the rule was "what happens in this house stays in this house." But a fundraising plea for a sick teenager that came across my computer screen this week has me wondering if sometimes oversharing isn't the better way. What if it was going to save your kid's life? Joseph Viggiano's parents hope so. The 13-year-old from Florida (he's a cousin of a friend, which is how his plight caught my eye, but I don't know him) was diagnosed with a rare liver disease this year, and the doctor who can help him is in Chicago. Only problem? His family doesn't have the cash to make it all happen. So they're taking a risk on the Internet, a risk I see more and more often these days.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I can't be the only mom who watches every episode of Mya and Her Moms with a big ol' grin on my face. Yup, the two lesbians moms raise their little girl just like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, there is one great debate in their house. Do you let the kid win at games or not? Eight-year-old Mya has it both ways, depending on which parent she's with. One mom plays games that are all about education ... and there is no winner or loser. The other mom lets her let out her competitive spirit. So what happens in our house? I am putting it out on the Internet now, fully aware that one day she will Google herself and find the evidence to use against me in therapy.

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