In This Episode: We get more of what we pay attention to. But some people — usually people with Uncommon Sense — aspire to something greater than the whims of the masses and can make a huge impact on the world. This episode looks at what we as a society pay a lot of attention to, at the detriment to the much more important things we pretty much ignore. I have a story about each, and the contrast is mind-blowing.
In This Episode: When sizing up someone in a modest profession, don’t make the mistake of thinking the job title defines the person or their abilities. They might just surprise you with an overabundance of Uncommon Sense.
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Last Week’s Story about the teacher-student sex scandal in a Colorado school — the principal and vice principal were indicted for failure to report the case, as required since they’re “mandatory reporters” of child abuse under state law — is followed up this week by another that really applies to the whole mindset.
The Two Lead Stories this week (the “asthma stories”) were by far the most-suggested stories by readers recently. I think every one of them just suggested one or the other, and they probably didn’t know about the other. The two stories, which happened about a week apart, and about 165 miles apart, are pretty amazing together. Let’s start with the two stories, in True’s 24 January 2016 issue:
Sometimes a story needs the photos discussed to be complete. Let’s start with the story, from True’s 8 June 2014 issue:
I Think Alexander Went Too Easy on the schools in a story this week. First, let’s start with the story, from True’s 23 February 2014 issue:
Two stories this week deserve some follow-up: one that’s pretty light-hearted, and the other …much less so.
Let’s start with the comedy; both stories are from True’s 13 May 2012 issue:
A friend who is a career military man is retiring soon. He’s still pretty young, so he asked for some advice on what to do next; he sees that I’m pretty successful, and he wants to be successful too, in the next phase of his life.
You don’t really need the photo that the girl submitted to the yearbook to “get” the story in this week’s issue (8 January 12), but she did release it to the media, so I’ll bring it to you — along with some additional details.
When I run a string of zero tolerance stories, readers typically respond, “What should we do about this?” What I don’t want you to do is emailbomb the school officials or school boards involved.
Yet another astounding story from the front lines — our nation’s schools.
From True’s 28 November 2010 issue:
My recent blog post analyzing a Zero Tolerance case (Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”) showed just how crazy people can get trying to control others, and their desire to punish non-transgressions just the same as if the person was actually doing something wrong. Most people fully got the point. Others, to my shock, didn’t.
The “zero tolerance” stories just don’t stop, despite court decisions and legislators demanding “common sense.” A 2″ hunk of plastic isn’t a gun, unless you’re a hysterical grade school principal who demands that 9-year-olds in your care sign confessions when they bring a toy to school.
The New York Times had an article today on a ridiculous zero tolerance situation: a kid in Delaware who was so excited to get his Cub Scouts camping utensil — a fork, knife and spoon combo — that he took it to school to eat his lunch with. Yeah, a Cub Scout: Zachary Christie is just 6 years old.
Anytime I run a “gun story” I get a lot of comment from both hugely polarized Americans, who want to rant for or against guns, and foreign readers, who don’t understand the American “obsession” with arms. I’m going to take a stab at helping foreign readers understand it a bit better. So first, the “gun story” that prompted this essay, from True’s 15 February 2009 issue:
Episode #30: “Put a Lid On It” from True’s 28 December 2008 issue.
Episode #18: “Testing — Testing 1-2-3”. From True’s 5 October 2008 issue.
A tremendous number of zero tolerance stories pass in front of me as I search for stories for True, and (contrary to what some readers think) I pass by most of them. I’ve previously encouraged those who are truly wronged by ZT to consider suing their schools.
Episode #3: Visionary. From True’s 22 June 2008 issue.
I do a lot of research when looking for stories, and I see quite a bit of amazing stuff. Most of it I use for stories, but sometimes even truly wonderful items just don’t quite make it into the final product. This is one such case.