When Good People Do Nothing

See Update Below 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 … Continue Reading

Originally posted 12 February 2018

Podcast 030: What ‘Mandatory’ Means

In This Episode: A home-town story has a notable parallel to a national story, and they both hinge on men in power taking advantage of the young — while other supposedly responsible adults failed to do their legal, and “mandatory”, duty. It was a tough one to record, and it’ll be tough to listen to, but it’s an important, and thought-provoking, issue: what would YOU do?

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Originally posted 8 February 2018

Podcast 029: I Thought You Were a Christian Organization!

In This Episode: Two segments of No Longer Weird to catch up a little, and one of the most ridiculous reader complaints about a story EVER (and my response). There’s a twist at the end: even in this kind of hilarity, there’s a real lesson to be learned about The Human Condition, supplied by an amazing reader letter.

Continue ReadingPodcast 029: I Thought You Were a Christian Organization!

Originally posted 1 February 2018

When “Reporting” Just Isn’t Enough

I’m taking a quick break from writing the stories for this week’s issue to tell you why I’m rejecting a story, even though it’s mind-boggling in its implication. The story’s lead (or, as they say in the news biz, “lede”) paragraph: “The driver of a Department of Transportation snow plow was charged Monday with driving … Continue Reading

Originally posted 28 January 2018

A Very Bad Gamble

I have a little bit to say about a story this week, so let me start with that story — from the 26 November 2017 issue: Bad Gamble When a lone armed robber hit a Chase bank branch in Chicago, Ill., she was pretty clear on what she wanted the tellers to do: “Let’s go … Continue Reading

Originally posted 27 November 2017

Podcast 019: The Headlines Lied

In This Episode: Announcing a new podcast. Another No Longer Weird. And then there are the lying “Marijuana Overdose Death!” headlines: agenda-driven clickbait shockers that many other media outlets (“mainstream, legitimate” and otherwise) jumped on with without checking the facts first. It’s not only stupid and wrong, but completely misses the real problem that really does cause a shocking number of deaths. Plus: an Easter Egg at the end that shows what Kit is like when she doesn’t know the recorder is rolling!

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Originally posted 23 November 2017

Mailchimp Makes a Monkey of Us All

In my recent post about watching the Internet “grow up,” I noted True was a driving force in setting the “best practices” around email publishing — I pushed the first true Email Service Provider to add features I wanted, and one of those features was “double opt-in.” I don’t claim to have come up with … Continue Reading

Originally posted 6 November 2017

Podcast 010: Zero Tolerance

In This Episode: No Longer Weird: An obliviot trying to pass a 99-cent “$1 million bill”. And it’s Episode 10: you’re darn right it’s time to do a bit of a rant on zero tolerance! Clare and I talk about an older case that was so clearly a case of “Sue ’em!” — that the family did. But it sure wasn’t an easy road, in part because the offending school fought it hard (read: freely spent tax money to defend absolutely outrageous actions!)

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Originally posted 7 September 2017

Why I’ve Removed Google’s Ads

It’s a Matter of Control.

This is True went online in the first half of 1994, so True has been in business longer than many big names in the Internet biz, including Google (1998). As a classic feature column, I received (and turned down) syndication offers from two different newspaper syndicates, including one of the biggest in the business, because I wanted full control of True’s publication rights — including its online presence. And as of today, I’ve turned off Google’s “Adsense” service on this site for the same reason: to assert my control.

Continue ReadingWhy I’ve Removed Google’s Ads

Originally posted 8 April 2016

Gasping for Breath …Still

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:

Continue ReadingGasping for Breath …Still

Originally posted 25 January 2016

“Ridiculous Reactions”

Nick in Arizona recently re-subscribed after an absence. He wrote: “I’m looking forward to getting TRUE in my mailbox again. It’s been a long, long time, and what reminded me was the Get Out of Hell Free cards. I came across a few in one of my storage boxes (I remember mailing in my request for several orders, including the nice plastic cards in addition to the card stock version, which I had been handing out like breezy many years ago). I’m a consultant now, and I live the travel life style. I’m always working with people who need the GOOHF, especially since it covers stupidity! Lol. I’m going to need several, soon. I’m looking forward to the true stories and witty commentary, and occasional RIDICULOUS reactions from the reader base! Thank you for still being there, doing what you do!”

Continue Reading“Ridiculous Reactions”

Originally posted 18 January 2016

Dangerous in the Wrong Hands

Some Readers Seem to Want to top recent examples of “Stupid Reasons for Protest Unsubscribes”. This one’s hilarious: in Friday’s free edition, having no paid advertisers, I ran a house ad for my drone site, Drone Pilot Wings. I haven’t been doing much in the way of articles on that site lately, but several that I have done really push for pilots being more responsible with drones, vs. doing stupid things like getting in the way of airplanes trying to fight wildfires. There’s even an article category called “Pilot Error” to highlight such stories. Of course, the tiny ad doesn’t get into all that, it just points interested readers to the site to learn more.

Continue ReadingDangerous in the Wrong Hands

Originally posted 10 August 2015

Forging My Own Path

What Would You Include as significant milestones in the “history” of weird news? I really had to roll my eyes this weekend when a reader sent me the URL to an article from the July/August issue of the in-print (and, obviously, online) Pacific Standard magazine: “Who, What, Where, When, Weird — How oddball items came to dominate the news business, and became normal in the process.” — billed as a history of “weird news” and where it’s going, what with that newfangled Internet thing and all.

Continue ReadingForging My Own Path

Originally posted 6 July 2015

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