When Good People Do Nothing

See Updates 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 0applies to the whole … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overlooked Heroes

I Was Hoping to Write a different Honorary Unsubscribe this week, but couldn’t because I couldn’t get information. Debbie Crawford, a 25-year veteran paramedic in Denver, died this weekend. The scuttlebutt is that her PTSD got so severe, she committed suicide — she could no longer handle the stress of the job. If that is indeed what happened, and I don’t know for sure because none of the media outlets in Denver has covered her death at all, that’s truly a tragedy.

Continue ReadingOverlooked Heroes

Because They’re Not Capable of Defending Themselves

What’s more patronizing: making a joke at someone’s expense, or the contention that the subject of the joke is not capable of defending themselves?

This week it’s war veterans who are not capable, or so some readers seem to be saying. Let’s start with the story — from True’s 8 February 2015 issue:

Continue ReadingBecause They’re Not Capable of Defending Themselves

The Taylor Swift Cop Video:
Call Me a Contrarian

Swift performing in Los Angeles during her RED Tour, August 2013. (Photo CC “Denielle” on Flikr.)

OK: Call Me a Contrarian. Sure the lip-synching cop was entertaining! The song is fun, and who can’t like the earnest and drop-dead gorgeous (and cute! — see below) Taylor Swift?

But really: we are in a cycle of big distrust of cops in this country, so their solution is to lie about just happening to find this video of the cop in their random review of dashcam footage?

Continue ReadingThe Taylor Swift Cop Video:
Call Me a Contrarian