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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 mindset. That would be the Utah school where girls (and boys? Unclear) are not allowed to say no when asked to dance: Demanding Dances “You […]

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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? Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast30

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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. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast29

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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 while intoxicated when he struck two vehicles while clearing snow in Morris County [N.J.], police said.” The “amusing” part, which is why the story was […]

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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 to the vault,” she ordered. That, and “If you look at me, I will shoot.” An employee said he couldn’t get into the vault, which […]

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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 the idea for verifying subscribers, but the first distribution package I used not only broke when there were more than 10,000 addresses on the list, […]

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Podcast 014: An Act of Charity

In This Episode: A mostly seasonal segment for No Longer Weird. Then, it seems like just a funny story, but a crusty donation to a food bank maybe isn’t so charitable after all, and — when you think about it — demonstrates the value of thinking about your actions before doing. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast14

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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! We 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. Show Notes: https://thisistrue.com/podcast10

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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 […]

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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: (more…)

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“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 […]

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Land of the Scared

I had to get something off my chest. I’ve been seething about this for awhile, but a story this week brought it to a head. You probable saw it: it was the talk of social media last week. So let’s start with that, from True’s 20 September 2015 issue: (more…)

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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 […]

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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 […]

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