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Since 1994, this is the 1235th issue of Randy Cassingham’s...

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11 February 2018: Another Ban d of Obliviotic School Officials Copyright ©2018 m

The professor professesSubjunctive: A sociology student at Southern New Hampshire University, taking classes remotely from Idaho, was vexed by a professor’s response to her paper comparing a trend in the U.S. with another country. Ashley Arn old, 27, compared social media use in the U.S. and Australia. She wouldn t name the professor, an adjunct, but she received a failing mark on the assignment because “Australia is a continent; not a country, the teacher claimed. The nonplussed Arnold sent the professor a link to the Australian government’s web site to make it clear that Aust ralia is a country — and posted the teacher’s rebuke online . The teacher grudgingly increased the assignment’s grade to a B+. “Follo wing an investigation, we have replaced the instructor,” a universi ty spokeswoman said, using a kind word for “fired,” adding the university “apologized to the student and refunded her for the class.” (RC/Manchester Union-Leader) ...“Adjunct (n.): ( Logic) A nonessential attribute of a thing.” —American Heri tage dictionary.

Demanding Dances: “You guys are misunderstanding again, ” Natalie Richard told her daughter. But it wasn’t the sixt h-grader who was mistaken: Kanesville Elementary School in West Haven, Utah , really does have a policy that at its Valentine’s Day dance, no” is not an acceptable answer. “We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance, said district official Lane Findlay. Students aren’t require d to attend the school’s event, and Richard was able to get the principal to mention the rule on a permission slip. But she couldn’t get him to let girls say no. “Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say ‘yes’,” Richard sa id, and it “sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t sa y ‘no’.” Students are asked in advance to list five schoolmates they’d like to dance with, and Findlay said if a stude nt was uncomfortable with a request, that “can be addressed. (AC/KSTU Salt Lake City) ...It can be addressed more easily by letti ng them say no.

Postal Worker Arrested for stealing credit cards from the mail (m aybe his Maserati was a clue). New uniforms at elementary school in Japan c ost $730. Florida lottery clerk arrested for stealing winning ticket. Flori da neighborhood not allowed to deal with wild turkeys — at least, n ot until hunting season. Fire department cancels 80-year tradition: they re tired of preparing the annual muskrat dinner. Zoo has trouble keep ing one of its primates caged (maybe he’s smarter than his keepers). This is True is Reader-Supported: it needs your support to keep going, and in exchange you get all the stories every week. See your upgrade options: get started for as little as $12.50!

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Eminently Qualified for the NFL: Washington State University juni or linebacker Logan Tago, 20, has been given the university’s Cente r for Community Engagement Community Involvement Award after he put in 240 hours of community service. Tago didn’t exactly volunteer for the t ime, however: he was ordered to do it by a judge. Tago pleaded guilty to th ird-degree assault in January 2017 in a plea bargain to avoid a felony robb ery conviction; he had hit a man over the head and ran off with the man’s six-pack of beer. Tago also paid $800 in fines and served 30 days in jail. (RC/Seattle Post-Intelligencer) ...Where, he was proud to announce, he was awarded “Best Guest of the Month”.

Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks Ride Again: Jesse Dorsett, 48, of S andy, Ore., has three cats: Pixie, Dixie, and Jinx, named after the Hanna-B arbara cartoon characters. The cats enjoy riding on the hood of his car: Do rsett will drive at about 5 mph on the edge of parking lots while one sits on the hood, scanning the grass for prey. The cats are always on a leash an d held as close as possible to the windshield. If it jumps off, he’ ll stop and either he or his wife will get out and take them for a short walk on the leash. Dorsett tried to explain this to a woma n who took photos of Pixie on his hood, and then had to explain it to polic e, who called asking if his cat was injured. Dorsett shot a short video of Pixie and sent it to the officer, and the matter was dropped. “I do n’t think it’s a good idea to be doing that and it’ s certainly something we can’t recommend,” said a police sp okesman, who added there’s no law against cats riding on moving veh icles, although there is one against dogs doing so. (MS/Portland Oregonian) ...Now we know which spec ies has the stronger lobby.

Joyner and BarneySounds Like a Very Good Act or: David Joyner, 54, used to make his living as an actor dressed up as an oversized purple dinosaur — “Barney” — while a different actor spoke his lines. He has a better gig now, as a tantric sex therapist who has figured out a way to get women to pay him for sex. The energy I brought up in the costume is based on the foundation of tan tra, which is love,” Joyner explained, and tantra is the “s cience of ecstasy.” Joyner, who grew up in Decatur, Ill., has also worked as a software analyst, massage therapist, and a motivational speaker , and had the Barney gig from 1991 to 2001. His tantric clients, who he pre fers to call “goddesses,” pay $350 for a three- to four-hour sessio n. “Not all of my sessions have sex or ‘spiritual intimacy ’,” he says. “It’s only in the full session s, when someone is ready to take the sexual energy to a higher level. (RC/Chicago Tribune) ...And now you know what the “I love yo u, you love me” bit was all about.

Maybe They Should Put That Another Way
Valentine Condom Campaign Urges Lovers to Think of Animals
AP headline

Did You Find an Error? Check the Errata Page for updates.

This Week’s Contributors: MS-Mike Straw, AC-Alexander Coh en, RC-Randy Cassingham.

I’m Very Pleased to Announce that the Honorary Unsubscribe web site is completely rebui lt from the ground up. Rather than a bunch of custom software that had some unexpected gotchas, we started over from scratch with some features that m ake it much easier to include photos, and it’s also now secu re (SSL/httpS).

Please do have a look around, and let me know if you find anythin g goofy — anything that didn’t convert well from the old si te. I’m going through it fixing the photos that were there, and a f ew other little glitches. Plus: it makes it easier to generate the book com pilations: I’ll be working on Volume 5 next (1-4 are already out). And yes, those books are coming to ebook readers other than Kindle, and lat er will be available in paperback, too.

And while we were working on the web sites, the Previous / Next selectio ns in the True archive is now fixed. Speaking of “goofy — it was! But it appears correct now.

More About Australia: Lauren Keane, assistant vice president of communications for the universi ty, confirmed the student’s online post is true. Like the student, she says, the teacher “does not live in New Hampshire and does not work on campus.” In her statement, Keane gave a shout-out to our friends and colleagues” in Australia: “We know that you are a country and a continent. Best of luck in the Olympic games! In reporting on the story, News Corp Australia wasn’t as magnanimous in reply, noting that the supposed educational institution understands Australian geography .”

A little more about the part between the failing grade and the grudging B+. Once the instructor reviewed the web page Arnold sent her to, she repli ed, “make sure the date, the facts, and the information you provide in your report is about Australia the country and not Australia the contin ent.” So she still didn’t get it.

The story reminds me of journalism school: I was supposed to write a pap er about the competition in network news, and used the word “bifurc ation” in the text (yes, correctly). It wasn’t the professo r, but rather a grad student teaching assistant who graded the papers who c ircled the word and complained that I didn’t define it, and marked the paper down a grade. Yeah, I didn’t define “is” either: is it my problem he couldn’t operate a dictionary if he did n’t know the word? (You I’ll help: a place where something divides into two branches.)

The Following is On My Blog if you would rather read it there: When Good People Do Nothing.

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 he cas e, as required since they’re “mandatory reporters” of child abuse under state law — is followed up this week by anothe r that really applies to the whole mindset. That would be the Utah school w here girls (and boys? Unclear) are not allowed to say no when asked to danc e.

There was a quote that Alexander left out; we only have so much room! Th e mother, Ms Richard, noted (speaking of the principal), “He basica lly just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long tim e and they’ve never had any concern before.” She hit it on the head with a restatement of her problem with the whole idea: “Ps ychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t sa y ‘no’ to a boy,” she said. “That’s the message kids are getting.”

Indeed so, and that’s exactly the problem. They aren’t a llowed to say no. They are also taught “don’t talk about anything to do with sex — so when they can’t say no, or the boy (or teacher!) does something to them anyway even if they do mus ter up the courage to say no, they don’t have the encouragement, or maybe even the vocabulary, to tell their parents there’s something going on that’s making them uncomfortable. That’s one of t he many reasons child predators get away with so much for so long.

In True’s most recent podcast, Kit and I talk about the failures involved in the Colorado school case, wh ich (because the school officials allegedly failed in their “mandat ory reporting” duty) led to the same teacher molesting even more ch ildren. Such cases can grow to absolutely ridiculous proportions, as Kit and I discuss. It’s certainly not an “entertaining episode, but it’s definitely an important one, and I urge you to listen to it — especially if you’re a parent, or a g randparent, of young children. It’s sobering, but you need to know this stuff.

The podcast, by the way, has a significant update on that story.

Meanwhile, simply because I told the story last week, and pointed to tha t podcast, about two dozen readers unsubscribed. Only one had the guts to a ctually write and protest about it. “Piano Guy” in South Ca rolina complained, “I have been a subscriber a lot longer than your records seem to indicate. Although I have enjoyed it, this most recent edi tion was rather dark in tone, which is not what I have come to expect from your newsletter.”

“The records” show he got his (free) subscription in 200 9. Sure he could well have subscribed longer, for instance at a different a ddress, but either way, he has read thousands of stories over the years. Bu t he can’t take one that points out how adults failed the children they’re paid to be responsible for, so he’s turning his bac k to guard against ever having to see such a story again. He refuses to be alerted to the fact that anyone — piano teachers included — can (and should!) watch out for kids who may be abused, and get them help.

Yep, it’s an ugly problem: you sure as hell can hear that in my voice in the podcast. But this is what thinking is about: seeing the issues involved and why this stuff is so important. We can’ t talk about difficult subjects every now and then, among the “ente rtaining” stories? Really?

And that’s another of the many reasons child predators get away with so much for so long. They’re counting on you to look the other way. Let’s stop cooperating with that expectation. Girls, boys, wo men, and men shouldn’t merely be able to say no, they should be emp owered to do it. And they should be able to get help when someone doesn t take no for an answer.

Comments? This is on my blog, with both of the stories noted, and an update — the district made the principal back down: When Good People Do Nothing.

I’ve posted a link to the blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which you’re welcome to shar e, or feel free to use my shortcode:

Speaking of Podcasts , I’m still often co-hosting the Tech Enthusiast Hour. You can catc h recent episodes at, including our discussion of wh y SpaceX launched a Tesla into orbit.

Ten Years Ago in True: The Barbecued Biker gets what was coming to him.

Today on Randy ’s Random: Too Few Do.

This Week’s Honorar y Unsubscribe goes to John Perry Barlow, who dedicated his li fe to defend online freedom.

  • Read his story in the Archive: Joh n Perry Barlow (OK to share link)
  • And So Long to actor John Mahoney, best known as the father on Frasi er, dead February 4, at 77.
  • Plus, Goodbye to singer Vic Damone, dead February 11 from respiratory p roblems, at 89.
  • Honorary Unsubscribe Archive

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Copyright ©2018 by Ran dy Cassingham, All Rights Reserved. All broadcast, publication, retransmission to e-mail lists , WWW, or any other copying or storage, in any medium, online or not, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the a uthor. Manual forwarding by e-mail to friends is allowed IF 1) the text is forwarded in its entirety from the “Since 1994” line on top through the end of this paragraph and 2) No fee is charged. We request that you forward no more than three copies to any one person — after that, they should get their own free subscri ption. We always appreciate people who report violations of our copyright t

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