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Since 1994, this is the 1238th issue of Randy Cassingham’s...

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4 March 2018: FTW + Story Upd ate Copyright ©2018 m

Monkey Business: “I needed a monkey,” says Don Ab rego of Wyoming, Mich. “I needed to be different.” He found one online, and sent $400. Then the seller said he needed more money due t o a flight delay, and vaccinations. So Abrego sent more money, then more, t hen more and more. In all, “About 20 Amazon gift cards ranging from a hundred to $400 and $500,” he said. Clerks where he bought the c ards “tried to warn me almost every single time,” he admits . “I would say six times out of eight, they were like ‘you’re being scammed. Whatever you’ re doing, you’re being scammed’.” He continued to b uy and send the cards anyway. He was being scammed. “I would say be tween $4,500 and $5,000,” he said, and he stepped forward as a way to warn others. He never got the monkey. (RC/WXMI Grand Rapids) ...He do esn’t need a monkey: the seller made one out of him already.

All Your Arabic Looks Alike: While his new Tarpon Springs, Fla., home was being built, a man drove up to Gareth Whitehurst’s buildin g site and demanded to know what the finished building would be. When the m an was told it was a private home, he scoffed and said the building s unique design showed it was going to be a mosque. So, Whitehurst, 76, put a sign on the gate that read, “This is not a mosque.” T he sign is written in Arabic. “At least the people who spoke Arabic wouldn’t be confused,” Whitehurst said. “Those other SOBs could constru e it any way they wished.” The home is nearly finished and its purp ose is clearer: it’s an homage to the Jefferson Memorial. Out of al l the numerous features of the six-acre compound, Whitehurst insists on one being included in any description: another sign hanging on a brick wall. I t has a quote from Samuel Adams that reads, “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in governm ent, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. ” (MS/Tampa Bay Times) ...He needs one more sign: “(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.” Thomas Jefferson.

True is Reader Supported: the web site has no ads, and eve n most of the ads in the newsletter, like the one that follows, are for sit es I (or my wife) own, so this newsletter really needs you to help p ublish. Don’t want an upgrade? You can send a few bucks our way wit h the form on the home page. But the main way readers support us is by upgrading to a Premium subscription: it has a minimum of 10 stories each w eek (usually about a dozen — there were 13 this week), vs the five in this free edition . Upgrade info is here and thanks for helping us keep publishing!

This Is sue’s Exclusive Sponsor:
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Stag Party Candidate: Ana Lisa Garza is running for the Texas Hou se of Representatives, and people are giving her a lot of semen. No, that ’s not harassment: these are valuable contributions — $51,0 00 out of the $87,500 in donations listed on a campaign-finance report from the Starr County judge’s campaign. It really is deer semen, which deer breeders have donated. The report valued each “straw” at $1,000. Fred Gonzalez, the Texas Deer Association’s treasurer an d one of the deer-semen donors, said it’s common to donate the stuff in political campaigns . “If you have a desirable animal, it’s a way to bring valu e without breaking the bank,” he said. (AC/Dallas Morning News) ...If she’s elected, will she represent all of her constituents, or just the interests with the most bucks?

The bucket.We Do Chicken ...Right?< /b> KFC, which changed its name from Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1991, had a problem at its U.K. restaurants: its new delivery partner couldn’t get enough chicken to the outlets, and about 700 of its 90 0 stores in the U.K. and Ireland had to close until the supply chain could catch up. Once it did, KFC took out full-page ads in some British newspaper s to apologize, accompanied by a photo of its trademark bucket with its nam e scrambled a bit: it read “FCK”. (RC/BBC) ...WTF?

Mother Cluckers II: Now that KFC’s U.K. chicken shortage is over, they’re finding they don’t have enough gravy for h ungry customers. The problem, again, is their new delivery partner, DHL. “We’re working as hard as we can to get this sorted out, a spokesman said. (RC/BBC) ...SMH.

And Garlic on His Breath
Pennsylvania State Police: Man Accused of Stealing Meatballs Had R ed Sauce on His Face
WHP Harrisburg 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.

If You Didn’t Alrea dy Know, online “SMH” means “Shaking My Head ”. I’ll leave “WTF” (and “SOB !) up to you. “FTW” (in the subject line) is “Fo r The Win”.

Did You Know that every week, the footer has a link to last week ’s issue in case you missed it, or want to revisit a story because there’s an update? 🙂

An Update on a Story last week. In “Something to Hide” in #1237, I noted Washin gton state’s legislature rushed through a bill — while also restricting debate on that bill — to retroactively exempt i tself from the state’s Public Records Act. It had extra clauses to make it go into effect immediately, and to make it illegal to challenge the law. All of this made “Something To Hide” seem like an und erstatement. There was one hurdle for them, however: the story’s last sentence noted “Gov. Jay In slee said he wasn’t sure whether or not he would sign the bill.

The update is, last Thursday (March 1), Inslee did veto this brazen atte mpt at hiding governmental functions from the people they represent. The public’s right to government information is one we hold dear ly in Washington,” Inslee said in a written statement. “I b elieve legislators will find they can fulfill their duties while being full y transparent, just like state and local governments all across Washington. ”

Before that decision, the governor’s office was “deluged ” by objections from voters — around 19,000 called or email ed the governor’s office to express their displeasure, while newspa pers across the state ran editorials opposing the bill. More at KOMO Seattle if you’re interested.

The bottom line: politicians seem to be pushing the envelope more and mo re, but a strong media shining a spotlight on their malfeasance can make th em scatter like cockroaches. I hope True played a small part in that .

The Latest Uncommon Sense P odcast Whether you “need” a monkey (top story this w eek) or “want” something for nothing, scammers are eager to take your money from you. And what’s No Longer Weird this week. It all fits into 16 minutes:

Podcast 033: Don’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned

There Won’t be a Podcast next week since I have to pop to a meeting of the TEH Podcast hosts.

Ten Years Ago in True: A judge hands out an unusual sentence for a Crime of Intoxication.

Today on Randy ’s Random: There is, at least, a bright side: Time is Not On Your Side.

This Week’s Honorar y Unsubscribe goes to Benjamin Melniker. A film producer, Mel niker bought the film rights to Batman to fulfill a darker vision (especial ly compared to the campy 60s TV version). But he had a hard time getting a studio to agree with the idea.

  • Read his story in the Archive: Benjamin Melniker (OK to share link)
  • And So Long to animator Bud “Low Key” Luckey, who devel oped characters for Sesame Street, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Cars, and — especially — created the character Woody” for Toy Story, dead in a Connecticut hospice on Fe bruary 24 after a stroke, at 83.
  • “GOODBYE” to actor David Ogden Stiers, best known as “Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III” on the last six seaso ns of M*A*S*H, who died at his Salem, Ore., home on March 3 from bla dder cancer. He was 75.
  • Plus, Cheerio To Roger Bannister who, at age 25 in 1954, was the first to run a mile in less than four minutes. Once he did, breaking that barrier became routine; his record only lasted 46 days. Bannister retired from ath letics to practice as a neurologist. Sir Roger, who suffered from Parkinson ’s disease, died in Oxford, England, on March 3, at 88.
  • 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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