Unusual Unsubscribes

When people unsubscribe from This is True, they have the opportunity to leave comments. Most don’t, and oddly some think they “have to” (I mean really: “No comment.”?) And of course some use it as an opportunity to protest — like when I tell the truth that they don’t want to hear.

And Then There Are the Weird Ones

For sure, the two most-entered comments are that they have upgraded to Premium and don’t need the free one anymore, followed way-too-closely by that they’re just too busy to read four hundred-word stories, which I think is an awfully sad state of affairs.

I have not altered the following comments in any way — what’s in quotes is exactly what they wrote. I use their first name if I have it, and something from their headers if not.

Now and then I get a one-word whine: “Boring.” Yes, I know they’re boring, which is why I’m trying to provide some illumination to their lives. Ah well.

For Example

Mohammed in Malaysia was apparently using True for his education. When he felt he had graduated, he unsubscribed with the comment, “right now, I am professional in english, i don’t need to learn more what I have”. If he thought the purpose of This is True is English lessons, his English may not be as good as he thinks.

Jeepers complained, “Not enough ‘varification’ of ‘facts’…”

Well smack my head!

It’s true that I don’t travel all over the world each week to interview the people in each story. Rather, as I’ve said for 18 years now, True is simply commentary on the news I find, and the source of each story is clearly identified so that you know where it’s from. If Jeepers cared to “varify” the facts of any story, s/he can go to that source to do so.

Not weird enough for you? How about RT in AOLland: “I just don’t read newsletters that are typed.”

Maji is threatened: “I want to stop thinking so much.”

Yeah, that’s the problem.

Jamie, who works in safety: “does not help in my line of work – very good stories”. Wow: I’d think that understanding what people will do when under the influence of obliviocy would be perfect training for a safety officer!

Wrong Again!

Chris the Crab (yeah, really!): “I just got really tired of some of your comments. Snark only really works for people who agree with you in the first place, and boy howdy are you a lot more conservative than me.”

I looked up to see what comments I had made that week and replied:

Asking politicians to try common sense. Yeah, pretty darned snarky, isn’t it? Saying the police maybe shouldn’t jump in and “investigate” when nothing went wrong and no one complained — snarky, eh? Saying the government shouldn’t keep data bases of people’s genders in order to enforce a “bathroom law” — I guess that’s pretty snarky. Suggesting that schools might want to teach SKILLS instead of “how to pass a government test” — snarky? Well, that’s the end of the story comments. All four of ’em.

You must define “snarky” the same way you define “conservative” — without consulting a dictionary.

Chris replied, “Yes, this was really a gracious way to deal with someone unsubscribing. Well done.”

Apparently it’s not “gracious” in Chris’s book to reply when someone comments. They’d rather shoot in the dark and not know if anyone actually read what they had to say. Or, at least, one can only reply if they agree with them? Whatever.

Lichen complained: “I liked the original…humor about stupid behavior. Laughs are what we all need more. This is no longer the case with the material which is really social commentary. I can get more than I can handle elsewhere.”

This is True has always been social commentary. Since Issue 1 in 1994. I don’t think Lichen was a subscriber that long ago, so I’m not sure what she is comparing it to, but I’m not trying to be like other publications in any case.

Andries in South Africa: “I do not have reason”.

Well, neither do most of the people in the stories! That’s part of the idea of True — to get people to think more and develop their reasoning abilities!

Governmental Intrusion

And then there’s the one that prompted me to make this blog post. It’s from Helen at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (yes, she indeed subscribed from her work address): “Because you titled todays NEWS CLIPS for something you wrote TEN YEARS AGO, which feels like deceptive advertising to me. Hint: ‘News’ is the name for NEW things of interest.”

I replied:

I can only assume you’re speaking of this section:

TEN YEARS AGO IN TRUE: Did This is True's ridicule of a new Microsoft project cause it to be canceled? Maybe (and I certainly hope so!): http://ThisIsTrue.com/d-iloo

Which part of “TEN YEARS AGO” did you take as “todays NEWS CLIPS”?

I pointed out that the subject line never features a story. Ever. It rather points out something else that’s different in the issue that people might otherwise miss.

Helen upped the ante by switching to her U.S. Department of Justice address to reply that I was “insulting” to her — as if her “Hint” was the epitome of southern politeness?

I showed the exchange to a friend. The reply: “With the IRS scandal going on, you’re jousting with someone from the DOJ?! You’ve got some big stones, buddy.”

Eh. Pushing readers a little is part of my job. Is Helen willing to swear in court that bitching at me using government resources — and during working hours — is part of her job? I’d like to see her try it with a straight face.

The Flip Side

Since it only takes one or two cool people to counter an inbox filled with jerks, imagine how lovely it is that most of my mail is much more like what follows, rather than the above.

George’s comments aren’t bizarre, but they’re certainly unusual:

Time constraints. Had to choose between This is true and the publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The latter materials are more beneficial. If I had time for both I would continue with both, but that is no longer the case for me. Something you may find interesting: The Bible does not really teach the doctrine of Hellfire. The hell of the bible refers to the common grave of mankind. [Link to JW doctrine deleted.] The idea of hellfire has a non-Christian origin in ancient Babylon. Thanks for all your hard work. I really enjoyed it.

Thanks, George!

Roby wrote:

I have terminal ‘C’. Don’t think husband will read columns — even though it would undoubtedly be a good thing for him. Thank you Randy & Co., you have delivered much joy to me over the years.

Now Roby is someone who had the perspective of knowing she was at the end, and had enough class to not just drop off distribution so her husband wouldn’t have to deal with it after she was gone, but also to send a spectacularly nice note using some of the little time she had left. May she rest in peace.

And I’ll conclude with Kyle in Kansas, for just one example of the “most-common” type of comment:

I feel guilty unsubscribing, but I upgraded to premium about 6 weeks ago. I can’t describe the disappointment I feel when I realize that the email from this is true is just the free edition with articles I’ve already read. For anybody who’s wondering, I’ll say that the upgrade is definitely worth it. I was a free subscriber for about a year. I remember you (Randy) saying it is hard to strip the premium version down to a free version. Now,I thoroughly understand what you meant. The flow between stories is truly remarkable. Compared to the premium edition, the free edition seems like a movies trailer at best.

No one needs to feel guilty, least of all someone who upgrades like the alliterative Kyle in Kansas.

Just as I’ve never had a shortage of stories illustrating the weirdness of the Human Condition, I’ll never tire of the great comments I get from readers, even if I sometimes hurt myself a little rolling my eyes at the obliviots hidden here and there among them.

– – –

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48 Comments on “Unusual Unsubscribes

  1. I have loved your newsletter for years and only wish I had the money to upgrade. In one of the few times I’ve changed email addresses over the years I somehow neglected to update my address with This is True. Much to my delight when I got married back in September (and subsequently changed my name and email again) I came across one of your newsletters when I was transferring everything over. Of course I absolutely had to resubscribe! I don’t know why people would want to unsubscribe from this at all. Keep up the good work Randy!

  2. This is probably an un-unusual un-unsubscribe. I’ve simply been on the free subscription for years and decided it was about time to upgrade. I’m prompted in part by anger at the multiple “Zero Tolerance” articles in this week’s “This Is True”. (No, not anger that you reported them; anger at the blind intolerance of the authorities in each case.)

    Good, since the more people that get mad, the more likely we’ll build up a consensus that it’s the wrong thing to do to our children! -rc

  3. I’m still trying to wrap my head around RT in AOLland: “I just don’t read newsletters that are typed.”

    Not only was my FIRST reaction, “How in the hell else is a computer newsletter distributed? By Calligraphy?” But then I wondered, exactly how was his first newsletter formatted that enticed him to subscribe in the first place?

    All I can think of, Randy, is that with some of the letters you get, you must feel like G Gordon Liddy… “Gentlemen, in a battle of wits, you are unarmed!”

    I’m more likely to say, “In a battle of wits, they’re only half-armed.” -rc

  4. The best reason for continuing to get the free edition is when Randy doesn’t find an Honorary Unsubscribe for the Premium edition, but finds one in time for the free edition.

    When it happens, I do try to remember to put a link in the next Premium, too. -rc

  5. Immensely enjoy your work and “snark” (do persons really think that?). Had subscribed years ago and you have gained skill and discrimination. Ah,The Joy of Wisdom (downside is time to worm-food). Am on SS so is choice twixt food and medicine — the best of which is laughter, so hope to read you for years to come. Take that, Worms!

    Thank for everything.

  6. Well done, Randy; this is the perfect illustration of completeness in that we get a slew of great thought-provoking (head-shaking?) reads every week, AND insight into the audience as well. FedEx delivers, but you deliver more. I personally and purposely try to not agree or disagree with the stories/taglines; rather, I use them to think about the human condition in all its “glories”. We are fascinating creatures after all.

    (I also enjoy supporting small business.)

  7. My only complaint is that i wish for some stories at least that you posted a few url’s (when available), as to sources, for those of us who might have an interest in a story, and want to follow up.

    As for those who unsubscribed out of boredom or ennui, or whatever, I do feel sorry for them. Your stories make me laugh & cry, they make me angry at obliviots, but touch the bottom of my heart for some of the good news ones. I go through the gamut of emotions in your newsletter.

    My only unhappiness is that this small pension I have precludes me from buying the premium edition, because that way, I would feel as if I were making a contribution back to True. But I do Tweet links to the true page from time to time, and tell everyone I meet on-line about you. It assuages my conscience, and I hope you can accept that.

    And NO, I am not plugging for a freebie. I honestly think you have done more than enough for me and other readers. You have, indeed, gone above and beyond the call of duty, in many cases, for many of us.

    So here is a thank you that you deserve. I am glad you enjoy all the heartfelt comments you get. They feed the soul, the heart, which needs as much feeding and the wallet, sometimes. Take care, dude.

    I do know that $24 can be make or break for some budgets, since I’ve been there myself. And yes, I do find non-monetary support very valuable; there’s a link in most issues outlining the many ways you can help. As for story URLs, I did test that in the Premium edition, and readers were nearly unanimous that they didn’t really want them. Since it was a fair PITA to keep track of them, confirm they still worked, etc., I stopped the trial. -rc

  8. I hope you don’t mind I kept my free subscription as well as pay for the premium one. I did that because I know I’m allowed to forward the free one on to friends and family to bring items to their attention and to encourage them to become subscribers themselves (which some have done). But I’m pretty sure you don’t want me sending the premium newsletter around the Internet to others, so I don’t. Anyway, it’s fun looking at what’s different between them sometimes.

    Correct, the Premium edition does say at the top and bottom that it’s not to be forwarded. And correct, it’s totally fine for you to come and go off the free distribution as you wish, and it doesn’t affect your Premium subscription. -rc

  9. Well, this is rare. I’m commenting.

    I would just like to say that your reply to Chris (the Crab) may have been a little unjustified. I enjoy This is True for the most part because I am mostly in agreement with your comments. There were some on which I did not agree with your view, but I can usually accept that others have different viewpoints. That said, I am considered moderate, so I usually don’t have trouble accepting either view.

    However, I can easily see how someone who is more far-leaning than I am might find your comments a tad off-putting. In your reply to Chris, what you deemed wrong with what the government and police did was your opinion. It may not have been Chris’. In fact, it probably contradicts many people’s views of what is considered wrong or right.

    That said, I would like to make clear that this is not a personal attack on either of you, but that I can understand both your and Chris’ point of view. Although I can heartily agree to many of your ideas, often with great amusement, I sometimes find myself feeling like Chris. I refuse to unsubscribe, however; I will not deprive myself of This is True on the sole basis that I may disagree with you at times. Some things are just worth it.

    I expect readers to disagree with some portion of what I say. So much so, I find it odd when people say they have agreed with everything I say. That’s in part because I sometimes say things just to provoke readers (and over time, some readers have developed the ability to see when I’m doing that), and in part because not everyone is the same, and hoping for total agreement is foolish. That said, you can’t really judge the reply to Mr. Crab without also looking at the stories to see what he might be disagreeing with, and whether it was really “snark” or not. -rc

  10. I was a previous reader of THIS IS TRUE (Free edition) for many years and for some reason it stopped coming. I don’t know if I accidentally unsubscribed or what happened, but I sure missed it. I am retired on a very small fixed income and wish I could afford the paid version, but I can’t and would welcome just being back on the free version again. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    The most likely way to get dropped off distribution is when your issue “bounces” several times in a row. That can happen for “Mailbox full” errors, for instance. Dozens of addresses “bounce off” distribution each week. -rc

  11. Yes….

    Indubitably snarky.

    Ain’t it great?!

    Thanks, Randy!

    And thanks to all of you Unusual Unsubscribers! (from a usual subscriber?)

  12. I’ve kept my free subscription going the whole time I’ve had a Premium subscription, mostly because I love to see which stories made “the cut” for the free edition, but also because I enjoy passing it on to friends now and then (who I hope will subscribe).

  13. I think it is amazing how some people just do not see past the blinders they have put up, or maybe by someone else. That’s beside the point.

    I really enjoy reading the newsletter. It makes me chuckle at times, and at other times it makes me see things in a different light. You do point out those ‘slap in the head moments’ which makes me wonder “what were they thinking?”, albeit I have those moments too. In short, I want to thank you for what you send out. I find your newsletter entertaining and enlightening. I thank you.

    You’re most welcome. -rc

  14. I’m one of those Premium subscribers who DIDN’T unsubscribe from the free version — and today I discovered that it was a good thing I didn’t, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known my subscription had run out! I always love reading both versions, and have since my dad started me on the free version at age fifteen. I especially love reading comments from your readers…even ones like these, which remind me that, while I (and you, I’m sure) like to imagine your readers being “smarter than the average bear,” we are, in the end, only human.

  15. It’s *possible* you’re way more conservative than Chris the Crab.

    I mean, if THEY think it’s true, it just might be.

    That is to say, I don’t think you’re the most liberal/radical person out there, so…

    “It’s all relative” –Albert Einstein.

    I’m very middle-of-the-road. Conservatives have many good ideas, and many terrible ideas, whereas Liberals have many terrible ideas, and many good ideas. -rc

  16. Aren’t people wonderful!

    I suspect that part of the problem for some readers is that they can’t pigeonhole you — sometimes you’re mocking republicans, sometimes democrats; sometimes you seem to support intervention, sometimes you seem to say people should stand on their own two feet.
    Sometimes you come straight out of left field.

    You THINK, dammit, and you come right out and say what you THINK. and some people feel threatened by that.

    Occasionally, things that clearly make you angry, just make me laugh; occasionally things that just make you laugh make me angry. That’s half the fun of it!

    As we say in Blighty,”Illegitimi non carborundum” (even if it makes Julius Caesar spin in his grave).

    Worse, I baldly suggest that everyone THINK! What a world that would be. -rc

  17. It all just goes to show that truth is stranger. Randy, thanks for the large subset of the 987 This is True’s.

  18. I’m disappointed by your comments about Chris. Granted, his complaint that you’re too conservative is misguided, as you highlight stories about folly across the political spectrum. However, you asked for his feedback (via the unsubscribe form), he provided feedback, and you didn’t like the feedback so you responded by insulting him. I agree with him that you did not handle that graciously.

    Now, if you don’t want to be gracious in that situation, okay, but at least don’t pretend that you’re being gracious when you’re clearly not.

    I do believe it’s gracious to reply when someone writes. I definitely don’t always have time. I didn’t say that I would agree with everything they said. -rc

  19. Thanks to Chris the Crab, I can add This is True to my “List of Newsletters I Get from Conservatives”. I did not know you were one before. (grin)

    Quoting the Fourteenth Amendment (like you did in this issue) probably seemed “snarky” to him, too.

    Thanks for staying on top of concerns like equal application of the law to students. Our kids need help in that area.

  20. How about a reason for NOT unsubbing the free edition after upgrading? I recently upgraded to the Premium version but kept the free edition so I can get the updates and corrections a few days before they appear in the next premium edition.

  21. Stop right there.

    WTF is “Not enough ‘varification’ of ‘facts’…”

    I would gladly upgrade to premium if i could afford it, but not if the editor does not insert a [sic] after ‘varification’.

    Yet maybe you just want to let it all hang out?

    I said up front that “I have not altered the following comments in any way — what’s in quotes is exactly what they wrote.” So of course I didn’t “sic” all the oddities in them. -rc

  22. I’m so sick of the Zero Tolerance stories; not because you report them but that they happen. Even worse that the admin and teachers get hit with a misdemeanor and the kids with a felony. Too bad common sense isn’t a class in school…but then we would all see our kids are being educated by fools.

    Sequester is the dumbest idea I’ve seen. They want to save money so they make the low-paid pencil pushers take an unpaid day off. They could save so much more if they applied it to congress. There are so many things that should be put on the voting ticket. We are back to taxation and laws without representation. How many can actually say their opinion was asked for?

    Thanks for the moment to get some of my rant off my chest.

    I keep reporting on ZT stories because I want people to get mad. That’s the only way they’ll bother to DO something about it. -rc

  23. I don’t remember when I first subscribed, but it’s been 5 or 6 years, maybe more. Not every story is “my cup of tea”, not every tag line causes me to think about the context versus the author, and I certainly don’t need to learn gooder English from a newsletter. But those are definitely not reasons for me to unsubscribe. It’s sad that anyone would willingly unsubscribe, and for silly reasons, or take offense at anything written (unless they were the subject, I suppose, and the story showed their obliviocy).

    Keep up the good work, Randy and team.

    P.S.: Just thought I would also mention that Firefox says “gooder” is correctly spelled. Obliviocy is far-reaching.

    Chrome marks it as misspelled. Of course, there is a real word, do-gooder (“Informal, usually disparaging: a well-intentioned person, esp a naive or impractical one”.) The noun is do-goodery. Really. -rc

  24. As Andrew (Canterbury, UK) says, “Sometimes you come straight out of left field.”
    I enjoy playing Devil’s Advocate, so I know the anger you can inspire when you do it. But a basic rule of Debate is that one cannot win a debate without being able to SUCCESSFULLY argue the other side. It’s very possible, and recommended, to see BOTH sides of an issue in order to argue one side or the other. It doesn’t equal acceptance or approval, but simply understanding in order to defeat it.

    Isn’t it fun to yank someone’s chain just to make them explain WHY they believe something instead of just repeating it like a tape recording? They may well be right and don’t know how to be right until pushed into a corner. But too many will simply surrender first and try justifying it by anger. (By the way, it took me a half-second to catch the “half-armed” wit.)

  25. I enjoy the ZT stories simply because they are so outrageous and (to one level or another) unbelievable. But the perpetrators of the ZT actions are barely believable.

    Maybe those of us with a modicum of common sense should start a movement of Zero Tolerance Against Zero Tolerance.

    Once the ZT Zombies have been identified in one of your stories, they should be pilloried in the village square and pelted with rotting garbage until they confess to the errors of their ways. Either that or maybe just look at them disbelievingly and shake a finger at them.

  26. I think I know what RT means by “I just don’t read newsletters that are typed.”

    In some mail programs, like Outlook Express, some newsletters can appear like a document from a crude ancient typewriter. Which might take away some of the authority or professionalism the content deserves.

    When I check them in web-mail, they are a modern attractive typeface, easy on the eye, easy to read. I not geek enough to know if there’s a way of formatting newsletters to look good on old email clients…

    UPDATE! I just read the current issue on your website, and find IT looks like what I see in Outlook Express! Perhaps that’s just your fave font, or nostalgia for the output style of old typewriters. To each his own. Thanks for your work — I especially like the ‘Honorary Unsubscribe’.

    The newsletter is sent with no type information — simply, “plain text.” That’s not working well for small screens in particular (like phones), so when I get a little spare time, I’ll be designing a new format. -rc

  27. I didn’t unsubscribe from the free edition when I upgraded because I almost always find something new in it that wasn’t in the premium edition. For example this story of unusal unsubscribers!

    I send copies of the free versions to my kids hoping they will subscribe (usually the ones with ZT stories). I want them to start THINKING about ZT because they now have kids of their own whom will soon be in school!

    It’s a much scarier world out there and not just because of violence, but ZT and the way our government is changing!

    Keep up the good work! I love your column.

    P.S. I upgraded because of your donation to Japan!

    This page was written after the last Premium edition went out. There will definitely be a link in the next one. Thanks for your kind words as well as your support. -rc

  28. I have not unsubscribed because I still love the newsletter, no matter how it’s transcribed. Often, I don’t have time to read my 2 copies. Indeed, I’m another dual subscriber. I admit that when I do get behind on my reading, I have deleted the free version without reading. However, I have all old issues in a nice, neat presorted folder in gmail, and prior to that I had them filtered in my isp email. I guess they just don’t want clutter, anywhere.

    But, keep up the great work. I am not sure how long I’ve been on the free version, but it’s been at least 10 years, and I’m not looking back.

  29. I really, really hope that you gave Roby a permanent Free subscription to the paid True.

    I don’t think they have Internet where she is. -rc

  30. I might have been surprised by the unsubscribe comments, except that about a year ago I started managing a service that sends daily links to videos about health and nutrition.

    It stuns me how nasty people can be when they disagree with the information you put out. People get very emotional about food, and I get vitriolic emails regularly…this for a free service.

    I’ve been a TRUE premium subscriber for many years. It’s one of the few things that I read as soon as I see it in my inbox — no matter how busy I am. Thanks, Randy, for keeping it going all these years!

    Thank you for helping to make it possible! -rc

  31. I enjoyed the free version of This Is True for several years before upgrading to Premium, and I intend to keep my Premium subscription going for a long time to come — at the least, for the life of my kidney transplant.

    You do make me think, every time, something I appreciate greatly, as too few other publications, online or offline, are geared towards that end these days. So many are more devoted to influencing the reader to think one way. If you have any leaning that I can discern, it’s directed towards diminishing the amount of idiocy in the world, for which I thank you.

    Bravo, Randy & co.

  32. “I’m more likely to say, “In a battle of wits, they’re only half-armed.” -rc”

    Don’t get personal here — I’m an unarmed man. But I get to do everything single-handedly. Plus my son thinks I should go into the small arms biz.

    Love your work!

    Thanks, Bandit! (Bandit’s story is noted here.)

  33. Interesting unsubscriptions, but one of the really worries me. Jehowa Witnesses may have their quirks and all, but there is something really dangerous about them: they will reject blood transfusions that might save their dependents’ lives. I can only hope (I won’t pray since I’m basically atheist) that George won’t ever have that problem.

  34. I have been a follower of True for a long time, but to be honest, I just like it because it brightens my day. Not so much with zero tolerance, but it makes me feel superior. But the blog and the comments are even better! What a kick I got out of Helen. Maybe there should be a special prize for people who “don’t get it”. Keep up the good work, Randy.

    I don’t work to be superior to others, I work to be superior to who I was yesterday. -rc

  35. Well isn’t it nice that you get some entertainment back from the readership!
    I wonder if you should add a new recurring bit: “funny emails I got this week”.

    I may not get enough to run one every week, but when I get a good batch, I do put them here. In fact there was a batch 12 years ago tomorrow that will surely give you a chuckle, here. -rc

  36. Without going into the archives to check, my recollection is similar to Lichen’s that there used to be more humorous stories. Perhaps Lichen unsubscribed because he wanted to be entertained and didn’t want to think.

    I remain a faithful subscriber because your newsletter is timely with a mix of entertainment and provocativeness. Sometimes an issue is too ‘heavy’ for my liking, but it’s always something I need to be aware of, especially from your unique perspective.

    Keep up the good work.

    There are more stories now than in years past, not fewer. And while I bill TRUE as “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”, the entertainment does come first. It’s “why” you’ll want to read it, so that has to be the primary mission. -rc

  37. Thanks to your thought provoking commentary, especially on ZT in schools, I was able to ask the right questions and shame the administration at my child’s school when they went ZT on my son and his friend. If I were not aware of this problem, I would not have been able to fight back so well. It also helped that because of your newsletters, my kids have been taught from Kindergarten to never, ever tell their side of the story without their parent present and to never sign anything either! My son repeated over and over to the school staff that they needed to call me before he could talk to them. And after a few hours they finally did. Yes, hours.

    Because his friend had not been instructed the same way, he told the staff what had happened and ended up with a 3 day suspension and the school turned it over to the Tribal police (our school is near a reservation and some kids attend from the reservation) who arrested my son’s friend and charged him with a felony.

    I even sent the school principal to your pages to get him to understand what ZT even means. They had no idea what I was talking about and how what they were doing was being done without common sense to the problem at hand.

    Fantastic! I just don’t get it, though. When the government agent involved in interrogation is a police officer, citizens wouldn’t STAND for them to demand counsel for hours before finally relenting and approving it, even when the “suspect” is an adult. What so many fail to realize is, school administrators are also “government agents” and they absolutely should also follow the law when a “suspect” demands counsel. To railroad them because they’re authority figures up against children who have been taught to respect them is reprehensible — as your son’s friend and his family will be learning in the months to come. Congrats for being proactive and telling your kid what to do, and what to say (and not). You may have saved a minor transgression being turned into a “federal case” (in a very real sense). -rc

  38. I am reminded of a quote by my *other* favorite person who encourages us to stop and think.

    “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Thanks, Randy, for the many opportunities to challenge our own thinking and actions, or the lack thereof.

    As you would expect, I love that quote too. -rc

  39. As a liberaloid (to use my authorized translation of the pejorative Spanish term), I have to interject that we are almost always right! (Corollary: you ____. [Jeez! Do we have to do *all* the work around here?]) Btw, ‘almost’ is included only because of my scientific training.

    Well, I, too, have kept the ‘freebie’ along with the Premium sub, for a number of reasons. The best one came well after I upped the ante (which, as they say in Mexico, made my elbow sore [meaning: I’m basically cheap]): my Premium issue suddenly stopped coming: I hadn’t renewed, and it took me several weeks to get the message. Now (I hope) I am sort of on automatic renew. If not, in a few weeks I should be getting another withdrawal jolt. Well, as the LoLs say, lol!

    I do send renewal notices when the time comes! -rc

  40. I really enjoyed this post. Whenever you share interactions with your readers (and former readers), you always show all sides of the discussion, which is (unfortunately) rare these days. Chris the Crab was able to say you are more conservative, because you are an equal opportunity commentator, so your politics and personal leanings are pretty well hidden. I know you are more liberal than I am, but I rarely see it in your writings. Of course, we all know you are totally anti-religion, as your readers like to point out. As I’ve said to you in personal emails, they just aren’t paying attention. You go after atheobliviots just as readily as religiobliviots, without getting personal about it.

    Keep enlightertaining us!

    I don’t consider demanding that we actually receive our Constitutional right to freedom of religion (most notably here) to be “totally anti-religion”. -rc

  41. Time constraints?

    I’m a premium subscriber. I’ve had some major time constraints lately. As in, I didn’t read some of the articles until a month after it was sent.

    Fortunately, email is designed differently than phone calls. If I don’t get to my email for a month, it waits for me!

    I’ve just spent the last 2 hours catching up on True mails I hadn’t already read. What a joy! If I could subscribe to a version of True that had 50 or 100 articles per week, I would do that!
    My only regret is that, by the time I read the tagline challenges,xthe answers had already been published. I usually didn’t get around to submitting answers anyway, though, so it didn’t matter much.

    I can’t get enough of True. Marathon sessions are even more fun!

    A month behind isn’t that bad, really. I’ve had some readers say they were SIX months behind, but they noticed they missed issue #X, and would I send it to them? Because they didn’t want to miss anything. As a writer, I couldn’t ask for anything more! -rc

  42. “I want to stop thinking so much.”

    That’s a great way to return to True…
    although maybe not as a subscriber.

    Hah! -rc

  43. Is it possible that the word type is mistranslated or misunderstood by a speaker whose first language is something other than English?

    Sort is a synonym for type. Please see this example for sort which is listed under type in my Kindle dictionary:

    Sort often suggests some disparagement (the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories).

    So, giving your subscriber the benefit of the doubt, he might actually have been talking about the quality of your stories.

    I presume you’re speaking of “RT in AOLland”. Is it possible? I suppose. Is it likely? Not very. -rc

    • “Is it possible that the word type is mistranslated or misunderstood by a speaker whose first language is something other than English?” In French, “Type” means “character”, as in “Regardez ce type là” is “Look at that character [person].”

  44. Like Allen from CA, I’ve gotten behind on my TiT emails. However, not for months, but for years. I found a batch from 2012 and 2013 that I hadn’t read and am going thru them now. I’ve presently gotten over half way thru them and have enjoyed every single one. I have a very hard time deleting most them after I’ve read them. Many even end up being “flagged” for future reference.

    Thanks Randy! I greatly appreciate your work (all of it)!

    Thank you, Kemper! I’ve always said the stories are mostly timeless, and you just proved it. Enjoy! -rc

  45. I have been a subscriber for probably 8 or 9 years. You are lacking in insight Randy if you think you are not “snarky”. You often are, but luckily, I like “snarky”. Keep up the good work!

    Snarky is “Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.” I don’t think I’m rude or disrespectful; snide can be argued. Whatever it is, I’m glad you enjoy it. -rc


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