This is True
Randy Cassingham

Randy Cassingham’s Blog

Historical Details and Author’s Notes from This is True®
— Weird News Online Since the Internet’s Dark Ages.

  Webby Come Lately

In June, This is True finishes 21 years online — a pioneer in online publishing that predates Facebook, Google, Amazon, and the vast majority of other web sites you can find online today.

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  Premium Readers Suggest Improvements

I surveyed Premium edition readers to see what they might come up with to improve This is True -- what would make it more of a "must-read" for them? This page reports on the results of the 3-question survey ...and they had a lot to say -- it's long! There were a lot of comments, and a fair number of suggestions.

In all, there were nearly 1,100 survey responses, which represents a very large percentage of the Premium audience -- certainly very "statistically valid."

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  Facebook: What Are They Selling?

To answer the very important question of the title, you need a little background, which is illustrated by a question from reader Steve in Texas:

Some time ago, I “Liked” the This is True Facebook page, but almost never see any posts. I figured you weren’t active until I went back to the page, and saw a ton of stuff I thought was great! How come I’m not seeing it regularly? I see most posts from my friends.

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  Xero Reader Thought

Even though there have been complaints about advertising before, because they either bashed right-wing or left-wing politicians (and, because of what advertisers want to say, readers call me a "communist propagandist" or a "right-wing pukebag," respectively).

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  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.

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  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:

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  Know Thy Enemy

A Letter from Roland in Kent, England (where my family name comes from), really got spinning through my mind, because it really helps to put everything in perspective. Let me explain — starting with Roland’s letter (the italics are from the original):

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  Mark Miller: We've Got It From Here

It Was a Hell of a Weekend. Our EMS agency has three full-time “Advanced Life Support” medics to run on calls with the ambulance crews, which are usually staffed by “regular” EMTs. That gives us a primary, a secondary (calls often come after long waits of nothing, and then we get two ...or three), and room for the third to have a day off now and then. On Friday, Kit and I ran a call that ended up taking three hours — and we weren’t even involved in the transport part! I can’t say what took so long, but sometimes it happens that way.

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  Freedom of Religion, Alabama Style

I Have a Few Comments on Mike Straw’s story this week. Let’s start with the story; it’s from the 18 January 2015 issue:

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  The Taylor Swift Cop Video: Call Me a Contrarian

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?

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