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Everyone can win!

May 16, 2022

There's a simple solution to tough debates — give everyone what they want. Also, the East and the West are the most prone to scams.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Sometimes seemingly impossible problems have simple tried-and-true solutions.

Take the debate over what should be taught in school. People who want history ignored in classrooms insist parents should have the right to decide what gets taught. The problem with that, obviously, is that other parents will want different things taught.

The parents screeching at school board meetings don’t represent the quiet, horrified parents.

So how can a school possibly comply with most parents’ educational choices?

Easy: segregation. It’s an undervalued part of educational history.

I don’t mean divide races or create separate schools. All you have to do is offer alternative courses. Right-wing parents could sign their kid up for Sanitized History. Left-wing parents could sign their kid up for Guilty History. Everyone will be happy.

You could even design course schedules so the two groups never have to pass each other in the hallways.

I know some of you are thinking this is no way to bring society together — that this could deepen our divisions. But that’s not true.

Inevitably, what will happen is a girl from the Left will meet a boy from the Right. They’ll meet secretly and declare their everlasting love no matter what their gangs think.

There will be singing and dancing and a dawn of understanding.

There’s a place for us.

Rankings. What the heck is wrong with North Dakota? Probably not much but, for some reason, an outfit called Social Catfish has posted a very odd list of the states “hardest hit” by “romance scams” in which “online love seekers” are fooled into parting with their money.

According to Social Catfish’s press release last week, “among the 10 hardest hit states, the top six are in the West and the next four are in the East.”

So your love money is safest in the Midwest?

North Dakota was by far — in fact more than twice as much — harder hit.

I immediately had many questions. Why is the state-by-state breakdown important? Why is North Dakota so hard hit? Where the heck is North Dakota? Do I know what West is?

I had to call up a map. The Dakotas seem to be directly above famous Western states like Nebraska and Kansas. I guess it’s sort of West-like.

One of the many things I’ve learned in horse racing is not to take statistics too seriously. One stakes-winning horse can zoom that horse’s dad up the ranks of top stallions — even though all the other horse children fathered by the stallion are mediocre.

So I’m guessing there’s one would-be lover in North Dakota who got ripped off big time.

But that’s not why I’m going on about this press release.

Many journalists whom I will not name (mainly because I have no idea who they are) take press releases seriously and may even write stories about them. I, instead, usually laugh at them. Most press releases are actually sneaky ways of generating free advertising.

This one caught my eye with the first sentence: “A new study shows a record $547 million was lost to romance scams in 2021 and California ranks No. 4 for the most money lost per capita.”

Yay, number 4?

Of course I had to check to find out what was really being promoted. It looks innocent enough. All you have to do is fill in some blanks to start a verification search. The site then goes through a set of thinking-about-it screens before telling you a report is ready. All you have to do now is pay for a trial subscription that will automatically renew monthly.

I didn’t bite for a report on myself. Then I Googled myself – there were 8,320 free (but ad-supported) results. I would feel confident dating myself.

By the way, I seem to have spotted an odd trend in press releases — seemingly pointless state rankings. Just a few days after getting the romance scam release, I got a release from an NFT pusher with a list of the “most NFT obsessed” states. California was No. 1, and the supposed conclusion was that NFT interest was greatest on the coasts.

The Midwest is either much smarter than the rest of the country or doesn’t know about the internet.

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