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The Farsider

January
17, 2013

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.



 

KEEPING UP WITH THE WHITE HAT

Bill was notified by the NFL on Monday of this week that he will be working the AFC Championship game between Baltimore and New England this coming Sunday in Foxboro. He won't have his regular crew. Officiating crews in the playoffs are comprised of those officials who have had the fewest number of downgrades during the regular season.

Bill attended last night's PBA meeting at the POA Hall. When the 94 members present learned he will be working outside in the frigid air at Foxboro (a/k/a Gillette) Stadium on Sunday, a collection was taken up for the purpose of buying him something to help keep him warm and comfortable on the field while allowing him to maintain the respect and dignity one would expect of the game's White Hat. A unanimous vote decreed that the vendor should be the Johnson Company due to its reputation for cold weather gear, and of the four items suggested, the one on the far right received the most votes.

We'll have the item shipped overnight air to Foxboro, Bill. No thanks necessary. We love ya, Bro. Have a great game!


 

ESQUIVEL APPOINTED INTERIM CHIEF

KNTV Bay Area News broke the story on Tuesday that City Manager Debra Figone chose BFO Dep. Chief Larry Esquivel to step in as the interim Police Chief as Chris Moore bids adieu and boards the ship to Retirement Island. The link below should take you to Tuesday's video report unless it has already been removed from KNTV's website. If it has, a summary of what was said follows. (We found no reference this week to Esquivel's appointment in the on-line version of the Peninsula edition of the Mercury News.)



<http://tinyurl.com/b4us5u7>

San Jose's Acting Police Chief Takes Helm

—He's spent 27 years on the San Jose police force—

By Lisa Fernandez and Marianne Favro


San Jose's acting police chief is a South Bay native who told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that he  has no interest in being tapped to become the full-time city's top cop.

Deputy Chief of Police Larry Esquivel said he was tapped by City Manager Debra Figone to fill in when Police Chief Chris Moore leaves on Jan. 18, but that he doesn't want to apply for the gig in a permanent way. He's spent 27 years on the San Jose police force.

"I'm honored to serve," Esquivel said politely, saying that he has "no interest" in the chief's job for "personal" reasons.

San Jose has had a rising homicide rate and is facing budget cuts and low morale among some of the ranks. Esquivel said he's aware of the challenges and his "top priority" is keeping officers in San Jose.

Figone announced Esquivel's interim position Monday evening after NBC Bay Area first reported on Jan. 10 that the city was re-starting its search for Moore's replacement. Sources told NBC Bay Area some community leaders didn't approve the candidates after meeting with them, and other sources said that they heard none of the qualified candidates wanted the job. City leaders will not confirm these rumors.

Jim Unland, president of the Police Officer's Association, has no qualms with Esquivel at the helm.

"He's a good cop and he's well respected," Unland said, declining to say any more about starting again for a new chief.

Esquivel, who was born in San Jose and attended Yerba Buena High, has served in his current capacity since February 2012.

He began his career as a San Jose  police reserve officer in 1984 before being hired as full officer in 1986. He has a  history that includes stints in patrol, narcotics enforcement, special operations-MERGE, investigations and internal affairs

He was promoted to captain in 2010 and elevated to acting deputy chief - Bureau of Investigations in August 2011 before the interim tag was removed in February.



 

PENSION NEWS

—Nada—



 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD

To bring those of you living out of the area up to date with what's been going on with the City and the SJPD, here's an article that appeared in the paper 24 hours after we went to press last Thursday morning. You may recall that last week's Farsider included a KTVU Channel 2 article that leaked the identities of three candidates who were then in the running for the position. That was then.

San Jose Opts to Extend Search for Police Chief

—After daylong evaluation of finalists, city manager says more time is needed—

By John Woolfolk
<jwoolfolk@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Jan. 11, 2013

SAN JOSE — The San Jose city manager’s office said Thursday it has extended the search for a new police chief indefinitely and has yet to decide who will lead the department after Chief Chris Moore’s retirement a week from Saturday.

City Manager Debra Figone had said in the fall after Moore announced his retirement that she would take as long as necessary to find the right successor but had hoped to line up a new chief by the time Moore left. City spokesman David Vossbrink said that Figone thought they needed to keep looking, though leading candidates recruited in the fall remain in the running.

“We will continue to solicit applicants,” Vossbrink said. “But that doesn’t mean the people who’ve been in the pipeline are not going to be considered either. This pick as police chief is one of most important. It has such an impact on our workforce, budget and community. She wants to make sure she’s comfortable.”

The search extension comes a day after a day-long private evaluation at San Jose’s Hayes Mansion, where finalists for the job answered questions from a variety of city, department and community representatives while Figone and her advisers observed, a process similar to the search that resulted in Moore’s appointment. Participants were sworn to secrecy to protect the confidentiality of the search process.

Vossbrink would not identify the groups or individuals present, other than to say they represented a broad cross-section of the community. Nor would he confirm the number or identity of the chief candidates. KTVU-TV identified them as former Santa Clara Police Chief Kevin Kyle, Dallas Assistant Chief Tom Lawrence and Aurora, Colo., Chief Dan Oates, which a source said was accurate. They could not be reached for comment.

Oates, however, confirmed in a note to his department that he had interviewed for the San Jose job but said, “I will not be going to San Jose” and “will remain here as chief.” Vossbrink described all the candidates as strong but perhaps not ideally suited to the role. “It’s not a matter of people being qualified or not qualified,” Vossbrink said. “The community is looking for Gregory Peck, and we’re getting Hugh Jackman and Daniel Day-Lewis. Debra has been gathering feedback and observations from many sources, including the community panels we had yesterday, and based on that said, ‘You know, we need to take more time.’ ”

San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Sgt. Jim Unland has said that none of the department’s command staff has sought the chief’s job, an unprecedented situation, which Vossbrink did not dispute. Unland declined to comment Thursday.

The department has been beset with low staffing and morale. The city has cut staffing to patch deficits spawned by growing pension bills. After taking pay and benefit cuts to reduce layoffs, officers are now battling City Hall over voter-approved reductions to their future pension benefits. Others are retiring and resigning.

Moore was frustrated with the ongoing battles and announced his retirement less than two years into the job after city leaders declined to put another tax on the ballot. Others interested in succeeding him are said to have withdrawn applications.

The extension of the chief search comes less than a week after the Police Department’s second-in-command, Assistant Chief Rikki Goede, left to become the new chief in Piedmont. The ranking officers below her are the four deputy chiefs: David Hober, Phan Ngo, Ed Garcia and Larry Esquivel, one of whom would presumably be asked to step in as interim chief, though Vossbrink said there has been no decision. “I don’t know how she’ll structure the interim command,” Vossbrink said. “She’s confident they have the talent and experience to mind the store during this interim period.”

 

• • • • •

 

Tidbits from last Sunday's I.A. column included the following...



Sunday, Jan. 13th

Councilman Battles with Union Chiefs

For anyone who did not follow the San Jose District 10 council campaign in the fall, the notion that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be front and center in a local race sounds ludicrous. In Almaden Valley, traffic and schools count first.

The Mideast conflict raised its ugly head anyway — and is doing so even now that Johnny Khamis, a Christian of Palestinian descent, has taken office after a victory over broadcaster Robert Braunstein.

Toward the end of the fall campaign, a hit piece funded by the San Jose firefighters’ union took an oblique shot at Khamis’ ethnicity. The new councilman has not forgiven them or their allies in the Police Officers’ Association.

Now, in what he says is an effort to fight racism, Khamis has declared that he will not meet with the leaders of the police or fire unions unless they donate the amount spent on the mailer — roughly $7,300 — to an organization that combats racism.

On this one, Khamis is making a political mistake. As the victor, he should look magnanimous. Instead, he has made himself look petty. He doesn’t have to do the bidding of the unions. But there’s little harm in listening to your enemies. It’s not that Khamis’ ire is without foundation. The mailer ran a darkened photo of Khamis with small type above that identified him as Arab-American. On another page, it declared in large type that his policies were “too extreme.’’

A consultant for the unions, Tom Saggau, denied the piece was racist. (See it at
<www.mercurynews.com/scott-herhold>)

Swift Linkage

But it was difficult to consider it an accident. If you’re a Palestinian in America, it’s not hard to make a link to an insinuation of terrorism.

(The unions also funded a mailer that pointed out that Councilwoman Rose Herrera, who faced a tough re-election battle, was not a Latina.) “I’m not one of those people who abides by racism at all,’’ Khamis told me. “I don’t tolerate it. I grew up with people who were racist against me. I’ve got to put my foot down.’’

Here’s the problem: By declaring that he won’t meet with the union leaders until they make the contribution, Khamis has made a demand that they will not accept. If they give the requested amount, they would concede they were racist.

Even worse, the Khamis demand smacks of pay-to-play, though the beneficiaries would be good guys like the NAACP. That’s a heady and swaggering stance for a new councilman who still has to learn his job.

Politics of Payback


Yes, racism is wrong: But you had to have keen antennae to pick it up immediately in the mailer. The aim of its first page was to link Khamis to George W. Bush, who will not go down in history as a champion of the Palestinian cause.

In the end, it probably won’t make much difference. Khamis says he’s happy to talk to the rank and file and has already done so on New Year’s Day. And the unions are not counting on his vote.

The sad part of this tale is that it reinforces the politics of payback, which are already too prevalent in San Jose. You might disagree with a rival 80 percent of the time. But lo and behold: It’s worth finding the 20 percent of political turf you both can occupy.


 

"MEYER WEED"

Here's what the mystery writer posted on his or her blog this week, beginning last Friday and running through Tuesday with the announcement of Dep. Chief Larry Esquivel as the interim Police Chief...

Meyer Weed: The Meyer of San Jose

<http://meyerweed.blogspot.com/>

Jan. 11th

No New Chief...Yet

City Manager Debra Figone announced yesterday (1/10/2013) that she is "indefinitely extending" her search to find a replacement for Chief Chris Moore who is retiring at the end of next week. Figone and a panel made up of department members, community leaders and others had interviewed 3 top candidates who were identified during a nationwide recruiting effort conducted by the executive search firm "Teri Black & Company." In an email letter to department employees Figone said "...the sessions helped me to conclude that we need more time to ensure that we find the right match that is best for San José and the Department..." (The full text of the email follows below.)

Figone's immediate task is to appoint an interim chief to lead the department until a permanent chief is named. Assistant Chief Goede left SJPD this week to assume the duties of Police Chief for the City of Piedmont. Current Deputy Chiefs Larry Esquivel, Dave Hober, Phan Ngo and Eddie Garcia are likely candidates for the interim position. Of the four, D/C Esquivel is "retirement" eligible and rumored to be a finalist for the Chief's job in Menlo Park.

Rumors swirled around the department Tuesday (the day the finalist interviews were conducted) as to the identities and reputations of the finalists. The current Chief from Aurora, Colorado, the Assistant Chief from Dallas and a retired Chief from Santa Clara PD was the best info anyone had. The conspiracy minded were convinced that the fix was in, and that Chief Dan Oates of Aurora was a lock for the job based on Internet research that indicated he cut the Ann Arbor Michigan Police and Fire Departments size by 20% while reducing violent crime by 24% when he was the Director of Public Safety there from 2001-2005. But the Denver Post, which confirmed that Oates had interviewed for the job, said he would not be accepting it. So much for rumors.

Dallas PD apparently had too many assistant chiefs and Santa Clara too many former chiefs, and there was too little info about any of them to narrow the field. No matter, the Merc had a source that identified them as Dallas A/C Tom Lawrence, who was known generally as an all-American crime fighter, and former Acting Chief of Santa Clara Kevin Kyle.
 
I think it is interesting that City Manager Figone would say, "...a final selection decision must also consider timing and the best match between the City and the candidate so that both can have a long and successful relationship..."

Timing? Best Match? Then it hit me! (No, it isn't their smiles.)

This certainly makes the interim selection all the more interesting. With 3 of the 4 candidates not eligible for retirement in the near term, and 2 of the remaining 3 more closely reflecting San Jose's diverse ethnic makeup, there may be some interim "on-the-job" training for the permanent position going in the very near future.

***Update***

Jan. 15th

Esquivel Appointed "Interim Chief"

City Manager Debra Figone announced yesterday (1/14/13) that Bureau of Field Operations Deputy Chief Larry Esquivel would take over as Interim Chief of Police. He will succeed Chief Christoper Moore who retires at the end of this week. Esquivel will serve while  the search for a permanent replacement continues. Best wishes to Chief Esquivel during a very difficult time for the men and women of the San Jose Police Department.

 

• • • • •

 

City Manager Figone's email...
 

Dear Employees in the San Jose Police Department:

As we continue our recruitment and selection process for our next police chief, I want to give you an update regarding the status of our efforts. Yesterday we interviewed several excellent candidates with the participation of a representative cross-section of Police Department employees and community stakeholders. These interviews provided me with very valuable insights, and  as well as right for the candidates themselves.

I’m confident that each of the candidates we met this week are extremely qualified and have the leadership, management skills, and experience that we seek for this position. This is what you would expect out of a thorough recruitment and screening process for any position of this level of importance to our City and workforce. However, a final selection decision must also consider timing and the best match between the City and the candidate so that both can have a long and successful relationship. In that regard, I have decided to extend our recruitment process. I will also move forward to make interim appointments to provide ongoing leadership and management for the Department until we find our next chief. I will do so in consultation with our deputy chiefs whom I’ve come to know as a highly committed and talented team.

It’s important to note that we have gained exactly what we wanted from this process: we have listened closely to our police staff and our community; we have learned more about our mutual expectations; and we understand that we need more time to select our next chief. I thank everyone who has helped during this effort, and I know I can count on your continuing support as we complete the search for our next chief. We will continue this search in earnest, and we will take the time that it requires to achieve a successful conclusion that’s so important to your work with the San Jose Police Department. I greatly appreciate your continuing dedication to serve and protect the people of San Jose, and I look forward to bringing our next chief on board.

Thank you,

Debra Figone, City Manager

 

WEEKLY POLL
 

   


Results from last week's poll...




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>



 

MAIL CALL

Correction: The link to the info for a Senior Pass to the National Parks System for active military personnel that was included in George Ingraham's message last week doesn't work. This one should...

<http://store.usgs.gov/pass/military.html>

 

• • • • •

 

Jan. 10th

Bill, Leroy,

As always, I'm happy to get the Farsider and am amazed and grateful for it. However, I'd like to see either no graphic or a more positive one at the top of the PBA meeting notice. The old guy with a walker is cute, but is an unworthy stereotype for who and what we represent as a group. How about one of an old guy or woman playing tennis, scaling a mountain, etc.

With regards,

Jim Giambrone, Jr.
<g@commonsenseamerica.info>

Leroy and I have always been sensitive to the wants, needs and suggestions of our readers, Jim. So we put our heads together for something to replace the old man in the walker and came up with this. Hope it meets with your approval...

 

• • • • •

 

Jan. 11th


Late of a Friday evening, prior to a weekend, our wonderful State Governor and the State Legislators snuck a new bill past all California residents.

Yesterday I went to Dixieline Lumber to purchase a large quantity of lumber for a long standing project. When I went to pay, I found that as of Jan. 1st, the lumber yard was required to charge a one percent fee for all lumber sold. It was in addition to the sales tax.

While Californians slept, the state raised our tax {called a fee} by one percent in addition to raising our state income tax. I am still in the 53 percent that pays taxes and I feel that a required fee, user fee, transmission fee, cable fee, satellite user fee, etc. is just a hidden tax.

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is most likely a duck.  California has become the model for wealth redistribution in America.

Bill Yarbrough
<billyarbrough36@yahoo.com>

Try to find a chill pill, Bill, because this could be just the beginning. Despite the fact that it was the majority of voters who chose to raise the state sales tax, you might as well get used to paying more in taxes and fees now that the Dems are in complete control of the State Legislature. And notice that I didn't even mention what the Feds are doing.

 

• • • • •

 

Jan. 11th

Bill,

Did you know that Craig Buckhout, with help from Chris Ewing, has published 4 books? I haven’t read them, but the reviews are very good. (Touched by Blood, An Act of Kindness, The Journal, and Gabriel's Journal.)

Jim Spence, President
<president@retiredsjpoff.org>
Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers & Firefighters


Nope. Had no idea. We're always happy to add more SJPD luminaries to the list of authors. A quick check of Amazon shows that all four books are available for the Kindle (and free for borrowing if you are an Amazon Prime member). It appears that those interested in a hard copy will have to perform a Google search. Congrats, Craig (and Chris).

 

• • • • •

 

Jan. 13th

Hi Bill,

Went to Vegas for New Year's and met up with some of San Jose's former finest for breakfast and talked about the good old days. Charlie Roy came with us and by far had the best stories. A great time was had by all.

Happy New Year to you and Leroy, and thanks for all your hard work!

Tom Brewer
<tbop23@aol.com>

Faces we've not seen in a while included (L-R) Charlie Roy, Tom "TJ" Johnson, Bob Serpico (in the back), Bob Beams, Bruce Toney and Russ Russell. Tom B. told us in a separate e-mail that Charlie dons that hat every time he plays golf, and that he recently shot his age (81). Good to see you guys again.


 

SEEMS THAT MR. MOTORMOUTH CAN'T KEEP HIS MOUTH (KEYBOARD) SHUT...

For context, you need to wade through this Mercury News editorial from last Sunday's paper about the NRA and gun control, and note that a couple of passages were purposely underlined...

Top Priority: Combating NRA Power

Mercury News Editorial — Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013

The nation finally is embarking on a major debate about gun violence. One side will propose common- sense, constitutional restrictions on civilians carrying weapons of war. The other will invoke Hitler and Stalin (seriously; Google it) and say the president wants to confiscate every gun in the land.

The arguments from the gun industry are the very definition of demagoguery. Yet they have been stunningly effective in bending lawmakers to the industry’s will. In the wake of Newtown, voices for reasonable reform will need to be more than just right. They’ll need to match the gun lobby’s political and rhetorical might.

The group formed last week by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, may be what’s needed to change the dynamic among voters and lawmakers. Giffords, a survivor of an assault weapon attack, and Kelly both understand political power and connect with Americans in a personal, compelling way.

The best way to erode the gun lobby’s power is to do what it does so well: raise money for candidates. The National Rifle Association spent at least $24 million in the 2012 election, according to CBS News, compared with $5,800 from the Brady Campaign, the best known gun control group. Although the majority of NRA candidates lost this time, the group remains formidable. No lawmaker can forget how it defeated a group of rural Democrats who voted for the 1994 assault weapons ban. That has helped it prevent Congress from closing the federal loophole that allows sales at gun shows without background checks, something polls say the vast majority of its own members oppose.

Giffords’ and Kelly’s group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, aims to raise $20 million to support candidates who endorse sensible gun laws — a serious attempt to counteract the NRA.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, leader of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, showed how this can work. Last fall his super PAC spent $3.3 million to unseat California Rep. Joe Baca, one of the most NRA-friendly Democrats in Congress. That’s a huge sum in a House race. Gloria Negrete McLeod’s victory offers hope that others will take on the gun lobby if they have the resources to win an election.

But money alone isn’t enough. Grass-roots gun rights activists are vocal. America needs to hear from grass-roots supporters of reasonable regulation — the equivalent of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the activists who in the span of a generation reversed the nation’s acceptance of drunken driving and passed stronger laws that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

For gun laws, there’s no one better suited to do that than Giffords. The former Arizona congresswoman is a gun owner. She is beloved in her district and in Congress. She was shot in the head by a madman trying to assassinate her with an assault weapon in 2011, killing six others, including a 9-year-old girl.

MADD wrote the playbook on using personal stories to influence cultural and political change. Giffords and Kelly, who is popular in his own right, could inspire a similar movement. Like the vast majority of gun control advocates, they don’t want to take away guns, any more than MADD founder Candy Lightner wanted to ban alcohol or cars. We hope Giffords’ tragic but inspiring story can do what existing gun safety groups have been unable to: harness the energy of millions of Americans — many of them gun owners — who support sensible restrictions.

Last week, the Washington Post poignantly described Giffords’ meeting with families of the children murdered in Newtown: “About an hour and a half into the visit, after Giffords hugged the parents and told them they would not be forgotten, she sat down on an ottoman,” the story said. “She put her head in her hands ... and cried.”

A few days later she and Kelly announced their plan to help end the epidemic of gun violence. They are seizing the moment.

To succeed, they’ll need grass-roots leaders and voters to dry their own tears and get to work, too.

The group formed last week by Giffords and Kelly may be what’s needed to change the political dynamic around gun safety.

~ ~ ~

The editorial resulted in the motormouth editor of the Farsider to write yet another letter to the the paper. But after sending it on its way, I realized it was an effort in futility because the Mercury News — which has many more barrels of ink than I do — would never publish it because to do so would be far too embarrassing to the paper.

~ ~ ~

Subject: Letter to the Editor

Your Jan. 13th editorial — "Top Priority: Combating NRA Power" — states that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was wounded by an assault weapon. It then goes on to say, "She was shot in the head by a madman trying to assassinate her with an assault weapon in 2011, killing six others, including a 9-year-old girl."

In fact, Giffords and the other victims were shot with a Glock 19, a semi-automatic handgun that can be found in the holsters of thousands of law enforcement officers in the U.S. and is also owned by tens of thousands of citizens for target shooting and home protection.

If you define a popular semi-automatic pistol as an assault weapon in your call for a grass roots effort to combat the NRA, you are either giving the gun organization ammunition to show how little you know about assault weapons, or you are deliberately misleading your readers in an effort to support your position. If, on the other hand, you consider every semi-automatic firearm an assault weapon, you are engaging in a battle that cannot be won.

Bill Mattos
Fremont, CA


~ ~ ~

I suspected that the Mercury News would address the issue about its editorial, but would choose a much milder letter to publish that wouldn't cast the paper in such a bad light. My suspicions were confirmed on Tuesday of this week.



 

ANNOUNCING THE ANNUAL PBA VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER DANCE



POA Hall
1151 No. Fourth St.
San Jose

Saturday Evening, Feb. 9th
Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Dancing to follow

Entrees:
Prime Rib and Salmon

Open Bar featuring
Red and White Wine, Hard Liquor, Single Malt Scotch,
Cider, Sodas, O'Doul's, Regular Pour of the Five Tap Beers

Cost: $25 Per Couple

Checks made payable to the SJPBA must be received no later than
Saturday, Feb. 4th, so mail them prior to Thursday, Feb. 2nd to P.O. Box
42, San Jose, CA 95103-0042. Please write both names on your check.

The dinner-dance is considered a semi-formal event (Jeans are frowned upon).

Questions should be directed to:
Bob Moir at
<robillard1045@gmail.com>,
"Lumpy" Lundberg at
<lumpyl@sbcglobal.net>
Dave Wysuph at
<dbw1696@aol.com>,
Tom Mazzone at
<RTM1319@gmail.com>
Steve Windisch at
<swindisch@aol.com>



 

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING EVENTS
 




• • • • •





• • • • •




Register Now!

Date: Feb. 5-7, 2013

Location:
Harrah's Las Vegas
3475 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Room rates: $49 per night)

For more information, send an e-mail to:

Jack Baxter at
<drjoaquin1525@gmail.com> or

Pat Boyd at
<pat4fingers@aol.com>

Or click on this link: <www.robberycria.com>



 

ONE OF THE MOST HELPFUL FARSIDER ITEMS YET

Dennis Brown and Paul Salerno are among those sending this important e-mail to those in their address books, and they are spot on. Based on our experience with e-mails and the Web, we agree completely with its contents. Please take a moment and review the following. By doing so you will be helping everyone who receives e-mails and has to deal with junk mail as well as telemarketing phone calls. The article also includes some other helpful tips.

E-Mail Tracker Programs:

By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with Snopes.com and/or TruthOrFiction.com for determining whether information received via e-mail is just that: true or false, or fact or fiction. Both are excellent sites.

Very Important Advice from Snopes.com:

Any time you see an email that says "forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends," "sign this petition," or "you'll get bad luck" or "you'll get good luck" or "you'll see something funny on your screen after you send it" or whatever — it almost always has an e-mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and e-mails of those folks you forward to. The host sender receives a copy each time the e-mail is forwarded. He is then able to compile lists of 'active' e-mail addresses to use in SPAM e-mails, or sell to other Spammers. When you receive an e-mail that says "You are not ashamed of God/Jesus" and tells you to pass it on, that too is e-mail tracking, and they are playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your e-mail address as long as they get do.

Almost all e-mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of e-mail is, is a way to obtain names and 'cookie' tracking information for Telemarketers and Spammers so they can active email accounts for their own profitable purposes.

You can provide your friends and family members with a great service by sending this information to them. And you will be rewarded yourself by not receiving thousands of spam emails in the future. But before you do, read and adhere to the following very important paragraph.

Make sure you delete all the other e-mail addresses displayed in the body of your message before forwarding it to others. And when you send e-mails to your entire address list, make sure you use the BCC line of your email addresses (or select the BCC option in stead of "To" or "Cc." If you do this, none of your friends receiving the message will see the e-mail addresses of anyone but yours. This is nothing more than simple email courtesy. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a friend to show you how.

Online Petitions and Signing Up:

Do yourself a favor and stop adding your name(s) to petitions or listings regardless of how inviting they might sound, or make you feel guilty if you don't. It's all about obtaining e-mail addresses and nothing more.

You may think you are supporting a great cause, but you are not. Instead, you will be setting yourself up for tons of junk mail, one or more of which could possibly have a virus attached. Plus, you will be helping the Spammers get rich. Don't make it easier for them.

E-mail petitions are not deemed acceptable to the government or any other organization (e.g. Social Security, Medicare, etc.). To be acceptable, petitions must have a "signed signature" and full mailing address of the person signing the petition. Adding your name to an on-line petition is a waste of time, and all you are doing is helping e-mail trackers.

Tips for Handling Telemarketers:

Three little words that work: "Hold on, please." Then set the phone down without hanging up. Telemarketers can only hold for so long. When you eventually hear your phone making the beep-beep-beep tone, you will know it's time to hang the phone back up. Those three little words can help reduce telephone soliciting.

Do you ever receive those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and find someone at home.

What you can do after answering and you notice there is no one on the other end is to immediately start hitting your # button 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system.

Junk Mail Help:

When you get ads enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return them with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.

When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular postage, if and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase, and it is based on weight. Why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

One of Andy Rooney's (60 Minutes) Ideas:

Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back If you want to remain anonymous, make sure your name isn't on anything you enclose in the envelope and don't display a return address. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to keep them guessing. In either case, it still costs them money.

Let's help keep our postal service busy since it is saying that e-mail is cutting heavily into its business profits, which is why another postal increase is on the board. Get the idea?

If enough people follow these tips, it will work I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JAN. 5, 2012

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox




Click on the "Worth a Second Look" link below for some surprising
facts about the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

New Articles

• Has Wyoming passed a bill banning enforcement of federal gun laws in state?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/wyoming.asp>

• Chart purportedly shows eleven "death spiral" states where more people are on welfare than are employed.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/deathspiral.asp>

• A school resource officer at Sullivan Central High School held a gunman at bay until police arrived.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/gudger.asp>

• Are U.S. troops deployed overseas no longer provided with breakfast due to budget cuts?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/breakfast.asp>

• Disaster survivor gives mistaken answer to an interviewer's question about the loss of churches in her area.
<http://www.snopes.com/racial/humor/churches.asp>

• Is Betsy Ross the only real person ever featured on a PEZ dispenser?
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/trivia/pez.asp>

• Does a list cite instances proving voter fraud in the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/2012fraud.asp>

• Scam lure offers free pairs of UGG boots to Facebook users.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/uggs.asp>

• Photograph purportedly shows playground warning sign with more restrictive wording in Spanish than in English.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/playground.asp>

• Would a proposal before Congress repeal the 22nd amendment to allow Barack Obama to serve as "President for life"?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/termlimits.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Did a man sneak onto one of the Titanic's lifeboats by wearing women's clothing?
<http://www.snopes.com/history/titanic/woman.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>



 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
 


 

Remember to set the YouTube control panel to Large Screen or Full Screen.

 

• • • • •



Granted, this video about Gun Control in Australia is 2 years old, but it provides a powerful message about where the U.S. could be headed if the anti-gun lobby becomes more powerful than it already is. (6 Mins.)

These are semi-automatic firearms and pump-action shotguns and
rifles being destroyed in the Land Down Under. Click on the link below...

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGaDAThOHhA>

 

• • • • •



It wasn't that long ago that scientists could only speculate on the existence of planets revolving around other stars in our galaxy. Thanks to the Keplar telescope, we now know that they not only exist, but some may be habitable. Have a look at this video we received from our inquisitive police artist of yore. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ8sZlkBmTY>

If this has piqued your interest and you want to know more, click on the link below...

<http://tinyurl.com/ayd96gs>


• • • • •



Those of you who know anything about aviation are no doubt aware of Bob Hoover. Here is a trailer (we used to call them previews) of an upcoming documentary about his life that is scheduled to be released in the spring, followed by a description of the film. (3 Mins.)





<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO8GyU8asEI>

Flying the Feathered Edge is a very special documentary film about aviation, innovation, ruggedness, precision, testing, excellence... and getting it right.

Machines alone could not have pushed the airplane forward. It took courage, and out of the box thinking. This film, about the authentic life of a dedicated American and our greatest living aviator, R.A. "Bob" Hoover, shows how by pushing the edge of the flight envelope, a handful of pilots enabled aviation to be safer for others -- indefinitely.

WWII veteran and prisoner of war, Bob Hoover escaped Stalag Luft 1 and flew to safety by stealing an enemy aircraft. As an accomplished experimental test pilot, he participated in breaking the speed of sound and launching the world into the Jet Age. During his unrivaled international air show career, he performed for millions of spectators worldwide for over three decades.

The purpose of the film is to celebrate the spirit of the American fighter pilot, show the courage and the innovation that was essential to the birth of the jet age, and to enable the audience to relive incredible stories from a man born of simple beginnings in Tennessee who lived his dream of becoming the pilot he always wanted to be.

Filmmaker Kim Furst is an award winning director and editor of popular documentaries. Recent work includes Discovery Channel's three part series 'Rocket Challenge," film editor of "One Six Right," producer/director for AirshowBuzz's "The Horsemen Cometh" about a formation aerobatics P-51 team, and producer of 5 hours of behind the scenes documentaries for "Mission Impossible 3," for which she won the Golden Satellite Award, that industry's highest award.

 

• • • • •



This link received from Pete Guerin will take you to 34 highly detailed and seldom seen images of the German Hindenburg airship, both before the disaster at Lakehurst and after. Just give the site ample time to load all the photos.



<http://tinyurl.com/cravm9n>


• • • • •



Bob Kosovilka says this is a very funny Pepsi commercial. That's not to say he actually thinks it's a ha-ha, however. He may have only been providing us with the title of the clip. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40DykbPa4Lc>


• • • • •



Here are two lovely contortionists who have an amazing act, but you have you watch all of it to appreciate just how amazing it really is. (6 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqtiXWwkjiw>


• • • • •



This is a multi-part video of last year's ultimate Lee Hartung barn find that was auctioned off after his passing. The former "junk man" collected over a period of 60 years everything from police badges to rare cars, motorcycles and everything in between. If you find the first introductory clip we received from Alice Murphy of interest, you might want to watch the other clips we found on YouTube...



1928 Henderson

Lee Hartung Collection: Introduction
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2gfB177sWs>

Lee Hartung Collection Day 1: 4 out of 5
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4h_8EThuec>

Lee Hartung Collection Day 3: Another Day, Another Bike
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y6KDVjdUGg>

Lee Hartung Collection Day 4: Bseltdrives and Sidecars
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTI_iqelsh8>

Lee Hartung Collection Day 5: Uncovering Classics
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOjK3-dyUJY>

Lee Hartung Collection Day 6: Top Shelf Bikes
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Knlx3ALJo>

Lee Hartung Collection: Pulling out the Veritas
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4hg4kLrmFI>

Le Hartung Collection: 31 Model A
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63pSFJcEUcE>


• • • • •



Alice also sent in this handy tip for those of you who are enjoying the fruits of the Dungeness Crab season but sometimes have trouble shucking the critter. (7 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Eal-GfJ1_U>


• • • • •



With all due respect to the American steelworkers and other journeymen and women who create tall buildings, have a look what the Chinese are able to create in 15 days. (3 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVUsIlwWWM8>


• • • • •



If you plan to visit Russia, Dirk Parsons suggests you stay off the roads as much as possible. This video posted on a Dutch website shows why. (13 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FVVHYYF-pU>


• • • • •



Is there anything a smart phone can't do? Soon you may be able to use yours to park your car according to this clip from Dave Wysuph. Whether you might have to move to Germany is another matter. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0_aPh1Zltw>


• • • • •



When it comes to automotive safety features, however, no country surpasses Spain. Here's a very short second clip from Dave showing off an advanced Spanish back-up warning system. (30 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAOYjDUJID0>


• • • • •



Mike Thompson says that a good family pet understands that children are irresistibly drawn to puddles and that the really good ones act accordingly. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN-MjUC4f9k>


• • • • •



It's not our intention to start a range war between the left and the right. That ship sailed long ago. And we don't endorse the theme of the following film, nor do we see it as a propaganda hit piece against the left. How you will view it if if you choose to watch it is based solely on your own ideology.

When we ran the following item in the Dec. 20th Farsider, we were unaware that it was a trailer for a full length movie entitled "Agenda: Grinding America Down."

(From the Dec. 20, 2012 Farsider)

Some of you on the far right of the political spectrum may agree with the contents of this clip we received from Bill Yarbrough, while some on the far left may see it as an example of extreme conservatism bordering on paranoia. Many in the middle, on the other hand, could go either way. The title is "The Agenda to Grind America Down," and regardless of how you view it, there is no doubt that it is highly controversial. (7 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1BkgAt9juE>

This week we received from Don Hale a link to the full length movie based on the trailer above that is available on the Internet for what it says is a limited period of time. We don't expect many of you to view it due to its length, but we suspect that those of you who do will form a strong opinion as to whether you agree with the contents or not. Give the movie a few moments to load if you choose to view it. While it's not a YouTube video, you can convert it to full screen by clicking on the white square at the lower right-hand corner. (90 Mins.)

<http://vimeo.com/52009124>

 

• • • • •



Have you seen or heard the story about Oscar the Death Cat? He lives at a nursing home and reportedly has the uncanny ability to tell when a resident is about to die because he jumps up on the bed and stays there until the person has passed on. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cqiylGLAvg>

We have a theory about this: We think the first few times Oscar jumped up on a bed it was just a coincidence that the bed's occupant died. Then word got around. And afterward, every time Oscar jumped up on a bed, he scared the resident to death.

 

• • • • •



Short segments of this video of a driverless car going through a fast-food drive-up window aired on a couple of news shows last week. This is the full video, and as pranks go, we're giving it a "10." (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocHRh33Dseo>


• • • • •



For you golfers, here's a brand new Nike commercial featuring Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods that you might find entertaining. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NCDYjHtEcU>


• • • • •



Like to drive in stormy weather? Have a look at this clip a handful of readers sent in of a road trip down a Norwegian highway. The first half if pretty mild. The second half not so much. Tip: If you have the opportunity to buy a car imported from Norway, check it closely for rust from salt water. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T4vc1QqiPM>


• • • • •



Just when you thought you did something that even PETA would approve of, Mother Nature sometimes comes along and spoils it. Have a look at this clip sent in by Harry Mullins. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkESE9mFM0g>


• • • • •



Familiar with Gnat shooting? Bert Kelsey has. Think of it as trying to bring down a high-speed motorized clay pigeon with a shotgun.

The ATS Gnat has been hugely popular in the UK for many years and has been featured in events from high profile celebrity charity shoots held at most of Britain's most famous shooting grounds to private parties at country estates. The Gnat Shooting System is unique. Shotgun events normally involve the downing of conventional targets such as clay pigeons or game. We have perfected a high speed, maneuverable, radio controlled drone which takes the sport to the next level. The aircraft flies at speeds of up to 80 mph, with extremely rapid directional changes and fighter like agility. Controlled by very experienced "pilots," the shooters prey is probably one of the hardest targets they will ever encounter. Have a look. (8 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CLLAKnVej9o#!>


• • • • •

 

When Ed "Gramps" Tennant sent in an e-mail this week with a link to a video of the Norwegian Military Tattoo, we immediately recognized it as an item we had included in the past. An Archive search showed that we last ran the video 2 1/2 years ago. After watching it again, we decided it was worth a second look as it truly is spectacular and a don't miss, even if you have seen it before. Most of you should recognize the theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" at the end of the performance. Make sure your YouTube menu is set to Large or Full Screen and enjoy. (8 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd4YD-2AZyg>


• • • • •




C'ya


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