February 12, 2015
Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
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
PBA MEETING REMINDER
general membership meeting will be held next Wednesday,
Feb. 18th, at the POA Hall. The bar will be open at 5
p.m. and the buffet dinner should be ready between 6:00
and 6:30. All members are encouraged to attend.
Those of you who have secured your ticket(s) for this
year’s PBA Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance are reminded
that it will get underway at 6:00 p.m. this coming
Saturday, Feb. 14th, at the POA Hall.
of this week the mayor and city council directed its
outside legal counsel to propose a stipulation to city
workers to postpone implementation of portions of
Measure B until January 1, 2017. In response to the
proposed stipulation a coalition of unions sent this
Art and Linda: (outside city legal counsel)
I have the direction of the SJPOA, and permission from
the attorneys representing CAMP, MEF, AMSP, CEO, IUOE
Local 3, IAFF Local 230, IBEW 332 and AEA, to advise
that these groups have no interest in kicking the can
down the road and are looking for a public
acknowledgement from the city that 2015 is the year to
resolve all outstanding issues (respective MOA's,
Measure B, and Retiree Healthcare) without going back to
As such, we will not be agreeing to this stipulation.
POA Legal Counsel
It is the position of the POA that a settlement to all
Measure B litigation, negotiations over retiree
healthcare and our MOA must be completed in 2015. To
continue to agree to put off implementation of the
illegal Measure B is not in our best interests,
replacing Measure B with a competitive and vested
retirement benefit, reducing the cost of retiree
healthcare and increasing our wages to make us
competitive and allow the city to recruit and retain
officers is in our best interests.
We eagerly await the city's response to our
unwillingness to kick the can down the road.
been inquiries by our members regarding the most recent
compensation package agreed on by our law enforcement
partners, the Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriff's
Association and Santa Clara County. This compensation
package was negotiated by the DSA and our own labor
attorney Gregg Adam. This is a timely reminder of just
how far below the market the compensation package is for
San Jose Police Officers. In FY 2011 through FY 2013 the
County and its unions collaboratively negotiated
concessions to fill a substantial budget gap. In 2012
the County placed a revenue measure on the ballot to
further bolster county revenue. The measure passed
overwhelmingly. The County understood the importance of
not balancing its budget shortfall on the backs of its
workforce and sought collaboration instead of
San Jose, under Chuck Reed and Sam Liccardo (supporting
his reforms), took a different path. Even when the POA
and other unions agreed to a 10% total compensation cut
in 2011, there was no collaboration. Instead, we got
Measure B and no revenue measure. With millions of
dollars wasted on attorneys, and its legal losses
mounting, San Jose's once great department is on a path
to crash and burn. Hopefully, the DSA deal gives Mayor
Liccardo a reality check on how far we've fallen. A 2.5%
bilingual premium for a few officers is not going to
provide the appropriate incentive for San Jose to retain
and recruit officers.
Here are the details on the DSA deal:
Clara County Sheriff's Department Compensation Package
2014 - 5% Retro (extra 0.5% for Sergeants)
2015 - 2% Retire Health Care Drop
2015 - 3.5%
2015 - 3%
2016 - 3%
2017 - 3%
2018 - 3%
2019 - 3%
25.5% Increase (27% compounded)
Supervisor Dave Cortese announced in his State of the
County address last week that the Sheriff's Office is
ramping up its hiring efforts. Unlike SJPD, it may just
be able to fill a few academies.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD
From last Sunday’s Mercury News...
chief’s exit likely marks the beginning of musical
chairs for SJPD
Deputy Police Chief Dave Hober, who oversees field
operations including patrol, will become Monterey’s
assistant police chief Feb. 17. Hober, who has more than
a quarter-century of San Jose policing under his belt,
was known for his eloquence in explaining police
procedures and tactics in an accessible way, most
recently shouldering the formidable task of collecting
public comments on potential police use of a drone.
Hober’s move is expected to be the first in a line of
anticipated departures, with many command-level staff
said to be exploring or testing for jobs in other police
Shawny Williams, who is currently captain of the city’s
Southern Division, will not directly backfill Hober’s
position, but will take the helm of the Bureau of
Investigations, which oversees the detective units. Lt.
Edward Schroder subsequently will be promoted to captain
of the Southern Division.
There will be more top-level shuffling: Deputy Chief
Dave Knopf will move from the administrative bureau to
fill Hober’s soon-to-be-vacated role in field ops, and
Phan Ngo, currently overseeing investigations, will take
Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local
~ ~ ~
for nothing? Trio of ex-employees get hefty severance
city manager who was led out of San Jose City Hall by
security is getting a six-figure severance check in
exchange for not suing.
Alex Gurza , who was unceremoniously canned in December
by then-City Manager Ed Shikada — who himself was facing
the ax at the time — signed an agreement that will pay
him $111,460.38 to get lost. That amounts to six months
of pay under his old salary, a fairly typical deal for
fired high-level executives.
Shikada got six months pay, or $128,750, after agreeing
to resign last month, while former Assistant City
Manager Pam Antil , who also left in December, got five
months pay, or $93,098.27. All told, taxpayers will be
giving the trio of former city administrators
$333,308.65 to do zilch. Gurza had temporarily accepted
a low-level parks gig at the city after being removed
from the city manager’s office, as employees not
represented by a union are guaranteed some kind of
replacement job offer. But the agreement Gurza signed
Jan. 24 also undoes that demotion and gives him nearly
six weeks of back pay under his old salary.
City officials never said why they fired Gurza, who had
been leading the city’s acrimonious labor negotiations,
and Gurza said he wasn’t given any reason. The legal
agreement he and now-interim City Manager Norberto
Duenas signed makes certain the details won’t come out
in court, either.
• • • • •
Attorney Looks into Coaching of SJPD Police Chiefs
Inside — Feb. 6, 2015
Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel says coaching services
provided for free to his command staff don’t violate any
officials are investigating whether San Jose Police
Chief Larry Esquivel and his command staff violated
rules on accepting improper gifts, San Jose Inside has
Last week, San Jose Inside published a report that found
Chief Esquivel, Asst. Chief Eddie Garcia and other
deputy chiefs shared emails routinely venting
frustration with civilian oversight while also making
fun of a crime victim. On Tuesday, City Attorney Rick
Doyle confirmed that his office is looking into other
emails that show the city’s top officers accepted free
management coaching from a reserve officer who works as
a sales and executive consultant by day.
“That is something that we are right now getting all the
information and finding out, in a sense, what the scope
of any coaching was,” Doyle said.
The inquiry comes on the heels of previous incidents in
which Esquivel and his command staff accepted tickets to
San Francisco 49ers games, which violated city and
department policies. Esquivel told San Jose Inside that
he and his staff were reprimanded for accepting the
tickets and reimbursed the cost, but he felt the
coaching services provided by Barry Rhein—who just last
month was granted a concealed weapon permit—did not
constitute a gift.
Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell told San Jose
Inside that her office has not received any complaint
based on the story. But if the coaching services
provided by Rhein are, in fact, considered to be a gift,
they would violate rules outlined in the SJPD duty
“I believe the duty manual is very clear, that police
officers, from the top down to the officer level, are
not permitted to accept gifts of any value—unless those
gifts are extended to everyone in the public,” Cordell
said. “That’s the rule. There’s nothing ambiguous about
it. And reimbursement does not excuse the violation.”
Josh Koehn is the news editor for San Jose Inside and
Metro Newspaper. Email tips to
• • • • •
This story from yesterday’s paper illustrates how
unhappy some of the City’s residents are because of the
ever shrinking SJPD…
Residents Join to Fight Crime
Neighbors Resort to Private Security to Patrol Their
Emmons, Robert Salonga and Mark Gomez — Staff writers
News — Feb. 11, 2015
SAN JOSE —
A suspicious vehicle was spotted in a neighborhood
plagued by a rash of home break-ins. Residents reacted
Frantic messages went out through group texts. A half
dozen people converged on Crystal Springs Drive in the
city’s Almaden area to make sure the unoccupied car — a
dented, black BMW with tinted windows and mismatched
license plates — didn’t disappear before police arrived.
“This is what it’s like for us now,” said Mary Ellen
Distinti, among the people watching from a distance as a
third San Jose police cruiser arrived on the scene.
“We’re all listening to the scanner. We take turns
driving around. I know it might sound insane. But what’s
the alternative?” As burglaries have tripled in the
Almaden Valley and community alarm has grown, Mayor Sam
Liccardo and other officials are scheduled to appear at
a meeting Wednesday night at Bret Harte Middle School.
Valley is emblematic of a broader trend in the Bay
Area’s largest city.
Frustrated by a shrinking San Jose Police Department and
growing response times, fed-up residents are banding
together to find their own solutions — in some cases
taking “neighborhood watch” to a whole new level.
They’re communicating on social media about local crime
activity, and some Almaden Valley and other
neighborhoods are even resorting to hiring private
security to patrol their streets.
“It’s stating the obvious to say that our system is
broken,” said David Noel, president of the Erikson
Neighborhood Association, a separate community located
near Oakridge Mall that also uses private security.
“Security can respond if you call them about anything
that seems suspicious. The police just don’t have time
to do that anymore. So there is a peace of mind there.”
The police department has about 900 sworn officers who
can hit the streets, more than 100 fewer than is
budgeted and nearly 30 percent less than in 2008. Today,
there is one dedicated burglary detective for a city of
nearly 1 million residents as the SJPD has trimmed back
investigative teams to maintain patrol staffing.
Overall property crimes actually were down 3.7 percent
in 2014 throughout the city. That’s not the case in
Almaden Valley, where the median sales price of homes in
that Zip code is about $1.2 million, according to real
estate information service DataQuick CoreLogic.
Over a three-month period between October and January,
there were 180 burglaries compared to 55 in the same
time frame a year earlier, according to the SJPD.
“It’s completely out of control,” said Distinti, who has
lived in Almaden Valley for 16 years and works from home
. “It’s like the Wild West here.”
Believing that the law-enforcement cavalry wouldn’t be
riding over the hill anytime soon to help, Distinti and
others decided to circle the wagons. Using the Nextdoor
social networking service, Distinti organized a meeting
a few days before Christmas that she said drew about 80
They listened to a presentation from TAPS, a San
Jose-based private security firm headed by a current
SJPD officer, which began providing private patrols
about two years ago. About 100 households decided to pay
$40 a month for the service.
The department is currently reviewing whether it’s a
conflict for an officer to also operate a private
security company. But Distinti believes there would be
even more burglaries without the presence of TAPS.
Private security has been tried in the Almaden Valley
before — although it faded away because not enough
residents were interested.
In 2013, the Hamann Park Neighborhood Association,
located near the Campbell border, banded together amid a
wave of property crime and vandalism at the community
park. For about eight months, security guards hired by
the association patrolled the park on foot daily. By the
end of that stretch, the community felt like it had
taken back its park.
“We’re still united and proactive and aware of what’s
happening,” said co-president Vince Navarra, describing
how groups of neighbors walk the area at night with
flashlights to deter potential criminals.
Over in the Erikson neighborhood near Oakridge Mall,
about 70 households have joined to use TAPS, which was
hired in June 2013 after break-ins increased — primarily
“It’s impossible to say if they’re preventing crimes,”
Noel said. “That’s because it’s impossible to prove a
negative and crime tends to move around anyway. But you
just hope that they’re seen and being proactive about
Just how many neighborhoods, homeowners associations and
apartment complexes are hiring private security is
unclear because neither SJPD nor the city requires
security companies to register with them.
“We look at it this way: More is always better,” said
Officer Albert Morales, a department spokesman. “A
private security company is an extra pair of eyes. They
are another resource. It can be a good thing.”
Another type of proactive effort is occurring on the
city’s East Side as residents conduct weekly “Night
Walks” to help ward off violent crime.
of cooperation is what Steve Kostie, a 10-year Almaden
Valley resident, considers most important. In his
neighborhood, many are working together to try to be
part of a solution.
“The good news is there’s definitely more awareness and
people know each other better,” Kostie said.
During an interview Friday morning, he was listening to
a scanner app on his cellphone. About a half-hour
earlier, he had been one of the residents concerned
about the black BMW.
The Almaden Valley break-ins generally have occurred
during the day when families are away at work and
school. The BMW matched the description of a car
previously seen driving around the neighborhood.
Madeline Chiavetta is on a group text with 10 people in
Almaden Valley. A friend alerted everyone that the car
was parked in front of her house, and Chiavetta drove
over to the street and waited with a group of other
residents as police officers investigated.
“We’re definitely on edge,” she said, waiting with
others to find out what the police learned.
Then word began to circulate that police determined that
the car owner was a painter working at another house on
“It’s not a false alarm to me,” Chiavetta added. “That
car had different plates on the back and front. It’s
And residents in Almaden Valley are convinced that such
vigilance is making a difference.
A community safety meeting will be held Wednesday at
6:30 p.m. at Bret Harte Middle School. San Jose Mayor
Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Johnny Khamis are
scheduled to be among the officials present.
• • • •
If the name Tam Troung rings a bell, perhaps it’s
because he came up short in his bid for a San Jose City
Council seat in 2012 and is probably the only San Jose
cop who supported Measure B. This story is from the
front page of today's paper. (Yes, we noticed the name
of the individual credited with taking the photo below.)
Suspends Officer’s Outside Work Permit
—Department: Does cop’s firm benefit from shrinking
News — Feb. 12, 2015
SAN JOSE —
For many San Jose police officers, the staffing
shortages that have forced cutbacks in neighborhood
patrols and burglary investigations are a frustration,
even an embarrassment. For Tam Truong, they’re an
Jose Police Officer Tam Truong is in
dispute with SJPD over his ownership
of a private security firm that patrols some
city neighborhoods. (Mr. Constant)
San Jose cop runs a private security firm that contracts
to patrol neighborhoods seeking a sense of security the
police force no longer gives them. But now, spurred by
recent inquiries from this newspaper, San Jose police
officials have suspended Truong’s outside work permit
while they consider whether it’s a conflict for him to
profit from the department’s hard times.
“We do have these spikes in burglaries, and he’s a
police officer who owns a private (patrol) company, and
we have to ask, ‘Could he be benefiting from that?’ ”
police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said.
Truong contends the department knew what he was doing
long ago and gave him its blessing. And one police
expert sees no problem with the arrangement, saying the
officer’s ownership of the security firm shouldn’t
warrant different treatment from other officers who
moonlight as private security guards.
“It seems the only problem they have is that he’s
profiting from their pain,” said Dennis Kenney, a
professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal
Justice. “There’s nothing unethical about that, as long
as he’s drawing a bright line about not soliciting while
Truong’s 4-year-old company, Training and Protective
Services, expanded in 2013 from protecting individual
businesses and apartment complexes to now offering
uniformed patrols to more than a dozen neighborhoods,
amid a years-long officer exodus in the San Jose Police
Department. Households typically pay $40 a month.
Through a spokesman, the company declined to release
employment and revenue details.
Department brass suspended Truong’s work permit last
week while they review his ownership and management of
TAPS. The permits are required as a way to monitor
officers’ outside financial interests and ensure they
are not compromised. With the permit suspended, Morales
said, Truong is now out of compliance with the
But the suspension has no immediate effect on the formal
operation of TAPS, whose license to operate as a private
patrol provider is approved by the California Bureau of
Security and Investigative Services. An agency
spokeswoman said the department’s permit suspension does
not affect the company’s licensing with the state.
Morales said Truong’s ownership gives at least the
appearance of a cop working in direct competition with
his department, which has shrunk by more than 30 percent
in six years and last month dipped below 1,000 officers
for the first time since 1985.
“There’s the perception, and we want to be sensitive to
it,” Morales said.
Truong asserts that he got the requisite approvals for
his company from throughout the command chain, and that
he was forthcoming about starting the neighborhood
“They knew very well,” he added. “We had numerous
He added there is no conflict of interest because in his
view, TAPS does not overlap with the duties of sworn
patrol officers like himself.
“We don’t do the same thing,” Truong said. “We patrol
homes, not streets. We also protect apartment complexes
and shopping centers. This is like moving from one kind
of property to another.”
Firms such as TAPS have been gaining profile in the past
few weeks as residents in parts of San Jose have
responded to elevated burglary rates by using social
media to form neighborhood dragnets and hire private
patrols to offset lagging police response.
Even before the dispute, Truong was something of a
lightning rod in the department. During an unsuccessful
run for City Council in 2012, he supported Measure B,
the linchpin of a pension-reform plan that cut
retirement benefits for longtime cops. The police union
and many within the force blame that plan for driving
away officers and potential recruits.
Truong said he needs more clarity about the department’s
actions before commenting on whether politics had
anything to do with the permit suspension.
“As of right now,” he said, “I don’t know why they
changed their minds.”
Neither politics nor the growing media attention about
TAPS influenced the department’s decision to suspend his
work permit on Feb. 4, Morales said. Rather, it was
prompted by new concerns that Truong obtained and
renewed his work permit while omitting that his company
handled neighborhood patrols.
While Truong’s ownership situation is unique in the
department, many officers work in secondary employment
for private security firms. The department’s oversight
of such off-duty work drew national attention last fall
when former San Francisco 49ers player Ray McDonald was
arrested on suspicion of domestic violence at his San
A police sergeant, who moonlighted on the football
team’s security detail, was on scene when police
arrived, complicating the investigation, which ended
with no charges being filed.
Staff writer Mark Emmons contributed to this report.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at
That letter from Bob Tenbrink regarding the Wounded
Warrior Project (Farsider - 05 February 2015) confirmed
a lot of my inner suspicions and brought me around to
further researching the references. Bob needs to be
commended for his effort.
The first "hint" was that the WWP campaign advertising
was far too flashy and "slick", far too tear-jerking,
and initially, focused lots of its time on one of my
areas of particular concern: the often unduly milked
concept of P.T.S.D. (See the comments by General Paul
Zinni, USMC Ret. along this line of concern. He coined
the term, "Post Traumatic Stress Success,” which more
aptly characterized the veterans of WW II, Korea, and by
far the most part, Vietnam.)
Fair Winds, Following Seas
God Speed & Semper Fidelis -
For fear of sounding like someone who is unsympathetic
to several charities and causes — I am NOT — this seems
like an appropriate time to voice my personal
displeasure at all the TV ads that end with a weeping
wife or mother. While the Wounded Warrior Project has
the most ads by far, other charities that include
UNICEF, the Shriners Hospital, the DAV and a handful of
others also have jumped on what I call the “Guilt
Bandwagon.” Even the ASPCA has followed suit with their
ads that show the saddest looking dogs while asking TV
viewers to commit to a monthly donation, although it is
asking for a buck less ($18 per month instead of $19).
• • • • •
I see that we police pilots have lost another aviator,
sergeant Fred Farnsworth. These passings make me sad,
but they also help me to rejoice for great times I spent
with members of the Team.
When I transferred to SJPD I immediately knew that I
wanted to be a police pilot. Fred was a member of the
Air Surveillance Team and gave many hours of his time to
help me prepare to join the Team. When I finally got
onto the Team, Fred was most helpful in showing me the
ropes. Once I became a pilot of the new Air-1 Helicopter
Team I had the opportunity to help repay Fred by showing
him the ropes of helicopter flight. In fact, Fred
purchased his very own personal helicopter.
Below is a photo of some of us posing with the US
Custom's UH-1 Huey at San Jose's Municipal Airport,
circa early 1980's. Left to right is Chief Pilot Mike
McIntyre, Sergeant Fred Farnsworth, me and Officer Dave
I miss these guys and the great times that we had high
above the City of San Jose.
John (like-a-bird) Quayle
• • • • •
Here is something I haven’t seen in the Farsider. It’s a
list of media executives who have direct relationships
either through blood or marriage with high ranking White
House staff members.
• ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to
Susan Rice, National Security Adviser.
• CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of Ben
Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for
• ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married to
former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
• ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s
Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood.
• CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to former
Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides.
• ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is
married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary
So if you or your readers feel there may be some bias on
the left when it comes to protecting the White House,
these facts should be considered.
Talking Points, SJPD Ret. (firstname.lastname@example.org>
You again, eh? I’ll wager that you are going to slip up
one of these times and leave a clue as to your identity.
As for your missive, the details of what you sent in has
been circulating around the Internet for some time,
although it’s been updated to reflect Susan Rice’s move
from UN Ambassador to Obama’s National Security Adviser,
and to Jay Carney as the “former” Press Secretary. There
are several websites that confirm what you sent in,
THIS TruthOrFiction confirmation.
• • • • •
Happy Valentines Day to all. Once every three or four
years for some reason I seem to find my way back to this
great pick me up dance tune. Have another listen and
You have excellent taste in music, Dave. “Orange Blossom
Special” is at the top of my list of favorite
“SERIOUS PEOPLE DO NOT TAKE FOX NEWS SERIOUSLY.” REALLY?
This headline from the OpEd page of today’s paper caught
our eye, so we gave the article a quick read. Our
conclusion: This guy has a huge set of stones…
Williams’ Lies Exceed Those Told by Fox News
By Leonard Pitts Jr., Columnist
Herald — Feb. 12, 2015
this speech I give my students. Distilled, it goes like
this. “Your primary asset as a journalist is not your
dogged curiosity, your talent for research or your
ability to make prose sing on deadline. No, your one
indispensable asset is your credibility. If you are not
believable, nothing else matters.” Which brings us,
inevitably, to Brian Williams. The “NBC Nightly News”
anchor saw his career crumple like used Kleenex last
week after he repeated one time too many a story he has
been telling for years: how a U.S. military helicopter
on which he was a passenger was shot down over Iraq in
suspended Brian Williams as “Nightly
News” anchor for six months without pay.
But the man
who was flight engineer on that copter said on Facebook
that Williams was never on it. Instead, he was on the
one trailing it. Williams apologized for conflating the
two, blaming the “fog” of memory. The incident was
remarkably similar to candidate Hillary Clinton’s false
2008 claim that she came under sniper fire as first lady
during a 1996 visit to Bosnia. As it turns out, an
American dignitary was shot at in Bosnia — just not
Clinton. Rather, it was then-Sen. Olympia Snowe, six
Then, as now, one is tempted to ascribe the lapse to
false memory, that phenomenon where you recall with
clarity things that never happened. Then, as now, one is
hampered by the sheer drama of the events in question. A
person may honestly misremember eating at a certain
restaurant or seeing a given movie. But you’d think
you’d be pretty clear on whether or not somebody almost
Fans of Fox “News,” at least to judge from my email
queue, are having a ball with all this. I wrote a column
a few weeks back blasting Fox for its habitual,
ideology-driven inaccuracy. Attacking Fox is not for the
faint of heart. Its viewers (like Rush Limbaugh’s
listeners) tend to take it personally, responding with
such a nasty, visceral outrage that a body might think
you’d blasphemed their deity rather than criticized
their news outlet. I savaged CNN in this space last
year, and while some folks took issue, no one called me
a “bleephole” or invited me to “bleep” myself. With Fox
fans, that’s the salutation.
So this latest news brings a flood of email crowing over
Williams’ troubles and demanding I give him equal
As I wrote in the aforementioned column, serious people
do not take Fox seriously. Indeed, consider the level of
angst, the sense of expectations betrayed, that has
attended Williams’ failure and ask yourself: Would there
be a similar outpouring if someone at Fox had told this
Fox is what Fox is, but its distortions and mendacities
are generally only mistaken for gospel by a stratum of
the electorate already predisposed to its bizarre world
view. The rest of us like to think we can expect a
higher standard from the old guard of the news media,
meaning the likes of CBS, NBC and The New York Times.
And usually we can.
But every time that belief is betrayed — meaning not
garden variety errors of fact, but catastrophic failures
of journalistic integrity — the damage is exponentially
greater precisely because the level of trust is
exponentially higher. Such failures feed the
disaffection and cynicism of a politically polarized
nation where the universally accepted fact is an
It’s a state of affairs that makes it hard to run a
country. Or to be one.
So people asking that I give Brian Williams equal
treatment are missing the point. If, indeed, he lied,
then his sins are not equal to Fox’s. They are worse.
Leonard Pitts Jr. is a Miami Herald columnist.
We don’t recommend that you call Mr. Pitts a “bleephole”
or invite him to “bleep” himself, but if you are a Fox
News supporter and want to express your opinion, he can
be reached at
<email@example.com>. And if you just want to
know more about this “writer,” here’s his website:
OLD WORDS AND PHRASES REMIND US OF THE WAY WE WORD
This contribution from Bruce Fair in Kansas is an
interesting read because it makes people our age
appreciate where we have come from in terms of how we
used to talk. Do you remember these words and phrases
from your youth?
month ago, I illuminated old expressions that have
become obsolete because of the inexorable march of
technology. These phrases included don’t touch that
dial, carbon copy, you sound like a broken record and
hung out to dry. A bevy of readers have asked me to
shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I
am happy to oblige:
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put
on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly
right. Hubba-hubba! We’d cut a rug in some juke joint
and then go necking and petting and smooching and
spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot
rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers’ lane.
Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!
Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of
Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of
being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all
the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but
when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone
the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats,
knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal
pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he
Like Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle and Kurt
Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in
time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short
nap, and before we can say, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!”
or “This is a fine kettle of fish!” we discover that the
words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent
as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our
tongues and our pens and our keyboards.
Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words
we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, evanesced
from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like
Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy
cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water
and an organ grinder’s monkey.
Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing.
Where have all those phrases gone? Long time ago: Pshaw.
The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians.
Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston. The very
idea! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain.
Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron
curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense.
Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus.
Cooties. Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny
papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Heavens to
Murgatroyd! And awa-a-ay we go!
Oh, my stars and garters! It turns out there are more of
these lost words and expressions than Carter had liver
This can be disturbing stuff, this winking out of the
words of our youth, these words that lodge in our
heart’s deep core. But just as one never steps into the
same river twice, one cannot step into the same language
twice. Even as one enters, words are swept downstream
into the past, forever making a different river.
We of a certain age have been blessed to live in
changeful times. For a child each new word is like a
shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of
the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering
there are words that once did not exist and there were
words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly
stage and now are heard no more, except in our
collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages
of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too.
By the way, Bruce calls his home state (Kansas) the Land
of Flat. Why? We heard that if you stand on a penny you
can see Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska.
SO WHERE DID THE TERM “PISS POOR” COME FROM?
We haven’t vetted the so-called facts in this piece
about old sayings and cliches, but they all seem to make
sense. Besides, it has traveled around the Internet and
through Cyberspace for years and we have yet to read
anything that refutes what is presented. The author is
Where did “Piss poor” come from? We older people need to
learn something new every day just to keep our grey
matter tuned up.
So just where did "Piss Poor" come from? Interesting
history. Urine was once used to tan animal skins, so
families used to all pee in a pot. Once it was full it
was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this
to survive you were "Piss Poor."
But worse than that were the really poor folk who
couldn't even afford to buy a pot. If you "didn't have a
pot to piss in" you were the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain
because the water temperature isn't just how you like
it, think about how things used to be. Here are some
facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their
yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good
by June. But when they began to smell, brides carried a
bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the
custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The
man of the house had the privilege of bathing in the
nice clean water. Then came all the other sons and men,
then the women, and finally the children. Last of all
were the babies. By then the water was so dirty you
could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying,
"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"
Houses had thatched roofs — thick straw-piled high —
with no wood underneath. It was the only place for
animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small
animals (mice, bugs etc.) lived in the roof. When it
rained it became slippery, and sometimes the animals
would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying,
"It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the
house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where
bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean
bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over
the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds
came into existence.
The floor was dirt, and only the wealthy had something
other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor."
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in
the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on
the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore
on they added more thresh until, when you opened the
door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of
wood was then placed in the entrance-way. Hence: the "threshhold."
(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big
kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they
lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate
mostly vegetables and did not get much in the way of
meat. They would have the vegetable stew for dinner,
leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and
then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in
it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the
rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas
porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel
quite special. When visitors came over they would hang
up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that
a man could, “Bring home the bacon." They would
sometimes cut off a little to share with guests and all
would all sit around and “chew the fat.”
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with
high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto
the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened
most often with tomatoes, and for the next 400 years or
so tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the
burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and
guests got the top, or "the upper crust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The
combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a
couple of days, and
someone walking along the road would take them for dead
and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would
gather around and eat and drink while waiting to see if
they would wake up. Hence the custom of "holding a
England was old and small and the local folks started
running out of places to bury people. so they would dig
up coffins and take the bones to a bone-house so they
could reuse the grave. When reopening the coffins, 1 out
of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the
inside and they realized that some people had been
buried alive. To remedy the situation they would tie a
string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the
coffin and up through the ground where it would be tied
to a bell. Someone would then be assigned to sit out in
the graveyard all night (hence the "graveyard shift")
and listen for the bell; thus someone would be, “saved
by the bell” on occasion or they would be "considered a
Now, whoever said History was boring?
Share these facts with a friend, and remember, inside
every older person is a younger person wondering, "What
the hell happened?"
Also remember that we'll be friends until we are old and
senile, then we'll be new friends again.
And lastly, smile. It gives your face something to do!
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
through the 10th
We are so
excited to be in Los Angeles. Everyone says it’s so
different out here, but it’s actually not that different
from New York. For instance, the Spider-Man down on
Hollywood Boulevard was just as drunk as the one in
There's a lot of controversy out here over the recent
Measles outbreak, because a lot of people never got any
shots. Or as Kobe Bryant's teammates put it, “Been
Everyone is still talking about the Super Bowl. The big
story is undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler, who made the
game-winning interception for the New England Patriots.
Even Malcolm Butler said, "Who?"
Mitt Romney announced that he is no longer considering
running for president in 2016. As opposed to those other
guys who forgot about running — the Seattle Seahawks.
During an interview last weekend, President Obama was
talking about the next race for president and refused to
choose between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, saying
quote, “Love 'em both.” Which was nice until he said
he’d support the nominee, regardless of who she is.
Yesterday Obama presented a $4 trillion budget that he
says would help the middle class. Then the middle class
said, “You know what? How about you just give us the $4
trillion? We'll figure out what to do with it.”
President Obama unveiled a $4 trillion budget for 2016
that would increase taxes on the wealthy and spend more
money on education. He also made a snowball and put it
in the oven, just to see which would last longer, his
budget or the snowball.
Charles Manson's marriage license is expiring this week.
Which means that he will have to reapply if he still
wants to marry his girlfriend or, you know, he could
just break the law.
Hillary Clinton is weighing in on the measles outbreak.
She tweeted: "The Earth is round, the sky is blue, and
vaccines work." She didn't stop there. She also tweeted,
"Fire is hot, ice is cold, and the Seahawks should have
handed the ball off to Marshawn Lynch."
The CDC announced that there are currently 102 measles
cases in the U.S. Some say it’s because people aren't
vaccinating their children. You can tell things are
getting bad. Today Disneyland opened a new ride called
"It's a Smallpox World.”
Remember that dancing shark from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl
halftime show? A guy in Colorado actually got a tattoo
of the shark. That story again: Weed is still legal in
It's been a really fun four-day road trip, or what you
guys would call "driving home from work."
Ferrari just debuted a new muscle car that can go from
zero to 124 miles per hour in under nine seconds.
Drivers here in L.A. said, "How fast can it go from zero
to 3 miles an hour? Because that's really as fast as you
can go here."
Last night was the long-awaited return of “The Walking
Dead” — or as some people call it, "The 57th Annual
AC/DC received criticism after they used a teleprompter
for their own song during the opening of the Grammys. I
don't want to say they're getting old, but when they
sing “Highway to Hell,” they leave their right blinker
on the whole time.
Pharrell Williams won the Grammy for Best Music Video
and Best Pop Solo Performance for his song “Happy.” When
asked how he felt about the win, he said, “Content."
According to a recent survey, 12 percent of Americans
say that it's fine to cheat a little on your taxes.
While the other 88 percent know not to talk to a guy
with a clipboard asking them if they cheat on their
Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to make his
first official state visit to the U.S. Although I’m
worried it'll be a little awkward when he visits a
school and says, “This factory is terrible.”
It was revealed that back in 2011 Michael Jordan was
signing a poster for Obama’s 50th birthday but spelled
the president’s name wrong. The president made sure
Jordan's name was spelled right when he had him audited
by the IRS.
We have “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson on
the show tonight. In a new interview, her mom, actress
Melanie Griffith, said she does not plan on seeing the
movie. But in her defense, that's what everyone's mom is
This week is the 10th anniversary of Google Maps. Or as
10-year-olds call them, “maps.”
the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," is publishing her
second novel after a 55-year hiatus. This one is called
"Mock 2: Mock Harder."
Boston postponed a victory celebration for the New
England Patriots due to a record-breaking winter storm.
The storm was supposed to hit Seattle but at the last
second New England jumped in the way.
Jeb Bush admitted that he smoked a notable amount of pot
in school. He said, "You would too if your parents had
named you 'Jeb.'"
Tom Brady says he wants to give the truck he was given
as the Super Bowl MVP to the guy who won the Super Bowl
for the Patriots. So Brady's giving his truck to
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Health officials are saying the number of measles cases
that originated in Disneyland continues to grow. Which
is why this year after the game the Super Bowl MVP
shouted, "No way am I going to Disneyland!"
Staples has agreed to buy Office Depot for $6 billion.
The funny thing is they just popped in there to buy
envelopes and then they just got carried away.
Johnny Depp is getting married this weekend. It'll be a
small wedding, just the people who saw "Mortdecai."
House Speaker John Boehner said the Republican Party
will no longer stand in the way of gay marriage. Then
Boehner said, "Now can I go to Elton John's Oscar
Over 100 Native American tribes have expressed interest
in growing marijuana. This is according to Native
American spokesman "Relaxing Eagle."
Scientists have discovered that a 5,000-year-old mummy
is covered with at least 60 tattoos. Scientists are
calling him the earliest known member of the NBA.
Brian Williams of NBC News has admitted he embellished a
story about being in a helicopter that was shot at in
Iraq. Williams says the helicopter part was true, but it
was a coin-operated helicopter outside of a Chuck E.
Cheese in a bad part of Connecticut.
Did you watch the Grammys last night? There were some
surprise winners. Brian Williams won a Grammy for Best
Spoken Word in the fiction category. At least, I think
he did. That's what he told me.
Last night at the Grammys, audience members reported
smelling a lot of marijuana in the audience, which may
explain why the Grammy for Best Song went to the jingle
for Hot Pockets.
The inventor of the soy sauce dispenser bottle has
passed away. He actually died months ago but was just
found in the back of the fridge.
An old pair of shoes once owned by Justin Bieber has
sold on eBay for $50,000. To be honest, they're a little
tight on me.
Despite the Brian Williams lying scandal, NBC News led
in the ratings last week. Although I should note the
figures were reported by Brian Williams.
There's a rumor that NBC is going to have Tom Brokaw
fill in temporarily as the NBC News anchor. When asked
why, a network spokesperson said, "Because the only
other NBC person we have is Bill Cosby."
It's been reported that Beyoncé wore $10 million worth
of jewels to the Grammys. When asked why, Beyoncé said,
"I didn't want to bring the good stuff."
Two members of the Village People are in court to battle
over who wrote some of their hits, like "YMCA." It's the
landmark case of Cop vs. Indian Chief.
crazy, the Super Bowl? It was so exciting, what I did
when the Domino's guy showed up, I gave him a huge tip
to stay and watch the game with me.
If you're a Seahawks fan, that game was more depressing
than that nationwide insurance commercial.
I think the Seahawks should have given the ball to
Marshawn Lynch. That would have shut him up. Katy Perry
could have run it in for a touchdown.
In addition to being the winning Super Bowl quarterback,
Tom Brady now has a brand-new pickup truck. I guess
we'll have to sit through the whole thing about whether
his tires are properly inflated.
Big bulletin from Phoenix: Katy Perry's robotic tiger is
loose in downtown Phoenix.
Over 114 million people watched the Super Bowl. No
wonder I had nobody to talk to about "Downton Abbey."
Charles Manson was going to get married. He's 80 years
old, and serving a life sentence in prison. Well, the
marriage is off. And today I saw that his profile was
back on eHarmony.
Mitt Romney is not going to run for president. Mitt said
it's time for fresh faces. So that's good news for Bruce
Lance Armstrong and his girlfriend were out at a party
and he accidentally banged into two parked cars. So then
he told the cops that his girlfriend was driving. That's
the kind of thing that can hurt the man's image.
Cops took Lance Armstrong downtown and frisked him — or
as they call it, the "Tour de Lance."
Mitt Romney is not going to be running for president. So
you know what that means. We are getting closer and
closer to “President Trump.”
I like Mitt Romney. He looks like the guy who comes with
the picture frame.
Earlier today I read that drinking whiskey can cure a
cold. I was fighting a cold last night until 4 a.m. Do
you know what I'm saying?
Over the weekend, Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong
and his girlfriend plowed into a parked car. The cops
got them but Lance talked his girlfriend into saying she
was driving and she took the rap. They wrote her a
ticket. DWI — driving with an idiot.
Lance Armstrong hit two parked cars. In legal parlance
that's known as a "Double Lohan."
The world's oldest man turned 112. I'll tell you
something — at 112 years old, even that guy could have
carried the ball and scored for the Seahawks.
Welcome to the program. And here we are again in the
beautiful Ed Sullivan Theater where 51 years ago the
Beatles made their first appearance. Right here, 51
years ago — now look what you get.
If you remember the Beatles, then you should ask your
doctor if Cialis is right for you.
The only good thing to know about Charles Manson is he's
in prison for the rest of his life. He was going to get
married. Well, guess what? The marriage has been called
off. Well, what happened? The bride finally Googled him.
Manson decided he wasn't ready to get married after
talking it over with the voices in his head.
Big night at the Grammys — most of the conversation
backstage was about the merger of Staples and Office
Depot. As long as I can still get a clipboard and a hole
puncher, that's all I care about.
At the White House today was Angela Merkel from Germany.
She showed up riding on a huge robotic tiger.
President Obama met with Germany's chancellor Angela
Merkel. She was at the Grammys last night visiting her
daughter Iggy Merkel.
The AARP — the American Association of Retired Persons —
has a magazine that comes out once a month. You know who
reads that magazine? Old people and their parents.
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has released all of his
emails. I'd like to release all of my emails. I've got
nothing but emails about low-cost funerals and Viagra.
Pope Francis is going to go to Washington, D.C., to
address Congress. He believes the New England Patriots
have been deflating his giant hat.
Justin Bieber turned 21. This is great. The kid will
finally get to have his first beer.
Neil Armstrong's widow was going through his closet and
she found a bunch of things that he brought back with
him from the moon, including some souvenirs. And I
thought: Wait a minute, there's a gift shop on the moon?
know that today is National Weatherpersons Day? No, you
didn't. Even weatherpersons don't know that it's
National Weatherpersons Day.
This is the day when we pay tribute to the men and women
who bravely stand out in the middle of the most brutal
winter storms, risking their lives for absolutely no
reason whatsoever. And for National Weatherpersons Day,
everything I say tonight will be half wrong.
Starbucks is going to start carrying coconut milk. If
you want to stay competitive in the coffee business
you've got to consistently provide your customers with
new ways to make their orders more annoying.
Girl Scout Cookie season goes until March. What are the
ethics of setting your daughter up to sell cookies
outside a medical marijuana store?
Iggy Azalea had a rough weekend. Not only didn't she win
a Grammy, but she's in a fight with Papa John's pizza.
She ordered a pizza and the delivery guy gave her phone
number to his friends. You know you're a white rapper
when your big beef is with Papa John's.
They're saying this is the biggest rapper's pizza feud
since Chuck D. versus Chuck E. back in '91.
Rosie O'Donnell is leaving "The View" again. She treats
that show like it's a time share in San Diego.
Rosie says she's leaving "The View" to focus on her
health. She said her doctors were concerned about all
the stress that working an hour a day puts on the body.
According to a new report, almost 100 percent of
connected cars — cars with bluetooth and the smart
things in them — are vulnerable to hackers. The hackers
can steal your data and control your vehicle. In other
words, there's never been a better time to own a 2002
Toyota is testing a new car that's slightly smaller than
a person. They call it a fusion of a motorcycle and
electric compact car. It sounds like this car could be
totaled by a squirrel.
The movie "Fifty Shades of Grey" is showing on 75 IMAX
screens across the country. Sorry kids, but the new
SpongeBob movie had to move to the little theater so
your mom and aunt can have dirty time together.
Super Bowl last evening. The New England Patriots and
the Seattle Seahawks both defeated the Seattle Seahawks.
It really was an incredible game. And even though the
Patriots won, you really have to hand it to Marshawn
Lynch. Don't think about it. Just hand it to Marshawn
Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP and was given a new
Chevy truck. Brady says the truck handles great,
especially after he let some air out of the tires.
According to a new study, 1 in 3 children in the United
States have divorced parents. While the other two-thirds
are the only reason their parents are staying together.
Harper Lee announced today that she will release a
sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was published
in 1960. Apparently she releases a new book every time
the measles comes back.
I think the sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird” might be a
little gimmicky though, because the new book is called,
“Atticus Finch and the Goblet of Fire.”
Kim Kardashian said during a Q & A yesterday that she'd
like to take a selfie with Jesus. Though I think most
people would say that Jesus has suffered enough.
The marriage license for Charles Manson and his
26-year-old bride is set to expire unless they get
married by Thursday. I don't know. If I were Charles
Manson and a girl wanted to marry me, I might think
that's a red flag.
The city of Boston today held its Super Bowl victory
parade. Meanwhile, the city of Seattle held Seahawks
coach Pete Carroll out a window by his ankles.
Staples has reached a deal to buy Office Depot for $6.3
billion. While RadioShack has reached a deal to buy an
old futon on Craigslist.
The new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue comes out next
week. That's especially exciting news for guys who don't
know about the Internet.
Last weekend a Washington, D.C. couple allegedly left
their toddlers in a freezing car for an hour while they
were at a wine tasting. The couple has been described as
neglectful with notes of endangerment and a lazy
At today’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama
and the Dalai Lama avoided a direct meeting. Uh-oh,
sounds like there may be some Obama-Lama drama.
Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Leroy Guion was
arrested this week with 357 grams of marijuana, an
unloaded gun, and nearly $200,000 in cash in his car
during a traffic stop. And you know what that means —
the NFL offseason has officially begun.
Researchers have found that there are more than 15,000
types of genetic material found on New York City
subways. This beats the previous record held by
Aerosmith’s tour bus.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted this week
that he's cried and lost sleep thinking about his
controversial pass call at the Super Bowl. He just keeps
running it over and over in his head. Well, actually he
keeps passing it over and over.
The Grammys were last night. It's the one night of the
year where fans both young and old gather around their
TVs to say, "Who is that?
Charles Manson and his fiancee have called off their
engagement after he found out that she had plans to put
his body on public display after his death. Man, it's
like every time he meets a girl, she turns out to be
Samsung is warning customers that their new line of
smart TVs can collect and share personal information —
and yet they still cut off the recording of your
favorite show 30 seconds before the end.
A woman in Florida gave birth to a baby weighing in at
14.1 pounds. So I guess the question is: a baby what?
After the Northeast was hit with a second major
snowstorm yesterday, meteorologists are predicting even
more snow will come on Thursday. So I think we all know
what we have to do. We have to kill that groundhog.
Starbucks has confirmed that saxophone star Kenny G.
helped create the Frappuccino. And that, by the way, was
voted the world's whitest sentence ever uttered.
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JAN. 24, 2015
Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady give a truck he won for
being the Super
Bowl MVP to teammate Malcolm Butler for making the game
HERE to view the Feb. 7th Snopes update.
waiting patiently for the Capitol Steps to come out with
a new political parody, and one has finally arrived. In
this new one, Nancy Pelosi sings "Master of the House,
Harry Reid sings "I Will Survive" and Ted Cruz assisted
by Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin sing "A Hard Days
Night.” Click on the link below to view it. (4:41)
• • • • •
With the advent of the high-definition GoPro video
camera that can be mounted virtually anywhere, it’s no
surprise that spectacular footage can be captured inside
and outside of an F/A-18 Super Hornet during carrier
operations. Climb aboard and enjoy
THIS ultimate E-Ticket ride courtesy of Bruce
• • • • •
Speaking of flying, could
THIS electronic billboard advertising British Air in
London’s Piccadilly Circus be the cleverest of all time?
It is certainly one of a kind. (2:12)
• • • • •
When a hot
chase ends in a collision here in California, the
victims are usually stunned and sit around wondering
what happened. In Texas, the victims get pissed and mete
out justice. Watch the reaction of the female who’s
minivan was struck by the bad guy at the conclusion of
THIS recent chase in Dallas. (2:05)
• • • •
If you didn’t quite get your fill from this year’s
Super Bowl, perhaps this clip will serve as an
after-game dessert. We’re talking about some amazing
trick shots with a football. (4:16)
• • • • •
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there would be hell to
pay when Hitler learned about Pete Carroll’s call that
cost the Seahawks the Super Bowl.
THIS is the latest Hitler parody courtesy of my
• • • • •
This kid seems to have mastered the technique of tight
video editing, camera tricks and using magic software
that is available on the Internet. Have a
LOOK at some of the tricks he can perform, courtesy
of Alice Murphy. (6:57).
• • • • •
If I was at the controls of
THIS locomotive I’m quite certain I would feel the
pucker factor set in when the flying snow completely
obliterated my view out the windshield, especially if I
knew I was approaching a railroad crossing. (3:08)
You can bet that the guy standing outside on front of
the locomotive below doesn’t stay there throughout the
THIS clip. (2:01)
• • • • •
The occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would probably
not approve of this video received from Bob Moir. While
Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands was attending a concert
at a music hall in the capitol (The Hague), the
conductor, who was Muslim, proceeded to give her a
lecture on the “beauty of Islam.” Shortly after he
began, the entire orchestra refused to be associated
with someone who would lecture their Queen and
WALKED off stage. And a short time after that the
staff from the music hall escorted the conductor off the
stage as well.
• • • • •
Even if you caught this story on the news earlier this
week, it’s such a good one that it should be worth
reviewing since there aren’t a lot of uplifting stories
that come out of Detroit. Besides,
THIS is the full 3-minute story, not just a
• • • • •
THIS item received from Harry Mullins if you suffer
from acrophobia (fear of heights). It’s similar to other
videos we have included in the past, but this one is a
little more terrifying than the others in our opinion.
• • • • •
Tough crowd. By actual count, this image of Bruce
before-and-after showed up in our inbox from 13 readers
Really tough crowd. We also received over a dozen emails
with various photos that show some of the many stories
covered by NBC’s Brian Williams during his shortened
career. Here are a few examples of what came in...
• • • • •
To illustrate how dense I can be at times, I was over a
THIS video received from Tom Macris before I
realized it was a spoof about a modified iPhone 5S.
(Mine is sitting in its charger on my kitchen counter.)
Tom said “I don’t know how to feel about this. Should we
laugh?” I for one am not! (3:39)
• • • • •
It also took me a few moments to realize that this video
about a gym designed for millennials was also a spoof,
at least for now. I would wager that it won’t be long
THIS gym is more the rule than the exception. (1:29)
• • • • •
You Glock owners may be interested in
THIS video about the fully automatic Glock 18c if
you haven’t already seen it. Even if you could legally
procure one in California, how long a burst could you
get out of a 10-round magazine since anything larger is
• • • • •
Pop Quiz: Using a Smith & Wesson .44 Mag and shooting
these water balloons from the end with a .250 grain
bullet, how many balloons would it take to stop the
bullet? You may or may not be surprised by the answer.
HERE to play the video received from Chuck
• • • • •
Staying on topic for a moment, we watched
THIS clip from Alice Murphy twice and still find it
difficult to believe. The question is, which of the four
desserts noted below is bulletproof, if any? The weapon
used appears to be a Remington 870 shotgun loaded with
slugs. Care to take a guess? (3:51)
• • • • •
According to Mike Davis, “Those of you who don’t know
what a manual engine choke and straight pipes are can
THIS was not a trick taught by the Boy or Girl
Scouts on how to start a fire.” (0:32)
• • • • •
Put on your detective's hat for a moment and see if you
can determine how
THIS dog owner figured out which of his furry pets
made the big mess. (1:11)
• • • • •
This is one of the most inhumane videos we have posted
in the Farsider in months. Just look at the tortured
THIS little French Bulldog. Someone call PETA.
• • • • •
THIS canine on the other side of The Pond must be
part feline because it appears that he or she must have
multiple lives. (1:59)
• • • • •
And that brings us to
THIS short but enjoyable musical clip about animals
that are FRIENDS, but oh so different. (1:02)
• • • • •
THIS clip received from Dewey Moore represent one of
the most impressive aquatic dolphin shows ever caught on
tape? You be the judge. (4:24)
• • • • •
Think back. Didn’t you know someone like this guy back
in high school or college? If you didn’t, could it be
that it's because he reminds you of
YOU? Just askin'. (1:50)
• • • • •
You would be hard pressed to find a fisherman with a
bigger heart than this guy. Click
HERE and we think you may agree. (1:28)
• • • • •
If you stand still the camera won’t notice you, right?
Well keep your eye on the
GAL in blue behind the TV reporter. (0:29)
• • • • •
Short videos like
THIS 43-second clip titled “Exploring the Power of
Perspective” are always fun to watch because they can
fool my brain. Then again, it doesn’t take much to fool
• • • • •
We have to agree with Chuck Blackmore. If
THIS is an example of Common Core that some
politicians want to Federalize, they can take it and
shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. (1:21)
• • • • •
This is another contribution from Chuck Blackmore that
we found interesting, so much so that we are calling it
a “Must-See.” It’s a segment from NBC’s “Rock Center,”
the title of which is “This Teenager Will Revolutionize
Nuclear Power.” Don’t be put off by the image that first
appears on the screen. All the discredited Brian Wilson
does is introduce Harry Smith who narrates
THE CLIP about the kid genius named Taylor Wilson,
who built his own nuclear reactor at the age of 14.
• • • • •
If you are a gearhead (car freak) the hundreds of links
to historical automotive movies and ads on this website
received from Joe Suske could keep you busy for days.
But note the following:
Sorry, movies won't play on many mobile devices due
to OS restrictions. So enjoy the shows on a desktop
computer. Some movies have pop up ads. It's not always
possible to turn them off. Some will eventually
disappear or dim. Don't let them distract you. Pause may
be disabled too. Image quality and interruptions depend
on your local bandwidth. To replay the movie, simply
reload/refresh the page. Click on the tow truck to
HERE to access the site.
• • • • •
Want to see how seriously some cameramen take their job?
THIS ad that kicked off France’s football (soccer)
season aired on French TV last Sept. (0:58)
• • • • •
I used to be amazed back in the '80s looking over the
shoulder of Police Artist Tom Macris and watch him make
magic with a pad and pencil when we were collaborating
on the Cops-a-Field cartoons. I suspect that even
someone as talented as Tom would be impressed with
THIS artist and his two-handed time lapse rendering.
• • • • •
If you recognize the image below of Norman Rockwell’s
1958 Saturday Evening Post magazine cover he titled “The
Runaway,” you may want to click
HERE and enjoy the rest of his work. Our thanks to
Joanne McDougall for sending us the link.
• • • • •
Pictured below is 91-year-old Olivia Turner who wowed
the judges and audience on New Zealand’s Got Talent.
HERE to see why. (2:56)
• • • • •
It’s highly unlikely that the 91-year-old in the video
above can relate to the following item received from Jim
Reporter interviewing a 93-year-old woman: 'And what do
you think is the best thing about being 104?' the
reporter asked. She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'
~ ~ ~
I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a
hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and
diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter
than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that
make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts. I have
bouts with dementia, poor circulation and can hardly
feel my hands and feet anymore. I can't remember if I'm
85 or 92 and have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I
still have my Florida driver's license.
~ ~ ~
I very quietly confided to my best friend that I was
having an affair. She turned to me and asked, 'Are you
having it catered'? And that is the definition of "OLD"
~ ~ ~
My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my
memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
~ ~ ~
Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles
~ ~ ~
It's scary when you start making the same noises as your
~ ~ ~
These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart
says, 'For fast relief.'
~ ~ ~
I don't want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything,
but I can still fit
into the socks I wore in high school.
• • • • •
We are closing the Farsider this week with something
truly spectacular that was received from — not a
surprise — Alice Murphy. Mega kudos to whoever produced
this Hi-Def video of spectacular scenery with various
musicians making isolated appearances while “Ode to Joy”
plays in the background. If you don’t find
THIS enjoyable you may hail from a different planet
than we do. (4:32)
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
We can confirm that the Patriots
are not at
all happy with their new Super Bowl rings...
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