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The Farsider

23, 2012


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.



No report.



Rather than bury this article from yesterday's (Wed.) paper in the Local News for Out-of-Towners column below, we thought we'd place it here at the top so it stands out..

Revised Pension Ballot Advised

—Officials urge softer approach to reform after union criticism—

By John Woolfolk — Mercury News, Feb. 22, 2012

San Jose officials Tuesday called for softening a proposed June ballot measure to trim city worker pensions while acknowledging they failed to reach a deal with employee unions to slow growing retirement costs, ensuring a tough election fight that could draw national interest.

A divided City Council had approved a June ballot measure in December but held off sending it to the registrar of voters to allow for changes based on mediation talks with workers. City Manager Debra Figone said that unless the council votes to change or withdraw the ballot language, it will go to the registrar as it was approved in December. But Figone recommended Tuesday that the council, at its March 6 meeting, soften the language approved in December to reflect union concerns that arose in mediation. The city must submit the language by March 9 to meet the deadline for the June 5 primary election.

The new proposal would reduce additional amounts that employees would have to pay toward their pensions to cover accumulated debt in the retirement system, and make benefits for new hires slightly more generous.

Figone called the revised ballot measure “a critical step toward reducing retirement costs” that is needed to protect the city’s “viability and public safety” while maintaining “fair” retirement benefits for its workers.

But union leaders, who have amped up criticism of the city’s pension approach in recent weeks, were not impressed. Earlier this month, they accused Mayor Chuck Reed and other top city officials of stoking public outrage and stampeding employees into concession talks by claiming the city’s $245 million retirement bill could balloon to $650 million by 2015, a figure union leaders say wasn’t based on solid independent research. The official projection was $400 million but is expected to drop to account for layoffs and pay cuts last year.

“There are 650 million reasons why we oppose this latest ballot measure, and it starts with it being premised on a bogus pension cost projection coming out of the mayor’s office,” said Nancy Ostrowski, who leads a union of city engineers and architects.

San Jose has emerged as a central battleground in a public employee pension cost debate that has gripped state and local government officials nationwide and outraged both taxpayers and unions.

In California, efforts to tackle the problem statewide have stalled. A private group, California Pension Reform, abandoned efforts to put a measure on the ballot earlier this month, blaming Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris for a summary description to voters that its president, Dan Pellissier, called unfair and misleading.

Gov. Jerry Brown last year proposed a package of pension reforms that many lauded as a serious effort but gave long odds of passage through the Democratic state Legislature.

San Jose and San Diego have in turn drawn greater attention for efforts to curb municipal pension costs through June ballot measures. San Diego’s measure, backed by Mayor Jerry Sanders, would put new city workers except for police on 401(k)-type retirement savings plans. City unions fighting the measure claim it violates laws governing labor talks.

The San Jose measure calls for making current workers pay more toward their pensions and reducing retirement benefits for future hires. Union leaders say it would violate their rights and note that the city has warned its bond buyers that its pension reform plans are legally risky.

“They’re telling Wall Street that their pension scheme is chock full of legal risk, but they’re not telling that to the public,” said Robert Sapien, president of the San Jose firefighters union.

San Jose workers already make sizable contributions toward their retirement benefit, which also can include free retirement health insurance premiums. But the city pays more than three times as much as employees, including covering all the “unfunded liability” costs for market losses and retroactive benefit increases.

The proposed ballot measure would have workers pay up to half the “unfunded liability” bill. But the modified measure reduces the cap on how much workers would pay as a percentage of their paycheck.

Reed said he supports Figone’s recommended changes and that they show that the city is making a sincere effort to negotiate with workers.

“We’ve moved a lot, but it’s been in response to what we heard in negotiations,” Reed said. “We’re trying to accommodate the legal constraints and trying to fashion something that works. But the fundamental problem is being addressed, and that’s the key thing. That’s always been my goal, is to solve the problem.”

The changes came the same day as a new report from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research found San Jose has the highest average pension for public safety workers — $90,612 — and second-highest for other employees — $39,076 — among 20 of the state’s largest city and county retirement systems.

The report said future costs will vary greatly depending on assumptions of investment returns that offset city and employee costs. San Jose and other pension plans have been lowering those assumptions to reflect today’s more uncertain market. The report said San Jose would have to pay nearly $400 million this year for retirement benefits if it used conservative risk-free assumptions.




Results from last week's poll

For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott Rasmussen, click on this link:

For the most recent releases, click here:



Feb. 16th

(Received from Jaime Saldivar via Tim Knea)

Richard Huerta's killer is coming up for parole on April 4, 2012. Four years ago the parole board received over 400 letters in opposition of his release. Let's do it again. The letters must be received before the second week of March.

Send them to:

Santa Clara County District Attorneys Office
Lifer Hearing Unit
Attn: Deputy DA Ron Rico/Maria Serrano
70 West Hedding, West Wing
San Jose, CA 95110

Re: Emile Thompson, CDC # B38349


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Feb. 16th

Hi Bill,
To add to the continuing badge saga, I hired on with four other guys on April 22,1968. We, in full-uniform at the PD (then located on the first floor of City Hall at 801 N. First St.) promptly met with Joe Earnshaw at 0800 in his office in Police Personnel.
Joe assembled us in his office and opened his top middle desk drawer. Inside were several randomly numbered badges. Joe told us to look at the badges and, if any number struck anyone right away, go for it. You could pick a number because it matched your weight, IQ, part of your birthdate, whatever. None of us chose a number that was close to the choice of the other new hirees. Checking these badges, we saw that they were made of sterling silver. I can't recall if anyone got a hat piece that matched their badge number, but several months later someone handed me a hat piece that matched my badge number. I polished it up and it still adorns my old hat today.
I recall in later years that some senior officers would hover around Earnshaw's vying for a real low badge number that someone had given up due to his retirement or promotion. I think it was either long-time motor Officer Dick Erickson or patrol favorite Joe Vittoe who ended up with patrolman badge #1. No one seemed to care about it one way or another back in those days.
Tush was right. When we got the new four-digit numbered badges they looked smaller and cheap. And they were cheap. At least we got the option to purchase our old silver badges for, I believe, the bargain price of $25. The idea was that when someone got promoted, the bottom rocker on the badge would be removed and one reading "Sergeant" would be affixed. I think most of the Sergeants purchased their own badges that didn't look quite so cheesy.
Then there's the story about the guy who thought that if he could flatten his badge out he would look more like a senior officer. Unfortunately, he did so using a ball peen hammer. (Good job, Ernie.)
David Byers

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Mike Thompson — a man of few words when he has to type them — sent us a message last Friday that read, "Sure looks like Ken Banner directly behind the Schiekmeister." (Mike later said that's what Rush Limbaugh calls Bill Clinton.)

Below Mike's message was a link to last Thursday's on-line SF Gate portion of the Chronicle. It opened to an article about presidential candidates who have visited San Francisco in the past and included this photo...

I agreed with Mike that the person standing behind Clinton did in fact look like Ken Banner, a former San Jose cop who left the Dept. to join the Secret Service. Many of us who knew Ken at the time were aware that he had been assigned to the Presidential Detail, and since the timing seemed right, we forwarded Mike's e-mail to Ken and asked if it was him with the Cigar Aficionado? This was Ken's reply...

Feb. 17th

Hi Bill,

Man-'o-man, that sure looks like me. Yep, after long reflection, I did work him when he was in SF as a candidate — and it seems like everywhere else in the free world. My assignment was Assistant Detail Leader (ADL), the position in the formation that puts you off his shoulder. This was a challenge because he was taller than me (like most guys). I often told him that "if the s - - t hits the fan" I was going to have to jump up and snatch his ass down. He thought that was funny. While we in the USSS didn't talk politics, I'll have to admit that I enjoyed his jokes, focus, wit, and his eye for "eye candy" in the crowds. After he won, my Mom died, and he sent me a personal note on WH stationery that our family has to this day.

Thanks a million for sharing this one.
(Ken Banner) <Ban2dex@aol.com>

To read the article and view photos of other visits to the City by presidential candidates, click on this link:


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Feb. 20th

I attended Glen Castlio"s service on Saturday. It was nice, and I felt a kinship as he and I delivered a baby on Lincoln Ave. in '61. Without your efforts I would not have even known that he had passed away.

Thank you,

Notifying retirees of the passing of other SJPD family members was one of the primary reasons the Farsider was created, Mike. Fortunately, such notifications are far and few between. Unfortunately, that may be subject to change as time goes on.


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Feb. 20th

Hi Bill,

Thanks for all you do to keep up informed and entertained through the "Farsider." I look forward to receiving it each week for all your updated info.

I am forwarding info on a fund raiser for the son of my longtime friends now living in Colorado. He is a police sergeant in need of a liver transplant. As you will note from my email below, reference to his law enforcement connection on the website was not emphasized, but it was explained as a result of my e-mail below. I will leave it up to you to include it if you feel it's appropriate.

Bev Rettus

After reading the details on the website, Bev sent an e-mail to the Longmont PD that read:

Where can I send a check? Also, I don't see any reference to his law enforcement connection. I would be happy to pass this info on to our local PD but would like to see some PD connection.

She received the following response:

Thanks for wanting to help. We tried to keep the LE connection to a minimum on the public site. The picture of Chris was taken while he attended the FBI National Academy last year. Chris is a 20-year officer and is now a patrol Sgt. who served on the SWAT team for 15 years. Please feel free to call the department and speak with Chief Butler or any of the Commanders to confirm. I totally understand your concern and would expect nothing else from fellow LE officers. We see too much not to be suspicious, especially of online types of things. Our department is Longmont PD and the main line is 303.651.8555. All checks should be made to Chris Schmad.

Thanks for taking the time to inquire. Be safe.

Officer Greg Ruprecht
Longmont PD

(E-mail the Farsider for Greg's home address for checks. Credit card info on website below.)

Longmont PD Sgt. Chris Schmad
 is in need of a liver transplant

The website is soliciting donations to help defray the cost of a liver transplant. The money will be used for medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance. For the details and/or to send a donation, click on this link...



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Feb. 20th

When I came on in 1954 I was issued badge #83, and when I was promoted to Sgt. I was given sergeant's badge #65. When I made Lt. I was issued a "real gold" lieutenant's badge (#33). When the 4-digit badges were issued I was assigned #1045.

Because of the value of the original gold Lt.'s badge I was concerned that if my house was ever burgled the badges would go, so I "secreted" them in the residence, where they remained "secreted" for over 20 years. Unfortunately, they were "secreted" so well that the "secretor" was unable to "unsecret" them, so I was forced to purchase a set of the centennial badges when they became available. Later, I was able to "unsecret" the original badges, so I now have the originals as well as the centennial set.

Point of conversation: When I was a patrolman and we issued a citation, we wrote the citation number on the tag, not our badge number. A separate number was issued to each officer for citations, and that number had no correlation to our badge numbers.  This often became a conversation starter when citizens got animated and demanded, "Give me your badge number!"

(Bob Moir)

Back then, you probably would have been safe writing your badge number on your citations, Robert. Since you would have been writing with a stick of charcoal on a ticket made from parchment, it's unlikely the errant motorist would have been able to discern your badge number!



From last Sunday's paper comes this editorial opinion on San Jose pension reform issue. I see some truth and some spin. What see you?

No Conspiracy in San Jose’s Pension Mess

Editorial — Mercury News, Feb. 19, 2012

Now that the smoke has cleared, it’s obvious there’s no substance behind the propaganda grenade that’s been lobbed at San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed over his use of a worst-case estimate of pension obligations in 2015-16.

Claims that the city retirement director asked for and got a bogus pension projection from the independent actuary Cheiron are ridiculous, too.

And if city unions made concessions last year because of the mayor’s rhetoric, they were not paying attention. The budget deficit last June was no projection. It was an actual shortage for the current year, when pension costs totaled $245 million, more than three times what they were a decade ago. If union leaders regret making concessions to save 400 colleagues’ jobs, well, at least city residents can be grateful that libraries are open for a few more hours and that there aren’t even fewer police officers on the streets.

The most unfortunate thing about this smoke screen is that it obscures the continuing need for pension reform to keep San Jose’s plans solvent and maintain city services.

Reed has done himself and the city no favors with his insensitivity to employees’ morale — telling cops risking their lives every day that they’re on a gravy train, for example, and proposing a pension reform measure last May so extreme much of it would not have held up in court. But as to that $650 million worst-case scenario he talked about — if the use of hyperbole were a capital offense, no politician would be left alive. This all blew up with a report by KNTV on Feb. 8 that appeared to be coordinated with union leaders, who scheduled a news conference the next day and had an ethics complaint against the mayor all set to go.

The premises were that Reed persisted in using the $650 million estimate after he was told not to and that retirement director Russell Crosby asked an outside actuary last June to cook up misleading projections.

Crosby mentioned the $650 million at a public meeting in February and says he later told Michael Moehle on his staff to tell the mayor’s office not to use it. Both Moehle and the mayor’s staffer involved are no longer with the city and haven’t returned our reporters’ phone calls, so we can’t verify this.

But Reed seems to have used the number only as a worst-case possibility. The operative 2015 figure in city analyses was the actuary’s, around $400 million, as the unions well knew.

As to Cheiron, an email from Crosby has been taken out of context. Crosby asked the independent actuary to check a previously released number that city finance officials had questioned. The new pay and employment numbers based on concessions and layoffs were sent to Cheiron about the same time as this request, but it took Cheiron until November to analyze them. That’s when the lower forecasts began.

Did Reed exaggerate projections to get the council to declare a budget emergency and adopt his drastic pension reform proposal? Maybe. But it would have been stupid. The new numbers were going to come out anyway.

Pension projections now are down mostly because there are fewer employees and lower salaries. But that’s no long-term budget solution. San Jose will need to improve services again and to eventually hire employees at competitive salaries.

Pension reform still is needed. We had hoped city unions would agree on a plan.

We still do. But time is running out for a June ballot measure, and this latest circus sure hasn’t helped.

The unfortunate thing about this smoke screen is that it obscures the continuing need for pension reform to keep San Jose’s plans solvent and maintain city services.


• • • • •

No one ever said you had to have a Bachelor's degree in Logic to get a letter published in the paper. This is from Monday's paper...

Unions Have No Right to Be Upset at Reed

Letter to the Editor — Mercury News, Feb. 20,2012

Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the public employee unions are upset regarding San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s use of approximate deficit figures (“Ethics panel lawyer: Mayor is in the clear,” Page 7B, Feb. 15)? After all, if it were not for the unions’ greed the deficit number, whatever it is, wouldn’t be an issue, now would it? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Ed Rosiak

We had to go back to Local section page 7B of the Feb. 15th Mercury News to find the article the Cupertino resident referenced in the letter above. Don't know how we missed it, but we did...

Ethics Panel Lawyer: Mayor is in the Clear

—Union alleging Reed exaggerated pension problem—

By John Woolfolk
Mercury News, Feb. 15, 2012

A union complaint accusing San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed of exaggerating the city’s pension problem hit a roadblock Tuesday when a city ethics commission lawyer concluded the allegations wouldn’t violate city laws under the commission’s jurisdiction.

The San Jose Elections Commission, which reviews complaints about alleged violations of city campaign, ethics and lobbying rules, is scheduled to consider the complaint at its Wednesday meeting.

But Mike Moye, an attorney with the Hanson Bridgett law firm in San Francisco, which evaluates complaints for the commission, said “we find no cause to conduct an investigation as the complaint fails to allege facts” that would violate the municipal code “for which the commission has jurisdiction to act.”

Christopher Platten, the union lawyer who filed the complaint last week, said he wasn’t surprised and that employees would ask the City Council to refer the complaint to an independent investigator to determine whether the mayor or others violated city policies. Moye noted that council members may seek a hearing on complaints against the mayor and other council members.

“I think the council has an obligation under its own policies to investigate misleading statements of material fact,” Platten said.

The complaint accused Reed, city Retirement Services Director Russell Crosby and one of his former staffers, Michael Moehle, of overstating worst-case projections last year that San Jose’s retirement costs could hit $650million by 2015, stampeding workers into unnecessary concessions.

The complaint said Crosby and Moehle knew the figure wasn’t based on independent analysis and even advised the mayor not to use it but that Reed continued to cite it as he sought support for a controversial June ballot measure to shrink the city’s retirement costs. The unions argue such a measure would be illegal.

“Why didn’t the mayor tell the council that the $650 million dollar projection was off the top of Russell Crosby’s head and that he was told not to use the faulty projection?” unions representing police, firefighters and other workers asked in a statement Tuesday. Reed has called the union complaint frivolous “political theater.” He said the $650 million figure was just a potential scenario always cited with a smaller official $400 million projection, a figure now expected to drop because of last year’s layoffs and pay cuts. Reed said budget cuts and concession talks stemmed from actual retirement costs that more than tripled in a decade to $245 million for pensions and free health care premiums for many city retirees.

But Reed has maintained that the $650 million figure is “still a reasonable estimate,” citing a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research report in December — which unions also criticized — that stated: “in the pessimistic scenario, city retirement expenditures increase $663.8million above 2012 levels.”



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

New Articles

• Photograph purportedly shows a moose hanging from power lines.

• Photographs purportedly show politically themed floats from a German parade.

• Photograph purportedly shows the remains of an 8-inch, mummified fairy found in Derbyshire.

• Do lobsters mate for life?

• Is coconut oil an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease?

• Georgia held a hearing to determine Barack Obama's eligibility to appear on that state's ballot as a presidential candidate.

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!

Worth a Second Look

• Do cats suck the breath from babies?

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.



If you are interested in the beginning of the end of the war in the Pacific during WWII, this four-part film sent in by Phil Norton will take you on one of the many raids on Tokyo by numerous B-29s with P-51s flying escort. These were the missions that culminated with the dropping of "Little Boy" over Hiroshima and "Fat Man" over Nagasaki that ended the war with Japan. The film was produced in 1945 by the War Department with footage shot in technicolor by Combat Camera Units.

YouTube control panel — lower right corner of screen

Because the footage was shot with 16mm color film and may look overly grainy if viewed in full screen, I recommend you click on the larger of the two rectangles (second icon from the right) after the film starts. This will enlarge the image while keeping the graininess to a minimum. To go to full screen, click on the icon on the far right after the film begins.

Part 1: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH-toQZPAog>

Part 2: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P7SQJjLpTY>

Part 3: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nnf6_ROisQ>

Part 4: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osgxcfLCs-Y>



I'm not a member of Facebook, but Leroy is, and he sent in an e-mail with an item from Don Hale's Facebook page. For those of you unaware, Don's wife, Gloria, is suffering from ALS (a/k/a Lou Gherig's Disease), which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. A close friend of Don's posted the following message on Don's Facebook page in response to the Valentine's Day video below that begins with a 10-second ultra close-up of Don's thumb...

"What does Love look like? It looks like this. This is the sweetest Valentine's Day video I've ever seen, and I wanted to share it with you, my friends. Gloria is a dear friend who has ALS, and her husband Don had a little surprise planned for her on Valentine's Day. (I love you both!)."



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Tired of the political circus that's going on? Tom Macris is, so am I, and many of you probably are as well. So why not focus your mind on something that may have deeper ramifications for the future of mankind. Tom sent in two clips. The first is a compilation of UFO sightings in 2011; the second is a compilation of (for lack of a better description) sounds emanating from (nobody knows). One thing is for sure: the two clips will get your mind off politics for a brief period of time...




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Roger Finton says he was surfing the Web when he ran across a short video entitled "The History of the San Jose Police Department." Those of you who have a 1983 SJPD Commemorative Album will recognize many of the photos in the clip from the book's history section. Despite the fact that the video was uploaded to YouTube over two years ago, we had no idea it existed. Have a look...



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This is an incredible video captured by a video camera mounted on a radio-controlled airplane as it flew around the Rhine Valley and other parts of Germany. There are dozens and dozens of scenes, most of which you can spot the pilot. Don't miss the "splash down" and "water rescue" at the end...



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If you take photos of your grandkids with a smart phone, you would do well to watch this video from Bruce Morton. Seriously!



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This clip from Bruce Fair includes historical film footage of reunions shot between 1913 and 1938 of Civil War veterans who fought on both sides. Bruce says viewers should stay with the video until they see the stats at the end of the video showing the numbers of lives lost in all of America's major wars...



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John Kregel says there's one in every family, and he sent in a video that proves it...


Speaking of monkeys, don't take offense if you are of Irish descent, but anyone can be taught step-dancing...


When it comes to funny monkey videos, however, this 16-second clip is still our all-time favorite...



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If it was possible to trim at least 20 years from my current age, I could go to my grave with a smile on my face knowing that I might have had the opportunity to own and fly one of these machines. C'est la vie...



• • • • •

Gary Johnson says this is so wrong. My thoughts run along the line that adult males who pull this prank on kids should be zapped in their testicles with a taser...



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You gun fans might be interested in watching this clip sent in by Pete Salvi, but don't waste your time by e-mailing us and asking where you can pick up one of those nifty 50-round Glock magazines because we haven't the slightest idea...



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If you have cat and it has the run of the house during the day while you are gone — and you have been experiencing exceptionally high water bills — this could be the reason...



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Have a look and listen at this clip from Sharon Lansdowne about a 5-year-old who calls 911 because her dad is having chest pains. The audio is presented by this TV talk show host...



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We can't help but wonder how the ladies among you would react to this prank we received from Bruce Morton? Would you cooperate by trying to replace the item in question? Or — like a couple of divorced women I know — stomp on it and crush it to powder?



• • • • •

Bruce also sent in this video that combines three of Hahn beer's best commercials. The title is "Romantic Men," but the theme is more in line with "Why women are sometimes justified to shoot a man."



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This is Tommy Johnson, and he claims to be the "real boogie man." After watching this three-minute clip, we're inclined to agree...



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A "ditty" is defined as a short, simple song, and that's a perfect description of this one entitled "Senior Moments" sent in by Phil Norton...



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Mr. Macris thinks it's amazing that this toddler has learned to read at such an early age, especially since the 67-year-old retired police artist is still working on his reading skills...



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I was reluctant to include this golf clip received from Bob Namba because it hits too close to home...



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This Little Casanova prank from Lumpy is cuter than it is funny, but it should still be worth 2 minutes of your time...



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OK, magic spoilers, explain how this magician pulls off this illusion involving numerous pigeons (or white doves). Whatever they are, the clip from Chuck Blackmore seems to defy explanation...



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Final item for the week: If Leroy and I thought it would do any good, we'd send this cell phone video footage taken by drug smugglers to Janet Napolitano and ask, "Just how secure did you say the US-Mexican border was?" If there's anything positive about this clip, at least these are dope smugglers and not Islamic terrorists with bombs strapped to their bodies. Border security? What a joke!



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That's a wrap for the week. Thanks for visiting.



Pic of the Week:

Is this guy looking at you, or is he looking off to your left?
Keep your eye on him for a few seconds, then blink...


Scrolling Box

This is the message box, using the scroller component.



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