March 6, 2014
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
I want you to know that I have announced my retirement effective June 1st, on my
69th birthday. I will then become a reserve chaplain and work 20 hours a week
with the retirees and those in the hospitals.
You should receive an entry for the Farsider from the Chaplaincy Board.
Thanks for all your help!
While this is good news
for us retirees, Dave's retirement will be a loss for the active personnel, but
they will be in excellent hands with the service that Chaplain Jim Becknall will
Dave became a
member of the SJPD and the Chaplaincy on May 1, 1986. Over the 28 years that
have since passed he has had a significant impact on the lives of not just the
members and families of the SJPD, but of the officers and family members of
other local agencies that have asked for his assistance in their times of need.
And Dave's requested response to crime scenes involving homicide victims and
other major calls where a chaplain was needed cannot be overstated.
Following is a letter we received from the President and Vice President of the
To the San Jose Police family,
The Chaplaincy board supports Chaplain Dave Bridgen in his decision to retire
from full-time ministry and from his position as head Chaplain. We have
unanimously asked Dave to stay on with the Chaplaincy with the title of
Emeritus is a title that denotes the perpetual status of the founder of an
organization or individuals who moved the organization to new heights as a
former key member in the organization. This title is given only to a person of
Dave has been instrumental not only in the success of the Chaplaincy program but
in the lives of countless members of our police family. He will no longer have
set office hours or administrative responsibilities. We are encouraging him to
stay connected with current Department members and retired officers, as well as
attend POA and PBA meetings, and provide counseling and wisdom to the entire
It has been an honor and privilege to support Dave and his work over all these
years, and we are happy that he has agreed to stay on and support our
We will be holding a retirement celebration for Dave in the coming months.
Thank you, Dave, and well done to a good and faithful servant.
The Chaplaincy Board of Directors,
Jeremy Martinez, President
Todd Lonac, Vice President/Treasurer
Don't read too much into
the headline of this article from last Saturday's paper...
Possible Break in Pension
sign of cooperation, leaders from city, unions hold series of meetings
By Mike Rosenberg
Mercury News March 1, 2014
SAN JOSE After years of
intense fighting, the city and its employee unions are discussing a settlement
of at least parts of a pension battle that has divided San Jose over key issues
ranging from taxpayer costs to police staffing.
The settlement talks over Measure B pension reforms, disclosed Friday, have an
outside shot of ending a landmark court clash that leaders across the country
are watching as similar pension feuds bubble up from coast to coast. And the
results of the negotiations could have major implications in this years crowded
race to replace outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed.
A handful of leaders and attorneys from the city and public safety unions have
quietly been meeting for the past several weeks, the first sign of cooperation
between the two sides. An agreement might require another ballot measure as soon
as this November. But both sides say a deal to resolve the entire case is still
a ways off. Reed, Measure Bs chief sponsor, would rather seek a higher courts
blessing to change statewide pension laws than settle with unions. But other
city leaders including four mayoral candidates are facing pressure to settle
the case to appease police officers who argue city pension cuts have spawned a
police exodus as the citys crime rate continues to climb.
Union officials said the talks could ultimately lead to a settlement of the
entire case but that they were not yet optimistic. City Attorney Rick Doyle
confirmed the city has had preliminary discussions but declined to comment
further. If there was a willing partner and a path to get us there, we are
willing to go along, said Sgt. Jim Unland, the police union president.
Voters in June 2012 handily approved Measure B to force existing employees to
pay more toward their pensions, as retirement costs have tripled in the past
decade and now make up 20 percent of the citys general- fund budget. Other
significant changes included less-generous pensions for new hires and disability
retirement limits, two major issues on which the city and union are now working
toward a resolution.
After the ballot measure passed, the unions sued, citing California court
rulings that effectively hold that government employees pension plans cannot be
reduced after they are hired, even for future years they havent yet worked.
Since then, hundreds of police officers have retired or quit to work for better
paying cities, leaving San Joses police force short-staffed while arrests have
plummeted and crimes have increased. City leaders argued the pension cuts were
needed to curb runaway retirement costs that are devouring funding needed for
employee raises, hiring more officers and other programs. In December, a Santa
Clara County Superior Court judge ruled the city couldnt force its employees to
pay more toward their pensions. But she upheld several other cost-saving
measures. Both groups were expected to appeal in the coming weeks, though the
new negotiations could change that. The case could ultimately end up before the
California Supreme Court, where justices could set a precedent for other cities
seeking to raise employee pension contributions. That gives Reed and his allies
incentive to keep going with the court battle. There are important principles
here, the mayor said, brushing aside the settlement plan. We want to be able
to control skyrocketing costs, and it looks like were going to have to get the
California Supreme Court to tell us what the law is. But a deal would save
other San Jose city leaders plenty of problems in the short term. Four of Reeds
10 council allies, who also supported Measure B, are running to replace him. The
police and firefighter unions, among others, say Measure B has made the city
less safe and could heat up their attacks as the June primary nears.
The pro-pension reform candidates Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and council
members Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera and Pierluigi Oliverio are going up against
Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, whom the unions fervently support.
Voters appear to be torn they overwhelmingly supported pension reform, but
recent polls also suggest the citys rising crime problem is residents top
concern, and they desperately want more police on the street.
February 28, 2014
San Jose Firefighters and Police Officers Angry Over Mayoral Candidate's Lie
It is unfortunate that Sam
Liccardo would misinform the public in a manner that puts his mayoral ambitions
before fixing the flaws of Measure B. The City Council authorized the City
Manager to enter into confidential settlement discussions with police officers
and firefighters to fix the divisive Measure B and for him to imply that we have
not been willing to come to the table to discuss a solution is a flat out lie.
Over the past several weeks we have begun discussions with City Manager Ed
Shikada and with City Attorney Rick Doyle, at their behest, to try and fix the
disability provisions in Measure B as well as the second tier pension benefit
and certain provisions contained in Measure V. The City Manager should be
commended for facilitating these discussions. We hope that Mr. Liccardo's
self-serving antics will not derail this dialogue.
Prior to these discussions both the police and fire representatives agreed that
nothing in these settlement discussions could be used in the ongoing litigation
over Measure B and that the discussions should be confidential.
Sam Liccardo knows this and it is disingenuous and sneaky for him to imply that
we have not accepted the City Manager's offer to enter into legal settlement
discussions to fix the flawed Measure B.
Click here for a link to Sam Liccardo's recent on-line Town Hall discussion:
Contact: Tom Saggau, 408-209-6813
We received a request from
Tamara Davis to advise our retiree membership that the Santa Clara County Civil
Grand Jury is looking for volunteers. Here are the details:
The Court is currently recruiting for the 2014-2015 Civil Grand Jury. We are
seeking dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We need a deep bench of
knowledge. I believe San Jose Police officers would make a great addition to the
Civil Grand Jury. We want volunteers who are interested in contributing to the
efficiency and integrity of local government.
You can learn more about the Civil Grand Jury by visiting our webpage at
For those wishing more information, I have a brochure I can send electronically.
The recruitment deadline is March 14, 2014.
Tamara Davis, Ph. (408) 882-2721
New Leadership in San Jose 2014
Can Dave Cortese Count On You?
San Jose is in dire need of
new leadership and your opportunity to make sure that happens is fast
approaching. The four City Councilmembers running for Mayor all supported
Measure B, they all voted for Measure V and W and each of them is now trying to
fool San Jose voters into believing that they are tough on crime and want to
protect public safety.
There's a word for that and it starts with bull. San Jose needs Supervisor Dave
Cortese and Dave Cortese needs you. Won't you log onto this link and make a
contribution to help Dave become San Jose's next Mayor?
As the June primary
election approaches, Dave will be attacked for wanting to fix the flaws of
Measure B. He will be attacked for standing up for police officers and fire
fighters and making sure that if we get hurt in the line of duty that we are not
forgotten. The same crowd that brought San Jose the disastrous Measures V, W and
B will attack Dave, and he needs our help.
Won't you do your part and make sure Supervisor Dave
Cortese has the resources to fight back and fight for what's right? Go here to
support Dave and ensure he has the necessary resources to tell San Jose voters
Contribute $20.14 for a few
months for new leadership, contribute for a new direction in San Jose,
contribute to fight back against those that want to deceive the voters. Dave
can't do it alone, he needs our help. Do your part by logging on and making a
small sacrifice to bring new leadership to San Jose in 2014!
"Voters support reform of
California's death penalty. It has become ineffective because of waste, delays,
and inefficiencies. Fixing it will save California taxpayers millions of dollars
every year, assure due process protections for those sentenced to death and
promote justice for murder victims and their families. Death row inmates have
murdered over 1,000 victims, including 229 children and 43 police officers; 235
victims were raped and 90 victims were tortured. It's time California reformed
our death penalty process so it works."
PORAC has joined a coalition including California District Attorneys
Association, Crime Victims United of California and others to reform our death
penalty laws. We are asking all of our members, their families and friends to
support the initiative drive currently underway across our State. We need your
signatures to place a ballot initiative before the voters of California this
November. To read more about the initiative, click here:
Before or after your shift (off-duty), please come by
the POA and sign the petition. It will only take a minute.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE S.J.P.D.
Don't be surprised if you see these types of guest commentaries
showing up in the paper from members of the City Council who are running for
Mayor. And keep in mind the following excerpt from an editorial in last week's
Mercury News (and Farsider) if you choose to read the article below by Madison
Nguyen. She is one of of the City Council members who threw her political weight
behind the passage of Measure B
"San Jose council members
running for mayor are trying to re-brand themselves as public safety advocates.
Sam Liccardo has his crime plan manifesto, Pierluigi Oliverio has his 40 percent
budget gimmick and Madison Nguyen wants to restore the burglary unit because she
is now hearing from the affluent areas of San Jose.
"These proposals are all mayoral political stunts.
"Claiming to be leaders who can restore neighborhood safety while ignoring their
own culpability must cause these politicians heartburn, since they all voted for
policies that have made us less safe."
Nguyen's op-ed piece...)
City, Police Must Find Way to
Restore Burglary Unit
By Madison Nguyen District 7 Councilmember
Mercury News Feb. 28, 2014
Public safety has been on
everyones mind over the past year, especially with the citywide increase in
burglaries. As a City Council, we have asked the Police Department to step up to
a number of challenges. But law enforcement has had significant challenges at
the state level as well.
For example, a number of public safety responsibilities have been realigned from
the state to the county, which has shifted more work to the local level and may
have led to an increase in some crimes. Additionally, the courts have ordered
California to reduce its prison population by roughly 30,000.
Over the same time period, property crimes in Santa Clara County have increased
by more than 20 percent. This is painfully obvious to residents, and it is time
the San Jose Police Department specifically addressed this growing concern.
As vice chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, I propose that we begin
working with the department to prioritize restoring the burglary unit and
allocating the resources to both investigate existing cases and better respond
to new ones.
Throughout the city, council members hear from constituents about the lack of
response from the Police Department to the rising number of burglaries. We have
all seen videos on the news and likely all know someone with a story about how
the police didnt have the time to immediately respond to a report of a crime.
We must work with SJPD to address this and give the department the resources to
Two years ago we had more than seven detectives and several sergeants working
burglary cases. Today the vast majority of property crimes are handled by patrol
officers, who work them as best as they are able in addition to fulfilling their
patrol duties. While SJPD has certainly shown flexibility and willingness to try
new staffing models, this is not having enough of an impact. Thieves are
becoming more brazen and in many cases burglarize neighborhoods in the middle of
Reprioritizing property crimes and dedicating more officers to investigate them
will likely mean strategically deploying officers from other duties and
enlisting our new community service officers, who can be trained to do much of
the investigative work patrol officers are currently being asked to perform.
It may also mean finding ways to utilize retired police officers with the
experience needed to fully investigate burglaries.
We can also help residents take preventive measures to keep these crimes from
This includes continuing successful programs like TABS (Truancy Abatement
Burglary Suppression), which keeps kids in school and out of trouble. We also
now have officers interacting directly with businesses, as in the case of the
downtown foot patrol program.
These programs certainly help and should continue, but we must do more. The
bottom line is that property crimes are increasing and we must aggressively
As we work with our Police Department to restore the burglary unit, we will need
to work together to address hiring issues and reach our budget level of 1,109
sworn officers with a goal of restoring the department to a level meeting
national standards. As we work to accomplish this level of staffing, our
residents deserve better. They need to feel safe in their neighborhoods, and we
need to be able to have officers respond to burglaries when our residents report
Madison Nguyen represents District 7, Central San Jose, on the City Council and
is running for mayor. She wrote this for this newspaper.
Last Week's Poll
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
Bob Moir spotted the
obit below about a former San Jose police sergeant in last Saturday's paper
Feb. 11, 1933
- Feb. 21, 2014
Resident of Lincoln, CA
Carl passed away
unexpectedly shortly after his 81st birthday. He was a loving husband to his
wife Irene, a great father to his 4 children, Mike (Vicki), Ronnie
(predeceased), Denise (Rich), Christine (Gary); his grandchildren, Robert,
Randy, Courtney, Jodi, Jason, Nicole and Anthony; and his great-grandchildren,
Mckenzie, Sutton, Joecyln and Casey.
Carl spent a lot of his years in the Service, in which he loved. U.S. Army for
17 years, San Jose Police Dept. for 14 years, U.S. Armed Forces, 2 Wars.
Carl loved serving in the U.S. Army for 17 years during which he participated in
two wars. He was also a sergeant with the San Jose Police Department for 14
Memorial Services will be held in May at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.
Here's my take on the latest International crisis as of today, Tuesday evening,
but things could change before I send this.
Putin wins again. As for Obama, you win some, you lose some. Regarding Obama's
relationship with Putin, it's more like you lose some, you lose some. President
Obama got outfoxed and outflanked. Bully or no bully, Putin wins this contest.
Hard to admit, I know, but it's not the first time an American President has
been embarrassed or out maneuvered, and it will not be the last.
What can we as a nation do at this particular juncture? Not a whole lot. We're
too late. We're too broke. We're too tired of war. Our forces are depleted. We
got caught off guard and out of position, too far away. As for economic
sanctions, they will hurt the West worse than Russia, especially in Europe.
About all we can do is wait. Sometimes waiting is the most difficult thing to
do, but sometimes it is the wisest as well at the only practical option for the
time. Not wait in weakness. Just be patient in our strength. Wait for an
opportunity to appear in the fog of crisis. Stay alert. Hold together, speak
softly and carry ourselves in integrity. See the situation through the eyes of
reality, not through the scope of a rifle. The situation is what it is. Tone it
down. Nothing rash, no shooting, no economic sanctions that won't work and could
only harm us in the long run. Accept the fact that we were messing around in
somebody else's backyard.
The bully has won this round, and there is not a whole lot we can do about it.
Be smart. Conserve our energy. Gather our wits. Know the board ten moves and
three years ahead. Remain cautious, but determined. Act from strength. Wait for
the next round.
There is little doubt that President Obama is
between a barack and a hard place. I would wager that the outcome of the Russian
invasion of the Crimean peninsula will have an impact to some degree on the
upcoming mid-terms in November and possibly the 2016 presidential election. That
outcome could benefit the Democrats or the GOP depending on who says what that
can be replayed in political TV ads in front of millions of voters as each
election approaches. In the meantime, I would like to dispel the rumor that
President Obama has had a recording studio set up in the West Wing and that he
is in the process of recording his version of "Crimea River."
Just wanted you to know I received a few leads from our retired ranks. One lead
led me back to 1992 when Captain DArcy first established the Historical
Society. In a letter sent out to gather support, it states that a retired
officer is in possession of the Old Police Sign and that steps were being
taken to obtain it. (The retiree is unknown and I don't know how the
negotiations went). So it appears that one of our retirees has it. I just have
to convince him to return it so we can put the historical piece back into
service. I am willing to sweeten the deal with some money so I hope that will
loosen his grip!
I have included a photo of the sign above the garage at the old City Hall
Thanks for all your help in getting the info out!
Jr. (John Carr, Jr.)
SJPD Historical Society
Mayor and City
Council Security Officer Bill Leavy and the late Bobby
Burroughs salvage the police sign that hung above the garage
at the old City Hall on Market St. as seen in the photos below...
The sign hangs above the garage tunnel
over the "Police Department" sign
Both of you guys do a great job on the Farsider. You cover so much information
that I have to pick and choose that which interests me the most. I allow myself
only one hour a day on the computer. It seems that I just finish one Farsider
and another one comes up.
I have enjoyed the animal portion. A little smile and laughter makes my day. In
the brave new world I am not so brave. I still enjoy the world away from my
computer. Although my eyes are a little dimmer, my breath a little shorter and
my hearing has slipped away, I still enjoy the smells, the sights and the music
Keep up the good work which adds to all of our lives.
Thanks for the kind words, Orville. Sounds to us like you still
have it together. Stay fit.
And that brings us to this final Mail Call item where we pose the question: Do
you recognize this lady? Hundreds of you should. The retiree who sent it in
prefers to remain anonymous, which is fine with us. To the mystery woman, we are
very proud of you and what you have accomplished. Click on the link below if you
don't recognize her...
DEFENDER TURNED DOWN FOR DOJ POST
With Democratic support, the Senate voted yesterday NOT to
confirm President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights
Division of the DOJ. Why is this significant? Adegbile was a staunch defender of
Mumia Abu-Jamal who was convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of
Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner back in 1981. What initially
surprised us was that Senate Majority Leader Harry "The Munchkin" Reid voted
with 7 other Democrats and all the Republicans not to confirm the nomination.
But Harry is a wily fox, and according to the Washington Post story below, his
No vote will allow him to bring up the nomination again at a later date. What we
found amusing was that Reid was solely responsible for pulling the trigger on
the so-called Nuclear Option a few months ago. Had he not done so, Adegbile
would have been confirmed. So it turns out that the Senate Majority leader's
grand scheme of changing the Senate's voting rules came back and bit him
squarely on the ass. (Can we hear an Amen?)
the article below. But if you choose to read it by clicking on this link you may
find some of the 100+ readers' comments about the story interesting...
Senate Rejects Obama
Appointment of Debo Adegbile to Top Civil Rights Post
By Wesley Lowery and Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post March 5, 2014
Opponents of President
Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division prevailed
in blocking his confirmation Wednesday, as he failed to clear a procedural
Eight Senate Democrats,
including Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), joined with Republicans in
voting against Debo Adegbile, whose nomination was adamantly and vocally opposed
by conservatives due to his participation in an appeal filed on behalf of Mumia
Abu-Jamal -- an internationally-known prisoner convicted of the 1981 murder of
Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
The vote was expected to be close with Vice President Biden on hand to
potentially cast a tie-breaking vote but the final tally was 47-52 in
opposition to the appointment.
Reid initially voted for Adegbile, but he switched his vote to no, giving him
the right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again at a later date.
Adegbile becomes the first Obama nominee rejected under the new Senate
procedures approved in November that require just a majority of senators present
to agree to proceed to a vote on most presidential nominees.
Other Democrats who voted against the Obama nominee were Chris Coons (Del.),
Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.V.),
Joe Donnolly (Ind.) and John Walsh (Mont.).
I made a conscientious decision after talking to the wife of the victim,
Manchin told reporters. But the senator, who usually likes engaging with
reporters, was otherwise tight-lipped on his decision, saying repeatedly that I
made a conscientious decision.
The decision by seven Democrats to buck their party leadership and the White
House caused a rare split in the Democratic caucus, which usually votes in
lockstep on Obamas nominees. A senior aide to one of the senators who voted
against the pick said several offices were very angry with the White House for
moving ahead with the Adegbile nomination even though they knew it created an
unnecessarily uncomfortable and politically treacherous vote for several
vulnerable Democrats in tough reelection races this year.
"It's a vote you didn't have to take. It's a 30-second ad that writes
itself, said the aide, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly.
Adegbile, 47, spent more than a decade working for the NAACPs Legal Defense
Fund, where he served as the groups in-house voting rights expert. The legal
defense fund began its work on Abu-Jamal's behalf well before Adegbile began
working for it, however he did contribute to the filing of a 2009 court brief
that argued that Abu-Jamal faced a discriminatory jury an appeal later found
to have merit by a judge.
But, that participation in Abu-Jamal's appeals, opponents including
Faulkner's widow have argued, should disqualify him from holding any publicly
appointed position in the justice system.
Several prominent Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.), took the floor Wednesday to speak in opposition to the nomination and
in hopes of swaying vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in red states.
Prominent Democrats including members of the Congressional Black Caucus have
defended Adegbile's nomination and resume, arguing that his lengthy history of
work on voting rights issues made him supremely qualified for the post.
In the final speech before the vote, Reid called the GOP opposition to
Adegbile "an affront to what it means to live in America," and noting
Adegbile's history with working on voting rights cases said it is part of a
larger Republican strategy to disenfranchise minority and impoverished voters.
"They want fewer voting people. They don't want people to vote and they
especially don't want poor people to vote." Reid said.
But in the end, it was the votes of Democrats not those of Republicans that
doomed Adegbile's nomination.
"At a time when the Civil Rights Division urgently
needs better relations with the law enforcement community, I was troubled by the
idea of voting for an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who would face
such visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job,"
Coons said, in a statement released after the vote. "The vote I cast today was
one of the most difficult I have taken since joining the Senate, but I believe
it to be right for the people I represent."
~ ~ ~
If you are unfamiliar
with the details of the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner, listen to Sen. Pat
Toomey as he addresses his colleagues and explains why Adegbile should not be
confirmed. (12 Mins.)
~ ~ ~
And this is a Jan. 8,
2014 clip of Megyn Kelly of Fox News discussing Obama's nomination of Abegbile
for the post of Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's Civil Rights
Division. It also describes what transpired on that fateful day in 1981. (8 Mins.)
~ ~ ~
To cap it off, this is
President Obama's official statement after learning that the Senate failed to
confirm Debo Adegbile
Statement from the President
on the Senates Failure to Confirm Debo Adegbile
The Senates failure to
confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of
Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good
and qualified public servant. Mr. Adegbiles qualifications are impeccable. He
represents the best of the legal profession, with wide-ranging experience, and
the deep respect of those with whom he has worked. His unwavering dedication to
protecting every Americans civil and Constitutional rights under the law
including voting rights could not be more important right now. And Mr.
Adegbiles personal story rising from adversity to become someone who
President Bushs Solicitor General referred to as one of the nations most
capable litigators is a story that proves what America has been and can be for
people who work hard and play by the rules. As a lawyer, Mr. Adgebile has played
by the rules. And now, Washington politics have used the rules against him. The
fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation
of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice
and those who voted against his nomination denied the American people an
outstanding public servant.
NEW SJPOA VANGUARD
The March 2014 edition of the
eVanguard is online. Hard copies of the magazine are in the mail and will be
arriving soon if they haven't already been received. Click on the link below to
download a .pdf file of the March Vanguard.
NEWSLETTER ALSO ON LINE AND AVAILABLE
Click on the link below to download the March edition of the
Billy & Spanner, then click on the newsletter link on the right side of the
page. That will download a .pdf file of the new Billy & Spanner to your desktop
that you can open with a double-click of your mouse.
OH SHUT UP!
I am as sick and tired of those on the Left who
complain that the one percenters don't pay their "fair share" in taxes as I am
of those one-percenters on the Right who cry and moan that they already pay more
than their far share. None of them will receive any Kleenex from me. If I had my
druthers I would tape their mouths shut with duct tape and wrap it around their
heads a dozen times to ensure it stays put. All these multi-millionaires do is
stir up discontent among the masses, which includes you, me and everyone else on
the Right, Left and Center.
Why the rant? Look at the net worth and wages of some of the more popular cable
TV news personalities below. They already have more than enough dough to last
them, their kids and grandkids the rest of their lives. Instead of agitating
people, they should retire and enjoy the money they have made instead of adding
to their piles of Benjamins by pissing all of us off. In essence, all they have
done is help tear the country apart. And keep in mind that those I have listed
are just a smattering of the uber rich cable and network news celebrities who
are out there.
Disagree? Let me have it and
feel free to use both barrels. That's what the Mail Call column is for. Feel
free to use it.
(Fox News) is worth $75 million and earns $17 million a year.
Sean Hannity (Fox News) is worth $35 million and earns $20
million (TV & Radio)
Neil Cavuto (Fox News and Fox Business) is worth $23 million and
earns $10 million a year.
Megyn Kelly (Fox News) is worth $15 million and earns $6 million
Anderson Cooper (CNN) is worth $100 million and earns $10 million
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) is worth $20 million and earns $10 million
Chris Matthews (MSNBC) is worth $16 million and earns $5 million
Ed Schultz (MSNBC) is worth $11.5 million and earns $4 million a
Al Sharpton (MSNBC) is worth $5 million and earns $250,000 per
There, I feel better. Sort of.
This is probably going to turn out to be another
bomb, but we're going to give it a shot anyway. Are you aware of something
unique that would qualify as a tip that you would be willing to share? Put on
your thinking cap and see if you can come up with something. Here are two
If you occasionally eat at McDonalds and like the
Big Mac because of its secret sauce, try a Poor Man's Big Mac by ordering a
McDouble and request that they hold the mustard and catsup and add the Big Mac
sauce, shredded lettuce and onion instead, with or without the cheese. You now
have a mini Big Mac. The flavor of a Big Mac is all there at the price of a
McDouble, which is sometimes on the Dollar Menu. As an added bonus you can order
2 or 3 Poor Man's Big Macs for the price of one regular Big Mac.
Do you have a Tivo DVR and a smart phone? If you do, download the Tivo app.
It's free and available for both Apple iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches as well as
Android devices. The app allows you to browse, search and record a show
regardless of your location. Let's say you have gone out to dinner and forgot to
tell your Tivo to record something you wanted to watch. All you have to do is
pull out your smart phone, tap the Tivo app, find the program you want to watch,
then select it and tap the Record button. Tivo even sends you an email
confirming that your show has been scheduled to record. The only requirement is
that your Tivo has to be an HD Series 3 or newer DVR and receive its programming
from a router or directly from your Internet connection.
Think of something that makes your life easier
and/or more enjoyable that most people are unlikely to be aware of and share it
with the rest of us. We'll withhold your name upon request.
If this column doesn't
appear next week, you will know that we produced another bomb and that it was
about as well received as a phart in church.
THE BEST OF THE
LATE NITE JOKES
Welcome to the Tonight
Show! I'm your host, Jimmy Fallon. Or as John Travolta would call me, Jelan
Travolta accidentally called Idina Menzel Adele Dazeem. And I guess that
wasnt the only flub. Leonardo DiCaprio says Jennifer Lawrence flubbed his name
when she presented the best actor award and pronounced it Matthew McConaughey.
The film "20 Feet From Stardom" won Best Documentary, and while she was on stage
to accept the award, Darlene Love started singing. John Travolta said, Wow,
she's almost as good as Adele Dazeem!
A new survey has found that almost half of dog owners admit to spending more
money on their dogs than on their significant others. I tried to ask my wife if
that's true, but she and our dog were out to dinner.
Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner referred to Vladimir Putin as a thug,
and then called on President Obama to stand up to him. Which is sort of like
throwing your drink on a big guy at a bar and then saying, My friend here will
take care of you.
Microsoft is coming out with a digital assistant for its smartphone similar to
Apple's Siri called "Cortana." Well, her name was supposed to be "Cathy," but
they let John Travolta make the announcement.
Hey, tomorrow is the start of Lent, the time before Easter when Catholics give
up their favorite things for 40 days. Or more accurately, lie about their
favorite things so they don't actually have to give up their favorite things.
Researchers in Hawaii recently put webcams on the fins of sharks so they could
get a firsthand view of what the sharks see. The first thing they saw: a shark
eating the guy who strapped a webcam on its fin.
Conan O'Brien. Or as John Travolta calls me, Kevin O. Zeme.
In his acceptance speech, Matthew McConaughey said his hero is always himself 10
years from now, so by the time last night's Oscars finished, he was his own
Russia suspended coverage of the Oscars last night. They didn't show it. And I'm
going to guess they're not going to show the Tony Awards either.
Last night was the fourth time Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar and
the fourth time he has lost. Being Leonardo DiCaprio must be a living hell. I
don't know how he goes on.
The New York Times has apologized for a spelling error they made 161 years ago.
They spelled Larry King with one "r".
Schwarzenegger revealed that he's filming a new "Terminator" movie next month.
In this one the Terminator travels 10 years into the future and meets Matthew
has announced plans to close 1,000 stores throughout the U.S. Radio Shack
customers were very upset when they got the news on their pagers.
Anybody see the Academy
Awards last night? I watch every year to make sure I'm not in the dead actors
All day long people have been coming up to me saying, "Oh, Bruce Dern, better
luck next time."
The Olympics are done. The Russians have nothing to do so they invaded Crimea.
President Obama is steamed. He says to Putin, "Pull your troops out of Crimea or
the U.S. will not attend the next G-8 summit." Well, that will show him. Putin
will think twice about it now. Last thing he wants to do is offend the United
States so they stay home from a summit meeting.
Welcome to the Ed Sullivan Theater, now under Russian control.
Russia, over the weekend, invaded Crimea, but evil Russian President Vladimir
Putin said he has no plans to annex the territory. Well, that's good enough for
You know what happened on this date nine years ago today? Martha Stewart escaped
Martha Stewart was in prison because they caught her egging a neighbor's
I would like to thank you
and the Academy and my agent.
The Oscars are finally over. At least I think they're over.
I stopped watching when they made the joke about Liza Minnelli. I will not stand
for that. Liza Minnelli is my spirit animal.
From what I hear, the stars really let loose at the after-parties. There are
rumors in Hollywood right now that Angelina Jolie ate a carb.
Tonight is Mardi Gras, the biggest celebration in New Orleans. Thousands of
visitors descend upon New Orleans to drink themselves stupid and behave badly.
So it's just like every other weekend.
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. People stuff themselves right before Lent,
when Catholics traditionally fast. Every religion has a holiday where people
fast to prove their devotion. Catholics have Lent. And here in L.A., we have
Catholics all over the world celebrate Mardi Gras. There's a big festival in
Rome. Italians take to the streets, shouting, waving their arms. Then Mardi Gras
Even the Pope gets involved in Mardi Gras. He's really the most interesting Pope
in the world. "I don't always throw beads off my balcony. But when I do, it's at
Tonight we get a visit from
the mayor of the great city of Toronto, Rob Ford. I feel like I've been waiting
for this night my whole life.
I have a lot to ask Mayor Ford. I don't think I've had this many questions since
the series finale of "Lost."
When Mayor Ford gets out here, distract him and I'll take his passport. And that
way he never leaves us, OK?
Last night the Academy Awards telecast was more than three hours long. They
actually had to do a second In Memoriam montage because quite a few actors
passed away during the broadcast.We had an interesting night last night. The
mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was here. Then after the show, apparently he was
upset. Why, I'm not exactly sure. I asked him about drinking and smoking crack.
What were we supposed to talk about? His other hobbies?
It's hard to tell whether Rob Ford is mad because his face is always bright red.
It doesn't change colors.
It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This is the night when women traditionally
penalize their fathers for not paying enough attention to them by exposing
themselves to strangers in exchange for beads.
A puff of glittery smoke billowed up from the chimney of the Vatican this
morning to announce a new cast on "Dancing With the Stars." Usually you have to
tear through old issues of magazines at the dentist office to figure out who
Despite the fact that the
Ukraine has been all over the news for the past few weeks, a survey found that
64 percent of U.S. students still couldnt find Ukraine on a map. Said Vladimir
Putin, Soon nobody will.
Despite being on the other side of the country, Justin Bieber reposted photos of
his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez at the Vanity Fair Oscar party with the caption
most elegant princess in the world. Then he immediately tweeted, Sorry, that
was supposed to be a selfie.
According to Twitter statistics, the most tweeted-about star during last nights
Academy Awards was Jennifer Lawrence. And the star most tweeted about by John
Travolta was Jerfinnel Lordson.
The New York Times has issued a correction to a 161-year-old article which
misspelled the name of the main character from "12 Years a Slave." The Times
blamed the mistake on the newspapers editor at the time: Thaddeus P. Travolta.
A group of French and Russian researchers have discovered and replicated a
30,000-year-old virus found in the permafrost in Siberia. This, according to the
first 10 minutes of a Nicolas Cage movie.
Today is National Grammar Day. So no matter whom you are, or where youre at,
its literally party time, yall.
A 10-year-old in Ohio has been suspended after pretending his finger was a gun
and aiming it at another student. Just wait until school officials find out he
was in possession of nine other guns.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 1, 2014
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
A federal court upheld a ruling that school officials acted correctly in
requiring students to remove clothing featuring U.S. flag designs on Cinco de
Did Jimmy Carter say 'If you don't want your tax dollars to help the poor,
then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values'?
Will Harry Potter star Emma Watson be starring in a live-action version of
Disney's The Little Mermaid?
Follow-up to last year's staged video showing
NASCAR's Jeff Gordon pranking an unsuspecting car salesman with a wild test
Woman who advertises on Craigslist for a rich husband receives advice from
potential life partner.
A second-hand coat selected as part of the costume for Professor Marvel in
the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz was discovered to have been owned by
Oz author L. Frank Baum himself.
Did the government force KFC to stop using the word
'chicken' because they serve meat from mutant animals?
Did a dog named Daisy rescue countless souls from World Trade Center towers
Does wrapping bills in tinfoil keep them from being detected by scanning
Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Does the average woman ingest six pounds of lipstick
in her lifetime?
Still Haunting the Inbox
Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube
Since we (police retirees)
underwent CPR certification training on the job several years ago things have
changed. If you have been living in a cave and are unaware that Hands-Only CPR
(no breathing) is now the recommended way in most cases to administer the
life-saving technique, you need to watch this humorous short clip of a British
tough guy explaining the process in this PSA from the UK. The bloke even makes
it an enjoyable experience by performing CPR to the beat of "Staying Alive."
But are there
times when you should use conventional CPR with breaths?
Yes. There are many medical emergencies that cause a person to be
unresponsive and to stop breathing normally. In those emergencies, conventional
CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing may provide more benefit than
Hands-Only CPR. The American Heart Association recommends CPR with a combination
of breaths and compressions for:
All infants (up to age 1)
Children (up to puberty)
Anyone found already unconscious and not breathing normally
Any victims of drowning, drug overdose, collapse due to breathing problems, or
prolonged cardiac arrest
hurt to review this web page about Hands-Only
CPR from the American Heart Association:
Regarding our leaky border
to the south, could this be on the level? We wouldn't have paid much attention
to the clip if it didn't feature Rep. Peter King (R-NY). He's a member of the
Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on
Counterterrorism and Intelligence and should know what he's talking about.
Here's a short news report
that you should be aware of, especially you ladies who gas up your own car. It
could keep you from becoming a victim of theft. (2 Mins.)
This is the
downside of taking photos with your cell or smart phone and posting them on the
Web. It's something you should also share with your kids or grandkids who like
to post photos on Facebook for their friends. (4 Mins.)
Alice Murphy's email was
spot on; this video is absolutely stunning. Click on the link below and
behold the magnificent Starling Murmurations. (4 Mins.)
Is the image you see below
a man or a robot? The fact is, it's a robot. Play this PBS NOVA clip and watch
it interact with an interviewer using its stored knowledge and artificial
intelligence. And if you will keep an eye on its eyes you will see them move
from time to time, even blink. If you think same-sex marriages are controversial
today, imagine what it will be like when men and women will be able to place an
order for the perfect wife or husband on Amazon. (3
If you listen to this short
40-year-old prophetic interview of famed science fiction author Arthur C. Clark
who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey," it will become apparent that he was a
"futurist" long before the word was coined. (2 Mins.)
David Pogue has written a
number of books for lay people on how to use your PC and Apple computers, smart
phones and tablets, and numerous software programs. Take a few minutes to listen
to this TED Talks presentation and I can assure you that you will learn some
easy and time-saving shortcuts and tips. Even with all the time I spend
preparing the Farsider each week, I learned some new tricks.
We strongly recommend you
ignore the title of this video "30 Years of BAD Pictures" and watch the
clip. It was created by a National Geographic photographer and should be well
worth your time. (9 Mins.)
Surgeon holds a human heart
We have a couple of clips
this week for you Gearheads starting with this item from Jay Leno's Garage where
he check out and drives Batman's Tumbler that was featured in "The Dark Knight."
Of the nine that were built, this is the only one that remains in the US (the
other eight were shipped over to the UK). (13 Mins.)
Item number two is this
video where James May, who co-hosts the popular British automotive show "Top
Gear" with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, has the privilege of taking
NASA's latest Lunar Rover on a test drive. Alas, budget cuts have made it highly
unlikely it will ever leave the earth. (10 Mins)
And third, remember that
Pepsi MAX Jeff Gordon commercial from last March where the NASCAR champion wore
a disguise and scared the hell out of a car salesman on a test drive? If you
didn't see it and/or would like to watch it again, here it is.
Now there's a new one to
add to the mix. In this one Jeff is disguised as an ex-con who is driving a cab
and runs from the cops with the prank victim in the back seat. Have a look.
* Note: If you would
like to know whether the test drive clip was real or staged, scroll back up to
the Snopes update and click on the Jeff Gordon link...
Give it a rest,
Jean-Claude. Every time we watch you, Chuck Norris and all of the imitators do
the splits it makes us guys want to readjust our skivvies.
This is the original Van Damme Volvo Truck ad that started it
all. (1 Min.)
And this was Chuck Norris' reaction to Van Damme's Volvo truck
ad. (2 Mins.)
So how is
Chuck going to answer Claude's latest stunt in outer space? We're
betting it's going to be spectacular. Perhaps something like
this. (1 Min.)
The Van Damme and Norris stunts have, as expected,
spawned several imitators. Here's one example. (1 Min.)
Greek entertainer "Ponzi" has even adopted his own
version to promote his concerts. (1 Min.)
Even those fun-loving, vodka-drinking Russkies were impressed
Claude and Chuck that some of them have created their own. Here's one:
And finally, here is a compilation of amateur imitators,
most of which are failures. (13 Mins.)
Remember when you were
young and you would lie on your back outside under a dark and starry night and
stare straight up at the heavens? Imagine how much more impressive the view
would have been if you could have sped up the movement of the stars.
This is the clip to watch
if you want to see an amazing stampede of Whales and Dolphins off of Dana Point,
CA. The spectacular footage was captured by a drone. (5
If you have an interest in
the old steam engines that once populated the nation's railroads, you might want
to watch this clip of "Big Boy 4018" being moved to Frisco, TX. The 1.2
million-pound locomotive the largest steam engine in the world is one of
eight of the 25 produced between 1941 and 1944 that remain today. In steam
engine jargon, it's known as a 4-8-8-4, which refers to the number of wheels on
the leading truck, two sets of drive wheels and its trailing truck. (I learned
that when I was a kid and totally infatuated with my American Flyer train set.)
Union Pacific Big Boy
Moving on from the day of
the steam locomotives, Dirk Parsons dug up this film from the 1950s that
promoted the then-new Santa Fe Super Chief streamliner. Having taken the Amtrak
"Southwest Chief" over the same route from Chicago to L.A. with my wife back in
the early '90s, the film brought back some fond, albeit dated, memories. If you
remember traveling by train or rail back in the '50s you will recall that men
almost always wore coats and ties with women dressing accordingly. For further
evidence of how things have changed over the past 60+ years, take note of how
many of the men are smoking cigarettes if you choose to watch this film.
I have to agree with Dirk,
who also sent in this clip as well as the one above about the Santa Fe Super
Chief. He said he would love to have one of these little open cockpit airplanes
called an Air Cam, and so would I. It's only my age and the crowded Bay Area
skies that are keeping me from taking the plunge. For anyone looking for a safe,
relatively inexpensive two-place, twin-engine amphibious aircraft that cost next
to nothing to fly (it burns 3 gallons an hour), this may be the answer. Dirk
says the kit, engines and props will set you back in the neighborhood of $100K.
Speaking of flying, look
closely at the beginning of this 51 second clip and you will see a small camera
mounted on the bill of this Pelican that is learning to fly.
Just as the Cheetah is
considered the fastest land animal in the world, the Peregrine Falcon that can
reach 150 mph in a dive is considered the fastest in the air. This excellent BBC
clip features both a Peregrine Falcon and a Goshawk, the former for its speed
and the latter for its maneuverability. Both birds have cameras attached to
their backs. (3 Mins.)
Pop quiz: Before you watch
this 60-second video, try to guess what's under the pile of baby goats. Go
ahead. Take a shot...
Here's another shorty that
poses a question: Is it possible to tickle a baby Penguin and make it laugh?
What we seem to have here
is a cat and a dolphin who have developed a BFF relationship (Best Friends
Forever). (2 Mins.)
Whoever titled this clip
the "World's Most Insane Rope Swing Ever" was telling it like it is. It's people
like you are about to see who will eventually cleanse the human gene pool by
qualifying for the Darwin Awards. (4 Mins.)
First it was the pull cart
for golfers who didn't want to have to lug their bag and clubs over their
shoulder. Then came the gas-powered golf cart, followed by the electric cart,
and then the SegWay showed up for rent at some golf courses. And now comes the
Golf Board. Check it out. (3 Mins.)
Oops, we forgot to mention
the Hovercraft Golf Cart, seen in this clip with Pro Golfer Bubba Watson. But
don't expect to see this on any golf courses until the noise it makes can be
significantly reduced. (2 Mins.)
There's little doubt that
3-D printing is going to have the same or a greater impact than ink jet printers
had, and the printers are already available for consumers (Amazon carries one
for under $1,000). If you are curious about this new technology, have a look at
this PBS video. (7 Mins.)
Ever wonder how those
colorful scenes comprised of colored sand inside a glass bottle you see in
tourist gift shops are made? You probably won't want to sit through this entire
video, but it will give you an idea of the artistry involved.
Clips don't get much cuter
(or shorter) than this one about a little girl and an orphaned pony.
Here's another short clip
that comes close to being "over the top" in terms of cuteness.
If Tennis isn't difficult
enough to master with a tennis racket, try playing the game with a baseball and
a baseball bat. (33 Secs.)
display of strength and coordination is just that: Amazing! Unfortunately, we
know nothing of the couple or where their act was performed because we don't
speak or read Chinese. (5 Mins.)
Thanks to Stan Miller, we
are now headed to Paris for a cabaret show and another amazing display of
strength and coordination. (6 Mins.)
Before we leave Gay Paree,
here's another cabaret show that our female readers are likely to find more
entertaining than the men. Well, most men anyway. (4
This video will show you
images of Yosemite that few people have ever seen, perhaps even you. The film
took 10 months and 200+ miles of backpacking to produce. It should definitely be
worth a few minutes of your time if you are among those who feel that Yosemite
is a natural and national treasure. (5 Mins.)
This is a feel-good story
about a cat that will have to make do for the rest of its life with only 8
lives. (3 Mins.)
How is it possible that a
pair of human hands can move as fast as this xylophone player's, especially when
he gets to the 50-second mark? Absolutely amazing! (3
Speaking of fast hands, are
you aware of the craze called Irish Hand Dancing that was inspired by Michael
Flatley of "Lord of the Dance" fame? Here's an example.
In addition to being paid to star in a McDonald's commercial, the
same couple Cleary and Harding got a little wilder with their encore video
which is covered in the last half of this clip. (4 Mins.)
Like you, I've heard over
the years that the Japanese are the best dough pounders in the world, but I
didn't believe it until I saw this 16-second clip.
(What? You've not heard about the famous Japanese Dough Pounders? Surely you
Speaking of the Japanese,
if you think you were a hot shot with a yo-yo when you were a kid because you
could "Walk the Dog," "Rock the Cradle" or take it "Around the World," have a
look at 6-year-old "Yo-Yo Boy." (4 Mins.)
If you have eleven seconds
you can spare, check out what is being hailed as the "Perfect Vehicle for
Thanks to this
less-than-a-minute-long clip, we're over the fear we developed by the bunny
rabbit video in last week's Farsider that looked like they were aliens from
another world and were going to take over the planet.
Keep your eye on the girl
in the background. She knows she is not supposed to appear on camera, but she
got caught and doesn't immediately know what to do about it. Should she stand
still? Drop out of site? Scamper off? Or all three? (30
What kind of magic is this.
Or is it as the title suggests sorcery? It only runs for 50 seconds, so
take a look.
If you've not seen this
36-second clip before, try to guess who or what's about to make a big splash at
Another happy ending video
from the Animal Kingdom: A Cheetah catches and apparently kills a Gazelle, but
as the big cat begins to enjoy its meal, a Hyena comes by and scares off the
Cheetah. When the Hyena gets ready to dine, he spots the Cheetah beginning to
approach and tries to scare it off. Then watch what happens.
Got time for a
film we received from Bruce Morton that took 2nd place at a film festival in
Australia? It's about a lonely elderly widower who goes through a makeover so he
can date a younger girl who surprises him at the end. Not surprisingly, the film
is titled "Makeover." (7 Mins.)
Here's is another feel-good
story, but this one is about an elderly widow who received a special surprise
from a high school class this past Valentine's Day. (2
We can all take a lesson
from this 98-year-old lady that was posted on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.
Granted, health is very important, but one could argue that attitude comes in a
close second. (4 Mins.)
When Andrea Bocelli teamed
up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing "The Lord's Prayer," it was so
special that the video has since generated almost 7 million views on YouTube.
When we received it from a couple of readers earlier this week we immediately
chose to make it this week's closing item. Have a listen.
Pics of the Week
Only Italians are capable of doing this.
Seriously, these guys are amazing.