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Our Chaplain Historical Society The Farsider


The Farsider

March 15, 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.



"I wasn't planning to attend
until my wife said she would
hit me over the head with our
cast iron skillet if I didn't."

Why risk a fractured skull when a few hours out of the house away from your spouse can work wonders for your relationship? The meeting will be held at the usual time and place: POA Hall, next Wednesday, March 21st. The open bar will be pressed into service at 5:00 p.m. with dinner to follow about an hour later.


(Two this week)




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:




March 8th


I just got a call from retiree Gary Leonard. He reminded me that my Dad (Jay Martin) was actually hired earlier than I thought. I did some homework and found that he first joined the SJPD on Nov. 1, 1960, then left about 3 years later to farm with his Dad in Pasco, Wash. He was then rehired by the SJPD in 1966.

Brad Martin

That makes sense. It would have given Jay closer to 24 years of total service than the 21 based on the appointment and retirement dates provided to us by Police Personnel (Nov. 1, 1966 through June 3, 1987). It appears that the City began Jay's official employment history based on his rehire date.


• • • • •


March 9th


Isn't "San Jose Inside" tied to or a part of the "Metro" newspaper? If so, this pension reform story would be a switch in the Metro's direction. Whatever the case, SJPD retirees might find this article of interest as well as the readers' comments that follow it.

Click on the link under the photo...



Ron Mozley

Hi Ron: I took a close look at the home pages of both the "Metro" and "San Jose Inside" and couldn't find any cross links, so it appears that the two minor league San Jose periodicals are independent of one another. You are correct, however, in your assumption that SJPD retirees would likely find the article entitled "Ballot Measure a Political Disaster" and the readers' comments that follow it of interest.  


• • • • •


March 12th

Hello Bill:

I wanted to send a quick message with an attachment regarding the upcoming parole board hearing for Emile Thompson, the killer of Officer Richard Huerta.
Four years ago during a patrol briefing the sergeant pointed to an address we could send our letters to in regard to Thompson's pending parole board hearing. I did some follow-up and learned that the address provided by the parole board was wrong. I then made some phone calls and finally spoke to a pinhead administrator who said that letters were not really needed. When I asked why, the response was that any letter received had to be permanently filed in the inmate's file, and that they did not have room for all of the letters. (Yes, this really was the response I received!)

The parole board received 450 letters against Thompson being paroled and only 3 for parole. I would wager that we would all like to inconvenience the parole board by dropping at least a thousand letters into Thompson's file this time around.
The attached letter has made it through the PD briefings and was also spread to the various bureaus. Lyle Jackson delivered a couple of hundred of these letters to the DDAs, and I thought I'd send you a copy. If you have a mass e-mail list of the retirees I thought you may be able to send the letter to everybody. I'm not sure what the DDA's e-mail address is, but perhaps the letter could be printed and signed or sent to them via e-mail so it could make the deadline.
Just a thought.
Pete Lovecchio (#2036 Ret.)

Thanks, Pete. But I've been advertising for the past two weeks that yesterday (Wed. the 14th) was the deadline to get letters to the D.A.'s office. For those readers would like to see the letter that was distributed en masse to active personnel, I have included it below...

~ ~ ~


• • • • •


March 13th


Just a quick note that Eric Sills will be sworn in as a dual-role Chief of both Greenfield and Soledad on Monday, March 19th, at 4:00 p.m. In addition, Ken Tanaka will be sworn in as the Chief of West Valley/Mission College on Tuesday, March 20th. I encourage our SJ alumni to support these two events.

As a side note, I was sworn in as the Chief of Livingston, CA on Tuesday, March 6th. (Livingston is home to Foster Farms Chicken.)


Ruben Chavez

Congrats to Eric, Ken and Ruben. As noted in the past, we doubt there is another law enforcement agency in the nation that has spawned more Chiefs than the SJPD. The list keeps growing and growing.

SJPD Personnel Who Left and Became Chiefs of Other Law Enforcement Agencies

As of March 14, 2012
— Alphabetical by first name

Please send additions/corrections to

• Bill Lansdowne -- Richmond, CA; San Diego, CA
• Bob Allen -- Capitola, CA
• Bob Bradshaw -- Reno, NV, Concord CA; Nevada Highway Patrol
• Bud Bye -- San Jose-Evergreen Community College District
• Chris Ebert — Marion, Iowa
• Dan Ortega -- Salinas, CA
• Diane Urban — Hayward, CA
• Eric Sills — Greenfield and Soledad, CA
• Gary Leonard -- Grand Junction, CO; Alexandria, VA; Sandy City, UT; Greenfield CA; West Sacramento, CA
• Gus Kettman -- Palm Springs, CA
• Jay Propst -- Boulder, CO
• Ken Tanaka — West Valley/Mission College, CA
• Lee Brown -- Multnomah Co. (OR); Atlanta (GA); Houston (TX); New York City (NY)
• Lou Cobarruviaz -- Redwood City, CA
• Manny Martinez — Daly City, CA
• Mike Maehler -- Sunnyvale, CA; Mountain View, CA
• Pat Dwyer -- Sunnyvale, CA; Palo Alto, CA
• Pete Decena — San Jose State University PD
• Rich Couser -- Contra Costa Community College District, CA
• Rich Gummow -- Juneau, AK
• Ruben Chavez — Livingston, CA
• Russ Russell -- San Juan Bautista, CA; Coalinga, CA; Parlier, CA
• Scott Seaman -- Los Gatos PD
• Tom Frazier -- Baltimore, MD
• Tuck Younis -- Los Altos, CA
• Walt Tibbett -- Alameda, CA









Russ "Jonesy" Jones

We highlighted Russ Jones' book in the Dec. 8, 2011 Farsider, shortly after the first copies came off the press and the the book was only available on the Honorable Intentions website. In the three months that have since passed, sales of the book have been progressing, more reviews have come in, and the book is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, both in hard copy and digitally for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook e-book readers.

As we noted in the Dec. 8th Farsider, numerous SJPD personnel are mentioned in the second half of the book that covers the SJPD in the 1970s:

Walt Adkins...Ray Berrett...Arnold Bertotti...Ray Blackmore...Terry Boone...Craig Buckhout...Bobby Burroughs...Larry Darr...John Diehl...Pat Dwyer...Anton Erickson...Fred Farnsworth...Larry Fernsworth...Bob Grant...Bob Gummow...Dan Gutierrez...Art Hilborn...John Hinkle...Charlie Hoehn...Richard Huerta...Joe Ireland...Bert Kelsey...John Kracht...Jim Leroy..."Marty the Marijuana Mouse"...Joe McNamara...Ed Melz...Mike Mendez...Stan Miller...Chuck Molosky...Sharon Moore...Terry Moudakas...Bob Murphy...Tommy Perez...Lyle Rice...Charles Rosseau...Mike Schembri...Chuck Seaton...Gordon Silva...Gene Simpson...Lew Smith...Ted Sumner...Stan Tice...Don Trujillo...Brenda Wells...Doug Zwemke.

Following are some of the latest reviews of Jonesy's book. Others, including some from members of the SJPD, are listed on the book's website, To read them, go to
www.Honorable-Intentions.com>, then click on the "Honorable Intentions Book Reviews" link just above the image of the book

Some of the reviews for Honorable Intentions

Joseph McNamara, Police Chief San Jose, Ret.
"A fast moving, gripping account of Jones' adventures as a combat soldier, dedicated cop and narc. The account of his training, indoctrination, sense of camaraderie and disappointment in the bureaucratic leadership in both professions is mesmerizing and as good as it gets. Jones presents a moving and valuable saga representative of the millions of patriotic Americans who made the United States the most free and powerful nation in the world."

General Frederick Kroesen, US Army, Ret.
"Premier army aviator with whom I entrusted my life without question."

Judge James Gray, Ret., Superior Court Orange County.
"Russell Jones' insights into the failed War on Drugs come directly from his first-hand experiences as a Vietnam helicopter pilot, police officer, narcotics detective, DEA task force officer and intelligence agent in Central America during Iran-Contra. No one can have a reasoned opinion on drug policy without considering his vast and hard-hitting experiences."

Major General Chuck Teeter, US Army, Ret.
"It's a fine piece of work and the author has been successful in causing this reader to think about the drug problem from an entirely different perspective."

Micah Bowie, Pitcher, Major League Baseball, 1999-2008.
"Russell Jones exposes the truth that certainly angers and threatens the agenda of many."

Stephen Downing, Deputy Chief of Police, Los Angeles Police Department, Ret.
"Russell Jones' engrossing memoir, Honorable Intentions, is a story of adventure and heroism that becomes a personal journey of enlightenment as he breaks the bonds of supreme religious authority embedded at childhood and becomes immersed in public service as a police officer, soldier and spy, all with aspirations to contribute to the betterment of his fellow man. But along with the excitement and satisfaction of public service he comes to understand the dark corrupting influences imposed by those in leadership positions who depend upon men of his caliber to strip themselves of their individuality and become part of the collective though obedience, discipline, dedication, and pride, while they are exploited and used as the hunter/gatherers to feed the quota-based propaganda machines — traffic tickets, drug arrests and seizures, battlefield body counts — used to justify the tyrannical enforcement of failed public policy while the institutions they lead, once established to protect and serve, erode from the inside-out from the corruption of totalitarian ideology that always accompanies the perversions of coerced morality. This journey of enlightenment has served Russell Jones well as his voice today is an experienced, credible weapon used effectively in this book to expose and counter the failed 40-year ideology of totalitarian paternalism that we call the War on Drugs."

See additional reviews listed on the Honorable Intentions website at



(See the Local News for Out-of-Towners column below for newspaper reports)

Friday, March 8th — CBS News with Scott Pelle — San Jose's Pension Problem


March 8th — KNTV Bay Area News — State Audit of San Jose's Finances




It's refreshing to include an article about the pension issue that didn't originate with the Mercury News. This item is from the Sacramento Bee...

Viewpoints: Let's Base Public Pension Debate on Facts, Not Made-up Numbers

By David Miller, President
California Association of Professional Scientists
Special to The Bee — March 8, 2012

It would be nice to separate the wheat from the chaff in the debate over how to restructure public pensions. It is important to eliminate abuses and ensure that public pensions are fair to retirees and affordable to taxpayers. But it is equally important to key the debate on real facts and figures that accurately portray the public costs.

The facts, documented last December by the independent Legislative Analyst's Office, show, for instance, that pension costs – 3 percent of the state budget – are the slowest-growing part of that budget. They are similar to the pension cost growth of state and local governments across the country. These are far exceeded as a budget cost by tax breaks accorded corporations and California's wealthiest citizens.

What do not constitute facts are pension critics' scary but false claims of supposedly crushing public pension debt. Economist Monique Morrissey of the Economic Policy Institute notes, "Unrealistic projections that inflate pension liabilities are stoking fears that future taxpayers will inherit large unfunded pension liabilities absent some sort of intervention."

Here in California, over the past 20 years, CalPERS – the state's largest public fund – has reported average annual earnings of 8.4 percent and is a healthy 75 percent funded. Those are the historical facts.

"This does not mean that public pension funds are guaranteed to earn 8 percent over the next 25 years," Monique Morrissey notes. "But the worst-case scenario is that contributions will have to be adjusted upward gradually. There is very little risk that the funds will run out of money since benefit outlays are a small fraction of assets."

The agent of greatest fear-stoking in California is the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, which, in three questionable reports over the past year, has sought to instigate a public panic. SIEPR has somehow concluded that public pension fund investment earnings that have been stable for two decades will suddenly take a dive to unrealistically low rates of return.

In its first report, issued a year ago, the Stanford institute asserted that CalPERS should claim only a 4.14 percent average investment return, the so-called risk-free earnings rate. The rest of the earnings, the report suggested, were unreliable and could fall short at any time.

After catching flak from economists, SIEPR changed its tune in a new report, claiming that earnings expectations of California's pension system should really be 6.2 percent per year based on "the long-term historical average for investors allocating capital in the same manner as pension funds."

In other words, rather than use real-world data, the Stanford institute dummied up CalPERS' supposedly "real" earnings from the average results of investors kind of like CalPERS.

But with the legislative analyst now reporting how slowly pension costs are growing at the state level, SIEPR has apparently abandoned the argument about state costs and is now focusing on allegedly unsustainable pension costs at the city and county level. Here, the Stanford institute makes most of its case by talking about growth in pension costs for the few local funds that are not in CalPERS. It fails to note, though, that teachers and nurses and firefighters and other local workers in about 230 local jurisdictions throughout the state have sat down and negotiated with their employers in good faith to cut costs and eliminate pension abuses.

The U-T San Diego newspaper reported this week, for instance, that negotiated benefit cuts and union concessions over the past few years have led to a decline in annual pension costs for 10 cities in San Diego County that are part of CalPERS.

In other parts of the state, pension cost estimates are simply pulled out of thin air. In San Jose, for example, Mayor Chuck Reed announced that the city was on the brink of disaster, preparing to declare a fiscal emergency after projecting retirement costs for the city of San Jose would reach $650 million by 2015. Turns out that was an offhand estimate by the city's retirement services director with no calculations to back it up. The real cost was 40 percent lower.

The real truth, as Monique Morrissey notes, is that "public pensions appear to be prudent investors." And she adds that adopting the sort of low, risk-free rate that SIEPR calls for as a calculator of liabilities would force governments to "double pension contributions at a time when states can ill afford it and would lend support to those who would scrap pensions in favor of 401(k) plans, which are in far worse shape."

~ ~ ~

Read more here:


• • • • •

With the exception of the following item from the Internal Affairs column of last Sunday's paper, we found nothing more about the pension reform issue...

Mayor’s Ballot Measure Sets Things in Motion

An irreverent inside view of the week

Mercury News — March 11, 2012

In Tuesday’s landmark San Jose City Council vote finalizing a June 5 pension reform ballot measure, Mayor Chuck Reed and his allies left nothing to chance. A set of tactical moves straight from Robert’s Rules of Order foreclosed attempts by the council’s labor-backed critics of the measure to weaken it or delay its approval.

After Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen made the initial motion to approve the measure, Councilman Pete Constant followed with a substitute motion that tightened some language and added a request from Councilman Sam Liccardo aimed at thwarting union legal challenges. That move blocked any other potential substitute motions by Councilmen Ash Kalra , Kansen Chu and Don Rocha, all of whom suggested alternatives during the three-hour meeting. Kalra and Chu ultimately joined Xavier Campos in opposing the measure. But Rocha, a swing vote, noted the effectiveness of the parliamentary maneuver as he sought in vain to modify the measure and realized his only option was begging Constant to allow “friendly amendments.”

Constant’s reply: “No. hell no, and I’m not entertaining any friendly amendments.” Game. Set. Match.


“So, strategically, that’s pretty smart,” Rocha noted at the meeting as a noisy union audience cheered. “It doesn’t allow for any new substitute motion. I’m sure that wasn’t intentional.”

Still, Rocha, who ultimately joined Constant and the mayor in approving the measure, got some satisfaction. He called the final version an improvement over the original the mayor had proposed in May, altered more than a half-dozen times to address union concerns. The final version going to voters is much closer to what Rocha had suggested last year.

Who backs pension reform? Maybe not who you’d think

And just what did U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein have to say about San Jose’s pension issues? We have no transcript here at IA. But the reports of her Feb. 24 appearance at an event at Marvell Technology Group echoed through the city’s political firmament.

Before a valley business crowd that included Reed and Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, both advocates of pension reform, Feinstein lauded the mayor and mentioned the financial problems Reed was tackling. Feinstein’s office declined to comment. But our sources say she stopped short of endorsing the mayor’s June ballot proposal on pensions, which local Democratic Party leaders and public-employee unions hotly oppose.

Oliverio, however, thought he heard a firmer blessing of pension reform. And at a breakfast meeting of local Democrats the next day, he relayed his take on the senator’s remarks. “I simply, said, ‘Gee whiz,’ Democrats support pension reform,” he said.

“That was accurate.”

Like Feinstein, Oliverio and Reed are registered Democrats.

But in a labor-dominated local Democratic Party, his remarks won Oliverio no friends. And so calls were made from labor officials to Feinstein’s office. From there, sources tell IA, more calls went to the mayor’s office. Oliverio says he eventually got the message from one of the mayor’s staffers that this was sensitive turf for Feinstein’s office. But he hasn’t backed off his original take: “My whole thing is that Democrats support pension reform,” he said, “even though labor unions don’t.”

• • • • •

Former San Jose City councilman, Santa Clara Co. supervisor and current Assemblyman Jim Beall who was referred to as a "clown" in a Mercury News editorial last week authored this article that appeared in Tuesday's paper. It tells why he felt an audit is needed of San Jose's pension system...

State Audit of S.J. Pension System a Wise Move

By Jim Beall
Mercury News — March 13, 2012

Republican and Democratic legislators joined together last week to approve a state audit of the city of San Jose’s retirement costs, a step forward in helping California and its cities shape new and lasting pension reforms.

The audit — sought by myself and six San Jose legislators — has two missions. The first is to help San Jose residents understand the full scope of the city’s pension obligations by providing an additional layer of review from an independent evaluator. Secondly, the audit can lead us to new strategies to strengthen the laws and regulations governing the planning and funding of public pensions by increasing the Legislature’s understanding of pension reform through San Jose’s experience.

In affirming the audit, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee indicated that lawmakers who are reviewing pension reform bills can benefit from the insight of more state audits of cities like the one focusing on San Jose.

The audit will be conducted by California State Auditor Elaine Howle. The state’s audit will review the city’s finances and pension projections and how they were arrived at. The audit will not be driven by the city nor unions representing municipal workers. There will be public hearings and the findings and conclusions will be a public document, too. The audit was granted priority status and it could be completed by the end of the summer.

The audit will not interfere with the local June ballot measure, which seeks pension rollbacks, according to city representatives who testified at the Legislative Audit Committee hearing.

These pension reform proposals follow progress made just last year by the Legislature as we reduced the state’s pension cost by $600 million. I have voted for these proposals in the past and I am continuing to work with members of both parties to reach common-sense solutions.

We know San Jose’s pension problems are real. We have seen Vallejo fall into insolvency. Today, Stockton is skirting bankruptcy. San Diego faces mounting debt. Pension reform is a state issue, especially since some cities may look to Sacramento for help. More than ever, it is incumbent on the state to act as a watchdog to prevent local governments from sliding into the red, a condition that will have a ripple effect on bond markets, should cities or counties attempt to borrow.

San Jose is California’s third largest city and its fiscal health undoubtedly impacts the state’s overall economy. Taxpayers have a right to understand the depths of the problems facing our cities. I believe this audit will increase that understanding.

Maintaining the solvency of our public budgets requires the cooperation of all stakeholders. Otherwise our governments — whether local, state or federal — are doomed to lurch from one crisis to another. We must work together to reach real solutions.

~ ~ ~

Jim Beall, D-San Jose, represents the 24th District of the State Assembly and is a former member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the San Jose City Council. He wrote this for this newspaper.


• • • • •

Upon reading the headline of this letter to the editor of today's paper I wondered what the writer had been smoking. It wasn't until I waded into the second paragraph that I realized he was referring to the state, not San Jose.

Pension Reforms Won’t Pass Because of Unions

Letter to the Editor of the Mercury News — March 15, 2012

Assemblyman Jim Beall’s justification for an “independent” audit of the San Jose city employee pensions (“State audit of S.J. pension system a wise move,” Opinion, March 13) is simply a result of pressure from public employee unions on Democratic legislators.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to reform state employee pensions has little chance of even getting to the Legislature due to union pressure on Democratic legislators, including Beall, even though Republicans call Democrat Brown’s proposed legislation a “good start” on pension reform. In addition, a pension reform measure for the June ballot was pulled back by its supporters because Democratic, union-backed Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote language for the measure that would guarantee it would not get funding. Ballot measures should be written by the legislative analyst, who is nonpartisan. Known as the “beholding state,” Democratic California legislators are owned by public employee unions who donate large sums of money to elect officials who will do their bidding.

Chris Dresden, San Jose

~ ~ ~

That letter was followed by this one on the same topic...

State Shouldn’t Audit Pensions in San Jose

Letter to the Editor of the Mercury News — March 15, 2012

We feel that Assemblyman Jim Beall and his colleagues, most of whom do not live or work in Santa Clara County, were out of line in approving a state audit of San Jose’s retirement costs. We find it hard to believe that this effort is not being driven by unions that represent municipal workers, as stated by Beall, (“State audit of S.J. pension system a wise move,” Opinion, March 13).

San Jose residents do not need the help of the Legislature to understand the budget/pension problems facing our city. Our city’s leaders have worked hard to ensure that any resident who wanted to know the facts had ample opportunity to get the facts on San Jose’s budget and pension issues.

State legislators are elected to deal with the problems of the state and not cities.

Perhaps the Joint Legislative Audit Committee should institute an independent audit of their own retirement costs.

Surely, this type of scrutiny would increase their understanding of pension reform on the state level.

Rebecca Elliot and Tom Redfern, San Jose 



From Don Hale

 This coming Saturday, March 17, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Alameda


A Tribute to Bay Area Tuskegee Airmen Veterans

The USS Hornet Museum will pay tribute to several local veterans of the famed WWII Tuskegee Air Squadron on March 17 as part of its Living Ship Day.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. They fought and flew with distinction during World War II. Their story was recently chronicled in Red Tails. Despite the racial discrimination they faced both in and outside the Army, they trained and flew with distinction. In recognition of their efforts and bravery, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a presentation by the Tuskegee veterans sharing their experiences. It will be followed by a meet and greet.

Those scheduled to attend include:

• Capt. Edward Woodward of Vallejo. He joined the Tuskegee Squadron in 1945 and served 30 years in the military.

• Lt. Lee Roy Gillead of San Francisco. He trained in the B-25 Bomber program and is a Tuskegee author and historian.

• Capt. Les Williams of Belmont, was the first pilot to graduate from the B-25 Bomber program.

• Lt. Burl Smith of Oakland was trained as a fighter pilot.

• Sgt. Clyde Grimes of Oakland, was in intelligence bureau of Tuskegee Airmen.

• Lt. Col Harold Hoskins of Danville, class of 46A, and he also served in Vietnam from 1963-1964. Retired in 1971 as Lt. Col.

Any other Tuskegee veterans will be given complimentary admission to the Museum that day.

A number of musical performances and activities will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Among the musical performers will be The Frisky Frolics and the Swinging Blues Stars who will take the stage at 12:30 p.m. There also will be a number of children’s activities.

Living Ship Day aboard the Hornet offers something for everyone. The museum comes to life as an operating aircraft carrier with flight simulations between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. when aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed into launch position. Visitors can meet former crew, sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet, and enjoy the sights and sounds of naval aviation.

Living Ship Day demonstrations are held on the third Saturday of most months. Normal museum hours and admission prices apply. Museum Members receive free admission. Ample free parking is available across from the pier. The USS Hornet Museum is located at 707 W Hornet Ave, Pier 3 in Alameda.




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

New Articles

• Photograph purportedly shows a notice distributed by Chick-fil-A advertising that they are hiring for their NYU location.

• Does "Obamacare" health care legislation require that everyone be implanted with RFID microchips by 23 March 2013?

• Photograph purportedly shows a tornado that hit Kentucky in March 2012.

• Photograph purportedly shows Mitt Romney posing with children whose shirts spell out the word 'MONEY.'

• Exhortation to refuse an invitation from a stranger for online contact warns of an attempt to implant a computer virus.

• Can eggs (or brooms) be balanced on their ends during the vernal equinox?

• Are rapists using little children who appear to be lost to lure victims to them?

• Does a promotional event partnering Facebook and Apple award free iPhones and iPads to those who fill out a survey?

• Photograph purportedly shows a tornado that hit Rome, Georgia, in March 2012.

• Photograph purportedly shows hunters posing with a large cache of killed wolves.

• Old storm photo is recycled as a picture of the tornado that hit Harrisburg, Illinois.

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

Worth a Second Look

• All about Daylight Saving Time.

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.




Remember to click on the "Large Player" icon on the YouTube control panel in the lower right-hand corner of the video when you watch the first clip. If you do, all other YouTube videos should default to the same setting throughout the rest of your session at the computer.


• • • • •

This mini-film received from "Lumpy" Lundberg is titled The Battle of Athens, but it has nothing to do with Greece or the Athenians. It's a short made-for-TV movie that pits some military veterans who had just returned from WW II against a corrupt sheriff and political machine in Tennessee in 1946. Moreover, it's a true story that deals with the 2nd Amendment. (13 Mins.)



• • • • •

Lumpy also sent in this bootleg video (shot by someone in the audience) of a 1992 John Denver concert in which he sang a song about golf that was never recorded and released to the public. In the song is the line, "I'm usually in the water." How prophetic was that? (2 Mins.)



• • • • •

If you play the lottery you might want to watch this if you missed last Sunday's "Dateline" that aired on NBC opposite "60 Minutes." Chris Hansen followed state lottery investigators as they conducted an undercover sting to smoke out lottery clerks who rip off people who had purchased winning tickets. One of the stores where a lottery clerk was busted was in San Jose. (Can you I.D. it from the photo below?) The full-length "Dateline" episode is broken up into six parts and can be seen by clicking on the link below. (40 Mins.)



• • • • •

This Kindergarten Guitar Band has to be seen and heard to be believed, especially when you consider the instruments are bigger than the 5-year-olds. These kids take "cute" to the next level. (4 Mins.)



• • • • •

To help friends get together, Guinness has trained a highly specialized sheepdog to round up mates and ensure they get to the pub on St Patrick's Day. That's the theme of this clever commercial sent in by Alice Murphy. (3 Mins.)



• • • • •

Speaking of canines, Lumpy was astonished to learn that dogs can have their own ideology when it comes to national politics. Watch this. (2 Mins.)



• • • • •

This is about the new iPad that a German gal gave to her father for Christmas a few months ago. Odds are, some of you older folks who are unfamiliar with the iPad will say to yourself, "I don't get it." (1 Min.)



• • • • •

Sharon Lansdowne reports that the Sumsing Turbo 1000 Multi-Tasking Cellphone that we highlighted in the Farsider a couple of years ago has been upgraded to include several new "can't-do-without" features. If you decide to buy one, however, make sure yours comes in an unopened box and isn't one that has been returned by someone who used it to take their or someone else's temperature. (2 Mins.)



• • • • •

Sharon also sent in this clip about Dillie the House Deer. If you decide to watch the short video, try not to poo-poo the numerous puns.



• • • • •

Our story of the week comes from Bruce Fair in the "Land of Flat," also known as Emporia, Kansas.

One day while standing in the cafeteria line at work, Joe said to his buddy Mike: "My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I'd better see a doctor."

Mike replied, "There's a diagnostic computer down at Costco. If you give it a urine sample the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. The cost is just ten dollars and it takes less than a minute. It's a lot cheaper than seeing a doctor."

So the next day Joe deposits a small urine sample in a jar and goes to Costco. He finds the diagnostic computer and inserts a ten dollar bill. The computer lights up and asks for a urine sample. Joe pours it into the appropriate slot, and less than a minute later the computer ejects a printout that reads: "You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping at Costco."

That evening, while thinking about how amazing the new technology was, Joe began to wonder if the computer could be fooled, so he got a fresh jar and poured in a mixture of tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and for good measure, a sperm sample of his own.

The next day Joe returned to Costco eager to check the results. After inserting another ten dollar bill the computer lit up and asked for a urine sample. Within a minute of pouring his concoction into the slot, the machine ejected the following message: "1: Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener (aisle six). 2: Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him in anti-fungal shampoo (aisle nine). 3: Your daughter is hooked on cocaine. Get her into rehab. 4. Your wife is pregnant with twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer. 5: If you don't stop playing with yourself your elbow will never get any better. Thank you for shopping at Costco."


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Bruce also sent in this video clip that should serve to remind us that...

"We are in some deep (doo doo). And the people in this video are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how badly ignorance as infected our society. Not only do they reproduce, they also vote the way they are told. Buy gold. Buy enough food for you and your loved ones to last at least 6 months. Buy at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for your handgun and your shotgun or rifle. And steel yourself with the knowledge that you may have to kill in order to survive."

Relax Bruce, the morons featured in this video probably made the cut through selective editing. In other words, the producer of the clip likely interviewed dozens of folks, but chose for this video only those who were several fries short of a Happy Meal. But on the off chance I'm wrong, point me to a place I can get a deal on gold. I already have a year's supply of freeze-dried food and lots of ammo for my guns.



• • • • •

If you would like to scroll your way through 38 absolutely stunning WWII-era stateside photos of some of the men and women who produced arms for the GI's fighting overseas, click on the link below sent in by Phil Norton. These photos originated as 35mm Kodachrome slides, and many of them pay homage to "Rosie the Riveter," a cultural icon who represented the American women who worked in factories during the war turning out munitions and other war supplies. Photo quality doesn't get better than this. (Time depends on you.)



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Phil seems to be having a ton of fun with his new iPad. Here's another link he sent, in, but this one takes you to 48 mostly high-quality black and white photos taken during the Civil War. All are captioned so you will know what you are looking at. (Time depends on you.)



• • • • •

Imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars to send your son through college only to hear him say upon graduation that he wants to become a professional mime. (Go ahead. No jury in the world will convict you.) (2 Mins.)



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Dave Clayton has a point when he says it's not the trick shots that impressed him in this clip as much as it was the shooter's ability to concentrate well enough to pull them off. (3 Mins.)



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If you have an out-of-work friend who is looking for a job, Louis Quezada says there are openings in Russia for airbag testers. We're not sure what it pays, but the job looks pretty simple. (2 Mins.)


If commuting to Putin Country is inconvenient, there also are a number of like jobs available in North Carolina where "Mean Dean" Janavice has chosen to live out his retirement. (1 Min.)



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Here is yet another video of a photo montage of WalMart shoppers. This one has a musical soundtrack titled the "Walmartians Song." (4 Mins.)



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Bert Kelsey highly recommends this video about an airline pilot who was bumped from American Airlines Flight 11 shortly before the ill-fated aircraft took off from Boston enroute to L.A. on 9/11. The video is titled. "In My Seat — A Pilot's Story from Sept. 10th and 11th" (16 Mins.)



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Last but far from least, Bill Leavy was very impressed with this clip titled "Soldiers' Deck of Cards." You will be too if you watch it all the way to the end. (3 Mins.)



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That's a wrap and we are outta here. Thanks for hanging out with us for a few minutes.


Pic of the Week:

Returning from the head to find that Hitler
has taken your seat must have sucked!



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