March 26, 2015
Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely
for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does
not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or
REST IN PEACE, MICHAEL...
Michael Johnson, Badge 3718
Mike was a fourteen-year veteran of the SJPD who,
coincidentally, attended the same Police Academy as
Officer Jeffrey Fontana, who died in the line of duty on
Oct 28, 2001.
Most if not all of you who live locally and/or are
active on social media such as Facebook already know as
many of the details of the tragic shooting as we do
since we are not privy to any information that isn't
available to the media. This information about Michael's
death is primarily for those of you who live out of the
area and are unaware that the SJPD lost its 12th officer
in the line of duty Tuesday evening.
We start with the following news clips from the major
Bay Area television stations. A couple of the them aired
a few hours after the shooting; two others aired the
morning after. A more detailed account appears in the
Mercury News article below.
Tuesday Evening Broadcasts...
KTVU Channel 2: “San Jose police mourn slain
officer; Suspect found dead”
~ ~ ~
NBC Bay Area: "Our Hearts Are Heavy": SJPD on
Officer Killed in Line of Duty
~ ~ ~
KRON 4: “Police radio call captures moments SJPD
officer was gunned down”
~ ~ ~
KPIX Channel 5: “San Jose Police Officer Killed In
The Line Of Duty, Gunman Found Dead On Balcony”
~ ~ ~
KGO TV Channel 7: “Tributes Pour in for Fallen San
Jose Police Officer?
• • • • •
From yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) Mercury News…
Officer Killed in S.J.
—Officers surround gunman at apartment; first on-duty
death for SJPD since 2001—
Robert Salonga, Katie Nelson and David E. Early — Staff
SAN JOSE —
A 14-year veteran San Jose police officer was killed
Tuesday evening in a dramatic series of events that
began with a call about a suicidal man and turned into a
massive manhunt for someone police said ambushed
officers, firing at them with a high-powered rifle.
The killing of the officer in the line of duty was the
first in the department in 14 years.
The slain officer, whose identity was not immediately
released, was the 12th SJPD officer killed in the
department’s 166-year history. He was a field training
officer at the time of his death.
Police identified the suspect late Tuesday as Scott
Dunham, 57. San Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel said
officials believed he was by himself in his apartment on
Senter Road as of 11 p.m. but said investigators were
chasing down the possibility that he might be elsewhere.
“As a chief
this is not something we would ever want to do,”
Esquivel said at a news conference late Tuesday. “It’s a
sad day for law enforcement and for the police
department and the community.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo, who added he offered condolences to
the slain officer’s family on behalf of the city, said,
“This is San Jose’s darkest hour. This strikes the heart
of all of us in San Jose and throughout the region.”
launched a massive manhunt after the attack with a
detail consisting of dozens of officers and the MERGE
(SWAT) unit, who all swarmed the area of Senter and
Umbarger roads to find the gunman. Nearby homes were
evacuated as officers and equipment — including armored
vehicles and a helicopter — were summoned from
neighboring police agencies, including the Santa Clara
County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale
police, and the California Highway Patrol.
Esquivel said investigators believe police have Dunham
cornered in the apartment building in the 2600 block of
Senter and that he is alone.
“This investigation will continue until this person is
apprehended,” Esquivel said.
San Jose officers were initially called at 6:48 p.m. by
a family member who said that Dunham was intoxicated,
despondent and possibly meant to harm himself or others,
Esquivel said. As the officers approached the apartment
building on Senter Road and spotted a person on a
balcony, they were fired upon without warning. Police
dispatch recordings show that officers told dispatchers
they believed the man they were searching for had one or
two handguns in the apartment. One of the officers asks
for paramedics and fire crews to stage nearby.
At one point, as they approached the apartment, an
officer said, “We have movement from the blinds at the
apartment,” the recordings show.
An officer calmly reported that a male had stepped out
onto the balcony, describing him as having gray hair, a
gray mustache and a black T-shirt, the recordings show.
Seconds later, the “shots fired” call can be heard,
followed almost immediately by the “officer down” call.
Dispatchers immediately called for the area to be
secured and put out a citywide call for assistance.
Another officer reported that shots were fired at the
man, and that he possibly “went down as well.” Esquivel
confirmed the gunfire exchange and the possibility that
Dunham was wounded.
“This person had the nerve, the audacity, to shoot at
our officers who were on a call for assistance,”
An outpouring of grief flowed from both members of the
public and law enforcement agencies throughout
California and across the nation Tuesday night. Hundreds
of social media users sent their condolences to San Jose
police through the department’s Twitter account.
“It’s extremely painful and shocking,” said Councilman
Tam Nguyen, who represents District 7, where the
shooting occurred. “I’m worried for the safety of other
officers; he’s still at large and still very dangerous.”
Nguyen said he lived in the neighborhood and was not
going home because of the manhunt, but driving around
and waiting to hear more from police.
“I want to let them concentrate on their own safety and
the safety of others,” he said.
The last San Jose police officer killed in the line of
duty was Officer Jeffrey Fontana, a rookie cop who was
shot to death during a high-risk vehicle stop in South
San Jose on October 28, 2001. Before that, in October
1999, Officer Desmond Casey died after the police
helicopter he was piloting crashed.
Staff writer Eric Kurhi contributed to this report.
• • • • •
Statement from the Family of Officer Michael Johnson
Officer Michael Johnson of the San Jose Police
Department was shot and killed while trying to help the
community he loved. We are deeply saddened by his loss
and cannot express in writing how deep a hole in our
hearts we are left with by his passing.
We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers we have
received from the community, both near and far and take
comfort in your sharing our pain and in your recognition
that police officers lay it on the line day in and day
out as they work to make the world a better place.
This is the statement the family intends to make and
greatly appreciate having the space we need to allow our
family to grieve and heal in private.
We love you Mike our husband, son, brother, uncle and
Rest in peace."
Updated video newscasts and articles from today,
Thursday the 26th
Wednesday Evening Newscasts
KTVU Channel 2: “San Jose community pays respects to
fallen officer with somber procession.” (Multiple
~ ~ ~
KRON 4: “Family Member of SJPD Shooter Talks”
~ ~ ~
KPIX Channel 5: “SJPD Mourns Loss of Veteran
~ ~ ~
KGO Channel 7: “Slain San Jose Officer Remembered as
Shooting Investigation Continues"
• • • •
From today's (Thurs.) paper...
Veteran Cop Sends Shock Waves Through Department,
Robert Salonga, David E. Early and Mark Emmons — Staff
News — March 26, 2015
Ed Tracey, of the San Leandro Police Department, pays
his respects for fallen San Jose Officer Michael
flowers Wednesday at SJPD headquarters. Tracey was a
with Oakland police when they lost four officers.
SAN JOSE —
Michael Johnson was everything a community could want in
a police officer. A calm demeanor. Deep local roots.
Someone who saw himself, said a close friend, as a
protector for the rest of us.
Scott Dunham was a troubled man. He had made suicidal
threats and had access to a high-powered rifle.
Early Tuesday night, their lives intersected with tragic
consequences that sent shock waves through a city, left
a police force reeling and provided yet another
heart-wrenching example of the danger faced by law
Johnson, 38, a married Gunderson High graduate and
14-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department, was
shot to death in an apparent ambush while responding to
a 911 call to Dunham’s condominium. The body of Dunham,
57, was found in the early morning hours Wednesday on
the same balcony from where he shot Johnson.
“I wasn’t surprised that he was one of the first
officers there,” said Officer James Gonzales, vice
president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association.
“When people called, Mike came. He was the first line.
He specifically signed up for this assignment.”
The stark reality is the department has become used to
But not like this.
A force that already was becoming the thinnest of blue
lines amid an ongoing exodus of officers to early
retirement and better-paying jobs elsewhere suffered the
most terrible blow imaginable in the loss of Johnson.
“Officers are crying, grieving, and they will obviously
do so for some time,” said Officer Albert Morales, a
department spokesman. “Our hearts, our prayers go out
with the family of Michael, our brother. This is a very
difficult time right now. Rest assured we’ll keep him in
our memories as we go out there and continue to do the
job we love to do, and I’m sure that he loved to do.”
Johnson is the first San Jose officer to die in the line
of duty since 2001 and the 12th in the department’s
166year history. Adding to the heartache was the fact
Johnson was a police academy classmate of Jeffrey
Fontana — the last officer to die in uniform. Fontana
was a rookie officer when he was shot to death in South
Johnson recently became a field-training officer tasked
with showing the ropes to new academy graduates.
“He was easygoing, mild-mannered, and his tone was
soft,” said Sgt. Paul Kelly, the union president and one
of Johnson’s first supervisors. “It’s tough for officers
to go to an area and get the quick relationship and
rapport with people in the community. He seemed not to
talk at people. He would talk with them.”
As flags flew at half-staff at police headquarters and
City Hall, condolences came from around the state and
“Officer Johnson will be remembered for his courage and
dedicated service, and we join the entire San Jose
community in mourning this tragic loss,” Gov. Jerry
Brown said in a statement.
Johnson’s family asked for privacy. A man who identified
himself as the officer’s father said Wednesday that
Johnson “was a brave guy and a hero.”
“We are deeply saddened by his loss and cannot express
in writing how deep a hole in our hearts we are left
with by his passing,” the family said in a statement.
“We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers we have
received from the community, both near and far, and take
comfort in your sharing our pain and in your recognition
that police officers lay it on the line day in and day
out as they work to make the world a better place.”
Gina Thomas, a resident in the neighborhood where
Johnson grew up, said he often stopped, in uniform, to
have dinner with his mother. Among those paying respects
at San Jose police headquarters was Frank Santiago, a
friend and fellow instructor at the Pacific Judo &
Ju-Jitsu Academy in San Jose, where Johnson was a dual
“It’s like losing a brother,” said Santiago, his voice
trembling. “He had the biggest heart, the kindest heart.
I know there are more officers like him out there, but
he was special. He loved serving the community.”
On Tuesday night, Santiago said he was leaving the gym
when he saw police cruisers speeding somewhere in a
hurry. “Then I heard the news that an officer was shot,”
he added. “The first person I thought of was Mike. I
texted him and asked, ‘You OK, bro?’ I knew it was his
area. But he never responded, and Mike always does. It
just broke my heart because I knew.”
Police were responding just before 7 p.m. to a 911 call
from a relative who said an intoxicated Dunham had put a
gun to his head and threatened to kill his wife if she
didn’t leave the condo. Johnson and three other
officers, believing Dunham had access to firearms,
cautiously approached the Senterville Terrace complex on
Senter Road between Umbarger and Lewis roads.
Without warning, and apparently with a rifle, Dunham
Jose Garcia, a painter working on a nearby condo, said
he watched officers move behind cars as cover, saw a man
stand up in the partially enclosed balcony and fire from
about 15 to 20 yards away.
Johnson was hit, and the other officers returned fire.
Dunham’s body, with at least one gunshot wound, was
found on his balcony hours later — at 3:20 a.m. — when
police entered the condo. It was not clear whether he
shot himself or was shot in the brief gun battle.
“Who would have ever expected this guy to come out with
a high-powered rifle, perched with that vantage point?”
Morales said. “They were sitting ducks.”
Billy Lewis lives downstairs from Dunham and was with
his grandchildren when he heard the gunshots.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Lewis said. “We had been
neighbors for a while. He was always really polite and
nice to me.”
San Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel said there was no
record of police ever responding to Dunham’s home.
Dunham pleaded no contest in a Santa Clara County
Sheriff’s case in 1996 to three misdemeanors, including
resisting arrest and two counts of battery.
Amber Golart, writing on KRON-TV’s Facebook page, said
Dunham was her uncle and suffered from mental illness.
“I know my uncle didn’t mean to take” the officer’s
life, she said, adding that he “had a bad mental
breakdown” and that her family members are “deeply sorry
for the loss.” Golart couldn’t be reached to confirm her
comments and relationship to Dunham.
For Johnson’s loved ones, including his wife, Nicole,
and his parents, Kathy Decker and Daniel Johnson,
friends and other officers, no words can begin to heal
Morales said officers are well aware of the danger
officers face every day. In fact, on Wednesday, a Santa
Clara County Sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a driver
who reportedly tried to run him down in the East San
“We do the best we can to go home safely to our
families,” Morales said. “But we also know there’s a
distinct possibility that day might come.”
Staff writers Mark Gomez, Julia Prodis Sulek, Tracey
Kaplan, Katie Nelson and Eric Kurhi contributed to this
• • • •
“Welfare Check” to “Officer Down” in 24 Seconds
such tragedies, we are reminded a cop’s job hazards are
News — March 26, 2015
of a police officer has effects that unsettle us for
years. Like a rock dropped in a pond, it creates
concentric waves that lap at our ignorance and
assumptions, eroding our complacency and our calm. For
the last four years and more, we’ve talked about law
enforcement in San Jose in cold, mechanical terms —
salary, pensions, retiree health care, retention
Tuesday’s fatal shooting of 14-year veteran Michael
Johnson reminds us that the job is fundamentally
different from other dangerous lines of work. It’s not
measured by an actuarial table. It can be ended by the
sudden crack of a bullet fired in anger.
area is blocked off Tuesday night during a search for
gunman who shot San Jose police Officer Michael Johnson.
shooter, Scott Dunham, was found dead hours later near
spot where he fired the fatal shots.
much criticism of police. Do they overreact? How are
they trained?” says ex-Mayor Tom McEnery. “When you see
one of those bright lives extinguished, you’re reminded
that cops aren’t normal people. They’re extraordinary
McEnery knows: He was mayor in 1989 when officers Gene
Simpson and Gordon Silva were killed in a shootout at
Fifth and Santa Clara streets, the site today of City
Hall. He can tell you details about going to the
hospital to check on Silva, who lingered with a pellet
to the groin. A fatal pellet.
The killing of a cop has effects we cannot predict:
After Officer Jeffrey Fontana, a police academy
classmate of Johnson, was gunned down during a
late-night traffic stop in Almaden Valley in 2001, the
legal system wrangled for years about what to do with
his killer, DeShawn Campbell.
When a judge ruled that Campbell was mentally retarded
and thus ineligible for the death penalty, a political
Even longer ago, on the distant edges of memory, the
fatal 1933 shooting downtown of San Jose Officer John
Buck by a robbery suspect he was following produced a
mob outside the jail ready to lynch the shooter, Joseph
Why is the killing of a cop different? The statistics
say that fishermen, lumbermen and even farmers have more
dangerous jobs. The difference is that they don’t strap
on gear every day with the knowledge that a bad or crazy
person may want to take them down.
The chronology of Officer Johnson’s killing, apparently
at the hands of a suicidal gunman named Scott Dunham,
57, will be thoroughly investigated. The tapes will be
analyzed, the officers’ positions will be pinpointed,
the trajectory of the bullet shots will be traced. A
still-estimable but demoralized department will take
lessons learned from the tragedy, as it did from the
deaths of Simpson, Silva and Fontana.
It doesn’t change the inherent danger of the job. In the
end, the sacrifice cannot be measured in money or
allayed by the sweet promise of retirement. It’s
calibrated in the quiet heroism of a daily routine
punctuated by violence.
Press releases don’t ordinarily reach poetry, but DA
Jeff Rosen might have said it best Wednesday: “Michael
Johnson lost his life, a life spent protecting ours,
trying to help someone who had lost the value of his
• • • •
Officer’s Shooter Attacked Own Wife in 1996
—Record expunged after man kept out of trouble for
Tracey Kaplan and Eric Kurhi — Staff writers
News — March 26, 2015
years before San Jose police say he fatally shot Officer
Michael Johnson, a drunken Scott Dunham savagely
attacked his wife and resisted arrest by the two
officers who came to her aid. But since that 1996
incident, for which he spent three days in jail for
battery, Dunham kept a low profile as a Foothill
Community College groundskeeper who retired three years
ago and had no apparent further bouts with police until
Tuesday. That night, police said, a family member called
emergency dispatchers to report that Dunham was
intoxicated, despondent and possibly meant to harm
himself or others. When Johnson and other officers
arrived at his home on Senter Road, Dunham opened fire
apparently without warning, killing Johnson. Dunham died
sometime after, either from a volley of police fire or a
self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The only hint of the brewing violence that would end his
and the officer’s lives came in a 1996 incident. Dunham,
now 57, pleaded no contest that year to three
misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and two counts
of battery. According to court records, the victims were
his then-15-year-old daughter and common-law wife.
In an incident report dated Feb. 20, 1996, a Santa Clara
County sheriff’s deputy who responded to a 9 p.m. call
to the family’s residence on Clifton Avenue, wrote that
Dunham’s wife told him her husband “has an alcohol
problem.” Tuesday, his wife also reported he was
“He gets angry and violent after drinking,” she said,
according to the 1996 incident report. “Today the
argument started because (he) burped in (her) face and
would not clean up some salmon from the couch.”
According to the report, Dunham’s wife yelled at him,
and he got up to go to the bathroom. She started to
follow and he pushed her while they were in the hallway,
then hit her in the head with a closed fist, got on top
of her and began choking her.
Their daughter tried to yank him off, but “he pulled her
hair” and ripped her sweater, according to the report.
The girl then threw a book at her dad while he was on
top of her mother, but missed and hit her mother in the
The wife managed to get away and call 911 from a
The officers found Dunham lying on his bed, with a buck
knife in a sheath on his belt. One officer ordered him
three times to get off the bed and put his hands behind
his back, but he refused. The officer then said he would
use his pepper spray on him, and Dunham replied, “Go
ahead and spray.” The officers sprayed him and took him
Both victims told the deputies they did not want to
press charges. But the District Attorney’s Office
prosecuted him anyway. After pleading no contest, Dunham
was sentenced to three days in county jail, three years’
probation and ordered to undergo counseling. The court
also approved a short-term protective order for his
After complying with the terms of his sentence, Dunham
successfully moved to have a judge to expunge the case
under a section of the law that allows such relief in
order to give people a fresh start.
Dunham had no other criminal history in Santa Clara
County until his wife called police Tuesday to report he
According to Kevin McElroy, vice chancellor for business
services for the Foothill-De Anza College District,
Dunham worked for the district from Oct. 1, 1998, until
June 30, 2012, when he “resigned for the purpose of
retirement.” McElroy said Dunham started as a grounds
gardener, worked as a construction laborer for a time
and retired as an upper-level gardener.
He did not personally have any knowledge of Dunham, and
said personnel confidentiality requirements prevented
any further disclosures.
Fatima Salahuddin, who lives in the adjoining second
floor condo, saw Scott Dunham once in awhile at the
mailboxes. “He would say hello very nice,” she said.
The family was shocked not only by his involvement in
the killing but also by the condition of their condo
when they returned home Wednesday after being evacuated
about 10 p.m. Tuesday night. Police had blasted a hole
through their living room wall and inserted a small
robotic device to search Dunham’s condo.
“They say they will pay for it,” Salahuddin said.
A woman who identified herself as Dunham’s niece posted
a note on the KRON TV website apologizing for her uncle
and saying that her family was “very sorry” about the
officer’s death. Her account could not be independently
“I know my uncle didn’t mean to take this officers (sic)
life. My uncle had a bad mental break down. Our family
is very sorry!!! The news doesn’t report the whole
story, it doesn’t make it better.... but helps to
explain it. From our family to theres (sic) we are
deeply sorry for the loss.”
• • • •
Mourns Officer Slain Senselessly
News — March 26, 2015
sorrow gripped San Jose Wednesday over the senseless
slaying of Officer Michael Johnson Tuesday night.
His death in a burst of gunfire from a high-powered
rifle fired in ambush leaves no room to question whether
he or his fellow officers on the scene could have done
anything differently, no room for any reaction but
It was the ultimate nightmare of all police officers and
the people who love them — and a grim reminder to us all
of the danger officers face every day just by putting on
their uniforms in public service.
That danger has been particularly present in the minds
of Johnson and the rest of his academy class from 14
years ago. Soon after graduation, their classmate,
Jeffrey Fontana, was cut down in the line of duty when
he stopped the car of a wanted felon. He didn’t see it
coming. And while no one can function living in fear at
every moment, his memory surely has changed his friends’
Across the city Tuesday night, as word spread of this
tragedy, reactions where people gathered in person or on
social media were nearly universal. For all our
political wrangling over pensions and such, we know the
men and women of this police department put their lives
on the line each day for every one of us. And the grief
was real, even before we knew whether the victim was a
rookie or a veteran, a man or a woman.
This was the classic completely pointless killing. The
call was about an armed and possibly suicidal man.
Approaching the apartment building on Senter Road with
three other officers, Johnson, a training officer,
probably was mentally preparing for an emotionally and
intellectually challenging encounter, aware of the
danger in confronting what might be an unbalanced person
— and yet, on some level, unaware of how imminent that
danger was. There was no confrontation. The shots fired
from a balcony closed the conversation before it began.
We have been fortunate that this happens seldom in our
city. Fontana’s slaying in 2001, the last one before
Johnson’s, can still bring tears: that handsome young
man and the cruel end of his promising life.
A park was named in Fontana’s honor in the Almaden
Valley, not far from the spot where he died. It would be
a nice place to go to pay quiet homage to both of the
Everywhere today, the loss of Officer Michael Johnson
weighs heavily on San Jose and the Bay Area. We think of
his family, his loved ones, his fellow officers. For
them, the loss is most personal. But it is very real for
all of us.
For all our political wrangling over pensions and such,
we know the men and women of the San Jose Police
Department put their lives on the line each day for
every one of us.
• • • • •
The POA is accepting donations for Michael’s family.
Look for the link on the POA’s home page at <www.sjpoa.com>
Funeral arrangements are being made today. We will send
out a special notification when they are formalized.
This week's edition was excellent. Among many other
gems, I really enjoyed the speech by the NYPD Harvard
grad. My answer to your question is "Pick his brain"
since he's obviously very bright and he has such great
I was deeply saddened to read of the tragedy that befell
the Lira family. Rich worked for me for several shifts
and was a very solid cop, not to mention being a truly
nice and decent man. I hate to think of the pain he and
his family are suffering. Would you happen to know a way
to get his mailing address or even an email address? If
not, is there anybody you could put me in touch with who
might be able to help? I can try calling the PD but I'm
afraid they would force him to call me back rather than
give out any info. I don't want him to have to do
anything so soon after his loss. If nothing is readily
available to you, please don't go out of your way. I can
try reaching one of the remaining few who I still know
at the PD.
Thanks and take care.
I told Les I didn’t have the contact info he requested
and suggested he send his condolences to Rich in care of
• • • • •
My Dad sent me an email yesterday from your website
concerning the recent death of Kent Cossey. I went to
high school with his son Neil and he was one of my
closest friends. In addition, Jack Baxter was married to
my aunt many years ago. I always thought Kent was a good
guy and I have plenty of memories of him. Needless to
say I am very saddened by his passing.
Unfortunately Neil and I have lost touch over the years
and I am unable to attend Kent's memorial. The reason
being for this is seven years ago I moved to San Diego
when I joined the United States Border Patrol.
The reason I am writing you now is that I was hoping you
could possibly pass on some contact information for Neil
so that I could relay my condolences personally. If that
is not possible I would understand. You don't know me
from a hole in the wall and Neil is a police officer
whose privacy should be considered. Barring that, if you
could even pass on my contact information perhaps he
could contact me. Either way, any help you could provide
would surely be appreciated.
I called Neil and explained that Nick was trying to
contact him. Neil recognized the name and said it was
fine to provide him with the number.
• • • • •
Disgusting is the only way to describe this Wisconsin
rally. What’s even worse is that a teachers’ union
helped fund it. Click on the link below
(HERE) for the details. A video of the protest
is also on YouTube (below). What the hell is going on in
Ouch, this smarts. My late wife chose teaching as a
CONTROVERSIAL? YOU BE THE JUDGE
Due to its length, We felt this contribution from Dave
Scannell qualified as a stand-alone item…
Hope you are well. Be advised, this article could upset
some folks. I should say that it most likely will for
sure. It might be a bit stark for some readers.
Admittedly I took some risks writing this one, but you
know, sometimes things just have to be said, fair and
square, and sometimes those things aren't so pretty or
so popular. Let the chips fall where they may. This one
is about the Muslim world vs the West. Just like in our
own politics there is no compromise between the sides at
this juncture. It might just have to play itself out in
more and more aggressive behavior on all sides. We'll
have to see.
Have a read.
— We Say
through the rift. The rift of time, ideas and feelings
in the West and our way of living, and that of the
thoughts and emotions of the Muslim world. In some
sense, it's about projections with a little reality
truth thrown in to spice things up.
How would a fictional conservative, somewhat angry
Muslim group and a slightly educated, rather opinionated
and talkative group of Americans respond to each other
in a short somewhat tense dialogue. It might go
something like this:
They say: It's about a code. You have to understand. A
moral code has to be written into the foundation
Constitution of a country. In our part of the world, we
prefer a strict moral code, and we'll fight to the death
to defend it.
We say: What are you talking about — moral code? That's
just nonsense. Freedom is the only code you need. Civil
law rules. Moral codes are simply for immature fools.
Give us a break with your "moral codes."
They say: Without a moral code people don't know which
direction to go, they don't stand for anything; and
eventually lose their way in the praise, pride and
prancing of a temporary mass culture. Everything gets
out of balance, people get torn up inside. Your
Constitution is so leaky that it allows anything and
everything. Nine East Coast people in black no one
elected. Bunch of barking dogs. People get so used to
half truths and corrupt thinking, that they actually
believe they have superior clarity. You Westerners can't
see through your own dollar signs.
We say: So what if it is, and what if we are. Who cares
anyway? It's our Constitution, not yours. We like sex,
drugs and rock and roll. We love rehab. It's the fastest
growing sector for the economy. It's like a vacation.
Can't you see that? At least we don't kill innocent
people, and show it on YouTube.
They say: I suppose you're right about that. Let's see,
Umm....You had only over eleven thousand people killed
by the gun last year, and over 10,000 killed by your
drunk drivers. That doesn't even count the injured or
disabled, and those who got stabbed or beaten to death.
I supposed your jails and prisons are overflowing
because you're such nice and peaceful people. Look in
the mirror; look at your movies. You're just a bunch of
violent pigs. You Tube....!?! You show your violence on
the big screen everyday.
We say: Don't quote us numbers, 'cause they don't count.
You still don't get it, do you? Those numbers are pretty
much standard for us. We like our booze, and we love our
guns. People get killed everyday, so? Plus, here porn is
over a five billion dollar industry. And we like that,
too. You like your women all covered up, and we want to
see 'em in nothing but skin, posed and ready for action.
And crooked politicians; they are a dime a dozen here,
bought and paid for through corporate slush funds, and
back door favors. Nobody cares that much. Can't you see
that? That's how things get done. As for violence; it's
action, that's all. So it's a little over the top
sometimes, and granted a little gratuitous. So what? I
am trying to get through to you; that's what freedom is
all about. People have the right to sink to the lowest
level, settle in, and live there. That's their choice.
So what if we allow it — even promote it? Advertise it
all over the place. That's our right too. People get
rich, that's where the money is. Might as well enjoy the
ride. And so what if our prisons are overflowing with
the uneducated, underprivileged crowd. That's just the
friggin' breaks of life.
Listen my friend; you just give us another few decades,
and a couple of more excuses, and after we bomb the
stuffing out of you, we're going to pave over your
deserts, and build cheap but beautiful shopping centers
so you too can become mass consumers like us. Gobble up
all that good stuff. What? Are you blind or something?
This is freedom man. This is how free people act. You
have got to get your emotions under control, and get
your act together. Reflect in terms of crooked or
twisted or even perverted thought patterns that might
help expand your mind. You'll get used to it. Once you
get the hang of it, you'll love it forever. Pleasure
man, it's the only way to go. It's the only way there
is. Can’t get enough of it. You'll see. Moral codes and
ethics and all that junk are "For Sale" here. All just
market commodities. That stuff is old news, bad news, so
last century. It's for suckers and losers. You people
over there are way too serious. You're depressing.
You've got to get with it!
They say: Yes, the whole world understands. The whole
world sees you. But you, you are the blind ones. You're
a psych ward with guns all dressed up as a nation.
You're all gluttons. You're blinded by your own greed.
You're flabby. You're fat. You're possessed by made-up
fictional nonsense, but you are free. You've trapped
yourselves in the whore house of freedom; not the
celestial castle. Whoopee!!! You make me sick.
Everything you just said proves my point.
We say: Bombs away!!!
Long reflective pause:
They say: Now you know why we call you the Great Satan
from the West. You commit more transgressions against
women than most any other country, but you just don't
want to admit it. You're the ones who bury your heads in
those dark porn places then try to convince everybody on
how open and honest you are. You're just slaves to your
own senses, that's all. You're just boisterous
pretenders of the good. When you get challenged; it's
annihilation bombs away, just to prove how righteous you
We say: And you?!? You use people as bombs.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
busy filling out their March Madness brackets. Even Jeb
Bush filled one out. And you can tell he’s running for
president because his picks for the Final Four are Iowa,
Iowa, Iowa, and Iowa.
President Obama recently sat down with ESPN and said the
NCAA should reduce the shot clock for basketball games.
Then he said, “And while we're at it, is there any way
they can reduce the 'being president clock?'"
According to a professor at DePaul University, if a
person randomly fills out his March Madness bracket, he
has a one in 9.2 quintillion chance of getting it
perfect. Or as gamblers put it, “So you're saying I've
got a chance!”
In an interview with Playboy magazine, Dick Cheney
criticized President Obama and said he's quote, “the
worst president of my lifetime, without question.” Then
Cheney said, “But enough talk. When do I take my clothes
During a speech yesterday, President Obama discussed the
country's successful economy and said, "I'm going to
take a little credit." Then the people at the rally
said, "Dude, we're all here in the middle of the day
because we don't have jobs. So stop talking about how
good the economy is."
Obama discussed the successful economy and said "I'm
going to take a little credit." Then the economy got bad
again and he said, "Republicans did it."
President Obama was photographed wearing a fitness
tracker that features a GPS, heart monitor, and step
counter. Not to be outdone, Joe Biden was photographed
wearing a necklace with his name, address, and allergies
in case he gets lost.
A lawmaker in Nevada just introduced a new bill that
would provide pets with medical marijuana. Weed for
pets. Which raises the question: Is it possible for cats
to sleep 25 hours a day? Is that possible?
Yesterday President Obama addressed climate change by
signing an executive order to cut the country's gas
emissions by 40 percent over the next 10 years. Then he
said, “And if it fails, who cares? I'll be halfway to
Mars by then."
It’s rumored that Obama recently purchased a house in
Hawaii that was featured on the show “Magnum P.I.” Not
to be outdone, Biden is moving into SpongeBob's
Prince Charles visited President Obama at the White
House yesterday. They each had a good laugh and then
Amazon introduced its one-hour delivery service to parts
of Miami yesterday. When asked what they want to get
delivered so quickly, people in Miami said, “Are you a
Texas Senator Ted Cruz officially announced that he's
running for president. Cruz said that after doing
exhaustive research to see if he had a real chance to
win, he said, “I'm gonna run anyway.”
Republican Ted Cruz announced that he will run for
president in 2016. So finally, Carnival is no longer the
most dangerous cruise in America.
According to a new poll, exactly 50 percent of Americans
view President Obama's presidency as a success. While
the other half of Americans are actually candidates for
the Republican presidential nomination.
While he was discussing U.S.-Israeli relations
yesterday, John McCain told Obama to quote, "Get over
your temper tantrum, Mr. President." I didn't even know
Obama could get mad.
During a recent interview, President Obama revealed that
he doesn't always get enough sleep. And I think I speak
for everyone when I say, “Good! We pay you to worry
about stuff so WE can sleep. That’s why you are the
President Obama admitted that he doesn't get enough
sleep. But doctors said he should find little tricks to
doze off, like counting intruders jumping over the White
Over the weekend, a man in Italy hand-delivered a pizza
to Pope Francis while he was riding through the streets
in his Popemobile. That means he just achieved "peak
A man delivered a pizza to Pope Francis. Francis
actually liked it more than the pizza he gets from his
usual place — “Pope-a-John's.”
interview with Playboy — that's right, Playboy — Dick
Cheney said President Obama is the worst president in
his lifetime. Meanwhile, subscribers to Playboy said
Cheney was the worst centerfold in their lifetime.
President Obama filled out his March Madness bracket.
You can tell Obama's mind is elsewhere because his top
two picks were Israel and Iran.
President Obama has decided that he wants his
presidential library to be in Chicago, not Hawaii. Today
Hawaii's governor said, "Great, who's going to want to
come to Hawaii now?"
A new study has shown that women who get more sleep have
better sex. Unfortunately, the study was conducted by
Texas senator and tea party favorite Ted Cruz announced
he's running for president. He pledged to lead America
boldly forward into the 1950s.
Ted Cruz released a presidential campaign video in
Spanish. Cruz explained, "It's important for me to reach
out to the people I'm trying to deport."
People are questioning if Ted Cruz can legally run for
president because he was born in Canada. And the last
thing we want to do is pave the way for a President
The FDA has approved a potato genetically engineered not
to bruise. Scientists are so confident the potato will
not bruise that next weekend they're having it fight
Tea party candidate Ted Cruz announced he's running for
president. He says he wants to abolish the IRS. So today
Cruz was endorsed by Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, and
Ted Cruz says he used to like rock music but after 9/11,
he prefers country. Upon hearing this, al-Qaida said,
"That was the plan."
Burger King announced its chicken fries will be served
year round now. Previously, the chicken fries have only
been sold during heart attack season but now you can get
them whenever you want.
A new article states that millennials have terrible
conversational skills. When asked for comment,
millennials texted a series of crying frowny faces.
to a new study, doctors now say that loneliness is more
dangerous than smoking and drinking. So they recommend
that you smoke and drink with others.
What is also dangerous is criticizing Vladimir Putin.
Everybody was upset that Vladimir Putin was missing. He
was in Switzerland with his girlfriend. She had a baby
in Switzerland because in Russia childbirth is not
covered by Putin-care.
Mitt Romney, two-time Republican presidential candidate,
is going to fight Evander Holyfield for charity. I hope
they save some of that money for funeral expenses.
Burger King is now making a Whopper-scented cologne. But
there is a warning. If you wear Burger King's Whopper
cologne, don't go near a lion cage. You know, I think
I'll just stick with my Steak and Shake aftershave.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he is running for
president. Ted Cruz was born in Canada, his father fled
to the United States from Cuba, and yet Ted Cruz is
against immigration. Isn't that odd?
Ted Cruz could be president of the United States. If you
thought the Secret Service was drinking before...
President Obama and Hillary Clinton had lunch today. Of
course, Hillary had a private server.
Tea party candidate Ted Cruz, Republican senator from
Texas, wants to be president. That means he's one step
closer to being a Fox News analyst.
Republican Congressman Peter King called Ted Cruz a
carnival barker. That is such an insult to carnival
Ted Cruz is the first official candidate for the 2016
presidential election. As history has shown, the first
declared candidate always goes on to win the election —
except in 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988,
1984, 1980, 1976, 1972, 1968, 1964, 1960, 1956...
We are in
Austin, Texas. I've been away from L.A. for five days.
I've already forgotten what kale tastes like. I now eat
my vegetables fried as God intended.
I have now consumed every food Austin has to offer. My
body is dangerously close to no longer being considered
This is how I know I have a problem. Last night when
asked if I wanted sparkling or regular water, I said,
"Bring me a glass of queso."
South by Southwest is quite an event. It's where music,
movies, and technology come together. The tech portion
came to a close last night so don't worry, the nerds are
gone. They zoomed off in their driverless cars to who
Thank you for joining us here in Austin, Texas. I don't
want to leave but I have to leave because if I stay any
longer my body will turn into brisket.
I really do have to go home. None of my clothes fit
anymore. My socks are even tight. That's when you know.
The South by Southwest festival, which is the reason we
came this week, goes on until Sunday. This morning Snoop
Dogg spoke about the future of music. His speech went
great but he was a little freaked out by the screen full
of words that seemed to know everything he was about to
The first known candidate to enter the presidential race
in 2016 is Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Announcing your
candidacy before everyone else does is kind of like
being the first celebrity to show up on the red carpet
at the Oscars. It's not a great thing.
Chelsea Clinton is here tonight. Chelsea's here to
promote the "Serve a Year" campaign. A lot of
celebrities do this. They serve a year, sometimes less
with good behavior.
UCLA will play Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga
comes from the land of imaginary schools that only exist
during March Madness.
Most NCAA office pools are illegal. That's what makes it
so exciting — the thrill of potentially doing hard time
for circling the word "Valparaiso" on a piece of paper.
It's sad that the one thing that we actually enjoy about
work is against the law.
said in a Playboy interview this week that Barack Obama
is the worst president of his lifetime. Come on, you
can’t tell me Obama is worse than Martin Van Buren.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was stopped by police in Australia
this week for riding a bike without a helmet. It’s
especially dangerous for Schwarzenegger because if he
got a concussion, how would you know?
Blackberry and Samsung are working together on a new
project to build a high-security tablet. The way it
works is this: It says “Blackberry” on the back and
nobody wants to steal it.
March Madness is officially underway and there have
already been some major upsets. For instance, I told my
wife I was going to watch basketball all weekend and she
was really upset.
Mitt Romney said this week that his biggest campaign
mistake in 2012 was not communicating well with
minorities. The only minority he did well with was
Senator Ted Cruz has officially announced that he is
running for president. But if you see a T-shirt that
says “Ted Cruz 2016,” those aren’t election shirts.
That’s just how old he thinks the Earth is.
March Madness is now down to the Sweet 16. Here’s who’s
out: the team of all white guys that passes well but
only shoots threes. They’re out. The small school where
the coach is one of the players' dads. Out. And the team
you picked to go all the way. Out.
Starbucks is discontinuing its “Race Together”
initiative where baristas were asked to discuss race
relations with customers. Apparently, there aren’t many
combinations worse than “racial discussions” and “hot
Larry King reportedly tweets by calling a designated
voice mail and leaving a message, and then an assistant
tweets the message for him. Which I guess explains why
so many of his tweets begin with “Hello, operator?”
Former president George W. Bush will be in Dallas this
week raising money for his brother Jeb's presidential
run. He plans to raise the money by campaigning for Ted
Ted Cruz said today that if elected president, he'll
tell the truth and do what he said he'd do. And guys, I
know we've been burned 44 times on this, but I have a
good feeling about this guy.
Despite being Pope for only a short time, Pope Francis
is already being credited with a miracle. Apparently, he
called Time Warner Cable and got a representative right
A new study has found that 70 minutes of math and
science homework per night is best for teenage students.
Said teenage students, "What? That's two hours!"
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 21, 2015
Did Hillary Rodham fail her 1973 attempt to pass the
Washington, D.C. bar exam?
For the most current (March 21st) update that answers
that question, click
• • • • •
Leroy and I
are thinking of taking up a collection so we can buy
Fritz a pair of glasses. Watch
THIS and see if you want to contribute to the cause.
• • • • •
As amazing dogs go,
THIS canine that put on a show during halftime at a
Philadelphia Eagles’ game last year has to rank near the
top of the list. (4:10)
• • • • •
TIME to check the 2015 edition of People are Awesome
and see what’s new. (4:45)
HERE if you who missed seeing last year’s
If you are into this sort of stuff,
THIS longer similar video titled “People Are Amazing
- Nothing Is Impossible” might pique your interest. It
definitely lives up to its title. (23:31)
• • • •
This guy is
hoping to see the calving of a glacier in Greenland.
HAPPENS at the 50-second mark, he keeps repeating
the word “Wow!” Had it been me, I would have chosen a
four-letter word. (2:27)
• • • • •
to try and identify what
THIS is? We're thinking it might be something
straight out of the X-Files? What's your take? (2:35)
• • • •
Various law enforcement agencies in the state of Georgia
came up with
THIS public service announcement in an effort to cut
down on road rage incidents which are somewhat common in
the South. (1:18)
• • • • •
If any of you fine gentlemen of Italian descent have an
THIS video, take it up with Bruce Morton. We’ll even
provide you with his home address if you are especially
angry. (Sorry, Bruce. Better you than us if someone is
going to go swimming with the fishes.) (1:21)
• • • • •
Bruce Fair says
THIS is a rather unusual way for an airline pilot to
impress a group of girls. He has a point. (0:26)
• • • • •
THESE people who created a roller coaster on the
sidewalk should get an award for their imagination,
ingenuity and costume design. (0:21)
• • • • •
THIS "60 Minutes" segment Leroy found is about an
orphanage for baby elephants that are in need of special
care due to the death of their mothers. It’s presented
by Bob Simon, who died in an auto accident in New York
City a few weeks ago. If you care about wildlife, you
should find this story as moving as it is interesting.
• • • • •
Pop Quiz: Of 30 major U.S. cities in this study, which
one has the highest median family income? Give up? Click
HERE and note the last city on the chart.
• • • • •
Pop Quiz No. 2: Any idea what this is? Click
HERE and you will know immediately what it is, and
what it becomes. (0:34)
• • • • •
Was the media
RESPONSIBLE for spreading the “Hands Up, Don’t
Shoot” hoax? That rhetorical question is backed up by
this video. (1:34)
• • • • •
Police departments are able to practice community
policing and provide outreach to the homeless
ONLY if they are properly funded, something the good
citizens of San Jose probably won’t see for several
years. It also takes a special kind of cop who wants to
do this type of police work. Kudos to the Houston PD for
initiating this program. (4:57)
• • • • •
Give it up, kid, you are
NOT going to bring this dummy back to life. Being
brain dead is only half of his problem. (1:17)
• • • • •
As pranks go,
THIS one with the misplaced bottom is hard to top.
(Get it?) Check it out. (2:14)
• • • • •
Speaking of pranks, we were unaware that there was some
sort of prank competition going on between Matt Lauer
and Ellen DeGeneres until a couple of readers sent us
THIS clip. (5:23)
• • • • •
According to Sharon Lansdowne, your dog’s expression can
tell you if if it has been involved in a sex scandal…
• • • • •
We were dressed and ready to go out for a dinner and
theater evening. We turned on a 'night light', turned
the answering machine on, covered our pet parrot and put
the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local taxi
company and requested a taxi.
The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave
the house. As we walked out the door, the cat we had put
out in the yard scooted back into the house. We didn't
want her shut in the house because she always tries to
get at the parrot.
My wife walked on out to the taxi while I went back
inside to get the cat. The cat ran upstairs, with me in
Waiting in the cab, my wife didn't want the driver to
know that the house would be empty for the night so, she
explained to the taxi driver that I would be out soon.
"He's just going upstairs to say good-bye to my mother."
A few minutes later, I got into the cab.
"Sorry I took so long," I said, as we drove away. "That
stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her
in the ass with a coat hanger to get her to come out.
She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck and
had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching
me, but it worked. I hauled her downstairs and threw her
out into the backyard! She'd better not crap in the
vegetable garden again!"
The silence in the taxi was deafening.
• • • • •
For you WW II history buffs,
HERE’S a link from Bruce Morton to an excellent,
highly-detailed photo collection of the Battle of Midway
and the Aleutian Campaign published by the Atlantic. The
page is from the magazine’s ongoing 20-part series
titled “World War II in Photos.”
torpedo bombers of Torpedo Squadron Six unfold their
wings on the deck of the USS
Enterprise prior to launching an attack against four
Japanese carriers on the first day of the
Battle of Midway. The squadron subsequently lost ten of
fourteen aircraft during their attack.
Ed. — TBD-1s were sitting ducks for the Japanese
carriers’ guns as they were slow and had to fly in a
straight line just above the water during their torpedo
attacks. It was the Navy’s dive bombers that sunk and/or
crippled the carriers that forced the Japanese battle
group to turn and run.
• • • • •
If you want to see some clever and useful ways to
recycle items you may have laying around the house,
HERE will take you to a special website provided by
Bruce Fair in the Last of Flat. (Just how flat is
Kansas? We heard that if you stand on a penny in the
middle of the state, you can see Colorado, Nebraska,
Missouri and Oklahoma.)
• • • • •
this would be an appropriate way to acknowledge the 5th
anniversary of Obamacare…
• • • •
Doug Smith is on his deathbed and knows the end is near.
His nurse, his wife, his daughter and 2 sons are with
He asks for 2 witnesses to be present and a camcorder to
be in place to record his last wishes. When all is ready
he begins to speak:
"My son Bernie, I want you to take the Mayfair houses."
"My daughter Sybil, you take the apartments over in the
"My son Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in
the City Center."
"Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential
buildings on the banks of the river."
The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not
realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away,
the nurse says,
"Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been a really
hard-working man to have accumulated all that property".
"Property?" Sarah replies, "The idiot had a paper
• • • • •
THIS latest Redneck fad of couch surfing look like
fun? Almost makes us want to get all spiffied up in
slacks and a sports coat and give it a try. Almost.
• • • • •
(Caution, this is R-rated British humour):
Sir Reginald would like to
SHOW you his marvelous organ. Not only that, he’ll
even break into song and tell you about it. (2:06)
• • • • •
THIS doesn’t cause a chuckle or three, you may need
to see a shrink. Pictured below is Fritz Coleman, the
weatherman for an NBC TV affiliate in Southern
California. If you are over the age of 60 and haven’t
yet heard him give his keynote address at the Conference
on Aging, you missed out on some seriously funny stuff.
Perhaps that’s why it has received over 3 million views
and why so many readers sent us the video. (14:59)
• • • •
peace, Michael. We are all praying for you and your
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Additions and changes since the last published update
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Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
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Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
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Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
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Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
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Taves, Phil & Paula
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Van Dyck, Lois
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Windisch Jr., Steve