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The Farsider

April 17, 2014

 

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.



 

PENSION NEWS

April 13th

Bill,

Here is another article from the Sacramento Bee that appeared in the "Viewpoints" section of the paper. The author? You guessed it, Chuck Reed. It is his same-o same-o, blah-blah-blah, dribble. Nothing really new if you are already familiar with his diatribe

What is interesting, however, is that this piece is a "Special to the Bee," meaning there was some coordination between the Bee's editorial staff and Reed. Why? The Bee, in my view, is even more pro-pension-reform than the Mercury News. As near as I can tell, the Mercury News has not publish this article, at least not yet. After having had his butt handed to him on a platter following the Measure B litigation, Reed is now targeting the state elected and appointed officials who "nest" in Sacramento and can influence his effort for "reform" in 2016, thus help him obtain the financial support that he needs.

As John Tennant used to say, "Roll the union on..."

Regards,
 
Craig Shuey
<cvshuey1459@gmail.com>

It's good to know we can count on you as our Sacramento correspondent, Craig. Keep up the good work.

Viewpoints: California Needs Substantial Pension Reform

By Chuck Reed

Special to The Bee — April 13, 2014

With each day that passes, the need for pension reform becomes even clearer. Last fall, I was one of five local elected leaders who proposed a ballot measure that would empower local governments to address their pension problems. While public employee unions and their allies prevented us from placing this measure on the 2014 ballot, the delay has neither discouraged nor dissuaded us. The issue is just too important, and the numbers are growing even more startling.

The state teacher pension fund, CalSTRS, needs an extra $4.5 billion each year for 30 years to pay off its unfunded liabilities. CalPERS’ local government members will see costs increase by 50 percent during the next six years. And the state needs to contribute $1 billion more per year for retiree health care benefits.

These obligations for benefits already earned must be paid, and over the next decade, they will continue to drain funding from essential services such as education, public safety, transportation and health care.

Yet, powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations. As everyone with a credit card knows, failing to make your monthly payments dramatically raises the cost of paying off the debt and increases the risk of financial ruin.

In the case of CalSTRS, for each year a funding plan is delayed, the Legislative Analyst’s Office has calculated that the annual required contribution rises by another $150 million. And without change, CalSTRS’ actuaries predict that its pension fund will run out of money in 30 years. That’s around the time teachers hired this year will be getting ready to retire.

Moody’s, one of the nation’s leading credit ratings agency, further underscored the need for prompt action when it recently declared that the fact voters will not be able to consider pension reform in 2014 is “credit negative” for California.

To avoid this looming disaster, we must do two things. One, we must pay the annual required pension contribution to ensure our public servants receive the benefits they have earned. And two, we need to reduce the cost of future benefits so that government agencies can provide essential services to the public.

That’s the goal behind the initiative my fellow mayors and I have proposed. Our measure explicitly protects the retirement benefits that employees have earned, while allowing government agencies to negotiate reductions to current employees’ future, unaccrued benefits. This is how it works in the private sector and for government pensions in at least 18 other states. And while the initiative would provide flexibility to adjust benefits to match economic realities, it would be up to each city, county and school district to sit down with their employees at the bargaining table to decide what specific changes are needed.

These reforms match the recommendations of California’s independent government watchdog, the Little Hoover Commission, which concluded that “the state and local governments need the authority to restructure future, unearned retirement benefits for their employees.” Moody’s recent report also warned that local government agencies are facing rapidly growing pension costs “with few tools to address them.”

That’s why we remain committed to enacting significant pension reforms as soon as possible.

We are open to others’ ideas and welcome a dialogue with labor groups on what they believe will solve the problem. But it’s clear that we need to address the legal constraints that prevent employers and employees from negotiating new contracts that will reduce pension debts, increase retirement security and minimize the long-term cost to taxpayers.

The LAO is right. The CalSTRS actuaries are right. Moody’s is right. The Little Hoover Commission is right. California needs substantial pension reform. And the longer it takes to act, the pain will only get worse.


 

POA UPDATES



April 11th

New information was revealed today that bolsters the allegations contained in two complaints filed against Councilmember Sam Liccardo that allege he broke state campaign finance laws and violated San Jose election laws.

The new details can be found by clicking this link to The Daily Fetch. Please click "Like" on the linked page to share this troubling information on your personal Facebook page.

<http://tinyurl.com/q7elazs>

The POA will keep you informed of further developments as they occur.

 

 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE S.J.P.D.

Does the Sheriff's Office have so many deputies that some of them could work what would basically be pay jobs patrolling the streets of San Jose? Apparently so...

Proposal Would Bring in Deputies

—County supervisors to consider effort to bolster police force—

By Eric Kurhi
<ekurhi@mercurynews.com
Mercury News — April 14, 2014

SAN JOSE — With an eye to stock the city’s draining — and slow to replenish — pool of police officers, Santa Clara County may offer the services of sheriff’s deputies to help temporarily cope with the ongoing blue outflow.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider reaching out to San Jose city officials to facilitate an effort that would use unspent police funds to pay for help from sheriff’s deputies. The move would be to temporarily cope with the ongoing exodus until San Jose’s own force is replenished.

“San Jose has budgeted funds well in excess of the current law enforcement personnel in the department, resulting in funded, unfilled positions,” reads the staff report for the proposal, sponsored by current supervisor and mayoral candidate Dave Cortese.

Cortese said “it’s an idea that’s been kicked around for a while” by local government officials looking at various scenarios that could play out after austerity and pension reform measures at the Police Department started being implemented in 2008. Councilman Sam Liccardo, who is also a mayoral candidate, said Friday that while he hadn’t heard of the county’s latest consideration, he agreed it is not a new idea. He pointed to his successful efforts for additional sheriff’s patrols downtown through its contract with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as well as a failed drive to switch the force at the airport from city to county in 2011.

“It’s something that in many ways is already being done,” he said. “If it means more people with badges on the streets, I’m for it.”

‘Intriguing idea’

The work would come on a contract basis, in the same manner the Sheriff’s Office provides services to Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos Hills, the Superior Court system, VTA and Stanford University.

The deputies could target areas of the city near stretches already patrolled by the county, such as transit lines and unincorporated pockets. The report also states the city could tap the county’s investigators to help solve crimes, comparing it with the current contract agreement between county and city fire departments for bordering areas.

Sgt. Jim Unland, president of San Jose’s police officers union — which has endorsed Cortese for mayor — called the plan an “intriguing idea in that it seems to be modeling the regionalization concept that fire does so well.”

However, he said it’s no long­ term solution to the needed restoration of San Jose’s own police force. Last month, city projections showed the number of street-ready cops could dwindle to 879 in two years, down from 1,400 before the budget cuts and pension reform led to layoffs and departures. Currently, there are 970 street-ready officers, with about 906 deployed.

“If the idea is to shift some of that stress onto the sheriff,” Unland said. “They can only do it for so long as well.”

Funding and people

While there have been efforts to stanch the departures, including a restoration of pay to 2009 levels and bringing back police academies, the lack of interest in the most recent academy shows the problem remains, Cortese said.

He said the idea to bring in deputies is “common sense” because the city has funding for positions that are not being filled.

“With only 29 recruits in the academy, it is unlikely they’re going to be using all of it, so it looks like they have funding and we have people,” he said. “It’s a good idea.”

Cortese added that San Jose is not an island — increased crime within city limits ultimately affects surrounding areas, making it a regional concern.

If approved, the board will ask staff to approach San Jose and return on April 29 with a report on the city’s interest and an initial feasibility study.

San Jose and police officials did not return calls seeking comment on Friday.

 

• • • • •


The "Cops" reality TV show has wanted to feature the SJPD going back to the days when Joe McNamara was at the helm of the Dept., but it could never get its cameras in the door, at least until now. So is it a good idea to allow camera crews to ride along with Swing and Midnight units to capture and later air what it's like to police the streets of San Jose? Time will tell. And who knows, perhaps it will be a good recruiting tool and draw wannabe cops who are willing to accept a reduced pay and pension package for the possibility of becoming a temporary TV star.

This is how NBC Bay Area covered the story on Tuesday's news broadcast... 



If you have a run-in with San Jose Police over
the next ten weeks, you may end up on television.
The popular reality show Cops" is coming to San
Jose. NBC Bay Area's Christie Smith reports.


<http://tinyurl.com/prqf9nv>

And this is how the story was reported in yesterday's Mercury News...

Note to San Jose's Bad Boys: 'Cops' Reality Show Hits the Streets with SJPD

—Cue the music, because they're coming for you, San Jose—

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — April 16, 2014

The pioneering police reality television show "Cops" will be riding along with boys in blue of the San Jose Police Department starting Tuesday night, kicking off a 10-week filming stretch. It marks the first time in 26 years of the show's odes to law enforcement that the country's 10th largest city will be featured.

"It lets the community see what we do," police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said. "It provides greater transparency and there's always the positive impact it could have for recruitment."

That last point can't be emphasized enough. SJPD has seen its ranks shrink by nearly a third since 2008, when it boasted more than 1,400 officers. That number is just over a thousand now, with around 900 actually suiting up for full duty, amid a years-long exodus of officers fleeing from a political climate stemming from austerity measures and a bitter pension-reform fight.

Having officers lionized in the trademark "Cops" way could lift a lot of spirits, which is one reason the department, after weighing the pros and cons, agreed to the show's offer to film.

"When it's all said and done, it will be a boost for morale," Randol said. "There are officers who are excited and quickly volunteered."

Two camera crews will shadow patrol units and other specialized units to be decided in the near future. They'll cover primarily swing shifts and midnight shifts, a backdrop the show typically employs to amplify the danger of daily police work.

Randol said she doesn't expect officers to freeze up -- or ham it up -- with the cameras rolling.

"We want them to be natural and do their job as they normally do it. We know over time it will loosen up," she said. "It'll give an honest look at what we do every day."

Numerous segments from the popular reality show have been posted on YouTube, so we chose one at 'random' to give those of you unfamiliar with "Cops" an idea of how the reality TV show is presented. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEEsg_Gf10s>


 

WEEKLY POLL
 

Last Week's Poll Results
 



For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>

 

 

MAIL CALL

April 10th

Hi Bill,

First of all I would like to thank you and Leroy for all the hard work you do putting out the Farsider.  I thoroughly enjoy reading it and look forward to it each week when we have Internet access. For the past year my wife and I have been traveling around and living full-time in our motorhome. When I read (last) week’s Farsider about Yellowstone I thought I would drop you a line. We are currently in Southern California near Palm Springs, but this weekend we are heading to Yellowstone for the summer season. We have taken a part time job in West Yellowstone, Montana for the season to offset the cost of parking the RV ($1800 per month). Since starting this adventure we have taken up a new career of photography and writing, and we plan on spending all our free time photographing and writing about Yellowstone.  We just had our first article and photo published in the May issue of Motorhome magazine on page 19. I was hoping you would let any Farsider readers know if they are in Yellowstone this summer to please feel free to contact us as we would love to see them and pass on our knowledge of the park. Also check out our blog at
<www.Wagswildadventure.com>.

Here is my contact info if anyone is interested.

Greg Wagstaff
<gmwphoto@gmail.com>
<
www.WagsWildAdventure.com> Cell 775-772-1479

That is one exceptional website, Greg. There is no doubt you are putting your retirement to good use. (We recommend that the readers click on the link above and have a look.)



 

CHAPLAIN BRIDGEN'S RETIREMENT DINNER REMINDER



—Only a week left to make your reservations—

The SJPD Chaplaincy Board would like to invite you to join them for dinner at the Hayes Mansion in honor of Dave Bridgen's retirement from the Chaplaincy on Thursday, June 5, 2014. See the flyer below for more details.

Click here
<http://tinyurl.com/lhyosna> to register or make a donation online. Or you can print and mail in the form below. Registrations MUST be completed no later than April 25th. This is a firm deadline date with the Hayes Mansion. Please register now!

NOTE: To receive an e-mail with just the form below that
you can print, fill out and mail in, send your request to

<bilmat@comcast.net>

 


POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK IS COMING UP...



    

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
April 9th through April 15th

A computer virus called “Heartbleed” has affected two-thirds of all websites. Security experts are warning people that they need to change their Internet passwords. Then my mom said, "No problem. I'll just change my password to 1-2-3-4-5-7!"

Congrats to the UConn Lady Huskies, who won the National Championship just one night after the men’s team won. They had a perfect 40-0 season. The men’s team called to congratulate them, while the Lakers called to ask them when they could start in L.A.

Happy Birthday to Hugh Hefner. He turned 88 years old today. His friends threw him a big party. They had a naked woman jump out of a giant bran muffin.

HBO has renewed “Game of Thrones” for two more seasons even though author George R.R. Martin hasn't finished writing the books yet. So if you're wondering who's most likely to die at the end, it's George R.R. Martin.

I have a big announcement: Starting in 2015, I will be the new host of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Congratulations to our pal Stephen Colbert, who will be taking over for David Letterman next year. People in the media are already talking about there being a new late-night war — and I just want to say there’s not going to be any war. It’ll be a late-night dance-off. Get ready, Stephen.

With the World Cup just a few a months away, Brazil still hasn’t finished building the stadiums. Now there's talk that the World Cup is looking into other places to hold the games. I'm not an expert on soccer, but have they tried ANY empty field?

A math blogger says he’s figured out “the world’s favorite number.” It turns out that it's “7.” The least popular number? The fake phone number you get when you tell a girl you're a math blogger.

A woman in Las Vegas was arrested after she threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton while Hillary was giving a speech. The woman was tackled, cuffed, and thrown into a police car. Then the cops said, “Normally, WE do that, Hillary, but thank you for the help.”

After handling the bumpy rollout of the Obamacare site, Kathleen Sebelius announced today that she is resigning. Which explains why being thrown under a bus is now covered by Obamacare.

The White House just released President Obama’s tax returns, which show that he and Michelle paid 98 thousand dollars in taxes last year. When he saw that, even Obama said, "Thanks, Obama."

Next week Google will give the public the chance to buy its $1,500 Google Glass. Finally ending the stereotype that people who wear glasses are smart.

Big news out of the White House. According to a new rule, Secret Service agents can no longer drink alcohol 12 hours before reporting to duty. The rule came at the request of President Barack O-buzzkill.

The North Korean dictator is in the news again. He was re-elected with 100 percent of the vote. He said, "I haven't been this happy since I scored 700,000 on the SAT exam."

"Captain America" is currently the No. 1 movie in China. The Chinese say their favorite part is when Captain America asks Captain China for a $17 trillion loan.

Yesterday, North Korea held its annual marathon. Congratulations to first, second and third place winner, Kim Jong Un.

A new study says being optimistic or pessimistic may be largely genetic. In the words of my father, we're all screwed.

A Colorado company has introduced the first marijuana vending machine. As a result, the vending machines around it are doing much better.

They say Jesus had a wife. Maybe so. He's not the first husband to get killed after drinking with 12 of his guy friends.

Late last night a phenomenon occurred that scientists say won't happen again until next fall. Yeah, that's right, the Lakers won.

In Afghanistan's early election, Abdullah Abdullah is doing great, especially among old people and stutterers.

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that there are three genders, not two. The three genders are male, female, and Bieber.

Donald Trump says he's serious about buying an NFL team. Trump said, "I love football. That's why I wear this helmet."

Scientists now believe that Jesus Christ had a wife. They also believe that Jesus' nephew called Jesus' wife the "Auntie Christ."

Last week I announced that I'm retiring. Now I'm hoping I can hang on long enough so my son can take over the show. I never thought I would retire. I always assumed I would be impeached.

I'll tell you exactly the moment I made the decision to retire. A couple of months ago my cue card boy came to me and said, "Mr. Letterman, I'm sorry. I just can't print the jokes any bigger."

It's Derek Jeter's final year in baseball. Don't you hate it when a guy announces his retirement a year in advance? And then spends every day milking it for cheap sentimentality?

On the program tonight — Lindsay Lohan. She thinks I'm Dr. Phil. She's very excited to be here tonight because this means she'll have an alibi.

Researchers say our brains are changing because of the Internet, because we're not reading in a linear fashion anymore. So the Internet is destroying our brains. That's what The Washington Post says. That’s a newspaper. They are going to say the Internet's bad. That's like Cat Fancy magazine coming out against dogs.

The Washington Post says Americans spend five hours online every day. And that's just signing up for Obamacare.

Classic novels will have to be more like tweets so people can understand them. You'll no longer join Oprah's Book Club. It will be Oprah's Tweet Club.

Titles of classic books will have to be changed for people with short attention spans. You'll have "A Tale of One City." "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Fresno." "The Grape of Wrath." "Of Mouse and Man." "The Guinness Book of One or Two Things." “Gulliver’s Staycation.”

 North Korea is negotiating to broadcast the "Teletubbies." They have to make changes for North Korean TV. For starters, every episode will end with one of the Teletubbies being executed. And, of course, every Teletubby will have Kim Jung Un's haircut.

CNN announced that Anthony Bourdain's show is taking over Piers Morgan's time slot. Anthony is a culinary expert who loves good food. His show is the highest-rated series on CNN. But let's be honest. The highest-rated series on CNN is like being the least drunk Australian.

Anthony Bourdain wrote books about food. Hey, let's play "Books About Food." There's "The Ketchup on the Rye." "To Grill a Mockingbird." "The Burritos of Madison County." "Lord of the Onion Rings." "50 Shades of Gravy." "Harry Pot Roast."

I'm announcing my retirement. I'm announcing my retirement for a couple of minutes until the commercials are over and then I'm making a comeback.

The Coachella Music Festival begins this weekend. It's held every year in the California desert. It's a whole weekend of peace, love, and $12 bottles of water.

If you're a hipster who likes indie music, Coachella is the place to walk around saying, "I liked them before they sold out," and "I liked them before you did."

It's close to L.A., so a lot of celebrities go to Coachella. Danny DeVito goes every year. And if you rub his head, you get three wishes.

It's a great day if you love the moon. And who doesn't love the moon? Al-Qaida.

Tonight's a very rare occurrence. A blood moon eclipse. Doctors believe if you stare at a lunar eclipse for just three minutes, you may have smoked too much marijuana.

The blood moon is the second most impressive type of eclipse. Number one will always be a total eclipse of the heart.

The blood moon will be at its reddest at 3:07 a.m. That's two hours from now. It is good that it is on at that time because everyone knows there is nothing good on TV after midnight.

It's tax day today. Good news for the studio audience. You can deduct your laughter as a charitable donation.

Every year, the IRS collects over $950 billion in taxes. There's more money coming at them than a stripper at Charlie Sheen's house.

Let's play "How busy do accountants get on tax day"? They're busier than drug dealers at Coachella. Busier than someone doing sign language for Regis Philbin. Busier than Justin Bieber's lawyer. Busier than gossip blogs when a late-night show's host retires.

A new study says that an average person's chances of getting audited by the IRS is the lowest they've been since the 1980s. Don't get any ideas, Willie Nelson.

Nowadays high school students make videos asking models to go to the prom with them. Kate Upton is here tonight to tell them to stop.

The price of beef is skyrocketing. Which means it's time to start hoarding jerky.

There is a bacon shortage on the way. A mysterious virus has been killing pigs. We might have to eat L.T. sandwiches.

Do you know what a great substitute for bacon is? Nothing! There is no substitute for bacon.

 Apparently a lot of people are naming their kids after characters from "Game of Thrones." The name "Khaleesi" has gone way up. What better way to be reminded of gratuitous sex and violence than whenever you call your child.

I love "Game of Thrones." But don't name your baby "Khaleesi." If not for your kid's sake, do it for the poor baristas at Starbucks.

Yesterday Hillary Clinton admitted she is thinking about running for president. Though it would be more shocking if she admitted to ever thinking about anything else.

France has passed new legislation that makes it illegal to work after 6 p.m. They’re hoping to encourage workers to spend more time with their mistresses.

A Swedish software company has created a new app that records and analyzes what you say during sleep. You can tell the app is working when it’s mad at you the whole next day.

New research shows that seniors can improve their memory by looking after their grandchildren once a week. Because nothing improves a person’s memory like frantically trying to remember where they left their grandchild.

A super-PAC urging Hillary Clinton to run for president says it raised $1.7 million in the first three months of the year. Said President Obama, “I’ll kick in another million if she’s willing to start early.”

The federal judge presiding over a court case between Apple and Samsung has threatened to confiscate all phones following frequent disruptions — while lawyers from Blackberry just now got the email with the court date.

A new study shows that young adults suffering from insomnia are at higher risk of a stroke. So, that information should help you finally get some sleep.

New reports show that the price of Whole Foods stock has gone up twelve-fold since 2008. The stock is valued at $50.32 a share, or about one cantaloupe from Whole Foods.



 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF APRIL 12, 2014

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

New Articles

• Legend has it that in 1983, Atari disposed of millions of unsold 'E.T.' game cartridges in an Alamogordo landfill. Is that really what the company buried out in the New Mexico desert, or was it something else?
<http://www.snopes.com/business/market/atari.asp>

• Are schoolkids really smoking and injecting crushed bedbugs to get high from a hallucinogenic substance they contain?
<http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/bedbugs.asp>

• Are Kansas legislators considering a bill that would force the Fox science show 'COSMOS' off the air in that state?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/cosmos.asp>

• Is the NCAA investigating the use of 'skill enhancing drugs' by the 2014 champion UConn Huskies men's basketball team?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/huskies.asp>

• Account of a pregnant woman who named her child after the rescuer who died while saving her and others at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
<http://www.snopes.com/rumors/matthews.asp>

• The discovery of a major bug known as 'Heartbleed' has prompted web sites to encourage users to change the passwords for all of their online accounts immediately.
<http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/heartbleed.asp>

• FBI agents holed up in a psychiatric hospital attempt to order pizzas from an incredulous delivery man.
<http://www.snopes.com/medical/asylum/fbipizza.asp>

• After a bank failure, does the FDIC have 99 years to pay back insured deposits?
<http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/fdic.asp>

• Has pop star Justin Bieber admitted on Twitter to being bisexual?
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/bieberbi.asp>

• Did George Zimmerman sell his painting of Trayvon Martin for $30,000 at an online auction?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/trayvonpainting.asp>

• Photograph purportedly shows a school essay rejected because the student chose 'Jesus Christ' as her hero.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/removejesus.asp>

• Warning about Crest 3D White brand toothpaste causing plastic balls to become embedded in users' gums.
<http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/crest.asp>

• Actor Dwayne Johnson, aka "The Rock" is not dead.
<http://www.snopes.com/computer/facebook/dwaynejohnsondead.asp>

• Conspiracy theory: A passenger on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 hid his cell phone in his rectum and used it to post a picture to the Internet after the flight was hijacked and its passengers imprisoned.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/conspiracy/malaysiapicture.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Were maps and other escape aids were smuggled to Allied POWs in Monopoly sets during World War II?
<http://www.snopes.com/military/monopoly.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>


 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS



Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos


The Critter Corner


If you are not familiar with the story about the Cat and the Ducklings you should be. Why? Because it's one of those tales that makes you smile, so go for it. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=570khFoaE4s>


• • • • •


We were aware that Whale Sharks were big, but we had no idea they were this big until we saw this incredible underwater footage of a diver rescuing one that was tangled in a heavy rope. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq3uD7bxAYk>

For info on whale sharks click here:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_shark>

 

• • • • •


The 8-month-old kitten in this 35-second clip learns that Hedgehogs are a little like a cactus plant in that they can be prickly.



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kt2DiKo0uA>


This kitten, on the other hand, has learned that a Hedgehog makes for a perfect rubbing post. Different strokes for different folks, eh? (55 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB_4bXC2Gag>


• • • • •


If you think it's difficult to teach a bird how to speak English, imagine how hard it must be to teach one to speak Japanese, especially if you only speak English. (40 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQsBLiB90Hk>


• • • • •


Speaking of animals that can talk, we agree with Sharon Lansdowne's assessment that this is one of the funniest talking critter clips we have received in a long time. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ssXJtzFOjA>


• • • • •


There's one thing you can count on if you were to decide to adopt a baby Sloth. With a top speed of about 50 feet per hour, it would never run away from home. (1 Min.)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tdokh1KYuQ


• • • • •


So will this video compilation of four Subaru commercials received from Don Hale sell any cars. Given the love affair many Americans have with their canine pets, we say it probably will. Besides, the ads claim to be "Dog Tested." (2 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjl2R_XZ4bo>


• • • • •


One might be inclined to tell this Kitten and Horse to get a room, but really, what good would it do? The seem to be so enthralled with each other that they couldn't care less. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCxi1dAdJnQ>

 

The Critters are now back in the barn


OK, I'll admit it, I don't like rap. But I'm willing to make an exception in the case of this Mom and Dad whose combined creative juices resulted in "The Parent Rap." Can you dig it? (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_NspDWssIY>


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Only those of you who speak Italian will be able to tell if the subtitles in this clip match what the Pope is saying. If they do, we would agree with Steve Postier that his Holiness does a decent job as a stand-up comedian. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIPTdtEvr40>


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Organizers are trying to come up with a way to convince more non-golfers to watch the Masters next year, and rumor has it that the tournament may look something like this. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oQAjtXz-Vc>


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Despite the hokey opening theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey," this video about Dynamic Architecture provides a provocative and futuristic way to live. There is only one downside we can see to buying one of these revolving condos, however: you would have to move to Dubai. (6 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q082y8In-ik&feature=youtu.be>


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It's often been said that the last fighter pilot has already been born, that air battles of the future will involve unmanned fighter aircraft, a/k/a drones. This video that was received from Dave Clayton and produced by Boeing shows how engineers took an F-16 that had been sitting for 15 years at the Davis Monthan Bone Yard in Tucson and converted it into a drone, making it the first time a full-size jet has been able to take off and land without a pilot inside. This first test flight took place at Tyndall AFB in Florida. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGDOdDwp0cE>


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Speaking of drones, have a look at this clip if you want to witness some more military aviation history. In July of last year the Navy successfully conducted launches and recoveries from the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) with a new unmanned stealth jet called the X-47B. Drones come in various sizes, but the X-47B is one of the larger unmanned jets. It is also virtually invisible to enemy radar because of its stealth capabilities. As you view the flight deck crew signaling the plane, they are simply communicating through on-board cameras with the flight crew inside the CIC (Combat Information Center) deep the bowels of the carrier. This Hi-Def video was produced by Northhrop Grumman in cooperation with the U.S. Navy. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/embed/WC8U5_4lo2c?feature=player_embedded>

For more info on this exceptional aircraft, click on this Wikipedia link…
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-47B>


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While we are on the subject of aircraft carriers, here's an excellent high-definition Vimeo video of some young Navy and Marine fighter pilots going through the nerve wracking training process of landing on a carrier. In Navy jargon, they are called "quais," short for qualifying. The aircraft these new aviators are flying are Navy T-45s. (7 Mins.)



<http://player.vimeo.com/video/31549908?autoplay=1>


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When Go-Pro video cameras became popular a few years ago, many Navy and Marine Corps. aviators assigned to fighter aircraft bought one to mount inside their planes. Here's footage that captured the launch and trap (landing) of an F/A-18 Hornet on one of the Navy's carriers. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sojCEea8ojQ>


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One final clip about aircraft carriers and we'll stay on terra firmer: This is footage of a Russian pilot in his Sukhoi SU 33 performing a similar routine to the F/A-18 clip above. Note that the flight deck of this Russian carrier is sloped at the end to help launch the fighter into the air, just like some of the British and French carriers. We've all seen Putin's bare chest. Imagine how it must swell when he watches this video. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOOIERdUsEo>


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Could the image below really be the most viewed photo in the world? It's quite possible, at least for those who have used a PC (not a Mac) running Windows XP. Since XP became the operating system's desktop image when it was introduced in 2001, the photo has been seen by over a billion people. So is it real, or was it Photoshopped? And if it is real, where was it taken? Clicking on the link below will answer those questions. (9 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx1VvTVz7mc>


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Astonishing would be one way to describe this "body evolution" clip as it only takes a little over a minute to see how the lady on the left is transformed into the lady on the right. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U>


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On a somewhat similar theme, this is a time-lapse of a baby that is just days old and transformed into a young lady of 14 in only four minutes.



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH1x5aRtjSQ>


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True Story Confirmed by Snopes


FBI agents conducted a "search and seizure" at the Southwood Psychiatric Hospital in San Diego, which was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of poring over many rooms of financial records, some sixty FBI agents worked up quite an appetite. The case agent in charge of the investigation called a local pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues.

The following telephone conversation took place:
 
Agent: Hello. I would like to order nineteen large pizzas and sixty-seven cans of soda.

Pizza man: And where would you like them delivered?

Agent: To the Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.

Pizza man: To the psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's right. I'm an FBI agent.

Pizza man: You're an FBI agent?

Agent: That's correct. Just about everybody here is.

Pizza man: And you're at the psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's correct. And make sure you don't go through the front doors. We have them locked. You'll have to go around to the back to the service entrance to deliver the pizzas.

Pizza man: And you say you're all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?

Pizza man: And you're over at Southwood?

Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?

Pizza man: And everyone at Southwood is an FBI agent?

Agent: That's right. We've been here all day and we're starving.

Pizza man: How are you going to pay for this?

Agent: I have my check book right here.

Pizza man: And you are all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right, everyone here is an FBI agent. Can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.

Pizza man: I don't think so.

Click.

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I for one would love to participate in this Dutch sport because it looks like a ton of fun, but I am not willing to engage in an activity with a name that I can't even pronounce. I would fare much better being a spectator like the guy below. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP32iWoqjnQ>


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If you had to undergo surgery for a particular ailment, would you prefer to have it done without a scalpel? Yes, that is a silly question, but that's the concept behind this video that Al Bosco sent to Tom Macris who in turn passed it on to us. (6 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfJemqkby_0>


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This is why Bruce Morton no longer has his prescriptions filled at Rite Aid. "It's a royal pain in the butt," he said, "and it leaves a lousy taste in my mouth."

 

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Who Gives a Toot?

A woman goes into the Bass Pro Shop to buy a rod and reel for her grandson's birthday. She doesn't know which one to get so she just grabs one and goes over to the counter.

A Bass Pro Shop associate is standing there wearing dark shades. She says, "Excuse me, sir. Can you tell me anything about this rod and reel?"

He says, "Ma'am, I'm completely blind; but if you'll drop it on the counter, I can tell you everything from the sound it makes."

She doesn't believe him but drops it on the counter anyway.

He says, "That's a six-foot Shakespeare graphite rod with a Zebco 404 reel and 10-LB. test line. It's a good all-round combination and it's on sale this week for only $20.00."

She says, "It's amazing that you can tell all that just by the sound of it dropping on the counter. I'll take it!"

As she opens her purse, her credit card drops on the floor.

"Oh, that sounds like a Master Card," he says.

She is absolutely amazed, but as bends down to pick up the card she accidentally farts. At first she is embarrassed, but then realizes there is no way the blind clerk could tell that it was she who tooted. Being blind, he wouldn't know that she was the only person around.

The man rings up the sale and says, "That'll be $34.50 please."

The woman is totally confused by this and asks, "Didn't you tell me the rod and reel were on sale for $20.00? How did you get $34.50?"

He replies, "Yes, Ma'am. The rod and reel is $20.00, but the Duck Call is $11.00 and the Bear Repellent is $3.50."


 

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It may appear that we are schilling for Nintendo, but we're not. We are simply passing along a video of a 100-year-old lady who credits a Nintendo DS for helping keep her mind sharp. While it accepts numerous games for kids, several are also designed to help keep the brains of the elderly sharp. (2 Mins.)

 

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nawe7F8cZ_U>

Hint: If you do some research and decide you want to give this product a try, we suggest you opt for the Nintendo DS XL version as it has larger screens. Amazon carries several colors, including this one in midnight blue for $124.79. That's not chump change, so do your research by reading some of the numerous customer reviews before clicking the "Add to cart" button.

 

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Someone at Coca-Cola came up with the brilliant idea of transforming one of their vending machine into a happiness machine that dispenses flowers and even pizzas in addition to bottles of free Coke. Watch this. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U>


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I first thought this might be a half-time show at some sort of competitive event in Japan. But after a little research I learned that the precision walking or marching was itself the competition. This was one of the teams that competed. (9 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMtnYr96Eok>


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Want to see how pit stops in open-wheel race cars have changed since the 1950s? Here's a comparison clip of then and now received from Paul Salerno. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRy_73ivcms>


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This isn't about the Blood Moon that appeared in the sky late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. We know that it was the Earth's shadow that gave it that color. But it did bring to mind a question I have always had about the Moon, so I went in search of the answer. Why does the Moon look larger when it is closer to the horizon? What I learned was that no one — neither astronomers or scientists — knows for sure. This short Ted-Ed video explains. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXkYjL_7jME>


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Last week's closer was a public service announcement sponsored by a Thailand life insurance company. You may remember it from this image and link...



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaWA2GbcnJU>


Sharon Lansdowne provided us with this week's closer that appears to be another Thai PSA showing how an act of kindness can result in something life-changing. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAqOJPoZTgA>


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C'ya



Pic of the Week

To our distant public safety cousins on the other
side of the Pond: "What were you Brits thinking?"


 
   

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