May 23, 2013
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
Regarding Measure B, the
Fat Lady Has Yet To Sing
This article from the Calpensions website we received from Craig
Shuey may buoy your spirits if you are worried that the courts will agree with
Mayor Reed and his allies and find no problems with Measure B...
This is the link to the article below...
Pension Measure Wave Crests,
Court Slog Remains
One of the first local ballot
measures aimed at cutting public pension costs, a cap on Pacific Grove payments
to CalPERS approved by voters three years ago, was ruled unconstitutional by a
Monterey County superior court judge last week.
Judge Thomas Wills ruled Friday that Measure R violated the contract clause of
the state constitution, reaffirming the view that pensions promised on the date
of hire are a “vested right” that can’t be cut without providing a new benefit
of equal value.
In a tough week for the measure‘s backers, the Pacific Grove city council voted
5-to-0 Wednesday to seek a court ruling on the legality of a follow-up measure
to roll back police pensions, rather than put the plan on the ballot as the
council did with Measure R.
“It’s a constant battle down here,” said Daniel Davis, who worked on both
measures. He is a former two-term councilman of Pacific Grove, a city with
15,000 residents located between Monterey and Pebble Beach.
The only pension measure listed so far this year by Ballotpedia was approved by
Los Angeles voters in March. Sworn police officers transferring from general
services to the police department will be allowed to purchase pension-boosting
Pensions moved into the spotlight after a deep recession and stock market crash.
As other programs were hit by painful budget cuts, pensions stood out — not only
untouchable, but often with costs projected to grow at an alarming rate.
All eight local pension measures on the November 2010 ballot were approved,
except one in San Francisco. A union-backed alternative to a second pension
initiative by Public Defender Jeff Adachi helped Ed Lee win election as San
Francisco mayor in 2011.
In Los Angeles voters approved a modest union-backed measure in March 2011.
After briefly gathering signatures last fall, former Mayor Richard Riordan
dropped an initiative to switch new Los Angeles hires to a 401(k)-style plan.
The wave may have peaked last June when voters in San Diego and San Jose
approved widely watched measures. In different ways, both aim to do what some
say is needed to get big savings quickly: cut pensions earned by current workers
in the future.
The state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) upheld labor complaints that
the measures in San Diego, San Jose and Pacific Grove violated state labor law
The board filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to prevent a vote on the San Diego
measure. An administrative law judge ruled in February that former Mayor Jerry
Sanders should have bargained before putting an initiative on the ballot,
triggering a court battle.
“PERB forgets that citizen initiatives are constitutional rights in California,”
said the city attorney, Jan Goldsmith. The initiative was placed on the ballot
by the signatures of 120,000 registered voters and received 66 percent of the
Now all new hires, except police, are receiving 401(k)-style individual invest
plans instead of pensions. The initiative requires the city to begin labor
bargaining with the initial position of freezing pay used to calculate pensions
through June 30, 2018.
The provision can be overridden by a vote of six of the eight city council
members. If a union agrees to freeze pensionable pay, an individual might sue.
If the city imposes a freeze after lengthy bargaining, a union might sue.
San Jose was hit in March by a PERB complaint of bargaining violations and
providing inaccurate information to unions. A hearing on the issues before an
administrative law judge is pending.
“What PERB thinks about what happened is irrelevant,” Mayor Chuck Reed told the
San Jose Mercury News. “The voters have already spoken.”
Pending approval by the IRS is a cost-cutting provision in the initiative that
would give current workers an option: earn a lower pension in the future or
increase their contributions by up to 16 percent of pay or until half the
unfunded liability is covered.
If this provision is overturned, the measure calls for equivalent city savings
through a pay cut.
A half dozen labor lawsuits against the measure have been consolidated in
superior court for a trial July 22 expected to last five days. A hearing is
scheduled June 7 on a city motion that the lawsuits have no merit and should be
Pacific Grove City Hall
Some of the pension issue in Pacific Grove and San Diego is based on the
argument that they are among the 121 California cities operating under their own
charters, not general state law used by the other 361 cities.
Davis criticized Pacific Grove officials for failing to defend Measure R on the
grounds that “statutory vested pension rights were expressly prohibited by the
city in its original charter up to and including” the approval of the first
CalPERS contract in 1957.
The city attorney, David Laredo, argued in a 2009 memo that the distinction of
being a charter city is unlikely to affect pension vested-rights case law based
on contract clauses in the state and federal constitutions.
Much of the oral argument made last week by the attorney representing the city,
Steve Berliner, was that several unions have agreed to the Measure R cap on city
pension contributions to CalPERS of no more than 10 percent of pay.
He said the police union that filed the suit might agree to benefits, such as a
pay bonus, that would offset employees paying the part of the employer
contribution above the 10 percent cap.
Judge Wills said police have had no contract since 2010, and the city did not
show the court a benefit offsetting the contribution cap. Unless given something
of comparable value, he said, employees have a vested right to the pensions
promised when hired.
In addition, the judge ruled, the measure is invalid because a decision about
employee compensation is delegated to voters, violating a provision in the city
charter giving the city council the power to set compensation.
The San Diego city council unanimously voted to sue the city pension system in
2010 to force compliance with a 1954 amendment to the city charter requiring the
city and employees to contribute “substantially equal” amounts to the pension
The San Diego City Employees Retirement System contends that the “substantially
equal” provision applies to the “normal cost” of pensions earned during a year,
not the $2.3 billion “unfunded liability” resulting from investment gains and
Mayor Bob Filner last month urged the city attorney, Goldsmith, to drop the
lawsuit. The mayor called the suit a “loser” that has cost the city pension
system $3.2 million in legal fees, the U-T San Diego newspaper reported.
Goldsmith said the city position is supported by an outside legal expert and a
1983 state Supreme Court decision. After a judge granted a union request to move
the trial to Los Angeles, the city got a reversal from an appeals court. A trial
is scheduled July 9.
In Pacific Grove, the new initiative would roll back a police pension increase
in 2002. The initiative says the city council was not told of a recently
discovered CalPERS report showing the higher pensions would sharply increase
city pension costs.
Like many other cities, Pacific Grove adopted a major trend-setting pension
increase given the Highway Patrol in legislation sponsored by the California
Public Employees Retirement System, SB 400 in 1999.
A 17-page CalPERS brochure told legislators SB 400 would not increase state
costs. The lawmakers were not shown a CalPERS actuarial forecast that accurately
predicted how much costs would soar if investment earnings faltered.
Actuaries estimated that if investment earnings during the next decade hit the
target assumed by CalPERS at the time, 8.25 percent, state pension costs would
be $679 million in 2010.
That’s well below the $1.2 billion state pension cost in 1997 before a booming
stock market prompted CalPERS to give employers a contribution “holiday,”
dropping the state payment in 2000 to $160 million.
What lawmakers weren’t shown, as SB 400 sailed through the Legislature with
little opposition, was a CalPERS actuarial forecast that state costs would be
$3.9 billion in 2010 if earnings averaged 4.4 percent during the decade.
Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades,
most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at
A second item
relating to pensions (Measure B) appears in the Mail Call column from Dan Katz.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Spree Hard on Rank and File Cops"
That was the headline of this NBC Bay Area news clip the POA sent
to members last Friday whose e-mail addresses are on file with the association.
Click on the link below to watch the report...
News provided details about the homicides in the following story from last
"San Jose: City Reels from Four Homicides in 12-Hour Span"
• • • • •
This story from Monday's
paper makes it sound that the City is doing everything possible to restore
salaries, empty positions due to retirements and resignations, and the City's
infrastructure, which includes brushing away the cob webs and finally opening
the the SJPD substation...
Police Substation Funding
lists six priorities for 2013-14 fiscal year—
By Carol Rosen — Correspondent
Mercury News — May 20, 2013
SAN JOSE — City Manager
Debra Figone has proposed six priorities for the city’s $2.6 billion 2013-14
fiscal year. Following the guidelines of the mayor’s March budget message, which
council members approved, her proposed budget includes six major
recommendations. Among them is a proposal to open the unused San Jose Police
South Substation to improve service levels and deliver better operational
efficiencies. About 270 sworn officers would move into the substation to be
closer to the areas they patrol. The substation was approved by voters in 2002
but has remained closed because of the city’s budget crisis.
South San Jose Substation
In a telephone interview,
District 10 Councilman Johnny Khamis, whose district includes Almaden Valley and
much of South San Jose, said, “I’ve done a lot of homework on this, and I’m
convinced it would pay for itself in increased efficiencies.”
He pointed to the minimum 20-minute travel time each direction when police
respond to calls in South San Jose and Almaden Valley. “When you multiply the
200-plus police officers who would be stationed there by the time saved in
travel, you’re talking about some real dollars,” Khamis said.
A second proposal addresses San Jose’s deferred infrastructure needs with $8.6
million to upgrade or replace systems at the police administration and
The proposal adds $11.1 million employee compensation to begin restoring pay
cuts and help make the city a more attractive and competitive employer. However,
while some salaries may increase, it doesn’t restore the 10 percent pay cut all
employees took two years ago.
Figone recommends increasing thin staff levels by 129 positions to a full-time
equivalent of 5,651 positions. While that increase is significant, it’s still
nearly 24 percent less than peak staffing of nearly 7,500 positions in 2001-02.
Increasing safety needs is one of the mayor’s priorities. Figone suggests adding
21 community service police officers to interview witnesses, photograph crime
scenes, collect evidence, take phone reports, fingerprint and conduct follow-up
investigations. These employees would allow sworn officers to respond to
“Unfortunately, we still don’t have the financial capacity to restore key
service levels and continue to sustain them for the long term, and we’re
addressing only a small part of our significant backlog of infrastructure and
maintenance needs,” Figone said.
The new budget recommends $3.3 million to tackle concerns with homeless
encampments over a two-year period.
It also proposes reserve funding for legal obligations associated with the
elimination of the city’s redevelopment agency and creation of the successor
agency along with potential expenses linked to the ongoing implementation of the
fiscal reform plan.
Figone set aside $13.7 million as a “future deficit reserve” based on a two-year
approach to balancing this year’s budget and a projected shortfall in
2014-15.The city manager prepared a $13.5 million contingency plan in the event
that pending litigation with Santa Clara County is not decided in the city’s
favor. The litigation is linked to the county’s withholding certain property tax
revenues and levies and the complex dissolution of the city’s redevelopment
agency.Community budget meetings began this month, while council members began
budget study sessions May 8. The next public budget hearing is scheduled for
June 10. The final council vote to adopt the 2013-14 budget is scheduled for
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
I'm guessing you saw this opinion piece by Councilmember Ash Kalra in today's
Merc. (The article appears below.)
Mr. Kalra has been steadfast in his opposition to Measure B despite ridicule
from the Mayor and the council majority and warned them that the "legal
analysis" by the Meyers-Nave law firm (upon which they relied) was not based on
any existing case law. They also scoffed at Mr. Kalra's prediction of a mass
employee exodus, especially in the police department.
Last Thursday (5/16/13) the City Council held a study session on "Public Safety
Data Application" which included a Power Point presentation by the police and
Some of the slides of interest are:
#9 showing that responses to Priority 2 calls are now approaching double the
target of 11 minutes.
#23 charting PD attrition from 2007 to 2013 (610 total sworn - 430 since 2009)
The following slides are alarming, but not surprising:
#29 depicting that in 2012, Self-Initiated/On-View Events (Priority 5&6)
decreased by 54% from 2008 (-104,000)
#30 depicting that in 2012, arrests were down 48.6% from 2008 (-19,000).
I'm sure City Hall will want an in-depth analysis to explain why crime is going
through the roof. They can get their answer by looking in the mirror.
This is the
Mercury News opinion piece Dan referred to at the top of his message...
Ash Kalra on Pensions: Time for San Jose to End the War on Its Employees
By Concilmember Ash Kalra — Special to the Mercury News
Mercury News — May 21, 2013
In December, San Jose City
Council was on the verge of doling out another $1 million to a law firm for
litigation over Measure B, the pension modification measure voters passed last
June. There was a rare moment of perspective as the city attorney noted that the
legally risky measure had led to an "all-out war" with city employees.
As we enter the last weeks of the annual budget process, and as we struggle to
find funds to stem the tide of crime, blight and reduced services, the council
will be asked Tuesday, for the second time in five months, to fork over nearly
another million dollars to continue battling our own employees.
Measure B has eroded employee morale and created the most toxic labor-management
relationship in the city's history. The aggression with which the city
approached the fiscal situation was a well-crafted political strategy to all but
guarantee a pension measure that would hail the mayor as politically victorious
without yielding real savings other cities have achieved through collaborative
speaks against Measure B, the
city's pension reform measure, at a San
Jose Rotary Club event in April 2012.
this strategy was chosen over a pragmatic, solution-oriented approach was not
the fault of residents or employees, yet they have suffered the most. We are
seeing services to residents at dangerously low levels. Good employees, most
noticeably police, are leaving in droves.
This is particularly frustrating when we're being asked to pay another million
dollars to the law firm that advised us to proceed with the pension measure and
which is now benefiting from its own advice. These funds could be used to
restore services if we had reached a collaborative solution.
There are three things we can do right now to be fiscally prudent while
1. Stop the litigation over pension reform. We cannot wage war against our
employees, expect them to provide high-quality service for lower pay and then be
surprised that they seek employment elsewhere. Given the decades of case law
against the city's attempt to break our employees' contract terms, we continue
to face an uphill battle without significant savings. We should follow the
direction of other California cities and negotiate pension reform to create
real, immediate savings.
2. Make services to residents a priority. In recent years, the council has
rejected proposals from me and others, including one to reinstate the police
burglary unit and another to expand library hours, because we were not certain
we'd have the funds beyond the next fiscal year. But if recent years have taught
us anything, it's that there is never a guarantee that ongoing funds will
materialize. I'd rather commit to enhancing services and then work to identify
San Jose's austerity plan has elevated crime and reduced services to
unacceptable levels. During this budget cycle, I'd like to expand library hours,
restore the burglary unit and fund neighborhood traffic safety projects.
3. Ensure that employees will be made whole as we exit the recession. San Jose
is seeing record job growth, and tax revenue is beating expectations every
quarter. City employees gave up 10 percent of their pay, plus more in pension
and health benefits. I know we cannot restore all of that in the next year or
even two. But the city should state clearly that the goal is to do so. That
would show that it understands the sacrifice employees made.
I know how unlikely it is that city leadership will forgo the self-destructive
path of litigation. But in this particular war, where the opponents are the very
men and women we rely upon to keep this city running, there can be no winner. We
Kalra represents District 2 on the San Jose City Council. He wrote this for this
opinion piece generated a couple of letters to the editor that made it into
Councilman Needs to Support
Mercury News — May 23, 2013
Ash Kalra learned? I ran against Kalra (and nearly beat him) in his bid for
re-election to the San Jose City Council last year based primarily on the issue
of pension reform. Seventy percent of San Jose voters agreed Measure B was
needed. Now Kalra decries spending $1 million on lawyers to defend the city
against a lawsuit brought on by his union friends and supporters. He says
nothing about the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent on pensions
Measure B was meant to curtail.
If he truly wants to stop this “war” against the employees and work to increase
services to the residents of San Jose, he would stop the demagoguing and support
the mayor and the majority of the council to rein in skyrocketing pensions and
work to find real solutions to the problems facing the city.
~ ~ ~
To Help City, Improve Public
Mercury News — May 23, 2013
to Ash Kalra for his thought-provoking op-ed (Opinion, May 21) asking the city
leadership to build better labor-management relations for the sake of amity and
goodwill. It is really shocking that taxpayers’ money is being plundered in to
unnecessary litigation. In my view, public accountability must be fixed in such
cases and money recovered from the guilty officials for the sake of transparency
and good governance.
Baltej S. Mann
Visiting professor Silicon Valley Center for
Global Studies San Jose State University
SUMMER BARBECUE INFO
Board of Directors of the Keith Kelley Club is gearing up for this year's Summer
Barbecue. It will be held on Wednesday, June 5th, at the Elk's Lodge at 444 W.
Alma and starts at 1500 hours.
All retired Keith Kelley Club members attend free of charge. This is a stag
affair; guests are not allowed. There will be sausage with garlic bread served
at the start of the festivities. Dinner will feature Filet Mignon, Chicken and
Ribs, Salad, Beans, Bread and plenty to drink. A Taco Bar will open at 8:00 p.m.
serving Carne Asada, Chili Verde, Tortillas and Salsa.
This will be a great time to enjoy good company and food while you unwind and
have fun! We will have Keith Kelley Club T-shirts for sale for $15 each.
If you have a question about the barbecue or your membership, please contact me.
Office Manager, Keith Kelley Club
MAKE YOUR SUMMER
FUN PLANS WITH THE CALIFORNIA BEACH BOYS
For more information, e-mail Mike Amaral at
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
This Week I
The event begins in the
rear parking lot of King's Drive-In on South 1st St. near Alma. King's was the
"home" of the Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club, but we liked to think it was owned,
controlled and the property of the SJPD, specifically the cars assigned to B-5
and H-5, two of the 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. units. We had close personal relationships
with Anita, the drive-in manager, and Alberto the cook, who later operated his
own restaurant on Park Ave. near Lincoln, across from San Jose Uniform, which
was operated by Mike Thompson's father-in-law and supervised by Mike's wife,
Karen, both of whom now live up in Grey Eagle, north of Tahoe. But there I go
One night a Gypsy Joker was observed by a police unit entering the rear refer of
a delivery truck that had traveled up from the L.A. area to make deliveries to a
number of restaurants, including King's. When the Joker realized he was being
observed, he and several other club members fled. While they didn't score any
loot, they ruined their "hangout" for the next several days. No I.D., no arrest.
The truck driver was so grateful for the on-scene crime prevention exercise that
he left a thank-you gift for the boys in blue the following night that consisted
of two 1-gallon cans of frozen barbecued beef. Attached was a message that read:
"Get it home to your freezer while still frozen."
As it happened, it was the proverbial wet and stormy night, and when the
windshield wipers on then-Sgt. Norv Pulliam's patrol car failed, he headed to
the Police Garage for mechanic Frank Sypert to sort out the problem. But this
created a problem as the SJPD was short on both cars and gasoline as there was
an ongoing fuel crisis in the mid '60s. The simple solution was for Norv and
then-Sgt. Bob Moir to team up and patrol their two districts in a single car. In
addition to supervising their districts and making themselves available to fill
with patrol units as needed, they also handled calls for service. Their
prevailing philosophy was "Have car. Will travel," not unlike Palidin's business
card from his hit TV show during the late '50s to early '60s...
Well, the note said the frozen beef had to be taken home quickly, and it was.
First to Norv's house on Keltner, off Williams. Then to Bob's home in Santa
Clara. The rain had subsided somewhat by the time the duo was leaving Bob's
house, although the streets were still wet and slick. As they departed Bob's
street a speeding Buick sedan crossed in front of them. Deep within the city
limits of Santa Clara, the two sergeants who were the downtown and east side San
Jose supervisors mused "Where's a cop when you need one?" The Green and Blue
radio channels for the east side and downtown/west side areas were of no value
in Santa Clara.
As they dropped in behind the speeding Buick, Norv and Bob were surprised by the
presence of a Code 3 Santa Clara police unit behind their car. The Buick and two
police vehicles were now speeding down the street and around the corner when —
OOPS — the police car from the Mission City locked up and slid through the
intersection. By what was seen as a necessity, the two sergeants activated their
reds and took off after the fleeing Buick through residential areas of Santa
In a short period of time other Santa Clara PD units had joined the chase, but
the two sergeants remained the primary pursuit vehicle. To make matters more
complex than they already were, the Buick that was the cause of the pursuit and
was moving faster than conditions permitted, retraced its route and wound up
back on Bob's block. The driver then lost control and the Buick went for a wild
ride on the lawns and through the shrubs and junipers of Bob's neighbors before
continuing on it way, reeking havoc, carnage and destruction to the entire
neighborhood. The two sergeants kept up with the Buick, but they managed to keep
their SJPD unit on the pavement. When the Buick made a right turn from Los
Olivos onto Homestead Rd., Norv and Bob made the decision to terminate the
pursuit for the good and welfare of the public. But this was after several shots
had been fired at the Buick's tires, and one or more may have struck home as the
big sedan jumped a curb, entered a vacant lot and came to an abrupt stop. The
driver whose clothes and breath smelled of glue was taken into custody. As he
was being transported by ambulance to VMC, there was much black-slapping by the
two SJPD sergeants and the throng of Santa Clara officers who had gathered at
the scene. (This was decades prior to the "high-fives" that have become
commonplace in today's world, but the meaning was much the same.)
Prior to Bob and Norv first seeing the speeding Buick, a Santa Clara unit had
spotted it behind a medical center and tried to stop the car, but the Buick fled
and a chase was on. When Norv and Bob first saw the Buick speeding past them,
the Santa Clara PD had already initiated the chase. It was a matter of
coincidental split-second timing that the two SJPD sergeants wound up between
the Buick and the pursuing Santa Clara unit.
Following the arrest, the Santa Clara PD had a ton of paperwork to contend with
as a result of the torn up lawns, shrubs and general damage the driver of the
Buick had caused. Norv and Bob's request of them? "We weren't here. We're an
SJPD unit. Gotta go. Bye."
Then it was off to Bob's digs to change out of his muddy uniform. He also had to
clean his weapon that was caked with mud as he had fallen while he had his
weapon extended after the Buick came to a halt.
The duo eventually made their way back to the SJPD at 801 N. 1st St. (1st and
Mission) and thought they were home free until Mercury News swingshift police
beat reporter Ed Herring went through the pink copies of the crime reports that
had been turned in for the shift. "Hey, guys," Herring said to some passing
sergeants. "Did you hear anything about a phantom police car in a chase in Santa
"Yikes! A phantom police car in Santa Clara?"
It now appeared to Norv and Bob that there was trouble in paradise, or at least
in San Jose and the Mission City of Santa Clara.
In an attempt to save their bacon, the dynamic duo decided it would be best to
get ahead of the story and have a sit-down with Capt. E. Dale McKay. But first,
they placed a call to the Santa Clara PD sergeant who happened to be the Watch
Commander at the time of the incident and talked him into declaring the area
where the shots were fired as a temporary firing range.
Norv and Bob then sat down with their boss: "Hey, Dale, guess what happened to
us tonight?" After all was disclosed, the captain responded: "I can justify you
guys being together. I can justify you being in Santa Clara. I can even justify
you guys being the lead car in the pursuit. But I CAN'T justify you shooting at
the tires of the car." (Back in those days, any shot that missed was deemed to
be a "warning shot.") The sergeants then explained that they had spoken with the
Santa Clara Watch Commander and that he had declared the area where the shots
were fired a temporary firing range.
Into E. Dale's typewriter went a blank Memo (onion skin with carbon paper in
between). Clickety-clack, clickety-clack went the manual typewriter. The two
sergeants who would later become lieutenants watched as the captain researched
the appropriate Duty Manual sections for those that dealt with the discharge of
a weapon. What he found were those dealing with (1) "In defense of your own life
or someone else's," (2) "When it is necessary to dispatch a seriously wounded
animal," and (3) "At an approved range."
A short time later, Norv and Bob were back in the captain's office where E.
Dale, after mulling over the events of the night, informed them that the shots
fired in Santa Clara conformed with the Duty Manual since they were discharged
at an approved range. E. Dale then snorted, ripped the Memo out of his
typewriter, wadded it into a ball and tossed it in the trash can.
The matter was never mentioned again, nor did the Mercury News reporter ever
uncover anything about a phantom police car in Santa Clara.
MY (POLITICAL) TWO
From the Editor
Those of you
who tune in to Fox News -- even occasionally -- will likely recognize the lady
pictured below as Kirsten Powers. She is an admitted liberal (progressive) who,
like fellow liberal Juan Williams, can frequently be seen sparring with the
likes of Charles Krauthammer and other conservative pundits on various Fox News
programs. When Powers is not adding to the bevy of attractive women who
regularly appear on the Fox News network, she writes a column for The Daily
Beast website, which is generally viewed as a left-leaning news organization.
As those of you who follow the news may be aware, some of President Obama's
staunch supporters are being publicly critical of the White House's handling of
two of the key issues that have been giving the President heartburn. I'm
referring to the IRS scandal and the DOJ's spying of news reporters. The
cover-up of the Benghazi attack ranks third on the liberals' list of issues to
criticize, if it's on the list at all.
Progressive journalists like Kirsten Powers who are becoming publicly critical
of the White House can't bode well for the President and his staff. The opinion
piece below that was penned by Powers appeared on The Daily Beast website
earlier this week. It isn't necessarily proof that the love affair between the
Obama Administration and the liberal arm of the mainstream media is waning, but
it should give the White House cause for concern.
~ ~ ~
How Hope and Change Gave Way
to Spying on the Press
Powers — May 21, 2013
First they came for Fox News,
and they did not speak out — because they were not Fox News. Then they came for
government whistleblowers, and they did not speak out — because they were not
government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, and
—okay, we know how this story ends. But how did we get here?
Rosen of Fox News
Turns out it’s a fairly
swift sojourn from a president pushing to “delegitimize” a news organization to
threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News
reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the
Obama administration found time to relentlessly persecute government
whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for
expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they
were acting as quiet enablers.
It’s instructive to go back to the dawn of Hope and Change. It was 2009, and the
new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White
House to viciously attack a news organization—Fox News—and the journalists who
work there. Remember, President Obama had barely been in office and had enjoyed
the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet even one
outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of the president was one too many. This
should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox
News. The math was simple: if the administration would abuse its power to try
and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they weren’t next?
President Obama went after Fox News in this 2009 interview with CNBC.
(To view the clip, click on this link below, then scroll down to
the image above)
"What I think is fair to
say about Fox … is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said
Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “[L]et's not pretend
they're a news network the way CNN is." On ABC’s “This Week” White House senior
adviser David Axelrod said Fox is "not really a news station." It wasn’t just
that Fox News was “not a news organization,” White House chief of staff Rahm
Emmanuel told CNN’s John King, but, “more [important], is [to] not have the CNNs
and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what
they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …”
These series of “warnings” to the Fourth Estate were what you might expect to
hear from some third-rate dictator, not from the senior staff of Hope and
Yet only one mainstream media reporter—Jake Tapper, then of ABC News—ever raised
a serious objection to the White House’s egregious and chilling behavior. Tapper
asked future MSNBC commentator and then White House press secretary Robert
Gibbs: “[W]hy is [it] appropriate for the White House to say” that “thousands of
individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a ‘news
organization’?” The spokesman for the president of the United States was
unrepentant, saying: “That's our opinion.”
Trashing reporters comes easy in Obama-land. Behind the scenes, Obama-centric
Democratic operatives brand any reporter who questions the administration as a
closet conservative, because what other explanation could there be for a
reporter critically reporting on the government?
Now, the Democratic advocacy group Media Matters — which is always mysteriously
in sync with the administration despite ostensibly operating independently — has
launched a smear campaign against ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl for his
reporting on Benghazi. It’s the kind of character assassination that would make
Joseph McCarthy blush. The main page of the Media Matters website has six
stories attacking Karl for a single mistake in an otherwise correct report about
the State Department's myriad changes to talking points they previously claimed
to have barely touched. See, the problem isn’t the repeated obfuscating from the
administration about the Benghazi attack; the problem is Jonathan Karl. Hence,
the now-familiar campaign of de-legitimization. This gross media intimidation is
courtesy of tax-deductible donations from the Democratic Party’s liberal donor
base, which provides a whopping $20 million a year for Media Matters to harass
reporters who won’t fall in line.
In what is surely just a huge coincidence, the liberal media monitoring
organization Fairness and Accuracy in the Media (FAIR) is also on a quest to
delegitimize Karl. It dug through his past and discovered that in college he
allegedly — horrors! — associated with conservatives. Because of this, FAIR
declared Karl “a right wing mole at ABC News.” Setting aside the veracity of
FAIR’s crazy claim, isn’t the fact that it was made in the first place
vindication for those who assert a liberal media bias in the mainstream media?
If the existence of a person who allegedly associates with conservatives is a
“mole,” then what does that tell us about the rest of the media?
What all of us in the media need to remember — whatever our politics — is that
we need to hold government actions to the same standard, whether they are aimed
at friends or foes. If not, there is no one but ourselves to blame when the
administration takes aim at us.
OMG, A FOURTH
SCANDAL FOR THE WHITE HOUSE...
Obama Breaches USMC Umbrella Protocol
Commander in Chief of the American armed forces last week forced a violation of
Marine Corps regulations so he wouldn’t get wet.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform
Regulations, chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while
in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation
guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella. Nevertheless, during
a recent press conference in the Rose Garden with Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, President Obama directed Marines to shield himself and his
Turkish guest from the light drizzle.
The relevant portion of the regulation reads, “3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines).
Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at
their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It
will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly
rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be
carried with the utility uniform. Items not expressly delineated as authorized
components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed
never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training."
Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an
umbrella without the expressed consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps,
according the Marine Corps Manual. The guidebook that defines protocol for
officers and enlisted Marines specifically states in section 2806, paragraph 2:
“The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine
Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue
instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the
approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”
Will this new scandal be as embarrassing and long-lasting to the Obama
administration as the Benghazi cover-up, the IRS targeting of conservative
groups and the DOJ flap about spying on the AP? White House insiders have
reported that press spokesman Jay Carney is already hard at work trying to
figure out how to spin this new scandal.
Only a First Lady should use an umbrella in the rain...
~ ~ ~
Mea culpa. We take it
all back. Press Secretary Jay Carney sent us this photo as proof that the item
above was wrong, and that Marines do in fact carry umbrellas on occasion. We
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MAY 18, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Did a Swedish man die after having sex with a hornet's nest?
• Purported letter from Royal Mail's customer services
department asks a local resident to stop pranking postal employees.
• Photograph shows a lion, tiger, and bear that live together in the same
enclosure at an animal sanctuary.
• Facebook posts are reporting that rapper Eminem is "nearly DEAD" after
being stabbed in New York.
• Did Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announce she would
leave Minnesota if the state legalized gay marriage?
• Video purportedly shows a woman at a baseball game dumping a drink over her
boyfriend's head because he declined to kiss her on camera.
• Woman who demands her photo back from her boyfriend receives a box of
pictures with instructions to pick hers out and return the rest.
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Do tourists who have taken rocks from Hawaiian
beaches return them in hopes of ending streaks of bad luck?
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Full or Large Screen option best for Yahoo videos...
• • • • •
Out of the tragedy in
Oklahoma came a few heart-warming stories. If you haven't already seen this one
about an elderly lady who thought she lost her dog to the tornado, have a look.
This happened on live TV. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Tom Macris, who is about as
apolitical as one can be, missed this old video clip we ran in the Nov. 4, 2010
Farsider of Johnny Carson-the-politician speaking at a press conference while he
was wired up to a polygraph. Given what's happening today from San Jose to
Sacramento to Washington, we decided it was worth resurrecting.
• • • • •
NFL referee who's about to get in shape for another season monitoring the
"monsters of the midway" says if every wannabe carjacker could be forced to
watch this silent surveillance video, the stats of the crime might take a severe
nosedive. Then again, Bill acknowledges that such people are generally stupid
individuals. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
Nearly a dozen readers sent
us this clip over the past two weeks of Judge Jeanine Pirro discussing the
Benghazi attack on her show "Justice" that airs on Fox News. We decided to pass
it along if, for no other reason, to slow down the flurry of similar e-mails
that continue to arrive in our inbox. (12 Mins.)
• • • • •
This is raw
video footage showing how the British-owned ITV news network covered yesterday's
murder of the British soldier in southeast London by two terrorists.
True or not, a side effect of the incident is that it has led
some media outlets to speculate why it took London cops so long to respond to
the scene of the homicide. Click on the link below...
• • • • •
Have you ever wondered if
you would be a happier person if you could find a way to lower your I.Q.? Well
perhaps you can with a new pill that has become available. The gentleman in this
short video points out some advantages to taking a pill that will make you
dumber, even stupid if that is your choice. That the clip may help you
understand those on one side of the political spectrum or the other will depend
on your own political ideology. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
A handful of readers sent in this clip entitled "How to lose your job as a TV
interviewer." It's about a television interview with a guy on a Dutch TV station
who purportedly lost his testicles in a botched surgical procedure. While many
may find it humorous, it raises the question as to whether or not it's real?
The answer to that question is no, it's not real. The original
(real) video was about the guy's wife who wound up in a wheelchair after her
spine was damaged during an operation, and her husband lost his tonsils, not his
testicles. Here is the original video that, while tragic for the couple, is just
as humorous if not more so because the interviewer could not contain his
laughter over the man's voice and what he had to say. As a result, both the
interviewer and his staff lost their jobs according to a footnote at the end of
the clip (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
We don't normally think of
our neighbors to the north as being embroiled in their own national controversy
over gun control, but it seems they are. Furthermore, this Canadian news anchor
has a warning for America that gun registration can in fact lead to
confiscation. If the subject interests you, take a moment and watch this clip we
received from Bob Tenbrink. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
When Tchaikovsky wrote the
music to "Swan Lake" in 1875-76, you can bet your sweet violin he never in his
wildest dreams could imagine it would be accompanied by a performance like this
one by the Great Chinese State Circus. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
We're not one to jump on
any conspiracy theory bandwagons — at least that was the case until recently
when certain events came to light in Washington — but we did find this video we
received from a handful of readers regarding Muslims in Boston of interest,
especially since the clip was posted on YouTube three years ago. The e-mail with
the link to the video suggested the clip may have something to do with the
Miranda Warning given prematurely by a Federal magistrate to the surviving
Boston bomber, thereby depriving the FBI of a full interview with Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev. Watch this video and decide for yourself. And remember, it was posted
on YouTube three years ago, back on May 28, 2010. (7
To add to the controversy, the e-mail also claimed that prior to
becoming the Attorney General, Eric Holder's law firm specialized in defending
suspected terrorists, and that the Federal magistrate who stopped the FBI
interview of the Boston bomber and issued the Miranda Warning did so at the
DOJ's direction. We'll leave it at that, but direct your attention to this
article. (A Google search will turn up several others
espousing the same theme.)
• • • • •
We would like to think that
the guy in this video we received from Jordan Freitas reflects many of the
values and feelings of the large number of you we have had the privilege of
getting to know over the many years we have been responsible for both the
Farsider and the original SJPD house organ we dubbed the Insider back in 1977.
With the turmoil going on in Washington, we thought it was more than suitable
for this week's closing item. Have a look and listen.
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
|This is the message box, using the