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the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.
Remember to stop by the POA office to buy your SF Giants tickets or email Joanne at <email@example.com> to reserve your tickets.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
It’s almost as though former Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell never left…
Watchdog Urges More Tracking on Use of Force
By Robert Salonga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — June 26, 2017
SAN JOSE — Though public complaints against police are dropping, the city’s chief watchdog for the San Jose Police Department believes more needs to be done and is urging the agency to track in more detail officers’ use of force out in the field and report all instances of possible excessive force.
Use of force issues spearheaded the ongoing concerns in the annual report published this week by San Jose’s Office of the Independent Police Auditor, which showed that public police complaints dipped slightly from 303 in 2015 to 292 last year.That figure does not include cases where citizens filed civil litigation and bypassed the complaint process.
To Chief Eddie Garcia, that drop is part of a broader downward trajectory of complaints that account for just one-tenth of 1 percent of total police interactions with the public.
“I expect them to be dropping,” Garcia said. “We’re working with our community. We have open lines of communication with them so that nothing festers.”
Garcia added that internal figures show that through the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2016, police complaints filed with the department are down 37 percent, a figure he said includes a 77 percent drop in force complaints.
“We still have room for improvement,” he said. “But this department and these officers are on the right trajectory.”
However, for the first time ever, over half of police complaints in 2016 — ranging from allegations of excessive force to a lack of officer decorum — were submitted to the auditor’s office rather than directly to the police department.
According to the report, complaints originating with the IPA’s office accounted for 54 percent of total complaints in 2016 — a marked jump from the 39 percent the office comprised the previous year. Against a national backdrop of increased public police scrutiny, has a tide turned?
Interim police auditor Shivaun Nurre offers a more sober explanation. She noted how boosted publicity efforts, led in part by recently departed IPA Walter Katz, appeared to have raised awareness among residents about another avenue for complaints besides police headquarters.
“One reason why more complaints come to our office may be that the IPA office does community outreach throughout the year,” she said in an email.
The 2016 annual report was the first and last involving Katz, who left in March to become a mayoral public safety advisor in Chicago after just over a year in the San Jose job. City officials say San Jose is taking applications for the civilian oversight post through the end of June, and will begin conducting interviews in August. In the meantime, the IPA continues its drumbeat for more transparency with use of force. Public complaints about force decreased by 10 percent to 108 in 2016. The police department’s Internal Affairs division sustained — or validated — one complaint involving force.
Overall, the IA division sustained 11 percent of closed complaints last year, up from 6 percent in 2015, though the vast majority of those concessions involved procedural missteps. Revealing the full picture of use of force continues to be a concern for the IPA.
“It appears that of the thousands of use of force incidents that took place between 2010 and 2015, not once did a SJPD supervisor or executive believe that a use of force was questionable enough to justify opening an investigation,” the report stated.
The issue highlights a sore spot for the IPA: Department-initiated investigations, or officer complaints flagged within the force, are exempt from the auditor’s reach. An array of officer privacy statutes are at play for that.
A single internally launched force complaint was lodged last year, but the availability of surveillance camera footage in that case appears to have been a mitigating factor. The IPA report recommends that the department instill a proactive “affirmative duty” for personnel to report “excessive or unreasonable force.” Other related recommendations include classifying force incidents into three tiers of severity to analyze in greater detail rather than treating them all the same.
Garcia said he is amenable to these suggestions, particularly allowing department- initiated investigations — which numbered 41 in 2016, the highest in recent memory — to be reviewed by the IPA, to ease community skepticism that the department can effectively police itself.
“We’re moving in that direction. Nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop,” Garcia said. “We’re taking a hard look at force and policy violations.”
Also on the list of issues addressed by the report are concerns about racial profiling and whether the department’s procedures to assess bias in its policing are expansive enough to effectively detect it. 2015 saw the first sustained bias-based policing complaint in the department’s history, and the bias did not have a racial component.
For its part, the department instituted implicit-bias training, procedural-justice instruction, and body-worn cameras across the force last year, and ordered an analysis by the University of Texas-El Paso’s Center for Law and Human Behavior to assess racial disparities in its traffic and pedestrian street stops.
Other key recommendations in the IPA report included instituting a robust data-based evaluation system for crisis-intervention training to quantify its effectiveness in the field, and implementing an “early warning” system to detect officer misconduct tendencies rather than wait for public complaints, particularly for lesser-experienced officers who disproportionately elicit complaints.
If you are putting Marty Robbins music on, I suggest also the “Traveling Wilburys.” Who are they? Only a bunch of friends who got together for a few years in the 1980s. The group was comprised of George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn and Jim Keltner. They performed as the Traveling Wilburys as well as their own personal gigs. After Orbison’s death they broke up. “End of the Line” is probably their best, but "Tweeter and the Monkey Man” gets your foot tapping.
Jim (Silvers) <email@example.com>
Did I inadvertently open Pandora’s Music Box with Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” hit in last week’s Mail Call column. If I did, so be it: For those familiar with this all-star group and “End of the Line” sent in by Jim, HERE it is. (3:27) You can also find “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” on YouTube.
• • • • •
Bill & Leroy,
For those who care:
After twenty plus years of carrying an "America Express Card" I canceled my relationship with the company. I will not support a company that sponsors a free stage play in New York’s Central Park depicting the assassination of our duly elected President of the United States. Buyer beware.
Bill Yarbrough <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You can relax, Bill. American Express was just one of the latest corporate sponsors to withdraw its support of “Shakespeare in the Park,” the free play that depicts the assassination of Donald Trump as Julius Caesar. Other corporate sponsors that pulled the plug include Bank of America and Delta Airlines. The liberal New York Times, however, which is a major sponsor, is standing fast with its sponsorship, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Clicking on THIS link will provide you and any other interested readers with information about this hot subject. Or you can Google “Sponsors leaving Shakespeare in the Park” and you will find a couple of pages with links from different media outlets about the controversy.
• • • • •
In last week’s Farsider, Talking Points provided a YouTube video featuring John Coleman being interviewed on CNN about climate change.
Mr. Coleman is a well known climate change skeptic and conspiracy theorist. Here's are some facts to consider in evaluating the credibility of his statements.
Mr. Coleman has often stated publicly that he is a scientist, as he did in this video. In reality he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism which he received in 1957. After graduating he began a lifelong career as a television weather newscaster and is the founder of the Weather Channel. When previously asked about what scientific training and credentials he holds, he replied, “I’m a self-taught scientist.”
In this interview Coleman said that there is no consensus among climatologists, meteorologists and earth scientists about climate change, global warming and man made greenhouse gasses being a major contributor to the warming phenomenon.
When challenged by the CNN interviewer that 97% of the scientists within these groups stand in direct opposition to Coleman’s statement, he responded that “this is a manipulated figure,” that the climate studies conducted in the U.S. are funded by the government “who only fund scientists that will produce results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat party.” He went on to say that, “science is on my side. Climate change is not happening, there is no significant man-made global warming happening now, and there has been none in the past.”
For Coleman’s first statement to be true, you would have to conclude that for over three decades there has existed a conspiracy among nearly all American scientists within these specific disciplines to produce fictitious and misleading research findings that have been peer reviewed and then published in related scientific and scholastic journals. You must also conclude that the results of thousands of supportive research studies which were not funded by the U.S. government, and the tens of thousands of studies conducted by scientists and researchers from countries other than the U.S., have all participated in this conspiracy.
As to Mr. Coleman’s second statement, James L. Powell PhD, executive director of the National Physical Science Consortium, conducted an extensive analysis of the conclusions reached from every worldwide research study and scientific paper dealing with climate change and global warming that has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal between 1991 and 2014. The total was 40,418. Of these only 30 reject an anthropogenic (meaning, 'caused by human activity') component to global warming. Additionally, of the 34 national and international scientific academies whose memberships represent these specific branches of science, all of them have made formal declarations confirming that there is a scientific consensus that the earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and, with greater than 95% probability, that the warming is predominantly caused by humans generating increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels.
Finally, Coleman’s statement that there are 30,000 scientists that agree with his position has been debunked by Snopes and other fact checkers.
Well written, Mr. Ground. But the fact is, no one will know for sure who is correct until the oceans rise and Santa Cruz begins to look like Venice, Italy. And even then, people will continue to argue as to whether global warming and the subsequent rise of the oceans was caused by man or Mother Nature. If it is ultimately proven that man was responsible, which country will be blamed the most for not having cut back on the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere? I vote for China, India and the countries in the former Soviet Union. I’m not a scientist, but I do lay claim to being a self-taught prognosticator!
SAY "HI" TO THE JUNE BIRTHDAY BOYS FROM LAST WEDNESDAY'S PBA MEETING
From left to right we have Rob Robison; Chaplain Jim Becknall; John Shaver; George Peyton; Pete Graves; Bert Caro; and Tom Anthony. (Photo by Aubrey "Bird" Parrott)
On the third Wednesday of next month — July 19th — the PBA will be holding its annual BBQ steak dinner-meeting. Secretary/Treasurer Lumpy Lundberg is in Alaska this week hunting the ingredients for his famous (infamous?) Road Kill Chili that always complements the New York Steaks that are perfectly prepared by Lee Wilson and crew. Members won't want to miss next month's get-together.
GARY KEITH’S FIFTH ANNUAL OLD TIMERS’ GATHERING OPEN TO ALL
From the Metro, H-Cars and MERGE Assoc.
All active and retired Cops and friends of SJPD are welcome. Expect to see all the usual suspects. Everyone is welcome. This year we will be there for two days.
July 18-19 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Arrive on Tuesday by 3:00 p.m.
Seafood Buffet Dinner on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
711 Lucky Lane
Coarsegold, CA 93945
Group ID #17071IAMER
Tell them you are from America’s Best Law Enforcement Agency
RSVP to Jack Baxter at 707-513-7023 or <email@example.com> as soon as possible for a good head count. Please share this notice since we don’t have everyone's addresses.
ARE CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS ACTING LIKE CHILDREN
Anyone else find it embarrassing when California lawmakers act like children (“I’m not going to talk to you ever again!”)? All of the country’s red states and probably some of the blue ones already look at California as “chock full of nuts.” Actions like this one by the State Legislature make us all look even sillier than usual…
Travel Ban for Officials Met with Mockery
—States determined to have infringed on LGBT rights targeted under new laws—
By Katy Murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — June 28, 2017
SACRAMENTO — The eight states targeted by California’s new travel ban barring official travel are not suffering the slight quietly.
The ban — punishing states that have recently passed laws that California’s attorney general has determined infringe on LGBT rights — has been ruthlessly mocked by its red-state critics since last week’s announcement that the list of states would double and include Texas.
It’s been called everything from a cheap political stunt to a hypocritical move by a state that vehemently opposed President Trump’s very different travel ban from several majority-Muslim countries. And it didn’t go unnoticed that Gov. Jerry Brown recently made an official visit to China, where gay marriage is illegal and LGBT citizens do not enjoy the same civil rights protections as they would in, say, Tennessee.
For those who love to hate California, the travel ban has provided bountiful fodder.
“It’s funny how the very state that is so adamantly against keeping terrorists out of our country — they oppose the president’s travel ban — now wants to keep Californians out of Texas,” Marc Rylander, communications director for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, told the Houston Chronicle. “I guess that’s California logic.”
Some Texas Republicans, including Rep. Dustin Burrows, are already urging the state to retaliate next month during the Legislature’s special session, the newspaper reported.
The first states included in the ban were Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. Late last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas had been added. The ban bars state officials and employees from state-funded travel to those states, though it does include some exceptions, such as previously signed contractual agreements and essential travel by law enforcement.
Circulating on social media is a resolution from Tennessee lawmakers mocking the new law — and taking some sharp jabs at California.
“WHEREAS, California’s attempt to influence public policy in our state is akin to Tennessee expressing its disapproval of California’s exorbitant taxes, spiraling budget deficits, runaway social welfare programs, and rampant illegal immigration,” the resolution said.
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the other forty-eight states to refrain from imposing their unfounded moral judgment on their sister states as California has done in order to prevent escalating foolishness.”
Tennessee’s full resolution…
LICK OBSERVATORY ATOP MT. HAMILTON AS IT WAS 115 YEARS AGO
Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, California, 1902. The world’s
first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory.
Mount Hamilton east of San Jose remains a viable location for a major working observatory. The little town atop the mountain had its own police, a post office and a swimming pool, and until recently, a one-room schoolhouse. By 2013, with continuing budget and staff cuts there remains only about nineteen residents, and it is common for the observers to work from remote observing stations rather than make the drive, partly as a result of the business office raising the cost to stay in the dorms. In 2013, one of Lick Observatory’s key funding sources was scheduled for elimination in 2018, which many worried would result in the closing of the entire observatory. But in November 2014, the University of California announced its intention to continue its support of Lick Observatory.
Click HERE to visit the website.
STILL LOOKING BACK…
Just as mighty
oaks from little acorns grow, the same can be said about mighty airports from
little landing strips. Pictured is the staff of the San Jose Airport in 1948.
The photo from Harold “Hal” Burks was posted on Facebook
by Pete Salvi.
DON’T LOOK TO US FOR AN ANSWER
Don’t ask us why Chief Garcia and two of his Deputy Chiefs are clad in fancy footwear. The only thing we can imagine is that they dealt with three ladies at a recent community meeting who challenged them to “walk a mile in our shoes!”
STORIES OF THE WEEK
This is the captain speaking…
A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom:
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and…OH, MY GOD!”
Silence followed and, a minute later, the captain came back on the intercom and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!”
A passenger in business class yelled back, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine!”
• • • • •
I have a very complicated benefits question.
Many years ago, I married a widow out of love who had an 18-year-old daughter.
After the wedding, my father, a widower, came to visit a number of times, and he fell in love with my step daughter.
My father eventually married her without my authorization.
As a result my step daughter became my step mother and my father became my son-in-law.
My father's wife (also my step daughter) and my step mother, gave birth to a son who is my grandchild because I am the husband of my step daughter's mother.
This boy is also my brother, as the son of my father.
As you can see, my wife became a grandmother, because she is the mother of my father's wife.
Therefore it appears that I am also my wife's grandchild.
A short time after these events, my wife gave birth to a son, who became my father's brother-in-law, the step-son of my father's wife, and my uncle.
My son is also my step mother’s brother, and through my step-mother, my wife has become a grandmother and I have become my own grandfather.
In light of the above mentioned, I would like to know the following:
Does my son, who is also my uncle, my father's son-in-law and my step mother's brother fulfill the requirements for receiving childcare benefits?
Of course you qualify Mohammed! I have arranged for the state to start mailing the checks to all of you just as soon as you arrive here in California.
Jerry Brown, Governor
• • • • •
of the Year
A woman in a supermarket was following a grandfather and his badly-behaving grandson. He had his hands full with the child screaming for candy, cookies, all sorts of things.
The grandpa was saying in a controlled voice: "Easy, William, we won't be long—easy, boy." The boy has another outburst and she hears the grandpa calmly say, "It's okay, William. Just a couple more minutes and we'll be out of here. Hang in there, son."
At the checkout, the little horror was throwing items out of the shopping cart. Grandpa said again in a controlled voice, "William, William, relax buddy, don't get upset. We'll be home in five minutes, stay cool, William."
Very impressed, she went outside to where the grandfather was loading his groceries and the boy into the car. She said, "It's none of my business but you were amazing in there. I don't know how you did it. That whole time, you kept your composure and, no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying things would be okay. William is very lucky to have you as his grandpa."
"Thanks," said the grandpa, "but I’m William. This little bastard's name is Kevin."
• • • • •
miss an opportunity to be a hero…
Back on June 9th, a group of Hells Angels from South Carolina were riding east on 378 when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge, so they stopped.
George, their leader, a big burly man of 53, got off his Harley, walked through a group of gawkers, past a State Trooper who was trying to talk her down off the railing, and said, "Hey Baby…whatcha doin' up there on that railin'?"
She said tearfully, "I'm going to jump and end it all.”
While he didn't want to appear "sensitive" in front of his fellow outlaw bikers, he also didn't want to miss this "be-a-hero-and-legend" opportunity, so he asked her, "Well, before you jump, Honey-Babe…why don't you give ol' George here your best last kiss?"
Surprisingly, and with no hesitation, she leaned back over the railing and did just that. It was a long, deep, lingering kiss followed immediately by another one that was even better.
After they breathlessly finished, George got a big thumbs-up approval from his biker-buddies, the onlookers, and even the State Trooper. He then said to the girl, "Wow! That was the best kiss I have ever had! That's a real talent you're wasting there, Sugar Shorts. You could be famous if you rode with me. Why are you planning to jump?”
“Because my parents don't like me dressing up like a girl."
To this day it is still unclear whether he jumped or was pushed.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
June 21 — 27
June 21: Today is the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. Or as the White House calls that, “every day.”
Today, hundreds of people did yoga in Times Square to celebrate the first day of summer. At least, I THINK that’s why Times Square Elmo was lying face-down.
Mitch McConnell wants to force a Senate vote on healthcare before July 4, because if there’s one day you want to take away people’s healthcare, it’s the day when they get drunk and set off fireworks.
A child development expert has sued Disney for stealing her idea for the movie “Inside Out.” Disney called the suit ridiculous, then announced their next movie about a child development expert who sues Disney for stealing her idea.
June 22: We have Ray Romano on the show tonight. He stars in the new movie “The Big Sick,” which is also the name of the Republican healthcare bill.
The Senate healthcare bill came out today, and it would cut a tax on indoor tanning. Which is the biggest proof so far that Trump was actually working on the bill.
Yesterday, White House officials said Russia targeted election systems in 21 states last year. Trump was furious. He said, “I paid for all 50.”
Today, Trump tweeted that he doesn’t have recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. He doesn’t have them. Then one guy said [Russian accent], “Don’t worry, you can borrow ours.”
June 26: Yesterday, President Trump said that Obama copied him by calling the Republican healthcare bill "Mean." And then Obama said Trump copied him by spending the last six months doing nothing.
Actually, though, Obama is taking some heat right now, because it came out that two senators tried to warn him that Russia was trying to hack the election and he ignored them. Trump promises that if he ever gets top secret information about Russia, he'll do the responsible thing and tweet it.
Nancy Pelosi was talking about her first meeting with Trump and she said that he served pigs in a blanket and kosher meatballs. It's good to know that even the president has a bunch of food from Costco that he is trying to get rid of.
This weekend, Mike Pence officiated the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Pence said, "You may now kiss the bride." Then he was like, "Not you, Mr. President."
June 27: President Trump invited all Republican senators to the White House today for a meeting about healthcare. I guess he turned to each of them and said, "You have five seconds to explain it to me, GO!"
It came out yesterday that under the Republican healthcare plan, 22 million people will lose their health insurance over the next decade. 22 million! Or as Trump put it, "Wow — that's like, half my Inauguration crowd!"
I saw that Canada is restoring a historic brothel that was owned by Trump's grandfather in 1897. They're even putting a plaque out front that says: "The Trumps: Screwing People Since 1897."
Today, a giant cyber attack hit computer systems in Russia. In a related story, Hillary Clinton just had a GREAT week at computer camp.
June 21: In Israel, a court ruled that a religious man cannot force a woman to move seats on an airplane just because he’s afraid of having accidental physical contact with her. It was the landmark case of Israel vs. Mike Pence.
The reality show “Bachelor in Paradise” has been cleared of the assault charges and it’s going to resume filming. The news was celebrated today by ABC, the contestants, and the chlamydia virus.
President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is in the Middle East to broker a historic peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Kushner thinks real progress will start once both sides stop laughing.
The Supreme Court just ruled that it is now legal for sex offenders to use social media. When asked to explain the decision, the justices said, “Sex offenders on the internet— what’s the worst that could happen?”
June 22: Goodwill has returned almost $100,000 in cash that was mistakenly donated to them in a black duffel bag. A spokesman for Goodwill said, “We’re not very bright.”
A Muslim model has become the first woman to appear in a hijab on the cover of Allure magazine. She also appears in a fashion spread entitled, “10 Hot Looks for When You’re Detained at the Airport.”
NASA reports that it had a record 18,000 applicants to be astronauts. And apparently 1,000 more apply every time President Trump tweets.
A new survey revealed that the average time a heterosexual couple has sex is 19 minutes. In my case, that’s two minutes for sex and 17 minutes for apologizing.
June 21: There was a special election in Georgia last night to fill a vacant congressional seat and Republican Karen Handel defeated the Democrat Jon Ossoff. Now, I have a question about the American political process. When is there NOT an election? There is ALWAYS an election here. You LOVE elections. The only thing you love more than elections is moaning about the outcome of elections.
The Republican won the election and she did it the old-fashioned way, without the help of any Russians.
Experts say the Republican victory in Georgia shows that Americans may not be as dissatisfied with Trump as, let’s say, Melania is.
Now here’s some news from my home country. In her latest speech her majesty the queen did not mention Donald Trump’s state visit to the U.K., leading some to speculate that it may have been canceled. So apparently two can play this whole travel ban game.
June 22: You remember a month ago Donald Trump tweeted: “James Comey better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.” Well, guess what, today Trump tweeted, “I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey. But I did not make and do not have any such recordings.” He’s now fact-checking himself!
Of course Trump doesn’t have a tape. Secretly taping someone would require thinking ahead — and show me one time that this president has done that.
But yeah, it turns out Trump didn’t record Comey, there are no tapes. The main reason for this is that people haven’t used tapes since 1992.
At a rally in Iowa last night, Trump unveiled a new plan for his long-proposed border wall [clip of Trump]: “We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself.” A solar wall. Now he’s literally blowing sunshine up our [butts].
June 22: The NBA draft is taking place right now at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The NBA draft is, I think, the most interesting draft in sports, and it’s important because it helps to decide which teams the players will be on when they lose to the Golden State Warriors next year.
This morning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell showed us a draft of his top-secret new healthcare legislation. They opened the vault, they laid the bill out on a table, rubbed lemon juice all over it, and the text magically appeared for all to see. And wouldn’t you know it, the bill includes a big tax cut for rich people. So unless you just got drafted by an NBA team, it’s not great news.
They’re calling the plan “Bettercare,” as in: Just imagine how much better this plan would be if the people who wrote it cared.
It slashes Medicaid, which could negatively affect millions of poor and elderly people. But here’s the thing, it won’t happen until 2024. It’s gradual. Which makes you wonder: Why 2024? What is the significance of that? Will we all be in those pods from “The Matrix” by then, we won’t need healthcare?
June 21: Following two special election losses for the Democratic Party yesterday, one Democratic congressman said, quote, “Our brand is worse than Trump.” “Hey, that’s our slogan!” said United Airlines.
Today was the longest day of the year ... says Sean Spicer every day.
Discovery Channel is promoting its upcoming Shark Week by promising to have Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps race a great white shark. But don’t tell him! It’s a surprise!
A company has developed a smart duvet, which can control a person’s body temperature. The way it works is, you kick it off.
June 22: Senate Republicans today released a draft of their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which would cut taxes for richer Americans and insurance companies, and defund Planned Parenthood for one year. The bill is so bad, President Trump said, “Does anyone have any questions for me about Russia?
Alternatively, I could show you my tax returns. Do you guys want to see that?”
President Trump and the first lady hosted the congressional picnic today on the south lawn of the White House, or as Eric was told, “the north lawn.”
Following losses in two special congressional elections this week, one Democratic staffer reportedly said, “We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn’t a party, it’s a giant assisted living center.” Even worse, the reporter then asked about the upcoming G7 summit, and several people yelled “Bingo!”
June 26: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got married this weekend for the third time, and the wedding was officiated by Vice President Mike Pence. Because if there's one thing Mike Pence stands for, it's the sanctity of a third marriage.
President Trump and his wife Melania this weekend attended the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. When asked if she cries at weddings, Melania said, "Just the one."
In an interview today, Ivanka Trump graded her father's presidency as an "A." Though if you want an honest assessment maybe ask someone who's not in the will. Like Eric.
Two Florida men reportedly abandoned their car last week after crashing into a Doritos truck, which sounds like the perfect case for Chips.
June 27: The White House today formally nominated Christopher Wray to be the next director of the FBI. Aaaand… he's been fired.
Disneyworld's Hall of Presidents, which has been closed since January in order to add a new President Trump robot, has reportedly pushed its reopening to the fall. "Bummer!" said literally not one child.
In a recent interview, former Georgia congressional candidate John Ossoff said his near-victory for the Democrats last week shows that President Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon "should be sweating in 2018." Um, have you seen those guys lately? They probably sweat getting out of bed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview yesterday, "I laugh at least once every day. Otherwise I cannot do this job." Once every day? I would have guessed "once, period."
June 27: You remember how the Republicans have been promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years now? Yeah. It's their most consistent message other than "Turn down that hip-hop racket, you kids!"
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised he will pass Trumpcare before the July 4 recess. And he has got to, because McConnell knows if they don't pass it now, there's a serious danger someone might read it.
Republicans, who were already nervous, ran for the exits after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday that under the GOP plan, 22 million people would lose their health coverage. That's a big number. To put that number into perspective, if you laid 22 million people end to end, it would reach Canada, where they could get healthcare.
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE
Click HERE for the most current update.
• • •
Following in the footsteps of country singer Mel Tillis, who stuttered when he spoke but not when he sang, is Tim Poe, a 35-year-old disabled Army veteran who suffered brain damage in Afghanistan. He wowed the judges and audience on America’s Got Talent with THIS rendition of Garth Brooks’ hit song, “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” (8:43)
• • • • •
Bill Leavy says this magician who also appeared on America’s Got Talent is “unbelievable.” After watching THIS compilation of his appearances on the show, unbelievable is a vast understatement. This is one of those acts that makes you wonder if it isn’t indeed magic! His name is Steven Brundage and he has totally amazed not only the audience, but curmudgeon Simon Cowell as well. (14:00)
• • • • •
While we’re looking at talent, let’s head across the Pond and check out another magician on “Britain’s Got Talent.” THIS Japanese gentleman lives in Tokyo but traveled to London in order to appear on the show and prove that he could also wow the audience and the judges. (6:38)
• • • • •
Too cute. Absolutely too cute. Listen to 4-year-old Claire Ryann accompany her dad as he SINGS “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” (2:25)
• • • • •
Take a minute and check out this nice little doggy who went from THIS to that! (1:11)
• • • • •
“Here, little Raccoon. Would you like a Dorito? Someone told me you little guys like ‘em. Bet you can’t EAT just one!” (2:43)
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Short but emotional clip. This gentleman spent several weeks in the hospital fighting a deadly flu virus. When he was discharged and sent home he had lost so much weight that his dog didn’t recognize him until he gave the guy a good sniff. Then THIS happened. (0:52)
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We totally agree with our retired police artist Tom Macris. If reincarnation actually exists and there are Ospreys in the area, you DO NOT want to come back as a fish! There are 3 sequences in this relatively short video: 1) The huge bird of prey catches several fish in one strike; 2) It plunges its talons into deep water to grab a meal; and 3) It captures a fish that looks as if it weighs as much he does. (2:51)
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When can a massage with a couple of Q-Tips be a little too relaxing? THIS short clip may give you a clue. (0:26)
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Speaking of massage, this mutt may not be able to talk in a human way, but we’ll wager that he’s thinking the water jet is hitting HIM in the right spot! (0:53)
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For every problem there’s a solution. The problem in this case is how to get the little ducklings out of the pool so they can join their mom. They are too young to fly or jump up on the deck. And they won’t allow themselves to be handled by a human. WHAT to do? (1:58)
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This “Happy Monday” clip may make you wonder why there aren’t more WORKPLACE shootings than there are. (2:57)
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If you didn’t see this road rage incident between a biker who gives the boot to an SUV that was on the news this week, you can watch it HERE. (P.S. The biker and his felonious boot are still at large.) (1:32)
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Here’s a question for you NASCAR fans: Why do you sometimes spent hours waiting for “The Big One” at the sport’s long tracks when you can satisfy your craving for catastrophic crashes at European road rallies like THIS one? Granted the pit stops take longer, but there are many more participating pit crew members as you will see. (11:16)
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These railroad engineers seem to be having a ton of fun running their locomotive through a mountain pass after a snow storm. We can only hope that they aren’t pulling a dozen fully-loaded AMTRAK cars. (1:51)
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It’s hard to believe that New Jersey Youth Services took this Nazi’s children away from him. Or is it? Here he is in his Nazi regalia and a big swastika tattoo on his neck getting ready to ask a judge for the return of his kids, one of whom is named Adolf Hitler. Shouldn’t the ACLU be rendering assistance? (1:27)
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Some of you may recognize this bloke as former Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond. In this clip he is in South Africa to test the Marauder, a ten-ton military vehicle that can stand up to just about anything. We should also mention that it’s rather large as you can see by clicking HERE. (8:04)
P.S. Richard has escaped death a couple of times during the filming of Top Gear over the years, and he recently did so again after a near fatal crash while filming the Grand Tour. Click HERE to read about it…
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Don’t say “Adios” to THIS judge if you know what’s good for you. And above all, don’t give him the one-finger salute. (2:29)
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If you are into such things, Comrade Kosovilka sent in THIS dazzling light show performed by dancers from the Ukraine who won the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent. (3:25)
Bob was also impressed with THIS compilation video titled “The Five Best Light Shows Ever on America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent.” (12:38)
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Try wrapping your head around THIS video about the largest galaxy in the known Universe. It provides an excellent lesson on the scale of what is out there. (4:48)
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Maybe this won’t interest you, but it fascinated us. It’s an animation about the civilizations that populated the Earth from 20,000 BC to 20176 AD. We found the number of cultures that came and went and the growth of mankind amazing. We also realized how unfamiliar we were with the names of numerous prior cultures and civilizations that were once present and subsequently vanished. If you choose to view this animation, we suggest you keep your cursor positioned over the pause button so you can stop the video from time to time and take it all in. We did and found that there were an estimated…
• 188,278 million humans on the planet when Christ was born.
• 447,282,000 million in 1492 when Columbus landed in the West Indies.
• 1,275,000,000 billion in 1865 during the Civil War.
• 2,180,000,000 billion in 1939 at the start of WWII.
• 3,480,000,000 billion in 1969 when the US landed men on the Moon.
• and 7,430,000,000 billion in 2016.
Click HERE to view the video. (19:07)
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Don Rickles passed away from kidney failure at his home in Beverly Hills on April 6, 2017 at the age of 90. We salute the late beloved King of the Insult with THIS compilation clip of some of his funniest appearances. (11:39)
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For our closer this week we are passing along this interpretive dance by Tylar Olsen, the niece of a police officer. She included the following text when she posted the video on YouTube…
“This dance is dedicated to my uncle, and to ALL the men and women in blue who strap on their duty belt, secure their bullet proof vests, and put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe. May you all return home safe. Keep walking the thin blue line.”
Tyler’s performance is set to a recording of Paul Harvey’s recitation of “What Are Policemen Made Of?” that he authored in the late 1960s. If you choose to watch Tylar by clicking HERE, we strongly suggest you stick with it until the end. (2:24)
This is the text of Paul Harvey’s tribute as it appeared in the
July 23, 2009 Farsider…
What Are Policemen Made Of?
Don't credit me with this mongrel prose; it has many parents; at least 420,000 of them: Policemen.
A policeman is a composite of what all men are, a mingling of saint and sinner, dust and deity.
Culled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are "news." What that really means is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.
Buried under the froth is the fact: Less than one-half of 1 percent of policemen misfit that uniform.
That's a better average than you'd find among clergymen.
What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is at once the most needed and the most unwanted.
He's a strangely nameless creature who is "sir" to his face and "fuzz" behind his back.
He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.
But . . .
If the policeman is neat, he's conceited; if he's careless, he's a bum.
If he's pleasant, he's a flirt; if he's not, he's a grouch.
He must make in an instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer.
But . . .
If he hurries, he's careless; if he's deliberate, he's lazy.
He must be first to an accident and infallible with a diagnosis.
He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp.
Or expect to be sued.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn't hurt.
He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being "brutal."
If you hit him, he's a coward; if he hits you, he's a bully.
A policeman must know everything — and not tell.
He must know where all the sin is — and not partake.
The policeman must, from a single human hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal — and tell you where the criminal is hiding.
But . . .
If he catches the criminal, he's lucky; if he doesn't, he's a dunce.
If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn't, he's a dullard.
The policeman must chase bum leads to a dead end, stake out 10 nights to tag one witness who saw it happen — but refuses to remember.
He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache to build a case against some felon who'll get dealed out by a shameless shamus or an "honorable" who isn't.
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy, and a gentleman.
And of course he'll have to be a genius . . .
For he'll have to do it on a policeman's salary.
It should come as no surprise that Paul Harvey was a strong supporter of the police as he was the son of a police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
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Pic of the Week
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 6/29/17
Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):
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Abram, Fred & Connie
Allen, Chaplain Bryan
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Bridgen, Betty Ruth
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon, (Jr.) Frank
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Hunter, Dick (via daughter Kim Mindling)
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Taves, Phil & Paula
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve