The Farsider

July 30, 2015


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 website 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.
 

 

CAN YOU SPARE A PRAYER?

As many of you know, retired Chaplain Dave Bridgen has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for the past few years. It has now progressed to the point where he is in need of surgery.

On Aug. 3rd he will be admitted to Stanford Hospital for what is called “Fiducial Placement” (target markers) and a CT Brain Scan in preparation for Deep Brain Surgery that will take place on the following day, Aug. 4th.

Dave's schedule calls for him to return home on Aug. 5th and rest up for a day before returning to Stanford on Friday, Aug. 7th for the insertion of an Internal Pulse Generator. He will then spend the next week-and-a-half at home recuperating.

On Wednesday, Aug, 19th, he will return to Stanford for the removal of the staples from the insertion of the generator.

Then on Friday, Sept. 4th, the generator will be turned on which will hopefully help his body deal with the Parkinson’s.

Prayers (according to Dave) would be appreciated for...

• Patience as he waits for all the in-between procedures;

• Relief from the pain he experiences, which can be intense at times;

• The ability to have a sound sleep at night;

* And finally, for success.

 

PENSION NEWS

Last Sunday’s paper did a pretty good job outlining the proposed settlement between the City and the SJPOA…

City Struggled to Retain Savings in Pension Deal

—San Jose labor settlement—

By Ramona Giwargis <rgiwargis@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — July 26, 2015

SAN JOSE — With mounting pressure to settle union lawsuits over divisive pension reforms, Mayor Sam Liccardo tried to spur talks in February by offering to give up half the additional cuts the city hoped to ultimately win in court. But a new analysis by this newspaper shows city leaders ultimately gave up all those additional cuts — worth some $49 million a year — and more in the settlement with police and firefighters they announced with great fanfare earlier this month. Details released since the initial announcement show significant givebacks to retirees and new hires that were not initially revealed.

Still, it may have been the best city leaders could do. Faced with an increasingly unfavorable legal outlook and an exodus of cops and other workers, city leaders acknowledge they struggled to reach an accord that preserves the roughly $25 million in annual retirement savings they gained when voters overwhelmingly passed the Measure B pension reforms three years ago.

“We didn’t get everything I wanted or that the council wanted,” Liccardo said. “But we met our key objectives.”

But whether the city could have achieved that same, lower level of savings without three years of backbiting and bad blood with its own employees may be argued over for years to come.

Approved by nearly 70 percent of city voters over union objections in June 2012, Measure B reduced pensions for new hires, eliminated extra “bonus” checks to retirees from the city’s underfunded pension plans, made it harder to qualify for disability retirement and called for veteran workers to either pay a lot more for their pensions or choose a reduced benefit.

City unions immediately sued to overturn the measure. A judge in 2013 blocked the higher pension contributions from city workers — the most controversial and valuable of the measure’s provisions — citing state legal precedents effectively forbidding changes to government employees’ retirement benefits after they’re hired.

While both sides threatened appeals, the city saw cops, wastewater technicians, planners and other workers bolt for better compensation elsewhere, leaving several departments in a staffing crisis and amplifying critics’ calls to end the legal battle.

The city hopes it did so with the settlement announced July 15. The firefighters ratified the proposed settlement, but it still needs ratification from the police union and City Council approval. The city next month will push for similar agreements with the city’s other unions.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo
ran for his current office with
the endorsement of then-Mayor
Chuck Reed, architect of the
divisive voter-passed Measure
B pension reforms.

Among the proposed settlement’s changes:

Current employees: The settlement abandons nearly $50 million in court-blocked annual savings from having workers hired before Measure B pay more for their pensions or choose a smaller benefit.

New hires: The settlement increases the pension benefit for newly hired city workers to align with those in the state retirement system under changes the Legislature adopted after Measure B. New cops and firefighters will have a lower retirement age and higher maximum pension of 80 percent of pay than Measure B allowed. But city officials note the state system has no maximum pension cap, and say the settlement keeps key Measure B provisions: forbidding retroactive pension increases that create massive debt in the retirement system, and an agreement to split the full cost of the benefit with the city. Liccardo said it keeps about 80 percent of Measure B’s new-hire pension savings.

Retiree bonus checks: The settlement maintains elimination of these but substitutes a more limited benefit for veteran workers and retirees that would guarantee their pensions keep 75 percent of their “purchasing power.” City officials say only about 55 older police and fire retirees would qualify, and that its added costs are about 5 percent of the original bonus check tab. A court ruling this year blocking San Francisco’s elimination of bonus checks left San Jose officials uneasy about their chances of eliminating them entirely.

Retiree health care: One of the city’s biggest retirement bill savings came not from Measure B but an administrative change in the medical plan offerings that reduced health benefits for retirees. Under the proposed settlement, new hires would no longer be promised full premium coverage in retirement for the cheapest health plan offered city workers. Instead, they would pay into a retirement health savings plan with no city contribution. Veteran employees and retirees would have the option of switching to that savings plan. Otherwise, the city would tie the value of their retirement health benefit to the “silver” plan under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. City officials said eliminating the defined retirement health benefit will yield substantial savings not only for the city but employees, who saw big paycheck deductions for costs of the deeply underfunded plan.

Disability: The proposed settlement reverses Measure B provisions that required injured workers to take other city jobs if they could, but retains having an independent medical expert panel make disability determinations.

Legal fees: The proposed settlement calls for the city to pay $1.5 million in legal fees and to have an arbitrator resolve remaining union claims for legal fees. Liccardo said it was the most distasteful part of the deal and the one that nearly hung up a settlement, but he called it “a bargain in the big picture” that would be dwarfed by annual savings in the deal.

Overall, Liccardo said, “The savings we obtained in Measure B were very much in peril, so we got them in other places,” adding the deal would allow the city to “hang on to nearly every dollar” of savings it has gained since the measure’s passage.

Former Mayor Chuck Reed, Measure B’s leading champion, called the settlement reasonable under the circumstances.

“These changes protect much of the savings of Measure B,” Reed said, calling the battle with city unions the measure unleashed “painful, but necessary” to ease the bite of retirement costs that more than tripled in a decade and now consume a quarter of the city’s operating funds. The city’s retirement costs continue to grow, from $305 million now to an estimated $320 million in five years. Reed said it was either take on the fiscal issues — which included Measure B — or lay off 500 employees and potentially file bankruptcy.

Still, critics argued that what’s left after the proposed settlement could have been achieved through negotiations years ago, without need for the Measure B battle. “You look at the deal they now have on the table — that probably would’ve been a reasonable conclusion had the two sides come to the table,” said Pat Waite, a longtime resident and retired finance executive.

Councilman Ash Kalra credited Liccardo with settling the contentious issue, but said the mayor also helped create the problem.

“It’s ironic that he’s being hailed for his leadership for doing something that should have been done years ago,” Kalra said. The settlement framework only covers cops and firefighters, but set the stage for talks with the city’s other employee unions, which begin next month. John Mukhar, president of the city’s Association of Engineers and Architects, predicted other unions will support similar settlements, calling the retiree health changes “a huge advantage to both the city and the employees.”

A big question is how to implement the settlement of voter-approved charter changes. The soonest the city could take the measure to voters is November 2016. Both sides want it enacted now, but some experts say making changes without voter input could expose San Jose to lawsuits. “After all, voters are paying for it,” said Mark Hinkle, president of the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association. “I trust the taxpayers more than I trust the special interests and City Hall.”
 

• • • • •



If you found the article above a little too detailed, perhaps you will find Columnist Scott Herhold’s column on the same topic and from the same paper a little easier to digest…

Measure B Questions and Answers



By Scott Herhold <sherhold@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — July 26, 2015

Let me begin by confessing a conflict of interest. If the city of San Jose resolves its pension battle with unions, one of the chief beneficiaries will be newspaper writers like me. We won’t have to write about such an achingly dull but important topic again (DBI, in the trade).

I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of unfunded liabilities, quo warranto legal strategy, ramp-ups and opt-outs, VEBAs and PEPRAS. (Yes, it’s all there, sadly.) But I do understand some of the politics. Here are a few questions and answers:

A. Who won? In very broad strokes, you could say that the unions won the commanding share of what was at stake in Measure B in June 2012. A big piece of this — I’d estimate 60 percent — was achieved in a court victory in late 2013, which said the city could not require existing employees to contribute more to their pensions. Mayor Sam Liccardo and the unions essentially split the remaining part of the loaf.

B. What’s the bottom line? In early February, Liccardo said he hoped for an additional $25 million savings yearly from the negotiations. The city got much less, though exact numbers are not out yet. San Jose gave up a chunk of the savings that Measure B intended to achieve with new cops and firefighters, who will max out at 80 percent of their salaries rather than the two-thirds envisioned by the pension reform measure.

C. What did the unions concede? Perhaps the biggest concession came in health care, where the unions agreed to a cheaper package for new employees. This will benefit younger employees whose take-home pay will improve. The city will benefit from a smaller health care bill.

D. What political risks are there for Liccardo?

Liccardo and the council have talked about trying to pass a quarter-cent sales tax in 2016. Santa Clara County voters are sympathetic to tax increases, but this is no done deal. Second, he faces the tricky issue of getting voters to approve changes in Measure B. That cannot happen before November 2016 — though city officials are hoping the pact will go into effect now.

E. Could all this have been achieved without such a bloody battle? It’s the big question. Measure B created political havoc in San Jose, cost the city at least $4 million in legal fees and demoralized a police force once considered one of the nation’s finest.

Liccardo, who backed the measure, has said he believed it was necessary — though he concedes the fallout was painful. With control over the hiring process, the police union exerted sustained pressure on the city to fill the gaps of departed officers.

I voted for Measure B. I still think that 90 percent pensions, which existing cops and firefighters get after 30 years of service, are unsustainable.

San Diego passed a milder pension reform on the same day as Measure B in June 2012, setting a standard of 80 percent retirement for new police.

After three years of wrangling, that’s where San Jose ended up.

Liccardo says the new 80 percent standard will save the city more than a billion dollars over the next 30 years. And San Jose’s leaders trumpet the $22 million plus yearly savings achieved since Measure B, mainly by eliminating a bonus check to retirees and trimming retiree health care.

Could those concessions have been obtained by other means? Sadly, I think the answer is yes.


 

THE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD

Councilman Raul Peralez, who wore a San Jose Police uniform this time last year, represents San Jose District 3 on the San Jose City Council. He wrote the following for the Mercury News…

Counties Shouldn’t Report Immigrant Prisoners to ICE



By Raul Peralez — San Jose Councilman, District 3
Mercury News — July 28, 2015

The heartbreaking death of Kathryn Steinle, who was allegedly killed on July 1 in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant, sparked national debate over public safety and local law enforcement’s role in coordinating with immigration agents.

Some public figures and residents have used this tragedy to call for revisions of local and state policies that have protected and established trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement, ensuring public safety.

In Santa Clara County, the detainer policy passed in 2011 enabled victims of crimes to openly cooperate with police without fear of being held or deported.

But it is now also being called into question by our local elected officials.

I have a different perspective. No one who is a threat to public safety should be released or allowed to roam free in our streets, regardless of their immigration status. While some have once again chosen to scapegoat immigrants in the United States, I assert that the real problem here lies in an inadequate criminal justice system and the loopholes that allow dangerous criminals to be released.

Immigrants do not commit crimes at higher rates than citizens. If we want a true fix for crime, we need to fix these loopholes for everyone.

As a former police officer, I was bound by a set of strict rules before I could detain, cite or arrest anyone. I needed to confirm a level of probable cause that someone had committed a crime in order to arrest and hold them for that crime; once booked into jail, the clock began for required affidavits, arraignments, speedy trials and judges’ orders that would determine whether someone was to be held longer.

These protections against unreasonable arrest or detention, mandated by the U.S. constitution, are offered to all people.

The same rules should apply to federal agents, and the same protections should be allotted to immigrants.

As it stands now, our criminal justice system requires due process for everyone who is charged with a crime. Even if that crime is murder or violent assault, charges still have to be proven by law enforcement officials; cases are heard by a judge who can set bail for release, and the accused is given a defense attorney.

I can’t agree with the scapegoating perception that somehow entering our country without permission is so egregious that it justifies the violation of people’s rights. This contributes to a dynamic where the judgment and treatment of all immigrants can go unsupervised and where the actions of ICE officials are determined to be above the law.

Any person in the United States should be treated equally and with due process. Allowing ICE agents to request the extended detention or prior notification of an individual’s release based on their own subjective decision without due process is wrong, and the system needs to be improved. It has the potential to result in second-class treatment of immigrants in our criminal justice system.

Everyone should be held accountable for their actions, but no one should be treated worse because they are an immigrant.

Just like police officers are required to go through a process of establishing probable cause before taking action against a human being, federal agents should be required to do the same.

Rather than focusing on local detainer and notification policies, our efforts should be directed at creating due process nationally that can genuinely treat all human beings as equals.

 

• • • • •



This story from yesterday’s paper ties in with the commentary above by San Jose cop-turned San Jose councilman Raul Peralez, who wants to keep Santa Clara County a sanctuary for illegal immigrants…

Mayor: Change Policy on ICE

—Critics decry letter calling on county to cooperate with requests from feds—

By Ramona Giwargis <rgiwargis@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — July 29, 2015

SAN JOSE — Nine days after a woman was gunned down in San Francisco — allegedly by an illegal immigrant felon whom city authorities had released without notifying federal authorities — Mayor Sam Liccardo sent a letter to county officials urging them to reconsider a similar policy that he believes frustrates deportation efforts. “Contrary to the purposes served by other immigrant-focused initiatives we’ve supported, any policy that hastens the release of predatory criminals makes us all less safe,” Liccardo, a former county prosecutor, wrote in his July 10 letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese. Liccardo asked the board to publicly discuss the policy — the second attempt since 2011 to revise it.

But immigrant rights advocates are criticizing the mayor, saying his letter flies in the face of Liccardo’s recent effort to create an Office of Immigrant Affairs, which helps immigrants navigate city services, transition into the culture and integrate into the economy.

Lisa Maria Castellanos, policy and organizing director at Sacred Heart Community Service, said one major goal of the Office of Immigrant Affairs was to improve the immigrant community’s relationships with police, but the mayor’s letter sends the opposite message.

“It’s counter intuitive. It’s a slippery slope that runs the risk of spreading fear in the community,” she said. “We have to be careful that if we’re lighting a candle with one hand that we’re not pouring water on it with the other.”

But Liccardo said he’s trying to protect the immigrant community by pushing for the policy changes.

“The heavily immigrant communities that I’ve represented as a council member and mayor don’t want a violent felon back in their community any more than the rest of us do,” he said.

Like San Francisco, Santa Clara County adopted a policy of generally refusing to honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, to detain illegal immigrants. It’s a policy that’s irked Liccardo, who believes the county should cooperate with ICE agents in cases of serious or violent felonies. Without changing the policy, the mayor said in his letter, tragedies similar to the July 1 slaying of Kathryn Steinle are not only foreseeable but “inevitable.”

But immigration advocates, including San Jose Councilman Raul Peralez, see it differently. They say allowing ICE into local communities creates fear and intimidation, discourages cooperation with police and violates people’s basic human rights to due process. Peralez said the current county policy makes a safer community by encouraging immigrants to report crime without fear of deportation. He said Liccardo’s letter undermines his work as a champion for the Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Our mayor in this letter is essentially saying he thinks it’s OK to treat undocumented individuals differently and not allow them due process,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the community we’ve been championing.”

Before county supervisors approved the policy on ICE holds in 2011, District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Sheriff Laurie Smith cautioned against it.

But the majority of supervisors, including Cortese, said they couldn’t support a “two-tier” justice system that treats illegal immigrants differently.

The heated debate in San Jose comes on the heels of reports that Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are crafting federal legislation requiring all local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with ICE. More than 50 advocacy groups signed a letter Monday urging lawmakers to reconsider.

Santa Clara County had an estimated 183,500 illegal immigrants in 2013, the state’s third-largest population, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Local advocates said the mayor’s letter appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to the recent tragedy. “We want to make sure the horrific tragedy that took place in San Francisco isn’t used as a political rationale to change a policy that the community fought for,” said Priya Murthy, policy and organizing program director for Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network. “Notifying ICE of individuals based on people’s immigration status can only result in a chilling effect and distrust of law enforcement.”

 

• • • • •



Our Dept.’s long-time friend and former boss Bill Lansdowne offered his opinion in the Sacramento Bee on the Steinle murder and the sanctuary city issue…

Keep Clear, Separate Roles for Local Law Enforcement and ICE

By William Lansdowne — Special to The Bee
Sacramento Bee — July 25, 2015

The tragic killing of Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco has drawn national attention to the relationship between local police and immigration enforcement. In my four decades in uniform and 20 years as police chief, I saw again and again politicians’ temptation to respond to a singular, heart-wrenching incident with sweeping policy change. In my experience, this always does more harm than good.

In response to Steinle’s senseless death, some have called for an end to policies that limit local agencies’ entanglement with federal immigration enforcement, blaming San Francisco for this tragedy. In the wake of a devastating incident like this, it is difficult, yet important, to take a step back to examine why it is that so many law enforcement officers believe it is critical to maintain clear and separate roles for local law enforcement and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Carrying out our respective roles, we keep our communities and country safe.



William Lansdowne

Helping to advance the technique of community-oriented policing is one of my proudest accomplishments in my decades of law enforcement service. Having officers meet regularly and frequently with the community members they are sworn to protect and serve is the foundational element of this proven technique. Requiring those same officers to inquire about the immigration status of a victim, witness or even a suspect dismantles the trust we are working to build and undermines our ability to investigate and prevent crime.

When police officers and sheriff’s deputies are tasked with carrying out federal immigration enforcement, immigrant families – many of whom are of mixed status, with some members legal and some undocumented – understandably become fearful of any encounter with law enforcement.

This has the ill effect of making routine law enforcement duties much more difficult and in some cases impossible. A study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that 44 percent of Latinos surveyed said they would be less likely to contact police officers if they were the victims of a crime because they feared any interaction with police might lead officers to ask about their immigration status or that of family members.

Jim Steinle, second from left, father of Kathryn Steinle, in the photograph
on the wall, testifies before a Senate Judiciary hearing to examine the
administration’s immigration enforcement policies last week.

Sound policing requires trust between law enforcers and the members of the public, so that community members share information that helps prevent crimes from occurring and so that victims and witnesses come forward to help police solve crimes. For years, we saw the negative consequences when cities and counties were forced to bear the costs of complying with federal immigration policies. We learned the hard way that wedding local law enforcement agencies’ work to the federal government’s deportation tactics breeds deep-seated mistrust in the police.

To date, more than 320 localities throughout the country, including 50 in California, have stopped holding individuals beyond their ordinary release merely on the basis of an ICE detainer request. Instead, sheriffs and police departments have adopted due process protections to operate within the law, reduce the risk of deterring innocent crime victims and witnesses from coming forward, and restore community trust. In the tragic killing of Steinle, all ICE would have had to do is present San Francisco with a judicial order authorizing detention, and local authorities could legally have kept Lopez-Sanchez in custody.

Instead of using Steinle’s tragic death as a vehicle to tear down smart policing policies across our state, our members of Congress should use this moment as an opportunity to ask law enforcement officials why they have worked so hard to establish trust and cooperation with immigrant communities.

William Lansdowne served as chief of police in San Diego, Richmond and San Jose. Read more HERE.

 

• • • • •



Here we go again. Perhaps we are living in an age where cops should go 10-8 at the beginning of their shift, then find a comfortable place to park and stay put until they receive a call. If nothing else, it could save the City a lot of dough in lawsuits and gasoline. This was on the news yesterday evening and in today's paper...

SJPD Hit with Lawsuit

—Couple: Officer pulled gun on family as they pulled up to home—

By Tracey Kaplan <tkaplan@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — July 30, 2015

SAN JOSE — The Police Department here is facing new allegations of racial profiling, this time in a federal lawsuit filed by a black couple who claim that an officer pulled a gun on them and their young children for no reason as they pulled up in front of their Almaden Valley home.

The suit filed by Emmanuel Stephens and his wife, Jasmine Whitley, comes amid national concerns about disparate treatment of blacks and other racial minorities by police that have erupted in protests when encounters with cops turned deadly in Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; and Baltimore. A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge in what a prosecutor called “a senseless, asinine shooting” of a black motorist during a minor traffic stop. It was the first time such a charge had been leveled against an officer in the city.

The San Jose lawsuit also follows an analysis by this newspaper of traffic-stop data collected by police last year that found significant racial disparities in the stops. Officers pulled over, searched, curb-sat, cuffed or otherwise detained blacks and Latinos at far higher percentages than their share of this city’s population. Yet the stops seldom led to arrests or evidence of crimes.

“What happened to my clients happens all the time and is a real problem,” said the couple’s Walnut Creek lawyer, Paul B. Justi. “This type of police misconduct only gets attention when someone ends up dead, but this type of nonlethal harassment is much more widespread and also needs to be brought to light and stopped.”

The City Attorney’s Office, which represents the Police Department, declined to comment.

Police officials have denied any bias, saying the traffic-stop data reflect a focus on high crime areas such as East San Jose, which is heavily Latino, in what is otherwise a relatively safe large city. But the city has set aside $125,000 for an independent consultant to study the data, and police leaders also have expressed an openness to special training programs.

The suit filed by Stephens and Whitley seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages. But Whitley, a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service, said they hope the lawsuit spurs change.

“My goal is to get the police to respect the citizens,” Whitley, 30, said. “Not everyone who is African-American is a crook or criminal. There are many productive citizens, and I am one of them.”

The couple alleges that Officer Alexander Keller followed Stephens as he drove home from picking up his 7-year-old daughter from school, then jumped out of his patrol car with his gun drawn when they arrived. According to the lawsuit, Keller then handcuffed Stephens and put him in the back of his patrol car, and threatened their 14year-old, who emerged from the house, with Juvenile Hall if she went back in the house to get a cellphone to record the incident. They also claim officers searched the car without probable cause, and cited Whitley for possession of a small container of medical marijuana, even though she showed him proof she had a prescription. An officer who later arrived told the family that they had gotten a call about a “suspicious black man with a purple backpack,” but Stephens did not have such a backpack and that even if he did so, Keller could not have seen it from his patrol car, the suit said.

In May, a separate federal civil rights lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed by San Jose lawyer Nick Emanuel on behalf of Shauncey Burt, an African-American man who was stopped by San Jose police for minor traffic violations three times in five months. Each stop lasted at least 30 minutes, the suit contends, during which he was ordered to sit on the curb, and on one occasion was handcuffed while officers searched his car. Yet the searches came up empty and Burt was given a traffic ticket only once. The city declined to comment.

 

MAIL CALL



July 23rd

Tom (Macris) and Bill,

Although I also look to the sky to see UFOs or anything interesting, all I often see are clouds shaped like “Bunnies & Duckies,” but I will keep looking.

Both of you know my Wyoming roots. As a young mountain climber (19 years old) I was lucky to have successfully climbed the National Monument (The Devil’s Tower) which has been featured in various sci-fi movies.



Note the image of a bucking bronco in the Devil's Tower pic.

I am also an avid reader of a Wyoming author, Craig Johnson, who writes about a mythical Wyoming Sheriff, Walt Longmire. His books spun off the successful TV series “Longmire” that, unfortunately, was cancelled last year, but has been picked up by NetFlix and will be available this fall. One of his short stories, “The Spirit of Steamboat,” tells the story of how the state of Wyoming acquired the bucking horse symbol that appears on Wyoming license plates, etc.

I recommend this story as well. I have included some Devil’s Tower photos and one that is probably photoshopped, but still one of my favorites.

Gary Leonard <hoyaleonard@gmail.com>

 

• • • • •

 

July 28th

Bill & Leroy,

I like the idea of being able to send you an email without identifying myself like Talking Points has done. I sent you one several weeks ago that you guys chose to print and am now sending you this one with two videos about the Planned Parenthood abortion issue that I feel strongly about. If you find them appropriate, please include them in the next Farsider.

Thanks,

Red State <RedState70@comcast>

Everyone is invited to express their opinions on controversial issues here in the Mail Call column whether they want their identities known or not.

The first video R.S. sent in is a Hitler parody of the Planned Parenthood videos that have been in the news. The second video is a commentary by Brit Hume of Fox News who offers his opinion on the same topic.

Click HERE to watch the Hitler parody. (3:50)



Click HERE to watch the Brit Hume commentary. (2:20)





• • • • •

 

July 29th

Bill,

Allow me to rant about those guilt ads on Fox News, CNN and some other channels to get the public to donate $19 a month to a specific charity such as the Shriners, St. Jude, Wounded Warriors, Disabled American Veterans and the Humane Society, just to name a few. I’m sure they are all worthy charities. At least I hope they are because I was guilted into donating to two of them. What I hate is to be confronted several times a day by a crying wife, an adorable but physically challenged kid or the saddest looking pet I have seen in years pleading for my money. Are we going to continue seeing these ads for the next several years? Logic would say that the answer is yes as long as they continue to be successful in raising money. That raises another question: how much of every dollar that I give goes to pay Fox, CNN and the other stations that carry the guilt ads? It's obvious that they must spend millions on TV advertising.

My second pet peeve are those damn gold and silver ads, especially that one with William Devane that runs a couple of dozen times a day on the same stations. If I ever see that guy on the street my first instinct will be to punch his lights out.

I feel better now. Thanks for the opportunity to get this off my chest.

Talking Points <Talking.Points@comcast.net>

Interesting, TP, if it wasn’t for you, Red State and Gary Leonard, our mailbox would have made a good home for moths this week. Regarding your rant, I can sympathize. I too have been “guilted” into making a monthly pledge to a couple of the $19/month charities, but only one that you mentioned. The way I get around having to listen to the crying wives, adorable children or stare at the homeless cats and dogs is by DVRing everything I watch so I can push the FF button when one pops up on the screen. I hardly ever watch anything live anymore. If there is a problem, it’s that there are so many charity and gold/silver ads on the channels I watch the most that I’m worried I will soon wear out the FF button on my remote.

 

• • • • •


July 30th

This letter to the editor of the Mercury News in today’s paper caught our eye just prior to press time. Well said, Pete…

San Jose Mayor Has the Right Idea

Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — July 30, 2015


I would like to personally congratulate and support San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo regarding his suggestion that Santa Clara County follow the current law pertaining to illegal criminal felons in custody.

The county should be legally obligated to turn this class of offenders over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the determination of deportation or release.

Then, if the federal government releases this category of felons by choosing not to enforce its own law, we would know who to blame for subsequent violence and be able to hold them accountable.

Laws that are not enforced have no meaning or value.

Peter T. Guerin, San Jose

 

PAY ATTENTION, FOLKS, IT'S TIME FOR A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT SAN JOSE

It’s time for a history lesson, courtesy of Bob Schiller (S/O), so stay alert because one never knows when there will be a pop quiz. This week’s topic:

Clicking HERE will take you to an interesting video that will provide you with the history of the park dating all the way back to the mid-1800s. (2:33)

Perhaps the most stand-out event that took place in the downtown park was the 1933 infamous hanging of two men suspected of kidnapping and murdering Brooke Hart, the son of a popular San Jose businessman. The suspects were dragged from their jail cells and hanged in the park by an angry mob. But were they responsible for the crime? Author and filmmaker John Murphy doesn’t think so. Watch THIS clip and see what you think.

THIS is newsreel footage from 1933 that was played in movie theaters all over the country about the lynching. Keep in mind that the St. James Park hangings took place in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of the Charles Lindbergh baby that shocked the nation.

The San Jose History website is replete with tons of information about San Jose’s past, including how the city was impacted by the 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area. To view a video about that catastrophe, click HERE to go to the website, then look at the Archives on the right and click on the “April 2015” link. That will take you to a page where you will find a video about the earthquake and a second clip titled “Quest for Flight.”

 

REST IN PEACE, CECIL

If you're not at least a little familiar with the sad and maddening story about Cecil the Lion, you have probably been pulling a Rip Van Winkle or hiding in a cave for the past 36 hours. Even if you know the basics of the story, take a look at how Jimmy Kimmel vented on his show Tuesday evening about the Minnesota dentist who traveled to Zimbabwe and paid $55K to shoot the 13-year-old local icon that wore a GPS collar, first with a bow and arrow, then with a rifle after tracking the big cat for 40 hours to finish it off before skinning Cecil and removing its head to keep as a TROPHY. (4:42)

Many people on social media are calling for — excuse the expression — the dentist's head. THIS clip is one of many you can find on YouTube with a “Cecil the Lion” search.

Even yesterday’s paper gave the story several column inches (that’s newspaper speak relating to the length of a story)…

Dentist Accused of Killing Lion

—Hunter says he wasn’t aware of animal’s status—

By Brian Bakst and Amy Forliti — Associated Press
Mercury News — July 29, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — An avid Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe said Tuesday that he thought everything about his trip was legal and wasn’t aware of the animal’s status “until the end of the hunt.” Walter Palmer, who has a felony record in the U.S. related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin, released a statement through a public relations firm after being identified by Zimbabwean authorities as the American involved in the July hunt. They said Palmer is being sought on poaching charges, but Palmer said he hasn’t heard from U.S. or Zimbabwean authorities.

“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” said Palmer, a dentist who lives in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie. The 55-year-old was identified by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe and police as the American facing poaching charges for the crossbow killing of Cecil, a well known and protected lion. Local authorities allege the lion was lured from a protected area and killed in early July. Zimbabwean conservationists said the American allegedly paid $50,000 for the trip. The lion’s death has outraged animal conservationists and others, including U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat. In a statement late Tuesday, the congresswoman called for an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see whether any U.S. laws were violated.

Palmer’s hired spokesman, Jon Austin, said he believed Palmer was in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area on Tuesday. No one answered the door at Palmer’s home, and a woman who came out of his dental office in nearby Bloomington said he wasn’t there or taking patients Tuesday. Phone calls to listed home numbers went unanswered.

According to U.S. court records, Palmer pleaded guilty in 2008 to making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear he fatally shot in western Wisconsin. Palmer had a permit to hunt but shot the animal outside the authorized zone in 2006, then tried to pass it off as being killed elsewhere, according to court documents. He was given one year probation and fined nearly $3,000.

Doug Kelley, a former federal prosecutor and Palmer’s attorney in the bear case, was unavailable for immediate comment Tuesday, according to his assistant. Palmer has several hunts on record with the Pope and Young Club, where archers register big game taken in North America for posterity, said Glenn Hisey, the club’s director of records. Hisey said he didn’t have immediate access to records showing the types and number of animals killed by Palmer but noted that club records involve legal hunts “taken under our rules of fair chase.”


 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES

July 21 — 28

July 22: A major Iowa newspaper published an op-ed against Trump calling him a "self-absorbed, wholly unqualified feckless blowhard." Or as Trump put it, "You forgot very rich . . . I'm a very rich, self-absorbed, wholly unqualified feckless blowhard. Very, very rich."

After Donald Trump wrote Lindsey Graham's cellphone number on a piece of paper and showed it to everybody, Graham said he's getting a new phone. Which explains Lindsey Graham's latest campaign slogan, "New phone, who dis?"

Ohio Governor John Kasich became the 16th Republican to announce that he is running for president. During his speech he referred to Jesus Christ, which is ironic because so did Americans when they heard another Republican was running for president.

Joe Biden was spotted with a bruise on his face that was apparently caused by his dog. I guess they collided when they both went after the same tennis ball.

Tonight was the big premiere of "Sharknado 3" on the Syfy channel. I watched it, and I think the best actor was me just now saying I watched "Sharknado 3."

July 23: Today Trump went to Texas to visit the border between the U.S. and Mexico. And when he got there, other Republicans pushed him over the border and went, “Your problem now! You gotta deal with this guy! He's on your side!”

The FEC released Donald Trump’s financial disclosure yesterday, and it revealed that he received royalties of less than 200 dollars for most of his books. The bad news is, the books aren’t selling; but the GOOD news is – looks like he’s got something to build that Mexican fence with! “It’s a very classy book-fence!”

Republican candidate George Pataki said his dogs would give him the best endorsement for becoming our next president. Until they hear Chris Christie always carries bacon in his pockets. (Joke's on them, though, he’s never going to give them any of that pocket bacon. It’s what gets him through long meetings!)

Republican candidate Ben Carson told reporters he thinks American prisons might be too comfortable. As opposed to Mexican prisons that have personal showers with $5 million escape tunnels.

July 24: Donald Trump has been all over the news this week, but he’s still struggling to be seen as a legitimate candidate by Republicans. In fact, now Trump is threatening to start campaigning as a third-party candidate if the Republican Party doesn’t become more supportive. Of course, a lot of Republicans say you need to give respect to get respect. To which Trump says, “Whatever, LOSERS!”

One GOP Congressman named Carlos Curbelo actually suggested that Donald Trump may be a “phantom candidate” that has been planted by the Democrats. The DNC strongly denied this – while Hillary said, “Crap, they figured it out! Take off the wig, Bill.”

A new poll also shows that a majority of people in Colorado think Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy. Although, that's not saying much coming from the most paranoid state in America. "Hillary Clinton? She's a cop?"

China is hosting something called a World Cup soccer tournament for robots called “RoboCup 2015,” and the engineers' goal is for robots to face humans in the real World Cup by 2050. Then robots said, “Oh no, you'll be long gone by then.”

July 27: Tom Cruise is here to promote the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, which I believe is all about Donald Trump's PR team.

In a speech in Texas, Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton “easily the worst Secretary of State in the history of our country.” When asked what he based that on, Trump said, "I heard ME say it just now. So it's gotta be true.”

Chris Christie attended the Italian-American Heritage Festival street fair in Iowa this weekend, where they celebrated Italian culture and Italian food. The street fair involved two of Christie’s favorite pastimes – eating, and shutting down traffic. It's a combo platter.

Chris Christie attended an Italian-American Heritage Festival where vendors served him a lot of Italian food, including bacon-wrapped dates. Which was also Christie’s prom fantasy in high school. “Want to go to prom with me? Can I wrap you in bacon?"

Time magazine interviewed Bill Clinton about the current presidential campaign, and he claimed he had to ask Hillary to marry him three times before she said yes. Then Hillary was like, “Yeah. That wasn't me.”

July 28: I saw that Donald Trump is selling his penthouse suite at the Trump Park Avenue building here in New York City for $21 million. When asked why he’s selling it now, Trump said "Hey, Americans seem to be buying everything else I'm selling, so why not strike while the iron's hot.”

Three of Donald Trump’s kids have come forward to defend him, and called him “an incredible dad and role model.” Donald was so moved that he wrote one of them back into his will. “I’m not gonna tell you which one . . . it’s Donald Jr.”

In several speeches and interviews, Donald Trump has brought up his book “The Art of the Deal,” and said that Obama would have negotiated a better deal with Iran if he had read it. It got even more awkward for Obama when Iran was like, “It worked for us — you guys got screwed!”

Last night was the big season finale of “The Bachelorette,” and for the second season in a row, Nick Viall made it to the final two, only to wind up losing. I dunno, man. If you lose “The Bachelorette” twice in a row, there must be something really, really RIGHT with you.

July 22: This week, Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham had a beef. What would you call that? Beef jerky.

Super hero movies, you're great, but there's just too many of you. In the past five years alone, there have been 22,000 superhero movies. It's getting ridiculous, we have had more Batmans in the past 25 years than we've had presidents. And guess what? Barack Obama is probably going to play Batman next year.

July 27: A California couple went hiking in the Angeles national forest, got lost, and had to be air-lifted out by a rescue team. That in itself is bad enough, but what made it worse is it was the couple's first date.

You know the guy knew they were lost a good four hours before he even acknowledged that he didn't know where he was going. Just four hours of him saying, "No. No. Right, this way. I do this hike all the time."

I would never hike on the first date. No way. Have sex? Absolutely. But hiking is the kind of thing you don't do until you're married . . . All I can think is these two must have met on that dating app for hikers. Timber.

July 28: Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak were a part of a group of scientists that issued a warning to all of humanity that recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence will one day lead to killer robots. Just to be clear, when I say killer robots, I don't mean like "killer robots, dude." I mean robots that will kill you.

First the robots take all the auto industry jobs. Now they're putting good, honest, hard-working assassins out of work. Where does it end?

Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk issuing a warning I can understand, but Apple founder Steve Wozniak? This is the guy I'm going listen to about the future? The dude who sold his Apple stock in 1985?

The killer robots can't be coming that soon. Like, in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," we were supposed to be living on the moon in the year 2001. It's 2015 and we’re not even living in Detroit.

Before we start thinking about a robot future, let's get today right. We don't even have free Wi-Fi when we have signs that say free Wi-Fi.

It was announced that they are developing the very first invisible car. Why would anyone want that? An invisible car is just going to be an excuse people use when they try to walk through the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru.

July 22: In Major League Baseball news, the federal government has decided to drop their criminal case against former superstar Barry Bonds. . . . This is a case that started in 2003, it took forever, and nothing ended up happening. Just like baseball.

Barry Bonds never said he didn't use steroids, he just said he thought they were flaxseed oil and arthritis balm. Never send Barry Bonds grocery shopping. "I asked you to pick up milk." "I did!" "No, this is foot powder."

Sony Pictures Animation won a three-studio bidding war for a movie starring emojis. It’s a nearly seven-figure deal that sold off a pitch — which, for those not familiar with showbiz lingo, means someone went into a meeting with executives and said, "You know those pictures people send each other? Let's make a movie about them." And walked out of the office with a million bucks.

July 27: On ABC's season finale of "The Bachelorette" Nick's proposal fell on deaf ears when Kaitlyn chose Sean. All Nick got out of it was an awkward limo ride home. "I am the world's biggest joke." "That is not true. Not as long as Donald Trump is running for president."

According to multiple new polls, Donald Trump is still leading the field of Republican candidates for president, which I have to say is all going to be very funny until the White House is covered in gold paint.

A CNN poll has Trump with 18 percent, ahead of Jeb Bush in second place with 15 percent. This is how we do things now. We find our spouses on "The Bachelorette" and our presidents on "The Apprentice."

In Sweden on Saturday, Snoop Dogg was taken into custody on suspicion of drug use. Can you imagine them suspecting Snoop Dogg of using drugs? I don't think so.

July 28: Yesterday, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced they're withdrawing Boston's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games. We have not been able to get a majority of the citizens of Boston to support hosting the 2024 Olympic Games. The only thing they support is throwing beer bottles at Yankees fans.

The USOC has to come up with another city from the United States to bid against Paris, Rome, and Toronto, and most people think that city will be Los Angeles — which is exciting. The summer Olympics could bring some much-needed traffic to the L.A. area.

Hey, Boston, stop sending us the crap you don't want. First Matt Damon, now this. We've had enough.

July 22: Donald Trump's children released a statement this week calling their father a "true visionary and a great mentor." And Trump released a statement calling his kids "suck-ups" and "not the best."

Sportswear company Lululemon is coming out with a new line of beer. It’s a dark beer, but when you tip the bottle, it turns see-through.

A couple was spotted this past weekend walking into the ocean in North Carolina wearing homemade cages to fend off sharks. Said sharks, "Wow, this really does taste homemade!"

BlackBerry announced today that it is buying another tech company to improve its BBM messaging service. Well, actually, they announced it weeks ago, but I just got the message now.

The French-language Scrabble championship was won this week by a New Zealand man who does not speak French. Of course, in French scrabble, you win by flipping over the board and going outside for a cigarette.

July 23: Sharknado 3 premiered last night and SyFy has already confirmed that there will be a Sharknado Four. It’s like a bad joke that’s gone too far. And you can tell, because Sharknado is now the Republican frontrunner.

Presidential hopeful Rick Perry yesterday accused Donald Trump of “demagoguery,” and said that he must be “excised and discarded.” So one thing is clear: somebody got Rick Perry a word-of-the-day calendar.

Sources say the Obama administration is in the "final stages" of planning the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The way it’s gonna work is, they’re going to put a Radio Shack sign out front and let nature take its course.

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York is opening a new exhibit dedicated to cats that are famous on the internet. So if you love the internet, and you love cats, you’re probably not making it out of the house.

July 27: Donald Trump said this weekend that he is self-financing his campaign and is not beholden to donors and special interests. Or other nations. Or his party. Or the wealthy, or middle class, poor people, citizens or voters, humans, plants, animals…

Hulk Hogan is in trouble after a video surfaced showing him using the n-word during a sex tape. You know it’s bad when a 61-year-old man makes a sex tape with his friend’s wife and that’s not the gross part.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a new plan to improve LaGuardia Airport. That’s right, they’re going to burn it down.

A California couple last week had to be rescued during their first date after they got lost on a hike in the woods. Said the man, “Whoa, whoa, whoa – ‘couple?’”

Snoop Dogg was arrested and released in Sweden this weekend on suspicion of using illegal drugs. Officials first became suspicious in 1991.

July 28: The season finale of "The Bachelorette" was last night. And Nick was the big winner because Kaitlyn chose Shawn. I'm not sure that's the best way to tell the story how you met your fiancée. "I won her on a game show, it came down to two men and I won her."

A New York man was arrested Friday for driving an ice cream truck intoxicated wearing only underwear and yelling at children. So on the down side, he was arrested. But, on the up side, he is the Republican front-runner.

A new book by Dr. Seuss came out today called "What Pet Should I get." He was inspired to write it when his wife said, “I want a baby.”

The Orange County Fair in California is going on now, and features deep-fried Slim-Fast bars. It's perfect if you haven't decided if you want to be fat or not. The fair also features deep-fried pizza, deep-fried birthday cake, and deep-fried pickles stuffed with peanut butter.

Not featured at the Orange County Fair: oranges. Not a single, solitary orange.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE



Click HERE for the most current update.




 

• • • • •



A movie titled “The Unknowns” is scheduled to be released on Nov. 11th, Veterans Day. We suspect that virtually all of you will want to see it after you WATCH this special extended preview. If we forget to remind you in early Nov., we would appreciate it if one of you would remind us to remind you. (5:21)





• • • • •



Well done, Kerry, you sure pulled one over on those stupid Iranian negotiators. Click HERE and check out how mad and upset this Iranian official is. (3:39)

Hey, Bill Clinton, how did that North Korean Nuclear Deal work out? Remember addressing the nation and saying THIS back in 1994? (0:56)

 

• • • • •



USMC Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, who was one of the Marines killed in the Chattanooga shooting, was from Marietta, GA. THIS is how the Atlanta Fox affiliate reported on his return home to Cobb County. (2:58)



And THIS is raw footage (no narration) of the procession that brought Skip home. (4:11)





• • • • •



For you WWII aficionados, this documentary received from Chuck Blackmore about the B-29 raids on Japan near the end of the war should spark your interest. The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum did an excellent job of enhancing the original 16mm color film that was shot by COMBAT CAMERAMEN of the daring raids leading up to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought an end to the war. (46:40)

(Place your mouse on the blue banner in the middle of the screen that reads “D-Day in Colour!,” then click on the little “x” in the upper right corner to make the banner disappear.)

 

• • • • •



You probably know him as the “Jetman” as opposed to Yves Rossy. He’s the guy who straps a jet-powered pair of homemade wings on his back and goes zooming through the air like a fighter jet. In this video, Rossy takes an exhilarating flight through the Grand Canyon before he released his CHUTE that brings him back to earth for a safe landing. (5:32)





• • • • •



While Yves Rossy’s flight with his jet-powered wings was amazing, we were just as impressed with THIS video from Dirk Parsons of Kyle and Skip’s antics with their aerobatic planes. For you aviation fans, this is a must-see. (3:07)





• • • • •

 

Have a look at THIS Samsung ad for the “Safety Truck” sent in by Alice Murphy. Odds are you will only see it here on YouTube. (2:00)

 

• • • • •



What makes scientists excited in addition to those studying the pics of Pluto? Lots of things, like THIS unexpected visit by a sperm whale while conducting an experiment nearly 2,000 feet under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Listen to the reaction of these scientists who are working with the Remote Underwater Vehicle (ROV) Hercules off the Louisiana coast. (4:24)





• • • • •



A husband and wife are having dinner at a very fine restaurant when an absolutely stunning young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a big open mouthed kiss, then says she'll see him later and walks away.

The wife glares at her husband and says, "Who the hell was that?"

"Oh," replies the husband, "she's my mistress."

"Well, that's the last straw," says the wife. "I've had enough, I want a divorce!"

"I can understand that," replies her husband, "but remember, if we get a divorce it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris, no more wintering in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more BMW in the garage and no more yacht club.  But the decision is yours."

Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous babe on his arm.

"Who's that woman with Richard?” asks the wife.

"That's his mistress," says her husband.

"Ours is prettier," she replies.

• • • • •



Fair warning: Change the channel from Animal Planet to any other station and you are likely to be attacked by THIS English Bulldog. (0:53)





• • • • •

 

Have you ever given some thought to having a Sloth as a pet? Check out THIS short Animal Planet clip titled “Bath Time for Baby Sloths.” (1:51)





• • • • •



If you need proof that cops wear many hats, check out THIS Just for Laughs clip sent in by Marcia Morton. (2:08)





• • • • •

 

Lumpy says to keep your eye on the facial expression of the FEMALE news anchor when her co-anchor explains why Amazon is outselling Walmart. (0:48)

 

• • • • •

 

If we told you that this girl had a unique talent you would never be able to tell what it was by looking at her, so you might as well go ahead and click HERE to see what it is. (1:27)

 

• • • • •

 

Most of us have a preconceived image of what North Korea is like because it’s such a secretive country and generally off limits to the media. THIS short time-lapse video of Pyongyang may surprise you. Have a look. (3:23)





• • • • •



People often complain about the police, but you rarely hear about the positive things they do, such as this incident involving a biker and a frozen carburetor.

Last January on a bitterly cold winter's day, a North Dakota State Trooper on patrol came upon a motorcyclist who was stalled by the roadside. The biker was swathed in heavy protective clothing and wearing a full-face helmet to protect the face from the cold weather.

“What’s the matter? asked the Trooper

"Carburetor's frozen," was the terse reply.

"Pee on it. That'll thaw it out."

"I can't," said the biker.

"OK, watch me closely and I'll show you." The Trooper unzipped and promptly warmed the carburetor as promised.

Moments later the bike started and the rider drove off, waving.

A few days later, the local State Troopers’ office received a note of thanks from the father of the motorcyclist.

It began: "On behalf of my daughter Jill..."
 

• • • • •



Whoever chose “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel to accompany THIS clip of two friends on a thrill ride chose well. Keep your eye on the kid on the left who, in our opinion, is either heavily self-medicated, or auditioning for the lead role in “Weekend at Bernie’s Part IV.” If nothing else, enjoy the song. (3:05)





• • • • •



We’re not sure what we like most about THIS video clip, the athletic prowess of the bike rider, the scenery, or the song? After watching it a second time, we decided it was a combination of all three. (4:01)





• • • • •



Any idea what’s inside this rotting building in Kazakhstan? Time’s up. The answer is a couple of Russian Space Shuttles. Check out THIS amazing website sent in by Bert Kelsey.





• • • • •



While we are on the subject of Space, just what is that a mysterious LIGHT on the dwarf planet of “Ceres” that is located between Mars and Jupiter? And what’s with the pyramid that was also found on the little orb? (13:44)





• • • • •



It’s been five years since we last VISITED with Gary Miller and his dog that is named, uh, “Dog.” Let's drop in and see how they are doing. (3:23)



• • • • •



With apologies to the late Robert Preston and the rest of the cast of “Music Man,” let’s see WHAT the Capitol Steps are up to as we get close to the Republican debate. (2:09)

In closing, and with apologies once again — but this time to our Commander in Chef (oops, Chief) — HERE is an encore presentation by the Capitol Steps with the Prez singing “Don’t Know Much.” Granted that it is almost two years old, but we think you will agree that nothing much has changed. (3:03)

 

• • • • •

 




C’ya



Pic of the Week

Here’s a novel idea:
Let’s see if we can offend everyone at once…



 



THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 7/30/15

Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):

No changes this week

To receive the email address of anyone on the list -- or to receive the roster with all of the email addresses -- send your request to <bilmat@comcast.net>.

Abram, Fred & Connie
Adams, Gene
Ady, Bruce
Agerbeek, Bob
Agerbeek, Rudy
Aguilar, David
Aguirre, Jim
Albericci, Jerry
Alberts, Dick
Alcantar, Ernie
Alfano, Phil
Alford, Mike
Aligo, Cynthia
Allbright, Bill
Allen, Bob
Alvarado, Marie
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Amaral, Mike
Anders, Alberta
Anderson, Jim
Anderson, Mark
Anderson, Sharon
Anthony, Tom
Antoine, Steve
Antonowicz, Germaine
Appleby, Judy
Arata, Jennifer
Arca, Rich
Archie, Dan
Avery, Rod
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bacigalupi, Dave
Baggott, Jim
Bailey, Rich
Baker, Beth
Balesano, Bob
Balesteri, Lou
Ballard, Gordon
Banner, Ken
Barikmo, Jon
Bariteau, John
Barnes, Steve
Barnett, Brad
Baroff, Stan
Barrera, Ray
Barranco, Rich
Barshay, Marc
Bartels, Don
Bartholomew, Dave
Bartoldo, Tom
Basilio, Les
Bastida, Maggie
Bates, Tom
Battaglia, Nick
Battaglia, Will
Baxter, Jack
Bayer, Lance
Bayers, Dennis
Beams, Bob
Beattie, George
Becerra, Manny
Beck, Brian
Beck, Tom
Becknall, Jim
Beckwith, Tony
Beiderman, Margie
Belcher, Steve
Bell, Bob
Bell, Mark
Bell, Mike
Belleci, Ron
Belveal, Chuck
Bence, Martin
Bennett, Joy
Bennett, Mark
Berggren, Heidi
Bergtholdt, Doug
Bernardo, Guy
Bettencourt, Ed
Bevis, Sherry
Biebel, Phil
Bielecki, Mike
Binder, Andrew
Biskup, Shelley
Blackmore, Chuck
Blackstock, Carroll
Boales, Tina
Boes, Judith
Boggess, Eileen
Boggess, Mike
Bonetti, Jon
Bosco, Al
Botar, Rick
Bowen, Gordy
Bowman, Mike
Boyd, Pat
Boyles, John
Bradshaw, Bob
Brahm, Bob
Bray, Mary Ellen
Brewer, Tom
Brickell, Dave
Bridgen, Dave
Brightwell, Larry
Brocato, Dom
Brookins, Dennis
Brooks, Bob
Brown Jr., Bill
Brown, Charlie
Brown, Dennis
Brown, Ernie
Brown, Terry
Browning, Bob
Brua, Dale
Bullock, April
Bullock, Dan
Bulygo, Corinne
Bulygo, Mary
Burke, Karol
Burns, Barbara
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Busch, Dennis
Bye, Bud
Byers, Dave
Bytheway, Glenn
Caddell, Jim
Cadenasso, Richard
Caldarulo, Wendy
Calderon, Richard
Caldwell, Phyllis
Camara, Bob
Camarena, Raul
Campbell, Jason
Campbell, John
Campbell, Larry
Campos, John
Cannell, Tom
Caragher, Ed
Caraway, Steve
Card, Christine
Cardoza, Vic
Carlin, David
Carlsen, Laura
Carlton, Jim
Caro, Bert
Caro, Lynne
Carr Jr., John
Carr, John
Carraher, Don
Carraher, Jim
Carter, Ernie
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Carrillo, John
Cates, Dean
Cavallaro, Dave
Cedeno, Rey
Chalmers, JC
Chamness, Hank
Chapel, Ivan
Chevalier, Brian
Chavez, Ruben
Chewey, Bob
Christian, Brian
Christiansen, Bob
Christiansen, Rich
Christie, Kenn
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Clark, Bill
Clayton, Dave
Clear, Jennifer
Clifton, Craig
Coates, Marisa
Cobarruviaz, Lou
Coen, Roger
Colombo, Tony
Comelli, Ivan
Como, John
Confer, Rick
Connor, Stephanie
Connors, Kim
Conrad, Mark
Contreras, Dolores
Conway, Ed
Cook, John
Cooke, Bertie
Coppom, Dave
Cordes, Marilyn
Cornfield, Scott
Cortez, Darrell
Costa, Mike
Cossey, Neil
Cotterall, Doug
Couser, Rich
Cripe, Rodger
Crowell, Chuck
Culwell, Ken
Cunningham, Stan
D'Arcy, Steve
Dailey, Karen
Daley, Brian
Daly, Ron
Damon, Alan
Damon, Veronica
Daniels, Jim
Daulton, Rich
Daulton, Zita
Davis, Bud
Davis, Joan
Davis, Mike
Davis, Rob
Day, Jack
Deaton, Caroll
DeBoard, Joe
DeGeorge, Bob
DeLaere, Sylvia
Delgado, Dave
DeMers, Buc
Dennis, Sandra
Destro, Mike
Destro, Tony
Devane, Dan
Devane, Joe
Dewey, Rod
Diaz, Mike
DiBari, Dave
DiVittorio, Gerrie
Dishman, Billy
Doherty, Janiece
Dolezal, Dennis
Dominguez, Bob
Dooley, Jeff
Dorsey, Ed
Dotzler, Jennifer
Dowdle, Mike
Doxie, Tara
Dudding, Bill
Dudley, Bruce
Duey, Dennis
Dye, Allen
Dwyer, Pat
Earnshaw, Kathy
Earnshaw, Patrick
Edillo-Brown, Margie
Edwards, Derrek
Edwards, Don
Egan, Mike
Eisenberg, Terry
Ellner, Howard
Ellsworth, Larry
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Erfurth, Bill
Erickson, Rich
Esparza, Dave
Esparza, Fred
Estrabao, Dario
Eubanks, Earl
Evans, Ron
Ewing, Chris
Ewing, Don
Ewing, Paul
Fagalde, Kevin
Fair, Bruce
Fairhurst, Dick
Fanucchi, Ross
Farlow, Paul
Farmer, Jack
Faron, Walt
Farrow, Chuck
Faulstich, Marge
Faulwetter, Stan
Faz, Dennis
Fehr, Mike
Ferdinandsen, Ed
Ferguson, Betty
Ferguson, Ken
Ferla, Al
Fernsworth, Larry
Flauding, Ken
Fleming, Joe
Flores, Phil
Flosi, Ed
Fong, Richard
Fontanilla, Rick
Forbes, Jay
Foster, Rick
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Francois, Paul
Frazier, Rich
Freitas, Jordon
Fryslie, Kevin
Furnare, Claud
Gaines, Erin
Galea, Andy
Galios, Chris
Galios, Kathy
Gallagher, Steve
Garcia, Jose
Garcia, Lisa
Gardner, Paul
Garner, Ralph
Gaumont, Ron
Geary, Heide
Geer, Brian
Geiger, Rich
Gergurich, Judy
Giambrone, Jim
Giorgianni, Joe
Giuliodibari, Camille
Goates, Ron
Goings, Mark
Gomes, Rod
Gonzales, Gil
Gonzales, Jesse
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Gonzalez, Frank
Gonzalez, Jorge
Gott, Pat
Graham, George
Grande, Carm
Grant, Bob
Grant, Doug
Grant, Rich
Granum, Jeff
Graves, Pete
Green, Chris
Grigg, Bruce
Griggs, Fran
Grimes, Eric
Guarascio, Dan
Guerin, Pete
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Guizar, Ruben
Gummow, Bob
Gummow, Rich
Gutierrez, Hector
Guzman, Dennis
Guzman, Kim
Gwillim, Reese
Habina, Ron
Hafley, Gary
Hahn, Chuck
Hale, Don
Handforth, Terry
Hann, George
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Harpainter, Bob
Harris, Bucky
Harris, Diane
Harris, Don
Haskell, Marty
Hawkes, Ken
Haynes, Sandy
Hazen, Skip
Heck, Steve
Heckel, Rick
Hedgpeth, Bob
Helder, Ron
Hellman, Marilyn
Hendrickson, Dave
Hendrix, Dave
Hernandez, Ernie
Hernandez, Irma
Hernandez, Joe
Hernandez, Linda
Hernandez, Rudy
Hernandez, Vic
Herrick, Mike
Herrmann, Erma
Hewison, Jamie
Hewitt, Dave
Hilborn, Art
Hildebrandt, Karen
Hill, Sandra
Hippeli, Micki
Hirata, Gary
Dave Hober
Hober, Margo
Hodgin, Bruce
Hoehn, Charlie
Hogate, Joanne
Hogate, Steve
Hollars, Bob
Holliday, Sandy
Hollingsworth, Larry
Holloway, Sandi
Holser, George
Hong, Bich-nga
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Hosmer, Dewey
Howard, Terri
Howell, Jim
Howsmon, Frank
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Hudson, Kim
Hughes, Gary
Hunter, Jeff
Husa, Sonia
Hyland, Brian
Ibarra, Miguel
Imobersteg, Rob
Inami, Steve & Francine
Ingraham, George
Ireland, Joe
Jackson, Curt
Jacksteit, Ken
Jacobson, Barbara
Janavice, Dean
Jeffers, Jim
Jenkins, Dave
Jensen, Dan
Jensen, Janie
Jewett, Donna
Jezo, Pat
Johnson, Bob
Johnson, Craig
Johnson, Cynthia
Johnson, Dave
Johnson, Gary
Johnson, Jon
Johnson, Karen
Johnson, Kyle
Johnson, Mardy
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Jones, Russ
Kaminsky, Glenn
Katashima, Annie
Katz, Dan
Keeney, Bill
Kelsey, Bert
Keneller, Dave
Kennedy, Scott
Kennedy, Tom
Kensit, John
Killen, Pat
Kimbrel, Tammy
Kinaga, Rose
King, Charlie
Kingsley, Fred
Kirkendall, Dave
Kischmischian, Gene
Klein, Lou Anna
Kleman, Karl
Knea, Tim
Kneis, Brian
Knopf, Art
Knopf, Dave
Kocina, Ken
Koenig, Heinz
Kong, Ernie
Kosovilka, Bob
Kozlowski, Astrid
Kracht, John
Kregel, John
Lanctot, Noel
Laney, Tammy
Lansdowne, Sharon
Lara, Bill
LaRault, Gary
Larsen, Bill
Laverty, Ann
Lax, John
Leavy, Bill
Leavey, Jack
LeGault, Anna
LeGault, Russ
Lem, Noland
Leonard, Gary
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Leong, Ken
Lewis, Lefty
Lewis, Marv
Lewis, Steve
Lind, Eric
Linden, Larry  
Lisius, Jim
Little, Keith            
Livingstone, John
Lobach, Bob
Lockwood, Bob
Lockwood, Joan
Logan, Maureen
Longaker, Mary
Longoria, Noe
Lopez, Candy
Lopez. Dan
Lopez, Ruvi
Lovecchio, Pete
Low, John
Lu, Elba
Luca, Dennis
Lucarotti, Jim
Luna, Gloria
Lundberg, Larry
Lyons, TB
MacDougall, Joanne
Macris, Carly
Macris, Tom
Madison, Gary
Maehler, Mike
Mahan, Rick
Malatesta, Jim
Malcolm, Roger
Mallett, Bill
Malvini, Phil
Mamone, Joe
Marcotte, Steve
Marfia, John
Marfia, Ted
Marin, Julie
Marini, Ed
Marlo, Jack
Marsh, Scott
Martin, Brad
Martin, Lou
Martin, Todd
Martinelli, Ron
Martinez, Rick
Martinez, Victor
Matteoni, Charlotte
Mattern, John
Mattos, Bill
Mattos, Paula
Mattocks, Mike
Mayo, Lorraine
Mayo, Toni
Mazzone, Tom
McCaffrey, Mike
McCain, Norm
McCall, George
McCall, Lani
McCarville, John
McCollum, Bob
McCollum, Daniele
McCready, Tom
McCulloch, Al
McCulloch, Scott
McElvy, Mike
McFall, Ron
McFall, Tom
McGuffin, Rich
McGuire, Pat
McIninch, Mark
McKean, Bob
McKenzie, Dennis
McLucas, Mike
McMahon, Jim
McMahon, Ray
McNamara, Laurie
McTeague, Dan
Meheula, Cheryl
Mendez, Deborah
Mendez, Mike
Messier, Tom
Metcalfe, Dave
Metcalfe, Mickey
Miceli, Sharon
Miller, Keith
Miller, Laura
Miller, Rollie
Miller, Shirley
Miller, Stan
Mills, Don
Mindermann, John
Miranda, Carlos
Mitchell, Carol
Modlin, Dick
Mogilefsky, Art
Moir, Bob
Montano, Wil
Montes, José
Morales, Octavio
Moore, Dewey
Don Moore
Moore, Jeff
Moore, JoAnn
Moorman, Jim
Morella, Ted
Moreno, Norma
Morgan, Dale
Morin, Jim
Morris, Jack
Morton, Bruce
Mosley, Joe
Mosunic, Taffy
Moudakas, Terry
Moura, Don
Mozley, Ron
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
Mulholland, Kathy
Mullins, Harry
Mulloy, Dennis
Munks, Jeff
Munoz, Art
Murphy, Bob
Musser, Marilynn
Nagel, Michael
Nagengast, Carol
Nakai, Linda
Nalett, Bob
Namba, Bob
Nichols, John
Nichols, Mike
Nimitz, Stephanie
Nissila, Judy
Norling, Debbie
North, Dave
North, Jim
Norton, Phil
Nunes, John
Nunes, Les
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
O'Connor, Mike
O'Donnell, Tom
O'Keefe, Jim
Oliver, Pete
Ortega, Dan
Ortiz, Leanard
Otter, Larry
Ouimet, Jeff
Ozuna, George
Pacheco, Russ
Padilla, George
Pagan, Irma
Painchaud, Dave
Palsgrove, Ted
Panighetti, Paul
Papenfuhs, Steve
Paredes, Carlos
Parker, Rand
Parlee, May
Parrott, Aubrey
Parsons, Dirk
Parsons, Mike
Pascoe, Brent
Passeau, Chris
Pate, Neal
Patrino, Lyn
Payton, George
Pearce, Jim
Pearson, Sam
Pedroza, Frank
Peeler, Eleanor
Pegram, Larry
Percelle, Ralph
Percival, John
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Petersen, Bruce
Peterson, Bob
Phelan, Bill
Phelps, Scott
Phillips, Gene
Pitts, Phil
Plinski, Leo
Pointer, John
Polanco, Mary
Polmanteer, Jim
Porter, John
Postier, Ken
Postier, Steve
Powers, Bill
Priddy, Loren
Princevalle, Roger
Propst, Anamarie
Puckett, Bill
Punneo, Norm
Purser, Owen
Pyle, Leroy
Quayle, John
Quezada, Louis
Quinn, John
Quint, Karen
Ramirez, Manny
Ramirez, Victoria
Ramon, Chacha
Raposa, Rick
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Rasmussen, Charlene
Raul, Gary
Raye, Bruce
Realyvasquez, Armando
Reed, Nancy
Reek, Rob
Reeves, Curt
Reid, Fred
Reinhardt, Stephanie
Reizner, Dick
Rendler, Will
Rettus, Bev
Reuter, Larry
Reutlinger, Leslie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Reyes, Joe
Reyes, Juan
Reyes, Mo
Rheinhardt, Bob
Rice, Jayme
Rice, Lyle
Richter, Darrell & Annette
Riedel, Gunther
Rimple, Randy
Roach, Jim
Roberts, Mike
Robertson, Harry
Robinson, Walt
Robison, Rob
Rodgers, Phil
Rogers, Lorrie
Romano, Marie
Rose, John
Rose, Wendell
Ross, Joe
Ross, Mike
Rosso, Ron
Roy, Charlie
Royal, Russ
Ruiloba, Louie
Russell, Russ
Russell, Stan
Russo, Grace
Ryan, Joe
Saito, RIch
Salamida Joe
Salewsky, Bill
Salguero, Desiree
Salvi, Pete
Samsel, Dave
Santos, Bill
Sanfilippo, Roy
Sauao, Dennis
Savage, Scott
Savala, john
Sawyer, Craig
Scanlan, Pete
Scannell, Dave
Schembri, Mike
Schenck, Joe
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Schiller, Robert
Schmidt, Chuck
Schmidt, Paul
Schriefer, Hank
Seaman, Scott
Seck, Tom
Sekany, Greg
Seymour, Chuck
Seymour, Jim
Sharps, Betty
Shaver, John
Sheppard, Jeff
Sherman, Gordon
Sherr, Laurie
Shigemasa, Tom
Shuey, Craig
Shuman, John
Sides, Roger
Sills, Eric
Silva, Bill
Silveria, Linda
Silvers, Jim
Simpson, Terry
Sinclair, Bob
Sly, Sandi
Smith, Bill
Smith, BT
Smith, Craig
Smith, Ed
Smith, Jerry
Smith, Karen
Smith, Kerry
Smith, Mike
Smoke, Wil
Sorahan, Dennis
Spangenberg, Hal
Spence, Jim
Spitze, Randy
Spoulos, Dave
Springer, George
Stauffer, Suzan
Stelzer, Rex
Sterner, Mike
Strickland, John
Sturdivant, Billy
Sugimoto, Rich
Suits, Jim
Summers, Bob
Ted Sumner
Sun, Jeff
Suske, Joe
Swanson, Ray
Tarricone, Linda
Tate, Bill
Taves, Phil & Paula
Taylor, Joyce
Tenbrink, Bob
Tennant, Ed
Teren-Foster, Aileen
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Thawley, Dave
Thomassin, Ron
Thomas, Art
Thomas, Dick
Thompson, Gary
Thompson, Margie
Thompson, Mike
Tibaldi, Ernie
Tibbet, Walt
Tice, Stan
Tietgens, Dick
Tietgens, Don
Tomaino, Jim
Torres, Gil
Torres, John
Torres, Nestor
Torres, Ralph
Townsend, John
Townsend, Vicki
Tozer, Dave
Trevino, Andy
Trujillo, Ted
Trussler, Christine
Trussler, John
Tush, Dick
Tyler, Diana
Unland, Jim
Unland, Joe
Urban, Diane
Usoz, Steve
Valcazar, Dan
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Vanek, John
Vasquez, Danny
Rich Vasquez
Vasquez, Ted
Vasta, Joe
Videan, Ed
Videan, Theresa
Vidmar, Mike
Vincent, Bill
Vinson, Jim
Vizzusi, Gilbert
Vizzusi, Rich
Vizzusi, Tony
Waggoner, Bill
Wagner, Jim
Wagstaff, Greg
Wahl, John
Walker, Dave
Wall, Chuck
Ward, Jean
Ward, Ray
Watts, Bob
Way, Vicky
Webster, Ron
Wedlow, Dean
Weesner, Greg
Weesner, Steve
Weir, Tony
Welker, Jessica
Wells, Bill
Wells, Brenda
Wells, Mike
Wendling, Boni
Wendling, Jay
Weston, Tom
Wheatley, Tom
White, Rich
Wicker, Joe
Wiley, Bruce
Williams, Jodi
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Williams, Rick
Williamson, Kathleen
Williamson, Ken
Wilson, Caven
Wilson, Jeff
Wilson, Lee
Wilson, Neal
Wilson, Stan
Wilson, Tom
Windisch Jr., Steve
Wininger, Steve
Winter, Bill
Wirht, Kim
Witmer, Dave
Wittenberg, Jim
Wolfe, Jeff
Woo, Paul
Wood, Dave
Wood, Jim
Woodington, Brad
Wysuph, Dave
Yarbrough, Bill
Young, Mike
Younis, Tuck
Yuhas, Dick
Yules, Ken
Zalman, Ginny
Zanoni, Mike
Zaragoza, Phil
Zenahlik, Tom
Zimmerman, Eliza
Zwemke, Doug