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The Farsider

August 23, 2012


Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>


The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.

 Last minute news flash:
JoeMac will be speaking out about San Jose's problems
tonight (Thurs.) on the NBC Bay Area Newscast (KNTV).



Mayor Reed and the $650 Million Lie

NBC Bay Area news aired two Investigative Reports this week that can't be good for Mayor Reed's credibility. Could these news clips could come back and bite him on the butt if and when he decides to run for another political office after his stint as Mayor? (The clips may take a moment or two to load.)

~ ~ ~

NBC Bay Area News, Aug. 22nd: "State Audit of San Jose"


NBC Bay Area News, Aug. 22nd: "$650M SJ Pension Projection 'Unsupported' "


• • • • •


Then there was this local CBS news report that aired after we went to press last Thursday:

KPIX Channel 5 News, Aug. 16th:: "San Jose: Once America's Safest City, Now Anything But"



• • • • •


And here are five additional news segments from the week that were sent to POA members:


NBC Bay Area News, Aug. 21st: "SJ's 31st Homicide of 2012 and Mayor Reed Caught in a Lie"

(The second half of this clip is the same as the first "State Audit of San Jose" video above)


~ ~ ~

KTVU Channel 2 News, Aug. 21st: "7 homicides in SJ in 8 Days, 31 this year"


~ ~ ~

KPIX Channel 5, Aug. 21st:  "Man Stabbed to Death In the Produce Isle"


~ ~ ~

ABC News, Aug. 21st: "Violence Spiraling Out of Control in San Jose"


~ ~ ~

NBC Bay Area News, Aug. 21st: "San Jose's Violent Summer"


• • • • •


"Seven Homicides in Eight Days"

Aug. 22, 2012

By using an unsubstantiated pension cost projection that was more than double the actual amount, Mayor Reed and Councilmember Herrera knew that the City's position on pension negotiations were fatally flawed. Their use of these inaccurate numbers all but ensured that there would be no negotiated agreement on pension reform with city workers, and thus, no savings to restore services in our police department. The California State Auditor's investigation released Tuesday demonstrates that Mayor Reed and Rose Herrera chose to mislead San Jose residents. When they voted to move forward with a legally flawed ballot measure, they knew it was destined to be tied up in the courts for years. They also knew that the measure's severe pay cuts would force many officers to resign.

The voters had the right to be given consistent and reliable information on the true costs of public safety pensions before they went to the polls! The consequences are now clear as we are daily witnessing gang wars and waves of violence sweeping our city.  San Jose has just experienced its 7th homicide and 12th shooting in the past 8 days. San Jose has now experienced 32 homicides in 2012; that's up from 27 at this point last year (a number Mayor Reed then said was an anomaly) and 20 for all of 2010.

All major crime indexes are up. In Councilmember Herrera's District 8, auto thefts are up 75%, burglaries are up 151% and robberies are up 11%. With these ever-rising crime rates and officers continuing to resign in the face of an additional 20% pay cut under Measure B, residents should be concerned.

Officers are leaving SJPD for other law enforcement agencies in droves, and those that are staying are stretched to the limit. New officers from SJPD’s first police academy since 2008 won't hit our streets until the Summer of 2013. When these new officers finally arrive on the streets, they will soon learn that they are some of the lowest paid police officers in the area and their ability to support families will force them to other agencies in the near future. With the average cost of $170,000 to train each new officer, this is an expense both in dollars and public safety that the city can ill afford.

The California State Auditor’s report should provide a clear warning to elected leaders who engage in using inaccurate cost projections for political gain. This type of practice should not be tolerated. Now the residents of San Jose are paying the price.  Do you hear the alarm bells ringing at City Hall as citizens are being murdered almost daily on the streets?  

Political objectives should never outweigh public safety. It is time for Mayor Reed and Council Member Herrera to set realistic budget priorities that places public safety first.



• • • • •


This is how the paper covered the news about the "Unsupported" $650 million figure...

San Jose Pension Figures Disputed

—Audit finds estimates likely overstated; City says costs are rising—

By John Woolfolk
Mercury News — Aug. 22, 2012

SAN JOSE — The California State Auditor on Tuesday reported San Jose “likely overstated” that its future pension costs could reach $650 million by 2015, a figure the audit called “unsupported” and which the mayor cited early last year in building the case for a ballot measure to reduce retirement benefits.

A bipartisan legislative committee commissioned the audit at the height of San Jose’s Measure B pension reform campaign. City voters have since overwhelmingly approved the June measure to reduce pensions for new hires and make current employees pay more for their pensions or switch to a reduced plan for their remaining years.

“Although we believe that San Jose’s financial challenges are real, we found that some of the retirement cost projections reported in the city’s official documents in 2011 were not supported by accepted actuarial methodologies,” the state audit said. “It is unclear which retirement cost projection the voters relied on, if any, when they voted for these changes.”

Mayor Chuck Reed and City Manager Debra Figone denied misleading anyone about the city’s pension problem. They argued while projections vary depending upon underlying assumptions, the city’s actual costs have more than tripled in a decade to $245 million and already devoured funding for city services. By all accounts, they noted, those costs are expected to continue rising.

“These skyrocketing costs and the loss of services were the main reasons why nearly 70 percent of San Jose voters approved the pension reforms included in Measure B this past June,” Reed said. Questions about the $650 million worse-case estimate, he added, “had lots of coverage” during the campaign “and it just wasn’t an issue.”

But leaders of city employee unions suing to block Measure B, which they call an illegal breach of their pension rights, pounced on the audit as proof that city officials cannot be trusted. They insist the city must negotiate pension changes. But months of negotiations last year ended in impasse.

“The mayor’s political strategy of over inflating costs proved to be the largest barrier in negotiating legal pension reform with San Jose’s employees,” said John Mukhar, president of a city union representing architects and engineers.

Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, said a negotiated deal would have put more officers on the streets faster than Reed’s reform measure and that a recent crime spike “is the outcome of Mayor Reed not being truthful” about pension costs.

The $650 million estimate arose during a City Council meeting in February 2011 when the city’s retirement director said that projections at the time of pension costs reaching $400 million by 2015 could be $250 million higher under more conservative and pessimistic assumptions. Reed cited the $650 million figure often during the following months in arguing that retirement costs could be much higher than official projections.

The state audit said those figures were developed internally by city retirement staff, “based on assumptions that had not been approved by the boards of administration of its two independent retirement plans” and “not supported” by appropriate documentation. The official projection adopted this year by the retirement boards whose members are city employees, retirees and finance experts, now stands at $320 million, a figure the audit affirmed.

Figone said in the city’s official response that the current projection is less than the city had cited earlier only because pay cuts and layoffs last year to help cover the rising retirement bill have slowed its future growth. She said any projection is inherently unreliable, noting that the city’s current retirement costs already exceed official worst-case estimates from a decade ago.

Figone said that the $650 million figure was never an official projection or used in any city campaign material for Measure B, and that the state audit “did not cite any evidence about speculative voter confusion.” But she added that a civil grand jury report this year said outside experts considered the $650 million figure “within reason and easily justified” using more conservative assumptions.

The audit did affirm that the city’s retirement funds remain $3.5 billion short of covering promised benefits and that retirement costs have doubled in two years, “from $136 million to an estimated $244 million.” Those rising costs have forced the city to spend more on its police and fire departments while cutting staffing.

“San Jose may be providing reduced services at an increased cost,” the audit said. “Moreover, these increased costs appear to have crowded out some of the funding previously available for services other than public safety, such as parks and libraries.”

The audit recommended that if San Jose cites retirement cost projections other than those officially adopted by the plans’ independent boards, “it should develop projections that are supported by accepted actuarial methodologies, report this information in the correct context, and disclose significant assumptions that differ from those in the boards’ retirement cost projections.”

Reed said, “I appreciate the auditor’s recommendations for clearly reporting retirement cost information,” but added that “in fact, the city of San Jose already does this and will continue to do so.”


• • • • •


We were wondering how the Mercury News was going to try to salvage Mayor Reed's credibility by spinning the news about the state audit showing that the $650 million pension cost was a hyper-inflated figure and not supported by the facts. And lo and behold, here it is. This is the lead editorial on the Op/Ed page of today's paper...

Nothing New in S.J. Audit

Mercury News — Editorial — Aug. 23, 2012

What a waste.

The state auditor’s report released Tuesday on San Jose’s retirement cost projections told us nothing we didn’t know. A few city officials, including Mayor Chuck Reed, cited a worst-case scenario in public statements about future pension costs to illustrate the depth of the crisis; that scenario isn’t going to happen. But the City Council never based a single decision on that figure. It has used the official cost of pensions, developed by independent actuaries and the two pension boards, as part of each budget decision and action on pensions. Still, the audit confirmed what most San Jose residents understand: Pension costs are not sustainable, and they have caused significant service cuts. Voters were right to approve Measure B in June to try to get them under control.

The auditor reported that San Jose taxpayers’ pension contributions doubled to $214 million from 2009-10 to 2011-12, with the majority of the increase coming from the police and fire plans. During that stretch, the city shed 382 public safety jobs. Staffing in other city departments, such as parks and libraries, was cut, too.

All of this has been presented repeatedly by city officials. And yet taxpayers spent $189,000 for this report — not including the cost of hundreds of hours of city staff time spent answering questions and preparing documents.

Last spring, when San Jose Assemblyman Jim Beall and his colleagues asked for this audit, he said he hoped other cities could learn from it. We invite him to explain what he sees as the value of this report.

• • • • •

This is what yesterday's paper had to say about the spike in homicides...

San Jose Suffering Through a Bloody Year

—City’s total of 31 killings in 2012 puts 15-year mark in jeopardy—

By Robert Salonga
Mercury News — Aug. 22, 2012

San Jose police Chief Chris Moore briefed a city commission last week on a crime surge in the first six months of 2012, highlighted by double-digit spikes in burglaries, robberies, rapes, stolen cars and other thefts over last year.

He offered a small silver lining: Homicides were down 9 percent.

Eight days changed all that. San Jose has seen one of the bloodiest stretches in its history, with seven people killed and five other people shot and wounded from Aug. 13 through Tuesday evening. The carnage in what was once known as America’s safest big city has one local legislator urging Moore to request help from the CHP and prompted an “I told you so” from union officials who have been warning reductions to the police force are endangering the public.

“Last week was a very bloody week in San Jose, one of the worst weeks for homicides in the city,” Moore acknowledged.

But in remarks to reporters Tuesday, the chief steered away from speculation and emphasized what he’s doing in response.

“We’re focusing a number of resources for the foreseeable future toward gang violence and hot spots in the city,” Moore said. Officers will be paid overtime to work longer shifts to spend more time “hunting down gang members.”

San Jose’s homicide total is 31, compared with 27 at this time last year. If four seems like a modest increase, 2011’s total homicide count of 39 was twice the 2010 tally and a 15-year high.

Not ‘numb to this’

News of the city’s 30th homicide came late Tuesday afternoon, after an autopsy ruled a 38-year-old man found dead at Northwood Park early Saturday morning had been slain. Police initially found no signs of foul play upon discovering his body. Then Tuesday evening, a stabbing at an East San Jose supermarket claimed the 31st victim. “Folks are not becoming numb to this. They are upset,” said Councilman Xavier Campos, whose Fifth District bore the worst of the week with four shootings, including a slaying that claimed the life of a 23-year-old San Jose man on Poco Way on Monday evening.

The killings have not been limited to any one area of the city; six of the city’s 10 districts recorded a homicide during the week. At least two of the shootings are considered to be gang-related, a factor that investigators suspect played a part in 10 killings this year. The city also fell short of a goal to curb gang homicides during the typically violent summer months, a feat police hoped to carry over from last summer. Now all of the city’s major crimes are officially trending upward, electrifying already-charged debates over police under staffing and City Council priorities. The Legislature is getting involved: Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, sister of the councilman and a former councilwoman, sent a letter to Moore on Tuesday urging him to seek help from the California Highway Patrol. It’s a tactic that has been previously employed in such cities as Oakland and Richmond when urban violence teetered on the edge of an all-out street war. Moore said he appreciated the offer, “but I don’t think we’re at that point.”

The city debate over the root cause of the uptick in city crime continues to revolve around police under staffing. In 2008, there were about 600 patrol officers.

Now, the department is authorized to have 548 patrol officers but has only 492 of those positions filled and 32 of those officers are not on active duty for various reasons. And that count includes 27 officers who were reassigned to patrol from other areas, including the traffic, financial, graffiti and family violence units.

Police supporters and the San Jose Police Officers’ Association point to an exodus of officers that outpaces retirements, blaming pension reform efforts spearheaded by Mayor Chuck Reed they say have forced their ranks to seek greener pastures. Reed has said the cost savings would be used to hire more police.

But association president Jim Unland said the inescapable fact is the surge in violence directly correlates to having fewer officers on the street.

“I don’t know how everyone can ignore it,” Unland said.

For example, he pointed to the loss two years ago of the Violent Crimes Enforcement Team, which dedicated itself to curbing the city’s gang violence. Overall, budget cuts have reduced the force from 1,403 employees in 2008 to the current 1,055.

Others have cited another reason for the spike in crime, the state’s 11-month-old realignment of the criminal justice system that puts more low-level offenders on the streets sooner than they would have been under the old rules. These criminals are serving shorter periods in jail or on post-release supervision.

Councilman Campos noted the 150 percent increase in burglaries in a police district in his jurisdiction, and a 110 percent increase in car thefts in another.

“People out there, they’re smart. They pay attention to the cuts that happened, and they see an opportunity,” he said.

‘An awful run’

Councilman Sam Liccardo oversees the primarily downtown Third District and like Reed acknowledged the need for more officers, but he also urged for steadiness amid the week’s bloodshed.

“Whenever we encounter an awful run of violence as we’ve seen in the last week or two, the common reaction is to point fingers,” Liccardo said. “It’s important to take a breath and recognize what we already know. Our approach in the city has been very effective.”

Liccardo pointed to the use of gang-suppression cars and coordination between city and community organizations and the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, part of an anti-gang infrastructure that has been lauded nationally.

“We would all like to have police officers in this department, and we’re actively hiring now,” he said. “But simply having more police officers isn’t going to solve the problem. We need to solve this with the community. We recognize we have a lot of work to do.”


• • • • •

And finally, the front page of yesterday's (Wed.) Mercury News included an article titled "Bay Area Public Officials Break Bank with Unused Sick Time." (Yes, it touches on cops and firefighters.) Coming on the heals of the two stories above, we felt it was too lengthy to print. But don't let it be said that we are trying to shield it from anyone. The story can be viewed by clicking on this link:





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Aug. 16th

Hello Leroy, I hope all is well with you and yours.  
I have an SJPD Commemorative Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 in original mint condition, wood engraved case, belt buckle etc. I think we got those around 1980. Anyway, its been sitting in my safe all these years and I'd like to sell it. If you recall, only 300 hundred or so were made. If you know of someone who would like to have one could you put them in touch with me via e-mail?
Joe Mamone

• • • • •


Aug. 17th


I get very depressed and sad when I read about what is going on at SJPD these days. I feel sorry for the officers who have to try and do a good job while battling the idiots running the show. But it's just a microcosm of what is going on in the whole country.

It is going to be an interesting election, but even if R and R win, I don't think things are going to change much. Too many kool aid drinkers and freebie takers.  

Hope the pension fund doesn't dry up. I really depend on it to buy my Ketel One and ease my depression.

(Thompson) <mbtkht@gmail.com>

• • • • •

Two of our retirees who made their views known to the Mercury News were rewarded by having their letters make the paper. This first one was from Chris Galios

Pension Reform is Hurting Us All

Mercury News — Letter to the Editor — Aug 17, 2012

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is exactly right when he says pension reform is responsible for the shortage of police officers in San Jose.

It is because of the passage of Measure B, and the 10 percent salary cut that has caused highly trained officers to quit and find employment in other cities that don’t have the unfair pension and health care benefits that San Jose is trying to implement.

The city has spent $150,000 to hire and train each officer, only to have them quit and go to another agency that will pay more and treat them better.

The current manpower shortage is at a critical level, with violent crime rising daily. The city is paying overtime just to keep minimum staffing levels.

So many officers have left, it will take years to get staffing levels back to where they belong. Now we read that the sewage treatment plant is in the same situation. Congratulations, Mayor Reed, this will be your legacy.

Chris Galios
Morgan Hill

The second letter to make the paper was authored by Ron Martinelli <Code3Law@aol.com>

City Leaders Forgot Hard Work of SJPD

Mercury News — Letter to the Editor — Aug. 20, 2012

I was police officer with the SJPD from the 1970s to 1990s before retiring. In those days SJPD was “the” agency to work for. We had a superior uniformed division, investigators second to none and a wonderful civilian support staff that allowed us to complete our policing mission each day.

However, today is a different environment both within and outside of the department. The city leaders have conveniently forgotten the hard work, dedication and sacrifices those of us who worked the once mean streets of San Jose put in to create today’s San Jose.

It took hard work to transition a downtown once filled with crack houses and hooker hotels — populated by street gang members, parolees, pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and sexual predators — into the upscale core area you see today.

Now the well-trained men and women in uniform of SJPD today are leaving in droves.

Ultimately, you get the police department you deserve. It is a relatively easy thing to lose control of a criminal element committed to exploiting the uninformed and uninvolved civilian population. Just you wait and see.

Ron Martinelli
SJPD (Ret.)

• • • • •

Leroy received the following message yesterday. The flyer referenced in the e-mail about the Daly City PD Reunion didn't arrive in time, so anyone interested should send a message to the author.

Aug. 22nd


I came across your website as I was trying to locate your Officer Gene Kischmischian. I hope he has a strong recovery from the 5-way bypass surgery he underwent this past Monday. I worked with Gene while he was a police cadet with the Daly City Police Department.

I'm a former dispatcher and am on the Daly City PD Reunion Committee. Many former Daly City PD officers went to San Jose PD. I've already sent the reunion information to Dewey Hosmer, Pete Salvi, Bob St. Amour and Roger Homer. And I fondly remember Rocky Bridges and Henry Bunch. May they both rest in peace.

I was wondering if I would be able to forward our reunion's flyer to you to be posted in your newsletter for any other former Daly PD employees who I was unable to contact? The event is set for October 10, 2012. I didn't want to assume it would automatically be OK to send you the flyer, so please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

Alice Baker-Nyhan

• • • • •

The following Mail Call items are in reference to last week's article titled "The Editor Opines" in which I tried to generate some dialogue by offering my view on why President Obama will win re-election based on what I see as the ice cream & cake vs. the broccoli and brussles sprouts metaphor offered by the two parties. For those who missed it and would like to see what seems to have created something of a stir, this link will take you last week's Farsider. When it comes up, scroll down to the item with the red headline that reads "The Editor Opines."


• • • • •


Aug. 17th

First, thanks for the continued and outstanding job you and Leroy do. It is my once-a-week super vitamin pill. Love it!
I hate to be so passive, but I do agree with you and your ideas or reasoning for Obama's re-election. The sad part is, I don't like Romney either. Being an independent I haven't voted either party line for years, so my vote counts for nothing, but I vote. The country needs major overhauling, but I don't see it happening in our lifetime. Darn!
Keep up the great work.

Mike Davis

• • • • •


Aug. 17th


I don't disagree with your position at all, and I think your points are well taken.

As you know from my rants from months ago, I changed my party registration from Republican to "Decline to State." During the interim my reasons for doing so have not changed; in fact they have been reinforced. As I said at the time of my change, I could never vote for the Democrat ticket. I think the current administration is in well over its head and leading the country to a fiscal disaster. As for the Republicans, obviously I can't agree with a party that is hell bent on destroying both public and private unions that, if given the opportunity and a free hand, would deprive me and my wife of my pension benefits, Social Security and Medicare health coverage. I am not blind to the nationwide and statewide effort launched years ago by the Republicans to destroy public employee labor organizations and their bargaining rights.

In California, since the passage of the Myers-Milias-Brown Act in 1967, the California Republican party has never for a moment stopped trying to weaken and reverse the bargaining rights of public employees under that act. Now that the economic times are ripe, and the media has intentionally created an atmosphere of pension envy, the attack is being carried out. Anyone who thinks that what is happening now in the public sector labor relations is happenstance is living in a fantasy. It is and has been well financed and planned for decades.

In conclusion, I agree with you but I hate to do so. On the other hand, the thought of a Republican administration scares me to death. If I was a young man and could go out and build my life again, I would. But I can't because I am not.

Where will I go? What will I do? How will I vote? I wish I knew.

Phil Norton

• • • • •


Aug. 17th

Why I Will Be Voting Republican:

When I was a teenager, I made several conscious decisions that influenced the direction of my life.

I chose not to do drugs, steal or be assaultive. I chose to go to college. I paid for it myself, and although I didn’t graduate, education is never wasted time. I chose to work. It wasn’t the job that I wanted forever, but it paid the bills.

When I unexpectedly became a single parent I had some hard choices to make. I chose to work at a government job that didn’t pay as much as private enterprise jobs. The trade-off was that I probably wouldn’t be terminated for an arbitrary reason. I would have reasonable medical coverage for my family and would not be dependent on social security in my retirement. I did not get stock options, stock splits, bonuses, corporate day care or a golden parachute.

I chose to live in an urban area. That meant as a public safety dispatcher, I was exposed to everyone else’s lack of self control: murder, rape, assault, drug use, prostitution, domestic violence, child abuse. And the natural disasters: fire, flood, earthquakes, car accidents, infant drownings, SIDS.

I felt the burden every day of keeping officers safe on the streets like a coat made of stone, one that I wore proudly. But I was conscious of that responsibility every day.

It's been years since I left dispatching and I still have nightmares several times a week. But I chose that knowing I would have a decent retirement. I chose not to live a life of debt. I paid my bills, didn’t buy things I couldn’t afford, didn’t pull all the equity out of my home and kept away from credit card debt. It was hard, but I did it.

I was blessed with a good family, good health, and a decent mind by good circumstance and a gracious God. That’s not the way it is with everyone. Lots of people work hard, without benefits and without much hope for the future. But many are there by their choices to discontinue their education, experiment with drugs and ignore society’s rules. Some by life’s circumstances.

Assuming San Jose doesn’t declare bankruptcy and fail to honor contractual promises in regards to pensions and health care, I don’t really need social security or Medicare. The government doesn’t give me a choice about Medicare, and I don’t like that. But I am without need because I made choices early on.

Social Security and Medicare were never intended to be the only retirement that people have. The two have become monsters that devours its young. When my 86-year-old mother was terminally ill we fought the beast that is socialized medicine. It has three heads and cares for no one. I do NOT want the government bean-counters running my medical care. They can’t even run the post office.

Before you condemn Paul Ryan as a ruthless cutthroat, read the actual budget document. Yes, some of it is partisan, but ignore that and read the plan — the whole thing. It requires some serious belt-tightening. It requires tort reform, interstate insurance capabilities, and does not disenfranchise existing Medicare participants. It reworks the existing system, but that’s not a bad thing.

That, more than anything else, is why I will be voting for the Republican ticket.

Theresa Videan

• • • • •


Aug. 17th

I could've said it better, but your version was on the money. (LOL over the first clause.)
(Lundberg) <lumpyl@sbcglobal.net>

• • • • •


Aug. 20th

Hey Bill,
I think you were spot on with your theory of "I want it now" and "Instant gratification." You brought up some fine examples of just how prevalent this problem is and how easy it is to exploit. I would like to add one more theory: the "Don't know, don't care" attitude of the younger folks.

Social media and the media in general has spawned this culture of people who have become disconnected from the realities of life. Read a ballot? God forbid someone should become informed before they make a crucial decision. It is truly sad that people can't slow down, take a breath and think about the consequences of their actions. You brought up some memories for me when you mentioned the credit cards. How many of us did exactly what you did? I know did. Once. Taught myself a hard lesson that I benefit from to this day. Debt to me is a four-letter word. Not that I don't have debt, but beyond a mortgage and car payment, that's it. It seems that this "I want it now" attitude has plunged a lot of people into a mountain of debt that is more a way of life than it is an anomaly. I believe our generation was always taught to think long term about our careers, our finances and our retirement. Today it seems that the only goal is the latest gadget, clothing item, car or trip using a piece of plastic with no thought of the consequences. No thinking, "Do I really need this?" or "Can I afford this?" I know people who live this way and I am baffled. I know some people in this economy have no choice when it comes to their survival. I'm speaking of those who can't be satisfied with what they have and must spend every dime on the latest, fastest phone, iPad, iPod or laptop. Just walk by an Apple store. What happens when the latest style of Air Jordans debuts?  
Obama's handlers, and for that matter Republicans to a certain extent, latched onto this trend. The typical voter is too distracted and too busy to really educate themself. Say the right words at the right time and that's all he or she hears. Mention Obamacare and many will say it will fix what's wrong with medical care in this country. But does anyone know the details of the plan? Ask any politician. They're the epitome of "Don't know, don't care" because it doesn't affect them. All we get is party-line spin. Closer to home, do you think the voters in San Jose researched the pros and cons of Measures V, W, and B?  All they heard was a doomsday prophecy aided by a biased press.     
Yes, Obama will get re-elected. I don't think it will be a landslide, but it will be too little too late for the Republicans. I hope we're wrong. Obama has had four years to convince (read brainwash) people that he is right for the job. Has anyone really thought about these last four years?
Joe Wicker

• • • • •


Aug. 16th


I don't see why you insist on using the Farsider to advance your political agenda. How does doing so benefit retirees? We get enough politics on the news and from dozens of other sources.

Art Mogilefsky

If you haven't seen a significant reduction of Obama and Romney items, Art, you haven't been paying attention. I made it clear a few months ago that I would not self-initiate items that would give the appearance of the Farsider serving as a propaganda sheet for either party. If, however, one of the 850+ subscribers want to write and express their political views in the Mail Call column (not just forward something they receive), that's perfectly fine. It's called dialogue. You're a lawyer with above standard writing skills. Give it a try.

As for last week's ice cream and cake vs. broccoli and brussles sprouts metaphor, I was simply expressing what I felt the two parties stood for. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the voters choosing the tasty dessert over the green veggies as long as they are willing to deal with the long term consequences. That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it. Thanks for offering yours. Really.



For Golfers

For Everyone
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The honor of your presence is requested at:
"Cops Care Cancer Foundation's From C To Shining C's Membership Drive and Benefit Event"

The Silicon Valley Capital Club would like to present an opportunity for membership and support for the Shining Cops in our Community and Cops Care Cancer Foundation's mission to provide financial assistance to children and their families who have been stricken with cancer.
Please come and hear why the Silicon Valley Capital Club offers an extraordinary opportunity to become part of a club where current and future business and community leaders are gathering, changing, and profoundly impacting the world, one membership at a time.

There will also be a point of sale from the in-kind food and beverage sponsors and a percentage of all proceeds will benefit Cops Care Cancer Foundation.

Silent Auction after tastings.

Wednesday, August 22nd
5:30 - 8 pm, No Ticket Charge
Complimentary wine, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and chocolate tasting
Please RSVP to Juan Reyes at:

Silicon Valley Capital Club
50 W San Fernando St. 17th floor
San Jose, CA 95113





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• Did Caroline Kennedy say she can't stand President Obama's voice and that he's a liar?

• Is the Social Security Administration buying up ammunition in preparation for civil unrest?

• Congressional bills sponsored by Paul Ryan that have been passed into law.

• The American Atheists organization opposes incorporating a steel-beam cross into a September 11 museum.

• Did President Obama stop wearing his wedding ring and wristwatch for Ramadan?

• Photograph purportedly shows an insect spy drone that can take photographs and DNA samples.

• Has NASA announced that a three-day worldwide blackout will occur in December 2012?

• Musician masters multiple-guitar part using only one guitar.

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!

Worth a Second Look

• Tourists who have taken rocks from Hawaiian beaches have returned them in hopes of ending streaks of bad luck.

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.



You know the drill about making the YouTube adjustment to large or full screen, right?

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Do you or your spouse ever have the need to separate egg whites from the yolk? You probably won't be able to understand a word this lady is saying, and the subtitles won't be of any help unless you can speak and read Chinese. Then again, neither are necessary as this clip received from Alice Murphy is self-explanatory. We figure the odds are good that about half of you will head to the kitchen later today and give it a try. (2 Mins.)


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Joe Suske says, "What's the big deal with this video? Isn't this the way everyone lives?" (3 Mins.)


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Glenn Bytheway sent in a link to a fascinating item that includes videos from an atomic bomb test in 1957 in which five Army officers stood at ground zero, directly below the air blast. This should be a must-see for those interested in history...


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Odds are, some of the folks suffering from the heat in some of the drought ridden states are watching this German TomTom commercial we received from "Mean Dean" Janavice in an attempt to mentally cool down. (2 Mins.)


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We included a video somewhat similar to this one a year or two ago about the sport of Parahawking, but this one is even more spectacular. If you like it, you will find several others after the clip ends. (2 Mins.)


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In about three short minutes, this clip from Paul Gardner will show you how the Internet works. We think it's fascinating stuff for the curious. (3 Mins.)


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This Guinness commercial Manny Becerra sent to Paul Salerno who sent it to us seems to be zipping right along. Watch it and you will see that we plucked a pun out of thin air. (1 Min.)



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If inspirational videos are your thing, you may want to check out this one titled "Life is like coffee." It provides a message that is hard to deny. (3 Mins.)


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Lacking something more profound, we thought we'd conclude this week's Farsider with an item that could provide you with a good belly laugh. Watch this short clip of an Irish sports announcer calling a sail boat race during the 2012 Olympics all the way to the end. (2 Mins.)



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Pic of the Week:

Analysis of the photo below can tell us a lot about how different people think...

• For young men, it's a picture of a lady with a nice derriere, but only the most observant will notice that she is crossing a street.

• The really observant will notice that she is wearing a thong. (Be careful of eye strain.)

• For older men, she appears to be a respectable woman with a big butt who is probably on her way to work.

• Wiser men will ponder the presence of mind of the photographer who took the picture in the presence of such beauty and was thoughtful enough to share it.

• For half of the women, this is an ordinary woman who should not have left home dressed that way.

• The other half will likely think she's a slut, but they will wonder where she bought that blouse.

• Older women will imagine the misery that the woman's curves will cause by the time she reaches 50.

• But only children, the extremely intelligent and the celibate will notice that the taxi is being driven by a  dog.


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