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The Farsider

August 30, 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.



 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
(formerly Pension-Issue news)

San Jose in the news, and not in a good way...



Below are segments from Bay Area news stations that the POA captured since we went to press last week:




SJ Officers Targeted: 2 Assaulted Per Day
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqF36aCCOU&feature=youtu.be>




If there are no police why have a neighborhood watch?
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzLv9q9bpkE&feature=youtu.be>




San Jose's Violent Crime Spree Causes City to Consider Reinforcements
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0OLYLmMalw&feature=youtu.be>


 

San Jose, A City In Crisis
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8mkfBn2Fcs&feature=youtu.be>




San Jose Homicides
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKL2VcYqlpM&feature=youtu.be>




Some Are Accusing Mayor Reed of Not Doing Enough to Stem the Violence
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etibKFqRMpE&feature=youtu.be>




Worst Streak of Violence in San Jose History
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHeQmzw_Ml8&feature=youtu.be>




SJ's Strategy to Subdue Violence, Stopgap at Best
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDs40zmhKaI&feature=youtu.be>




Broken Arrow
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZfovMJmqpc&feature=youtu.be>




SJ's Response to Violence is Not Enough
<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzxv8h_XpC0&feature=youtu.be




Another Day and Another Homicide in San Jose
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLjx7Ugi1_M&feature=youtu.be>




Another Day of Murder in San Jose
<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pcskjRxy3I&feature=youtu.be



• • • • •

 

Our former boss supported Chief Chris Moore in this NBC Bay Area newscast from last Thursday evening. Look for Joe to make his appearance about a minute into the clip, providing it is still on the KNTV Bay Area News website...

<http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video/#!/news/local/San-Jose-Violence-Skyrockets/167274235>

 

• • • • •

 

So what's new? This not-surprising article appeared on the front page of the Local Section of yesterday's paper...

S.J. Faces Exodus in Blue

—More police officers are leaving for better pay, working conditions—

By Mark Gomez
<mgomez@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Aug. 29, 2012

SAN JOSE — Colleagues told Jincy Pace that one day she’d become a deputy chief of the San Jose Police Department. Smart, hardworking, respected, the West Point graduate had all the attributes for a high-ranking position.

Pace still has that goal, but it won’t happen in San Jose.
 



After 14 years with the San Jose Police Department, Sgt. Jincy
Pace left last week to become a patrol officer in Hillsboro, Ore.

After almost 14 years with the department, Pace last week left her job as a San Jose cop. She traded in her sergeant’s badge to become a patrol officer in Hillsboro, Ore. Pace is one of 79 officers who have resigned from the department since 2011, including 30 this year.

San Jose police Chief Chris Moore said for the first time in the department’s history more police officers are resigning — mostly for jobs with other departments — than are retiring. Twenty-one officers have retired this year.

Moore and union officials say the reason is twofold. After pension reform and pay cuts, officers can make more money and better benefits elsewhere, even at smaller departments. Others, including veteran officers, are leaving because they say the once-proud force is dispirited, overworked and rife with morale problems. They don’t see the same opportunities and proactive policing they once did.

“It’s absolutely the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” said Pace, saying she weighed what is best for her family, including wife Beach Pace, former executive director of City Year, and their two young children. “I’ve never loved an agency, a city as much as I love this place. I love San Jose. My heart and soul is here, absolutely. It just pains me to leave.”

As a result of the exodus, the department’s staffing is substantially lower than what’s authorized: 1,055 sworn officers instead of 1,109. For the patrol division, the problem is even greater. It is authorized for 548 officers but only has 492 on the rolls, and 32 of the officers are not available for duty due to various reasons. In 2008, the patrol division boasted nearly 600 officers. The fear among officers is the number will continue to drop and put a greater strain on their safety and ability to answer calls.

“We’re going to be losing a lot of people, and they’re not the people you’d want to lose,” Pace said. “We have some of the most amazing employees. We can only do so much. We’re at the point we’re breaking.”

Pace and the dozens of other departed cops leave a department that is struggling to respond to an uptick in crime — a surge some say is the result of criminals knowing there are fewer eyes on the streets. San Jose is on pace to exceed the 15-year high of 39 homicides last year, the 2012 total ballooning by eight in just 11 days in August.

As an internal affairs sergeant, Pace would field background check calls for co-workers who were looking for other jobs. She began to wonder why she wasn’t looking, too. While Hillsboro doesn’t pay as much, Pace’s take-home pay will be within a few thousand dollars of what she earned in San Jose. And because the cost of living is much lower, Pace believes her family will enjoy a better quality of life.

If she had stayed and moved up the ladder, she realized that because of the staffing shortage she wouldn’t have much time to spend with her family. She also said the staffing levels have created an unsafe environment for officers, and she sees safety in the city on the decline.

But for many officers, it’s an economic decision.

When one San Jose cop moved to the Redwood City Police Department, his take-home pay increased from $54,600 a year up to $88,400 a year, according to the San Jose police union.

The maximum base pay for a Campbell police officer is $104,836 a year, with a 9 percent retirement contribution. Campbell does not offer retiree health care.

By comparison, officers in San Jose earn a maximum base salary of $97,198 and make an 11.13 percent contribution to their retirement fund and 8.26 percent for retirement health care, according to city statistics.

Recently other San Jose cops have left for jobs with the Livermore and Walnut Creek police departments.

“Our stars will leave. They just will,” Police Officers’ Association President Jim Unland said.

In response to the staffing shortage, the city is authorizing more overtime for the already weary patrol division, and stripping other divisions to place more officers on the street. Moore said he has repeatedly told City Hall that to retain good cops, the city must “increase our bottom-line pay.”

Mayor Chuck Reed acknowledges San Jose’s salary is not competitive with other agencies’ but stands by the decision to ask all city workers, including police officers, to take a 10 percent pay cut in 2011. The alternative, he said, was to deplete the police department even more by laying off 156 officers.

“We’ll have to make some adjustments once we get the pension problem resolved,” Reed said. “We can make adjustments in pay to be competitive.”

Reed says the city’s pension costs have more than tripled in a decade to $245 million. A recent audit affirmed 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.” In June, voters approved Measure B to reduce pensions for new hires and make current employees pay more or switch to a reduced plan for their remaining years.

“As officers, what we are hearing from our citizens is you guys are a bunch of greedy guts and we don’t appreciate what you’ve done for us,” Pace said. “As officers, we are used to that, to some extent. But it’s heartbreaking. It’s a vote, right there in front of you.”

Moore said that employee contribution of nearly 20 percent for pension and retiree health care, coupled with the 10 percent pay cut, is driving officers to look elsewhere. Since 2011, 79 officers have resigned, compared with 47 from 2007 to 2010.

“They all say the same thing,” Moore said. “I love the city. I love this department. But I can’t afford to work here.”

To get police staffing levels to 1,109, the department in September will begin the first of two academy classes that could put 66 rookie cops on the streets in June, Moore said. A second academy is scheduled in March.

Moore worries the department won’t be able to keep these new officers once they complete the training and get experience on the street.

Unland said the influx of new hires will not keep pace with departures and won’t make up for the loss of experienced officers. Because it typically takes at least two years for a new officer to get up to speed, the resulting “brain drain” will be evident.

Watching people leave and the department struggle is “like watching someone you love slowly wither away and die,” Pace said. “It’s so sad. But I’ve got to go before I get drawn down under with it.”

 

• • • • •



From the I.A. column of last Sunday's paper was this little tidbit about the NBC Bay Area News Investigative Unit that broke the news about the $650 million lie and has since been a thorn in the side of City Hall's puppet masters...



At $2,000 a Pop, They’re Welcome Here Anytime

“We investigate’’ is the motto of the NBC Bay Area News investigative team.


So where do they strut their stuff?

Try San Jose City Hall. The team recently filmed a 30-second promotional video inside the City Hall Rotunda. The spot showed television reporters and editors marching up and down the Rotunda stairs while an announcer intoned lines like, “We investigate when you don’t have a voice but still have a story to tell.”

You can see the video at
<http://tinyurl.com/9d5kg7j>. You may remember that one of the investigative team’s targets earlier this year was Mayor Chuck Reed , who was confronted by reporter Jenna Susko over the city’s projections of pension costs. Unless you were a budget wonk, it was hard to follow the back and forth over the $650 million estimate. By the time you understood it, you no longer cared. A state audit last week offered ammunition for both sides of the controversy.

But the NBC Bay Area news team is at least ready to help the financially strapped city: It paid $2,000 to rent the Rotunda.

Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at local and state politics.

This week’s items were written by Tracy Seipel, Scott Herhold, John Woolfolk and
Paul Rogers. Send tips to <internalaffairs@mercurynews.com>, or call 408-975-9346.

 

• • • • •



At the bottom of the op/ed page of today's paper was this article penned by Assemblyman Jim Beall, a former San Jose City Councilman.

State’s San Jose Pension Audit Fulfilled Its Purpose



By Jim Beall, Assemblyman, District 24
Mercury News — Aug. 30, 2012

The state audit I sought to evaluate the city of San Jose’s retirement costs had two purposes:

• To get an independent and unbiased review of San Jose’s pension obligations to help residents get a clear understanding of the scope of the problem.

• To help the Legislature by increasing its knowledge of pension reform so it may promulgate new policies or laws.

The audit accomplishes both those missions. Its value lies in warning California’s local governments to use sound actuarial standards and methodologies in developing cost projections in order, as the audit said, to “report the information in the correct context.’’

Not all local governments adhere to this standard, and it may very well need to become law.

San Bernardino’s bankruptcy was due, in large part, to its unacceptable accounting procedures that masked the city’s true financial state for years.

The audit bolsters the argument for pension reform but also for using proper accounting standards that can help us avoid the bankruptcy scenarios that have engulfed Stockton, Vallejo and Mammoth Lakes.

When the third-largest city in California gave serious consideration last year whether to declare a fiscal emergency — a procedural step that could have led to bankruptcy — people at the Capitol quickly took notice because if San Jose slid into bankruptcy, the repercussions for state and local taxpayers would have been disastrous. Bond rates would have skyrocketed, making borrowing for capital improvement projects prohibitively expensive.

As a former San Jose city councilman and Santa Clara County supervisor, I believe this audit tells me all levels of government need to conduct more frequent analyses of their unfunded liabilities and their assumed rates of return. And those analyses must meet accepted actuarial standards. The state audit revealed four out of the five cost projections bandied about by the city had not been approved by the pension boards; three of the five projections did not meet actuarial standards.

The Mercury News correctly points out that San Jose’s pension problems were apparent to all. I have never disagreed with that point. We need sensible pension reform. I have cast votes for legislative measures that would save $600 million, and I support Gov.

Jerry Brown’s 12-point pension reform plan. In the days to come, state lawmakers will be addressing pension reforms to create more savings, and the San Jose audit will help them by illustrating the critical need to have accepted controls and standards in place.

The audit’s overriding message is that getting clear and accurate information is fundamental to saving taxpayer dollars. It is crucial for the public and government officials to understand the reality and magnitude of the problem. This is why the report was approved on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee earlier this year.

As one smart financial manager put it: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Jim Beall represents Assembly District 24, which encompasses Saratoga and Campbell and includes portions of San Jose, Santa Clara and Los Gatos. He wrote this for this newspaper.


 

• • • • •



Don't beat around the bush, Phil. Tell the paper's readers how you really feel...

San Jose Voters Should Show the Door to Reed

Letter to the Editor — Mercury News — Aug. 30, 2012

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has failed miserably to lead this city. His role in the passing of Measure B led to the destruction of the best police department in the country. He cut the most proactive gang unit, the violent crime enforcement team, and watched as crime in our city has spiraled out of control.

Does he take responsibility for that? No, not Chuck Reed. He sits in the background of news conferences and acts like he’s going to be part of the solution for the chaos he has created. All this could have been avoided with telling the truth to the citizens of San Jose and through fair negotiations with the unions to reach an agreement on pension reform. This city cannot take two more years with him as our mayor.

Recall Chuck Reed.

Phil Malvini, SJPD retired
San Jose

 

WEEKLY POLL


Rasmussen Reports conducted a poll of likely voters yesterday (Aug. 29) and asked who they thought would win the presidential election, regardless of who they wanted to win. The results: Obama 53 percent; Romney 33 percent. For more about the poll, click on this link:
<http://tinyurl.com/9d5kg7j>

We'd like to see how those percentages compare to the Farsider Family, Please participate in the poll below...
 

   


Results from last week's poll...





For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott Rasmussen, click on this link:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/>

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




 

MAIL CALL
 

Aug. 24th

Bill,

In the future would you please continue to create one of the most enjoyable, entertaining, free and independent pieces of journalism I have witnessed in many years. For those who do not agree with your position and content, so frickin' what?

You are the editor, so do what you please unless someone is paying you and/or giving you specific directions.

You and Leroy have given many people a source of enjoyment and information. The last time I checked no one is forcing me or others to log onto the website or read the content. What a wonderful and free world we live in.

Dave Clayton
<dave@claytoninsurance.com>

Damn! The Farmer's Insurance broker almost makes me feel guilty about using CSAA to cover my home and car. Almost.
 

• • • • •

 

Aug. 26th

Bill,

Now that the Olympics are over, and in case you need a fill-in, can you tell me what Olympic champion is standing next to me? (An interesting story, really.)
 


Mike (Egan)
<eganranch@aol.com>

I replied to Mike's message and said I'd bite, figuratively speaking of course. Just who is the former Olympian? My reply resulted in the following response...

OK, Bill.

Do you remember the little girl from Romania who scored all the 10 pointers at the  '76 Olympics? She was Nadia Comaneci. I am older than you, so you might not have seen as much of it as me. She was a guest speaker at a dinner for the Special Olympics hosted by a group of retired United Airlines flight attendants whose goal is to support the Special Olympics. Walking around afterwards in the crowd, Sue and I met and had a short talk with Nadia. She made it a point to say her life was miserable under the communists after the Olympics even though she was such a winning athlete. She also said she wouldn't wish it on anyone. While she eventually made it to the US, few corporations were interested because she was a former communist.

I guess this will be my only brush with fame.

Mike


Thanks for the age compliment, Mike, But I was 32 years old in 1976 when Nadia scored all the tens, and I watched her perform along with tens of millions of other viewers.

Readers who would like more info about the now 52-year-old former Olympic champion are invited to click on the link below...

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadia_Com%C4%83neci>

 

• • • • •



The following missive from Dave Bartholomew is in response to an opinion I offered two weeks ago on why I feel President Obama will get re-elected. Readers who missed it and want to pull it up can click on the following link. It will take you to the Aug. 16th Farsider from which you can scroll down to the red headline that reads "The Editor Opines" with the sub-headline "Why Obama Will Be Re-Elected."
<http://www.sjpba.net/Farsider/081612.htm>
 

Aug. 28th


Wow! We have had many discussions over the years, but I think your op-ed was a bit over the top.

Yes, we grew up in the same era with the same moral values. My working career started when I owned my first business at age 11, delivering newspapers in Toledo Ohio. Back then, you owned your paper route. I worked many jobs through the years before ending up in San Jose and on the SJPD.

I believe in being self sufficient, and that is one part of government that I have great conflict with. However, I do feel that as both Obama and Romney have said, we got to where we are today as individuals with a lot of hard work, but with a support system that helped us also. That is the ideal, a social safety net to help when necessary. Unfortunately, those things will always be vulnerable to abuse. It does not make them wrong as you suggested in your piece.

I believe the reason for the collapse of the economy is because of this greed, and you are suggesting that this is a Democratic problem. But why are most of the millionaires and billionaires pouring so much money into the Romney/Ryan coffers? Because they are promising more tax breaks. More ice cream and cake. Romney recently told some large donors in Minnesota, “Big Business is doing fine in many places. They get loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their Businesses.”  Do you really think that he will support an overhaul of the tax code? Who pays for these tax breaks? We, the middle class.

Tax breaks and shrinking government are not the immediate answer to improving our economy. The debt is a huge issue that must be addressed, but this is not the time. Europe has tried austerity and has gone into a second recession. What is needed now is to get people back to work, and the only entity prepared to do that is government. Cutting government right now is just cutting more jobs. When people don’t work, they don’t spend money. When they cannot get out from under the debt they have taken on because it was so easy to get credit, (a lesson you said you learned early on), they don’t spend and businesses don’t prosper. Those businesses don’t sell goods, they don’t employ more workers.

I saw some statistics last night that Government has lost 600,000 jobs over the last few years. That includes City, County and State jobs as well as Federal jobs. The reason is twofold. People are not spending so there is less sales tax money. And, property values have gone down so there is less property tax money. My tax bill does not show a decrease, but there has not been an increase either. Over the last 4 or 5 recessions, the stats show that Government jobs increased. No one realized just how bad this recession/depression was going to be, and I don't think John McCain and the Republicans would have put us in a different place than we are now.

When the middle class doesn’t prosper the economy doesn’t move. That's what is happening right now. There has been a significant shift in wealth over the past 10 years from the middle class to the wealthy. And now the elites, through the Republican Party, are pitting us, the middle class, against each other.   

I think your characterization of people who care about themselves and choose a good life style are somehow takers and therefore Democrat, is just plain wrong. To put a Vegan/Vegetarian into that category is as bad as a person flipping off a fireman on the street because they believe he or she is on the government dole.

I think your law enforcement background has jaded your thinking, ie: black or white; that there is no gray. As I have said before, I used to be a Republican. Many of the policies of the Reagan administration would not fly in the Republican party of today. I am also pro-choice, and that definitely does not fit with today’s Republican Party.

Dave (Bartholomew)
<bart@wingsofgold.com>

I'll try to keep this short, but a couple of points need to be made. The first one relates to the paper route that you called your first business and one that you said you owned at age 11. Did you build it with or without the government's help? When I had my paper route, which was also my first job, I had to go door-to-door and ask people to subscribe and/or collect the payment due, and Uncle Sam didn't lend a hand. Second, I think you read some things into my op/ed piece that were not there. I made no reference whatsoever to a "social safety net." Of course one is needed to assist those who cannot fend for themselves. But providing checks, food stamps and other entitlements (and even advertising them in the media in some parts of the country) for those who are perfectly capable of pulling their own weight  encourages many of them to sit on their collective butts and live off the taxpayers who do work. Bill Clinton, with bipartisan support, took a brave stance during his term with his welfare reform measure that put many of the welfare recipients to work. Some of that reform was nullified a few weeks ago by the Obama administration who granted waivers to a handful of states that found Clinton's measures too stringent. And finally, please don't label me as a Republican. If I have to be painted with a political brush, it should be as a moderate independent who leans to the right.



 

ARE THERE TWO CALIFORNIAS?


This opinion piece from last Friday's paper doesn't favor the right or the left in my view, so I consider it acceptable fodder for the Farsider. What it does is make a clear and concise argument that there are two Californias. I was impressed with this piece and decided to pass it along...

The ‘C’ in California is for ‘Contradiction’



By Victor Davis Hanson

Driving across California is like going from Mississippi to Massachusetts without ever crossing a state line. Consider the disconnects: California’s combined income and sales taxes are among the nation’s highest, but the state’s deficit is still about $16 billion. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 upper- income Californians are leaving per week to flee high taxes and costly regulations, yet California wants to raise taxes even higher; its business climate already ranks near the bottom of most surveys.

Its teachers are among the highest paid on average in the nation, but its public school students consistently test near the bottom of the nation in both math and science.

The state’s public employees enjoy some of the nation’s most generous pensions and benefits, but California’s retirement systems are underfunded by about $300 billion. The state’s gas taxes — at more than 49 cents a gallon — are among the highest in the nation, but its once unmatched freeways, like Highways 101 and 99, for long stretches have degenerated into potholed, clogged nightmares unchanged since the early 1960s. The state wishes to borrow billions of dollars to develop high-speed rail, beginning with a little-traveled link between Fresno and Corcoran — a corridor already served by money-losing Amtrak. Apparently, coastal residents like the idea of European high-speed rail — as long as noisy and dirty construction does not begin in their backyards. As gasoline prices soar, California chooses not to develop millions of barrels of untapped oil and even more natural gas off its shores and beneath its interior. Home to bankrupt green companies like Solyndra, California has mandated that a third of all the energy provided by state utilities soon must come from renewable energy sources — largely wind and solar, which presently provide about 11 percent of its electricity and almost none of its transportation fuel.

How to explain the seemingly inexplicable?

There is no California, which is a misnomer.

There is no such state.

Instead there are two radically different cultures and landscapes with little in common, each equally dysfunctional in quite different ways. Apart they are unworldly, together a disaster.

A post-modern narrow coastal corridor runs from San Diego to Berkeley, where the weather is ideal, the gentrified affluent make good money, and values are green and left-wing. This Shangri-La is juxtaposed to a vast impoverished interior, from the southern desert to the northern Central Valley, where life is becoming pre-modern.

On the coast, blue-chip universities like Cal Tech, Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA in pastoral landscapes train the world’s doctors, lawyers, engineers and businesspeople. In the hot interior of blue-collar Sacramento, Turlock, Fresno and Bakersfield, well over half the incoming freshmen in the California State University system must take remedial math and science classes.

In post-modern Palo Alto or Santa Monica, a small cottage costs more than $1 million. Two hours away, in pre-modern and now-bankrupt Stockton, a bungalow the same size goes for less than $100,000.

In the interior, unemployment in many areas peaks at more than 15 percent. The theft of copper wire is reaching epidemic proportions.

Thousands of the shrinking middle class flee the interior or the coast for nearby no-income-tax states. To fathom the state’s nearly unbelievable statistics, as the state population grew by 10 million from the mid-1980s to 2005, its number of Medicaid recipients increased by 7 million during that period; one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients now reside in California.

Coastal Californians can afford to worry about the state’s trivia as their legislators seek to outlaw foie gras, shut down irrigation projects to save the 3-inch delta smelt, and allow children to have legally recognized multiple parents.

The drive from Fresno to Palo Alto takes three hours, but you might as well be rocketing from Earth to the moon.

Victor Davis Hanson is a syndicated columnist. For more on his background, click on the link below...

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Davis_Hanson>



 

INTERESTING READ ABOUT THE BIN LADEN TAKEDOWN BOOK


This Yahoo News article sent in by Dean Janavice is likely to cause some controversy when the book about the bin Laden raid written by a Navy SEAL who was there becomes available this coming Tuesday.

SEAL Book Raises Questions About bin Laden's Death

By Kimberly Dozer — Associated Press — Aug. 28, 2012


WASHINGTON (AP) — A first-hand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.
 


Bin Laden apparently was shot in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in "No Easy Day." The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a point man going up the stairs in the pitch black hallway. Near the top, he said, he heard two shots, but the book doesn't make it clear who fired them. He wrote that the point man had seen a man peeking out of a door on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that the man ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the man crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body. Once they wiped the blood off his face, they were certain it was bin Laden.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner. He and the other SEALs trained their guns' laser sights on bin Laden's still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

Administration officials briefing reporters in the days after the May 2011 raid in Pakistan said the SEALs shot bin Laden only after he ducked back into the bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor would not comment on the apparent contradiction late Tuesday. But he said in an email Wednesday, "As President Obama said on the night that justice was brought to Osama bin Laden, 'We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.'"

"No Easy Day" was due out Sept. 11, but Dutton announced the book would be available a week early, Sept. 4, because of a surge of orders due to advance publicity that drove the book to the top of the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com best-seller lists.

The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book Tuesday.

The account is sure to renew questions about whether the raid was intended to capture or simply to kill bin Laden. Bissonnette writes that during a pre-raid briefing, an administration lawyer told them that they were not on an assassination mission. According to Bissonnette, the lawyer said that if bin Laden was "naked with his hands up," they should not engage him. If bin Laden did not pose a threat, they should detain him.

A former deputy judge advocate general for the Air Force said the shooting was understandable according to the orders the SEALS had.

"It wasn't unreasonable for the SEALs to shoot the individual who stuck his head out," said the former JAG, ret. Maj. Gen. Charlie Dunlap, who now teaches at Duke University law school.

"In a confined space like that where it is clear that there are hostiles, the SEALs need to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and accomplish the mission," Dunlap said.

Dunlap adds that shooting bin Laden's fallen form was also reasonable in his legal opinion, to keep the terrorist from possibly blowing himself up or getting a weapon and shooting at the SEALs.

In another possibly uncomfortable revelation for U.S. officials who say bin Laden's body was treated with dignity before being given a full Muslim burial at sea, the author reveals that in the cramped helicopter flight out of the compound, one of the SEALs was sitting on bin Laden's chest as the body lay at the author's feet in the middle of the cabin, for the short flight to a refueling stop inside Pakistan where a third helicopter was waiting.

This is common practice, as U.S. troops sometimes must sit on their own war dead in packed helicopters. Space was cramped because one of the helicopters had crashed in the initial assault, leaving little space for the roughly two dozen commandos in the two aircraft that remained. When the commandos reached the third aircraft, bin Laden's body was moved to it.

Bissonnette writes that none of the SEALs were fans of President Barack Obama and knew that his administration would take credit for ordering the raid. One of the SEALs said after the mission that they had just gotten Obama re-elected by carrying out the raid.

But he says they respected him as commander in chief and for giving the operation the go-ahead.

Bissonnette writes less flatteringly of meeting Vice President Joe Biden along with Obama at the headquarters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment after the raid. He says Biden told "lame jokes" no one understood, reminding him of "someone's drunken uncle at Christmas dinner."

Beyond such embarrassing observations, U.S. officials fear the book may include classified information, as it did not undergo the formal review required by the Pentagon for works published by former or current Defense Department employees.

Officials from the Pentagon and the CIA, which commanded the mission, are examining the manuscript for possible disclosure of classified information and could take legal action against the author.

In a statement provided to the AP, the author says he did "not disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way."

Bissonnette's real name was first revealed by Fox News and confirmed to the AP.

Jihadists on al-Qaida websites have posted purported photos of the author, calling for his murder.

Source: <http://news.yahoo.com/seal-book-raises-questions-bin-ladens-death-043820320.html>



 

RETIREES' ASSN. NEWSLETTER IS READY TO VIEW


 

The latest edition of the Billy & Spanner is available. To download it to your desktop click on the link below...


<http://tinyurl.com/95vr9fp>




 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF AUG. 25, 2012

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



Was this cat born this way, or was the picture Photoshopped?

New Articles

• Did Nelson Mandela say that "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure?"
<http://www.snopes.com/quotes/deepestfear.asp>

• Opinion piece entitled "Why I Do Not Like the Obamas" attributed to Mychal Massie.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/dontlike.asp>

• Photograph purportedly shows a half-black, half-tabby "chimera cat."
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/chimeracat.asp>

• Account of actress Martha Raye's entertaining troops and tending to wounded soldiers in the field in Vietnam.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/martharaye.asp>

• Did Mitt Romney say that he was "too important to go to Vietnam"?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/vietnam.asp>

• E-mail claims that uninsured Dallas motorists (80+% of whom were illegals) are having their cars towed, which has resulted in a 47% reduction of vehicle accidents.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/dallas.asp>

• List of howlers collected by a Washington travel agent purportedly shows members of Congress to be hopelessly lost about ordinary geography.
<http://www.snopes.com/travel/trap/congress.asp>

• Find a nine-letter English word that remains a valid word as each of its letters is successively removed.
<http://www.snopes.com/language/puzzlers/9letters.asp>

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


Worth a Second Look

• Did a damaged saguaro cactus fall onto the man who had harmed it, killing him?
<http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/saguaro.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

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


Fraud Afoot

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



 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS


Did the Apollo 11 crew see a UFO while they were enroute to the moon? By pure definition, the answer is yes; they did in fact observe an "unidentified flying object," which is not to say it was an alien spacecraft.

This video that was brought to our attention by Tom Macris was uploaded to YouTube in Aug. of 2011 and is titled "Apollo 11: The Untold Story." The full 46-minute video is fascinating in that it deals with risks the astronauts were unaware of, and how close they came to dying. The portion that deals with the UFO described by Buzz Aldrin begins at 11 minutes and 30 seconds into the clip, which you can go to immediately using the red scrubber bar at the bottom of the video. Whether you go to that segment immediately or sit back and watch the program in full, we feel confident the vast majority of you will find it of intense interest. If you don't, you are probably too young to appreciate what occurred in July 1969, or you are one of the nuts who believe that the moon landing took place on a Hollywood set.
(46 Mins.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pniiqHCfIL8>




Rest in peace, Neil
8/5/30 — 8/25/12



• • • • •



If you were going to stage a police pursuit between a supercharged Mustang and two insane guys riding motors that features the art of drifting, you would be hard pressed to top this one sent in by Les Nunes. It even features a surprise ending with the make-believe cop unloading a round from what looks like a .44 Mag. (8 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te0V71sGoxA>


• • • • •

 

We hadn't seen or heard this oldie-but-goodie sent in by Baci in several years and thought it was worth a grin...
 


Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers.

One evening, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the 95th birthday gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who moved to Florida .

The first said, "You know I had a big house built for Mama."

The second said, "And I had a large theater built in the house."

The third said, "And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her."

The fourth said, "You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot who could recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers almost 8 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it."

The other brothers were impressed. After the celebration Mama sent out her "Thank You" notes.

She wrote: "Milton, the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway."

"Marvin," she wrote, "I am too old to travel. I stay home. I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good though. Thanks."

"Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound that can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing, and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. But thank you for the gesture just the same."

"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious Thank you so much."

 

• • • • •

 

Joe Wicker says this clip should bring back some fond (or perhaps not-so-fond) memories for those of you who served in the Marine Corps. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhpXrSE0g6Q&feature=related>

 

• • • • •



This test pilot may sound like he's boasting about the F-35. If so, he's well justified. Granted, this is basically an infomercial from Lockheed-Martin, but it's well worth watching if you are an aviation enthusiast. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8UyV33OOfw>


• • • • •



We thought it was time to reprise this Tim Hawkins performance from an earlier Farsider where he sings the modern version of "The Candy Man" that the late Sammy Davis Jr. made famous. Keep in mind that this isn't about the Democrats or the Republicans per se; it's about the Government in general. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N37IWeQFwqs>


• • • • •



The Brit is back. Pat Condell has become something of a conservative crusader in the UK with his rants about atheists, the UN, Islam and a number of other hot button issues. When Bob Bell sent in this clip of one of Condell's latest video clips earlier this week he said it might be too politically incorrect for the Farsider. Nonsense. We've passed along other Condell videos in the past. This one was posted on YouTube a few months ago. (6 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky8rNsTx5nE>


If you go to
<YouTube.com> and type "Pat Condell" into the search field you will find a few dozen other clips on a variety of topics.

 

• • • • •



If this guy is correct — and he probably is — the so-called "war on poverty" has failed. But it can't be blamed solely on Obama as it began several administrations ago. Have a look and listen and form your own opinion. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSYy3ZYOfgQ>

 

• • • • •



This week's challenge comes from Rodger Cripe: Click on the gigapan image of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and use your mouse to find the Queen. If you are able to locate her, consider yourself an expert mouse manipulator. This image is what you are looking for...



<http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/olympics/2012/gigapan/opening-ceremonies/#>


• • • • •



There's no question that this video from Lumpy is the best of the week, at least for those of us who were teens in the 1950s and 1960s. Whoever gathered the clips for the video did an outstanding job, but the images were surpassed by the music selection. If there is a problem with this video, it's that it doesn't run long enough. And if you are significantly affected by nostalgia, keep a tissue handy because, for many of us, it was indeed the best of times. (12 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDc0ID6PJeg>


• • • • •




C'ya
 

Pic of the Week:
 

Take a close look at this 2nd Grade graduation picture
from the early 1950s and see if you can spot Leroy...
 

 
   

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