Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely
for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does
not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or
THE LAST FAMILY PHOTO
The photo and comment below were posted
on Facebook last Sunday by Lauren McNamara Barrus, one
of Joe's two daughters, and the children are two of
Joe's four grandchildren. The other daughter — Karen
McNamara Rust — will provide the eulogy at today's
Memorial Tribute at the California Theatre that will get
underway at 10:00 a.m. and be followed immediately by a
reception at the POA Hall.
Last Family Photo, July, 2014, Carmel, CA
Missing all three of them! Will see my
children Tuesday, and am seeing my sweet father in every
bird, every rose, and in every beautiful thing there is.
Every day he lives and loves on in my heart. ~ LB — with
• • • • •
Produced by POA Graphic Artist Nicole
Decker, this is the program that will be provided to
everyone attending today's memorial at the California
LUIS HERNANDEZ MEMORIAL SERVICE REMINDER
2:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5th
San Jose POA Hall
1151 N. Fourth St.
The gloves have come off for many local,
state and national races, not the least of which is to
determine who will sit atop the mayor's throne in San
Jose for the next four years. To the extent that the
Mercury News can be fair and balanced, this is how the
paper tried to show the difference between Cortese and
Liccardo. We are positioning this article under this
Pension News column because the next mayor will have a
direct impact on City retirees, both now and in the
Police, Finances at Forefront of Mayor’s
—Cortese urges more cops while Liccardo
stresses fiscal prudence—
By Mike Rosenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Sept. 29, 2014
SAN JOSE — Two glossy ads now arriving in
San Jose mailboxes tell the story of the mayor’s race:
In one, a man in dark clothes and a black wool cap peers
out threateningly with a crowbar, ready to break into a
house, a reminder of the thugs that the police union say
have been turned loose under City Hall’s watch. In
another, cutup credit cards and a warning about runaway
spending argue that the race is more about making sure
your tax money is protected.
Yes, the mayoral runoff to replace termed-out Mayor
Chuck Reed is starting to heat up as the race reaches
its final five weeks.
Dave Cortese, a Santa Clara County supervisor, is aiming
to depict San Jose as a crime-ravaged city that needs to
spend more money on its officers to restore the
short-staffed police force. But the candidate who placed
first in the June primary doesn’t have a clear plan on
how to pay for it.
His opponent, Councilman Sam Liccardo, is
running on a campaign of maintaining the fiscal
responsibility and pension reform efforts of Reed, and
he warns that his rival will return San Jose to the days
when soaring costs of exorbitant employee benefits
gobbled funds for staffing and services citywide. But
those policies have left the police department
understaffed and struggling to lure recruits.
San Jose’s 413,000 registered voters already have
started receiving mailers from both candidates and the
independent union or business groups that support them.
In all, well more than $1 million is expected to be
spent on the race leading into the Nov. 4 election, and
it could be the highest-spending mayoral race in the
With mail ballots being sent out Oct. 6, the race is
only now kicking into full gear. The schedule of
candidate forums, the first objective polls and an
expected onslaught of media coverage through the next
five weeks follow a subdued summer in which both
candidates recouped financially and strategically from a
In that race, Cortese captured one-third of the vote by
using the same spend-more-on-crime message, and he was
funded significantly by powerful unions. Liccardo
received large backing from big business groups and got
about one-fourth of the votes, beating out three other
ideologically similar council members in the race who
also ran campaigns focusing more on fiscal
The candidates — both Democrats in the nonpartisan
contest — hold largely similar views on key issues such
as traffic, parks and the environment, so the November
race will largely hinge on how voters view their
differences in fiscal and public safety plans.
“I think they both have pretty strong cards to show,”
said Chris Roth, president of Willow Glen Neighborhood
Association. “Sam is stressing his record on fiscal
pragmatism so the city can actually stay afloat, whereas
Cortese has a really strong point on his own about cops
— people can call and wait forever.”
Liccardo, who has gained the support of Reed and two of
the council members ousted in the primary, is
doubling-down on his fiscally conservative message from
the primary. He hopes voters who in June 2012
overwhelmingly passed a key pension reform ballot item
called Measure B still want fewer of their tax dollars
going toward city employee compensation.
“I think they get the basic fact that if
you run out of money, you can’t hire cops,” Liccardo
said, citing the huge unfunded retirement plans the city
started dealing with last decade, which helped lead to
service cuts such as police layoffs. “If you believe
that resolving issues means going backward and offering
pension and retirement benefits that got us into a $3
billion hole, then sure. But we don’t have the money to
do it.” Cortese, meanwhile, wants to settle the lawsuit
the labor groups filed to eliminate many of the pension
reform measures voters approved. Cortese argues that the
measure won’t hold up in court — it already was largely
struck down in a lower court and is being appealed — and
the city is wasting money defending it while angry
employees continue to flee.
By settling the pension battle, Cortese figures to halt
the years-long war between City Hall and the current
police union and other employee groups. That, in turn,
would lead to fewer police officers quitting for cities
that offer better compensation and will result in an
increase in cadet recruits who have been shying away
from San Jose as it struggles to rebuild its police
“I’m asking voters to trust me to pull San Jose together
again,” Cortese said. The current battle between City
Hall and the police force “has been costly in a number
of ways. What we’re hearing back from people is, ‘You’re
right. We don’t feel safe in our neighborhoods.’ ”
• • • • •
This recommendation by the paper doesn't
come as a surprise, and it could have a significant
impact on who will be San Jose's next mayor. But one
Liccardo’s Still Best for S.J. Mayor
Mercury News Editorial — Sept. 28, 2014
Has ever a mayoral race in San Jose
gotten this dirty this early as the one between Dave
Cortese and Sam Liccardo?
Mail-in ballots are the reason. They arrive next week,
and people can vote immediately. But candidates and
their supporters reveal themselves more fully as
It pays to take a close look.
In the mayor’s race, we recommended Sam Liccardo in the
primary and still believe he’s the best choice for many
reasons. But today we’re going to talk only about public
safety because it’s supremely important and because of
the fear-mongering campaign by Cortese and his
supporters, who would have us believe San Jose’s level
of safety now is somewhere between Detroit and Mosul.
As the mail arrives each day, take it with a grain of
salt. No, a shaker. No, the whole Morton’s carton with
the little girl on it.
Based on the San Jose Police Department’s own numbers,
crime is not spiraling out of control.
The number of violent crimes, both actual and per
capita, was down in 2013 compared to 2012 — and even
compared to 2008, Cortese’s last year on the city
council. Burglaries are up since then, but even they
dropped a bit in 2013.
Don’t take our word for it. Ten years of statistics are
on the police department website: <www.sjpd.org/CrimeStats/crimestats.html>
Also check out the FBI statistics available back to the
1980s at <www.ucrdatatool.
gov/Search/Crime/Crime.cfm>. It shows higher crime
numbers in the 1990s than today.
The figures are cold comfort to residents, who feel less
safe now — and that matters. But they’re a starting
point for thinking rationally about the leader San Jose
Cortese said at a forum last week that pensions were
fully funded when he left the city council to join the
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. But city
records show that in 2005, there was a pension liability
of $371 million, and by 2007 the retiree health care
shortfall was as much as $1.67 billion.
Today pension and health care liabilities together total
$2.97 billion. Along the way, taxpayers’ annual
contributions to pensions and retiree health care have
gone up $200 million compared to 10 years ago.
In the 2014-15 budget, the cost will increase $38.5
million over this year’s.
Sam Liccardo was part of a council majority that faced
the city’s financial challenges head on. It would have
been easy to, say, float pension obligation bonds, as
labor persuaded the county supervisors to do a few years
It’s a form of gambling on the stock market, and the
county lost money on it.
In San Jose, Mayor Chuck Reed and a council majority
instead set about cutting costs and working to reduce
unfunded obligations. That was the impetus for pension
reform and Measure B. But despite nearly eight years of
austerity, budget projections still show small deficits
in three of the next four years just to maintain current
service levels. So we ask, as voters should: If Dave
Cortese hopes to restore the police department to its
high of around 1,400 positions from roughly 900 officers
today, as he says, where will the money come from?
Liccardo, too, wants to rebuild the department.
Everybody does. Response times, prevention programs and
investigative units need to be restored to service
levels residents expect. But the fundamental problem
remains a lack of resources — unless the next mayor
wants to push the city further into debt and into
greater risk when the next economic downturn hits.
Liccardo would rather settle litigation over Measure B,
as Cortese would, than continue the court fight — but
only if real pension savings are an ironclad part of the
The difference is, Liccardo is honest and realistic
about what San Jose can do. Police scoff at his ideas to
make the department more efficient, but most are already
in use in other departments.
Public safety unions, retirees and labor in general are
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect
Cortese. They expect a payback. Look carefully at who’s
behind campaign mailers, and think about who’s being
straight with voters. It’s Liccardo.
Come by the POA next Tuesday for your flu shot!
Knock Don't Talk
Sample ballots have been mailed out.
Absentee ballots get mailed out next week and voting
will start. This weekend we will be delivering door
hangers to voters in Raul Peralez's district for him and
Dave Cortese. We will not be talking to voters, just
delivering literature and walking away.
Door Hanger Drops
Saturday October 4th and Sunday, October
10am-12pm shift 1
12pm-2pm shift 2
1151 North Fourth Street, San Jose.
Lunch will be provided.
We will also be doing phone banking on Sunday October
12th at 4pm @ South Bay Labor Council. (Don't worry the
49ers play on Monday) We will have a room reserved and
you will be calling voters and reading a short script.
Please RSVP to <email@example.com> or
call the POA office 408-298-1133 so we can reserve space
at the call center. If you speak Spanish or Vietnamese
we will have phone lists in those languages available.
In language calls are very powerful so if you are
bilingual please come help out and make some calls.
2102 Almaden Road #114 San Jose CA, 95125
Lastly we are hand writing small messages on mailers
like (Dear xxx thank you for supporting Dave Cortese)
that will be mailed out to voters. You can take a stack
home with you fill them out and return them to the POA.
Stacks of cards and instructions will be available at
the POA office for pick up starting Thursday October
For any campaign related questions please call or email
James Gonzales at 510-551-8218 (cell) or at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you don't select one of the many ways to volunteer
make a donation to one of your candidates. Your future
depends on it.
You can use the POA's address for
1151 N. 4th St.
San Jose, CA 9511
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY
We carefully review the Mercury News
every day searching for anything that deals with the
political ins and outs of the SJPD, City pensions and
anything else we feel might be of interest to retirees,
especially those who live outside the area and don't
subscribe to the paper. Either we missed the following
in the regular edition of the Mercury News, or it
appeared only in the online edition, which we do not
review. In light of the fact that the paper chose to
ignore the press conference of the four former SJPD
chiefs a few weeks ago, we can understand why the
Mercury News may have tried to downplay this piece that
showed a byline date of May 31st.
Rob Davis, Bill Lansdowne and Lou
Cobarruviaz: Cortese Can Restore Pride in Police Ranks
By Rob Davis, Bill Lansdowne and Lou Cobarruviaz
Special to the Mercury News — May 31, 2014
We support Dave Cortese for mayor of San
Jose, and we'd like to tell you why.
As former chiefs of the San Jose Police Department, we
understand all too well the dire straits in which our
department currently finds itself.
We didn't just lose 400 officers over the last six
years. We lost literally centuries of police experience
that will be difficult to replace -- patrol officers who
knew the community, detectives with thousands of closed
cases under their belts and future leaders groomed to
take leadership roles.
We are losing them because City Hall essentially made
them the scapegoats for poor budget decisions and a bad
economy. As a result, they were willing to transfer to
other police agencies to regain respect for their work
and to secure better wages, benefits and working
As San Jose voters select their next mayor, it's
important to go beyond campaign rhetoric and carefully
examine the candidates' records and actions. That's
because the next mayor cannot restore our community's
safety without convincing hundreds of new police
officers to join an agency where they will be paid less
than their Bay Area peers, inspiring our existing
officers to stay during the rebuilding process and
closing the trust gap that currently exists between our
police officers and City Hall.
This effort will take more than a new "plan" mentioned
in any campaign mailers. Candidates who believe they can
solve this crisis all on their own don't understand the
process or the challenges ahead.
During our tenures as chief, we've seen many proposals
from politicians fail because the leaders refused to
engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue with all
stakeholders. San Jose cannot afford this type of
failure when it comes to protecting its residents; it
will take a mayor with a proven record of collaborative
leadership along with support from police officers at
every rank level, for we are in a crisis.
It is a leadership crisis, and it's why we believe Dave
Cortese is the best candidate for mayor.
We know the dynamic tension and challenges of working
with a police union when running the Police Department.
However, for many years we always enjoyed a mutual
respect and willingness to do what's best for the
public, even if we disagreed on how to do it.
Simply blaming our rank-and-file officers for budget
woes is a poor way to avoid the hard work necessary to
solve very real fiscal challenges, and rebuilding trust
will be hard work. We know it will take collaborative
leadership to heal our Police Department, reduce
increasing crime levels and restore San Jose's public
Make no mistake about it, we also recognize that San
Jose and other cities across the country are struggling
with tough fiscal challenges, and the new mayor and
public safety unions will need to address them. Yet
while we recognize that all of the candidates in the
mayor's race are honorable people who have San Jose's
best interests at heart, not all of them possess the
type of collaborative leadership style that can lead to
Unfortunately, all of Cortese's opponents supported the
failed policies that have decimated and demoralized our
We strongly believe that Dave Cortese can bring everyone
in the community together to heal the wounds caused by
the well-intended but poorly planned and executed
attempt to reduce the costs of city services at the
expense of public safety. We know a collaborative leader
can leverage earned trust to push the unions outside of
their comfort zones and achieve much-needed fiscal
A trusted leader can begin the healing process our city
and department desperately need so we can once again be
America's safest big city.
Dave Cortese is that proven leader, with a track record
of bringing opposing sides together to solve problems.
Dave can help provide our police officers a reason to
stay and give new police recruits a reason to come work
in San Jose. We support him, as should San Jose's
Rob Davis was San Jose's police chief from 2004-2010,
Bill Lansdowne from 1998-2003 and Lou Cobarruviaz from
1991-1998. Chris Moore, chief from 2011-2012, concurs in
the opinion. They wrote this for this newspaper.
Attached it a flyer about this year's
concert at Sacred Heart Church. All the retired guys and
gals in my age group, and younger, would have danced (or
sat on the side afraid to ask someone) to the music of
The Letterman. After more than 50 years, they are still
on the road about 50 weeks a year singing the songs we
all fell in love with so many years ago. All the
information to get tickets is on the flyer. Call or
email soon. The concert is already half sold out.
Bruce (Hodgin) <email@example.com>
Ed. — More info about the Lettermen
concert, including embedded videos, can be found by
• • • • •
Hello again Bill,
John Diehl was hired on the same day as myself and many
others in September 1965. Attached is an academy class
photo from November 65. I'm on the end at the far right
of the top row, next to Bruce Fair. John is in the
middle row, fourth from the far right. If I am recalling
correctly he went almost directly into undercover work.
Bruce (Hodgin) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Diehl, 1965
This is not a quiz, and no response is
expected or asked for, but it should exercise some of
the dormant brain cells in you "old timers." Put on your
cheaters or get out your magnifying glass and see if you
can I.D. the following individuals in the 1965 academy
class photo above. The following names were provided to
us in no particular order by Pete Guerin, who is second
from the right on the bottom row. But Pete is the first
to admit that he was unable to identify all of the SJPD
Gary (Thompson) LaRault
• • • • •
I met John in December 1969 when we were both assigned
to the swingshift downtown area. I was a rookie and he
had been on a couple years, and he was a very different
sort of a guy. He had a bachelor's degree in liberal
arts and did not start out to become a police officer.
He had a very dry sense of humor that had been sharpened
by his observations as a police officer. He saw the
humor in almost everything around him. It wasn't limited
to the citizens alone, it also included his fellow
officers and especially the administration. At roll call
he would sometimes make very insightful comments that
would bring a laugh to everyone in the room. I'm sure
he had been counseled on his comments more than once
when no one was around. I know he did not have a
prejudice bone in his body, but his acid wit was not
avoided as a result of the political correctness of the
'70s. John was one of the most honest intellectual men I
knew. Back then we did not have the rule of ten. He was
promoted to sergeant the first time around and proved to
be a very popular and capable patrol supervisor,
although he wasn't what one would call a cop's cop and
would never be invited to any of the special units. Some
might say he spent too much time at Bruni's at the end
John's outspoken ways caught up with him and he lost his
job over a very minor infraction, but it didn't slow
down his enjoyment of life. He was the captain of a boat
that ran fruit between the islands in the Caribbean for
a while. He then worked as a private investigator back
here in San Jose for a couple of years. I lost track of
him after that and had not seem him in awhile. I know he
had the misfortune to outlive two wives who suffered
long disabling illnesses. His son told me he spent many
years taking care of his mother who lived to be 100.
I don't know if any of this is of interest to anyone. I
always thought John was one of the most interesting men
I had ever met. He had his flaws, but he was also one of
the most honest men I knew. I also found him to be
intellectually challenging. He often caused me to
reevaluate those around me and the environment I was in
when I was a police officer in the 1970s.
Daniel Jensen <email@example.com>
• • • • •
John's death was not surprising. The final decade of his
life, which began on such a high note, turned so tragic
and painful that by its conclusion living had become
unbearable. Ten years ago John was more content than I
ever expected him capable, several years married to a
bright and lovely woman, living a life that had him
wanting for nothing. Meeting Shirley O'Flynn had been
the lucky break he never expected or saw coming, but one
he came to truly cherish. Theirs looked to be a pairing
for the long run, but fate saw things differently. With
Shirley's diagnosis of ALS, John was abruptly thrust
into the role of caregiver and helpless observer. Years
of watching the woman he adored suffer and waste away
left him drained of his energy and spirit. With
Shirley's passing in 2013, John's anguish devoured him.
The final sixteen months of his life was spent in a
residential community originally selected to better suit
Shirley's needs, but her rapid decline and death just
weeks before the planned move put John in a quandary. As
much as he didn't want or need to live in a senior
center, the setting and location of the cottage they'd
reserved was ideal, in part because it moved him twenty
miles closer to his mother. He took the place and, other
than sharing one meal a day with the old folks in the
cafeteria, had all the privacy he could want.
John settled in and tried to get himself up for another
run at life. He did not lack for creature comforts or
courage, but he struggled mightily to find either
purpose or pleasure. He tried to fill his time
satisfying his intellectual interests, but even the most
habitual solitary pursuit is easily sabotaged by
loneliness. He had trouble "getting into" the books and
other interests that once gave him pleasure, his
challenges made worse by a sudden and debilitating
hearing loss. He visited his 100-year-old mother daily,
but that final year at her bedside only aggravated his
grief and disillusionment as she, a pragmatic, retired
college professor, wanted nothing more than a benevolent
ending to her marginal and miserable existence. That
ending finally came three months ago, regrettably on
The sole bright spot during this last year was his son's
move here from Washington state, which gave John a
chance to enjoy a relationship that had for decades been
muted by distance. But it wasn't enough. Neither were
friends (I could feel the distance growing; our August
lunch felt like an uncomfortable first date). The
reality was that nothing could bring him back into the
fold. The stubbornness and certitude that saw him
through so many chapters of his interesting life was now
closing the book on him: he was angry and in pain,
convinced he was not going to get better, and, cognizant
of the longevity in his line, unwilling to suffer
I knew John Diehl for the best part of four decades,
meeting him ten years into his police career, a decade
during which he proved himself in a variety of
assignments, earned a promotion, and, as I learned from
our many conversations, made friends and shared
adventures that he valued right to the end. I say this
because, whatever disagreement or distance that might
have found its way into those many relationships, in his
recalling of those days of glory I never heard from him
anything worse than regret for old connections lost.
I felt compelled to write this out of respect for my
friend, a fiercely independent man who, ironically, had
his finest hour not as a headstrong adventurer but as a
loving and caring human being. Shirley Diehl's lucky
break was having John at her side during her tragic
ordeal, attending to her every need, loving her to the
The ALS that crippled and killed his wife is what
crippled and killed John Diehl. He suffered through his
last few months on this earth waiting to see his mother
set free, and only then did he prepare for his own
departure. True to form, John attended to his own exit
with extreme care, addressing every detail so as to
lessen the burden on his loved ones. Fittingly, his last
request was that on the death certificate his vocation
be listed as "caregiver."
(Name withheld by request)
Included with the above was this photo of John and
Shirley that was taken just prior to her diagnosis in
• • • • •
Ed. — This item
from Tom Brewer is directed to you Facebook users…
Bill, Can you cut and paste this information in the
next "Farsider?" I think it is critical for your readers
who participate on Facebook to check their FB
Please be aware that I believe someone from the Liccardo
campaign is posting fraudulent information on Facebook!
There are more and more persons discovering posts that
show "I like Liccardo's Posts" which cannot be further
from the truth!
This post was discovered by Richard Calderon and was
never posted on my timeline! Rich discovered several
other Cortese supporters who have had a similar post on
FB advising they like "Sam," and they have never seen
the original post that would have allowed them to
comment. They are also infuriated that this occurred
without their knowledge or consent.
I am extremely upset with this post as it is
"fraudulently posted" and definitely shows an issue with
integrity, honesty and ethics within the "Liccardo
I have publicly stated that I have endorsed, donated and
assisted on your campaign. I am a member of Team
If I was still the Chief of Investigators at the Santa
Clara County District Attorney's Office my Investigator
assigned to the "Government Integrity Unit" would be
investigating this issue!
Thomas E. Brewer
Chief of Investigator's (Retired)
Office of the District Attorney
County of Santa Clara
• • • • •
Back in the early part of September I made a request as
to what the strength of our PD is now? And what is the
total number of street officers that are patrolling the
streets? How many shifts do we have, and with any
overlapping, what is the maximum numbers of officers at
any one time? Then what is the population of SJ for
comparison in relation to how many men are trying to
support how many people at any given time? I requested
this info from the POA office but never received a
response. Perhaps you can find out for me.
It is so sad for the troops now. I was one of the lucky
ones that were there when we were the number one
department of large cities having the lowest crime with
the fewest officers per capita. It's a shame that all of
today's officers and even the staff will never know what
we have had.
Thanks Bill, I'll be 87 in December and still proud.
Leo Plinski #1215 (Ret.)
At 87, not many of us are surprised you
are retired, Leo. It's likely that you didn't receive a
response from the POA because of the amount of time it
would take for someone to research your questions. While
the answers you seek are somewhere in cyberspace,
preparing the Farsider each week is so time consuming
that I can't spare the time, either. Perhaps one of the
readers would like to accept the challenge of answering
your questions and will email them to you. Good luck.
• • • • •
The rest of this week's Mail Call column
refers to letters sent to the Mercury News.
Based on this first one, it sounds like SJPD's
independent police auditor got her feelings hurt by
Herhold's column that appeared in last week's Farsider.
IPA Disagrees with Columnist’s Viewpoint
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Sept. 29, 2014
Scott Herhold’s opinion (Page 1B, Sept. 25) about the
qualifications for my position is uninformed and
Between judge Teresa Guerrero-Daley, San Jose’s first
Independent Police Auditor, and me, we have 17 years of
experience in this job. And both of us are lawyers.
Internal Affairs (IA) investigates police complaints and
determines whether officers have engaged in misconduct.
Our office audits those investigations and analyzes IA’s
conclusions. Our legal analyses assess if IA’s
conclusions are proper. Legal training is critical to
The IPA staff who perform these audits are lawyers. And
because the audit process is confidential, no one
outside of our office is permitted to scrutinize our
The IPA office is a model that works because we have
legal training. The job description drafted by judge
Guerrero-Daley and me, and approved by the city council,
reflects years of experience of two IPAs who
successfully led the office.
I promise not to tell Herhold how to do his job; it
would be nice if he would promise to do the same for me.
Judge LaDoris H. Cordell (Ret.)
Independent Police Auditor City of San Jose
~ ~ ~
Our former Asst. Chief also had something
to say about Herhold's column on the independent police
auditor. It also appeared in last Monday's paper…
Reed’s actions raise transparency issues
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Sept. 29th
Scott Herhold’s column (Page 1B, Sept. 25) regarding
changes to the job qualifications of the independent
police auditor raises larger questions about
transparency. San Jose City Councilman Pete Constant
questioned why there had been no discussion on the
proposal and why the mayor fast-tracked it onto the
consent calendar in less than a week?
Increasingly, when councilmembers raise concerns about
the lack of council discussion or stakeholder/public
input on an agenda item, the mayor’s response is, “Well,
let’s talk about it now.”
Input was not solicited from the chief of police nor
other key stakeholders, including the police officers’
association and, most importantly, the community. This
is not “open government.”
Perhaps the end result would have been the same, but the
mayor created this policy in a vacuum and then tried to
slip it through on the consent calendar. Is this a
harbinger of how he intends to conduct his last three
months in office?
SJPD Retiree, Danville
~ ~ ~
We're not through yet. On the same page
as the two letters above was this one about city
pensions from a former SJFD fire chief.
Raising Retirement Age for Firefighters
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Sept. 29, 2014
So, the city of San Jose just changed the retirement age
for new firefighters, requiring them to work until age
60 before retirement. What a shortsighted “solution.”
This change will end up costing the city and ultimately
the taxpayers in the long run.
Firefighter injuries and deaths will increase
dramatically during their last 10 years of required
Even if you support pension reform, this change will not
result in the projected savings.
In the end, the cost of injuries and disability from
these changes will cost more than the projected savings.
This policy is a shortsighted attempt by politicians to
“fix the problem” knowing they will be gone when the
truth plays out. Actuarial data supports retiring at 55
as appropriate from both a physical and financial
Hopefully, clearer minds will prevail and this policy
will be amended before it’s too late.
Former San Jose Fire Chief
~ ~ ~
Fair and balanced? The Letters page in
the Mercury News the following day (Sept. 30) included
six letters, two of which were these. Fair and balanced?
No More ‘Golden Eggs,’ Just a Well-Run
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Sept. 30, 2014
I disagree completely with Jim Unland’s analysis of
Measure B (Opinion, Sept. 23). San Jose was (is) headed
down the road taken by Vallejo, Stockton, San
Bernardino, Detroit and many other cities and
municipalities all over the country. Dave Cortese’s
approach would return San Jose to being a “bankruptcy
waiting to happen.” I haven’t heard Sam Liccardo
advocate anything other than trying to find a balance
between providing fair and equitable compensation for
our public safety personnel and what we, as a community,
can afford to pay for their services. Jim Unland and the
POA are primarily interested in protecting the golden
goose that has, for a number of years, been laying
golden eggs. It is time for the POA to join the vast
majority of residents and find a realistic and
sustainable solution to the budgeting demands for the
city as a whole. It is time to halt the temper tantrums
and move forward. I trust a voice of reason and
moderation. I support Liccardo for mayor.
~ ~ ~
Thoughtful Liccardo Top Choice for San
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Sept. 30, 2014
The articles and editorials I’ve been reading about the
integrity of Sam Liccardo do not surprise me. He had a
second row seat in my seventh-grade science class at
Sacred Heart Grammar School, so I think I can vouch for
his honesty, his diligence to his work, and his concern
for people. His work was his own, always complete and
correct, and on time. He was always thoughtful,
respectful, and considerate of the teachers and his
These are traits critical for the person who leads the
city as mayor. I have every confidence that, if elected,
Sam Liccardo will carry on as always and be very
effective as mayor of San Jose.
~ ~ ~
Finally. Yesterday's paper included one
letter to the editor that didn't tout Sam Liccardo as
San Jose's would-be savior, maybe because enough people
like me emailed the Editorial Page Editor Barbara
Marshman and yelled "Foul." Although the letter wasn't
what could be described as pro-Cortese, it's about as
close as the Mercury News was willing to publish…
Liccardo’s Policies Affect the Crime Rate
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Oct. 1, 2014
The editorial supporting San Jose City Councilman Sam
Liccardo for mayor of San Jose (Editorial, Sept. 29)
includes a distortion of the crime problem by not
reporting the statistics on how many of the hundreds of
burglaries and other property crimes are investigated
Ditto for vehicle thefts. How many recovered? How many
officers cut from that unit?
Seeing more graffiti? The San Jose Police Department
ended the unit that investigated the incidents and the
One cannot use a small reduction in violent crime to
argue that the policy that Liccardo supported and will
continue to have no consequence on the crime problems
facing the city.
REGISTER NOW FOR THE CHAPLAINCY GOLF
We have only had 56 people register for the SJPOA
Charitable Foundation's 7th Annual Chaplaincy Golf
Tournament. At a minimum, we need 100 people registered
in order to reserve the golf course, otherwise we will
have to cancel the tournament. Please register by
Tuesday, October 7th so that we can continue to support
the Chaplaincy through this fun event!
You can register online now by clicking HERE.
We are also in need of raffle prizes if anyone has any
POLICE MILITARIZATION IS BACK IN THE NEWS
This detailed article made the front page
of the Local Section in last Sunday's paper. We
"borrowed" the photos of the vehicles from Google
Post-Ferguson, a Rethinking
—Prudent use of soldiers’ gear in
civilian settings presents challenges—
By Karina Ioffee and Robert Salonga —
Mercury News — Sept. 28, 2014
The images from Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal
police shooting of an unarmed black teenager were
startling to many: peaceful protesters, including
families, community leaders and pastors, confronted by
police wearing camouflage, sitting atop hulking armored
vehicles, their assault weapons trained on the crowd.
The backlash touched off a national fire storm about
whether today’s police departments have sunk too deeply
into the paramilitary functions they’ve increasingly
taken on since the advent of the modern SWAT team in the
But the discussion was a familiar one in the Bay Area
well before Ferguson, especially after the Occupy
Oakland protests in 2011, and more recently at smaller
protests like one last year in Richmond.
The Ferguson case prompted a new round of introspection,
with some Bay Area agencies taking to heart the renewed
criticism over the use of military equipment they have
acquired from federal grant and surplus programs, items
valued at an estimated $460 million.
Military vehicles used by police come in
all shapes and sizes (from Google Images)
With community sensitivities in mind, the San Jose
Police Department last month sent back a 15-ton
mine-resistant, ambush-protected troop transport
vehicle, or MRAP, it received from the Department of
Defense earlier this year, making it the only Bay Area
police force in recent memory to approve such a
“Every agency has to determine what’s best for them, for
their community,” said Dave Hober, SJPD deputy chief of
field operations. “Our discussions were already
occurring when Ferguson happened. This was a decision
for San Jose, and at this time we thought it was the
best thing to do.”
View our database of what former military equipment Bay
Area police agencies have received from the U.S.
Department of Defense at <www.mercurynews.com/data>.
South San Francisco police Lt. Mike Remedios, whose
department will keep its surplus MRAP, said that heavy
equipment in police hands doesn’t have to be a problem,
provided officials are transparent about its use. “With
Ferguson and everything else, we’re under the
microscope,” Remedios said. “We want to build some
equity in public trust and say, ‘This is the reason we
have this.’ ” But critics say no amount of training and
explanation can nullify the daunting image that a
12-foot-tall armored vehicle sends to citizens. “When
police have all this battle gear, you have to really
ask, ‘Who are they protecting?’ ” said Chauncey
Robinson, a spokeswoman with the Bay Area All Lives
Matter Coalition, which formed after the Ferguson
protests and urges police departments to return their
military surplus. “It only makes people feel more
intimidated, like their communities are some foreign
land that is being occupied.”
During a rally last year in Richmond, police approached
protesters while dressed in tactical gear and carrying
batons and pepper ball launchers while protesters sat in
a “docile” manner on the street, recalled Capt. Mark
Gagan, a SWAT commander, who said that “officers came
dressed for a fight, brought an edge.” The response drew
searing criticism and some rethinking. In August 2013,
the same force of cops had their batons holstered, did
not wear helmets, and kept their launchers stashed in
the patrol cars. When they arrested 210 people for civil
disobedience, there was little to no ruckus. “If you
want to show there are consequences for breaking the
law, you can do that without intimidating them,” Gagan
said. “Equipment, tactics, body language, those things
really determine how things unfold when you make arrests
and take enforcement. I’m not as proud of my police
department in the first instance as much as the second.”
The MRAP seems to be the most common
(from Google Images)
It’s a similar story in Oakland. A heavy-handed response
by police during the Occupy Wall Street protests there
in 2011 prompted more than 1,000 complaints of
misconduct and led to more than $6 million in legal
settlements for injuries. Today, the entire force has
been trained to better understand the First Amendment
and small teams of officers can infiltrate a crowd and
remove troublemakers without drawing weapons, officials
Like many, Oakland’s police department received millions
in grants from the Department of Homeland Security,
funds it has used to purchase several big-ticket items
such as armored personnel carrier, known as a BearCat, a
negotiations team command vehicle, and all-terrain
vehicles outfitted with speakers, used to communicate
with protesters during Occupy.
But the department has grown more sensitive about the
negative impression and continually seeks to reassure
citizens that they are needed, said Oakland police Sgt.
“We’re very aware of how important public perception is
and we want to make sure that our practices are
progressive and legitimate and that we are taking
communities concerns seriously,” Joshi said.
American Civil Liberties Union officials have steadily
criticized what they call the “growing militarization”
of local police, noting that even small suburbs are in
an eternal state of readiness for armed showdowns that
seem unlikely to come. The organization issued a
national report earlier this year on the use of military
weapons in SWAT operations where agents reportedly broke
down doors, threw residents on the floor and pointed
rifles at them while they search for mostly low-level
“There are an estimated 50,000 raids a year in the
United States. That’s 124 every single day,” said Will
Matthews, a spokesman for the ACLU of Northern
California, citing the report’s claim that only 7
percent were “true hostage or barricade situations.”
U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, acknowledged a need
for a review about whether the programs are necessary,
saying San Jose officials are striking the right balance
between protecting officers and working to earn trust by
deciding to return the MRAP before concern was raised.
“We need to have a well-equipped set of first
responders, but that doesn’t mean we should or want to
turn the local police into a military force,” she said.
“That’s not what anyone wants. If we’re talking radios,
that’s one thing. If we’re talking tanks, that’s
something entirely different.”
Lofgren continued, “I don’t want to minimize the danger
first responders can face, especially when people are
posing are threat, but you can turn a controllable
situation into an uncontrollable situation depending on
how you set up the cues.”
Several police veterans interviewed for this story said
their sensibilities were forever changed after the North
Hollywood shootings of 1997, where two robbery suspects
with automatic weapons kept outgunned Los Angeles police
officers at bay for nearly an hour, injuring 11 officers
and seven civilians before dying in the gun battle.
It’s one reason Pete Constant, a San Jose city
councilman and former police officer, takes issue with
SJPD’s decision to return the MRAP.
“We have to realize these are situations our officers
may have to respond to, and should be able to match or
one-up the use of force by criminals,” Constant said.
“You can do that without having a paramilitary state in
your city. As long as officers are not in fatigues or
combat gear on patrol, you can strike that balance.”
IS THIS PROOF THAT MONEY AND LIBERAL
POLITICS CAN'T BUY YOUTH?
One of the criteria we use to determine
if something makes it into the Farsider is based on how
many readers submit a particular item. Five is the magic
number; when we receive the same item from five
different subscribers, we give it strong consideration.
With seven submissions, this item from the Tea Party
News Network made the cut. To read it on the Web, click HERE, otherwise
Leftist Barbra Streisand Compares Obama
to a ‘God’ and a ‘King’
By Alex David — Sept. 26, 2014
Tea Party News Network
Well, ultra-rich, and ultra liberal
“Babs” is at it again, heaping praise upon Obama and his
Making the rounds promoting her new album, she sat down
this week for an interview with the Associated Press and
as usual, politics entered the conversation. She voiced
nothing new, proclaiming as usual, her loyalties to the
Democratic Party, her wish for Hillary to run, how women
are still regarded as “second-class citizens” and this
praise for Obama: “I think we have advanced with Obama,
and I think people are giving him a hard time, which is
not fair because this Affordable Care Act is working and
it’s going to help a lot of people. But it’s like Greek
tragedy, you know, they always try to bring down the
gods, bring down the kings, bring down the leaders.
Oh my, there is just so much in that quote. Let’s break
it down, shall we?
“We?" Who is she referring to? Certainly not the average
working and middle class American. For us, wages are
down and net worth has plummeted. Home ownership is
down. Food prices, gasoline, energy and rents, all up.
High paying job prospects is dismal. The Labor
Participation Force is at a record low with almost 93
million potential workers not participating in August
2014. For monitories, things are worse.
There is one group for which her claim rings true:
1%’ers like herself. If by “we” she means folks like
her, the uber-wealthy, she’s right on. For the rich,
things are swell. Really swell. According to Bloomberg
Business, the richest of the rich became $524 billion
richer in 2013 alone. The Dow Jones is breaking record
after record. You can bet that Bab’s investment
portfolio has grown nicely under her favorite
President’s stewardship. I have no problem with any of
this other than the hypocrisy of ultra wealthy liberals
like Streisand. I do not mean to eschew the rich. I only
wish wealthy liberals would embrace and celebrate their
wealth instead of making excuses for it.
As for the Affordable Care Act, what would she know
about it? Do you think she even knows what a health
insurance bill looks like? She is so far removed from
the perils of ObamaCare she has zero credibility to
My favorite part of her aforementioned quote is a
classic Freudian slip. Yes, Bab’s, we all know that you
rich progressive liberals think of Obama as a King; A
god. And we proletarians are mere subjects not invited,
as you are, to His Court.
For those struggling and in need of charity, you’d be
better off hoping that more of the richer rich are
conservatives, not liberals like Streisand. Why? Because
study after study shows they give considerably more to
charity than folks like Funny Girl.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
Sept. 24 through Sept. 30
President Obama is facing criticism over an incident
yesterday where he was holding a cup of coffee in his
hand, and then used that same hand to salute a Marine.
Though with all that's going on in the world, I'm
surprised he didn't salute with a bottle of Jack Daniels
in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
President Obama said that over 40 countries have offered
to help the U.S. fight ISIS. Of course they said it the
same way your friends do when they promise to help you
move. "Yeah just call me, you know, if I'm around. It'll
The federal government is starting to plan for climate
change by making extended forecasts that can help people
plan for extreme weather — because what can go wrong
when you combine the efficiency of government with the
accuracy of weathermen?
Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Poodle announced that he just got
engaged to his boyfriend, Alan. The family was shocked.
They said, “What kind of name is Alan? Shouldn’t his
name be Pork Rind or maybe Chicken Wing?”
Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that he is
resigning after five years with the administration.
Obama said, "Wait, you can do that?"
Political reporters are complaining that the White House
has been asking them to edit some of their stories to
make the president look better. The White House said
that's not true, and those reporters should please
change what they said.
Bill Clinton said that riding wild horses in Mongolia
and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro are on his bucket list.
When asked what was on her bucket list, Hillary said,
"Come on. Don’t make me say it. You know what it is."
Snoop Dogg is investing in a new app that helps people
trade stocks more easily. It’s the first stock app that
encourages people to both buy and sell high.
Derek Jeter got the game-winning hit in his final game
at Yankee Stadium. Guys on the other team could've
thrown Jeter out, but they were busy trying to get that
ball for themselves.
Jeter had the game-winning single. That must’ve been a
once in a lifetime moment for him. You know, only
getting to first base. Doesn’t really happen that much
for Derek Jeter.
The Department of Defense unveiled a new policy that
will let undocumented immigrants serve in the military.
Is it me, or does that just sound like a sneaky way to
get rid of immigrants?
Today Russia announced that it will join America’s fight
with the terror group ISIS. Then Putin said, "But I did
not say which side."
This weekend the world said goodbye to one of the
greatest players of all time. That's right, George
Clooney finally got married.
Congratulations to Chelsea Clinton, who gave birth to a
baby girl named Charlotte on Friday. Or as Hillary
described the baby, “Third in line to the throne.”
Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a baby girl. And get this,
she's already said her first word: "Iowa.”
Yesterday, Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto ran the world's
fastest marathon by finishing the Berlin Marathon in 2
hours, 2 minutes, and 57 seconds. He also set another
record by being the first guy from Kenya to be named
Last night rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made his
debut for the New England Patriots after Tom Brady made
a ton of mistakes during the game. Even Garoppolo's
family said, "Oh, we came to see Tom Brady."
The NFL recently hosted a football workshop in China.
Unfortunately, most kids just ran when they heard the
UPS is bringing 3-D printers to stores across the
country so that customers can make their own products.
It's all part of the new UPS business plan — going out
Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 100,000
motorcycles because of a problem with the clutch that
could cause crashes. As opposed to that other thing that
causes crashes: dads in a mid-life crisis who have no
business riding a Harley.
President Obama is being criticized for saluting a
soldier while holding a pumpkin spice latte. Today he
sincerely apologized while eating a maple glazed
The Secret Service is considering several new measures
to keep people from trying to get into the White House.
The first thing they're going to do to keep people out
is put up a sign that says "Blockbuster Video."
The federal prison population has dropped by almost
5,000 people. It's expected to go back up once the NFL
In an interview, Kim Cattrall said there could be
another "Sex in the City" movie. An hour later, ISIS
surrendered — there's only so much they can take.
Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year and the year
5775. Jewish scholars keep track of the number by
counting the candles on Larry King's birthday cake.
The NFL has filmed a PSA warning women about breast
cancer. That's a good thing. Then they filmed a PSA
warning women about the NFL.
George Clooney got married in Italy. His bachelor party
was held over the course of the last 30 years.
You may be able to tell from my voice that I have a
little bit of a cold tonight. But it's nothing that
can't be cured by applause.
Microsoft has announced it's going to open its first
flagship store in Manhattan. The Microsoft Store is
expected to be just like the Apple Store, but without
all of those pesky lines in front.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has not appeared in
public for weeks. There are rumors he's sick due to too
much cheese, fried chicken, and beer. Sounds like
someone is applying for American citizenship.
Today is the Jewish new year — 5775. It's hard to
believe we've been doing this show since 5754.
There's a picture of President Obama getting off his
helicopter and he's got a cup of coffee in his hand, and
he salutes the Marine guards with the cup of coffee.
It's all part of the new Jerry Seinfeld series,
"Presidents in Helicopters Getting Coffee."
President Obama addressed the U.N. today.
Coincidentally, on the same day Chris Christie addressed
the International House of Pancakes.
It's quite a responsibility for the president to address
the U.N. Yesterday he spoke on climate change. Today he
spoke on terrorism. And tomorrow he talks about how to
buy real estate with no money down.
They've had security problems at the White House. Last
weekend a couple of guys hopped the fence and ran in.
One guy got all the way in and made himself a sandwich.
White House security problems won't happen anymore.
They've decided that at night — it doesn't make any
difference what's going on — they're locking that front
Security is so tight now that they've asked members of
Congress to circle the White House — because that way
nothing will get past.
Derek Jeter's final home game is tonight here in New
York City. Derek Jeter has five rings. That's about the
same as a Kardashian. But you admire a guy who knows
when it's time to retire, you know?
It's already autumn. Can you feel the difference in the
seasonal change? Let me give you one sure example that
it's autumn today. President Obama got off of a
helicopter, and saluted a Marine with a cup of hot
Yesterday was Derek Jeter's last home game, how about
that. Jeter is 40 years old now. He's unemployed, and
I'm thinking: Well, good luck getting a supermodel
Chris and Bruce Jenner are getting a divorce. If for any
reason Bruce is ever arrested for any crime of any sort,
being married to a Kardashian counts as time served.
Bruce Jenner is putting on a brave face. His plastic
surgeon said it would be ready Thursday.
Over the weekend, George Clooney got married. Matt Damon
and Julia Roberts were there. What was it, a wedding or
Evil dictator Kim Jong Un has not been seen in three
weeks. I hate it when a recluse disappears, don't you?
Kim Jong Un didn't even show up at Clooney's wedding.
Congratulations to Chelsea Clinton. Over the weekend,
she gave birth to a baby girl. The baby girl will not
confirm or deny whether she's running in 2056.
Your applause makes up for me not being invited to
The bachelor party is still going on after George
Clooney's wedding. He's been having a bachelor party for
the last 20 years.
Last night the New England Patriots got routed 41-14,
and a Kansas City Chiefs player was fined because he was
in the end zone praying. That's different than the New
York Jets. They pray to get INTO the end zone.
A mailman in New York City was arrested because they
found 40,000 pieces of mail in his basement. The mailman
said he didn't deliver the mail because he was too lazy.
He just didn't have that special drive that it takes to
be a mailman.
London, England, was named the world's most expensive
city. A loaf of bread in London costs $8. A tube of
toothpaste costs . . . I forgot, they don't use
London is expensive. I've lived there. How expensive is
London? London is so expensive, Prince Charles is
renting out his ears to make extra cash.
London is so expensive that Prince Harry can't afford to
When Oprah shops in London, she has to use coupons.
It's Johnny Appleseed day. It's a real day to celebrate
the famous guy who went around America sowing his seeds
wherever he went. He was the 19th century Arnold
Today is a day to celebrate trees. But wait. Don't trees
already have Arbor Day? You're getting greedy, trees.
CBS announced they're working on the new show
"Supergirl." Supergirl made her first appearance in
Action Comics in 1958. So she's 56 years old. In other
words, she is just coming up to the age where she will
be right for the CBS demographic.
I'm not familiar with Supergirl. I grew up in Scotland.
We didn't have a Superman or Supergirl. Just a potato.
Gazing at the potato in wonder. And the potato would sit
This looks like a job for Super Potato! Taller than
grass. Able to leap . . . not much. And tastes great
George Clooney is off the market. Clooney and his bride
got married in Italy on Saturday, and two days later
they are still married! The wedding was so beautiful, it
already won six Oscars.
Matt Damon was at the wedding, but Ben Affleck was not.
That's because the Italian church has a very strict "One
My advice to Clooney is to remember that marriage is
complicated. It starts out pretty good, but then there
are long rough patches, times when you want to leave.
Oh, no, wait. I was thinking of "Oceans 13."
It will be strange seeing George Clooney with a wedding
ring. Seeing Clooney with a wedding ring is like seeing
Mel Gibson with a yarmulke. Or like seeing Matthew
McConaughey with a shirt on. Or like seeing Honey Boo
Boo with shoes. Or like seeing the Lakers with a
victory. Or like seeing Bruce Jenner with a wrinkle.
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps is in trouble.
He was arrested for his second DUI. Because he is an
athlete who is repeatedly in trouble with the law, today
he was made an honorary member of the NFL.
Prince released his first new album in four years today.
I haven't heard it yet. I only listen to music that
Apple forcibly puts on my phone.
The Patriots got crushed last night 41-14. Some people
are saying it's all over for quarterback Tom Brady.
Because without football, what does he have left other
than his money, Super Bowl rings, and supermodel wife?
The Patriots were tackling worse than the White House
security team. Tom Brady had more bad throws than the
pillow section at Bed, Bath & Beyond. And there were
more fumbles than during a Joe Biden speech.
The White House posted a video that got people upset.
The president saluted two Marines with a cup of coffee
in his hand. It's not the first time Obama's done
something like this. Remember that time he said The
Pledge of Allegiance while holding a Hot Pocket? Or when
he visited an aircraft carrier with a $5 foot-long? The
man never learns.
By the way, the worst part of the whole coffee thing?
They got the president's name wrong on the cup. They had
Today an Indian spacecraft reached the orbit of Mars.
Not only did India succeed on their first attempt, they
did it on a very modest budget — $74 million for the
mission. Which happens to be, truly, $26 million less
than it cost to make the movie "Gravity."
Congratulations to India. They were able to keep the
mission’s costs down by outsourcing all of the work to
themselves. And who knows, if it keeps going, in a few
years, maybe we'll have the first call center on Mars.
Remember Mike "The Situation" from "Jersey Shore"? He
was indicted yesterday on tax fraud. He and his brother
didn't pay on $8.9 million of income. Maybe he thought
he had to pay taxes only on the money he deserved?
The new iPhones are out and some are complaining that
their phones are bending. They say if you squeeze the
ends hard enough, the phone will bend. And if you hit it
with a hammer, the phone will break. Here's an idea.
Don't bend the phone.
If you do bend the phone, wrap it around your wrist and
tell people it's the Apple Watch. You'll be the first
one to have it.
It's National Coffee Day today. Legend has it that
coffee was discovered in the sixth century by an
Ethiopian goat herder. He built a stand out of branches
from an olive tree and started charging the goats $6 a
cup for them. And the rest is history.
One of the most expensive coffees in the world is made
by feeding beans to a creature-like cat. It eats the
beans and they travel through its system, and when they
come out the beans have a rich, mellow flavor. The guy
that figured that out must have really loved coffee.
At one point or another, most everyone that drinks
coffee has had his name spelled wrong on a coffee cup. I
have a friend named Joe, and even his name has been
spelled wrong. Not only is his name Joe, but they call
coffee Joe, so it's the one name they should know how to
McAfee, the Internet security firm, released its annual
list of the most dangerous celebrities to search for
online. The world's most dangerous person to search for
online is me. If you search my name, there's a 1 in 5
chance you'll land on a malicious website. It's an honor
just to be nominated, but to win this thing!
Who would have guessed that a boy who used to carry a
briefcase to junior high and play the clarinet would
wind up being the most dangerous person of 2014?
“SpongeBob SquarePants” is the subject of government
criticism in Kazakhstan. According to their education
ministry, SpongeBob is "a self-absorbed bully who
regularly inflicts violence on others and seems to enjoy
it." Well, of course SpongeBob is self-absorbed. He's a
You know what, Kazakhstan? If you don't like “SpongeBob
SquarePants,” change it to your other channel. That's
why you have two.
Over the weekend, Bruce Jenner and his wife of 23 years,
Kris Jenner, filed for spinoffs.
According to reports, the Jenners will split $60 million
in their divorce settlement. That number raised a few
eyebrows. Not theirs, of course, but a few.
Several lingerie companies have started setting up
bra-fitting events in offices, called "bra parties."
Meanwhile, in offices in China and India, people are
Wal-Mart is launching a new mobile checking account app.
It's designed for that small percentage of Wal-Mart
customers who are mobile.
Attorney General Eric Holder said today that he will
resign after five years in office. When he heard about
this, President Obama said, “Oh, he’s my ride. I gotta
Tonight is Derek Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium.
He’s finally coming to the end of an amazing career that
spanned over 20 actresses.
What a weekend it was. Derek Jeter and George Clooney
both quit playing.
George Clooney finally got married this weekend in
Venice, breaking the hearts of delusional aunts
Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a daughter named Charlotte
this weekend. Hillary Clinton was really excited until
she remembered that you have to be 18 to vote.
A 102-year-old Long Island woman celebrated her birthday
this weekend by going to White Castle. Services will be
held tomorrow morning.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was arrested early
this morning for drunk driving. Police say Phelps
aggravated the situation when they tried to give him a
breathalyzer and he held his breath for six minutes.
It was reported today that the recent security breaches
at the White House could cost the director of the Secret
Service her job. Luckily, after she’s escorted out of
the building, it should be pretty easy for her to get
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF
SEPT. 27, 2014
The facts behind the legends, information
misinformation that has or may show up in
Is this happy-faced spider real, or was
• List purportedly documents 'racist
quotes' from radio talk show host Rush
• Has President
the military to enlist "illegal immigrants"?
• X-rays purportedly document a man in China whose body
became riddled with tapeworms due
to his eating sashimi.
• Has the FBI confirmed that there were no
Newtown, Connecticut in 2012?
• Has Facebook cracked
down on couponing groups?
• Will people taking pictures in nature be subject
to fines thanks
to the U.S. Forest Service?
• Have two Ebola
from the dead?
• Was a giant
to Megalodon captured this week?
• Does Florida woman Jasmine Tridevil have three
• Was Jasmine Tridevil found
• Image circulates of officer in Ferguson wearing
"I am Darren Wilson" wristband.
• A man was stabbed
with a syringe by
an unknown assailant and told "welcome to the HIV club."
• The new iPhone
bend if carried in a pocket.
• Did a Texas 'cannibal
pedophile' death row inmate request a child
as his last meal?
• Images show President Obama disembarking from
Marine One with a cell phone or coffee cup in his hand.
• "Angry feminist" bakes inappropriate
young students, gets angry when the treats are rebuffed.
• Two policemen
delivered a pizza after
the delivery driver was involved in an accident.
• Letter to the editors urges
get out of America.
• Did Starbucks quietly
add a beer latte to their menu?
• Has a Christian
the Harry Potter novels to exclude witchcraft?
• Anchor Charlo Green quits
during live news broadcast.
• An online
magic trick reads
the minds of those who try it and determines which
symbol they chose.
• Are new iPhone
6s contaminated with
the deadly Ebola virus?
• Did Obamacare death
an elderly woman named Dorothy Zbornak?
• Is Facebook planning
to institute a monthly charge for users?
• Are 'love
bugs' the result of a genetic experiment gone
wrong at the University of Florida?
• Is Texas about to legalize
medicinal and recreational use?
• Does Chase Bank no
longer allow cash deposits to
be made by non-account holders?
• Photograph purportedly shows a 'happy
face spider.' Is there really such an
• Don't forget to visit our Daily
for a collection of odd news stories from around the
Worth a Second Look
• Was a mayoral
Ecuador won by a foot powder?
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25 Hottest
Urban Legends list
to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line
• Visit our Top
for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to
separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Large or Full Screen recommended for
• • • • •
The little girl in the pic below is Hollie Steel, who
performed on Britain's Got Talent a few years ago. After
she began to dance, Simon Cowell was about to hit the
buzzer ending her performance, then she broke into song
and the rest is history. Have a LOOK and
listen. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
If you ever had a marionette as a kid and remember how
difficult it was to control, you will want to watch THIS clip
of Ricky and Stix sent in by Alice Murphy. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
This technology is something straight out of Star Wars.
It's basically a camera mounted on a UAV (Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle) that uses the equivalent of 368 imaging
chips similar to what's in a smart phone. To appreciate
what the camera is capable of seeing you need to watch
this shortNOVA video,
especially if you are fond of sunbathing nude in your
backyard. (5 Mins.)
View from 3 miles up
• • • • •
We can only see one thing wrong with THIS video
footage of a wind storm in a Norwegian city: None of the
girls are wearing skirts! (1 Min.)
• • • • •
What a great idea KLM Airlines came up with to return
lost items to their owners. The little guy in the photo BELOW is
one of the first additions to the airline's lost and
found team. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Closing in on 6 million views, THIS Dancing
Traffic Light received from Alice Murphy has
significantly added to pedestrian safety, and you will
be amazed at how it works. It appears that almost
everyone on the street loves it, with the exception of
the guy on the right who looks like he must be related
to good ol' lovable Charlie Blackmore. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Beyond the cost of dog food, the only other drawback we
see to owning a St. Bernard is WHAT do
you do when it doesn't want to let you up? (1 Min.)
• • • • •
This is an interesting news CLIP from
"Down Under" about a burka-clad Muslim woman who was
sentenced to six months in the pokey after she played
the race card against a police officer and (presumably)
developed a red face under her veil. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
Can any of you guys perform multiple 90-degree push-ups
like THIS 5-year-old
Romanian gymnast? Giuliano Stroe started weight and
flexibility training when he was two and has since
broken several world records. How many can he do? Count
along with his father. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Want to know how to make Beatles pancakes? It's easy if
you know how. Watch THIS guy
turn pancake batter into Paul, John, George and Ringo.
You can even hum along to one of the Beatles' hits while
you are at it. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
I remember watching live this 800m run in the '72
Olympics called by the late Jim McCay. Do you? Next to
the American hockey team beating the Russians in the
so-called "Miracle on Ice" in the 1980 Olympics, this
win by American runner Dave Wottle (bringing up the rear
in the white cap) was ranked as one of the most exciting
finishes in American Olympic history. Click here toRELIVE the
moment. (5 Mins.)
And by clicking HERE you
can relive the final minute of the Miracle on Ice. (2
• • • • •
This is Johnny Mac from the University of Connecticut.
He's known as the "Trick Shot Quarterback." Watch THIS clip
and you will see why. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
While we still have football on the mind, we thought
we'd INCLUDE what
is being touted as the best fake punt ever. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
Keep your eye on this crazy Celtics fan in the brown
shirt. He may be fun to WATCH,
but I don't think I would want to take a road trip with
him. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Ever have a huge stingray ask to be fed by this fish
lover? From his reaction, it doesn't look likeTHIS is
the first time their paths have crossed. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
Could this be the next Pele? Have a LOOK at
the amazing things this kid can do with a soccer ball.
• • • • •
Sometimes it's fun to look back at our youth, which is
why we include this item every three or four years. For
some of us, the three videos bring back fun and pleasant
memories; for others, they generate a melancholy mood
because they are reminders of good times that will never
come again. It has probably been a few years since you
watched these, if you even saw them at all. So how will
they impact you today?
Click HERE to
watch the Best of Times Pt. 1
will take you to the Best of Times Pt. 2
And clicking HERE brings
up the Best of Times Pt. 3
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
Unlike many women, this gal doesn't seem
to be upset
at seeing someone else wearing the same outfit…