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The Farsider

December
13, 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.



 

A MESSAGE FOR ALL OF YOU...


Five of the Farsider all-stars have a message for you. Conspicuously missing from your screen, however, will be Leroy. He was the man behind the camera who shot this film set in the Swiss Alps, so think of him as all-star number 6 when you click on the link below to view his masterpiece that will no doubt become an Emmy Award nominee and probable winner...
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvTvRaUMy1s&feature=youtu.be>


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD


After reading this article in last Sunday's paper, we were stunned to learn that Deputy Chiefs, Captains and even a handful of Lieutenants from inside the SJPD are not lined up to interview for the Chief's job. Go figure...

No Fight for Chief Spot

—Command staff has not applied; position could go to outsider—

By John Woolfolk <jwoolfolk@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Dec. 9, 2012

SAN JOSE — Often the retirement of a police chief triggers a scramble among the department’s top ranks to be considered as its next leader.

But since San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore’s surprise September announcement that he’ll retire next month after less than two years in the post where he earns $199,154 a year, none of his command staff have stuck their hands up for the job. Neither have former San Jose cops now working for other cities.

As the nation’s 10th largest city enters the final week of its recruitment for a new chief, widespread expectation around City Hall and the police department is that the next top cop will be an outsider, the first in at least a decade.

“No one from inside has put in, which I think is probably a first for us,” said San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Sgt. Jim Unland, adding that he’s also unaware of any former San Jose cops in other cities who have applied. “I think it’s pretty telling.”

Leland Wilcox, a city management analyst, called it “premature to speculate” whether the next chief will be an outsider. He insisted “there isn’t a list” of candidates yet and said “we’re encouraging the best and brightest around the country” to apply. Recruitment continues through Dec. 16.

Few around City Hall will openly discuss the chief recruitment, especially since City Manager Debra Figone sent a sharp note last month to the mayor and City Council reminding them the appointment is hers to make, even though they ratify it. She called public speculation about possible candidates “inappropriate.”

But many expect the next chief to be an outsider because of San Jose’s bitter budget fight with its cops. Pay, benefit and staffing cuts to close chronic deficits have left San Jose police dangerously short-handed, overworked and demoralized, spurring resignations and retirements.

Unland says City Hall’s resistance to raising taxes and restoring police pay and perks has made the chief job seem an exercise in futility among the department’s top ranks. Moore had indicated the divided council’s August decision not to seek a sales tax in November spurred his premature retirement.

“Everyone most familiar with the relationship between the chief’s office and City Hall doesn’t want to do it,” Unland said.

Mayor Chuck Reed had cited uncertain polling and the ballooning employee retirement costs driving chronic deficits in arguing against a November sales tax. Projected city retirement cost increases would swallow new revenue from a proposed half-cent sales tax.

Reed thought voters, who have approved four city taxes since he took office in 2007, would be more receptive to another once the city shows progress controlling costs. But unions representing police and other city workers are suing to block his pension reforms, which voters overwhelmingly approved in June. Some of the mayor’s council allies also have suggested the current police administration is too resistant to money-saving ideas employed elsewhere, such as greater use of reserve officers and civilian staff, which could put more cops on the street. That resistance makes an outside applicant more appealing.

The last chief not chosen from within the department was William Lansdowne. He was a longtime San Jose cop hired back as chief in 1998 from a four-year stint leading Richmond. He left San Jose again in 2003 to lead San Diego’s police department.

The last true outsider with no San Jose history was Joseph McNamara, a former New York cop and Kansas City, Mo., chief who led San Jose’s department from 1976 to 1991. He’s now a Hoover Institution fellow.

Moore was the department insider chosen in January 2011 to succeed retired Chief Robert Davis over outside finalist Anthony Batts, then Oakland’s chief and now Baltimore police commissioner. At the time, San Jose police were taking flak from civil rights leaders who thought heavy-handed police tactics disproportionately involving Latinos, Asians and blacks were sowing fear and discord in the racially diverse city. Downtown businesses complained that heavy policing in the entertainment district was driving moneyed patrons to the suburbs. Moore has since won praise for his efforts to improve department communication and outreach with the city’s racial and ethnic minorities. Those qualities remain a paramount concern among residents who have attended community meetings on the next chief convened by Figone. She has rehired executive recruiter Teri Black, who landed Moore, for the current search. “It’s been the same: a strong leader and communicator and a community collaborator,” Wilcox said.

But rising crime and falling police response also are weighing on residents. “I voted for Mayor Reed and like what he’s trying to do, but I really feel we’ve just let the criminal element have its way,” said Kurt Loeswick, frustrated over efforts to get police to investigate the recent burglary of his home.

Added neighbor Susan Wiens: “All I can hope is that someone will come in and clean up the mess, or we will all be affected by rampant crime going unchecked.”

 

• • • • •



Three topics from the weekly I.A. column of last Sunday's Mercury News add to the trials and tribulations of the City and the SJPD...
 


 

Neighbors Can’t Get Response to Break-ins

What does it take to get a San Jose cop on a burglary case these days? The SJPD is woefully short-handed, its burglary unit fanned out to patrol while the city scrambles for new recruits as officers flee deficit-driven pay and benefit cuts. And even flush departments don’t follow up every reported theft.

But when Kurt Loeswick’s home near Branham High School was burglarized Nov. 9, he had more to report than just broken glass and missing valuables. He and his neighbors had evidence a neighbor kid was involved and even recovered a stolen safe.

But the police, they said, haven’t responded, even after neighbors reported a similar string of break-ins.

“I can’t do much more unless I take a vigilante stand,” Loeswick said. “And I don’t do that.”

He’s made a report to the Independent Police Auditor. And with his neighbors, he emailed complaints to the mayor and council, whose staff responses show how hard it can be for political offices to find the right touch with frustrated residents.

Mayoral agenda manager Sara Wright emailed Loeswick and his neighbors a link to the mayor’s opinion piece on his budget and public safety strategy.

“This is not the time to give Mayor Chuck Reed a public relations promotional moment,” neighbor Michelle Holtz shot back. “We, the people of this neighborhood, have done about as much foot work on this particular case as possible, unless we need to perform a couple of citizens arrests as well.”

District 10 Councilwoman Nancy Pyle’s staffer Tom Johnston emailed the neighbors a suggestion to report crimes to the cops.

“Seriously?” neighbor Susan Wiens replied. “Your answer to this is: ‘Sorry the neighborhood is too stupid to call the police when a crime happens?’ I will be sure to keep that savvy advice in mind. I would have never thought of picking up a phone when I saw a crime or had a crime happen to me.” Wiens said the neighbors did get some satisfaction when mayoral spokeswoman Michelle McGurk stepped in to help organize a community meeting where they hope to get answers from the cops and council.

“If they truly did drop the ball on what seems like an easy investigation,” Wiens said, “then the problems with the department are far worse than any of us ever imagined.”

Utility customers get tip from police auditor

As if San Jose’s cops weren’t having rough sledding already, city utility invoices mailed out this month included a bill-stuffer advising residents that if they “have a concern or complaint about a San Jose police officer” or police policy, call the Independent Police Auditor.

The city often uses bill-stuffers to save on postage when sending residents notices — so much so that Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell told the mayor and council she’d waited months for a bill with no other stuffers to send her $2,975 worth of outreach.

But alas, the officers didn’t take it well.

“It’s part of our morale improvement program!” quipped San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Sgt. Jim Unland. “I think of the stuff they could be sending out — crime prevention tips, how to protect yourself, how to start a neighborhood watch — but you won’t see that. Whatever. It’s more of the same.”

Cordell said she understood the bruised feelings but meant no disrespect and was only doing her job.

“Morale is down, this insert is there, they took it in a way that was not intended,” Cordell said. “It’s part of our mandate to do outreach to the public.”

City treads lightly on police chief forums

San Jose is, of course, looking for its next police chief. But some noticed none of the four community meetings to solicit feedback were in districts of Mayor Chuck Reed’s strongest City Council allies.

Reed and his allies have invoked the San Jose Police Officers’ Association’s ire for cuts to city pay and perks, including a controversial pension reform measure that the union is suing to block. Reed says the cuts were needed to limit layoffs and close deficits spawned by ballooning retirement costs. The cops blame them for an officer exodus and rising crime.

The next meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Southside Community Center in the district of Councilman Ash Kalra, a union ally who’s fought Reed over the cuts. Did city management pick meeting sites to avoid provoking the SJPOA?

David Vossbrink, the city manager’s spokesman, said they chose the sites for “good geographic distribution.”

“It’s a big city and we wanted to spread them around,” Vossbrink said.

Reed and his council allies voiced no objections.

But the city has added a Neighborhoods Commission meeting on the chief selection in the district of Reed ally Rose Herrera, whose re-election just drew vigorous opposition from the SJPOA. It’ll be Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Evergreen Community Center.

Said Herrera: “I see this as a positive opportunity for my district to weigh in on what they would like to see in the police chief leadership.”
 

• • • • •



There also were two letters of note in the paper this past week. This first one made an appearance in last Friday's (Dec. 7) Mercury News...

View About Pension Reform Right on Mark

Three cheers for the Mercury News. They got it right.

Jim Unland and Robert Sapien Jr. (Opinion, Dec. 5) believe that the city should make police and fire personnel rich and that they should retire early with benefits not seen in industry.

The Mercury News correctly supports San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on pension reform.

Konrad M. Sosnow, Mountain View


Then there was this retort to Sosnow's letter in Monday's (Dec. 10) Mercury News...

Police, Firefighters Do Not Deserve Contempt

That cynical Dec. 7 letter from Konrad M. Sosnow dishonors the noble, professionally self-assured police and firemen who saved me from a fire in my apartment building June 16. The firemen, police and emergency medical technicians knew exactly how to deal with the dangers I faced in that emergency.

As other policemen raced through the burning building knocking on doors to alert residents, two recognized my disability and carried me through the hallway, down three flights of stairs and outside to safety.

I owe these valiant men my life and my respect. Therefore, I place in contempt hate-filled letters denigrating police and firemen benefits, as did that letter.

Robert Jimenez, Burlingame

• • • • •



And the beat goes on. Unfortunately, there aren't a sufficient number of blue-and-whites to patrol them. This story is from the front page of yesterday's paper...

Grim Toll for Killings in S.J.

—City’s 44th slaying marks the most since 1991 and second straight year with at least 40—

By Robert Salonga and Eric Kurhi, Staff writers
Mercury News — Dec. 12, 2012

SAN JOSE — In a year when crime issues rose to rare prominence in city affairs, the homicide count in San Jose reached its highest point in two decades Tuesday when a teenage boy was found shot to death on a quiet street.

The total of 44 is the highest since 53 were recorded in 199, and it comes on the heels of an astounding two-year spike: 40 homicides occurred last year, doubling a 2010 count that was a 20-year low.

“This number is one that we were hoping we would not reach. It certainly does not look good in a historical perspective,” Sgt. Jason Dwyer said Tuesday.

Police were called to the 1500 block of Fairhaven Drive off Hillsdale Avenue about 3:20 p.m. after receiving a call about a car crash. That’s where they found the victim, who had either stumbled out or been thrown from a white Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck rested with its tailgate against the tree on the sidewalk. The victim, who police said was 18, lay several feet away in the street. Paramedics determined his injuries did not appear to be caused by a crash and that he had been shot.

“No motive, no suspects. This is just a classic whodunit,” Dwyer said. “This is not normal. We’re scratching our heads trying to figure out what happened.”

This year’s surge in homicides is sounding new alarms about violent crime at a time when the city has fewer officers on the streets. Equally alarming to some law enforcement veterans is that the latest increase in killings occurred in an era of tougher crime laws and an overall decrease in crime rates across the state and nation.

Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, said recently it’s important to note the city’s 1991 homicide tally predated the mid-1990s passage of California’s Three Strikes Law and stricter federal gun-control laws.

“This was really a wild city (in 1991). That we’re nearing numbers from the pre-Three Strikes Law is something,” Unland said.

For San Jose, with a population approaching 1 million, 44 is still low in comparison to nearby large cities, such as Oakland, which has nearly three times as many slayings with less than half the population. City leaders recognize this perspective gives little solace to a citizenry that feels under siege.

In the South San Jose neighborhood near Paul Moore Park, children often play ball and residents walk their dogs in the afternoon. It is generally considered safe. But on Tuesday night, neighbors stood amid well-groomed homes strung with Christmas lights to watch as police investigated the city’s latest killing.

“No, this is definitely not normal,” said Kim Zilliox, who has lived in the neighborhood with her husband and two children for eight years. She heard a single shot followed soon after by the whirl of a helicopter overhead. “When you hear a helicopter hover in one spot, you know something is going on. It’s alarming.”

In a wide-ranging interview about city crime last week, Mayor Chuck Reed spoke about the uptick in violence this year.

“We like to brag about being a safe city in San Jose. And when something bad happens, it tends to get more attention,” he said. “Because we haven’t accepted a high level of crime, people get concerned about it.”

Leaders of San Jose’s widely praised Gang Prevention Task Force caution that while homicide numbers are instructive, they can mask the true level of community violence, particularly in areas heavily afflicted by gang activity.

Task force Superintendent Mario Maciel has said their work has “kept a lid” on gang violence to ensure it doesn’t escalate. The violence that does happen, however, has intensified amid a street war arms race worsened by boiling tensions.

“There’s more ferocity, more lethality,” Maciel said recently. “But even if there were zero homicides, you have near fatalities, paralysis. It can give you a false sense of security.”

The task force was instrumental during a particularly bloody stretch in August that tallied eight homicides in 11 days. Four of the killings were classified as gang-related. Of the 44 homicides this year, 17 have been deemed gang-related.

San Jose has also seen a double-digit percentage spike this year in “quality of life” crimes, including burglaries, robberies and auto thefts.

The crime rate has sparked discussion of whether lower police staffing is to blame. Most city leaders agree that having more officers is ideal, but opinions vary about whether a beefier patrol would necessarily tamp down less predictable non-gang violence.

“The vast majority are crimes of passion or opportunity, and those are difficult to deal with,” said Councilman Pete Constant, a former San Jose police officer. This year, gang violence accounts for less than 40 percent of the city’s homicides, down from the typical rate of about 50 percent.

To the police union’s Unland, there’s no question about the connection between dwindling officer numbers — from nearly 1,400 in 2008 to fewer than 1,050 today — and rising crime, punctuated by this year’s milestone homicide count.

“I don’t think you can attribute it to everything. But I find it hard to ignore,” Unland said. “When you go from a proactive, progressive policing model to a reactive model, you lose control of certain crimes.”



 

LOCAL TV COVERAGE ABOUT THE COMPLAINT MAILER
 


The POA sent out a membership alert last weekend that links to a CBS Channel 5 news report about the complaint mailers that were included with the utility bills of over a hundred thousand San Jose residents. If the video is still up on the KPIX website, the link below should take you to it. But be patient as it make take a moment or two to load...



<http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/8045833-san-jose-police-upset-over-mailers-in-utility-bills/>



 

DECEMBER VANGUARD NOW ON-LINE



 

Click on the link below to read the Dec. issue of the SJPOA Vanguard.
Hard copies are in the mail to members of the association.

http://www.sjpoa.com/Vanguard.asp




POA OPEN HOUSE OPEN TO ALL

(You don't have to be a member to attend)




 

NEWS FROM THE RETIREES' ASSOCIATION



Dec. 10th

Dear Members,

As you know, we work to keep you informed on the various issues that impact your benefits. Oftentimes this includes the legal and negotiation environment the actives face.  

The following is an update of issues impacting the legal and negotiation environment for our actives. This is taken from information sent out by the SJPOA to its members (the impacts to Local 230 members are nearly identical to SJPOA members). We're passing this on to you so you can have a more clear understanding as to the costs and impacts the active employees are being forced to endure.

Pension and retiree health care costs under our "Current Plan" going up

Several years ago the SJPOA members ratified an agreement regarding the pre-funding of retiree healthcare benefits. This was to be done over a 5-year ramp-up period. There is one more "GASB" retiree healthcare increase coming in July 2013. It will be approximately 1.25% of a SJPOA member's pay. This will increase their contribution rate for this benefit from 8.25% to 9.5%.

In addition to this increase, every year the annual contribution rate for the Police and Fire Pension Plan is adjusted in July. This adjustment is a normal part of the current contract and not a function of the Measure B language. This is due to actuarial assumptions adopted by the retirement board that regularly changes, such as the assumed rate of return for the plan, plan costs, smoothing of investment gains and losses and demographic adjustments that must be factored into the creation of contribution rates.

The Police and Fire Retirement Board voted to lower the assumed rate of return for our plan from 7.5% down to 7.25%. This increases everyone's costs. This action, combined with an assumption change to the retiree medical plan, will result in an increased contribution rate for active police and fire members. A rough estimate is that this will increase their costs in the neighborhood of an additional 1%.

SJPOA members currently contribute 19.39% towards their pension and retiree healthcare costs. In July of 2013, the estimate is that the additional 2.25% increase described above will bring their total contribution rate close to 22%. For a top step officer, this would translate to a loss of approximately $2,000 in pre-tax pay per year compared to what they make now. Again, this is separate from Measure B. The above will occur independently of the Measure B outcome.

Measure B

A quick update on Measure B litigation from the POA's perspective.

As you may know, there is a voluntary Stay Order in effect with the City through December 31st of this year, putting the implementation of Measure B on hold. Despite the POA and Local 230's best efforts, the City has refused to extend the Stay. This means that starting January 1, 2013, the City may try to implement some or all of the components of Measure B.  

The City has indicated that it will provide the POA and Local 230 with advance notice of any proposed implementation parts of Measure B. If and when the City moves to implement all or part of Measure B, the POA will seek injunctive relief through the courts via a TRO. The lawsuit is currently progressing through the courts as planned.

If the City moves to invoke the increased cost components outlined in Measure B, and the courts deny our request for the TRO, those cost increases would go into effect until the case can be litigated in court and all appeals are exhausted.

Such an event would result in immediate changes to the disability retirement language, a 4% annual increase in pension costs (rising to 16% over a 3 year period) and increases in retiree healthcare contribution from the current 8.25% to approximately 16%.  These changes could result in an 11.75% pay reduction in the first year alone.

Medical cost going up


At the beginning of every year, adjustments are made to the costs of the medical plans. Active employees pay 15% of the lowest cost plan (Kaiser) premium. This coming year the cost to those who have Kaiser and Blue Shield HMO will go up while those with Blue Shield PPO will go down.

Here are the semi-monthly rates:

Kaiser

* Single was $39.86 it will be $43.78 for an annual increase of $94.08.
* Family was $99.27 it will be $109.02 for an annual increase of $234.

Blue Shield HMO

* Single was $61.48; it will be $63.66 for an annual increase of $52.32.
* Family was $175.74; it will be $183.08 for an annual increase of $176.16.

Blue Shield PPO

* Single was $142.46; it will be $129.48 for an annual decrease of $311.52.
* Family was $384.18; it will be $352.58 for an annual decrease of 758.40.  

As you can see, the financial impacts the City is forcing police officers and firefighters to endure is crippling. From a public safety policy standpoint its exceptionally shortsighted. Staffing is at record lows, and as it relates to Police Department staffing, it has hit crisis levels.  
 
We will continue our efforts to work with the active employee unions to fight off attacks on our retirement benefits as well as do what we can to ensure that a current day police officer and fire fighter can support his/her family and work under safe conditions.
 
This is not an easy fight, but one we all must wage together.

Jim Spence, President
<Spence@corporatesecurityconcepts.com>

Ed. — As a reminder, the rates for Kaiser Senior Advantage members (age 65 and older who qualify for Medicare) will remain unchanged.


 

WEEKLY POLL
 

   


Results from last week's poll...




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



 

MAIL CALL

Dec. 7th

Hey Bill,

Can you dig up Elvis and the female country western singer singing Blue Christmas and run it again in the Farsider? Not a big deal if you can't, but I was amazed at how they did it.

Bill
(Leavy) <mwc127@earthlink.com>

Our NFL referee is referring to the following 3-year-old Farsider item of Elvis and Martina McBride teaming up to sing "Blue Christmas." Keep in mind that what you are seeing is an illusion as Martina was only 11 years old when Elvis died in 1977...

~ ~ ~

(From the Dec. 24, 2009 Farsider)

Raise your hand if you were among those who thought last week's video of Elvis and Martina McBride teaming up to sing "Blue Christmas" was real. I'm referring to this...
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KK6sMo8NBY>


As I said, what you were watching was an illusion, video magic. It's an example that in this era of electronic gadgetry, you should never, ever automatically assume that what you see on TV or on your computer is reality. This USA Today article makes that point...

Elvis, Martina McBride Team Up for 'Blue Christmas'

By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA Today

Elvis and Martina McBride spend a Blue Christmas together.

Martina McBride was just shy of 2 when Elvis Presley filmed his 1968 "comeback" TV special. This year, the country singer steps back in time 40 years to join the King of Rock 'n' Roll in a video for Blue Christmas.

The effect is similar to Celine Dion's American Idol duet with Presley on "If I Can Dream" in 2007, but producer George Flanigen says the process used for the illusion was entirely different.

"They took Elvis out of the '68 special and put him on the Idol stage," he says. "We were taking Martina to the '68 special."

The posthumous collaboration also appears on Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, a new album that pairs Presley with singers such as Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant and Olivia Newton-John.

In the original footage — the only existing video of Elvis performing a Christmas song — a leather-clad Presley appears with his band on a small stage at the center of a studio audience. In the video, McBride walks out of the audience and sits next to him.

"There's a spot between (guitarist) Scotty Moore and Elvis that's open, like somebody should have been sitting there," says Flanigen. "We're like, 'We could probably figure a way to put her with Elvis.'

"We scoured the footage and picked shots of Elvis throughout the whole special to be able to put them together. There are shots where he and Martina share the frame, where he looks over at her, where she looks back at him and sings and smiles."

McBride filmed her parts in front of a green screen. "It took four weeks" to piece together, Flanigen says.


 

• • • • •


Dec. 9th

Harry Mullins wrote:

Immediately after reading this story I went through my gun collection. I did not find anything as rare as this, but I did find a 1960s era Daisy Red Ryder lever action BB gun in well used condition (barrel held together with duct tape) that I will let go to the first reasonable offer.
 

<http://tinyurl.com/aqodjp8>



• • • • •

 

Dec. 10th

Hello Bill,

This Saturday, Dec. 15th, we are holding the 20th annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, starting at 8:45 a.m. This program honors all veterans who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Wreaths will be placed on the graves in a designated section of the cemetery (there are 112,700 graves in Golden Gate National Cemetery alone). Wreaths that have been designated for placement on specified graves will be placed by those who purchased them.

Organizations that are sponsors of this program include the Boy Scouts of America, Civil Air Patrol, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Star Moms, Gold Star Mothers, Patriot Guard Riders, AMVETS (American Veterans), Vietnam Veterans, and the American Legion.

Ceremonies will be held in the Bay Area at the Presidio of San Francisco, Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, Oakmont Cemetery and Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette, Rio Vista Cemetery in Rio Vista, Sacramento County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sacramento, Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, and the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, just to name a few of the larger ones. Go to the website below for more information and locations. Over 600 cemeteries participate in the program nationwide.


Thanks,

Doug Bergtholdt
<sueanddoug@att.net>
President, Silicon Valley SAR
(Sons of the American Revolution)


Ed. — Patriots should take a few moments and watch the video embedded in the website by clicking on the link below that Doug included in his message...
 



<http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/>


• • • • •

 

Dec. 10th

Bill,

The mailing stuffers in our utility bills mentioned in the last Farsider was a result of our esteemed Police Auditor, who is a former Palo Alto City Councilperson, former Stanford Provost, and a former Judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County. The operative words in that sentence being "former."

You know, what really torques my ass is that this person has the audacity to try and drum up business. I mean, geez, the citizens of the fine city of San Jose have so many  avenues available to file a complaint, who the hell needs to have some stupid form in the mail sent by LaDoris Cordell, the former judge? She was so crappy as a judge, the assignment calendar judge quit sending people to her court. She couldn't even handle the defendants who had copped out! So this latest spark of brilliance on her part is nothing really shocking.

Around 1970, some brain-trust — probably a member of the Citizens Review Board in Oakland — decided to send a 3x5 card to each Oakland household in that lovely town, the purpose of which was to generate IA complaints against officers. All you had to do as a complainer was write in the officer's name, badge number or car number, then indicate the date, time and location of some foolish event. In the remaining space you had to indicate if this was a complaint about rude or abusive conduct, curbside counseling, whatever. Someone was actually assigned to try to make a proverbial mountain out of a mole-hill, and the result was disastrous. Not for the cops, but for the idiot who thought this thing up.

Now, 42 years later, we have another fool in our midst who is trying to do the same darned thing. Shame on her. She does enough damage going to high schools in the area and telling students what their legal rights are regarding search and seizure, legal detention, stop and frisk and all that stuff. Cordell is a foolish person, and the sad thing about it is that she is probably going to have a strong voice as to who will be hired as the next Chief of Police.

That's my opinion.

David
(Byers)
<dng_byers@sbcglobal.net>

Don't beat around the bush, Dave, tell us how you really feel about the Independent Police Auditor.
 

P.S. Having been on motor rides with you, I hope you understand that your comment "torques my ass" brings forth an image that provides far too much information.
 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 12th


Bill & Leroy,

This fund raiser might be of interest to many, so if you can pass the info along to others who may be interested I'll appreciate it very much.

Thanks,

Don (Hale)
<samhaleceo@pacbell.net>

Ed. — To print the form only, use your mouse to select the text, then right click and select Copy. Now open a blank document. Right click the mouse again and select Paste. Now send the form to your printer.
 

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 12th

Bill,

Last year you and Leroy spoon fed me on the computer so I could enjoy the Farsider. A user name and password were foreign to me. Everyone in my life wondered how I could be so uninformed. My six-year-old granddaughter would sit in my office and use my computer and big screen monitor for hours. When I would sit down to use it to search for something, I could not bring the computer back to where I could use it without help. That was a year ago.

I always thought that sitting before a computer hour after hour was a waste of precious time. I had so many unfinished projects waiting for me that making time for chit chat on the computer felt wasteful. I still miss my rotary dial phone.

Due to the new world order, I have been forced kicking and screaming into the digital world. iPhones, iPads, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have changed my life. I am now racing toward the future, but at a very slow pace. My bottom side is getting a little bigger, and I spend more time walking with my fingers than with my feet. Many of my projects have taken a back seat due to the time I spend on the computer. I miss the sweat of manual labor and talking to people across the counter when I purchase things. I have even caught myself talk to the monitor. How sad my life has become. Like my namesake — Orville Wright — I have taken my first flight into the space age. I will monitor my blood pressure and watch my body turn to jelly as I step from the physical world to the digital world.

"Don't interrupt me I'm on the computer" is now my call to those who desire my attention.  I have now crossed over.

Bill (Yarbrough)
<billyarbrough36@yahoo.com>

(Stepping up on my soapbox.) Like most things in life, Bill, there is a good side and a down side to computers and the Internet. Some blame the time spent on computers (read lack of exercise) for the country's obesity problem almost as much as a person's eating habits. Some will argue that the good and the bad cancel each other out. Others say that the good significantly outweighs the bad. Predators, stalkers, scams that empty the wallets of the naive and other negative facets of the Internet notwithstanding, I'm of the opinion that computers and the Internet comprise the most significant technological advancement of mankind; even more so than the 1969 moon landing because the Internet and the World Wide Web have opened up the entire planet to virtually everyone. Some might even say it's amazing our brains haven't overloaded when one considers that it wasn't all that long ago that the vast majority of Americans lived their entire lives and never strayed more than 25 miles from home. (Stepping off my soapbox.)



 

NEW POSTINGS FROM "THE MEYER OF SAN JOSE" BLOG
 

We introduced you to Meyer Weed's blog two weeks ago (Meyer Weed being a play on words for Mayor Reed). The blogger's I.D. remains a mystery, which may be a good thing as the blog may go "poof" if his or her identity is brought to light. All we know for sure is that Meyer Weed is a San Jose cop. Be that as it may, some new postings have appeared on the blog since we went to press last Thursday. The most recent one is about LaDoris Cordell, the City's Independent Police Auditor, which we have included below. There are other postings you may find of interest, one of which is about the complaint form mailer that was stuffed inside the utility bills of San Jose's residents. To access it and other postings, click on the Meyer Weed link below...
 

San Jose's Independent Police Profiler

By Meyer Weed
<http://meyerweed.blogspot.com/>

Dec. 11th


That quote is attributed to San Jose's Independent Police Auditor, Judge LaDoris Cordell (Ret). It is safe to say that Judge Cordell is a vocal opponent of the practice of "police profiling" or "biased based policing."

In the quote she is supposing that she is a police officer and observing a person in public who is wearing a shirt with the "thug logo." The logo depicts a skull and two crossed automatic rifles. Cordell says her "antenna would go up." I take this to mean that she would pay close attention to the person wearing such a shirt. For what reason? Absent anything else (like behavior typical of criminal activity) why bother?
 



Thug Logo?

 
I think Cordell tells us why when she asks and answers: "So why do they wear it? It’s just emblematic of a culture you don’t want to exist.” Who doesn't want what culture to exist?

It seems to me that Judge Cordell is biased! So biased that the mere wearing of a shirt emblazoned with a logo of a skull causes her to leap to the conclusion that the wearer is part of a culture "you [she] don't [doesn't] want to exist."

Hmmm? I wonder how Judge Cordell would go about eliminating such a "culture." Would she ban the logo? Make wearing it a crime? How would she handle repeat offenders caught "wearing a thug logo in public?" Beat the "culture" out/off of them? Maybe she would arrest and incarcerate anyone wearing the logo as a deterrent to others contemplating cultural demonstrations in the form of fashion statements. Would she advocate permanent elimination of those who refuse cultural reform?

How to you think she handles complaints that her office receives from outlaw motorcycle gang members who officers contact for any number of lawful reasons, but are convinced it was "because of my 3 piece patch?" Or one of the locals wearing a red Sharks Jersey? Shirts with a picture of "Che" or Mao?

Yes, the IPA has redefined her office's mission. She no longer audits, she profiles. SJPD would do well to remember this fact and demand that she recuse herself from "auditing" any "biased-based complaints."

 

 

KEITH KELLEY CLUB CHRISTMAS DINNER DANCE RECAP


Over 300 Keith Kelley Club members and guests (175 were retirees & guests) attended this year's Christmas Dinner Dance, themed Christmas in the Savannah. The music was lively, the room was safari-like (wild animals and all), the flowers festive, the food delicious...all the makings for fun. SJPD knows how to enjoy themselves! The Board of Directors welcome any comments, good or bad, so that we can improve for next year.
 
If you wish to order pictures from the photographer who was downstairs at the Holiday Inn, join us on Facebook under Keith Kelley Club where the ordering information will be shown. If you are not a member of Facebook, call 408-971-4640 and the staff at Daniel Avila Photography will assist you.
 
Thanks again to everyone who attended!

Margie Thompson, Chair
<sssq@aol.com>
Keith Kelley Club Christmas Dinner Dance
408 891-3760



 

THE BEST EXPLANATION YET ON WHY THE GOP LOST THE WHITE HOUSE


Count me among the many who think very highly of Pete Guerin as both an individual and a friend. But when he sent me and some of his conservative friends an article entitled "The Decline and Fall of the American Empire" earlier this week, I took a look at its excessive length and moved the cursor to the Delete button. Before I pulled the trigger, however, I read the first couple of paragraphs and got sucked into reading the entire piece. Of all the pundits I have heard and read who have tried to explain why Mitt Romney lost the election — and there have been many — this one is by far the most lucid and concise; the writer absolutely nailed it. The author — a Rabbi no less — writes with such clarity that I found myself nodding my head as each paragraph came and went. Since it was posted on the Rabbi's blog, there are those who disagree with what he wrote and expressed their views from the other side of the aisle. These opinions also are present on the blog.

If you voted for Romney and are still smarting from the loss, I strongly recommend you click on the link below and read what the Rabbi says about the election. It was written soon after, while Florida was still counting the votes. And if you voted for Obama, read the posting that follows the Rabbi's opinion as it will likely have you nodding your head as well.

If you stop and think about it, nodding heads could represent both political parties as each is absolutely sure that their ideology is best for the nation. In a sense, therefore, most of the Republicans and Democrats are bobble heads, which could explain why many voters are shunning both parties and calling themselves "independents."

                                       


<http://rabbipruzansky.com/2012/11/07/the-decline-and-fall-of-the-american-empire/>



 

THE COMPANY CHRISTMAS PARTY

Submitted by Dave Scannell

Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 1, 2012

SUBJ: Gala Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company’s Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols; feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 p.m. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10 in order to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees.

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,

Patty

~ ~ ~

(Next day...)


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 2, 2012

SUBJ: Re: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree, and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,

Patty

~ ~ ~

(Next day...)


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

DATE: October 3, 2012

SUBJ: Re: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only," you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?

Somebody?

And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange. No gifts will be allowed since the union members feel that $10 is too much money to spend on a gift, and the executives believe $10 is a little chintzy.

REMEMBER: NO GIFT EXCHANGING WILL BE ALLOWED.

~ ~ ~

(Next day...)


Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

To: All Employees

DATE: October 4, 2012

SUBJ: Re: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are. I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party, or package everything for you so you can take it home in little foil doggy bag. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays will be allowed to sit with each other, although Lesbians will not have to sit with Gay men. Each group will have their own table.

Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food. The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh "low sugar" fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply "no sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?

Patty

~ ~ ~

(Next day...)

Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All  F%&ing Employees

DATE: October 5, 2012

SUBJ: Re: The F%&ing Holiday Party

I've had it with you vegetarian pricks! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death" — as you so quaintly put it — and stuff your face at the f%&ing salad bar with its organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

The rest of you f%&ing weirdos can kiss my ass. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The Bitch from Hell

~ ~ ~

(Next day — Patty's replacement)

Company Memo

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

DATE: October  6, 2012

SUBJ: Re: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery. I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!

Joan

 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF DEC. 8, 2012

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

New Articles

• Was the nationality of Kato, the Green Hornet's valet, abruptly changed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?
<http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/radio/kato.asp>

• About the claim that invited house guests cannot be required to leave a home thanks to the "grandfather clause."
<http://www.snopes.com/legal/grandfather.asp>

• Are baby carrots made from deformed full-sized carrots that have been soaked in chlorine?
<http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/carrots.asp>

• Does chewing gum take seven years to pass through your digestive system?
<http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/chewgum.asp>

• Is Shania Twain the great-granddaughter of Mark Twain?
<http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/twain.asp>

• Is Nolan Daniels giving away $1 million to the millionth person to post a particular photo to Facebook of him holding up his winning Powerball ticket?
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/nolandaniels.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

• Was the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" created as a coded reference to important articles of the Christian faith?
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/music/12days.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
 



YouTube reminder to adjust to large or full screen...


Every adult citizen who gives a damn about the country should be forced to watch this short video so they can see what our government has spent and what we owe as a nation. Remember, these are $100 bills. Thank you Democrats and Republicans. (2 Mins.)



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


• • • • •


David Byers provided us with this homage to the men and women who protect us at airports. Next time you fly somewhere you might want to hug and thank a TSA agent, especially if your sex life went AWOL years ago and you haven't had a satisfying grope since. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a8jGVXOMsw>


• • • • •
 

Speaking of the TSA, Janet Napolitano finally and reluctantly authorized Homeland Security to release its Airport Screening statistics as of June of this year...
 




• • • • •



The Booster Bag Scam couldn't possibly happen to you or your wife, but Phil Norton thinks you should be aware of it anyway. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwcTiuxzqv0>


• • • • •


Phil also sent in this item we recall running a couple years ago. It's a short 47-year-old broadcast from the late Paul Harvey that some argue is becoming more and more prophetic as time goes by. (3 Mins.)
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig>


• • • • •


If our NFL referee doesn't stop sending in clips like this one, I might be inclined to join the masses who are screaming, "Tax the hell out of the rich." Stick with this video for a minute and cast your eyes on a 5 million dollar underground garage. (8 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t_1f0SXBsI>


• • • • •
 

If you were thinking of getting a grandson a toy model rocket for Christmas, insist that he learns how to duck before he sets it off. (40 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqt3y19N9AI&sns=em>

 

• • • • •

 

Place your bets on who will win this lawsuit:

Wile E. Coyote vs. Acme

Send Phil Norton an e-mail about a celebrity lawsuit and he'll get so engaged that the batteries in his iPad will peter out before he finishes with the details. When he forwarded the legal papers of this Coyote vs. Acme suit to us, we looked for a link on the Web to it in order to save space, and Google pointed us to this site...

<http://americanlitoak0409.wikispaces.com/Coyote+vs.+Acme>

For the full story, click on this link:

<http://www.jamesfuqua.com/lawyers/jokes/coyote-acme.shtml>


• • • • •



After watching this short clip sent in by Bruce Morton the first thought that came to mind was: If this is the first time the groom heard the bride's ear-piercing screech, who could blame him for having a brain freeze when the minister got to the part, 'til death do us part? (2 Mins.)
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_tCGZCga5U>


• • • • •


Warning: If you are subject to seasickness, do not watch this incredible footage from Jim Silvers of a couple of fishing boats trying to maneuver through the Columbia River Bar, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean on the northwestern tip of Oregon. (7 Mins.)
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByGSMmenPDM&feature=player_embedded>


• • • • •


While this video from Bruce Fair may appear to target firefighters, anyone who uses sporting ammunition would do well to watch this video and the various tests it covers with handgun cartridges and shotgun and rifle ammo. (25 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SlOXowwC4c>


• • • • •


Says Dirk Parsons: "If you like airplanes and need something to do for a few hours, check out this site. I just discovered it and am no longer a productive human being. Click on any of the planes and a panel will open up with all the info."



<http://www.flightradar24.com/>


• • • • •

 

Story of the Week

From Tom Mazzone


The Afghan Quarterback

The coach had put together the perfect team for the Chicago Bears. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European Leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.

Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in Afghanistan. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Afghan soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away. KABOOM!

He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney. KA-BLOOEY!

Then he threw another at a passing car going 60 mph. BULLS-EYE!

"I've got to get this guy!" Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!"

So, he brings the Afghan soldier to the States, teaches him the great game of football, and the Bears go on to win the Super Bowl.

The young Afghan is hailed as the great hero of football. When the coach asks him what he wants, the young man says he wants to call his mother.

"Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!"

"I don't want to talk to you, says the old Muslim woman."You are not my son!"

"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads. "I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of adoring fans."

"No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get raped!" The old lady pauses, and then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us move to Chicago"
 

• • • • •


Bert Kelsey provided us with the clip of a dog that reportedly can't retrieve his tennis ball because he can't swim, so he finds another way to get it. But after watching the video, we think it's just as likely that the dog can swim, but that he doesn't want to because of the yucky look of the water. What say you? (39 Secs.)
 



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


• • • • •


Congratulate yourself if you can relate to this short video entitled, "I can't believe we made it." And while you watch it, see if you can make a connection between the clip and the obesity problem many of our youth are facing. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAGE8Y7ojc>


• • • • •


Someone should initiate a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of those who bought a defective iPad. Does yours work like this one that was bought by a guy in Germany? Mine doesn't. (5 Mins.)
 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32bUIa--6GM>


• • • • •


Question: What do Kenny G and American wildlife have in common? Answer: The wildlife provides the grandeur or the Rockies while the popular sax player provides the music. This should be considered a must-watch-and-listen. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUOQ_yPW_0s>


• • • • •


This video from Don Hale is special and could possibly become one of a dozen Christmas standards some day. If you choose to see and hear it, you can either click on the link below right now, or first read about how it came to be...

About the Song:

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, "Where's the line to see Jesus?"

My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted down words to a song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words and making a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends. He sent the song off to Nashville, but without much response, except from a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the second verse and part of the chorus. With goose bumps and emotions running high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in just under 2 hours and sent off again to Nashville. Still no response.
                         
Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CDs, iTunes, anything. We had nothing. After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring, this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs, the real deal. And here we are today.

Getting iTunes set up and a website put together, we loved that thousands upon thousands of Christians had come together to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults cannot understand. Hopefully, Spencer's observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him. We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you.

Merry Christmas everyone.


         
<http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium>


• • • • •


Last but certainly not least is this video that, with over 3 million hits, has already gone viral. It's a well choreographed Christmastime flash mob that surprised shoppers in a crowded mall. One of the things that make it special is the dramatic ending that probably had atheists beating feet out of the mall so they could hop in their cars and speed away. (5 Mins.)



Large or Full Screen recommended...




<http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Vnt7euRF5Pg&vq=medium>


• • • • •




C'ya



Pic of the Week:
 

JET says he was all set to buy these two hotties a drink until he
realized it was just the bar stools that drew his attention. Look closely...

 
   

Scrolling Box

 
This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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