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The Farsider

December 26, 2013

 

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.



 

PENSION NEWS

This is how Tuesday's (Dec. 24th) edition of the Mercury News covered the Superior Court's tentative decision on Measure B. More on this subject in the POA Update column below...

Ruling Splits Pension Reform

—Judge says San Jose can’t force higher worker contributions but can reduce employees’ pay—

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Dec. 24, 2013

SAN JOSE — In a landmark ruling that could help shape city budgets around the state, a judge invalidated key parts of San Jose’s voter-approved pension cuts but upheld other elements that could still save huge taxpayer costs.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas’ tentative decision released Monday prohibits the city from forcing current employees to contribute significantly more toward their pensions, as called for in last year’s Measure B. But the ruling allows the city to cut employees’ salaries to offset its increasing pension costs.

That left each side claiming victory, even as both expected to appeal.

“It guts Measure B,” said Ben Field, executive officer for the South Bay Labor Council. “Her decision affirms what we’ve been saying all along: The city cannot break its promises to its employees and its retirees.”

But Mayor Chuck Reed, who championed the measure, argued the city got much of what it wanted, saying officials will be able to imple­ment the pay cuts to get the savings they expect, roughly $68 million a year, or 7 percent of the city’s annual budget.

“I think we’ll get very close to what we had hoped for,” Reed said.

The case stemmed from the unions’ lawsuit filed a day after 70 percent of San Jose voters approved Measure B in June 2012.

The measure comes at a time when cities throughout California and around the country are grappling with soaring costs for guaranteed pensions that have been disappearing in private employment. Several cities, such as Stockton, San Bernardino and Detroit, have filed for bankruptcy in part because of growing pension costs and have been unable to legally roll back pension promises they can no longer afford.

Reed is now working on an initiative that he argues would allow California governments to negotiate changes in their employees’ future pension earnings.

The fate of pension reform is likely to factor in next year’s races to replace the termed-out Reed, as five of his council allies running for the post seek to defend the reform while a union backed challenger, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, is against it.

San Jose, like many cities, in recent years saw its bills for employee retirement costs balloon after it handed out enhanced retirement plans in the past 15 years, allowing police officers to retire at age 50 with six-figure pensions, for instance.

Measure B called for existing employees, from cops to firefighters to bureaucrats, to pay 16 percent more toward their pensions to help cover some $3 billion in debt accumulated in the underfunded plans. Lucas ruled that invalid, arguing the city had long held itself solely responsible for such “unfunded liabilities” in the plan, creating a “vested right” for employees to have the city cover those debts.

But the judge also upheld a section of Measure B that allows city officials to obtain the savings by cutting workers’ pay if the extra pension contributions were invalidated. Reed said city leaders will spend the next few months working out how to make the pay cuts before July 1, when they were to go into effect, saying the voters passed a measure to reduce employee costs and would want those changes carried out.

“It would be much better if we could deal directly with the skyrocketing (pension) costs, but there are limited things that we can do,” Reed said. “The judge said all you can do is cut their pay.”

City leaders may find it difficult to go through with the pay cuts, however. The City Council earlier this month approved 10 percent pay raises for cops, after police officers began fleeing the department for better-paying cities. The cop exodus has coincided with a huge increase in crime, above the California and national averages, while arrests have dropped by half in recent years.

Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the Police Officers Association, vowed to take the city to court if officials try to slash employee pay, saying the cuts need to be approved by the unions at the bargaining table.

Overall, the city won the right to enforce 10 of the 15 disputed elements of its pension reform plan. Those include allowing only medical experts to determine which employees are granted disability retirement, changing the definition of disabled employees to only those who cannot work and granting the right to stop bonus pension checks to retired workers when the retirement fund does better than expected.

But in the unions’ favor, the judge also ruled San Jose can’t suspend annual 3 percent “cost-of-living” pension raises for retirees even if city leaders declare a “fiscal emergency.”

The rulings only impact the contracts for current workers. Measure B changes that forced new hires to pay more for their pension and other benefits were not challenged in court and are already taking place.

After the appeal, Reed expects the issue to ultimately be decided in the California Supreme Court.
 

~ ~ ~


That Mercury News Columnist Scott Herhold chose to write about the court's opinion was not a surprise. This column was also in Tuesday's paper...

S.J. Pension Bout: A Win for Workers



By Scott Herhold, Columnist
Mercury News — Dec. 24, 2013

If you are scoring the boxing match at home — and this is what we columnists do — you could say that Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas gave San Jose union employees a 6-3 victory Monday in her landmark decision on the Measure B pension reform.

It was a split decision, and I’ll get back to how I see the scoring by rounds in a minute. For now, let’s ask the question that political aficionados really care about: Just what impact will this have on the wide-open mayoral race in 2014? Here’s my answer: Nada. Zilch. Niente. At least, almost nada, zilch and niente. Here’s why: Even if Measure B is legally flawed, it was still approved by 70 percent of the voters in 2012. Voters are happy to point out the errors of their elected officials. They take deep satisfaction in doing so. “I told you so” are four of the most consoling words in politics.

They are much less likely to admit to mistakes themselves. For those who voted for Measure B, its legal deficiencies won’t persuade them they erred. They’re unlikely to change their finding that pensions of 90 percent for cops and firefighters after 30 years were just a mite too sweet.

Money for lawyers

True, Supervisor Dave Cortese, who has labor backing and is the major non-incumbent candidate, can claim that the city wasted a boatload of money on lawyers. Then again, Cortese is a lawyer himself.

The candidates who voted to put Measure B on the ballot — council members Pete Constant, Pierluigi Oliverio, Sam Liccardo, Madison Nguyen and Rose Herrera — can say, hey, we didn’t win, but at least we got something. We let the people decide. At this point, the average voter is so confused that he or she feels like climbing deep into a mulch pile and asking what’s really top of mind: “What are you going to do about porch-front crime?”

To be sure, Mayor Chuck Reed put a good face on things Monday. Reed calculated that Judge Lucas upheld the city’s position on 10 of 15 counts.

“I am pleased that Judge Lucas has upheld a majority of the Measure B provisions and has protected a vast majority of the targeted fiscal savings that will help rebuild essential public services,” he said in a prepared statement.

Union victories

Of course, not all the provisions were equally important: On the central issues of switching a greater pension burden to employees and stemming retiree cost-of-living increases, Lucas went with the unions.

Retiree health care? A split decision, although it’s too complicated for anyone but an actuary to understand. On smaller matters like disability provisions and the so-called “thirteenth month” check for retirees, the city won.

In all, the judge supported incremental change, not the most sweeping provisions of Measure B. Employees can feel better about having ducked the worst bullets.

“For the mayor and his allies to see any substantive victory here is akin to a football coach on the losing end of the final score to take credit for a victory based on more first downs than the opposition,” said union attorney Chris Platten, a man of good quote.

Meanwhile, we can let the campaign unspool. We’ll hear that the incumbents don’t have a good answer to crime, or that challengers owe too much to unions. But anyone who raises the pension issue fervently is going to sound so, well, 2012.

Contact Scott Herhold at 408-275-0917 or
<sherhold@ mercurynews.com>. Follow him at <Twitter.com/scottherhold>.

 

POA UPDATES



Dec. 23rd

Lucas Ruling on Measure B

Judge Patricia Lucas ruled today that the major components of Measure B (up to 16% for Unfunded Liability costs, elimination of COLA's, and the VEP) are invalid. In short, City workers won and Chuck Reed lost.

Although our side did not prevail on the definition of disability for retirement purposes or get all we had hoped for on retiree medical, the Judge rejected the City's attempt to break its promise to workers and cut or eliminate our pensions.

The vested rights doctrine prevailed over Reed and his Council cronies attempt to rewrite 70 years of California law.

The City is in spin mode and is trying to play this off as a good ruling for them. It's not. For the Mayor and his allies to see any substantive victory here is akin to a football coach on the losing end of the final score to take credit for a victory based on more first downs than the opposition.

We will have more information for you in the coming days and weeks. One of the most pressing problems created by this ruling is in the disability eligibility language for retirement purposes. If the City were to implement the language, all officers would have the same disability eligibility language as Tier 2 officers.

This is a tentative ruling that will most likely be appealed. The earliest that the City can implement anything is July 1, 2014.

~ ~ ~


POA members whose e-mail addresses are on file with the Assn. should have received a Membership Alert that details the particulars about the court decision. It's too lengthy to copy and paste into the Farsider. If you didn't receive it, or are not a POA member and would like to see it, send a request to
<bilmat@comcast.net> and we'll forward it to you in an e-mail.


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD

It's unlikely that this opinion piece authored by the Mayor of Cupertino brightened the mood of Mayor Reed and his compadres who are supporting him on his statewide anti-public pension ballot measure. It is not a puff piece. Read it and you will see that Mayor Wong is swinging for the fences…

Chuck Reed’s State Ballot Proposition is Unfair

By Gilbert Wong — Mayor of Cupertino
Special to the Mercury News — Dec. 24, 2013

Two weeks ago I was pleased to join a bipartisan group of more than 30 California mayors and other elected officials adamantly opposed to the anti-public pension measure San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is attempting to place on the statewide ballot.

We believe his measure unnecessarily attacks the 2 million California workers who teach our children in public schools, patrol our streets to keep our communities safe, fight fires and keep our water clean. We also believe the proposed language will not save taxpayer money but will end up costing cities more in the near term.

Most of all, we believe Reed’s politically motivated effort will greatly exacerbate California’s retirement crisis and send middle-class families plummeting in a race to the bottom.

It’s true that Reed is also a mayor, but don’t be fooled. While Reed may be the spokesman for the effort to repeal the vested retirement rights earned by public workers, its actual advocates are Wall Street hedge fund billionaires and corporate apologists.

Case-in-point: News reports say a man named John Arnold has already bankrolled Reed’s cause with $200,000 in seed money. Arnold is a Texas billionaire who formerly helped run Enron — the company that fleeced Californians during the energy crisis in 2000 and 2001 — and whose Arnold Foundation has spent $7 million funding anti-pension campaigns around the country.

Those of us opposed to Reed’s ill-conceived measure represent a majority of everyday Californians who disapprove of efforts to renege on promises made to public servants. In fact, a recent public opinion survey showed that 63 percent of Californians oppose the idea that politicians could unilaterally cut retirement benefits for current employees, which is the heart of Reed’s measure.

The Public Employees Pension Reform Act was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown (it went into effect in January) and represented a reduction in public employees benefits of at least $77.7 billion, primarily by requiring all current state employees to pay for at least 50 percent of their pensions and by allowing local governments to require the same.

In Reed’s own city, the pension changes in San Jose’s Measure B remain mired in the court battle that is expected to cost San Jose taxpayers $5 million. A similar measure, Proposition B, was passed in San Diego but also is caught up in an expensive court fight.

Flaws in Reed’s proposed statewide ballot measure could result in expensive legal costs for countless other California cities, likely increasing their taxpayer costs in the short term rather than reducing them.

What’s most offensive about Reed’s anti-pension ballot measure is its direct attack on hardworking middle-class Californians in the face of a looming retirement crisis. Already, 42 percent of Americans say they cannot save for retirement while also paying their bills. Thirty-seven percent feel that they will never be able to afford to retire, and will have to work until they are too sick to continue, or until they die. Six million Californians have no retirement plans at all.

Public workers do not retire wealthy. According to CalPERS, the average retired public worker in California currently receiving a pension benefit receives just $2,600 a month. What’s more, public workers earn less over the course of their careers than they would working in the private sector — $6,000 a year less in wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Reed’s ballot measure would pull the retirement security rug out from under 2 million more Californians, threatening them with the possibility of retiring into poverty. That’s not a recipe for saving taxpayer dollars, it’s a disaster that would send our middle class plummeting.

Gilbert Wong is mayor of Cupertino. He wrote this for this newspaper.


 

WEEKLY POLL
 

Last Week's Poll Results




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

 
 

MAIL CALL

Dec. 19th

Bill,

After receiving an email from Jim Spence, Prez. of the Retirees' Assn., I just made a donation of $400 to David Cortese as a show of support for the current cops. We retirees must remember those who filled our spots and whose current contributions help fund our pensions. It must be hell working there now. Let the kids know we support them.

I think it would be good if most of us would donate and let the POA know we did it. United we stand; divided we fall. It was true in Ben Franklin's time and still true today.


Sincerely,

Jim Giambrone, Jr. #1815
<g@commonsenseamerica.info>

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 23rd


Merry Christmas, Bill. Thanks for all the hard work you and Leroy do to produce the Farsider each week.
 
Regarding (last week's) clip of the Quebec teen-ager who sounded like Elvis when he sung "Blue Christmas," he does in fact speak English. This is a link to his appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Gary (Johnson)
<gj1901@comcast.net>



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5x2fJ5HQ9Q>

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 24th

Merry Christmas everyone.
 
You have no idea what fun it was to step out of the attic window onto the roof of the upstairs porch with a broom in one hand and the window frame in the other so I could brush the snow off the satellite dishes. Say what? I thought the 'puter was a little slow this morning, so I walked out on the road to take a look back at the house and saw both dishes were covered with snow. Went back in, got the camera and took this picture. Then did the brushy thing with the satellite dishes. So you had better appreciate my efforts or I'm going to tell Santa. Oh yeah, it was 2 degrees and the wind was blowing. Great fun!

Best wishes for the New Year, too.
 
Bruce & Jerry (Fair)
<bhfair@lcwb.coop>
Living in the Land of Flat


Only a cop-turned-midwestern farmer would think to use the Farsider to send his personal holiday greeting with an image of his house to everyone instead of shelling out the dough for personalized Christmas cards or expensive software. The only downside to his money-saving idea is that Christmas was yesterday, but we're sure Bruce considers that a small price to pay for the money he saved.


 

RETIREES' ASSN. NEWSLETTER NOW ONLINE



Click on the link below to download the Dec. edition of the Billy & Spanner to your desktop.

<http://tinyurl.com/ks8rukf>



 

THE HISTORY OF THE SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN



 

MEYER WEED



<http://meyerweed.blogspot.com/>

Measure B Ruled (mostly) Illegal — An Open Letter to San Jose

Dec. 23, 2013


Dear Residents, Taxpayers and Voters of San Jose:

I am very sorry that you were lied to by this paper (San Jose Mercury News), Mayor Reed and Mayoral Candidates/Council members Liccardo, Oliverio, Constant, Nguyen and Herrera as well as the various local Chambers of Commerce and their individual members.

Many of us did our very best to educate you on the reality of City finances and the merits and lack thereof regarding Measure B (Mayor Reed's Pension Reform ballot measure) not to mention the strong probability that Measure B would be judged illegal by a court of law should voters approve it.

We know full well that the ruling made public today is by no means final and that the issues surrounding Measure B will most likely be litigated at great expense to you for many years to come!

How much money are you willing to allow Mayor Reed, the City Council and future Mayors and Councils to spend? Money that might be better spent on retaining the very same employees and preserving the very same City Services that Mayor Reed, the Council and the Mercury News swore to you would be saved and protected with your votes for Measure B!

We have seen this Mayor and Council divert more than $2 million from the General Fund to the legal defense fund. How much more money are you willing to allow politicians to waste?

It is time to tell the Mayor and Council that you are fed up with their lies and their wastefulness! Hold Reed and his supporters accountable!


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF DEC. 21,  2013

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

New Articles

• Surprising as it may seem, two grandchildren of John Tyler, the 10th President of the U.S. (elected in 1840), are still alive.
<http://www.snopes.com/history/american/tylergrandsons.asp>

• Holiday display depicts a homeowner trapped by a fallen ladder while installing Christmas decorations.
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/photos/decorations.asp>

• Did a Japanese department store once create a Christmas display featuring a smiling Santa Claus nailed to a cross?
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santacross.asp>

• Photographs show monuments in Egypt covered with snow after a freak storm.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/egyptsnow.asp>

• About Dobri Dobrev, a 98-year-old man in Sofia who collects money for the restoration of monasteries and churches.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/dobrev.asp>

• Was the modern image of Santa Claus created by the Coca-Cola Company?
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santa/cocacola.asp>

• Rumor claims SpongeBob SquarePants is being cancelled at the end of January 2014.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/spongebob.asp>

• Update on Facebook video ads: once again, they're reportedly coming "soon" to a News Feed near you.
<http://www.snopes.com/computer/facebook/videoads.asp>

• Were candy canes created as Christian symbols representing the blood and purity of Jesus?
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/candycane.asp>

• Was a fourth-grade student suspended for saying 'Merry Christmas' to his teacher?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/suspended.asp>

• Has Noah's Ark been discovered in eastern Turkey?
<http://www.snopes.com/religion/noahsark.asp>

• A glurgerrific tale claims that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by a father to bring comfort to his daughter as her mother lay dying of cancer.
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/rudolph.asp>

• Has Pennsylvania passed a law banning New Jersey drivers from their highways?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/traffic/pennsylvania.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

• Does the name of Boxing Day come from the need to rid the house of empty boxes the day after Christmas?
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/boxingday.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


 

Don't forget to go to Large or Full Screen for YouTube videos...

 

• • • • •


The JibJab team put together its own animated Year in Review video that recounts the highlights of 2013. But you will have to pay close attention in order to remember everything because the events speed by in less than…(2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vNy05_3QV4#t=15>


YouTube also recapped 2013 in this special video. It's possible, however, that you may need to be under the age of 30 and/or high on drugs to understand what is going on with many of the images. Play the video and see how many references you recognize. (6 Mins.)



<
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7jtC8vjXw8.


• • • • •


Is it just our imagination or does this lady who explains why you should never mess with her purse speak with a slight Texas drawl. Listen carefully and see if you can pick it up. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrhSf8CEgC8>


• • • • •


This is arguably the most interesting item in this week's digital fishwrap. It's a life-sized car made from more than a half-million black and yellow Lego bricks. And believe it or not, it runs using compressed air. The "Lego-Mobile" (our words) was put together in Australia by a teenager with help and financial backing from several associates. Have a look. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ObE4_nMCjE>


• • • • •


It's called "British Humor," and this clip from the BBC's "One Ronnie" show is a perfect example of why its popularity is spreading across the pond from there to here. Have a look at this clip sent in by Don Hale and see what you think. It's about a poor bloke whose Blackberry doesn't work. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAG39jKi0lI>


• • • • •


If ever there was a question as to whether or not the crew of NCC-1701 was capable of singing "Let it Snow" without their knowledge, this clip should provide the answer. That will make more sense if you click on the link below. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-zdMkOZTKs>


• • • • •


Speaking of letting it snow, if you want to see something amazing, click on the link below, enter an address as instructed (don't worry, it's safe), then click the "Go" button. If Snowden and the NSA issue has made you paranoid, then enter a neighbor or a friend's address. When the next page loads, what do you see outside the window? After I entered my address I saw snow falling on my Fremont digs for the first time ever. (If it doesn't work for you, it's probably because you live way out in the sticks.)



<http://www.pusher.com.au/clients/pusher-christmas-2011>


• • • • •


About a dozen e-mails were received from readers this week about an "electronic skeleton key" that is allowing car thieves to enter victims' vehicles as if they had the owner's key fob. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that law enforcement has no idea how the device works. If you Google "police stumped by car thieves" you will find several pages of links on the subject, like the one below that will take you to a CNN news clip about the mysterious device. (2 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7OadDz3Ums>


• • • • •


If you thought this 1-minute stunt by Jean-Claude Van Damme that we included in the Farsider a few weeks ago was impressive…



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7FIvfx5J10>


…you ain't seen nothing yet. Watch how Van Damme gets upstaged by Chuck Norris and some of his friends...(1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W82sMSMJJg>


• • • • •


So what happens when you combine the art of magic and the game of golf? The short answer is this: (Even non-golfers should find it interesting.) (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIZ_bmCP7GQ>


• • • • •


It must be something in the air that is causing folks to send in lists that deal with puns and observations, like this one from Joe Devane. Think of this as an extension of last week's punny torture chamber.
 

To write with a broken pencil is…..pointless.
 
You can tune a piano, but you can't…..tuna fish.

When fish are in schools, they sometimes…..take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar…..got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles…..U.C.L.A.

The batteries were given out…..free of charge.

When a dentist and a manicurist married…..they fought tooth and nail.

A will is a…..dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name…..and a dress.

A boiled egg is…..hard to beat.

When you've seen one shopping center…..you've seen a mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was…..resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off?…..He's all right now.

A bicycle can't stand alone;…..it is two tired.

When a clock is hungry…..it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine…..was fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory…..which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be…..exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair…..she thought she'd dye.
 
Acupuncture:…..a jab well done.


~ ~ ~

If those weren't bad enough, Bert Kelsey decided pass along these observations as seen through a retiree's eyes…

~ ~ ~

I planted some bird seed and a bird came up. Now I don't know what  to feed it.

I had amnesia once -- or twice.

I went to San Francisco and found my heart. Now what?

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

Just what is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

Someone told me I was gullible, and I believed them.

Go ahead and teach a child to be polite and courteous. Just keep in mind that when he  grows up he'll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.

My weight is perfect for my height — which varies.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.

How can there be self-help "groups?"

If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show  you a man who can't get his pants off.

Is it me, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?
 

• • • • •


If watching this short clip gives you the heebie-jeebies, imagine what it would be like if you were watching it in 3-D. (43 Secs)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J49cIYJmfqw>


• • • • •


Those of you interested in vintage aircraft should take a few minutes and watch this excellent news clip about the restoration of a British Seafire. It was a close cousin to the famous Spitfire that saved the Brits from the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of London. (5 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TneYPcyGbbY>


• • • • •


This is an updated video of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (it's the fourth time we have featured these Scots in the Farsider). The performance, received from Chuck Blackmore, is how the BBC covered the 2012 Opening Parade. (9 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ue7c5nsNaQ>


• • • • •


What is the device in the pic below? We'll wager that you haven't the slightest idea, so here's a hint: It's attached to a helicopter. If you guessed a saw, you are spot on. Have a look at this clip sent in by Dirk Parsons to see what it does. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE0HEtHFemQ>


• • • • •
 

You wouldn't know it by looking at her that she slaved all day to clean the house and prepare dinner for her loving husband. Or would you? (41 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKkZDI1z88k>


• • • • •


As a card-carrying member of the Cherokee Nation (true), I feel entitled to comment on the Washington Redskins controversy. I'm not saying I authored the following, but I'm in full agreement with the unknown writer who did...

I agree with our Native American population — I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as warriors, but nay nay...

We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

Let's ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns, too.

The Carolina Panthers were obviously named to keep the memory of the militant Blacks from the '60s alive. Gone, I say. Offensive to far too many people.

The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war between the states that cost this country so many young men's lives.

I also am offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our football team names. It's totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres. And the fact that there are birds on their shirts does not protect either the Arizona or the St. Louis Cardinals. Gone, I say!

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged as their way of life. We are talking about the Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. It is about the children, right?

The Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams promote a gay lifestyle for me. That's a wrong message to send to our children.

The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible spending habits. That is also a wrong message to send our children.

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. That, too, is a wrong message to send our children.

The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Is there any question that that is a wrong message to send to our children?

As for the Milwaukee Brewers, well, it goes without saying that their name promotes alcohol. Most definitely the wrong message to our children.

We can easily solve this political correctness dilemma by getting rid of all the teams' names and simply numbering them from "1" to "32."

• • • • •


If cleanliness is next to Godliness and cuteness is part of the selection process, this kitten could someday be elected to the position of Pope. (2 Mins.)



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


• • • • •


Moving on from a kitten that probably weighs no more than a pound or two on a good day, we now head north and watch momma bear and her two kids bonding in northern Manitoba, Canada. (2 Mins.)



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


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Apparently all it takes to become a YouTube star is some time and an imagination in order to create something that close to 1.5 million will see. Have a look at how this young lady's appearance changes over the span of five years. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MPyoAN4FIk>


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Sticking with the same theme for a moment, here's a time lapse presentation of another young lady, but this one has been viewed by over 4 million YouTube visitors. This video shows her age progression from birth through the age of 12. Periodically you will see a large number in the lower right portion of the screen. It reflects her age at the time the image was captured. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtyqS68ViWk>


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The Internet certainly has ushered in a new style of mass advertising. To prove our point, check out this ad for Haynes Baked Beans sent in by Dave Wysuph, our illustrious PBA President. It should be nominated for some sort of an award in our opinion. (43 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WoM2bHfr48>


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So which one of these monsters will win a pull-off? The 850 HP John Deere or the steam tractor rated at 18 HP? Even if you know, you should find this clip sent in by Bert Kelsey interesting to watch. (4 Mins.)



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


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The Onion News Network looks at the plight of the rich and how they are missing out on the joys of being poor this holiday season. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm6N2PkMgVM>


• • • • •


Our final item for 2013 is this news report of an Honor Flight that paid tribute to two USAF Majors who were shot down over Laos in 1969, but whose bodies were not recovered and brought home for burial at Arlington until 2012. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7TZqJMQWeU&feature=share>


• • • • •




Happy New Year from both of us,
Bill & Leroy



Pic of the Week

Tip: If you have a show-off neighbor, here's how
you can reduce your electricity bill next year.


 
   

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