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Our Chaplain Historical Society The Farsider


The Farsider

January 16, 2014


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


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



The city we gave as the location for St. Joseph's Church where the service for Brian McNamara will be held was in error. We inadvertently typed San Jose. This is the correct location for the Wednesday, Jan. 29th service that will start at 11:00 a.m.

Sgt. Joseph Catholic Church
130 South 4th St.
Rio Vista, CA

A reception will follow in the Parish Hall after the service. Questions can be answered by calling 408-592-2240.



Tuesday's paper included its opinion about disability retirements for San Jose police and fire in this editorial…

San Jose Needs to Shore Up Disability Policy

Mercury News Editorial — Jan. 14, 2014

From the time San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed introduced Measure B on pension reform in 2012, we were uncomfortable with the section on disability retirement. Opponents raised valid questions, and we said the provisions would probably need tweaking if the measure passed — which it did, with 70 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, Reed finally will ask the City Council to begin the tweaking. Doubts about disability coverage have been one factor discouraging police recruits from staying with the department, contributing to the short-staffing that now plagues the city.

It would have been far better to get it right the first time.

The disability change in Measure B that tended to jump out in debates was that full disability retirement would not be granted if the officer could perform any job in the city — even if no job was available.

It just didn’t seem right.

Reed now wants the city to commit to making a job available. That may be challenging at times, but it’s fair.

The more telling change, to us, is Reed’s proposal that the city help officers purchase supplemental disability insurance to make up for lower pay in an alternative job when an officer is injured but not fully disabled, which would trigger disability retirement. Until now, city officials have argued that injured officers would have plenty of disability pay under current laws to avoid financial hardship.

The primary disability problem with San Jose’s police and firefighters isn’t the officers who suffer major injuries on the job and need to stop working before they otherwise would.

It’s that so many routinely apply for disability when they reach retirement age.

Two-thirds of San Jose firefighters and a third of police officers now get disability when they retire.

Sometimes they even come back to the retirement board to claim disability retroactively. With the tax-free status this confers, retirees can end up with higher incomes than they had on the job.

It’s a shame Reed and pension reform supporters didn’t put more thought into the wording of the disability portion of Measure B, so that it didn’t have to be fixed after the fact. It has unnecessarily worried officers and recruits and contributed to the antagonism between the city and the police union.

Pension reform is about fairness. Benefits need to be appropriate for risky work but also affordable to communities over time. If they’re not, there are two possible results: steadily deteriorating city services or, down the line, a default on pension obligations, leaving retired officers truly betrayed. Neither is acceptable.

Fairness also demands that men and women injured in public service be well cared for. They know there are risks in public safety jobs, but the risks should not be financial.

They need to feel confident of that every day they put on a badge.



It's probably just as well that Councilman Pete Constant decided to withdraw from the mayor's race. In a city where Democrats make up nearly 80 percent of all registered voters, the odds were pretty long that the Republican councilman could pull off a win. And while it's just a guess, we suspect it wasn't very likely that he could have won the support of the city's police and firefighters. This story is from yesterday's paper…

Constant Bows Out of Race for Mayor

—Death in family postponed effort for fundraising—

By Mike Rosenberg
Mercury News — Jan. 15, 2014

SAN JOSE — Conservative Councilman Pete Constant on Tuesday dropped out of the crowded field running for mayor of San Jose, all but guaranteeing a Democrat will continue to lead California’s third largest city. Constant, a straight-talking retired police officer, was the only Republican in the nonpartisan race.

He faced an uphill battle as only 20.6 percent of voters in San Jose are registered with the GOP.

The termed-out councilman also began the race in a deep financial hole. Just before the window to begin raising funds opened Dec. 5, Constant’s father died and he announced he would not begin campaigning until after the New Year. Three of his opponents raced out of the gate, raising between $169,000 to $512,000 each. The remaining serious candidates vying to replace termed-out Democratic Mayor Chuck Reed are all Democrats: Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, council members Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo and Pierluigi Oliverio, and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. Ballots go out in less than four months for the June primary, when the field is expected to be narrowed to two finalists heading into the November election.

In a statement, Constant said he would not be endorsing any candidates.

His second and final four-year term representing a western edge of San Jose expires at the end of 2014. “I am looking forward to continuing to serve the constituents of council District 1 and the citizens of San Jose through the remainder of my term,” Constant said. “This, along with attending to my family obligations and my continued academic pursuits, will be my focus. Rest assured, my 28 years of public service in San Jose will continue for many years into the future.”

Ed. — It's unclear which political party Constant wanted to wrap his arms around. According to this 3-year-old article, he decided to change his party affiliation to the Democratic party." I've been watching a lot of Rachel Maddow," he said. "It's one of my guilty pleasures. And by gosh, she makes a lot of sense," he was quoted in this San Jose Inside article from April 1, 2011. Given the date, of course, it's possible that the quote was an April Fool's joke…



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



Jan. 10th

Good morning Bill,

 I am living in Mexico and have been for the last 15 years. I have had some failing health problems in the last year, but am doing much better now and have been reading a lot. I know Chief McNamara has written several books and I would like his e-mail so I can get all of them signed and sent to me. I will pay whatever the going price or to his charity. If that’s the case, I believe these books will a great asset to my personal library.

Thank you in advance, and keep up the great work. I enjoy the Farsider each week.

Kent Cossey #1441

I immediately replied to Kent and provided him with JoeMac's e-mail address of
<mcnamara@hoover.stanford.edu>. I also pointed out that our former boss and his wife Laurie recently moved from Menlo Park to the Monterey Peninsula.


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Jan. 13th

Dear Bill and Leroy,

Thank you for the information published in the weekly Farsider. I am a longtime receiver of this, and now a first time responder.

I worked in SJPD and SJFD communications from 1961-1978, when I retired. I read that Lyle Hunt recently passed away, and wanted to share a couple of humorous stories that happened with him and others while they were in the field. One time Lyle came '10-8' and said he was '10-19' to the garage because his transmission was going out. Shortly after that, Dick Hill called Lyle and said he wanted to meet up with him. Our dispatcher said, "Lyle cannot transmit, his transmission is going out"... in actuality his car's transmission was going out.

Re: H Units: On one swing shift we received a "211 armed in progress" at the Alum Rock Market. Several H Units went '10-97' at the scene. I asked then-Sgt . Bob Moir how they arrived so quickly. He said, "We were at the Alum Rock Drive In Theater on stakeout." It seemed a little strange as the movie that was showing was either "Deep Throat" or "Behind the Green Door." We drew our own conclusions as to what they were actually staking out. Anything to add for clarification, Bob? Please let us know.

Doug Bergtholdt, do you remember the call regarding the fingers you searched for in the grass? You found them and took them to the hospital to be reattached to the man who had them chopped off.

Just thought you might get a chuckle out of these.

I am a WW II Navy veteran and now live in Apple Valley, CA with my daughter and son-in-law. I turned 90 last July and am in the 3rd stage of Parkinson's disease requiring 24/7 care.

Thank you again! If you can use any of these stories, feel free.


Roy B Adams
"Grandpa at SJPD communications"

God bless you, Roy. We miss you and your late wife, Virginia. For someone in your condition, your e-mail was very clear and concise. Then again, it wasn't a surprise from someone whose lengthy career was spent in "Communications."


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Jan. 14th

Hi Bill,

Was notified yesterday that I will be the alternate Referee in the AFC Championship game in Denver on Sunday. My very good friend from college officiating, Tony Corrente, will be the game Referee. Looks like I will be coming back for my 20th NFL season in 2014.

Thanks for your support and the always terrific Farsider.


Talk about easy money. To draw a Ref's salary in a play-off game for suiting up and watching the game from the sideline in the event his buddy has to leave due to an injury is not just a plus, it's a well deserved perk for someone who is currently the oldest Referee in the NFL. Sorry, but we promised not to divulge how much the NFL will be paying Bill to stand on the sideline and watch the game. Suffice to say that it's a 4-hour pay job that most CEOs would love to work.


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Jan. 14th


I'm sending you a beautifully articulated article that hits home with so many of us. I'm not sure, but it could be suitable for your newsletter.

(Name withheld by request)

What we received from the wife of a retiree was a link to a Real Clear Politics article about conservative parents whose children have adopted the other side of the political spectrum. Below you will find the first few paragraphs of the article. If you find it pertinent to your situation and want to continue, click on the link at the bottom…

Conservative Parents, Left-Wing Children

By Dennis Prager, Radio Show Host
Real Clear Politics — Nov. 5, 2013

There is a phenomenon that is rarely commented on but which is as common as it is significant.

For at least two generations, countless conservative parents have seen their adult children reject their core values.

I have met these parents throughout America. I have spoken with them in person and on my radio show.

Many have confided to me -- usually with a resigned sadness -- that one or more of their children has adopted left-wing social, moral and political beliefs.

A particularly dramatic recent example was a pastor who told me that he has three sons, all of whom have earned doctorates -- from Stanford, Oxford and Fordham. What parent wouldn't be proud of such achievements by his or her children?

But the tone of his voice suggested more irony than pride. They are all leftists, he added wistfully.

Click on the link below to continue with the article...



Saturday, Feb. 15 — 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.
POA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St.
San Jose

Hosted Bar with hors d'oeuvres at 6:00 p.m.
Buffet Style Dinner served at 7:00 p.m.
Entrees: Salmon and/or Prime Rib with all the Fixings
Wine on the Tables in addition to the Hosted Bar
Dancing to follow dinner

$25 per person — $50 per couple

Make checks payable to the "SJPBA" and mail to:
P.O. Box 42
San Jose, CA 95103

Questions? E-mail:
President Dave Wysuph at
Secretary/Treasurer Lumpy Lundberg at



Choir Practice?

I really enjoy the tales of SJPD and hope you get printable submissions. I think, at least from the era I worked in, that the problem might be that many of the adventures of yesteryear are probably not politically correct by current standards. Many of us who worked in that era and share police war stories when we gather find them amusing. However I think many of today's readers who did not share the ethos and camaraderie of the past might find them offensive.

As an example, I raised hogs on my Boony Doon farmlet in the Santa Cruz mountains and patrolled old beat 21 that included a commercial pastry bakery. I worked out a deal with the manager to take as much of the damaged product I wanted as hog food. On my Fridays I would load the back of my pickup with doughnuts and danish pastries that had been rejected. I would then join my teammates at the Fire Marshall's Office for "Choir Practice." As you know, it included the consumption of all the alcohol we had seized that night and/or purchased on our own. I am not, however, claiming who attended.

Well, after about an hour or so of war stories and booze, some of my brother officers would wander over to the back of my pickup truck and search for eatable pastries to supplement their alcohol intake. Every now an then you would hear a triumphant cry of, "Hey, here's a good bear claw," particularly from one officer I will only call Bob.

Good times were had by all. No one was really hurt, but I can well imagine how a Mercury News headline would read if officers were discovered doing something like this today.

Harry (Mullins)

P.S. The hogs loved the doughnuts, but I stopped eating them after I butchered the hogs and noticed the 4 to 5 inch layer of fat.

Only on the butchered hogs, Harry?



From the Editor

Ivano Franco Comelli has created and moderates a "Vintage San Jose Police" group on Facebook that has so far drawn 239 members. If you are a member of Facebook and unaware of the group you should give it a look and consider joining. It's chock full of SJPD memories and photos from the past, and it allows the members to interact with one another. It's a simple matter of logging in (or joining) <www.Facebook.com>, then performing a search for "Vintage San Jose Police."

The subject of "Cops-a-Field" (the magazine) was brought up on VSJP two weeks ago. It was an in-house satirical publication that I and about a dozen others published once a month with the intent of "entertaining the troops." While it was greeted with enthusiasm by the rank and file, there were a handful of those in the hierarchy who felt it was "over the top." To his credit, however, then-Chief of Police Bob Murphy saw it as good for the morale of the Dept. and gave us the green light to go with it. Unfortunately, the multi-page publication required so much of our off-duty time that the monthly publication became too much of a chore, and we ran out of gas after six issues that ran from Oct. 1975 through March of 1976. Personal computers hadn't yet become of age, and each page of the magazine had to be typed on an IBM typewriter and stitched together with an X-acto knife and scotch tape. This was the cover of our first issue…

When JoeMac came to town after our six-month run had become part of the history of the SJPD, I was reassigned from the daily ICU Watch Bulletin and given the assignment of creating a weekly in-house, non-criminal newsletter which became the Insider. (Coincidentally, the person who took over the Watch Bulletin was my current partner in crime, Leroy Pyle, who created and maintains this SJPBA website.) Like Chief Murphy before him, JoeMac gave me a long leash and allowed humor to permeate the Insider. As a longtime cop himself, he was aware that if it was to be effective, it would have to be something that the rank and file would want to pick up and read.

By 1978, the Insider had become accepted and widely read throughout the Dept., but I was always looking for a way to make the weekly house organ more entertaining. Enter Tom Macris, SJPD's first police artist. Tom and I had become close friends from having collaborated on Cops-a-Field the magazine where he took on the role of graphics illustrator and cartoonist. When I told him I would like to conclude each Insider with an original cartoon, he was all in. Each week Tom and I would get together and come up with an idea for a cartoon. When we came up with something we thought would work, Tom would render it and I would provide the caption. I would then use it to conclude that week's Insider. Here are a few examples…

Nearly nine years ago — on May 18, 2005 — the Farsider was born, although it didn't bear that name at the time or look anything like it does today. Initially called the "SJPD Notification List," its intended purpose was to notify the growing SJPD retirement community of the deaths and serious illnesses of our brothers and sisters with whom we had worked with for so many years. This weekly notification list started out with only a few dozen subscribers. After word got around, that number quickly shot up to more than 100, and the publication was given a name: The Farsider. Today, there are nearly 1,000 known subscribers, although the actual number is unknown because there are those who are aware of the website and the password, but have not officially asked to become a subscriber.

Like the Insider, I have always looked for ways to enhance the Farsider. In Aug. of 2005 someone asked if it was possible to recycle the Cops-a-Field cartoons from the Insider. Since I was still in possession of all the originals, it was game on. Like the Insider, every weekly issue of the Farsider concluded with a Cops-a-Field cartoon until the crop was exhausted in late 2007.

I am currently forwarding the cartoons in groups of ten to Ivan Comelli for his VSJP group. If he chooses to post them over a period of time, Cops-a-Field will make their third appearance on the social media website called Facebook.

It was the following message from Ivan that prompted me to pen the article above…

Jan. 11th


Thanks for allowing me to use your Macris-Mattos cartoons on VSJP-FB. I was thinking that if the "History of the SJPD Shall Not be Forgotten" doesn't pick up with contributions, you could post some of the better quality pictures from the VSJP photo collection. I know you did your best editing, but some of the entries were too long and ponderous. Most of your vintage readers are not members of Facebook, and I am sure they would enjoy seeing them. They might even generate some stories behind the photos. I'll attach one of my favorites to this email.

It shows Roy Sanfilippo, Bob Moir and the late Bill Wittmann with a captured armed robbery suspect inside the old PD on Market St., circa 1956-57. I received the photo from Roy. What do you think?

Ivan (Comelli)

Ivan's idea sounds workable, as long as the historical photos are somewhat unique. There are a few dozen vintage photos from the '50s, '40s and even the '30s that have received so much exposure over the past few decades that they have been seen by virtually everyone who has been associated with the SJPD since the 1960s. Presuming we receive a contribution for the Farsider in the form of a story or a quality photo from SJPD's past, the History of the SJPD Shall Not Be Forgotten column will live on.



To see Mike Amaral and his Beach Boys Tribute Band's schedule for the upcoming year, click on the link below, then on the "Schedule" button at the top...


While you are on the site, you can also sample some of the band's music, like this excerpt from Surfin' USA…





We have it on good authority that a number of our readers hit one of the local eateries that feature an early bird dinner at 5:00 p.m., then turn in around 8 p.m. In fact, we personally know a few, but we're not naming names. As a public service to those retirees, we thought they might appreciate a summary of the recent jokes told by the late night TV hosts…

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie doesn't know yet if he's running for president in 2016. I guess he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it.

Somebody at Governor Christie's office was involved in a traffic lane closure at the George Washington Bridge. It clogged up a major artery, causing a huge traffic jam. But Christie is denying any personal involvement. He said he was too busy clogging his own arteries at the time.

Pundits are saying this could hurt his 2016 presidential campaign. The ironic thing is this: Now that Christie is denying everything he sounds even more presidential, doesn’t he?

After his denial, Christie quickly left the news conference to deal with a more personal crisis: the Velveeta cheese shortage.

In the new movie "The Wolf of Wall Street," they say the F-word was used a record 506 times. Thus breaking the old record of 505 times set by President Obama when he heard about Robert Gates’ new book.

The Labor Department reported that last month 347,000 people quit looking for work. And in New Jersey, 50,000 people quit DRIVING to work.

Today New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his state of the state address: he said the state is improving, but admitted that it's still New Jersey.

Governor Christie said he wants to do all he can to keep people from leaving New Jersey. That’s why he closed the bridge. He was trying to do some good.

Last week in Miami, Beyoncι crashed a karaoke bar and started singing one of her own songs. Not to be outdone, Britney Spears crashed the same bar and lip-synced one of her own songs.

It's getting warmer. The polar vortex that put the country into a deep freeze is now headed up north to Canada. Finally, payback for giving us Justin Bieber.

Everyone is fine, but Honey Boo Boo's family was involved in a minor traffic accident. Apparently their home rear-ended their neighbor's home.

McDonald's restaurants in Japan have started selling cheese fries that you can't get here in the United States. That makes me wonder: Who really won World War II?

The government is accusing the makers of several weight loss products of deceiving the public. Probably the most deceptive of these companies — Cinnabon.

It was announced that President Obama is going to visit Pope Francis. Obama said he can't wait to tell the Pope, "You know, they liked me a lot, too, that first year."

President Obama will visit Pope Francis. The president said, "I'm looking forward to meeting the one old white guy who's not bashing Obamacare."

Police are searching Justin Bieber's home for evidence in an egg-throwing vandalism scandal. You know you're a real gangster when the police raid your home looking for something from the dairy aisle.

Justin Bieber reportedly caused $20,000 in damage to his neighbor's home by egging it. It's being called the most pointless use of an egg since the fertilization of Justin Bieber.


It's warming up a little bit here in the northeast. The polar vortex has departed. It was supposed to leave Monday night but it got stuck on the George Washington Bridge.

Apparently someone in Governor Chris Christie's office closed the bridge. This is what I don't understand. You've got a major political figure and the busiest bridge in the world. Don't put anything in writing. Do what I always do when I have something top secret to discuss. I go to a bowling alley and use the pay phone.

People are saying that if he let his aides close down the George Washington Bridge, Christie could be unfit for office. And I said, "Hey, the guy could be unfit for his pants. What about that?"

It's been a lousy week for Governor Christie. I mean, first the bridge scandal and now the nationwide Velveeta shortage.

We have a breakdown of the regimen of banned substances that Alex Rodriguez took daily. Four injections of performance-enhancing drugs. Two testosterone lozenges. two different skin creams. A handful of anti-aging pills. And a Tic-Tac.

Alex Rodriguez is banned from baseball for 162 games, the entire season. But he still gets to date actresses. So is it really that bad?

The polar vortex that's terrorized much of the United States and Canada this week is just about gone. I'm kind of disappointed in the polar vortex. It's a pretty unsuccessful vortex if not a single person gets pulled into a different dimension.

Chris Christie is embroiled in a scandal involving lane closures near the George Washington Bridge. The scandal could damage Christie's chances of getting nominated for president in 2016, but he'll probably bounce back. He seems like a pretty bouncy person.

Iran is encouraging families to have more children to boost the population. They have a plan to give a gold coin to any family that has a baby. Maybe we should send Dennis Rodman and his squad of former NBA players straight from North Korea over there. They'll get that birthrate up in no time.

Right now Iran's population is around 80 million. Their supreme leader wants to get it up to 150 million. If he wants more pregnancies, he should start by legalizing alcohol over there.

Justin Bieber was accused of egging his neighbor's house. The neighbor claimed he caused about $20,000 in damage. He throws Fabergι eggs only.

About a dozen of the sheriff's deputies showed up at Justin Bieber's house with a search warrant. I guess they were looking for eggs, I don't know.

The rollout of the Affordable Care Act continues to be terrible. Now comes news that not enough young, healthy Americans are signing up. Did they expect young people to buy insurance the same time that Play Station 4 comes out?

Chris Christie is dealing with a scandal after it was revealed that a top aide shut down access to the George Washington Bridge to get back at a mayor for not endorsing him. Christie was furious when they blocked the bridge. He thought they said they were blocking the FRIDGE.

Chris Christie held a press conference today to address the bridge scandal. He insisted that he is not a bully — and he will sit on anyone who says otherwise.

Yesterday, President Obama gave photographers a rare chance to take pictures of his weekly lunch with Joe Biden. Then Biden told his friends, "Told you I knew the president."

A new study found that babies as young as nine months can tell the difference between friends and enemies. Which raises a lot of questions, like: What kind of babies have enemies?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to push his agenda. Today he proposed a longer school day for children in his state. In fairness, kids in New Jersey probably need a longer day since their buses spend three hours stuck on a bridge.

A new report found that more than half of the people who have signed up for Obamacare are older than 45. Which is no big deal until you find out they were 25 when they first tried to log onto the website.

This week Beyoncι wrote an essay online where she calls for women and men to get paid the same amount. When they heard that, men were like, “Sweet! We'd love to get paid as much as Beyoncι.”

A new study found that couples who don’t have kids end up having happier marriages. So to anyone whose parents got divorced, I guess it WAS your fault.



Our spies in Washington have advised that Congress will pass legislation in February titled: "The Affordable Golf Club Act." It declares that every citizen must purchase a new set of golf clubs by June 30, 2014.
Until now, only the upper middle class and the wealthy have been able to purchase new golf clubs without the assistance of the government.
This new law will ensure that every American will now have "affordable" golf clubs of their own. If, however, you already have a set of golf clubs you are happy with, you can keep them. Period. Or until a decision is made to change the law, which could happen as early as next month.
Three grades of affordable golf clubs will be available at a cost of $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 per set. This does not include taxes, pull cart, electric cart fees, green fees, membership fees, balls, tees, gloves, range finders, storage fees, maintenance of the equipment or repair costs.

Those who claim they live below the poverty level (no proof needed) and say they cannot afford a set of golf clubs can have their purchase of the least expensive ($1,000) set of golf clubs subsidized by the government at taxpayers' expense. Said subsidy will cover $995 of the $1,000 cost.

Children under the age of 26 who have been using their parents' golf clubs can continue to use them until they turn 27, at which time they must purchase their own golf clubs.
People who live in farming areas, ghettos, inner cities, Wyoming or areas with no access to golf courses are not exempt. The government will begin building full length, executive and miniature golf courses in the aforementioned areas by the end of 2014 at taxpayers' expense. Age, health, prior experience or no experience at all are not acceptable excuses for not buying, maintaining and using your golf clubs.
A government review board comprised of non-golfers who don't know the difference between a hook, slice, shank or whiff will be the ruling authority. It will determine when, where, and how often you can use your golf clubs, along with the maximum number of people who can ride in your golf cart. The board also will determine if participants are too old or not healthy enough to be able to use their golf clubs, although they will still have to purchase a set in order to cover the cost of the subsidies for the poor. The review board also will decide if you are required to purchase specific accessories like a range finder with slope adjustment or a newer and more expensive set of golf clubs based on your individual handicap.
Those who can afford a membership at an expensive country club shall be required to purchase such a membership. If you are already a member and you like your country club, you can keep your membership until April 1, 2015, at which time you will be required to purchase a membership at a different country club to be determined by the review committee.
Government officials are exempt from this law as they and their families and some of their friends plus a few of their friends' friends are eligible to obtain a $3,000 set of golf clubs at taxpayers' expense.

While passage of this new legislation is iffy in the House, it is expected to pass easily in the Senate and be signed into law by the President, who is expected to make frequent unilateral modifications to the law in an effort to make it more palatable to the citizenry.



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

New Articles

• Can eggs or popcorn kernels be cooked using activated cell phones?

• Does a "secret" list reveal the coding and scheduling behind Target's price markdowns?

• Has a gigantic mutant squid washed ashore along the California coastline?

• Phishing scam purports to be a utility bill from PG&E or Atmos Energy.

• Does a video clip capture kicker Shaun Suisham booting a 110-yard practice field goal?

• Various photographs from the past and present purporting to show Niagara Falls frozen solid.

• Was it legal to send children through the mail in 1913?

• Photographs purportedly show vehicles in Chicago encrusted with ice from severe cold weather.

• Photograph purportedly shows a Bigfoot shot and killed by a hunter in San Antonio.

• Is Facebook blocking links to the web site for Kirk Cameron's film 'Unstoppable'?

• Photograph purportedly shows a woman who suffered a severe infection after the application of henna.

• Has a series of underground atomic explosions taken place at the crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima?

• Does a store in Colorado accept food stamps towards the purchase of food items containing marijuana?

• Do food products sold by Aldi contain horse meat?

• Is Southwest Airlines giving away two free air travel tickets to those who follow online links?

• Did comedian Bill Cosby's remarks form the basis of a 'We Can't Blame White People' essay?

• Was North Korean official Jang Sung-taek executed by being thrown into a cage with 120 starved dogs?

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

Worth a Second Look

• Did Albert Einstein once switch places with his chauffeur for a speaking engagement?

Still Haunting the Inbox

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

Fraud Afoot

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



You should know the drill by now...


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Chuck Blackmore was stunned to learn that Fox News has hired another brainy beauty, and that she isn't a blonde. She is, however, a graduate of the Naval Academy who flew an F/A-18 Hornet on combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you are a Fox News junkie, say "Hi" to Lea Gabrielle. (God bless you, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.) (2 Mins.)


We can hardly wait until the "Girls of Fox News" song is updated to include Lea…


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If it's been a while since you last visited the "Miniatur Wunderland" that is a major tourist attraction in Hamburg, Germany, you are in for a treat as it has been seriously upgraded and improved. Clicking on the link below should automatically take you to a full size video of the amazing attraction that is so much more than the model train layout it once was. This truly is something remarkable. (5 Mins.)


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Would the country be better off if more of its younger generation got interested in some traditions from the past? As an example, watch the "happy feet" of these youngsters dancing to the Boogie-Woogie. (For the record, we consider anyone under the age of 30 a youngster.) (4 Mins.)


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Speaking of "happy feet," watch what this guy in the orange shirt can do with a soccer ball and you may think he has some Meadowlark Lemon blood in him. (3 Mins.)


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We are staying with "happy feet" for a moment because this 12-year-old kid has to be seen to be believed. The only thing that is keeping him from being signed to an NBA team today is his age and his height. Seriously. (4 Mins.)


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When it comes to profound commercials intended to get drivers to slow down, few are more effective than this one produced by the New Zealand Transport Agency and airing on the country's TV stations. Have a look at this short public safety ad sent in by Bob Kosovilka. (1 Min.)


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If attacking Stalingrad in the dead of winter in 1941-42 didn't convince the world the Germans were nuts, perhaps this video will. (3 Mins.)



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Paul Salerno thought this Afterburner video featuring Bill Whittle was worth a look and listen as he compares Texas with California. Whether it's about dispatching clay pigeons with a shotgun or enjoying a fire on a beach, Whittle doesn't mince his words. (8 Mins.)


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If you can pull off a card trick and have Penn Jilette of Penn and Teller fame assist you, and neither Penn nor his partner have the slightest idea how the trick was done, it's safe to say you have reached the pinnacle of your craft. Watch as Shawn Farquhar stumps Penn and Teller on their cable TV show called "Fool Us." (8 Mins.)


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This clip that shows how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. But is it really effective? Watch the first 1-minute clip, then watch the second YouTube clip we found that shows it's not as easy as it looks. (1 Min. and 3 Mins.)



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Along similar lines, Lumpy says he has been studying this video and the various ways it shows how to open a brewski. We heard a rumor that he'll be demonstrating some of the techniques at the PBA Dinner Dance on Feb. 15th. (3 Mins.)


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Alice Murphy is thinking of saving some money next holiday season by having her former police chief husband make a Christmas tree instead of buying one. All it's going to take is to sit Bob down in a front of a computer and have him watch this video and possibly invest a few hundred bucks in a wood lathe. (4 Mins.)


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Would you live in a house made out of shipping containers? Take a few minutes and watch this video before you render a decision. They might be perfect for the retired couple whose urchins have left the nest, especially if the couple lives in earthquake country. And then there's the price. It's called cheap. (4 Mins.)


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Is this motor cop good or what? Neither Leroy or I could even walk the course without knocking down a half-dozen cones. If there's a downside to his run, it's that the edge of the bike's floorboards are probably as sharp as an X-acto blade. Check out Ofcr. Donnie Williams in this clip sent in by Dirk Parsons. (2 Mins.)


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Recognize this Japanese soldier? No reason you should. He hid out in a jungle in the Philippines for 29 years after the end of the World War II because he refuted to believe the war had come to an end in 1945…

In March of 1974, some 29 years after the official end of World War II, Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese Army intelligence officer, walks out of the jungle of Lubang Island in the Philippines, where he was finally relieved of duty. He handed over his sword (hanging from his hip in photo), his rifle, ammunition and several hand grenades. Onoda had been sent to Lubang Island in December of 1944 to join an existing group of soldiers and hamper any enemy attacks. Allied forces overtook the island just a few months later, capturing or killing all but Onoda and three other Japanese soldiers. The four ran into the hills and began a decades-long insurgency extending well past the end of the war. Several times they found or were handed leaflets notifying them that the war had ended, but they refused to believe it. In 1950, one of the soldiers turned himself in to Philippine authorities. By 1972, Onoda's two other compatriots were dead, killed during guerrilla activities, leaving Onoda alone. In 1974, Onoda met a Japanese college dropout, Norio Suzuki, who was traveling the world, and through their friendship, Onoda's former commanding officer was located and flew to Lubang Island to formally relieve Onoda of duty, and bring him home to Japan. Over the years, the small group had killed some 30 Filipinos in various attacks, but Onoda ended up going free, after he received a pardon from President Ferdinand Marcos. (AP Photo)

We found some interesting information about Lt. Onoda on the Wikipedia website... 


To view 44 highly detailed photos of WW II that were taken at various venues, click on the link below. Each one has a caption that describes where you are and what you are looking at. Our thanks to Joe Suske and John Trussler who sent us the link.


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According to Harry Mullins, "While this video is pro-gun, it also shows why you do not want to piss off a retired cop." Harry is absolutely correct. It's the story of what happened when two bad asses and their getaway driver tried to pull off a home invasion robbery. (7 Mins.)


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Harry is hot this week as he also sent in this video about fire safety (there's a pun there somewhere). It's about a house fire that was allegedly started by a nine-volt battery from a smoke detector. How ironic is that? Aren't those things supposed to save lives? (5 Mins.)


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Ladies, here are a couple of pole dancers that should interest you, so you might want to raid your husband's wallet and grab as many $1 bills as you can find. (7 Mins.)


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"What's the big deal about the 1969 moon landing?" asks Alice Murphy. "Didn't mankind make the trip 112 years ago in 1902?"

We would wager that virtually all of you have seen short clips or stills from this ancient French classic, but that few if any of you have seen the full 15 minute movie, especially in this colorized version with this musical score.

Hint: Because this film has a lengthy lead-in, we suggest you use the scrubber bar and advance the movie to the four-minute mark to get to the action you should recognize.
(15 Mins.)


Want more information? Click here:

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If Duct Tape is known to have 1001 uses, Paul Salerno says he has found use number 1002, although he is on record as saying he doesn't recommend it. (2 Mins.)


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If you are really, really, really, really good at editing video you shot with your iPhone or iPad and you use a free app called Vines, you should be able to pull off illusions like this kid. At least that's how it looks to us. Check this out. (8 Mins.)


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As our final item for the week, we ask that you don't read proselytization into this as we aren't trying to make a religious statement. We just happened to find this presentation about the symmetry of numbers very interesting. (3 Mins.)


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Pic of the Week:

Received from Bob Hedgpeth, Retired S/O


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