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The Farsider

March 21, 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.



Scheduled for a week from this coming Saturday...

Saturday, March 30th
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
POA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St.
San Jose



Latest Update from the POA

March 15th

The firefighters were in court today on their application for a preliminary injunction. Notably, on the day before the hearing, the City submitted a declaration from Alex Gurza, Deputy City Manager, filed under penalty of perjury, wherein Mr. Gurza stated that the City did not intend to implement ANY of the following until January 1, 2014 at the earliest:

• Section 1506-A (the additional employee contribution of 4%)

• Section 1507-A (the one-time VEP)

• Section 1514-A (the "savings" clause [the additional 4% salary cut if section 1506-A is invalidated])

• Section 1512-A (a) (minimum contributions towards retiree healthcare costs)

• Section 1510-A (COLA)

• Section 1509-A (disability retirements)

• Section 1515-A (severability)

According to Mr. Gurza, the City will prepare ordinances so as to be able to implement each of the above provisions on or after January 1, 2014. (Click on this link to download a copy of his declaration:

Today, Judge Peter Kirwan considered the application by firefighters for preliminary injunction to prevent any part of Measure B going into effect before completion of trial on the merits (trial being scheduled to begin on June 17, 2013). Judge Kirwan declined to issue an injunction at this stage. He noted that the parties have set trial in three months and the City has no current plans to implement any part of Measure B that would directly affect employees. (He did not consider the proposed changes to the administration of former SRBR monies to be of sufficient harm to employees).

This continues to be a fluid situation and we will keep you updated as things progress.

Jim Unland
John Robb

~ ~ ~

The Police & Fire Retirees' Assn. sent out on Monday of this week to its members a special Billy & Spanner that included the same basic information.

• • • • •

If you have been following the pension reform issue in San Jose, this item from Sunday's I.A. column in the Mercury News should be of interest...

—An irreverent inside view of the week—

Mercury News — March 17, 2013

State Employee Panel Seems Stacked Against S.J. Pension Reformers

You probably read that San Jose’s battle to enact the pension reforms voters approved overwhelmingly last June with Measure B widened last week when staff attorneys for the California Public Employment Relations Board — PERB — filed four complaints against the city based on unfair practice charges by unions.

For those unfamiliar with the workings of the obscure agency that oversees government worker rights, the dispute now goes before an administrative law judge. The losing party may appeal to the board, whose decisions become final unless a state appellate court agrees to review it. So what are the city’s chances in this new theater of conflict?

On the merits, San Jose may have a better argument than San Diego, which faced similar union charges of failing to negotiate pension reforms in good faith before putting them on the ballot.

A PERB administrative law judge last month said San Diego’s voter-approved pension reform measure should be deemed invalid because the city bypassed union talks with a mayor-backed citizen’s initiative.

By contrast, San Jose spent months negotiating pension reforms with its unions and made several changes before putting Measure B on the ballot.

But then there’s the politics of PERB to consider.

The agency’s four current members were all appointed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who despite annoying government unions with his own pension reforms last year, has relied on their campaign support, most recently in selling his Proposition 30 tax hikes to voters.

The backgrounds of Brown’s board appointees suggest San Jose has a tough sell.

Two board members, A. Eugene Huguenin and Priscilla Winslow, are former lawyers for the California Teachers Association, one of the state’s most influential government employee unions.

Eric Banks is a former president of Service Employees International Union Local 221 in San Diego, representing county, city and school workers. PERB’s current chairwoman, Anita Martinez, was formerly a longtime staffer for the agency. But San Jose’s contracted legal muscle, Charles Sakai, told us he believes the board still would be fair and judge the city’s case on the merits.



Help is on the way for the beleaguered men and women in blue of the SJPD, as reported in last Saturday's paper...

Academy Graduates First Class in 3 Years

—SJPD’s newly minted recruits hope to make a city troubled by crime, budget woes safer—

By Robert Salonga
Mercury News — March 16, 2013

SAN JOSE — For a police department that has seen its share of trying times, Friday was imbued with an undeniable air of optimism. “To be able to step out with that badge on my chest and step into a patrol car is going to be unbelievable,” said 27-year-old Oxnard native David Cortez, class president of San Jose Police Academy 18. “This is something I’ve wanted since I was a young boy.” Cortez was one of 43 cadets who graduated Friday afternoon from the San Jose Police Department’s first academy since budget woes left the program dormant for more than three years. Even better, a 52-member class is scheduled to start training next month.

The new police recruits arrive amid growing community concerns about rising crime around the region, and finger-pointing by the police officers’ union which blames Mayor Chuck Reed and his City Council allies for driving away officers with pay and benefit cuts to bridge budget short-falls.

At center, San Jose Police Department Recruit Officer Alex
Ribeiro was lauded for being the “top overall” recruit among
the 43 members who graduated Friday. They are the first
recruits to the SJPD since a series of problems halted hiring.

Reed has argued the compensation cuts were needed to avoid even more officer losses to layoffs and that the city is aggressively recruiting to fill vacancies.

Moments before the ceremony, acting Assistant Chief Edgardo Garcia said: “SJPD has not lost its luster. We’ve had rough times, and have work to do. But people still want to wear this badge and uniform.”

San Jose Police Department recruit officers sit on stage during
graduation ceremonies Friday for San Jose Police Academy 18.

The class was ushered in at a formal ceremony attended by police brass, city leaders and the new officers’ families inside a packed Parkside Hall downtown. Cortez spoke for his fellow graduates in a speech highlighting their intense six-month academy course.

“We never gave up, and our reward is this day,” he said, before leading his classmates in reciting their personal class motto “One Family One Fight.”

Alongside Cortez, 32-year-old San Francisco native Alex Ribeiro — who was lauded at the ceremony for having the highest academic scores and being the “top overall” recruit — is set to join a force hovering around 1,050 officers. That’s a 25 percent drop since 2008 sparked by budget cuts, early retirements and an outflow of officers unwilling to wait for the city to resolve a polarizing pension-reform battle tied up in court.

While it’s an unavoidable undercurrent, Ribeiro and his fellow graduates aren’t letting themselves get caught up in the conflict. There’s too much to do and learn, he said.

“We’ve been so busy learning how to do the job,” Ribeiro said. “That’s for politicians. All I can do is do my job properly, and that’s what I’m focused on now.”

Cortez, Ribeiro and their fellow rookie police officers will now receive on-the-job training with veteran officers and are expected to be ready for patrols on their own starting in July. They faced tough odds to get to this point: their recruit class was whittled from a pool of more than 800 applicants. The next academy class was selected from about 1,400 applicants.

That dynamic has allowed the Police Department to be highly selective. Paul Watermulder, a Burlingame pastor and former Berkeley police officer whose son Tim is entering the next recruit class, said he was impressed by the standards of the admission process.

Tim’s pedigree as a former Army Special Forces sergeant who served in Iraq didn’t spare him from a rigorous admission process, the father said.

“My hat’s off to San Jose...I was saying to a friend who was a lead detective in Daly City, ‘I don’t think I could have survived this process,’” Watermulder said. “They have the right police model. Most guys on that force are there because they want to help people who are in trouble and are marginalized. I know Tim has been impressed with the people he has met in SJPD.”

Cortez recalled that in 2008 when he first started applying for police jobs in the throes of the recession, it would be routine to see 500 people testing for a handful of positions.

“Things were really bad,” Cortez said. “Everything was plummeting.”

Cortez got a job as a corrections officer at a federal prison in Lompoc but knew quickly that it wasn’t the kind of law-enforcement work he wanted to do.

Ribeiro took a less direct path: Once a pastry chef in his native San Francisco, he later worked as a uniformed security officer at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas before heading back to the Bay Area. He said watching vice crimes like prostitution go unchecked in that city steeled his resolve to become a police officer.

Rising crime rates in San Jose convinced him to look to a city once known mostly as a suburban metropolis.

“When I left San Francisco, I always remembered hearing San Jose was the safest large city in America,” Ribeiro said. “Now I hear about these crimes and things like that, and I’m thinking, ‘What happened?’ ” Part of what happened is that the department’s on-going decline in manpower stretched the patrol forces that Ribeiro and Cortez are expected to bolster.

“This is just part of the equation,” Garcia said, referring to the group of newcomers. “It’s a piece. But without the piece of bringing officers in, we won’t be able to grow.”

The fact that they are being counted on to reinforce the strapped department weighed heavily on their minds as they started training in September.

“The first week was probably the longest week of my life. There was so much thrown at us,” Cortez said. “There was the pressure of being the first San Jose class in three years. It was an undertone. We had a lot to live up to, and we didn’t want to let down the city.”

Ribeiro echoed the sentiment, showing gratitude for a police job in tough times.

“I owe the city and people a debt,” he said. “I feel that they gave me a chance to serve them and do the right thing. I want to make the city safer.”

San Jose Police Department recruit officers watch
their class video during the San Jose Police Academy
18 graduation in San Jose on Friday.



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



March 15th


Because you were a friend of Roger Finton's, this is a photo of the San Jose officers in my academy class dated Feb. 1971. Roger, on the far left of the top row, and the rest of us were all hired in 1970, but we went to the in-house academy 6-18 months after being sworn in.  We all worked patrol prior to attending the academy classes at the old Health Building across the street from the PAB. We also had officers from Santa Clara and Los Gatos in our academy, but this photo was taken with just the SJPD guys.

(Webster) <tucsonron1462@msn.com>

Ron also provided us with the names of those in the photo: Top Row L-R: Roger Finton; Tim Jones; James Taylor; Greg Sekany; Rhett Retzloff; Ray Berrett; Ron Webster; Bill WIskel; and Craig Shuey. Bottom Row L-R: Bob Christiansen; John Kensit; Claud Furnare; Ken Yules; Craig Smith; and Joe Vasta

• • • • •

Regarding the motorcade video for the two slain Santa Cruz officers in last week's Farsider, Ron wrote an excellent letter to Acting SJPD Chief Larry Esquivel. As of yesterday, Ron hasn't received a reply.

March 11, 2013

Chief Esquivel,

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to view the video shot by the CHP motorcycle officer during the funeral procession for the two Santa Cruz officers last week.  The video is a seven minute condensation of the route from the Santa Cruz boardwalk to the HP Pavilion in San Jose. It is a very moving and emotional video with fire personnel and public citizens lining the route.

Of particular note is the segment beginning at the 5:43 mark showing several San Jose officers standing next to their patrol vehicles and saluting the procession as it passes. It is an outstanding example of the professionalism of the San Jose Police Department. It’s as if those officers are saying to the Santa Cruz police family, “You’re in our town now and we’re going to help you. We are going to shoulder some of your grief and attempt to lessen some of your burden.  Rest easy for a while as we, the San Jose Police Department, watch over you.”

Attending police funerals is never easy, but I’m certain that the sight of those San Jose officers had a heartwarming effect on the families, friends and coworkers of Sgt. Baker and Officer Butler.

In this instance, I am pleased to see that the current turmoil concerning wages, benefits, and retirement issues has not diminished the spirit of our department.


Ron Webster  #1462
SJPD 1970 – 2000

Unfortunately, the memorial motorcade video we included last week that was shot by one of the CHP motors in the escort has been removed from the Internet, possibly because of a copyright issue dealing with the music that accompanied it. There still are several videos of the motorcade on YouTube, but they were all shot from stationary video cameras. To view them, go to
<www.YouTube.com> and enter "Santa Cruz Memorial Motorcade" (without the quotes) in the search field.

• • • • •

March 16, 2013


Rich Vizzusi sent a blurb to a few of us Lincoln locals about Dick Hunter's health. I asked Rich if it was okay to pass on to you for a wider audience and he concurred.

(Shuey) <cvshuey1459@gmail.com>

~ ~ ~

Hi Guys,

I talked to Karen McGilvrey, Dick Hunter's daughter. She told me that his Parkinson's disease has progressed to the point that the family made the decision to place him in an assisted care facility in Scotts Valley. The name of the facility is Oak Tree Villa, located at 100 Lockewood Lane, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. The phone number of the facility is (831) 438-7533, and Dick is able to take phone calls and also short personal visits. His two daughters live close by, which is why the placement was in Scotts Valley.

If you are able to give him a call or stop by for a visit, I am sure it will brighten his spirits!

Rich (Vizzusi)

Ed. — Rich's message included a personal phone number for Dick, which I chose not to publish. Those who wish to talk to the retired sergeant should be able to get through by calling the facility's main number. Or you can e-mail Rich.



The long-awaited Vietnam Memorial engraved with the names of the 142 "Sons of San Jose" who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War will be dedicated on Saturday, March 30th, at 12 noon. The venue will be on W. Santa Clara St., just east of the Shark Tank. All military vets as well as the public is cordially invited to attend this special dedication.

For more information that includes an upcoming Memorial Dance and Golf Tournament as well as a link to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this important memorial, please visit our website at...


Feel free to contact me for more information.

Larry Reuter

• • • • •


Tuesday's paper included this detailed and moving story about the Memorial dedication...

New S.J. Monument Gives Voice to War Dead

—Vignettes of 3 of those casualties and the families and friends who can never forget them—

By Joe Rodriguez
Mercury News — March 19, 2013

As vividly as she can remember anything, Anita Bernal Laguna remembers when her only brother, Raymond Bernal Jr., joined the Army, and how she learned he would never return.

“I begged him not to go,” she said on the telephone from Las Vegas, where she now lives in retirement. In 1965 she was a spunky, smart young woman from San Jose’s old Northside neighborhood. She used to closely monitor the grisly Vietnam body counts on television and had come to oppose the war in Southeast Asia.

“ ‘Nobody can kill a Bernal!’ That’s what he told me,” Laguna recalled. “When he left he was so proud. I decided I would have to be OK with that.” And she was, until a year later when her brother was 19 years old. That’s when two soldiers appeared at the door wanting to speak with her mother, who cried out, “No, not my son!” All Laguna remembers is one of the soldiers quietly mumbling, “I’m sorry.”

On March 30, city officials and veterans will unveil a “Sons of San Jose” monument for the 142 city boys like Raymond Bernal who died in the war. Unlike today’s revered soldiers, Vietnam era warriors were not lauded as heroes and had precious few chances to become revered figures in the public eye. Their sacrifices were shrouded in protests and shame.

Stonemason Jerry Franceschi works on the Sons of San Jose Vietnam memorial in
Guadalupe River Park in San Jose on Friday. A dedication ceremony for the memorial
will be held March 30 honoring the 142 city men who died there.

Now, nearly half a century later, an elegant hunk of black granite, etched with local names, might help the public finally honor those soldiers. Here are three of San Jose’s proud homeboys.

Tormented memory

Antonio Chavez hung out with Bernal at San Jose High in a tight-knit group of nine friends. All of them joined the military.

“Raymond was the only one who didn’t come home,” said Chavez, a retired Santa Clara County social worker.

The tall and chubby Bernal was a sweet dancer who was also destined for musical greatness. He played sax, clarinet and bass guitar in his own rhythm and blues band. He performed in nightclubs before he was of legal age, and often got hauled home to his mother by the police. Bernal was so good, he played with the Righteous Brothers at the Civic Auditorium, and James Brown’s entourage was recruiting when Bernal joined the Army.

Chavez said Bernal was wounded twice in Vietnam and could have come home early, but he rejoined his unit out of loyalty. He was killed in a fire fight in November 1966 with only a month to go on his combat tour.

“My own life spiraled out of control,” said Laguna, and the family unraveled from “internal blame.” Laguna dropped out of school, married and divorced an abusive guy and struggled as a single mother. It took years for her to finish college and reclaim her own life and even become a business owner.

Bernal wasn’t forgotten. The city named a small park on the north side after her brother, but something was always missing. Until the memorial was born.

“The names of all the other guys from San Jose,” needed to be together, she said. “Raymond will be with them. That monument will finally bring him home. He can rest now.”

Holding out hope

Leo Flores still thinks about his best buddy from the Vietnam War, Army machine-gunner Robert Susumu Masuda of San Jose. Actually, Flores still thinks about Masuda a lot, every time he sees reports about Afghanistan and Iraq, or attends a therapy session for the post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt he brought back from the war.

“I was supposed to be his assistant gunner that night,” Flores said by telephone from his home in Hollister. “They sent a new guy instead.”

Masuda and Flores were both short, but Masuda was stocky and strong enough to carry a heavy machine gun and the ammunition belts.

“The other guys used to make fun of us for being short, but when they saw him use that gun, that got him respect.” He remembered Masuda as friendly, devoted to his girl back home and to his Japanese-American friends, family and culture.

The two buddies had bonded after several fire fights, including a two-week battle for one hill in the Mekong Delta. But on a routine mission, Masuda was sent to guard a trail leading to a village in May 1969. He and his new gunnery assistant simply disappeared. Flores said all they found of Masuda was his infantry patch, torn from his shirt and nailed to a tree. He was only 21.

“They always did that to try and scare us,” Flores said.

Masuda’s body was never recovered and is now listed as “died while missing.” It took years for the memorial organizers to track down the Masuda family, some of whom still live in San Jose.

“Our father passed away a year after my brother became missing, from a heart attack,” Ronald Masuda wrote in an email. “We feel it was too much for him not knowing what happened to Bob. We still hope he might come home, but it’s been 44 years now.”

Chosen to speak

Karen Nastor Paulson never knew her uncle, Army paratrooper Tony Nastor Jr., but she’s the one her surviving uncles have chosen to speak about him.

“It’s still painful for them,” said Paulson who only knows her Uncle Tony through family folklore. “I remember sitting with my grandma…and she would always say, ‘The good die young,’ when she talked about Tony.”

The Nastor family lived in San Jose and all of them worked together in their ancestral occupations as fishermen and farmers.

Together they fished and dived for shellfish, oysters, mussels and abalone off the Santa Cruz and Monterey county coasts. As the oldest son, Tony headed up the collection of the daily catch. When his younger brothers were old enough, he taught them how to free dive and bring up abalone.

“It was always a competition with the three boys,” Paulson said.

Tony graduated from San Jose High in 1965 and enrolled at San Jose City College in hopes of becoming a police officer. But he asked his dad for permission to drop out and join the military after a friend was killed in Vietnam.

“He wanted to take revenge,” Paulson said.

Paulson recently found an emotional letter to Nastor written by his father, urging him to carry on. But Nastor died before it arrived and the letter found its way home, where it remained sealed until Paulson opened and read it last week.

The high school near downtown, oldest in the city, has a plaque listing every graduate who died in the Vietnam War. Paulson said her uncle was killed, at 21, by a booby trap when he was on patrol in Binh Dinh Province shortly after the Tet Offensive in 1968. That horrific North Vietnamese attack was widely credited with convincing the American public that the war was not worth the sacrifice.

“Until the day my grandmother died,” Paulson wearily remembers, “she always said, ‘The good die young.’” Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767.

Vietnam era warriors were not lauded as heroes and received little respect from the public upon their return from war. Now, nearly half a century later, an elegant hunk of black granite, etched with local names, might help the public finally honor those soldiers.



Those of you who were around in the '80s and early '90s will recall two in-house cops whose views differed significantly over the issue of gun control. In one corner was our boss at the time, Joe McNamara. In the other corner was Leroy Pyle, who was then closely associated with the NRA and went on to achieve fame as our Webmaster. For the record, Joe and Leroy have been friends for the past several years. And as we all know, friends often have fun "tweaking" one another.

In his role as a Fellow at the Hoover Institution, JoeMac was recently interviewed by Stanford Magazine on the topic, "What's To Be Done After Newtown?" And suspecting that Leroy wasn't a regular reader of the publication, Joe sent him a link to the magazine interview along with the message: "Hi Leroy — I send you this for your enjoyment (just kidding). — Joe"

Believing that no "tweak" should go unanswered, Leroy responded to Joe and his article with one of his own that appears under Joe's interview below.

It needs to be emphasized that the disagreement over gun control between Joe and Leroy wasn't seen as personal between the two; it was simply a case of differing views. But as is the case with most controversies, supporters on both sides of a given issue tend to express very strong opinions. If you are inclined to read Joe's interview and Leroy's retort, carry on...

What's to Be Done After Newtown?

—A veteran gun control advocate explains his positions—

During his law enforcement career, including 15 years as San Jose police chief, Hoover Institution research fellow Joseph McNamara was well known for his staunch advocacy of gun-control measures. In combination with his broader public profile (he also writes detective novels), his outspoken views led to sharp clashes with the National Rifle Association.

McNamara’s beat cop experience began as a New York patrolman in Harlem, where he famously chased, tackled and handcuffed a much larger man who had just stabbed someone. He eventually obtained a doctorate in public administration at Harvard before returning to police work. He was police chief in Kansas City, Mo., before taking over in San Jose in 1976. When he left for Stanford, a 1991 editorial in the San Jose Mercury News commended him for a variety of achievements including his gun-control stance, saying “somebody’s got to fight for it.”

Amid current debates over so-called assault weapons and possible new federal gun-control legislation, Stanford sat down with McNamara for a question-and-answer session, challenging him to explain and defend his positions on a variety of issues. This edited transcript is a fuller version of the interview that appeared in print.

Would any additional gun control make a significant difference in reducing crime and violence?

I think so. There’s no panacea; there’s no law that passes that will totally eliminate the massacres that we’re disturbed with, or will eliminate gun crime. But at the same time, there’s a lot of unnecessary violence with guns in our country. There’s a good deal of evidence that when you bring a gun into the home, it’s more likely to be used against a member of that family or household than against the stranger who’s endangering the people inside the home.

There are plenty of instances where mentally disturbed people have access to a weapon and use it, when if that weapon was not present the moment would pass and that they might well go on, live the rest of their lives and not hurt anyone else. So I think there’s a whole climate affecting the use of guns in our country that would be changed from the picture that the pro-gunners create, which is so defiant of common sense that it’s sometimes hard to understand why it has lasted this long. And some of their slogans illustrate, I think, the emptiness of their arguments. For example, one of their chief spokesmen said the only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. If you think about that for a moment, what in the world are they really suggesting? That the United States of America go back to the days of Dodge City and the shootout at OK Corral? That for us to be safe each of us has to turn into a gunslinger, that we have to have our children armed with guns? That we have to have armed people in all the schools and that we have to adapt to a kind of culture where we’re constantly in danger because someone next to us is carrying a firearm?

The pro-gunners like to argue that guns don’t kill, people kill. And that shows again the emptiness of their arguments, because while it’s true that the gun by itself will not kill anyone, a person with a gun can kill a lot more easily and can kill a lot of people. Whereas some reasonable limitations on the type of firearm that you have can really make a significant difference in the danger to other people.

Isn’t the counter-argument, that with so many guns already in circulation, the determined criminal or the psychologically unstable person would never be able to be really deterred from getting hold of a gun—and that the answer therefore is a good guy with a gun?

No one’s arguing in favor of gun control by saying that it will never happen that a criminal or a deranged person will get a gun and kill other people if we just pass this law. But the pro-gunners raise that as if we have, this straw man argument, when in fact we’re not proposing anything like that. We’re proposing some common sense.

For example, why not argue that a rifle-propelled grenade is a good weapon to defend your family? In a sense, it’s a firearm, it’s dispensed through a rifle. Well, because it just would kill a lot of people, and it’s not appropriate. When we’re talking about gun control, we’re talking about things that people overwhelmingly approve as a wide majority: that convicted felons and people who have been convicted of violent crimes, people who are drug addicts, people who are insane, should not have firearms. And people of a certain age should not have firearms. We have those kinds of restrictions on people driving automobiles and in other parts of our society because it’s recognized that, in the public good, you have to have some balance. We do infringe on people’s rights to drive cars, but we do it because we don’t want a lot of people getting killed unnecessarily. And that’s a pretty established principle.

Which brings us to the subject of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.  The recent decision of District of Columbia v. Heller [a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting individual gun ownership] reversed a couple of hundred years of law in that the consensus of federal lower court opinions was that the Second Amendment language explicitly referred to a militia. Let me just read it [the Second Amendment] to be completely clear: ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ That had been interpreted by the lower courts to mean that this was not an individual right to bear arms, that it had to do, as it was written at the time, with the necessity of having militias because we did not have a standing army in our country.

And we should keep in mind too that today the pro-gunners raise the hunting issue, a sports issue. But at the time the Second Amendment was written, hunting was not a sport. For a lot of people, it was a way of providing meals and food for their families. The idea of firearms as sport was not incorporated in the Second Amendment, and I don’t think it really has any place in this discussion. I have nothing against weapons that are appropriate for hunting being legal and I don’t think that the responsible people for gun control argue that hunting weapons should be excluded. In fact, we raise the issue that, why would you need a weapon with the firepower of an assault weapon to go hunting?

Years ago, Barry Goldwater, the conservative Republican candidate for president, who was a member of the NRA, said on this issue [that] any SOB who takes an assault rifle into the woods shouldn’t be allowed to hunt. I think that’s the way most responsible hunters feel. The pro-gun argument is, well, yeah, but if we yield on that point, the next step will be [to] take all of our guns away. And I think that’s an argument that really has to be dealt with, open and out front . . . it’s not just crazy people who have that attitude. There’s a lot of distrust of government in our country. I often write about some distrust that I have over the police use of SWAT teams that has resulted in unnecessary civilian deaths, because we have this silly idea to use these military-type invasions of people’s homes just simply to enforce a drug search warrant, which is obtained in secret and often on very skimpy evidence that would not stand up to anything but this ex-parte kind of legal process.

The fear that we have of government is part of our DNA, and indeed the Constitution reflects that fear because it pits the three branches of government against each other. That’s why my prediction [is] that the [Supreme] Court will not sustain Heller very long, because the [re-elected] administration within the next four years will undoubtedly appoint at least one justice, and Heller was a 5-4 decision on really unprecedented grounds. One of the four dissenting judges said that it created a totally new constitutional right based on very specious arguments. So the Supreme Court will go back and forth, and I think that is something that has worked well for the United States. . . . in the sense that we’re the most powerful country in the world with, I think, the most freedom and economic freedom and highest standard of living of any civilization in the world. (I’m) not saying that we don’t have plenty of problems that need solving, we do. But at the same time we should recognize that, as Winston Churchill once said, democracies aren’t great but there’s nothing in second place.

What kind of additional gun control do you think would be most helpful? Is the issue the assault weapons?

Yes, and the difficulty here is the other side is really quite skilled at masking the real issue. They raise the issue of, well, how do you define an assault weapon, and there’s really no such thing; and you would call them military weapons and they’re not really military weapons, they’re civilian weapons. But the key issue here is . . . the capacity for the weapon to fire a lot of rounds in a very short period of time. That’s what law enforcement is concerned about and that is what many of the pro-gun-control people are concerned about. If someone has a six-shot revolver, yes, they can kill people. And then they have to reload to put six more bullets in. That takes time. Whereas someone who has what we call an assault weapon can, for example, fire a 36-round clip within, say, a half second if it’s fully automatic and perhaps two and a half seconds if it’s semiautomatic. So the argument over whether a weapon is automatic—which is a machine-gun type weapon, one pull of the trigger will dispatch all the rounds of ammunition, as opposed to a [semiautomatic] single pull of the trigger for each round—is meaningless. It’s only a matter of a couple of seconds, so the fire is almost continuous. And it’s that fire that can kill a lot of people, keep law enforcement SWAT teams and law enforcement officers at bay so that they cannot get in to rescue hostages.

California police chiefs took the position of limiting the weapon to seven rounds. Others take the position of limiting the weapon to 10 rounds. But [the clip] can be prevented.

What about contentions like the one in a recent Wall Street Journal article that any gun can be modified to take a clip of size?

Yes, any weapon can be modified. However, by making [certain modifications] against the law [such as a full conversion from semiautomatic to automatic], we’ve taken a very important symbolic stand that this kind of weapon is improper, that it has no place in a civilized society, and that it is a serious crime to do so. I have no doubt, given my 35-year experience in law enforcement, that the overwhelming majority of people in this country support that kind of law; and that gradually public opinion will solidify; and that people who are found to be in possession of weapons that have been modified will be dealt with severely under the law, as they should be. And that eventually, in a gradual process, that law will become the law of the land, and people [will] turn in their weapons.

The trouble with buyback programs now is that [the payouts are] used to obtain weapons with more firepower. So they have never worked anywhere to reduce homicide, and it’s really a stupid idea that wastes the public money and ends up with a better-armed criminal. The idea that they just sell their weapon and never get another one may happen occasionally, but we know it probably doesn’t happen as much as people saying, ‘Gee, I’ve been looking to get a new assault weapon and here’s my chance.’ . . . But if you had buyback programs and it was rigidly against the law to buy a weapon with a magazine and the capacity for magazines, then they might buy another weapon that was reasonable for their own protection.

I personally am not opposed to people having weapons. I wrote my first book a long time ago, in 1984, called Safe and Sane. It was a crime prevention book, and I said to people, if you think you need a firearm to protect your home, that usually is OK—you shouldn’t be required to get a license, but you should be aware that there’s a lot of danger there and that proper use of a firearm is not something you can just assume, like a toaster. . . . There’s a lot of education involved there and tragedies that we have seen happen. Most of the police officers I know would tell you they have seen many more gun accidents than actual cases where someone, a criminal, has been shot invading a home.

Where is the evidence that the now-expired federal ban on assault weapons worked in any way? Hasn’t violent crime decreased since the law expired?

We all know as researchers that the methodology that you adapt can often determine the outcome. When you look at crime statistics, you should keep in mind that in the annual FBI release of crime statistics, Crime in the United States, every year it warns against drawing generalizations from homicide and other statistics like that. Now, I could argue. . . [that] the latest statistics show homicides are up throughout the United States and that’s since [2008]. I don’t make that argument because I feel as an ethical researcher that I couldn’t really in good conscience interpret those crime statistics on a single notion that it had to do with gun control. There are so many variables in analyzing this.

There’s also the argument that better than any gun control would be harsher gun-sentencing laws.

I think harsh gun sentencing is in place in many areas, and I think it has reduced crime. Many people, criminologists, will argue that it’s the mandatory sentencing that has caused crime to go down. So mandatory sentencing for gun crimes, seeing that the laws that we have are enforced now, might work very well.

Sometimes the pro-gunners argue that instead of inventing new laws, we should use the laws we have. I agree with that. But I would point out that they’re playing a very double-sided game, because they know that we lack good data on guns and gun violence. One of the primary reasons that we lack this data is that the pro-gun forces have, through intimidating congressmen, ensured that the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms department has been cut back, so that they cannot enforce the laws that are on the books. They cannot do inspections of gun deals; they cannot ensure that those guns are transferred and sold according to the law. They’ve also been stripped of the ability to analyze gun crime, and the Centers for Disease Control has been denied funding to do it. This is part of a very skilled lobby with hundreds of millions of dollars to play with every year to manipulate the lobbying system that plagues our political structure.

The only department that I know that is making major efforts to trace guns used in crime is the NYPD, and they feel it’s extremely important to find out, when a gun is used in a murder, ‘well, how’d that gun come into circulation?’

When attorney general [John] Ashcroft was in office, he blocked the effort of the FBI to obtain the gun history of some 1,500 people that his department had ordered rounded up as suspected terrorists. This was after the attack on the World Trade Center, and the country was rightfully concerned about terrorism. But how can you take the position that you should round these people up, that they are viable suspects of being terrorists, and not be at all interested whether they ever purchased firearms in the United States? He forbade the FBI to do that investigation.

So I find it very hard to understand the level of almost fanaticism in terms of any effort to get to the bottom of this and lay out it out. Let the American people decide, let the Supreme Court rule as it will rule.

When you say the most important thing is to lay everything out fully, do you not think that’s happening in the current debate?

There’s a great deal of emotion flowing back and forth, and polarization. However, whatever laws are passed, I would like to see incorporated in that law something that [pro-gunners] have criticized: that there’s a lack of data to support gun control. So the elected officials, the Congress passing new legislation, [should build] into the law an analysis by ATF, by the Centers for Disease Control and by other government organizations, to evaluate over a couple of years the impact of the new laws and what they achieved or did not achieve. That’s reasonable for both sides.

This is the link to the Stanford Magazine interview...

• • • • •

Leroy's Response to Joe's interview...

Feinstein and McNamara: There you go again!

By Leroy Pyle, San Jose PD (Ret)

Some things never change, and that includes the minds of Dianne Feinstein and Joe McNamara. Dianne at diane@everypossiblelamestreammedia.com and Joe resurrects his tired litany with a rehash of his material in the magazine interview.

Twenty babies are massacred in their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT by a crazed lunatic and the best these “veteran gun control advocates” can come up with is the same, tired arguments they have used for 25+ years. Is it only me or should we all expect more from those who claim to be the educated leaders of our society.

Diane recently feigned indignation when challenged by Senator Ted Cruz on her Second Amendment stance and claimed, “I’m not a sixth grader, Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years” and studied the issue for a long time. She has openly stated that she wanted to confiscate all “assault weapons” but didn’t have the votes. Not having the votes does not appear to be important to this “representative.”

Retired Chief of Police Joseph D. McNamara has every reason to be proud of his Research Fellowship at the Hoover Institution and his degree from Harvard Law School as well as his Doctorate in Public Administration from the JFK School of Government. He is often interviewed for his gun control advocacy, but he has not accomplished anything in the way of gun control other than the fame associated with his advocacy.

I first became aware of their politics in 1989. At about noon on January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy went to the school playground of the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, CA and began shooting at children. He killed five and wounded thirty, others including one teacher.

Dianne was Mayor of San Francisco at the time and Joe was my Chief at the San Jose Police Department. They both garnered considerable notoriety for their call for gun control. Then, as now, the emphasis was on the firearm. A gun is either too small and easily concealable or two big and powerful; too black and militaristic to be trusted in the hands of ordinary citizens. Their solutions rely on various methods to disarm the honest citizen. Seriously, will anything they advocate affect the activities of a murderer or robber? A crazed murderer?

The McNamara article referenced above does not mention Adam Lanza. A lot about the retired Chief's belief that limiting your possession of guns is the solution, but little concern for the murderer. Feinstein is in her glory, again. She talks a lot about restricting your firearms, but not much is heard of Adam Lanza.

It was much the same in 1989. Not a lot was said about Patrick Purdy, the murderer. After all, McNamara and Feinstein’s reputations are noted as “gun control advocates.” Not “crime control advocates” or “crazed murderer control advocates.” They are all about controlling your guns.

Obviously, I am an advocate of safe and responsible gun ownership by honest citizens. You don’t have to have one, of course, but you do have the right. I began my career in the 1960s investigating murders, robberies, and rapes. Those crimes continue to be perpetrated on the citizens of our communities to this day. As a career police officer it was obvious that the best way to defeat a person with a weapon is with a firearm. Why else would the police be armed?

I am reminded of one of the many news articles about Chief McNamara. In this one it was reported that he heard a burglar on his roof and “ran out of the house with gun in hand.” I wonder why he didn’t take his Harvard diploma, instead?

In closing, this is the best 7 minutes on gun control I have ever seen...



• • • • •

Joe's reply to Leroy's response...

Since Leroy had the opportunity to respond to Joe's interview, it was only fair to give Joe the opportunity to respond to Leroy. Our former boss came up with this...

Leroy is mistaken on the point he made that I have not accomplished anything other than fame about my advocacy.

I became involved when Officer Joe Tamarit was shot at the Red Lion Hotel by a jerk with an Uzi. Our detectives thought the shooter may have been trying to imitate the mad man responsible for the San Diego McDonald's massacre in which the SDPD SWAT team was criticized for waiting outside for 45 minutes while the gunman continued to shoot people trapped inside. The lieutenant in charge of the SWAT unit said he felt he couldn't send his men in against an automatic Uzi.

When Officer Tamarit was shot with an Uzi at the Red Lion, we (the SJPD) were stunned. I brought the case to the attention of the California Police Chiefs' Assn. asking if these weapons were showing up elsewhere. The answer was yes, and I was asked if I would represent the association in Sacramento with the purpose of asking that these weapons be banned. I agreed, and Joe Tamarit — who was still on injury leave — came with me and testified. He spoke eloquently, saying that his radio didn't work on the forth floor of the hotel and that he left a significant amount of blood on the hallway floor while crawling to the elevator that would take him to the lobby because he didn't want his fellow officers to respond not knowing the type of weapon they would be facing. Joe also said that we know we have to take risks when we become officers, but something needs to be done to help protect us. Even though the politicians in Sacramento were intimidated by the gun lobby that day, it later passed a rather weak bill. Like the other California chiefs, I didn't want officers to have to face that kind of weapon either.

Calling people who speak in disagreement on the gun control issue publicity hounds is silly. Senator Feinstein doesn't need publicity. Neither do I.



The loss of police personnel isn't endemic only to the SJPD. This SacBee article sent in by Craig Shuey shows the problem is widespread. Put another way, there is no reason why the SJPD should feel like the Lone Ranger...

Police Agencies Losing Officers

By Phillip Reese
Sacramento Bee — March 13, 2013

Three of every four California police agencies shrank during the last several years collectively, laying off thousands of cops the latest FBI figures show.

The number of sworn police officers in California fell from 81,286 in 2008 to 77,584 in 2011, a roughly 5 percent decline. The number of police officers per 10,000 residents shrank by 7 percent.

Police agencies also employed about 3,000, or 7 percent, fewer civilian support staff in 2011 than they did during 2008.

Crime declined over that period but began to rise again during 2012.

Many police agencies continue to cut staff, though some, including the city of Sacramento, are hiring cops again.

Some of the biggest police cuts came in areas hardest hit by the recession, particularly the Central Valley.

The map shows the change in police staffing by county from 2008 to 2011.



Submitted by Juan Reyes

Announcing the 4th Annual Marine LCpl Travis Layfield Memorial Golf Tournament & Fun(d) Raiser

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunol Valley Golf Course, 6900 Mission Road, Sunol, CA 94586

Click on the link below for more information...




By Robillard, SJPD Ret.

Back in the days before hand-pack radios and multi-channel car radios there existed a need to be "in-service" so officers could be dispatched to calls. This was an era when the fleet consisted of stick-shift patrol cars, some with running boards. There were no shotgun mounts or holders back then. Shotguns were slid into scabbards like those seen on the sides of saddles in western movies, but the police scabbard was mounted parallel to the front seat, under the driver's legs. Cages? What were they? Despite the lack of modern communications equipment, officers were acutely aware of the rule, "Be prepared and be available." This led to a love affair between the cops and drive-in restaurants.

Tom Spivey operated the Spivey's Drive-Ins at 12th and Santa Clara, Shasta and San Carlos as well as similar establishments in Campbell, Mountain View and Santa Cruz. The 5-Spot, operated by Tom's brother, was located at 1st and Sutter. The "hood types" hung out at the Holland Creamery on the south side of Santa Clara near 12th St., and the "teeny boppers" frequented Mel's at 16th and Santa Clara. One of its customers back in '60 and '61 was a high school teenager who, several years later, stopped in on occasion in his PD patrol car. He eventually retired and created the Farsider, but that's another story. For the record, Mel's still operates a drive-in on Hwy 49 in Auburn, where photos of their former chain restaurants are displayed.

Further east at 31st and Santa Clara was Jalisco, where the cops talked Jesse the owner into serving up a "Gringo Burger." Jesse's family still operates a Jalisco on Campbell Ave in Campbell. Just up Old Bayshore, north of McKee, was Abazabas. This was during the pre-freeway days and, therefore, before overpasses were constructed at McKee, San Antonio, Story and Tully. At McCreery and Alum Rock was Mark's Hot Dogs, which has since relocated on Capital Ave. off Alum Rock. The west side of town had John's Drive-In at Stockton and The Alameda.

The listed eateries don't include Kings Drive-In just north of Alma St. on S. 1st as it didn't have carhop service. Even so, it was "owned and controlled" by the SJPD, despite the fact that the Gypsy Jokers outlaw motorcycle gang called it "home." Anita and Alberto of Kings were the purveyors of the burgers and fries served at the tailgate promotional parties held in the Health Department's parking lot across from the police garage at the end of shift at 03-dark-thirty. Now if Guy Fierro of the TV show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" who was also a car theft victim when his Lamborghini was recently stolen here in the Bay Area needed a "canvas" for his show, this would have been it.

Having brought back memories of drive-ins and carhops and hand signals used for coffee — straight across for black, thumb down for cream — let's now look at the other drive-ins that were prevalent in the "golden olden days," namely the drive-in movie theaters.

The Spartan Drive-In at 1st and Alma, behind Kings was the first one in the San Jose area to show a ground-breaking adult movie featuring a "lady" named Linda Lovelace. Then there was the El Rancho at Vine and Almaden. The Alum Rock Drive-In (later to be named The Tropicana) on Alum Rock Ave. across from Marks Hot Dogs featured "a buck a carload" on certain nights. Next up was the San Jose Drive-In at Old Oakland and Gish which usually showed less-than-family-oriented flicks.

The box offices of these drive-in theaters were sometimes subject to armed robberies, and the speakers that provided the audio from the movie could be subject to theft. And every once in a while an errant customer would drive off with the speaker still in the window, thereby tugging it loose from the stand that supported it. Other drivers were known to drive or back into a speaker pole, scratching or putting a ding in their ride while bending the stand over and making the speaker suitable only for someone sitting in a lawn chair.

It was not unusual to find beat units "catching a flick" in the back row of a drive-in theater, nor was it unusual to find one accompanied by an unmarked car. The operators of these drive-ins welcomed the "boys in blue" on their lots, and some of them afforded "freebies" to off-duty officers accompanied by their families and/or friend(s) just by showing your badge, a/k/a buzzer, a/k/a shield, a/k/a star, whatever. The presence of a police unit inside the drive-in didn't prevent armed robberies; it only provided a faster response time. More often than not, the bad guys was 5 minutes away by the time the call was made to the PD (no 911 back then) and it was routed and dispatched. But at least "we got there in a hurry," not like the citizens suffering in today's world.

Today, all that's left is the Capital Drive-In. Perhaps the boys and girls in the blue and whites can give this remnant of what once was the service it deserves, even if it's from the back row.



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—YouTube's Large or Full Screen option strongly suggested—

• • • • •

Let's begin with some sage advice for all of us in this montage of beautiful photos set to the song "Starry Starry Nights" that Harry Mullins sent to John Kregel, who forwarded it to us. (6 Mins.)


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Oops. We had a bad link in a Mail Call item from Paul Gardner last week. To listen to what the former Secret Service agent had to say on the topic of gun control, click on the corrected link below. (6 Mins.)


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It's a good thing that Spray-On Chrome wasn't available back in the mid '60s. It if was, people who saw me driving my '66 Chevelle SS 396 in the sunlight would have been blinded. Step into Jay Leno's garage and the late night talk show host will tell you about it. (7 Mins.)


This is the website if anyone is interested...


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Few things are more moving than scenes of winter when they are captured at just the right moment, especially when they are set to classical music. Our thanks to Pete Guerin for sending us this work of art that may surprise you. (3 Mins.)


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Here is the comedy of Key & Peele again, this time with a short skit about President Obama teaching his daughter Malia how to drive. (1 Min.)


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While we are focused on Key & Peele, here's another clip from Comedy Central about the substitute teacher who was fresh from teaching in the inner city. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

So how much do you know about Beavers? Seriously. Don Hale learned a lot about nature's builders when he watched this clip. (3 Mins.)


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Somewhere in Canada, a buck with a sweet tooth stopped by for his daily treat of munching on a candy bar. (2 Mins.)


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Don't lose your old badge as it may be worth a ton of dough. Have a look at this eBay item we received from Jack Baxter...

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Plan on moving to another home? Alice Murphy suggests you stay away from Mayflower, United Van Lines, Starving College Students or any other moving company and go with this outfit instead. Sure, you will have to pay for round-trip airfare for a dozen or so people from Japan to the U.S. as well as equipment rental, but once you see them in action we're sure they will be your choice. (4 Mins.)


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Want to have a ton of fun? Try the Solowheel. It's basically a self-balancing, battery-propelled unicycle using Segway technology that can carry you up to 10 miles on a single charge. (2 Mins.)


If you want to learn how to ride one in almost no time at all, watch this video. (6 Mins.)


Here's the company's website if your curiosity has been piqued...


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As enticing as a Solowheel may sound, I think I'll wait until next year when Lit Motors goes into production with its C-1 before I sell my Goldwing and opt for the new electric, self-balancing, enclosed motorcycle that can't fall over. Especially since it is expected to be priced similar to a loaded Goldwing with performance that is also similar in terms of acceleration and top speed. I can't understand why, but as I get longer and longer in the tooth, I would swear that my Wing gets heavier and heavier. Have a look at the Lit C-1, which is expected to go into production in 2014...




This is the link to the company's website...

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Those of us who own a 900-pound Goldwing give thanks to videos like this one of a young lady who shows how to pick up the 900-pound monster after it has fallen over. (1 Min.)


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So what did God do on the day following the seventh in which he rested? If this clip received from Don Hale presented in the style of the late Paul Harvey is factual, He made a dog. Look and listen, especially if you are a dog owner. (2 Mins.)


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Pop Quiz: Put your books down and look straight ahead. No talking, no cheating. Question: What makes it so pleasurable for Dave Scannell and so many others to enjoy a walk on a beach? A clue can be found in the image below, so take a quick look. TIme's up. To see if you got the question correct, click on the link under the image...


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We chose as our closer this week this clip from the Late Show with David Letterman sent in by Dean Janavice. It's from the end of Letterman's Elvis Tribute Week and features the top European Elvis Impersonator. If you close your eyes while you listen, you would swear that The King is back in the building. (6 Mins.)


This is the text that was included in the e-mail with the YouTube link of the performance...

First European To Win The Ultimate Elvis Impersonator

Ben Portsmouth and his band, Taking Care of Elvis, present an amazing tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, with his looks, style and fantastic voice which will set hearts racing and feet tapping.
In the blink of your eyes you’ll be taken back to what it was like to see, hear and experience the young and sexy Elvis when he first burst on to the U.S. music scene in 1954 right through to 1977.
Ben Portsmouth’s stunning outfits, all U.S. custom made, span the black leathers of Presley’s comeback in 1968 to the white jumpsuits of the later Las Vegas shows, all costumes are exact copies of the originals.
Not only is Ben Portsmouth a natural showman, he is also an extremely talented professional singer/songwriter, a dedicated musician who sincerely goes that bit extra in all his performances.
In 2006 Ben Portsmouth was awarded the title of Best Festival Elvis at the annual Porthcawl Elvis convention in Wales which is the biggest of its kind in Europe. He took the audience of assembled Elvis devotees by storm with his remarkable voice and stage presence. In 2007 he was awarded the Gold Lame (Jacket) Award for his 50’s set, and in 2008 he was voted best ’68 Comeback Special. And now he has won the "The World's Ultimate Elvis Presley Impersonator."


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Pic of the Week

  The bumper sticker that is giving Republicans a serious case of indigestion...


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