December 6, 2012
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely
for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does
not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or
SJPD SECRETARY RUTH GRAYSON
Born Aug. 14, 1926
Hired Nov. 15, 1974
Retired Oct. 29, 1989
Died Nov. 21, 2012
Following is the obituary about Ruth that
appeared in last Sunday's Mercury News...
Passed away on November 21, 2012. Beloved wife of the late Gerald Grayson;
loving mother of Brian (Nina) Grayson, and Ross (Jocelyn Brimo) Grayson; dear
sister of Diane Rittenberg and sister-in-law of the late George Rittenberg;
sister- in-law of the late Paul and Bea Grayson; Hal and Char Mandell; Aaron and
the late Beverly Hillman. Also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts. Ruth was a retired City of San Jose employee.
Ruth will be remembered lovingly by all those whose lives she touched. Oak Hill
Funeral Home & Memorial Park.
A phone call to Oak Hill confirmed that no
services will be held.
Several readers who spotted Ruth's obit in
Sunday's paper wrote in to ensure that we caught it. Kenn Christie's message
included the following...
Ruth was a long-time employee of City Hall, and in her
last 20 or so service years, she was the secretary in the Internal Affairs Unit.
As I recall, this included some of the '70's, all of the '80s and the early
90's. She will be well remembered by Bill Lansdowne, Tim Skalland, Lee Wilson,
Craig Shuey, Manny Landeros, Mike Vidmar, Mike O'Connor, Pres Winters, Walt
Adkins, Pat McGuire, Joe Nunes, Todd Martin, Paul Gardner, Ralph Torres, Steve
D'Arcy, Bob Beams and myself, just to name a few of those who come to mind.
Kenn got in touch with the family a short time
later and sent in a follow-up e-mail quoting one of Ruth's family members:
"Thanks for ensuring that the Farsider knows about her passing. I know she
read it online quite often and always looked forward to the next issue. She
always spoke fondly of the "boys" she worked with at the PD. Per her request,
there were no services. The family held a gathering at a son's home to celebrate
A Membership Alert was
e-mailed to POA members earlier this week alerting them to this opinion piece
authored by the presidents of the SJPOA and the Firefighters Union that was
scheduled to appear in yesterday's paper. It did...
Reed and Herrera Fail to Seek
Special to the Mercury News — Dec. 5, 2012
By Jim Unland and Robert Sapien Jr.
San Jose’s firefighters and police officers agree that
political rhetoric and posturing should be set aside and that city leaders and
public safety unions should focus on finding solutions to serious public safety
Moving forward, however, must begin with a clear record.
Unfortunately, the Mercury News chose to view pension reform through
rose-colored lenses: Measure B is pension reform.
Unions, some councilmembers and some candidates oppose Measure B. Therefore,
unions, some councilmembers and some candidates oppose pension reform. It’s
nonsense, and this paper knows we offered legal and substantial pension reform
that was rejected by the city in favor of the legally flawed Measure B.
This was the fallacy that allowed Mayor Chuck Reed to effectively eliminate
collective bargaining in San Jose and muted warnings about the measure’s impact
on public safety.
Never have city leaders and its workforce been this divided, yet there has been
no criticism of Reed’s divisive leadership from the Mercury News. Why have other
cities not experienced similar turmoil? The answer is simple: leadership.
The police and fire unions took pay cuts, increases in health care premiums and
offered legal pension reform that could have already been implemented.
Instead, we have rising litigation costs, no pension savings and talented
employees leaving in droves. Both Reed and the Mercury News knew this would
Your editorials attacking police officers and firefighters for expressing our
serious concerns with Rose Herrera omits all of the reasons why we believe she’s
a poor choice for our city. Your implication that we’re opposed to legal pension
reform is untrue and disingenuous.
Our opposition to Herrera is rooted first and foremost in her abysmal public
safety record and her untruthful flip-flops on issues such as placing a tax
measure before the voters. Your insistence that our opposition is solely based
on the unlawful Measure B is inaccurate.
In June, Herrera opposed reinstating the burglary investigations unit, arguing
officers shouldn’t be pulled from patrol, and said that, in August, the council
would be putting a sales tax measure on the ballot and could look at restoring
the unit then.
Herrera could have urged the use of overtime burglary suppression teams. That’s
how the city tries to keep a lid on gang violence. Then August came and Herrera
flip-flopped on the sales tax measure. She voted against it. The council never
took up reinstating the burglary investigation unit. We informed voters that
Herrera voted against supporting Proposition 35, which cracks down on human
trafficking. Herrera joined the entire council and voted against the council
taking a position in support of Proposition 35, even though the city staff urged
support and the Mercury News recommended that voters approve the proposition.
This was typical of Herrera’s disregard for public safety.
We find ourselves wondering why the editorial pages were silent when the state
Fair Political Practices Commission declared Reed had violated the law by
funneling $100,000 in campaign cash to assist Herrera.
We’re proud of our support for Jimmy Nguyen and pleased that he defeated Herrera
in the 17 precincts in which our members walked door-to-door. Our members’
integrity, solidarity and character are strong, and this paper will not shake
They have continued to serve despite the turmoil the mayor has manufactured.
It’s time to show them the respect that they earn every day.
We’re renewing our call for public labor negotiations. Reed balked at public
negotiations, but residents should know who’s serious about finding solutions.
Jim Unland is president of the San Jose Police Officers
Association, and Robert Sapien Jr. is president of San Jose Fire Fighters Local
230. They wrote this for this newspaper.
• • • • •
It didn't take long for the
paper to receive and include on its Letters page a citizen's response to Jim and
Bob's guest editorial above. By my clock it was 24 hours. This was in today's
Police Union Should Be Focusing
Jim Unland and San Police union leadership (Opinion, Dec. 5), it’s time to focus
on the job. Like the rest of us in the work world, your union must work hard and
make the system stable to achieve pay raises or contributions to the retirement
system. In lean times, we take pay cuts. When the company or job performance is
subpar, we get laid off. As a District 8 resident, I have heard enough of you
and your union’s complaints. Can you and SJPD try and focus on the community to
fight and prevent crime? Maybe you could work collaboratively with community
leaders to find agreement on new measures to provide more pay for your workers
versus your current strategy of threats, complaints and lawsuits. Please tell us
how your once-proud department will once again make this the safest big city in
Michael R. Van Every
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Here are a few tidbits
that may be of interest from the Internal Affairs column of the paper, a regular
feature in the Sunday edition of the Mercury News...
Says No to Rifles, Skull on T-shirts
Mercury News —
Dec. 2, 2012
An elite San Jose police specialist unit trained to use
military-style assault carbines designed T-shirts for themselves to foster
camaraderie among the 80 officers who had completed the difficult training. A
fine idea in a beleaguered department beset with low morale amid a pension fight
with City Hall.
But the T-shirt design struck a sour note with the city’s Independent Police
Auditor LaDoris Cordell.
The T-shirt has the words “San Jose P.D.” and “Usus
Ferocitas,” which in Latin roughly translates to “skill” and “courage.” But the
typeface adorns a depiction of a skull backed by two assault rifles forming an
Cordell said it looks like something biker gangs would wear and could send a
questionable message to the public.
When we asked the brass about it, they agreed it could be misread. Sgt. Jason
Dwyer said the shirts are a long-standing tradition and are meant to be worn
under their tactical uniforms but not in public. A police-sanctioned specialist
pin is already distributed to these officers to display their achievement.
But Chief Chris Moore understood the auditor’s concern
and the risk, however remote, of citizens seeing the shirt.
“He said we can do better, and have another emblem not subject to
misinterpretation,” Dwyer said.
The chief asked the officer who designed the shirt to go back to the drawing
board, and Cordell commended the swift response, saying: “I hope that as a
result they will be more careful.”
Moore has since ordered up a policy requiring items and apparel bearing the
department’s name or badge image to be first reviewed by the chief’s office.
Score one for police accountability! Perhaps the new T-shirt design will have
daisies sprouting from the carbine barrels and a peace sign on the skull.
Using his Web-design
skills, Leroy came up with this graphic and suggests it be used to replace the
~ ~ ~
San Jose City Manager Tells
Council to Butt Out
We all know San Jose police Chief Chris Moore is on his way out the door, and
that his boss, City Manager Debra Figone, is scouring the country for a suitable
replacement. Plenty of others have offered help with very public suggestions.
Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio in his weekly blog suggested retired SJPD Capt.
Gary Kirby, arguing that “we need a person who acknowledges the need for pension
reform, is not afraid to embrace and implement new ideas, and has the courage
and backbone to take charge.”
And TV news reports, as the city hosted community meetings on the chief
selection last week, speculated on possible contenders now leading departments
from Sacramento to Fresno.
Figone, at last week’s council meeting, insisted “there’s no list and anyone who
says they know who we’re considering is not telling the truth.” She also sent a
snippy memo to the mayor and council reminding them that the charter says the
chief is hers to pick, and that while the council ratifies the choice, meddling
“Rumors, speculation, or premature disclosure of our city’s interest in possible
candidates could cause them difficulties in their current positions, or could
discourage them or others from actually applying,” Figone wrote. “It is both
inappropriate and counterproductive to our principal goal to be discussing or
speculating about specific candidates outside of the recruitment process.”
~ ~ ~
Ex-Chief McNamara’s Book
Contains a Familiar Name
The Spanish motto has it that revenge is a dish best
served cold. Perhaps the most elegant way of preparing the meal is through
literature. In his new police thriller, “Love and Death in Silicon Valley,”
ex-San Jose police Chief Joseph McNamara kills off a physician character named
Veterans of law enforcement will recognize that as the name of the former No. 2
in the District Attorney’s Office under Lou Bergna. The famed prosecutor, who
died in 2010, was a towering figure, a man with a huge impact on the day-to-day
administration of justice in the county for a quarter-century.
McNamara smiled when we asked him whether the name of his character was a
coincidence. And he conceded that he had clashed with Hoffman over the issue of
cops working off-duty jobs at church bingo parlors. Seems Hoffman wanted
McNamara to crack down on his troops for what most of us would see as fairly
Summoning support from church and community leaders, the chief beat back the
He even has admiring words about Hoffman today. It’s just that the namesake of
his old adversary died in a hail of gunfire near the start of the book. Hey,
~ ~ ~
Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and
local politics. This week’s items were written by Robert Salonga, John Woolfolk,
Scott Herhold and Paul Rogers. Send tips to
or call 408-975-9346.
MORE ON THE
UPCOMING DEPARTURE OF CHRIS MOORE
Continuing with the saga of
Chris Moore's impending retirement that we mentioned last week, this Protect San
Jose website alert was released a few hours after we went to press with last
THE SJPD BLOGGER ON
CHRIS MOORE LEAVING
Included in last week's
Farsider were two items from a blog created by an active SJPD officer. The
blogger was brought to my attention by Leroy, whose source for the blog was
One of the items on the blog last week was a response to Scott Herhold's column
about JoeMac, the other spoke to Chris Moore's impending retirement as SJPD
Chief. I was impressed with the blogger's writing style and knowledge of San
Jose's politics, so I asked Leroy to snoop around. What he was able to uncover
wasn't much. All we know is that the blogger uses a pseudonym of "Meyer Weed (an
obvious play on Mayor Reed), and that he or she calls his or her blog "The Meyer
of San Jose." (I included the feminine gender because Leroy says there are
rumors on Facebook that the blogger is a "she.")
This posting about Chris Moore's impending retirement appeared on "Meyer Weed's"
blog last Friday, Nov. 30th, the day after we went to press with last week's
Chief Moore Reveals He Can't
Two days after San Jose Police Department's Chief
Moore's interview on KTVU/Fox2 aired, a second, more revealing interview with
the Chief aired on KNTV/NBC 11's by Damien Trujillo.
In the first interview Moore made it clear that his decision to resign after
only 18 months as Chief was made when he learned that Mayor Chuck Reed and a
majority of the City Council had decided against placing a sales tax measure on
the November 6, 2012 election ballot. That decision flew in the face of promises
that Mayor Reed had made to City employees to generate revenue, which Reed
hinted might be used for non-pensionable pay incentives meant to improve morale
and retain officers who might otherwise leave SJPD for agencies with market-rate
Chief Moore went even further with NBC 11's Damien Trujillo in expressing his
frustration with Mayor Reed, who he described as an "absolutist." Moore
expressed frustration that after being hired as Chief, dealing with the Mayor
and City Council was like "talking to a brick wall."
Moore also expressed regret that he did not intervene in the wage and benefit
negotiations taking place between the City and the San Jose Police Officers
Association. City Communications Director Dave Vossbrink, speaking on behalf of
City Hall, pointed out that it is not the place for a City department head to
get involved in labor negotiations. Vossbrink is technically correct because
negotiations (or what passes as negotiations in San Jose) are supposed to take
place between the City Manager's Office and employee bargaining units.
Mayor Reed confirmed as much in an earlier (10/14/2012) interview on Trujillo's
public affairs program "Comunidad del Valle." At one point, Trujillo asked the
Mayor something to the effect of why can't the Mayor and Council sit down with
the Unions and work things out? Reed said it wasn't possible given the law as
laid out in the City Charter — all negotiations are done with the City Manager's
Office. Again, technically correct — but, it is a well known fact that the City
Manager's office takes its direction on labor negotiations and just about
everything else from the Mayor's office.
It is a fact that labor's bargaining units have had to make the rounds at City
Hall to lobby for the support of the Mayor and Council because, ultimately, they
have to ratify the contracts once negotiations are complete. Elsewhere in the
Comunidad interview, Trujillo asked Reed if it was true that Chief Moore was
resigning over disappointment that the Council did not put the sales tax
increase measure on the ballot. Reed was taken aback by the question — his body
language absolutely screamed "How the hell did you know that?" Reed did his best
to convey his absolute composure and responded, "I hadn't heard that -- people
resign/retire for lots of reasons that are their own -- I hadn't heard that."
It is absolutely clear that Reed had heard that, and thanks to KTVU and KNTV, we
have also heard it!
As I noted above, blogs
are, by their nature, considered to be in the public domain. To access "Meyer
Weed's blog" click on this link:
THIS SHOULD BE A REAL MORALE BUILDER
Want to complain about a
San Jose cop? No problem if you are a San
Jose resident says Leroy and the cops with whom he communicates on Facebook. All
you have to do is look inside your water or garbage bill...
Results from last week's poll...
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
The excellent photo of NFL Official Bill Leavy in the Farsider sparked my
memories of his early career as our Fraternity quarterback. Here are a few
pictures of the 1998 Chi Pi Sigma SJSU intramural team “Da Fuzz." Use them or
lose them. It is a rainy and stormy day up here in Oregon, and this is helping
fill the time and delay my venturing out into the wet and windy wilds of Mullins
Mountain in pursuit of fresh meat for dinner. If I am unsuccessful I have two
guinea pigs available and a great Bolivian recipe.
These are the photos and
captions that Harry included with his message...
On the ground: H. Mullins;
Bottom: Tim Skalland; above Mullins: Dennis
Standing, 2nd from left, Don Tietgens; 2nd from right, Bill Leavy
tries a sweep while Sorahan watches him run.
Tietgens try to get ahead of the runner to block someone.
makes a successful block.
forgets that the quarterback is supposed to be in the middle of the huddle.
• • • • •
See any parallels? This guy is gonna get fired for telling it like it is.
Included in Ken's e-mail
was a link to the CBS-Los Angeles.com website page in which the headline read:
City Attorney Tells San
Bernardino Residents to ‘Lock Their
‘Load Their Guns’ Because of Police Downsizing
Embedded in the news
article is a video that backs up what the City Attorney told residents about
locking their doors and loading their guns...
• • • • •
In the obit section of the Tuesday Merc is listed Marshall Fine, a retired
CHP officer who served out of the SJ office when it was located out of No 4th St
(just above Gish Rd and the Andy's Pet Store building on the Alameda, prior to
it becoming Andy's). He was from the era when the local CHP, SO and PD officers
knew or were aware of each other. Marshall followed in his dad's footsteps and
operated Fine Painting, where he employed off-duty CHP officers as their "pay
jobs." The obit notes that he passed in Grass Valley at age 87, and that no
formal services are planned.
This info is intended for those who are getting to be "really old enough to
recall, but aren't able."
NEWS FROM THE
To view the latest (Nov.)
edition of the Billy & Spanner, click on the link below. Doing so will download
to your desktop a .pdf file from which a double click of your mouse will
magically make the newsletter appear before your very eyes.
• • • • •
Christmas luncheon reminder...
Annual Association Christmas Luncheon is just around the corner and we need to
get a count on those members and their guests who plan on attending. We'd like
you to sign up by December 7th so we can make the lunch plans accordingly. The
details are as follows:
Annual Association Christmas Luncheon
Thursday, December 13th
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
San Jose P.O.A. Hall
1151 N. 4th St
San Jose, CA
Cost: $5 per person
Members are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive if possible.
sign up by visiting the Association website at
The sign-up page is linked at the top of the website.
As always, this is a great event to catch up with old friends and meet new
members as well. We hope to see you there.
Jim Spence, President
CHRISTMAS PROGRAM FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED KIDS
Over the years, San Jose Police Officers have donated
their personal money to help needy families buy food and presents during the
holiday season. Past programs such as the annual "Turkey Challenge" and the
"Christmas Gift Tree" were examples of past charitable work. We sponsored these
programs because we saw on a daily basis families struggling to provide
adequate food and presents for their children during Christmas.
This holiday season, Officer Kevin Metcalf and I have formed a partnership
between the SJPOA and the retail chain "Target." Our goal is to create gift
vouchers to help needy families purchase Christmas presents for their children.
These vouchers will be distributed by patrol officers to parents and redeemed at
a Target Store for children's presents. Very soon Officer Metcalf and I will be
asking members if they could donate a small sum of money to help us launch this
important program. Target Corporation has agreed to provide discounts and some
matching monies to ensure the program's success.
I know our officers risk their lives on a daily basis and spend long hours away
from their families, often working on holidays. I want to thank each of you for
your commitment to our community and the sacrifices you make which often go
unappreciated. I also want to ask if you could help by donating a small sum of
money so we can provide Christmas presents to children in need. Your support
will ensure that this new charitable program is a success, both now and in the
Active officers can donate money through any of the listed representatives
below, or at the POA office.
Retirees can send checks payable to "San Jose Police Officers' Association" with
a notation on the memo line stating, "Children's Christmas Gift Fund." These
donations are not tax deductible. The mailing address is:
1151 N. 4th
San Jose, CA
information, call 408-298-1133
For active officers, the following POA board members can assist your watch with
Sgt. John Robb — Patrol Day
Metcalf -— Patrol Dayshift
Kelly — Patrol Swing shift
Woolsey — Patrol Midnights
Vallejo — BOI
Thank you to everyone for your support. Your efforts will make a difference for
many children who otherwise would not have a Christmas.
John Robb, Vice President
San Jose Police Officer's Association
We have received multiple questions regarding whether the POA is still accepting
donations for our Holiday Gift Card Program.
The answer is yes, and we will continue accepting donations for holiday gift
cards until next Wednesday, December 12th.
We are putting in place a deadline for logistical reasons as we want to ensure
that all donations taken this year will actually be able to be turned around as
gift cards and distributed to patrol before Christmas.
Thank you for your participation.
AND THEN THERE IS
You know, time has a way of moving quickly and
catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like yesterday that I was
young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it
seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived
them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then with all my hopes and dreams.
But, here it is. the winter of my life, and it has caught me by surprise. How
did I get here so fast? Where did the years go? Where did my youth go? I
remember seeing older people throughout the years and thinking that they were
years away from me, and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it,
or imagine fully what it would be like.
But here it is. My friends are retired and getting grey. They move slower, and I
see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me, but I
see a great change in either case. Not like the ones that I remember who were
young and vibrant. But like me, their age is beginning to show, and we are now
those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be. Each day now I
find that just taking a shower is a real target for the day. And taking a nap is
not a treat anymore, it's virtually mandatory because if I don't take an
intentional nap, I will possibly fall asleep where I sit.
I now enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and
pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had
done, but never did. But at least I know that though winter has come, this I
know: When it's over, it’s over.
Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done and things I should
have done. On the other hand, there are many things I'm happy that I have done.
If you're not in your winter yet. let me remind you that it will be here faster
than you think. So whatever you would like to accomplish in your life. do it
quickly. Don't put things off too long because life goes by quickly. So do what
you can today as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not. You
have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life, so live for
today and say all the things you want your loved ones to remember. And hope they
appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all
the years past.
Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come
after. Make it a fantastic one. Remember, it is health that is the real wealth.
not pieces of gold and silver.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
DON'T BE ENVIOUS OF
THE POWERBALL LOTTERY WINNERS
The Onion — known to be
"America's Finest News Source" — reports that not all is rosy with the two
recent mega-million Powerball Lottery winners...
Powerball Winners Already
The Onion — Nov. 29, 2012
DEARBORN, MO—Less than 24 hours after last night’s Powerball drawing, reports
confirmed that the two winners of the $587 million jackpot are both already
divorced from their respective spouses, alienated from their friends and
families, and completely bankrupt.
According to sources, while Debra McInery, 56, of Dearborn, MO and Chris Linden,
32, of Fountain Hills, AZ were elated upon winning the record-breaking lottery
prize, both quickly blew through the roughly $192 million lump sum they each
received, spending it on various failed business investments, reckless gambling
habits, and costly divorce proceedings.
“They just don’t tell you how quickly the money goes,” said McInery, who since
last night has reportedly received a nine-figure check, purchased a $300,000
luxury vehicle, separated from her husband, spent more than $14 million on a
custody battle, and undergone eight cosmetic surgeries. “My family and I were
thrilled when we saw the winning numbers on TV, and an hour later I was being
sued by my parents and defaulting on the payments for my Manhattan townhouse.”
“I lost everything,” McInery continued. “My children, my friends, my home.
Records indicate that in addition to racking up millions in debt, both McInery
and Linden have had all their assets seized by government officials, barely
survived a number of home invasions, and developed dangerous addictions to
alcohol and prescription painkillers.
Linden, who before winning last night’s Powerball was reportedly single and
working as a claims adjuster in Fountain Hills, has since quit his job,
exchanged vows in a lavish wedding ceremony on a private Caribbean island, and
been through a divorce. Sources confirmed he is now barely making ends meet by
working as a cashier at the same 4 Sons Food Store at which he purchased the
“The worst part is how quickly everyone turns on you,” said Linden, explaining
that within an hour of meeting his now-ex-wife, she had married him, cheated on
him with a close friend, and taken half his winnings in a divorce settlement.
“My friends and coworkers all called to congratulate me when they found out I
won, and then 45 minutes later we were all fighting each other in court.”
“By morning I had been confined to a drug treatment and rehabilitation center,”
he added. “That was when everything really went downhill.”
While acknowledging that McInery and Linden’s lives were ruined in a startlingly
brief span of time, lottery officials noted that the two have managed to avoid
the pitfalls of most jackpot winners, who are typically found dead within six
hours of their numbers being announced.
“Money changes everything,” McInery told reporters from the jail cell she was
confined to after her arrest this afternoon on fraud and conspiracy charges.
“One minute you’re imagining how you’re going to spend this massive fortune, and
by dinnertime you realize you’ve spent 100 percent of your winnings, you’re the
victim of identity theft, and you have absolutely no one to turn to.”
“And this is all before taxes,” McInery added.
For more fascinating
news from "America's Finest News Source," click on the link below and visit the
site's home page...
HE'S ENTITLED TO
HIS OPINION, BUT PEOPLE LIKE GASKILL IRRITATE THE HELL OUT OF ME
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN
LEGEND UPDATE AS OF DEC. 1, 2012
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
Are Christmas cards being requested
for 5-year-old Nathan Norman?
• Christmas cards are requested for Nathan Norman, a 5-year-old Virginia boy
• Photograph purportedly shows horses beneath giant
furniture constructed to skirt a prohibition against building a shelter.
• How to send holiday cards and greetings to recovering armed services
• Long-running service shutdown hoax has now been applied to the WhatsApp
• Image presents information about Costco warehouse store chain CEO James
• Video clip purportedly shows Bruce Lee playing ping-pong with nunchaku.
• Video purportedly shows a woman being hit by a car after she flees her home
from a prank intruder.
• Did James Carville say that 'the Democratic constituency is just like a
herd of cows'?
• Will posting a notice on your Facebook wall protect your copyright and
• Young man with Down syndrome receives generous donations from truckers.
• Photograph purportedly shows a women named Mallory
Owens who was severely beaten because she is a lesbian.
• Survey scam: Target is distributing free $500
vouchers or $1000 gift cards to users who click an online link.
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Do clocks shown in advertisements display a time of
10:10 in commemoration of the time of Lincoln's or Kennedy's death?
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
If you tried to view the
video associated with the elevator ghost item from last week. but found that the
clip had been removed when you clicked on the link, you should be able to find
it on at least one of the links below...
This prank that is beginning to go viral takes place in an elevator in Brazil.
Here's the set-up: People enter the elevator unaware that a young girl made up
to look like a ghost enters the car through a trap door when the lights go out.
When they come back on, all hell breaks loose. Funny? You be the judge. The
producers of the prank are very fortunate that none of the "victims" suffered a
heart attack, or that none of them punched out the little "ghost."
• • • • •
When Don Hale sent in a
link to raw video shot by a member of a safari in Kenya of a cheetah jumping
onto their siteseeing vehicle, we looked for and found this condensed CNN
version on YouTube. (3 Mins.)
But that shorter version
doesn't come close to capturing the heart-pounding fear and excitement of the
half-dozen people sitting atop the vehicle. To get a better idea of what it was
like, click on the link below and watch the raw video, but be patient as it may
take a moment or two to load. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Story of the
Received from Bob Moir
An labor union captain walks into a bar next door to the factory and is about to
order a drink to celebrate Obama’s victory when he sees a guy close by wearing a
"Romney for President" button and two beers in front of him. He doesn't have to
be an Einstein to know that this guy is a Republican. He shouts over to the
bartender so loudly that everyone can hear, "Drinks for everyone in here,
bartender, but not for the Republican!"
Soon after the drinks have been handed out, the Republican gives him a big
smile, waves at him, then says, "Thank you!" in an equally loud voice. This
infuriates the union captain.
The captain once again loudly orders drinks for everyone except the Republican.
As before, this does not seem to bother the Republican. He continues to smile
and again yells, "Thank you!"
The infuriated union captain loudly orders drinks for everyone except the
Republican a third time, and just as before, this does not bother the
Republican. who continues to smile and again yells, "Thank you!"
Now irritated, the union captain asks the bartender, "What the hell is the
matter with that Republican? I ordered three rounds of drinks for everyone in
the bar but him, and all the silly ass does is smile and thank me. Is he nuts?"
"Nope," replies the bartender. "He owns the place."
• • • • •
Bill Leavy says he's saving
the dough he makes as an NFL referee so he can afford to buy this outside
retractable, fully daylight compatible, 15 speaker, rotatable through 270
degrees waterproof 201 inch LED TV. We brought him back down to earth by
pointing out that even with the big bucks the NFL pays, he won't be able to
afford it until the year 2025. Have a look at this clip which doubles as an ad
for the new 007 "Skyfall" flick. (2 Mins.)
P.S. I made a major political decision after
watching the video: Screw the Republicans and let's tax the hell out of the
• • • • •
Story of the
Received from Lumpy
What is Important
A Scottish woman went to the local newspaper office to
publish the obituary for her
recently deceased husband.
The obit editor informed her that there is a charge of 50-cents per word.
She paused, reflected, and then said, "Well then, let it read, "Angus MacPherson
Amused at the woman's thrift, the editor told her that there is a seven word
minimum for all obituaries.
She thought it over for a minute and said, "In that case, let it read "Angus
MacPherson died. Golf clubs for sale."
• • • • •
Who needs a runway? This
full screen compilation clip from Bruce Fair shows the skill of Alaskan bush
pilots and how they can land almost anywhere that is free of trees thanks to
their oversized wheels and tires. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Don't let it be said that
goats can't enjoy the holiday season along with the rest of us. Have a look at
this short video clip. (90 Secs.)
• • • • •
Story of the
According to Dave (PBA
President) Wysuph, this article was submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel
contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won first prize.
Christmas with Louise
As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty
hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to
fill them. What is said about Santa checking his list twice must be true,
because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed, his
poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.
One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in
search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Sears or
Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.
If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. You'll only confuse
yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're
kidding me!" "Who would buy that?" Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll
I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a
passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.
Finding what I wanted was difficult. "Love Dolls" come in many different models.
The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd never
heard of. I settled for "Lovable Louise." She was at the bottom of the price
To call Louise a "doll" took a huge leap of imagination.
On Christmas Eve, and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.
My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours.
Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with
Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained
of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of
The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and
left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left the dog confused. She
would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.
We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the
family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas
My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What in the
hell is that?" she asked.
My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."
"Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped.
I kept my mouth shut.
"Where are her clothes?" Granny continued.
"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, to steer her into dining
But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"
Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas, and no one
wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny, hang on!"
My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and
said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"
I told him she was Jay's friend.
A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel talking to Louise. Not just
talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be
Grandpa's last Christmas at home.
The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was
dying, and who should be killed, when Louise suddenly made a noise like my
father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the mantel, flew
around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat
screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the
room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.
Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the house and sat in the car.
It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.
Later in my brother's garage we conducted a thorough examination to decide the
cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot
ember to the back of her right thigh.
Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to
I can't wait until next Christmas.
• • • • •
This clip from our
Webmaster isn't for the squeamish. In some cases, however, it could change how
you eat and possibly extend your life. Me? With Dec. 21st just two weeks away,
I'm heading out for a No. 2 at Mickey D's. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Farsider subscribers sent us a petition asking that we run this video for you
guys who are clueless about gift-giving. While the clip is about an anniversary
present, it also applies to Christmas and every other gift-giving holiday. You
guys should watch it if you don't want to get banished to the doghouse.
• • • • •
And that brings us to this
closer from Stan Miller, who says it's a two-Kleenex video. But don't be afraid
to watch it because it has a gloriously happy ending.
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
resident Stan Miller says this photo was shot from a helicopter
the day after the election and pot was legalized in Washington...
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