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 website 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.
RETIRED OFFICER JOE CRESSA
Appointed Feb. 1966
Retired Nov. 1994
Died Between June 2016 and June 2017
I recently received the annual report from our retirement system and was quite surprised when I read that Joe Cressa died between June 2016 and June 2017. I realize there is a probability I was out of town when he passed, but he was a person who would have brought attention to his passing. He was in my Academy in 1966, coming from the Pacifica P.D.
Is he on your Memorial List? I have spoken to others in our academy class over the past two years and no one ever mentioned it.
Carm (Grande) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joe somehow fell through the cracks as this is the first I heard of his passing. I just added him to the SJPD Memorial List that we publish each May during National Police Week. If anyone reading this is aware of when, where or how Joe died, please provide us with the information so we can pass it along to his former friends and coworkers.
FROM TODAY’S MERCURY NEWS
In Loving Memory of Ronald S. Bondi
March 29, 1943 — Oct. 15, 2013
“Today would have been your 75th Birthday. I celebrate you on this special day, for you have made me stronger, wiser and my life filled with endless love for only you. Your children, grandchildren and I miss you so.” —Sue.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Fallen Officer Honored with Plaque at Site of 2015 Shooting
—Family, friends, police gather at site where Michael Johnson was fatally shot on Senter Road three years ago—
By Robert Salonga <email@example.com>
Mercury News — March 25, 2018
Gray skies and steady rain seemed like a fitting background for the police officers, family members and friends who gathered on a sidewalk in front of the nondescript apartment complex on Senter Road.
But for them and the broader San Jose community, the site was where San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson, already a police folk hero when he was alive, was fatally shot on this exact day in 2015 by a suicidal rifle-toting man who ambushed him and several other officers responding to a 911 call he prompted.
And in almost cosmic deference, the rain let up for the 15 to 20 minutes that they filled the sidewalk and spilled out into the street to commemorate the third anniversary of Johnson’s death with a sidewalk plaque near where he died.
“May it serve as a reminder to the city, to all who pass by, his ultimate sacrifice,” SJPD Chaplain Jim Becknall said before the assembled crowd. “For years and generations to come as people see it, let it be a reminder also that we will never forget about our fallen brothers and sisters.”
The weather reprieve allowed his mother, Katherine Decker, to share solemn moments with Johnson’s police family and reflect on how three years have evaporated into memories she can still almost touch.
Katherine Decker, mother of slain Officer Michael Johnson,
kneels next to a sidewalk plaque on Senter Road that was
dedicated on Saturday, the third anniversary of when
Johnson was shot and killed in the line of duty.
“When I saw this plaque, so close to where he was killed, it really brought up a lot emotions in me,” Decker said. “It never stops, you miss him always.”
The plaque adds to a number of tributes to Johnson since he gained the somber distinction as the 12th SJPD officer in department history to be killed in the line of duty. That number tragically increased a year later when Michael Katherman was killed in an on duty collision while riding his police motorcycle.
A five-mile stretch of Highway 87 between Highway 85 and Interstate 280 was designated the “San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson Memorial Highway” in 2016. “It’s touching that he’s being remembered in this way,” Decker said, referring to the posthumous honors bestowed upon her son. “I feel so honored that he’s not being forgotten.”
Nikki Johnson, the officer’s widow, shared similar thoughts, and voiced appreciation for the “big blue family” she said has supported her since her husband was killed. That includes the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, which paid for the plaque.
“It’s such a wonderful gesture,” Nikki Johnson said. “I’m so glad they continue to do these things each and every year.”
Johnson was one of several rifle specialists dispatched the evening of March 24, 2015, to an apartment complex on Senter Road. It turned out to be an ambush. A suicidal man, whom they had been called to help, shot Johnson as he stood in the street after exiting his patrol car. Another officer returned fire, killing the gunman. The plaque is on the sidewalk between the place on the street where Johnson died and the balcony where the gunman fired at him.
It’s one of a number of commemorative gestures in the community inspired by fallen officers. Jeffrey Fontana Park in South San Jose honors Fontana, a rookie cop who was shot and killed in 2001 while conducting a traffic stop. And most recently, plans moved forward for a dedicated San Jose police memorial at the SJPD headquarters on West Mission Street.
Chief Eddie Garcia said that besides honoring Johnson, the Saturday morning gathering was a moment to reflect on how police face mortal risks every time they hit the streets.
“This plaque is not just a reminder for us, but a reminder for the community, of the sacrifice that Michael did, and the sacrifices that are made on a daily basis by the men and women who wear this uniform,” he said.
Garcia added that experiencing two officer deaths as a top-level commander, first as assistant chief and then chief, has bestowed to him the gravity of what he asks of his officers.
“I’m not going to lie and tell you there’s not a part of me that does not sleep well knowing our men and women are out being proactive to keep our community safe, and that there are dangers that come with that,” he said. “They understand the perils of it. They know that’s what our calling is.”
San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia, center, gives remarks
as SJPD chaplain Jim Becknall, left, looks on during a
sidewalk plaque dedication Saturday on Senter Road.
I have a time-saving solution for everyone, particularly those who glue themselves to the TV on election night.
First, don’t watch TV on the day of any election.
Second, on the day after the election, see if you observe any of the following:
• Unusual amounts of smoke in the air.
• Buildings burning and plate glass windows breaking.
• Lots of fire truck and police car sirens sounding.
• Busloads of counselors arriving at the universities.
• Friends saying they can’t go to parties because they are so depressed.
• Neighbors saying they are planning to move to (fill in the country) because they are so afraid.
It’s just another day with some people happy and some are disappointed. If you observe any or all of the first six, the Democrats lost. If you observe the final point, the Republicans lost.
There you have it, a whole day saved.
Bruce (Hodgin) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• • • • •
Following is a message that Phil Norton sent to Ken Hawkes (with a cc to us) after he read Ken’s Mail Call item last week about illegal immigrants voting.
I read your account as a voting official. I also volunteered to staff a voting site several times before I was cast out on my own. The site was a church in Granite Bay. It was a very conservative district and all went smoothly until it didn’t.
After a lengthy period of time I noticed that there weren’t any “customers,” so I sent out a worker to scout around and check out the surrounding area. He returned and told me an oak tree that was several hundred years old had fallen across the only road to the church. I took a look and it was very clear that the voting site was out of business. I called the County voting HQ and related the problem. It quickly became apparent that no one knew what to do. I had my crew load up the furniture, tables, voting booths and move it all to the open side of the road, from there we were able to function.
After several hours a County pickup arrived. The two-man crew told me that they didn’t do that kind of work (saw a-path through the tree trunk). That raised my competitive spirit and my attitude from years past. I ordered the crew to pick up their chain saws and start cutting. I guess they thought I had the authority because they went to work cutting a pathway through the tree trunk.
While this was ongoing, I had the County call the CHP for traffic control as by then traffic was backing up on a major cross street. The CHP came and went. It seems they didn’t do that kind of work either.
After several hours a hole was cut through the trunk and pieces were pushed out of the road. We then resumed business back at the church.
I was a temporary hero until the next election. After resigning my post I was advised I was forever banned from working a voting site again. It appears they didn’t care for my comments about doing ones job. That’s my tail of voting work.
Hope all is well with you both.
Phil (Norton) <email@example.com>
• • • • •
In last week’s Farsider, Dave Walker sent in an article in rebuttal to my statement that, “The illegal Hispanics that are already in California and those that will enter the state in the coming years won’t be able to vote or hold government office unless Congress passes a law that grants them immunity and the right to become citizens.” This is my response:
The article was about Lizbeth Mateo, a 33-year-old Bay Area attorney and immigrant rights activist who was appointed to the post of adviser to a state level Commission here in California. Ms. Mateo was brought to this state illegally from Mexico by her parents when she was 13 years old. Therefore, she, along with her parents and any siblings that are still in the U.S., are all illegal aliens under federal law. By accepting this appointment she has knowingly alerted her presence to the U.S. Justice Department and ICE, who can arrest and deport any or all of them should ICE choose to do so, without any assistance from local law enforcement.
The government agency involved here is the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). It was created by the Legislature in 1955 and is the principal state agency responsible for administering $2 billion dollars in financial aid programs for students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in California. Its mission is to make education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians, including those from low income and underserved communities,
CSAC is assisted in its student grant program by an ad hoc part-time advisory group called “The Student Opportunity and Access Program Grant Advisory Committee.” This committee is comprised of 12 appointed volunteers who advise project directors on the development and operation of their projects. Ms. Mateo now holds one of these advisory positions.
While I personally don’t agree with her appointment, she does not hold a government office. She is not one of the 15 individuals who comprise the Commission itself, nor is she a staff member. She is not a government employee. She does not receive a salary or any other financial compensation.
Middle Ground <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MG isn’t through; here is the second half of his email…
This is my response to Ken and Lumpy’s submissions in last week’s Farsider where they commented on my previous statement where I said: “To vote in California elections or serve in any elected position you must be a U.S. citizen. The number of illegal and visa holding but non-citizen Hispanic immigrants make up about 35% of the estimated 15 million Hispanics living here. That means a large number of Hispanics in the state can’t vote or hold office..”
Ken Hawkes’ account of his personal experiences at his former polling place in Gilroy was certainly chilling. Thankfully. and to their great credit, he and his wife stepped forward to report what they witnessed, and then took on the responsibility of correcting the polling place violations by offering to use their own residence as a replacement polling place and becoming voting supervisors.
There is no denying that there are cases involving the violation of voting laws that have occurred over the years here in California. These cases span the gambit from polling place offenses to voter fraud perpetrated by non-citizens, out of state residents, people voting more than once and those using dead people’s identities.
For me, the germane questions are how prevalent is voter fraud; could these votes affect the outcome of an election, and what is being done to prevent these kind of abuses to our electoral system?
The evidence and the facts show that voter fraud in California is a very rare event. The California office of the Secretary of State received 948 election-related complaints that resulted from the 2016 primary and general elections. As of March 8, 2018 the office had determined that 525 did not merit criminal investigation. Of the remaining complaints, 140 are still being screened, 194 were non-criminal problems referred to local officials, and 89 triggered voter fraud investigations. Of the 89 criminal investigations undertaken, 56 are allegations of double voting, 16 are allegations of fraudulent voter registration and 1 is an alleged case of fraudulent voting. The remaining 14 cases allege wrongdoing by candidates, petition circulators and others who work in the elections arena but not by voters themselves. Of the more than 23 million votes cast in these two elections, the complaints of voter fraud amounts to less than 0.00004% of the total.
President-elect Trump claimed that between 3 and 5 million illegal votes were cast during his election, and he referred specifically to California as one of the biggest offenders when he tweeted on Nov. 27, 2016 that, “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally” and that “There was serious voter fraud in California.”
PolitiFact investigated these claims about California and here are the results from their fact checking.
Middle Ground <email@example.com>
Allow me to don my Devil’s Advocate hat and jump on my soapbox for a minute or two…
I presume you are a former cop, M.G. If so, you are no doubt aware that the number of many “reported” crimes is the so-called tip of an iceberg in terms of actual crimes committed. The State DOJ, for example, may report X number of assaults that occurred in California in 2017, but you and I both know that the number of assaults that actually took place is many times larger. Furthermore, I would bet that the actual number of voter fraud and illegal voting incidents that were reported are minuscule compared to the actual number. Is the number large enough to give credence to Trump’s hyperbolic tweet about the illegal votes numbering in the millions? That was nonsense in my opinion. But given what Ken Hawkes said he and his wife witnessed first-hand at a little polling station in Gilroy, there is no doubt in my mind that the actual number of non-reported voter fraud and illegal voting cases in California is much more significant than what Attorney General Xavier Becerra would have us believe. Is he the most liberal AG California has ever had? In my opinion the answer is a resounding yes. Does his pro-immigrant philosophy extend to illegal aliens? Most definitely. Let’s face facts. Politics is all about power, and Democrats see an ever expanding voting base with every immigrant — legal or illegal — who can find their way into our once Golden State. This has been the case for many years, and it is the primary reason why California is among the bluest of the blue states.
NEW RETIREES’ ASSN. NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE ONLINE
The latest electronic version of the Billy & Spanner is now available on-line. Thank you to all who have agreed to receive the on-line version of the newsletter. Click HERE to download it to your desktop.
SAY HI TO THE PBA’S BIRTHDAY BOYS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH
The Birthday Boys from last Wednesday’s (March 21st) general membership meeting of the PBA. (L-R) Bob Summers; Glenn Bytheway; Keith Cottrell; Kerry Smith (he said that what may look like a smile was actually a grimace from holding in his gut); Ken Hawkes; and Norv Pullman. Photo by Aubrey “Bird” Parrott…
MAKE THAT 1001 USES FOR THE COUNTRY’S MOST POPULAR UTILITY TAPE
UPCOMING EMERALD SOCIETY REMEMBRANCE
WELCOME TO FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT WITH THE GIANTS
FROM THE SJPD TO SAN JOSE STATE TO LOS GATOS, CONGRATS, PETE!
SJSU’s Top Cop Becomes New Los Gatos Police Chief
By Judy Peterson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bay Area News Group — March 22, 2018
The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department is getting a new chief next month.
He is San Jose State University Police Chief Peter Decena, who has been in law enforcement since 1980, including 28 years with the San Jose Police Department.
Decena replaces interim chief Mike D’Antonio, who was appointed after Chief Matt Frisby retired in February 2017.
“I know Los Gatos is very focused on service to the community and I plan to continue that,” Decena said. “The big thing for me is we’re going to develop 21st century police officers and maintain relationships to solve issues.”
Decena said community involvement is one reason he was attracted to Los Gatos and Monte Sereno.
“The crux of it is how we deal with the community and how we deal with each other,” he said. “It’s really about community policing. We cannot arrest our way out of a situation, we have to partner with the community to find solutions to problems.”
Decena isn’t a stranger to Los Gatos: He worked at the now-closed Montgomery Antiques store on East Main Street when he was a student at San Jose State.
He graduated from the university in 1980 and was recruited by a San Jose State Police Department sergeant to join that organization. Later, he transferred to the San Jose Police Department, retiring as a captain after 28 years.
About eight years ago, Decena was named San Jose State’s police chief.
Decena and his wife Connie live in San Jose. They’ve been married for 26 years and have two children.
His first day on the job in Los Gatos is April 2.
~ ~ ~
Updated List of SJPD Cops who became Chiefs elsewhere
As of March 24, 2018
(Alphabetical by first name — Report additions/corrections to email@example.com)
• Andy Galea — Los Altos, CA
• Bill Clark — Newport, WA
• Bill Lansdowne — Richmond, CA; San Diego, CA
• Bob Allen — Capitola, CA
• Bob Bradshaw — Reno, NV; Concord CA; Nevada Highway Patrol
• Brian Ferrante — Sand City, CA
• Bud Bye — San Jose-Evergreen Community College District Police
• Chris Ebert — Marion, IA
• Dan Ortega — Salinas, CA
• Dave Hober — Monterey, CA
• Dave Honda — Watsonville
• David Schrader — Evanston, Wyoming
• Dennis Flynn — Laramie County, Wyoming
• Diane Urban — Hayward, CA
• Eric Sills — Greenfield, CA; Soledad, CA
• Gary Leonard — Grand Junction, CO; Alexandria, VA; Sandy City, UT; Greenfield, CA; West Sacramento, CA
• Gus Kettman — Palm Springs, CA
• Jay Propst — Boulder, CO
• Jeff Marozick — Marin Community College District Police
• Jerry Bowers — Piedmont, CA
• Jerry Smith — Chief of Investigators, San Benito County D.A.’s Office
• JR “Junior” Gamez — Redwood City, CA
• Ken Tanaka — West Valley-Mission Community College District
• Larry Esquivel — Tracy, CA
• Lee Brown — Multnomah Co., OR; Atlanta, GA; Houston, TX; New York City, NY
• Lou Cobarruviaz — Redwood City, CA
• Manny Martinez — Daly City, CA
• Mark Anderson — Lynden, WA
• Martin Monica — Parlier, CA
• Mike Maehler — Longmont, CO; Concord, CA; Mountain View, CA; Sunnyvale, CA
• Pat Dwyer — Sunnyvale, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Hayward, CA
• Pete Decena — San Jose State University Police, Los Gatos PD
• Pete Oliver — Chief of Investigators, Santa Clara County D.A.’s Office
• Phan Ngo — Sunnyvale DPS, CA
• Rich Couser — Contra Costa Community College District Police
• Rich Gummow — Juneau, AK
• Richard Cadenasso — Elk Grove Unified School District Police
• Richard Calderon — Gustine, CA
• Rikki Goede — Piedmont, CA
• Ruben Chavez — Livingston, CA
• Russ Russell — San Juan Bautista, CA; Coalinga, CA; Parlier, CA
• Scott Seaman — Los Gatos, CA
• Tom Brewer — Chief of Investigators, Santa Clara County D.A.’s Office
• Tom Frazier — Baltimore, MD
• Tom Navin — Capitol Police Dept., NV
• Tommy Morales — Evergreen College District Police
• Tuck Younis — Los Altos, CA
• Walt Tibbett — Alameda, CA and Fairfield, CA
SKIP THIS IF YOU DON’T USE FACEBOOK. IF YOU DO…
…are you concerned about what this editorial from yesterday’s paper reveals about Facebook? If not, why not?
I Downloaded My Facebook Data; What I Found Isn’t Pretty
By Ed Clendaniel, Editorial Page Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — March 28, 2018
When it comes to image, Apple and Facebook are racing to the bottom.
Facebook is winning. I discovered that first hand Saturday when I downloaded the data Facebook is collecting from my personal account. Little wonder they’re well on the way to becoming America’s most despised company.
Facebook has already been on 24/7 Wall Street’s top 20 list of America’s most hated companies for the past two years, coming in at No. 18 in February. And that was before the latest Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the social media company allowed data of 50 million users to be used to target voters in tight elections.
It’s easy to look at the data Facebook collects from user accounts. Simply download it from the bottom of the Facebook settings page.
The results from my findings weren’t pretty. I’m not sure who to direct my anger at. Myself, for not being more circumspect about my personal data. Or Facebook, whose mission is in part to “bring the world together.” Presumably by sharing the private data of its users for a price. Or simply by mistake to a company trying to elect Donald Trump. It’s not easy deciding which is worse.
I learned which 15 companies have my data, adding to Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune. Some weren’t surprising: Safeway, Target and Ticketmaster. Others were: Pedia-Sure US (health milkshakes for kids? I don’t think so), Viking River Cruises (I’ve never been on a river cruise) and Mile IQ (I seldom travel on business).
I learned Facebook has my entire contacts list, including several phone numbers I wouldn’t share with my fellow co-workers or closest relatives. Not cool. It also retains every photo I have shared on Facebook and their locations, presumably including facial recognition data that could be used to determine who I associate with and where. Really not cool.
But what had smoke coming out of my ears was learning Facebook collects my Facebook Messenger conversations. Every single one. Facebook says it doesn’t read or sell that data. But collecting them is the moral equivalent of taping and keeping my phone calls. There oughta be a law.
I’m not the only one who thinks so.
San Francisco developer Alastair Mactaggart is collecting signatures to put the California Consumer Privacy Act on the November ballot. The proposed proposition would give Californians the power to find out what information businesses are collecting about them. It would also allow Californians the option to tell businesses to stop selling your private data.
The ballot initiative was launched after the Legislature failed to strengthen users’ online privacy rights. Assemblyman Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, couldn’t win sufficient support last September to require that companies gain permission from consumers before using, selling or allowing access to their browser history.
If Zuckerberg wants to know why his company is held in such disdain, consider this: Weeks before Zuckerberg apologized for the Cambridge Analytica “breach of trust,” Facebook contributed $200,000 to fight the ballot measure Mactaggart hopes to put on California’s November ballot. At least Facebook is consistent. It also opposed Chau’s bill when it was considered by lawmakers in Sacramento last year.
Facebook and Google are among those companies arguing that the California Consumer Privacy Act “disconnects California” from other states. A spokesman for the opposition to the measure, Steven Maviglio, told the Bay Area News Group, “It is unworkable, requiring the internet in California to operate differently — limiting our choices, hurting our businesses, and cutting our connection to the global economy.”
That, plus Zuckerberg’s comments last week, would imply the Facebook CEO would rather see federal regulation address the privacy issue.
But Facebook opposed that, too, when President Obama pushed hard in 2015 to pass his online privacy bill of rights. Obama was rightly concerned about how companies were using online data collected from users. A primary focus of his proposal was bringing greater transparency and control of users’ online experiences. But Facebook and other tech companies again put immediate financial gratification before individuals’ privacy rights.
A day of reckoning is coming. Earlier this year Facebook, for the first time, reported that its number of users fell by 700,000 in the United States and Canada.
Zuckerberg became a billionaire by mining the data of hundreds of millions of users. It’s time that users let Facebook and other tech firms know they will opt out from the sites unless social media companies give consumers the basic privacy protections they deserve.
Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg
SHORTCUTS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE LEARNED TO TEXT…
From our Webmaster
CHILDREN OF THE GREATEST GENERATION — THE ’30s AND ’40s
Born in the 1930s and early ‘40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation.
We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s. We are the “last ones.”
We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.
We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.
We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.
We hand-mixed ’white stuff’ with ‘yellow stuff’ to make fake butter.
We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.
We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.
We are the last to hear Roosevelt’s radio assurances and to see gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors.
We can also remember the parades on August 15, 1945; VJ Day.
We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war build their Cape Cod style houses, pouring the cellar, tar-papering it over and living there until they could afford the time and money to build it out.
We remember trying to buy a new car after the war. Some of the new cars were coming through with wooden bumpers.
We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead we imagined what we heard on the radio.
As we all like to brag, we spent our childhood with no TV playing outside until the street lights came on.
There was no little league.
There was no city playground for kids.
To play in the water on a hot day we turned the fire hydrants on and ran through the spray.
The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.
Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, we saw newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.
Telephones were one to a house, often shared and hung on the wall.
Computers were called calculators that only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.
‘Internet’ and ‘Google’ were words that didn’t exist.
Newspapers and magazines were written for adults, and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by H.V Kaltenborne , Gabriel Heatter and Paul Harvey.
As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.
The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.
VA loans fanned a housing boom.
Pent-up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work.
New highways would bring jobs and mobility.
Veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.
In the late ’40s and early ’50s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class which became known as ‘Baby Boomers’.
The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.
The telephone started to become a common method of communications and “Faxes” sent hard copies around the world.
Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.
We weren’t neglected, but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.
Our parents were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on; they were busy discovering the post war world.
Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide, we simply stepped into the world and started to find out what the world was about.
We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.
Based on our naïve belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went.
We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.
Of course, just as today, not all Americans shared in this experience.
Depression and poverty were deep rooted.
Polio was still a crippler.
The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s, and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks.
Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became “Red China.”
Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisors’ to Vietnam; and years later, Johnson invented a war there.
Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in the Soviet Union.
We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland.
We came of age in the ‘40s and early ‘50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, Martin Luther King, civil rights, technological upheaval, global warming, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt our lives with insistent unease.
Only our generation can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.
We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better, not worse.
We are the Silent Generation — “The Last Ones.”
More than 99.9 percent of us are either retired or deceased, and those still alive should feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times.”
GUNNY ON TODAY’S KIDS…
STORIES OF THE WEEK
From the Archives
A retiree moved to the mid west and bought a farm that had a large pond in the back. It was properly shaped for swimming, so he fixed it up with a couple of picnic tables, a horseshoe court and some apple and peach trees.
One evening he decided to go down to the pond and look it over since he hadn’t been there in a while. In the process he grabbed a five-gallon bucket with the intention of bringing back some fruit.
As he neared the pond he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he got closer he saw three college-aged girls skinny-dipping in his pond. When they became aware of his presence they moved to the far end.
One of the girls shouted to him, “We’re not coming out until you leave.”
The old man frowned and said, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of my pond without your clothes.”
He then held the bucket up and said, “I just came down to feed my alligator!”
• • • • •
A trip to the drug store
Received from Tom Kalinske
A little boy is in the drug store with his father and points to a box of condoms. He asks his dad, “What are those for?”
The father says, “They are used to practice safe sex, son.”
The little boy is fascinated, so he picks up a box and says, “Dad, how come there are three of them in here?”
The father says, “Son, those are for high school boys. One for Friday, one for Saturday, and one for Sunday.”
The little boy is still fascinated. He picks up a slightly larger box and says, “Dad, how come there are six of them in here.”
“Son, those are for college boys,” said the father. “Two are for Friday, two are for Saturday and two are for Sunday.”
The kid then picks up an even bigger box and says, “Dad, how come there’s twelve of them in here?”
The father gets emotional and begins to weep. “Son,” he says, “those are for married people. One for January, one for February, one for…”
• • • • •
A Case of Bud
From the Archives
Three rednecks — Cooter, Pete and K.C. — were working on a cell phone tower. As they started their descent, Cooter slipped, fell off the tower and was killed instantly.
As the ambulance took the body away, Pete said, “Someone should go and tell his wife.”
K.C. replied, “OK, I’m pretty good at that sensitive stuff, I’ll do it.”
Two hours later, K.C. came back carrying a case of Budweiser.
Pete said, “Where did you get that beer, K.C.?”
“Cooter’s wife gave it to me,” he replied.
“That’s unbelievable! You told the lady her husband was dead and she gave you a case of beer?”
“Well,” said K.C., “it went like this: When she answered the door, I said to her, ‘You must be Cooter’s widow.’ She replied, ‘You must be mistaken, I’m not a widow.’ Then I said, ‘I’ll bet you a case of Budweiser you are.’ ”
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
March 20 — 27
March 20: China is pressuring Washington not to impose big tariffs on its steel. You can tell China’s playing hardball because today they said, “Remember – we have your new iPhones.”
It’s come out that the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. had an affair with a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump Jr. defended himself, saying, “Have you seen Gary Busey’s legs?”
A 102-year-old woman broke a pair of world track and field records. The 102-year-old ran the 100-meter dash with a time of “February.”
Earlier today, President Trump called Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on his presidential win. Coincidentally, Trump made the same call to Putin on Nov. 9, 2016.
According to a study, being a new mother is the equivalent of working two and a half full-time jobs. And, even worse, the boss is constantly grabbing for your breasts.
March 21: YouTube is planning a “Karate Kid” series that follows the characters 34 years later. The show is entitled “Ralph Macchio’s Mortgage Is Due.”
In addition to President Trump, it turns out Kim Jong Un also called Putin to congratulate him on his election victory. Putin said afterward, “Wow, I’m hearing from all the crazies.”
President Trump is now being sued by a porn star, a reality star, and a Playboy model – or as Trump’s evangelical supporters call that, “the holy trinity.”
The queen of England is planning a huge concert for her 92nd birthday. The queen made the decision right after finding out Pitbull is available.
During President Trump’s call to Vladimir Putin, he congratulated the Russian leader despite a message from his staff that read “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” Which is why today Melania sent him a message that read “DO NOT DIVORCE.”
March 27: The 2020 census is asking a new question that many say is invasive and inappropriate. The question is: “Are you Gryffindor or Hufflepuff?”
A new report says that President Trump has been hiring people for his administration based on how they perform on television. So congratulations to our new Secretary of Housing and Urban development, Mr. Andy Richter!
March 20: President Trump met at the White House today with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman. They call him MBS for short. For real. Trump actually prepared for this meeting. His aides say he watched almost all of the movie “Aladdin” to get ready for it.
Establishing relationships with friendly foreign leaders is important for Trump right now, because he needs to build a network of countries he can flee to when the time comes.
During his sit-down with the prince, reporters asked Trump about his newly re-elected counterpart Vladimir Putin, who won another fixed election this week. And guess who called his KG-BFF to congratulate him on that? Trump congratulated him even though his national security adviser wrote in capital letters DO NOT CONGRATULATE him. Vladimir Putin just poisoned two people! Trump is calling to say “Hey, congrats.”
The Russia-collusia-palooza continues to get bigger every day. The president’s legal team is working overtime to help him avoid a lengthy interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. According to one of his advisers, Trump’s lawyers are in crunch time right now. Which is funny, because “crunch time” is also what they call it when an extra crispy bucket of KFC arrives at the White House.
March 20: The East Coast is expecting a giant nor’easter tomorrow. That’s when you know 2018 belongs to women. Even Mother Nature is like, “Imma do me, and y’all can just deal.”
President Trump called Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election. Yup, he called Putin on the phone, or as Trump calls it, “a pooty call.”
A former Playboy Playmate named Karen McDougal says she had an affair with Trump and now she’s suing him. You know things are crazy when you hear the president is being sued by a porn star and people go, “Which one?”
Robert Mueller wants to interview Trump, but the president’s lawyers want to limit the conversation to certain topics. So right now they’re trying to compromise based on what Mueller wants to talk about, and what Trump wants to talk about. For example, Robert Mueller wants to talk about Anthony Scaramucci. Trump wants to talk about offshore drilling. They’re compromising and talking about the “Jersey Shore” reboot.
Mueller wants to talk about Jared Kushner. Trump wants to talk about new drug laws. So they’re compromising and talking about “dat good kush.”
Mueller wants to talk about George Papadopoulos. Trump wants to talk about John Kelly. They’re compromising and talking about Papa John’s.
And finally, Mueller wants to talk about mistakes, and Trump wants to talk about himself. They’re compromising and talking about Donald Trump Jr.
March 21: Yesterday was the first day of spring. Then today the weather was like, “Fake news!”
A giant snowstorm hit the entire East Coast today. People spent the morning posting pictures of the storm on Facebook, and Facebook spent the afternoon selling them.
Washington, D.C., got several inches of snow. President Trump built a snowman on the White House lawn. Then immediately fired it.
The White House canceled all of Trump’s public events because of the snow. And because Trump got his tongue stuck on a flagpole.
The news about Trump is really getting juicy. Now multiple porn stars are saying they had affairs with him. It’s tough for Trump, because he doesn’t know whether to deny it or brag about it.
Trump is now facing backlash for congratulating Vladimir Putin on his big election win. Trump said, “What’s the big deal? I also congratulated him after MY election win.”
Speaking of Russia, I saw that if Trump meets with Robert Mueller, he might get to pick the time and place. So 3:00 p.m. at Chuck E. Cheese it is! Here we go. Let’s do this.
Since it came out that Facebook’s data was misused during the 2016 election, their stock has taken a huge dive. You can tell Mark Zuckerberg is worried, because today he applied for a job at MySpace.
March 20: President Trump said today that he and Vladimir Putin will probably get together in the not-too-distant future to discuss the arms race. Oh, sorry, I misread that — it’s to race into each other’s arms.
When asked today if the Russian election was free and fair, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, quote, “We’re focused on our elections. We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate.” “Ha, ha! Good one,” said Iraq.
President Trump today met with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia at the White House. The prince asked for Trump’s help fighting terrorism, and Trump asked for three wishes.
According to reports, adult film star Stormy Daniels took a polygraph test in 2011 about her relationship with President Trump, and the examiner found there was a more than 99 percent probability she told the truth about their affair. And we know Trump is lying because we can hear him.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake will be lemon elderflower instead of the traditional fruitcake. Incidentally, “Lemon Elderflower” is the name Queen Elizabeth uses on Tinder.
March 21: According to The Washington Post, President Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election yesterday, despite being given briefing materials prior to the call that stated specifically in all caps, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” Trump then sat down to a delicious lunch of silica gel packets [labeled “DO NOT EAT”].
Trump was given briefing materials stating specifically in all caps, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” But his aides said they were not sure he read the notes. Oh, I can promise you he didn’t read the notes. He also didn’t read the Bible. He didn’t read the Constitution. He didn’t read the sign that says, “No Carts on the Green.” He probably doesn’t even know what it says on his own hat. And it doesn’t even seem like he can read [photo of Robert Mueller] the writing on the wall.
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the first tweet ever written. Not only that, but we’re about six months away from the last tweet ever written [Picture of Trump tweet saying, “I dare you, Kim Jong Un!].
South Korean President Moon today raised the possibility of three-way talks between North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S. Yeah, I’ll bet he did. It’s like when you and your psycho friends from high school said, “Hey, we’re going to go light off bottle rockets,” and your dad was like, “You know what, why don’t I come with you?”
A new trend has emerged where women are having diamonds pierced into their finger instead of wearing engagement rings. “The pain reminds me I’m alive,” [photo of Melania] said one woman.
Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled today due to a snowstorm in the Northeast. So I guess your life has been spared for one more day, dogs who had tickets on United!
March 20: As the Russia investigation moves forward, Trump and his legal team have submitted documents in writing in the hopes that Trump’s interview under oath will be shorter. Sources say Trump’s attorneys are worried he would be vulnerable in a long interview. It’s never a good sign when your attorneys are like, “You need to meet us halfway here because my client can’t go 10 minutes without lying.”
They handed in written documents. This means investigators have pored over documents in English, in Russian, and now in crayon.
Speaking of Trump’s lawyers, Trump has hired a new attorney for his defense team. Trump’s newest legal counsel is a man named Joseph diGenova, who has frequently and vocally pushed the conspiracy theory that the FBI is plotting to frame the president. Now, I personally don’t think any of that is true. But let’s hope so!
Trump’s son Donald Jr. is making headlines after it was reported that he had an affair with singer Aubrey O’Day, who was a contestant on his father’s show “Celebrity Apprentice.” So it turns out, on “The Apprentice” there was something even worse than getting fired.
Now, if you don’t remember who Aubrey O’Day is, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason she just leaked this story.
March 21: President Trump was back at it this morning criticizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. And he did it with a tweet riddled with errors. [shows tweet with six errors highlighted] Even for Donald Trump, there were a lot of typos. I mean, at this point even Trump’s auto correct is like, “I can’t with this guy. I quit. No more. I’m out. Done.”
What is terrifying is that tweeting is the one thing Donald Trump is good at. He’s the president of the United States. You imagine this guy trying to make a sandwich — putting peanut butter on both sides of the bread and then putting it in a microwave until it catches fire.
Trump switched to the third person in the middle of the tweet because he was quoting Alan Dershowitz, an adviser to O.J. Simpson during his murder trial. Because what better way to prove your innocence than by saying, “See? O.J.’s lawyer said I didn’t do anything wrong.”
It was revealed yesterday that President Trump congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone for winning his controversial re-election, even though his advisers wrote in all capital letters on his note cards, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” Now, you can see what went wrong here — the White House advisers didn’t follow protocol. You can’t just give him a card. You need to write down “Do Not Congratulate” in an email, send that email to Fox News, Sean Hannity will then read it to him on the air. That is how you get a message across.
Let’s move on to another story the president doesn’t want you to hear about. A former Playboy model who claims that she had an affair with Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to break a hush agreement so that she can speak openly about their relationship. Trump probably should have seen this coming because in her centerfold she listed her hobbies as skiing, cooking, breaking hush agreements, and beach volleyball.
You’ve got to hand it to Trump. Between Playboy models, porn stars, and having his own helicopter, he’s living out every 14-year-old boy’s fantasy every day.
March 20: Does anybody here use Facebook still? Because the company is reeling from revelations that they allowed the private information of 50 million Americans to be harvested by the Trump campaign’s consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica, by the way, is also the scientific name for John Oliver.
Cambridge Analytica got all this data from a personality quiz, which claimed to be for research purposes. But it actually harvested psychological data and got access to some data on the user’s Facebook friends, which explains that fun question, “If you were your friends’ credit card number, what would you be?”
Now, people are blaming Facebook for this because they handed over all your data willingly. It’s less like they’re a bank that got robbed at gunpoint and more like a bank that just gave bank robbers your money because that’s their business model. But now you can’t quit the bank because your whole family is at the bank and, also, the bank is where you get to see if your high school friends got fat.
First daughter Ivanka visited Iowa yesterday, where she visited a science facility to promote the president’s infrastructure proposal. Ivanka has been getting some heat for tweeting a picture of herself dressed like Science Barbie. Just like a real Barbie, she has no scientific credentials, and the space where her heart should be is a hollow plastic shell.
March 27: Donald Trump loves to trash talk people, but, strangely, he has never said one bad thing about Vladimir Putin. In fact, last week, Trump called Putin to congratulate him on winning a shady election in which he was the only real candidate, despite the fact that his advisors gave him notes in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” Come on guys, if you want him to read a note, put it on something he pays attention to, like a cheeseburger or Ivanka.
So, up till now, he’s been a huge fan of Putin. Well, yesterday, all that… Stayed the same. But the United States did expel 60 Russians over a U.K. poison attack. Normally, for Trump to expel that many people, they have to be in his cabinet.
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE
Click HERE for what’s new.
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We knew it wouldn’t take long for a school administrator to come up with a way for school students to defend themselves from a crazy with a semi-auto handgun or long gun. On the other hand, isn’t there an old saying that goes something like, “Never bring a rock to a gun fight?” Check THIS out. (2:42)
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This clip received from Lumpy is the third different appearance in the Farsider by the Dude Perfect guys. Like the earlier two, it only runs a few minutes because it doesn’t show the hundreds of misses it took to produce THIS video. (4:17)
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If you want to irritate your golf opponent, this short clip received from Dave Wysuph shows you how to do it while simultaneously WINNING a new Beemer roadster worth $50K. (0:51)
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And now for something a little different: If you have ever wondered how carrots are harvested, this short clip from Dave Walker will show you. (Hey, don’t prejudge. If you had developed an interest in carrots earlier in life you might not need to use CHEATERS to read!) (1:14)
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Could you ride a Backwards Bicycle? The answer is no, at least not immediately. This video received from Don Hale takes you to the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel hosted by a personable individual who always manages to produce interesting videos like this one. Give it a LOOK. (7:57)
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Do you know a youngster who seems destined to become a loser? If you do, show them this video we received from Alice Murphy. It’s about Charlie Brown’s creator who PASSED away in 2000 in Santa Rosa at the age of 77 from a heart attack. RIP Charles. (3:44)
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Talking about losers…
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Sky and her brother Apollo were strays living in a park in L.A until they were reported to Hope for Paws and Eldad came to THEIR rescue. Posted on Sept. 2, 2012 (11:37)
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Lisa and JoAnn just got through rescuing a mom and her puppy when another call came in to Hope for Paws, so they RESPONDED immediately. Meet Bingo, Vegas and her puppy MOONDUSK. Posted on Feb. 8, 2018 (7:32)
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With Eldad and Lisa on this rescue, Oreo the mother tried to protect her puppy Cookie Monster, but both wound up with a much better life and FUTURE. Posted on April 7, 2015 (3:40)
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How can you not smile when you watch THIS short clip about a momma Polar Bear and her two cubs? The clip is from Don Hale. (1:54)
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Who is that eighth grader?
Can you identify that kid inside the red circle? This was his 8th grade class photo that was taken in 1956. Clue: Even if you don’t know him personally, you should be familiar with his name because you see it frequently.
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This is a repeat entry from several years ago for those who may have missed it the first time around: Were you old enough in 1955 to remember what San Francisco was like back then? If you were, the scenes in this Cinemascope documentary should look familiar. Many parts of the city look the same today as they did more than 63 years ago, before it was invaded by beatniks who morphed into hippies and taken over by liberals and those with an alternate lifestyle. I’m reminded when I watch documentaries such as this that the vast majority of adults who appear in the film have since passed on, whereas many of the children and young teens who appear could have been you or me. Whatever the case, enjoy THIS trip back in time, compliments of Don Hale. (21:28)
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Carpooiing in Silicon Valley in 2020?
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Feel free to sing along with THIS animated toon received from Alice Murphy. The lyrics are on the screen and you should be familiar with the music, so go for it. Or not! (1:44)
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According to Roger Coen:
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We’re closing this week’s Farsider with a different kind of flash mob. This one starts off slow with a guitarist, a couple of flautists and a singer, then builds momentum until it looks like half the city has joined the chorus. It took place last Sept. in Mainz, Germany, a city of about 200,000. Click HERE, then sit back and enjoy the music and lots of smiling faces. (6:05)
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Pic of the Week
…and for the health and well being of the little ones:
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 3/29/18
Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):
Enrique Garcia — Added
To receive the email address of anyone on the list — or to receive the roster with all of the email addresses — send your request to <email@example.com>.
Abram, Fred & Connie
Allen, Chaplain Bryan
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Bridgen, Betty Ruth
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon, (Jr.) Frank
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Hunter, Dick (via daughter Kim Mindling)
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Muldrow, Mark “Mo”
O’Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Taves, Phil & Paula
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve