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Category Archives: Babcock Funeral Home

FTC Sells Out Consumers AGAIN!

Republished with Permission from the Funeralization Blog.

This is where you will learn what the funeral chains and funeral corporations, and their lackey the Federal Trade Commission (the federal agency that approves interstate mergers) do not want you to know.


And I have a bridge to sell you…

While you were texting or farting around on Facebook, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was selling you out to the funeral corporations. Keep texting and finding “friends” on Facebook and they’ll be composting you for the Whitehouse flowerbeds! Well, that’s one of the directions the death industry is taking if a Seattle project moves forward. The project is called the Urban Death Project, and it describes the process of turning dead humans into food (A Seattle based eco-friendly ‘initiative’ proposes a radical solution for urban food production: using human corpses as compost to feed crops). And then there’s freeze-drying and pulverization, then packaging. Or you can go for “resomation”, that is, dissolving the body and flushing it down to the sewers. It’s a market economy and it gets as weird as the weirdest ones among us. That’s because our government is handing over control to the corporations who will titillate and tantalize you to buy just about anything, if it means happy shareholders, big dividends, and profit. The Federal Trade Commission is handing over consumers’  choice to the huge corporations, including your deathcare choices.

This is where you’re at now.


In her book “American Way of Death” (1963) Jessica Mitford stunned America with vivid accounts of corruption and abuse in the death industry; in the updated sequel she revised some of her findings as the “American Way of Death Revisited”, published after Mitford’s death in 1996. Mitford didn’t change her opinion to any substantial degree. Nevertheless and by any standard of literary criticism, Mitford’s book was extremely biased by her problematic background, and was written by an obviously very disordered person, resulting in the book becoming a bestseller in the United States. Of course. But that was a time when America still had a hypocrite’s sense of decency, moral and ethical substance, and values. A lot has changed since Mitford published her books; America no longer has even a hypocrite’s sensitivities, only a chronic anxiety and paranoia inspired by rampant greed, dissatisfaction, denial and suspicion. We’ve come a long way in those 30 or so years, haven’t we?

One of the significant developments, however, one that is anecdotally attributed to Mitford’s muckraking and biased exposé, was the action taken by the Federal Trade Commission with its so-called Funeral Rule, requiring disclosure of a General Price List by funeral homes. The Rule requires funeral homes to provide consumers with accurate, itemized price information and various other disclosures about funeral goods and services. Another interesting observation is that Mitford’s rants in 1963, and her revised rants in 1998 were, to some appreciable extent, prophetic— what in 1963-98 was “muckraking” and biased is true reality in 2017 — but the key players have changed.

Or Final Rites

With the growth of the “Walmart-style” [click here to read our article] funeral home chains and factory funeral home groups like Newcomer Funeral Service Group (HQ in Topeka, Kansas) and its Newcomer Funerals and Cremations (locally in Albany and Latham), Service Corporation International (SCI) a.k.a. Dignity Memorial, StoneMor , and others (See “10 Companies that Control the Death Industry”). Families are manipulated into buying expensive goods and services they don’t need or want. Prepaid funeral money vanishes into thin air. Body parts are sold on the black market. Eight states force families to pay a funeral director even if they conduct a home funeral with no need for help from outsiders — not that we are suggesting you should start doing DYI funerals at home without some expert inputs, we do object to the “requirement to pay” for services not necessarily needed. But a consumer movement is now awakening, and Americans are asserting their rights over a key part of life, just as they did in the past with the natural childbirth and right-to-die movements. The two most prominent leaders of that movement are the authors of the book Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death, Joshua Slocum, executive director of Funeral Consumers Alliance, and Lisa Carlson, executive director of Funeral Ethics Organization. In the book they join forces to expose wrongdoing, inform consumers of their rights, and propose legal reforms. The book includes state-by-state summaries of laws, regulations, services, and consumer concerns. (Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death  by Josh Slocum and Lisa Carlson; for other resources please see Funeral Consumers Alliance). Again, you have to be interested to pick up the book; and we advise caution whenever you read someone else’s interpretations, but it’s certainly better than continuing blindly.

Synergy Means the Corps get More Control for their Investment!

You’ve probably heard enough about Newcomer Funeral Service Group with its chain funeral homes in Albany and Latham, NY, and their questionable practices, smokescreen advertising, and irresponsible hiring practices so we’ll move on to more dangerous species of lurkers with their eyes on your credit card. This time we’ll go after Service Corporation International (SCI) who is known to consumers as Dignity Memorial, an addition you’ll probably see alongside the familiar family funeral home names that they’ve gobbled up. See Dignity Memorial, think Service Corporation International and think of a funeral-Walmart with more than 2,100 locations across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and controlling more than 15% of the death market in the US. Think about a greedy corporation that is continuously grabbing for more and giving less. And we’ll look at another resident of the corporate Ghouls Gulch, StoneMor Partners, who are in the cemeteries acquisition business.

Synergy is the concept that the value and performance of two companies combined will be greater than the sum of the separate individual parts.


 

A New Feature: Articles and Essays

skulls

Learn More about Death and Dying.

The Principal Facilitator at Thanatology Café writes about a number of subjects relating to death, dying, grief, and the funeral services profession. Published on several blogs these articles have stimulated interest among people who never thought they’d be talking about the dread subject of death, and those readers and participants in local Thanatology Cafés have asked for more about the subject of thanatology; so many readers have requested copies of the Chaplain’s essays and articles that responding to every individual request has been quite a task. To make it easier for anyone interested in reading the Chaplain’s articles, he’s decided to create an online page on the Thanatology Café blog, where you can click on the essay title and either read the article online or download it. It’s that easy!

The article “Interfaith Bereavement Chaplain — An Essential Asset” is actually an article written for the benefit of funeral homes and funeral directors, and gives them a good talking-to about how they are failing to provide the bereaved with essential grief services and aftercare. It’s a must read if you are going to make pre-arrangements or are making arrangements for a loved one. Local funeral homes like Babcock Funeral Home (Ravena), especially (!) with their expensive and shoddy services, and A.J. Cunningham (Greenville and Ravena), the Capital District’s very own “factory funeral home”, Newcomer Funeral Home, could learn a lot from that articel.

The article, “Why is Funeralization Desirable and Necessary” is directed more to the consumer than to the funeral director, although funeral directors could benefit considerably from this article. It focuses mainly on the benefits of the traditional funeral for survivors and mourners. It’s a must-read for anyone who is or will be involved in funeral arrangements — that means everyone!

One of the most interesting articles is “Plain Talk About Cremation,” which is a real eye-opener for anyone considering cremation as a final disposition of their mortal remains.

Those articles and more are available on the Thanatology Cafe Blog page, “Articles & Essays.”

Click this link to go directly to New Feature: Articles and Essays.

As soon as we have it, we’ll also be publishing the September and October Thanatology Café program for the RCS area. Stay tuned and stay informed!

Please let me know how you like the Chaplain’s new service.

Happy reading! The Editor

Happy reading!
The Editor

Source: A New Feature: Articles and Essays

Other blogs by the Chaplain include:

 

High Marks for the RCS Community Library

The RCS Community Library under the direction of Judith Wines is doing a pretty fantastic job of getting some really interesting programs out to the community. In fact, when requested, we published the public information on an unusual but apparently very interesting and needed program that’s found a home at the RCS Community Library, Thanatology Café, a program that offers the opportunity to talk about death, dying, grief, mourning and death-related subjects.

We’ve read a pretty nice post on the Thanatology Café blog that is complimentary of the RCS Community Library and it’s staff, and we really think RCS should take note of the fine work the RCS Community Library is doing for the community.

Our more than 300,000 readers know well that we have no qualms about being outspoken when it comes to our community and the Ravena News Herald, but truth be told the Ravena News Herald and editor Melanie Lekocevic apparently have been generously supportive of the library and the Thanatology Café program, if our observations are correct. Fair is fair and when the News Herald is on the up and up, we want to be the first to say Nice job! Thank you!

BUT…

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

We do have some disturbing information though and we have verified it factually. Here we have an innovative program, Thanatology Café, sponsored by a reputable and highly-respected community organization, the RCS Community Library, and even getting the support of the Ravena News Herald but WTF!!!!! We have information that about 100 information packets were sent out to local churches and public service organizations, including fire departments, EMS, first responders, and police departments, including the Coeymans fire and rescue squad, the Ravena Hose Company, and the Coeymans Police Department, just to name a few, and it appears none of those organizations responded.

Local churches have their hands out for stipends whenever a local dies but almost every church in the area does not offer a bereavement education, a death awareness, or death education program…

no handoutsWhat’s even worse is that the organizers (for the record the RCS Community Library hosts the program but does not organize it) invited local churches and pastors to announce the program and to post the attractive flyers to inform their congregations of the availability of the thanatology program, yet, according to the spokesperson for Thanatology Café, not a single one responded and there is no evidence that anyone from any of the local RCS churches bothered to attend the inaugural event. That does seem a bit strange to us and we’d like to hear from members of the congregations of local churches whether they even heard about the program from their so-called pastors. We find that strange because local churches have their hands out for stipends whenever a local dies but almost every church in the area does not offer a bereavement education, a death awareness, or death education program. We would think they’d jump at the opportunity to learn more about the program from the get go!

Why didn’t the local death businesses — Babcock Funeral Home, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home respond?

death-its-a-livingAnd you’d think that the local businesses that make a bundle of money from local deaths, Babcock Funeral Home and A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, both right down the street from the library, would seize the unique opportunity to join in the death education opportunities offered by a program like Thanatology Café but apparently Sharon Babcock and the A.J. Cunningham staff had better things to do than join in a community educational program. We’ll be keeping an eye on our local death industry, you can be assured of that. Both Babcock Funeral Home and A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes were provided with special packets along with W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home (Coxsackie) and several other regional funeral homes were provided with special packets and invitations. We have the documents and we have the questions, too, Why didn’t the local death businesses respond?

People are more aware, more interested and willing to discuss the subject, the options and the choices…death and dying, living wills, advance directives, and funeral and memorial options

We’ve done the online research and find that Death Cafes, Death Salons, discussion groups about death and dying, hospice and palliative care organizations, healthcare organizations, special interest groups dealing with infant death, suicide, traumatic death, etc. are thriving and growing because people are more aware, more interested and willing to discuss the subject, the options and the choices, and are not waiting til the last minute to learn as much as they can about death and dying, living wills, advance directives, and funeral and memorial options.

Are they scared that Thanatolgy Café might rock their comfy little boats…get people to ask the important questions?

Can our churches, first responders, funeral homes be so petty as to get involved in small-minded turf wars at your expense?

Petty, stupid turf wars?

Petty, stupid turf wars?

So we’re getting interested now, too, but especially why local churches, who are constantly preaching about death and whatnot, and local first responders and rescue squads, who frequently have to deal with death, and in particular, why the three main death businesses, Babcock Funeral Home, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, and W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home are so silent when an important program comes to the area. Are they scared that Thanatolgy Café might rock their comfy little boats, stir up some good and reliable information in the community, get people to ask the important questions? Maybe. We have learned that the Thanatology Café program will be providing a lot of information on pre-arrangements, available options and choices, how to go about creating your living will or Advance directive, funeral and memorial choices and recommendations, and much, much more. Stuff you need to know no matter what your age and information you’re not likely to get anywhere else.

we know where your head isDon’t you think you’d be getting a better deal from church, rescue squad, senior center and funeral home if they were better informed about death, dying, surviving, and the choices and options you should have? Can our churches and so-called pastors, our community funded first responders, local funeral homes, who cash in on the community’s ignorance and lack of information, be so petty as to get involved in small-minded turf wars at your expense? Looks like it. But keeping their heads tucked up a dark, wet spot won’t do them any good. Let’s hear from them. Let’s hear from our readers.

Town of Coeymans and Town of New Baltimore

Town of Coeymans and
Town of New Baltimore


Town of Coeymans

No, we haven’t gone AWOL on our watch. We’re working on a story about how the Phil Crandall/Youmans/Dolan mob are screwing town of Coeymans taxpayers. Didn’t we hear Phil Crandall say something about cutting the costs of local government, blah, blah, blah?

Well, apparently disgraced former village justice Phil Crandall, Psycho-bully Youmans and Dithering-Tom Dolan don’t think that cost containment applies to their cronies they imported when they took office. We’re talking specifically about the alleged overtime Crandall’s administrative clerk Nita Chmielewski is collecting hand-over-fist. It seems that old Nita is incompetent and doesn’t know what she’s doing — as if she ever did; nothing seems to change in the in-crowd in Coeymans — and she’s collecting a bundle for her incompetence and ignorance. Wonder if Mr Crandall, Mr Youmans or Mr Dolan can explain why their cronies get the overtime, while the Coeymans Police Department is consistently saving on costs, economizing, and coming in under budget under the professional supervision of a competent chief?

A contributor has demanded the production of certain documents that will prove the corruption in Coeymans town hall and the hypocrisy of Mr Crandall and his cronies

Stay tuned for the fireworks!


Town of New Baltimore

There’s word out that something’s cooking in New Baltimore about the New Baltimore Supervisor of Highways and the Highways Department and indifference, negligence and dereliction of duty and responsibility.

Thanks to the double-dealing of the Greene County Independence Party Committee chairman George Ackerman and co-chairperson, Irene Beede, and their mismanagement of a very worthy candidate, Mr Alan vanWormer in the elections last November, Denis Jordan was re-elected by a single — Yes! 1 vote! — and despite the known corruption, crookedness, incompetence and ignorance that is the hallmark of his department, he didn’t go to jail but kept his office. But that’s New Baltimore and screwy-Louie politics run by incompetent political committees.

Do you actually think YOU elect these bozos?

We have information that a pretty big law suit is in the brewing that will be brought against the town of New Baltimore, the New Baltimore Highway Department and Denis Jordan for incompetence, negligence, and indifference by dereliction of duty and violation of applicable state laws. Seems Jordan’s friends get all the highway department services while others get the finger, and can watch their property values collapse because of poor road and drainage maintenance.

A collaborator is getting the information together and talking to the aggrieved parties and we’ll be the first to release the information.

One crook is going to cost an entire town a bundle. Go figure!

The Fickle Finger is Pointing to YOU, Dumbass! The Editor

The Fickle Finger is Pointing to YOU, Dumbass!
The Editor

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Albany County Board of Elections, Albany County District Attorney, Arlene McKeon, Babcock Funeral Home, Barbara Finke, Bill Bailey, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bryan Rowzee, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Gibson, Chris Gibson, Chris Norris, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Elections, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Budget, Conflict of Interest, Conspiracy, Cornell Hook and Ladder, Cornell Hook and Ladder Auxiliary, Corruption, Craig Youmans, David Soares, David Wukitsch, Death Awareness, Death Education, DEC, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Department of Environmental Conservation, Diane Jordan, Dick Touchette, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, EMR, Eric T. Schneiderman, FOIL, Fraud, Freedom of Information Law, George Acker, George Langdon, Government, Greene County Independence Party, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Independence Party, Irene Beede, Irregularities, Voting, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Jenna Crandall, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, Joel Coye, Joel Coye, John Cashin, John Luckacovic, Joseph Tanner, Josephine Bruno, Judicial Misconduct, Kathy Rundberg, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Kevin Reilly, Kurt Froehlich, Larry Conrad, Laverne Conrad, Law Enforcement, Marjorie Loux, Mark S. Jordan, Marvin Gertzberg, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Melanie Lekocevic, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Family Dentistry, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Town Budget, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSAFC, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Paul Tonko, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Poll Misconduct, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Fire Department, Ravena News Herald, Ravena Rescue Squad, RCS Community Library, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert Fisk, Robert J. Freeman, Robert Krug, Sandy Debacco, Scott VanWormer, Selkirk, Smalbany, Thanatology Café, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

RCS Public Library Thanatology Café Program Preview

The April Thanatology Café Gathering is on
Saturday, April 9th, 2016, at the

The RCS Community Library

95 Main Street

Ravena, NY

Program starts at 2:00 p.m. and runs until about 4:00 p.m.

Visit and follow the Thanatology Café blog. Follow @thanatologycafe and on Facebook’s  Thanatology Café group.


death a personal understandingThanatology Café. Where the conversation is about death, dying and life. Will launch at the RCS Community Library on April 9, 2016.

The program will launch with a series of 10 short videos — one each month for 10 months — on various aspects of death, dying and grieving, “Death: A personal Understanding,” and the April 9 session will also include a short award-winning animated video clip, “The Life of Death.” Discussion of the videos will follow. Refreshments will be available. The program is free and the public is welcome.

A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death -The Life of Death is a touching hand drawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.

A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death -The Life of Death is a touching hand drawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.

 

Thanatology Café: Where the conversation is about death.

Two great things about death and dying are happening right here in Ravena. First of all, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes has expanded their operations to a new location in Ravena, at 9 Main Street, in the former Pero Memorial Chapel. Now the Ravena area has a choice; no more funeral monopoly in Ravena. Maybe there’s not much choice in life in Ravena but at least there’s a choice in death.

The second great thing is that Thanatology Café: Where the conversation is about death, is being launched right in Ravena, at the RCS Community library.

Be sure to mark the date: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 2-4 p.m. The program starts promptly at 2:00 p.m. so don’t be late. There will be light refreshments.

The organizers do ask that you sign up at the RCS Community Library using the sign-up sheets available there. You can also sign up at thanatology.cafe@gmail.com. When you sign up via email, you’ll receive an initial registration form that you should fill out and bring with you to the program on April 9.

What is Thanatology Café?

We thought you’d never ask!

joke's over


Thanatology: [than-uh-tol-uh-jee] the study of death and dying, and bereavement, especially the study of ways to understand the coping mechanisms, meaning-making, transcendence and transformation to support the bereaved and mourners, and to lessen suffering and address the needs of the dying and their survivors.


It’s a  totally unique program and it’s called

Thanatology Café.

It’s a place where anyone can come in and talk about their thoughts, concerns, and interests centering on death and dying, bereavement, grief, society and death, spirituality and death, the death industry, our responsibilities as human beings who will die some day.

Thanatology Café is a safe place to talk about the ultimate mystery and to share thoughts and concerns about death and dying. It’s a place where you won’t be judged, no agenda will try to convert you or attempt to sell you something. It’s neutral ground, a sacred space where you can open your heart and mind to benefit everyone.

Thanatology Café will also be a source of valuable information from professionals who work in the field of death and dying. The program will include speakers, presenters, or even a film for discussion. But most of the time it will simply be a place to freely express ideas and thoughts, to share with the entire group or in smaller groups working off their own energies, monitored by a facilitator.

Thanatology Café is going to be offered in at least four counties: Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Greene to start. Since community libraries are centers for education and information and are central to most communities, the organizers will be holding the regular monthly sessions in community libraries throughout the area. There will also be other sessions for special interests or to organize special events like tours etc. to historic sites. One such site is Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, where Uncle Sam is buried along with a slew of other historic figures. But the crematorium chapel is a must see and TC is working on a tour for sometime in May or June 2016.

Thanatology Café is an important resource for first responders, church bereavement groups, bereavement ministries, and even funeral directors (TC will host several presentations by funeral directors with Q&A sessions).

Thanatology Café is for everyone and the invitation is open to anyone who needs or wants to talk about death, dying, grief, mourning, spirituality, traditions and superstitions, the funeral business. The field and conversation is wide open. Only the participants will decide.

Click the link to visit the Thanatology Café blog.

Don't be one. Join us at Thanatology Café on April 9th, RCS Community Library. The Editor

Don’t be one. Join us at Thanatology Café on April 9th, RCS Community Library.

The Editor