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Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages? Or no real message at all?

Is the Church missing the bus? Sending the wrong messages?

Passing through some of our local communities, I frequently notice churches, that is, the physical building, the places of worship, and what characterizes them. The structure, the upkeep, the appearances, the messages posted outside; these say a lot about the people these brick and mortar structure, symbolic representatives of the beliefs and communities they claim they serve. I often see the trite clichés like “God is home, come on in!” or “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” and similar trite slogans. Apparently the Roman Catholic Churches in this area, Ravena and Coxsackie, NY, have given up on being taken seriously so now these parish leaders, the pastors, have to play cool cutsie, mimicking their Protestant and Reformist cohorts. Such silliness simply degrades the sacred space and makes idiots of those few who still frequent them.

This is particularly the case when a new pastor tries to become too popular too fast for too many of the wrong reasons. He starts to get sloppy in his role as spiritual leader and too cozy with the local in-crowds. A leader doesn’t have to be a friend and he doesn’t have to entertain. He has to lead. So, as I drive through the aging, geriatric, brown collar community of Ravena, New York, the local Roman Catholic Church, St Patrick’s, catches my attention. How?

Well, some time ago I was surprised to see a folding sign board placed in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Ravena, on Main Street. It was last Fall and said something like “Leaves fall but Christ doesn’t”. My first thought was that it was rather silly, rather odd. Something I’d expect from some failing Protestant denomination, or some storefront church whose pastor has no other training than what he received in jail, where he got his certificate in Bible Studies from Dumbass Bible Institute or wherever. I knew the pastor at St Pats was one of the young bloods recently ordained, Scott Vandermeer, in his thirties, a journalism degree, able to move around without a walker, he was somewhat more promising than his predecessors, all aging or decrepit, failing, burnt out or uninterested, all cut from the Hubbard School of Ultraliberal Hacks. Careerists. Our hope never failing and our realism always on the watch, we even wrote to Vandermeer offering him help and support. It soon proved that he was going to be just another narcissist; he never responded to our letter. Here we go again!

Soon the signs started going up and were getting weirder and weirder, perhaps because they were cleverly done so as to appeal to the intellectual depths of darkness of the local community. One that appeared:

The sign above is stupid because St Pats does not have a soup kitchen or a food pantry. So not only is the sign a bit idiotic, to anyone not familiar with the local intelligence level, it’s misleading. [Editor’s note: Vanderveer is “out of the country” at the time of this writing and apparently will not be back for another 2-3 weeks, so we could not reach him for comment.  Nor did we receive a response from his office staff.] That really doesn’t matter because it does get worse. Some local in a feeble attempt to put some meaning in his or her life, and for a minute of local fame, placed the “?” on the sign making it even more ridiculous. No one in the parish, not even the absent pastor, seems to have noticed…or cared.

More recently, that is, several weeks ago we again drove by and saw that the sign had been changed to something quite new:

 Is a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again?

This time Mr VanDerveer is apparently making a statement that the Church has something to do with the characteristics of the nation, presumably the nation known as the United States, since we are not aware of any Scriptural or Doctrinal references that would support such a statement. It used to be that strong men made strong nations, then strong families but with the castration of the American male and the virilization of the American female, together with the decline and demise of the American family, it seems that a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again. If this notion was part of the preaching series offered by Vanderveer, we are really sorry we missed his performance. But by any standard, given the Separation Clause and the hesitance of government generally or any of its branches specifically to enter into any discussion of a collaboration between Church and state, this statement seems to indicate that Mr VanDerveer is either ignorant or has a boundaries problem. While the Church and churches, that is, the Roman Catholic and Christian tradition — by division and internecine conflict —  has been losing ground since the 16th century, it would seem that Mr VanDerveer and his keepers would be better advised to concentrate on good preaching and catechesis, fostering interdenominational dialogue and collaboration,  reaching out to local opinion leaders rather than making an untenable and unsubstantiated statement like “A strong church [=] a strong nation.” No matter how you analyze such a statement, logically, theologically, socially, or politically it fails. The Church would be well advised to steer clear of politics — and fallacious logic —; a mere parish priest has no business making such statements and should be reprimanded for having done so. It’s irresponsible, insupportable, fallacious, and is simply not official Church teaching. Politics should be kept out of the pulpit and away from the front of the church — or it should be left to the bishops who are the sole church officials authorized by Rome to make asses of themselves.. Mr VanDerveer should be spending more time preaching that strong family values and morality make for a strong nation; sharing Sunday family dinner together without smartphones might be a start. Getting rid of fidget spinners and Facebook, replacing them with a print book, perhaps St Augustine’s Confessions,  in the schools would be a great move, too.  But the Church has failed in that teaching, too, and in getting that message across to the community.

An half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Instead, the Church and its agents, VanDerveer’s colleagues, superiors, and minions, have prostituted the Church, mistaught and continue to pervert doctrine, dogma, and promote error, and have reduced preaching to a 5 minute commentary so that the so-called “faithful” can get there and out the door with 30-45 minutes at most. After all, a half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Get the ^%$# out of the way! I’ll be late for worship…and the game!

The latest stupidity to be posted in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church apparently has to do with the Biblical myth of Noah and the Deluge found in Genesis, or we may be wrong and VanDerveer’s referring more likely to the bizarre interpretation of the myth provided in the movie, Noah (2014) but here’s the official Biblical version:

“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (Gen 7:2-4)

Actually, someone should have whacked the one who thought these signs were appropriate! Never mind the mosquitoes. We don’t recall any specific reference to mosquitoes in Genesis (nor in any part of the Bible) nor any cameo appearance of mosquitoes in the film Noah. Perhaps Vanderveer can help us with that one. We do tend to have our facts straight on this blog so we’re reasonably certain that there were no mosquitoes involved. The only other possibility we can think of is that one of Vanderveer’s Scriptural Studies instructors at seminary came upon some previously unknown Biblical text that tells the story of Noah and the mosquitoes. Whatever the story behind it, Vanderveer appears to believe the story. Why else would he publicly post something like that in front of his church? It seems the “unclean animals” were  sent either to Roman Catholic seminary or to Ravena-Coeymans after leaving the Ark. We have no record of where the “two mosquitoes” went after having escaped being swatted.


A Pleasant Anecdote

While I photographing one of the signs, a St Patrick’s parishioner was approaching the church to attend a meeting, and stopped to chat when she observed me taking the photographs. She commented how interesting the signs were and how they got your attention. I responded very bluntly that they were not interesting; they were a disgrace and were demeaning to the sacred place they were disgracing. I did agree that they got your attention but for the wrong reasons. I admitted to her that I was taking the photo not because I found them attractive, funny or pithy but because they got my interest, and that was not good.

The parishioner was very interested in what we had to say and very gracious, too. We discussed a number problems with the Church, the parish, and local politics. All in all, it was a positive exchange that started on a negative footing.

Shows you that there are still some good, sensible people in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk community; all too few, though.


Contrary to what you have been told or led to believe, dear readers, churches are not where God lives [Thank God!], that is, churches are not God’s personal primary residence, they are sacred spaces where we can find safe, quiet space to reflect, meditate, be still, or engage in a conversation with the Divine, a practice what we call prayer, but have forgotten – or never knew how to do. Nowadays most conversations with God turn out to be like conversations with those twits exercising their thumbs on an electronic device; a meeting where God’s trying to reveal himself to the twit who’s functioning with half a hemisphere, wondering whose reflection it is in the smartphone screen.

Repurposing Our Churches

When I hear of closure of churches, merging of congregations, sale of church property, conversions of churches to art galleries, restaurants, even private residences, I feel a cold shudder. These churches have become like dinosaurs; they were once living, awesome organisms, and they thrived and nurtured similar life but at some time long ago they became sick, languished and died. Now all we have left of them are lumps of rock we gawk at in museums or use as paperweights in our studies. So, too, many of our former sacred spaces are now secular spaces where the inhabiting materialist-consumerists worship their new idols: mega-flat screens, surround sound, a nymph, and a bottle. Happy worshipping!

We’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, or a pop star

So where has God gone once evicted? God’s where he’s always been: in the dark silent depths of our hearts, unless we’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, a political figure or a pop star. Yes, Idolaters of Ubiquitous White Noise and Distractions, the Ultimate Truth still lies hidden in that wet, fertile, darkness deep within a human being (No, not a vagina!) but nowadays who among you Vessels of Clay with your stymied white-cane spirituality would dare explore the silence within, when there’s so much to do in the world? Why would anyone want to become acquainted with their true self when they can invent another, more pleasant, acceptable self and one that you can transform it at any time using a convenient app? Who will know? You will. But you don’t care because you’ve been diving down that slippery slope for so long you wouldn’t know your true self if you tripped over it!

In my meanderings I spend time in churches, at meetings and conferences, on Internet forums, at monasteries, interacting with others in a variety of settings. I note the anxiety and the vulnerability that cripples so many people; I note their white-cane spirituality, blindly pursuing some sort of agenda-seeking-to-become-a-religion, a tool for a virtual life; they have no real life. I listen to and become offended by the ignorance and narcissism of those claiming to be called to a vocation, as clergy, as lay religious, as lay ministers in churches, congregations, parishes; I frequently observe the infantile fascination of the unwashed when, in a strange ecstasy of voyeurism, they rub shoulders with monks, priests, nuns, or spiritual leaders, and they grin idiotically as if caught in an act of masturbation. “Hee, hee! Look at me!” Narcissism, too, is a form of idolatry. I have to wonder whether the gawkers or the gawkees actually realize the pitiable dynamic going on. It’s rather like the voyeurism of social media but worse. Worse because the so-called spiritual leaders are actually enjoying the worship, and the egos soar – and the wound deepens and festers, poisoning the entire mystical body.

Starving?
Tail’s great!

And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival…

If churches and faith communities are hemorrhaging members, the religious vocations are dwindling into membership cachexia. And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival. For several decades now, the materialist consumerism and the dumbing down of society has left the message of higher truths and spirituality to languish in the shadow of anti-human propaganda, corporate greed, political narcissism, social confusion, despair and anxiety. Fear of loss is the underlying message everywhere we look. That fear is nourished by the messages we receive of time running out for something, anything, everything; fear the terror threat, fear the coming rain or snow showers, fear the threat represented by the guy next door, fear the North Koreans, fear the Russians, fear the illegals. What we need to fear is the false teaching in the poor preaching, we need to fear the pulpit politics, we need to fear the bigoted perp patrols.

Stuck somewhere in a learning curve…

The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it

We are stuck somewhere in a learning curve. But where? We need to learn to fear our own demise and ignorance thanks to the conflicting and contradicting messages we receive from the media, the poor performance of our education institutions, and the dishonesty and corruption of our political system. Add to that the failure of our Judeo-Christian religious institutions to teach correct doctrine and dogma, and to provide effective preaching in support of implementing doctrine and dogma into our day-to-day lives in furtherance of “happiness” and a “good end.” And it’s no wonder people are despairing and anxious. The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it as a bunch of whacko terrorists. Doesn’t anyone see where this is leading? Why can’t religious institutions join together to combat the capitalist propaganda drowning us in a sea of lies and hate? But then, when I was a kid it was the Roman Catholics and Protestants killing each other. Only the bigotry and creeds have remained the same; only the faces have changed.

Cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator

Failing religious institutions and religious organizations and institutions are desperately prostituting themselves in a vain attempt simply to survive. And like our cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator in the attempt to get what they can and run with it. It’s not working, people, that’s why you see so many storefront and strip mall micro-churches flooding into the vacuum left by mainstream institutions. Problem is this: the storefront and strip mall micros are just as bad as the movie-theatre or stadium megachurches, because they create their own ideologies, agendas, idolatries and there are plenty of sheeple to participate because they don’t know anything better. Thanks Vatican II and interfaith dialogue, ecumenism. Lights, cameras, action! Worship!

I can speak from personal experience, scholarship, and professional activity with various faith traditions and communities, religious organizations and institutions, and educational institutions. As a writer, editor, researcher, and educator I vet my facts.

So where does an institution in decline turn in the desperate attempt to survive a couple of more years? St Patricks is prepping, even in the absence of its pastor for several weeks, for the celebration of the church’s centennial. 100 years is not a very long time in Church terms but it’s a start. The nagging question is how long does it still have before it’s converted into another empty building on Ravena-Coeymans’ growing list of vacancies. [Editor’s note: St Patricks have already sold off a number of real estate parcels, some of which were sold to RCS school board president, James Latter, the same James Latter who works for the Saudi Arabian-owned Sabic corporation, the same corporation who got recommendations for tax breaks from the RCS school district.] Maybe Mr VanDerveer’s off attending job interviews, since the parishioners in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are usually the last to know when their church is closing.

When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate

Like the consumer society they operate in, churches like St Patrick’s are compelled to sacrifice quality for quantity. For example, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany reports in a recent issue of Sheaf, the official gazette of St Bernard’s School of Ministry and Theology, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese reports “200 deacons and growing.” When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate. Numbers not quality count; that’s why the permanent diaconate was revived by the Roman Catholic Church in the 60s to stem the decline in seminary admissions; in many dioceses the diaconate has become a boy’s club, a church country club, an organization of narcisistic logrollers. “My dad the deacon.” “My son the deacon.” “My wife, Mrs Deacon!”

Deacon Chic Coming Soon to Your Parish!
You have your church band, liturgical dancing, now you can have liturgical strippers!
Don’t miss the Trinitarian Trio of Trollops!

The Episcopal church has been ordaining “women” for decades; many (mostly gender ambiguous specimens) in the RC church are advocating ordaining women deacons and the reasonable expected consequence of this slippery slope is women priests! When does this comedy of errors, this farce stop? [Editor’s note: For those of our readers with limited vocabularies, a “slippery slope” is a comedy of errors is a related series of amusing or farcical events involving a series of awkward missteps or other mistakes.]

Clergy or Special Ed Class or LGBT Rejects?

There is a big problem with erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image. Take for instance the Church’s stand on abortion and other issues. The corrupt and long discredited practice of prayer and what the faithful could expect from prayer as espoused by a greedy medieval Church led not only to Martin Luther’s confrontation and the ultimate schism but also to the Counter-Reformation, and later to many, many scandals. They still haven’t learned.

Erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image

OK. But can someone tell me how this works? How about you, Father?

Let’s face the facts: The Church may be facing annihilation over the longer term if it doesn’t (1) come up with some sort of recruitment scheme for the long-term future of the priesthood, and (2) come up with some sort of outside “support for its mission,” which translates into people who are able and willing to give in support of the Church in general and of their local faith community before it has to selling off more acreage. The old priests and nuns committed their lives and fortunes to the faith community; they’re gone now and so are their legacies. A liberal, liberation theology (= socialist)  tainted Jesuit pope is not going to solve the problem; in fact, he stands to worsen it. Jesuits don’t have a very good record in Rome; Jesuit popes have an even worse record..

And this is how it’s gonna be!

One of the real problems being faced by the Church and by the faithful is that they are learning impaired. Change is not measured in years in the Church but in centuries. While the men in the Vatican are swilling good wine and dining in gardens al fresco, the American Church is making its own rules. Everyone seems to be caught up in a dead man spiral, stuck somewhere in an ecclesiological learning curve. But no one seems to be certain where they’re stuck.

Still in the learning curve. But where?

So that’s where we stand locally, and regionally. Ravena is just an example, a stereotype, and not the main culprit; Ravena is a symptom, we have to look for the ecclesiological pathology elsewhere. Meanwhile, the stupid signs aren’t helping.

The Church at Work.
Did you find the problem yet?

 

$46 Million Dollar School Budget Passed – One Backwoods School District

Voters a.k.a. “residents” approved a local RCS Central School District school budget of almost $46 million dollars. That’s more than the total budgets of several surrounding townships combined! Voters a.k.a. “residents” who passed the budget are largely non-property owners but the property owners foot the bill. What’s more, local government has caved to demands that local corporations get their tax breaks and reduced assessments. Again, local tax burden falls on the shoulders of local property owners. The local area is falling apart and so is the quality of education because we’re educating those who don’t have an appreciation for education and who likely don’t even use it later; they just don’t come from a background that encourages working or learning. So why do we keep spending and spending and spending? We don’t make the necessary adjustments, we just tax more and spend more. Why is that?

You’re still doing it! So we’re here to tell you how…

$45,829,423 budget for the 2017-18 school year!?! That’s more than local town budgets combined! And you wonder why your roads suck? You wonder why your drinking water is toxic and brown? You wonder why crime is rampant and the police do little or nothing to bring in the criminals? You wonder why you can’t make ends meet? But don’t you wonder why your kids act like brain dead morons? Why they can’t read? Why they can’t spell? Why they can’t hold a discussion?

Has anyone ever asked the students — the one’s with the lights on and someone home in their heads — what they think of their education, of their teachers? Times Union, News Herald, Daily News, W10, W13? Has any of the media given a thought to ask students about what they think of their education? Well, it would have to be cleverly done — and that rules out Times Union, News Herald, Johnson Newspaper Group, Daily News, W10 and W13, practically all Capital District media — and it would ideally include past graduates, who would be more likely to be truthful and say where RCS education got them. Current students would be fearful of teacher or student retaliation if they were to be interviewed and identified. That’s the way it has been and continues to be in the RCS Central School District, and is very likely the same situation throughout this third-world, backwoods hole in the earth. (Great place for woodchucks, though.)

We did an informal survey and found that several past graduates agreed that “one in fifteen teachers was any good and cared for students.” Others simply hated RCS and refused to participate even in 10 year class reunions. One RCS teacher with 23 years teaching said that he couldn’t wait to retire, “They have millions for astroturf but no money for books for my AP students! I’m history as soon as I can retire.” A history of pitiful graduation rates, low student and teacher morale, and spending seem to characterize local schools, especially spendthrift RCS.

Why don’t we ask the one’s who know?

If past history is anything to judge by, we have a pattern of fewer property owners (those who pay) and a growing number of social service recipients, senior citizens (those who can’t afford to leave), and transients (those who don’t pay), as well as a decline in taxable businesses, and an increase in pandering to local large corporations (who get “corporate welfare”) who want and get tax breaks but don’t create jobs and don’t contribute to tax revenues. So the misinformation provided by propaganda machines like the Times Union, News Herald, and other local media, flash such titles as “School budgets sail to approval”(Times Union, May 19, 2016) reporting also that “districts were mostly able to avoid huge tax hikes in their 2016-17 budgets thanks to a large increase in state aid.” Really? If that’s last year’s situation, why the increase this year?

The previous year, the Times Union article, “Voters Happy With Budgets” (May 19, 2015) reports that “Voter turnout was typically slim with many school board candidates running unopposed. Albany saw 72 percent of voters who showed up to vote offer support for the school budget. In 2015 Albany passed a $234 million budget that carried no tax increase. Schenectady passed a $177 million budget that will actually decrease the tax levy 0.21 percent. The report goes on to say that “on average, Capital Region schools are prepared to spend and tax more than other districts around the state. Spending is poised to rise 2.87 percent at schools across the region next year (compared to 2.1 percent statewide), while tax levies will increase an average of 0.95 percent (compared to 0.7 percent statewide). That was 2015.

The pattern continues in RCS. 2017-18 budget passed by voters Residents of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk took to the polls Tuesday, May 16, approving a $45.8 million budget for the 2017-18 school year, as well as the bus purchase proposition and community library vote. Voter turnout was typically slim (less than 1000 voters, down from previous years) with school board candidates running unopposed.

The local school district got approval to purchase school buses for the year ahead and create additional teaching positions. New technology purchases, like Chromebooks and iPads, were also high on the budgets, as well as a bigger investment in professional development for teachers. More technology, less learning, more cyberkids and sheeple. What a plan for Big Brother!

Local politicians, including the RCS School Board, are like maggots eating us alive.

Corporate Welfare. Lowered assessment for Selkirk Cogen to affect RCS homeowners (May 5, 2017). The RCS Central School District website reports: “One noticeable difference for taxpayers will be increased tax rates for the 2017-18 year, due to a lowered tax assessment for local business Selkirk Cogen. The district does not control home or business assessments, however, taxes collected from those [private] assessments act as revenue for the district.” This is purest propaganda. These businesses come to this area, destroy our historically beautiful landscapes, poison our air and our water, demand tax breaks at the expense of property owners and small business, drive out local residents and businesses, shift the tax burden to local property owners. They promise prosperity and jobs, which our local hillbilly elected officials gobble up like hungry hogs, and don’t deliver. In fact, the trend is to automate operations, leaving the really dirty jobs to low-paid black-collar workers. Now that’s a real vision for the future. Our economic geniuses hard at work for the corporations, while burying us!

According to a RCS school board member : “As a district, we have no control over assessments,” school board member James Latter said. “it’s unfortunate the reduced assessment has an effect on our resident taxpayers, we are thankful for businesses like Selkirk Cogen. It’s businesses like these that often pay large sums of school taxes, taking some of the burden off our residents.” Contradiction here, Mr Latter? Read that quote again! He’s double-talking. And that’s the kind of dumbass RCS voters put on the school board! 

That kind of pass-the-buck double talk is characteristic of weasel Jim Latter, who is an employee of a Saudi-owned corporation in Feura Bush, so we know where his loyalties lie. He’s not going to be honest and tell it like it is: He’s going to spend, spend, spend and then blame the tax hikes on the local town administrations! Of course he’s thankful to Cogen and to his Saudi keepers, they sign his checks.  But it’s his talking out of both sides of his mouth that irks us most. You see, they preach austerity and fiscal responsibility but they don’t practice what they preach.

We’d like to know where the money came from for the sports field refreshment stand that is not used for 6-8 months of the year? The RCS Sports Association was to have paid for it but they couldn’t raise the money. Anybody hear where the rest of the money came from? Anyone care to guess? We all know. But the question is still: If we have so many youth sports associations and groups in the area, why does the school district have to have million dollar playing fields. Is the RCS community that rich? We know it’s falling apart and dirty. We know that our elected swine are handing our community to killer trucks, heavy truck traffic, dust devils, and our roads are tuning into mini-Grand Canyons. We know our students are coming out of RCS schools stupid. We know that there’s money for jocks but no money for books and brain programs. We know the teachers are getting paid very well, get incredible benefits and get paid professional enhancements. We know that 75-80% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits. What else do you know but won’t admit?


Heres a contribution from one of our readers that should get you thinking:

I was working out at the Glenmont Planet Fitness when a group of about 4-6 boys gathered around one of the equipment. One was on the phone and talking to “his brother”. When he had finished he asked the others whether they knew anyone who would “buy” for them. As the conversation went on it became clear that they needed alcohol for a group or a party that was going to happen in connection with the prom. They brainstormed for a little and made some calls, and then, apparently the problem was solved. Someone, one of the boys brothers, would make the purchase. These guys were obviously still in school at RCS and planning a party after the senior prom. They needed booze and found it. I wanted to give them a good talking to but the way they were acting, it would only have caused a scene and embarassed me. They were too ignorant to care, and their language didn’t make me think they had any brains.

I thought about one of the blogs recent articles about the accident on 144 when Logan Penzabene was creamed and his buddy seriously injured. I remember the quotes from local law enforcement, and then there’s Cuomo’s campaign. I lthought how right you were in that article. Then I saw this one and everything got clear. It’s all smoke and mirrors around here.

Not two weeks after a fatal accident and these knuckleheads are looking for alcohol. What? Isn’t the prom enough? I guess they’re so insecure they have to drink. So where are the parents? Do these kids still have parents? Do they know it? What’s up with all this law enforcement effort to curb these teen morons and their childish behavior? Where’s the school district and the teachers on this one? Where’s Cuomo’s campaign. They’re at Planet Fitness arranging for a booze delivery! I couldn’t believe my ears!


Well, there you have it, “Not two weeks after a fatal accident and these knuckleheads are looking for alcohol. ” Maybe the RCS school district can get a discount on the grief counseling they provide after the fact. Is that in the budget? Plenty of money to spend but none to spend wisely.

Less than 1 in 5 persons in Coeymans eligible to vote actually voted in the budget vote! And they weren’t property owners voting for a tax increase, we know that for sure!

Coeymans has a population of about 7500 persons with 13% over 65 years of age. In 2010 there were approximately 3000 housing units in Coeymans, of which 70% were owner occupied (the tax base). 91% of residents 25 years old or older are high-school graduates but only 1 in 5 has a bachelor’s degree (they graduated high school but either couldn’t get into a 4-year college or didn’t try)! Of those employed, they travel an average of 26 minutes to work (Obviously they don’t work locally. Where would they work?) Half of the population earns less than $55,500 a year, and there’s a 10% poverty rate. About one quarter of Coeymans residents is under 18 years of age; 13% are over 65 years old. OK. Let’s do some old-fashioned math: 25% of Coeymans are under 18 so they can’t vote. That leaves 75% of Coeymans residents who can vote, or 5,675 eligible voters. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that only 5000 are legally registered and can actually vote. The numbers for the budget vote show only about 900 total votes were cast on May 16, 2017. that means that less than 1 in 5 eligible voters actually voted (This is probably less, considering that parts of New Baltimore in Greene County could participate in the voting!). This is even more alarming because if we can believe the US census data, 70% of the some 3000 housing units in the town of Coeymans are owner occupied, meaning that they are property owners and foot the tax bill. That’s about 2,100 voters, at least, who should have showed up to vote on the budget! How many property owners do you know who would vote for a tax increase? So you can guess who the majority of the about 600 votes were, who voted for the budget and the tax increase, can’t you? Piss poor performance in our opinion! Are you proud of yourselves, Coeymanites.

“The impact of the reduced assessment will be reflected in September 2017 tax bills when residents will likely see an estimated tax rate increase between 4.5 and 6.5 percent (based on 2016 tax assessment figures), depending on town of residency.

The RCS Graduate:
Can’t draw, can’t spell, can’t count, can’t write,, can’t drive.
Can drink, can fornicate, can finger-fondle any electronic device.
Can get a social services check.

Local Corporations Get Tax Breaks; Property Owners Get a Tax Increase; Teachers Get Increases in Perks and Benefits; Students look forward to a lousy education; We all Get Shoddy Government by Incompetent Ego-maniacs; Our Roads Get Worse (Our idiot highway departments fill in potholes with sand today, pothole’s back tomorrow). The budget calls for an increase in total spending of 2.6 percent from the 2016-17 school year and a tax levy increase of 1.25 percent, which equals the district’s limit based on the state’s tax levy cap calculation. Translation: for a home valued at $150,000 with no STAR exemption this would lead to a projected tax increase of $195 for Bethlehem residents, $116 for Coeymans residents, $117 for New Scotland residents, and $153 for New Baltimore residents. Here’s what you get for your tax increaase:

  • Local Corporations Get Tax Breaks
  • Tax burden shifts to property owners and small businesses
  • Property Owners Get a Tax Increase
  • Teachers Get Increases in Perks and Benefits
  • Students look forward to a lousy education
  • We all Get Shoddy Government by Incompetent Ego-maniacs
  • Our Roads Get Worse (Our idiot highway departments fill in potholes with sand today, pothole’s back tomorrow)
  • You get less in the package for more in the manufacturer’s pocket (Do you ever read the labels of your coffee containers?)
  • Welfare recipients get their cell phones, transportation, manicures, healthcare for free (Are you going to work today? Second job? Third job?)

Voters turned out in very low numbers, again. Even more alarming is that — even with the low turnout– there seems to be a bizarre pattern in the voting this year (similar to past years) With with the budget receiving 538 in favor and 294, the bus proposition 537 yes and 289 no; The RCS Community Library budget showed the same pattern of 593 in favor and 297. (RCS Central School District webpage, 2017-18 budget passed by voters, last accessed on May 17, 2017). Even more bizarre is that several of the local news reports repeat each other’s stories almost word for word!

The only good news coming out of this year’s budget vote was that the RCS Community Library vote passed with 593 in favor and 297 opposed. Residents also re-elected two candidates to the library board of trustees. Bravo! RCS Community Library! 

The only ones with half a brain appear to be the baby-boomers and they’re quickly disappearing from the area, leaving outright, or just dying. It appears anyone born after 1980 is a product of the materialist consumerism that haunts us today. Those born in and after the 1990’s are a total loss to their anxieties and greed. After 2000, they are either chemical or electronic addicts; orphans, really, and unable to articulate a sentence or even make change at the counter, even when the amount of change is displayed on a screen.

Your school tax dollars at work. Thank you.

Holy Scripture & Our Opinion
The Editor

 

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:

 

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 at the RCS Community Library: Registration Form

Please Note: We have just been informed by the RCS Community library that the Thanatology Café sign-up sheets at the RCS Community Library are kept in a binder behind the check-out desk. You must ask a staff member for the book to sign up. 

register-nowWe recently announced an exciting new program coming to the RCS Community Library. The program, which plans to meet regularly monthly and will be supplemented by extraordinary meetings for smaller groups to discuss special topics focusing on death, dying, coping, grief, and death-related topics, has published its Initial Registration Form that can be completed before the Saturday, April 9, 2016, session at the RCS Community Library, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The organizers encourage interested participants to download and printout the form and to bring it the the April 9 session; that will save time and will leave more time for the conversations.

Sign-up sheets are also available at the RCS Community library, but interested persons can also R.S.V.P. their intention to attend by sending an e-mail to thanatology.cafe@gmail.com.

We are informed that local churches, fire and rescue departments, police departments, EMS, schools and local funeral directors have been contacted and urged to send representatives.

It’s an important program and will deal with a subject that really needs to be talked about more. It promises to be an outstanding opportunity for sharing, learning and information. Don’t miss it.

register now_red

Initial Registration Form

Of course, if you have any questions, please e-mail the organizers at thanatology.cafe@gmail.com. They will get right back to you with an answer.

Please click the Register Now image to display and download or print out the Initial Registration from, fill it out as completely as possible, and bring it with you to the Thanatology Cafe session on April 9, 2016, at the RCS Community Library, 95 Main Street, Ravena, New York. The session starts promptly at 2 p.m. so please be on time.

And in the meantime, visit the Thanatolgy Café blog.

Well be there and we hope you will be too; we are looking forward to meeting and chatting with you on April 9th!

The Editor

The Editor

 

 

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

 

Coeymans: Hopeless, Disgusting, Corrupt! Shame on you!

The final tally of the November 3, 2015, voting in the town of Coeymans, New York, is in, and the results are disturbing, but characteristic of the backwoods, backwater, backward everything town of Coeymans.

Shame on You, Coeymans Voters!
Shame on YOU, especially, Coeymans Scoff-Voters!

Despite intensive coverage. Despite exposing the facts. Despite recent history and widespread reporting of the scandals surrounding the illegal and unethical conduct and cronyism of Tom Dolan (D), Richard Touchette (D), Jim Youmans (D), and worst criminal of them all, disgraced corrupt town of Coeymans judge, Phil Crandall (D), Coeymans voters put them all in public office on November 3, 2015. Coeymans is hopeless, disgusting, corrupt. Coeymans is too stupid to even be ashamed of itself.

About 3 years ago Coeymans voters gave Touchette and Youmans the boot, only to elect that human, political garbage back into public office: Youmans back to the Coeymans town council and Touchette to the Albany county legislature. Tom Dolan, a.k.a. Dithering-Tom Dolan, despite allegations of absentee ballot tampering about 3 years ago, appears to have misused his position as director of the Ravena Choices program, a give-it-all-away benefits program for local ghetto denizens, recently misused his position to misinform the public (with the enthusiastic circus act provided by Jim Youmans) and disclose a confidential draft report from the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Wrongful abuse of his office. Despite the current attention given to bullies of all ages, Coeymans voted known bully Jim Youmans, also allegedly having an arrest record for harassing his neighbors, back into office where he can continue his harassment of town of Coeymans employees and residents, just as he is known to have done when he last deposited his bloated stench in the corridors of Coeymans town hall.

Phil Crandall was forced by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for violations of NYS Judicial Law and discrediting the judiciary. In the agreement with the Commission, Crandall had to agree never again to run for judicial office. But that didn’t stop him from running for Coeymans town supervisor! And it didn’t stop the idiots voting in Coeymans from putting the disgraced former town justice, Crandall, who was forbidden from running for judge again, into the supervisor’s office. Now that’s a real deal! Have a corrupt, disgraced judge run the town! Does it get any better, Coeymans? Sure does! Put Tom Dolan, a local loser with a known record of corruption, and Rick Touchette, the other criminal, who got the crooked judge dumped in the first place into office, together with a known used-car salesman bully Jim Youmans. And you wonder why you’re dying, Coeymans?

What’s worse even than Dithering-Tom Dolan’s corrupt practices in the Ravena Choices program and his ballot tampering scandal, is that Dolan, an historical loser, is also chairman of the Coeymans Democrap committee and couldn’t find anything better in the manure pile known as the town of Coeymans to put on the Democrap line. So he had to recycle the available garbage, Crandall, Youmans, Touchette and, of course, Dolan himself. Are the pickings that slim in the town of Coeymans?

Coeymans goes beyond “Shame” !
You’ve really outdone yourselves in stupidity this time!

Coeymans Voters Pumped Raw Sewerage into Town Hall! Dolan, Youmans, Touchette

Coeymans Voters Pump Raw Sewerage into Town Hall!
Dolan, Youmans, Touchette and Crandall
The Editor


Coming up next: How many dead people and non-residents were included in New Baltimore’s absentee ballots? Will an illiterate, town employee’s ballot be counted (it’s signed in the “witness” space but not signed where the “voter” should have signed)? Will a Democrap judge rule in favor of the idiot? The town employee was apparently not absent but will have to prove that she was absent on November 3rd. And Why?, Mr George Acker, did only about half of Independence party voters show up at the polls on November 3rd?


 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Public Office, AFL-CIO, Albany, Albany County Board of Elections, Albany County Legislature, Arlene McKeon, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Krug, Bob Ross, Bonnie Krug, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Norris, Christopher Norris, Coeymans, Coeymans Losers Club, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Justice, Conflict of Interest, Corrupt Judge, Corruption, Cut-and-Paste Joan, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Louis, Democrap, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Diane Louis, Dick Touchette, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, George Acker, George Amadore, Gerald Deluca, Gregory Darlington, Harold Warner, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Independence Party, Indifference, Irregularities, Voting, Irresponsibility, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Mark Vinciguerra, Matt "the Mutt", Matt Miller, Matt Miller, Matthew J. Miller, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Election Law, New York State United Teachers, News Herald, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSUT, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Peter Masti, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Port of Coeymans, Public Office, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, RCS Central School District, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert Krug, Scofflaw, Selkirk, Smalbany, Small Town, Stephen Flach, Stifling Freedom, Stupidity, TCI, Teachers Union, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tony Walsh, Town Council, Town of Coeymans, Town Supervisor, United Federation of Teachers, Voting Irregularities, William Bailey, William Misuraca