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Category Archives: Official Misconduct

Are Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman and Son, Zachary Stahlman a Bit too Cozy with New York State Police?

Are the New York State Police Troop F a Bit Too Cozy with the Stahlmans?

Too Cozy with Suspect Felon?

The facts seem to point to a questionable relationship between the Stahlman pair, father Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman, and son Zachary Stahlman. One particular set of facts raises red flags: the Stahlmans appear to have a special relationship with the New York State Police or at least with one Trooper, presumably a member of Troop F that serves the Glenmont area. Rather than request the assistance of the local law enforcement department in whose jurisdiction the Stahlmans live, they seem to rely on the State Police to be their messengers. We find that suspect and we have contacted the New York State Police with our inquiry Why? are the Stahlmans so cozy with the State Police, so cozy that every time the Stahlmans have an itch, the New York State Police are there to scratch it for them. Could this possibly have something to do with the Chuck Stahlman’s disappearing felony in 2016?

On or about November 13, 2016, Mr Charles H. Stahlman was apprehended by New York State Police for felony passing of a false instrument (counterfeit $10 and $20 bills) at an estate sale. Stahlman was arraigned before a justice of the Bethlehem Town Court on or about November 13, 2016, bail was posted in the amount of $10,000, and Stahlman had a December 6, 2016 court appearance. After that, the case disappears. (As reported in the Times Union, “Cops: Man bought furniture with fake cash” as well as in a large number of other news media).

On or about February 4, 2016, a New York State Trooper accompanied Mr Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman to a local business to return keys to a lease property leased by Z. Stahlman, who broke the lease. Question: Why a state trooper?

On or about September 27, 2016, Mr Zachary Stahlman, Charles Stahlman’s son, testified under oath in answer to a question as to why a state police law enfocement officer accompanied Charles Stahlman to return keys, Zachary Stahlman’s response on the record (partially inaudible) was, “My father [is or has] friends with the State Police.

On or about June 22, 2018, a New York State Trooper contacted a local business man on behalf of Mr Zachary Stahlman, to investigate Mr Stahlman’s complaining of “harassment” upon being lawfully served with the business man’s answer and motion opposing Mr Stahlman’s Motion to Reargue before the Greene County Court. Seems Mr Stahlman can play shithouse lawyer and unlawfully serve anyone but the tables turn when Zachary Stahlman is lawfully served. (See our article on Stahlman and local shyster Brendan Baynes, “Shyster Meets Psycho: Brendan Baynes and Zachary Stahlman a.k.a. Fat Cat Antiques” for details.)

The circumstances of the Stahlman’s felony case disposition, the fact that several investigations in which the Stahlmans were suspects were allowed to go cold, and the fact that the Stahlmans, rather than contact local law enforcement in whose jurisdiction they reside, the Bethlehem Police. The Stahlmans seem to have a predisposition to contact the New York State Police, which in combination with the overall factual background, suggests that there may be some impropriety in the conduct of one or several New York State Police personnel and an overly cozy relationship with the Stahlmans. (See our articles, “Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!” and “Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?” and “Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS“.)

These questions, as you can see, are not new, just unanswered, and we think that they need to be answered. Now!

Felonies just seem to disappear in the Town of Bethlehem…Just like in the Town of Coeymans!

We have requested information from the Bethlehem Town Court where Charles Stahlman was arraigned when apprehended for felony possession [and passing] of a forged instrument. At his arraignment $10,000 bail was posted and a court appearance set for December 6, 2016. After that, the case seems to have disappeared. Do felonies disappear that easily?

The North Country Gazette (“Cops: Man Used Fake Money To Buy Furniture“) goes a little bit more in detail than the Times Union does about the Stahlman felony charge:

“Charles H. Stahlman, 52, of Glenmont, was charged with first degree possession of a forged instrument, a felony.

“Troopers responded to a complaint of fake money that was used at an estate sale on Saturday. Stahlman allgedly used four $20 bills and four $10 bills, all of which were forged. As the Trooper was obtaining a deposition from the complainant, Stahlman showed up to retrieve the furniture he had purchased with the forged money earlier that day. The complainant positively identified Stahlman.”

Not only does the fake money incident raise questions about the New York State Police, it also points directly to Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, another figure who has been the subject not only of local criticism but national criticism, for his inept and corrupt practices. You see, Soares would have the final say in whether charges are brought against a perpetrator, and Soares would have the final say as to whether charges are pressed and the perp brought to trial. So if there’s some suspicious activity going on in the ranks of the New York State Police, the so-called Cuomo-the-Homo’s Private Militia, and a law enforcement body answering directly to a Democrat district attorney and Democrat governor, both being the chief law enforcement officers in their jurisdictions and calling the shots, we may have something interesting going on here. Maybe this is something the FBI should be investigating.

A contributor has contacted the New York State Police Professional Standards Bureau and the New York State Police Command Division to request investigation and comment on this situation.

We’ll keep our readers posted on this. If any of our readers has any information to add to this, we’d really appreciate your sharing your knowledge with us in total confidentiality. We will investigate and if it’s good, we’ll report on it.

In the meantime, please bear in mind that when we can’t trust those to whom we entrust the public’s safety and give what we so fondly call “police powers”, and when we start taking the deadly turn to becoming a police state in a totalitarian system, signs of which we can see already, and when we give criminals special privileges because they know someone in authority, we may all find ourselves living in fear of our lives, fear of “the camps,” fear of the death squads. It makes you wonder how many of those warriors who challenged the system and were found dead on their tractors, in their cars, or reported as human remains found in a local wooded area, might actually be the powers-to-be’s answer to the questions we ask them.

Thanks for your loyal support!

The Editor

 

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, All the Justice You Can Buy, Bethlehem Police Commander, Bethlehem Town Court, Brendan Baynes, Capital District, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Stahlman, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Constitution, Contempt of Court, Corrupt Police, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Crime and Punishment, Crystal R. Peck Esq., D. W. Contento, Daily Mail, Dan Harms, Daniel Boughton, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, David Soares, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Democrats, Drive-by Shooting, Fake Money, False Instrument, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Felony, Felony, Glenmont, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Gregory R. Seeley, Harassment, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Judge Davis, Justice and Courts, Law Enforcement, Law Enforcement Arrogance, Lee Davis, Lee Davis, Mark Defrancesco, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Town Court, New York, New York State Police, New York State Police, New York State Supreme Court, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Courcelle, Paul M. Courcelle, Police Incompetence, Possession of a Forged Instrument, Public Corruption, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, RegisterStar, Smalbany, Stahlman, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tooher & Barone, Troop F, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan Forced to Resign

We pay these pompous, arrogant dumbasses’ paychecks with our tax dollars! But they sit there all in a row, staring into the papers in front of them, better than those who pay them and who put them where they are, and gaze out, through the citizens and residents sitting in front of them as if they weren’t there. Stuffed shirts, empty heads, and ignorance all in a row, deciding on your lives. And do they stick together?  like fleas on a dog’s back. Nice picture, isn’t it?


New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan has been forced to resign amid several pending investigations of Jordan’s activities as Town Superintendent of Highways and the operations of the New Baltimore Highway Department under his direct supervision. Jordan’s resignation became effective May 30, 2018.

We have reported numerous instances that point to unlawful and unethical practices by Jordan which have been known for years but only after we brought the issues into the open and public view did the Town of New Baltimore and law enforcement finally wake up and start taking action.

Jordan is not the only New Baltimore public official who should be investigated. We demanded also that former Town Supervisors and Town Board Members who were directly informed of Jordan’s operations should also be brought to justice! For the past several years we have been hounding former Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti and his deputy, Jeff Ruso, now Town Supervisor, and others to be responsible and honor their oaths of office! They failed this community and violated their oaths of office!

We have also contacted and informed Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione of Jordan’s activities and the Town’s indifference to the illegal and criminal activity going on in the New Baltimore Highway Department. Last year Stanzione refused to answer our inquiries saying only that he could not make a statement because of pending investigations. We want to see and hear what he has done to investigate the other employees and elected officials, past and present, who knew about what was going on and DID NOTHING!!!

We want to know why employees in the New Baltimore Highway Department, in particular Jordan’s deputy superintendent Scott VanWormer kept their mouths shut when Jordan was using his elected office, public property, public moneys to do favors for special parties and totally ignored other residents and taxpayers whose property was destroyed by Jordan’s indifference and negligence.

We want to know who is going to reimburse the public treasury for the money that was misspent, squandered and wasted during Jordan’s years of mismanagement, particularly in the past 2 years, when the Town Board was most intensely aware of Jordan’s operations.

We want to know who is going to answer for Jordan’s abuse of residents and taxpayers, and who is going to foot the bill for compensating the property losses and damage caused by Jordan’s negligence and incompetence.

We want answers from the Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione, former New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Deputy Highway Superintendent Scott vanWormer, Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, and others yet to be named!

Local government is a failure…

And now on the Town of New Baltimore Office of the Assessor and the Board of Assessment Review: Grievance Day is a Sham!

We  have been looking closely at the Town of New Baltimore’s weird property tax situation and have come to the conclusion that the operation of the Assessor’s Office under Gordon Bennett and the five member Board of Assessment Review (BAR), consisting of Donna Degnan (chairperson), Lynn Taylor, Bernie Jones, Ronna Smith, and Linda LeClair. Linda LeClair appears to be the only functioning brain in the lot!

Under Gordon Bennett’s oversight and Donna Degnen’s chairmanship, the BAR is an incompetent drain on the public treasury. Bennett is not an elected official, he’s a hired fixture. Degnan, too, is not elected but an appointee and the sockpuppets on the Board of Assessment Review, lard asses that they are, handed the chairmanship of the Board over to Degnan, who is a dithering wing nut!

We have examined the NY Real Property Tax Law and its provisions relating to the Assessor’s Office but more precisely those provisions that relate to the Board of Assessment Review and have found that currently too many mistakes are being made and they are not complying with the law. We have an ignorant board with very little training and they’re making a mess of assessments, especially assessments grieved by taxpayers who are not being treated as the law requires.

We intend to notify the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance of New Baltimore’s non-compliance and we intend to notify the Office of the New York State Comptroller of these deficiencies so that they can be targeted at the time of the next audit.

And the New Baltimore Town Court and Justices are soon to be pilloried by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York state committee that oversees the operation of the courts and judges and, upon complaint, reviews the court or the judge and has the power to discipline them for acting in bad faith, unethically, with malice, or in ignorance or abuse of the law. New Baltimore town justice Tom Meacham is at the top of our list.

And the incompetence and ignorance doesn’t stop at the Highway Department! The Assessor’s Office, run by Gordon Bennett, is just as bad and the Board of Assessment Review is a gang of d-bags if we ever met one. Donna Degnan chairs the Board of Assessment Review but is more of a dithering crone than a competent chairperson. Can’t even figure out what property is being discussed and then gets stuck on a thought and you can’t get her off of it. No one listens and no one hears. Read the submissions? Hell NO! Follow the discussion? Hell NO! Four morons in a row! Local government is a failure and we expect state and federal government to be any better? Wake up people!!! No one cares and the apathy is killing us! All we can get is criminals and dumbasses to run for office and, worse still, the dumbasses appoint dumber dumbasses to the local government boards and committees! 

We can agree that the whole system needs overhauling but unless people, voters, taxpayers, residents stand up and work together, we’re going to be stuck with these dumbasses, crooks, liars, and criminals, and we can only blame ourselves. We can’t do it alone. We need to join hands and stop the corruption!

Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels….

Of course they’re going to stick together like fleas on a dog’s back. They work in Town Hall where nobody is more than 20 feet away from anyone else. Nothing’s private. They all kiss each other’s asses and make nice-nice in the great love fest at Town Hall, while waiting for the next opportunity to stick in a knife. Most of them hate each other’s guts but they have to stick together or they’ll all end up jobless and in jail. So don’t think for a moment that you have such a great case that they won’t all get in a circle (called a circle-jerk) and make sure no one makes a peep that could incriminate anyone else. They may be incompetent, ignorant, arrogant but they are making the decisions and if you don’t like it, well, you’ll have to hire a lawyer. Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels. Well, that’s where the Jordan case is going to get real interesting because now we have not only a weak link but an actual break in the love chain in Town Hall. Things are a happening…let’s keep the momentum and see what’s going to happen next!

We want to see as many residents and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore as possible at the next (July) public meeting of the New Baltimore Town Board, and we want everyone to make a public statement about this development and what the Town of New Baltimore is going to do to make things right!

Next Regular Town Board Meeting is on July 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

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Posted by on June 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Assessment Review, Bernie Jones, Board of Assessment Review, Bob Ross, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, David Lewis, David Louis, David Louis, Democratic Caucus, Democratic Party Committee, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Diane Jordan, Donna Degnen, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, George Amadore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Grievance Day, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph A. Farrell Jr, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Linda LeClair, Lynn Taylor, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democratic Committee, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Police, New York State Town Law, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Professional Misconduct, Ravena News Herald, Real Property Tax Law, RegisterStar, Republican Caucus, Republican Party Committee, Resignation, Ronna Smith, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town Board Meeting, Town Supervisor

 

Shyster Meets Psycho: Brendan Baynes and Zachary Stahlman a.k.a. Fat Cat Antiques

UPDATE

We chose to dig a bit deeper into this case and had a contributor review the digital recording of the trial proceedings at which Zachary Stahlman made a complete ass of himself and the court. Luckily for Lee Davis, the idiot town justice presiding over the three-ring circus called a trial, was not re-elected. If he had been we would pursue a formal complaint before the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct to have him censured and removed from the bench! But back to Stahlman…

According to the trial recording, Zachary Stahlman states under oath that his father, Charles “Chuck” Stahlman, returned the keys to a lease property after  sonny-boy Zach Stahlman broke the lease. Charles Stahlman returned the keys accompanied by a New York State Trooper. Zachary Stahlman states in his testimony under oath  — not that an oath means anything to a Stahlman — what sounds like “My father is friends with the State Trooper.” Here we have a guy who is apprehended passing counterfeit $10 and $20 bills to purchase furniture for his antiques business (Fat Cat Antiques), arrested by the New York State Troopers, arraigned in court for passing funny money, and now his son admits under oath that his dear ole dad is “friends with the state trooper[s]” ?!? By the way, what happened to the case against Stahlman Sr. for passing the funny money? Did that go away, too?

Now, does that help to explain why the investigations for theft of dealer plates and drive-by shootings might have gone cold and no arrests were made? Does this mean that if you are friends with a New York State Trooper or with the troopers, that you can do anything, including pass funny money, steal dealer plates, shoot at people in their offices, and, despite contradictory testimony and clear breach of contract, win a court case?

Now, it’s important that our readers understand that we are not judging the Stahlmans nor are we suggesting that they are guilty of any of the crimes that were under investigation and allowed to go cold by everyone from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department to the Coeymans Police Department, to the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Troopers (who refused to investigate), and the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, who definitely had a say in the matters, but we are posing some very interesting questions after the review of the trial recordings.


Our slogan is this: After the first lie all the rest is a lie. 

The Shyster

Our research shows that Brendan Baynes is not entirely honest, if not an outright liar. He misrepresents his practice and is a bit of a moron, besides.

“Tubbs” Baynes’ Nemesis
Did Michael Biscone tell Baynes to get out of town?

Up until recently, that is, up until a meeting with Michael “Tubbs” Biscone in a local diner, Baynes had an office in Ravena, New York, on 130 Main Street. That was changed after the meeting with “Tubbs” Biscone, when Baynes’ shingle disappeared from 130 Main Street. Here’s why Baynes is a moron: Anyone who would open a law office in Ravena almost directly across from the law office of one of the biggest (hence, “Tubbs”) shysters in Albany County has to be stupid. Furthermore, anyone who opens an office in Ravena, home to the Biscone family of shysters and major members of the Ravena Incest Club (Biscones related to the Brunos related to the Persicos, etc.) has to be stupid.

Brenden Baynes and his special version of corruption: Corruption of the Law…

When Carmen Warner was fired from the Albany District Attorney’s office for misconduct, it was Michael “Tubbs” Biscone who took her in, no doubt to give the freak a job but also to forge an alliance with Ravena Village Hall, where Carmen’s mother, Nancy Biscone — OOPS! We meant Warner — is a “trustee” and a witch-on-a-stick and Carmen’s father, Ravena village justice Harold “Hal” Warner, Albany ex-cop, taken off the street for misconduct, and the very Hal Warner who stabbed Phil Crandall, then a part-time Ravena village justice and full-time Coeymans town justice, forcing him to resign in disgrace, work their corruption. The Ravena Incest Club does take care of its own. But let’s get back to Brenden Baynes and his special version of corruption: Corruption of the Law.

It seems moron Baynes tried to carve into Biscone’s territory; that’s a definite No! NO! The Biscones have had a choke hold on Ravena for at least two generations and they have no intention of sharing with anyone. So Baynes is sent scurrying with his furry rat tail between his legs.

Baynes seems to be a bit uncertain where he’s located…

Baynes left Ravena in a hurry and set up his practice across the county line, in Greene County, in the Town of New Baltimore. He now occupies what appears to be a repurposed chicken house or something similar, and it appears to be deserted at all times, at least every time we’ve stopped by to check it out. Yes, my gullible friends and neighbors, Brendan Baynes Esq. has his office in Greene County, not Albany County, and in the Town of New Baltimore, not in Ravena. He’s a damned phoney liar, a fraud.

Baynes Law Firm Chicken Coop Office on Rt 9W, New Baltimore

Baynes seems to be a bit uncertain where he’s located because he still uses a Ravena address, despite the fact that he’s more than a mile away in Greene County and nowhere near Ravena. So why is it that Mr. Baynes is trying to make the impression he’s in Ravena when he’s not even in Albany County? If he’s not aware of that fact, he’s got some big problems. If he is aware of that fact he’s got a bigger problem: he’s a liar.

Baynes is a bit shaky on how many years he’s been practicing …

Baynes not only uses the Ravena address, which is phoney, he also uses the Rt 9W New Baltimore address as a Ravena address, which is also phoney. What would you expect from a phoney?

130 Main St in Ravena is occupied by Alexander Varga CPA and Anatriello Insurance LLC. Not by Brendan Baynes! Baynes gives this address in some of his online ads.

Baynes not only doesn’t know where his offices are located he’s a bit shaky on how many years he’s been practicing his bizarre kind of law. On some of his advertising you see 15 years, 25 years, 28 years, even 31 years, so there’s quite a lot of questions about Mr. Baynes’ math, too.

Bozo Baynes

Forget the “team” in his hyped ads Baynes is a team of one.

We are also concerned about Bayne’s mental state. You see, he refers on his website using “our team,” “we,” and similar language that would give you the impression that he has a whole menagerie of sharks in his practice. Well, our inquiries show that he’s a loner. Yes, it’s just him. Forget the “team” it’s a team of one. [Editor’s Note: A contributor has written to Baynes asking for the names of his partners,his team members. As of this writing Baynes has not responded.]

Baynes also says his practice includes personal injury, commercial law, estates, medical malpractice, traffic and tickets, trial law. That’s quite a lot of specialization for one guy and it’s all crappola! He’s listed as a “general practice” attorney. That’s all. We think he’s misrepresenting himself. In fact, if you Google Baynes the first hit that comes up is “traffic tickets,” “speeding tickets!”

A reader recently contacted Baynes after seeing his sign and reading his misrepresentations because the reader wanted an attorney who could work on a case against a local municipality, a case of property damage.

Here’s his response:

“Unfortunately, I am not interested in a property damage claim against a municipality as I am very busy pursuing multiple complex litigation matters and cannot take on what would be sure to be a significant devotion of time and effort to your friends case.”

Nobody seems to be pursuing Brendan Baynes for his expert legal advice…

No, Mr. Brenden Baynes was too busy defending traffic violations and speeding tickets. Easy money and totally no-brainers: no-brainer attorney, no-brainer client, no-brainer court. He may be “pursuing multiple complex litigation matters” — maybe that’s lawyer-speak for ambulance chasing — but his parking lot is empty, and there’s a CLOSED sign on his chicken-coop office door; nobody seems to be pursuing Brendan Baynes for his expert legal advice, except maybe Zachary Stahlman and Fat Cat Antiques, a.k.a.

The Psycho

Most of our readers will recall our articles about the Stahlmans, Zachary and his father Charles, of Fat Cat Antiques (Glenmont) associated with Stahlman’s Fat Cat Transport in Coeymans Hollow, NY. The father, Charles Stahlman, has a reputation for shady used car deals and for passing counterfeit $20.00 bills to buy used furniture for his so-called “antique” (= junk) business, Fat Cat Antiques.

Maybe that’s what Zachary Stahlman and his daddy Chuck Stahlman are using to pay Brendan Baynes, Esq., counterfeit $10 and $20 bills. Baynes is likely stupid enough to take them and run…maybe Michael Biscone will take them and launder them for Baynes for a hefty fee.

Zachary Stahlman

State Police apprehended the elder Stahlman when it was discovered he was passing counterfeit $10 and $20 bills to purchase used furniture for resale at his Fat Cat Antiques business. Stahlman was arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court, released on $10,000 bail, and went to court on December 6, 2017. Apparently nothing happened. So our question was always, “What happened?” [Cops: Man bought furniture with fake cash and Troopers: Man uses fake money at estate sale).

[Editor’s Note: You can’t make this stuff up. Fat Cat Antiques registered address is listed as: Fat Cat Transport LLC,476 Shady Lane, Coeymans Hollow, NY 12046. They even have “shady” in their address!!!]

We can only think that he turned state’s evidence or is an informer. Anyone else would be doing some sort of time for circulating funny money. What do you think?

Well, as it happens, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and his son’s, that is, Zachary Stahlman’s criminal history includes traffic violations and he was a suspect in a drive-by shooting and possibly other crimes in Coeymans and New Baltimore. He also likes to play major victim and violate contracts like commercial leases etc. Watch out for baby Neanderthal; he’s following in daddy Neanderthal’s footsteps.

We covered all of these stories in our articles: Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why? (2017/01/31); Let’s Get Back to Exposing Local Dysfunctional Government (2017/04/24); Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman! (2017/02/05).

The younger Stahlman, Zachary, entered into a lease with a local landlord to open a so-called flea market and then broke the lease and sued the landlords for the return of the security deposit, which was paid by his father, Charles. Whether Charles Stahlman used counterfeit $10 and $20 to pay the security is uncertain.

Brendan “Bozo” Baynes

Well, when the landlord refused to return the security deposit for multiple violations of the lease term because Stahlman cooked up code violations, gave a couple of days notice, and abandoned the commercial property he occupied as Fat Cat Antiques, never heating it or complying with numerous other terms of the lease, Stahlman had the balls to ask for his security deposit back and later sued in New Baltimore Town Court.

The case was heard by ex-judge Lee Davis, who admitted that he had no experience in commercial leases, but heard the case anyway, deciding in favor of Stahlman despite the clear provisions of the lease contract.[1] The landlords appealed without an attorney (BIG MISTAKE) and the appeal was rejected.

The Greene County Court before which the appeal was brought found that there was no error in law. Former Greene County Court judge Terry Wilhelm, formerly the Greene County District Attorney, decided the appeal but never notified the parties. (His clerk took the blame for this serious oversight.)

Since Lee Davis was such a failure and disappointment as New Baltimore Town Justice — he was voted out of office after only one term —, the case was returned to New Baltimore but now before New Baltimore town justice Joseph Farrell, who sympathized with the landlords and was at a loss how the matter could have been so mishandled, but he inherited the case and that was that.

Zachary Stahlman then proceeded to take things into his own hands and started not only harassing the landlords during the appeal process but even served demands for payment on the landlords’ other tenants, using the Albany County Sheriff’s Department to do his unlawful dirty work.

Oh, did we mention that Zachary Stahlman was a suspect in the Coeymans drive-by shooting and in the theft of the landlord’s dealer plates? Again the cases went cold, and the investigations closed. Why is that? Cold-Case Coeymans Police Department and Cold-Case Greene County Sheriff’s Department; see our articles above. Taxpayers pay for law enforcement and all law enforcement can manage is to be Albany and Greene Counties’ major supporters of Dunkin Donuts and Cumberland Farms, not to mention a major threat to local wildlife (see our article on the Coon-Killer Cops of Coeymans, and our several follow-up articles on the incident.)

Zacchary Stahlman’s harassment now continues through his new attorney, Brendan Baynes.

Charles Stahlman
Police Mug Shot

We should remark at this point that several months ago, Charles Stahlman wrote to this blog begging us to remove the posts mentioning his son, saying, that his son was ‘unable to work, was “fragile,” that he “loves his son and would do anything for him.” Our response was that if his son was so fragile, how is it that he can harass hard-working people, who, unlike Zachary Stahlman, break their backs working only to be taken advantage of by people like Zachary Stahlman, who then furthers the abuse by dragging them in front of an incompetent town justice, Lee Davis, to further abuse them. Furthermore, if he, Charles Stahlman, “loves” his son and would “do anything for him,” why didn’t he teach him to obey the law, to act like a civilized human being, and to conduct his business honestly. We can understand a parent’s concern for their offspring but Mr. Charles Stahlman’s conduct is anything but good example and his son’s, Zacchary’s, conduct is not much better.

Shyster Meets Psycho

So now we have a situation where Psycho meets Schyster: fragile, socially-aberrant Zacchary Stahlman (But can you blame the kid, considering his background?), probably still unemployed, still harassing others, the shining apple of his criminal father’s eye, now commissions a failed two-bit shyster, Brendan Baynes of somewhere between Albany County and Greene County but definitely not Ravena, New York, an expert in all legal specialized practice but who prefers to handle speeding tickets; a member of a team of law professionals consisting of one shyster, Brendan Baynes, who practices from a repurposed chicken coop that appears never to be open. Baynes who had the audacity to open an office just across the street from the arch-shyster of Ravena, Michael “Tubbs” Biscone, just blocks away from Tubbs’ brother John and niece Sarah Biscone, only to be forced out of Ravena to Greene county where he now appears to be practicing from what appears to be a repurposed chicken coop.

Bozo Baynes certainly isn’t working for nothing even if he is forced to practice from low-rent digs

Well, if psycho Zach Stahlman doesn’t know when to stop, “fragile” as his counterfeit-passing dad claims he is, and “unable to work” as his wheeling and dealing dad claims he is, then it must be the junk shop Fat Cat Antiques that is financing the harassment. Bozo Baynes certainly isn’t working for nothing even if he is forced to practice from low-rent digs.

Bozo Baynes would stoop to anything to make the rent on his chicken coop office.

Bozo Baynes, hot-shot attorney that he is, apparently has taken time out of his busy schedule of “pursuing multiple complex litigation matters” to take on two-bit Zach Stahlman’s case, chasing after about $200 in interest and fees which the County Court told them they couldn’t have! – Gosh! Those traffic tickets and DWIs sure are complex litigation matters, aren’t they, Brendan?

But we have to ask the question why a fraud like Bozo Baynes would leave his “complex litigation matters,” that is, his speeding ticked business, to take on a case that’s worth, well, pennies? Is he that hard up for real work? What’s the deal people?

Zach Stahlman is an angry sociopath who just won’t let things go.

Greene County Court Judge, former DA, Terry Wilhelm

But wait a minute! Didn’t we just say that Zach Stahlman and Fat Cat Antiques (Charles Stahlman) don’t have a case! The case was decided, appealed, and the appeal was decided. But not according to Bozo Baynes, the legal genius who thinks the former DA and now county judge Terry Wilhelm have made a mistake and should reverse their decisions regarding interest and fees. You see Bozo Baynes would stoop to anything to make the rent on his chicken coop and “fragile” Zach Stahlman is an angry sociopath who just won’t let things go.

So “fragile” Zach or more likely counterfeit-fan Charles Stahlman hire Bozo Baynes to tell the court that Baynes thinks they don’t know what they are doing, and that the Stahlman and Baynes know more about the law than the county court judge does. The filed a motion with the County Court to allow re-argument of the court’s decision as if the court should start trembling in fear and awe of Bozo Baynes and “fragile” Zach Stahlman.

Our advice to “fragile” Zach is get some psychotherapy. Our advice to Bozo Baynes is get a real job. Our advice to county court judge Terry Wilhelm is to stand by his decision and tell both Stahlman (Fat Cat Antiques) and Baynes to take a long walk off a short pier. Don’t worry about the sharks, though, they have more sense than to consume garbage.

We would also recommend that the Greene County DA, Joseph Stanzione, review Brendan Baynes conduct and recommend that the 3rd Judicial District, Professional Conduct Committee discipline Baynes his shoddy conduct, abuse of judicial process, and unethical business practices by taking advantage of poor “fragile” Zachary Stahlman and failing to consider his background and sociopathic condition.

Do you think the Stahlmans will be organizing another drive-by shooting after reading this article?

[1] Lee Davis was such a failure his own brother, Harry, threw him in by reporting his history to this blog. We investigated and published our findings in our article Double-Standard Davis: Asking New Baltimore for another Term as Town Justice?.

 

Albany County DA Soares Affirms Double Standard Again: Coeymans Clown Cops OK.

Albany County DA P. David Soares Thinks Coeymans Cops’ Conduct OK.

What about Coeymans Town Supervisor Phil Crandall? What’s he going to do?
And what are Coeymans Town Board Members Daniel Baker, Jim Youmans, Tom Dolan and Ken Burns going to do now? Do they think the Coeymans PD did good?

Acting Coeymans Police Chief Daniel W. Contento responds: “We’re going to use the video as a training video.”

Today’s hot news coming out of Albany County District Attorney P. David Soare’s corrupt offices is that the County’s double-standard will continue as business as usual. There’s one standard for law enforcement personnel and another standard for you and me. One standard for the bullies with guns and another standard for those who they are attempting to take guns away from. Now say you didn’t see this coming.

As of today, April 5, 2018, the Petition demanding that the Coeymans police officers involved in the March 12, 2018, incident at Faith Plaza be disciplined, terminated was 95,365 signatures with more than 12,000 people signing in New York alone! Compare that number with 1 Albany DA, 1 Acting Police Chief, 1 Department of Environmental Conservation Director, and 5 Coeymans town board members. Almost 100,000 people can’t be wrong when it comes to seen the truth in what happened and what needs to be done. Imaging if just 1 out of 10 marched on Coeymans! People of Ravena, Coeymans: Don’t let them get away with this scandal!

Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares (inset) Condones Police Ugly Clown Act.

In a statement issued by Soare’s office with regard to the two Coeymans Police Department personnel who used two Coeymans Police vehicles to harass, abuse, and finally to run over a raccoon in full view of dozens of witnesses at Faith Plaza, Ravena, NY, on March 12, 2018, says that the two jerks who perpetrated the scandalous incident will not face criminal charges.

Coeymans Law Enforcement Team.

According to reports, acting Coeymans police chief, Daniel Contento is really taking the scandal seriously (Ha, Ha, Ha!), and is reported to have said that his Department will “use the video as a training video.” Training video? Training Coeymans cops on how to improve their clown act? Training for whom? If the Coeymans Town Board has any balls, there won’t be a Coeymans Police Department or clown cops to train!!! Eliminate the Coeymans Police Department NOW! They’re useless!

How you treat animals is how you treat other human beings. St Francis of Assisi.

According to the article appearing in the Times Union: and another report by WRGB Channel 6 News:

“Soares’ office said the police lacked equipment such as a catch pole, a net or a tranquilizer gun to deal with animals. Police had previously said they worried that using a firearm to kill the raccoon could jeopardize the lives of people in the shopping plaza where it was found.”

“The officers also faced the possibility of a two-hour wait for a state environmental conservation officer to arrive to deal with the animal.


Editor’s Note: All of what Soares, Crandall, Misuraca, and Contento are saying is pure undiluted bullshit! First of all, the coeymans Police had not only the opportunity to call the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for capture assistance, they had two, TWO, fire and rescue departments, the Coeymans fire and rescue and the Ravena Fire Department, both or at least one which must or should have animal capture/control equipment on hand. Secondly, we seriously doubt that the Coeymans police put out any call to a local animal control officer in a neighboring community for assistance.

As for a two-hour wait for a response from the DEC, we would like to cite a recent report appearing in the March 28, 2018, Daily News (NY, “Coyote found on mezzanine of New York State Museum released back into the wild” and “Coyote spotted taking a nap on mezzanine at New York State Museum“) , The State (“Coyote found on museum’s outdoor mezzanine released in wild“), US News (“Coyote Found on Museum’s Outdoor Mezzanine Released in Wild“), Fox News (“Coyote found on New York museum’s fourth-floor mezzanine“) and dozens of other news media, which report that the coyote was found sleeping on the premises of the NYS Museum Mezzanine, the DEC was called for assistance, animal control personnel arrived, tranquilized, captured, tested and later released the coyote. What was the major malfunction of the Coeymans Police?

March 27, 2018: A coyote was found on an outdoor mezzanine at a museum in Albany, N.Y.
(New York State Police)


“Based on facts of the event, the conclusion is that the officers did not act with malice or contempt, and acted with the public’s well-being in mind,” the DA’s office wrote in a report released Thursday.”

The whole thing is an ugly bad joke. The police didn’t have the equipment to capture the animal? They didn’t have a catchpole, a tranquilizer gun or a net??? One local taxpayer, Mr D. Boomer, told the Coeymans Town Board that that excuse was ridiculous as did several other speakers. When interviewed by multiple news media and asked what he, Boomer, would have done, Mr Boomer stated, “I would have turned over a shopping cart to capture it.” There were literally dozens of such carts all over the parking lot. Does Albany District Attorney P. David Soares have some peculiar definitions for “malice,” “contempt”? (We realize he’s from some Island, Brava, Cape Verde,  off the coast of West Africa but he is after all a DA in a predominantly English-speaking nation, isn’t he?)

A nation’s greatness can be seen in how they treat their animals. Mahatma Ghandi.

The two cars were seen by a witness just minutes before the incident at the Cumberland Farms in Ravena.

Soares continues that the officers “faced the possibility of a two hour wait for a state environmental conservation officer to arrive.” That statement, too, is ridiculous. The Coeymans Police Manual instructs officers responding to an animal control call to notify the local Animal Control Officer or, if he or she is not available, to notify a neighboring community’s Animal Control Officer. They did neither. And the “possibility of a two hour wait” just doesn’t make sense. First of all, we don’t believe that the two officers, one a veteran Coeymans PD investigator Stephen Prokrym, who also runs a Schenectady security company, was involved, likely didn’t put out a call to the Department of Environmental Conservation, and just proceeded to put on their circus show. The two cars were seen by a witness just minutes before the incident at the Cumberland Farms in Ravena.

This has to be the most convincing statement of Soares’ stupidity we have heard to date.

Soares final statement, “the conclusion is that the officers did not act with malice or contempt,” brought tears of laughter to my face!!! That has to be the most convincing statement of Soares’ stupidity we have heard to date. Two law enforcement officers in two police vehicles spend more than 15 minutes racing around a public parking lot in full view of dozens of witnesses, harassing, and abusing a single wild animal, and finally running the poor thing over with their vehicles is, in the Albany County DA’s thinking, not “malice or contempt.”

How malicious, evil, and contemptuous of life can it possibly get???!!! But Albany’s DA doesn’t think that the two dumbass Coeymans cops acted with malice or contempt.

What do you think would happen to you?

Let’s just take a real life example and see what you would say: What if you or a neighbor drove into Faith Plaza in Ravena and saw an animal, say a raccoon, a cat, a dog, a deer, a duck, and started harassing it with your car, chasing it around the parking lot like a real clown, and finally running it over. Say there are dozens of people, local shoppers, watching all of this and someone videos it. Someone calls the Coeymans Police and they arrive on the scene. What do you think would happen to you?

What you sow is what you will reap. Pythagoras. Greek Philosopher & Mathematician.

Albany: A Dipshit Racist Albany County District Attorney & Coeymans: Irresponsible and Incompetent Clown Cops.

OK. So you say that the dog or the duck was rabid. Don’t you think someone might ask how you knew that without any test results. And so you say, “Well, someone, I don’t know who, said it was acting abnormally.” Do you think that would keep you out of cuffs? Out of court? Out of jail? We have a double-standard, the same double-standard we see in what we call police states. Except our double-standard is right in our front-yards. A dipshit Albany County District Attorney, irresponsible and unprofessional clown cops.

The Coeymans Police Department and its Company of Clowns Must GO!!!

The state Department of Environmental Conservation had already decided no criminal charges will be filed in the case. The DEC is known to be extremely Democrap and prosecutes only where there’s money to be gotten, even if it’s unfounded; they are not in the habit of prosecuting where there’s no money to be had or business to be ruined. Another useless money pit sucking up New York State tax dollars.

 Acting Police Chief Daniel Contento lied in his public statement.

We’d like to make several final points: 1. It’s always a safe bet to be 100% right after you get all the answers. Yes. The raccoon allegedly tested for rabies but was that testing also done in favor of the Coeymans Police statement made BEFORE the test results were released, that the raccoon was rabid? Did the testing lab fit the results to the Police statement?  Acting Police Chief Daniel Contento lied in his public statement. Contento could not have known that the now mutilated raccoon was rabid; he didn’t have the test results until the following day!!!

2. The DA’s office works very closely, is in bed with the police, with law enforcement; in fact, the DA is the chief law enforcement officer in the county (both the DA and law enforcement are the executive branch of government). There’s no chance the DA would go after his police boys. No chance in Hell!

3. The entire incident got international attention. It brought people from as far away as Queensbury, NY, to make statements at the Coeymans Town Board Meeting, protesting the incident. A petition demanding that the officers involved be disciplined, many signers demanding they be terminated, got more than 90,000 signatures!!! The irresponsibility of the Coeymans Town Board and the Coeymans Police Department cannot be swept under the carpet by just saying these two clowns didn’t have a catchpole, a net, or a tranquilizer gun. Why is that? How much does a catchpole or a net or a tranquilizer gun cost? And why doesn’t the Town of Coeymans have an Animal Control Officer? What happens next? The 911 center gets a call about a stray dog; do they run the animal over?

4. Acting Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento lied in his statement. Coeymans Supervisor makes the statement that the call should never have been given to the Coeymans Police. The Albany County DA says there was no malice or contempt. (Ask the raccoon, ask the more than 90,000 protesters, ask the residents and citizens who appeared at the Coeymans Town Board meeting to protest the incident and demand that the officers be discipline, terminated.) Local Ravena-Coeymans taxpayers complain they get nothing from the Coeymans Police except harassment. What’s the solution, Citizens?

Once again the Town of Coeymans, dirty, trashy, little backwater hill towns of Ravena and Coeymans, NY, gets international attention the way it always does: a SCANDAL.

But the Coeymans Town Board does have powers under the law to come out shining

The Albany County DA P. David Soares may not want to prosecute his cronies, and the DEC may not want to prosecute a case that the DA himself won’t prosecute. But the Coeymans Town Board does have powers under the law to come out shining. The Coeymans Town Board can eliminate the Coeymans Police Department or at least terminate or suspend the parties involved, including acting police chief Contento. That doesn’t leave Coeymans or Ravena without law enforcement. All 911 calls from Ravena and Coeymans go to the Albany County 911 Center for dispatch, anyway, and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police patrolling the area can respond to any 911 call, if necessary.

So Albany DA Soares thinks the Coeymans Cops’ Ugly Clown Act was OK. And the Department of Environmental Conservation won’t prosecute, given Soares’ position. So now what will Coeymans Town Supervisor Phillip Crandall and his Coeymans Town Board members Daniel Baker, Jim Youmans, Tom Dolan and Ken Burns do now to save face in view of the public outrage and scandal caused by two Coeymans law enforcement clowns?  Are they going to get some balls and take control of the situation and do what’s right?

Shame on Albany DA Soares! Shame on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation! Shame on Ravena & Coeymans!

Editor’s Note: We have interspersed various quotes from well-known great thinkers on what animal cruelty tells us about ourselves and how we relate to other human beings. We stand by those quotes and hope that you, our readers, will take them to heart and join us in demanding that what was done to that raccoon on March 12, 2018, is likely an indication of how those officers would respond to any other animal or to another human being. It is an expression of their perverse and evil characters.

 

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Aaron Flach, Abuse, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, Animal Abuse, Animal Control Officer, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bill Bailey, Bully Cops, Capital District, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Attorney, Coeymans Town Board, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, D. W. Contento, Daniel Baker, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dead Raccoon, DEC, Demand for Resignation, Demand for Termination, Democrats, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Facebook, Faith Plaza, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, Government, Greene County, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Inhumanity, Investigation, Jason Albert, Joel Coye, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Department of Health, New York State Education Department, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Investigator, Police State, Professional Misconduct, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena CVS, Ravena News Herald, Ravena Shop'n Save, RegisterStar, Ryan Johnson, Senate District 46, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts!

Please Note: On Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. the Town of Coeymans will hold it’s Town Board Meeting. We have information that residents, citizens and animal organizations will address the board about the conduct of the Coeymans Police and what the Town of Coeymans is going to do about it. Be there. Make your voice heard! Or at least just show up to learn what the community has to say!


The Town of Coeymans Police Department continues to be the subject of widespread interest following the ugly display of unprofessional conduct and stupidity last Monday, March 12, when Coeymans Police responded to an animal control call and proceeded to provide a sickening circus freak show performance as they pursued a raccoon in their patrol cars (one marked, another unmarked), finally running down the terrified animal and running over it. All of this happened in the pothole-rich parking lot of the Ravena Shop’n Save (Village of Ravena, Town of Coeymans), after a call from the CVS Pharmacy that a raccoon had “tried to enter the building.”

After one courageous residents, Ms Bryana Catucci, and several other witnesses videoed the Coeymans Police yahoos and the termination of the terrified animal, those videos went viral on several Internet sites, including Facebook and YouTube, and the Smalbany blog published a detailed and informative article on the incident. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society voiced their outrage and condemnation of the Coeymans Police actions.

To give you an idea of how outraged people are about this incident, just one site, Care2 Petitions, has more than 76,000 signatures, more than 8,500 signers in NY state alone, condemning the Coeymans Police! To give you an idea of how many people 76,000+ is, it’s more than 9x the entire population of the Township of Coeymans!!! What does that tell you, dear readers?


The Coeymans Police have no up-to-date procedure for dealing with animal control issues. The town of Coeymans has no Animal Control Officer. The New York State Department of Health report on tests done on the animal sounds bogus!

I can’t believe my eyes!!! I can’t believe their horrible conduct!!! I can’t believe the lies!!!


Almost immediately following the incident, Smalbany blog contibutors filed a demand under the provisions of the New York state Public Officers Law, Article 6 Sections 84-90 Freedom of Information Law (N.Y. Pub. Off. Law Sees. 84 to 99) for the production of documents with the Coeymans Town Clerk and the Coeymans Police Department, demanding information related to the March 12, 2018, incident in which the Coeymans Police Department used police vehicles to harrass, terrorize and kill a raccoon in front of dozens of witnesses at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York (Town of Coeymans, in the jurisdiction of the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares).

Initial Information Provided by the Coeymans Police Department (“acting” police chief Daniel Contento (SGT)) and the news media were contradictory and confused. We decided to get the facts.

One glaring fact is that the Coeymans Police protect their own. They delete any references to the officer’s involved or anyone involved. Do you think that’s fair play? If you were picked up by the police, your face and name would be plastered all over the police blotter and the local news media. Why are the police and their cronies so protective? Aren’t they public servants, paid by us? Don’t we have a right to know which ones are bonkers and which ones are not?

The Town of Coeymans responded with the usual halfwit evasive answers but provided two important documents: the Testing Report No. RAB18ANI01172-SR-1 from the NYS Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, and an extract from what appears to be an ancient “Coeymans Police and Ravena Police Law Enforcement Manual, Administration (in the following called the PLEM/A),” Section 46.0, Subject: Animal Control/Rabies.” the Coeymans Police Department. We say “ancient” because this section dates back to October 15, 1998 — it’s almost 20 years old and hasn’t been revised, updated, or replaced — and refers to “Village of Ravena Police,” which hasn’t existed for years, and is signed by former Police Chief Scott Geroux!

Furthermore, the Law Enforcement procedure repeatedly refers to the Animal Control Officer and how the police have to notify the Animal Control Officer for assistance when dealing with an animal control issue.  According to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“46.2.1 The Animal Control Officer (ACO) is a civilian employee of the Police Department. The ACO is responsible for responding to and mitigating incidents and complaints relating to domestic and wild animal”

If the local Animal Control Officer is unavailable, the procedure requires the Coeymans Police to notify an animal control officer from a nearby jurisdiction. Again, according to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“(46.3.2.2) Request the response of the ACO to the scene whenever available.
“(46.3.2.2.1) If the case requires the immediate attention of the ACO, that information shall be relayed to the ACO. If he is still unavailable to respond an ACO from another jurisdiction shall be requested.”

Town of Coeymans PD: “The Town of Coeymans does not have an Animal Control Officer.”

Coeymans Police Department Procedures date back almost 20 years without revision!!!

The problem that we have identified in this entire Keystone Cops episode is that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department are about 20 years behind. You see, according to a certified statement provided by the Town of Coeymans, “The Town of Coeymans does not have an animal control officer.”

Well if the Town of Coeymans has no animal control officer, then the entire 1998 procedure allegedly followed by the Coeymans Police Department is absolutely useless, out of date, and a sham!!! In other words, the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines for handling this type of situation.

The Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines

[Editor’s Note: We have considerable information that shows that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department Law Enforcement Manual is out-of-date and obsolete in several other areas, including How to handle a traffic stop!!!]

The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans

 

Coeymans Police on Pussy Patrol.
Did you know that cats are the domestic animals most at risk for rabies?

But this whole hullabaloo is NOT about whether an animal was sick or not. The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans. There is no leadership in the Town of Coeymans or the Town of Coeymans PD.. The Coeymans Police Department is dysfunctional. That’s the question that is driving most people crazy right about now. Then there’s the question of how the Coeymans Police abused and tortured a defenseless animal using their patrol cars. Anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure a reasonable and safe procedure for dealing with an animal threat, if there was one, and there was none.  Just view the videos and all you’ll see is a normal appearing raccoon, terrified, running for its life and two Coeymans cop cars racing back and forth. Any sane person would, as most of the witnesses did, that the cops were a greater threat to the public’s safety than a terrified animal trying to escape them!!!

Well, we also have a copy of the Department of Health (DoH) test report done on what was left of the raccoon after the Coeymans Police had their perverse jollies. The DoH report is apparently written by a halfwit chimp. Here’s why:

First of all the report does indicate that the raccoon showed evidence of rabies infection. The report did not say that the animal was capable of infecting another animal or harming a human being. Information obtained by us from the CDC clearly states that the animal is infectious only in the very late stages of the disease, shortly before the disease kills the animal. At that late stage the animal’s brain is so far gone that the animal’s behavior is obvious: it acts like it’s drunk, it loses its balance, it staggers, it is confused. Again, the videos show none of this; in fact, the animal looks pretty coordinated as it’s running across the Faith Plaza parking lot!

Some sections of the report make it look like it’s been jerry rigged to provide the Coeymans Police with an alibi. Here are just a couple of examples taken directly from the DoH report:

“Signs of rabies: NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER; Other signs: MOVING ABNORMALLY, SHAKING.”

Who made these observations? Do the Coeymans Police have veterinary neurological training that made it possible for them to have decided that the unfortunate animal had a “neurological disorder?” They also note in the report that the animal was “moving abnormally, shaking.” Well, first of all, the DoH was unable to make those determinations because the animal was d-e-a-d, pancaked by the Coeymans Cops. So where did this information come from? Hearsay? The Coeymans PD?

Here’s more of the gibberish in the report:

“Comments: Observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena. Killed by running over with car by Officer [Redacted] of the Coeymans Police Department (…No reported contact. Rabies test need before further testing.”

The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it!

Again, we have the DoH sockpuppets repeating what the Coeymans PD was insisting but didn’t have a factual basis to make the statements. The raccoon was “observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena.” Sick? Curious? Hungry? If an 8th grade science student made these statements, we’d send him or her for remedial help! But that’s in an official report. Hearsay! Not facts! The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it by “running over [it] with car by Officer [his name is deleted from the report!].” What’s disturbing is not only the unsubstantiated statements but the fact that there was  “no contact reported.” According to the report, the animal made no contact with anyone!!!

After all is said and done, the report reads:

“Rabies testing: Evidence of Rabies was found by the fluorescent antibody test.”

The report is again incomplete because it doesn’t state which fluorescent antibody test was used. That information is very important in terms of whether the test is accurate. Furthermore, for scientific and epidemiological reasons the information provided is incomplete and practically useless! Again, whether this is the truth or not, the test results came fully 24 hours after the incident, and cannot provide any justification or support for the Coeymans Police stupidity.

Just by way of comment, the report concludes with the statement:

“Notes: [1] Submitting county was phoned with positive results. Reported to Marsha at 10:32 a.m. by JJ.”

What in hell does that mean? Who in hell is Marsha? Who in hell is JJ? But that’s supposed to be an official report from the NYS DoH in response to a serious incident. Don’t we have any standards at all in this community, in this state? Or are all of our public servants halfwits and dumbasses? We think you know the answer to that question already.

So, dear readers, you have the state of affairs in the Town of Coeymans: Useless and outdated procedures no one has had any interest in updating or revising, a team of goons who have no leadership or guidance, disgraceful and despicable conduct by local law enforcement, a very questionable report from a New York State department tasked with ensuring the public’s health, and another negative report gone viral about the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department. But you must admit, they are consistent, even in making complete asses of themselves.

We are making the documents provided by the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department available for your entertainment. Please note that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department refused to provide some documents, including the names of the Coeymans PD employees involved in the incident. They also have no records about callers reporting the animal, although acting Coeymans police chief, Daniel Contento (SGT), made public statements that “numerous calls” were received (but not by the Coeymans PD, since their listed number goes to Albany County 911). We verified only one 911 call about the raccoon. That call was allegedly from someone at or in the CVS pharmacy at Faith Plaza. We do know of numerous calls received by the Albany County 911 Center complaining about the conduct of the Coeymans Police. Maybe those are the calls Contento is referring to.

If you are interested in viewing/downloading the Coeymans Police 1998 procedure and the NYS DoH Test Report we refer to above, here are the links:

  • You can view the Town of Coeymans and Ravena Police Department Law Enforcement Manual dated October 15, 2018 here.
  • You can view the New York State Department of Health Report here.

Editor’s Notes

As we mentioned above and as we published in our initial article on this incident, “We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!” we obtained our information on rabies from several official sources. One of them was the Centers for Disease Control, the federal government’s department for disease control, prevention, and reporting. Here’s some additional information of interest:

According to the CDC, in the period of 2008-2017, a total of 23 human rabies cases were reported in the United States; most of the infections were acquired outside of the United States, most from animal bites in such places as Afghanistan, India, Mexico, etc. On average there are 1-3 cases/year of human rabies reported in the United States . (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/surveillance/human_rabies.html) Compare that with 90 motor vehicle caused deaths each day in the United States (CDC statistics are always 3 yeas behind; in 2015 there were a total of 37,757 deaths in motor vehicle accidents (11.7/100,000 population) Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm).

Given those statistics, where to you suppose our law enforcement efforts should be concentrated? On a raccoon or on motor vehicles?

Furthermore,

  • Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a rabid animal is passed to an uninfected animal. The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. ( Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/index.html)
  • Other contact, such as petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces of a rabid animal, does not constitute an exposure. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/exposure.html)
  • From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that when the rabies virus is introduced into a muscle through a bite from another animal, it travels from the site of the bite to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time.
  • The time between the bite and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period and it may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus has not yet made it to the saliva.

According to the CDC, the Infectious Path of the Rabies Virus can be outlined as follows:

  • An animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
  • Rabies virus from the infected saliva enters the wound.
  • Rabies virus travels through the nerves to the spinal cord and brain. This process can last approximately 3 to 12 weeks. The animal has no signs of illness during this time.

A diagnosis of rabies can be made after detection of rabies virus from any part of the affected brain, but in order to rule out rabies, the test must include tissue from at least two locations in the brain, preferably the brain stem and cerebellum. [Editor’s Note: The NYS DoH report is incomplete in this respect because it does not state what parts of the animal’s brain were tested!!!]

The test requires that the animal be euthanized. The test itself takes about 2 hours, but it takes time to remove the brain samples from an animal suspected of having rabies and to ship these samples to a state public health or veterinary diagnostic laboratory for diagnosis. [Editor’s Note:  the test requires that the animal be euthanized, killed humanely and mercifully, not terrorized and run over!!!]

In the United States, the results of a rabies test are typically available within 24 to 72 hours after an animal is collected and euthanized. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis/animals-humans.html)

When it reaches the brain, the virus multiplies rapidly and passes to the salivary glands. The animal begins to show signs of the disease. The infected animal usually dies within 7 days of becoming sick. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/body.html)

(Please check out the references on our original article for more information on rabies.)


 

 
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Who are the Thought Police in Your Community? Do you know?

“As members of a community, even as citizens of a nation, we are frequently exposed to and have to cope with what is known as groupthink, a phenomenon that may seriously compromise our image of ourselves, our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, community leaders, and may also compromise our moral rights of personal dignity and autonomy. And yet, groupthink is precisely what underlies much of our “training” in how to be good citizens and in the so-called education programs and our social organizations, and is pandemic in most of the institutions in which we work. Groupthink,  shamefully, has been a part of our religious institutions since time immemorial. Agendizing, brainwashing, programming.”

Anonymous Contributor.

We, as citizens, as members of our community, parents and educators, as human beings we are told that we have an inherent and guaranteed right to speak freely and openly about most subjects without the stigma that might apply to a person living and working in a different country. We would like to think that people, especially our elected leaders and our educators, tend to listen to us and give some weight and importance to what we have to say; consequently, we can and should play an important and proactive role in deciding how we live, work and are governed, and in order to do this, we must make our leaders aware that we are aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and implement ways of avoiding this insidious, infectious, and fatal phenomenon in our communities and in our lives. Once people are made aware of the groupthink phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

Groupthink.[1] It’s everywhere and it’s toxic! It’s dehumanizing. It perpetuates lies and factoids. Yet you love it! It makes things so much easier when you don’t have to use your own brain and you allow yourself to be programmed to think, speak, act, perform according to the in-group’s agenda.

Irving Janus mainstreamed the term in 1982. [2] According to Janis, groupthink

“[h]appens when in-group pressures lead to deterioration in mental efficiency, poor testing of reality, and lax moral judgment. It tends to occur in highly cohesive groups in which the group members’ desire for consensus becomes more important than evaluating problems and solutions realistically. An example would be the top executive cabinet (the president and vice presidents) of a firm, who have worked together for many years. They know each other well and think as a cohesive unit rather than as a collection of individuals.” [my italics]

We can find groupthink in our workplaces, churches, schools, social media, government, and Yes! even in our homes.

Janis identified eight symptoms of groupthink, which are noteworthy and which I will briefly describe below.[3] Persons affected by groupthink may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  1. An experience of the illusion of invulnerability. This illusion produces an unreal sense of optimism and the sense of empowerment to take risks, sometimes extreme, which the individual would not otherwise take.
  2. Acceptance of a collective rationalization. The individual ignores the red flags and warnings and refuse to reassess their biases, prejudices and assumptions regarding reality.
  3. Belief in the inherent morality of the group. The individual and members of the group are convinced of the righteousness of their beliefs and become indifferent to the ethical or moral effects and consequences of the group’s decisions and actions.
  4. Establishment and adoption of stereotypes of out-groups. Stereotypes are a facile way of dealing with the “others” and do not require thinking or decision-making. De rigueur negative presumptions and characterizations of the “enemy” render rational and effective responses to conflict unnecessary. Cookie-cutter responses are the result.
  5. The imposition of direct pressure on dissenters. Any deviation from the presumptions and dictates of the group results in sanctions. Individuals, group members are discouraged from expressing alternative views, or representing positions conflicting any of the group’s views.
  6. Requirement of self-censorship. The individual and members of the group are required to ensure that any questions, doubts and deviations from the group’s “consensus,” program, or agenda are not expressed. The individual must “watch his/her mouth” or be sanctioned.
  7. The illusion of unanimity. The views and judgments, decisions and actions of the “group” or of the group’s statutory and declared leader(s) and majority are assumed to be unanimous, justified and reliable.
  8. The presence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’. Certain members isolate and “protect” the group and its leader(s) from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. These are the “thought police” who ensure that any information that can potentially threaten the group or its leaders is filtered out and neutralized.

In other words, the phenomenon of groupthink seems to have grown out of and fits perfectly into the framework of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” with its implications of superpower invulnerability, collective processing of carefully cooked data and information, a sense of moral superiority of the group’s decisions and actions, the facile handling of non-members by the application of stereotypes, direct suppression and sanctioning of any opposing thought or expression — the individual “watches his mouth” to avoid attracting attention to himself and possible sanctioning —, all communications and indicators seem to indicate that “everyone is on the same page” and “stands united.”  Finally, the self-appointed “mindguards,” the Orwellian “thought police,” ensure that everyone toes the mark, knows his place, and follows the “party line.” Sounds awfully much like PC, political correctness, doesn’t it?

The Thought Police or Mindguards ensure that you don’t think out of the box.

As I mentioned above, groupthink is easily observed in our schools, churches, public servants, social groups, the workplace, etc.

Here’s an example that comes from my college days when I worked as an encyclopedia salesperson. We were trained to ask potential purchasers questions that they could not disagree with, such as, for example: “You do care about your children’s education, don’t you?” or “You want your children to have the best available information for school, don’t you?” Once they answered in the affirmative, they were cooked. It was sort of like asking a veteran the question, “You do love your country, don’t you?” Or a clergyperson asking a dissenter, “You do believe in God, don’t you?” Ask those sorts of questions and you get a commitment to groupthink; the rest follows once the individual is on the slippery slope to group membership, willingly or not.

It’s certainly easy enough to self-test yourself by asking yourself if any of the above symptoms could possibly apply to you…but be aware of the sneaky symptom of “self-censorship” because you might actually be unaware that you are self-censoring; you may actually believe that what you say you believe is in fact what you believe. (Please go back and reread that last part. It’s important and you really didn’t understand it, did you?!)

Everyone connected to the same “brain”, the core-group’s!

Here’s a real example: I was at my fitness center and struck up a conversation with a guy who was working on a neighboring piece of equipment. The conversation started out on muscle groups and doping, use of anabolic steroids, doping scandals, and how natural fitness was desirable over and against taking performance enhancers. The conversation drifted to the inquiry, “What do you do?” The guy was intelligent, apparently well-read in the subject of performance enhancers in athletes, and was no dummy. He responded by telling me he was a “personal income tax auditor” for the state of New York. What followed was a textbook example of groupthink. He commenced by telling me how interesting his job was because he was making sure everyone stayed honest. Everyone should pay taxes. Not everyone was honest, some people were honest but ignorant. The tax department and auditors were there to protect the public. He was happy doing what he was doing, and he liked his work. He was protecting honest citizens from the crooks and the parasites. New York state took care of its people unlike those states with no personal income tax, states that provided sanctuary to people who want to keep their fortunes but not share by paying personal income taxes. Basically, you can’t argue with this guy because what he is saying is superficially true, ethical and moral. But, and there’s the clincher, his thinking from one subject to the other was schizoid! He was very individualized, independent, even liberal when discussing the social and personal impact of performance enhancers on non-professional vs. professional athletes, and the use of performance enhancers in the guy-next-door who works out to stay healthy or attractive. His lock-step “tax department” jargon and speech, almost soapbox preaching, was groupspeak, the product of groupthink. Can you identify the symptoms?

Here are two more examples I found on a professional networking site, LinkedIn, which is slowly morphing into a Facebook-type social media space. Whereas LinkedIn was originally intended to be a forum facilitating networking among professionals, the parasites slowly infiltrated and started their social justice preaching and religious proselytizing.

One characteristic of social justice and religion is that both are fertile ground for a bumper crop of groupthinkers. Example 1: Social Justice. This example is remarkable because it is so homogeneous in the majority responses and because of the sheer number of responses: 5,013 Likes, 321 comments! Synopsis: A young woman with Down’s syndrome appears in what is obviously a staged video, in which she receives a call from a fast-food chain, Chik-Fil-A, in which she is offered a job paying $11.50/h. It is her first real job and she is elated at the offer and accepts.

The groupthink: Actual comments: “Awesome!” “Wonderful!””Isn’t Chik-Fil-A a great company!””The story brought tears to my eyes!” “It made my day! We need more stories like this!” But many of the comments were condescending: They mentioned “learning disability” and how remarkable it was that this young woman had “won,” how employment “is a right,” and other misguided slogans associated with what we know as PC but was described by Janis as groupthink. The censorship/sanction/thought police action: A commenter posted some reasonable, dissenting, conflicting thoughts about the reality of the situation in terms of stereotyping highly functional Down’s syndrome  persons as having “learning disabilities,” a bucket term that stereotyped them unfairly. That she was hired on her merits and if she didn’t have what Chick-Fil-A needed and wanted, she would not have gotten the call. That Down’s syndrome persons are highly desirable in service jobs with customer contact because of their personality characteristics, as was pioneered by McDonald’s some time ago, and that these corporations are exploiting vulnerable persons with Down’s syndrome because they are perfect for these low-paying jobs, and it creates a very positive social image for the corporation, so-called “organizational health.” (See the McKinsey report below.)

Needless to say, the “mindguards” were quick to respond, and butchered the commentor for being “a Grinch,” for not “caring” and for his “dripping sarcasm.” Not a single comment out of more than 300 comments and replies accepted the truth of what the commenter wrote; almost all condemned him for not sharing the majority’s groupthink. (Click here to read the actual comments made by the commenter and some of the replies.)[4]

The value of hiring persons with Down syndrome is not lost on the corporations![5]

The economic benefits of hiring persons with intellectual challenges is not lost on the corporations, as is demonstrated by the McKinsey report[6], but we’re not supposed to talk about the dark side of Julia’s hiring because the group think won’t allow anyone to pop their bubble of denial or distract them from their happy, be nice, love fest by suggesting reality. That’s groupthink.

Here’s another from the same site, LinkedIn. This time it was a religious fanatic known popularly as a “Jesus-freak,” someone who posts an inflammatory statement about how Jesus is the truth and everything else is a lie. First of all, such posts are more Facebook quality and have nothing to do with professional networking, so it shouldn’t have been on LinkedIn in the first place. So the original post by one David Wood, who describes himself as the “Executive Producer Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Resurrection of Jesus Christ LLC, School Of Hard Knocks,” and his project as:

“The Resurrection Project unites the Body of Christ, to launch a global love movement, a feature length movie, and a video game, and tell the story of Jesus’ Christ resurrection and the 40 days that followed. “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” is the greatest love story ever told.” www.theresurrectionofjesuschrist.com [Author’s note: My italics; I have not undertaken any editing of Mr. Wood’s English.]

His post was simply:

That was it. My first reaction was that Islam never claimed that Muhammad was God. Nor does Buddhism teach that Buddha was a god. The name applied to God in Arabic, and hence in Islam is Allah, which is merely an equivalent of the English, God, so that point is really moot. And the fact that Wood claims that his Jesus is the “only one God” reveals a bit of tunnel vision, even religious and theological ignorance. This is groupthink at one of its worst moments!

My point is this: Approach that post as I did, with the above reasoning, and you will obtain a clear lesson in groupthink.  The post received 51 Likes and 15 Comments but was seen be hundreds, perhaps thousands who didn’t want to “offend” by responding. (Or perhaps because religion is not as popular as Down’s syndrome? Or because the message was so bizarre? Who can say for sure?)

Those three examples should suffice to convince even the hardcore groupthinkers of their affliction.

The kinds of groups that are particularly at risk for the groupthink phenomenon are, of course, groups that we could characterize as cliques, whether consisting of 3 or 3000 persons. Cliques don’t need to be small and a whole company or department may become a clique. The group or clique should be cohesive for groupthink to develop; cohesive factors may include ethnicity, similar interest, and physical appearance. Members of a clique often isolate themselves as a group and tend to view the clique as superior to anyone outside the clique.

Cliques can form in any age group but they are most associated with groups whose members have gotten stuck in an adolescent or late childhood developmental stage, the stage when individuals normally form and become members of such groups. Accordingly, groupthink is characteristic of individuals who may have gotten stuck in a pre-adult developmental stage.

Facebook is a well known huge groupthink-collective in which groupthink can be diagnosed at various levels in the interactions from the very top, where the Facebook Standards and the thought police are active censoring deviant thinkers, that is, anyone who may not agree with Facebook or its policies, to the smaller yet equally repulsive “groups,” which may be “open,” “closed” or “secret”. The problem and real danger associated with Facebook and other social media that functions by exploiting the groupthink phenomenon is the sheer numbers of people who can be and actually are affected by the clique(s).

The proven disorder of Facebook Addiction or Internet Addiction Disorder make the problem even worse because once subscribers are addicted, they are captivated by the groupthink phenomenon and cannot escape.(See our article on Facebook Addiction Disorder on this blog.)

It’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process.

Another problem is what I would call the “Room 101” factor[7]:  the fact that in terms of groupthink, when Facebook decides to deactivate an account for one reason or another, whether for a period of time certain (days, weeks, etc.) or permanently, this “punishment” practice has a psychospiritual effect on the affected individual, similar to being shunned or banned froma group or a clique. It is a powerful motivator to keep people under their thumb, a control strategy, that works extremely well once Facebook has hooked a person, and the person is sufficiently invested in Facebook in terms of time spent online and digital friends collected, such that the now addicted subscriber will feel the psychosocial pain of being “deactivated.,” in a sense placed in isolation by Facebook without the benefit of due process. Yes, it’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process. Similar, in fact, to “vaporizing” a dissenter in Orwell’s “1984” where the dissenter is simply made to disappear, as if he never existed. [8]

The recent reports of Facebook’s cooperation with the US and Israeli governments to deactivate certain Facebook pages because their messages are “inconvenient” is a very disturbing step taken in the direction of thought control, Thought Police and Mindguards. That’s why we’ve been trying to get through to our readers to campaign against social media like Facebook! (See our articles on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg‘s ambitious agenda to become God. Once he’s got a fifth of the world’s population addicted to Facebook and can control what they read, hear, see, and say, he’s well on his way to become the next Dictator in Heaven.)


The same “vaporizing” occurs when someone “unfriends” or “blocks” another subscriber who may have violated the group-leader’s or the group’s groupthink policies. Have you been Facebook vaporized recently? You wouldn’t know if you had been because Facebook strategically keeps it a secret; only the vaporizer and Facebook know it. Same applies when someone has a grudge against you on Facebook: they simply report you for such-and-such, and you find yourself deactivated. Groupthink à la Facebook!

The groupthink phenomenon can be avoided but only if the clique or the group is willing to acknowledge the phenomenon, to recognize it in their group, and sees the benefits of avoiding the phenomenon.

Fred Lunenburg (2012) proposes a number of possible ways to avoid groupthink in a group, including[9]:

  • Encouraging group members to state and air objections, doubts, and questions,
  • Promoting impartiality rather than stating preferences and expectations of the group at the outset,
  • The group leaders should periodically discuss the group’s policies and practices and report their transactions back to the group, inviting feedback,
  • Members should be invited to challenge the views of core members (and leaders),
  • At least one member should play the role of devil’s advocate, expressing objections or critiquing group policies and practices, and beliefs,
  • Where there is devil’s advocacy, members should spend time and effort evaluating the warning signals of developing groupthink inherent in adverse responses,
  • Alternative scenarios should be constructed by group leaders in evaluating any rivaling intentions,
  • In the case of a member who appears to consistently rival the group’s polices or practices (Red flag! Think groupthink!), the member should be asked to express as vividly as he can all his residual doubts,
  • Group leaders or core members should present the entire issue to the group to elicit feedback and insights before making any definitive choices or decisions.

Group coherence and decision making has clear benefits over individual decision making. This is especially true when a decision must be made under conditions of uncertainty.[10] Some of the benefits described by Bonito (2011) include[11]:

  • Improved decision quality
  • Higher level of creativity and creative thinking
  • Improved decision acceptance and organizational learning
  • Increased decision understanding
  • Enhanced effectiveness in establishing objectives, identifying alternatives
  • Greater decision accuracy and avoidance of errors and glitches

Admittedly, these benefits may be less related to the actual outcomes of decisions than they are to group morale and satisfaction; we can agree that groups should and probably do perform better when

  • Group members present a variety of relevant skills that differ sufficiently but do not create constraints or conflicts;
  • There is a division of labor or effort, input;
  • Individual inputs can be “averaged” in such a way as to arrive at a group “position.”

Are you controlled by the Thought Police, the Mindguards from the cradle to the grave?

By now you might be asking yourself the question: “That having been said, and while applicable to business decisions or to Facebook and other moderated social media, how does that apply to spiritual care or to our lives in our communities and the nation at large?” Well, in order to answer that question, I have to ask you to step out of your stall in the sheeple box, and think about the environment in which you live. Ask yourselves if you can identify groupthink in these situations:

  • In your church or faith community. (Hint: How do you talk about other faith or belief groups)?
  • In the Sports Association or Social Club. Do you have to toe the mark in what you talk about?
  • In your political or social club (Hint: When at a Republican Club or Democratic Club or American Legion occasion, are you careful what you say?)
  • In your children’s schools (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a Board of Education meeting or just sit simmering? At a PTA meeting what do you feel you can discuss? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • At town board or village board meetings (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a board meetings or just sit simmering? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • Have you ever avoided going somewhere or doing something because you were concerned what “they” would say?
  • Are there subjects or topics or language that you avoid specifically to avoid being stereotyped or labeled? Do you choose political correctness over truth and honesty? Do you do that out of fear of the Mindguards?

Are you being stalked by the community or social media Thought Police, the Mindguards?

At home do you have open discussions with family members or are some subjects simply avoided or off-topic? Are the Thought Police at work in your home? Or are you letting the Facebook and social media thought police do their work for you? Have you seen your kids today?

When is the last time you looked at what your schools are teaching to your children? Have you ever openly questioned what they are being taught? Or are you letting the Mindguards manage your kids’ minds?

At work do you challenge social injustice or do you simply turn your back hoping it won’t hit you next? Are you open in discussing what you feel needs to be considered for change? Do you suggest improvements? Or are you living in constant fear of being “vaporized,” “unfriended,” “blocked” by your employer or even your workmates and coworkers?

Have you been castrated by the Thought Police, the Mindguards?

Most of us will find ourselves interacting throughout our entire lives with employers, educators, community members, governing bodies, committees, or just with our families. We take these interactions for granted; that’s a big mistake..Each of these environments is at high risk of the groupthink phenomenon, and we need to start thinking about the nature and quality of those interactions. Can you identify the symptoms of groupthink in any of your relationships or interations?

We frequently say that “emotions are contagious,” but we don’t frequently admit that not only emotions but the environment created by the attitudes and thinking of leaders and core members in a group are just as contagious in the form of groupthink.

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink

Those of us who are aware of our lives will admit that each group or community has its own culture, and if we are to work effectively with the members and effetively serve the ourselves and our community, we have to be aware of the groupthink phenomenon as it most certainly exists in that group or community. Ask yourself if you feel your teachers, your administrators, your elected officials, local law enforcement are listening to you and your concerns and their attitude towards the “necessary evil” of your opinion must be tolerated rather than facilitated. That attitude extends to all the members of the community, including educators, elected officials, law enforcement, etc.,  and the symptoms of groupthink can be quickly and easily identified if you care to look. How do we deal with that situation armed with the awareness of the probable existence of groupthink?

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink phenomenon because they are founded on very clear principles of operation and program; they have their” agendas.” The objectives and goals of the group are clearly defined and the members are controlled by the assignment of specific tasks and imposing protocols. The agenda is clearly defined. You simply don’t dissent or rock the hospice boat. Groupthink.

Institutional Agendas Define the Group.

 

As “tradition” the groupthink may have developed as a response to the local culture, whether it be socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, etc. In this case, it is a response to the exigencies of doing living and functioning with that demographic mix, and is almost a requirement for survival. Is this “positive” groupthink? Perhaps, but it goes without saying that unless the establishment leaves the door open to open discussion, sharing of insights, correct interpretations of warning signs and red flags, it can quickly transmute into “negative” groupthink.

As the organization leaves the traditional, local, “family” orientation or organization and moves towards the group or the corporate systems, groupthink becomes more of a high risk than a positive stabilizing factor. This is where the culture of the group or corporation overshadows the individuals that move it as well as those who consume its products and services. Rather than being an evolving, “living” organism, it is a monolith. Again,I can’t help but cite Facebook or the federal government as outstanding examples of such a negative development.

A number of large multinational corporations like IBM, 3M, Anheuser-Busch have recognized the threat posed by groupthink and have implemented and developed processes to prevent or at least to mitigate its deleterious and prejudicial effects within the components of the organization and on the organization as a whole. Lunenburg (2012) discusses some of the ways they have approached prevention of groupthink by way of methods like devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry. McDougel and Baum (1997) discuss the application of devil’s advocacy to stimulate discussion and avoid groupthink in focus groups.[12] McAvoy et al. discuss how devil’s advocacy and the principles of sensemaking can be used in a method they call the “agitation workshop” as a method of challenging the false consensus created by the groupthink phenomenon.[13]

Do frequent meetings and evaluations work to avoid groupthink? More likely than not, they may actually promote groupthink when leadership reiterate at each meeting the same expectations at the outset, setting the stage for a more limited and controlled conversation that does not allow for alternative discussion. But such meetings and evaluations and be highly productive if, at the outset, the leaders or facilitators are aware of the symptoms of groupthink and some of the methods to directly avoid it, as well as the quasi-paedagogical methods of enhancing creative thinking, even improving performance by institutionalizing dissent!

We can and should play an important and proactive role in making the organizations and leaders with whom we work aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and ways of avoiding the phenomenon in our environments. Once people are made aware of the phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

By using your brain you can avoid the dangers of groupthink!
The Editor


Notes

[1] Irving Janis originally coined the term groupthink in 1972. (Janis, Irving L.  (1972).  Victims of Groupthink.  New York: Houghton Mifflin.)

[2] Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

[3] For a more comprehensive discussion of the eight symptoms please refer to Janis’ Groupthink, Psychological Studies, above. A brief and very helpful overview of groupthink is provided in What is Groupthink? (http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm, last accessed on January 8, 2018, 2018).

[4] The “Julia got a job!” obviously scripted video is synopsized on YouTube in the following words: “A heartwarming video shows the moment a teenage girl with Down syndrome receives her first job offer. A girl named Julia gets a phone call from a Chick-fil-A employee in Rancho Murieta, California. ‘I was just calling to offer you a position here,’ the woman says on speaker phone. ‘Your pay rate would be 11.50 per hour, would you like to accept?’ ‘I do,’ Julia says, her face overcome with emotion. As the woman tells her that she will start in December, Julia breaks down in tears of happiness. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she can be heard saying as she thanks the woman profusely. Julia’s family then encircles her and gives her a massive hug while chanting ‘Chick-Fil-A’. “ (AutoNews- Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5101331/Teen-girl-syndrome-cries-s-given-job.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

[5] According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves private, public and social sector institutions, in a report entitled, “The value that employees with Down syndrome can add to organizations,” we read “[H]owever, some companies have chosen to tackle the far more complex challenge of hiring people with intellectual disabilities. Those that have done so have found that these people can add value to organizational health (an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than competitors so that it can sustain exceptional performance over time). Employees with Down syndrome are a particularly interesting topic of research, as they have a number of characteristics that both increase the challenges associated with inclusion and bring added benefits.” [my italics] (McKinsey & Company (2014) “The value that employees with Down Syndrome can add to organizations” (Vicente Assis, Marcus Frank, Guilherme Bcheche, and Bruno Kuboiama), last accessed on January 9, 2018.)

[6] Ibid.

[7] I’m referring to the notorious Room 101 described in Orwell’s novel “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” the room in the Ministry of Truth (MiniTru in Newspeak), where dissenters were taken for “processing,” most never to be heard from again. “You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”  (“1984” Part 3, Ch. 5)  In “1984” the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking known as “thoughtcrimes” and is enforced by the “Thought Police.” The Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the ministry in charge of torturing dissidents.  The protagonist Smith is subjected to many forms of torture and is forced into the horror chamber known only as Room 101.

[8] Mind Control – George Orwell BBC 101 Documentary last accessed on January 9, 2018.

[9] Lunenburg, F. (2012).” Devil’s Advocacy and Dialectical Inquiry: Antidote to Groupthink”. International Journal of

Scholarly and Academic Intellectual Diversity, Vol 14, No. 1, pp 1-9.

[10] Nikolaidis (2012) defines uncertainty as “the condition under which an individual [or group] does not have the necessary information to assign probabilities to the outcomes of alternative solutions. (Nikolaidis, E. (2012).  Design decisions under uncertainty with limited information. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.)

[11] Bonito, J. (2011). Interaction and influence in small group decision making. New York, NY: Routledge.

[12] McDougal, C., F. Baum, (1997) “The Devil’s Advocate: A Strategy to Avoid Groupthink and Stimulate Discussion in Focus Groups,” Qualitative Health Research, Volume 7, Number 4, pp 532-541.

[13] John McAvoy, Tadhg Nagle and David Sammon, (2013) “A novel approach to challenging consensus in evaluations: The Agitation Workshop,” The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, Volume 16 Issue 1,  pp 45-55.

 
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Open Letter to Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione

Greene County District Attorney Joe Stanzione (R):
“I cannot comment on the matter at this time as it could compromise a pending investigation.”

If there is an investigation, pending or in progress, don’t you think that our elected officials owe it to us to tell us Who? is being investigated and What? It’s just days before elections for chrissake! Don’t you think we should be told these things?

IT’S OUTRAGEOUS

Greene County District Attorney Put on Notice to Take Action in New Baltimore

New Baltimore Resident Confronts the Greene County District Attorney asking WHY? is the Situation in New Baltimore Allowed to Go On. Demands Action, Investigation.

On October 31, 2017, after numerous attempts to get the New Baltimore Town Board to take responsible action and to do what’s right with regard to New Baltimore taxpayers, property owners, and residents, and faced with the refusal of the New Baltimore Highway Department to correct dangerous conditions created by it, one resident confronted the Greene County District Attorney, Joseph Stanzione, a Republican, and demanded that Stanzione do his job and take action, at least to launch an investigation as to Why? the New Baltimore Town Board has taken no action against the New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan, and Why? instead of ensuring the rights of residents and property owners and ensuring fair play and justice, the Town Board hands matters over to its insurance company and its attorneys, forcing residents and property owners to spend thousands in court and attorney’s fees or simply to give up, when they should be getting help and relief, not to mention justice, from their elected officials. This is not democracy at work, it’s cowardice and dereliction of duty. It’s downright wrong.

The letter was cc’ed to New Baltimore Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Town Clerk Barbara Finke (for recording), Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan, and to Town attorney Tal Rappelea and Town insurer’s attorney Crystall R. Peck, to ensure that all parties are fairly informed.

Here’s the full text of the e-mail communication to Mr Stanzione:

Dear Mr Stanzione:

I am writing to you in your official capacity as the chief law enforcement officer in the County of Greene.

It is inconceivable that you would be unaware of the situation in the Town of New Baltimore, and on that presumption, even more inconceivable that the Office of the District Attorney has not inaugurated some level of investigation into the dereliction and abuse of public office that is going on not only in the operations of the New Baltimore Town Board but most egregiously in the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department.

The specious and spurious indifference of the Town Board with regard to the abuses and incompetence, even corruption in the New Baltimore Highway department is tantamount to criminal. The Town Board, very well informed by residents of the activities of the New Baltimore Highway Department and its Superintendent Denis Jordan, have done absolutely nothing by way of response, fair play, justice, or compliance with their fiduciary duties to the taxpayers and residents of this Town.

The situation is not one of demands for special treatment or for extraordinary service, it is a situation that affects residents’ investments in their property and community, responsible stewardship of public treasure, observance of oaths of office, questions of competence, and even abuse of public office and corruption.

Much of what has been reported — please review the links below — has been in the eye of the public and is common knowledge in the Town of New Baltimore, and totally ignored by our elected officials on the Town Board.

It’s no wonder that the claim “Democracy is Dead” has become a slogan; regrettably, Justice predeceased Democracy in this town and its environs.

The real tragedy in this tragicomedy is the fact that because the Town Board refuses to do what’s right, and the Town Highway Superintendent has his way no matter what, the taxpayers and residents pay to suffer. The fact that our elected officials refuse to do their jobs, refuse to take steps to avoid the doing of injustice, are indifferent to what is going on in this town, and the deleterious consequences create an environment of distrust, anxiety, apathy and misconduct verging on criminality. Those who find it necessary to defend their interests and right, far from getting the needed and reasonable support from those entrusted with the public weal, are forced either to go into debt to defend their rights at law with representation, or, as is the case in the majority of instances, simply throw their hands into the air in despair! This is an abuse! This is not what democratic government is about…or is it?

I am putting you and your office on notice of these facts and the current situation in anticipation of your taking an interest in this case and taking action to relieve us and to see that the law is enforced and justice is done.

Let’s see if you and your office are up to the challenge.

I would appreciate a response once you have reviewed the facts in the attached links.

Yours very truly,

[redacted]

Links of interest:

[For security reasons we are not publishing the author’s name and details.]

We are watching the developments very closely and are very interested in seeing what Mr Stanzione has to say; whether he has the balls to do his job.

If you enjoyed this article, please copy and paste this link https://wp.me/p2jPFe-31V and email it to your friends, family, and contacts. Keep everyone informed.


Editor’s Update: We have received information that Mr Stanzione, Greene County District Attorney, declined to comment on the resident’s letter saying “I cannot comment on the matter at this time as it could compromise a pending investigation.” Looks like something is brewing in New Baltimore. We’ll keep readers posted as things develop.


We also have a similar letter to the Insurance Agency who handles the Town of New Baltimore’s liability insurance,  Marshall & Sterling Upstate (Leeds, NY), and the insurance brokerage they use, Trident Insurance Brokerage, Stay tuned for further developments on this issue.

 
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