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Category Archives: Official Misconduct

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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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Power, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Ashley Heline, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Callanan Industries, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Corruption, Daily Mail, Dangerous Conditions, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, DOT, Elected Official, Fraud, George Acker, George Amadore, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Greene County Sheriff, Harassment, Hazardous Conditions, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Indifference, Intimidation, Irresponsibility, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joshua Bouchez, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Misinformation, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York State, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pat Linger, Patricia Hildebrandt, Patrick Linger, Patty Hildebrandt, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Professional Ethics, Professional Misconduct, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Retaliation, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Tal Rappelea, Thomas Rickert, Town of New Baltimore, Transparency, Trident Insurance

 

Allegation that New Baltimore Highway Super Helps Employee Avoid Drug Test

Question: Did New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan Turn a Blind Eye to Drug User Employee?

Time to Wake Up, New Baltimore!
Time to Investigate!


Normally we would not publish a mere allegation sent to one of our contributors but this one is very serious. It concerns the New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways and his poor judgment and misconduct in office. It concerns endangering the public. It concerns putting public property at risk. It concerns helping a drug user evade detection.

Normally we would not publish a handwritten note from an anonymous informer but this one is different. It reports a very serious incident. It reports very serious misconduct. It reports something that is very likely true.

Normally we would not publish something like this about an alleged instance of misconduct by a public employee, an elected official, someone to whom important public works are entrusted. But this time it’s different. It concerns a public employee, an elected official who, like so many in the Capital District of New York, but especially in the Ravena-Coeymans-New Baltimore area, is dishonest, incompetent, and corrupt.


Denis Jordan to employee: “Take two weeks and clean out.”

The allegation is that New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, Mr Denis Jordan, allowed a New Baltimore Highway Department employee to avoid taking a required drug test so that the employee, who admitted he was taking illicit, illegal drugs, could “clean up.” Jordan allegedly allowed the employee two weeks to clean up and then take the test. In the meantime, the employee was allegedly operating Highway Department trucks on public highways, putting everyone at risk. And Jordan knew this and allowed it. On retesting, the employee failed with high levels of cocaine; he was terminated. Jordan is still employed by the Town of New Baltimore.

What makes this information believable is the fact that the informant knew the contributor’s name and his address! This leads us to believe that the informant is local, and he or she may even be an employee of the Town! In fact, when we compared the postmarks on two pieces of mail, one from the Town of New Baltimore Assessor’s Office and the postmark on the anonymous note, the postmarks were almost identical, except for the dates! They apparently were mailed from the same place. Here’s the actual note our contributor received.


It might be a bit hard to read so we transcribed it for you. Here’s what the author has to say:

“Good day, [name redacted for security]:

“After reading your latest blogs regarding New Baltimore Hwy. Supt. Denis Jordan, I would like to give you some more information to look into.

“Recently a newly hired Town Highway Employee was scheduled to have a required drug test as part of his Employment. The morning of the test, said employee went to the Superintendent [Denis Jordan] and told him he could not be tested because he knew he would not pass. We are told that per the employee handbook, this is refusal to submit to a required [drug] test and the employment of said employee is to be immediately terminated. But instead, Supt. Jordan gave the employee 2 weeks to get clean, and told him he would be retested at the end of two weeks.

“At the end of the two weeks the employee went for testing [deletion] and tested positive for high levels of cocaine, and he was terminated.

“This employee [deletion] operated town equipment and drove town trucks up and down the Highway for 2 weeks under the influence of cocaine. Mr Jordan’s decision put not only the other town employees lives and safety at risk, but also each and every person he passed [deletion] on the highway for those two weeks.

“Had this employee been involved in an accident and injured [deletion] or killed an innocent person, and his blood was tested, it would have put the town of New Baltimore in deep trouble both legally and financially.

“Once again Mr Jordan has no regard for rules and regulations that are put into place.

“Rules are for everyone else but him!!”

Given the information being provided in this letter and the details, we have to admit it is pretty convincing. How would someone make this stuff up? But what is even more interesting is the depth of the details. This informant must be in a position to know these “facts” or someone close to this person is in such a position.

This is very serious, indeed. So serious that we felt we should publish it for the community to be informed of what’s going on in the Town of New Baltimore and its departments. In fact, this is so serious that we now demand an immediate investigation by the Town of New Baltimore Town Board. Furthermore, it is so serious, we demand that the New Baltimore Town Board request Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione to launch an investigation into these allegations of Mr Jordan’s latest misconduct.

“Where there’s so much smoke there has to be a wildfire!”

Two outcomes are possible: Once an investigation is launched and completed, Mr Jordan may be cleared of any wrongdoing. But that’s highly unlikely given his history. On the other hand, once the investigation is launched and completed, and Mr Jordan is found to be guilty of the alleged misconduct, we would then expect that he be immediately removed from office and charged. The list of misconduct is too long to allow Jordan to choose when he goes and then shoot the taxpayers of New Baltimore the ‘bird” as he cashes his unearned pension checks at our expense. We say: “Where there’s so much smoke there has to be a wildfire!”

We have covered a large number of cases where New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways has been shown to be incompetent, unfit for the position he holds, as well as instances of misuse of Town personnel and equipment, violations of the rules governing proper recordkeeping, continuing training, and the list goes on. The burning question is Why has he been allowed by the Town Board to continue his misconduct without having to answer to anyone?

Town of New Baltimore Town Board, Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione: It’s time to get off the pot and do something about this ongoing situation. It’s high time someone started doing their job and clean up the corruption!

If the New Baltimore Town Board doesn’t initiate some official action on this latest report, given the other information that the Town has been provided, we think a referendum should be held to remove all of the useless puppets from Town Hall. We’ll want a town hall meeting to discuss what’s been going on in the Town of New Baltimore and demand that all elected officials b be present to answer questions and to take responsibility. This includes Supervisors past and present, Highway Superintendent and Deputy, Entire Town Board, Town Justices, too! Enough already of the hanky-panky cronyism and the behind the scenes operations called “executive sessions.” We demand accountability and transparency!

Let’s Get Started, New Baltimore!

The Editor

 

 

 

New Baltimore Town Highway Superintendent Harasses Local Woman; Demands Removal of Fence

For some time now we have been investigating the operations of the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department and New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan. We have requested confirming documents and information from the Town of New Baltimore on several key issues. We are reporting on one of those issues in this article. The second issue, that of Mr Denis Jordan’s use of Town of New Baltimore equipment and employees to do work on private property is also included in the following article (Denis Jordan Avoids Duties to Serve Special Friends: The Case of the Disappearing Creek).

Normally, in a small town you expect cliques to develop around political issues and local interests. At the same time, you’d expect that there’d be a certain neighborliness and concern for the community; after all, we are a community. Right? And we’re all neighbors. Right? 

Fence seen from Corner of County Rt 54 and High Mount Road.

Well, things are a bit different in the Town of New Baltimore. You see, you may be a property owner and taxpayer, but the fascists in the New Baltimore Town Administration don’t give a shite about you or your property. They’re too busy promoting their own interests, pushing outsiders to use our town facilities, doing favors for friends and supporters while the rest of the community watches as their property is damaged and the town purse is plundered. What are we getting for some of the highest taxes in the state? Abuse, Abuse, and more Abuse! And for taking care of your property? More abuse, More Abuse, and More Abuse! You might as well move to Coeymans!

Denis Jordan, the illiterate bully Superintendent of Highways in the Town of New Baltimore, can’t seem to find the time to supervise his contractors or to learn how to maintain town drainage but has plenty of time for private projects and harassing local property owners. His recent harassment of Ms Patty Hildebrandt and his defiance of the Town Board and NYS law is sending a very disturbing message out to all residents and property owners in the Town of New Baltimore.You may be next!

The backstabbing in New Baltimore is not limited to town officials and employees cutting residents’ throats, the blood flows in rivulets in Town Hall and between Town Hall and the New Baltimore Highway Department.

New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan has lost a lot of political capital and credibility in the past couple of years. During that time we have investigated and reported on a number of unethical and unlawful activities that have been going on in the Jordan Highway Department. Those abuses range from retaliation and punishing of Highway Department personnel to misuse of town employees and equipment, and noncompliance with the laws regarding proper record-keeping and contract operations.

The first item in this report concerns a local property owner, Ms Patricia “Patty” Hidebrandt, who has been selected by Denis Jordan and harassed because of a so-called privacy fence she put up. This is no ordinary property owner but one who is highly visible on Route 51, a county road, and High Mount Road, a roadway owned by the Town of New Baltimore. Ms Hildebrandt has been a New Baltimroe resident for more than 40 years and takes immaculate care of her property; she lives in a cute little house in a highly visible spot on the corner of the two roadways. Her home is picture-perfect and the grounds are always manicured and planted with seasonal flowers. The property is an example of how we’d like to see all property in New Baltimore kept.

But Denis Jordan, a Neanderthal, has some vendetta or an ax to grind with this poor woman. You see, he’s hand-picked Patty Hidebrandt out of the hundreds of other properties in New Baltimore, and has been persecuting her for months because, as Jordan alleges, she put up a fence on town property. Jordan wants her to take the fence down and has been harassing her for months.

But there’s no reason for Jordan to make such a demand. The New Baltimore Town Board even agreed that it was not a problem,and  even if the fence is on Town property it’s not in any way posing a nuisance or obstructing any Highway Department operations or plans. Jordan just wants to throw his weight around and it’s easier to bully a woman rather than go after someone else. Bully!

Denis Jordan Spells BULLY

Jordan got former code enforcement officer S. Mantor to send the property owner a letter informing her of Jordan’s claimsand telling her the fence has to be removed “from the town’s right-of-way.” Mantor never went after Ms Hildebrandt because no one really cared; only Denis Jordan cares.

Ms Hildebrandt appeared before the New Baltimore Town Board and the Board approved a temporary “license” allowing the an exception to keep the fence where it was. Jordan brought in his lacky, former New Baltimore code enforcement officer, John Cashin, live-in partner of former corrupt New Baltimore Town Supervisor Susan O’Rorke (D). Cashin decided to hit the road after his live-in partner, Susan O’Rorke, lost re-election for supervisor to Nick Dellisanti. Our guess is that Cashin couldn’t handle the honesty and integrity Dellisanti brought to New Baltimore, and so Cashin decided to join disgraced ex-judge Phil Crandall’s mob in Coeymans, where hiypocrisy and corruption still have a home and are thriving. Cashin appeared with Jordan at a Town Board meeting and spouted some unsubstantiated garbage about the Town Board not having the authority to allow the property owner to keep the fence. The Town Board responded that the matter was researched by the Town Attorney, Tal Rappelea, who wrote up the resolution. This was not good enough for Jordan, so he got his own attorney to critique Rappelea’s findings and the Board’s action.

At the June 26, 2017, public meeting of the New Baltimore Town Board, a vote was taken after Mr. Jordan brought in his own scheister attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany law firm of Tooher and Barone, who read his opinion to the Board. Jordan also told the Board he’d be having the property surveyed. Nice neighbor our Superintendent of Highways, Mr. Jordan, isn’t he? Nice guy to have to work with, too. Just ask the Town Board.

Well, at the June 26, 2017, Town Board public meeting, the Town Board carried the motion by a unanimous approval by full board, to allow the property owner, Ms Hildebrandt,  to keep the fence, saying:

“the Town Board has determined that the location of such privacy fence, notwithstanding having been constructed on town-owned land does not imperil the motoring or pedestrian traffic nor des it impede or interfere with the maintenance of said High Mount Road and…the Town Board has determined that the cost for Ms [name redacted] to remove such fence would create an unnecessary hardship on her.”

The license is temporary and the resolution states explicitly that if, in future, the town needs to use the area, Ms H. would remove the fence at her own expense. The resolution further states that Ms H. would insure the property and hold the town harmless for any claims involving the fence. Sounds pretty fair to us. But That was not enough for Jordan.

The Fence from Directly Across High Mount Road.

Denis Jordan continued his harassment and is continuing it as we write. The result: The Town Board was forced to withdraw its resolution. When the vote had to be taken but before the vote Town Board Member vanEtten stated, “I feel terrible doing this…” Deputy Supervisor Ruso abstained from the vote saying, “I’d prefer more time to consider this so in the meantime I’m going to abstain.”

Several neighbors and friends of Ms H. appeared before the Town Board at the public meeting to express their support and opposition to Mr. Jordan’s harassment, and Town Board members and town attorney Rappelea even pointed out significant errors in Jordan’s attorney’s letter, but Jordan was out for blood and wasn’t going to stop.

Jordan’s Attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany Law Firm Tooher & Barone LLP Can’t Tell A Drainage District from a Right-of-Way!

Meave Tooher, Jordan’s Attorney. Hey, girl! Who doesn’t your hair?

Nevertheless, Mr Jordan dragged his buddy ex-code officer defector John Cashin to another meeting as “concerned resident.” If Cashin had an ounce of integrity and real concern for the town or even the law, he’d find another low-life to hang out with but that’s Cashin, bald, aging, unwanted, and hooked up with another loser, Sue-Sue. Actually, two losers: Sue-Sue O’Rorke and Sue-sue! Tooher. Bla-bla-bla gibberish Cashin and Duh-duh-duh Neanderthal Jordan, so they bring in Crazy-Hair Meave Tooher, the third member of the New Baltimore Stooges. Now they have three. Put them all together, shake them up, add water and you come up with a little less than half a brain. Not bad for three shit-for-brains.

Back to being serious…. A number of residents and neighbors have appeared on Ms Hildebrandt ‘s behalf and addressed the Town Board. One resident, Ms D. Davis, who spoke from experience with Denis Jordan. Ms Davis tells the Board, “I think he’s a bully. If he doesn’t like you, he’ll make your life hell. I personally witnessed him doing favors for private residents using Town equipment…I also witnessed him…” At this point Mr Dellisanti interrupted Ms Davis with, “Dot, we’re not going to listen to this.” Normally, persons making comments during the public comment period have three (3) minutes for commenting. Ms Davis — regardless of what they’re commenting on as long as they’re orderly and civil; it’s part of the democratic process, Mr Dellisanti —  had not used her three minutes before being interrupted by Mr Dellisanti, in fact abusing her rights of free speech in public session. That was wrong. It was wrong because Ms Davis was commenting on personal experience as a witness of Mr Jordan’s unlawful conduct; her comment was not hearsay. (Editor’s Note: In fact, we are reporting on Denis Jordan’s misuse of Town equipment to make improvements on private property in our article, Denis Jordan Avoids Duties to Serve Special Friends.)

Interrupting and muzzling Ms Davis was doubly wrong because Mr Bla-bla Cashin was allowed multiple opportunities to comment, and was speculating, inaccurate, repetitive, and obviously had an agenda. We would question Mr Dellisanti on this unfair conduct in public session.

When asked directly by the Board why Mr Jordan wanted the privacy fence down, Jordan waffled. Apparently he was unable to come up with a good lie right away. First it was because he claimed it caused a problem with plowing but soon realized that that wasn’t going to hold any water; it was a bare faced lie, in fact. Just looking at the fence in the photos proves that. Jordan then decided again to lie to the Board by saying he has received complaints. When asked what kind of complaints and from whom, Jordan answered, “I’m not going to speak. I’ll have my attorney. Councilmember vanEtten persisted, “So you’re not going to tell us anything about the complaints?” and Jordan answers, “No.”


Jordan to Board

Editor’s Note: New York State Consolidated Laws, Town Law does give the Town Board certain investigational powers including subpoena power, examination of witnesses, etc. We expect that if the Town Board were to have the Town Attorney research this, Mr Jordan could be forced to keep the Town Board properly informed. Letting Jordan get away with his criminality only aggravates an already unbearable situation, undermines the Town Board’s ability to govern, and erodes trust in local government. We would recommend subpoenaing Mr Jordan to provide the information demanded by the Town Board.

Besides, since when does a Highway Superintendent defy the Town Board and bring in his own attorney to mislead the Town Board. Who’s paying for this scheister from Albany? Are we taxpayers and residents paying for Jordan’s fun and games. We’re pretty certain he’s taking the money from the public purse. Attorneys don’t work for nothing unless there’s something in it for them.


As we reported above, Jordan has been the subject of a number of investigations that adversely affect his credibility and his fitness for office. In fact, the public has shown that they don’t trust him as evidenced by the fact that he was re-elected in 2015 by a margin of only one (1) vote! There is reason to believe that his opponent would have won if there weren’t some irregularities in not counting absentee ballots. We’re also investigating that possibility.

Jordan Has a History of Abuse of Public Office…and a Shithouse Lawyer…

Nothing to worry about! Meave Tooher’s on the case…hmmm…Yup, she is. I heard a flush.

Commenting on Meave Tooher’s, Jordan’s hired-gun attorney’s, letter, Town Attorney Rappelea noted in the minutes:

“I took a look at the letter that was provided [by Jordan] and it was off baseThe case law that was cited didn’t have anything to do with fences or right-of-ways or anything of that nature. And the section of law, Section 198 of the [New York State] Town Law has to do with the creation of a special drainage district. That’s nothing to do with fencing or right-of-way licenses. But the point is that we have have this one line, one sentence in our zoning law, and we have to abide by it.”

One sentence in the 119-pages of town zoning law. Get a grip people! Rappelea caved and admitted he made a mistake. The Town Board repealed its decision granting Ms Hildebrandt the temporary “license” to keep the fence. The Board with No Balls!

So dear readers and neighbors, we have Mr. Jordan harassing a local property owner for no reason at all. But this doesn’t affect just one property owner, it affects anyone with a fence, a stone wall, anything that Mr. Jordan thinks is in his definition of right-of-way. You’re all at his mercy now!

Even if Mr. Jordan’s attorney’s are better at bullshit than law, and even if Mr Jordan’s engineering consultants hired with your tax dollars report that in New Baltimore water runs uphill! And even if Mr. Jordan’s attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany law firm of Tooher and Barone, can’t tell the difference between a fence or right-of-way and a special drainage district, Mr. Jordan does have a special talent for avoiding his duties and obligations in favor of, well, doing favors for friends. That’s the subject of the following article. Click here to read about it.


Editor’s Notes: The source of the information above is from the official minutes of the New Baltimore Town Board in public session. Other information includes documents produced by the Town of New Baltimore in response to our demand for the production of documents under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law.

Denis Jordan’s wife, Diane Jordan, is currently working in the New Baltimore Town Administration as Town Tax Collector, and is running for re-election this November. Diane Jordan is also a deputy town clerk in the Town of New Baltimore town hall.

We are currently investigating Denis Jordan’s relationship with Callanan Industries,  Inc., the company who provided the paving materials for the recent paving of Hamlet streets. The were supposed to lay two (2) inches of blacktop but raised the road surface 4-8 inches, in some spots up to 12-18 inches, creating safety hazards and nuisances, reducing the road width by about 18-24 inches, and causing problems with snow removal operations, according to a New Baltimore Highway Department plow driver. That’s really magic: quote to provide 2 inches of surface and raise the road bed by 8 inches! Wow! That’s fine, though, Denis Jordan has a close relationship with his suppliers. This time to the tune of more than $180,000. And George Amadore, our NYS Senator for the 46th Senate District hands over more than $142,000 from the NYS Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) to waste on truckloads of unnecessary blacktop!!! Somebody’s making money on this deal and it isn’t the taxpayer or property owner!


 

Campaign to Remove Denis Jordan from Public Office

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Campaign to Remove from Public Office
Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent
Denis Jordan
and to prevent his running for public office in future

We have been informed that there is a campaign being organized by residents and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore, County of Greene, New York, to collect and organize information and evidence to be used in support of an action to remove New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan.

For some time now Jordan has been the subject of numerous complaints and claims by residents of New Baltimore submitted to the Town Board of the Town of New Baltimore, but to date those complaints and claims have not been organized. This has all changed with some recent developments in the town, where Denis Jordan has finally crossed the line.

 

Taxpayers and Residents of the Town of New Baltimore are up in arms and claiming that Jordan:

  • Has abused and abuses his office and authority

  • Is unqualified and incompetent to hold the office of Town Highway Superintendent

  • Has abused his discretionary authorities as Town Highway Superintendent

  • Has shown special favoritism to select residents while abusing other residents in the context of his public office

  • As the result of the above has wasted public resources and obstructed the operation of good stewardship in New Baltimore Town government

  • Has abused employees of the New Baltimore Highways Department

  • Has exposed the Town of New Baltimore and its residents and taxpayers to unnecessary and burdensome legal actions and lawsuits

  • Causing damage to private property with a wanton indifference, and failure to respond to notifications of dangerous situations

  • Jordan has an established pattern of intimidation and bullying among Highway Department employees

  • Because of all of the above, Mr Jordan has placed the Town of New Baltimore at risk of losing its insurance coverage or being placed in a higher risk classification, which will result in additional expense and even reduced coverage of the Town of New Baltimore.

This list is not complete or exhaustive, since we are now on the track of investigating Mr Jordan and his dealings with local contracting companies, including Callanan Industries, Peckham Materials Corp. companies that have already been associated with Jordan’s questionable practices,  and others, in the public bidding processes, the planning and execution of roadwork, and the estimation of materials used in those projects. The picture is very grim from what we have been able to glean even at short notice. (Editor’s Note:  We’ve requested the bids and the background facts as well as the estimates of materials and the actual materials used by Callanan. We expect to prove serious criminal activity.)

According to informed and reliable sources,  Mr Jordan’s recent escapades and incompetence in conjunction with Callanan Industries’  “successful” but totally botched bid to execute repaving of streets in the Hamlet of New Baltimore, the Highway Department has been deluged with complaints from irate and angry residents complaining of the poor quality or disastrous effects of the work done by Callanan under Mr Jordan’s supervision.

In fact, on Monday, June 26, 2017, when Callanan crews were paving New Street and Madison Avenue, while New Baltimore crews were standing around counting farts on the corner of Madison Avenue and Rt 144, Mr Jordan left early, at around 3:00 p.m., to attend a wake. The wake was for a local but not a relative or close friend of Jordan, which raises the important question of: Couldn’t Jordan have stayed to supervise his contractors work on an important repaving project and stil paid his respects to the family of the deceased? After all, he could have left when the crews left at around 4:30, and had plenty of time to prepare for the wake, which certainly ran until at least 7 p.m. Shows where his priorities are. 

Suspicion was cast on Jordan’s re-election and his win over his former deputy highway superintendent Alan vanWormer; vanWormer lost the election by 1 (ONE!) vote. The election was not contested, which raised suspicions in the New Baltimore community.

We support the residents and taxpayers of New Baltimore in their efforts to clean up local government and to remove corruption, incompetence and crookedness. We urge all of our readers to support those courageous residents and taxpayers seeking to remove Jordan from office and to better local government and quality of life.

I you have any information or a complaint or know of anyone who has information about Jordan or wishes to file a complaint, we are here to assist you. Please contact us directly at rcs.confidential@gmail.com or write to us c/o P.O. Box 422, New Baltimore, New York 12124. All contacts will be strictly confidential and no information identifying you will be shared or published without your express written permission. We also encourage you to leave a comment telling all of our readers about any of your experiences with the New Baltimore Highway Department or Mr Jordan.

Recent roadwork done by Callanan Industries done under t he direct authority and supervision by Mr Jordan has generated a deluge of complaints and general dissatisfaction. According to a well informed and reliable source, the New Baltimore Highway Department has received numerous telephone complaints about the shoddy work done. Rather than call the Highway Department, where it is almost certain that your complaint will be lost in the dust, we recommend you make your complaint known via this blog, and then to write directly to the New Baltimore Town Board. That way you’ll be heard.

Please share this information with your family, friends and neighbors. It’s our duty and obligation to ensure that our New Baltimore community is a model of good government, honest and competent elected officials and public employees, and that our sense of community stands as an example for our surrounding communities. Your contribution to this effort will put all questionable and corrupt elected officials and public employees on notice that we will not tolerate ignorance, indifference, incompetence or dishonesty being paid for with our tax dollars.

Do your part and share what you know!

The Editor

 

 

Let’s Get Back to Exposing Local Dysfunctional Government

Celebrating the Zodiac of the Monkey in the Year of the Female Fire Chicken


We certainly hope so because here it comes!

We’re going to give the ghouls of corporate funeral services a rest for now as we collect some tidbits on the Albany County Coroner’s office and its scandalous dysfunction à la Smalbany.

But now let’s get back to our local heroes, our Town of Coeymans Police Department and our local town and village court justices. The upcoming articles are really going to knock your knickers off!

So here’s a preview of what’s coming up:


The Crandall Police Department a.k.a. Coeymans PD: No money to do it right but plenty to waste.
Freedom of Information, Crimes Uninvestigated, No Arrests, and Dawn LaMountain Computer Illiterate

Local Police Working Together in Investigating Serious Crimes

The Coeymans Police Department has been dragging ass for two years now on various investigations, including some very serious crimes perpetrated in the Town of Coeymans. We have demanded records from the Town of Coeymans Police Department but must admit they have been very uncooperative in terms of working with us. Wonder Why? We were hoping the once Gregory “Dumplin'” Darlington and Gerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca and his incompetent parasite partner, Cathy Deluca of failed fitness center fame, got the boot, things would change in Coeymans. Well some things did and others only got worse.

Once Dingbat Darlington and Dirty-Hands Deluca were out the door, the most egregious abuses went with them. But even when the ringleaders were booted, their minions were still on the job and old habits die hard. Right Jason Albert? Albert was handed an open and shut case against Cathy Deluca and flubbed it. He was rewarded with a promotion to detetctive. Business as usual in Coeymans. Cases are still being flubbed because the old flubbers are still on the force! That’s why they can’t close a case with an arrest and prosecution.

The other problem is that we’re still stuck with that incompetent racist P. David Soares in the Albany County DA’s office. He’s too busy pandering and politicking to prosecute any cases. If there were arrests in Coeymans we really have to wonder if Soares would have the brains to actually prosecute anything more than a traffic ticket or the guts to prosecute anyone with a Democrap party connection. Not very likely. Soares would much rather cherry pick his cases; he doesn’t want to come out looking like a monkey. Here’s the real test: When asked to spell the word  “ethics”,  Soares failed. He spells it “c-o-r-r-u-p-t”. Typical product of Albany Law School croneyism and Democrap affirmative action practices.

Staff of the Albany (NY) County
Office of the District Attorney

While Darlington and Deluca were violating protected civil rights and protecting their patrons, the McKenna PD is really limp on criminals. We thought P.J. McKenna, when he accepted the job, would clean out the dead wood from the department and start fighting crime. We had hoped that he would reach out to the New York State Police and the Albany County Sheriff’s Department for support in cases where the Coeymans PD didn’t have the expertise or the wherewithal to make an arrest or to encourage prosecution. We were wrong.

We encouraged interdepartmental, interagency cooperation when investigating crimes in our community. Has that happened. The crime has happened but the cooperation hasn’t. The result is that we are all at risk because our elected officials and our public employees, with very few exceptions, are out for themselves and are not committed to the ethical performance of their duties and responsibilities to us, the public to whom they are accountable, whether they know, believe, or like it or not.

Dawn LaMountain, a parasite left over from the Darlington-Deluca mob, doesn’t have a clue about how to comply with demands for production of public access documents under the Public Officer’s Law or Freedom of Information Laws. In fact, she’d rather spend days, even months spinning her wheels and wasting time and resources, something Mr Phillip Crandall says are in short supply, that is, when it doesn’t apply to his cronies and his wild spending on consultants and assistants.

Coeymans PD “Confidential Secretary” Dawn LaMountain at Work.
Underqualified & Overpaid.
Are you looking into this situation Mr Crandall?

We are looking into the problem that Dawn LaMountain doesn’t know shit from shinola about how to use her computer, and gets defensive when she’s made aware of that fact. She’s also making more and working less than the Coeymans Town Clerk, who has duties and responsibilities that would require a staff of 10, but has to make do with one assistant and a part-timer. Tell you something about the Crandall mob?

Greene County Sheriff Gregory Seeley and his band of chimps under the supervision of Greene County DA Joe Stanzione are in the lineup, too. Seems they couldn’t investigate themselves out of a toilet paper roll if their jobs depended on it. Guess what Greg, Joe…Your jobs do depend on it.

We’ll be going through a recent F.O.I.L. demands for production of public access documents and information step by step, and you can make your decisions about the Coeymans Police Department and Dawn LaMountain. Out of their mouths they’re crying We got no money! but their actions seem to say they have plenty of time, materials and taxpayer dollars to waste (both in terms of poor management of resources, human and material).

Check out our background articles at

We include the links above so that you have a clearer understanding of what we are and will be discussing in our upcoming article. As for Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares, please use the search feature on this blog to see what we have reported about that dumbass. There’s plenty on the Internet reported by authoritative and reliable media about that phony, if you’re interested.


 Local Town and Village Court Justices

Our Own Retards in Robes!

Retards in Robes

We are going to be looking very closely at the New York State Unified Court System and the antiquated system of unqualified morons elected to be town and village justices.

Any lawyer with a half of a brain can piss down their legs and tell them its ice-water, and they say Yes! It’s ice-water.

Oh, that? It’s just ice-water.

We’re plagued with a bunch of substandard duds elected by their local friends and drinking buddies to administer a bizarre form of “justice” on the Town and Village courts throughout the state. Most of them barely have a highschool education, only a few have a degree, and very few have any training in the law. The basic qualification is a high school diploma, real or equivalent, the support of a local political party, and a handful of morons to elect them. FLASH! You now have a town or village judge who can really do some damage, and they do! Any lawyer with a half of a brain can piss down their legs and tell them its ice-water, and they say Yes! It’s ice-water. For years the state legislature has been trying to eliminate this circus of untrained monkeys but locals still keep the system, despite the long list of failures, abuses, mistakes, Neanderthals holding the office. They may have a courtroom or share a meeting room but in some parts of the state they may hold court in a barn or a garage! We have our own local species of ape-shit and we’re going to expose them for the monkey turds that they are. Stay tuned!

You may be very surprised at what we are going to be publishing about the retards in robes that you elect to administer an ignorant crapola version of justice that makes Judge Judy shite bricks, and has been in line for elimination for decades because of their abuses, lack of qualifications, and downright stupidity.

We’re going to be looking at how the Office of Court Administration has dropped the ball in supervising the courts and we’ll focus on some local town and village justices who administer anything but justice. Here are some of our picks for local ego-maniac, wannabe judges:

  • Joseph Farrell, New Baltimore Town Justice, Dirt-dumb, Alleged adulterer (high-moral values), voted in by local “friends”
  • Harold “Hal” Warner, Current Village of Ravena Judge, Former Albany cop disciplined for civil rights violations, Runs court with wife, village trustee witch-on-a-stick Nancy Warner, supervising, Known for stabbing former village justice Phil Crandall in the back
  • Phil Crandall, Current Town of Coeymans Supervisor, Disgraced Ravena Village and Coeymans Town Justice
  • Gregory Dardiani, Former Food Services Manager, Coeymans Town Justice, in treatment for blood disorder but still collecting his checks from the Town of Coeymans
  • Lee Davis, Third-class dyslexic dud attorney at New York Department of Health (the state of New York will hire just about any bottomfeeder misfit, it seems), Defeated New Baltimore Town Justice, even his own brother opposed his re-election
  • Tom Meacham, Incumbent New Baltimore Town Justice, Ethical Violations during his Campaign; no telling what violations he’ll commit while on the New Baltimore town court but we’ll know only when it’s too late
  • Leland E. Miller, Cairo Town Court, The Lawyer’s Justice, ignorant of law and procedure, tends to ask the attorneys for guidance regardless of which side they’re on

Make no mistake about it, these juicebags are real and retarded in the worst way. There are others we could add to this list, unfortunately many others, but we’ll stick with these clowns for now because they each represent a specific kind of ignorance, stupidity and corruption in this idiotic court system called the Town and Village Courts.

 

Given the reputation of these town and village justices, their lack of training and education, the fact that New York State has been trying to legislate them out of business, and the problems and suffering they have caused, it’s incredible that locals still elect these freaks!

We’ll critique and roast each of them individually and let you decide whether to lynch or tar and feather them, or, as some local morons put it, “He’s my friend. I have to vote for him.” Dumbass!

We snapped this in
New Baltimore Town Court — Or was it Cairo?
The Editor
Oh, that? Just more ice-water.

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Public Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Appellate Division 3rd Departmentt, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Freeman, Bob Ross, Cairo Justice Court, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Stahlman, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Cosmetic Dentist, Coxsackie Dental Arts, Coxsackie Dentist, coxsackiedentist, Craig D. Apple Sr., David Soares, David Wukitsch, Dawn LaMountain, Dawn LaMountain, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Eric T. Schneiderman, Freedom of Information Law, General Dentistry, George Dardiani, George LaMountain, Gerald Deluca, Greene County, Gregory Darlington, Gregory Teresi, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Harry Davis, Hudson Valley, Jason Albert, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, John Luckacovic, John M. Vadney, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Judge Davis, Judicial Ethics, Judicial Misconduct, Justice and Courts, Kurt Froehlich, Law Enforcement, Lee Davis, Lee Davis, Leland Miller, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Police, New York State Unified Court System, NYS Assembly, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Courcelle, Paul M. Courcelle, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Village Justice, RCS Community, Robert J. Freeman, Smalbany, Stahlman, Tom Meacham, Town Justice, Town of Coeymans, Village Justice, William Misuraca, William Misuraca, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

New Baltimore Town Officials are Absolutely Useless!

There’s a Bully in the National Historic District

New Baltimore's Idea of Service to Residents

New Baltimore’s Idea of Service to Residents

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso, and Animal Control Officer Joe Tanner Refuse to Enforce Town Laws

We’ve asked this question time and again: What exactly are they doing in New Baltimore town hall, anyway? They seem to have their own agendas because they’re certainly not doing residents any big favors! They don’t even communicate among themselves and are totally oblivious to the welfare of the community they’re supposed to have been elected or hired to serve.

You see, not only did property tax bills go out on about December 28, 2017, demanding, rather extorting money from property owners to pay for local and county government and our ineffectual school  — the RCS Central School District whose Board of Education can find almost a million dollars to redo the athletic field with dangerous astroturf but teachers complain there’s no money for books! So we now get a bill for property and school taxes, and you have to really wonder what your dollars are paying for. Here’s the answer: INCOMPETENCE!

Now, in the National Historic District, residents are exposed day-in-day-out to a local resident’s barking dog. Robert and Bonnie Krug of bank robber fame, keep a dog that they use to bully the neighborhood with its constant barking from morning to evening, Monday through Friday, with special performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Residents have attempted to approach the Krugs but Mr Krug responds only with threats. Maybe that’s why the Town officers don’t seem to be able to stop the nuissance; they’re afraid of Krug! Has he handed them one of his famous notes, too?

Flyers are now circulating in the Hamlet of New Baltimore asking residents to join together to neutralize the nuissance and to force the Town of New Baltimore to enforce its laws, and to restore peace to the National Historic District, and compel the irresponsible, inconsiderate owners of the animal to control their animal.

Click here to read the stop-the-bully-flyer

A resident has already sent a copy of another flyer directly to the New Baltimore Town Board through Nick Dellisanti, Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor and Joe Tanner, Animal Control Officer. You can read that letter by clicking this link barking-dog-letter.

Like a school bully, one person can’t really fix the problem. It takes group action. People simply have to get involved. Like a school bully, if the people with authority, the teachers and supervisors, don’t take action, someone else has to step in. We urge New Baltimore residents in the National Historic District to take action both to send a message to the New Baltimore Town Board and to the Krugs that residents deserve a quality of life and the services from elected officials and town employees for which they are paying. It’s particularly important now that the Town is sending out their demands that property owners pay taxes.

We have to ask, For what?

It's not much to ask for, is it? Then why can't the New Baltimore Town Board provide it? The Editor

It’s not much to ask for, is it? Then why can’t the New Baltimore Town Board provide it?
The Editor

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Animal Control Officer, Arlene McKeon, Barbara Finke, Barking Dog, Barking Dog Nuissance, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bonnie Krug, Bully, Bullying, Bullyism, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Daily Mail, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, F.O.I.L., FOIL, George Amadore, Greene County, Greene County News, Greg Teresi, Gregory Teresi, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph A. Farrell Jr, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kathy Rundberg, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Marjorie Loux, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Mismanagement, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore town council, New York, New York State, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Ravena News Herald, RCS Central School District, RegisterStar, Robert Krug, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Town Law, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor