April and May 2015 Archives

Funding Freedom for Fred                                            4-11-2015

            This is a post I put on my Facebook Group Page, Madison's Militia last week. We are supporting a local Vietnam Veteran in his lawsuit for the restoration of his Second Amendment Rights. This case has the potential to be landmark case for Gun Rights for Veterans and ALL Americans. Please join us in this Fight for Freedom. 


Okay New York, we have a MAJOR CASE coming our way. A Vietnam Veteran from Columbia County is in need of support in a LANDMARK, Second Amendment Lawsuit. I will be working with him directly as he begins a journey to regain his 2nd Amendment Rights and to clear a falsified record that has damaged his reputation and liberties, robbed him of his rights, and stripped his entire family of their CC Permits. All this with NO felony or misdemeanor convictions in his history! This is one of our OWN, and the suit has been accepted by the U.S District Court, Northern District. This is not a "MAYBE" issue, this is a reality, and it has the teeth to change how our veterans are treated in respect to their Constitutional Rights!
I am working on a summary of the case and will post it this coming week as soon as we have the court dates. Expect this matter to be the dominant issue on Madison's Militia for the next several months at least. We will need the support and encouragement of our fellow Patriots as we fight for the restoration of this man's life. Please check in with us often for regular updates and Calls to Action.


                  Case  Summary


Time to learn about our Vietnam Vet that needs our help.

WHO is He?

His name is Fred and he lives in Columbia County,N.Y. He is a husband, father and grandfather, and a veteran of the Vietnam War where he saw plenty of action. Fred is one of US, a guy who has worked with his hands and his back every day of his life. Like many of us, he has struggled to pay his bills, feed his family, and pay his taxes and never asked anyone for help.

Like most old-school, patriotic Americans, Fred is intolerant of political corruption, tyrannical officials, immorality, and the ideologies of the Left Wing. He has something of a short fuse when it comes to idiots. He does not hesitate to say what he thinks or to loudly defend his rights as a free American and Soldier. At well over 6 feet tall and with the biggest hands I have ever seen, Fred is an imposing figure to anyone who doesn't know that his heart is even bigger than those calloused hands. In his younger days, local cops found him intimidating, and I find that amusing, as Fred is not violent, not an instigator or a scrapper. He WILL stand firm for what is right and will not cower under attack or compromise his love of God and country. “Political Correctness” is not in his vocabulary.

In short, Fred is exactly the kind of man that deserves our efforts and support. He is what every American man should strive to be.

How it all Began :

A simple property dispute between neighbors. The issue ended up in court, and as we so often see, favors were called-in and justice was not served. Fred lost. Knowing that he had been short-changed, he contacted the NYS Office of Professional Conduct and the Office of Judicial Conduct and requested to appeal the decision. When these agencies ignored his requests, Fred started dropping-in to the NYS Office of Professional Conduct once a week and putting a little pressure on them to hear his complaint. The office clerk was intimidated by his persistence and called the Colonie Police Department and lodged a complaint.

A warrant for “Aggravated Harassment” was sworn and the next day, several NYS Troopers appeared at Fred's home to arrest him. Fred was working on a truck engine when they arrived, and he asked if he could wash his hands before he went with them. He took one step toward the house and the officers jumped him. He was handcuffed and leg-ironed, then transported first to the Claverack Barracks, then to the New Lebanon Barracks where the Colonie P.D came and took him into their custody. Eventually, he was remanded to the Columbia County Jail under excessive bail.

While in jail, Fred went on a hunger strike in protest of what he believed was and unfair arrest. He also made some statements about local officials being corrupt and suggested that the jail food was probably toxic. As a result of this behavior, the jail doctor was called in, and he recommended observation in a psychiatric facility. The reasons for the admission were given as ; 1) Refusal to eat and 2) Inmate held “Firm Beliefs” about local officials. So let's look at that.

  1. The Troopers used excessive force in the arrest.

  2. Bail was unreasonable

  3. Hunger strike was a Protest, not a sign of mental illness

  4. “Firm Beliefs” in psychiatric circles means: Paranoia and Conspiratorial thoughts. This is not at all what Fred meant when he accused the officials of corruption, they are INDEED corrupt.

How many of us believe that our officials are corrupt, dishonest and often abusive? 99%? How many times have we seen cronyism, manipulation, targeting, and false arrests? Does that mean that ALL of us are crazy and in need of psychiatric evaluation? If so, the state would need to build a few hundred more facilities to treat us all for stating the truth.

Fred was sent to the NYS Psych Facility in Marcy, N.Y. He was found to be perfectly healthy with “No psychosis or mood disorder and no signs of being a threat to himself or others”. He was released, and the harassment charges were dismissed. However, the damage had been done. Fred soon received a letter from the Columbia County D.A's office, instructing him to surrender his Pistol Permit and firearms due to having been “COMMITTED” to a psychiatric facility! THIS is the core issue in this case.

Admission for Evaluation and Commitment are two entirely different things with different requirements. Many people are admitted for evaluation after an arrest, it happens every day. An actual COMMITMENT however, requires the following:

  1. A recommendation from an examining and qualified doctor.

  2. TWO additional letters of recommendation from two other qualified doctors.

  3. Notice to inmate of the right to a court hearing to address the commitment.

None of these requirements were met in Fred's case because he was NOT committed, he was Admitted for evaluation only. Yet two female employees of the NYS Psychiatric Facility, filed a report with the NICS database that Fred had been “Involuntarily Committed”, and as a result, he was stripped of his 2nd Amendment rights to own a firearm.

Numerous requests for correction of this information have gone unanswered and in the interim, Fred's wife and adult son were also stripped of their CC Permits. At one point during the surrender of his firearms, Fred was with his family in a small passageway at the Columbia County Courthouse, and jostled a deputy that was standing near him. The Sheriff at the time, witnessed this and called it “Assault”, grabbed Fred and began to handcuff him. Fred responded by giving Sheriff Bertram a swift kick. Okay, that was bad, but deserved none the less. So he was arrested again and THIS time, they again had him admitted for evaluation, this time to the Psychiatric Ward at the Columbia Hospital in Hudson. Again, he was found to be mentally sound and again, the charges were dismissed. To this day, Fred has ZERO convictions on his record. Not even a misdemeanor.

Yet the NICS database still claims he was Involuntarily Committed to a Psychiatric Facility, and that is the reason for Fred's lawsuit. He wants his name cleared and the database information removed. He wants his gun rights back. He fought for this country, he is a good, decent, American citizen and a Conservative Christian. He deserves our help. It has taken several years to get this case into a court, but it has finally been scheduled for trial in the NYS District Court, Northern District. Below is a list of the named defendants.

  1. Maureen Bosco- Central N.Y Psychiatric Center- Marcy,N.Y

  2. Margaret Drake- NYS Office of Mental Health-Albany

  3. NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services – Albany

  4. Federal Bureau of Investigation – Albany

  5. National Institution of Background Checks (NICS)

  6. U.S Dept. of Justice – Washington,D.C

  7. U.S Attorney General Eric Holder D.C ( for violation of Fed. Gun Act 18USC921)

  8. Robert Mueller III – FBI – Washington,D.C

The primary need at this moment is funding. The case has already exceeded $12,000.00 and much more will be necessary to fight this injustice. We will be opening a “Go Fund Me” page for Fred on Monday, 4-13-2015. We will also be designing and selling tee shirts in support of Fred and Veteran's 2nd Amendment Rights. Eventually, we will also need Patriots to show up at the court appearances and show support, write letters to our NYS representatives, and our newspapers and get the story out there!  

                       The "Go Fund Me" link will be posted here and on Madison's Militia by Monday evening.  Please donate whatever you can, and just so everyone knows, Fred has committed to donating all monies over and above his legal expenses, to the Gun Rights movement in N.Y. This case will be an attention-getter and an opportunity to bring some common sense and Constitutional adherence back into our lives.  No surrender!       JJ


  Go to this website to purchase a tee shirt to support veteran's gun rights and Fund Fred. Check out the back of the shirt!  JJ



Town Board.... GAG!!!                                        4-14-2015

                It gets worse by the month. I should have known when I walked into the meeting room tonight that it was time to discuss replacing Bruce Baldwin.  Seeing as how Monte Wasch and Bud Godfroy were present, it was obvious that the announcement was imminent. 

                 The open seat will be advertised like other vacancies usually are, and the deadline to submit a "Letter of Interest" is May 1st.  Interviews will be conducted on May 6th. Bud was furiously scribbling the dates into a notepad and Monte was entering them into his phone. Imagine either of THEM on the board? God Help Us! 

                 I know that Irene Hanna will toss her hat into the ring as well, and by rights, she should be the one selected, since she came in second in the elections.  Should be interesting. As I observed the board discussions and motions tonight, I was reminded of Bergen and McCarthy. Remember them?  Old man Bergen would sit that silly puppet on his lap and try to be a ventriloquist, moving Charlie's mouth and voicing his thoughts through him. Well, that's Mike Benson and Dan Evans. It's nauseating and amusing at the same time. LOL!!

                 The Tennis Courts were discussed again, and Cynthia Creech gave a report on the results of the survey she sent out to the residents. The majority are in favor of taking bids on repairing or totally replacing the courts. That's cool, because a lot of folks use them and they are a mess. I was impressed by the manner in which Cynthia handled the issue. She had the respect for her fellow residents to actually poll them and ask them what they ALL were thinking and what they ALL would like to see. Unlike "Behold New Lebanon" and Queen Ruth.

                 I brought this up during Privilege of the Floor, and mentioned the fact that I had submitted a request for a Public Hearing re: Behold, in February, and it has not been acknowledged. I also stated that it should be handled the same way that Cynthia handled the Tennis Court issue. It's not that Behold is bad, it's a matter of respect and consideration for locals who will be affected by the rabid need of newcomers to promote "Tourism" in New Lebanon without consulting the long-timers. They come here and trample the long enjoyed traditions and culture and ask NO ONE if it's okay. 

                  Monte and I got into it after the meeting, about Behold and the EDC. I told him that Ruth Abram has NO right to breeze into New Lebanon and treat it like her personal kingdom. Monte stated that Behold is a "Business", a "Non-Profit" and can do what they please. I strongly disagreed that it is acceptable to have an entire town designated as a "Museum" and to apply for government grants with no input from the average Joe, but only from the "Inner Circle" of wealthy, liberal, Socialists. We ALL have to live here, and we ALL deserve a say in what happens to and in our town. 

                  We then moved on the the EDC, which operates in secret and is now launching a new "Tourism" program and "Calendar of Events" for "Visitors". Yet another move that will affect us ALL and was never given the transparency it requires. I stated that the EDC is legally a "Town Entity" because they are working directly with Behan Planning, who is being paid in part by the taxpayers of this town. Monte tried to support the EDC's position that they are a "Private Entity" because they helped to raise half the money to pay Behan. B.S!  I don't care if they raised 3/4 of the money, the PEOPLE are still paying in to this "Hamlet Revitalization" crap, so that makes the EDC  subject to Open Meeting Laws,  FOIA, Minutes, and Transparency. PERIOD !!!

                   Now, have you all seen that new rag they call "IMBY" this week? If not, you need to click the link I'm posting below and take a look at the new headquarters for "Behold". Be sure to read the plans they have for you and your summer in 2015! See? I told ya so! I've BEEN telling you since 2007, that f you did not take a stand and open your mouths, you would lose your town. Now you have. It now belongs to the elitists like Max Gitter, Monte Wasch, Ruth Abram, Mike Benson, and the whole lot of them. A few who do not even LIVE here. MANY who are part-time residents. THIS is what happens when you stay on the couch and let liberalism and Socialism win through your apathy. 

                 As I have said before, I won't be staying in this town once my husband retires, and I know that will please a good number of the lefties here. Glad to accomadate you! There are NO liberals where I am moving, only open country, big skies, and PEACE. I will not look back and I will feel no sympathy for those of you who remain in Lebanon at the mercy of the bullies. You made your beds. Sleep in them.

                  I have decided that due to a lack of spine among the people of this town, I will no longer put forth any effort to help beautify Lebanon, organize assets like a Community Center, or Mural Program, or anything else. Why should I? I will always continue to be a Watcher of the Corrupt Officials, and to object and report, but I'm not going to waste one more minute of my own time, effort and money to preserve what little of our town remains. You lost, you live with it. It sickens me almost as much as the Federal Government does, as the Clintons, Obamas,  and Bush's do.

                  Every one of you who objects to the liberal takeover of your town but has done NOTHING to stop it, should be ashamed of yourselves. You couldn't save ONE little town, so how can you hope to save an entire country?  


Behold's New Headquarters



There Oughta be a Law !                                              3-22-2015

               How many times have you heard someone say that?  Maybe you've even said it yourself, and if so, I betcha wish you hadn't ! 

                We have so MANY laws in America today that it is nearly impossible to get through a normal day without violating at least one or two of them, without even knowing it! Just a few months ago, New York passed a law making it illegal to let your vehicle's motor run in your own driveway or anywhere else, unless you are IN it, or it is locked and you have a spare door key. No more warming up the car or defrosting the windshield on cold mornings before taking the kids to daycare or Grandma to therapy. 

                This law is not to protect air quality or curious children, it is to protect would-be car thieves! If you allow your vehicle to heat-up in your driveway while you wait in the warm house, and some punk steals it, YOU are the Bad Guy. YOU tempted that poor, impressionable thief and contributed to his misfortune and the crime rate in your community.

                 Now, imagine that your stolen car is involved in another crime or an accident that results in injury or damages. That's YOUR fault, too! After all, YOU are the one that expected YOUR car to be safe in YOUR own driveway. Shame on YOU!   Forgetting to turn on your headlights along with your wipers on a rainy day can get you a ticket and fine. So can hanging any ornament from your rear-view mirror, window tint that it a shade too dark, a rear license plate light that is burned out, or a Thrush muffler that purrs. (but it is FINE for motorcycles to have NO mufflers and blow your eardrums out!) 

                  Failing to wear your seat-belt or a helmet while riding a motorcycle can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines. Really, what business is it of the government to order adults to wear these safety items ? Better yet, why do we allow the government to hold us hostage to laws and mandates that are intrusive, unnecessary, and oppressive? 

                  Those of you who are familiar with "Common Law" , (which is the Original and only Valid form of law in America), probably know this basic summary of U.S Law:  "No Victim, No Crime". Think about that for a minute. What could be more simple and sensible? 

                   Vehicle and Traffic Laws that provide for the safety of the general public on the roads, are important. D.U.I, failing to obey lights and signs, texting while driving, driving too fast or recklessly, having bald tires or failing brakes, all have the potential to harm others. Not wearing a seatbelt or helmet is a possible danger only to YOU, and should therefore, be YOUR choice, not a LAW. Burned-out license plate lights? Just stupidity, an excuse to stop you and ask invasive questions and look for more serious issues. Harassment.

                  American Laws for the most part, are excessive and abusive. "Common Law' was a much more basic, fair manner of keeping the peace, but like all sensible forms of government, the Common Law has been shredded, ignored, buried, and touted as "Out-dated and Irrelevant"  by those who wish to oppress and enslave the gullible masses.  Though Common Law is still the only True and Enforceable system of law in America, in conjunction with Constitutional Law, it has suffered the same treatment by politicians and judges that we are recently witnessing with the Constitution. If we fail to object and resist for much longer, the Constitution will go the way of Common Law, and once that happens, America will no longer be a Free Country. You and I will no longer be Free People.

                  The tangled web of confusing and innumerable laws in America has become so gargantuan and complex that the average person could never even begin to comprehend, much less adhere to it all. Every time a legislative body meets, more laws are introduced and passed. Most of the time, We the People never know about these laws, what they are or what they mean for our lives, until someone violates one of them.

                  In recent years, the Liberal Left has been the driving force behind thousands of ridiculous, unconstitutional laws and mandates, most having to do with what they like to call, "Hate Crimes".  What they are in reality, are demands by immature wimps who want their "Feelings and Emotions" protected by the government, rather than grow up and deal with real life.  Thanks to these whiny babies, it is becoming illegal to speak your mind, insult someone, call anyone a derogatory name, or exercise your right to Free Speech in any way that might "Offend" the emotional infants among us.

                  Yet these are the SAME crybabies that support the murder of unborn babies right up until the ninth month of gestation, and demanded "Laws" to protect their right to commit these murders of innocent souls. They are the same selfish fools that demanded the banning of smoking a cigarette in the Open Air in a public park, but condone the legalization of marijuana, and the freedom for two men to sit on a bench near a playground and make-out! It is illegal for a Christian-Owned business to deny wedding-related services to a same-sex couple, but it is okay for those couples to deliberately TARGET these businesses for persecution and lawsuits,  and violate their 1st Amendment protections of Religious Freedom, threaten them and their children with death , picket their businesses until they are forced to close, etc., just to "Prove a Point" that is not even a VALID point! If they TRULY believed in "Tolerance and Fairness" as they claim, they would simply seek these services from the MILLIONS of other businesses that are NOT Christian-Owned. Live and let live, or as the Libs prefer to say, "CO-EXIST". 

                     If you spank your kid today for doing something dangerous or unacceptable, you stand a good chance of being charged with abuse, and if you ground your teenager and she tells the police, you can be charged with, "Unlawful Imprisonment".  Yet, Planned Parenthood can give that same teen  free birth-control or even an abortion without your knowledge, and the public school can teach your kids about all types of sexual activity and that it is ALL acceptable. 

                     Praying on the sidewalk in front of the White House will get you arrested, but Muslims can kneel in the streets of Times Square at sundown and block traffic. Are you beginning to see a pattern concerning the new Laws under Obama?  We haven't even MENTIONED Gun Laws yet! Too many laws, mandates and rules, so MUCH infringement on our freedom and sovereignty. 

                      This past week in Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management and our land-grabbing government are AGAIN attempting to steal property and property rights from the People. Harry Reid and son failed to steal the Cliven Bundy Ranch last year and sell it to the Asians as a Solar Farm, so NOW, the focus is a 100-year-old Gold Mine in Oregon. Gee, don't ya wonder WHY the government and its cronies would want to snap-up lands rich in minerals, pure water, and sunny spaces all of a sudden? 

                      Once again, my fellow Oathkeepers are on the scene in Oregon to protect the rights of the land owners and keep the BLM at bay, but who is watching over the activities in the southwestern states? AHH !

Haven't heard about "Jade Helm" yet? If not, you need to Google it, TODAY. While you're at it, add the word, "WalMart" to that search. I am willing to bet that 19 out of every 20 Americans have NO CLUE as to what is going on, much less, WHY.   How many Americans even realize how MANY government agencies exist that MUST be dissolved a.s.a.p, or what those agencies are and what they DO?  Do you know why we are subjected to so much oversight and so many "LAWS"? Aren't you even a little curious or concerned? You damn well SHOULD be! 

                         Then again, look who I'm talking to. Residents of New Lebanon who don't know or care about what is happening in their own TOWN. There are things being done by the EDC and the Czar right now that go way beyond corrupt and illegal, things that WILL affect you, your families, and your properties. It's frustrating for me to have to keep these things to myself for now, because you NEED and DESERVE to know and those involved NEED to be removed and prosecuted. Opening up NOW however, would endanger innocent people and put the investigations at risk. 

                       Thanks to YOUR apathy, it will be too late by then to make any difference, to stop what is happening. Do NOT ever say that I didn't warn you, over and over and over. Do NOT say that I didn't BEG you to help me and to get involved.  Our Town Board members are not even aware of what is going on and what's coming, with maybe the exception of Dan Evans, because he is the Czar's "Igor" and as a result, is kept apprised of the back-door dealings.

                       What I CAN say to you is, keep an eye on the local business scene this summer as it will be quite active. Watching is all you CAN do at this point because you will have no "SAY" in any of it. You gave away your voices and power by ignoring the issues and warnings I've presented to you for a long, long time. By the way, here's an interesting piece of information;  New Lebanon WILL be welcoming a Dunkin' Donuts" very, very soon. Like it or not, folks! No ones cares about the existing, locally-owned businesses that this will hurt, or that this will be the beginning of the commercialization of our rural town.  That's what happens when you allow an EDC of part-timers, newcomers, non-residents, and power-mongers to operate in the dark and you do NOTHING about it. Enjoy the transformation of your town and lives!


New Lebanon Nausea                                                             5-3-2015

                As the people sleep, things out in the real world continue to worsen. Have you looked up "Jade Helm" yet?  What are you waiting for?  By the way, there is a new book about the Clintons coming out, that every American should read before 2016.  That's enough national stuff for the moment, no Baltimore talk, no Islam issues, no Liberal Stupidity tonight.  (Not that there ISN'T any, I just won't go there for now.)

                 Let's talk Hometown. Nice stuff first. M&M Taproom is open and doing extremely well. I haven't been inside yet, but I have seen the packed parking lot night after night. The facade of the business is terrific, and it would be a real plus for this town if the entire mall followed that design. OTB is preparing to take up residence beside M&M soon, and there will be parking issues there eventually, if M&M decides to open for lunches at any point. The lot is so full now, that China City has lost it's parking, and the parking lot is very tight and full of caverns. Still, I am very happy for Mike and Matt !

                  You all know that "Behold New Lebanon" will be kicking-off its 2015 season on July 4th? Are you prepared for the traffic and rude tourists? I hope so, because you have no say in the matter.  YOU don't MATTER! Your tax money is demanded, but how dare we expect to have a say in how it is spent or what happens in this town that we support.  So, how many of you have seen the latest news about the Columbia County Corruption Machine? 

                    This time, it is the COUNTY EDC that is in trouble, and for good reason. I posted the details for you below, so you can read it for yourselves. Thank You to Sam Pratt, County Blogger, for his posts! You will notice something very interesting in these posts and in the comments, besides the violations of NYS Open Meetings Law.  You will also read about your Supervisor Michael Benson, applying for a seat on the CEDC. Yup! Add another committee seat to his LOOONG list of committee seats. I guess that explains why he is NEVER, EVER seen at the Lebanon Town Hall save for Town Board Meetings. Somebody should ask the Czar for an exact number of committee seats he holds, go ahead, I dare you!

                     See, you have to understand that what I have been telling you for several years now, is true. Benson has his sights set on higher offices, and he USED New Lebanon as a stepping-stone. Why do you think he wants a grocery store here so badly? Why did he put together the EDC, stack it with his cronies and let them run over us? Benson NEEDS that grocery store on his resume', so he can say, "Lookie what I did!"  Do you really think he cares if grandma has to get a ride to Pittsfield for her soda crackers? LOL!! Think AGAIN! NOTHING the Czar does is for anyone but himself, and personally, I can't WAIT to see the looks on the faces of his cronies when he moves up and throws them away like the used garbage they are. IF  he moves up.

                     The story of the CEDC states that Benson was an applicant, but that several members of the CEDC did not approve. Well, his friend Ken Flood and Greg Fingar must have taken steps to remedy that, because Benson WAS appointed. Now, let us think about that for a minute. You all KNOW how dirty OUR  EDC is, and you will read about the corruption within the CEDC, so tell me what you think these people are up to and why it should matter to YOU! Think really HARD! 

                     The CEDC uses taxpayer money for some of its projects, and is therefore answerable to the state for its finances and actions. Yet, it is considered to be a "Private" committee and has never allowed the public to attend meetings. Sound familiar? The NLEDC does NOT use taxpayer money, that we KNOW  of, but they should STILL be answerable! If not to the state, then at the very least, to the PEOPLE of this town! And, why NOT to the state?  Seriously? 

                     One more thing;  Behold New Lebanon received a grant in the amount of $100,000.00 from the Educational Foundation of America. I've done a little looking at this organization, and lo and "BEHOLD", it is a far left foundation. Not just that,it was also the idea and project of a man who was a DEVOUT DE-POPULIST! This man and his family and friends, are strong believers in reducing the population, and if you take the time to read carefully about this foundation's history, it becomes clear that it means to achieve that goal through Planned Parenthood . Can you spell, "Abortion Clinics" ? Elimination of the chronically ill and elderly? What do you think is in the Obamacare Package, folks? Still sleeping? 

                     Another oddity about this foundation, is that they don't list "Living Farm Museums" as one of their charity priorities. Go take a look at their website, you will be left scratching your heads! No one can contact them directly, or apply for grants without a Solicitor. So WHO solicited this grant for Behold? Maybe if we had gotten the Public Forum we requested in writing, we could ask those questions, but since the Czar and the entire Town Board ignored that request, we will never know!  What in Heaven's name does Behold need $100,000.00 for? 

                    At the May Planning Board meeting , Behold will be applying for a variance for an over-sized banner to be placed in front of the Gallup Inn on Rt. 20. Do you want to look at THAT all summer? If not, you should come to that meeting.  3rd Wednesday at 7:30. FYI: Christopher Steadman has resigned from the Planning Board after serving at ONE meeting. Apparently, he is leaving town. Hurray. One less corrupt official. 


 Credit for the below posts go to Sam Pratt.

State blasts CEDC handling of Ginsberg deal

• Conflict of interest problems identified for four board members

• Land sold to Ginsberg’s for $1 used as collateral for $9.5 million loan from board member’s bank

• ABO questions $22K in payments to attorney Bill Better

• Open meetings law violations found; lack of disclosure and transparency termed “troubling”

In a report issued this week, an investigation by the New York State Budget Authorities Office (ABO) into the operations of the Columbia County Economic Development Corporation finds that CEDC has serious problems with conflicts of interest, as well as failing to comply with open meetings law.

Specifically, the report identifies “four current or former members of the CEDC board as having potential conflicts of interests concerning the property transaction between CEDC and Ginsberg Foods.”

The four named parties are Ginsberg’s CEO David Ginsberg, Crawford & Associates President David Crawford, Kinderhook Bank President Robert Sherwood, and attorney Bill Better. Ginsberg is a former President and board member of CEDC, while the others are current board members, with Crawford serving as President.

The findings include that all four failed to provide written disclosures of their financial interest in the Ginsberg’s huge new project in Ghent, while it was under review by CEDC.

Perhaps most explosively, the report notes that Sherwood’s bank “provided Ginsberg Foods with two loans totaling $9.5 million for its proposed expansion project” using the CEDC property as “collateral for the loans.” The ABO writes:

A review of meeting minutes since April 2014 show that Mr. Sherwood was present at seven of the twelve board and Executive Committee meetings when the Ginsberg Foods project was discussed. However, there is no record of Mr. Sherwood disclosing his interest in the project during these meetings. Of more concern, Mr. Sherwood voted to sell CEDC’s property to Ginsberg Foods. In our interview, Mr. Sherwood acknowledged he did not act as a board member who had a potential conflict of interest. He stated that in retrospect he should have recused himself from the vote.”

Crawford, whose firm has performed extensive engineering and permitting work for Ginsberg’s, was “present at 18 of the 23 board and Executive Committee meetings at which the Ginsberg Foods project was discussed.” Moreover, the ABO found “found instances in meeting minutes where Mr. Crawford did participate in discussions and voted on issues related to the project.” In addition, the State observes that “the Ginsberg Foods loan terms are more favorable than the majority of the other loans,” but finds that CEDC’s loose loan guidelines allow that practice.

In addition, the State investigation found that Crawford participated in email discussions about Ginsberg’s, including communications with the company about facilitating “tax increment financing (TIF) for infrastructure costs of the project.” Emails also showed that Crawford argued for and facilitated a meeting “at the offices of Ginsberg Foods with representatives from a public relations firm (Behan Communications),” which was hired by him and CEDC Executive Director Ken Flood without Board approval.

image from www.sampratt.com

A CEDC board meeting in 2014

As the beneficiary of a separate $400,000 loan from CEDC, followed by an eyebrow-raising $1 deal with CEDC to acquire  28 acres of land on Route 9H, Ginsberg himself was present at an un-announced Executive Committee meeting “where the project was discussed prior to his resignation,” according to the State report.

Better, in turn, was paid $22,375 in 2014 “to negotiate the [Columbia County] IDA’s financial assistance package with Ginsberg Foods… Mr. Better was present at four of the nine board meetings during 2014 when the project was discussed.” The State notes that Crawford was the one who proposed Better as “the project manager for the Ginsberg Foods project.”

The report concludes:

We find the payments to Mr. Better by the CCIDA to be a questionable use of CCIDA funds. There is no indication why the services could not be provided by the CCIDA, either by the executive director or either of the two existing legal counsels contracted by the CCIDA. There is no written contract between the CCIDA and Mr. Better, or any records to indicate what services were to be rendered or the fees to be charged. Further, a review of the invoices to the CCIDA show he was paid for calls and meetings with individuals that do not appear to be related to CCIDA’s financial assistance package. For example, there are charges for phone calls to Crawford & Associates including to David Crawford … not related to the CCIDA’s financial assistance.”

Looking at the bigger picture, the ABO’s interviews with CEDC Executive Committee members revealed a lack of awareness and concerns about conflict of interest, with “most indicat[ing] that it is not uncommon for one or more board members to have potential conflicts of interest regarding particular projects or loans,” and that they “do not think it is necessary to always disclose potential conflicts. None of the Executive Committee members were aware of the requirement in the CEDC Code of Ethics for a written statement disclosing a member’s financial interest in a project.”

Overall, “it is troubling that this lack of disclosure is considered routine with other projects and loans. This lack of disclosure and transparency inhibits the public’s trust and confidence concerning board actions,” the ABO concludes.

Ironically, the denial of the project by the Ghent Planning Board may have saved CEDC from further criticism, as the State says that “no harm has yet arisen from the board’s failure to follow its own policies since the Ginsberg Foods expansion project was not approved by the Ghent Planning Board.”

So if Ginsberg’s lawsuit against the Planning Board is successful, that would appear to put CEDC back in hot water.

Meanwhile, the State also takes CEDC to task for a lack of openness, transparency and record-keeping.

Citing Section 102(2) of Public Officers Law , the ABO found instances where CEDC failed to meet requirements for “public bodies to provide advance public notice of meetings, allow for public access to meetings, and formally document and record meeting minutes.” This includes committees and subcommittees, such as CEDC’s Loan Committee and Executive Committee, whose proceedings “CEDC does not provide public notice of… or allow public access to these meetings.”

Moreover, CEDC “does not maintain meeting minutes for its Loan Committee [and] did not maintain meeting minutes for all of its Executive Committee meetings in 2014.”

In relation to the Ginsberg $1 land sale, the State concluded that a July 29, 2014 executive session to did “not appear to be appropriate.”

The ABO investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by citizens group GhenCANN, led by resident Patti Matheney, which has been been watchdogging the Ginsberg’s project. The full report and complaint  can be downloaded here.

John Friedman said...

Sam, excellent reportage. The sense of wonder these "leaders" exhibit when faced with common sense issues is beyond belief. The corruption is so deep, so endemic in Columbia County governance that the practitioners don't even know what's legal or not anymore.

Hudson said...

If anyone thinks that CEDC got the message, think again: This morning they added Mike Benson to their board.

Joanna Smith said...

Mike Benson is behind the highly questionable EDC in New Lebanon. This board is made up of his cronies and financial supporters, including several part-time residents and two, NON-Residents of Lebanon. It is a 100% Private committee, with the only residents allowed to attend meetings being "Economic Actors" and by "Invitation Only". No minutes are taken and there is zero transparency, yet the decisions they make will affect every resident. NLEDC claims it is exempt from Open Meeting Laws, but they are working DIRECTLY with the Behan Planning Group, who was hired BY the Town and will be paid in part by the taxpayers, so to ME, that makes the NLEDC a Town Entity, subject to OMLs. Benson is also greatly responsible for the "Behold New Lebanon" project being forced down the throats of the people of this town with NO public forum, even though a forum was requested IN WRITING . Benson also made the motion in public meeting to agree to have the town act as a "Pass Through" for Behold's grant money. As the town's Chief Fiscal officer and a donor to the Behold program, this is Conflict of Interest. He also knew about the Behold Project well in advance of it's 2014 implementation, and never informed a single member of the Town Board. They were blind-sided by the program.


CEDC leaders shrug off findings of State investigation

Upton Sinclair famously said that “it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

image from welcometobaltimorehon.com

Muckraking journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair, Jr.

That aphorism would appear to apply in spades to Ken Flood, the County’s economic development czar, as well as other leaders of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC).

On Tuesday, CEDC’s board met to grumble and grouse about the recent Authorities Budget Office Report which blasted their handling of the recent Ginsberg proposal in Ghent. And on Wednesday, Flood issued a press release attempting to put a smiling emoji on the bad news.

Patti Matheney of GhentCANN, the group which submitted the complaint which led to the ABO’s investigation, attended Tuesday’s meeting, and has circulated a blow-by-blow email account of their discussion. She writes:

I attended the CEDC meeting this morning and frankly, I’m appalled at the cavalier attitude of a number of the Board members regarding this report and the requirements to follow the guidelines and policies of the ABO.
[Ken] Flood stated that he wanted it to be ‘perfectly clear’ to the Board that these new regulations are a result of the ‘NY State Legislature and the Governor.’
Mary Bartolotta stated that, ‘we were pretty much a private corporation, until a few years ago.’ Many Board members complained about the need to recuse themselves due to conflicts of interests and opined about how difficult it will be for them to do business going forward under these circumstances.”

In fact, the supposedly “new” regulations which appeared to annoy Flood and Bartolotta were passed in late 2009—by a previous governor and legislature—and went into effect early in 2010. As noted in a February 2010 press release from the State,

The Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009… after years of stalled negotiations, takes effect today. Among its key provisions, the Act creates in permanent law an expanded independent Authorities Budget Office (ABO) with additional enforcement and oversight power over more than 450 state and local public authorities, industrial development agencies, and local development corporations.”

Not only have such oversight and requirements been in place since the beginning of this decade, the ABO has contacted CEDC previously in an effort to bring the agency into compliance. Even before the GhentCANN complaint, Flood alerted his board in September 2013 that the ABO “had requested a meeting”; that they “were interested in understanding... how they spent their money”; and that they “had visited the office twice and were asking for clarification and further information. [Flood] noted they have been focused on deposits and expenses.”

A month later, the ABO issued a report on the CEDC’s activities. The conclusion of that report found that:

CEDC was created to promote the growth of industry and jobs in Columbia County. It appears, based on the expenditures reviewed for this report that approximately 61 percent of CEDC activity is related to this public purpose, in the form of grants and loans provided to businesses in the County for start up or expansion. However, CEDC also spends its resources on activities that do not directly contribute to CEDC’s mission, such as contributions to other entities involved in economic development in the area. The CEDC board should ensure that these public funds are spent properly and only to advance the core mission and purposes of the CEDC.”

In short, CEDC’s staff and board had to be well aware of these not-so-new regulations. Indeed, past meeting minutes from the previous year, buried on the agency’s website, include multiple indicationsthat the State was keen to have CEDC members submit important financial disclosure paperwork and participate in required training. The repetitive nature of such minute notes over several years suggest that these tasks were not exactly at the top of board members’ to-do lists.

As Matheney noted in her email,

CEDC and the CCIDA are public entities, using our tax-dollars for economic development. We have a right to full transparency on how these funds are being allocated. But most importantly, we deserve to have confidence in the integrity of the board members and the processes used in their decision-making.”

Nevertheless, a press release today from Flood glosses over or completely omits the most damning portions of the ABO investigation. Ignored, for example, is the use of land donated by CEDC to Ginsberg for $1 as collateral for a loan from one of the CEDC Board members’ bank.

Likewise, past claims by Flood that “Crawford had not taken part in any discussion or vote regarding the Ginsberg’s project” are thoroughly debunked by the ABO, which noted multiple instances where Crawford “did participate in discussions and voted on issues related to the project.”

CEDC’s actions on Tuesday indicate that while a minority of members are mindful that it is time for the agency to fly straight, a majority still wish to continue on as before.

Matheney discovered that there are four vacancies on the Board—an opportunity to serve not known to the general public. Asking after the meeting “how these openings were being advertised, [Flood] confirmed that the positions are not publically noticed.”

Nevertheless, “two potential new Board members were brought to the Board for consideration,” writes Matheney. “The candidates were Supervisor Mike Benson from New Lebanon, and Kim Keil from Valley Energy. Several members felt both candidates would have potential conflicts and would not broaden the demographics of the board. Bill Better and David Crawford, both cited numerous times in the report of having conflicts of interests regarding the Ginsberg project, were the most outspoken in favor of bringing both onto the board immediately. After some discussion, they were approved for CEDC membership by a vote of 9-6.”

The Board did appear a bit more gunshy on another topic, a resolution regarding support for a water and sewer project in the so-called 9H/66 corridor—code, it would seem for the Commerce Park and the adjoining Ginsberg site. Matheney reports that due to the large number of recusals due to potential conflict of interest, the Board did not have a quorum to vote. But those recusing themselves once again did not specify the nature of their conflict, a specific and repeated problem noted in this week’s ABO report. 

That does not stop Flood, in today’s press release, from claiming that he and the “Staff and the Board of Directors of CEDC are committed to incorporating these recommendations into the organization’s policies and procedures.”


  Here is the Original Complaint and Findings



 Speech and Offense                                                            5-10-2015

               Warm enough for you? I haven't had to turn the A.C on in early May in as long as I can remember, but I did THIS year ! Could sure use a day of steady rain,too. Last year, I never had to water the gardens even once all season. We had so much rain, that even the bridge boxes took care of themselves. Still, this is the Northeast, and the weather changes like the dates. 

                 If you've been keeping up with the news lately, you know about the events in Texas surrounding the "Draw Muhammed" contest. You should also know about the D.O.J investigation about to take place in Baltimore. Loretta Lynch, the female version of Eric Holder, announced on Friday that there will be an investigation into the conduct and practices of the Baltimore Police Department, to uncover any "Un-Constitutional" behavior.

                  I was watching Lynch as she made this announcement, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Did she actually question the constitutionality of the BPD while openly violating the Constitution herself?! Yes, yes she did.  The DOJ has absolutely NO power, right, or authority to investigate ANY city, town, county, or state police agency, PERIOD.  They pulled this crap in Ferguson and now they are doing it in Baltimore.  IF, the Governor of Maryland requested a STATE investigation of the BPD, that would be okay, but the FEDS? NOT OKAY. So once again, the federal government over-steps its limited authority and sticks its nose where it does not belong. 

                 One reader of my group page on Facebook, asked me why Obama has not been removed and charged with High Crimes and Misdemeanors,  which he has committed over and over again. He wanted to know how Obama gets away with the things he has done and is doing. I gave him the honest, simple answer. I told him, "Obama is still not in jail because "We the People" have not demanded it. We CAN, and we SHOULD HAVE, after Obama's first year in office, but as I always say, too many of us are objecting from our recliners. 

                  All I hear is, "Why don't THEY do something? Why don't THEY arrest him, and Hillary, Holder, etc."  LOL!  Obvious answer? No one is holding them accountable. If you or I did half of what our corrupt officials have done since 2008, WE would be in prison. No question about it. Look at the hubbub over the stupid deflated footballs we keep hearing about, while no one is talking about Hillary's missing emails, or the millions missing from the State Dept. under HER watch, or her refusal to appear before Congress re: the Benghazi investigation.

                    I also posted a piece last night about Obama seizing helicopters from the National Guard, nationwide, and giving them to American-Based military, while Jade Helm 15 is in full swing. One guy pooh-poohed it, saying that if that were true, it would be all over the news!  I almost spit my coffee out! Are you kidding me? Does anyone still think the Media is going to tell the truth or be transparent? LOLOL!! Fat Chance! Did the Media tell you how many Korans and Muslim Prayer Rugs have been found at the Texas border? Have they mentioned Jade Helm, or the Muslim-Owned bakery that refused to make a cake with an American flag on it? Does the media report how many Christians died at the hands of Muslims this week, or how many cops were injured or killed at the hands of Black Thugs? Of course not, they are too busy telling you that "THUG" is the new "N" Word, and is not politically correct! Keep the Sheeple stupid and uninformed, feed them mis-information and you can rule the world. 

                      Two cops, one Black, one White, were murdered in cold blood in Mississippi today, at the hands of three Black thugs. Yet the outcry about cops targeting Blacks continues. Last week, Sharpton called for "Nationalization of all Law Enforcement".  That is of course,is a huge piece of the Obama agenda, and it also as unconstitutional as it gets. 

                        I am glad that I don't live in Texas right now. As the most Constitutional, Patriotic state in the country, Texas is a target for this administration. It is also ground zero for the scum coming across our border, including Central Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, and ISIS members. Jade Helm is breathing down Texas' neck, and the governor is so concerned, that he sent the State Guard out to keep an eye on the activities. Then there's the shooting in Garland. 

                        A cartoon contest. Draw Muhammed. So? It's a "CARTOON". Ah, but in Islam, it is the ultimate insult, the highest of crimes. So, if they stone, behead, rape and burn their own women, imagine what they would do to Pamela Geller if they caught her alone? This is AMERICA, and we do not abide by the Sharia . WE have a right to freedom of speech and expression, and we will damn well USE it! If the Muslims are offended, they should LEAVE and go back to where they came from. 

                       Liberal journalists are claiming that they respect the importance of free speech, "BUT"......  But WHAT?! It should not apply if someone might be offended by it?  When I was a kid, I was taught the old, "Sticks and Stones" mantra. Words can be hurtful, but they are after all, just words. They won't kill you, unless of course, you offend a MUSLIM.  These libs in the media blame Geller for "BAITING" the Muslims with her contest. So what? Maybe it was incendiary and provocative, but you know what? We can DO that in America, and we SHOULD!

                      The media excused the liberal artist who put a statue of Jesus in a bottle of piss and exhibited it in a NY Museum. They called it, "Freedom of Expression" and "Art". Yet it doesn't work both ways, the Double-Standard again. No one can offend a liberal, homosexual, Atheist, Muslim, or person of color, but when the offended person is a Christian, Jew, Conservative, White, or Patriotic American, the offense is not offense or "Hate Speech", it is "Freedom of Expression". Even if what Pamela Geller did WAS deliberate , "In Your Face" offense, so be it! It's way past time that we sent a clear message to Muslims, that in AMERICA, we do not recognize their twisted cult, their Shariah, their beheading or pedophilia, or their Honor Killings. We do not bow to their demands and complaints, and we never WILL. Don't like America? Go the hell HOME! 

                      Several Muslims have made the statement that Geller needs to be killed, one even said, "Slaughtered". Another said that she should have expected retaliation for her behavior! Maybe in the Middle East, but not HERE! HERE, we don't kill people for offending us or drawing a cartoon. HERE, we will not allow our country to be injected with the evils of Islam. 

                       I find it so interesting that so many liberals support the Muslims. After all, in Islam, homosexuals are hung, feminists are stoned to death, and unbelievers are beheaded. All the freedoms that American liberals treasure. I also find it confusing that Muslims will kill homosexuals, but pedophilia with children of BOTH sexes, is acceptable and encouraged among Muslim men. Sexual contact with goats is also acceptable if the man has no woman, but he cannot sell that goat to anyone in his own town, he must sell it to someone who lives in another town. Are you really HEARING this? Or have you become that desensitized? 

                        Look folks, I don't want to talk about this sick garbage anymore than YOU do, but we need to open our eyes and admit that America has ISSUES! We can not afford to hide our heads in the sand any longer. What are we leaving our kids? Debt, decay, perversion, invasion, lawlessness, Godlessness, statism and filth. WE are IT ; the last of the Americans that remember America. If WE don't do something now to stop this downward trend and rein-in this administration, it will be over. There is no coming generation that can restore this country, because they never KNEW it! Where are the Heroes? Where are the Ronald Reagans and John Waynes ? Where are the John Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jrs.? 

                          I know they're out there, I know we can still take America back, but I also know that time is very short. Every single American that is unhappy and disgusted at the decay we have witnessed in the past 6 years, must DO something besides whine and wait for "THEM" to do something. We are THEM.  It's up to US! Get informed then get involved.


School SAFETY ?!?!                                                        5-13-2015

                  When it comes to our schools, what could be more important than the safety and security of our children?  These things take precedent over education and behavior, but often, they are put last on the list, especially when it comes to the people our schools employ.

                  Last year, the New Lebanon High School finally removed a long-time custodian who had confessed to pedophilia, but only after hard pressure from parents. The school had known this man's history all along and chose to ignore it. 

                  NOW, we have a Coach/Teacher arrested for improper contact with a student, and so far, it is being hushed-up. This information has been confirmed by numerous , trustworthy citizens of this town, yet the school has failed to notify parents of the issue or send letters home asking them to speak to their kids about their contact with this individual. This is another, long-time employee of our high school!

                  I understand how Obama was allowed to become a candidate for president without being properly vetted, and though it was a MAJOR crime followed by Obama's OWN Major Crimes, there was big money and power behind this hoax. However, our little school is not wealthy OR connected to anyone other than liberal unions, yet they fail to thoroughly vet the people who spend one-on-one time with our children every day of the week? 

                    I don't know how long they will attempt to keep this matter quiet to protect their own butts, or manage to keep the media uninvolved, but PARENTS need to ask questions! This man is not the only school employee we need to be concerned about, either. Due to the fact that two others have not been legally charged with any crime, YET, I won't name names or point to their identities, but I WILL tell you what the dangers are and have been for far too long.

                    We have a bus monitor at our school that should not be within 100 miles of young kids. For several years, we had a bus DRIVER that salivates over young males between the ages of 12 and 18. Fortunately, that person was let go for unexplained reasons about 2 years ago, but was employed long enough to have done a lot of "shopping". How do I know that these two people are what they are? I actually got my information directly from their family members, including their own KIDS!

                    It's bad enough that we have a far-left Teacher's Union and state government running our schools, not to mention the FEDERAL government now dictating the curriculum, we also have Common Core. Common Core is not only designed to dumb-down our kids and destroy independent thinking and exceptionalism, it is also promoting immorality and statism, all the things the Left loves so dearly. It's Indoctrination, plain and simple, and you can research the facts yourselves if you are so inclined.

                 MOST  teachers are angry, frightened, and frustrated, trying to do their best despite the extreme regulations and requirements being forced upon them. Many have taken early retirement or simply quit, all across America. Civic Education is dead, as is accurate, honest history instruction.  Discipline is now considered "Abuse". The list goes on and on, but regardless of the horrors I can relate to you, the bottom line is that parents need to start plugging-in and sticking their noses into the goings-on in our schools. 

                    Talk to your children about their teachers, lessons, homework and school activities. Ask if they feel uncomfortable around anyone, or if they are being adequately and accurately taught about the Constitution and their freedoms and liberties. What are they being taught about their government, relationships, goals, and current events? What are they reading? Do they feel SAFE?  If you can't get yourselves to take a stand for your town, your state, or your country, and the majority of Lebanon residents have shown me that they cannot or will not, at the very LEAST, stand up for our kids! GEEZ!!!



Councilmen and Cops                                          5-18-2015

                       I didn't report on last week's Town Board meeting because there was so little to tell. The candidates to fill Bruce Baldwin's seat had been narrowed down to two; Monte Wasch and Irene Hanna. By the Grace of God, Irene was appointed. 

                       Since Greg Hanna told me some years ago that he was a strong supporter of Socialism, I have been a bit wary of the Hanna Family politics. Despite knowing and being friends with them both as well as Irene's mom, Hortense, for many years, it affected my trust in them to some degree. Still, the Hannas are good people and easy to like, and I truly believe that Irene will use her new position fairly and honestly. Bruce would be pleased as well, as he and the Hannas were friends. 

                        Monte Wasch would have been a huge problem if he had been appointed. I have nothing personal against the man, except that he is one of the MOST liberal liberals I have ever met. A privileged, New York City boy, graduate of Julliard where he honed his considerable skill for Classical Piano. However, due to his background, he is not capable of relating to the average, country folk of New Lebanon. He also is a member of the left-wing club that is behind the EDC and Behold New Lebanon, both groups that have zero respect or consideration for the locals. He is a soldier in the New Liberal Army that is devouring this town and turning it into a tourist trap and liberal utopia.  Monte as a Councilman, would have tipped the board dangerously to the far left. 


                         There has been a lot of concern recently over what appears to be the militarization of our police agencies. We have seen MRAPs on our-streets, military-level weaponry, helmeted tactical teams, and even camouflage uniforms. Seems everyone who has noticed this has a theory as to what is behind it. Some see it as preparation for a National Police Force, which we know is one of the goals of this commie administration.  Others believe that it is a necessity in the event of mass civil unrest or natural disaster. 

                         Yet just today, Obama announced his intentions to remove military weapons and vehicles from our police agencies. Hmm, interesting, don't you think?  The truth behind these contrary actions are really very simple to see, IF you have been paying attention to what the media deliberately ignores. 

                          Originally, Obama's intention was to bring our local, county and state police forces together under one  big umbrella, essentially creating an unconstitutional, National Police Force that would fall under his direction. So he sanctioned the "gifting" of military equipment to these agencies. Unfortunately for the Obama administration, the vast majority of American Police Officers still believe in the Constitution and that their Oaths should be honored. These men and women will NOT comply with unconstitutional orders and neither will most of our returning soldiers. 

                           The failure of these honorable Patriots to bend to Obama's will, is why so many young veterans are being labeled as "Mentally Unstable" and are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment Rights.  It is also why we are seeing such an increase of Race-Baiting and rioting. Soldiers and veterans who are officially labeled as "Mentally Unstable", and Police Officers who are labeled as racists, can then easily be disarmed and monitored. This eliminates their ability to challenge a tyrannical government. 

                             Already, that little Slum Slug Al Sharpton, has made the statement that we need a Federal Police Force. LOL!  Like anybody gives a Rat's A_s what HE thinks! He should be behind bars for SO many crimes, it's hard to keep count!   (By the way, did you know that Beyonce and Jay-Z, the Buddies of Obama and Andrew Cuomo,  paid the bail for the Baltimore and Ferguson rioters that were arrested? Yup!)  In short, Obama failed in his attempt to nationalize our police officers and indoctrinate our soldiers and veterans. So what is a poor little Kenyan Muslim to do? Demonize them, weaken them and make them go away. Replace them with a National Police Force you build from scratch. Bring in U.N forces and Russian Event Troops instead. 

                              Arm and ignore agencies like the BLM, EPA, EnCon, DHS, etc., and let them run amok and enforce unconstitutional laws and mandates. Buy millions and millions of rounds of ammunition for the Social Security Administration and the IRS while pushing for Gun Control for the citizenry. Incite civil unrest through race-baiting and then declare Martial Law with your new police force  charged with keeping the peace, monitoring travel, electronic communications, curfews, and anti-Obama activities. Do you even realize how perilously close we are to this scenario right now? Or are you still trying to get your head out of the sand and your butt out of the air? 

                              Just for the heck of it, take a minute or two to think back to your childhood. How many freedoms did we have then that we no longer have today? How much has liberalism and Political Correctness restricted our activities and speech? How much less safe are we as a country today than we were in 1965, or 1970? How many Muslims and illegals have become residents in America and threatened our security, our economy, and our culture? THINK! REASON! Do you even know what our Constitution has to say about the rights of the people versus the limits on the government? Are you aware that America is failing because the people have lost their SPINES and are complacent to the point of ignorance? 

                              In today's world of technology and information super-highways, there is NO excuse to be ignorant of what is happening in our government and how very ILLEGAL it all IS. If you're not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. 


Planning Board and the Piss Ant                               5-20-2015

                    The New Lebanon Planning Board met tonight and the agenda was full.  Most noteworthy were the two requests from the "Behold New Lebanon" groupies.  First was a site review for the planned "Headquarters" for Behold at the old Victorian House on the Meissner property.

                     There was some dissent among the board and the building inspector as to whether or not this would be a "Change of Use" issue, as the old house has been unoccupied for almost 11 years now. The majority believes it is indeed a change of use, as town codes require once a property has been vacant for 12 months or more.  Because the building was originally intended to be a home and actually WAS for many years until the Meissners acquired it, it's use must be looked at carefully despite it being in a commercial zone. (Fred Haley, representing Behold, was abusive and downright nasty to the board members. Of course he WOULD be, the Behold-Pushers are wealthy and are paying him handsomely, I'm sure.)

                      For some time, the building was an Antique Shop, but it is still after all, a HOUSE, not a designated retail space like the Midtown Mall or Lebanon Plaza. Had it been in use as a retail shop continuously, it would not require a Change of Use Permit, but having been empty for so many years, it does. Next month's Planning Board Meeting will feature a Public Hearing on the matter. I have no doubt that Behold will be given the desired use of the space in the end, but I also believe that the proper steps should be taken as it is with all other, similar proposals. 

                      The second request from Behold was to place a vastly over-sized sign on the OTB Building for the summer season. Ruth Abram went on her usual la-la descriptive rant, claiming that the sign is "Mural-Like" and "Beautiful" and would be a nice addition to the Town Center. The Planning Board disagreed, thank God! They stated that the sign is far too large and that no one else has been granted a variance for any sign that large and obtrusive. The board declined the request to recommend the variance to the Zoning Board. YAY!!!  

                      Speaking of OTB, did you know that as a "State Entity", they are exempt from all local codes and regs? THEY can have signs of any size and design they please, and they can take over the parking areas that M&M Tap and Tavern worked so hard to plan. Not to mention that poor China City has already lost their parking places for their customers to M&M, because the mall owner has failed to fulfill the requirement of signs that designate parking spaces for each business. This is not the fault or problem of M&M, it is the responsibility of the property owner. Bad as it is now, wait till OTB opens there! (By the way, Mike Munsinger tells me that in their first 19 days in operation, M&M sold 1,000 pizzas! Pretty awesome.) Now we have TWO options to get great pizza in New Lebanon, M&M and Smittys. They are very different types of pizza, but they are both excellent!

                        I was shocked tonight to learn that most of our local officials have no knowledge of the existence of the  Economic Development Committee and their illegal and unethical activities. All the more reason to be wary of them and call for their disbandment. Yet if no one is aware of them and what they are doing, how can we eliminate them? TALK about it, tell your friends, family and neighbors to get informed about the EDC and ASK QUESTIONS of our complicit Czar, Mike Benson. The people of this town are so blind, so apathetic, so uninformed about their own town government that it is embarrassing. GEEZ!!!!


                           Obama has been busy this week giving commencement speeches at colleges. I'm somewhat surprised that he hasn't managed to turn these travels into another family vacation. Bring the Cultured First Lady and the gangsta-rap loving teenagers, an entourage of Secret Service Agents, chefs, doctors, advisors, and Moochelle's 53 personal aides along. Don't forget the dog-sitter who earns 6 figures a year, the pilots, the chauffeurs, and the extra police officers for each city they visit. Why not? The working-class will foot the bill, again.

                           So what is the Ol' Teflon Muslim telling our young graduates about their futures as citizens of the greatest country on earth? What sage advice is he giving our future leaders? I would HOPE that an American President would tell them to love and serve America, to go forth with grateful hearts and be dedicated to restoring this Republic, our national pride, strength and security. Ah, but this is OBAMA, not Kennedy or Reagan. Obama is not talking to our youth about the restoration and preservation of Constitutionality, Morality,Economic Stability or Traditional families, he is talking to them about "Climate Change" !! 

                          Yup, he actually told them that "Climate Change is the greatest present threat to our National Security".     SERIOUSLY ?!?! LOL!  Not only is "Global Warning" a Hoax of epic proportions, it is certainly no threat to our National Security ! Our climate is cyclical, always HAS been, and never once in America's history have we seen weather that threatened our existence. What we DO see, are wealthy fear-mongers who have a financial stake in the "Green Movement". In other words, greedy liars. 

                           Should we all be more conservative in our use of natural resources, recycle as much as possible and pollute less? Of course we should, it's common sense and responsible stewardship. Yet the Environmental Extremists continue to lie with no proof to back up their lunacy.  In fact, THEY are a huge threat to freedom and our economy. If anything about alleged Climate Change is a threat to National Security, it is the numerous agencies and lunatics that perpetuate the lie and impose thousands of new, unnecessary, and ridiculous regulations and taxes upon us each and every year. And they call ME an extremist?!?! 

                           Apparently, Obama does not consider the open border, Muslim Infiltration, ISIS, a weakened military, countless constitutional violations and scandals, race-baiting, moral decay or the targeting of Patriots and Conservative Christians to be serious threats to our security and liberties. None of these things were mentioned in his propaganda speeches to our young adults. Propaganda with a Capital "P".   Indoctrination, Fear-Mongering, Infiltration into our public education system, excessive laws and mandates, a manipulated media, lack of Constitutional adherence and accountability among officials at all levels, unprecedented debt, and the relentless campaign to disarm the citizenry. Sound familiar? If you know history, it SHOULD. 

                           Every Communist leader in the world used these very same tactics to control and enslave the people. Many followed it up with ethnic cleansing. Paying attention yet? 


A Perilous Pattern ?                                                     5-31-2015

          It's obvious that there is a plot afoot in America to silence Christians and purge Christianity from the face of the earth.  Of course, Islam is defended by the radical Atheists and Lefties who claim to love "Diversity" . Trouble is, they are the very people who refuse to look at the graphic photos of Islam's victims, including babies. They refuse to look upon photos of the millions of babies aborted in this country every year, or to admit that Islam burns and beheads homosexuals, and rapes children as young as 12 months of age. Liberals, all mouth and no brains. 

          The Democrat's president claimed to be a Christian when he was campaigning for the Oval Office, but anyone can claim to be anything. Doesn't make it truthful. Since his first election, Obama has mentioned publicly, MANY times, his "Muslim Faith". This is documented in numerous interviews with noted journalists. So why should we be surprised by his open hatred of Christians and Jews? What IS surprising and even shocking, is the number of American Jews that support Obama! 

           Both Christianity and Judaism are hated in the Middle East, as a direct result of Islam, the Cult of Hate and Murder. Atheists and extreme homosexuals also target Christians because the faith is contrary to their own beliefs or lack thereof, and condemns pieces of their lifestyles. American Clergy have allowed Political Correctness and I.R.S threats to weaken their message and ministries and many denominations have chosen "Tolerance" over "Truth" in order to keep their churches open and solvent. 

            What use to anyone is a church that fails to preach honestly and accurately, the Word of God?  This post is not intended to be a sermon, in fact, it is meant to expose some hard truths about our school system, particularly right here in New Lebanon. However, I feel it is important to shine a light upon the failures of our Christian churches of all denominations. Catholicism is the most disappointing, and the Pope is a wishy-washy, wimpy, confused and un-Biblical, old man. The majority of Catholics support the Liberal Agenda and vote Democrat, and due to the greed of the organization, most of them are kept from the Truth of Salvation on purpose. 

             We have seen an increase in the number of female clergy in recent years, which is 100% un-Biblical. We even have Gay Clergy, as in the Canaan Congregational Church and countless others. These "Pastors" perform same-sex marriages in the House of God, Priests molest young boys, Ministers condemn this country from the pulpit for being a Super-Power, and still others like Joel Osteen,  preach "Feel Good" sermons that avoid the truth about the wages of sin. There are self-proclaimed pastors like Creflo Dollar who are in it for the money and glory, as are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Charlie Muller Jr. None of them give a rat's behind about your soul, sharing the Gospel or teaching the Truth.

               Yet for every Christian or Catholic that fails to be obedient as is possible for a sinful human to be, there ARE many more who believe in following God's Laws no matter how inconvenient or how much ridicule it will bring upon them.  Most Biblical Christians choose to live their lives according to the Ten Commandments and Scripture. Do we falter? You BET we do, and often ! We do our best as admitted, imperfect, humans, but perfect we are not. We screw up just like everybody else. What we do NOT do, is force our tenets upon others, or demand that laws be passed to prosecute those who believe differently or choose to be loyal to those beliefs. Can liberals say the same? Can Muslims? Do Christians think that everyone must be forced by the government to be Christians? Absolutely not! We ask for the same freedom from others.

                Over the past two years, the New Lebanon High School has been purging Christian teachers, Counselors and Coaches from their staff. They would never, EVER admit it, but it's true nonetheless. Two female teachers, one who could no longer take the abuse is now gone, and one that is suffering still, have been persecuted relentlessly for their faith. One Counselor was given a choice to remove a cross from his office shelf or be fired. He refused to deny his faith and was fired. Now we have a coach who happens to also be a Christian, accused of Improper Contact with a Student. Is he guilty or is he a target of the Christian Purge, sanctioned by the Liberal Teacher's Union that also contacts all its employees at election time and "Strongly Suggests" that they vote Democrat? 

                  If these staff members had been proselytizing to students, I might understand the conflict, as I don't believe that anyone should EVER force their beliefs on anyone else. Yet this was not the case for any of these four, good people. They were and are all targets based simply on the fact that they are Christian. This is occurring in every public school in America. If a school as small as our high school has taken out 3 and are working on a 4th, how many have been purged nationwide? Where is the resistance? Where are the lawsuits and media outrage? Where are the Christian PEOPLE?

                   I feel that if a Christian staff member of a public school is not allowed to be open about their beliefs, then neither should a Muslim, Atheist, Gay, or Liberal staff member be allowed to be open about theirs. Our children should not be subjected to field trips to Mosques,where female students are forced to wear head coverings, the Pledge of Allegiance recited in Arabic, or classes that teach the tenets of Islam, yet these things are going on every day in American schools! Some schools are even serving Halal foods in their cafeterias to appease Muslim parents. Where are the American Parents? Why are you silent when you should be raising the roof ? How is it acceptable to you that our children are being indoctrinated by the Left, but not taught truthful American History or state-required, Civic Education? What kind of society will we have when these kids are adults and running this country? 

                   Parents and grandparents, I implore you, get involved in your schools and make it your business to KNOW what is being taught and not taught,and WHO is doing the teaching. Take action to oppose Common Core and the Liberal curriculum, and get the damn Federal Government OUT of our schools! Return the control of education to the states where it belongs and where the law of this land originally placed it! Use your voices, ask questions, and if you can, take your kids OUT! Send a financial message by removing the students from the money factory and escrow your school taxes until Common Core is ended in your school. Demand that teachers of faith not be persecuted for that faith. This is America, not Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany. YET. If you remain apathetic and ignorant, it will come to that, and sooner than you think.


         I am posting a photo below that was taken in New Lebanon in 1933. This is an original copy that I own and treasure, because it shows a time when the people of this town had cajones and courage. The photo was taken at the train tracks behind what is now the Country Squire Hardware Store on County Rt. 9 North. There is an original news clipping attached to the back of the photo that states the following:



               More flurries of violence ended the first week of the milk strike in New York State with the discovery by State Police of a plot to dynamite all the bridges and culverts into Rochester. The above photo shows Troopers on guard as a milk train is loaded at Lebanon,N.Y, August 7th where a band of strikers dumped half a carload of milk on the tracks. 

            Notice the number of local farmers taking a stand to preserve their rights and protect their livelihoods. It's called "UNITY". Look also at the Trooper uniforms and the soldiers in hard helmets standing near the train. This is what it means to be an American, folks, and for ME, it's what it means to be a resident of New Lebanon. Though these folks in the picture are all long dead now, why have we allowed their courage, patriotism, and pride to die along with them? Stand UP!     JJ