Kevin McGrath is Right About a Smear Campaign – His Own Actions Are Smearing Troy’s Reputation

April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am (Drug Deal, Felony, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Times Union, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Thursday’s edition of Inside Politics saw the Times Union getting up to speed on a story first published here last week, in which Troy City Council Democrats censored James Gordon for having the gall to request a review of a morally challenged convicted felon who is actively serving on the council.  Kevin McGrath, the councilman who currently serves more as a distraction and embarrassment than a viable public servant, is the man in question.

In the Times Union piece, McGrath once again brushes off valid concerns of the citizens of Troy by saying any attention being focused on him is merely “a smear campaign”.

McGrath is right.  The smear campaign has not been conducted by the GOP however, it has been waged by McGrath himself on the City of Troy.

Kevin McGrath’s moral bankrputcy has smeared the City of Troy.

When he ran for public office despite being ‘concerned’ about his history of substance abuse and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon‘, he smeared the City of Troy.

The City of Troy and the judge in the voter fraud trial were smeared when McGrath’s testimony involved cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

The public was once again smeared when details of McGrath’s drug selling prowess were proven false – he was one of 17 arrested for an open-air drug network that operated at a profit of ‘a few million dollars’.  It was the arrest that earned him the honor of convicted felon.

The people of the City of Troy, along with the integrity of the entire local election process were smeared when McGrath was presented with a stack of forged absentee ballots that defense attorney Brian Premo alleged were handled by the Councilman himself.  While Premo had only made allegations according to the media reports, court transcripts show an exchange in which he asks McGrath if he realizes he “committed crimes in this case”.  To which McGrath responds, “I have been told, yes.”

Perhaps the ultimate smear on the City was this – when presented with forged ballots that the defense attorney said were handled by McGrath personally, he blamed the voters for any confusion about his handling of their ballots.

Indeed, McGrath has been a participant in a disgusting smear campaign – his actions have smeared the City of Troy, and its residents are left cleaning up the trail of slime left in his wake.

That said, two points regarding the Times Union piece yesterday:

First – The article states that Lynn Kopka ruled Gordon out of order for personal attacks.  The way that it is written would make the reader think that she was accurate in that assessment, which she was not.  If citizens are not allowed to cite facts – provable facts at that – when voicing concerns over a sitting Council member, then that is a major problem.  Now, any item that Kopka disagrees with can be gaveled out of order as an alleged personal attack.

Second – The last sentence reads in a manner that gives the impression that McGrath would have to have been charged in order for the Council to take action.  This too, is false.  The charter specifically cites ‘disorderly conduct and malfeasance’ as means to expel a Council member.  McGrath may yet face charges for ballots forged on the Conservative and Independent lines.  He was shown to have admitted in court that he had committed crimes.  He just recently admitted to felony drug charges.  If these things do not constitute disorderly conduct, then I am at a loss.

As for James Gordon’s right to free speech having been violated, I have contacted the Council and the Mayor’s office several times since the video of the meeting surfaced, and have yet to receive a response. 

Mayor Lou Rosamilia and Council President Lynn Kopka can only hide behind their gavels and closed doors for so long – at some point they have to address the expulsion of Kevin McGrath, or continue dodging questions about an election-rigging, convicted felon in their midst. 

I should think the former would be the easiest route.

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Correction Request: Times Union Reports Trayvon Martin Was Shot For Wearing a Hoodie

March 26, 2012 at 9:00 am (Albany, Florida, George Zimmerman, Hoodie, New York, Shooting, Teenager, Times Union, Trayvon Martin)

Is the Times Union privy to information the rest of the nation isn’t aware of yet?  In a report titled, Hoods Up In Albany, an image includes the following caption (emphasis mine):

Corrie Terry, left, speaks as four-year-old Aviell Chairs of Schenectady holds a sign in honor of Trayvon Martin during the “Hoodies In the Hood March 4 Justice” in Albany N.Y., Saturday March 24, 2012. On February 26, Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Florida after being confronted by George Zimmerman, who saw the unarmed 17-year-old walking through a gated community. Zimmerman followed and then shot and killed Trayvon because he was wearing a hoodie.

Stating that Trayvon was killed “because he was wearing a hoodie” is mere speculation at this point, and not currently supported by facts.  The tragedy is bad enough on its own merit, without the Times Union fanning the flames with shoddy tabloid journalism.

The Mental Recession has sent the following correction request to the Times Union, in the hopes that they will correct this oversight.

Good Evening,
Your article, Hoods Up In Albany, includes a picture which incorrectly states that Trayvon Martin was shot ‘because he was wearing a hoodie’.  It should have included the word ‘alleged’ or ‘believed’ at the very least, as no one really knows what happened as of yet.  

Furthermore, new witnesses are coming forward to cast doubt on the reasons that Martin was shot:

Frank Taaffe, Zimmerman’s neighbor, came forward Saturday to back up the embattled neighborhood watch volunteer. And a new bombshell witness in the case supported Zimmerman’s account of the incident, according to Fox 35, who spoke to the witness.

“The guy on the bottom who had a red sweater on was yelling to me: ‘Help! Help!’ … and I told him to stop and I was calling 911,” the witness said.

Trayvon Martin was in a hoodie, and Zimmerman was wearing red. When police found Zimmerman, he was bloodied around the head.

While it certainly sells newspapers, such a statement of fact when no facts have been established only serves to fan the flames of tension this case involves right now.

I look forward to reading the correction.

Again, to be clear, nobody knows the facts in this case on one side or the other.  The Times Union should recognize this and report such possibilities as just that – possibilities, not fact.

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Surveillance of Muslim Student Associations is Justified

February 27, 2012 at 11:41 am (CAIR, College News, ICNA, Islam, Michael Bloomberg, MSA, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim-Americans, Muslims, New York, NYPD, NYPD Intelligence Division, SUNY Albany, Surveillance, Terrorism, Times Union)

Last week, the Times Union reported on a situation which is making news nationwide – New York Police Department surveillance of Muslim students on college campuses, including the State University of Albany.

The article is dripping with sarcasm aimed directly at the police force, with little or no attempt at delving deeper into the reasoning behind the surveillance.

Leave it to the Times Union to go out of their way to interject opinion into a news article, while equally managing to keep other important facts out of their report on the NYPD monitoring of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at SUNY Albany.

Did it ever occur to the Union that there might possibly be a history with the MSA that would prompt investigators to keep an eye on them?

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism – the most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups – the MSA was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and describes them in the following manner:

MSA has gained legitimacy on American campuses as a benevolent collegiate faith club; however, under this moderate veneer MSA advances a different agenda among impressionable college students.  Through conferences and events, publications, websites and other activities, MSA has disseminated and promoted militant Islamic ideologies on college and university campuses throughout North America.   

Now, that isn’t to say the Times Union didn’t actually see neutral postings on the SUNY Albany MSA website, but it is to say there is another side to the story.  Feel free to go with a balanced approach.

The newspaper has yet to indicate in any of their stories that the normally spineless Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has defended the actions taken by the NYPD.  Via Global Post:

Bloomberg argued it is “legal,” “appropriate” and “constitutional” for police to monitor Muslim communities since they are potential places where terrorists might hide out while they prepare attacks against American citizens, the AP reported.

Of course, the Times Union did the same exact thing last year, when they ran a story about a Muslim summer camp being built in the Adirondacks.  The camp was being considered by a group known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).  When I contacted the newspaper about the lack of information as well as the flat-out false information being printed regarding the ICNA, an editor responded that the story was evolving and would change over time.  It never did.  They never corrected it.

Interestingly enough, the MSA and ICNA do have a connection.  Both have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, both conduct events throughout the nation in conjunction with each other, and both operate under the umbrella of the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of 11 major Islamic organizations.

Think neither of these organizations should be monitored or looked at more closely?  Here is my report last year regarding the ICNA:

One of the largest Muslim organizations in North America is considering plans to build a summer camp on 114 acres of land in the Adirondacks.  Via the Albany Times Union
“The Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in New York City, hopes to raise money to develop a camp for children and families of all religions on land donated to it last year.”
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), based in Queens, New York, is not devoid of controversy in a history that spans over 40 years, yet there is scant mention of these controversies by the media.  The Times Union article states that, “U.S. law enforcement agencies have investigated, but never prosecuted, ICNA for terrorist connections.”  And there is coverage of a fundraiser involving speakers having made anti-American statements in the past, which is quickly justified by saying, “the meeting raised money for homeless women.”
But the ICNA has so much more to offer in the way of newsworthiness, including an event involving radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as a link to the presently relevant Muslim Brotherhood.
  • In the book, American Jihad, author Steven Emerson claims that the ICNA has praised terror attacks in the past, is allied with militant fundamentalist movements, and supports the imposition of sharia law.   
  • The same book mentions a statement by Senator Mitch McConnell in 1996 that the group is allied with the Islamic Association for Palestine in North America, which has ties to the terrorist organization, Hamas.
  • The ICNA has demonstrated deep ties to the fundamentalist Pakistani political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, whose main objective is the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law.
  • Ran a series of Muslim subway ads in 2008, promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials had linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.
  • Have expressed great reverence for such outstanding individuals as the Ayatollah Khomeini and Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, a man famous for calling the holocaust a ‘myth’, and stating that ‘Israel must be wiped off the map.’
Additionally, radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was asked to speak at a convention sponsored jointly by the ICNA and the Muslim American Society (MAS) in July of 2002.  Awlaki has been connected with three of the 9/11 hijackers, and has since praised the murderous rampage by the Fort Hood shooter that took 14 lives, and the failed attempt by the Christmas Day bomber to kill 278 innocent people.  What’s more, Awlaki spoke alongside Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 
It should be noted that the ICNA released a statement denouncing Awlaki’s views – nearly eight years later – but noting that at the time of his appearance, he had not been accused of any extremist ties, and that he had only started making radical lectures after being detained in 2007.
This is, of course, a flat-out falsehood.  In fact, here’s a bit of what was already known regarding Awlaki at the time of his ICNA appearance:
  • In 1996, he encouraged a student at his mosque to fight jihad, prompting an elder to confront him, eventually leading to his departure.
  • In 1998 and 1999, served as Vice President of a charity founded by Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, an associate of Osama bin Laden and a man designated by the U.S. government as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’.
  • The F.B.I. first took notice of Awlaki in 1999 based on his relationship with militants and his role in running a ‘front organization to funnel money to terrorists’.
  • The 9/11 Commission had shown that F.B.I. investigators were divided over Awlaki’s involvement in the terrorist attacks, but had expressed concern over his role as spiritual advisor to two of the hijackers, with one detective saying he believed Awlaki ‘was at the center of the 9/11 story’.
But if you’re looking for a current piece of news regarding the ICNA, then look no further than Egypt.  Considered to be the North American branch of the aforementioned Jamaat-e-Islami, the ICNA also maintains close ties to international groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.   The Muslim Brotherhood has objectives far different than the simple establishment of a camp for various religions.  Their stated motto:
Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
Joe Kaufman, in Front Page Magazine wrote:
“When tens of thousands of Iranian violence-driven malcontents scream “Death to America” in chorus, we Americans have a right to know who here is screaming with them. And once we find out who, law enforcement and intelligence needs to investigate and take appropriate action, so that inappropriate action is not taken upon us.”
Or, in the case of today’s media, we can simply watch them build a summer camp without so much as a cursory look at who’s behind the project.
Nothing to see here…

Let the Times Union know that it isn’t their job as journalists to interject opinion into their reporting.  But it is their job to report all of the facts.

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Times Union Defends Occupy Albany – Just the Actions of a Few

January 11, 2012 at 11:35 am (Arrests, Crime, Occupy Albany, Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party, Times Union)

Occupy Albany getting a bad reputation?  The Times Union to the rescue…

The headline makes the case:

Actions of a few make woes for Occupy Albany faithful

The article then goes on to discuss more than a ‘few’ problems, including hundreds of arrests, multiple assaults, and a protestor creating a wanted poster of a police officer.  That poster was created by one of Occupy Albany’s most vocal leaders, and included private information which lead to the harassment of the officer’s family.

That’s not a few.  That’s a plurality.

The report:

After an Occupy Albany demonstrator posted a “wanted” poster on the group’s Facebook page in December seeking the home address and telephone number of an Albany police officer who pepper-sprayed protesters, other Occupy activists were quick to condemn the posting while emphasizing that it was done independently and not by the consensus of the movement as a whole.

The post was quickly removed, but the damage was done as Occupy Albany was implicated in a public backlash to the post that many people deemed intrusive and inappropriate.

The incident is an example of a problem faced by not only Occupy Albany, but also by other arms of the anti-corporate movement: How to keep the actions of a few from staining the image of many.

It’s funny that the Times Union makes a case that only a ‘few’ bad eggs are ruining the movement’s reputation, while simultaneously reporting on ‘hundreds’ of incidents.

Let’s answer the question though – Why does the Occupy movement in Albany have a bad reputation?

Maybe it’s the threatening of a police officer’s family.

Maybe it’s the reported assaults, or the hundreds of arrests.

Maybe it’s the protestor using his child as a pepper spray shield.

Perhaps it’s the $30,000 in property damage.

And why does the Occupy movement in general suffer from a bad reputation?

Maybe it’s the 5,877 arrests to date.

Or the other elements of greed, sloth, wrath, etc.

Whatever the reason, it most certainly is not just a few isolated incidents.  But the Times Union finds it necessary to make excuses for those actions.  Much like the movement itself.

The Occupy Albany movement amounts to nothing more than making excuses. Excuses that legitimize a platform of laziness and entitlements, excuses to act in a lawless manner, and excuses for snubbing basic principles of civil discourse.

On a side note, last I checked the running tally of arrests at Tea Party rallies still stands at zero.

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Doctor Charged With Murder Previously Had Frozen Fetuses in His Albany Office – Democrats Prevented Investigation

January 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm (Abortion, Albany, Democrats, Dr. Mark Binder, Dr. Steven Chase Brigham, Eliot Spitzer, John Meekins, Life, LifeNews, Murder, Times Union)

Welcome Big Government readers…

Last week, LifeNews reported on a pair of abortion practitioners who were charged with murder across two states:

Operation Rescue has learned that abortionists Steven Chase Brigham and Nicola Irene Riley have been charged with murder related to the deaths of viable babies at an illegal secret abortion clinic that the pair operated in Elkton, Maryland.

Brigham is currently in the custody at the Camden County Jail in New Jersey and Riley was arrested and is currently in the custody of the Salt Lake County Jail in Utah. Both are awaiting extradition to Maryland.

Brigham was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of second-degree murder. Riley was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. The charges are the result of a Grand Jury investigation.

Now we’ve learned that one of those doctors had a long history of late-term abortions, including harboring 17 frozen fetuses in his office.

The Times Union has discovered that:

A New Jersey doctor charged with murder last week for performing several late-term abortions in Maryland had once operated an abortion clinic in Albany County at which state investigators discovered 17 frozen fetuses in 1996.

The discovery was part of a broader investigation by the New York attorney general’s office, which declined to pursue criminal charges related to allegations that late-term abortions, in violation of New York’s fetal homicide law, were being performed at the Colonie clinic then owned by Dr. Steven Chase Brigham.

At the time, investigators said there was evidence that Dr. Mark Binder, who worked for Brigham at the Central Avenue facility, American Women’s Services, had performed abortions on fetuses that exceeded 24 weeks.

The frozen fetuses were discovered in a freezer at Brigham’s Central Avenue clinic, and were later buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

Charges though, other than Medicaid fraud, were never brought.  John Meekins, a former assistant attorney general who worked the case stated he “encountered political pressure against the investigation from the Albany Democratic machine, including a judge who had ties to the Colonie clinic’s landlord.”

There is no level Democrats won’t stoop to in order to promote their pro-abortion agenda, as this seems to indicate.

Details of the case are bone-chilling:

Meekins said, “In fact, I spoke to an undertaker and he said he picked up the body of a child there that looked to him like it was fully developed. I couldn’t get any confirmation of that,” Meekins said. But a health department report refers to a coroner describing one of the fetuses as appearing in size to be about 7 or 8 months.

Perhaps had Albany Democrats not stepped in to hinder Brigham’s prosecution back in 1996, they could have saved other babies from meeting the same fate, preventing further murders.

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Upstate New York School Cuts Ties With Planned Parenthood

January 4, 2012 at 11:23 am (Abstinence, Condom Demonstration, Darren Cosgrove, Maureen Shifler, Oral Sex, Planned Parenthood, Sex Education, Shenendehowa, Times Union)

Responding to complaints from local parents, Shenendehowa School district in upstate New York has severed ties with the local Planned Parenthood, over a controversial health education class.  The classes, taught in 46 schools throughout 12 counties, are offered to middle school and high school aged students, though the focus is on teaching abstinence to middle school students.  The lessons clearly provide a different definition of abstinence than some parents would prefer.

Via the Times Union:

In October, a small group of parents raised objections after they learned some students were allegedly told that abstinence allowed for oral sex and that some high school classes had condom demonstrations.

Furthermore, the parents were not provided an opportunity for their children to opt out of such lessons.  Maureen Shifler, a district parent who led the charge against Planned Parenthood explains:

Shifler said a primary concern among the two dozen parents allied to her cause centered around the way abstinence was presented to children and that some parents were not given proper notification about their right to opt out of the coursework. She said that children were being lulled into a false sense of security and that they could still be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

Darren Cosgrove, a community educator for Planned Parenthood, placed the blame squarely on school officials:

Cosgrove said teachers gave glowing reviews to the program and that criticism of the coursework is often based on a misunderstanding about what goes on in the classroom. He said district officials requested the condom demonstration years ago and that most schools allow parents to opt out of the program if they don’t want their children to participate.

He further explained:

… the program is more advanced for high school students, who learn about disease prevention and birth control methods.

Is encouraging kids to view oral sex as an acceptable form of abstinence counter intuitive to disease prevention?

Check out the article for a closer view of the Planned Parenthood ‘Sex Education Kit’.

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