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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Allentown Blogger: Is Hava Java Dangerous to Your Vena Cava?

"Bethlehem is Nice. Allentown is a Cesspool."

Bryan [REDACTED], who actually lives in West End Allentown and publishes [REDACTED], is the author of the above sentences. A tad harsh? All I can say is that if I had written something like that, I'd be floating down the Lehigh River right about now.

Bryan also spent a year working at the Hava Java coffee shop, located across the street from Allentown's Civic Theatre. Denying any hard feelings, he feels compelled to warn us to stay away.

"The last time I was in a coconut custard pie was sitting out. That had been out of the fridge since 8 a.m. and I walked into the shop around 5:30 p.m. Who knows how many days it's been doing that. Also, I remember very distinctly during the summer we would keep the cheesecake sitting on the counter until it literally melted into a blob. People would order it and I would refuse to serve it. When you lifted the cover the cake smelled rancid."

Hurl on deck! Hurl on deck!

About a year ago, I met Molovinsky at that chic coffee club to look at art and shit like that. I even wore a beret. I know now why that sadistic bastard laughed as I scarfed down a scone.

"Is that a dead fly?"

"No, Bernie. It's just a raisin."

Actually, I had a cookie, and it was pretty good. There are those who claim it is "the only real coffee shop in Allentown." In September, the business owner escorted two Morning Call reporters through the shop, including its basement, concerned about the building's structural integrity.

Maybe he can shore it up with a few biscottis.
Update: I have been asked to delete the above post, not because any of it is untrue, but it is controversial and may hamper a whistleblower's attempt to secure a job. As a general rule, I refuse to delete or alter blogs once they publish, except for typos or grammatical errors. The reason for this, as stated in rebecca's pocket, is that changing or deleting an entry destroys the integrity of the network. I stand behind what I write. Bryan is a relatively new blogger who understandably got spooked by all the attention his entry received. So I've redacted the reference to his surname as well as the link to his blog, which he himself has deleted. But the information he posted, and that I subsquently reported, is accurate and will remain.

73 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, although you may have issues with the cheese cake, let me clarify that the art was gourmet; by greg weaver.

the shelf life of baked goods aside, hava java remains a cultural icon in allentown

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I've been there a few times. It's really hard to screw up a cup of coffee.

gsbrace said...

Hava Java has pretty good coffee. Since heathily eating is a priority of mine I wouldn't touch the baked goods if I watched them come out of the oven. Can't beat the atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

This guy was fired by Have Java. You should include that in your piece.

You should also note that Hava Java was voted the award for the Readers Choice Best Coffee Shop in the Valley last year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Geoff, Do you wear a beret when you go there, too?

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

It' the lone Independent Coffee shop in Allentown? Easton has like half a dozen and the city is 4 square miles with 26,000 residents accoding to the 2000 Census.

A-Town is way bigger. There is a Independent Coffee stand at the fairgrounds.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Anon 8:16 they only wond the "Best in the valley" award because they are so few Indy joints in Allentown apparently

Easton has places that could blow i away. They just don't have the sheer number of West Allentown hoitie toities.

I love the Cosmic Cup in college hill. Regardless if the owner and I totally disagree on politics. He does have a great place.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:16,

People can read the review and form their own opinions. The blogger states he worked there a year but does not state he was fired. He also claims he harbors no ill will towards the proprietor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I love the ambiance of the Dunkin' Donuts in Nazareth.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

I never knew DD had a store in Nazareth.

The one thing I like about that dump of a City Wilkes-Barre, PA is Curry Donuts.

It looks like a made for TV sitcom imitation of Dunkin Donuts. Only their Donuts are really good.

Their coffee like DD however sucks and lacks taste other than watery.

But if anyone here finds them self in the sink hole capitial of North America, stop in. They fill their creme and jelly donuts, not like DD who puts a drop in theirs.

gsbrace said...

Nope. I wear a 10 gallon hat and ride over on my horse. I turn him lose to wonder the fairgrounds while I sip on some joe.

Glenn said...

"coconut custard": Where I worked they banned them. People used to bring them in. One supervisor dead. Another in hospital for a week near death's door. A number of other's sick. While it was not the fault of Lieby's, the fella who brought it in left it sit in car too long. So without critiquing Hava Java and wishing this guy the very best of everything. I would caution people when they order in any restaurant that purchases from an outside bakery.

That said- Bethlehem was blessed with far more outside funding then Allentown ever was for a variety of reasons. Secondly they and Easton had far more positive community involvement. Easton has the State theatre. We had the Rialto. Just as grand and glorious and we left it slip away along with the Colonial. We had Hess's, etc. In short we blew it with the Historical structures that could have worked for us.

So perhaps Allentown needs to back off the negativity with 19th street. The one little block we do have. Constructive criticism a good thing, but I'm sensing more negativism in this town then those and fewer creative investors. And yes there are many reasons for that!

A.J.C. said...

Dunkin Donuts is everywhere now. And what's up with them serving pizza?

As for what Bernie said, "It's really hard to screw up a cup of coffee," Dunkin Donuts can prove that wrong. They used to have some of the best coffee, but now it's terrible. At first, I thought my taste buds were changing, but then I met others who share the same opinion.

Not only that, their prices are getting out of control. I'll take a cup of joe from McDonalds or WaWa any day over Dunkin Donuts.

Bryan said...

anon 8:16 who are you? I was not fired from Hava Java. I left in July of 08 because I fell ill (not from the baked goods) and couldn't work there anymore. Seriously, where are you getting this info from? I'm not some weird disgruntled employee making things up.

Anonymous said...

"floating in the lehigh river"....bernie, that's where we found you in the first place!

Andrew Kleiner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This kids blog is rather juvenile. I guess its good that he is involving himself, perhaps his energy will morph into something positive. Right now this doesn't say much.

If you really don't like things you should be part of the solution or at least just move to improve your own situation.

South Side Sam said...

It looks like the Kleiners have it out for the coffee shop.

Andrew Kleiner said...

I don't have it out for the coffeeshop at all but I am concerned as it is not going to last much longer in the state that it is. I hope the place thrives, it needs help.

The Galloping Gourmet said...

"Maybe he can shore it up with a few biscottis."

My java just came through my nose. Best laugh in a while.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" 'floating in the lehigh river'....bernie, that's where we found you in the first place!"

Well, thanks for rescuing me. I'll give you a nice big kiss.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This kids blog is rather juvenile."

Maybe that's because he is a kid. Not everyone can be sophistacated like me.

I find his blog a welcome relief from the tiresome propaganda being hurled at us by the puff and poof blogs.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

I wonder if they have food that lays under the counter for days like the Quadtrant in Downtown Easton.

That place serves food, and clearly is not clean.

And take it from me, I worked at the Starbucks in Lower Nazareth Township by Wal-Mart.

You'd be blown away by the gross stuff that ends up under the poorly designed counters.

I even found a hoagie that was three months old rotting away when I cleaned up one slow day.

Let alone how many times I watched Co-workers change garbage bags and then get a drink for a customer and never wash.

This guy is right to say something.

A.J.C. said...

It's easy to speak out when you no longer have to worry about being fired, especially in this economy.

Grumpy Old Man said...

What a great way to say to your next potential employer "DON'T HIRE ME".

Start a blog bashing your previous employer? One Google search of this guys name and their will be no need for a second interview. Kids these days. They just don't think.

Bernie, you are hurting this kid by giving him a forum.

Anonymous said...

I always get the chocolate cake.


Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

My spider senses tell me Scott is right - cake doesn't spoil too quickly and can be left on the counter.

Love the pic Bernie - it's you!

The Banker

Green cheese and blue ham said...

Bernie O'hare, the Amazing Spider Blogger!

One of these days, somebody is going to get sued over something written here on Lehigh Valley slash and burn.
Want to make a point?

Waddle you fat biscotto chewin asses downtown and ask what complaints and actions have ever been made against the place. post that. Then we can talk.

Bryan said...

Well, here is a link to the health inspectors report of Hava Java http://pa.state.gegov.com/pennsylvania/

Also, the health inspector came in after receiving a complaint that cheesecake was left out. The problem was resolved for a week. Afterward the cheesecake went back on the counter.

The Fire Marshall has come in repeated times to address violations. The owners continue to blame the landlord but no violation (to my knowledge) has been reported.

Also, other offenses such as construction during work hours and construction without a permit exist.

What amazes me is how few recorded violations the place has when it obviously has many violation.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Shouldn't employers just look at the merits of the job they apply for? Not spying on them online like a little NAZI.

I'm not sure but anyone who is looking online for dirt on people before they decide to hire them, well they are low lives!

Thats what blackmail artists do, not legitimate employers!

KathyD said...

After moving here from Berkeley, CA, I was hunting for good coffee and a good coffee shop to haunt. I thought Hava Java might be the place. I tried it out a couple years ago, while my daughter went to acting classes in the Civic. The coffee was absolutely awful. I mean, really really bad. If it's only gotten worse, then the place should be shuttered.

Interesting article on a place that I am sure is near and dear to many people's heart. I wish it luck. I also wish the young blogger luck, as it appears he will be unemployed permanently as a result of documented, outspoken slams against his former employer. Valid or not, his complaints will not register well with any future employers. I urge him to re-think future posts that could harm his future. Believe it or not, all 20-somthings turn into 30 somethings evenutally. He'll want more stability in his life the, and the internet has a long memory.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Green Cheese and Blue Ham, aka Villa,

I have to thank Bryan for a link to a food inspector report showing five violations in one visit, two of which are deemed critical.

1) hand washing sink was being used to store the brush used to wash the dishes. The hand washing sink may be used for no other purpose than hand washing."

Yummy!

2) "Raw shell eggs were stored over the pickles in the drink refrigeration unit. Store all raw animal derived products below ready to eat foods."

Hurl on deck! Hurl on deck!

3)"Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets or hats. Hair restraints are required."

Don't know about you, but I love long strands of hair in my cheesecake.

4) "The food thermometer and the spoon used for frothing milk were stored in a container of water. Store these items in a clean and sanitary location and wash as nessesary."

Hey, it all ends up in the same stomach!

5) "There is no covered trashcan in the women's restroom. Provide a covered trashcan in this location"

That's OK. Nobody who goes to Hava Java probably ever has to use the can anyway.

Looks like there are recorded violations and we even have two ex-workers willing to identify themselves to describe conditions that are quite unsanitary.

But you go ahead and keep polishing those turds. I'm sure there's a grant in it for you.

Grumpy Old Man, aka Villa,

I did not give this young man a forum, Google did that. He has as much right to blog as you or me.

I know, I know, I realize this makes it harder for you to keep pumping out the propaganda, but I'm sure there's a grant in it if you keep it up. Who knows? Maybe you can even sell coffee and cheesecake at your Chen Arts home at 8th & Hamilton.

Charge!

Bernie O'Hare said...

KathyD,

I regard what this young blogger did a public service. Telling the truth does not make you popular, but your concerns about the possible ramifications are a bit overstated, in my view. Because this blogger uses mostly only his first name, I think it highly unlikely that any prospective employer would stumble upon this.

If they did, they would learn they have a prospective worker who thinks being honest is pretty important.

Since when have we grown so afraid?

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

So what KathyD says is possible employers troll the web and take the side of bad employers.

So where does this leave workers? Any boos can shit on you and well sad day for you to speak up. Get in line and let the bosses treat you like animal waste!

Anyone who speaks up is a treasonist! And capitalism has no place for people who have rights!

If this is where employers in this country come to, I think maybe they need to pack up and do business in a place like IRAN!

I hear slavery is ok there too.

Anonymous said...

Bernie and Spike,

I disagree. A person's actions in "real life" impact whether they get hired - why wouldn't their actions online also be part of the decision?

Here's a website dedicated to helping people using Facebook without getting fired:

http://internetducttape.com/2007/03/08/how-to-use-facebook-without-losing-your-job-over-it/

Also, google "using social networking sites for employment" and see what pops up.

As an employer, I want to know everything I legally and morally can about a potential employee. Researching them online passes the legal/moral test.

Having said all of this, I would not hold what Bryan said against him, because I take it in the context of his entire blog which I think is pretty good. But others might. I think it's great that people have stepped up and pointed out the risk to him.

The Banker

Bryan said...

Jesus, this little post got farther than I intended it to. I posted another bit on the place but deleted it because it crossed the line in my opinion. Nonetheless, what I said has been documented by the city. I wouldn't write anything negative on the place if it was a well run establishment. As to my future job prospects, screw it, if you can't be honest what can you be?

Bryan said...

I must add. That third violation about the long hair was all me. The bosses never told me to wear a hairnet and the food inspector came in while I was working. I just stood there like, "Uh, yea so how's the weather?" I didn't even know about the violation until I looked it up. After the health inspector came they never told me to put my hair back or wear a hat. Weird how they could just ignore that.

KathyD said...

Bernie -
I'm not sure you're in the best position to judge whether or not Bryan's comments are harmful to his future. IMHO, you yourself have shown some seriously bad judgement in the blogosphere. But that's a whole other ball of wax, and I truly didn't start this to offend you.

Look, employers regularly google candidate's names. All I'm sayin' is that Bryan's comments about a former employer are NOT going to go over well in the recruitment process. The internet is public. I mean, duh!!! ;)

Now that "Ramblings" has made a point of Bryan's recent blogging, I think the young man is at legal risk, as well. You can't just say (potentially) slanderous things without consequences. Even if it's the truth - is it worth his future employment opportunities? Only Bryan can answer that.

Anyways, thanks for the good discussion forum.

Bryan said...

So, you're telling me that if I were to review a restaurant and reviewed it poorly because they gave me rotten food they could sue me? I didn't know we lived in a dictatorship.

KathyD said...

Well, if your restaurant review contained what a judge or jury deemed to be lies, then...yes, your review could be called slanderous. But, if it's just an opinion about a place, then no - it's not slanderous to say "I didn't like the calamari."

A restaurant review is different, in that it does not offer a supposed "insider" perspective. You're taking the role of whistle blower with your piece, which does have some nobility. Anyways, I'm not lawyer, but I can see how one could argue that your post was slander. And, I could totally picture a judge/jury going along with it. The law isn't necessarily centered on what is right (or noble) - it's all about what you can prove. Can you prove the cockroaches? Can you prove the rotten food and rotten coffee and all the other things? If not...then you shouldn't post it. At least, that would be my advice.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

I removed my last post to replace it with this. After consideration of what I've written and realizing the personal implications it may have upon me I'm going to remove it. Yes, I'm folding. I'm sure that any intelligent individual can make the same observations I did. When it comes to my personal life I'd rather not risk it over a few words.

Bernie- Could you please remove this post as I no longer want to be attached to it. Thank you

KathyD said...

Hey Bryan -
I'm not trying to bust on you - your blog persona seems very honest and kind. You obviously care about your neighborhood, and I have no reason to doubt your posts. You know, I'm just a mom who worries too much. Sounds like the guys who run the coffee joint in question don't have ANY resources, let alone legal resources, so I'm sure there's nothing there to worry about. But your future (and current) employers certainly have every right to google your name. You just have to be sure that what you say online is something you're comfortable with in all walks of life, including professional.

I wish you lots of luck, and keep up the great writing! Bernie's blog here has a lot of readers, even those of us who do not view O'Hare favorably. You did get a lot of exposure thru Bernie's post, so use it to your advantage. Good luck and please post again if you find a good coffee haunt. For now, I'll be trekking out to Wired cafe in Bethlehem for those few and far between free moments.

Kathy D said...

Oh, I just read Bryan's last post! Bernie - it would do a lot for this kid if you removed his last name from your original post on the subject. Honestly, you don't need to wreck a good kid's internet image.

Bryan, good luck to you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'm not lawyer, but I can see how one could argue that your post was slander. And, I could totally picture a judge/jury going along with it."

KathyD,

Gee, it's interesting how anyone can conclude this is slander when slander is oral. It's called libel when it is written. Before you presume to scare the hell out of this young man, you should be more informed.

Nothing in Bryan's post was remotely close to anything that could be construed as defamatory. It was, as I noted at the onset, a public service.

He reported conditions as he saw them. He is corroborated by his brother, who also was employed at Hava Java. Finally, he is backed up by a health inspection revealing five violations, two of which are critical. The prospect of a libel suit is ridiculous, and is most often used by people who just don't like what they are reading.

As near as I can tell, your real concern is that some prospective emplyer might use Bryan's honest observations as an excuse not to hire him. Although there is always a price to free speech, I think that's highly unlikely, too. The real lesson you are giving a younger person is that he should keep his head down, his mouth shut and be a good little sheeple. It's a sad commentary when someone actively attempts to prevent someone from speaking freely.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie- Could you please remove this post as I no longer want to be attached to it. Thank you"

Bryan, once I have published a post, it stays published. Deleting posts just because they are controversial or may offend someone, will destroy the blogger's credibility and will eventually destroy the integrity of the network.

When I write something, I will stand behind it. If I am provedn wrong about something factually, I will update with a conspicuous notation of the mistake and where it was made.

Rebecca's Pocket has a very good guide on this point, and I have followed it since I began blogging.

As I understand things, your concern is that some prospective employer might read what you've written and decide not to hire you. I'll redact my post to remove your surname and anything that connects you to what you've written.

I am very comfortable with this post and will stand by what I've written.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled by the fact that people on this blog have scared this fellow by telling him that honesty, freedom of speech and the press, and just plain old expressing your opinion, will come back and haunt you. I, MYSELF, know better than ANYONE that writings and opinions can cause some ill will but, PLEASE, don't let that deter you from getting the TRUTH to the public. If it's your opinion and you have experienced it, IT IS VALID! I started Lehigh Valley Flavor, www.lehighvalleyflavor.piczo.com one year ago and spoke out against the Mayor, the City, non-profit orgs, etc and I still was hired by the top employers in the Valley (and they DO background checks)
Wells Fargo, T-Mobile, Samuel Adams, and others... The bottom line is, do you REALLY want to work for ANY company or person that doesn't hire you because you use your freedom of expression on your OWN time ?
GOOGLE: Alfonso Todd , and you will see I use my freedom ALOT and NEVER had a problem with my work or career life. In fact, most employers SHOULD see you as being forthright, not ignoring situations and DOING what is sound, and implementing the correction of a situation.
Hey, the REAL world is TOUGH anyway, and to most companies you are a commodity; your only TRUE decision is how do you want to LIVE your life ? By hoping for the best and trying to be safe (which, as you may have noticed, doesn't EXIST anymore; ask ENRON, MACY'S, Circuit City, and most recently, PPL employees) or by doing what you believe in and MAKING things happen ? Remember, the BIGGER the RISK, the BIGGER the REWARD !

CARPE DIEM,

Alfonso Todd

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bryan's report was a public service, but he was clearly spooked by all the "advice" he received concerning "slander" and future employment prospects.

Bryan said...

After thinking about this for awhile I am really disheartened. It's strange because everything I wrote was true. Yet, I can receive negative consequences for it. That doesn't make any damn sense to me. I know I'm young and new to this but this sucks.

Bernie- The way you edited the post was fine with me. I can assure you that this is not over. I have a very good idea as to what I'm going to do about this. Hopefully it will be up in a few days.

KathyD said...

Bernie - It was very good of you to make the changes you made on your blog - I know that is out of the ordinary for you, but it was a very nice gesture. I realize you weren't trying to do ME any favors, but thank you.

The MLK quote (in Bernie's post)had me laughing. Speaking out about racial inequality and injustice does not equal speaking out about spoiled food and cockroaches. You have to pick your battles in life. I wouldn't want to take a chance on my future over some coffee shop on 19th!!!

I understand Mr. Todd's comments, as well, but again - we're talking about a coffee shop here. Seriously...when did exposing spoiled cheesecake become a mission you can't refuse?

Good luck to Bryan in his future endeavors. I wish him luck. Allentown definitely benefits from having concerned citizens like him caring about their city.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The MLK quote (in Bernie's post)had me laughing."

That's no surprise to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"when did exposing spoiled cheesecake become a mission you can't refuse?"

A restaurant that serves poison on a plate should be exposed. What Bryan did was a public service. What you did was spook him.

Squirrel said...

Fairly decent ambience.

Nice location but coffee really was terrible, to me.

At times the snacks were good although highly priced.

Bryan has a right to speak his mind. More cajones than most people in the blog world.

Good post.

gsbrace said...

Bryan, hold your head high. honesty is the best quality of any applicant. If I can't trust your ethics, i can't trust you with my business.

for what it's worth, I have a feeling a few people on this post would gladly vouch for you.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, they're used to be some really cute art chicks that worked and hung out there. Are those days long gone?

KathyD said...

I was just out last night with some folks, and I discussed the case of "Bryan and the Hava Java Post" with my friends. Among us, there were 2 guys that own their own businesses and regularly make hiring/firing decisions, and 3 corporate joes who also make hiring and firing decisions at a big pharma company.

Here's what I learned...
1. 4 out of the 5 managers would be VERY worried about hiring someone who posts publicly and negatively about their previous employer. (Remember that old interviewing rule to never say anything bad about your former employer.) The corporate guys, in particular, indicated that the posts would immediately rule Bryan out for a job. (The 5th manager would be somewhat worried, depending on the posts, but he did say he'd have no problem right now finding a candidate with NO issues like this, so Bryan would be at a competitive disadvantage.)

2. Employers do monitor internet presence when evaluating potential employees. It is a mandatory part of the recruitment process at the pharma company to rule out candidates with problematic web posts or sites.

3. All managers would seek legal action against a blogger who wrote false and disparaging things about their business. (Remember, the "truth" doesn't matter - it's what a judge or jury believes. Hmmm...do you think they'd believe a disgruntled employee or business owners?)

4. Everybody recommended that Bryan change his blog so his last name is removed. The picture and first name can stay, so it's not entirely anonymous, but leaving out his last name eliminates his blog from being picked up by future employers.

I would urge any blogger to consider the ramifications of their actions. I would also encourage Bryan, in particular, to be wary of listening to fellow bloggers when making important decisions about the value of anonymity. As a former pharmaceutical exec (turned fulltime mom now), I can tell you with 100% certainty that the "real world" has no patience with the manifestos adhered to by hardcore bloggers.

I admire all bloggers, including Mr. O'Hare, and I recognize their importance to society. But, rule #1 is to take care of yourself first. Of course, anyone is certainly free to express themselves as they see fit. In a public forum with an infinitely long memory, though, bloggers need to beware that their words really can (and do) come back to haunt them. Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's the truth.

Kathy D said...

Bernie - one more thing - thanks for the slander versus libel post - you're right about my sloppy mix-up of the two. Either way, telling the "truth" is not some magical, protected enterprise. The truth is always open to interpretation, as you well know. And, I'm still laughing about your comparing Bryan's expose of HJ to MKL's exposure of racial injustice. If you want to cut and paste my comments so it looks like I'm slamming MLK, be my guest, but it only goes to show your bias and the depths to which you'll stoop to tryand prove a point.

Mr. Todd - I admire your passion and dedication. However, I have to wonder why you've had so very many employers in the valley. You seem awfully young to have skipped around so much. Your long list of former employers is actually a detriment to your resume, as it appears you may have a problem sticking around for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

kathy d, i find you to be an obnoxious know it all. it takes a lot to give advice against telling the truth and then to tell somebody you don't even know (and i do) what is wrong with his work history. i hope you dont treat your friends this way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

KathyD,

1) Thank you for acknowledging your own flawed understanding of the law concerning defamation. There is nothing remotely defamatory about Bryan's post, but you managed to scare the hell out of him. Good for you.

2) You object to my use of the MLK quote. Too bad. Whether the evil is racism, anti-Semiticism, unsafe working conditions or a restaurant that has no regard for the safety of its customers, we need to resist the urge to play it safe. When we become silent about any of these things, that's the minute our lives begin to end.

3) Like libel law, I suspect your knowledge of the business world is flawed, too. No business is going to bring a lawsuit that it will likely lose and that will just cast more unfavorable publicity on itself. I am regularly threatened with libel and have never taken back one word. I have never been sued after nearly three years of some very controversial posts.

4) Your comment to Alfonso Todd is an anonymous personal attack having nothing to do with the subject of this post. If you took the time to review his curriculum vitae, you presumably also had time to find his email address. You could write your personal concerns to him back channel instead of posting your condescending remarks here.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Employers googling a candidate for the jobs name is awful. That means a employer can not hire you becasue publicly you backed Obama and he had a hard on for Palin.

I just hope employers who do that and look me up get it straight, this is AMERICA, if you want to be a vengefull dingbat, pack your bags for IRAN and north Korea.

People use to write letters to editors and such back in the day, did employers troll newspapers at the Library incase someones name came up a few years ago as a "whistleblower" at a job becasue he called for safer standards.

Ralph Nader fought for years to protect workers rights to be a whislteblower, and to have the right to free speech.

If some little weasel is reading this by me trolling looking for dirt like a blackmail artist.

He should rot in hell where he and his type belong!

And BTW this is all a MOOT point, with the economy in the water throne, there is no jobs for a employer to troll looking for new employees anyways.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Bernie,

Mike Fleck claims he will sue you what, once a week?

KathyD said...

Mr. Rogan - Employers doing background checks is "awful?" Hmmm...how do you feel about drug tests and medical history checks and intelligence tests, etc. - all regularly done by employers? Employers use tools at their disposal. That IS the real world. You can say whatever you want online- nobody's infringing upon your freedoms here. But be prepared to be judged, even by loony employers stimulated by Palin's image. (God help us all.)

Mr. O'Hare and anonymous - My only point regarding Mr. Todd's employment history was that he may not be the best source for career advice. Claiming so many past employers is actually a potential problem for him, but an obstacle I am sure he can overcome, given his obvious talents. I don't know Mr. Todd any better than you guys know me - why is it OK for you to make presumptions about me, yet I cannot raise a simple objection to Mr. Todd's qualifications as a career coach?

Anon - Me, a know it all? I just type fast, that's all. How do you know it all about me? It's just very amusing to me that you've cast such a final judgement on me, when you're accusing me of doing the same to Mr. Todd! But, no matter...you're entitled to your opinion. (But is it the truth? ;0)

Regarding legal action - you just never know who has a brother who's a lawyer or which employer might be moved to take legal action. It is ALWAYS a potential consequence. I know Mr. O'Hare himself has threatened legal action against others who have made offensive posts online.

Finally, I cannot tell from the tone of Mr. Hare's (very timely) responses if he wants comments like mine to appear on his blog, or if he'd rather just accept postings from those of like minds. At any rate, I again repeat my admiration of all bloggers, whether or not I agree with them. Peace to everyone - enjoy this beautiful Saturday. I'm off to help my daughter drum up some Girl Scout cookie sales!

Anonymous said...

"Anon - Me, a know it all? I just type fast, that's all. How do you know it all about me?"

Exactly my point: how does it feel?

I'll take mr. todd's advise any day. The man is a champion of community involvement and personal responsibility.

bernie might be obnoxious, but he encourages discussion on the topic at hand. what he quashes is people making things personal and picking on people.

good luck selling gs cookies.

Bryan said...

On my blog just know I published what I think is the proper response to my action. Yes, I deleted my word and went back on it. For that, I feel ashamed. However, I sat down with the owner of Hava Java and discussed these issues with him. So, I might have taken back what I wrote but at the same time I took it to the source. Hopefully that makes my act somewhat more digestible.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Finally, I cannot tell from the tone of Mr. Hare's (very timely) responses if he wants comments like mine to appear on his blog, or if he'd rather just accept postings from those of like minds."

What a big, fat bullshit burger! I LOVE a big disagreement. I believe in the Socratic method of argument and have always enjoyed people who tell me I'm wrong. Let's review some of your claims.

First, you claim I've "shown some seriously bad judgement in the blogosphere." Even if true, what the hell does that have to do with anything? I let that slide. Not relevant, except to show your own bias.

Second, you proceed to give a young blogger BAD legal advice in which you display a basic misunderstanding of defamation. I may have lost my license to practice law, but not for being stupid. I undertand and have continued to follow up on the law. No offense, but you really don't. After conceding that point, you continue to make shitty arguments about what suits might or might not be possible. Give it up.

Third, you note I myself have threatened some people with action to buttress your claim that Bryan might be facing litigation. Let me be clear about that. I make no idle threats just to try and silence someone who disagrees with me. I have advised appropriate authorities when someone engages in criminal behavior that gives me reason to be concerned, and authorities have taken action.

Fourth, in another comment, we learn you don't view me favorably. Who cares? You had already made that point once. But I let you bray away. That just establishes some personal animus.

Fifth, you laugh off a very apt MLK analogy and claim it somehow shows my bias. Perhaps. Perhaps not. MLK's remark was by no means limited to just racial situations. It could apply to Germans who failed to speak out against the Holocaust. It could apply to people in this country who don't vote and then get stuck with bad elected officials. And it certainly applies to this young blogger.

Sixth, your comments to Alfonso Todd really were condescending. He asked you for no employment advice. Job marketability seems to be your obsession. You're very quick to point at the number of jobs Alfonso has had, but not so quick to notice that it might have something to do with the color of his skin. I guess that possibility never crossed your mind. Perhaps that's an area, like I pointed out already, that you could have discussed back channel.

After all this, you incredibly go on to claim that perhaps I just want people to comment here if they agree with me and apparently also take offense at the speed with which I responded to your comment as though that somehow means something.

Well, if I only wanted people here who agreed with me, your 9 comments would not be up very long. I would enable comment moderation, too. But I encourage disagreement and expect to be challenged. I already know wehat I think. I expect you to defend your opinions, too. In this case, the only argument you defended well was your suggestion that Bryan's remarks, even though true, could hurt him with a prospective employer. It's a sad indictment, but I'll give you that.

So far as I know, I have not discouraged you from commenting here, but have forced you to defend your views, as you have done with me. I think you might be right about prospective employers, but you do not understand libel law and were condescending to a tireless local activist. Perhaps a pharmaceutical exec can get away with being smug in corporate America, but here you're just another asshole like the rest of us.

The only point where I lose patience with people like you and start deleting is when you attack people. You came close w/ Alfonso, but close is not enough.

Your comments here are welcome, especially when you disagree. But be prepared.

Anonymous said...

It's true that I have "run through" many of the top employers and I have no shame about it. They were not satisfying MY needs and overall satisfaction, so I FIRED them. (smile) And THAT is a true statement. (This is a "right to work state", but it's funny how we always give the EMPLOYER the power to get rid of us at THEIR will or discretion, no questions asked. I took that pwer away from employers a LONG time ago.)
I stopped being pro-corporate or a "company man" years ago after I graduated from college and worked for a billion dollar company in Miami, FL. We had expense accounts, power lunches, etc, etc. They told us all was well even though the press said something different. We had parties and award banquests until one Friday I left and came back on Monday and found not one or two people but a WHOLE department gone. This was my first lesson in what TRUE business was all about and how we, as people, can be dedicated to employers but how many businesses are not dedicated to us. So, I stayed ahead of the game, learned and handled jobs like football teams do trades. (I actually gave myself raises by going to better companies) Now this all may seem detrimental and unorthodox to many and it may not be for everyone, but if you believe in yourself, do your research, and have faith in your abilities, NOTHING can stop you.

Alfonso Todd

KathyD said...

Well, looking over all the comments on this post, I think it's safe to say the group of posters has covered all the possible angles of this story. I don't want to drag this out even further, but Bryan, O'Hare and Todd did post responses that I didn't want to just ignore. This will be my last post on the subject, provided no one specifically asks me for clarification on my points.

Bryan's latest blog entry (the interview w/ HJ owner) really amazed me. What a stand-up guy Bryan must be - I really was impressed. In terms of future employment, Bryan won't have any trouble at all.

Mr. Todd, also, very aptly handles questions about his resume. I don't disagree w/ any of his points about corporate America. Allentown is much better off w/ community activists like Todd, and I appreciate his POV.

Mr O'Hare has misunderstood my intentions with the "timely comment" quote - I was trying to express my thanks for being so quick to reply to my posts. No sarcam intended, honestly.

In terms of "judgement" used on the blogosphere, that is the whole point. You have to spend time thinking about what you want attributed to your own (real) name before you post it online. Some bad judgement in this area can affect someone's entire life.

Otherwise, I think we just disagree on the potential legal ramifications. I'm sure your risk assessment is valid, I'm just sayin' it's POSSIBLE to be sued for making public comments about a business (or person, or whatever). Freedom of speech does not protect defamation, and it's a fine line sometimes. It does bear consideration when posting public comments that are easily tied to an individual.

My daughter is so close to the "100 boxes of cookies sold" mark, so we are off to sell some more Thin Mints and Caramel Delights! Everybody, good luck finding a good cup of coffee (which goes great with GS cookies, btw.) Keep up the good blog work, Bernie, and I'll see you elsewhere in cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

"KathyD" is Bernie O'Hare.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is just more Villa crap. He and his wife pathetically impersonate other people and comment anonymously on their blogs under various assumed names. Then they accuse others with ethics of doing it, too. I do NOT comment anonymously. I do not use sock puppets. I am certainly not KathyD. I have no time for his kind of games and have more respect for my readers than to lie to them, as he and his wife routinely do.

Anonymous said...

I do NOT comment anonymously.
-Bernie O'Hare

You do it all the time. Most of the time, in fact. If the Villas do it too, they do it to mock you and all your characters.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

The last comment, posted at 8:28 and purporting to be "The Banker," is none other than TrollVilla. He has posted anonymously and used sock puppets for as long as I can remember. He has bragged about this in emails to me. I have saved them, too, which really pisses him off. He has also admitted his deception in conversations with me and others. Comments from Villa and his various identities happen to share the same two IPs. I have noticed this. So have two other bloggers.

KathyD, you'll be pleased to know he is now impersonating you on his blog, as he has done with many others.

Why does he do this? In order to deceive readers into thinking people are actually interested in his and his wife's tiresome "I hate [Jim Martin], [Glenn Kranzley], [The Morning Call], [fill in the blank] posts. But when he called for help against the evil MC, it turns out he has driven all the real people away.

No matter what he or his wife write about, the comment thread always returns to their hatred. I try hard not to read his blog, but can't help reading the latest insult and slam. Other than the people he regularly insults, I suspect most of his readers are gone. That's what happens when you don't have enough respect to be honest with them.

Anonymous said...

"KathyD" is Bernie O'Hare.

So is "The Banker," "Retired ASD Teacher," and many more regulars here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Villa,

Repeating a lie over and over does not make it true. Accusing others of doing what you do with impunity may ease your conscience, but it is still a lie. I am none of those people.

At the bottom of this blog is a sitemeter. Every time someone reads this blog or makes a comment, it is noted. With all of these people, there are separate IPs, which are partially listed on the sitemeter available to the public.

Villa is not just a liar, but is demonstrably a liar.