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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Karen Dolan Complains About the Crazies at City Council

In response to my blog yesterday about a demonstration against "right wing disruptions" before tonight's Bethlehem City Council meeting, Council member Karen Dolan chimed in to support having the local constabulary escort the unwashed masses from meetings.

"How many of you, recently, have been on the receiving end of public rants challenging your honesty, legality, intelligence, and patriotism? Try sitting on the dais while a citizen loudly claims YOU are corrupt, guilty of serious crimes, and/or have No RIGHTS under the constitution to hold office. Now imagine the citizen who is ranting is leaning toward you, he's dressed in baggy clothes, speaking incoherently while clutching a copy of the constitution. He claims YOU have never read the constitution and YOU are destroying the country. YOU are killing HIM, and he's getting madder and louder and madder and louder...

"This happened twice at recent Bethlehem City Council meetings, and this blog and others dismiss it as unimportant; they cooly ridicule council and Bethlehem police for escorting the ranting gentleman out of City Hall.

"Now, another group of citizens is saying, publicly, 'Enough. Stop threatening, stop screaming. You must be civil to engage in civil discourse.'

"This is not rocket science. If you want people to behave in a civil manner, you have to set and maintain a standard of civility. The members of Bethlehem City Council have managed to do this for decades. Why is this too much to ask of citizens?"

Karen, a link to my previous blog on this point is here. It includes a video of the entire speech and ejection. Contrary to what you are claiming now, this gentleman never called you corrupt, never accused you of serious crimes, never said you have no right to hold office, never said you are destroying the country, never accused you of failing to read the Constitution, and never said you were killing him. Your recap of what was said is so inaccurate that you should consider a new career as a blogger.

You do correctly indicate he was wearing baggy clothes. Is there some rule I'm unaware of that prohibits people from speaking if they wear baggy clothes? You add that he carried a copy of the Constitution. Is there some Bethlehem ordinance that bans that?

He did state you're not God, and you're not. Perhaps you need to be reminded of that a little more often.

What I stated then and will repeat now is that the speaker was loud, scary loud. Was an ejection warranted? Probably. But it should have come from the Chair. Unless there is a clear and imminent danger to your safety, no police officer should disrupt a meeting like that well-intentioned officer did. I don't fault him. I fault you.


Anonymous said...

That man should have been removed earlier from that meeting. His conduct was disorderly at best and threatening. Luckily, he was not arrested, I guess. Too many times those that serve in local government are subject to abuse like that and we see the results of that abuse in this country. While we all have the right to free speech, we do not have the right to threaten government officials through words and actions. Kudos to City Council for having this fellow removed. Perhaps if he can act as a gentleman the next time, he may be able to stay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

City Council did not have this gentleman removed. The cops did it, and that disturbs me. This gentleman threatened no one, although his words were menacingly loud.

Anonymous said...

She trading on the deaths of innocents to make a political point. I'm surprised she hasn't used a photo of the little girl's corpse for fundraising, although there's still time. What a twisted sicko.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not consider Karen a "twisted sicko", nor do I think she is trading on the death of a 9 year-old girl. That ally was not her idea, at least not so far as I know. But her recitation of what that gentleman said is completely mistaken, and am glad we have the video to prove it.

Anonymous said...

wow. at a northampton county council meeting, we would describe that guy as "civil".

Anonymous said...

That any politician decides to use the wake of the Tucson tragedy to launch a war against words is twisted. Political speech had nothing to do with the tragedy. Why play the issue now? To do so at all continues to forward a Big Lie about the cause of the Tucson rampage. Where the guy had political leanings, they were to the left.

Dolan is using a tragedy to make score political points against those with whom she disagrees. She most certainly is trading on the bones of the nine-year old. That's just sick.

Anonymous said...

i find it amusing that those who are complaining about the demonstrations calling for civil discourse are in reality complaining about other's free speech...

Anonymous said...

"Where the guy had political leanings, they were to the left"

so you choose to score a backhanded political point of the type you claim to deplore?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"i find it amusing that those who are complaining about the demonstrations calling for civil discourse are in reality complaining about other's free speech..."

Except that's not what is happening. The demonstration is itself a cheap attempt to score political points at the expense of Republicans. Nobody would complain at a call for civil discourse, but these folks claim everything is comng from right-wing maniacs. They have a right to say that and others have a right to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Fight speech with more speech. If politicians wish to use a tragedy for political purposes, they should be called on it. One side wants more speech. One side wants less, or monitored, or restricted speech. Dolan is pushing a lie. She should be called on it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you make NO sense. When people talk at Northampton County Council meetings, you call them kooks and say they should be removed! You talk out of both sides of your mouth! You are so phony!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no problem with people who talk at NC Council meetings or who criticize their leaders. I do have a problem with the cat calls, which disrupt meetings, and with the cursing you Gracedale goons did in front of boy scouts. hat's why i call you goons. And as indicated, I think the speaker in Bethlehem should have been removed.

But that does not give Karen the right to misrepresent what was said, or to criticize him for the clothes he was wearing.

Anonymous said...

The person who said that political speech has nothing to do with the Tucson tradgedy should have him self interviewed by the national press and enlighten us with his insight..No one knows what pushed this guys buttons, but something did..It might be something innocuous but it could certainly have been influenced by political speech..As far as I know it hasnt been ruled out..

Boo Yah! said...

Just so you are aware of our political history, Karen Dolan, politicians had duels and called one another the devil. Someone who fancies themselves a lover of history would certainly have known that. Then again you're a self described progressive and as such you re-write history to fit your political agenda.

Here's an article with direct quotes:


You should at least make an attempt to actually read the constitution, maybe Mr. Spadoni will be kind enough to translate it for you since your backroom dealings failed to unseat him as Solicitor. Although something tells me you'll just go about doing the city's business in a willie nillie fashion as you have done in the past.

I sure hope you lose the election in three years so that you don't have to fear for your life anymore. Better yet, resign to make a statement.

How is a delicate person such as yourself going to handle being the first female mayor if you can't even handle being on City Council?

Anonymous said...

Karen must be getting stressed now that she will have to go back to work in a classroom. No more free ride at the mill and no more crocadile tears at board meetings on the importance of her mill with our tax dollars. Maybe now that she will be at the high school level she can once again discuss with her students their use of the "F" word, after all it is a double block.

Anonymous said...

A crazy guy who took more inspiration from the Matrix than from any politico ideology commits an atrocity and all the politicos and media figures go nuts nervous and demand everyone shut up about objection to their decisions.

Someone is disruptive at a council meeting you remove them. If they make a threat you arrest them, rather simple.

We have probably the lowest level of political rhetoric in our history. We do have quite a side show in the media where unimportant wedge issues are pushed to the forefront of the debate in lieu of important economic and social matters, but the discourse in this country is actually pretty tame historically speaking.

Probably the lowest level of angry rhetoric in our history actually.

Anonymous said...

Leave poor Karen alone...She was super stressed- probably didn't have time to "relax" before council...by the way-totally different subject-why don't we drug test public officials?

Anonymous said...

The bagger version of American political history, how quaint.

Ride on Karen!!

Anonymous said...

The Tuscon killer smoked lots of weed, read the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, and hated G W Bush with a passion.

None of this matters when you're a paranoid schizophrenic. The street lights or neighbor's cat could set him off.

This isn't a political issue. It's a tragic mental health issue. Because the speech issue is more noisy, we'll once again not attempt to address a mental health care system that hasn't changed in 100 years.

Anonymous said...


Was that a slip of the tongue or a Freudian slip?

I believe the expression is "right on" not "ride".

Good grief!

Anonymous said...

No,. I meant Ride On as in keep on trucking.

As a disillusioned pothead from the 60's you keep your religion and I will keep mine.

You old hippies that became angry old baggers are the worse.

That is 'Right ON" but I will never wish you a "Ride ON".

Feeling Groovy?, Well are you punk???

Wayne said...

What's very infuriating about the whole thing is that anyone could have gone to Loughner's YouTube channel on the day of the tragedy, like I did, watched his video creations and clearly seen that this guy was motivated by insanity, not politics. But no, it was a crisis to be exploited by people with no shame, willing to take advantage of anything to promote their agenda of demonizing their political opponents.

Anon, I hope this helps you understand what's going on here. There's much more than the two links I presented above.

Wayne said...

Anonymous said...
"The person who said that political speech has nothing to do with the Tucson tradgedy should have him self interviewed by the national press and enlighten us with his insight.."
You don't have to be interviewed by the national press... you have to read it.

The closest thing to "political orientation" can be found HERE at The New York Times. It's a long article, about a third of the way down on the page I linked to you'll find:

"He became intrigued by antigovernment conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 attacks were perpetrated by the government and that the country’s central banking system was enslaving its citizens. His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs of government."

This is not presented to show political affiliation, just to show how off-base it is to call him a "right-wing wacko". His "politics" are much more bizarre than standard left-right or even a 9-11 truther suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Another report following up an ABC interview of one of Loughner's friends reveals more on the influences in his life:
The New Age Assassin

Wayne said...


Twice I posted and twice the post disappeared. Do posts with links go into the junk folder?

Anonymous said...

Again with the scrotum-worshipping deviant. Check the computer of the next area skeeve who dies of auto-erotic asphyxiation. The trail will lead right back to 7:51.

And one wonders why this ilk is not taken seriously.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was at the City Council meeting and will have a very interesting story to tell.

Sometimes, Blogger will kick a comment into spam for reasons that elude me. I went there, found your comment and a few others, and gave the command to publish bc, after all, I am God. Should be up now.

Anonymous said...

And yet the Council, including Ms. Dolan, never takes umbrage at people taking pot-shots at other City employees and board and commission members.