Penn State Abington Professor Speaks Out About Her Miami Arrest

Someone had a memorable spring break.


At left is the staff photo of Penn State Abington sociology professor Dr. Karen Halnon. But the photo on the right is what she looked like over the weekend when she was arrested at Miami International Airport after a bizarre incident on a plane. Last week was the school’s spring break.

Halnon was flying from Nicaragua to Miami when she let loose with a tirade about Venezuela, possibly a reaction to President Obama’s recent sanctions against Venezuelan authorities. As is the case with all airplane antics in the 21st Century, the passengers caught some of it on video. Here she is lighting a cigarette on the plane:

And here she is yelling about how “the United States has declared war on Venezuela” and about her “great hero Hugo Chavez”:

Halnon is told that the police will be meeting her to arrest her, and she (relatively) calmly dismisses the comment, explaining, “I already know that, so I am going to say my piece.”

Halnon has been a professor of sociology at Penn State Abington since 1999. Her academic papers and books have included “Women’s Agency In Hysteria and Its Treatment,” “Defending the Self In a Total Institution: Staff Prompting and Patient Burlesque,” and the essay “The Power of 420” in The American Drug Scene: An Anthology.

Miami-Dade police charged the 52-year-old Willow Grove resident with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. She is no longer in custody. In 2013, she pleaded guilty to public drunkenness in Horsham Township.

Penn State officials have yet to comment on the incident. “We’re trying to figure out what the next step is,” said an employee in the school’s office of communications.

But Halnon herself had plenty to say when we reached her on Tuesday morning.

Can you comment on your arrest and on the videos of you on the plane that are circulating?
I do have a comment. I know that I expressed an act of civil disobedience. But that act was necessary.

Why so?
I’m very knowledgable about that part of the world. I teach about U.S. imperialism in Latin America. And the U.S. has declared war against Venezuela. That means military aggression. They tried to take out Hugo with a coup, and then they took him out with cancer.

It is my opinion — and Fidel agrees with me …

As in Castro?
Yes, Fidel agrees with me that the CIA had some involvement in giving him cancer, and so he died very sadly. And now Nicolas Maduro is the president and the U.S. somehow thinks this is a better position for the U.S. now.

It’s not?
No, what they don’t realize is that Maduro is carrying on the revolution. It’s not like Raul in Cuba. There is every intention of carrying on the revolution. Fifty more years.

What is the revolution revolting against?
The problem is U.S. military global domination. And they want the oil. And they want the water. And so I found that this act was a necessary Thoreau-like act of civil disobedience. I had to speak out now. The situation is dire and urgent, and any sacrifice I make for my own self, if it saves lives — there have been far too many lives lost due to U.S. global military domination.

What happened once you landed in Miami?
The FBI and TSA tortured me. My voice generally doesn’t sound like this. I was put in a room with two fans in the ceiling, it was freezing cold for hours and hours and hours. I asked repeatedly to go to the bathroom. They made me wet my pants. They humiliated me. And then to make matters worse, I have a stomach condition. Everything that comes in goes out. I’ve been like that for months since I left Cuba. I’ve lost over 30 pounds. And I was yelling that I had to go to the bathroom. But they ignored me, and I defecated on the floor. And they made me pick it up and laughed at me.

That’s awful. But what of the cigarette? One reporter who covered your actions said that lighting a cigarette on a plane is just a little better than yelling “BOMB!”
Why did I have a lighter if there is such great national security? It was right in the top of my book bag.

Listen, the point is, I am a sociologist, and I live in an intellectual world. A sociologist always thinks in terms of symbols. And every revolutionary I know smokes. It was identifying with the revolutionary cause. And then, beyond that, it is a symbol that the United States is a smoking gun. The action was necessary. They are going to kill many more people.

Some people would look at that video and wonder if you were under the influence of a substance. And I know you pleaded guilty in 2013 in Horsham Township to public drunkenness. Do you have a substance abuse issue?
No. I do not have a substance abuse issue. I have had many sufferings in my life, but no. I had a little bottle of wine on the plane that I mixed with apple and cranberry juice over three drinks. A spritzer, if you will. But I wasn’t drunk. I don’t need alcohol to protest. This is my life.

I am passionate about being an anti-imperialist. To follow Jesus is to be with the poor, to be with the suffering, to be with the oppressed, and to be anti-imperialist.

I made some mistakes here, but it wasn’t a mistake to speak out. I would do it again today. Ask anyone who knows me.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.

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  • phillysportsfan
    • Resident


    • USMCGY

      lol thanks

  • Kevin

    I need to know this nut case’s Twitter handle. I bet it’s great entertainment. Someone please help.

  • C.W. Mote

    Thoreau is revolving in his grave.

    EDIT: All the idiots equating liberalism (Obama) with leftism/socialism (the Venezuelan government, with whom this professor sympathizes and against whom Obama imposed sanctions) are the ones who are really diseased.

  • Al

    This is who teaches our children, Penn State?

    • doctorivy

      Alas, PSU (a great university) also produced The Hockey Stick Graph lie that perpetrated Mann-Made Global Warming. You’ll find these lying Marxists in every university nowadays. Nobody paid attention when Joe McCarthy tried to warn us.

      • biilyjoe

        Totally agree. We have a lot of cleaning up and legislating to do to try to undo the disastrous mistakes of the past half-century which have taken us to the horrendous state of affairs that have directly led to the imposition of lying clueless race-baiting racists like Obama/Sharpton/holder and the enemies of America running our country.

    • biilyjoe

      Today, Obama’s terrorist mentor from the sixties ( his name escapes me at moment but he set off bombs, etc then) was invited to Penn State (main campus? ) to speak . He was invited by a student group (which is supported by our taxes) and was going to be paid with our tax money too! One of Pennsylvania’s reps from Harrisburg demanded that he not be paid by our taxes (said there was nothing we could do to stop him from speaking)—he’s a revolutionary who’s been bent on causing violent overthrow of our gov’t for a half-century!
      It’s time to change our “laws”.

      • Joe

        Bill Ayers.

        • biilyjoe

          Joe, Thanks !
          Those Penn State students should be forced to give back tax payers money —and then forced to pay out of their own “allowances”. Watch the little anarchists think twice before bringing and paying for a terrorist speaker then. Shouldn’t they be out dropping trash cans( onto innocent people’s heads) off that bridge in Brooklyn along with that “professor” from CUNY who was arrested for injuring NYC police officers? (He must be fired and so should all these other terrorist profs who’ve been brainwashing” our young students since the sixties). Fire them !! Hold back taxes til new rules are set. You don’t want to see an American flag in an American classroom funded by hard-working American taxpayers ??? Get on a boat or plane and leave our country !!!

          • Joe

            Although I agree with you and despise Bill Ayers and everything related to liberalism, Marxism, communism, socialism, and so on with a passion, I have to let you know that he is being paid out of the student activity fund which the students themselves pay as part of their tuition and not with tax dollars. At least that was what was reported in the local paper.

            Unfortunately Penn State, like every other university, is a breeding ground for liberalism and history revision so the students will not be taught who Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground actually is.

          • biilyjoe

            Thanks. The state representative, I listened to on radio, made it sound like it was taxpayers money. Hope you’re right. If the fools want to waste their own money to “pull the rug out ” from under themselves, nothing we can do. Maybe they’ll learn the hard way.

          • JSebastian

            A lot of the “tuition” actually IS taxpayer money.

    • biilyjoe

      At least she’s not stealing taxpayers money the way that prof and his secretary did with the African -Amer “studies” program at Chapel Hill , Univ of North Carolina, arrested and tried: He took thousands year after year for many years: never set up any meeting times for class, students had to do one thing for the courses: Write a paper; the papers never got graded; everyone got a grade of A or B !!! His secretary knew all about it : they let her “retire” with a pension and put him on trial. If this goes on at a place like UNC, I got news for you, it’s likely existing all over our colleges/univs especially in the “multi-cultural” departments.

  • Cheeky215

    This is the type of wacko teaching our kids. she needs a padded cell and the tag do not disturb not ‘professor’ ? my ass..she need to be fired period.

    • biilyjoe

      We need to contact our congressmen and demand that these left wing anarchists be removed from our schools and also create guidelines to withhold our tax money (fed, state, local) from colleges that don’t comply ! Recently one student org at a college in California wanted the American flag removed. It’s time to remove our taxes from these lying sloths . All they know how to do is riot , cause trouble. Guaranteed they are clueless about academics —especially in departments like sociology/ multicultural where
      ” any answer is the right answer”.

      • Well, non “dischargeable” (economicspeak for “just kidding about my PROMISE to repay other peoples money”) loans for “education was a start.
        But of course, top men in the White House and Congress are trying to “fix” that….,TOP… men.
        And you want that sweet, sweet gub’mint cash for your school?
        Well, there’s a few new “interpretations” concerning what “constitutional” means that you’re going to have to reeducate your (alleged) high school education graduates with.

  • The Real Richard Cranium

    It definitely sounds like one of two things: psychotic break (possibly unlikely given her age, although she might have Bipolar) or those potent bottles of alcohol that they serve on the plane. It looks like she likes to party. All Aboard the Crazy Train!!!!!!!!!

    • Madash050

      Sounded like a typical Progressive to me.

      • Guesterino

        Anything’s better than one more mindless refugee from Glennbeckistan.

        • QuestionAllTheThings

          Sometimes you go so far left, you end up on the far right.

          Hard to tell these days – people are lunatics.

          • biilyjoe

            Well, look who is “running the country” for Obama: muslim Jarrett and Viagra-Al Sharpton.

          • Know Stuff Is!

            It’s so hard to tell because, in general, the left and the right love tyranny. The left tyrannizes us with their secular religion of government administration and the right tyrannizes us with God. There is no longer a side that gives a damn about liberty in the classical sense. Liberals want to liberate us from temporal responsibility by administering our entire lives. Conservative want to liberate us from temporal concerns by fixing our eyes on some form of utopian afterlife. An alternate political spectrum has tyranny on the left and liberty on the right. American liberals and conservatives are both left of center on this alternate spectrum.

          • biilyjoe

            That’s because of 60 plus years of “left-brainwashing”.

        • murdog

          Guesterino, are you as stupid as your post indicates or are you just another liberal lap dog. You see nothing wrong with this loon except to bash Glen Beck. You belong in the same padde cell as her

        • Mark Kittering

          zzzzzzz, she is nothing but a dumb hooor

        • Oooo, you’ve SEEN those “pre Hillary” maps?
          Let’s compare.
          What Mr. Beck “prophesized” , and yesterdays sitrep maps.
          *sheesh* And I thought Whodat Nation only trolled, with Mad :Libs, on Twitchy.
          Oh well, queer as folks!

        • Mateo

          Or ubekibekistanstan.

        • roccolore

          Typical Democrat defending Communist hypocrites who live the Capitalist lifestyle.

    • Mike T.

      Or she’s Schizophranic as she thinks she’s “sick” since she came back from Cuba; but she’s a smoker, and drinks alcohol in excess.

  • resident

    The other day when someone complained that our colleges were run by a bunch of outright commies, we all laughed. I guess we should not have.

    • W_T_P

      And hence the problem. Whistling past the graveyard.

    • doctorivy

      See above. The only victim of McCarthyism was Joe.

      • SEE: Blacklisted by History
        by M. Stanton Evans

  • Jay

    Revoutioneries smoke ? Revolutionaries use guns , too; but that doesn’t mean you should pull one out on a plane !
    The good Doctor’s email address at Penn State is . Pennsylvania residents should contact her with their thoughts on this matter as their taxes pay a large portion of her salary.

    • imcdto

      If she gets lung cancer, I feel certain she’ll claim that the CIA, FBI or even Obama somehow gave it to her intentionally just as they did Hugo Chavez.

  • mtbljr

    ‘Her academic papers and books have included “Women’s Agency In Hysteria and Its Treatment”‘ – this speaks volumes.

    • biilyjoe

      Liberals have plenty of cards to play , especially the race card.

    • bitoy

      that’s a word salad right there

    • JSebastian

      Did she include her own behavior as a case study?

  • Restraint

    It’s not funny when a person has mental illness. She should see a mental health professional, and she should be kept away from students, for their safety, and because she is delusional and should not be allowed to pollute the weak minds of Abington sociology students .

    • Babby

      No evidence their minds are weak

    • doctorivy

      You’re right. Liberalism is a disease.

      • Samaritan

        Nothing to show your intellectual capabilities than calling those who disagree with you diseased. Here’s hoping you mature, intellectually and emotionally.

        • Good point, It’s MUCH easier to point out that historically, “Liberalism” (modern US term), by ANY other name, is simply a WRONG. venue that ALWAYS ends in “disappearing” of it’s critics.(Especially those pesky NOT self-described “intellectual” ones)
          Unless of course mass slaughter is the DESIRED outcome.
          Now, SOME might say that the choice to ignore history, and promote Socialism/Communism/ (again, by any other name)
          in SPITE of repeated “experiments” ending in the SAME results
          MAY be delusional, low pattern recognition ability, etc,
          But a disease?

          • twoplustwoisabillion

            I love your brand of crazy. You’re like one of those random text generators that strings words together and EMPHASIZES random WORDS to make a POINT! You, sir/ma’am, are a liberal, yourself. You are extremely liberal with the rules of grammar and punctuation and that is what brings about the end-times. You watch yourself, buddy.

          • fst1

            I won’t even call them liberals because they never had an empirical thought in their lives.

        • Mateo

          Definition of irony – man calling liberalism a disease had “doctor” in their handle.

          • Samuel Quentin

            Why do you assume it’s a man you misandrist bigot?

          • Mateo

            You’re right. I shouldn’t have. However, calling me a misandrist bigot? Lovely. Classy, even.

        • G_unitttt

          suck it up buttercup….DISEASED and you are an apologist. Scurry off

          • Samaritan

            Says a guy with a skull for an avatar. grow up. :]

          • roccolore

            Says the ignorant Democrat who defends Castro.

          • Samaritan

            I didn’t defend Castro, though.

          • JSebastian

            Maybe he’s just paying homage to the millions of victims of liberal ideology.

          • Samaritan

            Reading your comment, you’d almost think the GOP was fighting for healthcare access and libs opposed it.

        • roccolore

          Anyone who defends Castro is diseased.

          • biilyjoe

            Given the opportunity, he’d be shipping his worst criminals and terrorists here by the thousands the first chance he gets. Also likely to invite muslim terrorists ‘cells from all over Middle East to set up camps all over Cuba. Keep Guantanamo open . No diplomacy with his cuba!

      • SeattleConservative

        Calling liberalism a disease offers liberals a handy excuse. By calling it a disease one suggests that the practitioners are exempt from the responsibility of their actions. In my opinion, liberalism is immaturity taken to the extreme. The minute a liberal recognizes – truly recognizes and comprehends – personal responsibility, he is “cured.”

        • Paul Ronan

          Which demonstrates the level of your immaturity and ignorance by making such a ridiculously ludicrous statement.

          • Jeremy Grimes

            Whole lotta adjectives there Paul…

        • L. E. Alba

          By defining “liberal” positions so absurdly, you are creating strawman arguments where you set up the so-called imaginary liberal ideas you don’t like and then shoot them down. But 90% of everything I read that is supposed to be liberal, falls into this exaggerated category of illogical argument.
          It’s why we can never get anywhere understanding one another. We ought to start a National No-Strawmen Week where for 7 days nobody assumes they know what other people think and are required to actually take people like the American Constitution requires— one person at a time.

      • yoBro

        Phil Mag thinks she’s crazy. But this is the political philosophy of too many of our college faculty these days. And they are poisoning young minds.

        • doctorivy

          True, but note that it’s all by design. The only “victim” of McCarthyism was Joe McCarthy. He warned of this before this Fruit Loop was even born.

      • BobSmith77

        Looking at your comments, you certainly play the role of an Internet troll quite effectively.

        This lady obviously had larger issues and it is unfortunate and unnecessary that such a big stink was made about it. Classic case of sensationalist journalism over an inconsequential story to drive web pages views and traffic to the site.

        • durabo

          One of her largest issues seems to be her girth.

          • Timebomb

            Rim shot!

        • fst1

          Sophie Mclaren Dr. Karen Halnon. are just the tip of the ideological iceberg that is today’s university professor. They are nut jobs and whenever challenged they throw a fit.

          • BobSmith77

            Sure you speak from extensive experience.

        • doctorivy

          First, thank you. As for your “larger issues” comment: Huh? She’s paid handsomely, via my tax dollars, to spew Communist rhetoric to kids. Our education system has devolved (rapidly, since Carter implemented the Dept. of Ed.) to the point where (practically) only a card-carrying Commie can gain tenure. Her behavior is not even unusual for a PSU prof in liberal arts. In fact, her only real “mistake” was lighting up. Ironic, since it’s the neo-Nazi far left which has been successful in making that a high crime in 21st century America.

    • biilyjoe

      Shouldn’t Obama shortly be appointing her a head of one of his departments ? She would fit right in with Jarrett, holder, Sharpton and the criminal loons that are running America. If she is delusional, that’s too bad but that’s no excuse to smoke on plane, disrupt, etc. What’s the excuse used by the domestic terrorists that Obama/Sharpton /holder set off to destroy , disrupt our country ?? Are they delusional ? Didn’t mean to shoot police ? Have a bad aim ? Just had a bad day so they should be excused ?
      The professor from City Univ of New York who was trying to drop a trash can off of the bridge onto people below in Brooklyn (and calling for “dead cops”) and then attacking police officers there: Was he delusional ? Our universities are full of these domestic terrorists; they know what they’re doing, not delusional. It’s time to call for the firing of these people—and for taxpayers to demand the withholding of tax money that is being used by these communist/leftist loons to brainwash our children and destroy our country.

    • ADC

      People with mental illness are very, very rarely violent (95 percent of homicides are by people without any mental illness) and are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. The symptoms can still be very alarming because people say nonsensical, incoherent things and can be very emotionally volatile. But she’s in no way a threat. It’s embarrassing that the media feel entitled to report on this, it’s the worst kind of rubber-necking.

      And if she has published articles and has a 16 year track record, she can do her job when she’s healthy. She seems to be expressing an exaggerated and rambling version of her actual views here. So saying that mental illness isn’t funny, but also that this poor woman is a threat, that her professional history is invalidated and that the views she expresses when healthy are “delusional” is actually not as kind or compassionate as you think it is.

      • hyphenatedamerican

        What makes you think that her articles are any more coherent that her screaming in the airplane?

        • ADC

          Because they had to pass peer review, which is not a perfect test- and you can say ‘all the experts reviewing her articles are also crazy commie liberals!’, but.. that’s not 100 percent true. She met the standards of her profession.

    • E L

      Sorry, she should be kept away from students if she has some crackpot theories? Sorry, if she’s mentally ill? So what. She is employed (currently) and employable evidently. Let them make up their own minds and fill out those dumb evaluation forms at the end of the semester to influence her employment status. Don’t advocate for her firing just because you think she’s a nutbird. Tipsy in public on the regular is more supportable. Being labeled mentally ill, hell, half the country would be out of a job.

      • biilyjoe

        I believe they’ve fired high school teachers for less; ie for complaining about lazy students on her /some website.

  • W_T_P

    It’s not funny when a person has mental illness.
    No, but it is funny when the mentally ill, who may not be responsible for their condition, manage to convince the academic world that they are worthy of a position of authority in an educational environment. Well, sort of funny. To an outsider. Especially to the son of a Pitt alumnus.

  • Madash050

    Anti-American Marxist PIG of a professor. This is what our tax dollars support. Time to cut the pigs from the trough. Shut down Penn State, and let’s move on.

    • imcdto

      Sadly you’ll have to shut down nearly every university in the country if you’re basing it on having Anti-American Marxists on the faculty, especially in certain departments.

  • Madash050

    I have no doubt that most of her colleagues agree with her. Anti-American pigs, err, I mean Progressives.

    • HDbfly

      No doubt. You have ‘no doubt’. Back up your no doubt.

      • Simple, Tenure absolutely relies on “plays well with ones Dear Collegues….”, in ADDITION to conning somebody…ANYBODY…to pay
        for publishing one’s “intelectual” books.
        Usually at a loss, UNLESS they can be put on the “You MUST own this book to pass” list.

    • biilyjoe

      These people have been so sheltered from the real world, it’s pathetic. They can’t think for themselves— but they’re helping our children “think”. Put them all on boats to the utopia of their choice; taxpayers would certainly consider chipping in to get rid of them; we pay for everything else for them.

    • BobSmith77

      Did Obama not call Venezuela a ‘threat to national security’ in early March? Since then the US has tried to reach up additional pressure including pushing through such extensive sanctions that no other single state in OAS supports them and even the Canadian representative rebuked the sanctions last week?

      When Canada (which almost never goes against the US on any issue related to OAS except trade sanctions with Cuba) criticizes the US on a position, then yeah you have to wonder if it is sound diplomacy.

  • DaBag

    Question not asked: if she has the courage of her convictions, why did she blame the dude next to her for lighting up the smoke?

    • Madash050

      Because Alinkyites have license: “particular ends justify particular means”.

      • L. E. Alba

        By referring to Saul Alinsky (I assume that is what you mean by “Alinkyites”), you might as well just use a poster of David Horowitz’s** “FrontPage Magazine” as a profile photo. No one knows about the ‘Alinsky meme’ without 6-degrees of traceable separation straight back to that outlier rag.

        **(founder of the far right wing, Freedom Center)

    • durabo

      Everyone knows it’s Bush’s fault, anyway.

  • DDuke

    She needs to be fired, and the author of the article should know the difference between piece and peace for crying out loud LOL!

    • vfiorillo

      Actually, piece is correct the way I wrote it. But thanks for the comment.

  • me

    Would be interested in hearing her response to why she blamed her seatmate for lighting the cigarette in the first place. Does’t seem deliberate if she was trying to place blame on someone else! I hope she gets the mental health assistance she needs!

      It’s what the mentally disturbed folks do (SEE:APA “desk referance”)
      Ever watch “interviews” on anything from GE/Comcast?

  • NCAA

    Vacate Paterno’s wins.

  • tonyb

    Is this the type of qualifications needed to be able to teach at Penn State? Does she also play football?

  • What was she defending when she lit the cig and blamed it on someone else?

  • phdchef

    Liberal wacko, pure and simple.

  • KEL

    A spritzer, if you will.

    • doctorivy

      And even if you won’t.

  • doctorivy

    To follow Jesus? You can’t tell me this nut identifies as a Christian.
    Is there any doubt left that Marxists have taken over our education system? Joe McCarthy was telling the truth. The only victim of “McCarthyism” was Joe McCarthy.

    • Guest

      McCarthy was going after Communists. Marxists and Communists are the same . . .

  • doctorivy

    If she’s so into symbols she should have opened a bag of nuts.

    • Pffft…or joined an orchestra, funded by “certain” philantopic tax write-off/ money laundering “foundations”.
      But, you know, it takes YEARS of diligent fine arts work, in a recognized conservatory, to attain mastery of symbols suitable for (ie) tax funding for “the arts”

  • doctorivy

    How bad is our education system? This morning my daughter told me that yesterday she spoke to a classmate of hers in kindergarten. Subject: What would you do with a pot of gold (if you caught a leprechaun). His answer: give half to “the poor” and the other half to the government. PC=Pure Communism.

    • HDbfly

      Giving to the poor is Christian values–Jesus Christ himself preached that. How in the world do you come up with Communism?

      Giving it to the govt is just stupid.

      • mtbljr

        Giving to the poor is a charitable human being OF ANY VALUES not just those of Christians. Separation of Church and Human. I’m atheist, and I give to the poor. Your god or JC didn’t have to write my moral instincts.

  • HDbfly

    But why on that plane? Why at that time? If no one had recorded it, who would have cared?

    • doctorivy

      Nobody pays attention to her in class. Nobody on campus thinks this is unusual or warrants attention.

      • HDbfly

        Are you at PSU Abington?

        My question is about her civil disobedience. If it truly was, why on that plane, at that time? And she starts smoking (is that the act?) before the preaching (is *that* the act)?

  • ThePatrioteer

    First she is looking around while smoking like she knew she was doing something wrong. Then she blamed the guy next to her.

    Second, your “great hero” Hugo, nationalized the oil so the GOVERNMENT had control of the oil. If the people actually owned it, they wouldn’t be poorer now than they were before Chavez, and there wouldn’t be soldiers outside grocery stores to make sure there are no food riots.

    Stupid cow. I can’t believe people actually waste money to go to college and be indoctrinated with this garbage.

    • doctorivy

      Look on the bright side: Most everyone “borrows” the money with no intent of ever paying it back.

    • HDbfly

      She teaches in her area, she doesn’t teach everyone on the PSU campus where she teaches. If she is “indoctrinating” people, she isn’t indoctrinating everyone who goes to college everywhere.

      If the government is the people (isn’t that true in the US?), then government owning the oil is the same as the people owning the oil.

      And I agree with you about the smoking.

      • “If the government is the people (isn’t that true in the US?), ”
        Um, NO. Please demand your money back from your Elementary school Social Studies teacher.
        Also, please review California Prop 8.
        You can even use “wiki” for THAT one!

    • GAVen

      It bears noting that Hugo Chavez did NOT nationalize oil. Oil was Nationalized in Venezuela in the 70s by Carlos Andres Perez, more specifically, Jan 1st, 1976.

      • Zstimman

        But Chavez did nothing to change that. He also drained the oil companies to the point that the rigs pulling out the oil became inefficient, and outdated. Chavez squandered a great natural resource for his people.

  • AnotherBrian

    This person is teaching? How is that possible?

  • bobb

    In view of the current trends in academia, looks like she is entitled to a promotion.

  • Steve Bunten

    Gosh, Penn State must be so proud to have someone like that on their faculty. But then they also have Michael Mann and allowed Jerry Sandoval free reign in the men’s showers for many years.

    • The Real Richard Cranium

      She just earned herself tenure

  • JBT

    Following the example of Jesus? Jesus never spoke against the Roman Empire nor any civil authority….and to blame America for Cuba’s and Venezuela’s human rights abuses and lack of freedom….eh…no

  • citywide

    Smoking as identifying with a revolutionary cause, wow! What revolution does she want to be part of? “I used to be a revolutionary, but I quit smoking and became a capitalist MF”. This prof sounds like she could have a future with MOVE (if they’d have her)

  • Penn State. The gift that just keeps on giving.

  • Arundo Donax

    Well, after all, she’s a certified expert on hysteria.


    Truly a gizzard blizzard of shrieking and suffering ….. but disrupting the plane flight ….assaulting her fellow travelers with second hand smoke ….. unsocial behavior from a professional socialist …. or is that sociologist. Perhaps she saw a gremlin out on the wing shredding the plane …

    But I digress, PSU is blessed to have such talent ladened profs prancing their halls.

  • Ooooo lookie!
    A buffon behaves like an ahole on a plane.
    NOW she has a “venue” to spout her grocery list “manifesto”.
    “Listen, the point is, I am a sociologist, and I live in an intellectual world.”
    Oh, so THAT’S what “Intelectual” means?

  • JudyT

    How much does it cost to attend Penn State?

    • Zstimman

      Too much considering that this nut job is a professor.

  • JPeron

    Her problems are mental not necessary political. She can’t help trying to make a breakdown into a political act, but what excuse do her detractors have?

    • pjcostello

      When her detractors start ranting and raving in public like she did, have that discussion; until then, you’re comparing apples to oranges in order to defend a lunatic. Where’s the sense in that?

  • gregoryabutler

    She has severe psychological issues and she’s using “activism” and “being a revolutionary” as a socially acceptable way of acting out

  • Svenska J

    This person clearly has mental issues. If she is currently in the employ of Penn State…termination should be immediate.

  • Sofia

    I am from Venezuela I am living in Venezuela so I want to that Lady when she comes to my country and live what se aré suffering she can talk because it is easy to said Chávez is my hero when you do not have to stay 4 hours in line to buy 4 paper toilette or soap to take a shower so Lady do not talk about what you do not know nothing

    • Zstimman

      Color me shocked! Venezuela is not the paradise that she says it is? ( My sympathies to you and your countrymen).

    • Slim louis

      Venezuela is an amazing country. I hope her people eventually get the government they want and deserve. Is it that rough for all citizens? Has there been change? Best!

    • Juan Navarro

      As a fellow venezuelan who also lives in Venezuela I totally agree with you

  • kyleyoder

    Is it me or do Leftists seem to have a mental illness? Politics aside…

    • BillPrep

      yes. the right too. well, no politics aside.

  • Svenska J

    And those idtiots ranting liberalism are clearly of not sound mind either. The disease they suffer is ignorance of science, fact, human decency and political decorum. Mark Kitering is a perfect example of an ignorant republican. I bet Mark believes in fictional characters and denying women basic medical reproductive rights. The rest who bring Obama into this discussion are clearly racists. After all this story is nothing but a mentally unbalanced individual…but then republicans associating with mental unbalance want to blame the president for their shortcomings and lack of intellect.

  • plowking

    I’m a PSU grad who took sociology courses and Latin American history courses and I never had any professor who was a NUT like this! Another black eye for PSU…..

  • ssohara

    She’s nuts but they should have let her use the bathroom if she needed to. Aside from that I wonder why she is paid to teach at a university?

  • Sandra

    She should be sent to Venezuela to deal with her stomach condition in a country with shortage of toilet paper!

  • Rob Ramcharan

    More evidence that public university faculty aren’t paid enough and it’s too hard to fire them.

  • DaObserver

    What makes you think she is mentally ill? My guess is that there are hundreds if not thousands of “academics” who totally agree with her positions but find a way to restrain themselves on planes. For every goofball on campus that defends her, there are many more below the surface who see the world exactly as she does.

  • Zstimman

    Can we start a collection for a one way ticket to Venezuela for her? The two seem to deserve each other.

  • David Harrison

    Looney Liberal.

  • Techster64

    A loon.

  • JohnFLob

    Did Michael Mann hit her in the head with one of his hokey hockey sticks?

  • 19144troy .

    This woman is clearly mentally ill. These comments (except for Restraint) remind me why I don’t read the comments section. This town is full of morons.

  • kyleyoder

    Yet she still sees it necessary to bleach her hair. Women are strange creatures.

  • Xosgul

    Poor woman. I hope she gets the help that she needs. She needs sympathy and assistance right now, and not scorn (or jail).

  • Concern Parent

    Imagine being a parent wasting your hard earned money on tuition for this idiot’s class for your student.

  • Brad Gehret

    Obviously a delusional communist sympathizer. But she didn’t sound coherent to me and possibly is having severe mental illness issues. I hope Penn State and her family hold an intervention and get her out of the classroom and get her help ASAP

    • ADC

      One irony of history is that the Soviet Union would sometimes medicalize political dissent the same way you’re doing here- if someone questions the consensus, they’re probably delusional and ill.

      And what is this communist stuff, it’s 2015, communism is totally discredited, Russia is rapaciously capitalist, let it go folks. The left did the same Alinsky/Ayers sh*t with like, Leo Strauss.

  • smcase77

    A number of other articles suggested she’s on prescription painkillers, add in drinking with prescription drugs and lighting cigarettes on a plane – she sounds like someone with substance abuse problems. Hopefully she gets help.

  • Edward Thomas

    Delusional lady. Does she really has a license to teach?

    • Joe T Plumber

      “Does she really has a license to teach?”

      “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”–President GW Bush.

  • E L

    I think she has a substance abuse problem and a whole lot of denial and goofy sense of entitlement.

  • BobSmith77

    You have to love the people on here that denigrate PSU (Abington) on here because of this incident.

    I have a former friend & colleague there and trust me they paid a pittance to teach each class. Usually $2500-$3500/class. When you consider that each class is roughly 10 hrs/week of lecturing and additional work over a 3 1/2-4 month period, then yeah he is hardly making large dollars.

    He is doing it because he loves to teach and mentor young students in finance & business. Before some of the inevitable losers on here mock him, he has his MBA from Stern, held several senior management positions in Finance in the private sector, and is now finishing up his doctorate in business using decision analysis on Agile software development processes.

    Several of his colleagues I have met are also teaching there because they are in similar positions – because they love to teach as adjunct professors.

  • BrotherMatthias

    This woman teaches children.

    • Joe T Plumber

      If they’re 18 or older, they’re no longer children per Pennsylvania state law.

  • Confuscan

    We should pair her up with our anti-vaxxer professors in Canada. I’m sure vaccines are some sort of CIA plot too. Hey, maybe that’s how they got to Chavez?

  • Conservative In Libtard Austin

    Too bad she didn’t stay in her commie utopia Nicaragua. I can’t believe the tax paying people of PA pay for her drivel.

  • pjcostello

    We can hold this woman up as a shining example of 1960s-era leftism right here, alive and kicking, in the 21st century. Be proud, leftists, be proud.

  • ObonzoLovesBananas

    Why would Penn State have this RAGING ALCOHOLIC working for them.

  • Remember this kids when you are thinking about going into debt for that Sociology degree.

  • American Bagger

    The FBI and CIA tortured me…. ROFL. Somehow I don’t see that having happened at MIA having been there quite often.

    I really shouldn’t laugh. Addiction and mental illness are something that deserves treatment. She obviously needs to seek counseling at this point.

  • “Protesting” on a plane, where other people who have zero to do with the administration you are protesting are stuck there with you, is not only the most useless gesture imaginable, but really assholish to other people. It’s not stopping the machine, it’s not speaking truth to power, it’s just being a jerk.

    • Joe T Plumber

      That’s why I always fly with Bose noise canceling headphones.

  • roccolore

    Democrats who worship Castro would never give up their six-figure salaries and move to a Communist hellhole.

  • Steven Riley

    Hopefully the dingbat get fired. I know if I had a kid looking for a college to go to, I wouldn’t want them going to hers.

  • achtung14

    She looks a bit haggard to be a prof. The attitudes- as sad and ignorant as they are will allow her to go far in academia- but she needs more polish if she’s going to be a Prada/champagne socialist.

    • Joe T Plumber

      “Prada” socialist? Did you see her shoes?

      • achtung14

        No…..but I doubt they’re Prada shoes.

  • blacknblue2

    Freak’in weak minded woman. More proof that having a certificate from college doesn’t mean you are intelligent. Yes, she could pass tests but is a walking, talking, spoiled idiot.

    She should be fired but the Progressives will circle the wagons around her.

    I have COPA and I would have taken that cig and stuffed it where the sun doesn’t shine (on her of course). Then she would probably win some obscure award.

    Maybe she forgot to take her meds because she was acting a bit demented.

  • mp533

    A true paragon of the entitled, elitist, pseudo-intellectual. Parlays her limited IQ and worthless degree into a six figure salary that allows her to corrupt the minds of America’s youth while simultaneously disparaging the very system that she milks like a Guernsey.
    She would be the first one to scream for security if someone else lit up a smoke on the plane, but she, of course, is entitled and, after all, it was just a symbol.
    Why aren’t you living the good life in Cuba, Karen? I’m sure your pals Raul and Fidel would welcome your anti-Americanism. Why heck, you could get drunk and stupid on rum there.
    P.S. When you decide to treat your incontinence, get something for both ends, huh?

    • BobSmith77

      You really think she is making anywhere close to 6-figures? Try again. I would bet isn’t making more than $60k. Likely less although they do have good benefits.

  • Hippiefreak

    I don’t care how she tries to justify what she was wrong to do. She’s crazy. I had someone like her in my family. I know it when I see it. She was slippery, she knew her words, and she was crazy.

  • iatros78

    Nicotine addiction at its finest!

  • dookieboot2

    Nikolai Koloff: It’s all lies and false propaganda to support this antagonistic and violent government!
    Paulie: [miffed at remark] Whoa. Violent? Hey, we don’t keep our people behind a wall with machine guns.
    Koloff: Who are you?
    Paulie: Who am I? I’m the unsilent majority, bigmouth!

  • durabo

    Somebody should have decked and hog-tied the dumb sow!

  • CreightonRabs

    So, this is where our tax dollars are going? Towards the salary of certifiable loonies? And why am I not surprised that the left-wing loons at Philly mag are giving her a forum?

    • Joe T Plumber

      You live in PA?

      • CreightonRabs

        Yes, actually, I do…

  • DiJinn

    Why are the idiots who are so enamored with socialism never the ones who must live with its iniquities?

  • Mr. X

    I had this woman as a professor/instructor. She was OK but would go on rants in class, and made us write a 50 page paper which she didn’t even read. I can’t say that I learned that much about Sociology though; but I needed the class as a gen ed for my degree. I’m sorry to see that she’s having issues with her mental health like this.

  • Mr. X

    Also during her class, in order to get a good grade I just pretended to agree with her despite how she’s one of those people who thinks that their opinions are always correct, and the students who argued back to her were ones she gave bad grades to.

  • mike_cocke

    white folks tripping again

  • Maskedpainter

    What was said here is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. No where in her self absorbed ramblings was there ever any sign of rational thought. Everyone reading this is now dumber for reading this nut jobs words. My God have mercy on her soul.

  • THIS is the type of whacked-out Leftist scum that teaches our children.

    • Joe T Plumber

      Why not? Many are reared by whacked-out single mama red state substance abusing scum.

  • PaulMurrayCbr

    “Listen, the point is, I am a sociologist, and I live in an intellectual world.”
    In addition to being a sociologist, Dr Hanlon, you are also an airplane passenger. That carries certain responsibility.
    Perhaps what might be best for you is a padded ivory tower.

  • Sirius Jones

    Hahahahaha! She sees herself as some sort of revolutionary.

  • fst1

    What a freaking nut job. But I am not surprised.She isn’t the only one
    Sophie Mclaren is a professor there and she is a complete idiot as well

  • Mike

    Who is Sophie McLaren? This woman is easily found on social media where she thinks she’s an “activist” because she friends/likes Communist websites and people from South American countries.

  • Saul Goodman

    ‘She’ says:

    “Fidel [Castro] agrees with me that the CIA had some involvement in giving him cancer, and so he died very sadly”

    and later says:

    “every revolutionary I know smokes”

    It must not take much intelligence to be a sociologist at Penn State.

  • Don

    If she was older, I would blame it on an LSD flashback – could be meth, though… Penn State should drug test her (of course, failing a drug test is probably a requirement to be a college professor).

  • AVenezuelan

    What really got me from this story was her claim she was “tortured”. I am Venezuelan living in Caracas. For over 15 years venezuelans who oppose the government like me have had to deal with the views and ideologies this “professor” is quick to rant about. We have also been subject to unfair detainment and imprisonment for speaking our minds… not lighting a cigarette in a plane. We know very well what torture is and how it is applied. Urinating and defecating herself was probably caused by her alcohol intake more than anything else. If she is mentally unstable or not is beyond me, what is troubling is that she is teaching these absurd, uninformed and uneducated views to college students. Just the fact that she still claims Chavez was given a “Cancer Shot” by the CIA is indicative that she is way beyond reason. Believe me, any chavista that still claims this is far gone the realm of reality and will probably never be swayed back to believe real facts over fiction.

  • JSebastian

    Wow, she is seriously disturbed. Its very concerning that a public institution would employ a person with such serious mental health problems – she’s delusional…paranoid, and clearly a real trouble maker – lighting a cigarette on a plane – what’s next – bombing the US embassy to show how deep her “anti-imperialist” leanings are? She is a menace to society – I hope the University lets her go and that the TSA puts her on the no-fly list.

  • Kenneth Walton

    Her lack of accurate information about Venezuela makes me question her scholarship. She may have several advanced degrees but she certainly is neither educated nor intelligent.

  • E

    Whatever “torture” the FBI and TSA put her through she deserved. “I wet my pants”… Good. But I doubt it was because they wouldn’t let her go to the bathroom, I’m betting on she’s just that much of a nut job. Someone should have thrown their drink in her face on the plane.

    • Joe T Plumber

      Not worth the legal hassle. The cabin crew and TSA handled it.

  • psrayter3

    Remember the old joke: I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink; no problem.

  • Guest

    Funny thing about sociology, (a fascinating consciousness-altering subject which I minored in), is it can take one right up to the edge of the abyss, to look down into the canyon of society’s pretenses and artificial constructs all exposed to analysis…without falling in.
    The great German sociologist, Max Weber once said that the trick was to do the social science of “laying bare societal pretense without going mad”.

  • Guest

    Max Weber, the great germa sociologist, once said that sociology was a risk because it took you right up to the the edge of the abyss. A consciousness-altering experience, Weber claimed the trick was to “look in at the structure & functionality of all society’s pretenses without going mad.”

  • Spruce Cycle

    Love her!

    • Joe T Plumber

      Wanna meet her daddy?

  • Joe T Plumber

    Looney leftist: “Venezuela bla bla bla…Hugo Chavez bla bla bla…CIA bla bla bla…FBI bla bla bla…Torture…I’m lighting me up a cigarette, don’t care if I’m on a plane…Oh waitress!…Bring me another double scotch on the rocks.”

    Unhinged CONservative: “Saul Alinsky bla bla bla…Obama’s a foreigner bla bla bla…Homeland Security bla bla bla…We don’t need no nanny state…I’m on the second half of my thirty pack an’ it ain’t even noon…(BURP!)

  • Juan Navarro

    As a venezuelan (living in Venezuela) I must say: She only needs to spend some time here in enormous lines to buy food (not the big deal but only the mediocre amount each one are allowed to buy), medications, detergent, diapers, shampoo, and almost everything what is needed by a person to live; and then she will stop thinking about Chavez as a grant hero. Situation here is critical.

    The only drawback is I think she would leave the cities pavement covered in crap since they messed up her stomach in Cuba. If it were possible to trade nationalities I’d have an offer for her. I know I’ll be pointed as anti-nationalist but believe me I don’t care to be pointed as pro-imperialist by those who have sold the country to China/Cuba.

  • Eric Boyer

    serial liar at work. she tried to blame the guy next to her for lighting the cig. it’s all on video.

  • Mumra

    Her equating smoking with a revolutionary act is hilarious. Smoking is an act of an addicted person.

  • jb willikers

    A typical lunatic sociologist with nonsensical “academic” work who fancies herself an “expert” based on nothing.

  • MNbobster


  • survivaloftheslickest

    Woah. Someone jumped the tracks.
    And this woman actually earns a salary at Penn State?
    I just want to know how the interviewer seemingly kept a straight face in the interview.