Pa. police chief loves guns, profanity, birtherism, Alex Jones, militias, anti-Semitic rock music and serving on the board of education

Pa. police chief loves guns, profanity, birtherism, Alex Jones, militias, anti-Semitic rock music and serving on the board of education July 24, 2013

Pennsylvania has been described as Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburgh on the other, and a whole lot of Mississippi in between.

Mark Kessler, “chief” of the one-man police force in Gilberton, Pa., seems determined to prove that. Mississippi goddam:

The mayor of Gilberton, Pennsylvania is standing by her city’s police chief despite a series of profanity-laced and threatening videos.

In a video that has received wide attention, police chief Mark Kessler repeatedly tells those upset by his use of profanity to “go f*ck yourself” as he fires various automatic weapons.

… Tuesday on his Facebook page, Kessler called for a massive rally to “show these tyrants we will not stand for any more violations on our constitution or our freedoms.”

“I’m calling on all true Americans, all militia members, all true oath keepers to assemble, be ready to march on a tyrannical county government right here in Schuylkill county Pennsylvania, democrats are the true enemy of our country, our freedoms, our constitution, along with liberal news agency’s, liberal news reporters, much like hitlers nazis, time we clean these antiamerican thugs from office,” he wrote.

Did I mention that in addition to serving as Gilberton’s police chief, Kessler is also a member of the North Schuylkill School District’s board of education? Isn’t it lovely that the education of Schuylkill County’s children is being overseen by a man with such a shaky grasp of punctuation, history, law and reality?

Kessler is also a big fan of conspiracy nut Alex Jones, and a birther. He despises immigrants, loves “patriot” militia groups, and is a fan of the anti-Semitic, anti-government band Poker Face. Basically he’s the  least qualified, least intelligent, least reputable law enforcement official in the area since the police chief in nearby Shenandoah wound up in prison for obstructing justice in the beating death of a Hispanic man. (Of course, this is the part of Pennsylvania that also gave us Sheriff James F. Martin.)

The (Allentown) Morning Call reports on the non-response from Gilberton’s mayor:

Despite the ensuing media stir and calls to Borough Hall the video generated Tuesday, Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said she saw no reason to discipline Kessler, who said he made the video to draw attention to gun rights. Hannon noted he did it on his own time and violated no laws.

So it’s fine if the chief of police declares himself the sworn, violent enemy of half the citizens in your town — just so long as he did it on his own time.

Charles Hepler, school board president in the North Schuylkill School District, said he had not seen the video and declined to comment because it does not involve board business.

Again, Kessler wasn’t acting in his official capacity as a school-board member when he threatened the violent overthrow of the county government. He did that on his own time.

Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon and police chief Mark Kessler. (Photo by John Usalis, Republican Herald. Click photo for article.)

And besides, who better to help the school district formulate its anti-bullying program than an angry, violent man-child who has never outgrown his own need to be a schoolyard bully?

Kessler is also the founder/president/imperial grand wizard of something called “Constitutional Security Force” — a pseudo-militia dedicated to the Second Amendment, bad web design and CAPITAL LETTERS. I was both relieved and disappointed to see that the “Girls of the CSF Calandar” listed for sale from Kessler’s CSF site, is not yet available. All the link provides is this message: “For information on modeling for our calendar please email us.” (I mention this only to ridicule the ridiculous, not to highlight the enormous potential for righteous mischief.)

The links on Kessler’s website celebrate an array of racist, anti-Semitic and conspiratorial fringe groups from the radical right wing. Yet neither the mayor nor the school board president is in the least concerned that these views are held and promoted by Gilberton’s police chief and a member of that school board.

Gilberton is a five-minute drive from Shenandoah, a town still reeling from the 2009 arrest of four high school students who beat a man to death — a crime that town’s police chief eventually went to prison for attempting to cover up. Having witnessed such a thing so close to home, you’d think that Mayor Hannon and Board President Hepler would be a bit more concerned over Kessler’s erratic behavior, brutish ignorance and violent rhetoric.

But they’re not. Kessler is their guy.

At least once a week, some newspaper or magazine prints an article fretting about how young people may be damaging their future careers by carelessly posting on YouTube and other social media. Take another look at that profanity-laced video from “Chief” Kessler. Then look again at the links he endorses on his website. The kind of language and behavior in that video, and Kessler’s choice to associate himself with so many hateful groups seems far worse than the errors of judgment those articles warn young people against. In a sense, then, Kessler disproves all those articles. He shows that even someone as shamelessly disgraceful as “Chief” Mark Kessler can still get a job and even get elected to public office.

Well, in Gilberton, anyway.

 Update: From Alex Seitz-Wald’s piece on Kessler at Salon:

In 2011, while off duty in a bar, Kessler intervened in a fight and drew his weapon. He shot himself in the hand. “We’re not finding anything that leads to another gun being there,” a state police commander said at the time. “We’re finding there was one gun there and it was (Kessler’s).”

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mark Kawate

    The federal government….

  • Mark Kawate

    This is a very biased article. No major media or news organization sources their material like Alex Jones. It is just the voice, friends, once you get past that…. there are a lot ridiculous things going on.

  • Mark Kawate

    Yet far more able then the ill-trained police.

  • antiscreed

    Lol you’re a fuckin child. Just like the rest of you putrid morons.

  • Keep whining, baby.

  • antiscreed

    Fuck you pussy boy.

  • Lori

    What is it with you people and bringing up sex?

  • Aww. Is the poor widdle baby upset?

  • antiscreed

    LOL. Not in the least pig liberal.

  • Lori

    What is it with you people and pigs?

    Sex and pigs. Are you by chance telling us about your love life?

  • …wow. This is even lower quality – significantly lower – than the usual trolls. Even Ragnar the Red usually speaks a little better than this guy.

    (Only noticed because apparently, he’s returned to continue calling people by various animal/genitalia-based terms.)

  • You know what, I take it back. You’re not a baby. I have a baby. Babies are capable of learning and self awareness, and they have some awareness of the world around them

  • antiscreed

    Lol you fuckin moron. All of your idiot opinions mean nothing and there should be a law against people like you having children. Putz

  • Feygele Goy

    I was enjoying the phrase “enemy asshole”, myself.

  • My opinions mean so little to you that you keep coming back and facing public ridicule and having your stupidity, hatefullness and total failure at being a human being exposed just because you can’t bear the thought of an actual human being getting the last word.

  • antiscreed


  • B Wolfe

    Ok, after all the stuff I read that you have said I had to stop that you were awarded for solving problems…riiiiiight.

    You and your kind just want to kill some libtards. That is all you want to do is kill. All the while hiding behind your rhetoric to justify it.

  • B Wolfe

    I love how they say how wrong everyone is and that’s it. You’re just wrong. I don’t need to explain why you are wrong because the word wrong negates everything. LOL

  • B Wolfe

    Rowdy, a hunter is usually quiet. . .

  • Everybodhi

    In defense of Wyatt Earp, even he made them hand over their guns when they came into town and pick them up on their way out.

  • reynard61

    And yet; were I to call *him* “wrong”, he would probably drag out his fainting couch and clutching pearls and don his sackcloth and ashes and moan and wail and gnash his teeth about how I’m “persecuting” him because I’m disagreeing with him.