Bloggers and free speech advocates are calling on prosecutors not to file charges against a teacher arrested for allegedly posting an anonymous comment online praising the Columbine shooters.

James Buss of West Bend and/or Oak Creek and/or Cudahay Wisconsin, a “suburb of Milwaukee,” left a post on a conservative blog in which he was apparently trying to be sarcastic. Instead he got his ass busted.

Here is the message:

The actual blog, posted at 6:50 p.m. and provided in a release by the West Bend Police Department, states: “Looking at those teacher salary numbers in West Bend made me sick. $60,000 for a part time job were you ‘work’ maybe 5 hours per day and sit in the teachers lounge and smoke the rest of the time. Thanks God we won on the referendum. But whining here doesn’t stop the problem. We’ve got to get in back of the kids who have had enough of lazy, no good teachers and are fighting back. Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold members of the Young Republicans club at Columbine. They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time! Too bad the liberals rip them; they were heroes and should be remembered that way.”

According to the Boots and Sabers web site, where the post was made:

Late on the evening of Friday, November 16th, Jed and I received an email from a detective with the West Bend Police Department asking me about the above comment. Do you remember what was happening that weekend? Yep. Gun deer season.

I saw the email at about 7:30 AM on the 17th while I was sitting in my deer stand.

Holy crap… this guy was checking his email from hid deer stand! How cool is that?

I promptly called the detective and consequently woke him up. He asked if we would provide the IP address of the commenter. Since I wasn’t anywhere near a computer and wouldn’t be for some time, I emailed Jed who sent the information in a matter of minutes. I guess Jed was let out of the bunker for a while.

Oh, I get it now. He was using his blueberry or something. I had imagined him up there in the deer stand with his laptop, and a string of routers and boosters placed strategically across the forest from a point in the vicinity of some non-suspecting cabin, and I’m thinking “hey, somebody could do that to Cabin-Net, I’d better upgrade the firewall” (Cabin Net is our network in the Cabin.) OK, whatever..

The next week the detective called and we spoke about it. At no time did the detective even so much as hint that the proprietors of B&S were at fault. He asked us to remove the comment if we could preserve a permanent record. He also revealed that the complaint was filed by a member of the West Bend school administration.

OK, what’s missing in this picture? A cop is talking to a guy who runs a site called Boots and Swords, or whatever, and asking said guy to alter his web site, and the guy is not setting off any alarms about the Jack Booted Thugs and Black Helicopters from the UN? I’m beginning to think this web site is a pussy web site. Anyway, back to the message…

The next thing I knew about this was when I read this news story saying that the commenter had been arrested. In case you were wondering, you are not anonymous on the internet. I have received several calls from reporters with various news organizations seeking comment. I haven’t returned any calls yet, because I wanted to write out the story in full form before somebody misquoted me.

OK, that’s a little better.

This evening I called and spoke to the detective. He did confirm that no other evidence was found at the man’s home and that the charges are based on the comment he left here at B&S. It’s an ongoing investigation, so he couldn’t say much, but between him and some other sources, I think I have the majority of this story put together. The paperwork for the investigation was finished this afternoon and it will likely be referred to the District Attorney as soon as tonight (which probably means Monday, in reality).

This didn’t happen. Detectives do not tell you what they found or did not find in someone’s home, nor do they give indications of any suspects or persons of interest they have (above, where the detective is claimed to have indicated that the poster was with the West Bend school district administration).

Or if it did happen, the detective needs to be fired or retrained as soon as possible. This, by the way, is the teacher’s out, if it is accurate. His constittuional rights were violated by the police the moment this cop told the yahoo at the Rifles and Roses club anything about him.

I think the ACLU is going to have the final word on this:

“If you look at all the factors in this case, it’s pretty clear it would be a mistake to charge,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. “At worst, it was somebody expressing admiration for somebody who did something reprehensible. But the more reasonable explanation is this is somebody who is trying to mock the conservative view of teacher salaries.”

The source for the Boots and Sabers post is here.
Other quotes and the story is from here, and hat tip to CMF.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    December 5, 2007

    Will I get busted for typing WTF? This cop is NUTZ, he should bust Bill O’Reilly for inciting rebellion and open sedition against the Constitution with his War On Christmas BS.

  2. #2 J-Dog
    December 5, 2007

    BTW – The Milwaukee area, which is where the teacher is from is in South Eastern WI, Madison is West of Chicago, so fix your headline, or you’ll get arrested for a malicious headline.

  3. #3 Inoculated Mind
    December 5, 2007

    “You have selected “No”, which means that you have committed a crime, and do not want to admit it. Police cruisers are speeding to your house. While you wait, please consider purchasing some hats or T-shirts from our online store. You have the right to remain fabulous.”
    Weird story. Apparently sarcasm is a criminal offense. I’d better go edit some of my blog posts…. J/K.

  4. #4 Dunc
    December 6, 2007

    So what are the freaking charges?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    December 6, 2007

    J-dog: Thanks, you are right. The first press report I read said Madison. That did not add up (I know the area somewhat) so I pinned down the location in the text but forgot to fix the headline. I’m on it…

    (It’s great to have several thousand editors…)

  6. #6 the real Alberto Pornzales
    December 6, 2007

    What’s missing here? More Americans who become as concerned as you or I over the fact that the police ‘power’ is always mysteriously involved in these shootings/bombings/drug deals/ etc….If not directly instigating the phenomenon, they are at least complicit in sensationalizing it, or producinng the memes that lead to it.
    re: Columbine….remember that the son of FBI psychologist who was in charge of the case filmed a video 3 years before the actual shooting, depicting that shooting?
    “Asked whether the FBI would be concerned if the agent’s son had been involved in making the video, [Agent]Gomez said: “No, there would be no concern by the FBI.”

    It is no longer just small talk that the country has become a cop cult…ure.

  7. #7 the real Alberto Pornzales
    December 6, 2007

    BTW: If the case is extremely weak, or merely another “make work/make headlines” project, yes, they do leak tidbits to the press–they do it all the time–recently in Minnesota, one of the best MPLS Homicide detectives, Charley Adams, was let go for disputing an upper level PD PR leak because of a PD “marijuana make work” project