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Teacher Who Praised Columbine Killers on Blog Won't be Charged
Cybercast News Service ^ | December 07, 2007 | Nathan Burchfiel

Posted on 12/07/2007 8:23:13 AM PST by Sopater

Prosecutors in Wisconsin on Wednesday decided not to press charges against a teacher who praised the Columbine High School shooters in a blog comment intended to make conservatives look bad. The decision drew praise from the conservative blogger the teacher had hoped to smear.

Washington County (Wisconsin) District Attorney Todd Martens announced Wednesday he would not pursue a case against James Buss, who posted comments on the blog Boots and Sabers that were laudatory of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who carried out the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, in which 12 students and one teacher were killed and 23 people wounded.

"Weve (sic) got to get in back of the kids who have had enough of lazy, no good teachers and are fighting back," the commenter "Observer" said in a response to a post about teachers' salaries. "Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold members (sic) of the Young Republicans club at Columbine."

"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!," the commenter said. "Too bad liberls (sic) rip them; they were heros (sic) and should be remembred (sic) that way."

Police, tipped off to the comment by a West Bend School District employee, traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to "Observer's" computer and arrested Buss on Nov. 29.

He could have faced charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communications systems. But Martens concluded that the "patently offensive speech" was protected by the First Amendment.

Owen Robinson, operator of Boots and Sabers, praised the decision even though he had been the target of Buss' satirical comments. Buss told investigators his goal "was parroting anti-teacher statements he has heard on radio programs to see if any anti-teacher readers would agree with him."

"For me, the arrest is kind of dubious," Robinson told Cybercast News Service Thursday. "I am happy that the DA decided not to press charges against him."

"I believe in robust speech, robust debate, and I think that if we start going around arresting people because they engage in poorly thought out parody and ridiculous speech we'd have to arrest pretty much half of America and that's not a place we want to be," Robinson said, calling Buss' comment "idiotic and offensive."

"Now that we kind of know the whole story and what he was trying to accomplish I think, again, what he did was stupid, but I'm fairly certain the First Amendment doesn't delineate between stupid and intelligent speech," Robinson said. "It protects it all."

Robert Bluey, director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the incident serves a reminder that "any time you post a comment on the Internet ... there's always a risk of it being exposed, especially when you're dealing with political subjects or, in this case, something as sensitive as Columbine."

Bluey, who works to connect the 34-year-old Heritage Foundation and the conservative principles it furthers with the new media "blogosphere," said he wasn't surprised that Robinson would back Buss. "For the most part, I've found that bloggers definitely come down more on the side of free speech," he said.

"Bloggers themselves are acting as communicators," Bluey said. "They're more likely to come down on the side of free speech than, in this particular case, having somebody go to jail."

He suggested that the hostile atmosphere of blogging in the United States is a product of the perspective that blogs are good for advancing a political or social agenda.

"You're going there to advance a particular agenda, and I think that sometimes you can really get carried away," Bluey said, "and that's why before anybody hits that submit button they have to realize there can be consequences."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Colorado; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: columbine; teacher
Although these were REALLY STUPID things to say, I wouldn't say it was criminal.
1 posted on 12/07/2007 8:23:14 AM PST by Sopater
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To: Sopater
What is criminal is the GRAMMER and SPELLING of this “teacher”
2 posted on 12/07/2007 8:26:13 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Sopater

Agree.

Free speech most important when stupid people say stupid and despicable things.


3 posted on 12/07/2007 8:27:15 AM PST by starlifter
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To: Sopater

Nary a news source mentions that the guy was likely a liberal troll and just trying to get a rise out of other posters.


4 posted on 12/07/2007 8:28:28 AM PST by L98Fiero (A fool who'll waste his life, God rest his guts.)
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To: 2banana

It could have been a “ruse”. After all, he was assuming the persona of his impression of a red-neck conservative.


5 posted on 12/07/2007 8:29:28 AM PST by Mygirlsmom (I think Uncle Sam is prepping for a sex change. He's acting more like my mother every day.)
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To: Sopater
Seems like a huge percentage of "hate incidents" -- incendiary posts to blogs, nooses hung on office doors, etc. are actually committed by Liberals.

Why do the Liberals do it? Well, actual racist incidents (white against black, anyway) have become much rarer than they used to be -- and how can we continue to believe we're a racist society, if racist acts are so rare??

Liberals are just picking up the slack. For the children.

6 posted on 12/07/2007 8:29:41 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: 2banana
What is criminal is the GRAMMER and SPELLING of this “teacher”

He's preparing his resumé and portfolio to teach at Duke University. It makes perfect sense

7 posted on 12/07/2007 8:30:22 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck is the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aren't going.)
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To: 2banana
What is criminal is the GRAMMER and SPELLING of this “teacher”

No need to bring his grandma into this...;^)

8 posted on 12/07/2007 8:32:28 AM PST by randog (What the...?!)
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To: Sopater

Isn’t criminal, but is it IS a basis to fire the clown.


9 posted on 12/07/2007 8:33:28 AM PST by Little Ray (Rudy Guiliani: If his wives can't trust him, why should we?)
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To: L98Fiero

Next time some 3rd grader gets busted for drawing a gun on a piece of paper he should claim he was just trying to get that smartass conservative kid in trouble.


10 posted on 12/07/2007 8:33:41 AM PST by dblshot
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To: Sopater

So this liberal teacher went to a conservative blog pretending to be a conservative and posted vile and nasty garbage.

All so he could direct his teacher friends to the conservative website to read the vile and nasty garbage that those vile and nasty conservatives post there...which was him.


11 posted on 12/07/2007 8:35:13 AM PST by HD1200
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To: 2banana

I think you meant “grammar” but maybe you did that on purpose.


12 posted on 12/07/2007 8:35:24 AM PST by Drawsing (The fool shows his annoyance at once. The prudent man overlooks an insult. (Proverbs 12:16))
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To: Little Ray

I agree he should be fired.

My biggest problem is that if this guy was conservative he would likely be charged because it would be assumed that he meant it. Of course, it is also assumed that this liberal didn’t mean it.

The action is not the crime, it is the assumed intent.


13 posted on 12/07/2007 8:36:57 AM PST by NeilGus
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To: Sopater
>>”Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold members (sic) of the Young Republicans club at Columbine.”<<

Please tell me that this twisted freak isn’t going to be allowed back in a classroom with children.

14 posted on 12/07/2007 8:38:04 AM PST by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: 2banana

Since the poster was not presenting himself as himself, I presume the grammar and spelling errors were intentional—examples of the rhetorical devices of enallage and barbarismus, respectively.


15 posted on 12/07/2007 8:38:52 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: 2banana

Grammar.


16 posted on 12/07/2007 8:47:22 AM PST by jennyjenny
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To: 2banana

I think that’s spelled “grammar”.


17 posted on 12/07/2007 8:48:11 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Sopater
The only reason that the media and Democrat politicians are not using this teacher’s internet comments as evidence for why conservative speech on the internet should be shut down after the Omaha massacre is because he was arrested before the massacre occurred.

I’m pretty sure that there are people who are in jail today for “speech crimes” that were not as extreme as this teacher’s insidious comments. I don’t know where they draw the line at free speech/speech crime.

By the way, has Bill O’Reilly covered this story and called the blog where the teacher posted a “hate site”?

18 posted on 12/07/2007 8:48:45 AM PST by Perchant
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To: Sopater

Yeah, while I would stand in line for hours to kick this guy in the stones, I couldn’t believe that he was arrested in the first place. If saying stupid stuff on the internet is a crime, then I suppose that a great many of us who post of FR would have felony records by now. The 1st Amendment was meant to protect unpopular speech, popular speech needs no such protections by definition. What constitutes popular speech changes with the times and the crowd though.


19 posted on 12/07/2007 8:49:59 AM PST by rednesss (Fred Thompson - 2008)
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To: starlifter
He had a right to his opinions, but I don't have to listen. I am more concerned about how we handle speech.

Police, tipped off to the comment by a West Bend School District employee, traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to "Observer's" computer and arrested Buss on Nov. 29.

The fact of the matter is you can be arrested for free speech in America.

20 posted on 12/07/2007 8:52:40 AM PST by Orange1998
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To: Sopater

I’m a little confused... “Criminal use of computer systems”? Not on HIS blog, not on his time, not on his computer. Nope.

I think a lot of people missed his point though. He was talking about the TEACHERS union, which is why this was an issue.


21 posted on 12/07/2007 8:53:05 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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To: The_Reader_David

Yep, the poster was taking the ‘Li’l Abner’ approach, paroding conservatives as sub-literate, squirrel-eating morons.

The guy who runs the blog comes off as articulate, literate and open minded. The nitwit teacher comes off as a knee-jerk bonehead with a very limited capacity to make an argument.


22 posted on 12/07/2007 8:53:28 AM PST by telebob
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To: telebob
The nitwit teacher comes off as a knee-jerk bonehead with a very limited capacity to make an argument.

But if that was a crime we would not have enough prisons.

23 posted on 12/07/2007 8:55:33 AM PST by Orange1998
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To: Sopater

“I’m fairly certain the First Amendment doesn’t delineate between stupid and intelligent speech,” Robinson said. “It protects it all.”

Or all liberals would be in jail.


24 posted on 12/07/2007 8:56:42 AM PST by fungoking
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To: Sopater

I’m not sure that free speech includes solicitations to murder people.

And it’s all the dirtier since he did it to spread hatred of supposed conservative bigots.

It’s virtually certain that the misspellings were deliberate. He was pretending to be an ignorant redneck, and he assumed that conservatives are too dumb to spell correctly.


25 posted on 12/07/2007 9:02:20 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ClearCase_guy
"Seems like a huge percentage of "hate incidents" -- incendiary posts to blogs, nooses hung on office doors, etc. are actually committed by Liberals."

The Left has set up the legal machinery to prosecute people for "hate" crimes. Then the liberals themselves commit the "crimes" and try to frame or discredit the middle class white folks in America for being "racist." Or they pound the drums for even more stringent "hate" crimes laws. I've seen happen many times.

26 posted on 12/07/2007 9:02:48 AM PST by StormEye
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To: Little Ray
Isn’t criminal, but is it IS a basis to fire the clown.

Certainly.
27 posted on 12/07/2007 9:03:28 AM PST by Sopater (A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. ~ Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: Little Ray

And he should be fired.

I certainly wouldn’t tolerate this.


28 posted on 12/07/2007 9:10:07 AM PST by A_Former_Democrat
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To: Sopater

He’s a liberal playing a sick game, so they excuse his behavior as the right to self expression. If he had actually been a conservative just expressing his opinion, I doubt they would have been so quick to invoke the First Amendment. They would have fired him summarily and would never have forgiven him.


29 posted on 12/07/2007 9:10:47 AM PST by Waryone (Constantly amazed by society's downhill slide.)
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To: Sopater

If he wasn’t a member of the NEA, the MSM would be going NUTS over this story.


30 posted on 12/07/2007 9:12:01 AM PST by Badeye (Free Willie!)
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To: Sopater

I agree that public disgrace is enough of a punishment. On the other hand, if it wasn’t investigated as a crime, we’d never have known the facts.


31 posted on 12/07/2007 9:21:50 AM PST by RedRover (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: Orange1998
"But if that was a crime we would not have enough prisons."

It's not a crime to be stupid, but it sure makes life a lot harder. The troll thought he was being clever and delivering a withering blow to the anti teachers union neaderthals. It didn't occur to him that that the cops would show up and perp-walk his ass.

Stupidity isn't a crime but it sure has a price.

32 posted on 12/07/2007 9:36:01 AM PST by telebob
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To: Sopater

Agreed. I can’t believe personally that they even thought about bringing criminal charges. Fire from job I can understand, but criminal charges? Hate it when I have to defend people I don’t agree with.


33 posted on 12/07/2007 10:01:15 AM PST by Domandred (Eagles soar, but unfortunately weasels never get sucked into jet engines)
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To: Sopater
Pretty stupid, indeed.

This reminds me of the ‘minorities’ that hang nooses on their own dorm doors, or write racist graffiti on public buildings to ‘call attention’ to white racism when they can’t find any valid true samples of it handy.

they do not understand conservatives at all.

34 posted on 12/07/2007 11:48:33 AM PST by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: telebob

Actually, squirrel tastes pretty good. Damn good, in fact. Like any other food, it has to be prepared properly.


35 posted on 12/07/2007 11:51:48 AM PST by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: telebob

Yup. If you want to use clever rhetorical devices that involve deliberate errors, you have to prove your prowess at spelling and grammer so the deliberateness is clear if you don’t want to come across as a dolt—well, unless it’s absolutely brilliant rhetoric:

“We was robbed!” stands out as a shining example of enallage, even though boxing managers are not known for good grammar.


36 posted on 12/07/2007 2:40:18 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: The_Reader_David

Check.


37 posted on 12/07/2007 3:13:29 PM PST by telebob
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To: telebob

I like your thinking.


38 posted on 12/07/2007 6:13:47 PM PST by Orange1998
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