Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pretend "Conservative" Arrested


A wacko Lefty poses as a wacko Righty, and posts stupid stuff on Boots & Sabers.

But anonymous screen-names don't guarantee anonymity these days; so now the wacko is unemployed.

As readers of a conservative blog debated the subject of teacher salaries, a writer using the pseudonym "Observer" weighed in.

The West Bend teachers' salaries made him sick, the person wrote, adding that the 1999 Columbine High School killers had the right idea.

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

But police say the writer was a teacher himself - and the past president of a teachers union - apparently posing as a teacher-hater.

James Buss was arrested Thursday by West Bend police, and the 46-year-old Cudahy man could face criminal charges. He has been suspended from his job as a teacher at Oak Creek High School.

Owen, whose blogsite was used by the wacko Lefty, thinks that this is a free-speech matter, and I tend to agree.

In any case, we learn that the concept of "honor" is foreign to some people.


John Foust said...

In this, I hope there's plenty of discussion about the role of anonymity on blogs. B&S's policy was all over the map on this. They allowed anonymity, even encouraged it. But then they'd "out" someone based on their IP address when they felt like it. If a contrary commenter posted from a governmental IP address, Owen and Jed felt free to reveal that info as a point of argument in one of their subsequent comments!

I also hope there's plenty of discussion about whether web sites should roll right over and hand out IP info to law enforcement without a warrant. Why did Owen do that?

And of course I can't help but let this be about me, me, me. When I was booted from B&S on similarly unevenly-enforced T&S violations, Owen claimed I'd sock-puppeted a half-dozen times. His claim is utterly false. I ask him to show evidence to support it or rescind that accusation. "Concept of honor"? He would ask the same of me or anyone else who impugned his character this way. He's got the logs. Let's see his proof or even his suspicions. He's blocked the entire 32 IP address block for my ISP business, and my customers can't read B&S.

Like any blog, B&S isn't free of sock puppets. E.g., on October 28 in the "Bad Dog" thread, an obvious sock puppet (or anonymous whistleblowing no-taxes patriot, if you prefer) mocks my comments and imitates my name, yet prompted no action by either jodphurs-loving admin.

Of kourse, I komment on Owen's komments on my Boots and Kittens Boots and Kittens blog.

This teacher was a fool for what he did, no doubt. Should've known better. Didn't help his cause. Needs to practice his parody skills. I predict the Milwaukee Conservative Chorus will be all about the "liberal" plaster. Has anyone presented evidence of this teacher's political leanings, or is it just assumed? Wouldn't it be possible for him to vote Republican, yet be in favor of the referendum or defend teacher's salaries and bennies? It's so much easier to think when all you have to do is say "liberal" and be done with it.

I also presume the anti-conservative bloggers will do a great job of hunting down similarly outrageous threats made by bloggers and kommenters. I'm heading to Texas right now!

Dad29 said...

John, it's a safe (but not CERTAIN) bet that the President of a WEAC local ascribes to all the WEAC's agenda. Further, the comment's obvious, heavy-handed, and inane spelling/grammar errors lend credence to the belief that he was a Lefty pretending to be a know the rest.

As to surrendering the ISP: I dunno. You don't know if the copshop HAD a warrant (or if they told Owen they would get one for sure, if he didn't roll over.) Owen doesn't remark on that particular.

But that's a good question...

capper said...


Just because one belongs to a union, it does not mean that they are automatically liberal, or that they follow the marching orders of that union. PaddyMac makes a fine example.

I also feel that you (and Owen) may be in right about the teacher's political orientation, but there is enough evidence coming in that would make me wonder the true nature of the commentater.

On a personal note, my high school chemistry teacher was a bit off. Maybe it has something to do with all the exposure to chemicals.

John Foust said...

ISP is "Internet service provider." My business is an ISP to customers.

IP is "Internet protocol". Every ISP customer gets a number like when they're allowed on to the Internet. It's a semi-unique identifier. It's unique in the world to the Internet, but it's not perfect. For example, everyone within a household almost certainly shares a single IP. Same for employees of a business behind a firewall. Even that IP number can change at intervals, so you have to correlate it to the records of their ISP. IP alone is easily dodged by a good defense attorney, until you find better evidence from a particular computer that pins a particular person to it at a particular time.

Of course, if the guy admitted it, it's all moot.

Dad29 said...

Capper, you're right--I do not know with moral certainty the politics of Buss. I have an informed guess, but that only counts in drinking-games and some trivia questions. OTOH, I'll stick with my informed guess until proven wrong in this case.

It is clear that the guy has a couple of screws loose--but not at all clear to me that he's a 'clear and present danger.' Goofy, yes. Stupid, yes. Dangerous? Eeehhhnnnnn...that's up to the cop shop and DA to figure out.

John--you're right. I confused ISP and IP.

As to the question you posed:

I read the comments at B&S to clarify my thoughts and reviewed the issues at EFF.

1) Buss had no expectation of "privacy." So revealing his IP (or whatever mechanism) is not illegal--and it seems that the cop shop would have successfully pursued disclosure no matter what Owen did or thought in the matter. What's the point in presenting obstacles, other than being a jerk? Owen didn't think the commenter was a serious danger, and I suppose that he thought the cops and/or the DA would come to the same conclusion.

2) While you, Owen, and I agree that Buss' comments were stupid/silly/inane, SOMEONE perceived them as a 'threat.' The police have a responsibility to act on the complaint. They have some discretion as to making an arrest, but the DA will have the burden of a charge/no charge decision. I imagine that the DA will take into account Buss' intentions and his prior track record (which I surmise is clean as anyone's) in arriving at a charging decision.

So there was no legal ground on which Owen could refuse the request of the cop shop, and there was something of a moral imperative pushing TOWARDS revelation of the IP--the resolution of the concern about the commenter's real intentions and a determination that he is/is not a genuine threat.

I agree w/Owen's call.

I might have disagreed if YOU or I made the remarks, of course, because I know we are both puddytats.

John Foust said...

It looks like Owen took extra time to explain his thought process, so we do have more detail to consider.

I'm still shaping some of this in my mind, but I can't help but recall the Sheboygan incident. If that cop had been calling around asking for IPs of commenters, should the blog-owners have rolled over without question? As Althouse has suggested, perhaps Owen shouldn't have rolled if he felt there was no real threat being made. In both examples, you do expect the blog owner to make a judgment.

Dad29 said...

The Sheboygan case was VERY different.

No threats.