Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Can't Believe We Missed It

Some of you already know that a commenter, James Buss, on Owen Robinson's blog, Boots and Sabers, was arrested after making immoderate comments that were perceived as viable threats against teachers.

I'm still torn over whether Owen did the right thing or not. It would be easy to make a case on either side and a lot of folks have been. I'm not sure how I feel about his actions although I'm fairly certain that I'd roll over just as easily as he did. It just feels a little icky to give someone else up that smoothly, though. I mean, Peter is quoting Rev Niemoller in defense of tater chips and Owen is giving the "Ole" swoosh of his cape for free, political speech.

That Buss was wandering around out on the fringe of rational thought seems to be a safe conclusion. Even Frank Lasee only wants the teachers to be able to do the shooting in our schools. There are those making a lot out of Buss' service as a Union officer and trying to make him out to be some sort of mole for the Left (whoever they are.) They even point out that Buss tried to make his post look as if it came from a conservative by inserting misspellings and bad grammar. (We knew it wasn't true because he hadn't capitalized enough words to be a true righty-nutbar.)

In all of this no one pointed out that he may have been a true self-loathing conservative. Goodness knows there are enough of those running around right now. (Don't anybody read that to say that all conservatives hate themselves. That's not what I said and you know it.) You've got family values types out having gay sex. You have Evangelicals swallowing hard to endorse a pro-abortion, anti-gun serial adulterer. And, locally, you have our own easiest target, a journalist who hates what reporters do, a small-government, anti-teacher government-paid teacher who rails against the excesses of the trial lawyers while sharing a household with one who (some say) is one of the state's most powerful trial lawyers. There's the textbook definition of "internally conflicted."

So, that's a lot more words on top of a bunch already written. Most of mine don't add a whole lot but they did help me work through my thoughts and that's what this blog started out to be. But there is one thing that I think I can add that everyone seems to have missed. These things always endure longest when they have a catchy title or handle. We remember Teapot Dome and Watergate and Whitewater while a thousand smaller scandals have fallen by the wayside. So that the object lessons of this little escapade are not forgotten I propose that we christen it with a snappy moniker all its own:

"The Tale of Buss and Boots"


elliot said...


Real Debate said...

So a hater liberal poser gets caught and you somehow turn it into self loathing conservatives?

Your BDS is showing.

capper said...

Ah, geez, just when you thought it was safe, here comes Freddy!

John Foust said...

A thoughtful essay. Better than many, thank you. Puss and Boots, Buss and Boots, Boots & Kittens. Hah! Meow. Easy to mix them up. Happens all the time.

I still lean ever so slightly towards faulting Owen for rolling so easily. We have the procedures of law so that judges can make these decisions. Let someone else help you make the call. Yes, Owen doesn't need to protect any commenter, but he should protect himself, and he should afford others the same respect for the procedures of law. When Owen says he thought the cop would just quiz Buss, I think he's feeling guilty for suspecting they just might arrest Buss, too. You don't need to hire a lawyer to say to the officer, I'd like to see a subpoena. Especially if you're in a deer stand and not in front of the computer to judge the comment again for yourself.

Can't we all imagine dozens of times when commenters said oddball things that might be construed as threatening? "He's human garbage and ought to be tossed out." "He should fall accidentally in front of a truck." Whoops, wait, those sound like Texas Hold 'Em, and he's a blogger, not a commenter.

Do you think there will never be another Sheboygan moment when some official asks the cops to poke around? Should you always trust the police, or would you prefer a judge to confirm the sense of what might be happening far beyond your ability to judge the situation?

Other Side said...

... hater liberal poser

Fred, you crack me up.

Real Debate said...

Yes a hater liberal poser.

A liberal posing as a conservative to try and make them look bad.

A teacher with so little respect for Columbine they actual use it as an agent of political slime. He should be fired.

My suggestion was 100% accurate & EXACTLY what this turned out to be.

Grumps is 100% wrong here to suggest this may be a self-loathing conservative.

He should issue an apology and you and cappy are proven to be wrong again.

You know it is truly funny. You liberals beat up Texas Hold 'Em as you think his rheotirc is over the top when you are all using exactly the same type of language.

Have you ever read your own work Capper?

Is Peter's Hildabeast really any nuttier than your making reference to CRG as "Corrupt Republican Goons"?

Not at all.

It is just that you and the rest of the leftosphere do not hold yourselves to the same standards you hold others to.

John Foust said...

OK, Fred - so you're saying that that you don't like P-Diggity's use of language? That no one, left or right, should use those kinds of slurs? And what sort of language have I used that you find appalling?

Real Debate said...

Answer my point John.

I point out a specific example of Capper's language when he is one of the prime examples on the left of exactly the same type of speech.

I was actually stunned when I saw Grumps refer to this teacher as possibly a self-loathing conservative type. I generally find Grumps to be one of the more even leftist bloggers around.

Look around the leftosphere John. You were right along on Blue Racine on this subject with some of the most hateful rhetoric I have seen in a long time. Do you think we will see any retraction there now that we know for sure this person was posing and not an actual conservative whacko? Somehow I doubt it. Kay bought into it hook line and sinker because she actually believes conservatives think like that.

You are right there with the leftist slimers condoning their activites John so your little what exactly have I done does not quite pass the smell test.

Peter's rhetoric is over the top for me sometimes. I've told him so. At least I took it to him personally and privately.

You are right there in agreement and lockstep with the over the top types as well. You use satire as your weapon of choice. Much more subtle in nature, but much the same message.

John Foust said...

I don't want to crush Capper's spirit, but Capper has a blog? What's it called? I mean, I've enjoyed his posts at Whallah of course, but maybe my brain hasn't had enough caffeine today to make the connection to a particular blog.

If he called CRG "Corrupt Republican Goons", yes, that's a Peter-style name-calling. If he repeated it every single time he mentioned CRG, yes, that's what they call the Digaudio variant of Tourette's. That's nutty. That's "I hope he doesn't shoot someone" nutty. Did Capper tell them to go back to Germany, like the way Peter told the real-life Wal-Mart Mexicans to return to their homeland? That's wacky, too! He wants to coexist, but he wants them over there when they do it.

As for CRG, I've lent Orv my enormous talents in open records / open meetings law in public and private. Do I need to support everything they do? No. Am I willing to be pleasant and helpful when it comes to fighting governmental abuses? Of course.

Being against certain patterns of blindered conservatism does not make me a lefty. An eagerness to make people laugh about prominent Wisconsin conservative bloggers doesn't make me a lefty. So you want to join with me in a campaign to improve the tone of the Wisconsin blogosphere? Ready to chide anyone using outrageous slurs as a substitute for discourse?

And speaking of back-channels, maybe you can convince Owen to supply any evidence whatsoever to prove his slur on my character that I was a sock-puppet a half-dozen times on B&S. Utterly false.

John Foust said...

"You were right along on Blue Racine on this subject with some of the most hateful rhetoric I have seen in a long time.". I checked Blue Racine. What did I say that was hateful? Or in your eyes, does simply posting a comment mean I'm in agreement with everyone else there?

More importantly, where do you stand on the use of Blackberries in tree stands? Only as snacks or schnapps, and no emailing?

Real Debate said...

Nothing you said was John, but you were right there playing nice nice with the haters.

My position on blackberry in the tree stand? I have honestly given this zero consideration but it kind of beats the whole concept of getting away from it all doesn't it?

Real Debate said...

And BTW, Capper wrote the CRG comment on Folkbum. To my knoweldge he does not have his own site he is more of a parasite.

As for your own rightie leftie stance...

Your tone is pretty conciliatory ont he left leaning sites John and much more acerbic on the right leaning ones.

The whole middle of the road thing kind of falls aparty when you consider that.

John Foust said...

Why, Fred, because everyone's either with you or against you? Either with you or they love the terrr-a-rists? Can't imagine a political spectrum of greater than one dimension? Two's too hard? Easier to quickly lump everyone together under a generic insult?

One comment, and I'm playing nice-nice with the haters? Too often in today's political landscape discourse is kept among those who agree.

I dunno Fred, even admitting there's a road makes me think you're going soft. You might want to practice saying "There's no road - it's my way or the highway!"

It was Owen who suggested that Buss was acting like a "right wing whack job". Where did Owen get that notion? You'd think he'd know a right-wing whack job when he saw one.

Would it be cherry-picking to find examples like that on B&S or RDW? Of course there are many who don't write that way. Do you think there are any that do?

Real Debate said...

All you had to do John was read that post with an ounce of common sense and you could see what was going on. I could see it immediately.

You can cherry pick all you like John.

My point went to those who have decided Peter DiGaudio is so over the top to point out that they act in exactly the same manner. No more, no less.

And you can tell a lot by someone's tone in certain spots vs their tone in others.

People who live in glass houses and all...

By the way let me know when the parody of Folkbum's site opens up.

grumps said...

Okay, Fred. You got me. I did say, "he may have been a self-loathing conservative." If that's language too strong for you I stand abject before you with my apology.

Buss has identified himself in the paper as a moderate and has admittted that he engineered the misspellings and poor grammar to be thought a whacko (I thought he accomplished that with the Columbine schtick) and a right-winger. I did say that some rushed to brand him as a Lefty and as a paragon of all lefties. I doubt that there will be much apologia for that and far less understanding of why it might have been appropriate to wait to find out.

Fred, I am sorry that I lumped Buss in with Craig and Robertson and that un-named local self-hater. I unconditionally apologize to him for that characterization.

John Foust said...

Where did "common sense" tell you to peg this fellow when he was only known as "Observer"? Somewhere between RINO and Mao, I suppose? A miss is as good as a mile, unless you want everyone left of Cheney to be tarred as "lefty." Come on, tell me you didn't think of Dohnal when you were asked to think of a typo-heavy right-wing B&S whack job.

Parody of Folkbum? He actually writes essays often based on a series of facts or news items. Why, I've seen stories of his that have six, seven attributive links. I think it would be far harder to make that funny.

Althouse was possible to parody, too, as the Altmouse creator showed. Just take her goofy personality quirks and riff. Is she so middle-of-the-road as to be considered "lefty" by you?

Owen's far more likely to write "Interesting", quote someone else's blog story from the echo chamber, and call it a day. He's happy pulling ten footnote-free paragraphs out of his, uhm, mind, and sending them off to the newspaper, who has the common sense or the news hole (one of the two) to print what he emitted. He's always got the code words and the wink-wink going on. He's sometimes eager to play Coulter Light and say wacky things like "Let's shoot deer in the city park with arrows" and really mean it.

A parody of P-Diggity would be so easy a machine could do it. I could take 18 of his sentences at random, glue them together under a random headline and it would sound just like him. Or maybe just fill in the blanks like the old Madlibs game. His mind drifts.

capper said...

Golly gee,

Fred is upset by my CRG comment. Go figure. First of all Chris Kleismet responded and didn't see too perturbed. In fact, he made a good parody of my parody.

Second, I don't know if making a crack about a political action committee is the same as calling firefighters and correction officers thugs. But that's selective outrage for you.

Or should I get into the physical threats issued by some of the right, and issued in earnest, I should add. Or the behind the scene smear jobs in an effort to stop communications. You know, like in a Real Debate, Real Debate.

And as far as being a parasite, what is that little nickname Tim has for you, Fred?

Other Side said...


I still think "... hater liberal poser ..." was pretty funny.

Something a normal person would say, eh?

FYI: I got into this discussion over at B@S ... one of my rare forays over there. I admitted the comments by Buss were way over the top. Wrote respectfully. Didn't speculate whether the individual was liberal or conservative. Just waited.

Didn't have to wait too long until the first vulgar retort occurred. Then another ... then full-blown name-calling.

Just as I thought would happen.

kay said...

Naughty, naughty Fred. You shouldn't be bantering my name out and about the Internet tubes making things I write with total satire in mind sound as if it was remotely serious and then calling it hateful speech. You should know better. And, what's all this about *hateful anything* coming from you in the first place? Do you and I really have to go down that public road of what a hateful thing you did to me in my very own personal life for yet more people to judge your wisdom by?
When and if I ever get hateful you can bet that it won't include silly descriptions of people's attire. When I get mean it's going to be jugular time.
btw, you really should look for another word for hater......it's so overdone.

Real Debate said...

Have you read yourself Kay?

There is not a more hate fueled blog in the state than yours.

Diane said...

Oh Fred, how long do you think you can continue using "Hate" as a political platform? As the yardstick by which you measure any and all issues and motivations? As a personal reason for living?

Can't you expand your rhetorical arsenal just a little bit?

Do you just assume that everyone who challenges your opinion "hates" you? Or do you just hate them because they have the audacity to have their own opinion?

I don't hate you but I do think you're silly.