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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just When You Find Something To Fight For...

...the ACLU comes along and ruins it.

So in Wisconsin, a teacher was arrested--ARRESTED!--for a comment posted on a local political blog.

According to CNN, James Buss left a message on a political board seemingly praising the Columbine shooters. His comment said:

"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!"

Now, is this over the top? Absolutely. Is there a pretty good chance that this was an offensive way of just trying to be funny? Probably, if I were to guess.

However, the police is trying to compare it to saying "bomb" in an airport. Which is more than absurd--and the absurdity is heightened when I happen to read this article while watching "V for Vendetta" (which, by the way--upon further viewing, is an incredible movie).

This sounds like an egregious overstepping of power, and a blatant attack on our rights as citizens to voice opinions. Not to mention it is a flipping anonymous comment on a blog.

So what's this have to do with the ACLU? Take it away, Larry Dupuis, legal director of the Wisconsin ACLU:

"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."

What a ridiculous cheap shot. The conservative / classic liberal view of teacher unions is that it cheapens public education and takes away the free market approach of what education should be: the best teachers paid the best wages, and the worst teachers fired without the fear of union legal protection.

This really is not inherently "political" post; in fact, I think it could be pretty fairly said that I have avoided such posts for quite a while here. However, a blatant cheap shot and uniformed opinion simply could not go without comment.

All that said, I sincerely hope that Washington County, Wisconsin sobers up awfully quick off the drink of self-righteousness and power and let this man go--no matter how ridiculous his opinion may be.

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I don't get what's wrong with pointing out that this teacher--a union member on a conservative blog, mind you--was trying to satirize the viewpoints of those on the message board. The ACLU guy wasn't condoning it or agreeing with the guy, he was simply pointing out the reality of the situation which was that this teacher was in all likelihood on the board to mock those he disagreed with.

I mean, 90% of all internet communications take this form. Good god, go to the Onion A.V. Club's message boards some time.

Now, we can argue whether the teacher was right to satirize as he did (um, clearly not) or whether his disagreement with the blog members was valid (um, probably. If you think teachers are underworked and overpaid, you're wrong). But I don't think the teacher, the ACLU, or anyone was making a claim about the validity of a market-based educational system versus the traditional model.

In other words, calm down. The ACLU is on your side here and, as an organization, doesn't give a damn about this guy's politics.
I told you over a year and a half ago how awesome V for Vendetta was and you're just figuring it out now? What an asshole.
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