Free Markets, Free People

Who said the Soviet Union is dead

And I’m not talking about Putin’s attempt to resurrect it – I’m instead talking about this horrific overreaction by state of Maryland to … a book set in the future:

A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future. . . .

Imagine that—a novelist who didn’t store bombs and guns at the school at which he taught. How improbable! Especially considering that he uses an “alias,” which is apparently the law-enforcement term for “nom de plume.” (Here is the Amazon page for The Insurrectionist, by the way. Please note that the book was published in 2011, before McLaw was hired.)

According to an equally credulous and breathless report in the Star-Democrat, which is published in Easton, Md., the combined efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies have made area children safe from fiction. Sheriff Phillips told the newspaper that, in addition to a K-9 sweep of the school (!), investigators also raided McLaw’s home. “The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,” Phillips said, with no weapons found. “A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”

As I find and read more stories like this on a much more frequent basis, I have to wonder what happened to America.  Where did it go?  And when?

The fact that anyone would find this supportable is phenomenal in and of itself, yet here we have the report … McLaw was obviously taken as a credible threat because he wrote … fiction to sell books.

Jeffery Goldberg goes on:

 It is somewhat amazing that local news reports on this case don’t make clear whether McLaw is under arrest, and if so, on what charge. It is equally astonishing that the reporters on this story don’t seem to have used the words “First Amendment” in their questioning of law-enforcement officials, and also astonishing they don’t question the Soviet-sounding practice of ordering an apparently sane person who has been deemed unacceptable by state authorities to undergo a psychological evaluation.

It would be useful to know if McLaw is under investigation for behavior other than writing two novels—and perhaps he will be shown to be a miscreant of some sort—but so far, there is no indication that he is guilty of anything other than having an imagination, although on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as news reports make clear, his imagination is considered an active threat.

Dorchester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner told WBO that police will be present at the middle school “for as long as we deem it necessary,” and the sheriff said that law-enforcement officials across the Delmarva peninsula have been given McLaw’s photo in case he shows up in their jurisdictions—though again, it is not clear if he is, in fact, in police custody at the moment.

This is what happens when people quit thinking and only do “their duty”.  When rules like “zero tolerance” replace common sense.

What happened to McLaw is an outrage.  It is unacceptable.  It should be condemned in the very strongest of terms.

Yet, at least by the media there, it seems all perfectly sane and normal.  And, apparently, the police force as well.  School.  Etc.

Maryland (and Cambridge in particular) should be utterly ashamed.


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26 Responses to Who said the Soviet Union is dead

  • It was only acceptable when the radical leftists fantasized about assassinating George W. Bush.

    We have a whole generation of “adults” who will soil themselves over the general shape of a firearm. You don’t really have to show them an image. Just evoke it. This is a profound neurology.

    • Good that Clancy is dead, they’d be sending him out for ‘evaluation’ on a weekly basis.

      • If I recall correctly, one of his books had an incident involving an armed attack on a school. If I said I enjoyed the book does that make me suspect? Not that I am saying I actually enjoyed the book.

        Actually, I think I only read a few paragraphs of the book, and threw it away because it was too violent.

        In fact, I don’t really enjoy Tom Clancy at all.

        Tom who?

        Ah, are all our comments here archived? If so, can they be edited? I seem to have forgotten to put the “sarcasm” or “just foolin’ ” tag on some of them.

        By the way, I think someone has been impersonating me here.

    • And on this, I’m beginning to think perhaps it’s just as well if the sheep crowd into a couple of corners of the paddock under their own free will.

  • “given McLaw’s photo in case he shows up in their jurisdictions”
    They can issue a BOLO for him and describe what deadly writing tools he might be armed with.
    He might be writing something that needs lookin in to. He might be thinking things!
    I have to say this, when the Islamic overlords arrive, some of us will be well trained to heel.

    • “given McLaw’s photo in case he shows up in their jurisdictions”

      Not much chance of him showing up. Gitmo is pretty secure.

  • There’s not a whole lot to say. I’m not sure that “being ashamed of themselves” is a possible outcome.
    I submit to you that the people engaing in this activity can’t be shamed. They’re incapable of knowing just why they’re wrong here….or they know good and well exactly why they’re wrong, and they couldn’t care less. The answers here range from unthinking myrmidon operating on rote to petty bureaucrat getting off on exercising what power they have, to Lois Lerneresque evil.
    There’s simply no other possibility.

  • I wonder what the search warrant for his house said.

  • This follows perfectly with the story of the”student” at Moyne University how had the unmitigated gail to think that “corporal punishment” might be acceptable in certain cases in a school setting.
    The university refused to let him continue as a student. His thoughts were impure.

    • You can’t “lookest” before it’s there to see.

    • “Taken in” for mental health evaluation based on “concerns raised by law enforcement”.

      Almost ALL the other articles say it WAS his books –
      From WBOC 16 “Delmarva’s News Leader” – Published on August 26th
      “He’s a man with many names, and the books he has written have raised the concerns of the Dorchester County Board of Education and the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.

      Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace’s Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country’s history set in the future. Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave.

      Dr. K.S. Voltaer is better known by some in Dorchester County as Patrick McLaw, or even Patrick Beale. Not only was he a teacher at Mace’s Lane Middle School in Cambridge, but according to Dorchester Sheriff James Phillips, McLaw is also the author of two books: “The Insurrectionist” and its sequel, “Lillith’s Heir.”
      Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County “The Insurrectionist” is about two school shootings set in the future, the largest in the country’s history.”
      And from washington CBS local – published 2 days later….on August 28th….
      “A Maryland middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly authored two fiction books using a pseudonym, with one depicting a “futuristic school shooting.”

      Members of the Dorchester Sheriff’s Office, the Cambridge Police Department and the Dorchester County Public School board have removed Mace’s Lane Middle School teacher Patrick McLaw for allegedly penning two books under the alias, “Dr. K.S. Voltaer.” . One of the books, “The Insurrectionist,” depicts “the largest school massacre” in history, ”

      Now THIS article has a bit more info that might lead to why, except they don’t say.
      Published August 27th….but it SAYS the investigation concerned the books….
      “According to online Maryland judicial records, Patrick Wayne Beale legally changed his name to Patrick Wayne McLaw in 2009 in Wicomico County.
      WBOC News has reported that the investigation concerns two books published by McLaw, using the name Dr. K.S. Voltaer, including one about a fictional, futuristic school shooting that becomes known for being the largest ever in the United States.”
      says he’s legally changed his name TO McLaws, and maybe that prompted this… “The concerns regarding Mr. McLaw were originally brought forward by the Wicomico County State’s Attorney last week. They have advised that an investigation is ongoing but the details may not be released, as it may compromise that investigation.”
      .But still… says it concerns the books, and the lead articles done off a search would have produced pretty much the information as reported here.
      So it’s good that the ‘authorities’ are clarifying TODAY, on September 2nd….but they’ve certainly done a lousy job of ‘clarifying’ until now I think since this happened last week and they didn’t see fit till today to say it really wasn’t about the books.
      Who to believe – The media and the police for the first articles, or the LA times and the police for the second go round that explains it isn’t what we thought…even though we were told it was what we thought by pretty much everyone, including the police, on the first go round….for about a week.
      a quandary no?

      • A quandary yes. It’s taken about 70 years for me to learn the lessons about leaping to conclusions.

        • While I take your meaning…
          1. sometimes you write from the best information you have if you want to be topical, and
          2. aren’t you kinda leaping to the conclusion that the LA Times isn’t full of dog spit?

          • 1. Topical? If I want topical I pick up a copy of the National Enquirer.

            2. I started reading the LAT in 1957. Dog spit? You’re being kind. However, this article seems to be pretty straightforward journalism. Probably ripped from the AP wire.

          • “sometimes you write from the best information you have ”

            And you always remember that the LA Propaganda Ministry plays the flip side of the Mushroom Media gambit: “Leave me in the dark and feed me bullpoop”.

        • I think they changed their story focus once they realized that the thought police thing didn’t look that great in the papers.

          • Even if it isn’t true you know they’d love to go there if they could .

            So eff em anyway.

        • After a week, I think we’re allowed. Course after a week we could move on to important stuff like celebrity nudes instead of wasn’t there a commercial western airliner shot down by some eastern power oh never mind look a squirrel.
          They will now produce other reasons for getting this guy for thought crime. Perhaps he nibbled his poptarts the wrong way shapewise at lunch.
          Not arrested. His crimes, unknown. His reputation, shot. In a place known to police from which he cannot travel.
          It’s good to be Ivan Ivanovitch, no?

    • Yeah, because things like that just don’t happen in America. Why, next thing someone will be complaining about handcuffing and arresting elementary school children. Such nonsense!!bPddYG


  • Oh, hell…remember the Duke Lacross team?, and how many profs stuck their feet in their mouth clear up to the knee and never backed down…ever.

  • The authorities have contempt for the concept, that they need to show they are trustworthy.

    So we must regard them as an axiom, not to be trustworthy.