The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Charred Human Remains’

Posted on | February 13, 2013 | 48 Comments

Such is the description of what would seem to be the end for the deranged ex-cop Christopher Dorner:

At about 4:15 p.m., aerial video showed a structure on fire at the standoff location . . .
The man in the cabin never emerged Tuesday afternoon after authorities shot tear gas into the structure and ordered him to surrender . . .
Several walls of the cabin were knocked down with an armored vehicle, then authorities heard a single gunshot from inside, the source said.
The cabin was engulfed in flames shortly thereafter, but it’s not clear how the fire started.

Strange as it seems to say, one of the best comments I heard on this case was Chris Matthews on MSNBC last night. Matthews talked about how Dorner lost his job and felt himself the victim of injustice. Matthews mentioned his own years of working in government and talked about people who, somehow, got messed up in the bureaucracy and could never let it go. Much like Dorner with his 11,400-word “manifesto,” Matthews said, these aggrieved people would often carry around thick files of Xeroxed documentation of their cases, trying to get someone to pay attention to their complaints: “They can’t seem to move on with their lives.”

Indeed, I used to encounter people like this when I worked at newspapers. The “nut in the lobby” situation was common enough: Every so often, a kook would show up at the front desk with a file folder, telling the receptionist they needed to talk to a reporter who could investigate the terrible injustice that had been done against them. I’d sometimes volunteer to be the guy to go out and deal with the “nut in the lobby.” Mostly, they were people who had gotten divorced, or lost a custody battle, or been fired from their jobs, or sometimes a combination of such misfortunes.

Psychologically shattered by whatever sad fate had befallen them, these people typically had the idea that a crooked lawyer or corrupt judge was the source of their problems. What they wanted was to have this malfeasance “exposed” by the newspaper (an idea they’d gotten from movies and TV dramas about crusading investigative journalists), so that the wrong would be rectified.

It was my habit to look through the kook’s file folder — Xeroxed documents, notes scrawled on yellow legal paper, etc. — and say, “Listen, let me make some copies of these.” So I’d take their folder, go copy a few pages and staple them together, then return to the lobby and promise the kook that I’d look into this.

The main thing was to seem sympathetic, let them tell their story, reassure them and — finally — get them out of the lobby.

Nowadays, kooks publish their grievances on the Internet and, in Chris Dorner’s case, are actually able to get the attention of CNN anchors with nothing better to do.

Some people just can’t cope with failure. They lack resourcefulness and are psychologically fragile. Then their dreams of glory come crashing down and . . . “charred human remains.”



48 Responses to “‘Charred Human Remains’”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    February 13th, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    One of your best, Stacy.

  2. gloogle gloogle
    February 13th, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    Very true. I am one of those people who sometimes have difficulty letting things go, but not to the point that I go on a muderous killing spree.

    The trick, I think, is to be a “happy” warrior. Mr. Dorner, although smiling in almost every photo they have shown of him, obviously did not fall into that category…

  3. JeffS
    February 13th, 2013 @ 9:52 am

    Well said. Far too many people, especially this past decade, refuse or are unable to accept personal responsibility for their failures. Someone else has to be at fault. I went a period of introspection over this matter years ago, and pretty much got through it. Fun it ain’t, but it’s needful if one is to move on.

    I see this problem as related to other problems in America. Children are taught in schools that there are no losers, and everyone always wins. Mediocrity is treated as an accomplishment through rewards and praise, when the Bell Curve says otherwise. School standards are lowered so that there are fewer failures.

    And, in case you haven’t noticed, lefties hate the Bell Curve more than they hate the Constitution.

    So when someone doesn’t reach a goal that they set themselves, they don’t know how to handle failure and disappointment. They weren’t taught as a child how to deal with that.

    It’s a wonder more people don’t turn psychotic killers who look to “progressive” spokesmen (and spokeswomen!) as their role modes.

  4. JeffS
    February 13th, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Role MODELS, I mean. Like, say, Piers Morgan. Or Obama.

  5. Garym
    February 13th, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    Somehow this will be turned into another raaaaacist event because he was an Obama supporter.
    May he keep on burning in hell!

  6. Just_Ken
    February 13th, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    Not to mention the dozen or so people who were shot four of whom died.

  7. RCCA
    February 13th, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    As a total stranger I would hardly describe Chris Dorner as a person who was psychologically fragile or lacking in resourcefulness in dealing with failure. We are all waiting for the autopsy results to confirm if indeed the body found was his. Or is he still on the run? That fear is real.
    Clearly this man was trained to be a killer and to use violent methods as the ultimate arbiter of conflict.

  8. Dorner Meets Police “Tear Gas” Fire Bombs, Is Burned Toast | Daily Pundit
    February 13th, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    […] ‘Charred Human Remains’ : The Other McCain Several walls of the cabin were knocked down with an armored vehicle, then authorities heard a single gunshot from inside, the source said. The cabin was engulfed in flames shortly thereafter, but it’s not clear how the fire started. […]

  9. McGehee
    February 13th, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    As a total stranger I would hardly describe Chris Dorner as a person who was psychologically fragile or lacking in resourcefulness in dealing with failure.

    As a total stranger I look at the results of the strategy he employed to deal with failure and describe him in precisely that way — at best.

  10. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    February 13th, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    Another murderous narcissistic sociopath. I am sorry for his victims.

  11. outback71
    February 13th, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    Flip side is that sometimes the ‘nut in the lobby’ is not nutty at all. As a former staffer at Penn State staffer I can tell you ten years ago there was one former employee of the athletic department claiming Sandusky had problems with little boys. We all called him a “nut

  12. lulsy
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    The Dorner stand off should be the model for how the government deals with all gun owners and loud mouthed second amendment activists.

  13. JeffS
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    Clearly, this man was trained to be a killer and to use violent methods as the ultimate arbiter of conflict.

    Your statement is as presumptive and misguided as you imply Stacy’s conclusion to be.

    Hmmmm? How do I reach this conclusion?

    You say Dorner is “clearly” a “trained killer”. Trained by whom? The LAPD? The Navy? Piers Morgan and other leftie hacks spewing hatred? Or was his family life filled with violence as a prime example?

    I hate to break it to you, pal, but a lot of killers aren’t “trained”. They aren’t always prior military, or a former cop. Often, they are ordinary looking people who decide to take a human life for some reason. For money. For fun. For revenge. Because they are mentally ill. They find a way, be it knife, gun, baseball bat, gasoline, rope, or bare hands, and do it.

    Learning to handle a firearm does not make one a trained killer. It means that one is able to kill if necessary. “Trained killer” implies a purpose in life, and that’s something that I disagree with in regards to Dorner. He was brutal and clumsy, but not trained. If he were trained, he wouldn’t have been cornered and killed so readily.

  14. Jon
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    We had the same thing happen at one of our sister papers — the story by the NITL ended up bringing down the Texas Youth Commission a few years later. Maybe 99 times out of 100 the NITL is just seeking help for circumstances that either are not unjust or are more of a family/personal matter, but you never forget the 1 percent of the time you get burned.

  15. Jon
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    And Piers Morgan fans like Chris Dorner?

  16. LamarPye
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:45 pm


  17. JeffS
    February 13th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    Well! We have a disappointed Dorner fan in the house.

    Alas, Dorner was anti-Second Amendment. And carried a “high powered rifle”. So this troll needs a new model to wave about.

  18. Matthew W
    February 13th, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    “Charred Human Remains”

    GOOD !!!!

  19. Adjoran
    February 13th, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    You should know better. Whenever Matthews appears to be correct, it only means you haven’t looked deep enough.

    Dorner was no “nut in the lobby” or aggrieved civil servant beset by esoteric and Kafkaesque bureaucratic rulings. He falsely accused a fellow officer of a felony, was caught and fired for it. As with many Departments, LAPD continued to pay him through a lengthy and arduous appeals process which he lost.

    Dorner was a wrongdoer – a criminal – who was caught and paid the price with his job. He could have been criminally prosecuted and sued by the officer he defamed. He got off easy.

    To compare the average nut in the lobby to Dorner is libelous to the nuts.

  20. Garym
    February 13th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    Yeah, you know because ALL law abiding gun owners write leftist manifestos and murder cops and thier kids. We do this all the time………

  21. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    Making a “nut in the lobby” out of their targets is exactly the game Rauhauser and company are up to. It’s pitifully easy to set someone up like they do, and force them to either crash and burn with the system or work like hell to become the greater bully.

    And this is exactly one reason why government bureaucracy fails at so many levels. We have people on the inside of the bureaucracy that make snap decisions, like that idiot judge did with Aaron Walker, and they treat the man exactly like the nut in the lobby.

    So when those guys get up to their mischief, the only choices their victims have is to hide, try like hell to carry on without hiding, or become the greater bully and hit back twice as hard.

  22. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    While I agree strongly with your second sentence, Adjoran, I think Stacy merely left unwritten the obvious fact that some nuts in the lobby go on to crack wide open. Dorner was that rare example of a skilled nut, who had the capacity to deal great damage after cracking.

    A point that arises from this is the fact that this particular nut didn’t “go postal.” I.E., he didn’t return to the workplace armed with several weapons and try to shoot all of his coworkers.

    Something about several armed men and women in the building made him choose another path.

  23. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    Janet Reno, is that you?

  24. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    Well that could never happen. Otherwise we’d need guns to protect ourselves.

  25. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

    While that phrase sets my teeth on edge, too, it’s typical of those who never handle firearms. Something about those who do is a real mystery to them. Like thinking of a gardener as a “shovel ninja” because he can handle garden tools or something.

  26. JeffS
    February 13th, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    Yeah, it’s a red flag, all right.

  27. Shawny Lee
    February 13th, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    By his own words, even those who knew him best, his family and friends turned away. By his own words, he justified the killing of those he knew were innocent in retaliation of those he believed had wronged him. His weak manifesto was a martyrs farewell, an epitaph rather than a tale of honor or courage through adversity . In his own words, the most important thing to him, his “good name”, had been destroyed by “others”, through no fault of his own. But in the end, it was he alone who chose the way in which a lifetime reputation would be dishonored, he chose the way in which his name would forever be remembered.

  28. Shawny Lee
    February 13th, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    You’re right on target with no longer having the tools or mental toughness to deal with failure or defeat and move on. No learning to take responsibility, no learning that life is not fair but we all have to perservere. Affirmative Action has only made that worse for minorities as they rise to positions they are not qualified to handle further guaranteeing failure and disappointment.

  29. Shawny Lee
    February 13th, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Ahhhhh, never waste a crisis with real dead people to interject lies into a conversation. Go back and read the mans manifesto….he was the poster child for people just like you.

  30. Shawny Lee
    February 13th, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

    Something about the inate cowardice of killing innocent unarmed family members instead…….

  31. Garym
    February 13th, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    Heh! Who knows, it might be Barack incognito.

  32. DaveO
    February 13th, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    Just in time for the SOTU and Mardi Gras… synchronicity?

  33. Badger Pundit
    February 13th, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

    Based on my admittedly cursory glance at Dorner’s history when this story first broke, it seems two linked events led to Dorner’s firing: (1) he reported his female supervisor for kicking a detainee in the head and chest; and (2) a panel composed of police professionals held it was okay to fire Dorner because it regarded his testimony as less credible than his supervisor’s testimony. I.e., in the panel’s view Dorner lost the “he said, she said” contest.

    It appears Dorner sought, but was denied, the ability to bring a court case — which presumably would have allowed him to present the issue to a jury. The appellate court denied leave to file a lawsuit on the basis that the police panel had sufficient evidence to fire Dorner, because it was entitled to believe his supervisor’s testimony over Dorner’s.

    If Dorner was telling the truth, then one can begin to understand how being fired could have eaten into him — he was fired for truthfully reporting abuse by his supervisor, and the system in place punished his admirable behavior by branding him a liar without ever giving him a chance to present his case to an impartial jury. Obviously Dorner’s violent actions in response to what happened to him (even if it went down this way) can’t be condoned, but perhaps a better situation for handling such situations would bar a whistleblowing cop from being terminated in such a situation absent a finding by an impartial jury that the whistleblower clearly lied.

    How can we expect any cop to whistleblow in the future at the risk that he or she will be fired if a police panel, which might act based on political or personal considerations, finds that he or she likely lied, and no impartial jury can ever review that determination?

  34. DaveO
    February 13th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    You’re assuming Dorner was truthful about witnessing his supervisor brutalizing a suspect.
    Considering what happened/is happening to whistleblowers across the US government, including the agents involved in Fast & Furious, Dorner got off very lightly, if he was in fact a whistleblower.

  35. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    Once he killed a kid, he crossed the line of deserving an honest inquiry into what made him snap. It doesn’t matter anymore. It only matters that whatever-his-name was is dead, so we can begin the process of forgetting his existence.

  36. Badger Pundit
    February 13th, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

    As an attorney who feels obliged to be open to meritorious pro bono cases, I’ve taken the time to review in detail maybe half a dozen extensive files presented by people who were extremely fired up about perceived injustices and whose presentation conveyed, at least initially, a “nutty” flavor.

    I ended up working on two of the cases, both of which ended in substantial judgments being upheld against the government entities responsible for what turned out to be quite egregious abuses documented with voluminous factual material — and memorialized in detailed appellate opinions.

    Perhaps my experience is atypical, but I’m inclined to think that much more than 1% of seemingly “nutty” complaints are colorable. Unfortunately, life is short, and it’s difficult for those genuinely abused, but lacking the funds to pay lawyers, to get the attention of people willing and able to help, so many potentially valid claims likely fall through the cracks on a routine basis.

  37. K-Bob
    February 13th, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

    I think a LOT of patent cases are like this. I know of several guys who just gave up and let them go because they couldn’t afford the fight against unjust taking of their work.

    The ones who shrugged it off are much happier than some of the ones I’ve seen fight on for years, only to get a couple million in settlement. (I don’t do law, I do creativity, that’s how I know those guys.)

  38. Steve Skubinna
    February 14th, 2013 @ 2:16 am

    I read that Dorner fired on the police with a .50 cal rifle. Which is illegal for civilians in CA to own. Likewise standard AR-15s of the type he railed against in his manifesto.

    More proof that only cops should be permitted to possess such firearms. Unless it suggests that police ought to be forbidden weapons likewise forbidden the citizenry.

    After all, Dan White killed Moscone and Milk, and launched Diane Feinstein’s political career, with a six shot S&W. Even Gov. Cuomo doesn’t hate revolvers.

  39. Steve Skubinna
    February 14th, 2013 @ 2:21 am

    It’s obvious from his manifesto that he had isolated himself, that he’d turned his back on humanity and was sustained by his burning need for justification and rehabilitation. His, and our, problem is that his morality was solely internal and completely disconnected from a sense of shared humanity.

    This was a guy who chased his grievances down a rat hole until there was nothing left but killing rage masquerading as a demand for justice. It looks as if the only autonomous actor in his universe was himself.

  40. Steve Skubinna
    February 14th, 2013 @ 2:28 am

    I too was trained to be a killer by both the Army and Navy. My civilian career since then requires me to maintain weapons proficiency.

    To date I have not wigged out and gone Dorner, nor have any of my co-workers. According to you it’s probably only a matter of time before some mouthy cashier or uppity waiter or unresponsive clerk pushes me over the edge, right?

    How many people think the way you do? Oh right, nearly every aficionado of gun control. We are tainted by exposure to the icky world of controlled violence and less than human, not fully in control of our responses. Who knows when we might snap?

  41. Steve Skubinna
    February 14th, 2013 @ 2:35 am

    I am not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but it seems to me that Dorner believed that he had lost everything that gave his life meaning and formed his sense of self.

    More to the point, he believed that powerful external forces had taken that from him. That I can understand to some extent (because it’s difficult and painful to accept ownership of your life if it doesn’t go the way you want), but not to the point where murdering the daughter of somebody he thought responsible, and her fiance, would balance accounts.

    No, not a “happy warrior.” The only word that fits for me is “deranged.” In every sense of the word.

  42. Bob Belvedere
    February 14th, 2013 @ 8:10 am
  43. Bob Belvedere
    February 14th, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    Emphasis on ‘red’.

  44. Bob Belvedere
    February 14th, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    I don’t think so: not enough references to himself.

  45. Bob Belvedere
    February 14th, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    Your wrong assumption – made without malice – does not invalidate your sentiment at all.

  46. Garym
    February 14th, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    I had to read this twice. You brain twisted me.
    ; )

  47. "Some people just can’t cope with failure. They lack resourcefulness and are psychologically fragile." - My Note Book
    February 14th, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    […] “Some people just can’t cope with failure. They lack resourcefulness and are psychologically fragile.”Published February 13, 2013 | By admin “Then their dreams of glory come crashing down and… ‘charred human remains.&#8217… […]

  48. K-Bob
    February 14th, 2013 @ 1:35 pm