The Conversation

Crime: News stories and opinions that deal with crime.

The counter-culture fantasy

Feb 16, 2013 9:58 PM PT

In response to It's Enough Already:

One reason for the popularity of a creature like Chris Dorner among the Left is that those who control the culture in modern America still love to think of themselves as the counter-culture.  Nothing pumps up this fantasy like a heroic "rebel" myth, starring someone who actively went to war against The Man.  Some of the less energetic liberals will create a modest buffer of separation, as in the case of Marc Lamont Hill: "Oh, of course I don't actually condone Dorner's murders, but I can sympathize with the people who do, and he was such an interesting man with such a thoughtful manifesto, and shouldn't we pay more attention to the issues he was concerned with..."

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It's Enough Already

Feb 16, 2013 7:45 PM PT

In response to Deb:

I think Rosie Gray was fairly clear that the mainstreaming of Dorner support was on the left. However, she and others have fuzzed up the lines just enough that, if it's not corrected, it will come back to haunt the right.

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About that Bipartisan Dorner Fan Club

Feb 16, 2013 2:21 PM PT

Last week Rosie Gray wrote a post at Buzzfeed titled "The Christopher Dorner Fan Club Is More Mainstream Than You'd Think." Mainstream, yes. Bipartisan, not so much.

The article attempts to make the case that the #teamDorner phenomenon is spread across the aisle, "Dorner is now hailed as a kind of folk hero by some on the Chomsky-esque left and the Ron Paul right, who view the killer's manifesto as an articulate indictment of the "police state" they have always opposed. " But the rest of the article is devoted to recounting the liberal outlets and individuals who have expressed admiration for Dorner. Gray opens with Marc Lamont Hill who said with apparent enthusiasm on CNN "It's almost like watching Django Unchained in real life, it's kind of exciting." There's also a story at Alternet which argues that Dorner was a "bad man" but may become an enduring black folk hero. Additionally Gray points to stories at Salon which she describes as "sympathetic" and one at Vice about Anonymous' sympathy for Dorner's views on police.

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Former Democratic PAC Treasurer in Philadelphia Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Feb 15, 2013 5:43 PM PT

An interesting press release from the Philadelphia office of the FBI came across my emails today.

"Former Philadelphia City employee John D. McDaniel, 39, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud for allegedly stealing $100,000 from a campaign/political committee." ...

"Between 2010 and 2011, McDaniel used several methods to routinely and, at times, without authorization, withdraw funds from the committee account, which funds he then used for his own purposes and other purposes. At times, McDaniel wrote and cashed checks to himself and wrote checks to Progressive Agenda, a political action committee which he controlled, from which he then took stolen funds. McDaniel concealed the theft by filing false and incomplete campaign finance reports."

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Chicago, City of Romance

Feb 14, 2013 9:23 AM PT

Happy VD from the City of Big Shoulders, where on this date in 1929 a team of Cupids working for St. Scarface famously shot lead arrows through the hearts of Bugs Moran's boys in the back of a Northside garage. That incident spurred worldwide headlines and 84 years later continues to be fodder for Hollywood storytellers. Fast forward to 2013: for Chicago, 7 murders constitutes a light weekend and a page A4 notice in the Trib; we've in fact experienced the equivalent of over 7 St. Valentines Day massacres since January 1 (for all the latest Chicago mayhem box scores, drop in at

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Priorities, priorities

Feb 12, 2013 1:58 PM PT

A raging gun battle with mad-dog killer Chris Dorner erupts at Big Bear Lake in California.  Two officers down, and the killer's fate is still unknown at the moment of this writing.  

But the media has its priorities.  Howard Kurtz, Newsweek/Daily Beast/CNN: "What if alleged killer Chris Dorner is captured or killed as the SOTU begins?  Obama could face a Bill Clinton/O.J. verdict moment."

Hacking School Computers is a Bad Idea When You're the School Secretary

Feb 11, 2013 7:49 PM PT

A school secretary in Pennsylvania faces up to seven years in prison for allegedly hacking into a school district's computer network to change her children's grades and snoop into school personnel files and emails.

Catherine Venusto, 46, worked for the Northwestern Lehigh School District in the administration building.  For approximately six years, her job responsibilities included creating log-on credentials for school employees and the district's superintendent.  According to the area's local newspaper, The Morning Call

Venusto accessed the school district's grading database system over 110 times and also viewed district emails and personnel files nearly 12,916 times, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Christie Bonesch.

Authorities say Venusto's daughter went from a failing grade to a medical exception and her son went from a grade of 98 percent to 99 percent. Venusto claims her son's grade went from 96 to 99, according to testimony Monday.

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Hacker Hijacks TV Station to Issue Zombie Alert

Feb 11, 2013 6:41 PM PT

The people of Montana can rest easy tonight, knowing that Zombies will not be stopping by for dinner to eat them.

KRTV in central Montana issued an apology to its viewers today after a hacker broke into their system and sent out a bogus emergency alert message over the airwaves and on the station's website.

KRTV says on its website the hackers broadcast that "dead bodies are rising from their graves" in several Montana counties.


The alert claimed the bodies were "attacking the living" and warned people not to "approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous."

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Obama hack Cutter refuses to apologize for 'felony' claim

Feb 11, 2013 6:47 AM PT

Obama spokespuppet Stephanie Cutter was the face of many of the worst moments of the 2012 presidential campaign. On ABC's web extra for This Week, she declined to apologize for her wild speculation that Mitt Romney may have committed a "felony" after leaving Bain Capital. She also helped push the claim that Romney killed a man's wife, then lied about it. She represents the worst of our divided, partisan political era.

In a country whose media were not in thrall to a political cult, Cutter would be drummed out of politics for good. Instead, she is privately--and not-so-privately--admired for her sheer audacity. She represents what the Obama camp has been taught is the highest good--the willingness to repeat any lie as many times as necessary to win, the idea being that the means justify the ends. Bring a gun to a knife-fight, Obama once said. She did.

FBI Nabs CA Man Who Attempted to Bomb Bank of America, 'Trigger Civil War'

Feb 8, 2013 1:21 PM PT

The San Francisco office of the FBI posted a press release this afternoon announcing that a San Jose, California man had been arrested this morning for attempting to blow up a Bank of America building in Oakland, California.

28 year old Matthew Aaron Llaneza was charged with "attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce." The arrest is the outcome of an undercover operation conducted by the FBI’s South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force that began late last year.

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