Austin Update

The 24 year-old white man who is believed responsible for all the bombs in Austin blew himself up this morning as the police closed in. The link goes to the Austin Statesman’s coverage, which is quite good.

84 replies
  1. 1
    Balconesfault says:

    Just glad that with a week of SXSW, then the golf tournament in town this weekend, he chose relatively low impact targets (not downplaying the tragedy of the lives lost, but one of these bombs going off on Red River last Saturday night would have been horrific).

    I’m still betting when the dust clears it will be some Second Amendment fetishist who has been actuated by the NRAs and other sources treating the high schoolers campaign as a war, and was out to prove the point that killers could kill in other ways.

  2. 2

    Well, thank $DEITY I do not have to worry about TERRORISM, since the culprit was a young white male, so obviously, he was just mentally deranged.

    Now if the culprit had been of a dark hued skin persuasion, or $DEITY forbid, MUSLIM, that would be a whole different story, Trump and the GOP would be suspending the Constitution even further to save us from the evil terrorists.

  3. 3
    Steve in the DFW says:

    FYI the Austin American Statesman is owned by Cox Enterprises, along with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Palm Beach Post, and whatever the Dayton, Ohio paper is. They own a variety of tv and radio stations as well.

    The Cox family, who still owns the company, is very liberal.

  4. 4
    dr. bloor says:

    @Balconesfault: Just spitballing, but golf tournament attendees probably miss the bomber’s demographic interests.

  5. 5
    Balconesfault says:

    @Steve in the DFW: I’ve never been enamored of the Statesman, but I still subscribe. Someone’s gotta keep them in business.

  6. 6
    Balconesfault says:

    @dr. bloor: the Southwest Austin community he targeted Sunday was the golf crowd demographic.

  7. 7
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Jim Hoft undoubtedly has an article ready to go, claiming that the bomber is a liberal democrat.

  8. 8
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    The Austin American Statesman article is good. Interesting to read how the authorities tracked the bomber down. Avoid the comment section though.

    I (somewhat) disagree with Mayor Adler’s admonition that people should “get to know their neighbors” as a way to prevent or identify people like the bomber. Being neighborly is nice and has its own reward, but in this context, such thinking puts the burden on people who bear no responsibility for individuals with murderous intent. It also tends to single out quiet people (introverts) and “misfits” as potential mass murderers, I’m sure not the kind of stigmatization the mayor intends.

  9. 9
    Steve in the DFW says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I didn’t feel like it was a ridiculous burden-shifting proposition, like arming teachers, but obviously I don’t know his intent

  10. 10
    captnkurt says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Yeah, that comments section, boy howdy. Austin may be a liberal oasis (as far as Texas goes anyway), but they sure must not read The Statesman.

  11. 11
    MobiusKlein says:

    Every newspaper comment section is overrun with horrid trolls.
    San Francisco Chronicle, full of asswholes decrying the libtards.

  12. 12
    Balconesfault says:

    My lover girl has a lot of relatives from deep red towns on the Texas coast. One of her uncle’s on the phone Monday joked with her about Austin getting its comuppance.

    I’m reminded of the Leonard Cohen line …
    There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
    And the ones who say there isn’t.

    These people really believe there’s a war.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the DFW: They are also good to their employees.

  14. 14
    Baud says:


    It only takes one side to start a war.

  15. 15
    eric says:

    The FOX story had all of the information except one word…….go on guess….i mean….go for it…..waiting…..waiting = “white”

    I suppose they want to wait until they can write “white democrat”

  16. 16
    opiejeanne says:

    Were all of the victims POC, other than the ones working at Fedex?

  17. 17
    Weaselone says:

    @eric: probably waiting to see whether Alex Jones places the emphasis on deep state false flag, or Hillary supporting Democrat.

  18. 18
    Steeplejack says:

    @captnkurt, @MobiusKlein:

    Back in the dark ages before the Internet, newspaper letters to the editor—and phone calls!—were just as bad as the comment sections now. I worked on a middle-sized daily in the ’70s, and we had a regular crew of nutbars who would call in to rant about this or that. The city editor used to deal out their calls to one or another of us reporters, and we would have to listen to them for a little bit and then try to politely get off the phone. If the old editorial writer had fielded all those calls, he wouldn’t have had time for anything else.

    One guy in particular used to call up to complain that the League of Nations—not the United Nations, the League of Nations—was doing all sorts of what we would call Trilateral Commission stuff now. Good times.

    And the letters were all over the map—everything from handwritten, barely legible scrawls to neatly formatted typewritten manifestos. Even then it amazed me that so many people would go to the trouble to pay for a stamp and mail a letter about mostly ephemeral stuff. Of course, now that I am a retired old coot myself, it has become crystal clear.

  19. 19
    Marmot says:

    @captnkurt: This your first newspaper comment section or something? They’re all like that.

    I guess it helped you get a dig in at my town, though, and that’s the important thing.

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @eric: Why would a White Democrat want to kill POC? No one believes that.

  21. 21
    Marmot says:

    @opiejeanne: Nope. The two guys who hit a tripwire while walking were both white.

    For motive, I’m leaning toward 2nd-Amendment nut, but I’ve never been right in this kind of guess.

  22. 22
    Anya says:

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted, “BIG NEWS. The Austin Bomber is dead,” before adding that “more work needs to be done to ensure no more bombs had been sent before he died.”

    He’s so disgusting.

  23. 23
    bystander says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Why would a White Democrat want to kill POC? No one believes that.

    Job insecurity?

    Best part of Moanin’ Joe? Someone at the highest level of national security leaked the info on twitler’s call to his boss.

  24. 24
    Marmot says:

    @Steeplejack: Thank you! I’ve always wondered what the hell the media hand-wringers have been so surprised about when they bemoan our coarsened public discourse.

    Hasn’t it always been that way? Of course, the newspapers used to filter it out, which might’ve led to that false impression— kind of like how the NYT wouldn’t dare hire a columnist with true mainstream conservative views.

  25. 25
    donnah says:

    @Steve in the DFW:
    Ths Cox paper in Dayton is the Dayton Daily News. It’s a decent paper. My son interned there for the summers he was in high school.

  26. 26
    Dupe1970 says:

    I still want to know where the fourth package was headed. Who was the target of that package?

  27. 27
    germy says:

    BREAKING: American Nazi wins Republican primary in Illinois' Third Congressional District.

    No, really. A real American right wing, white supremacist, white nationalist NAZI. #IL03 #IllinoisPrimary— Bryan Dawson (@BryanDawsonUSA) March 21, 2018

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    Greatly surprised at the bomber’s youth. 24.

    Timothy McVeigh was days short of age 27 when he blew up the Murrah Federal Building.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:


  30. 30

    I am reminded of a display that was at the Museum of Jurassic Technology the last time I visited. It was of letters sent to the prestigious observatory where Einstein worked, and during that time. They are absolutely batty, asking the observatory to prove their theories about life on the moon, concentric worlds within the sun, all kinds of crazy stuff. Some of it was really elaborate and intellectual, but totally delusional and bizarre at the same time.

  31. 31
    Sab says:

    OT z
    OhioMom got your message Thursday night. Also other commenters (including Aleta). Hugely helpful. Following up. Will let you know. Possibly you saved a little autistics kids life.

  32. 32
    MomSense says:


    Part of me thinks the multiple bombs were intended to obscure the actual target not unlike the DC sniper.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:


    Wait, what happened??

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:


    Job insecurity?

    I believe the term you’re looking for is “economic insecurity”.

  35. 35
    coin operated says:



    Clever. Mind if I borrow that?

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    Mark Anthony Conditt.

    No “Wayne” involved.

  37. 37
    Another Scott says:

    @MomSense: There’s a little bit more here.



  38. 38

    Jeez, I hope this guy was doing this alone. I’d hate to think that everybody might calm down only to find that this guy had friends who were ready to step in and take over for him. I don’t know. Is this the kind of thing that loser loners tend to do? Or does it happen with groups of people, too? It seems like a loser-loner kind of thing.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    bemused says:


    The Illinois GOP couldn’t or wouldn’t find anyone to oppose him?

  41. 41
    GregB says:


    Steve Bannon was cultivating these young folks into the Breitbart/Alt-Right/Neo-Nazi fold.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Did you read the article in the statesman. He was 23 years old and previously home schooled. Upon his high school graduation, his mother mused that he might do a mission trip.

  43. 43
    MattF says:

    @germy: Is he the one who’s anti-Trump because of Jews in the administration?

  44. 44
    germy says:

    @MattF: Most likely. He got over 20,000 republican votes.

  45. 45
    Cermet says:

    The fact that this country has had white terrorism since the civil war and no one today calls it that; especially since the police and local officials were all in on it from the 1870’s to late 1960’s is insane. That the FBI still refuses to call these monsters terrorist just proves this country is filled by both many ordinary white racist MFer’s and that our entire legal system and political system is STILL based on identical racist MFer’s. Now more than every a proven fact.

  46. 46
    germy says:


    The Illinois GOP couldn’t or wouldn’t find anyone to oppose him?

    Apparently he was the best of their best.

  47. 47
    MattF says:

    @bemused: Well, there’s a risk that the Nazi would beat the regular Republican. One can see, at least to some degree, why the R party might approach the question with trepidation.

  48. 48
    El Caganer says:

    @JPL: Very disturbing because of how very ordinary the guy was.. Granted, this is a really brief bio, but I didn’t see anything in there that would have set off alarm bells. Maybe I’m just clueless.

  49. 49
    different-church-lady says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    I (somewhat) disagree with Mayor Adler’s admonition that people should “get to know their neighbors” as a way to prevent or identify people like the bomber.

    That guy with the gun rack and the NRA tattoos on his neck who regularly hauls 50 lb. bags of fertilizer and chemical drums into his basement, threatens the neighborhood dogs and glares at me menacingly over the backyard fence? I have regular conversations with him about the local high school sports teams and what’s new at the thrift shop.

  50. 50
    opiejeanne says:

    @different-church-lady: The snark is strong with you.

    I can’t believe no one has quoted Jake yet about Illinois Nazis.

  51. 51
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Cermet: Amen. And until White America confronts this ugly truth, nothing will change.

  52. 52
    different-church-lady says:

    @Steeplejack: I used to summarize the letters to my local paper by shouting, “WHAT ABOUT THE SQUIRELLS? WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SQUIRRLES??”

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:


    These people really believe there’s a war.

    Haven’t their political leaders been telling them for decades that there is a war? A war for the least that they are allowed and they better get on board as the chosen few rather than as the scraps of humanity.

  54. 54
    Cermet says:

    @El Caganer: Really? Home schooled is a one such warning sign to me – while not a given,of course, it is often done by people who don’t want their kids exposed to “those people” or non-religious ideas.

  55. 55
    Marmot says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: So you’re going with the racist-terrorism motive?

  56. 56
    Cermet says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: That the (and this is fully literal) NAZI death camps solely for black teens/young men that so many States ran from the 1880’s to 1940 has, and still remains a complete mystery to most people and has never been in our history books. The NAZI must have modeled many aspects of their Death Camps after these amerikan models. Even the hidden graves sites near the big company factories/mines were a part of this amerikan death camp system. That so few people are even aware (outside a vague idea of work gangs – which is the only part of the system Hollywood has ever addressed: solely because that part of the system did entrap whites.)

  57. 57
    Cermet says:

    @Marmot: Until ruled out the only logical motive – the rat fucker targeted blacks and brown skin people, first.

  58. 58
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Marmot: Yes, although I’m sure that some white terrorist bombers are very nice people.

  59. 59
    bemused says:


    Heh, that thought did cross my mind.


    Funny how they didn’t see these “between a rock and a hard place” dilemmas coming when they were all in for these cretins.

  60. 60
    Baud says:


    In the same vein, I made a comment the other day that Truman, who was a racist Jacksonian Democrat, became an advocate of civil rights because, in part, black WWII vets were being killed by whites upon returning home. Another historical fact we don’t talk about notwithstanding the “Support The Troops” era we live in.

  61. 61
    Marmot says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: I genuinely don’t understand what you mean.

    I’m changing my bet to InfoWars-style conspiracy nut, including racist sympathies. But as I mentioned above, I have never been right about this kind of thing.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Washburn says:

    We need better background checks before people are allowed to buy bombs!

  64. 64

    what worries me is “did this guy act alone?”

  65. 65


    Get ’em young.

    most terror groups get their recruits among the disaffected young, the ones still forming a world-view and easily manipulated into dogmatic mindsets.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:


    Commenter dsmilev has posted some of the crazy emails his physics(?) department gets every week. It’s a thing.

  67. 67
    RobertDSC-iPhone 6 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Advertising explosives knowledge through casual conversation can make people be looked at funny and/or avoided for socializing.

  68. 68
    kindness says:

    I don’t get it. What does a 24 yo white guy have to be so pissed off he thinks he needs to start a terror campaign? Where does that come from? OK, yea, I know….the bowels of Fox News and all of Right Wing Nut talk radio and now we know, new and improved FaceBook and Twitter. I still don’t get the motivation other than these are some crazy mofos.

  69. 69
    Chyron HR says:

    “THEY’RE! NOT! DEPLORABLE!” – Bernard S, Burlington VT

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    Maybe Dems are weak. (CNN)

    (CNN)Opposition lawmakers set off tear gas canisters in the Kosovan Parliament assembly chamber on Wednesday in an attempt to prevent the ratification of a border agreement with neighboring Montenegro.

  71. 71
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

  72. 72
    Gravenstone says:

    Does it strike anyone else odd that this guy, who had no issue endangering multiple strangers with his devices to date, literally pulled off the road before blowing himself up? You’d think with the sort of mindset capable of sending packages out at random he might decide to make a bigger splash as his final act. Maybe pull alongside other traffic (if available) before pulling that final switch…

  73. 73
    Cermet says:

    @kindness: Don’t forget he was living in his own home he and his father built. Had a steady job and attended community college with 30 credits. That this ‘model white guy’ went off the rails and targeted (at first) people of color (when he was planting bombs) just shows that economic ‘worry” is not a real factor. This guy was, like ‘kindness’ pointed out was most likely fueled by the fake or fox news and similar terrorist agencies in this country.

  74. 74
    balconesfault says:

    @Gravenstone: I suspect the idea was to let the police get close to the car so he could take out some.

    Meanwhile – he was fired from his job last fall (after 4 years), and currently unemployed. Former boss just said “he quit doing a good job”. My guess is that with the fundie mindset he was raised in, he was easy prey for some right wing loonies who recruited him and fed his mind with crap until the folks at work could no longer put up with it.

    There are more out there, I’m sure.

  75. 75
    The Moar You Know says:

    White, Christian, conservative, culture war junkie, home-schooled – fits the profile to a T.

    (freakin’ Daily Mail link – not exactly a liberal news outlet)

    I’ll call him what the media won’t – a fucking terrorist.

  76. 76
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m impressed the authorities caught this terrorist so quickly.

  77. 77
    balconesfault says:

    On the terrorist front – if you don’t live in Texas, you don’t know how much hatred there is in certain parts of the state for the “liberals in Austin”.

  78. 78
    gvg says:

    Overseas it has been noticed that the bombers are often young. In fact the implication I picked up is the naive idealistic make good disposable puppets for cynical leaders, sort of like why they draft young men for wars. In the mideast, the suicide bombers tend to be young while the masterminds sit in hiding. We haven’t had a large sample size here to see how it will go and at first the victims were other people, but the last one was the bomber, so now it looks kind of different. More facts are needed.
    My own thoughts are bomb making seems to be more risky than normal gun use. Maybe people who choose to mess around with them are a bit suicidal anyway. Guns don’t normally blow up on you and if you just want to go deer hunting, it’s not that risky.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gravenstone: I’d hazard to say that by the time the chase was on our “poor misudersood” young man had stopped operating his reasoning by any direct means.

  81. 81
    captnkurt says:

    @Marmot: Didn’t actually mean to disparage your fair city of Austin, so I apologize for that, marmot. It was said in a thoughtless way. News comments sections are like wrecks on the highway. I know better than to rubberneck at the carnage, but I am drawn regardless, despite the psychic damage.

  82. 82
    cosima says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Oh FFS — the adult equivalent of the heinous #walkupnotout bullshyt. It is not our responsibility to be nice to the crank next door to keep him from wreaking various sorts of havoc, with or without deadly consequences.

    That sort of talk basically says ‘we need you to help us do our job by looking out for bad guys’ and it fosters distrust rather than trust. What will the RWNJs have to say about law enforcement asking folk to poke their noses into their business?

  83. 83
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @gvg: Most violent criminals are young. In fact, one of the things I find most interesting and unusual about American mass shootings is that they’re not all young–the school shooters are usually young, but other mass shooters are often middle-aged or older. The Las Vegas shooter was in his sixties.

    The Unabomber is an interesting case–he started when he was in his thirties but kept going sporadically into his fifties, when he escalated to the point that he was caught.

  84. 84
    Ohio Mom says:

    @MomSense: One answer to your question: A sadistic swimming teacher traumatized Sab’s four-year old granddaughter on the spectrum; fortunately she did not drown.

    An alternative answer: Sab and her step-daughter just gained a deep appreciation of what advocating for an autistic child entails. They are getting their sea legs, they are going to be fine. That little girl is fortunate to have a united team of adults overseeing her childhood.

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