Such a Surprise

The Austin serial bomber was:

white
male
religious
homeschooled
had outspoken conservative viewpoints on social issues

About the only thing missing is a problem with women or history of abusive behavior towards women, which will probably show up soon enough.

It’s almost like there is a pattern for these kinds of guys.






170 replies
  1. 1
    Feebog says:

    I’m wondering how a 24 year old learns to make sophisticated bombs.

  2. 2

    I’m sure that Fox Noise will tell us he was a Democrat.

  3. 3
    sukabi says:

    @Feebog: Google…everything is on the internet.

  4. 4

    @Feebog: There’s this thing called the Internet…

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    To quote that great fictional gentleman Philip J Fry:

    “I’m shocked. SHOCKED!!…Well not that shocked.”

  6. 6
    Fair Economist says:

    He also argued that “we should do away with sex offender registration.”

    Hmmm. Now what kind of person would say that, and is also much more common in conservative religious cultures?

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Evil is fairly equal opportunity (more than society), but it’s good that he’s these things so we don’t have to be exposed to Trump, the GOP, and the media hyperventilating about violent hippies.

  8. 8
    p.a. says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: shhhhhh…invented last week by Cambridge Analytica.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    @Feebog:
    The Tsarnaev brothers were what, 26 and 18? I’ll be interested to see if this Texas murderer cooked up his own explosives or just used store-bought black powder. Seems as though his “devices” weren’t powerful, just deadly enough.

  10. 10
    Feebog says:

    @sukabi:

    Yeah, i’m on it now. It was rhetorical.

  11. 11
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Also, parents worked for the DeVos family’s Amway — therefore, christian, right-wing and dumb as all fuck.

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    @Feebog:

    he and his father built the house he lived in, and he was a computer repair tech (and his father is an electronics repairman). so, he knew more than enough to build bomb triggers.

  13. 13
    David Rickard says:

    Why, it’s almost as though police should profile young white men because of their innate criminal and violent tendencies…

  14. 14
    Nicole says:

    Cue the “He wasn’t a REAL Christian” chorus. The same chorus who believe that someone who belongs to another faith and commits a crime was driven to do it by religion.

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Feebog: I have a, uhm, friend, who in days long pre-Internet was fascinated by explosives and was pretty good at them, even before high school. There were books to read, and stuff to send away for in those tiny little ads on the back pages of Popular Science.. Or so I’ve heard.

  16. 16
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    It’s almost like there is a pattern for these kinds of guys.

    100% unpossible. Clearly society is letting down our White Working Class Heros.

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @David Rickard: RACIST!!!
    (You know that will be the charge yes?)

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yep. I can smell the economic anxiety from here.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Cacti says:

    About the only thing missing is a problem with women or history of abusive behavior towards women, which will probably show up soon enough.

    He had also mentioned that he supported ending the sex offender registry.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Where’s all the rain?

  21. 21
    Ian G. says:

    How many legally purchased semi-automatic rifles were owned by this law-abiding gun owner?

  22. 22

    @p.a.: Heh, actually invented almost 50* years ago at UCLA.

    *Next September will be 50 years.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, gosh, a pattern.

    You know, every last person who is swarthy with a beard or wearing a hijab or some other funny Middle-Easter headgear is AUTOMATICALLY a terrorist, but these white guys never are, even if they’re targeting African-Americans and Latinos with their bombs.

    So funny how that works out.

  24. 24
    smintheus says:

    @hellslittlestangel: Or manipulative and dumb at one and the same time.

    Mark Conditt’s parents are both involved in Amway, the multi-level marketing company, and run a business centered around that out of their home.

    Are they a pair of mid-level leeches? Sure sound like they’re aspiring DeVos-level leeches.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @smintheus: DeVos Amway = Mammon worship for white evangelist types.

  26. 26

    @Baud: We’ve received 0.37″ outside the cave today. The pano was taken on Monday afternoon.

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    I blame video games.

  28. 28
    Mike G says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    UCSB was one of the original four nodes of Arpanet.
    The computer is long gone but they still have the original server rack.

  29. 29
    waspuppet says:

    It’s almost like there is a pattern for these kinds of guys.

    You mean that they’re all lone wolves?

  30. 30
    Mary G says:

    Probably also mean to animals.

  31. 31
    JMG says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You should’ve grown up where I did in Wilmington, Delaware. Every third house had “The DuPont Blasters Handbook” on a bookshelf.

  32. 32
    smintheus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The white evangelists are still decidedly in favor of Mammon worship, is that right?

  33. 33
    Starfish says:

    @Feebog: Homeschooling allows you to advance in some areas that are not covered by the regular curriculum.

  34. 34
    Lee Hartmann says:

    @Starfish: Problem is, most of those areas shouldn’t be covered.

  35. 35
    germy says:

    It’s official.

    JUST IN: In memo to US attorneys, AG Sessions directs them to pursue the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes.

    The move has been supported by President Trump. https://t.co/vbVm2oOqHQ pic.twitter.com/YM8kcivDzI— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 21, 2018

  36. 36
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Starfish: True. I went to public schools and learned NOTHING about bomb-making. What a ripoff that was.

  37. 37

    @Nicole:
    I don’t think you’ll hear it. Their religion is Right, the only true religion. It is beyond them to grasp the concept of pro-Christian terrorism. Just like they look at you in bafflement if you tell them abstinence only education doesn’t work. These are non-concepts they don’t argue against because they can’t grasp them. Either they approve of violence done in the name of evangelism, or they’re being oppressed that you would suggest violence can be done in the name of evangelism.

  38. 38

    @Gin & Tonic: the tricky part is making ones that work correctly, not just locating a tutorial.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Today is your lucky day, here’s a new panorama of LA.

    It’s a good shot, but the stitching program is leaving some artifacts. You can see where some of the stitches were made because there are brighter and darker areas in the sky. That can happen if your lens vignettes. The corners wind up darker than the middle parts of the edges. Your eyes adjust to it well in areas of high detail, but it’s obvious in the sky. You might want to check to see if your program can compensate for the vignetting before stitching.

  40. 40
    The Moar You Know says:

    he and his father built the house he lived in, and he was a computer repair tech (and his father is an electronics repairman). so, he knew more than enough to build bomb triggers.

    @cleek: Triggers are easy. I could have built a variety of them by the time I was nine.

    Explosives, however, are a whole different ballgame. Not blowing yourself up, as it turns out, is pretty hard. That knowledge may well be out there on the internet but I sure as shit wouldn’t try it, it’s not like the internet is full of reliable info, just “mostly correct” info, which is useless with something like this that has no forgiveness for mistakes. He might have gotten lucky. Or he may have been taught. I’m leaning towards “taught” but we may never find out, seeing as they’re probably preparing him for burial with paper towels and a mop.

  41. 41
    may says:

    The problem with women is right here: “outspoken conservative viewpoints on social issues”

  42. 42

    I don’t get how homeschooling is not child abuse.

  43. 43
    Cermet says:

    Wonder if he was a self hating closeted gay; has many of the makings. Still, I would think his racism was home grown.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    But..he’s not a domestic terrorist..

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

  45. 45
    Cermet says:

    @The Moar You Know: Most of the really powerful agents are both easy and safe to make (the ingredients are not too difficult to obtain) – it is the prercussion agents that are extremely unstable and sensitive to shock; hence, difficult and dangerous to handle. More than likely, gunpowder was his explosive of choice. Be surprised if he went the more involved route. But then, they’ll release more as they feel ready.

  46. 46

    @Mike G: They’ve recreated the room where the first message that was sent on the internet at UCLA.

  47. 47
    Starfish says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In some areas it is necessity. For example, some kids with certain attention deficit issues won’t get their needs met, and they will be put on the remedial track because they are distracted by the other kids. Some kids who have severe food allergies may have reactions to whatever their classmates are doing every day.

    All homeschooling is not Christian homeschooling. Some of it is hippie radical unschooling.

    But there are some Ph.D. moms who bailed on the workforce and who are teaching their kids in some places.

  48. 48

    @Cermet:

    Wonder if he was a self hating closeted gay; has many of the makings.

    Like what? Also, that usually doesn’t lead one to be a serial bomber.

  49. 49
    Redshift says:

    Where was he radicalized? Oh, wait, that’s another question that’s only for non-Christian brown people.

  50. 50

    @Roger Moore: I’ll take a look at that, I already compensated using the proper lens profile in Lightroom, sometimes what appears to be a light area can be a cloud.

  51. 51
    cleek says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Explosives, however, are a whole different ballgame.

    do we know what kind of explosive he used?

    because my uncle taught me how to make homemade black powder when i was 13 – we used it in his homemade cannon. and it doesn’t take anything but balls to cut up a few M80s or shotgun shells. or you can just buy black powder at any gun store, if you’re in a hurry.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Same. Had junior high friends, yeah, that’s the ticket, who could wander down to the local chemical supply store and get what they needed to mix up stuff from hand-copied instruction sheets. The Weather Underground, etc. put an end to that nonsense but the ingredient lists live on. And these friends still have all their digits.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    1) MSNBC’s @SRuhle does an excellent 3-minute summary of the Cambridge Analytica story. Here’s part 1. pic.twitter.com/xxjrynwDi8

    — John Aravosis (@aravosis) March 20, 2018

    2) Part 2 of MSNBC’s @SRuhle’s excellent 3-minute summary of the Cambridge Analytica story. pic.twitter.com/MiLJs0tG4o

    — John Aravosis (@aravosis) March 20, 2018

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    I blame white rappers.

    And video games.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    The White House wants the leak to be the story. The leak is not the story. The story is that the President of the United States was explicitly told by his national security team, DO NOT CONGRATULATE Vladimir Putin on his sham re-election and he did it any way, right off the bat.

    — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 21, 2018

  56. 56
    Nicole says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I know some secular parents who homeschool. Sometimes it’s because their kid ended up being the target of bullies in regular school, sometimes they don’t like the school they’re zoned for, sometimes who knows why. But a lot of them seem to end up with small classrooms, so to speak- four or five families homeschool together, trading off days. When I worked at a zoo in education, we’d get groups of homeschoolers who would book the same classes the public schools would book. So it’s not necessarily just the parents and their own children all day, every day.

    Mind you, I have a friend who homeschools, and, for all that she brags about her kid liking to learn now, he seems to be waaaaaaay behind what other kids his age are learning (I love her dearly, but she’s not what I’d call the intellectual sort herself).

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    It may be surprising but paper ballots need to be embraced in the 2018 elections. It’s one of the safest, smartest systems because Russia cannot hack a piece of paper like they can a computer. https://t.co/qwP0Hw0F6r

    — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 21, 2018

  58. 58

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t agree with homeschooling, but some parents may find that they have a problem with the local school that isn’t being addressed and see the DIY approach as an appropriate solution.

    The kid’s sister decided to home school her daughter recently.

  59. 59

    @Starfish: In either case, parents are treating their lab subjects.

    All homeschooling is not Christian homeschooling. Some of it is hippie radical unschooling.

    But there are some Ph.D. moms who bailed on the workforce and who are teaching their kids in some places.

  60. 60
    LesGS says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m not sure how you get from the Austin bomber to “homeschooling is abuse.” It may be, but, for example, Dylann Roof and Nikolas Cruz went to public school. Could be something other than their schooling is the problem.

  61. 61
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow! Is that 360 degrees?

  62. 62

    @Baud: I blame his role models on Fox News and in the corridors of power in DC.

  63. 63
    El Caganer says:

    @rikyrah: Agree 100% with Senator Harris.

  64. 64
    Cermet says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That his family (or so people here indicate) was ultra-religious; if he was secretly gay, he was in a trap that would eat away at himself. Focusing and blaming others is a common method. That is, he had to act out to prove he was a fit christiuan – i.e. killing those bad guys would then make sense (see the Pulse club attacker.) Pure speculation but the religious issue and gay is a difficult problem to handle for a kid isolated in that form of hate – he wouldn’t be the first to strike out at what he considers a proper target to deal with his own demons that his beliefs created.

  65. 65

    @RedDirtGirl: No, it’s about 180(Westwood at the left and Saddleback on the right).

  66. 66

    @LesGS: Keeping the child isolated from other children of his/her age does not seem healthy to me. It does seem to require a lot of commitment from the parents.

    ETA: I am sure there are homeschooling success stories too.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Starfish:

    All homeschooling is not Christian homeschooling. Some of it is hippie radical unschooling.

    I wonder what the overlap is with both groups and the anti-vax movement.

  68. 68
    Libraryguy says:

    I had a HS classmate (Class of ’82) who was weird and brilliant and who blew his locker to pieces on the last day of school – empty building, he made sure. Has had a long and successful career as an engineering type at Raytheon.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Keeping the child isolated from other children of his/her age does not seem healthy to me.

    When the principal motivations of home schooling are information control and social isolation, then it’s most definitely child abuse.

    Those are the two preferred techniques of authoritarian regimes and personality cults across the globe.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    From Buzzfeed:

    Cassia Schultz, 21, told BuzzFeed News that she ran in the same conservative survivalist circles in high school as Conditt.

    Schultz said they were both involved in a group called Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT), a Bible study and outdoors group for homeschooled kids that included monthly activities such as archery, gun skills, and water balloon fights. Conditt and his younger sister would usually attend the activities along with 15 to 20 other kids, according to Schultz….

    Schultz described Conditt as a “pretty normal kid.”

    Such a mystery…

  71. 71
    dm says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Cambridge, MA, actually. They only turned the box on in UCLA.

  72. 72

    @Cermet: Omar Mateen may (may) have been gay/bi—although law enforcement doesn’t seem to think so—but he definitely had thought himself an Islamic terrorist for years, even though he wasn’t actually affiliated with any groups and was an idiot. But at least there was active speculation about people allegedly seeing him in clubs and on apps.

    No such material to work with here. ETA especially as the victims were (by current reckoning) random.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It depends on where you live and who’s doing the schooling. As an example, one of my all time favorite students came to me in 7th grade having been homeschooled to that point. He was a brilliant young black man whose mother saw no real opportunity for him in their local public school where they had been living previously -rural NC. He was much better educated than his peers in the maths & sciences especially. When they moved to Buffalo she enrolled him in the public school where he excelled and was an outgoing & friendly kid – his mom had paid attention to the socialization piece as well – who wasn’t disliked for his academic attainments (rare in 7th grade). He used to organize study groups at his home in advance of tests. There are a lot of reasons to homeschool and better & worse ways to do it.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Please to be released from moderation?

  76. 76
    Sab says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @The Moar You Know: @Libraryguy: That is so disturbing but very cool.

  77. 77
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    the first message that was sent on the internet at UCLA.

    “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.”

  78. 78

    @Betty Cracker:
    This will get interesting to me. Like I said, ‘Christian terrorism’ is a non-concept to these people. It sounds like the connection is so blatant even the media may have to face it. How will the evangelicals react to that? Or will the media, bigoted and Republican as it is, go ‘He was a devout evangelical taught these skills in evangelical camps and preached all of the evangelical hatreds. He must have tried to bomb the people evangelicals don’t like because he’s a lone wolf crazy’?

  79. 79
    smintheus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: The public school I went to was virtually useless beyond the 3rd grade, apart from math. I’m also certain I would have learned vastly more sitting at home reading random books off the shelves. Plus my school was a bullying hell hole.

    I’ve taught several home-schooled kids at the university level, and these have been good to excellent students. They’re also more self-reliant, less whiny, and most amazingly of all, non-manipulative.

  80. 80

    @Cermet: With all due respect, it seems you are pulling something out of thin air. What if he were lefthanded? Lefthanded people live in a world that is largely designed to impede them. That could make someone angry enough to act out.

  81. 81
    The Moar You Know says:

    Where was he radicalized?

    @Redshift: At his mosque, that’s how those people always work.

    Oh, wait, that’s another question that’s only for non-Christian brown people.

    I don’t understand. He was a terrorist who blew himself up. Are you somehow implying that he’s white?

  82. 82
    bemused says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Just a “regular” kid. Very religious homeschooling family and he ran in conservative survivalist circles. What could go wrong.

  83. 83
    Karen Potter says:

    @Libraryguy: so now he is making weapons for money

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    There are also better and worse states as far as oversight goes. Some states insist that homeschooled kids take the same achievement tests as other kids to make sure they stay on track academically. Other states don’t give a shit if all the kid learns is how to read the Bible.

  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SFAW: “Ma Bell doesn’t want you to know this one weird trick…”

  86. 86
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @David Rickard: You kid, and so did Rod on TheBlackGuyWhoTips podcast when he proposed that angsty, white, high school boys with pictures of them wielding guns on social media should all be removed from public schools and sent to some special school for problematic white boys. I actually have a tough time coming up with a counter-argument for this as a serious policy consideration.

  87. 87
    Ohio Mom says:

    In theory, I have a lot of concerns about the idea of homeschooling but it has worked for the families I know, the kids all turned out fine. But this is a very skewed sample: I only know middle-class, lefty hippie families, my social circles do not include religious fundamentalists.

    I don’t know anything about how each of the states regulate homeschools. I imagine there are better and worse ways to make sure the kids are safe and learn what they need to know.

    I don’t think it is good for society though to have large numbers opt out of the unifying process public school can and should be. I subscribe to John Dewey’s assertion that the purpose of public schools is to create the informed, engaged citizenry essential for a democracy. However, how to get the home-schooling genie back in the proverbial bottle, I can’t imagine.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Lefthanded people live in a world that is largely designed to impede them. That could make someone angry enough to act out.

    All right, who’s been tattling on me? 🤪

  89. 89

    @Mnemosyne: now that’s the sort of speculation I can get behind. Much more likely than ‘self-hating gay’.

  90. 90
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Roger Moore:

    vignetting

    First time I’ve seen “vignette” turned into a verb!

    Some say Balloon Juice is useless, but I learn new things every day.

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It does seem to require a lot of commitment from the parents.

    Having raised 2 kids it boggles my mind that anyone would want to do that. It’s hard enough just being a parent.

  92. 92
    bemused says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I get that there are circumstances as you describe when homeschooling is the better option for the kid. I have issues with most religious homeschooling. It seems a great disservice to the kids who then go out in the wider world with little experience how to navigate it and interact with the general population.

  93. 93
    Nicole says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Lefthanded people live in a world that is largely designed to impede them. That could make someone angry enough to act out.

    Absolutely true! Once, I started stockpiling scissors because I was so frustrated I was planning to go on a cutting rampage to quell the angry beast within. Unfortunately, it was short lived as I couldn’t get the scissors to work properly. But by God, I left a lot of crease marks behind me.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yeah, we really don’t need to search for motives when the motives are staring us in the face.

    The fact that he was angry about sex offender registries does make one wonder what was going on there, but given the statistics on sexual assault, there’s no reason to jump to a gay conclusion there, either.

  95. 95
    Another Scott says:

    Speaking of patterns… Reuters:

    UST-DJEGUTA, Russia (Reuters) – Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, a Russian hospital administrator, voted on Sunday in an election that gave Vladimir Putin another term as Russia’s president.

    [image]

    Ludmila Sklyarevskaya, who denied voting multiple times, casting a ballot at polling station number 215 (L) and casting a ballot at polling station number 216, in Ust-Djeguta. REUTERS/Staff

    Then she went to another polling station and voted again, according to Reuters reporters who witnessed her movements.

    Sklyarevskaya, who denied any wrongdoing, was among 17 people who were photographed by Reuters apparently casting ballots at more than one polling station Sunday in the town of Ust-Djeguta, southern Russia.

    Many appeared to be state employees, and some showed up in groups and in mini buses bearing the names of state-provided services.

    An employee at the hospital where Sklyarevskaya worked confirmed the woman captured in photos at the two polling stations was Sklyarevskaya and identified her as the hospital’s deputy director of health and safety.

    Voting twice is a misdemeanor under Russian law, carrying a penalty of a fine. Shown pictures of some of the people who apparently voted twice, including at Ust-Djeguta’s polling station no. 217, Leila Koichuyeva, a member of the election commission there, said: “They could be twins.”

    Sklyarevskaya, when it was pointed out she had been seen voting at polling stations 216 and 215, said “that’s not me.”

    Reuters was able to speak to seven of 17 people photographed casting multiple votes. They either denied voting more than once or declined to comment.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were established procedures for reporting election violations. “If these reports from the respected Reuters agency are backed up by corresponding statements to law enforcement agencies from the observers who were at each polling station, then it’s a worry. If they are not backed up, then it does not worry us at all.”

    […]

    No wonder Donnie congratulated Vlad on his victory …

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  96. 96

    @Mnemosyne: I have a militantly lefthanded aunt.

  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    And… not a terrorist, according to the experts.

    But if he had even a slight tan, he woulda been.

  98. 98
    bemused says:

    @eemom:

    I totally agree with that. Parents should be smart enough to know that they can’t possibly cover all the education bases that schools and many different teachers can nor the social interaction skills.

  99. 99

    @dm: The first message sent over the internet was “L”, “O”, and “G” from UCLA to Stanford. It was supposed to be “LOGIN” but it crashed.

  100. 100
    trollhattan says:

    @Cacti:
    High correlation. We get inoculation data for all area schools and the rates are pretty good (high) except at the fundamentalist Christian academy and the city’s Waldorf school, where the rates are much lower.

    It’s increasingly hard to avoid inoculation and attend school in California, which is leading to even more home-schoolers.

  101. 101
    KithKanan says:

    @David Rickard @Uncle Ebeneezer: Isn’t “a special school for problematic white boys” essentially what our current President* was sent to? How is that working out for the rest of us at the moment?

  102. 102
    danielx says:

    Cue the wingnut wurlitzer claiming he was a Soros-financed plant in 5…4…3…

  103. 103

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: i thought they didn’t even get to ‘g’.

  104. 104
    Nicole says:

    Yesterday I got into a conversation with a doctor, who had the personal opinion that people are either right-handed, or ambidextrous, because while he knows lots of righties whose left hand is basically along for the ride, every left-handed person he knows can do a number of things with their right hand. I suggested maybe it was just that we cuddy-wifters have had to learn to make our way in a world not designed for us. He had never considered that possibility. Totally blew his mind. His straight, white, male mind. ;)

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I was struck by the nonchalant use of “conservative survivalist circles,” as if such a thing is as common as stoners and jocks in high school.

  106. 106

    @Steve in the ATL:

    First time I’ve seen “vignette” turned into a verb!

    It’s pretty common with photographers.

  107. 107
    Steve in the DFW says:

    @KithKanan: military schools are generally special schools for problematic white boys whose parents have some money.

    This clown seemed more lower middle class.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    smintheus says:

    @Nicole: I’m right-handed and ambidextrous. The doctor is not fully informed.

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @El Caganer: Um, they use paper ballots in Russia (see my #95)…

    Paper ballots are good, but they’re not a panacea. They whole system (registration, number of polling places, number of voting machines per polling place, voting hours, rules about valid IDs, rules about early voting, rules about absentee voting, etc., etc.) needs to be hardened.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  111. 111
    ruemara says:

    Reading some of these comments about how many of you experimented with bombs, I’m as aghast as at creamed celery soup and have to ask the same question, “Is this a white thing?”

    I mean, I’m a NYC public school kid and the worst the kids around me did was mess with bottle rockets & M80s.

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    The first message sent over the internet was “L”, “O”, and “G” from UCLA to Stanford. It was supposed to be “LOGIN” but it crashed.

    FYWP: Episode I.

  113. 113
    dm says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: well, the UCLA machine crashed. I expect the IMPs stayed up just fine, and continued passing keepalives back and forth, waiting for their hosts to be rebooted. But I’ll check.

  114. 114
    ixnay says:

    Well, in the absence of the internet, there is always the Anarchist Cookbook. Mr. Ixnay and I still have a copy in the attic, I think.

  115. 115
    Nicole says:

    @smintheus: It wasn’t your existence he was doubting (right handed, ambidextrous). It was mine (leftie). But every time I try to unscrew the smoke detector and change the battery I am reminded THAT THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

    Fun fact, horses tend to be righties or lefties, too. Although I think more of them are lefties. No wonder I like them so much.

  116. 116
    Mike J says:

    @ruemara: I would guess it’s a suburban thing. You have to have access to a big empty field or a stand of trees. I lived in an urban area, but had relatives way out in the sticks where dynamite was just an everyday tool to get rid of stumps.

  117. 117
    El Caganer says:

    @Another Scott: IIRC, when Russia was still part of the Soviet Union, Comrade Stalin observed that it was more important who was counting the votes than who was voting. A slightly different history than ours, though one that it appears we may wind up embracing.

  118. 118
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Nicole: One day in my freshman college drawing class, our teacher announced that the excercise of the day was to only use our non-dominant hand.

    Immediately, loud protest. Mr. Bice, standing there in his usual asymmetrical stoop, with one arm hanging limply, stared icily and silently. When the hubbub ended, he said simply, “I learned how to do it,” and then even the thickest of us youngsters finally realized he was a stroke survivor.

    Of course a lefty can learn to use their right hand, that doesn’t make them amidexterous. Ambidexteriy is a different sort of brain-wiring. Makes me wonder what other inane theories this doctor has come up with. I hope you were seeing him socially and not as a patient!

  119. 119
    ruemara says:

    @Mike J: DYNAMITE?! Lord have mercy. How have so many of you come out of childhood with your limbs? Between this and the country living stories my housemate tells me, your places were more dangerous than NYC after 1 am.

  120. 120
    KithKanan says:

    @Mike J: The weirdest things to me about reading Arthur Hailey’s Airport as someone born in the 1980s were the ability to buy dynamite at a hardware store in 1968, the total lack of airport security screenings, and the accidental death flight insurance policies sold for cash in the airport.

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @Nicole:
    Well I’m right handed and I have learned to be ambitexous for work. It just made a number of tasks much easier. And I’m old enough to have seem left handed kids struggle to learn the only school approved hand to write with. What bullshit. What a shitty concept, that everyone has to be the same, when it’s so obvious that we aren’t. Who came up with this anyway?

  122. 122
    Another Scott says:

    @El Caganer: Yup.

    Reminds me of Rand Careaga’s Diebold Variations #1.

    :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    I never messed around with them, but I had friends who did. It’s a white suburban guy thing — gotta have some empty woods or fields nearby where you can set it off without blowing someone else up.

  124. 124
    Mike J says:

    @ruemara: Farms are certainly one of the most dangerous workplaces in the US. But yeah, as Kith points out, you could buy dynamite at the hardware store.

  125. 125
    ruemara says:

    @Mike J: nuttier than meth addled squirrels.

  126. 126
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Feebog:

    I’m wondering how a 24 year old learns to make sophisticated bombs.

    Like everybody else learns to do stuff – YouTube.

  127. 127
    MikeEss says:

    What if he were lefthanded? Lefthanded people live in a world that is largely designed to impede them. That could make someone angry enough to act out.

    …makes a lot of sense…those left-handed freaks lashing out at a society of normal (and probably smarter), right-handed people. The Latin for left-handed is “sinister”, and those freaks are oh so very sinister. They should all be hunted down and put into re-education camps and forced to use their proper hand. Although, some, I assume, might be decent folks…

    (I’m left handed, and this is definitely snark…although it is true that the whole world is set up to make left-handed people’s lives difficult…)

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’ve mentioned before that my left-handed father had his palm beaten bloody by a nun who was trying to force him to use his left hand.

    My 5’10” Irish/German grandmother stormed over to the school and told that nun what would happen if she ever lay another hand on any of her children.

  129. 129
    donnah says:

    @Nicole:

    Ha ha ha! That was my best laugh of the day!

  130. 130
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    “vignetting”

    First time I’ve seen “vignette” turned into a verb!

    Not uncommon among people who use lenses, like photogs and astronomers. Movies too. I’ve know the word since the early 1960s.

  131. 131
    NotMax says:

    Sessions will try to pin blame on marijuana.

    Sold to him by undocumented immigrants.

  132. 132
    Cacti says:

    @MikeEss:

    The Latin for left-handed is “sinister”, and those freaks are oh so very sinister.

    The Latin for right, of course, is dexter, from which we get the word dexterous.

    And ambidexterous means it’s as if you had two right hands. ;-)

  133. 133
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @trollhattan:

    Shit, an acquaintance in my circle who became a neonazi had a LOT of access to nitrogen fertilizer when we were about 16 – we made a hideously dangerous pipe bomb out of of a piece of plastic pipe, fertilizer and black powder. Scared the shit out of ourselves.

    You can also make a whiz bang explosion out of a sealed plastic 2 liter bottle, a handful of dry ice and a cup of water.

  134. 134
    Karen Potter says:

    @bemused: There are religious private schools that do the same thing; students can go from grade school to college and never have to leave the religious ‘network’ behind. Some even stay and work for colleges and schools; they have little or no interaction with people who don’t have the same belief system.

  135. 135
    Mike J says:

    @J R in WV: OED’s first cite for vignette as a verb is 1854. “I shall remember to have an Hippopotamus neatly vignetted for the title-page.”

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MikeEss:

    We’ve won a few battles. Irons now come with the cord in the center instead of on the side that guarantees a left-hander will always be in danger of accidentally ironing over it.

  137. 137
    danielx says:

    @Feebog:

    There are literally thousands of veterans out there who can put together semisophisticated explosive devices if they have the materials, they already have the training.

  138. 138
    Karen Potter says:

    @ruemara: I lived in rural WI as child, and parents trained children how to deer hunt which my cousins said was perfect training to get them into sniper training in military

  139. 139
    Jager says:

    @Steve in the DFW: Yep, every time I got my ass in a sling with my dad when I was in Jr. High and High School he was always threatening me with Shattuck Military Academy.

  140. 140
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Jager:

    I always got threatened with military boarding school, too. I showed him – I went to USAFA.

  141. 141
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: My wife knows someone who was forcing her left-handed son to become right-handed, in the 2000s. Her explanation was that she’d read statistics about left-handed people having a shorter lifespan.

    (That claim, incidentally, seems to be a statistical artifact caused by the fact that the studies were recording age at death, but older people were more likely to have been forced to become right-handed as children.)

  142. 142
    Jager says:

    @Cacti: My first girl friend was ambidextrous, I fell in love with her in Algebra II when she started an equation on the board with her left hand and finished it with her right, she also taught me to be a really good kisser when she wasn’t doing math.

  143. 143
    Steve in the DFW says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: ATF just flagged this post, but they’ll leave you alone once they see that you’re a white guy

  144. 144
    Steve in the DFW says:

    @Mike J:

    an Hippopotamus

    The OED is now dead to me.

  145. 145
    FlyingToaster says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It is abuse if the state doesn’t require “adequate educational progress” and monitor same.

    It isn’t abuse if your kid’s on the autism spectrum and the nearest school that could possibly meet the need is 180 miles away. (Speaking from a midwestern friend’s experience.)

    States that require oversight on home schooling tend to have very few “Xtianist” home schoolers. Funny how it works that way.

  146. 146
    Groucho48 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I believe the second message was…Free Porn Here!!!

  147. 147
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @Mary G: Yep, the one thing missing so far is cruelty to animals. But, it’s early days.

  148. 148
    Barbara says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The people I have known who home schooled gave up at high school. In some cases, they used home schooling because their kids had learning or attention issues that can be hard to address in a school setting. Most of these kids are pretty normal, and often very lonely, and their parents are well-meaning. But there have been well-documented abuses, and it can be easy to hide abuse behind home schooling, as recently happened in a case in California.

  149. 149
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Steve in the DFW:

    And that the referenced event happened 40 years ago.

  150. 150
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Nicole: I like that!

  151. 151
    The Moar You Know says:

    the accidental death flight insurance policies sold for cash in the airport.

    @KithKanan: From vending machines. That was a thing through about the early 80s or so. Remember that from when I was a kid.

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    But there have been well-documented abuses, and it can be easy to hide abuse behind home schooling, as recently happened in a case in California.

    And California actually has fairly strong homeschooling laws — you have to file affidavits that you have hired licensed tutors, etc.

    Now imagine how bad it is in states that don’t have any meaningful oversight.

  153. 153
    KithKanan says:

    @The Moar You Know: So damn weird to me. Though, I guess, every flight I book with one of my credit cards comes with one of those policies now – they seem to be in the cardholder benefits of every card in my wallet.

  154. 154
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy: That’s a recipe for trouble.

  155. 155
    Monala says:

    @Mnemosyne: I thought those laws were overturned? That’s what I remember reading in the articles about the Turpin family, the ones with the 13 kids they starved in their California home. They moved to California because the homeschooling laws were so lax.

  156. 156
    hitchhiker says:

    @Nicole:

    mr hitchhiker broke his neck in 2001 and was subsequently disabled in a variety of troubling ways … one of which was the lost use of his (formerly) dominant right hand.

    he’s a software engineer, so he was going to have to find a way to use a keyboard with the “wrong” hand, voice apps being crap at the time.

    turns out they make a keyboard that operates one-handedly.

    he uses his working left fingers for the usual left side of the board letters, and the shift bar acts to turn those left side keys into their equivalents on the right side of the board (so, shift/t = y, e.g.)

    the mind-fuc*y thing is that he could pretty quickly type at normal speeds with this thing.

    just sayin’, us right-handed types could adapt, too.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara:

    I’m as aghast as at creamed celery soup and have to ask the same question, “Is this a white thing?”

    No, but when you’re young and male, explosions are cool.

  158. 158
    Monala says:

    @Mnemosyne: here is one article I read about it. One quote:

    In California, homeschooling parents are required to register as individual private schools with the state or enroll their children in a private “umbrella” school. David Turpin, the children’s father, registered his homeschool, which he named “Sandcastle Day School,” with the state of California each year after moving there in 2010. For families who register as individual private schools with the state, nothing more is required. Parents do not need to submit assessments of their children’s academic progress or show any evidence of homeschooling, and there is nothing done to ensure that homeschooled children have contact with mandatory reporters.

  159. 159
    Original Lee says:

    @Starfish: Absolutely true. I know many who have homeschooled, and about half we’re not for religious reasons.

  160. 160
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    What we lefty people do in this unforgivingly righthanded world is get used to doing many things righthanded. (Like play musical instruments, as I am doing.) We seem better at that than the vast majority of the righthanded ever will be at doing even the simplest things lefthanded. So yay southpaws.

  161. 161
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Homeschooling certainly doesn’t help develop socialization skills.

  162. 162
    Gravenstone says:

    @ixnay: We call that volume ‘Darwin’s Handbook’. Because, if you don’t have underlying technical skills, you’re just submitting your application for a Darwin award by trying most of the things in it.

  163. 163
    pluky says:

    @Mike J: In HS chemistry class I brought in one of my father’s munitions manuals (Army officer he was), and proceeded to see if I could initiate a thermite reaction. I knew I was close when the teacher (who had understandably been keeping a close eye on the affair) told my friends and me to take the set-up outside to the parking lot. Once the sample burned through the crucible, it left quite the crater in the asphalt. Mission accomplished!

  164. 164
    Cckids says:

    @Ruckus:

    And I’m old enough to have seem left handed kids struggle to learn the only school approved hand to write with. What bullshit. What a shitty concept, that everyone has to be the same, when it’s so obvious that we aren’t. Who came up with this anyway?

    An example of the school system thinking that led some of us non-religious types to homeschool. :)

    And my kids are fine. Excellent, in fact. I firmly believe getting my middle son out of school saved his life. Pervasive, unending bullying. And two of his former teachers agreed with me and cheered me on.

  165. 165
    Lyrebird says:

    @ruemara:

    “Is this a white thing?”

    The biggest point that stuck with me from Tim Wise’s article, “Blinded By The White” was his point about how unlikely it would be for non-white kids to get to amass the same dangerous raw materials, since they get followed around stores etc.

    I still think we should make “Profile This” t-shirts with photos of McVeigh and other white terrorists.

  166. 166
    Lyrebird says:

    @debbie:

    Homeschooling certainly doesn’t help develop socialization skills.

    I hear this so often – not that I homeschool, but relatives do – and I think we should always ask what kids are being socialized into at their school. Collaborating? Conforming? Bullying or fearing being bullied?

  167. 167
    dm says:

    @debbie: this is a common myth.

    My experience has been that homeschool children are more capable of dealing with a wider range of people — in particular, adults — because they don’t spend their lives segregated by age. But I have little experience with conservative religious homeschoolers.

    Indeed, it’s always struck me that institutionalized children are at a disadvantage because they spend their days in the company of people no more mature than they are.

  168. 168
    woodrowfan says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “What are you wearing?”

  169. 169

    It’s almost like there is a pattern for these kinds of guys.

    Why, you might be on to something with this idea. Do tell!

  170. 170

    @Another Scott:

    No wonder Donnie congratulated Vlad on his victory …

    It’s easier when no is looking.
    Even better when no one can do anything about it.

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