Patterico's Pontifications


Arrests made for Threats targeting South Texas Walmarts

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:41 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas is having problems with online threats targeting Walmart stores:

Just one week after a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart, authorities have arrested two individuals, one being a teenager, for posting threats on social medias targeting two Valley Walmarts.


According to a release, police were made aware of the threat [about an Hernandez Walmart] on social media at around 4 a.m and worked through the morning to locate the suspect. He was arrested at his home and is facing charges of making a terroristic threat.

Earlier in the week, a 13-year-old boy in Weslaco faced similar charges after he posted a social media threat targeting a Walmart in the city.

I miss the days when product-tampering was the big fad.


Trump Tweets North Korea News

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:00 pm

[Headlines from DRJ]

Trump: Kim says ready to restart talks when U.S.-South Korea joint drills end:

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Kim Jong Un told him he was ready to resume talks on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and would stop missile testing as soon as U.S.-South Korea military exercises end.

Trump and Kim have met twice since their first summit in Singapore last year, but little progress has been on Washington’s aim of getting the North Korean leader to give up his weapons.

“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!” Trump said on Twitter.

The sticking point delaying their next meeting seems to be the computer-simulated joint exercises between the US and South Korea:

North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Saturday, South Korea said, in a “show of force” against the exercises.

More missile launches are highly probable, as the North Korean military is conducting its own summer drills, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement. The exercises are largely computer-simulated as an alternative to previous large-scale annual drills that were halted to expedite denuclearization talks.

In his tweet, Trump said Kim sent him a letter saying “very nicely” that he wanted to meet once the “ridiculous and expensive” U.S.-South Korea exercises were over. Trump added: “It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end.”

Trump had previously ended the full-scale joint exercises to please Kim but without gaining any concessions. However, that didn’t dampen Trump’s praise for Kim’s “positive letter:”

Trump previously praised the contents of Kim’s letter in remarks to reporters on Friday, calling it a “beautiful” gesture by the North Korean leader.

“I think we’ll have another meeting,” Trump said. “He really wrote a beautiful, three-page — I mean, right from top to bottom — a really beautiful letter. And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was a very positive letter.”

This reminds me of those old movies where the couple argue and then make up (but only after the guy gives the girl expensive make-up gifts), only to repeat again and again.


Response to the Presidential Visits to Dayton and El Paso

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:31 pm

[Headlines from DRJ]

As both cities begin burying the people killed in last week’s shootings, Trump lashes out at NYT reporter over Dayton, El Paso coverage:

President Trump lashed out at New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman early Saturday, claiming that the veteran journalist had misrepresented his trips to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, this week to meet with people affected by last week’s mass shootings there.

“Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals in Dayton & El Paso, when in fact I was the one who stated, very strongly, that I didn’t want the Fake News inside & told my people NOT to let them in. Fake reporting!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. 

It was an odd end to a week that saw Trump criticized for his “thumbs-up photo with orphaned baby in El Paso” and other moments that led Anthony Scaramucci to say El Paso, Dayton visits were ‘catastrophe’ for Trump and to also “call out WHite House ‘cowards’ for leaking.”


Update: Missouri Walmart Incident

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 1:04 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

I updated a recent post on a Missouri Walmart incident but I am also starting a new post because of a new development that involves a favorite topic around here — the law:

Armed man at Walmart says he was testing right to bear arms

“Missouri protects the right of people to open carry a firearm, but that does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens,” Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said in a statement announcing the charge. Patterson compared the man’s actions to “falsely shouting fire in a theater causing a panic.”

If convicted, the felony charge of making a terrorist threat in the second degree is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the prosecutor’s office. The charge means he showed reckless disregard for the risk of causing an evacuation or knowingly caused fear that lives were in danger.

“I wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment,” a probable cause statement released Friday with the charges quoted Andreychenko as saying.

His wife and sister told police they warned him it was a bad idea.


ABC News: Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

ABC News is reporting that three law enforcement officers have told them that Jeffrey Epstein died in an apparent suicide while in custody in Lower Manhattan:

Epstein hanged himself, law enforcement sources said. The exact timing was not immediately clear.

Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of minor girls in New York and Florida.

His death came less than three weeks after he was found unresponsive in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted, sources told ABC News.

He had been on suicide watch since the July 23 incident.

Epstein was facing up to 45 years in prison if he had been convicted of the charges of sex trafficking minors at his homes in New York and Florida.

While his criminal case is obviously over with, it is not yet known whether his associates or any of the high-profile individuals named in documents unsealed yesterday will be charged. However, it is thought that the civil cases might go forward now that the criminal case against Epstein is over.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Hong Kong Protests and a U.S. Diplomat (Updated)

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:31 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

As Hong Kong braces for another weekend of protests “which began in June and have become increasingly violent:”

The protests began after Hong Kong’s government tried introducing an extradition bill that would have allowed defendants to be sent to the mainland for trial.

The bill has been suspended, but protesters have stepped up their demands and are now calling for greater democracy and [Hong Kong leader Carrie] Lam’s resignation.

The protests have been condemned by the central government in Beijing. China has also accused foreign powers of fueling the unrest.

Now the U.S. State Department has responded:

A US official has described China as a “thuggish regime” for disclosing personal details about a US diplomat who met student leaders involved in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

The denunciation came as the US became the latest country to issue a travel alert to the territory on Thursday, and Hong Kong’s police force brought out of retirement a senior officer who led the police response to the 2014 Occupy movement.

China’s Hong Kong office asked the US on Thursday to explain reports in Communist party-controlled media that American diplomats were in contact with leaders of protests that have convulsed Hong Kong for nine weeks.

U.S. officials suggested the diplomat and her family were targeted and/or doxxed for doing their job:

Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao published a photograph of a US diplomat, who it identified as Julie Eadeh of the consulate’s political section, talking to student leaders including Joshua Wong in the lobby of a luxury hotel.

The photograph appeared under the headline “Foreign Forces Intervene”, continuing a theme of previous protests from Beijing officials, who have blamed Hong Kong’s unrest on “black hands” from the US.

“I don’t think that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures, names of their children, I don’t think that is a formal protest, that is what a thuggish regime would do,” state department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told a briefing late on Thursday. “That is not how a responsible nation would behave.”

“Black hands” is how China branded protesters before the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy uprising.

UPDATE 8/12/2019: Hong Kong airport grinds to halt; China likens protests to terrorism.


Peruvian Times: Earthquake struck Machu Picchu in 1450

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:14 am

[Headline from DRJ]

This is old news from December 2018 (actually, really old — from 1450) but it interests me:

Construction of Machu Picchu was interrupted around 1450 by a powerful earthquake, leaving damage still evident today and prompting the Inca to perfect the seismic-resistant megalithic architecture that is now so famous throughout Cusco, according to a major new scientific study revealed by Peru’s state-run news agency Andina.


“We see openings between rocks and stones, which is not typical of the Incas because they employed an impeccable, perfect construction. Some edges of the rocks are broken, which means that in the undulation of the earth, they hit each other, which caused the breaks,” Benavente said. “After that, they continued the building in a different manner to complete what would become Machu Picchu.”

Benavente said that “there is no doubt” that the strong earthquake also caused the deformation of the walls of Sacsayhuamán, Tipón and Tambomachay, as well as along the street of the Twelve Angles Stone in the city of Cusco, among other areas.

As a result, the Inca moved away from using smaller stones, assembled in a more rustic cellular architecture, and continued to develop and perfect seismic-resistant trapezoidal structures, with giant stone blocks at the base with narrower upper walls.

“They knew how to coexist with diverse geologic dangers, like earthquakes, landslides and avalanches,” he said.

Insert obligatory “We could learn from them” comment here.


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