The Death of Daniel Shaver

In early 2016, pest-control specialist Daniel Shaver was a in a hotel drinking with two friends he’d picked up and showing off a pellet gun he used for his job. Someone saw him at the window and called the police. What resulted was a police officer shooting Shaver to death. The officer was acquitted last week and the judge released the body cam video of the shooting. If you can stomach it, here it is:

If you can’t watch — which I understand — I’ll tell you what happens. Shaver — drunk, scared, crying and begging the officers not to shoot him — is trying to comply with the barked orders of one of the officers, which are often contradictory and confusing. As he begins crawling toward the officers, he reaches back — possibly to pull up his pants. At that point, the officer with the camera shoots him five times, killing him. The officer who shot him was removed from the force at least in part for etching “You’re Fucked” in the barrel of his rifle.

Patterico, a prosecutor, gives as good a defense of the shooting as can be given here, citing videos that were often deceptive as to what was happening. It’s a fair analysis but I disagree with it. There were multiple officers at the scene; there was no indication of a second gunman; telling Shaver that if he moved the wrong way he’d get shot was a grossly unreasonable demand to make. Patterico’s analysis illustrates, once again, the underlying problem with police-civilian confrontations: untrained civilians are expected to react perfectly and not make a single mistake; trained police officers are allowed leeway for mistakes and errors. We’ll break down shootings like the Zapruder film to illustrate “mistakes” the victim made that justified the shooting; but we won’t hold officers to the same standard.

What we see in the video is the result of the aggressive training police officers have been getting in recent years (one of which is literally called “Bulletproof Warrior”). They are told to see every movement as a potential attack — this at a time when shooting of police officers and assaults on officers are at an all-time low. And they react accordingly.

The reason for the acquittal is that juries have been told, based on Supreme Court precedent, that a shooting is justified if the police are in fear of their lives. Note that there’s no requirement that the fear be reasonable. Or that the fear not be a result of their own previous actions. If police needlessly provoke a confrontation that results in a civilian getting shot, all the jury needs to consider is what was going on at the moment of the shooting, not all the mistakes that led up to that. In the Tamir Rice incident, for example, the fact that the police roared up in a car, jumped out and opened fire was considered irrelevant. All that mattered was that Rice made some motion that could possible be interpreted as dangerous (the avoidance of which would have required superhuman reflex control on his part).

This, again, is not a standard that applies to civilians. Had Daniel Shaver shot an officer under similar circumstances, he’d be on death row. Had Shafer needlessly provoked or confronted the officers, he’d be held responsible.

I don’t know what we can do to stop this. Over a thousand civilians are killed by police every year, accounting for one-third of the stranger killings in the US. Granted, sometimes those a unavoidable; there are people who decided to attack cops. But over and over again, we see avoidable shootings for which no one is held responsible.

(One rare exception was the Walter Scott shooting. Officer Slager was recently found guilty of murder and sent to prison. But this is hardly a vindication. Slager was caught on cell phone video shooting a fleeing unarmed man in the back. Before that video emerged, he was well on his way to acquittal, claiming that he shot Scott when the latter grabbed his taser (even falsely claiming to have performed CPR). Had it not been for the civilian taking video, I doubt he would have even been charged.)

We need a serious change in how we approach policing in this country. Our methods are designed to deal with crime rates of 30 years ago, which were double what they are now. No, scratch that. They were designed to deal with a supposed wave of superpredators and monsters that never emerged. Until things change, people will continue to die and distrust of the police will continue to grow.

First Indictments Down

It’s Manafort and Gates:

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over President Trump’s first year in office.

Mr. Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, surrendered to the FBI on Monday. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment reads.

Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.

“As part of the scheme, Manafort and Gates repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others,” the indictment read.

Right now, this is a little less than a giant conspiracy to enthrone Trump. This is about what we expected: Manafort concealed his work for a Russian puppet, tried to hide the money and has now gotten burned. But, as far as I can tell, most of the charges are for things that long pre-date his association with Trump.

That having been said, this is a big deal. The supposed swamp-draining President’s former campaign manager is facing very serious federal charges. This would explain why the Administration suddenly decided to make a big deal about the Uranium One deal and call for Mueller to step down. I suspect more is coming, but it may be quite some time. Manafort was fairly long-hanging fruit, his misdeeds discovered quickly. We’ll see what else comes out.

Collectivism at work: After we run out of other people’s money edition

Well, a few years back every collectivist out there trying to peddle that failed ideology was lecturing those of us that see the inherent nature and end state of any collectivist experiment, on how Chavez’s revolutionary experiment had made Venezuela not just a more just and better place, but validated their faith in collectivism. The media and the usual big nanny state selling types could not stop talking about how great Venezuela was doing, and how it validated their beliefs and ideology. Chavez was visited by a host of virtue signaling douchebags, while the news cycle took every opportunity it could to tell people how collectivism in Venezuela was saving the poor. Those of us that pointed out that the natural course of events had not happened yet, and that eventually this experiment being lauded, when it reached its end state, would end in misery and failure, were basically mocked and called out as delusional wreckers and kulaks. That the historical president existed to actually validate the case of people pointing out that over time every previous big collectivist experiments the left praised and presented as proof of their ideological superiority, had imploded given enough time to run out of other people’s money, leading to the usual tropes about it not being true collectivism, the wrong people being in charge (a flip from them being the right people at first), the capitalist wreckers undermining the whole fairy tale, or a combination of all these things. It was never the fact that collectivism is a dumb idea because it goes both against human nature and practically every law of nature, physics, and economics.

Well, fast forward to today, and this is Venezuela. The place has been wrecked by the socialists, the corruption inherent in socialism, the attempts to force reality to bend to the will of an insane ideology, and of course, the fact that the saviors of the revolution really did the revolution so they could replace the oligarchy that existed with one of their own. I could be ironic and wonder why now that the place is falling apart the dnc operatives with bylines no longer have Venezuela constantly in the news, and on the rare occasion the do talk about the misery and horrible situation, they never find it in them to actually blame the cause for the current condition: collectivism.

there is a lesson here, but I doubt the people that should learn it will ever do so. Envy of what others have and the need to virtue signal are powerful things for the usual idiots that purposefully remain oblivious to the destruction, misery and death toll of their ideology. Queue the people that will now complain about me because there is no defense for the evils of collectivism outside the family unit.

Another oldie but goody from the long list of Obama got it wrong again

I now have no doubt that Obama was the most incompetent and destructive president of my time, unseating Jimmy Carter, which in itself is some staggering achievement, and that the only way he could have been saved from that distinction was a Clinton presidency. Lucky for the country and the world, and to the chagrin of your usual leftist douchebag and the guilty pleasure of people like me, we were spared that horrible faith. The guy, along with telling lies and lording it like he was an emperor, made it a point to say stupid shit and then be proven wrong. Of course, the LSM played defense for him and would twist itself into pretzels doing so. Let’s not rehash that conversation. After all, anyone still claiming that the bulk of what those of us have been calling the Lame Stream Media for years aren’t a bunch of biased leftists shills – democrat operatives with bylines if you allow this apt label – is themselves a blind partisan hack.

I could wax philosophical about the failures of Obamacare, the lies told to pass it, and the lies now told to keep it despite the fact the thing is an epic disaster, but that’s not what this post is about. I could also go into how I believe that despite the distraction tactics from the dnc operatives with bylines about Russia stealing the election, Trump being a Putin stooge, or focus on how the people that spend decades excusing the evils of communism and the USSR and then made fun of Romney when he pointed out the Russians were a problem now are all up in arms about that red scare they so sarcastically dismissed and defended, eventually all this empty posturing and belly aching bullshit will be swept away by the revelation that it is all smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that the Obama administration used both the US intelligence community and foreign entities to spy on political enemies of the left. Keep your eye on this one, because that is the real big story out there that the left is desperate to destroy Trump over so he can’t dismantle the machine that has been helping the left cover this criminal activity up. But that is not what this post is about either. Shit I could even go into the “I told you sos” I promised the usual douchebags we have here, and there are several of those already, but that’s not what this is about either. No, this post is about a old lie/idiocy told by Obama and the left, when they were hard at work pissing away billions of tax payer dollars on green shit that only served to enrich democrat operatives, friends, and donors. Let me set this baby up.

Remember when black Jesus told the country, during the days of $4+ a gallon gas, with prices going up and no end in sight, that those of us that were saying that the US should drill for oil to lower prices were morons that lacked his nuanced understanding of economics he had? Remember people saying “Drill baby, drill” being mocked by credentialed leftist elite cunts that made fun of how idiotic one had to be to believe that more oil somehow would reduce oil prices? Yeah, these days there is a reason you only hear people that like me knew Obama and the left were full of shit and either idiots or downright contemptible crooks talk about this topic, and that is because those that managed to do the drilling despite the cock blocking actions of the Obama administration, have brought us to this:

The oil cartel roped eleven other petrostates into an agreement to curtail production in 2017 and are currently working on extending that deal, but the output cut’s ultimate goal of eating away at the oil market’s glut of crude is being undermined by the actions of suppliers outside of OPEC—U.S. shale producers chief among them. Now, OPEC is revising upwards its estimates of how quickly supplies will grow outside of its membership this year by a whopping 64 percent. Bloomberg reports:

Production from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will increase by 950,000 barrels a day this year, OPEC said in a report, revising its forecast up by about 370,000. The projection is four times higher than in November, when the group announced a production cut to try and re-balance oversupplied world markets. Non-OPEC nations pump about 60 percent of the world’s oil. […]

“U.S. oil and gas companies have already stepped up activities in 2017 as they start to increase their spending amid a recovery in oil prices,” OPEC’s Vienna-based research department said in the report. “In addition to the growth in the U.S., higher oil production is expected in Canada and Brazil.”

Some of the most vile entities on the planet are feeling the pain of low oil prices. From Russia to Venezuela to Iran, low oil prices have prevented some of the most vile players from being able to do mischief. Of course in the case of Iran, they are these days not doing so bad after the Obama administration, which lied to the US people and the world at large about getting Iran to stop the production of a nuclear weapons, not only lifted the sanctions on them, but paid them close to a trillion dollars in a deal akin to selling one’s soul to the devil that basically left Iran free to still build a bomb unless someone else used force to stop them. And I love that the usual green peddlers are feeling it too. I am smart enough to see through the lies that government interference will make these technologies more viable. History has proven that whatever government mandates ends up reduced to near non-existent evolution and stagnated high prices. Look at healthcare, cars, and a plethora of other such examples on your own time. They are there if you are not ideologically blind. And yeah, I remember when government could make things happen. Those days are long gone now that government is populated and run by inept and idiotic credentialed elite douchebags.

Back to the main topic: low oil/gas prices. Want to know why we got that?

This supply-side surprise comes courtesy of American frackers, who have seized the opportunity afforded them by the petrostate cuts and have ramped up their own production over the past nine months. By cutting costs and boosting efficiencies, U.S. shale has made itself capable of profitably producing $50 per barrel oil.

This is the worst-case scenario for OPEC: whatever success its production limits have in inducing a price rebound, the fruits of those labors will be enjoyed first and foremost by U.S. companies who will find more of their shale operations profitable at higher prices. With projections for growth of non-OPEC supplies being ramped up so dramatically through the end of the year, it’s clear to see that that’s already happening.

Kiss your frackers when you see them. And if I might be allowed one more comment about the nefarious relationship with Russians, I point you not to the delusional democrat’s usual target – Trump – but to the people that have opposed fracking in the US. Oh, I have heard the counterclaims made by the same dnc operatives with bylines today perpetuating the lies about a Trump-Putin connection and still harping on about a hacked/stolen election, when there has been zero evidence of any sort of connection presented and their choice of words to mask that what happened was that someone did the US voters a favor and exposed the corruption and criminality of the dnc (and nobody even knows if that was the Russians, but they keep pretending it was) so spare me the douchebaggery.