Cops in Vallejo shoot and kill dude who was sleeping in his car with a gun in his lap. He startled when they knocked on the window with a flashlight, reached for the gun, and they ventilated him.

Look. This is California, about 20 miles north of me. It’s illegal to openly display a pistol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle in the state of California, period. I mean, I own guns. I like guns. And I know damn well that the only legal way to carry a firearm in a vehicle in the state of California is in the cargo area in a locked container, with the ammunition locked up separately. That’s the law. Anybody sitting in his car with a pistol on his lap in the state of California is either a moron, or up to no good. And cops aren’t going to assume moron, because that could get them shot.

Cops have three priorities:

  1. The safety of the general public, and of bystanders, is priority #1 above all else.
  2. The safety of the police officer is priority #2. A dead police officer cannot protect the general public and bystanders from criminals.
  3. The safety of criminals is last. Criminals who may pose a threat to the officer, bystanders, or the general public are maybe even lower than last. Their safety barely even nudges the needle off the ground floor on the list of a police officer’s priorities.

So why didn’t they try to wake him from far away with a loudspeaker? A multitude of reasons:

  1. Loudspeakers attract bystanders. The last thing you want if an encounter turns into a gunfight is bystanders.
  2. Cops are, frankly, bad aims. If things go sideways, cops are trained to be as close to the perp as possible without being close enough to be disarmed so that they have a greater chance of hitting the perp rather than a bystander. If you’re that close to the perp already, you might as well just knock on the window with a flashlight in one hand and your service weapon in the other, because if he startles awake and starts shooting, that’s where you want to be anyhow.
  3. You want to be close also so you can see whether he’s reaching for the gun. The last thing you want is for the perp to jump out of the car and start shooting. You want to shoot and kill him *before* he starts shooting. Simply putting his hand on the gun is enough reason because at that point he becomes a threat to the safety of the officer and the safety of the public. See #1 and #2 on the priority list.

Frankly, unless something else comes out, this is a righteous shoot. A criminal was sitting in a car with an illegal gun on his lap, reached towards that gun when he was woken up by the cop tapping on the window, and was killed for his trouble. Good riddance to bad rubbish. If he didn’t want to be shot, he shouldn’t have been violating California law by openly carrying a weapon in the passenger compartment of his car. Call it suicide by cop if you want. Because that’s basically what it was, what he did.

This is reality. It’s not nice, but it is what it is. This was a righteous shoot under both policy and law. The moment he reached for that gun, any requirement that the cops consider his safety vaporized in the wind. I understand that this dude’s family doesn’t want to hear that their kid was a criminal and was shot while committing a crime, but that’s what happened here. It was illegal for that gun to be in that dude’s lap in that car in the state of California, he was committing a crime, and thus was a criminal. And when a criminal makes a move that poses a threat to the police or bystanders, the well-being of that criminal simply isn’t a consideration anymore — the only thing that becomes important then is to end the threat to the public and the officers. Period. Regardless of any nonsense that left-wing loons come up with about what the cops should have done in some bizarro world where unicorns poop rainbows and cotton candy grows on trees.

– Badtux the Law Penguin
Hmm, contrast this with the prior post if you think I knee-jerk defend cops!

Officer restrains a girl who had been fighting by slamming her face into a cafeteria table using her hair as a handle. The students had been just generally heckling the officers before then, but this almost started a riot.

The school district and police department whine, “but you didn’t see the whole incident”. Well. The students who were there and did see the entire incident appear to believe that the officer used excessive force to the point where some were ready to push the officer off the student. It takes a lot to get students to go that far. I’ve been in that situation of having to use force against a student before, and it’s a touchy situation, but I never — ever — had other students attempt to interfere with breaking up a fight. We moved in and restrained the students, turned them around so they couldn’t see each other anymore, and started walking them in opposite directions using the force required and no more while asking them what the heck they were trying to do, major verbal judo to daze ‘n’ confuse them and get them thinking about something other than fighting until we could get them out of the cafeteria and into (separate) offices. At most the other students heckled us about how the fight was just getting good when we broke it up, but they never tried to interfere with what we were doing. But then, none of us slammed a girl’s face into a table while using her hair as a handle either, because that’s not what our training told us to do. These officers almost incited a riot. I’ve never seen anything like that in any school I ever taught at, including the behavior center for “bad” kids where most of the kids had probation officers. None of them even got *close* to rioting when we broke up fights, they mostly seemed to view it as entertainment. This implies that whatever happened before this footage was *bad*.

And BTW, yes, there was one incident I was involved in where students stepped in — but to *help*, not to lynch us. A kid came last day of school with a knife to stab a kid he blamed for getting him suspended earlier in the school year, and it took three teachers and two students piling on him to keep him from killing someone. And one of those students who helped us had a probation officer, I know because I’d met the probation officer earlier in the school year during my planning period when he came by to ask about the student’s behavior and academics. Students can be rude and disrespectful but they know right from wrong (even if they’re not always doing the right thing) and if you’re in the right, they’re not trying to attack you, they’re trying to help you if you need help, even the “bad” students. If you just wade in and start slamming people around using far more force than required, on the other hand… that’s a good way to start a riot. Just sayin’.

The sad thing is all the (white) people defending what happened by saying “but this video isn’t the whole story!” Well, the kids who were there have the whole story. They obviously think excessive force happened. Who should I believe — some random white people who weren’t there, or, like, the kids who were actually there? Hmm….

– Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

The Internet and all the hardware and servers on the Internet as well as the computer you’re using to read this were created by hundreds of thousands of ordinary middle class engineers and programmers and installers and technicians who wrote the code, designed the computers and routers, and built and installed the hardware all the way out to where you’re typing this. Yet virtually none of these people own any of their work. It almost all belongs to the super-wealthy, because of the divine rights of kings. Or something.

Generations from now, people will look back upon our current gilded age with the same revulsion that people today have when they look back upon the days when kings could behead people just on whim and lived lives of luxury while their people starved in rags.

— Badtux the Democratic Socialist Penguin

Over 8 months after being ordered to do so by a Federal judge, the Trump Administration says they have no plan to reunite children with their parents because it’d be “a burden”.

A burden. Reuniting children with their parents would be a burden.

This is sick, sick stuff. But this is what America is today. What was once The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is today the Land of the Baby Kidnappers and the Land of Cowards Scared Of Brown People From Central America.

For the inevitable who say “if you don’t like it, leave!” — nope. I can’t change the fact that there are a significant number of Americans who are, well, evil (and I use the word because there is no other word that can apply to a people who support things like this), but at least I can hang around and document the atrocities until it comes time for my ashes to be buried in the landfill. Perhaps the generation coming of age today will be braver and less venal. They could hardly be more cowardly and more venal.

— Badtux the Sickened Penguin

Go to Google Images and type in “Russian agent”. I’ll wait ;).

You’re back? Okay. Well. Max Boot, neocon’s neocon, has a nice little article at the Washington Post entitled “Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset.” Go read *that*.

Then read that the FBI opened a inquiry about whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia.

And Trump has deliberately concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from even his own senior administration officials. Even his Chief of Staff has no idea what Trump discussed with Putin.

Mueller apparently can show that the Trump campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence. Not proof yet that Trump himself collaborated with the Russians or that there was a quid pro quo, but definitely troubling.

Then there’s his behavior as President, which, as Max Boot pointed out, has caused enormous disruption to the U.S. government and the U.S. military as well as to U.S. alliances overseas, while benefiting Russia greatly.

Agent Orange of the FSB. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense. “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.” — James Bond, “GoldFinger”.

— Badtux the News-gathering Penguin

Trump shown tunnels dug by smugglers underneath current border wall.

But I guess Trump’s reaction was more along the lines of, “We’ll dig a ditch, a bigly ditch and we’ll build the wall underground and Mesopotamia will pay for it, believe me”. All to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

The reality is that border crossings are at a near historic low, as is crime near the border. There is in fact reverse immigration of Mexicans — more Mexicans are leaving the US for Mexico than are coming to the US from Mexico. And it’s not about terrorism either — More people on the terrorist watch list have been apprehended at the Canadian border than at the US border. We caught 6 terrorists at the Mexican border which is 1,954 miles long and is patrolled by 16,605 agents which is a density of 8.5 agents/mile. Meanwhile, we caught 41 terrorists at the Canadian border, which is 5,525 miles long and is secured by 2,048 agents which is a density of .4 agents/mile.

Given the numbers it is not logical to address a supposed problem on the southern border when you have 7 times as many non-US persons in the Terrorist Screening Database attempting to cross the northern border. With the disparity of resources it would make more sense to direct increased resources to the Canadian border. But I’m sure that the emphasis upon the southern border has *nothing* to do with the race of the people who are south of that border. (Cue dog whistles).

And as I pointed out earlier, the only walls that have ever worked — the Berlin Wall, the Israeli separation wall, etc. — have worked only because they’re manned by sociopaths willing to gun down unarmed men, women, and children to stop them from going over or under the wall. Unless we’re going to hire over 100,000 sociopaths to start shooting unarmed civilians, all that a 12 foot wall creates is a market for 14 foot ladders — or shovels.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

A few days ago I mentioned that centrally planned economies can’t work, but neither can capitalist economies unless there are rules that redistribute the tokens to the consumers and workers who generate wealth rather than allowing them to accumulate unfettered in the hands of owners of capital. At which point someone says, “well, the only way to do that is tyranny!”

What, in the 1950’s the United States was a tyranny? For real?

Then there’s the argument, “the rules will always be hijacked by the rich and powerful. How are you going to prevent that?”

My answer is democracy. The large number of young people looking at democratic socialism as the answer, which is where democracy is used to re-write the rules to favor redistributing the tokens back to the masses rather than letting them accumulate in the hands of a rentier class, shows that democracy can be self-correcting over time. Democracy is not Orwell’s boot pressing the face of man into the ground forever, it has the capacity for change, albeit sometimes the change happens depressingly slow and takes forms at times that are equally depressing. Is democratic socialism “the” answer? Not in its purest form, certainly, but it is a natural reaction to rentier capitalism and is the direction we must go if we don’t want a Mexico North with a huge impoverished class and a tiny but stupidly wealthy upper class and nothing inbetween. Mexico is not a nice place to live for the majority of people there (and the fact that they’re no longer coming to El Norte should tell us something too about where our nation currently is). If democratic socialism takes us away from that, sign me up!

– Badtux the Somewhat-socialist Penguin