There are very few ideas bubbling up in me today and none of them contain even enough substance for one of my semi-regular “Odd Bits” posts. So today’s post has been downgraded to Homeless Thoughts.
“Shoot, or I’ll Stop”
Oh look, more police shootings in the news. St. Louis is enduring ongoing protests after yet another jury found a white policeman “not guilty,” after he shot an unarmed black man. The guy, after having fled from the cops, was still sitting in his car. The officer shot him through the driver-side window.
The officer testified he felt endangered because he saw the victim holding a silver revolver when he backed his car toward the officers and sped away.
Prosecutors said the officer planted a gun in Smith's car after the shooting, but the officer's DNA was on the weapon and the victim’s wasn't. Dashcam video from the cruiser recorded him saying he was "going to kill this (expletive)." Less than a minute later, he shot the victim five times.
I’m not sure how you get to “fearing for your life” when the victim is still sitting in his car. Of course, the driver was a black man, so fearing for one’s life seems to be the default law enforcement position.
Granted, I’m not saying the guy was a model citizen or anything. He was fleeing from the cops. But it seems to me like another case of “shoot first, ask questions later.” Disobeying police orders is a crime, but it shouldn’t be a death penalty crime, to be judged and executed by an adrenaline-fueled, pissed off cop.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, cops shot a Trans kid who was an LGBT campus leader, who wouldn’t drop a (folded up) knife. Shot him right through the heart. Kid was slowly walking toward several cops and didn’t comply with their orders.
So armed policemen, in numbers, are now deathly afraid of pale, Trans kids now? They seriously couldn’t wing a shoulder or leg, but feel compelled to go for the stone-cold kill shot?
This is another case that called for calmer decision-making. It’s almost like our nation’s police force just can’t help themselves anymore; they have to kill anyone who disobeys.
I believe in law and order as much as the next guy, but there is a system of judges and juries that are charged by the constitution to deliver justice. No one ever passed a law that said, “Shoot anyone who disobeys.”
Severe punishments for mid-to-minor transgressions is how police-states and totalitarian governments start.
Republicans’ Zombie Healthcare Bill
They’re trying one more time to kill the Affordable Care Act. The attempt at tossing millions off their insurance comes via the Cassidy-Graham bill, which Republicans are trying to ram through Congress before the end of September. That’s the deadline for passing the bill with only 51 votes.
Reviewers already say that this bill is even harsher than the last couple, and it shuffles money from states that expanded Medicare via the ACA (blue states) to the states that ignored the ACA (red states).
If we’re to thwart another attempt at devolving the health market into chaos, there will have to be a concerted effort to get some GOP senators to vote no on the bill. A good starting place would be those who voted no the last time: Murkowski, Collins and McCain. Rumor has it that McCain is onboard this time, but that Rand Paul isn’t. (It’s not conservative enough.)
One Big Family
The Ravens are giving away personal DNA tests at the game Sunday. I suspect all in attendance will find they're related. #HereWeGo— bluzdude (@DarwinfishBluz) September 16, 2017
I sent that out on Saturday, after reading about the promotion in the morning newspaper.
The idea was for the fans to take cheek swabs, seal them in baggies, and put them in bins stationed around the concourse. Then they’d go online and register and eventually get some kind of genetic test results back.
Does no one want hat or pennant giveaways anymore?
And they were all set to go but then Sunday morning, the Ravens postponed the promotion due to privacy/security concerns. I can certainly see that… who knows what could be done with your DNA on file.
If they do follow through with the promotion, I hope the instructions are clear. If they say to take a swab from the inside of their cheek, they better specify that they mean the ones on their face.
Starting Them Young
Speaking of football, my Steelers weren’t on local TV again Sunday, so I had to watch from my local sports bar. This time, my brother met me there.
The last few years he’d bring my nephew along but this year, the boy is away for his freshman year of college. I asked if he was going to bring his younger boy, Sammy, and he said no. But then he texted back later and said, “Change of plans; Sammy wants to come.”
The boy is 11 so he can’t sit at the bar, but that’s no reason not to come watch football with his dad and uncle! Hell, it’s not just a bar, it’s a restaurant, and kids go to restaurants all the time. I sat at my usual place at the bar and I saved them the high-top table behind me.
It was especially nice because there’s a real cross-section of humanity at this place, with some legit local color. I think it’s good for the boy to see people from all different walks of life hanging out and getting along. And if he plays his cards right, one day he may meet the love of his life in a place like that.
Now speaking of the aforementioned Sweetpea, I ordered tickets today for 2 last Orioles games this summer. That brought my count of O’s games this season to 10. Last year I saw 26, so that was a major change. But for good reason.
In years past, I had plenty of time to go to ballgames because I had absolutely nothing better to do with myself. And rather than cocoon down in the cave, I opted to go out and mingle with the world.
But this summer, with Sweetpea in my life, sure I’ve gone to games, (often with her), but I have other things to do now and someone to do them with. Call it a more well-rounded life.
So while I haven’t been bringing home the Orioles swag like I used to, (from promotional giveaways), it’s not like I don’t already have a dozen orange t-shirts anyway. And I don’t have room for any more bobbleheads.
I saw on Facebook that it’s been officially decided that leaving two spaces after a sentence dead.
Which is fine. But can somebody tell my fingers? I’ve been trying… reeeeally trying, but it is so ingrained in me, I can’t NOT double tap the space bar after a period.
I’ve been trying to comply for the last couple blog posts. I’ll start out the first sentence or two fine, but once I start thinking about the subject matter, those two spaces just start appearing automatically, then I have to examine every sentence break and remove all the renegade extra spaces.
I must be getting better though… I just went back to check my work and only found two instances.
The downside is that all those abandoned spaces have to go somewhere…