Hot Air

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Covenants

Just in case anyone was wondering if the police of this holy land are getting more trigger happy these days, or if our Officer Friendlies are any more bloodthirsty than their counterparts in other civilized nations, there is this:

The Unites States has failed to respect and protect the right to life by failing to ensure that domestic legislation meets international human rights law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

That’s the conclusion issued by Amnesty International researchers this past week. They studied how the legislatures of the 50 states write laws setting standards for cops taking target practice on the citizenry. Murrica, they found, is failing. Our lawmakers are not living up to the standards set in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — which we signed in 1992. The Covenant, essentially, set guidelines for cops using firearms and other force. We were all for it more than two decades ago, ergo our signature on the document.

But in everyday practice, our lawmakers as well as our deputized guardians of public safety have pissed all over the document.

Militarization of Police

Ready, Aim….

And the funny thing is, those folks who hoot and holler most about big bloated gov’t, the tyranny of federal guidelines, the coming disarmament of all US citizens, and the rounding up of Christians and Republicans into re-education camps, are those most likely to shriek that our cops should be able to fire their guns at will whenever folks sneeze.

If you care to — and if you’ve the stomach for it — here’s the full text of the report. BTW, if you click on this link to the Covenant itself, you’ll note that it was drafted and adopted by some 35 countries in 19-freakin’-66! So the US didn’t jump on the bandwagon for more than a quarter of a century. And among the original signatories were such bastions of gentility and civil rights as the Soviet Union, Romania, Rwanda, Chile, and Iran.

Keep in mind that during all that time, our soldiers were fighting for “freedom” in countless hot spots around the globe.

Welcome To The Show

In more pleasant news, Indiana University’s beloved fireplug and wizard with a bat in his hands, Kyle Schwarber, had a smashing cameo appearance in Major League Baseball this week.

Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber

Schwarber was selected in the first round of last year’s amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and he’s done nothing but force professional pitchers to rethink their career choices since then. Through four levels of minor league ball thus far, Schwarber has demonstrated an uncanny ability to hit for average and power and control the strike zone. The Cubs are trying to make a Major League catcher out of him, an aim that most scouts say is problematic. But the kid’s such a spectacular slugger that the big league club might be satisfied if he only achieves mediocrity as a backstop.

Schwarber was brought up this past week because the Cubs played in two American League ballparks where the Designated Hitter is employed. The kid, ergo, was able to take his swings w/o being forced to lug the leather onto the field. As a hitter, he continued to amaze, hitting a home run and a triple, driving in six runs overall, and even going 4 for 5 in his first start at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.

The Cubs sent him back to the minors immediately after yesterday’s game. So, what does the future hold for him? Best case scenario is that, with proper tutelage, he can become an adequate Major League catcher by Opening Day 2016. Other possibilities include the National League adopting the Designated Hitter rule, making his defensive deficiencies moot, and the sad chance that the Cubs might use him as trade currency, shipping him off to an American League club in exchange for what ought to be a bushel-full of talent.

Puttin’ On The Ritz

A pal o’mine is heading up to Indianapolis as I type this. His errand? Picking up a stack of bumper stickers for Glenda Ritz for Governor. The Loved One and I have already put in our orders. We mentioned lapel buttons as well but my source tells us Ritz hasn’t got around to getting them made yet.

Bumper Sticker

Right now Ritz is trying to raise enough dough to make her quarterly financial report, due later this month, look good. She’s competing with John Gregg for Dem dollars. Now, I was happy to vote for Gregg when he ran in the last gubernatorial election against eventual winner Mike Pence, but I’d be even more thrilled to throw my lot in with a Dem who’s closer to my heart, as Ritz is.

Ritz

Ritz Wants You

[Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/Indianapolis Star]

She’s My Best Friend

It’s The Loved One’s annual Birthday Week, wherein she takes the week off work and celebrates her entrance into the world by mowing the lawn and scrubbing down the patio furniture [I know, she’s a weirdo.]

Anyway, I’ll be featuring vids of songs I’m dedicating to her for the next five days. The first, written by Queen’s bassist, John Deacon, came out in 1975. Deacon wrote the song in honor of his wife, Victoria Tetzlaff, to whom he’s been married for 40 goddamned years. The couple has six kids — actually, adults, now. Pretty neat for a rock star, no?

 

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