Millions of Americans, young and old, witnessed a childish act by a grown man during the World Series: Roger Clemens became violent over a game. Clemens, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, hurled the jagged barrel of a bat toward Mets batter Mike Piazza. Despite this outrageous overreaction to a misperceived slight (the largest chunk of the broken bat ended up near the pitcher's mound through no fault of Piazza's), Clemens was allowed to remain in the game.
He later was fined a reported $50,000 -- a pittance for such a highly paid athlete, and a penalty that well could be reduced, or covered by his team.
Clemens should have been thrown out of the game.
And although the disciplinary official with the commissioner's office said "intent is always difficult to establish," the act speaks for itself. ... Roger Clemens deserves a serious punishment for his serious offense -- and young people deserve a better example from America's pastime. -- The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.
U.S. using blackmail to force states to adopt stricter DUI rule
Everyone wants to make highways safe from the havoc of drunken drivers. Despite contradictory studies from its own agencies, the federal government has set a national standard for drunken driving.
Ohio is one of 31 states in which a driver is legally drunk when the blood alcohol content is 0.10 percent.
Congress has lowered that to 0.08 percent, a figure used in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
States that fail to comply with the national standard by 2004 will lose federal highway money.
Richard Finan, president of the Ohio Senate, has called this blackmail.
Not only could this mandate cost the state money it needs for highways, but it could also affect county justice systems, which would have to cope with whatever additional arrests the new standard prompts.
It's a bad law. -- The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal
Racial, ethnic minorities face racial profiling on streets, in courts
You know something's wrong when both Jerry Falwell and Al Sharpton say it is.
The two outspoken reverends, who normally preach from opposing political lecterns, emerged from a meeting recently pledging a "united effort" to fight the all-too-widespread practice of racial profiling by police. ... The two may qualify as the strangest bedfellows yet to take up the cause, but they are by no means the only ones. ... A growing number of leaders and activists are coming forward to condemn the practice of singling individuals out based on race or ethnicity, not individual suspicion.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress appear no closer to approving several modest measures that could minimize such discrimination. A bill that would require states to keep records on the profiling of drivers still languishes in committee, as does legislation to reduce the huge disparity between mandatory sentences for crack and powder cocaine. ... The street is not the only place where racial and ethnic minorities are subjected to insidious profiling.
They face it in the courtroom and on Capitol Hill, too.
How long before federal lawmakers wake up to that outrage -- and start practicing the kind of equal justice they preach?
-- St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times
Federal government need not fret over `gap' in online access
It seems politicians are not happy unless they have some "divide" that a federal program can solve.
For the last decade Washington has been fretting over the supposed gap between computer haves and have-nots.
To some of the hand-wringers, the gap is economic.
To some, it's cultural separating racial and ethnic minorities from a white, presumably online majority.
And to some, the gap is generational. ... All of which has been a cause celebre for the Clinton administration.
Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta stumped for more computers and Internet access to minorities. ... But, by and large, it's no thanks to government.
A recent survey showed that the percentage of homes with Internet access has doubled since 1999. ... Because the technology is continually improving, current computer owners upgrade their systems on a regular basis.
That creates a huge supply of secondhand computers that might not have all the bells and whistles of the newest models but are still able to provide access to the information gold mine of the Internet.
And while home Internet access is already quite reasonably priced, many companies offer free e-mail and Internet service. For those who simply cannot afford a computer, even a used one, most libraries offer access to all who walk through the door. ... -- Odessa (Texas) American