Zero Tolerance

Why is that Pueblo High kid who killed getting off so easily?

Some people really suck. Among them:

· All of the people who stumbled all over themselves to keep secret the identity of the kid who killed another student in a fight at Pueblo High--and then went that extra mile to help the kid transfer to another school without so much as a negative mark put on his record.

It's really too bad. There are a lot of good kids at Pueblo, and while virtually all of them are heartbroken over the death of 16-year-old Jose Roberto "Bobby" Vasquez Acosta, a whole lot of them are also seething with anger over what happened afterwards.

The dailies pretty much printed whatever kids told them, so while the reader got several accounts of how Vasquez Acosta was small and shy and how his heart problems had slowed his growth and kept him from physical activities, we also got ridiculous statements about how the offender was a good kid who "reads the Bible." (Hitler read the Bible, too, but that didn't keep him from picking on Czechoslovakia.)

What angered the kids the most is that Pueblo Principal Richard Carranza has repeatedly told the student body that Pueblo has a zero-tolerance policy on fighting. Carranza has gone on the public address system and announced to the school that the first time a student is in a fight, that student will be arrested and suspended from school. The second time, he will be arrested and receive a long-term suspension, and the third time, he will be arrested and then expelled.

Here, however, is a kid who killed another kid in a fight--and he was neither arrested nor suspended. In this particular form of calculus, the opposite of zero tolerance appears to be infinite tolerance.

Besides, isn't there a law that says if someone dies during the commission of a crime (the old heart-attack-during-a-bank-robbery scenario), the person committing the crime can be considered legally liable for that death? Even if we accept the explanation that it was stress and an underlying heart condition that led to his death, we can still safely assume that had the confrontation not taken place, he would still be alive today.

Perhaps most disturbing is that the authorities allowed this kid to enroll at another school while the investigation was still ongoing. His lawyer will undoubtedly argue that since he hasn't been charged with a crime yet, he has the right to go to school. Maybe, but I already checked to make sure he didn't enroll at my son's school, and I recommend that you do the same. If he has to go to a school at all, let him go to a charter school where nobody really cares. Better yet, this is the first good argument I've ever heard for home schooling.

· The entire National Football League and Pittsburgh Steelers star Joey Porter, who was shot in the butt during a drive-by shooting in Denver.

There's really nothing wrong with visiting old friends or with being the innocent victim of a gang-style shooting. What sucks is that the NFL had Porter listed as "doubtful" for last week's game with what they called a "thigh injury."

That's ridiculous! He got shot in the ass! If you don't want to say that, at least put "bullet wound." Thigh injury, indeed! That's like saying that John F. Kennedy died from low blood pressure.

· A Phoenix-area idiot has launched a recall campaign against Gov. Janet Napolitano. It's really not surprising that some doofus would see the folly in California and attempt a me-too.

What sets this bozo apart is that he claims to be a citizen of the Confederate States of America. Hey, moron, there's no such thing. There was for a brief time, but they got their asses kicked because their cause was unjust and immoral. Their flag is a racist symbol. And that war would have lasted about an hour and a half if Robert E. Lee hadn't chosen to fight on the wrong side.

Please stop by and ask me to sign your petition so I can talk about your mama.

· Finally, a judge who is hearing the case against Enron officials. This is a company that bilked people out of billions of dollars, gave executives obscene pay packages, faked an energy crisis in California so that it could bleed the state dry and tried to buy and then subvert the entire government of India.

This U.S. district judge, the most dishonorable Kenneth J. Hoyt, closed several hearings on Enron to the media (he didn't exclude TV cameras; he closed the hearings to all media), claiming, "These are matters that do not need to be discussed in public in ways that embarrass or humiliate the government or the defense, and particularly, the court."

That may be the most chilling thing I've read in the past decade. It should have been on the front page of every newspaper in America, and it probably would have were it not for that Ben/J-Lo fiasco.