- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2000

As far as political issues go, Elian beats John Rocker.

Baseball is 1-for-2 after a number of players and coaches joined the Cuban-American community in skipping a day of work to protest Janet Reno's gun-toting kidnappers.

The snatching could have been worse, given Reno's record with kids.

She incinerated the kids in Waco, Texas, to save them.

Elian's brush with Reno's henchmen is expected to result in only nightmares.

That assessment comes from the psychobabblers, many of whom demonstrate a remarkable ability to evaluate their celebrity patient from the images on television and in print.

Perhaps a psychobabbler a day keeps the nightmares away for Elian.

Reno elicited the help of at least one pyschobabbler, apparently one trained in mental telepathy, who imagined the worst from Elian's faraway eyes.

Nothing stokes the Justice Department's competitive fires and sometimes just a fire like the hint of child abuse. That was the pretext in Waco.

The Justice Department made the move in Miami under the cover of darkness, borrowing a page from Robert Irsay's playbook.

It is all about the kids with the Justice Department, even the kids in Waco. Unfortunately, the kids in Waco are dead. You don't have to be a clinical psychologist to make that medical evaluation.

It is necessary to point out to baseball, as well as to others, that Reno's lead abductor did not have his finger on the trigger of his automatic weapon.

That changes everything, of course, except possibly to Elian and the fisherman, who appeared frightened by the federal bogeyman.

Elian reveals the limits of America's celebrated freedom, as does Rocker.

The relief pitcher ran his mouth and barely avoided being deported to Fidel Castro's island stinkhole.

Instead, Rocker, like Elian, wound up attracting a high number of shrinks. The shrinks have the advantage in Rocker's case. They actually get to probe Rocker's underdeveloped thoughts in person and not by television or with a Ouija board.

Castro, who talks more than the psychobabblers, can appreciate freedom's imperfections, at least with Elian.

He came down on Reno's side, which ought to add to Reno's discomfort. He couldn't have done the snatching any better than the Justice Department, although to be fair, his puppet might have had his finger on the trigger.

The location of the trigger finger is, arguably, a nebulous one. The distinction is certainly lost on many of the Cuban Americans who have come to enjoy the convenience of a well-stocked convenience store, as long as Reno has no probable cause to burn it down to save it.

Baseball's protesters received their customary pay. The pay would be the least of it in Cuba. Jail terms go with public displays of dissent there.

No one likes it much when the real world intrudes on the games. But that lament is naive, from another time, long before the words of a relief pitcher could be deemed socially significant.

Rocker is a relief pitcher, after all, hardly a philosopher along the lines of Rodney King, who passes as a philosopher in America today.

Baseball responded poorly to Rocker. The response was only intended to satisfy the forces of political correctness, a form of group think that validates the specialness of each member in the group.

Oddly, the forces expressed silence in honor of Alec Baldwin after he suggested how appropriate it would be to stone Henry Hyde and his family to death. Of course, the words came from only a nitwit actor from Hollywood, but some people actually take the nitwits seriously.

You can tell by Leonardo DiCaprio, the ultra-serious journalist from ABC-TV who was granted an interview with President Clinton. DiCaprio is possibly qualified to be a talking head because he gives good face and pretends well. Maybe pretending to die well in a puddle of water is not much different from pretending to be all over a story because of the backdrop.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

As Dan Rather used to say, "Courage."

Courage, Elian.

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