Steve Chapman

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, finds it incredible that the University of Utah wasn't invited to play for the national title last season despite going undefeated. But you know what? Even though Japan won the World Baseball Classic this year, it won't get to play in the World Series.

If Utah wants to go through a playoff, it is welcome to try to persuade other universities to join with it in repudiating the scandalous status quo. But if the other schools are content with the BCS, why should the desires of the Mountain West Conference trump those of the other conferences? Answer: because some members of Congress think the only preference that should count is theirs.

Then there is the Obama administration's plan to man our borders against the import of pocketknives that can be opened with only one hand. This builds on one of Washington's more ridiculous gestures, the 1958 federal law against switchblades -- which drew attention not because they were more dangerous than other knives but because they were immortalized in movies about teenage hoodlums. This knife, declared a Senate committee, is "almost exclusively the weapon of the thug and the delinquent."

It was a silly idea at the time, and it doesn't make any more sense in an age where gangs have a penchant for settling disputes with a hail of bullets. But that doesn't stop administration officials from targeting even more knives to address "health and public safety concerns raised by such importations."

Are they serious? Do they really think that if you deprive a violent criminal of one sort of pocketknife, it will never occur to him to use a different and equally lethal pointed implement?

Maybe there are criminals out there who are really that stupid. If so, they missed their calling in government, where the mental deficiency would never be noticed.

Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.

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