Fair Ball?

My kids fight a lot. Every argument they have can basically fit into one of the following categories.

1. One son is trying to help the other son. The one being helped doesn’t wan’t to be helped.

2. Two kids. One toy. The word, “Mine!” is thrown around a lot. Inevitably, one will come to me and tell me that something isn’t fair.

With their track record of helping those who don’t want it and trying to make everything fair, my two young sons are already qualified for jobs with the federal government.

Take, for example, the United States Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. As you’ll see in the video below, they caught wind of an excellent opportunity to help some kids at a Michigan high school by making things fair.

It was hard to watch baseball games at Plymouth High School. Not because the team was bad. It’s just that the seating was bad. So six years ago, a few parents got together, raised their own money and built a very nice seating section and scoreboard for the baseball team.

Problem solved.

Not so fast.

How absurd of these private citizens to attempt to solve a local problem with their own money and without the help of the federal government. So the federal government, in their determination to help victims by making things fair, demanded that the seats at the baseball field be torn down.


Because the girl’s softball field only has bleachers and those bleachers aren’t nearly as spiffy as the ones at the boy’s baseball field.

When I correct my fighting sons, I do so by telling them that sometimes people just don’t want to be helped. And sometimes helping can actually make matters worse. I go on to tell them that life isn’t always fair.

Maybe while the federal government is listening in on my conversations, they could pay a little better attention to those talks.

History shows us that there are a few things we can count on when the federal government tries to help by making things fair.

1.) Unless their help involves sending out a group of SEALs to eliminate some deranged dictator, help from the federal government is usually anything but helpful. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend the next 4 to 7 years filling out paperwork and paying fines. But don’t worry. It’s for your own good.

2.) When the federal government tries to make things fair, they hardly ever do so by paving the way for the so-called victims to make a bad situation better. They usually do it by tearing down a pretty good situation that already existed.

They tell us, in their best 1940s German accent, “You will both sit on the dirt to watch your children play their sporting games. And you will like it. This is the fair way.”

The feds are very good at tearing things down (see: small countries, families, small businesses). They aren’t so good at building new things (see: public libraries in Clayton County, Georgia. If we’re ever invaded by visitors from another planet, the aliens will get off of their ship, take one look at those library buildings and assume that some other group of aliens already showed up 20 years ago. They might be right).

All the softball parents had to do was to follow the example of the baseball parents and raise money to build their own new stands. But that could take months, even years. And who’s got time for that when all you have to do is make an anonymous phone call to the feds?

Such is the American way.

There was a time when civil rights meant that blacks and whites should be allowed to drink from the same water fountain. Now it means that Shannon should be allowed to play for the high school girls basketball team and the high school boys basketball team while mom and dad sit and watch from the luxury box that you paid for along with Shannon’s upcoming gender reassignment surgery.

In the classic movie, Cool Hand Luke, the captain of a chain gang tries to justify his harsh treatment of inmate Lucas Jackson, played by Paul Newman, by telling him that the chains are for his own good.

“I wish you’d stop being so good to me, Captain.”

There are several parents up in Michigan who wish that the federal government would stop being so good to them.

Those parents are not alone.