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March Madness: Nanny State Runs Amok in Delaware as Govt Arbitrarily Tears Down 60-Year-Old Basketball Hoops


"For them to come out here and ambush us at 8.15 in the morning and start stealing basketball poles is not right....this country's going to hell in a hand-basket."

Context, first, from the estimable Ed Driscoll:

Change! In the 1990s, in Bill Clinton’s America, “Midnight Basketball” was seen as one way to improve the morale of otherwise disaffected youth, and thus, potentially lower the crime rate in urban environments.

In 2011, in Joe Biden’s Delaware, neighborhood basketball hoops are being tossed into giant state-owned dump trucks.

The story he's referring to is one of government authorities butting up against a Delaware family that just wants to shoot some hoops (Driscoll has a pretty cool graphic to go along with the story, so be sure to check it out).

"The pole has been here for sixty years," the husband said in the clip below, as he waited for state workers to come by and tear the basketball pole down. "Why all of a sudden did it become a problem?" In the clip, you can also watch the altercation between the family and the government officials.

Here's the AP story:

A Delaware mom climbed atop her family's basketball hoop Friday in a short-lived bid to keep authorities from ripping it out and confiscating it.

Transportation workers and state police came to her neighborhood in Wilmington Friday morning to remove several basketball goals that officials said were too close to the roadway.

Several residents were sent letters last year warning them that the state's "Clear Zone" law prohibits trees and other objects from being within seven feet of the pavement's edge in a residential subdivision.

John and Melissa McCafferty said they'd gotten more than one warning letter, but that police cars and heavy machinery showed up without warning Friday morning to remove the hoops.

While their neighbors weren't home, the McCaffertys decided to fight back.

Melissa, 39, parked her van underneath the goal, climbed the pole and perched herself behind the backboard, risking arrest. McCafferty said she could only think about how sad her 10-year-old daughter would be about the removal.

"To be honest with you, I really wasn't thinking. All I was seeing was my 10-year-old's face," said McCafferty, who also has two teenagers who like to shoot hoops.

"They threatened to arrest me, and I told them that would be fine. I don't mind going to jail for my kids," she added.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/k0ZZHGO5sXw?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]

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