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The Justice Department is wonderful

David Ziemer

David Ziemer

I recently watched the season premiere of my favorite television show.

No, it’s not “Jersey Shore”; it’s “Glee,” although “Jersey Shore” is a pretty close second.

If you’ve never seen the show, the plot lines are invariably ridiculous, and the new season is starting off with a new plot line I initially thought was as ridiculous as any: one of the glee club members, who happens to be confined to a wheelchair, wants to play on the high school football team.

Like I said, I thought it was absurd at first. But then I read the new rules governing the Americans with Disabilities Act, released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 15.

Golf courses and exercise equipment are no longer exempt from the law.

I am so selfish and self-absorbed that it never even occurred to me that people in wheelchairs wanted to use the squat rack at the gym. I’m just glad that my overlords at the DOJ are so morally superior to me that they recognized they do.

I’m so self-absorbed that I can’t even fathom how a person confined to a wheelchair would do a set of squats, but obviously, the good folks at DOJ are not only morally superior to me, but they have better imaginations, too.

I’m so unimaginative that I can’t even see how a squat rack could be made accessible to someone in a wheelchair and still be safe to use. I would think that the steel frame on the bottom of the rack would have to be removed. But without the bottom frame, I’d think that the rack would tip over the first time some juice head like me slammed the bar back on the rack after doing a set of 500 pounds or so.

But I’m sure the Attorney General knows more about engineering than I do (and more than the engineers working in private industry, too), and he has it all figured out.

In the same vein, I so lack imagination that I don’t even know how people in wheelchairs swing golf clubs. And I’ve got four golf trophies here in my office, so I know a thing or two about the game of golf (of course, they are all for having the worst score in the Milwaukee Bar Association’s annual outing, rather than the best).

But if greens fees have to go up, and a handful of evil golf course owners go bankrupt because they can’t comply with the new regulations, that’s a small price to pay to ensure that people in wheelchairs can hit golf balls into sand traps, just like me.

There is no doubt in my mind that, by the end of the season, the folks who write the storylines in “Glee” will find a way to get the boy onto the football team and into the end zone for a touchdown.

And I’m just as sure that our masters at DOJ will find a way to enable those in wheelchairs to hit holes-in-one and do squats with 500 pounds of steel resting on their shoulders.


  1. One wonder’s whether the 500 lbs. fell on the author’s head.

    God forbid that a person in a wheelchair be able to get into the 19th hole for a drink, or that a golfer with a hip replacement be able to use a cart on a “walk only” course.

    It is the pretencious snobs who callously reject making accomodations where they would clearly be in order that bring about such interpretations.

    When will you offer a version of your website that is friendly for the visually impaired and isn’t burdened with advertisements, side columns and popup windows making it very difficult for a person using a screen reader to read?

  2. I don’t know of any golf course with cart paths that is not accessible to those who are handicapped. Being handicapped is not a joke, but government bureaucrats who promulgate endless trivial and absurd regulations are. How many people with disabilities play golf?

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