My take on the Thomas Ball case
I am due in court the end of the month. The ex-wife lawyer wants me jailed for back child support. The amount ranges from $2,200. to $3,000. depending on who you ask. Not big money after being separated over ten years and unemployed for the last two. But I do owe it. If I show up for court without the money and the lawyer say jail, then the judge will have the bailiff take me into custody. There really are no surprises on how the system works once you know how it actually works. And it does not work anything like they taught you in high school history or civics class.
I could have made a phone call or two and borrowed the money. But I am done being bullied for being a man. I cannot believe these people in Washington are so stupid to think they can govern Americans with an iron fist. Twenty-five years ago, the federal government declared war on men. It is time now to see how committed they are to their cause. It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.
I saw over at Antifeminist tech blog that some are trying to cover up this story, while others, such as man-hater Amanda Marcotte said that Bell's goal was to use his fiery death to "make his ex-wife's life a living hell." This twisted "analysis" is hardly worthy of a response, but I will say that if Ball wanted to make his ex's life a living hell, killing himself was not the answer. The ex may not have even given a damn.
Rather, it seems that Ball was using his extreme way of committing suicide to make a more important point than revenge against an ex--that is much too simplistic and reductionist. Instead, it seems to me that he was trying to highlight the hypocrisy of a government that professed to be against oppression and discrimination but succeeded in neither when it comes to the male gender.
His statement is not the ramblings of a madman, it is the mission of a warrior in some sense. He was fighting for his rights and for yours, if you are male. He was trying to bring some urgency to the male plight in this country, one that no one appreciates or cares about until they are engaged in the battle of the courts. If you want to understand more about how men's rights are being stripped by family courts, take a look at Stephen Baskerville's book Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family.
Mr. Ball's death should serve as a wake-up call to the men and their supporters in this country to continue to fight for equal rights in the area of marriage and family law.
Update: Commenter and blogger Assistant Village Idiot writes to Glenn:
I deal with that agency all the time, though not the children's services - I have for 30 years. They are entirely reasonable people who make adjustments and accommodations for people who don't like them or are suspicious of them all the time. Hell, they are a mental health center, so most of their clients are difficult and suspicious. They are not some Orwellian controlling agency. Ball decided that being pissy and proving that he was right about one incident ten years ago was more important than seeing his daughter. He's no victim.
Family courts may indeed be prejudiced against fathers - I hear that, but I don't know. I've certainly dealt with many cases of NH courts ruling in favor of fathers in custody disputes, though, and I don't see a massive trend here. It pays to remember that MFS cannot tell its side of the story because of confidentiality, and that some pathological people hide by trying to tie themselves to legitimate causes. Wolves hide in sheep's clothing, because it doesn't do any good to hide in wolves' clothing, does it?
This has not been my experience in the family courts. I have seen men denied custody, charged for domestic violence for the "crime" of spanking or slapping a child, and denied child support enforcement. It may be different in New Hampshire.