Saturday, June 25, 2011

My take on the Thomas Ball case

If you don't know the story by now, Thomas Ball is the New Hampshire man who set himself on fire on the courthouse steps and left a 15-page note outlining the abusive family court system and his reasons for killing himself. Many of you have emailed or commented about this case (thanks very much) here and I think his story is an important one in understanding the psychological and physical damage that the law is inflicting on men in this country. Here is an excerpt from Mr. Ball's statement that I think makes some very salient points:
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.

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56 Comments:

Blogger TMink said...

RIP Mr. Ball. I wish someone could have helped and given you some hope.

Trey

10:02 AM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

He's not the only one, by a long shot. Been there. Still there, 14 years later.

I'll say this, I ache for him.

11:42 AM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

She does as she pleases, does not have to lift a finger. The "system" does it all for her. Maybe her lawyer was better than mine. Too bad I paid for both of them. It still strikes me as weird I was paying one guy to slit my throat, and one to stem the bleeding. All from the same wallet.

11:45 AM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Mr. Ball is not an easy man to defend, given the facts of his case, and so I am much impressed that Dr Helen is making even so much as a statement on his disposition.

Perhaps the tide is turning, after all.

Many sincere thanks for acknowledging one man's departure, Dr Helen.

1:20 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger Acksiom said...

"I deal with that agency all the time, though not the children's services. . . ."

Instafail!

1:45 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Dead men do not pay alimony or child support. Perhaps that explains the high rate of male suicide, especially after divorce.

While I cannot countenance a man killing himself, I understand the desperation behind it.

But there's a more simple solution to this disaster-prone situation. Do not get married.

The modern American girl is neurotic and vindictive. She will abandon, betray and bankrupt you as soon as it suits her, which won't take very long. She changes her mind every time she changes her underwear.

She has all of the power in court. So don't give her that power.

She cannot abandon me, she cannot betray me, force me to pay for another man's bastard child, she cannot bankrupt me if I do not marry her.

Change the terms and conditions of the marriage contract. Put an end to presumptive paternity and no fault divorce. There is no other way to solve this problem.

I keep saying that, and I've been ridiculed for it, but it really is the only solution.

If my choices are either to remain single or torch myself on the courthouse steps, I'll gladly choose the former. Thank you very much.

2:53 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

This is story is indeed a tragedy. I'm always amazed at how endlessly creative adults are in thinking of ways to neglect and abuse children, but this father takes the cake. The little girl he bitch-slapped now gets to grow up loathing herself and holding herself responsible for the breakup of her family as well as for her father's infamous and unforgettable suicide on the front steps of the town courthouse. Apparently one of the little girls was already in therapy before all this started - hope it was the 7-year-old and not the 4-year-old.

And how many times did he tell us how "precious" his children were to him? Well I've got news: Lying is as simple as opening your mouth and breathing. Watch a man's actions if you want to know who he truly is. And what did Mr. Ball do? He busted his 4-year-old daughter in the chops and split her lip - while he was playing daddy and tucking her into bed. Maybe that's not child abuse but it says something about who Mr. Ball is and how he rolls. I'm not surprised the mother called the child's therapist for advice. And I'm not surprised the therapist wanted the woman to call the cops. But no doubt the kids understood.

To get visitation with his children after the trial and the divorce, all Ball had to do was to attend a couple of counseling sessions – literally, according to Ball, "one or two meetings". But as much as he piously "prayed" to be reunited with his children so they wouldn't suffer a "fatherless childhood", he refused to attend even one session. Because some things are just more important than family, such as principle. Namely, the principle that mental health workers shouldn't play any role in making decisions about whether potentially unstable people are ready to get back together with children they may believe have wronged them; only judges are competent enough to do that. Mr. Ball had to unselfishly fight for that principle and file more lawsuits. No doubt his kids understood.

No doubt his kids also understood when their dad accomplished one of the most spectacular suicides carried out in the US in recent memory, apparently for the purpose of touching off a campaign of indiscriminate terrorist violence against people who work in police stations and courthouses and who oppose domestic violence and child abuse. A worthy legacy indeed.

And in case the kids have doubts, they only need to refer to his suicide manifesto to discover that "Daddy loves you," and that it wasn't his decisions that kept him away all these years, it was the US Government. Otherwise, nothing would ever have kept him away, because "the only thing you really have in this world is your family." You see? Family's all that's ever mattered to him.

3:35 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

I personally know horror stories about CS, but all CS departments aren't the same. I raised my daughter alone. My next door neighbors were extremely prissy and pompous types. They called CS on me claiming various things. Woman came, talked to me and daughter, went away. Buttheads called CS again. Woman came, told me they were flagging this as harassment and I never heard another word. Biggest problem I can tell is that it's impossible to get action taken on the horrid workers, like any other governmental position.

5:12 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger kmg said...

Thomas Ball may be a flawed human, like most of us are.

BUT, he was driven to suicide by the family court system. That is a fact.

Any man reading this could easily be pushed that far. For example, a famous celebrity like Hulk Hogan was contemplating suicide once his wife inflicted him with divorce and had the gall to get a boat named 'alimony' while Hogan himself was sleeping on a couch at his daughter's place. This was a famous man once worth $33 Million.

So Thomas Ball is certainly an example of an ordinary man driven to suicide by the Family Court system.

6:11 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger kmg said...

Gawain'sGhost,

Change the terms and conditions of the marriage contract. Put an end to presumptive paternity and no fault divorce. There is no other way to solve this problem.

I keep saying that, and I've been ridiculed for it, but it really is the only solution.


No one ridicules the value of such theoretical changes.

What people reject is the notion that such a law *can* be changed even with activism.

The GOP cannot even overturn Roe v. Wade or Obamacare. How can anyone overturn divorce laws, which have everyone from lawyers to feminists to social conservatives backing them?

A man of our generation simply has to recognize that marriage is not an option available in this era. It was available in the past, and may be available in the future, but is not available in this age.

6:15 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

I look forward to reading this, but don't buy at Amazon. The author has a web site where it's much cheaper than $100.

http://womensinfidelity.com/

If there's any merit to her research, it's the last nail in marriage's coffin.

6:52 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

abandoning your children in a ball of fire doesn`t get my support.

suicide is evidence of a pre-existing issue that has nothing to do with courts, exes or money.

i simply told my ex that if she wanted more than the house, the car and the children, she could explain to my boys why i was in jail.

it twists her inside to know that extra $7-800 is legally hers....

7:05 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

$7-800 per month that is, based on my income, and she can review that if there are upward changes in my financial status.

7:45 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Linked: 'Update on Thomas Ball Self-Immolation Suicide'.

7:45 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger Human-Stupidity.com said...

You guys don't even notice: it starts with the problem of debtor's prison, a medieval cruelty that has been abandoned centuries ago and re-created under the guise of "contempt of court".

I often wish some people who maliciously owe me money (bouncing checks, for examples) would be jailed. It does not happen. Only to men in family court.

The entire fuzz about one mishap when slapping the daughter, so insignificant that the court acquitted him (look how much money and nerves he lost just on this one). His wife also thought it was insignificant.

On the other hand, women who, with obvious proof, drank while pregnant and permanently damaged a fetus with fetal alcohol syndrome, bearing a brain damaged child. What happens to them? Nothing!!

My take on this

Men ruined and destroyed by feminist legal system, driven to self immolation and murder

8:37 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

"So Thomas Ball is certainly an example of an ordinary man driven to suicide by the Family Court system."

Is he? Because it seems to me he had an extraordinary amount of success pursuing his crusade against the family court system. I'd say it was more likely his victories emboldened him to martyr himself in the belief he could find immortality and the hope he could incite men who are truly aggrieved (or at least believe themselves to be) to widespread violence. I think his Statement rings with triumph and battle lust, not despair. He lists his victories with relish:

1) Shaming a prosecutor into quitting his job after his acquittal: "The prosecutor could not refute my allegation because I enclosed a copy of the trial transcript. I had to pay for the transcript. When the prosecutor read it, he gave his two weeks notice and then blew town."

2) Removing via lawsuit the counseling services agency from both his case and ALL domestic violence cases in perpetuity: "I sued Monadnock Family Services to make them go away. I told their lawyer Byron that they were a legitimate target for men. We settled for no money. They would have nothing to do with this reconciliation. The counselor was released. And they would no longer get involved in any domestic violence cases."

3) Chasing a family court judge into early retirement: "Every time we ended back in court over whatever squabbles, I would ask Judge Sullivan for my children back. The decision belong to the counselors he would tell me. But he knew he had screwed up. I could see it in his face. But he would not fix it. He would not step out of that box those domestic violence/sexual assault advocates had built for him. After five years, he retired to a part time position at the Littleton courthouse 120 miles away."

Bear in mind that Ball could have gotten to see his children any time he wanted if he would have simply swallowed his pride and gone to a counseling session. But he didn't, because at that point the kids were irrelevant. All that mattered was his battle of wills against the family court people. The problem was - he kept winning.

Finally all he had left to fight was the unpaid child support obligations he freely acknowledged he could have paid. That put him in a serious bind. Refusing to support the very children that were supposed to be the raison d'etre of his crusade would spoil everything. He wouldn't be a heroic figure, a "warrior", he'd be a deadbeat dad. And if he did pay, what else was left? Sticking it to the Man was his whole life.

So he decided to martyr himself in hopes of sparking a revolution. And I think he knew his audience very well, though he was far too ambitous. At worst he becomes a hero to your movement and his crusade is forever remembered as one loving father's brave fight against the System. Not bad for a self-absorbed but otherwise unremarkable man. At best his brave act of self-sacrifice is the Boston Massacre of our age and leads to a glorious campaign of violence and civil war that brings about the liberation of all men.

Here's a thought experiment that would be interesting if you feel like it: Read his Statement again, only don't think about divorce or alimony or anything you might have experienced in your own life. The divorce doesn't seem to even register with Ball and he wasn't paying alimony. Try to slip your skin and slip into his. Let your own Self fall away. Look through his eyes as he's writing and remembering and choosing his words. Now, he's writing. What is he feeling?

8:52 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger kmg said...

Golddigger,

You are disingenuous in the extreme. You would scream very loudly under much smaller injustices than most men are subjected to.

Child support IS alimony, as it is a percentage of income, and the woman has no accountability on how she spends it.

You are actually arguing that the current system is fair. That is beyond laughable.

No wonder more men are wisely choosing not to marry, and become pickup artists instead.

9:29 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

kmg, you are vexing in the extreme and haven't the faintest idea what would make me scream.

Do I think the current system of family law is fair? The laws on divorce, alimony, property distribution, custody, etc. and how those laws are applied vary widely from state to state and from judge to judge. There certainly are a great many injustices, and injustice should always be resisted. You should bear in mind, though, that the stories you hear on the internet aren't a representative sample. People who are happy with their settlements don't talk about them. Why would they?

But nobody is saying men must get married if they don't want to (although they're dreaming if they think PUA is a viable alternative for the 40+, not handsome, not wealthy crowd). What I believe is that if you are the father or the mother of a child you are responsible for that child until he or she is 18, financially if nothing else. Whether parents love or hate each other, are married, divorced, or were merely lovers, makes no difference. Most people understand that, even your hero Thomas Ball: "Most men I know do not mind paying child support. They want their kids to have food on their plates, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads."

If the Men's Rights movement has a shred of sense it will NOT make refusal to pay child support a plank in its platform. If it does, it will end up ranked about one notch above the Klan in the public's affections. Nobody is more despised than the man who walks away from his kids and never looks back, mostly because everybody knows somebody that's happened to: "I never knew my dad," or "I don't really remember my dad."

It's bad enough fathers abandoning their kids. Fathers refusing *on principle* to pay child support? Scum.

10:48 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger AndrewV said...

@golddigger

Nice attempt at shaming language there.

Some points:

- He exonerated his wife.
- He decided he was not going to continue to be bullied for being a man.
- What I saw you writing was a desperate attempt to deflect and redirect the fact that he chose self-immolation to make a political protest.

So now I am wondering what exactly is your agenda?

Are you affiliated or associated in any way with the Family Court System?

Do you have a personal or indirect relationship with anyone in the Family Court System?

Full disclosure please.

11:24 PM, June 25, 2011  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Um, the law as it exists was written by men. Deluded men, to be sure, but men nonetheless. Therefore, it can be changed by men.

Women are not going to change the law. Because it gives them power.

There is not one woman on this planet who would agree to presumptive maternity. That is, paying child support for some bastard her husband conceived with another woman.

But every woman will insist on presumptive paternity. It's the law, written by men.

Since men wrote the law, men can change the law. Only when men stand up and demand their rights will there be any change.

Otherwise, your options are to whine and complain about the law, which doesn't accomplish anything. To agree to a contract that under the law renders you a bankrupt debt slave, paying for another man's child. Or to ignore women entirely and avoid marriage completely.

It's that simple, really. The law is the law. And men are held accountable under the law. Men wrote the law; men can rewrite the law.

Are there any men left in this world? That's my question.

Or, all you are just pussy-whipped slaves? Think with your little head, do you?

Change the terms and conditions of the contract. If women do not like it, let them whine and moan. Or torch youself on the courthouse steps.

She can buy her own house. She has an education. She has a career. What does she need you for? Oh, that's right, a sperm donation. Plus, 50% and child support--20% of every paycheck for 18 years, even for a child that is not yours--not to mention alimony, lifetime support.

Does anyone have a clue here?

Change the law. There is no other option.

12:09 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger John Lynch said...

1. Dude is a jackass. Suicide is selfish, and there is no way that this helped his family at all. I don't see how having a long, drawn out, legal fight that ended in daddy torching himself can possibly be good for the kids. If he cared about his family he would deal with the problem some other way. It seems to me that family>principle. Anyone who'd rather burn to death rather than deal with a bad court ruling is a fanatic. Many, many people have the same problem and don't kill themselves over it.

2. Political violence is terrorism. Terrorism. However bad the law is, and it's bad, you can't be killing people (even if it's yourself) and claim to be on the side of right.

3. I'm inclined to agree with the decision of the media not to run with this story. For once, they may be right. Sensationalizing violence is something that they normally relish-- even when, for example, it's obvious that covering mass shootings leads to more mass shootings. Perhaps it's hypocritical, but I'm not going to complain when they do get it right.

1:45 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Human-Stupidity.com said...

Actually, he was pretty lucky he managed to kill himself. Lots of people would end up badly burned but saved and alive. Being in intensive care in the burn unit of a hospital must be real hell. Especially if you were rather dead.

So how did he manage that nobody put a fire extinguisher at him? Having powder sticking on your burns, that would be additional agony. Or at least roll him on the floor and throw blankets over him?

4:50 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger agent smith said...

The saddest thing about Thomas Balls story is that he isn't the only one.
Thousands of men have commited suicide after being dragged through the family court. What terrifies people about Thomas Balls story is that his letter clearly shows him to be an intelligent, sane man, pushed beyond breaking point.

7:21 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger The Captain said...

"...an intelligent, sane man..." That's a tough call. Ball's manifesto includes extensive instructions for making and deploying Molotov cocktails. The guy clearly snapped. At least that was my reaction on reading his diatribe a week or so ago. (As to his intelligence, we can only examine the construction of his prose. Not a high scorer there.)

As a former firefighter, take it from me that burning to death is the last way you want to go. Suicide is and should be everybody's option, in my opinion, however uncomfortable that position may make some people. If you douse yourself with accelerant and light a match, you are full-blown, batshit crazy, to use DSM-V terminology. Nonetheless, I feel great compassion for Mr. Ball.

As to the reactions that are tantamount to saying Ball deserved to die because he admitted to striking a child, I can only recall my own childhood. Our family lived in a blue-collar neighborhood in an industrial town. The fathers used to drink like pigs and then beat their sons. I mean whale the piss out of them, the way you would beat a man. My dad was not a drunk and usually had a kindly disposition, but I still got swatted around some. In that culture, people hit their kids when they don't listen or otherwise cause frustration. One of the things that motivated me not to have children (beyond having the common decency not to pass along my genes to any innocents) was concern that I probably wouldn't have been able to do as a good a job as a father as my father had. I don't hit people and I'm gentle with my dogs, but who knows how somebody is going to react under the enormously high stress levels imposed by trying to raise children -- who are constantly pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with. Supposedly people act based on what they've been taught, and if your dad hit you, you're likely to hit your own kids. Or so it's said. It's possible Ball reacted as he did based on his own upbringing.


One thing you can say about being beaten at home and living I'm a crappy neighborhood where you have to fight all the time is that it toughens a person up. I'm strangely grateful for that experience.

Per Ball's statement, he swatted his kid and his wife called the police. Based on that one act, whatever happened subsequently is her fault. She didn't do that to protect herself or her children, she did it to harm him. It's the immature adult's version of "I'm telling on you." Except that the result is that the defendant's life is then destroyed in perpetuity if children are involved. An unpopular position here, no doubt, but I hope Ball's ex-wife is forced into the most degrading imaginable acts of prostitution in order to survive. And that the children are exposed to more positive and beneficial influences than their worthless mother.

8:30 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AndrewV --

"Full disclosure please."

From a blank commenter who just registered this month providing zero personal information.

10:19 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Something more going on here than deciding to be "pissy." Setting yourself afire goes way beyond being pissy. Assistant Village Idiot is now promoted to Village Idiot.

10:58 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

I've said this a dozen times. Spend a week in the last row against the back wall in divorce court. Anytown, USA. Watch. Listen. Be astonished.

The woman doesn't show?. Continued. The man doesn't show? Bench warrant. For starters.

11:06 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

"I've said this a dozen times. Spend a week in the last row against the back wall in divorce court. Anytown, USA. Watch. Listen. Be astonished.

The woman doesn't show?. Continued. The man doesn't show? Bench warrant. For starters."

---

I absolutely agree, but I am also astonished at how men and women can see something right before their very eyes and still "interpret" it. In your example, the case is continued if the woman doesn't show - but men AND women would be ready with excuses or chivalry or whatever to cover her, and would do the opposite to the man without batting an eye.

Honestly: Usually women "get it", I think, but they just want to keep the advantages so they aren't going to say it. Lot of [chivalrous] men don't "get it" at all. The worse you treat a man the better. It's good for him; it's going to make that piece of shit learn responsibility. That's how lots of men think. They don't SEE any injustice.

11:36 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:40 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Mario said...

I can't say that the marriage laws will be changed, regarding their unfairness to husbands, but I want to encourage people to take heart. In New York, women will now be allowed to marry one another. I am fairly confident that when their marriages end, they will be no less vindictive towards one another.

It's possible that there may even be double the amount of contention and vindictiveness.

11:48 AM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

"If you douse yourself with accelerant and light a match, you are full-blown, batshit crazy, to use DSM-V terminology."

I see what you're saying, and that's my gut reaction as well; but given the tone and content of Ball's Statement and the fact that self-immolation is traditionally practiced as an extreme form of political protest, I'm not so sure. After all, he's not getting much media coverage, but the internet sure is paying attention - even people who've never considered the case for men's rights in family court. His martyrdom for the cause will live forever on the internet, if nowhere else, as he knew it would. Even though he fought the System in Keene NH with substantial success, he's made himself a symbol of justice denied. A heroic figure.

Ball would have been about 58 when he died. That means one of his formative memories is the famous image of the Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc's 1963 self-immolation in protest of the Diem regime's persecution of Buddhists. Photos of the monk's martyrdom ran on front pages everywhere and shocked the conscience of the world. The photographer won the Pulitzer Prize. Duc's act undermined US support for the regime and precipitated its collapse. And it's still famous today - I studied it in school. Kennedy later said that "no news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one."

And then there's the Tunisian vegetable seller whose self-immolation in protest of unemployment and the regime's confiscation of his vegetables sparked the revolution that brought down the government and provided the catalyst for the Arab Spring. Nobody thought he was crazy.

So if you view it in that light, don't you think Ball's self-immolation could have been the act of a rational man searching for immortality?

12:31 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

Oligonicella, I was thinking that very same thing.

12:35 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

goldigger --

No I don't, actually. Self immolation has zero cultural roots in the US. One hundred percent of the people that I've ever talked to about the monk admired him and simultaneously shook with the geebs at the thought of doing it themselves.

Hate to be morbid, but I would have to know first if he sat there and burned like the monks did until slumping forward or started screaming his ass off. Many people *start* a suicide with either the idea that they will be prevented (probably not him) or decide half-way through that it's a mistake.

The monk exhibited an obvious clarity of mind and will as to his belief and commitment. Mr Ball might have, but I don't know that and it plays a big part in my opinion.

At the moment, I lean towards it *not* being rational because there's nothing other than a couple of news stories from other continents as an idea source.

Shotgun or handgun would be a more American rooted idea, I think.

1:58 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Self immolation has zero cultural roots in the US.

Which is why it would make a greater statement than a shotgun or handgun to one's head. Gun to the head is too common in the U.S. to create a stir. I can only name one person I've known who burned himself alive. (Self immolation is too sterile of a term.) I've known several who put a gun to their head. You read about gun to the head suicides almost every day somewhere.

started screaming his ass off

I think the flames take out you lungs almost immediately.

BTW - do we need to put greater controls on matches and cigarette lighter do to an increase in people burning themselves alive.

2:11 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

DADvocate --

I don't think so. I had a friend Pat, when I was younger. His dad called him and his sister into the front room. When they entered he pulled the trigger. Shotgun.

We were never told what happened to Pat and sister, but I never saw them after that day and this incident wouldn't have been at home. I just don't think so. My opinion only.

As for screaming - all right, flopping around maniacally. Same, same. Contrast with the calm and controlled monks.

3:10 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

"His dad called him and his sister into the front room. When they entered he pulled the trigger. Shotgun."

That might be the cruelest thing I've ever heard. And part of my work is painting portraits of helplessness and misery. I know I've heard and seen worse, an 8-year-old boy prostituted by the crackwhore mom he adores worse, but somehow...

4:21 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger Bob Belvedere said...

Ever since the 19th Century, the British and American legal systems have sided with the mothers in such court proceedings because they were, rightly, seen as being very vulnerable in a male dominated world and, also, because the role of mother was greatly respected. One of the problems we face these days is, with the advent of greater legal and social freedoms granted to women, that old mentality and it's implementation in the law was never replaced with a system more fitting for the times. This has allowed the Feminists and their male toadies, who believe in achieving their goals 'by any means necessary', to use the system to further their anti-male agenda.

4:46 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Bob B - I see nothing you mentioned points to any consideration of what's best for the kids.

5:56 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

From Mario: "In New York, women will now be allowed to marry one another. I am fairly confident that when their marriages end, they will be no less vindictive towards one another.

It's possible that there may even be double the amount of contention and vindictiveness."

As someone who worked closely with the Director of Emergency Room Services at the Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School, I can promise you that the carnage will rise considerably.

This is from memory, and it's almost 15 years old, but she told me that "...whenever I see a woman with a black eye or a busted jaw, I know the husband or boyfriend did it. But when I see a woman with a hot iron grilled into her face, or that she's been beaten 30 times in the body with a golf driver, then I know it was her lesbian lover. Women never let up."

"The f of the s is d than the m." -P.G. Wodehouse

6:09 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

I wish you'd get to your point, goldigger and say what you really wish to say. There is no place in Ball's situation you can, or will, try to wriggle into for a moment and try it on for size. And the courts will never force it on you, like it is daily forced on men.

7:25 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

@AndrewV

When an unknown person pops up out of cyberspace reeking of hostility and demanding information about my life and relationships, I'm unlikely to satisfy his curiosity. Why on earth would I? I wouldn't even take that from ZorroPrimo, and he's my favorite.

If however such a person were very clever, and employed a modicum of courtesy and charm in asking for this same information, I would almost certainly offer him full disclosure. His mission accomplished, he could then revert to his customary rude and graceless manner and say what's really on his mind.

Honey. Vinegar. Believe it.

8:51 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger kmg said...

Self-immolation is something that originates from Arabia and South Asia.

Until now, I had hardly heard of anyone in the US doing it.

The fact that a parasitic leech like golddigger makes money via the hate cult of misandry is reason enough to topple the system that supports such parasites.

9:09 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Until now, I had hardly heard of anyone in the US doing it.

I guy I knew did it circa 1970. Extremely intelligent person, both parents had Phds, if I remember correctly. Very likable. The story was he was drug addicted and just couldn't cope any more. Set himself on fire in his parents backyard.

Never made any sense to me. His sister was in my grade in school. His parents seemed nice enough. It seems like one of the worst possible ways to die.

The theory I've heard a lot is that suicide is an expression of anger. You'd have to be really angry to burn yourself alive.

9:24 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Hey! She got my name right!

I am sooooo gaming her.

10:16 PM, June 26, 2011  
Blogger golddigger said...

Is that a dare, ZorroPrimo? Because I never could resist one of those.

12:13 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:29 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

You could never resist anything, and I am no exception.

4:21 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:38 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i just remembered that i do know someone that set himself on fire. we called him cyanide tom because he made lsd in a bathtub and did too much of his own brew.
he would be seen wandering around town touching lamposts and talking to himself most days.

he set himself on fire in front of a local church.

i`m not sure if the autistic behaviour was due to the drugs or whether he did that sort of thing before, but i don`t think the drugs helped.

http://www.amazon.com/Power-vs-Force-Determinants-Behavior/dp/1561709336

in this book david hawkins suggests that anger is a motivating process that is designed to bring one out of hopelessness and despair, and i would suggest that is is a powerful tool if one doesn`t stay angry and progresses toward more functional states such as hope, compassion and so on.

i have found this to be true in my life anyway. my anger has only been situational and temporary, allowing me to find solutions and doors out.

i don`t think the guy in question here was angry so much as in despair and hopelessness, and couldn`t face what in his mind could be seen as losing...so much so that he was willing to leave his children and face horrible pain to avoid what he obviously felt to be something he was unable to cope with any longer.

to make this guy some sort of poster boy for a men`s movement would be an error in my view.

9:25 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

I just finished reading "Sexual Utopia in Power" by F. Roger Devlin, originally printed in The Occidental Quarterly (a publication somehow dedicated to the survival of white people). As such, I approached this article with extraordinary suspicion, for I loathe racists equally with feminists.

But I heard it was fascinating, and WOW was it ever.

Very much a deeper review of current male/female relations than The Misandry Bubble, and yet with striking similarities. It was published in 2006 and is, despite having only a few departures into Christian theology, remarkably impartial and objective.

dontmarry.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/​sexualutopia.pdf

Anyone here who thought The Misandry Bubble was worth reading should read this, too. If someone were to ask me why I won't get married, I'd ask them to read this and then give me one good reason why a sane man actually would.

9:42 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Leatherwing said...

THe wikipedia article about Mr. Ball's death has already been deleted. Claim was it fails wikipedia's standards for a significant event. Sound more like an attempt to maintain a single worldview.

11:21 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Saan said...

Okay,

The above comments from golddigger and the doctor are well thought out and beautifully constructed. They suffer from a fatal flaw. They are assuming.

They are assuming that Mr. Ball never thought or attempted any of the "solutions" to fatherless children that were suggested.

Mr. Ball knew without a doubt that no matter how grounded he was in the law, constitutional principles, court rules, and basic human morality that the law was completely arbitrary and would be laid down as such based upon the ego's of the individuals wielding power.

His life had not been his own for a long time, his last act was to reclaim his life, and the only way he could do that was to commit suicide. Being as beaten down as he was, with all the forces of human capacity arrayed against him, he did his best to make sure every person on the planet knew he had reclaimed his free will.

Those of you bashing him ought to be ashamed. Instead you project your own shame upon him. Pathetic!

Do a bit of research. NH county courts are public records. They are even public when sealed by a judge, you just have to plow through the FOIA, so by the time you can publish it is long forgotten by the majority.

1:25 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

my ex did what she could to remove me from my children`s life for many reasons. she failed to do that simply because i knew my children would always want to see me despite what the courts would say.

i wasn`t going to help her to do that by deciding to remove myself, which this guy did.

as much as my ex resents my existance, the boys know their father and continue to spend time here and know me as dad. she knows to tread lightly when it comes to further actions against me in court, no matter the legal position she might have.

3:50 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

You can be lucky you weren't crunched by parental alienation brainwashing.

6:06 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger tomcal said...

Thank God our kids are growed. It's their decision whether they want to have kids of their own, so I'm not going to comment that.

Any time I want kids to support and educate, I can find them by the millions outside the US, where the cost of everything isn't tripled to cover risk management.

7:14 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

Someone needs to make up a t-shirt with the NOW logo and a caption saying "Thomas Ball died for your sins".

2:49 PM, June 28, 2011  

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