by Tom Ball
A man walks up to the main door of the Keene N.H. County Courthouse, douses himself with gasoline and lights a match. And everyone wants to know why.
Apparently the old general was right. Death is not the worst of evil.
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.
There are two kinds of bureaucrats you need to know; the ones that say and the ones that do. The bridge between them is something I call The Second Set of Books. I have some figures of the success of their labors. You and I are in these numbers, as well as our spouses and children. But first let me tell you how I ended up in this rabbit hole.
My story starts with the infamous slapping incident of April 2001. While putting my four year old daughter to bed, she began licking my hand. After giving her three verbal warnings I slapped her. She got a cut lip. My wife asked me to leave to calm things down.
When I returned hours later, my wife said the police were by and said I could not stay there that night. The next day the police came by my work and arrested me, booked me, and then returned me to work. Later on Peter, the parts manager, asked me if I and the old lady would be able to work this out. I told him no. I could not figure out why she had called the police. And bail condition prevented me from asking her. So I no longer trusted her judgment.
After six months of me not lifting a finger to save this marriage, she filed for divorce. Almost two years after the incident, I was talking with her on the phone. She told me that night she had called a mental health provider we had for one of the kids. Wendy, the counselor told my then wife that if she did not call the police on me, then she too would be arrested.
Suddenly, everything made sense. She is the type that believes that people in authority actually know what they are talking about. If both she and I were arrested, what would happen to our three children, ages 7,4 and 1? They would end up in State custody. So my wife called the police on her husband to protect the children. And who was she protecting the kids from? Not her husband, the father of these children. She was protecting them from the State of New Hampshire.
This country is run by idiots.
The police sergeant Freyer screwed this up from the get go. When I got the Court Complaint form the box was checked that said Domestic Violence Related. I could not believe that slapping your child was domestic violence. So I looked up the law. Minor custodial children are exempted. Apparently, 93% of American parents still spank, slap or pinch their children. To this day I still wonder if Freyer would have made this arrest if it had been the mother that had slapped the child.
Labeling someone’s action as domestic violence in American in the 21st century is akin to labeling someone a Jew in Germany in the 1930′s. The entire legal weight of the state is coming down on him. But I consider myself lucky. My family was destroyed. But that poor bastard in Germany had his family literally annihilated.
Arrests are mandatory for the police in New Hampshire for domestic violence. That is not law. That is police department policy. Laws come from the Legislature and the Governor’s office together. God only knows where these policies come from. The State’s Attorney General also has a mandatory arrest protocol for domestic violence. I call these policies, procedures and protocols The Second Set of Books. You never cover the Second Set of Books your junior year in high school. That because we are not suppose to have a Second Set of Books. This is America-we have the rule of law.
I am a regular guy, a coffee and cheeseburger type of fellow. As remarkable as my life has been, I figure that what happens to me must be happening to others as well. I was 48 years old when I got arrested here for my first time. So I went looking for the arrest numbers for domestic violence, this new group that I had unwilling joined. I could not find anything. So I wrote the U.S. Dept. of Justice in Washington. They wrote back that they did not keep track of domestic violence arrests. The FBI keeps track of all other crimes. How come not domestic violence? I thought some low level clerk was blowing me off.
At the time, I had mailing addresses in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. So I wrote to all six Congressional offices, the two Senators from each state and the two Congressman. They like doing favors for constituents hoping you will favorably remember their name in the voting booth. All six offices reported back the same thing. They do not know how many arrests for domestic violence have been made. I immediately knew something was wrong. And I also knew this was not going to be good.
Improvise, adapt and overcome. The Army teaches that to every soldier it trains. They say that no battle plan survives the first five minutes of combat. So your people on the ground had better be able to think for themselves. Taking casualties in war is just an occupational hazard. Taking casualties and not accomplishing your mission is a disaster. After 21 years of Army service, I am pretty good at improvising.
The first thing I found was a study not of domestic violence arrests but of domestic violence injuries for 18 unnamed states and the D.C. in the year 2000. In the study 51% of the injuries were ‘no injuries’. So I knew I had a study of police reports. Who else but a police officer would record no injuries? I populated that out to the 50 states and came up with 874,000 arrest in the year 2000.
I had originally populated the number back to 1994 when the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted into law. I would later find out these arrests stated with the U.S. Attorney General’s Task Force of Domestic Violence ten years earlier in 1984. As individual states data became available for various years and states, I would incorporated in to my informal study. The number I have now in 2011 is 36 million adults have been arrested for domestic violence. I have a gut feeling this number could be as high as 55 million. But I only have data to 36 million. So 36 million it stays. And there is a really cool trick you can do once you have this number. You can find out how many American men. women and children ended up homeless because of these arrests.
Most of the domestic violence statistics I have seen break down with 75% male and 25% female being arrested. So I am going to used the male pronoun for the one arrested spouse and the female pronoun for the victim spouse. That should make the domestic violence feminists ecstatic-man bad, woman good. But that is okay because that is probably the last nice thing I am going to do for them today.
When then a man is arrested for domestic violence, one of two things can happen. If they are only dating and have separate apartments, then he can head home. But if they are living together, then this fellow has a real problem. Bail conditions and then a possible protective or restraining order prevent him from being with her. So he needs to find a new place to live, at least until the charges are resolved. The King of his Castle is no longer allowed into his castle. A feminist name Pence who wrote that was absolutely giddy at that outcome. So he can get his own place if he has enough money. Or he can move in with his mother, his sister or another relative. He might have a girl friend who would let him stay with her. And if none of this is possible, well then I guess he is sleeping in his car down by the river.
If he has minor children, money will soon turn into an issue. 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. But it does stress that man’s finances. Child support is usually 33% of the man’s gross income. Withholding for taxes, social security and health insurance can range up to 28% of his gross paycheck. So a man making $500 a week gross has only $825 monthly left over after withholding and child support. That is not enough money for an apartment here in Central Massachusetts. That does not include other expenses like heating, electric, gas, groceries, telephone, cable, car payment and car insurance. So he is in a financial hole. Estimates of homeless men run 82% to 94%. I am going to round that down to 80%.
After the King has left his castle, his wife runs into a problem. She was use to getting his whole paycheck for the household. Now she get a third for child support. Figure they both work and made the same money, her budget went from 100% down to 66%. If she was running the house on $3,045. a month when the King was home, now without him she only has $2,220. Most households in America cannot withstand a 27% hit on the household account. She’ll juggle the bills but eventually most wives figure out that they can pay all the smaller bills if they just does not pay the big bill. That would be the rent or the mortgage. So six to nine months after the King is out of the castle, the Queen, the Princes and the Princesses are also on the street. Domestic violence feminists state that 50% of victim spouses of domestic violence end up homeless at some time in their lives.
The last group of homeless from these arrests are children. The domestic violence feminists state that 70% of domestic violence couple have children. So 50% female times 70% children equals 35%. But children is plural. So we will double to 70%.
(Odd isn’t it? They know that 50% of victim spouses end up homeless and that 70% of them have children. How can they know the percentages when they do not know how many total arrests were made? Those people at the U.S. Justice Dept. cannot even pull off a credible cover-up. )
Men are 0.8, women are 0.5, and children are 0.7 for a grand total of 2.0 homeless Americans for every domestic violence arrest. Multiply that by 36 million and you get 72 million men, women and children ending up homeless at some point in their lives over the last 25 years because of these domestic violence arrests.
That is a really large number even by Washington standards. That is almost 25% of the entire population of the U.S. using 2010 census figures. Which begs the question did these homeless people contribute to this latest economic meltdown, or did they cause it? Because if they did cause it then the recovery will not be measure in months or years but in decades.
Some of the boys in the Father’s Movement think Congress might have shot themselves in the foot over this one. Personally, I think they shot themselves some place anatomically higher. No wonder the Speaker of the House is always crying. The Dummies on the Potomac.
Twenty-five years ago the federal government start pushing these arrests on state’s legal systems. Now, we have an economy on the rope. They have thrown a huge amount of money at banks, big business and local and states government. And we are still in the mud. But no economist either at the Treasury Dept., Federal Reserve, universities or think tanks are even looking at the impact of all these broken families. If that 36 million arrest is correct, then 72 million men and women, have been throw out of the middle class into subsistence living. Or is the number 55 million and 110 million? No one knows and no one is even looking. But why should look? According to the Attorney General, we do not know how many arrests we have made.
And if the Tea Party is any indication, insurrection is brewing in the land. Just a coincident? Not likely. This is what happens when the government wipes out the middle class.
The idea for these arrests came from something called the Minneapolis Police Experiment (MPE) of 1981-82. In the experiment police offices were given pads with one of three words written on them; counsel, send or arrest. Counsel meant the officer was to try to mediate the couple’s spat. Send was to send one of the spouses out of the house for eight hours as a cooling off period. Arrest was arrest one of the two spouses. The officer was to do as the top paper on the pad said to do. The experiment was set up by the Police Foundation and Lawrence W. Sherman was the lead researcher. The results show counseling resulted in a future assault in 24% cases, send was 19%, and the arrest option resulted in a future assault in only 10% of the cases. Perhaps a cheap way of cutting down future domestic violence.
In 1984 The U. S. Attorney General’s Task Force of Domestic Violence recommended arrest as the primary weapon in domestic violence assault. Lawrence W. Sherman recommend not using the arrests because the MPE was just one study and it could be wrong. They ignored him. And by 1992, 93% of the police departments in the nation had adopted some form of mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases.
But by 1992 five more addition studies similar to the MPE became available. Lawrence W. Sherman reviewed all five studies. Then once again he wrote that the police should not use arrest. In two of the five studies, they found the same result as they did in the MPE, that an arrest cut down the odds of a future assault. But in the other three studies an arrest actually increase the odds of a future assault. So arresting someone in a domestic violence situation to cut down on future assaults did not work any better than just flipping a coin. I do not know if Lawrence W. Sherman is still alive. But fortunately he wrote a book call Policing Domestic Violence that was published in 1992.
So we have 800,000 American police officers arresting one in every six adults in the country and throwing 25% of the men, women and children out on the streets in an effort to enforce a policy that they knew did not work back in1992. And I had always assumed that you needed a man to really screw something up. Oh well, there goes