Wednesday, April 26, 2006

O is for Over the Edge

Broken Bread directs us to yet another man (Herbert Chalmers) driven mad by the hopelessly abusive family-destroying court system.

We must all say we don't condone his behavior (he murdered 4 and raped a woman in his rampage), but we cannot forget that he was without hope in a system that gives no quarter. A 'clerical error' caused 50% of his paycheck to be withheld since his monthly support number was increased by 540% in what is being called a 'clerical error' .

This article indicates that the amount of arrears that Chalmers had in 1977 was entered as his monthly support number in 1998. He normally had to pay $133, and this was increased to $724.92 . Apparently that error went uncorrected from 1998 on.

Hm. More of mine is withheld than that... Guess his state is not as cruel as NJ. Happily, I don't feel any urge to freak out, but then, I haven't been abused by the state since 1998, like Chalmers was.

Broken Bread comments: "[...] try living on 50% of your after-tax salary sometime. I had to do it for three months, eating rice and beans and charging groceries on my credit card while I watched my daughter go with her mother to Paris for two weeks. To live like that is to live in a constant state of rage. Chalmers obviously couldn't make ends meet, had no way of reaching child support enforcement officials, and couldn't see any way out. "

This is the thing that drives so many men to suicide, murder and worse. You are put in an untenable situation, and the state keeps taking more, and more. You automatically become a felon if you flee to another state, and of course you lose your kids. Your passport is likely revoked, so leaving the country is hard too, assuming you have any assets to do that with. It is almost exactly like being a black slave in the Antibellum US South.

Some knuckle down under the pressure, and scrape along, and somehow, some way, make it work.

Some fail at that and spend months in jail as a deadbeat dad, until some family member or friend pays the state-sponsored blackmail to get them out.

Others spin out of control or eventually snap, and it is no suprise that the behaviors, violence and criminal acts that follow are not rational.

How do you expect anything to behave when you back it into a corner and give it no way out. You may start with a rational, moral, normal person, but you can end up with a desparate animal.

Was what Herbert did ok? No.

Was it the right thing to do? No.

Do we understand how he got there? Yes. It is very, sadly, very clear how he got there.

Some will claim that this man was just a criminal and nothing more. Probably people saying this have never been enslaved. Not everyone can take it.

No matter how you view this case, one must admit that without state-enforced slavery to ex-spouses, Herbert Chalmers would likely still be alive, along with the four people he murdered,
-and one woman would not be suffering from the trauma of rape.


Update 26-Apr-06: MensActivism.Org points us to This Article - which tells us that Chalmer's kids WERE ALL GROWN AND EMANCIPATED. Which just goes to show what I have been told so many times - there is no escape, ever. Here his kids were all grown, and he is still a slave, with his payments increasing yearly, living on $200 every two weeks.

Update 26-Apr-06: I see the following from the St Louis Post-Dispatch that strikes me as interesting to men:

Citing confidentiality concerns, the Department of Social Services has blocked reporters’ requests for information about Chalmers’ case, though a St. Louis judge opened a narrow window Thursday by agreeing to unseal part of the court record.
State records obtained by the Post-Dispatch indicate that a payment of $600 in back child support was received on his account with the state on March 30, with a $75 payment on March 7 and a $10 payment on Jan. 10.

Haynes was due to receive all of that money. A $600 check was cut or sent March 31, and a $10 check was dated Jan. 11. State records showed one more check, for $75, dated April 24, 2006 — six days after Haynes’ death.

So the portion of the record released shows a very good correspondence between what Chambers paid, and what Haynes recieved. So for the brief period that the court has let us see, there is no fraud in the payment system. Men have often complained that payments made to child support services do not reach their ex-wives.

Another thought has occurred to me though - here we have a man who has claimed that some of the children that he was being charged support for, and had been charged support for for many years, were not his. And here we have payments inappropriately being taken from him, and made to the mother of these children, long after the children have reached majority.

Sooo, what does the ethical person do when they recieve payments that they do not deserve, especially payments that they know come from someone who can ill afford it? Yes, I am blaming one of the victims: Chamber's ex-partner who was content to accept the enslavement of her ex-partner well beyond even what our misandrous courts had ruled. Did she deserve to die? I cannot bring myself to say that, but I do expect that she is in hell now, and well deserving of it.

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