From Simon Black of Sovereign Man
New Hampshire Man Lights Himself On Fire To Protest America's Decline
Late last week, Thomas James Ball reached his breaking point. Driven
to desperation by a system that bankrupted him and destroyed his family,
Ball walked up to the main door of the Keene County, New Hampshire
courthouse, doused himself with gasoline, and lit himself ablaze.
Hardly anyone seems to have noticed.
Conversely, when a 26-year old Tunisian man lit himself on fire a few
months ago after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he had
been selling without a proper permit, it launched a wave of revolution
across the Middle East.
People were shocked into taking action… protests and riots swept the region and one regime after another crumbled.
Rather than sparking an “American spring” and shocking US citizens
into taking their country back, though, Mr. Ball’s act of
self-immolation seems to have been largely ignored. There has been scant
coverage (and scant is being extremely generous) of Mr. Ball in the
mainstream media, and what little coverage there is generally discredits the man as a troublemaker.
This is how the system’s gatekeepers have been so adroit at
maintaining the status quo– by suppressing dissent, marginalizing the
detractors, and distracting the populace with meaningless, irrelevant
Mr. Ball left behind a lengthy missive prior to his suicide, which
covers a range of topics from political corruption to why the family
court system in America is utterly disgraceful. He was, to put it
mildly, a staunch advocate of violent change, and it’s clear he hoped a
great deal of others would follow in his footsteps to literally burn the
(Ball even left instructions for how to make a proper Molotov
cocktail along with specific vulnerabilities of police stations in his
Perhaps the most interesting part of his final post, however, was the
observation that the United States is no longer a nation of laws; Ball
described what he calls the ‘second set of books,’ which is essentially
the collection of policies, procedures, and protocols that courts and
executive agencies rely upon.
This includes police departments and other ‘enforcers’ across the
country that come up with standardized responses to take judgment out of
the equation. TSA agents, for instance, are only following procedure
when they fondle children at airport checkpoints. Even the guys who
drove the trains to the concentration camps were just following
Ball argued that the nation is now ruled by such procedures, even in
such institutions as family court where judges (by policy) pass the buck
down the line to mental health case workers.
His anger and desperation for this system, which tore apart his
family and bankrupted his finances, led Ball to light himself ablaze at
the local courthouse in a state whose motto is “Live Free or Die.” Ball
chose the latter.
The next day, life went on in America. There was no shocking
front-page cover story or award-winning photograph to spark a national
debate… let alone propel droves of fed-up citizens to flood the streets
Rather, the New Hampshire courthouse cleaned up his charred remains
and meticulously scrubbed the floors to eliminate all trace of the
event. 24-hour news networks ran a quick blurb in their scrolling
tickers amid more important coverage of the Miss USA beauty pageant and
President Obama’s Father’s Day plans.
In other words, business as usual… suggesting that if there is, in
fact, going to be a fight for the soul of the country, it’s a long way
off, and many more degrees for the boiling frogs who are stuck in the
My assessment of this situation, however controversial it may be,
remains very clear: the great faceless enemy that opposes us,
irrespective of our country of origin, is the institution of government.
Over time, this institution has inserted itself into nearly all
aspects of life, such that a man cannot so much as enjoy a pint of beer,
discipline his children, ride on the train, go to the doctor, open a
bank account, apply for a job, go fishing, or watch a sporting event
without the heavy hand of government being involved.
This is a beast that feeds on citizens; the more it feeds, the larger
it becomes and the hungrier it gets. Of all the solutions out there,
including armed conflict, civil disobedience, self-immolation, active
democracy, etc., the only one that truly destroys the beast is starving
it– take away the feast of productive citizens and accelerate its