pink form.rnSeveral years ago. Lifeline AmbulancernService of Lynn, Massachusetts, had policernbreak down the door of an elderlyrnwoman who had been “pink papered.”rnThe cops and orderlies dragged herrndown the steps of her apartment building.rnHer bladder burst, and she had arnheart attack. A jury foimd the city guiltyrnand awarded a $1.3 million judgment,rnbut in 1996, an appeals court overturnedrnthis decision, ruling that the action hadrnnot violated the dead woman’s FourthrnAmendment right to be free of “unreasonablernsearch and seizure” even thoughrnthere was no warrant. Because the cityrnand company were in compliance withrnstate law, strict construction was brieflyrnback in fashion.rnThose involved in issuing, serving,rnand enacting section 12’s are immunizedrnfrom prosecution if they “act inrngood faith.” Private hospitals, physicians,rnand psychiatrists who act “underrncolor of state law” also are immune.rnEvery year, Massachusetts servesrnabout 8,000 section 12’s. The ten-dayrnconfinement can be increased to 24 daysrnat the direction of the hospital staff beforernthere is any judicial review. (This isrnin order “to ease the burden on therncourts,” the legislator who drafted thernstatute told reporters.) Well before 24rndays, people may have been drugged,rnbeaten, intimidated, and may have sufferedrnpain far worse than anything theyrnmight otherwise have experienced orrneven imagined before they began to receivernstate “care.” “There is no burdenrnof proof on psychiatrists” or social workers,rncommented an expert on mentalrnhealth law, and the availabilit}’ of medicalrninsurance helps create “a bias towardrnincarceration.” The increasing numberrnof clients thus served helps the staterndemonstrate a “crisis” and cajole morerntaxes to heal “the problem.”rnThe source of Massachusetts’ deadlyrncompassion is its lust for money andrnpower. It is gratified hdly in the industryrnof child support. One of the point menrnfor the attack is Mitchell Adams, head ofrnthe Massachusetts Department of Revenuern(DOR). Early in Governor WilliamrnWeld’s administration, Adamsrnmade a media splash by publicly “marr}’-rning” his homosexual partner; under hisrnstewardship, the DOR has displayed cutting-rnedge hostility to fathers.rnhi September 1998, Senate Bill 2044rnwas passed into law by the Massachusettsrnlegislature. This statute transfers mostrnpower regarding collection of child supportrnto the DOR and allows it to definerncompliance and set support levels independentrnof the already draconian statern”Guidelines on Ghild Support,” the nation’srnhighest at 55 percent of pre-tax income.rn(Judges often use their discretionrnto set the rate even higher.)rnAs Dr. Ned Holstein pointed out inrnthe Spring 1998 issue oiThe Banner, thernMassachusetts Newsletter of Fathers andrnFamilies, S2044 lets the DOR initiate reviewrnof child-support orders and amendrnthem by formulas that the DOR devises.rnAny such modification acquires the legalrnstatus of a court order, although there isrnno judicial review. The DOR sets therncriteria for determining who is in arrears.rn(This can be done solely on the basis of arnclaim by the mother, with no substantiationrnrequired.) A defendant must exhaustrnhis “remedies” with DOR beforernappealing any such modification to therncourts. Without judicial hearing or review,rnthe DOR can suspend drivers’ licenses,rnattach retirement or pensionrnfunds, and tap bank accounts for healthrninsurance. There also is a mandatory 14-rnday imprisonment for being in arrears.rnThe peremptory nature of S2044 mirrorsrnthe method of section 12, and therernis a further similarity. The statute exemptsrnthe state from liability should anrnaccused person ever manage to fightrnthrough the bureaucratic thicket andrndemonstrate that the DOR was in error.rnNear the core of this tjranny is greed.rnWhile the [30R and “child protectivernservice” cadres boast that S2044 will helprnchildren, Holstein notes that mostrnmonies collected are absorbed into therngeneral revenues of the commonwealthrnand serve to balance the budget. Therndeath of the family is the health of thernstate.rnDriving this point home was thernunanimous passage in late summer 1998rnof Massachusetts House Bill 5621. Ghangingrnits name and number frequentiy tornthrow citizens off its trail, this statuternmandates that parents (read, fathers) accusedrnof abuse will be barred from anyrnunsupervised contact with their children.rnThe trigger can be checked if arnjudge provides written findings to therncontrar-, but that is an unusual coursernin family court. The Massachusetts SupremernJudicial Gourt ruled that the staternalready has safeguards against false allegationsrnof abuse, though it failed to identifyrna single one. Glaims that a woman isrnin fear of future abuse are routinely usedrnin divorce cases to trigger ex parte ordersrnthat bar fathers from gaining shared orrnfull custody of children. The court andrnthe legislature both rejected requests thatrnthe hearings at which these orders arerngranted be subject to evidentiary standards.rnAs one municipal judge explained,rnshe sees the role of the court asrn”cracking the denial of the defendants”rnwho dare to assert their innocence.rnThe picture is clear: Due process andrnequal protection are disappearing, havernalready all but disappeared in Massachusetts.rnThe principle of “innocent imtilrnproven guilfy” has been discarded for citizensrnand especially for fathers. The staternand its officers are beyond the law that,rnthus, becomes lawlessness. Those whorndo not wish to be objects of the state willrnhave to assert the principles of justicernand natural law or America may yet gornfurther. Indeed, in Oregon and Gonnecticutrnbills are being considered mandatingrnMedicaid coverage for assistedrnsuicide. The slide is on.rnEugene Narrett teaches writing at BostonrnUniversity.rnLIBERAL ARTS —,rnTHE NEWSPAPER OFrnRECORDrn”Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi saidrnThursday that Libya would have tornnegotiate certain guarantees beforernhe could feel confident about turningrnover for trial two suspects . . .rnQaddhafi seemed obsessed withrnfears of U.S. and British tricker)’… .rn”I am not sure America and thernU.K. have good intentions to solvernthis problem,” Qaddafi said in English.rn. . . Arab diplomats here sayrnthat while Gadhafi knows he is nowrncloser to having sanctions liftedrnthan he has been in more than sixrnyears, he also knows that he facesrnsome political risk in turning overrnone of the two men.”rn— from “Qaddafi Says ‘Negotiation’rnIs Needed on Lockerbie Suspects,”rnNew York Times (Augusf 28, 1998)rn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn