Saturday, April 26, 2014

April Showers

While police and fire personnel were probably doing a rain dance this morning other town officials were certainly hoping for sunshine as the soggy, still recovering,  town common hosted the 5th annual Sustainability Festival.

But the rains won out, reducing the crowds attending the town sponsored event -- especially compared to the Extravaganja festival a couple weeks ago, which of course was not a town sponsored event. 

The good thing about the rainy weather (besides bringing the flowers that bloom in May) is it inhibits outdoor partying, thus making a Blarney Blowout or Hobart Hoedown highly unlikely

Although the usual party house disturbances will probably still happen later tonight during the bewitching hours (10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).


Anonymous said...

Only one party in town?
APD is (or was at 5PM) driving up and down North East Street just waiting for something to happen at a party on the street.

Tom McBride` said...

It's unclear why they didn't have the foresight to have a rain date. It's not some hot rainless summer month, it's April.

Laughing at a failed designed community. said...

What a sad community when what comes to mind with rain is that it will keep the kids from having parties. What a failure at organizing people, ironic it is often shown or talked about as some kind of model off the education "tax" and "myth" that will not be let go.

Just remember it is the zoo that attracts the money from all over the state and country that allows Amherst to pretend all this crap is even important or even afford their police town (jr. version of the police state, but like most other things in Amherst, in stead of this being bad, they make it good).

Enjoy your locus parentis, they protested against it 35 years ago....and then instituted as society's foundation once they got rich. What a bunch of hypocrites those useless greedy hippies where. I am sure these up and coming hipsters will outdo them though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ed.

Dr. Ed said...

I like to remind people of what en locus parentis stands for in Latin: "in [the] place of the parents."

It is an assumption of responsibility for acting in the best interest of, and to ensure the well-being of an unemanciated minor -- the authority over the child only exists as an aspect of this burden. A burden that involves legal liability for misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.

Theoretically, under a literal interpretation of en loco perentis, one of the kids arrested in the Blowout could sue UMass for negligence in that UMass didn't prevent him from doing the things that got him arrested (i.e. getting drunk & pounding on cops). As he was "injured" as a result of the university's failure to stop him from doing this (i.e. fines/jail, CORI record, expulsion from UM and damage to reputation), he can sue UMass for negligence and compensation for these "injuries."

Folks, what's asinine is applying en loco parentis to emancipated adults -- my view is to treat him like the adult he legally is. But if you apply the concept of en loco parentis -- if you presume the right of the parent to protect a minor child, how does that not include a duty to the parents to protect the minor child?

If a 4-year-old in day care is permitted to touch a hot stove and gets burnt as a result, the parents can (and almost inevitably will) sue the day care provider for negligence. Even though the child touched the stove on his own, the legal theory would be that the day care center failed in its duty to the parents to prevent this from happening.

Under the same theory, even though Johnny decided to get drunk on his own, and (for the sake of argument) decided to go pound on kind, polite police officers who had done nothing to provoke him -- even though Johnny did this (just like the 4-year-old touched the stove) -- UMass failed in its burden to his parents to prevent him from doing it.

Even better, Suzie gets pregnant. Now that's a lawsuit that would be truly interesting -- the parents would argue that UMass had a duty (to them) to keep their daughter from doing the things that led to her pregnancy -- and back when the age of emancipation was 21 and college students *were* legally children, parents did hold colleges responsible for their daughter's chastity.

So other than that it's completely asinine, if UMass has assumed a burden of protecting students as if they were unemancipated minors, why can't UMass be held responsible for doing so negligently? If one argues that UM can legitimately assume this burden (and hence exercise the related rights), then how is this different from the responsibilities of the day care provider?

Dr. Ed said...

April 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Thanks, Ed.

Dr. Ed didn't write that one, and actually has an urge to take his red pen to it. (Yes, I grade with a red pen, get over it.)

Dr. Ed has long taken blame for a lot of things he didn't do -- not to mention more than a few that would have been impossible for him to have done, even if he'd wanted to.

For example -- and I have to be vague here although I have no doubt a lot of people remember the exact situation I am referencing here, particularly because of what happened a couple years later...

Back in the '90's, there was a serious situation that had been of great concern for about six weeks, and it was so serious and of such a nature that it had reached the attention of two different Deans -- it involved things under both of them because of how UMass is set up.

No one, at any level, did anything. I knew nothing about this until I got an unrelated phone call at 2AM -- a phone call which freaked me out because I almost instantly realized the seriousness of the situation.

And yes, Ed is someone who *does* things -- I brought my concerns to the department level along with a request that they "do something" about it.

Less than 8 hours later, the matter got resolved -- and I was blamed for what was involved in this being accomplished.

Folks, a mere graduate student - then an unknown graduate student - doesn't have the ability to make faculty & administrators do things. Even administrators can't force faculty to do things -- the term is "like herding cats."

Reality is that people knew what they needed to do, and I was merely the excuse for them doing it. There was a lot of that over my years at Planet UMass -- and there was/is no shortage of folks saying "it's just Ed" -- and it isn't.

Folks, dismiss my arguments on the merits if you wish, but don't ever make the mistake of thinking that I am the only one making them. I assure you that I am not!

Anonymous said...

It's "in", not "en"

Anonymous said...

Just because attorneys can devise clever arguments (sophistry they train to perform), this doesn’t mean that such cleverness will prevail before the judge who decides. in the face of clever counterarguments from opposing attorneys and the judge’s own understanding of the law.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I love how this pompous idiot (who "has an urge to take his red pen to it") can't even spell the subject of his own unbelievably long and dull post... but he does "like to remind people what [it] stands for in Latin"! I'm sure they always thank him profusely -- not for the reminder, but for the entertainment of watching a know-it-all make a fool of himself.

Dr. Ed said...

Just because attorneys can devise clever arguments (sophistry they train to perform), this doesn’t mean that such cleverness will prevail before the judge who decides. in the face of clever counterarguments from opposing attorneys and the judge’s own understanding of the law.

Yes, but sooner or later someone is going to, umm, appeal the judge's decision, and eventually it will wind up in front of the SJC.

The same court that gave us gay marriage.

I'm willing to bet that Judge Payne wouldn't have ruled in favor of that, either.

And we won't even get into the 13th Amendment issue, which would be filed in FEDERAL Court....

But as to those who have gotten fat & lazy living off the education largess -- those day are numbered and soon will end and then it truly will suck to be you.

Ed will laugh.

Dr. Ed said...

"he does "like to remind people what [it] stands for in Latin"

And if you are (a) bright enough to understand that, and (b) bright enough to understand that 18 is the age of majority in the Commonwealth, then perhaps you would be kind enough to enlighten me as to how it is logically possible for the university to claim a right that the parents themselves don't have?

The university stands in the place of the parents -- OK, but the kids are 18, so sorry....

Anonymous said...

Aw Ed, still proving you can't fix stupid. No matter what you say the stupid just keeps rising to the surface.

Anonymous said...

Bright enough to understand what? That you take idiotic pleasure in smugly and incorrectly telling people that which you presume they do not know, yet you don't know yourself?

Not sure whether I'm bright enough to understand it, but I'm definitely bright enough to enjoy it.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, are you noticing how they are attacking me personally and not even pretending to answer the questions I am asking?

However one spells it -- memory is "in" is Latin, "en" the English translation -- it means "acting in the place of the parent." Nothing more or less.

The parents are temporarily transferring their rights to raise their children (as they see fit) to another party who will act in their place. That's what this means.

OK, I would like to see someone answer each of these questions:

1: How do you transfer rights which you don't even have? Parental rights are lost when the child reaches 18 - love, affection & respect may last a lifetime, but parental rights are lost at the age of majority.

2: Even if the parents "want" to give the university this authority over their adult children, how is this any different from me giving the Town an easement across Larry's front lawn -- property which he, not I, owns?

3: While the intent of the 13th Amendment was to end slavery, it was broadly written & interpreted to the point where I believe that it would preclude one from selling ones self into slavery. Agreed?

4: Courts will not enforce a contract that is in violation of public policy. A classic example of this are deed covenants that preclude selling the property to persons of a certain race/religion (e.g. Black or Jewish)which are unenforceable because they are illegal.

Hence even if one signed a contract that sold ones self into slavery, it would have no meaning because it was illegal. (The hypothetical example is A hires B to murder C, but B decides against it. A can't ask a court to force B to murder C because murder is illegal...)

Anyone disagree? Then:

5: Parental rights only exist over unemancipated children. 18-year-old UM students are emancipated -- and the only way that UM can assume parental rights over them is to first take this freedom (their emancipation) away from them. How is this not a form of slavery, or at least a "badge of slavery"?

Anyone who disagrees with me care to answer any of these questions?

Anonymous said...

Is there some way we could get paid for reading Ed's comments?

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing: Children can be (and almost inevitably are) compelled to at least pay lip service to the religious beliefs & traditions of their parents. A child can be compelled to attend religious services and to participate in them, and to actually join the church*. Parents have a Constitutionally-protected right to do this to their children.

However, in 2014**, it would be considered a First Amendment violation to compel an emancipated adult to attend any religious service, to profess any religious belief (or lack thereof), or to pay for any of this. Or, within reason, to prohibit an adult from doing this.

Note the distinction between unemancipated child and emancipated adult.

Remember too that UMass is a public institution and hence anything it does is considered "state" action. Students are protected from UMass doing things to them the same way that all citizens are protected from the Commonwealth doing things to them.

Now if UMass can somehow acquire parental-type rights over emancipated adults, then the Commonwealth itself can acquire these rights over all the citizens of the Commonwealth as well -- via whatever legal principle/theory that granted them to UMass.

This means that a Governor Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, would have been legally able to compel all of us to practice the Mormon faith. A parental right -- just like he had the right to compel his children to practice the faith.

The Commonwealth would have other parental rights as well -- such as to compel us to eat our broccoli and to wear our mittens -- things which a parent can/does compel a child to do, things which adults should do as well -- but which are our choices because we are adults.

Take the pro-choice abortion argument -- "it's my body" -- that's only if you are an emancipated adult -- you only get to choose what is done to your body if you are an emancipated adult.***

If the Commonwealth (or at least a dozen state legislatures who ban abortion tomorrow if they legally could)could somehow acquire an in/en loco parentis rights over adult women, it would render Roe irrelevant overnight. The parental state would simply tell the women that the state thought it best that they not have an abortion.

Heck, under in/en loco parentis as UMass currently is defining it, Enku Gelaye has the right to tell a pregnant UM student that she can't have an abortion and/or that she marry the child's father -- and to expel her from UMass if the young lady does otherwise.

While I have issues with Enku, whom I know personally, I really do not believe that she would ever do anything like this -- although I also once believed that the due process rights of students were considered so important that nothing like ACT would ever be tolerated on that campus....

However, the fact remains that if she has parental powers over students, then that includes the power to demand that a student either have or not have an abortion, and the right to punish her (up through expulsion) should she fail to comply with Enku's decree.

Is all of this not Orwellian enough to scare you?

Dr. Ed said...

Disclaimers and notes:

*Disclaimer: At least in the case of Protestants & Catholics -- I don't know my Jewish theology well enough to know the implications of the bar/bat mitzvah. (Please also consider the Jewish houses of worship included in the word "church.")
I will further add that whatever the religious traditions of the parents are (including the absence thereof), they have the right to raise their children in them.
This includes the schmucks of the Westboro Baptist Church and why exposing their children to that hateful vitriol is not child abuse.

**In Massachusetts prior to 1855, and notwithstanding the passage of the First Amendment in 1789, everyone was *required* to be a member of either a Congregational or Baptist church (prior to 1820, just the Congo church, which had evolved from the Puritan church). The town property tax paid for both the church and the minister's salary -- with the minster sometimes being fired by a vote at town meeting, and his firewood allotment always being a contentious issue. There was no distinction between church & state, this was a theocracy.
To become a town in Massachusetts (e.g. Amherst separating from Hadley, or Danvers separating from Salem - an underlying issue in 1791) you had to show that (a) you had the tax base to support a minister & his wife, and (b) that there was a minister willing to move to your town and organize your church.
I mention this as an example of what was once legal -- but clearly wouldn't be today. I suggest that colleges having parental rights over students is similar....

*** As to under-18 abortions, that's because the legislature has re-defined the age of emancipation in that specific circumstance. She can't consent to the abortion unless she is somehow emancipated.

Dr. Ed said...

Is there some way we could get paid for reading Ed's comments?

I presume you are an emancipated adult -- who is compelling you to read them?

You have the liberty right not to if you don't want to -- while a child can be compelled to read them. And compelled to agree with them.

Do you not see the point I am trying to make?

Anonymous said...

Ed @12:09, I see your point.
YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID. Sorry Ed, it's a disease and you're the poster child. When are you going to figure that out with all your made-up expertise on everything.
Quit spouting off on tangents and trying to make it all about you. You are your own downfall, Dummy.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry -- no one has yet done anything but attack me, have they?

What are they so afraid of?

And if my argument is so "stupid" then why does the UM CSC say "may" instead of "will" relative to off campus incidents? My guess is that legal counsel wanted it that way -- and why might legal counsel want it that way if this is so solid "black letter" law?

Particularly as regards a public institution...

And folks: I don't intimidate. You're not going to convince me I'm wrong by calling me names.

Anonymous said...

You apparently don't understand the difference between intimidation and ridicule, which is just one of many reasons you're the target of so much ridicule. Nobody cares whether you're right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

Whether 18 or not, if the parent takes the IRS deduction for the offspring, they are not emancipated.

In loco parentis literally means in place of the parents. It assumes the human needs a parent (no matter what age).

There is no "en" in English except as appended to a root word.

There is a point when a lawsuit can -- and will -- be deemed "arbitrary and capricious."

And the previously mentioned phrase seems to adequately describe the last five posts from Ed.

Dr. Ed said...

Whether 18 or not, if the parent takes the IRS deduction for the offspring, they are not emancipated.

Ummm.... Are you perhaps confusing the IRS reg that says the child can't take the personal deduction on the child's taxes if the parent claims the deduction with emancipation?

Now there is a provision of FERPA that permits parents to access the educational records of their emancipated children if they claim that deduction -- but remember that is only necessary because the child is emancipated anyway.

None of the business law textbooks, nor any of my education law textbooks, nor anything I have seen in the statutes themselves has ever indicated a loss of emancipation if one is a tax-purposes dependent upon another.

Think logically here -- you work and your wife is home with your kids, which means she is a dependent on your tax return. Does this mean she has lost her emancipated status? Remember that one has to be emancipated in order to have standing to sue on one's own behalf -- if she's not emancipated, then she can't sue you for divorce.

This isn't Saudi Arabia -- she can sue for divorce -- and she can drive a car without your permission.

Respectfully, I truly believe you are wrong on this one.

In loco parentis literally means in place of the parents. It assumes the human needs a parent (no matter what age)

No matter what the age...

That means that no one is ever emancipated -- ever. Like I said, this is Orwellian -- Big Brother coming into our homes to ensure that we are eating our Broccoli and wearing our mittens.

Now you may like having a therapeutic state babysitting you, but that is not what the law is right now -- and hopefully never will be. Remember one thing: A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have.

There is no "en" in English except as appended to a root word.


I'm not going to the OED on this, but have you checked archaic uses? Like I said, I'm not going to the OED, I'm just suspicious based on the way it is pronounced.

There is a point when a lawsuit can -- and will -- be deemed "arbitrary and capricious."

There also is a point where the plaintiff will prevail on summary judgment -- and win without there ever being a trial. There also is a point where the entire courthouse will be closed due to a massive snowstorm....

Look, you may intimidate undergrads with the "arbitrary & capricious" line, but let me tell you about the guy who sued God.

Seriously, he sued God. God. "Supreme Being", "Almighty", he had a whole list of AKAs. Oh yes, he did it.

A friend of mine wrote it up in a law review article, along with a lot of other similar cases, and these suits don't all get tossed because there are rules of court and such. Judges aren't supposed to just do things because they want to --- I know a lot do, but they aren't supposed to and there is the appellate bench...

Dr. Ed said...

Nobody cares whether you're right or wrong.

I do.