Saturday, April 12, 2014

Natural High

Extravaganja 5:45 PM 

UPDATE Sunday afternoon:

According to APD Chief Scott Livingstone there were only three arrests directly related to Extravaganja on the Amherst town common, and then another NINE later in the day/overnight due to the usual college town rowdiness, where alcohol played the dominant role.

 And So It Ends, peacefully.  

Organizer Terry Franklin took to the microphone at 5:45 p.m. and announced the close of the 23rd annual Extravaganja, requesting each participant take out whatever trash they may have brought in or created while on the town common.

APD kept a perimeter around the town common

Arrests, there were a few.  Very few.  But more medical transports than arrests, with some of them particularly disconcerting because they involved under aged females.

 AFD ambulance en route for a 14-year-old girl who passed out on the town common

But all in all, a successful event.  

Of course with nightfall the emphasis switches from pot to alcohol, so all bets are off for a peaceful ending to this gorgeous weekend.

Mid Afternoon Update

3:00 p.m. Town Common has hit full capacity

 APD arrests two, female driver for OUI drugs, 2:45 p.m. Rt 9 heading to town center

 NOON update: 

Extravaganja high noon 

 AFD Central Station 11:55 a.m.

Extravaganja food carts will be doing a brisk business

 Original post: early this morning

Amherst Town Common 8:30 a.m.

Well it looks as though the weather is going to be nothing if not perfect for an outdoor event.  Thank goodness we're talking Extravaganja rather than Blarney Blowout!

But throw in Spring Concert at UMass and rumors of a Hobart Hoedown today or tomorrow and you have a recipe for disaster.  Maybe Ed Davis should have scheduled his visit to UMass/Amherst for a couple days earlier ...

  Noon yesterday 

Indiegogo fundraiser for Amherst Record Digital News


Anonymous said...

The harbinger of mud season for the common

Larry Kelley said...

Yes it was very moist this morning. And with all the traffic today ...

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I'd still like to see an explanation of why the town takes such a different attitude toward pot than beer.

And I do not believe any of this "pot peaceful/beer violent" stuff because both are CNS depressants -- a large part of the dangerous nature of the drunk driver is that he/she/it essentially is partially (sometimes fully) asleep -- lowered perceptive abilities, response time, etc.

By any objective measure -- decibels of sound, number of people, impact on other people -- or my most basic measure of "is this something that we want little children anywhere near?" -- by any objective measure the Gangafest is every bit as bad as the Blowout was before the cops started to break it up.

Remember the cops took an "in your face" attitude and started the day by searching random pedestrians and arresting them for underaged possession of alcohol. I do not believe that the APD was out at 9AM this morning (with drug dogs) searching random pedestrians for pot. Nor do I believe they are out, in riot gear, strafing the common with chemical weapons.

Larry, that's why you aren't having a riot right now.

I have long said that the APD/UMPD ought to read the report of The President's Commission on Campus Unrest -- Richard Nixon (no fan of hippies) appointed a bunch of people (many retired military officers) to investigate the Kent & Jackson State Shootings.

These people had the same attitude toward the college kids of 1970 that you have toward them now -- and they concluded that it was largely the colleges that caused the bad things to happen.

So why is a town enlightened enough not to send a SWAT team into Gangafest not enlightened enough to leave the beer-drinkers alone as well?

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing -- Larry, I'm sure you and everyone else has heard of Stonewall Riot.

Yes, that was a key point in the gay/lesbian rights movement, but the actual facts of what happened are a little bit different than what is taught at UMass.

The Stonewall was illegally selling/serving alcohol without a license, to underaged patrons (who also were gay) and this was a liquor law enforcement "raid."

A 19-year-old gay or lesbian has no more right to consume alcohol than any other 19-year old... And a gay bar has no more right to sell/serve alcohol without the proper licenses than the VFW does...

This was Pre-Serpico, when the NYPD was incredibly corrupt and the Stonewall had bribed the cops -- they'd just bribed the wrong ones. Or perhaps not enough of them -- it appears that the raid was conducted by a city-wide task force instead of by the local precinct.

Or the crooked cops whom they had bribed weren't honest enough to honor the bribe -- that may have been homophobia but people who accept bribes tend not to be overly trustworthy in the first place. (Expecting a crooked cop to have honor -- ummm....)

There is a chilling first-person account written by a reporter for The Village Voice -- a publication which leaned far to the left, and the cops essentially told the reporter "come in here and hide with us if you wish to live" -- and he did. And he describes the fuselage of parking meters and chunks of concrete, how terrifying it was to be inside the building as the cops desperately called for reinforcements.

This was not peaceful gays & lesbians singing Kumbia and kissing each other -- the Village VoiceREPORTER describes violent thugs he perceived as intent on killing him.

Destruction of property and a clear & present threat to human life (his own as well as those of the cops) -- thugs literally trying to smash through the barricaded door/windows of the building he was hiding in. That's exponentially more serious than anything that has ever happened at any of the so-called "riots" in Amherst.

Remember what parking meters were like in the 1960's -- heavy metal boxes on heavy metal pipe, often set into concrete. That's a lethal weapon! While a full beer bottle side of your head would put you in the hospital, you'd be dead before you even hit the ground were you to be hit the side of the head with one of those...

And I don't know what a Granite Cobblestone weighs but even I carry them one at a time. Throwing those at the cops is way more serious than throwing snowballs at the cops -- it's like Crispus Atticks swinging "a piece of cordwood" (a 4-foot long log) at the head of a British soldier, which is what precipitated the "Boston Massacre." John Adams defended the soldiers because he thought they were in the right, that they shot in self-defense.

In such a situation of extremis, I don't think any of us would have a problem with the cops using deadly force in self defense -- and to their credit, the NYPD officers barricaded inside the Stonewall managed not to have to do so. And I don't think that anyone (including the officers themselves) would have considered deadly force (i.e. their Glocks) an acceptable tactic during even the worst of the Barney Blowout.

George Santana was quite clear about what happens to those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past -- and I suggest that the people running Amherst are failing to learn from the mistakes that were made when they were young.

Anonymous said...

Lol ed, you can't be serious when you say people aren't prone to violence when on alcohol. You are obviously trolling and you could've done a better job. You've really never heard of a violent drunk? Is that something the rest of the coherent world made up?

Seriously just don't be fool

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 1:54 p.m.

You are entitled to Ed's opinion. He spots the hypocrisy that rules our lives and sees right through it. He is a prophet and we ignore his wisdom at our peril. He grasps the truth that is just beyond our recognition.

In fact, as he has told us many times, the very survival of Amherst as a prosperous, healthy community depends on our following to the letter his vision for us.

Today's fool is tomorrow's visionary. Don't you see that?

Time to give yourself up to his wisdom. Larry's blog was created to be a vessel for Ed's greatness.

Larry Kelley said...

Sarcasm requires its own special font ... usually.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord,

In these two weekend days, please look out for our residents in those neighborhoods of town where people are not consuming drugs and alcohol. May there be no life-threatening emergencies in those vast areas that would require the assistance of fire, police, or ambulance personnel. We know that those won't be available. Please look out for our elders, our children, and everyone when the valiant workers for those services are otherwise occupied. Please forgive these young people for inconsiderately tying up community resources for themselves and no one else. We assume they know not what they do.

Larry Kelley said...


Anonymous said...


Does anyone have an idea of how many attended? Looks like a lot.

Larry Kelley said...

At least the 6,000 they got last year, maybe a 1.000 is so more.

Larry Kelley said...

1,000 OR so more.

John Barron said...

Nice prayer...Amen, here too. I have always loved Amherst and have many fine memories of the Amherst Common, including the old town fairs, Easter services, concerts, picnics, frisbee games, etc. Thankfully peace ruled the day...

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised your heading/caption didn't read "High Noon"!? ;-)

Dr. Ed said...

you can't be serious when you say people aren't prone to violence when on alcohol.

That's not what I wrote and not what I meant. First, Alcohol is classified as a "Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressant" -- that's a medical fact -- there is all kinds of medical literature that explicitly states this.

Second, and I'm trusting the medical experts here, there is a great deal of literature stating that Marijuana causes violence -- specifically that it causes fear, anxiety, panic and/or paranoia which then causes the violence.

Hence, what I am asking is why we consider pot to be good and beer bad -- why we ignore the fact that pot causes problems too.

What I'm asking is why the APD ignores Gangafest while sends in the SWAT team to suppress Barney blowout & Hobart Hoedown?

Remember too that there is a great deal of individual variance -- someone inclined to violence is likely to be violent regardless of what he/she/it may be on. These substances lower inhibitions -- and from there, it is largely the individual's character or lack thereof.

Oh, and Larry, how many 14-year-old girls were hospitalized from the Barney Blowout? That's an 8th Grader -- and I again ask if either event is a place where 14-year-olds ought to be anywhere near?

Anonymous said...

Liberals think pot smoking is okay, so Amherst PD gets the word to turn a blind eye to ganjafest.

Liberals think beer drinking is for white frat boys who are all racist and rapists, so Blowout gets serious enforcement.

Fourteen-year-old girls getting drunk and having sex: RAPE.

Fourteen-year-old girls getting stoned and having sex: free love!

The liberals who run and inhabit Amherst are all repulsive hypocrites.

Larry Kelley said...

We don't know the 14-year-old girl passed out due to drugs, or alcohol, or dehydration.

Anonymous said...

How many stoners threw heavy, perilous objects at public safety officials? How many pissed and puked openly in public?

To not see the difference between America's favorite drug, alcohol , and marijuana is plain stupidity. Alcohol causes so much damage. The number of alcohol-related domestic abuse charges is epidemic. And the victims are typically women. Marijuana has no such fallout. They are not even close to producing the same results either in someone or in the damage they do to society.

Dr. Ed said...

We don't know the 14-year-old girl passed out due to drugs, or alcohol, or dehydration.

Nor, in the event it was dehydration, what the underlying cause(s) of said dehydration might have been. Was Molly involved?

Yes that "Molly" -- MDMA -- which those of an older generation knew as the rave-drug "Ecstasy" -- which is linked to dehydration & overheating -- which are medical emergencies. People do die of this -- wasn't there a Mullins Center concert canceled a while back due to "Molly" fears?

The substance-abuse literature states that teenagers are now taking MDMA while smoking pot which strikes me as about as bright as washing down Valium with a few Gin & Tonics -- Karen Ann Quinlan...

Larry, is it normal for a 14-year-old girl to pass out on the town common? Is this something that routinely happens during, say, the Farmer's Market or the various protest rallies?

Furthermore, do we not have enough faith in the AFD to presume that they had a medically-justifiable reason to take her (and the other underaged girls) to the hospital? I really do not believe that the highly-trained AFD guys have either the inclination nor time to haul young girls to the hospital without a really good reason -- that's the sort of thing that ruins ones career.

14-year-old girls tend to have parents and they tend to become rather upset if someone messes with "their little girl" -- justifiably so -- and in a small town like Amherst, there is a good chance that the parents know someone who can get the firefighter fired...

They may occasionally be wrong, and it is always better to err on the side of caution, but I believe that the AFD has a legitimate rationale for making the medical transports it does -- that in their professional judgement, that person needs to be in the hospital.

And there were a lot of folks at the Gangafest whom they thought needed to be in the hospital. That's a fact.

As is the fact that the AFD doesn't routinely carry 14-year-old girls out of, say, meetings of the Amherst Select Board. Except when they are home with the flu, 14-year-old girls don't routinely pass out -- not in April when it isn't exceptionally hot -- this is not a common thing.

Hence there appears to be a causal relationship between an event where people were smoking pot and a statistically significant number of people needing emergency medical treatment. That is a fact.

And folks with credentials are stating in medical literature that Molly is being mixed with Pot....

Dr. Ed said...

How many stoners threw heavy, perilous objects at public safety officials?

How many stoners were being confronted by public safety officials in full riot gear -- and who were shooting chemical weaponry at them?

What do you honestly think would have happened if those going to yesterday's event had to walk through a gauntlet of cops with drug dogs -- with the cops searching people for pot and arresting everyone they found it on? Methinks there might have been a bit of unpleasantness directed towards the public safety folk...

The police tactics increase the level of violence -- whether or not the tactics are justifiable and/or essential is another issue, the fact remains that they do increase the level of violence.

The fact remains that riot shields attract projectiles. Some of the stoners would become violent if the cops treated them the way the cops treat the beer drinkers -- not many, but not many of beer drinkers are violent either -- it doesn't take many to have some real problems.

How many pissed and puked openly in public?

That's a shortage of restroom facilities and little else.

To not see the difference between America's favorite drug, alcohol , and marijuana is plain stupidity.

To ignore all kinds of medical literature, much of it written by people who aren't fans of alcohol, is even more stupid. To blindly believe that the left's favorite drug is somehow "special" is obtuse.

Alcohol causes so much damage.

Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, is it because of alcohol itself or because historically alcohol has been legal while marijuana was not?

Until very recently, you would be going to jail if you got caught with pot. That meant that the stoners didn't want to attract the attention of the police - so they behaved themselves. Likewise they stopped other stoners from doing things that would attract the attention of the police -- they were "living in the closet" and hence living quietly.

This is going to eventually change now that marijuana is legal, but there still is a lasting legacy of an era of criminal prosecution.

The number of alcohol-related domestic abuse charges is epidemic.

Alcohol (and marijuana) lower inhibitions. That's all -- domestic violence is incredibly complicated, I say this as someone who once got a female friend out of a violent relationship, and alcohol is only the spark that touches off the underlying issues.

Lots of couples -- in healthy relationships -- consume alcohol together without problems.

And the victims are typically women.

Cathy Young and others argue, credibly, that this is not the case. She points out sexism in law enforcement, the urge to protect the woman notwithstanding the fact that she is actually the perp.

The best research I have seen indicates that the woman is slightly more likely to perpetrate domestic violence -- they are a couple percentage points more likely to have swung or thrown something first. Now women are usually smaller than men which means in a knock-down/drag-out fight, where each is trying his/her best to hurt the other, the woman is far more likely to be seriously injured.

That doesn't mean she didn't start it.

What a lot of police departments are finding is that a genuine mandatory arrest policy has led to a lot of women being arrested. And like I said, domestic violence is complicated.

Marijuana has no such fallout.

Apparently the AFD wasn't hauling folk to the hospital yesterday....

Anonymous said...

Does he really think we're sitting and reading his stuff?

Dr. Ed said...

Does he really think we're sitting and reading his stuff?

Does he really care if you do?

Fascists -- on both the left and right -- want to censor so as to preclude divergent viewpoints. I'm writing for/to those who are objective, those who can think for themselves -- so as to point out questions that they themselves may wish to think about if not ask.

The Air Force has a saying -- "if they are shooting at you, it means that you are over the target."

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ed needs his own blog.