June 12, 2011

Social Hosting Tip: Chief Esserman Might Well Have Benefited If the Sarah Palin E-Mails Had Only Been Released A Couple of Days Earlier

Monique Chartier

Certain members of the msm, demonstrating an interest and a level of energy that they never remotely approached when it came to candidate and then President Barack Obama, have recruited a volunteer army of readers and are currently snuffling through Sarah Palin's gubernatorial e-mails looking for material with which to embarass and/or ridicule her.

The Telegraph's Tony Harnden points out that thirty six hours into the effort, they have not been particularly successful; in fact, rather the opposite as some of the material turns out to be mildly flattering of the governor. As an example, Harnden reports that Governor Palin

sought help from her staff in keeping the alcohol in the governor’s mansion away from young people, stating that it should be boxed up and “removed from the People’s House” – both for practical reasons and as a statement about her administration.

“Here’s my thinking: with so many kids and teens coming and going in that house, esp during this season of celebrations for young people – proms, graduations, etc, I want to send the msg that we can be – and ‘the People’s House’ needs to be – alcohol-free. There’s a lot of booze there – its too accessible and may be too tempting to any number of all those teens coming and going.”

Meanwhile, back in Little Rhody, GoLocalProv reports that, late Friday night, Providence Police Chief Dean Esserman broke up an underage party at his own residence. Now, the issue is, did the chief fall foul of Rhode Island's social hosting law? GoLocal claims to have observed the party in full swing for a couple of hours before the chief sent everyone packing.

If only the chief (not that he is alone in this lapse) had adopted Governor Palin's residential Prohibition, he could have avoided the brouhaha that awaits him.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Yes the Lame Stream Media is all out to destroy Palin. They are desperate as a matter of fact enlisting John and Johnna Q. Public. Notice how Brian Williams of NBC said the Anthony Weiner controversy was "not worthy" of coverage. The same media is now looking for dirty laundry in Alaska. It is no wonder that the major newspapers are in trouble........they stink.

Posted by: ANTHONY at June 12, 2011 11:09 PM

The part I don't understand about Esserman is he found underage drinking going on and then sent the kids home with designated drivers.

Newsflash, underage drinking is a crime. He's an officer of the law. Why weren't there arrests? He doesn't believe in enforcing the law? "Oh, you're a friend of my daughter? Go drink somewhere else."

Posted by: Patrick at June 13, 2011 12:08 AM

That's more a problem with our society than with Esserman, Patrick. We have too many victimless crime laws. 100% too many, to be exact. I'd personally like to see less underaged drinking arrests, so kudos to Esserman for keeping his cool and sending all of the kids home. Now if he was a hardliner for the law or had arrested lots of others for it in the past without using his discretion, then there would be a hypocrisy argument. Although, even in that case, what he did would still have been the right thing to do.

Posted by: Dan at June 13, 2011 7:37 AM

Esserman bungled this one. As a parent, you don't just send the kids that were drinking on their way. If it were my kid, I would want to know. You keep the kid right there until I can come get him or her. I won't fault him if someone was bringing in alcohol. It happens. My guess is he tried to sweep this under the rug and word got out.

Posted by: Max Diesel at June 13, 2011 8:49 AM

This man is obviously a sociopath. He makes over $350 K a year with all his side deals added in. He is clearly on his way out but the word is that certain left wing East Side interests have made it clear to Taveras that he needs to be kept on till next year-when his pension vests!
Yes if this were an Irish, French or Italian last name the projo would have him on the front page every day till he was gone. Same with Kerbel. Same with the Director Of Protocol. Same with Donnie Evans. Gayvid, Trainor, etc.
In projo world all corruption and cronyism committed by rich WASPS, blacks, browns, sodomites, marxists or Jews is invisible.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at June 13, 2011 8:52 AM

As for Palin, don't you just love what she does to the left? I hope she keeps riding that bus all over the country. What other person in history has ever tortured them as much as she. You got a congressman who is nothing more than a digital flasher and yet they recruit the public to go through 5+ year old emails from a non-candidate.

Posted by: Max Diesel at June 13, 2011 8:56 AM

"You keep the kid right there until I can come get him or her."

He can't just hold people in his house without their consent. That would be false imprisonment. I'm sure he didn't even know most of the people, and at least some probably weren't underage.

Let's get real, guys. Underage drinking is just another bogus statist law that substitutes for parenting and makes everybody a criminal for a victimless act. The social hosting law is even more ridiculous. The best moral argument against the guy is hypocrisy, and even that's weak unless he was particularly zealous in his advocacy for the laws.

Police have no obligation to arrest anyone, nor should they. We should be glad that he used his discretion and common sense in this case. If only more of his dirtbag shock troops would do the same when it comes to all the other victimless crime laws in our society that arbitrarily bankrupt and mar the employment records of our citizenry.

This is where libertarians and conservatives part ways. I get no personal enjoyment out of seeing people's heads cracked (literally or metaphorically) by automaton policemen for violating some idiotic decree when they haven't actually harmed anything. The fact that these are children just makes me even more glad that rule of law "broke down" in this case.

Posted by: Dan at June 13, 2011 9:15 AM

"Newsflash, underage drinking is a crime.... Why weren't there arrests?"

Um, in my experience, Providence Police protocol was something like 'hand over the beer and get out of here, punks'

And frankly, I prefer it that way. It's not politically correct, but I think we're WAY too hard on underage drinking. Let the kids have their fun and learn their lessons, stop them and break it up if they get too rowdy. How else are they supposed to learn?

Something happened maybe twelve or fifteen years ago where all of the sudden underage drinking became this horrible monster in people's eyes. As far as I can see, it's backfired quite a bit: It's easier to get pot (and acid, and coke, and heroin, and meth) now than it ever was to get beer.

Posted by: mangeek at June 13, 2011 9:58 AM

Dan/mangeek, yes, I agree, however Esserman is a police officer and not just a police officer, but the Chief of police in Providence. It doesn't matter whether he likes the law (or whether you do), he swore to uphold the laws. If he doesn't like them, he can become an Assemblyman and change them.

If this was you or me, then yeah fine, use discretion. But this was the home of a police officer. And Dan, it's not unlawful imprisonment when a police officer observes a crime. Ok, if he's holding them there for parental pickup (how many were 18+ and not subject to parents?) then you have a point, but he's certainly welcome and allowed to place them under arrest when he sees people breaking a law. That's what police do.

Posted by: Patrick at June 13, 2011 10:42 AM

I disagree, Patrick. When you're hosting a graduation party for your child and crashers show up and bring booze, you're not a police officer or a public figure, you're a parent and homeowner who needs to de-escalate the situation and clear the party out so you don't fall under the Social Host Law's tentacles of blame and liability.

It's not like anyone got cut any breaks here, this is exactly what I would do, and exactly what I would expect my friends who are police to do in the same situation. If you can safely disperse the crowd singlehandedly, then by all means, you should do so. If you can't, then you need to call the police and let the chips fall where they may.

I don't mind when off-duty cops behave like 'regular people', I mind when they abuse the status to behave like criminals without fear of arrest.

Posted by: mangeek at June 13, 2011 11:17 AM

Our society is somewhat schizophrenic in that it equates illegality with harm and immorality and contends that the laws should apply equally, but it also grants police officers discretion in whether to make an arrest or not. On some level, this is a recognition that there are bad laws, either poorly written or fundamentally economically or morally flawed, and that the political process is too slow, corrupt, and messy to correct itself before irreparable harm is done to the citizenry.

In the ideal situation, enlightened police officers would pick up the slack in these instances by using their discretional "veto" to let citizens who aren't harming anyone go about their business even if they were technically in violation of some poorly-reasoned statist decree. In practice, far too many officers mindlessly follow the black print in their G.L. manuals like organizational lemmings and the fail-safes of the discretional model are thwarted. I'm always pleased when I see that there are rational, compassionate individuals still on the force who can take their own proportional responsibility and counteract harmful legislation against peaceful people. We need less enforcement of these nanny-state "everybody-a-criminal" laws, not more. I think Esserman set a good example to the rest of the police force by sending everyone home.

Posted by: Dan at June 13, 2011 11:18 AM

Office debate about this all morning came down to this;
On Friday night, was Esserman a father/husband or a cop first?
If I were a parent in that situation, my first priority is clearing the house, only calling police if people refuse to leave or if the situation gets out of control. Obviously, I don't know the specifics of the situation, but Esserman seems to feel he was able to clear the house in a controlled manner without having to call backup, a good thing on a Friday night. The crisis was dealt with without a riot developing - good enough for me.
Being that this involves Esserman, of course, fountains of misinformation are inevitably spewing.
P.S. To anyone more familiar with state law: Do the social host laws also apply to uninvited guests?

Posted by: bella at June 13, 2011 11:29 AM

Bella - I don't follow the logic that there is a correct way for a parent to resolve a situation and a different, also correct way for an officer to resolve the same situation. I contend that it is philosophically inconsistent.

Whether the handling of the situation would be for the benefit of the "criminal," for society, or for both, what philosophical framework could justify such arbitrariness in the resolution? If the person *should* objectively go to jail, send them to jail. If the person *should* objectively be let go, let them go.

The problem, as I see it, is that too many police officers put on their uniform and become a different person while on duty, losing touch with their common-sense side in the process and reaching too quickly for their tools of the trade instead of stepping back and asking what's truly best for everyone.

Posted by: Dan at June 13, 2011 11:54 AM

" instead of stepping back and asking what's truly best for everyone."

In a perfect world, yes. But in reality, isn't what you've described a judge's job?

Posted by: Patrick at June 13, 2011 11:57 AM

"In a perfect world, yes. But in reality, isn't what you've described a judge's job?"

It should happen in all three branches of government. The executive branch was never intended to be an automaton of the legislature. I have no issue with a police or prosecutorial organization deciding to move victimless crime enforcement to the bottom of the prioritization list and invest resources elsewhere. It's within their power to do so, and virtually everybody in society would be better off for it.

Posted by: Dan at June 13, 2011 12:14 PM

Can I also ask what moron thinks, "I have alcohol, let's go to Dean Esserman's house to drink it!"?

Of all places, you go to the Providence Chief of Police's house to drink alcohol as a minor?

We're doomed...

Posted by: Patrick at June 13, 2011 1:40 PM

I am not surprised at bella's slavering excuse-making for this turd.
He has been mired in controversy since he was appointed.
As a Jew I have no problem saying there is a rich Yankee/Jewish consortium on the East Side that protects their own.
They should sh*tcan this schmuck yesterday.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 13, 2011 3:12 PM

Thank you, Mr. Bernstein, for your always polite, reasoned and cogent contribution. Please tell us, oh great one, how you would've reacted had you been wearing the shiny badge Friday night.

Posted by: bella at June 13, 2011 5:47 PM

I'm no fan of Shinybadge, but I think people are using a double standard here. Facts are few in the golocal.prov article. If he saw kids carrying and consuming alcohol for some time before breaking it up, that would seem to be a serious problem. But if the kids who brought the booze were told to leave as soon as he noticed them, and if he had no legal responsibility other than to kick them out, then why should have have done any different?

If I were in the position, I'd want those kids off my property before anyone could say I allowed them to drink there. Then, if possible, I'd find out who they were and call their parents, and leave it at that.

On the other hand, if the kids engaged in any kind of violence or vandalism, I'd call the cops.

Posted by: BobN at June 13, 2011 8:02 PM

bella-I raised a son and daughter now in their thirties and both parents themselves.
I'd have handled it by not having a party.
We tended to have family parties,which were small,with just a few friends over.
I had no interest in having my house overrun with jerks.
In Esserman's place,I'd have called the police-100 or so kids is not a minor annoyance.It was a potentially dangerous situation.I hope they pissed on his carpet.
My wife and I didn't believe in indulging our kids to the detriment of our family life.
You may not believe this,but I get along fine with my wife of almost 41 years and my son and daughter.
You're welcome-I always try to be polite(NOT).

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 13, 2011 9:41 PM

bella-are you a parent?Or just talking out of your a## as usual?

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 14, 2011 7:54 AM

How else are they supposed to learn?

I figured the piles of their dead friends would be a clue, but obviously it's not.

Posted by: EMT at June 14, 2011 8:47 AM

"But if the kids who brought the booze were told to leave as soon as he noticed them"

BobN, that's just it - apparently, it was two hours before the chief broke up the party. During that time, observers state that kids were arriving with booze and the party was in full swing. If he had shoo'ed them off as soon as they arrived, that would have been fine. But that's not what numerous witnesses are saying.

There needs to be an official investigation, witnesses (including party attendees) interviewed under oath and a time-line drawn. If these reports are correct and the party went on for two hours before the chief stepped in (whether he was on the premises the whole time or had left for a while as Buddy Cianci is reporting), that's a real problem.

Posted by: Monique at June 14, 2011 9:27 AM

"piles of their dead friends would be a clue"

Teenage drinking doesn't imply drunk driving any more than adult drinking implies drunk driving.

"an official investigation... interviewed under oath... time-line drawn"

Really? Do you really think that's an appropriate use of taxpayer time and money? If someone was injured I'd agree, but this is a 'no harm, no foul' case. A job well-done.

I have a birthday bash every year that probably violates a dozen laws (outdoor fire, keg of beer, dogs loose on the lawn, music and booze until 5 in the morning, etc.). Last year I discovered that my girlfriend's cousin (20, at the time) was drinking, so I asked her not to have more, and she complied. She was staying on the couch that night anyway. Should I have halted the party or spent the night in jail? This is a no-harm-done thing, the neighbors all know about it (several attend) and I get no complaints.

When I was in high school, my friends and I celebrated the end of the wrestling season at a teammate's house. The parents were hosting. We cleverly set up a keg in the back yard behind their garage and assigned 'beer runners'. By the time the parents caught-on, we were all pretty loose. The parents took the beer away and let us sober-up, not letting anyone leave. At the end of the night, whatever was consumed had been metabolized and we were set loose. Isn't that what you want?

For a group that espouses small government and personal responsibility, I'm surprised to see such a hearty endorsement of a powerful police state that values the letter of the law more than true peace and order.

Posted by: mangeek at June 14, 2011 10:21 AM
For a group that espouses small government and personal responsibility, I'm surprised to see such a hearty endorsement of a powerful police state that values the letter of the law more than true peace and order.

As I said earlier, these particular situations are where conservatives and libertarians part ways.

Conservatives have some sort of strange infatuation with rule of law, uniforms, badges, militarism, and people getting their heads cracked by so-called authority figures as they bark out orders at everyone. It's a vicarious lust for power and authority - I've never understood it and I never will. I certainly don't want to be shackled and fined over some ridiculous victimless crime that doesn't hurt anybody, so I don't wish it on anyone else either. I want individuals I dislike to get their just desserts, but there is nothing just about government intruding on your properly and shackling you for a 20-year-old sipping a can of beer.

How many people here actually believe that we can arrest our way out of underage drinking? Or that hosts are actually responsible for what people choose to do at their parties? Government definitely does not need to be involved in these situations and Esserman handled it just fine.

Posted by: Dan at June 14, 2011 11:01 AM

Mr. Bernstein, in the interest of politeness, I will attribute your change in attitude from civility to the hostility I'm (sad to say) used to to waking up this morning and hearing the Bruins forced a Game 7 (I know quite a few people with ties to Vancouver).
And I will also accept that you've appointed yourself to speak for three other people that everything is rainbows and unicorns at La Casa Bernstein. Who am I to argue otherwise?

Posted by: bella at June 14, 2011 1:48 PM

Well I used to hang out with Joe's daughter and her husband before they tied the knot and moved. They were a very fun and very responsible bunch. He's doing something right.

Small world, eh?

Posted by: mangeek at June 14, 2011 4:45 PM

Thanks,mangeek-it's nice that someone who has total ignorance of my family gets a comeuppance from someone with actual knowledge.
bella-hockey?Who cares?
I never said everything was roses,but my wife and I worked at being parents.
My wife is a far better parent,but I was a provider.
bella-again,are you a parent?
You accused me of being next thing to a sexual predator once on this blog and I'm never forgiving you for that statement.It was from your pea sized ignorant brain.
My son and I frequently butt heads,but we'd lay down our lives for each other.
I don't walk away from people close to me.
Have you ever been tested?

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 14, 2011 5:15 PM

Oh, I've been tested in every way you can think of - emotionally, professionally, physically, and mentoring and dealing with children in my family (both the real and emotional ones).
And I have walked away from someone close to me (the physical damage took awhile to heal, but I'm stronger than ever - thankfully, law enforcement has dealt with him. His crimes continued after I left his life.).
(As for this alleged accusation of sexual predation, I'd like to know which ori...No. Find another girl to roll in the gutter with.)

Posted by: bella at June 15, 2011 5:31 PM

bella-it was your comment about what I "probably"did when I was in college-Monique jumped on you about that because she is actually acquainted with me.
Reading between the lines I guess you're not a parent so you've got nothing to say to me about that.
Sorry you got the crap kicked out of you-there's no excuse for that,but maybe you should've chosen better.
BTW I don't want to know you,let alone "roll in the gutter".I did enough of that on my job.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 15, 2011 6:33 PM
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