NJ SUPREME COURT RULES THAT LEAVING A KID IN THE CAR IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY ABUSE

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What a huge victory for common sense, decent parents and a country otherwise gripped by “worst-first thinking” –thinking up the worst case scenario and proceeding as if it’s likely to happen. The New Jersey Supreme Court just ruled that a mom found guilty of child endangerment for letting her sleeping daughter wait in the car for 5-10 minutes in a suburban mall parking lot on a cool day deserved another hearing.

You’ll recall the case from when I wrote about it in January of 2014, and then again about a year ago, when the mom lost her appeal:

The toddler slept through the whole “ordeal,” but the mom was found guilty of neglect, even upon appeal, when the three appellate judges ruled that they didn’t have to list the “parade of horribles” that COULD have happened to the child. Which is, of course, fantasy as policy again: Just because the judges could imagine a kidnapping, or carjacking, or a big bad wolf, doesn’t mean that these are at all likely.
I’m happy to say that the New Jersey Supreme agrees. As newjersey.com reports:
In a unanimous 7-0 decision, New Jersey’s highest court reversed an appeals court ruling last year that found the woman guilty of child endangerment because even though her daughter wasn’t harmed, simply leaving a child alone in a vehicle — even briefly — was enough to constitute abuse or neglect.

The Supreme Court ordered that the woman — identified only by her initials, E.D.-O. — deserves a hearing in which all of the case’s circumstances are considered.

“Any allegation of child neglect in which the conduct of the parent or caretaker does not cause actual harm is fact-sensitive and must be resolved on a case-by-case basis,” Judge Mary Catherine Cuff wrote for the court.

You mean, instead of treating all parents who opt for a bit of convenience as craven child abusers, we can actually consider reality instead of just outrage? Imagine that! On second thought — don’t. Imagination is what got us into the trouble in the first place.

You see, it is very easy to imagine a child dying in a car, because that’s what we’ve been told to do by endless public service announcements and articles about this “danger” to kids.

And while it’s true that some kids do die in cars, it’s also true that more kids die in parking lots. And even MORE kids die in cars that are moving. You know — as passengers. So if we really wanted to save kids, we would arrest any parent evil enough to drive their kids anywhere.

But of course, that’s insane. We can keep the small risk of a fatal car crash in perspective and let parents go about their lives.

Until they park the car. Then we lose all perspective and start thinking like the judges who found the mom guilty of abuse, despite the fact Child Protective Services visited her home and found nothing at all to indicate danger:

But the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency filed a complaint against the woman and her husband, seeking care and supervision of all four of their children.

E.D.-O. appealed and requested an administrative hearing, but she was denied on multiple occasions.

A three-judge appellate panel agreed that the woman’s actions constituted gross neglect and thus did not require an administrative hearing.

“A parent invites substantial peril when leaving a child of such tender years alone in a motor vehicle that is out of the parent’s sight, no matter how briefly,” Judge Clarkson Fisher Jr. wrote for the appeals court panel last January.

Fisher cited the risk of “car theft or kidnapping” and the possibility that “on a hot day, the temperature inside a motor vehicle can quickly spike to dangerously high levels, just as it may rapidly and precipitously dip on a cold night.”

And let’s not forget the giant raptors who could peck through the window and take the child  back to their nest.

So — huge kudos to the mom’s lawyer, Sean Marotta, for making this case:

“We are pleased the court recognized that not all parenting mistakes are child abuse and that the Division must consider the totality of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis,” said [Sean] Marotta, an attorney with Hogan Lovells, who was co-counsel in the case with the Epstein Arlen law firm in Somerset. “We look forward to proving at an administrative hearing that E.D.-O.’s one-time lapse in judgment does not warrant labeling her a child-abuser for life.”

 

While I don’t believe the mom’s decision WAS a mistake or a lapse in judgement — it was a rational decision by a loving mom, and one that most of our own loving moms made — I do love the larger point Marotta is making: ANY one-off “mistake” should not be the basis for taking our kids away. Not if we forget to do something, not if our kids somehow slip away from us, not if we do something sub-optimal for reasons of confusion, convenience, desperation or rank stupidity. Kids do not need perfection, which is a good thing, since there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has hereby ruled that a parent who’s imperfect is not automatically a parent who’s a child abuser.

All hail New Jersey! (Words I never expected to write.) – L.

 

Just because you're waiting a few minutes in the car doesn't mean your mom is abusing you, kid!

Rest easy! Mom is not going to be stuck on the Child Abuse Registry for letting you wait a few minutes in the car! 

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124 Responses to NJ SUPREME COURT RULES THAT LEAVING A KID IN THE CAR IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY ABUSE

  1. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    This is great news though it surprises me that it comes from New Jersey. But then again, it is the Supreme Court and not CPS, so who knows.

    I posted this link in another blog, but it’s more suitable here. https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/military-mom-returns-from-war-to-discover-she-must-127011236577.html

    The woman served 2 tours in the Army and while she was gone, a whole bunch of crap happened concerning her husband, her kids, and her step-mother who had guardianship over the kids after the mother got divorced from her husband. The step-mother moved with the kids to New Jersey from Florida, where the kids ended up in foster care. Now that the mom has been discharged, New Jersey won’t give her kids back unless Florida provides the same services to the children that New Jersey is.

  2. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    While I agree that leaving kids in the car is not ALWAYS abusive/neglectful (and I’m kind of surprised this wasn’t obvious before the case reached the Supreme Court level of jurisprudence), I also reject the competing view that it’s NEVER abusive/neglectful.

    Just leaving a child in a car alone isn’t an imminent threat to the child’s safety, unless maybe it’s floating in the Niagara river just above the falls. It may be indicative of a larger problem, though. When, where, and for how long are relevant to the inquiry.

  3. alexis August 21, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    How can we get this issue before courts in other states? What about CPS? Is there anything that can be done to address this issue when the incident occurred several years ago and CPS did automatically find that leaving of a child in a vehicle unattended constituted child abuse (no laws in state regarding age limit for leaving kids in car unattended-reasonableness standard)? Any way to retroactively go back and address the matter and get CPS to remove a name from child abuser registry? Just wondering- any thoughts?

  4. Julie August 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Parking lot dangers…makes me think about a day a few months ago walking into a store at an outdoor mall. A mom came out of the store with 4 little ones and a baby in a carrier in tow as I was walking in. She stood back from the curb obviously trying to figure out how to get everyone safely herded across the busy parking lot. I stopped and offered her a hand to her great relief.

    During our conversation walking to her car, she commented that she would have rather left some portion of the kids in the car to wait while she had run in for a few minutes (on a mild, spring day), but she was afraid someone would call the cops on her. She was still working on a few of the little ones having better impulse control and staying with her (AKA not running away from her into the path of cars), and she just didn’t have enough hands to keep them all corralled.

    Again, the kids were probably safer waiting in the car for a few minutes.

  5. Dean Whinery August 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Wow! Just when I thought “common sense” had become extinct.

  6. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    ” Any way to retroactively go back and address the matter and get CPS to remove a name from child abuser registry? Just wondering- any thoughts?”

    The exact details vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but what you’re looking for is collectively known as “executive clemency”, or, collquially, a pardon.

  7. Warren August 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    James,

    I know it is hard for you to comment on something without being able to copy others, but try reading all the information.

    The court stated that all your concerns are factors that have to be taken into account. So please stop trying to stir the pot, just for your own entertainment.

  8. Warren August 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    7-0, now that is a statement. Let’s hope that lawyers around the country defending families pick up on this.

    And yes James I know it was only New Jersey, but that does not stop a lawyer in another state from bringing it up.

  9. Havva August 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Oh, thank heaven!

    It disgusts me that they even had the capability to deny the accused the right to a hearing when in reality being put on a child abuse registry can have huge punishing consequences. And the notion that the state could declare an action so taboo that they need not even listen to the fact that it doesn’t meet any of the conditionals of the statute under which legal action was taken against her, disgusting. Madness, all of it. Everyone should have a right to a hearing, even if they are grossly negligent.

    And the “reasoning” was all about taboos not fact.

    I think the mom will demonstrate that “her child was not, in fact, “unreasonably” exposed to “substantial risk,” posing “imminent danger” to the child’s condition (all factors required by the statute).” The only question is, will the judges at the hearing listen to the defense or ignore it all like the panel determining if she could have a hearing in the first place.

    The panel sighted that car temperatures could spike rapidly on a hot day or fall precipitously on a cold cloudless night, are completely irrelevant to the facts of a *cool* *cloudy* *day*. I wonder if they can tell the difference between using nail clippers on a kid and using hedge clippers? Would these judges argue that when I clipped my daughter’s nails last week, I risked taking her whole hand off, or at least posed a substantial risk of taking off a finger, all for mere convenience?

    Maybe they would think I should only file her nails down (slowly) as recommended in the hospital paperwork I was given over 4 years ago. After all, there was no emergency. I could have kept her up an extra half hour to do it the (slow) “right” way. Selfish to just want to get the job done so she could sleep, right? Because you know (hedge) clippers could do grave harm… never mind I used *nail* clippers, and my kid has been fine about holding still for nearly 4 years.

  10. Anne August 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Well, what great news that more lazy parents can leave their toddlers strapped into car seats on blazing summer days and they will get away with it. Whoohoo, what a victory. Yes, this is free-range. Leaving kids in cars teaches them what? Or does what? Remind me because the last time I checked, it only teaches them that during the hot summer days they can sweat a lot.

    If you don’t want to drag your kiddo into a store, then a) don’t go or b) get a sitter to stay with them.

  11. ChicagoDad August 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Before long, there are going to be self-driving cars on the market. Google has them, Tesla is working on them. Hopefully we have them (and they’re affordable) before my kids get their licenses. Imagine the convenience for parents, and the horror among the pearl clutchers.

    Your 5 year old son has swim lessons but your 10 year old daughter needs to get to play rehearsal? No problem! Let the car take your daughter, and use your cell phone app to have the car pick up you and your son after swimming! But, but, but….a 10 year old can’t be in a car alone! Imagine all the terrible possibilities!

    Colicky baby only sleeps in the car? No problem! Your cell phone app opens the passenger-monitor cam, so you can watch and hear the baby as the car takes him for a drive around the block. You can help your kindergartener with homework at the same time you get the baby to nap. But, but, but! Babies are so vulnerable, even in a 5 point harness surrounded by foam and plastic!

    Your 12 year old tells you that she needs to buy craft supplies for a science diorama that’s due tomorrow, BUT your husband is away on business, it is the little kids’ bedtime, and the toddler has a fever? No problem! She can take the self-driving car to Michael’s, and she can even use the car’s WiFi to finish reading up on dilophosaurus ecology and update her Facebook status on the way. If the car veers off on an unauthorized route, you even get a text message from the Nav system. You think your pre-teen picked up a friend on the way without permission? Just review the footage on your cell phone app! But, but, but! It must be wrong to do this! We’ll find a rationalization eventually!

  12. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Anne, it would be so much easier if you actually read the article or blog. It would stop you from making statements which are in no way supported by anything stated.

  13. Maggie in VA August 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Whether to leave a child alone in a car is a decision that involves a number of factors, which I think the average parent is capable of analyzing: temperature, surroundings, disposition of the child, whether you’ll have line of sight to the car, etc. Some parents do fail to arrive at appropriate conclusions. To deem all parents who leave their children in cars negligent when their kids were in no meaningful danger is hysteria. Parents who have left kids in hot cars have usually done so accidentally or with the intention to kill and make it look like an accident. In the former case, this is the result of the new safety mandate that all kids ride in car seats buckled into back seats. We need technology to address that. Stopping people from killing their kids intentionally is harder, but harassing all parents who leave their kids in cars won’t help that effort.

  14. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    “Before long, there are going to be self-driving cars on the market.”
    Based on the record of developing secure computing systems to install in cars (Hint: the record is not good.), I wouldn’t leave a child alone in a self-driving car any more than I would in a regular one. Guess that makes me a “pearl clutcher”, although I think of it as being categorically opposed to electronic babysitting, myself.

    Security and convenience are mutually exclusive (although you can have neither).

  15. Papilio August 21, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Small step for common sense, giant leap for hysterical busybody kind…

    P.S. What’s with the New Jersey bashing?

  16. Havva August 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Oh for crying out loud Anne. Where you one of the judges that denied this mom a hearing? IT wasn’t a “blazing summer day.” The court didn’t say a “blazing summer day” would be okay. They said that the courts had to actually examine the facts and let this mom have a HEARING. You know a chance to stand up and say it wasn’t a blazing hot summer day.

    You know what this kid got out of being left in the car. SLEEP. Something absolutely critical to her brain function. Everything we learn or can learn is enabled or hindered by how well our brain functions, and for optimal function we need uninterrupted SLEEP on a regular basis.

    And you know what I learned sitting in the car, nigh on constantly as a kid. I learned how to stay calm, be patient, how to keep my own company, how to read, and all the things that one learns as an avid reader. First sentence I ever read and understood, that wasn’t part of a reading primer, I read while waiting in the car. Made me realize the world of opportunity that reading offered. I was a mere 3 years old. From there on out 90% of the time if I asked to be left in the car, it was so I could read a book. I for one learned loads while waiting in the car.

  17. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    “Whether to leave a child alone in a car is a decision that involves a number of factors, which I think the average parent is capable of analyzing”
    I think that it’s easy to miscalculate, depending on the availability of information. For example, I think that many people do underestimate the danger of the car getting hot (the danger is very small, but not quite as small as many think… because they base their assessment on their own perception of how hot it is, and fail to take into consideration that smaller mass means smaller ability to tolerate high temperatures. Your ten-year-old and your infant have different degrees (see what I did there?) of danger, in the exact same car at the exact same time. Alas, there’s no good way to tell just by looking if a person has made a decision based on accurate information, inaccurate information, or no information. I live in a part of the country that is not known for hot summers, or, for that matter, for sunny days. But there was a hot-car death right in the community (in fact, at the place I was working when my daughter was an infant.)

    Then, of course, sometimes people make decisions, even important ones, while distracted. (Cue montage of people walking into things while staring at a cellphone.)

    “Some parents do fail to arrive at appropriate conclusions.”
    Alas.

    “To deem all parents who leave their children in cars negligent when their kids were in no meaningful danger is hysteria.”
    True. Leaving the kids unattended in a car in a dangerous situation (in the driveway of the crack house, in a traffic lane of a highway just past a blind turn) should be treated seriously, because it is serious. Leaving them in the mall parking lot? Might be worthy of further investigation, to see if there’s a pattern that indicates a problem (and if there isn’t, clearly saying so in the file before it is closed.)

  18. Doug August 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Self-driving cars are not coming anytime soon, but the artificial intelligence will be used to make existing cars safer.

    As for this court ruling, one can only hope that the nitwit busybodies get the message. My prediction is they won’t.

  19. EricS August 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    What really kills me about America, is that different States have different laws. Why? If it’s the LAW, shouldn’t it apply to ALL Americans/States? For a country who holds “United” so dearly, it’s not very united. lol Plus, it would make the judicial system work so much better.

    I am glad to hear that it was a 7-0 vote. Shows the mentality of the Supreme Court vs other lower courts. It also shows that not every judge is impartial. They still use their own fears and opinions to make a ruling, rather than facts and evidence. Which is pretty dangerous considering they are the ones making the decision that would greatly affect an entire family, and quite possibly the future of the child(ren). Hope the appeal is successful, and that judgement is made using common sense and reason. Not “what if’s”. Reminds me of the movie Minority Report. In the movie, you’re charged for a crime just because you thought about it, not actually commit it.

  20. hineata August 21, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    @Kimberly – wow, that military mum was a tad between a rock and a hard place when first making the decision to stay away. However, why didn’t she head home, or be sent home, when it became obvious that the stepmom couldn’t cope with the boys (or maybe the boys just didn’t want to cope without a parent)? Are there no/ not many Stateside jobs in the military at the moment?

    It’s not like Iraq is World War 2 or anything, am sure the army could have coped without this one woman being there.

  21. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    “What really kills me about America, is that different States have different laws. Why?”
    Because different people prefer to arrange their affairs in different manners, and not everybody agrees on whether things should be illegal, or not, or if illegal, how illegal.
    Why should law be one-size-fits-all?

  22. EricS August 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Oh Anne, you must be a young’in, not a parent, and/or sheltered when you were a child. As Havva mentioned, I too learned a lot sitting in the car waiting for my dad while he went in the store to pick up a few things. Least amount of time (that I recall) sitting and waiting, about 5-10 min. Longest, probably closer to an 45min – 1hr. Including summer time. But the windows were cracked wide open. Like all four all the way down. I was probably around 6-7, my brother was 4-5. We watched people, cars, played games. In fact, when we got restless sitting in the car, we stepped out and stretched our legs. Sat on the hood or the trunk of my dad’s car. Which was probably the most wrong thing we could do. lol We were taught very young how to fend for ourselves when our parents weren’t around. So we very well versed in not wandering off that we would get lost. We very mindful of cars in the parking lot. We knew how to deal with people we didn’t know. In fact, back then, most adults would just smile and wave hello. A few would ask where our parents were. And as soon as we pointed to the store, the would say, “oh, ok. take care”. This includes cops. In retrospect, this helped us a great deal in our mental and emotional development. It gave us self-esteem and confidence early in life. AND we were still able to be kids, and had a pretty good childhood.

    If you’re one of those paro people, and fear things happening to your kids (if you have any), then you shouldn’t even be thinking about strapping your kids in the car in the first place. Because statistically, your child is far more likely to be hurt in a car, than in a parking lot. That’s just fact. Even in your home, there are plenty of dangerous things that can harm your child. Perhaps you should just lock them in a padded room. But even then, something bad can still happen to them. See how your mentality is? Your picking and choosing what you THINK is dangerous. Rather than what IS dangerous. And THAT is based on how inconvenienced you feel. So tell me about “lazy parents” again? lol Oh, and don’t make up stories and say that what the article said. No where in the article did it say it was a “blazing hot summer”. That’s just something your conjuring up in your imagination, based on your sanctimonious and fearful attitude. People like you are what has started this hysteria about children in the mid 90’s to present. There is more ignorance in this generation than any other put together. At least when it comes to children.

  23. Anna August 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    “If you don’t want to drag your kiddo into a store, then a) don’t go or b) get a sitter to stay with them.”

    Gosh, I hate the self-righteousness of this type of response: how dare you have kids if your plan isn’t to pour out every dollar you’ve got and every minute of every day on full-time, full-attention, dedicated one-on-one childcare? No wonder the sociologists have found that modern parenting decreases happiness.

    Guess what? Kids are part of life, part of a household, part of a family. It’s okay to bring them along to put gas in the car or buy milk (which might even be milk for them – imagine!). And if the safest way to do those things involves a child snoozing in the car-seat in a locked car that is at a comfortable temperature for three minutes, that’s what parents should be allowed to do.

    I can’t tell you how many time we’ve gotten home from a trip in the afternoon with my son sleeping soundly in his seat and wished I could leave him there until he wakes up. He’s a real bear when woken up mid-sleep-cycle, and won’t/can’t go back to sleep when moved. We have a fully shaded driveway and kitchen windows that face straight onto it, so it would absolutely be the best thing for him to just leave him there with the windows open, keeping an eye on him from the house, but I don’t dare do it for fear I’ll get reported, because of this ridiculous taboo.

  24. Barry Lederman August 21, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    All hail New Jersey! (Words I never expected to write.) – L.

    As a native New Yorker (I moved to San Diego cuz of work), I also never thought I’d be praising Jersey. [The reason New Yorkers are depressed is cuz the light at the other end of the tunnel is Jersey].

    Nonetheless, KUDOS to Jersey for a job well done. Hurray for common sense!

  25. Jane August 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Male judges considering these cases probably have never had to run errands with young children. I they were required to spend a week in the shoes of the average working mom they might have a different opinion.

  26. caiti August 21, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    WOOHOO! from south Jersey. Btw I’ve only lived here for a few years so I’m not a native New Jerseyan but I gotta say New Jersey’s got to be the best kept secret of this country it’s a gorgeous place to live as long as you stay out of a few select places.

  27. Havva August 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    @Papilio,
    The New Jersey bashing is a long standing bit of American history. Back during the American Revolution New Jersey had a habit of easily switching sides depending on who was occupying at the time. If one were trying to join the Daughters of the American Revolution they would be advised to avoid, if possible, doing so on a certificate of loyalty from an ancestor from New Jersey. Rumor has it most every household in New Jersey had a certificate of loyalty for both sides of the war.

    Add to that that some mild state rivalries especially with neighbors, plus New York City being directly adjacent and a major news, business, and cultural hub. And the insults on New Jersey keep getting refreshed. No matter which other states an American kid grew up learning to insult. From coast to cost, kids grow up learning how to insult New Jersey (except in New Jersey where they hear the jokes but study how to insult New York).

  28. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    “Male judges considering these cases probably have never had to run errands with young children. I they were required to spend a week in the shoes of the average working mom they might have a different opinion.”

    Newsflash! These days, there are single working dads, too.

  29. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    @hineata

    I’m not sure of all the details because even this article seems to have some holes in it and it was one of the better ones.

    I can only guess that no one notified the Red Cross when the New Jersey stepped in to take custody of the kids. If they had been, the Army would have given the mother emergency leave in order to find another guardian for her children. The only exception would be if her job was mission critical. But even then, the Army allows for some leeway.

    The article seems to suggest the step-mother had become separated from the family before the move and then seemed to suffer some sort of mental break or something. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be too unlikely to guess that she didn’t disclose the mother was in the Army.

  30. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    ““Male judges considering these cases probably have never had to run errands with young children. I they were required to spend a week in the shoes of the average working mom they might have a different opinion.”

    Also, there’s female judges, too. In fact (Google) 3 of the NJ Supreme Court’s 7 members are gyno-Americans.

  31. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    “The article seems to suggest the step-mother had become separated from the family before the move and then seemed to suffer some sort of mental break or something. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be too unlikely to guess that she didn’t disclose the mother was in the Army.”

    The kids are teenagers… didn’t they know?

  32. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    @papiliio

    Personally, I have to question any state in which consentual incest is legal. In fact, I’d say that it is an oxymoron.

  33. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    IDK, James. You don’t know the answer?

    Who knows what they’ve been told? Also, according to articles, the kids have some sort of “emotional” issues. Who knows what that might mean or entail.

  34. hineata August 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    @Kimberley, thanks for that. Makes sense….I keep forgetting that it’s probably relatively easy to lose track of people over there. Anyway a very tough situation for all concerned.

    @Anna – feel for you. I always left sleeping toddlers in the car outside our kitchen window, just left house and car windows open. Much better for all concerned than waking them. And they ALWAYS seem to fall asleep on car errands. Do you have reasonably high fences? If not consider getting some. Makes life a lot easier if you have concerns about ott neighbours….

  35. Gina August 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    As you may all know, i am on the fence about this one. I live in a place where the OUTSIDE air can be 115 in the shade, so imagine how hot it can get inside the car…even with a window down a bit. Unfortunately, we have had several children and several animals die here in cars. So while I don’t think kidnapping is a huge issue, but I do have to wonder about some parents’ abilities to sense exactly how hot the car may get.
    That said, I have a question regarding Lenore’s statistics. I don’t question that many more children die in moving cars than in parked ones. But many more children are riding in moving cars than are waiting in parked ones. So, what is the difference in the percentages? That is a more fair assessment of the statistic.
    No need to respond Warren; I know not everyone lives in the desert and I know that you will shoot me if I break a window to remove your child(ren) from a car that you have deemed safe for them to wait in. 🙂

  36. Mark August 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful news. A small story of sanity in a world increasingly going madder! And this, from a father of 3 children!

  37. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    The NJ Supreme Court DID NOT rule that leaving a child in a car is not neglect. What they DID rule is that DFS MUST consider the circumstances surrounding the incident. There is a huge difference between what the “pearl clutchers” are taking away from this decision and what the decision ACTUALLY entails.

    In other words: A parent leaving their 3 year old child in a car in 100 degree heat, windows up, no A/C COULD be found neglectful.

    However: A parent leaving their 3 year old child in a car in 60 degree heat, windows cracked, and parked in the shade IS NOT automatically negligent unless other factors can be shown to be a reasonable and likely threat to the safety of the child.

    But, for the sake of argument, let’s switch up the scenario, shall we?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 93% of parents install their car seats incorrectly (http://www.today.com/parents/babies-risk-most-new-parents-are-doing-car-seats-all-2D80208999). The NHTSA puts that number at 80%.

    While I couldn’t find any specific numbers stating how many child deaths & injuries are due to being improperly restrained, it’s not hard to surmise that a lot of child deaths & injuries would probably be mitigated if they had been properly restrained. And while I’m no math whiz, my guess is that this number far exceeds the number of children who die in hot cars every year.

    Therefore, would it be acceptable for police officers to just start pulling over every car they see with a car seat? Would it be okay for parents who improperly install a car seat to be charged with neglect? I would imagine that for most of the “pearl clutchers” the answer would be no.

  38. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    “But, for the sake of argument, let’s switch up the scenario, shall we?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 93% of parents install their car seats incorrectly”

    false. A doctor told the American Academy of Pediatrics that. Based on a phenomenally small sample of brand-new parents. There’s also reason to believe that the sample is not representative, since they were all drawn from one hospital.

    On he other hand, the AAP DOES say:
    “Never leave your child alone in or around cars. Any of the following can happen when a child is left alone in or around a vehicle. A child can:

    Die of heat stroke because temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes.
    Be strangled by power windows, retracting seat belts, sunroofs, or accessories.
    Knock the vehicle into gear, setting it in motion.
    Be backed over when the vehicle backs up.
    Become trapped in the trunk of the vehicle.”

  39. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    @James

    Maybe your rebuttal would hold more weight if I had stated unequivocally that 93% of car seats are improperly installed. Or maybe if I had written my response in a way that ignored conflicting information. However, since I did neither, your attempt to invalidate my comment is pointless.

  40. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    “Maybe your rebuttal would hold more weight if I had stated unequivocally that 93% of car seats are improperly installed.”

    Maybe your rebuttal to my rebuttal would hold more weight if you hadn’t stated that the AAP said something, that the AAP didn’t say.

    .

  41. Warren August 21, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    Gina,
    Had you not been snippy, I would have just passed over your comment. As where you live your attitude is reasonable. Just as it probably would be different if you lived in a milder climate. And just for the record, we don’t find the need to carry weapons here.

  42. Warren August 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

    James,

    How old is that advice.

    Be strangled by power windows, retracting seat belts, sunroofs, or accessories.
    Knock the vehicle into gear, setting it in motion.

    All of those examples have been eliminated in modern vehicles.

  43. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

    James, I quoted a statistic AND provided the link for where I got the information. Did I claim this statistic as fact? No, quite the contrary. I even gave an OPPOSING statistic. Where was your source citation to support your statements?

  44. James Pollock August 21, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    “James, I quoted a statistic AND provided the link for where I got the information.”
    And, in the process, you misattributed it.

    “Did I claim this statistic as fact?”
    Did I claim you claimed this statistic as fact? No, I claimed you attributed it to someone who didn’t make that claim.

    “Where was your source citation to support your statements?”
    Seriously? OK.
    It was in http://www.today.com/parents/babies-risk-most-new-parents-are-doing-car-seats-all-2D80208999

  45. Kimberly August 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    It was a study that was presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. So yes, I was incorrect in my citation.

    You see what I did there? I admitted a mistake. Can you do the same?

    Your assertion that it was one doctor who gave the academy the statistic is also incorrect, though I’m sure Dr. Benjamin Hoffman would appreciate the assertion that he would be more than capable of doing a study all by his lonesome.

  46. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 12:08 am #

    “It was a study that was presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. So yes, I was incorrect in my citation.
    You see what I did there? I admitted a mistake.”

    I’d give you more credit for this if it had happened when the mistake was pointed out to you. Or the second time the mistake was pointed out to you.

    “Can you do the same?”
    I’m pretty sure. It happens so rarely, I can’t be sure.

    “Your assertion that it was one doctor who gave the academy the statistic is also incorrect,”
    No, it isn’t. Dr. Hoffman presented the paper at last year’s annual meeting of the AAP. There’s only one of him. A doctor gave the academy the statistic (although his wife is also a doctor and works with him.)

    “I’m sure Dr. Benjamin Hoffman would appreciate the assertion that he would be more than capable of doing a study all by his lonesome.”
    Gee, then somebody who said that Dr. Hoffman did the study by himself would have been wrong.

  47. Donald August 22, 2015 at 2:27 am #

    This is a Hugh victory! Congratulations Lenore!

    Our laws were all too often acting like a gumball machine where you put in a coin and out drops a gumball. Instead we had, ‘allow a child in a parked car unsupervised and out comes a guilty verdict’. At least now, thinking can be involved. It’s a shame when it went out of fashion. I’m glad to see that thinking is starting to make a comeback!

  48. sexhysteria August 22, 2015 at 3:28 am #

    If it hapens in N.J., there’s hope for the rest of the country!

  49. BL August 22, 2015 at 5:44 am #

    @Donald
    “Instead we had, ‘allow a child in a parked car unsupervised and out comes a guilty verdict’. At least now, thinking can be involved.”

    I’ll believe it when I see it, and repeatedly. GIven the nature of governments, it’s more likely they’ll make it mandatory to leave children in parked cars. Everything must be either forbidden or mandatory.

  50. Curious August 22, 2015 at 7:02 am #

    Dogs in cars. Will this apply to dogs? Or will dog owners need their own Supreme Court decision to be free of hysterical mobs with cell phones and video cameras?

    The French love their dogs and take them everywhere. Do French mobs rat their fellow citizens in to the gendarmes when Madame leaves Fifi in the Renault to run into the cafe for her take out order of escargot?

    Good for New Jersey. But normal behavior should be recognized as such. It shouldn’t require a Supreme Court Decision every gosh-darn time one of us doesn’t meet the standards set by the most egotistical family in the neighborhood. When did Ticky Tacky, Little Boxes, One Size Fits All become the chanted mantra of the American populace? We used to be proud to be NOT cookie-cutter images of each other.

    Welcome to Middle-School America.

  51. Andrea August 22, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    James Pollack — a single dad isn’t the only dad who runs errands with his kids. Married dads do it, too. A lot.

  52. Andrea August 22, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    It amazes me that people don’t get that there is a huge difference between a car in the sun and a car in the shade. It can be 90 degrees outside, but if it’s cloudy or the car is in the shade, the car isn’t going to get very hot. To wit – yesterday it was 86 degrees. I parked my car in a covered garage. When I got back 20 minutes later, the car was still cool. Duh. Would it have been abuse to leave my baby there rather than bring her out in the heat? To some for whom critical thinking is not something they do — yes.

  53. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    “It amazes me that people don’t get that there is a huge difference between a car in the sun and a car in the shade. It can be 90 degrees outside, but if it’s cloudy or the car is in the shade, the car isn’t going to get very hot.”

    Cars will get hot on cloudy summer days, too.

  54. Buffy August 22, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Well Andrea, there you have it. The all-knowing James has spoken and you are WRONG. End of discussion.

  55. David August 22, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Yes James, cars do get hot on cloudy days. But not a hot as they do on sunny days.

  56. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    “Yes James, cars do get hot on cloudy days. But not a hot as they do on sunny days.”
    As hot. Not as fast.

  57. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    “Well Andrea, there you have it. The all-knowing James has spoken and you are WRONG. End of discussion.”

    You don’t have to like it, but not liking it doesn’t make it not true.

  58. David August 22, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    @James: I stand corrected

  59. Papilio August 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    @Kimberly: ” I admitted a mistake. Can you do the same?”

    Since he was wrong about pimps being illegal in my country but failed to admit to that*, I’m gonna go with “No”. But I actually hope it was a rhetorical question 😀

    @Buffy: “The all-knowing James has spoken and you are WRONG. End of discussion.”

    LOL! Love the sarcasm. Someone on another thread mentioned the Dunning-Kruger effect: quite a funny read if you keep James in mind.

    *Just checked if he didn’t secretly do it anyway when no one was around just so he could now point that out. Thanks Hineata 🙂

  60. Warren August 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    As hot, just not as fast? Care to back that up?

  61. Jenny Islander August 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    One important fact is getting lost in all the “But temperature, and bandits, and gear shifts, and choking” stuff that’s floating around about this situation: The majority of hot car deaths happen because the adult driving the car forgets that there is somebody in the back seat. It’s not “Oh, lah de dah, whateverrrr, it’s only 80, the baby will be fiiiiine.” It’s much worse than that. I still say that the mom who was just fine leaving her twin infants out of sight in a car around the corner because the four-year-old (!!!) was watching them was an idiot even though the kids turned out OK, but it isn’t bad decision making that causes hot-car deaths. It’s a bona fide brain fart. You can’t make brain farts illegal. You can only prevent them. I know there are now mirrors you can put inside the car that show you whether somebody’s sleeping in the back seat, to prevent “out of sight, out of mind.” And my local Wal-Mart has a great big sticker on the door. It has a graphic of a baby in a seat and a message: DID YOU CHECK YOUR CAR?

  62. ChicagoDad August 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    “As hot. Not as fast.”

    I’m with you Warren, I think this is mostly incorrect too.

    Here is a good description of how/why cars heat up on sunny summer days, about the best that I’ve read:
    http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2011/09/19/greenhouse-physics-and-car-sha/

    The comments are very interesting too! The heat comes from sun light, and the greenhouse effect of a closed up car. Less light, less heat.

    We know that on a summer night, a parked car would eventually heat up to only about the ambient air temperature. A very cloudy day would reduce the amount of light reaching the car. A very sunny day, however, would heat the car to temps much higher than the outdoor air temp.

  63. Papilio August 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    @Havva: Ah. So they’re to the other states what Belgium is to us. Do you tell jokes about them too, as in ‘A New Yorker and a New Jerseyan (?) walk into a bar and…’?
    The part about loyalty reminds me of a certain little country a couple centuries back, that had this ally close-by. The ally had a colony overseas that was naughty enough to want to become an independent country! Imagine that! They actually started a WAR against the ally! …after which the little country smelled an excellent opportunity to sell the colony weapons and other war stuff to make some money, and accidentally even became the first nation to acknowledge the new nation’s existence… Whoops. (Needless to say, the ally wasn’t too pleased and soon declared war on this country 🙂 )

  64. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    “I’m with you Warren, I think this is mostly incorrect too. ”

    Which is why people have to be told… what they assume is wrong.

    Warning: Physics lesson follows.
    The inside of a car gets hotter than the outside air because of the greenhouse effect.
    Visible light passes through the glass windows. Much of the visible light is reflected, and passes right back out the way it came in… through the window. Some of it, however, is absorbed. When the visible light is absorbed by the materials that make up the car interior, they get warmer (because they now have more energy than they did before.) They’ll shed some of that extra energy by emitting light… but not as visible light, but rather, as infrared light. Human eyeballs can’t see infrared light, but it’s there… it’s how “heat tracking” and “night vision” gear works. OK, so the energy comes in as visible light, and then leaves as infrared light. Big whup. Except… infrared light doesn’t pass through glass as easily as visible light does. So the energy is trapped inside the car, making it warmer. The inside of a car will get warmer and warmer as the amount of visible light converted to infrared, and trapped inside the car, increases over time. The temperature will keep rising until one of two things happens… first, the source of light is removed. If you move the car so that it is completely shaded, or if night falls, it will stop heating. Second, it will stop heating once equilibrium is reached. Eventually, it will become so hot in the car that the infrared light reaches an energy level that can pass back through the glass and out of the car. The exact equilibrium temperature will vary from car to car, because it depends on the amount of glass, the type of glass, the materials used inside the car, and so on.
    So… how does a cloudy day affect the physics? On a cloudy day, there is less light at ground level, because some sunlight is reflected away by the cloud layer, and some sunlight is absorbed by the cloud layer, and this leaves less light at the surface. Reducing the amount of light that shines on the car will reduce the rate at which it heats. However, the car will still heat, and will continue heating until either the light is removed or the equilibrium temperature is reached.
    Or, in layman’s terms, it will get as hot in a car on a cloudy day as on a clear day, but it will take longer.

  65. Jen August 22, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Does anyone know if there is a way to filter comments?

  66. Gina August 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Warren: Where is “here”? I wouldn’t carry a weapon under any circumstances. Not all of us in Arizona are right-wing conservatives. 🙂

  67. Warren August 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    ChicagoDad,

    Reminds me of the people that will quote all the websites that have hot car temperature charts. They love to throw it out as scientific fact. They refuse to accept that had the car been cooled to begin with by A/C has a direct effect on those charts. People love to use the science, just not all of it.

  68. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    “Since he was wrong about pimps being illegal in my country but failed to admit to that”
    When did they repeal Article 273f of the Criminal Code?

  69. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    “The majority of hot car deaths happen because the adult driving the car forgets that there is somebody in the back seat.”

    Yes, but deaths are only part of the story. Presumably, there’s the small number of cases where a fatality was involved, but there’s also cases of emergency room visits and paramedic calls where the child was adversely affected, but survived. Since these are covered by privacy statute, I imagine it’s hard to get reliable numbers on how many cases there actually are.

  70. ChicagoDad August 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Very true, Warren! I also enjoy the arguments that only work if the car isn’t a really car, but actually a frictionless spherical chicken in a vacuum.

  71. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    “Someone on another thread mentioned the Dunning-Kruger effect: quite a funny read if you keep James in mind.”

    Is it as funny if you know that the D-K effect affects people at both ends of the bell curve?

  72. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    “Does anyone know if there is a way to filter comments?”

    The top of every comment has the person’s name who wrote it. Don’t read the ones written by people whose comments you don’t want to read.

  73. Jen August 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    @james Pollock
    Actually, my question was to find information within threads since they tend to get lengthy.
    Your suggestion works too.

  74. David August 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

    @ James Pollock “So… how does a cloudy day affect the physics? On a cloudy day, there is less light at ground level, because some sunlight is reflected away by the cloud layer, and some sunlight is absorbed by the cloud layer, and this leaves less light at the surface. Reducing the amount of light that shines on the car will reduce the rate at which it heats. However, the car will still heat, and will continue heating until either the light is removed or the equilibrium temperature is reached.
    Or, in layman’s terms, it will get as hot in a car on a cloudy day as on a clear day, but it will take longer.”

    Incorrect. In fact utter nonsense!

    It is not possible for a car interior (or for that matter anything on earth) to reach thermal equilibrium with the sun! What actually happens is that a steady state is reached in which energy input balances energy output. The car’s interior temperature obviously does not affect the input of thermal energy but it does principally determine thermal energy output. The higher the interior temperature the higher the energy output although the relationship will probably not be linear.

    So in both cases the interior temperature will rise until the energy going out matches that coming in. But because on a sunny day the incoming energy will be greater a higher temperature will be reached at steady state than on a cloudy day.

  75. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    “It is not possible for a car interior (or for that matter anything on earth) to reach thermal equilibrium with the sun!”
    Good thing nobody suggested THAT crazy idea, then!

    “What actually happens is that a steady state is reached in which energy input balances energy output.”
    In other words, until equilibrium is reached.

    “So in both cases the interior temperature will rise until the energy going out matches that coming in.”
    Yes, this is what I said.

    “But because on a sunny day the incoming energy will be greater a higher temperature will be reached”
    No. On either a cloudy day, or a clear day, the temperature will rise until the equilibrium state is reached. The equilibrium state (the energy flowing into the system equals the energy flowing out of it) will be reached when the interior temperature is such that the infrared emitted by the car’s interior can escape the windows.

    So, on a clear day, the car will quickly heat up to the equilibrium state, and then it will stay there until either the energy input is removed, or another method of removing energy from the system is applied.

    On a cloudy day, the car will heat up to the equilibrium state, and then it will stay there until either the energy input is removed, or another method of removing energy from the system is applied.

    In either case, the car will continue to heat until the equilibrium point is reached. On a clear day, you’ll get there sooner and stay there longer, on a cloudy day it’ll take longer. But either way, the heat will build up to the equilibrium point, and no higher. Either way, if left alone, the car will heat until it reaches the equilibrium point (unless night falls first).

    Of course, this assumes a spherical car in a vacuum. Well, no it doesn’t. It assumes a car with the windows rolled up. If the windows are rolled down, or the doors are open, or both, this allows a second mechanism by which energy can escape the system. This will give you a lower equilibrium temperature for two reasons. First, infrared light can escape through a rolled-down window regardless of what wavelength it is. Secondly, some of the energy that arrived as light energy, gets converted to heat energy in the air in the car… and then the air escapes the car, taking the energy with it. (i.e., convection). How much energy is dissipated by convection will vary depending on a number of factors, most significantly, the rate at which the air inside the car is exchanged with air outside the car. This is why “4×55 air conditioning” cools a car’s interior. It’s also why cracking the windows is mostly ineffective.

    So, a car will heat up until it reaches the equilibrium temperature. The exact temperature at which it will reach equilibrium depends on a number of factors… the type of glass used in the windows, the type of materials used in the car’s interior, the size and placement of the windows, and yes, whether the windows are open and if so, how much.
    However, the temperature reached inside the car is the same on a clear day as on a cloudy day… the equilibrium temperature. On a cloudy day, it will take longer to reach that temperature than it would on a sunny day. Make it overcast enough, or put the car in the sun late enough, and there won’t be enough time for the car to reach the equilibrium temperature before the energy source is removed.

    I’ve cut the discussion of why it makes a difference if it’s summer or winter. If you want, I can spell it out.

    .

  76. Andrea August 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    So I parked under a grove of trees today at 11:30 am. I left the car there on a sunny, 80 degree day. I can’t tell you anything about thermal equalibrium, but four hours later I got back in MY car and it is perfectly comfortable, about the same temperature as my home (cooler, actually, as we don’t run the A/C at home). In fact, I’ve been sitting here in the car with no A/C, windows up, checking my e-mail and writing this comment and I haven’t broken a sweat. Had an infant been in this car the whole time he would have been perfectly fine.

    I see no reason to consider leaving an infant in a car de facto child abuse. But I get that people like to operate at the lowest denominator, so I understand the opposing viewpoints that’s is just easier to consider such things child abuse rather than go through the effort of determining if they really are.

  77. Donald August 22, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I’m still not convinced that busybodies think about temperature. I think it’s more of a case of:

    “I am insecure. I see a toddler in a car. I can call 911 and feel self righteous and feel good about myself again.”

    When this is the motivation, there’s no limit to what they can fantasize about to justify their actions.
    It’s possible that the child will be kidnapped. The likelihood of this need to be weighed up against the likelihood of other things happening. For example. We just saw a video about a girl that was so desperate to spread her wings that she climbed into the van of a stranger that she met of Facebook.

    Leaving kids in cars is not wholly about convenience. It’s also an opportunity to allow your child responsibility. They need to gradually develop this. If they don’t then they’ll revolt. Perhaps they may climb into a strangers van.

  78. David August 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

    James, let me attempt to put this in terms even you can understand. A condition of equilibrium (I’ll use that word as a concession to you, although in this case steady state is really the correct term) will occur in our car when the energy coming in equals the energy going out. Agreed?

    Now on a sunny day the energy going in is greater than on a cloudy day. Still with me? So when our ‘equilibrium’ position is reached the energy going OUT on a sunny day must be greater too if the car is no longer heating up. Still following?

    But you’re claiming that in both cases the temperature is the same. Now please explain how it is physically possible that the same car at the same temperature is radiating a different amount of thermal energy.

    You may know a great deal about the law but on the subject of physics you’re woefully misinformed.

  79. Papilio August 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    @James: “Article 273f of the Criminal Code”

    What about it?

  80. Papilio August 22, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    @James: “Is it as funny if you know that the D-K effect affects people at both ends of the bell curve?”

    Absolutely.

  81. Kimberly August 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Researchers data mine medical records and hospital visit records all the time to accrue statistical data for their studies.

    @Jenny islander — you’re right in that you can’t outlaw brain farts. However, criminalizing everyone for another’s mistake makes no sense. And the fact that it is impossible to intentionally forget something, the only people laws like this can target are those that willfully leave their children in the car for hours and those whose actions will likely not cause harm at all. So really, in effect, parents everywhere are being criminalized for a very small minority of people.

  82. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    “@James: “Article 273f of the Criminal Code”

    What about it?”

    When was it repealed?

  83. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

    “Researchers data mine medical records and hospital visit records all the time to accrue statistical data for their studies.”

    Researchers have an exemption from medical privacy laws. The merely curious do not.

  84. David August 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    Hmm! Still no response from our Mr Pollock. I take it we’re all agreed then that the inside of a car will be hotter on a sunny day than a cloudy one.

    Back to the original topic, I don’t find the court decision that encouraging. Even the defence lawyer categorises the mothers decision as a mistake rather than a rational judgement that was appropriate in the circumstances

  85. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    “Hmm! Still no response from our Mr Pollock.”
    Patience you must learn.
    I’be been busy on other threads. I’ll get to it.

    Meanwhile:
    ” I don’t find the court decision that encouraging. Even the defence lawyer categorises the mothers decision as a mistake rather than a rational judgement that was appropriate in the circumstances”

    Maybe the defense lawyer knows something that you don’t, and that’s why you have different opinions about it?

  86. Donald August 22, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    “I don’t find the court decision that encouraging. Even the defence lawyer categorises the mothers decision as a mistake rather than a rational judgement that was appropriate in the circumstances”

    I do find it very encouraging. Perhaps you’re right and she may not win this case. However it’s a good sign that the tide is changing.

  87. Anna August 22, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    “So I parked under a grove of trees today at 11:30 am. I left the car there on a sunny, 80 degree day. I can’t tell you anything about thermal equalibrium, but four hours later I got back in MY car and it is perfectly comfortable…”

    We have a shady driveway, and I’ve noticed the same thing. When we get in the car (at home – sunny parking lots are obviously a different story), it’s never terribly hot, even in the middle of the day.

  88. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    All right, here we go.
    The objection raised is “how can something radiate two different amounts of radiation at the same temperature?” (Because I’m contending that a car will heat until it reaches the point where the amount of energy entering it equals the amount of energy leaving it, and that that temperature is more-or-less constant.

    If this is so, then the amount of energy emitted by a car on a cloudy day must be different from the amount of energy emitted by that same car on a clear day, because on a clear day more energy is flowing into the system. What’s different? The ambient temperature. Cloudy days will be slightly cooler than sunny days. The ambient temperature of the air around the car will be different.

    Consider some lightbulbs. One has never had any electricity run through it. It will be cool, roughly the same as the ambient air temperature. A second, identical lightbulb, has had 100W of electricity frun through it for 1 second. It will also be cool, even though the amount of energy entering it is roughly the same as the amount leaving it, and that energy level is significantly different from the first one. Now let’s add a third, still identical lightbulb to the thought experiment… this one has had 100W of electricity running through it for 10000 seconds (a little under 3 hours). It is quite hot, though it has the same energy input as the second one, and is putting out the same amount of light. Now, a fourth one. Actually, let’s not, let’s just flip the switch on the third one. It now has no electricity flowing through it, same as the first one, but it remains hot, not cool.

    If I can get my hands on a scientific-grade thermometer, I’m going to make some observations.

    The observations that are fueling my hypothesis relate to a specific summer. I had a car that was nearly a worst-case scenario for car heating… a large hatch back, with a gigantic rear window, dark maroon interior. I had a job that required me to park in a parking structure… my employers provided a parking pass, but it was only good for the top level of the structure. So, all summer, I would come out from work, open both doors and the hatch, watch the heat come rolling out (yes, it was clearly visible, because the density of hot air is different from the density of cool(er) air, which causes diffraction effects.) I’d sit there for about 5 minutes, just letting the hot air ventilate, before even trying to get in. The metal surfaces would be too hot to touch, meaning I kept a washcloth under the front seat to grab the seat belt buckles with. Then, I’d drive through stop-and-go traffic until I could reach the freeway, and apply the 2×55 AC.
    Now… we have cloudy summers here. My observations (to the limit of the accuracy of my measuring tools) were that it didn’t make any difference if it was cloudy or not… leaving the car on the top level of the parking structure until the end of the workday produced the same results, clouds or no clouds.

  89. James Pollock August 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    I was looking at news coverage from the local case of a baby who died in a hot car, to see if it was a cloudy day or a clear one (it wasn’t summer, it was October). Some facts:

    It was only about 70 degrees outside that day.
    The forensic examination couldn’t determine a cause of death. It might have been caused by the heat, or it may have been positional asphyxia, from sleeping upright. (“Dr. Joseph Gilhooly, a neonatologist at the OHSU Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center, said some research has shown that overheating is linked to an infant unexpectedly dying in their sleep.”)
    http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2015/03/intel_baby_death_father_wont_f.html
    The estimate was that the baby died within the first hour. This might at least partially explain why nobody else walking through the parking lot noticed that there was a baby in a car.

    By coincidence (?), Intel recently announced a new product that will remind you if you have left your infant in the car.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/01/16/hot-car-deaths-intel-smart-clip/21849977/

  90. Jenny Islander August 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    @Kimberly: Yes, I agree.

  91. Sara August 23, 2015 at 12:04 am #

    I am a fence sitter on this one. This summer alone, in my state, we have already had eight infant deaths due to children being left in hot cars. Every single one of these parents stated they felt their child was safe. I realize I live in one of the hottest states in the country. I wonder how many people will use this as an excuse to say people need to not judge them. I saw someone say children need to be taught responsibility. Infants don’t learn responsibility. A six year old, even a four year old, is so different than an infant or toddler. I have three children and the only time I left them alone in their car seats was when I came home from the store and they were sleeping. I would park in the covered shade, leave the windows open, and watch the car. Of course, we also lived on 13 acres so it wasn’t exactly a high crime neighborhood. I was a single mom of three small kids for a long time. Everyone talks about the “convenience ” of leaving your kids in the car while you go into the store. I guess I feel like when I gave birth to them I knew I was responsible for them. So I would never leave them in a parking lot of a store in the car. But that’s me personally. I think what makes me worry about this is watching the eight deaths we’ve had this summer and the parents who justify it I worry that more people will just say it’s not a big deal.

  92. James Pollock August 23, 2015 at 4:01 am #

    “Hmm! Still no response from our Mr Pollock. I take it we’re all agreed then that the inside of a car will be hotter on a sunny day than a cloudy one.”

    My subconsious has been working this problem for hours, and woke me up out of an otherwise sound sleep to tell me it had the answer.

    Two cars, the same temperature inside, but one of them has more energy coming out of it than the other one does. Because they are the same temperature, they must be emitting the same wavelength of radiation. But… the total energy escaping from a system is based on TWO things… the energy content of the photons that escape, and the number of photons that escape. So… you can have two identical cars (or the same car under different conditions) that are the same temperature inside, but emitting different amounts of energy, if they number of photons emitted is different.

    Ugh. Enough with this problem. I’m going back to bed.

  93. Beth August 23, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    Sara, what state? I did a quick Google search and find nothing about one state with 8 dead infants this summer, so I’m curious.

    And you said something like when you gave birth to kids, you knew you were responsible for them (as if the rest of us yahoos didn’t?). Unless you can assure us that you NEVER drive them anywhere in the car, you do not get to be all sanctimonious. More kids die in moving cars than ever died in a parked car during a short errand.

  94. Andrea August 23, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    I have a proposal, and I know to some of you it’s outside the box, but bear with me. How about instead of jumping to conclusions and making assumptions, we consider the actual facts and circumstances of each particular case? Too crazy?

    I know it’s hard and makes some people’s brains hurt, but it might actually be the right thing to do. Just because some men commit rape (including of their own children) does not mean all men commit rape. In the same vein, just because some infants die in hot cars does not mean all infants die alone in cars. Just because some parents are bad parents does not mean all parents are bad parents. Facts and circumstances matter. But I’ve noticed that humans have a hard time understanding that.

    It is as unfair to conclude that a baby is in danger based on generalizations of ambient temperature, thermal equalibriums and average car energy emissions as it is to conclude that someone is a rapist because he’s a man (though some people do believe that, and I think they’re crazy, too), or that a child is being abused based on his family structure, income, and race. The real question is “did the man rape someone?” and “is the child being abused,” just like the real question should be, “was the baby in a hot car?” Not “was the baby alone in a car?” That’s the determination of a society who prefers to persecute on emotion rather than actual crime committed. People need so desperately to justify their assumptions that many innocent people get hurt in the process. That is wrong. We express disdain at the absurdities of those societies who did such things in the past, but it seems we can’t help but do the same today.

  95. Papilio August 23, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    “When was it repealed?”

    So you insist on asking the follow-up question. Okay.
    A little recap then. You’ve found the relevant article, but you didn’t find the date it was repealed. Any idea why that might be?
    And, what other articles on prostitution and pimping did you find?

  96. Papilio August 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    That comment was meant for James, of course.

  97. James Pollock August 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    “A little recap then. You’ve found the relevant article, but you didn’t find the date it was repealed. Any idea why that might be?”

    Because it hasn’t been repealed, is still in force, and thus you are wrong, and human trafficking is still illegal in the Netherlands?

    You keep saying human trafficking is not illegal in the Nethwrlands. You’re not alone in this… apparently critics of the Dutch government even tried to move the International Criminal Court from The Hague because they don’t feel the Dutch government is doing enough to fight human trafficking.

    The Dutch government, in response, points to Article 273f of the Dutch Criminal Code and says, yes, we take human trafficking very seriously, and we punish human traffickers by imprisoning them for 8 years.

    So… is this one of those laws that’s on the books, but isn’t actually ever enforced?

    Or lets go back to something you never got around to explaining. In the very first comment that kicked off this thread are four little words. Four little works that you haven’t yet addressed. Those four words are “the pimp was arrested”. So, since (according you you) human trafficking isn’t illegal in the Netherlands, they arrested this poor innocent man for doing something that is not illegal. Do Dutch police OFTEN arrest people for things that are not illegal, or was this an isolated case?

    “what other articles on prostitution and pimping did you find?”
    Didn’t look for any. I figured the Dutch government would know which of their statutes were relevant. I’m not really interested in reading the prostitution regulations… why would you think they are relevant?

  98. hineata August 24, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    @James – human trafficking and pimping are, once again, two completely different things. Where in the world did you get the idea that Papilio said human trafficking is legal, anywhere in the world?!

  99. SKL August 24, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    I park my car outside 100% of the time. I can leave my car, windows closed, all day and then get in in the mid-afternoon and not be very hot – except on certain clear summer days when the sun is beating down. On summer days when the sun beats down, it can get hotter in 30 minutes than it gets all day on an average partly-cloudy day.

    I have never been in a situation where I didn’t realize my car was likely to get hot.

    All this talk about “but here is the scary danger parents didn’t know about” is nonsense. There is nothing new about cars getting hot. Calling it “physics” doesn’t make it suddenly something new. The fact is that it almost never happens that kids *intentionally* left in cars are hurt or killed. It has never been a significant risk, and it never will be. Because parents are naturally wired to prefer their kids unbaked.

  100. Beth August 24, 2015 at 6:57 am #

    “The fact is that it almost never happens that kids *intentionally* left in cars are hurt or killed’….@SKL, except in Sara’s state (above) in which 8 infants have died from being left in the car, this summer alone.

    I wish she’d come back and tell us where this is.

  101. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    “human trafficking and pimping are, once again, two completely different things.”

    In the sense that they are not different at all?

  102. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    “All this talk about “but here is the scary danger parents didn’t know about” is nonsense. There is nothing new about cars getting hot.”

    There is a danger (as noted, a small one) that perceptions of “hot” and “hot enough to create health issues for my infant” can be different. This is so because we judge how hot it is by using the obvious measuring tool… ourselves. I know how hot it is because I can feel it. But… something that is uncomfortably hot but not dangerous for an average person of child-bearing age can be dangerous to a particularly small person, such as, say, an infant.
    You can say that the risk is actually quite low. You can say that we, as a culture, put too much emphasis on it considering that every time there’s a heat wave in a city, more adults are killed by the heat than infants, and by a considerable margin. But the risk is real, and, to the extent that is is preventable, should be prevented.

  103. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    “I wish she’d come back and tell us where this is.”

    Well, there’s three obvious candidates: California, Texas, and Florida. They all have the combination of lots of sun and lots of people living in them. Arizona gets hot, but is disproportionally composed of people of retirement age. New Mexico just doesn’t have the population.

    I can think of some ways of reporting the statistics that might get you 8 deaths in one state… this would be a biased number, but people repeat biased numbers all the time without realizing that they are biased.

    For example, if last year was pretty bad, but this year is better, and you want the numbers to be bad, you’d report on “within the last year” and draw your numbers from the last 12 calendar months, rather than reporting on “this year” (2015). If last year was particularly low, and this year is normal, you’d want to report on the “increase rate” of incidents. It might be possible to use manipulations like these to manufacture “8 deaths in a year”.

  104. Coryd August 24, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Wow! Someone (James) needs to get a life. Seems to have a lot of time on his hands to be able to point out how he is far superior/more intelligent than everyone else.

  105. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    “Wow! Someone (James) needs to get a life.”

    Oh, the meta-ness of it all.

    “he is far superior/more intelligent than everyone else.”
    If that’s the message you’re taking away, the problem is at your end.

  106. Havva August 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    @Beth,
    Sara isn’t going to tell us which state it is because no state has lost 8 kids to hot cars this year. Texas has the highest number of combined verified and probable heat stroke deaths so far this year at 4 (3 verified, 1 probable), with Florida behind it with 3 probable cases, all other states with cases have one each. http://noheatstroke.org/

    I looked up each of the 15 cases so far this year. Not one case involved parents claiming they thought the child would be fine left in the car. So far there have been 3 that wandered into a hot car, 6 were apparently innocently forgotten, 1 was forgotten by a care giver who previously lost her license for having too many kids and too few care givers (and was still operating in such a manner), 4 forgotten with alcohol or other drugs involved (one charged with homicide as he drank to black out drunk with a child in his care and left for 16hrs, she had 2nd degree burns), One with unspecified circumstances, but the prime adult involved is the same judge who ordered the removal of the kids from that off grid family a little while back.

    I’ll note that when I did this analysis last year the articles usually repeated the not for a minute thought process. This time many had some variant of look before you lock, or put something in the back seat with the kids, some even said this is an accident that can happen to even the best of parents. The result of stress, sleep deprivation, and changes in routine. Perhaps getting the facts out there will actually reduce the instances of these tragedies. The US has been averaging 38 such deaths per year according to kidsandcars (though their data indicates an average of 36), ranging between 29 and 49 deaths per year since the air bag deaths of children started falling.

    Over the last 12 years by Aug 23rd, 69-87% of the year’s deaths had occurred. If that holds, this year will end with between 17 and 22 hot car deaths in the US. That would be the lowest number since 1996 or 1997! And this while we are shaping up to have one of the hottest years on record!

  107. Papilio August 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    ““A little recap then. You’ve found the relevant article, but you didn’t find the date it was repealed. Any idea why that might be?”

    Because it hasn’t been repealed”

    Well that took you long enough:

    ““what other articles on prostitution and pimping did you find?”
    Didn’t look for any. […] why would you think they are relevant?”

    You asked me when Article 273f was repealed, and since
    1) Wenting already told you about the pimp getting arrested,
    2) (once you’d have looked for other laws) there’s apparently only one law that deals with this stuff,
    3) that one law is Article 273f,
    4) so that must be the law that the pimp broke and got him arrested,
    5) this was fairly recently, and
    6) the odds of this law being repealed between his arrest and today are… tiny,
    you already had all the information to reasonably assume the article hasn’t been repealed. Yet you still asked me. Twice.

    “You keep saying human trafficking is not illegal in the Nethwrlands.”

    No, I don’t. I’ve never said that. Go back and re-read

    “Or lets go back to something you never got around to explaining. In the very first comment that kicked off this thread are four little words. Four little works that you haven’t yet addressed. Those four words are “the pimp was arrested”.”

    I did and I have. More than once, even. Go back and re-read

    “human trafficking and pimping are, once again, two completely different things.”

    In the sense that they are not different at all?

    Elaborate?

  108. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    ““human trafficking and pimping are, once again, two completely different things.”

    In the sense that they are not different at all?

    Elaborate?

    You first. How are they different?

  109. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    ““You keep saying human trafficking is not illegal in the Nethwrlands.”
    No, I don’t. I’ve never said that. Go back and re-read”

    Ah. Well, I said it was illegal, and you said I was wrong about that.
    I guess that’s different, somehow?

  110. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    While you’re thinking about it:

    “The traffickers in street based commercial sex situations are often individual trafficker, more commonly known as ‘pimps’. ”
    http://www.traffickingresourcecenter.org/sex-trafficking-venuesindustries/street-based

  111. Agent0013 August 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    If some non-thinking judge was trying to tell me I was guilty because of what might happen, I would mention that the court itself and that very judge is then guilty of attempted murder of myself. I mean, a meteor could come crashing into the courthouse, or it could start on fire. Or some crazy person on a murder spree could come into the room to take out said stupid judge and I could get hit in the crossfire. At that point it seems reasonable to walk out, since letting someone try to murder you is not very smart. Maybe start a counter-suit on the attempted murder charges and see what happens.

  112. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    “Maybe start a counter-suit on the attempted murder charges and see what happens.”

    Depending on how and when you try to do it, you’ll either be charged with contempt of court, or your claim will be dismissed for “failure to state a claim”.

  113. Papilio August 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    No, James, YOU first. You are the one basically claiming they’re synonyms and can be used interchangeably.

    “individual trafficker, more commonly known as ‘pimps’. ””
    And a fauteuil is more commonly known as a chair. Doesn’t mean they’re synonyms.

    “““You keep saying human trafficking is not illegal in the Nethwrlands.”
    No, I don’t. I’ve never said that. Go back and re-read”

    Ah. Well, I said it was illegal, and you said I was wrong about that.”

    No, you didn’t. Again, go back and re-read.

  114. Beth August 24, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    James, as hard as it is to believe, I wasn’t talking to you or asking for you to answer.

    I was asking Sara who said (since you love quotes and all) ” This summer alone, in my state, we have already had eight infant deaths due to children being left in hot cars. Every single one of these parents stated they felt their child was safe.”

    Yes, idiot though I am, I am aware of which states these might be, and a google search turned up nothing. Her terminology also indicates to me that not only must these deaths have been publicized, but interviews with the 8-16 grieving parents as well…since she knew what every single one of them “stated”. So it does seem like I should have been able to find them, though admittedly I did not spend hours on the project.

    I would think she could easily tell us her state and provide links to articles and interviews. SHE. Not you.

  115. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    “James, as hard as it is to believe, I wasn’t talking to you or asking for you to answer. ”
    You may be startled to learn that Internet comments are publicly available. You know, to anyone.

    ” Her terminology also indicates to me that not only must these deaths have been publicized, but interviews with the 8-16 grieving parents as well”
    The sense I got was that she was repeating someone else’s statistic. As was stated, the methodology for obtaining that statistic may have been, let’s call it “stretched”, in order to make a point. It’s possible that there’s a way to get to 8 deaths, in one state, in a year, by including all the deaths that are remotely linked to a hot car in some way (not all of them would have been reported as “hot car kills child”, as I discovered researching the local case, sometimes those are reported as “cause unknown” because the forensic examiner can’t tell if it’s directly caused by the heat, partially caused by the heat, or not at all caused by the heat because of positional asphyxia. But if your ideology causes you to maximize hot car deaths, you’ll count them anyway. (This could be why you’re finding that “officially reported” numbers are far below what she’s claimed).

    “I would think she could easily tell us her state and provide links to articles and interviews. SHE. Not you.”
    Perhaps she can. Obviously, I can’t easily tell you her state and provide links to articles and interviews. I didn’t even try to.

    Of course, lots of things are possibly at work. Maybe hot-car deaths are down because fewer people happened to leave their infants in hot cars this year (the informational crusade is working! Yay!) or maybe it’s because people are pulling the kids out of hot cars, taking them to hospitals, where they die of something other than heatstroke, and so “hot car” is a footnote rather than the headline. I prefer to think the former; can’t rule out the latter. Some others: Maybe the majority of hot-car deaths are murders. Now that leaving your kid in a hot car is considered abuse, parents who’ve decided to murder their infants are using other methods. Or, maybe it’s just a statistical fluke, and next year will look more like last year.

  116. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

    “You are the one basically claiming they’re synonyms and can be used interchangeably.”

    No, I’m not. All A are B does not imply that all B are A.
    Pimps are traffickers. Not all traffickers are pimps.

    Pimps engage in the following acts, which is WHY they’re human traffickers
    A) Luring women (and girls, and sometimes boys) into prostitution (AKA “turning them out”.)
    B) Using violence or threats of violence to keep victims working for them
    C) Taking the proceeds of prostitution
    D) keeping the prostitutes isolated from anyone who might help them escape, regularly and routinely moving them from place to place.

    “‘Ah. Well, I said it was illegal, and you said I was wrong about that.’
    No, you didn’t. Again, go back and re-read.”

    Yes, I did. go back and re-read.

    Or better yet, don’t. You’re WAY too emotionally invested in claiming I’m wrong about something. I said something was illegal. I pointed out the statute that makes it illegal. You concede that the statute exists, and has not been repealed, yet continue to insist that it’s not illegal. It was pointed out to you that the person in the original comment that sparked the dispute was arrested, and you continue to maintain that what he does is not illegal.

    It becomes clear that no amount of evidence is sufficient for you, putting you in the same category as creationists, and global-warming deniers.
    .

  117. Beth August 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    Thanks, Havva. What makes it even more curious is that Sara said 8 infant deaths *this summer*, not even this year. I’m also going to go with “didn’t happen”.

  118. James Pollock August 24, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

    ” What makes it even more curious is that Sara said 8 infant deaths *this summer*, not even this year. I’m also going to go with “didn’t happen””

    There’s an outside chance it did, and the “state” referred to isn’t one of the United ones. Real results are easily Google-able, and the leading U.S. state is Texas, with 3. Was “8” a bald-faced lie? A mistake? We’ll probably never know.

  119. Buffy August 24, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    Just read a terrific definition of an internet troll:

    A troll is a person whose end goal is a noise level that renders true discussion impossible. Their entire purpose is disrupting conversation. The more people communicating in a harmonious manner, the richer the target. The conversations themselves are immaterial except that they provide hints on the best way to disrupt them.

    That describes, to a t, exactly what’s happening on this site.

  120. Papilio August 25, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    @James: I see the problem. Here’s the explanation:
    Your definition of (what) a pimp (does) is waaay broader than the dictionaries’. When I looked up the English word ‘pimp’ to see if force was an actual part of the basic meaning, I found definitions such as:
    “a person, especially a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings”
    and
    “One who finds customers for a prostitute”
    and (ironically)
    “a man who makes money illegally by getting customers for prostitutes”
    and
    “someone who finds customers for prostitutes and takes a portion of their earnings.”
    and
    “A man who controls prostitutes and arranges clients for them, taking a percentage of their earnings in return.”
    No force included.

    “Pimps are traffickers. Not all traffickers are pimps.”
    Exactly: the definition of ‘human trafficker’ is broader than the definition of ‘pimp’ – which is why ‘human trafficker/ing’ canNOT be used willy-nilly as a substitute for ‘pimp(ing)’ when discussing what is or isn’t legal in The Netherlands.
    Yet that’s what you did for some reason. You even wrongly claimed that I had directly or indirectly used the phrase ‘human trafficker/ing’, too.
    But originally you said: “While prostitution is legal, pimping is not.” You didn’t say ‘human trafficking’, you said ‘pimping’ – CRUCIAL difference!

    The logic of ‘all As are Bs, Bs are illegal, therefore As are illegal’ doesn’t apply here (perhaps that’s the flaw in your reasoning?):
    In addition to – or in place of – the dictionaries’ basic meaning of ‘pimp’, every single part of Article 273f says something about either force, or the prostitute being underaged, or smuggling people across the border, or enslaving, etc. There is ALWAYS something extra (/different), and the extra (/different) thing is what makes it illegal.
    “the pimp got arrested” because the girl was underaged. Wenting says as much in the next five little words of that very same sentence, and both Hineata and I have pointed that out to you multiple times.

    In short: under Dutch law, finding customers for prostitutes and taking a portion of their earnings in return, a.k.a. pimping, is not illegal.

    Do you understand it now?

  121. James Pollock August 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    “In short: under Dutch law, finding customers for prostitutes and taking a portion of their earnings in return, a.k.a. pimping, is not illegal.”
    Except that a person who does that isn’t a pimp. That’s an appointments secretary.

    “But originally you said: “While prostitution is legal, pimping is not.” You didn’t say ‘human trafficking’, you said ‘pimping’ – CRUCIAL difference!”
    Except… not a difference at all. Pimps are human traffickers.

    “The logic of ‘all As are Bs, Bs are illegal, therefore As are illegal’ doesn’t apply here”
    Logic fail.

    “(perhaps that’s the flaw in your reasoning?”
    There isn’t a flaw in my reasoning. Perhaps that’s the flaw in yours.

    Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands. Setting appointments for prostitutes is, too. Pimping (human trafficking) is not. The WHOLE POINT of legalizing prostitution is to put the pimps out of business. If you want to hire a prostitute, you can go directly to the prostitute you want to hire and discuss the transaction. You do not need to go through an intermediary unless what you want is something that is not easily located… say, because it’s still illegal.

  122. Papilio August 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    “Except that a person who does that isn’t a pimp”

    According to several dictionaries, it is, James, and they, not you, are the ultimate authority on the meaning of words.
    I’m going to leave it at that. Have fun making up definitions for the rest of the English vocabulary.

  123. Warren August 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Pap,

    “Except that a person who does that isn’t a pimp. That’s an appointments secretary.”

    This is where James’ logic hits a speed bump.
    Should the “appointments secretary” be in the direct employment of the prostitute, and only that prostitute, then he is technically correct.

    Now with that said, should the prostitute be in employ of a service, which the “appointment secretary” is as well, then that is pimping. Any time that “appointment secretary” takes a call, and schedules one of the staff for the “appointment”, it is pimping, on behalf of the owner of the service.

  124. Papilio August 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Warren, what James is pushing as the “real” meaning of ‘pimp’ is waaay broader than either of your versions, or any of the five (!) definitions I quoted (from different dictionaries and the like). That big difference is basically the cause of this entire discussion.
    Any reasonable person would just assume that when Wenting originally used that word, he intended roughly the definition the rest of the world uses, not the definition that exists between James’ ears.
    Whether or not the dictionary could have said ‘an appointment secretary for a prostitute’ as one of the meanings of ‘pimp’ in addition to your second description just isn’t very relevant.