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Everything posted by frankj

  1. I would like to add my two cents, based on experience in our district. Our troop is chartered by the Knights of Columbus, but is not comprised of all Catholic boys and parents. When my son was active we had a Scout join our troop from one of the LDS troops in the town because as his Dad told me there were not enough activities and opportunities for him to advance. This young man completed his Eagle rank in our troop and is now on a mission. His parents were two of the most supportive parents to him and to Scouting in general that I ever ran into. His former troop lost a fine young man and we gained one. This particular troop puts on merit badge factories once in a while. They are the only ones in the district that does this.
  2. A slow day on the issues forum.
  3. Eammon, both parties stink. We can point out bad legislation passed by the party we don't like, ad infinitum. Do you like to "harken back?" Sure, let's do that. How far do we go? I'll see your harkening back to GWB's admin and raise you the Clinton 8 years, then you can raise me Elder Bush's term, and Reagan, then I'll raise you Carter. Little is accomplished -- except maybe it backs up my premise, both parties stink. There are a lot of people who don't like this proposed health bill for various reasons: they don't understand what's in it, it may cut their profits, it may dump them out of a plan they like, they may pay more, they may be FORCED to buy a product they don't want, it goes on and on. Just because this health care bill is teed up, doesn't mean it should be driven down the fairway. If this guy Brown makes it possible for the Republicans to filibuster this thing, in my mind that's a good thing. The Dems were poised to pass something that would have serious consequences. And in what I have read about this, the advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages. Maybe I posted this here before, but I am old enough to recall when George Wallace ran for President and I remember something he said about Congress and the 2 party system: "In terms of legislation passed, there is not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans." SCOUTINGAGAIN: Thanks for your summary. Coakley was involved on the prosecution side of the Amirault case in Mass when it was under review, after they were in prison. Do you think that had any effect, was it mentioned in the campaign? have people forgotten about it? Thanks.
  4. I'm glad this seems headed toward a happy ending. And NJCubScouter -- a funny and maybe accurate post about which MBs tend to get left to last.
  5. He should stand. He doesn't have to recite the pledge of allegiance, but he should still stand, whatever religion he is, or citizen of whatever country he is. It is a matter of respect, like Eammon said. Does the SPL or someone leading the flag ceremony say "Please stand while we recite the pledge of allegiance."
  6. Don't forget to get one from his dentist. Just kidding. Sounds like what I call a "localized" interpretation of the requirement. I have been on Eagle Boards where there were as few a 3 letters. For others reading this who may have a boy getting close to seeking these letters, I have encouraged boys to provide people with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to make it easy for them to write the letter and mail it.
  7. Yes, the left-handed smoke shifter. I'm glad scoutmaster52 brought it up, I was going to. I am guilty on two counts: 1) being duped into going to get one on my first campout, and 2) sending a new scout to get one on a subsequent campout.
  8. SR540Beaver: I'm not a regular, but I am a long term, occasional visitor. I swooped in here like a seagull checking out a MacDonald's parking lot for French Fries and whoa! ... here was this gang fight in progress! The president bashing just gave me a chance to voice one of my pet concerns. The notion that elections really don't change the Congress that much, because of the careful establishment of district boundaries, something a newpaper editor, friend of mine mentioned to me several years ago. Where are we, page 6 of comments? Pretty soon the bashers will whittle themselves down to just a few gladiators who will eventually exhaust themselves, that's the usual pattern anyway.
  9. Rejoinder to MileHigh: use of term "Bushwacker" disrespectful, but I think someone already called you on that. And when you blame everything on GWB, or when someone else blames everything on Bill Clinton for example, their argument loses steam. Sure, Presidents undertake different initiatives, good and bad, but they only serve 8 years. If we want to look at who is responsible for creating bad policy, and failing to correct bad policy, I say it is not the (relatively) transitory office of the President. Good and bad policy does not start and stop on Inauguration Day. Example: (and this is not a Clinton bash) it is just an example: Clinton signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act which allowed banks to expand into the area of investment banking. (One of the sponsors in the Senate was Phil Gramm, R-TX). This contributed to the current economic crisis. Other examples can be found of legislation, policy, etc., hatched during a past presidency that came home to roost in unexpected ways under a later administration. It is an evolving process -- and who presides over this process more so than ANY one President? Congress, that's who. Everybody should take a look at the tenure of those in the House and Senate and decide whether or not THIS crowd deserves the criticism that is routinely heaped on past and current Presidents.
  10. Your definition of "all spending" being "pork" is different from mine. Government has basic functions they need to spend money on: national defense, a justice system, law enforcement, fire protection, and infrastructure like roads and streets. These are legitimate uses of tax revenue. Spending $500,000 for a dog park in Chula Vista CA, as part of the stimulus, is pork, in my opinion. In your post, you don't distinguish between legitimate spending and wasteful spending -- to you its all pork. And one cannot conclude from your last post that you think pork, (i.e. all spending by your definition) is wasteful. Your view seems simplistic, as if you have concluded that they're going to spend a certain amount of money, and you don't care what they spend it on, and, oh yes, its all GWB's fault. As Eisely said in the first post, "it deserves debate." Any legislation this big, this expensive and put together in this much of a hurry is bound to have flaws and can only be improved by examination and debate.
  11. Link to an article that describes the errors Geithner made. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/59703.html Excerpts from the article: Geithner filed amended tax returns for 2001 and 2002 after Barack Obama nominated him. Earlier he did so for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 after an IRS audit in 2006. He did his own taxes in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2005. Q: Aren't there some other mistakes, too? A: One of the more egregious errors was that Geithner, over three different tax years, claimed that expenses for the summer camps he'd sent his children to qualified for the child and dependent-care tax credit. This credit is for working parents with children younger than 13 who send them to preschool or after-school care. IRS documents and commercially available tax software clearly define what qualifies. "That's one anyone who has kids and has filled out that form knows that it's wrong. That's really odd," said Paul Caron, a prominent tax-law expert and associate dean at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Documents that the Senate Finance Committee released suggest that Geithner also failed to pay a penalty tax for withdrawing money early from a federal retirement account. There's a 10 percent penalty for doing that, and it's advertised up front for tax-deferred retirement accounts. This is as basic as it gets in the world of personal finance. "I don't understand how the 10 percent withdrawal penalty could have fallen through the cracks. That's just a red flag," said Peter Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, a group that lobbies for simplifying the U.S. tax code. > There is no evidence in this article that Obama's team caught these errors, as Beavah claims. It says after he was nominated he amended returns for 2001 and 2002.
  12. We are witness to the importance of the Senate NOT being controlled by 60 or more votes by one party. If the Democrats had a 60+ seats, I am convinced this stimulus package in its original form of 900 billion would have been rammed through. I like the Beav's idea of putting the line item vetoing on prime time. BHO will never do it though, too early to be making enemies among your own party. This stimulus package was outsourced to Pelosi and Reid, who bragged they could get him something to sign within a couple weeks. Well, they did and the package is less about an adrenaline shot to the economy and more about increasing the footprint of the federal government on everyday life. So Blansten, you decry the borrow and spend agenda. So do I. But now, your guy, BHO is about to borrow and spend, right up there with the best of them. BHO, Pelosi, Reid and all the rest are about to do what you accuse GWB of doing, but they're going to do it in spades. But it is OK for your guy to admonish the Senate Republicans to pass a pork laden bill because he was "painted into a corner?" That is weak. http://selfinvestors.com/tradingstocks/news/details-of-economic-stimulus-package-too-much-pork-too-little-stimulus/
  13. Beavah: How do you KNOW this: "False for Geithner, perhaps true for Daschle. Geithner wasn't even aware of da errors until they were caught by Obama's vetting team."
  14. I'll tell you why it is worthy of comment. BHO repeated the "change" mantra over and over during his campaign and we aren't even in a couple of weeks and 3 attempts to appoint people run into the same old problems. Or, are we all supposed to so sophisticated that we really don't expect successful candidates to follow through on what they say? Yes, he is now our President, but there is nothing wrong in expecting him to appoint people who aren't tainted.
  15. She withdrew and this morning the announcement came out that Daschle withdrew.
  16. This is from a George Will column last week (the next two paragraphs): "The stimulus legislation would create a council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. This is about medicine but not about healing the economy. The CER would identify (this is language from the draft report on the legislation) medical "items, procedures, and interventions" that it deems insufficiently effective or excessively expensive. They "will no longer be prescribed" by federal health programs. The next secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, has advocated a "Federal Health Board" similar to the CER, whose recommendations "would have teeth": Congress could restrict the tax exclusion for private health insurance to "insurance that complies with the Board's recommendation." The CER, which would dramatically advance government control and rationing of health care, should be thoroughly debated, not stealthily created in the name of "stimulus." " An example of how the current stimulus package includes all sorts of Trojan Horses. I don't want the tax cheat, Tom Daschle and cronies deciding what is effective and what is not, because ultimately, they'll make those decisions based on pressure from lobbyists. Yes, I know BHO has promised something about how his admin will be free from lobbyists, but it a way of life in Washington and these people don't change their stripes that readily.
  17. Mr. Geithner is appointed to an important government post and discovers he needs to pay approximately $34,000 in taxes, interest and penalties. Then, Mr. Daschle is nominated for an important government post and he pays approximately $102,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties. If these two dollar amounts are the beginning of a series, how much will the next nominee likely owe in taxes, penalties and interest? a) $0 b) $50,000 c) $100,000 d) $306,000 Pardon my cynicism, but is this the change we were expecting?
  18. The tent opening should face south if you are in the northern hemisphere, and it should face north if you are in the southern hemisphere. If you pitch your tent on the Equator, you have your choice.
  19. Congratulations to these young men. "The Eagle Scout plans his own ceremony." I remember this from my son's Eagle COH. If these young men and their families want to combine into one ceremony, more power to them. Make sure you have a big enough hall! I hope you get great, positive press coverage.
  20. My two cents. It is common for organizations to justify salaries based on the "talent" arguement. "We have to pay these amounts to be competitive and attract and retain top talent." Wall Street comes to mind, high pay, but lots of bad decisions. Top posts in government come to mind as well. So the "talent" arguement doesn't always wash. Organizations have to stop thinking that there is no one else who can do the job as well, and for less money. Perhaps the top group at Scouts should dial back their salaries by some significant percentage and then with the help of an outside organization, set some challenging but achievable goals for Scouting that, if met, would qualify them for a bonus.
  21. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/specials/scoutslogging/boyscoutsresponse.pdf (29 pages in length) This is a link to BSA's response. I tried the one skeptic posted but it didn't work for me. My understanding is that the Seattle PI (Post Intelligencer) is going to close its doors soon. It is one of two daily papers in Seattle, the other one being the Seattle Times. They have a long and colorful history of mutual animosity but for a number of years now, they have had a joint operating agreement entered into at a time when they were stuggling. The PI has run other anti-logging articles that were slanted and biased, mostly against the major forest landowners in the state, and against the dept. of natural resources, the agency that regulates forestry and operates about 1.7 million acres of state-owned timberland. One of the Scout camps in the Seattle council needed to cut some large Douglas fir trees that were interspersed all over the campground. These had a root disease that is fairly common in this area. The prognosis for this disease is, it doesn't go away and eventually the trees fall over when the roots no longer anchor the tree. When our troop was there, I remarked on it to the Camp Director. He was aware of it and asked if I would write him an informal letter on it, something he could show the council. Eventually, they cut some of the trees and there was the usual outcry. I wonder what those who yelped the loudest would have had to say if the council did nothing and one of these trees (150 feet tall, 36 inches at the base) came down during summer camp?
  22. Was this supposed to be a news article, or is it an anti-Scouts editorial? In some places it is hard to tell. It looks to me like an editor decided that a hit piece against the Scouts was in order and they went on a nationwide hunt. What they found was that yes, Councils cut trees down, and yes, they make money from it. So what? The business about Camp Delezene -- the biologist mentioned is associated with one of the most litigious environmental groups in the state of Washington, so his comments are no surprise. Logging in Washington is governed by regulations administered by a state agency. The landowner has to apply for a permit that is issued after the plans are reviewed. Why didn't the reporter chase down the permit and see if there were any actual violations. Why didn't the reporter talk to the state forest practices forester who would have been responsible for that particular area? Here is a red herring: "Councils logged in or near protected wildlife habitat at least 53 times." Sounds pretty bad doesn't it? Consider this, if you have an area to cut and part of it needs protection, that area is identified and the boundary around it is marked. Then the trees are cut up to the boundary. So, yes, you have cut "near" the protected wildlife habitat. Like when I cut my grass, I cut up to a protected area, my wife's flower bed. There are other situations where a surplus of certain types of habitat exist and landowners are permitted to cut in these areas. That is how the rules work and that is how it should be. This article has tried to paint Scout councils in the worst possible light regarding this issue. Gunny, with all due respect, when it comes to timber harvest in the topography of the western states, you don't know what you're talking about. You cannot cut a tree here and a tree there on much of the type of terrain we have out here and end up with a profit. You said, "a part of a local property was clearcut for cash ..." Well, yes, that is usually what happens, someone who owns the trees gets paid.
  23. Concerning Eric Holder's role in the pardon of FALN terrorists. http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWFlZGE4OGUwNjU4NWYxNDMwYTBlN2EyMjQyNzExODY= "Change you can believe in ..."
  24. How about for this purpose: Holder gave bad advice when he was in Clinton's administration and now he is being recycled into Obama's administration into the the AG slot, where just may give more bad advice. This is not the type of "change" that some people were expecting. Is there a new rule that no one can say anything critical of what they perceive to be a bad cabinet pick?
  25. Scrooge's words from the posting by lisabob: "...decrease the surplus population ..." And lisabob's closing comment: "I don't think anybody could get this much clearer than Charles Dickens did." There IS someone who can get it much clearer -- and she has the power to institute controls on the surplus population, Nancy Pelosi. She believes more money thrown at abortion clinics will help the government cut costs. If this is what increased government involvement in health care is going to become, then we baby boomers better redouble our efforts to locate the Fountain of Youth, because the system will discover that the cost of an individual's health care really spikes in the last year of life, and then we will be in the crosshairs of Nurse Nancy's policy initiatives. Soylent Green, anyone?
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