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GaHillBilly

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  1. John Merriman's Lecture "Imperialists and Boy Scouts" in his course "European Civilization, 1648-1945" YouTube of lecture: Transcript: http://oyc.yale.edu/history/european-civilization-1648-1945/content/transcripts/transcript15
  2. Moderators: I'm posting this here, in I & P, because I suspect this topic will be more disturbing to many Scouters than either the 'Gay Scout' or the AGW topics. However, feel free to move it if you wish. Background: I'm working on a series of presentations about Scouting, for groups of home school parents. I expect few, if any, of these parents will have had any recent contact with Scouting. Many will come from conservative church backgrounds in which Scouting was not highly respected. But, it appears the groups will be larger than I'd initially expected. The list below, when corrected, will be provided as a part of the advance materials provided to attendees. I have two goals for these meetings. First, I want to help home school parents understand how Scouting -- as it ACTUALLY exists -- can help them educate their sons. I will be providing them with not only Scouting information, but also a troop list. (Ironically, this is something I'll have to compile: it's not available on request from the Council.) Second, I'm hoping to find 4 - 6 boys whose parents are interested in Lone Scouting (an option for home schoolers), so my son and I can create a sort of Lone Scout Patrol. (I do not have the time to start a troop, and be an SM.) My goals for this patrol are reflected in the "Good Troop" list below. About the list: I'm sure many of you will find this list offensive. To be blunt, I'm not trying to be inoffensive here (Surprised?) What I DO care about, is making it as accurate and informative as possible. Collectively, the people here have seen far more troops than I, and can help me improve the list's accuracy. I'm SURE the list has factual errors, and I'm eager to correct them. However, I'm not trying to 'sell' Scouting or make it look better than it is, or make Scouters feel good about themselves. Please note: when I say something like "Be able to . . . " or "Can use . . .", I mean actually use, outside the presence of a Scouter, and more than a day after the last instruction. Thus, if Scouts had tied bowlines successfully an hour after a class, but could not do so the next day, that not show up as an achieved skill. Likewise, I distinguish being able to DO something, and being able to USE it. So, continuing the illustration, if a Scout can tie a bowline, but not actually apply it appropriately, the skill note would be "Able to . . . " and not "Uses . . .". For what it's worth, both of the troops we were actively involved with, fit firmly in the "Typical" category below. We know of some troops that fall into the "Average" category, but they are too far away. I've heard of a couple of troops that fit the "Good" category. From the camporees and other Council events we've attended, I suspect I'm being generous in putting only 60% of troops in the typical category. GaHillBilly ======================================================= What Can Parents Expect from 3 years of Scouting ======================================================= ------------------------------------------------------- All troops: + Cost: $320 - 800 per year (some => $2,400+) + Uniform & books: $160 1x + Meetings: 2x - 4x per month + Outings: 0x - 1x per school month, plus camp + Leaders: older Scout parents ------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------- Typical (60% of troops): + Tent / car camping - 15+ nights [ 6 outings X 1 nights X 3 years ] + Scout camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6 ] + Hiked 30+ miles in 3 years + Cook a dish on a camp stove + Set up a tent with help + Have heard of the buddy system. + Have participated in 'service projects' of 3 hours or more. - 2x + Have 'sold' overpriced popcorn - Has been bullied some, unless strong or 'tough' (I haven't encountered severe bullying.) - Troop is may be made of boys from some local group or organization (like band); Scouts not part of that group are often excluded. - Scout tent conversations dominated by scatological or sexual topics; expressed attitude toward girls typically predatory - Scouts regularly and openly display disrespectful attitudes toward leaders - Electronics dominate campground atmosphere - Leaders know little about natural history and have very weak outdoor skills - Leaders are severely overweight and / or unfit, and incapable of hiking more than a mile or two. - Has been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements - Has been typically taught by Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled - Has come to accept dishonest advancement as 'normal' ------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------- Acceptable (35% of troops): + Tent camping - 30+ nights [ 6 outings X 2 nights X 3 years) + Scout camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6] + Have camped in bad weather - 4 nights + Have followed the buddy system under adult direction. + Hike 60+ miles + Bike 60+ miles + Pass swim test + Cook a meal on a camp stove + Tie a square knot and a clove hitch + Handle -- but not use -- a knife safely + Handle -- but not use -- a hand axe safely + Recognize poison ivy some of the time. + Set up a tent. + Start a fire with a firestarter. + Have participated in 'service projects' of 3 hours or more. - 6x + Have 'sold' overpriced popcorn to friends and family + Have participated in a not-to-obnoxious fund raiser. + Some leaders are readily able to bike 20+ miles or hike 10+ on an outing + Some leaders have good outdoor skills and natural history knowledge. - Has been bullied rarely. - Scout tent conversations often contain by scatological or sexual topics; expressed attitude toward girls may be predatory. - Some Scouts have, but conceal, disrespectful attitudes toward leaders. - Some leaders are severely overweight and / or unfit, and incapable of hiking more than a mile or two. - May have been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements - Has been sometimes taught by Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled - Is aware of dishonest advancement, but most advancement is 'real'. Has accepted dishonest MB awards. ------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------- Good (less than 10% of troops): "Be able to" INCLUDES "has practiced". I mean, really "able to". + Tent camping - 40+ nights [ 8 outings X 2 nights X 3 years) + Scout camp OR Troop camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6] + Have camped in bad weather - 6 nights + Hike 120+ miles + Bike 120+ miles + Canoe 10+ miles + Had high adventure opportunity (white water, caving, climbing, etc.) 2x + Is able to pass swim and rescue test + Cook all food on a campout using either a camp stove OR fire. + Understand and practice basic food and prep sanitation. + Understand and practice basic personal hygiene in camp. + Understand and practice methods of avoiding inappropriate changes to camp area. (Doesn't hack live trees or chase squirrels randomly!) + Understand why most park rangers dislike Scouts; avoids behavior which has created this situation. + Uses most Scout knots effectively + Uses a knife fairly safely + Uses a hand axe fairly safely + Know how a knife or axe can be sharpened. + Orient a map with a compass quickly. + Uses a map and compass to navigate through a series of trails with multiple turns. + Has practiced navigating in woods using a compass and natural features to reach a destination. + Has gone on a 5+ mile hike with a buddy, but no adults. + Sees and recognizes 10 or more local animals. + Sees and recognizes 10 or more local trees. + Sees and recognizes common local invasive plants. + Sees and recognizes poison ivy most of the time. + Is able to recognize and respond to other natural hazards, such as ticks, deadfalls, potentially rabid animals, etc. + Has practiced appropriate and safe rescue methods for water, fire, heights, etc. + Is aware of, and considers, outdoor risks such as drowing, falls, animals, infections, cold, heat, thirst, lighting etc. + Able to identify and respond appropriately to most outdoor risks. + Possesses a basic understanding of human limits, ie., 15 minutes in freezing water, 3 days w/o water, 3 weeks w/o food, etc. + Has utilized basic home first aid skills (small cuts, burns, etc.) + Has habitually used the buddy system in activities with risk. + Has learned AND practiced emergency skills (first aid, transport, fire response, etc.) + Is familiar with, and have practiced, EMS contact and communication. + Can set up a tent or emergency shelter under challenging conditions. + Starts a fire in difficult conditions with only matches. + Is familiar with, and have practiced woods self-rescue techniques. + Has participated in useful service projects of 3 hours or more. - 6x + Has participated in overnight service trip - 1x + Has NOT 'sold' overpriced popcorn to friends and family. + Has participated in a fund raiser with community value. (Work, etc.) + Leaders have strong outdoor skills and natural history knowledge. + Leaders are readily able to bike 20+ miles or hike 10+ on an outing + Some leaders are able to lead high adventure outings. - Older Scouts despise bullying. - Scout tent conversations may contain by scatalogical or sexual topics; but predatory attitudes toward girls are condemned. - Scouts do not display, and rarely have, disrespectful attitudes toward leaders - May have been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements - Leaderships actively avoids Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled - Troop rejects dishonest advancement -------------------------------------------------------
  3. Horizon, only you know if people 'like you' are the sort of Scouters I've seen locally who ignore bad behavior in older Scouts. You associated your self with those people, not me. Locally, the adults who've behaved like this have fallen into two categories: 1. Wussies, who are too timid to confront anyone, & 2. Scouter-Parents, who are protecting their sons, or sons of their friends. Likewise, the bullies I encountered personally years ago were not the BMOC types, but wannabes who hadn't made it. The bullies I've seen in Scouting, with one exception, have been nerds who wanted to pass on what they'd suffered. The exception was the most dangerous, but he wasn't really a bully. He was a very, very angry kid with a terrible home life. I don't actually consider him a bully, because he was a likely to go off on someone much larger, as he was someone smaller. Regarding my "internet bullying", you can accuse all you want, but I don't consider exposing an anti-Scouting activist, who has no other association with Scouting to be bullying. I was over the top, with my remarks about others here. I can only plead that I was dismayed to find that a prolific and long-term poster here is not a Scouter at all, nor even friendly to Scouting in the least way. There IS some evidence that there are others, but not proof, and I haven't been able to go further, without spending more time and effort than I'm willing to put into it. But, if I find other non-Scouters here, posing implicitly as Scouters, and I can verify what I suspect, I will expose them, as well. If Terry Howerton publicly tells me that I should not, or if it's in forum rules (which I can't find at the moment), then I won't. It's his forum, not mine. I have no problem with a pro-gay Scouter debating this with me. I find it very frustrating to discover that I've been debating with an gay / atheist activist as if he were a Scouter. HiLo, you keep accusing me of things that you don't seem able to support. Is your "bigotry" remark directed at me? If so, can you support it, or is it just another one of your "you big meanie, you" type remarks? Does your "bullying with words" remark have any substance, or you do you just mean that "I'm losing the argument, and I don't like it."? Hilo, this is the "Issues and Politics" section, which on most forums means "intellectual hardball". If you want to play nerf ball, this is the wrong section. But, if you'll stop trying to make plays beyond your skill level, I'll stop slamming you. Nobody is skilled at all of it. I almost always disagree with DanKroh, but don't think I've ever slammed him because he tries to be rational and stick to what he can support. I *try* to do the same. The problem is, most people tend to hold positions without really knowing how they got them. That doesn't mean they are wrong, but it usually means that they don't have a REASONED basis for what they think. When someone tries to play a hand here they can't back, on a thread I'm following, I tend to call. If they were bluffing, they usually lose. But, with absorbed beliefs, they usually don't realize that they WERE bluffing until they get called. I see this happen all the time within the evangelical community. I'm pretty sure it happens within ANY closed intellectual circle, whether it's the pro-AGW crowd, the KKK, the B'nai Brith, the snake handlers in Kentucky or car salesmen considering predatory sales tactics. If everyone else around you thinks your ideas are OK, you'll tend to agree. But, you won't really know till you test them elsewhere. Today, there's a broad river of PC thought that goes unchallenged. That makes it easy to accept, and there's all sorts of encouragement to do so, whether it's from the MSM, or your college professor. However, many of these beliefs are just as easy to demolish as a belief in a 6,000 year old world. But, where the guy who accepts Bishop Ussher's dates for Adam's creation will constantly be reminded that most people think that's stupid, those of you who accept some of the currently PC idiocies won't really have to support them till you encounter a curmudgeon like me, or even Kudu. It's like bad breath. Someone who's really nice won't tell you that you reek like week old road kill. But, attacking the guy who does tell you won't make it go away. GaHillBilly
  4. Gee, BeavAH. You're complaining about how other people argue, after you confirm for us that "Yah, as I've said, I don't know enough to comment about da science, eh?" So, you tell us you don't know what you are talking about -- something that Vol and I and Brent already knew -- and yet . . . you . . . keep . .. commenting? How come? I initially was impressed by your financial knowledge, and figured you might know enough math to understand what some of the problems were. But, then you went and spoiled it all when you came out with this little gem: "It's very hard to predict markets in the short term, but in the longer term they're driven by underlyin' economics." Ayep. That's about as helpful as saying, "Yeah, I'm not sure where that bullet's going, but you needn't worry because sooner or later, if it doesn't hit something, gravity will get it." Amazing insight, that one. [ For those without college credits in economics, let me explain that just what the "underlyin' economics" are, in both market-driven and in government-controlled economies, REMAINS a subject of considerable academic debate. BeavAH's statement is a classic example of popular political statements that sound impressive, but actually turn out to mean almost nothing, once you work them out. ] Understanding the problems with the AGW propganda does not require a degree in climatology. It does require some knowledge of how peer-reviewed science and tenure-track careers work, of statistically evaluated data sets, of proxy measurements and their inherent uncertainties, and of complex computer models. Not everyone here lacks that knowledge, but clearly, you do. So, why don't you take your own statements seriously? GaHillBilly
  5. Horizon & Dan; I don't understand how identifying a regular poster on a Scouter forum as an anti-Scouting activist is bullying. Perhaps you can explain that to me. Horizon I don't know, but Dan, I'm disappointed. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't consider identifying a anti-gay activist on a homosexual support forum to be "bullying". Regarding the statement that, "The worst bullying I see is from He Man Macho Scouts and Scouters", that may well be true in some cases. But the bullying I've seen was by nerds and wussies, doing it unto others. Regarding Scouters, I'm pretty sure that the parents of the SPL and former SPL (now, known as Eagle-Scout-Who-Cannot-Tie-Square-Knot) as having 'bullied' them. But, would I be a "He Man Macho Scouter"? I'm not sure. My high school nerd credentials are impeccable: non-athlete, Chess Club, yearbook staff, Boys' Club volunteer tutor. And though I got pretty strong and coordinated later, in high school I was neither. On the other hand, I grew up in the country, and have baled hay, shoveled cow sh## till my snot ran brown, and hiked all over the countryside alone. Oh yeah, I went climbing and backpacking and didn't get fat till I was 40. I didn't get bullied much, because I learned fairly early that he who goes beserk first often gets treated as too much trouble to mess with. I never bullied anyone in jr hi, or high school, unless you count verbal insulting matches. But those were more like nerd-duels. So, can a nerd be a "He Man Macho Scouter"? [ Just a thought: Baden-Powell apparently had no 'nerd' or 'wussie' credentials, and massive 'He-Man' credentials. Does that mean that he was a bully, Dan? ] Nevertheless, I have a very low tolerance for older youth who lie, cheat, steal, and bully younger kids, and our last troop had an SPL and an former SPL who did all of those. I'm pretty sure, from the look on his face, Eagle-Who-Cannot,etc. had never been spoken to before as I did, the last time he tried to cut out and distract a group of younger Scouts who were intent on learning some first aid skills. Those two older Scouts were definitely afraid of me. Does THAT make me a bully? There were two other older Scouts. One was aloof, but the 4th was definitely angling to be my 'buddy', but neither was in any way afraid of me. And, I'm pretty sure none of the younger ones were. In fact, as I reflect on it, I'm certain they were not, because by the time we left, they were coming to me in preference to the other long term leaders when there was a problem. So, Horizon, if you are Eagle's mom or her clone . . . I guess you do consider me a bullying Scouter. For sure, if I'd stayed, Eagle-Who-Cannot would have been unlikely to Eagle . . . especially after he hid out while the rest of us were working on "his" Eagle project. GaHillBilly
  6. Merlyn (AKA Brian of "Scouting for All"), I've answered you which is more than you deserve. Given that you are just an anti-Scouting activist, I have no reason to reply to you further. OGE asked; "GaHillBilly, are you saying, based on your experience, that most scouters would rather allow scouts to be sexually abused rather than turn in a suspected child abuser?" No. I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to, but rather than try to go back, I'll state as precisely what I can, here. 1. On several topics including this one, I've tried to avoid "most" in favor of "many". I only have experience with Scouters here, and locally. That's enough to say "many", but not to establish "most", as in a majority nationally. If I said "most", I probably should have said "many". 2. I suspect the number of Scouters who'd CONSCIOUSLY overlook sexual abuse is limited to actual abusers, and is both a small number and a small percentage. 3. However, I think MANY Scouters have a 'hear no evil', 'see no evil', 'say no evil' approach to MANY topics, including bogus advancement and bullying. I have actually SEEN this happen locally in multiple circumstances, sufficiently to justify the statement that "MANY, and probably "MOST", local Scouters tend to overlook both dishonesty and bullying. 4. I SUSPECT, but cannot prove, that this Sergeant Schultz-like "I see nothink!" approach to bullying, etc. WILL result in Scouters ALSO not watching closely on those infrequent occasions when bullying goes all the way to sexual abuse. I believe that this is a reasonable conclusion, given the evidence. 5. Before my discovery that Merlyn was actually a non-Scouting pro-gay pro-atheist activist, his unwillingness to recognize that ANY negative results might follow led me to give thought to how people with such commitments will deal with sexual problems involving gay Scouts. I do think that there are some other trolls or ringers here besides Merlyn, but I also am sure that there are some actual Scouters who are pro-gay or pro-atheist. In general, people are reluctant to admit that ideas they support may lead to problems. I've seen this repeatedly, and most clearly, in public education fads. Teachers, and especially administrative types, have a massive allergy toward any statements that acknowledge the down side of new educational approaches. Some of these changes are probably good ideas, but almost all changes have some negative effects. I'm not picking on education; I could have given examples from the evangelical community, but didn't because the details would be too arcane. However, this is a HUMAN tendency that AFAIK affects everyone. I have no idea what you do, but many people have seen this pattern in their work place: those who fought for a new idea, often are later found fighting to conceal the problems or damages that resulted. This is often the case, even when the 'new idea' was basically a good one. Consequently, I consider it very likely that pro-gay Scouters will have an even stronger tendency to overlook bullying behavior, including bullying sexual abuse, than do other Scouters. Given that "MANY" Scouters already tend to overlook bullying, I find this frightening. You may disagree, but I believe that a SINGLE episode of sexual abuse is FAR more damaging than a SINGLE occasion of being beaten up by a bully. 6. I can't imagine any kind of study that could settle this question absolutely. Perhaps something is possible. Vol_Scouter might know. But, short of that, the discussion of risk to Scouts has to proceed, on BOTH sides, without proof and instead must rest only on reasonable plausibilities. I hope that's clear. I'm not sure I can do better. GaHillBilly
  7. "But, Merlyn, my problem with you has been, almost from the start, your dishonesty." I acknowledge that that statement has problems; it implies that I have known from the beginning that you were here dishonestly. However as you know, I have only recently discovered that for a certainty. I tried to rewrite the statement, but I haven't been able to find a succinct way to state what I meant, so instead I'll give you a list: + Not all dishonesty consists of telling overt lies. I have not accused you of lying in that manner. + The earliest perception I can recall, regarding your dishonesty, was that you were insincere in your discussion. What I noted was that you never (or almost never?) acknowledged error or correction, even when your arguments were totally blown out of the water. This is the mark of someone who's not discussing sincerely, but is religiously committed to their opinion, no matter what the evidence. + A later perception was your behavior that I've described as acting like a toothless pitbull: even when you had nothing cogent or relevant to say, you would continue to argue against positions you disliked. + Another feature of your dishonesty is your almost immediate resort to ad hominem arguments. You often don't have particularly strong rational arguments for your positions, and when you don't, you switch to attacking the person instead. You are not the only who behaves this way here, but as best I can recall, you are far and away the worst. All of these behaviors constitute dishonesty, though not overt lying. I confess, until I discovered that you were actually Brian Westley of "Scouting for All", and are an anti-Scouting activist, I found your behavior puzzling. I couldn't figure out why you were here. Of course, now the answer is obvious: you are just an activist who wants to punish Scouting for excluding gays and atheists. Ironically, it appears that you don't couldn't care less whether Scouting is seriously damaged or destroyed. That explains why you've never seemed to respond to arguments that doing this or that thing (which you want) will seriously damage Scouting as an organization. For you, destroying Scouting altogether seems to be just as good as forcing it to accept gays and atheists. But, to return to your original point, my earlier statement, especially in the context of prior discussion, could be taken to have implied that I was accusing you of outright lies. Though I wouldn't personally trust you with my wallet, I did not mean to even imply that you have lied outright here, so to the extent that I did so, I both withdraw that statement, and apologize. GaHillBilly
  8. BeavAH, the Guardian article is a good catch. But, if you'll check back, you'll see I'd already asked for the journal article. The Guardian did link that: [ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7191/abs/nature06921.html ]. However, none of that justifies your original assertion that JoeBob & I were listening to the "neocon echo chamber". The fact that the Mail article has been quote or referred to in neocon blogs -- NONE of which I read, AFAIK -- in no way warrants your slur. I STILL don't even know if that claim is true, though I consider it plausible. But, unless you have evidence that JoeBob reads them, and first heard of the Mail article from them, your slur remains Merlynysque and fact-free. In fact, if you compare the Nature abstract (Refer to earlier rant about having to PAY for government sponsored reasearch!), with the Mail and Guardian articles, something interesting seems to appear. It *looks* like the Mail article is pretty confirmed in what they claim Latif said. In the Guardian article, Latif seems not to be repudiating what the Mail claimed (which after all appears to be available at Nature - (RANT RANT)) but expressing dismay that his research is attracting interest by anti-AGW folk. This in turn suggest that PRECISELY what some of us fear concerning the AGW "consensus" is true: it's politically structured and will PUNISH dissenters. Latif appears to be engaging in some major CYA. Again, without full access to the Nature article I can't say for sure. But, it appears that his article provides "corrections" to current (and all previous) climatology models that are so extensive, as to invalidate all them as predictively useful. That's BIG news. That means that all the 'scientific proof' that AGW is an immediate crisis turns out to be a bad WAG (Wild A$$ Guess). Latif, who does genuflect at the AGW altar, nevertheless says that his corrections lead to predictions that NO warming will occur for at least the next decade and that 50% of any past warming is NOT AGW (Anthropogenic). So we're left with three critical questions: 1. What would Latif say, if he didn't fear the pro-AGW community? 2. Given that we know that current (and all previous) climate models are useless because they didn't include Latif's corrections, how much trust do they deserve WITH Latif's corrections? 3. Why did BeavAH make fact-free assertions about JoeBob's and my reading list? GaHillBilly
  9. "I'd say it's not specific, because not everyone can agree what it means. How do you know if you are being loyal the way the Scout Law means it? What does duty to God mean? Because different people, and especially different leaders, have differing interpretations of this, it makes it hard to hold people to some standard. It's certainly not a "standard" in the way that international standards are normally set." Actually, under at least SOME BSA regs on the topic, the CO should define the precise definition of these terms. Of course, I gather that few COs have ever been very involved. And, with the demise of what might be called "American civic religion", the value definitions have defaulted post-modern emptiness. However, I suspect this is only a peripheral contributor to the problem. I think a far more significant issue is that most Scouters lack genuine Scout skills, and thus are put in the awkward position of 'requiring' what they can't do, and don't understand, themselves. Kudu, who seems to know more about this than anyone, has suggested the modern skill-less Scouter is the product of both the skill-less Scouting introduced in the 70's and the transformation of Wood Badge from skill acquisition training for Scouters, to an rah-rah motivational and managerial bonding ceremony. I don't know for sure. I do know that most Scouters I've encountered locally can't do most of the things they are supposed to teach their Scouts to do, and know. Oak Tree, I think you've given a great example of how the Wood Badge managerial approach Scouting helps turn Scouting from something into nothing. However, if you really want to take your own words seriously, it would be possible to define trustworthiness VERY SPECIFICALLY in terms of + how you completed rank & MB requirements; + how you prepared for trips; + how you reported negative events among the Scouts, etc. And, almost ALL of the advancement and MB requirements could be handled as a set of 'performance standards' (applying recent educational jargon). I could even write a performance standard for "reverent" that could legitimately be applied (I think) to almost any CO lying within the realm of orthodox Judaism, Christianity, or Mormonism. So, there's nothing about many of the Scouting goals that forces them to be aspirational, instead of real. Let's give the credit for the triumph of "aspirational goals" over real goals where it's due: BSA National, Wood Badge, and local Scouter preference. GaHillBilly
  10. Brent, I think Beavuh has just been taking lessons from Merlyn (aka Brian Westley of "Scouting for All) and posting ABOUT the Daily Mail article, without actually reading it. It certainly makes it easier to post, when you don't have to deal with all those pesky facts. Beavuh, since the UK Daily Mail article is too long or hard for you, here's a quote: "Among the most prominent of the scientists is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been pushing the issue of man-made global warming on to the international political agenda since it was formed 22 years ago. Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germanys Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start. He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September. Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles perhaps as much as 50 per cent." I'm assuming you know that the term "neocons" refers to some American thinkers, and not to any UK or even German political thinkers, much less German scientists. My only question for you is, do you have the grit to acknowledge your error or are you turning into Merlyn LeRoy, Jr? GaHillBilly PS: I guess I have another question. Did you even notice that the link was to a BRITISH paper??
  11. HiLo wrote "And GaHB, there's a difference between lying and misunderstanding. The latter is guaranteed with long posts on the Internet. (As you have already acknowledged.) I've already apologised for doing that, and hereby apologise for all future incidences." I do recall a sort of acknowledgment, but nothing that I read as an apology. However, you have clearly done so now, and I do accept that. So, we're good, now. BUT . . . my point wasn't about you; it was about the REACTION to the exchange between you and me. My point was that many or even most posters here -- echoing patterns I've seen among Scouters locally -- care more about 'making nice' than being honest, and thus were more offended by my calling you on what you did, than on what you did. Their reaction precisely mirrored the pattern I've seen in dealing with serious transgressions by older Scouts. And, ironically, that same pattern is a major reason why I don't trust Scouters to keep Scouts safe in the presence of potential predators, whether they are homosexual as we've discussed here, or heterosexual as is apparently the case in schools in South Africa (I linked a study on that topic earlier). Many Scouters want to 'make nice' more than they want to be brave or trustworthy or clean. And, confronting evil behavior by Scouts or Scouters often can't be done 'nicely'. So, to allow them to 'stay nice' they just stick their head in the sand and "just believe". Just so I'm clear: I can't recall any statements that would make me think that you behave this way, Hilo. GaHillBilly
  12. I just finished running some early morning errands, and I had time to reflect a bit on this. After thinking about it, I believe your response, LisaBob, is the one I find most disturbing. Merlyn is just a distraction and a waste of time, because I already had a fair idea what atheist and gay activists think. What I wanted to know was what other Scouters thought, and how they'd respond to various arguments. But your response, LisaBob, is typical of many other Scouters I've encountered here locally and on this forum. Before I entered Scouting, I'd never encountered the term "aspirational goal", and it confused me. When I asked about it, I got vague and confusing answers. Eventually, I discovered that it meant, a "goal we like to talk about, but don't actually expect anyone to achieve". In traditional Scouting -- in the Scouting that established BSA's reputation -- a Scout was expected to actually BE trustworthy. Those who failed were corrected, or expelled if they would not accept correction. Sometimes, the failures were concealed, because real goals tend to lead to real shame and real hypocrisy. But in modern Scouting, the idea that "a Scout is trustworthy" is a purely 'aspirational goal'. Consequently, there can be no 'real failures'; there's no need for expulsion, and no one has to be a hypocrite . . . because no one ever REALLY expected Scouts to be trustworthy. After all, those goals are only 'aspirational', not real. + That attitude explains why, when in our last troop the SPL lied outright to a BOR about completing a requirement, the other leaders focused on getting him to complete the requirement, and not on the lie. + That attitude explains why, here, when HiLo (in the AGW thread) lied outright about what I'd said, and then I called him on it, several posters focused on me, for "uncivility" rather than on him, as a liar. + And, that attitude explains why LisaBob, when my investigation uncovers Merlyn's dishonesty, you find my actions, not his, "creepy". I wish I could say that your response, LisaBob, is not typical of Scouters. But, I can't. I've come to understand that it is typical of many, and maybe even most. And it explains why so much of modern Scouting is fake. Real skills, real knowledge, real honesty are, for many Scouters today, only "aspirational goals". There's no longer any need for correction, for instruction, for repentance, for forgiveness, for genuine growth and progress . . . for character . . . because all that stuff is only 'aspirational', not real. The benefit, of course, is that in modern Scouting there are no hypocrites. There's nothing to be hypocritical about. In order for there to be real hypocrites, you have to first have real values and real goals. Perhaps the one thing I do agree with Merlyn about, is that the BSA today is often dishonest and untrustworthy, if you define "honesty" and "trustworthy" the way they were when BP started Scouting. GaHillBilly
  13. Hilo asked, "Do you want views you disagree with banned?" No, but I do think it's relevant to know who's party to a discussion. Merlyn's presence here, as an acknowledged anti-Scouting activist, is equivalent to a KKK member posting on an NAACP board, a PLO member posting on a Jewish board for kibbutz members. They are there, not to discuss, but as "trolls". LisaBob commented, "OK I think it is pretty creepy that you are keeping "notes" on posters" Ok. So you find that creepy. I find it creepy that people post under false pretenses. As a former forum operator myself, I have found that anonymity is far more often used to conceal dishonorable activity, than to protect honorable actions. I've preferred to remain anonymous here, because doing so has allowed me to ask, and pursue questions, far more bluntly and vigorously than I can in real life with people I'm going to try to work with. But, otherwise, what I am here, I am in real life. NJCubScouter asked, "Let's not make this forum into Wikipedia, where people try to personally destroy those who they disagree with." Wikipedia is a good example, NJ, but not for the reason you state. So far as I know, the only attempts to personally destroy people are by those who post FALSE or MISLEADING information about Wikipedia entries. The people who do so are referred to as (again for those not familiar with the term) Internet trolls . . . just like Merlyn is here. Trolls, and NOT those who expose them, are a primary threat to Wikipedia's operation and reliability. It would not surprise me at all to find that Merlyn has modified Wikipedia Scouting entries. If he's done so accurately and honestly, I have no problem with that. But otherwise . . . Finally, Merlyn asked "No comment on the BSA's dishonesty from you?" Actually, if you were active in the Scouting activity portion of the forum, you'd know that I have. The systemic dishonesty in the BSA's handling of Scout and Scouter skills (ie, bogus advancement and Merit Badges) has been a primary topic I've raised here. Initially, I was incredibly confused about this, and found it hard to believe that the problem was unofficially considered to be a non-issue. So, no, I do NOT considered the BSA, as an organization, to be "trustworthy". I think they have some amazing organizational history, still reflected in a few amazing troops, and they have some great materials and traditions that would be really hard to develop from scratch. And they still have a tremendously positive (if now undeserved!) community reputation among adults. (The reputation among kids is not so good!) But, otherwise, I think the BSA is an organization that has increasingly abandoned its primary goals, but is unwilling to acknowledge that openly. As Kudu's posts have made clear in the past, the BSA is an organization with inconsistent goals and purposes at its very core . . . and that makes it hard to be honest. But, Merlyn, my problem with you has been, almost from the start, your dishonesty. I'd noted long before, that when you totally lost an argument, it had zero effect on your opinions. That's behavior typical of a religious activist, not someone who's genuinely asking questions or seeking answers. Your own response show that you are not listening to anyone who disagrees with you, for example, in the AGW section where you've posted stupidity followed by ignorance followed by non-comprehension). You already have the answers you want, and you hold to them by a faith demonstrated to be irrational by your own response. Since I'm here at present -- on a Scouter forum -- to find out what and how Scouters locally think, without having to ask them questions that are really awkward, it's very frustrating to find out that at least one, and probably several of the prolific posters here are not Scouters at all, but trolls like you. If I were Scouter.com's admin and owner, it would concern me greatly. Allowing trolls to remain unmolested is a well established recipe for destroying a discussion forum. GaHillBilly
  14. Hey JoeBob; Just saw that lo-o-ng article myself -- kinda impressive. Started to post it, and saw you'd beaten me to the punch. If you dig up any of the underlying journal articles, please post them. Had a thought, though. I haven't checked, but my recollection is that most of us who doubt AGW do just that -- we don't think it's been proven, but definitely think it's stupid to spend trillions on stopping something that may not even happen. On the other hand, at least some of the true believers are SURE (hello, Beavuh!) that AGW has been proved. I wonder if we could get a five year bet pool going, to be settled up in 2015 as either proven, disproved or abandoned, or still uncertain. I think I could pony up at least a quarter! I think I'd like to be able to take Beavuh's quarters in 5 years. What kind of odds would you give us, Beavuh? Surely, all you guys who are ready to spend trillions of taxpayer money would give us at least 10:1 odds. So, if I scrape together $10, I can collect $100 in 2015? Since vol_scouter is a MD, maybe he'd be able to lay down $1000, and match up $10,000 in "sure, we're sure" money? But, if y'all won't do that, I still think we could spend those AGW trillions in a MUCH more fun way, by developing a world wide ANTI-ASTEROID system, which is actually likely to be needed sooner or later. I mean, it doesn't make any sense to fight global warming, and still let asteroids through! Some of those asteroids are ice and rock snowballs, and the hotter it is, the smaller that ol' asteroid will be when it hits the ground! If you don't like that idea, here in the US, we could spend trillions trying to glue the New Madrid fault line together. It's getting close to its due date, and this time, it won't just create a great fishing lake. Yes, I know: the San Andreas fault is also due, but around here some of us aren't sure whether it would hurt or help the country if that part of US fell into the ocean. But, I suppose if they help fix ours, it's only fair that we help fix theirs. (But maybe we could turn it into an island that would float off, and eventually get stuck to the coast of France?) There are probably other good ways to waste a $1,000,000,000,000 that Obama hasn't thought of yet. Heck, with programs like "Leave No Trace", maybe the Boy Scouts could propose eliminating all harmful chemicals from the US, starting with that pesky dihydrogen oxide that kills so many folks each year, including the odd Boy Scout! GaHillBilly
  15. "No, Minnesota" I stand corrected. I had it right in the notes, but my memory failed me as I wrote the post. Regardless of that, your relationship to Scouting is 100% negative. As far as I can tell, you do not support anything that Scouting does, or is. The only thing apparently that you actually SUPPORT is mandating a maximal presence of atheists and homosexuals among youth. If you win your campaign against Scouting, I suppose you'd simply turn to something else, like trying to force religious colleges hire gays or atheists. You are here, not as a Scouter, but as a pro-gay, pro-atheist activist. Scouting is simply the particular realm on which you've focused your activism. And, it appears you are not alone. However, the connections we've been able to make between some other forum names, and real life people, is not yet strong enough to post. GaHillBilly
  16. CA_Scouter, my comment is an inference from your actions. HiLo first blatantly lied about what I'd said (stupid, since what I'd said was posted) and then followed up by deliberately distorting it. You said nothing about his actions. But, when I bluntly call him on is, you rebuke me. It's reasonable to infer that you find his action (lying and distorting) more civil than mine (bluntly challenging him on it), since you responded to one, not the other. acco40, you are entirely correct that you don't know that. But I, unlike HiLo, *do* have data on the topic that can establish my statement that I do no such thing. She's been dead 2 years, and had idiopathic lung disease for 2 years prior to that, so she wasn't having sex with anyone, much less me. Of course, I didn't in any way bring up the topic, or make it relevant. By contrast, HiLo claimed to have information that it is improbable that he, or anyone else, possesses, and indeed, it would be hard for anyone to have that data. So, while I would know the truth about your ridiculous statement, HiLo does not, and probably could not, know whether his was true. Perhaps, this too is a reflection of his cavalier regard for trustworthiness. HiLo, you're either too lazy or too dishonest to have a right to post about what I've written. I have detailed the contacts I've had over the years with homosexuals INCLUDING the fact that I have worked for, and with, several different homosexual individuals without incident and with friendly and successful conclusion of the work AND that my wife currently works with a male gay elementary school teacher who she and I both respect highly AS A TEACHER, and with whom we both have friendly relations. I don't know if you read those bits, and decided to AGAIN deliberately misrepresent what I've said, or if you just decided that reading my admittedly long posts was too much trouble, and so you'd just make stuff up. Either one is dishonest. However, I'm gonna quit. I thought I was talking with Scouts and Scouters here. But, my son read through this thread, and got curious about some of the posters. Google and a little investigative cleverness goes a long way, and he's found out some really surprising things. I'm not sure whether we'll post them or not. But, since he's made no great secret of it, I'll mention Merlyn Leroy's case. He -- Brian Westley -- is the Maryland director of "Scouting for All", and according to his OWN bio information, that is his only association with Scouting. He has reported that he was once a Cub Scout. He also reports (not here!) that he has been actively involved in legal actions against Scouting. So, instead of discussing this with Scouters, I've, at least in part, been wasting my time with anti-Scouting political activists. GaHillBilly
  17. HiLo, that's the second time you've deliberately misrepresented what I've said. The first time, you lied . . . but it might have been an accident simply because you replied without first bothering to read what I'd said. But for doing it twice, there's no excuse. I have never said that "I hate homos", or anything that is equivalent to that. I defy you to produce a quote to that effect. I never offered an opinion as to what your view were, beyond the fact that you want to allow gays in the BSA, for which you yourself have stated support. What I said was, that I DO NOT KNOW what your views are about youth sex. And I do not, for you have not stated them. To respond as you have once might be an accident; twice is simply dishonest. I had not said before that I distrust you or considered you dishonest. But I say it now. You are dishonest in your accusations and argument. The evidence is here for all to see, if they are willing to look. GaHillBilly For CA_Scouter: So, lying and misrepresenting another's statements meets with your approval? That's certainly revealing. For acco40: When HiLo lies about what I've said, that's civil? And when I call him on it, that's uncivil? I suppose that's true, in PC world.
  18. "But I do know that the issue of homosexuality, a big one for you and the BSA, is not an issue in Australian Scouting. We have no rules about it, and I'm aware of no incidents where it was a concern within the past 15 years." It may be "no issue" for you, but the question is, WHY is it no issue? + Because you have no tents where one boy is experimenting on another boy? + Or because you don't mind that there are tents where such experimentation is taking place? + Or because you don't know, and avoid knowing what's going on? One of the things I've realized from this discussion is that the 'head-is-in-the-sand' approach to sex I've seen among so many parents, both in and out of Scouting, extends to homo-sex with pro-gay adults. Many adults are convinced that -- whatever the price -- homos must be allowed everywhere heteros are allowed. Following this policy WILL have negative consequences, but the best way to avoid feeling guilty is to avoid thinking or knowing about such things. I see this all the time, here, with respect to bullying in elementary or middle schools. This bullying often includes a sexual humiliation element. But parents who don't have available any better options than the public schools, don't like to think about what's going on, especially if their child is a part of the problem. And teachers, already overburdened with obligations, and who have lost all the most effective behavioral deterrents, would rather not think about what's going on either. For both, 'not thinking about it' is a way to avoid feeling responsible or burdened by the problems. This thread has made me realize that that is PRECISELY the way many pro-gay adults will deal with the problems that will result in Scouting from allowing declared gays to participate. And, it's only reasonable to presume that this is ALREADY taking place to a greater or lesser degree in countries where declared gays are allowed in Scouting. I don't know if you are behaving this way, Hilo, or not. But if you tell me that you observed X happening, I'll be likely to believe you. However, if you tell me that you did not observe X happening and that therefore it did not happen, I'll need to know if you were in the right place at the right time AND looking, when X might have happened. And, since I don't know those things, I don't know how meaningful your assurances really are. GaHillBilly
  19. Gern, you're talking nonsense. OF COURSE, a ban on homosexual (or bisexual) pedophiles doesn't work when they are successful at concealing what they are. We ban murderers. But, we still have murders. Just not as many as if we didn't ban them! GaHillBilly
  20. "since my word isn't good enough on its own" And, if I told you that TODAY I carefully and completely inspected every apple tree in an orchard of 10,000 for apple rust, will you believe me? Of course not! If you would, you aren't as intelligent as I've been giving you credit for. You're not thinking, HiLo. When you tell me you know what's going on with 10,000 Scouts, that's the best construction I can put on it. There's no way you can know what you claim to know. But, you missed my main point: I can't even be sure, if you COULD check up on the sexual activity of all 10,000 Scouts, of how you'd evaluate what you found. After all the French don't think that drugging a 13 year old girl, and then forcing her to have anal sex is abusive enough to deserve prison time. Do you agree? If so, there are LOTS of things you might think were "fine", that many Americans would see as a huge problem. But, there's more. Organizations like to put their best foot forward. The BSA is ALL about looking good. I don't know it, but I'm guessing the Australian Scouts aren't far behind. And, I know the BSA is going to do its best to avoid publicizing sexual problems with Scouts. But here in the US, once you know, you've got to act. So, the solution is to "not know". Again, I'm pretty sure that there are at least some Australian Scouters quite familiar with techniques that allow them to "not know" about certain things. Bottom line: you're right, I don't trust you, with regard to your claims. And, neither would anyone else who gave it a bit of thought. GaHillBilly
  21. HiLo, I haven't read every post on this thread. But in particular, I find the "it works elsewhere, so why won't it work in the US" arguments so flimsy that I haven't bothered to read most of them. But, since you ask, I will. You write, "I don't expect the media to mention rampant sexual activity there." I wouldn't expect them to report anything either, regardless what happened. Why would they? And, how would they know? It's not like any MSM organization is going to have a reporter "embedded" in a troop, or do anything other than send a photographer (or videographer) and a note taker. Any text published (or spoken) will come directly from PR releases or interviews. Somehow, even in Australia, I'm pretty sure that the interviewed Jamboree official won't say something like, "Well Bob, we're really having a bit of a problem with rampant sexual activity this year, but we feel like we'll have good grip on the issue shortly." Even if the "rampant sexual activity" did occur and was uncovered by the reporter, unless it involved a Scouter or Scouts running around naked, the media would be unlikely to pay attention. There's another problem with this argument. When folks offer it, they end up declaring something to the effect of "it works elsewhere". But, I don't know if that's true, either. I was just reading a text today on the history of the Comanche Indians. It's a well sourced book, based on primary texts. Apparently, among the Comanche it was normal and expected that older unmarried girls would get with newly post-pubertal boys and provide hands on instruction in sex. If the girls got pregnant, that increased their desirability to single warriors, since they had proven their ability to conceive. There were really no limits to when or what was allowed, as long as it wasn't with your full sister or someone else's wife. Thus, someone holding to Comanche ethics ( as apparently some New Agers claim to do ) would consider a Jamboree in which "rampant sexual activity" occurred to be just fine and dandy, as long as it didn't involve adults or excessive coercion. I gather the French, today, pretty generally take that approach to youth sexual activity. I'm not sure what Australian attitudes would be. But, I am quite sure, that without an extensive knowledge of differing national sexual ethics, I have no way to interpret a statement from say, an Australian Scouter, that all went well with gays in Scouts. That could mean, "Nothing happened". Or, it could mean, "A good time was had by all!" So, without a formal and carefully validated sociological study of sexual behavior within Scout troops of varying nationalities, there are no conclusions I can reach from the presence of gays in Scouts elsewhere. Even with such a study, it would be necessary to have specific and definite determination of precisely what sexual activity took place, exactly how much coercion was involved, and who the parties involved were. That's not a study Scouts are likely to allow, nor one many grad schools would be interested in sponsoring. GaHillBilly
  22. "I am pretty sure that parents in my son's troop would have a hissy fit about it." Lisa, I may not agree with you on other things, but I agree on this. Parents generally don't want to talk about sex with their kids . . . and don't want anyone else to do so, either. What has really surprised me is that it's not a liberal or conservative thing. Apparently, it's true just as much of liberal pro-gay pro-premarital sex parents as it is of very conservative parents. Most parents, as a class, seem to prefer putting their head in the sand, trying to pretend that most of the false or distorted view of sex their kids get from classmates, TV and porn won't hurt them, and hope for the best. I'll mention, just because many here may not realize this, but not all conservatives are conservative about TALKING about sex. Recently, the daughter of one of my first cousins married. Her father is a VERY conservative minister, and she was almost certainly a virgin, but they've always been very open about sexual issues. At the wedding my sister asked her, in her parents' presence, what she and her new husband were planning to do on their honeymoon (she was thinking of trip details, and didn't phrase things like she meant to do), this very hot young lady looked over at her mom, grinned really big, and said "Have sex! A lot! I'm TIRED of waiting!". By contrast, a rather liberal set of parents in our last troop didn't want their 17 year old son present when there was ANY discussion of sex. The word, "masturbation" sent them into a tizzy, which is rather ironic given that it's a topic of discussion in my copy of the 1937 BSA Handbook! GaHillBilly
  23. Spreadsheets asked, "One question GHB, how do these CO's feel about supporting an organization which allows boys who identify themselves as practicing heterosexuals, who are unmarried?" I'm not sure if you are a Scouter or not, but if you are, you'll know that many COs, conservative or not, tend to treat troops with a sort of not-quite-benign neglect. In such cases, they will only know about Scout behavior if it becomes public news (like gays into Scouts would be) or gossip or if the SM tells them. With that reservation in mind, the type of churches I'm aware of would deal with "practicing heterosexuals" the same way they would with "practicing homosexuals" -- they would be asked to leave. Again, there's a difference you have to keep in mind. Like it or not, our culture is such that a gay who is "out" will be publicly known leading to questions. But, a boys are assumed to be hetero -- a correct assumption 98+% of the time -- and so no questions are asked. Both the troops I have encountered AND the conservative churches I have known tend to operate on a "If I don't ask, I won't hear about something I don't want to hear about" basis, EVEN THOUGH this is contrary to their theologically defined duties. One other factor you have to keep in mind. A hetero boy is not going to be perceived as a sexual threat or risk to other Boy Scouts, at least till Scouts are coed. By contrast, a homo boy will be so perceived, for precisely the same reason a hetero Scout would be perceived to be a sexual threat to a Girl Scout. So, from the purely practical necessity of preventing Scouts from tenting, showering, etc. with those they are sexually attracted to, bring 'out' gays into a troop introduces (for most troops) a whole new set of housekeeping and segregation requirements. None of this is hypocritical, except the tendency of conservative churches to keep their head in the sand about immoral (and unsafe!) sexual practices of their youth. But that tendency is contrary to the teaching of the churches I've known, not consistent with it. Again, contrary to what many outside the church expect, the preachers I've known are FAR more open about sex -- having had to deal with it in counseling so much -- than most of their congregation. GaHillBilly
  24. Dan, I don't doubt that there are gays like you describe. And, it's quite true I probably have experienced something closer to the worst, than the best. But none of those things to me are 'core' issues. The first issue is that you don't put people likely to sexually attracted to each other in close quarters. I'm simply arguing that you need to apply the same rules to gays that you would to male/female pairings. Thus it seems to me that the only possible way to handle this -- if gays were allowed -- is to adopt a 'one Scout, one tent' policy. The second issue, which I've tried to totally avoid, is moral. I'm not going to argue the correctness of orthodox morality on this point. But, I do want to point out that those moral values are a fact: orthodox religious people DO hold those values, and WILL act on them. Please remember that most of these churches are not hypocritical on this point, at least in their official stance: they simply say that anybody who is not heterosexually married should not engage in sex. Period. No exceptions. (But I'm not claiming that practice always measures up to principals.) Troops with orthodox religious sponsors, whether Mormon, Muslim, Jewish or Christian are not going to support an organization which allows boys who identify themselves as practicing homosexuals. Troops with secular sponsors, or with modernist religious sponsors (which may Jewish or Christian -- I'm not aware of Muslims or Mormons who are modernist in that sense) may well be comfortable with gays in Scouting. Within the context of such a church, a boy with gay 'feelings' or thoughts who is not acting on those feelings or thoughts would not be excluded. But, there's no way for such organizations to support BSA if it becomes pro-gay, in the sense of allowing declared and 'active' gays into Scouting. To do so would be dishonest and hypocritical on their part. The BSA ended up as this odd beast of parts, combining the almost 'Wiccan' religion of BP with the almost but not quite Christian "American Civic Religion". These things don't really go together, and one result is discussions like this one which go on and on, because there aren't really any consistent BSA principles one could look to for resolution. The BSA has principles, such as they are, on BOTH sides of this issue. But, I do think there is a pretty clear bottom line, empirically speaking. 1. You can't put sexually attracted people together in showers, beds or tents. 2. The BSA will lose most of its 'orthodox' sponsors (Christian, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim) as soon as it permits declared gays in Scouting. 3. There are a lot of parents who are not religious and who may be fine with gays at school or at work who will still be very uncomfortable with a gay Scoutmaster. And, since Scouting is an OPTIONAL recreational activity, comfort counts. In this case, it will count enough to cause them to just pick another opportunity for their boy. GaHillBilly
  25. Beavuh, you seem to know more about economics than science. Popper's ideas about falsification are all well and good, but much disputed. What's not really disputed is that functional science is about making useful predictions. Newton's laws allow me to predict accurately where my bullet will go, given the angle and direction of the barrel and the muzzle velocity. Add in laws about fluid dynamics and aerodynamics and I can do even better. Of course, science being what it is, and the real world being what IT is, I still have to actually FIRE the gun to make final determinations. But, the ESTABLISHED scientific principles made it possible to predict rather well even before test firing. And, prediction is precisely where the AGW models have fallen down on the job. This was one of the juiciest tidbits from the released CRSS emails: scientists complaining that what was happening was actually OPPOSITE what was predicted. (QUESTION: In your world Beavuh, doesn't this mean that the AGW models have been FALSIFIED?) Beavuh, you may not know much about science, but you know enough about reasoning to realize -- if you think about it for a moment -- how silly it is to say that science is all about falsification. If it were, all I could do is fire my gun, inside a white radar dome, find the bullet hole, and then say, "Darn, another trajectory theory shot down!". Engineering (which is a combination of applied science and common sense) DEPENDS on the predictive power of real science. However, there is one sense in which you are right, Beavuh. Much 'science' with no predictive power is being pursued today, squandering enormous resources that could be spent learning something about something, instead of something about nothing, or nothing about something. String theory, SETI, abiogenesis all lack any prospect of producing useful predictions. String theory appears to lack even any hope of EVER producing useful (or testable) predictions. Most so-called 'social sciences' are a miserable mix of a little real science with a whole lot of gussied up personal philosophy and politics -- and thus also usually lack the ability to make useful predictions. I suspect that AGW, like global cooling before it (remember "nuclear winter"?), will in the end prove to have been more about politics and philosophy than science. GaHillBilly
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