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AZMike

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Everything posted by AZMike

  1. Thought it might be worthwhile to start a list of businesses that offer discounts for outdoor equipment to Scouters. Please feel free to add any other sources of which you are aware. Also, please don't abuse these resources, many of which offer very hefty discounts out of appreciation for what Scouting does. Most of these businesses ask that you do not go to local retailers and use the discount price to try to get them to beat the price (which harms the relationship between suppliers and retailers), and obviously, do not purchase these items for resale, or for friends and extended family. Specific requirements for each site are listed on each on-line companies' website. COLEMAN - Coleman offers discounts to Scouters through their Non-Profit Outdoor Recreation Center Program - see http://www.coleman.com/youth. ALPS - ALPS manufactures quality camping gear through their Scout Direct program under its own name and under contract to suppliers such as Browning and Cedar Ridge. They offer a discount of 45% off their retail price to established scout troops. This is a very kind offer, and I've been using their Mystique 1.5 tent for years, use their tough and soft Browning XL air pad to sleep very comfortably when car camping, and after a particularly frigid night, bought their -20 bag and sleep like a big giant happy baby whenever it's cold. Once you get on their mailing list, they will also send you occasional offers of display items that were used by their salesmen that are even more heavily discounted. Go to http://www.scoutdirect.com/scout/program for info on how to sign up. In 2008, the Insane Scouter blog listed a number of outdoor big box retailers that offer a discount to Boy Scout leaders upon display of a Scout Leader Identification Card at the check-out counter (usually 10%). http://insanescouter.org/p/4990/28/Discounts_to_Scouts.html Please be polite and courteous when asking if they still offer such a discount. I've received a discount at Sportsman's Warehouse, I'm not sure how many others continue to give a discount, but the listed ones include Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain, Cabela's, Next Adventure, Blueridge Mountain Sports, Eastern Mountain Sports, and REI. Other retail businesses: Great Outdoor Provision Company (North Carolina) offers discounts of 10 - 25%: http://greatoutdoorprovision.com/about-us/we-support/scouting-program/ Appalachian Outfitters (Ohio) offers a 10% discount, 15% if preparing for Philmont. http://www.appalachianoutfitters.com Dick's Sporting Goods (nationwide) offer a 10% discount on camping gear if you show your Scout ID. Some outdoor equipment discounts that are not offered to Scouters specifically, but which many of you will qualify for: http://www.promotive.com aggregates several hundred businesses that offer hefty discounts (averaging about 45%) for camping gear, sports gear, sunglasses, knives, tents, boots, bicycling gear, police/military tactical gear, sports supplements, etc. You sign up as a member of different groups, which include military (active and veterans), government, corporate employees, members of organizations (not Scouts - maybe someone at BSA headquarters should make a request), etc. Check the site to see if you qualify for any groups (the more groups you are accepted for, the more businesses you can purchase from). If you are a military veteran, you can email them a redacted copy of your DD-214. If you are a government employee, providing them a government email that they will confirm will suffice. I bought a winter backpacking tent from Big Agnes for about 50% off through this service. Most of the businesses put limits on the number of items you can purchase a year to reduce potential abuse of the service. OutdoorProLink does a similar service as Promotive with about 80 companies' prodeals: http://www.outdoorprolink.com for outdoor industry professionals. You can see if you fall in to one of their categories here: https://www.outdoorprolink.com/apply.aspx? Mountain Hardwear produces quality jackets and outerwear, sleeping bags, tents, and packs. They offer a Pro-deal (about 40%) for "outdoor professionals," that includes government and military employees, teachers, resort employees, professional guides, resort employees, SAR, and outdoor supply company employees. See https://www.mountainhardwear.com/pro-signup to apply. Keen Footwear's pro-deal specifically excludes large groups or those with a tax-exempt status, but if you are an outdoor industry professional, you can apply at https://pro.keenfootwear.com/pro/ Patagonia offers a pro-deal discount to a number of professional categories, see here: http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=81361 Arc'teryx offers a pro-deal discount to the professional categories listed here: http://www.arcteryx.com/Pro-Purchase.aspx?EN. If you are an outdoor industry professional (not a retail employee), you can apply here: http://pro.arcteryx.com/Industry-Partners.asp Hope all this is helpful.
  2. AZMike

    Update On Adult Leadership Standards

    Although we have been assured by many that it won't happen, and that the LGBT pressure groups will be happy with the scalp they got, it seems likely that the lawsuits against COs (whether religious or religiously affiliated (like the Knights of Columbus and church PTAs) will begin soon against COs, without the legal protections of the Dale decision or Headquarters to back them up. Unless they have the legal resources and the will to back them up, they will fold, either by acquiescing or closing up shop. The LDS will probably be safe as their troops are an official youth program of their religion, other groups will probably find they are not. Even religious groups who are the subject of a discrimination suit will still need the funding to defend themselves legally against LGBT legal funds and, probably, the government, which many will not have. Victory has to be total for the LGBT groups, it would appear. I'm ending my involvement with scouting. The old Scouting program is gone, and I honestly wish good luck to those of you who will continue with the new organization. Perhaps you will see more money and corporate sponsors come in for headquarters and youth enrollment will shoot up, but I doubt it. Take care, everyone.
  3. AZMike

    Gay Scouts & B.s.a.

    Several people have posted that this is purely a Youth Safety Issue. There's nothing to see here, folks, move along smartly. It seems to be be a policy issue as well. If I'm not mistaken, were we not told that a) this sort of thing would not happen, as gay kids would have the sense and maturity to keep their hands to themselves, and b) COs could bounce a kid who is gay if he overtly acts on his sexual interests - i.e., one could self-identify as gay, but to act on those impulses should result in termination from the BSA. That seems to be the issue here: Can and should the gay scout be dropped from Scouting? He violated the rules, and in a way that will have a negative effect on the victim. For the victim in this case of unwanted sexual harassment, he will likely always associate this unpleasant experience with a) going to summer camp and b) perhaps, Scouting in general. He may brush it off, but it is just as likely that he will not want to participate in Scouting anymore, where that kind of thing happened to him. Politically, is the BSA still in a position where it would be able to remove a gay scout for acting out on his desires with other boys, or has that time passed?
  4. AZMike

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    The adult leader application is one of the few carbon-based non-life forms used today.
  5. If you have an Eagle Court planned for your son or someone in your troop in the next year, stop by your local dollar store this week - you can pick up patriotic-themed decorations very inexpensively in the week before Independence Day. I spent $20 and got lots of flag-themed bunting, hangings, and table decorations. We put all our decorations, unused plates, napkins, blank invitations and programs, etc. in a big rubbermaid after a CoH and pass them on to the next family planning a CoH.
  6. At party-supply stores, but I don't think dollar stores cut their prices even after holidays.
  7. Lord Baden-Powell had a vision of Scouts stepping in to help after natural disasters, wars, etc. Nice to see this is going on in Derna, Libya, after the departure of the ISIS forces: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/derna-boy-scouts-step-in-to-help-run-city-after-isis-is-driven-out-of-libyan-stronghold-10344233.html
  8. AZMike

    Cradle Of Liberty Council Has Given In

    No one really knows who said it originally. Twain attributed it to Disraeli, but it's not in any of his writings. It was apparently a common expression long before Twain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics
  9. AZMike

    Cradle Of Liberty Council Has Given In

    For the same reason that a Episcopalian sponsored CO would not be able to demand that the BSA divest from any investments in the state of Israel (assuming it had any). The Episcopalian church recently changed its doctrine to allow for the ordination of homosexual men, just as it is likely to accommodate the interests of anti-Semites and call for the boycott and sanction Israel at its conference this summer (as the Presbyterian church already has). The BSA had a policy that was based on long-standing beliefs that were shared (until recently) by all the major religions. Those views sprang from moral teachings from those religions, but were not dependent on them. If the Episcopal church has decided to exhibit a certain moral flexibility on gays and Jews to appeal to a new world-view, the BSA should not be obligated to accommodate them in every change they make.
  10. AZMike

    Cradle Of Liberty Council Has Given In

    Perhaps you should declare yourself a troop that refuses to discriminate against black-powder firearms enthusiasts, or against handgun proponents. Surely discrimination of any kind is a bad thing (as we are now informed by the zeitgeist), so HQ should be willing to knuckle under and cease their support of discrimination. Likewise, the discrimination against alcohol imbibers, chainsaw users, convicted felons, and so forth. End all discrimination now.
  11. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    If people want to put their sexual activity front and center as a significant marker of their identity, why should it be considered distasteful or rude to describe it? Even over rubber chicken?
  12. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Per NPR, a decision is going to be made by National by October. I think that's what I heard.
  13. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    I would respond to you, but apparently we have been de-emphasized by the Powers That Be.
  14. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    I have the strangest sensation that, like a dust bunny, those who disagree with what seems to be the new position of BSA headquarters are beginning to be swept under the rug...
  15. AZMike

    Homosexuals Are Not Pedophiles

    Yep. If memory serves, the BSA did make a compromise two years ago. Wait, you mean that wasn't enough for the LGBT community?
  16. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    As an example of what someone will face who has the effrontery of trying to preserve their CO's ability to decide whether to allow homosexual leadership, consider what happened to Esau Jardon up in Toronto. Leaving aside the differing degrees of religious freedom between the U.S. and Canada, it's an illustrative example of what social pressures can be brought to bear now on someone who did not even refuse to provide services to a gay wedding, but simply expressed the wrong opinions within his business. He did provide rings to a lesbian couple, who were happy with the rings he created for them. Another couple later went in to his store and saw a religious poster that said "The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman." They told the lesbian couple, who then demanded their money back for their custom-made rings and went to the media to begin, yet again, another shredding of a man's reputation for expressing his religious beliefs. Initially, Jardon refused to refund their money - they were custom made rings, they had expressed satisfaction with the work done, and were only demanding money back out of spite for his beliefs. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/jewelry-store-sign-prompts-same-sex-couple-to-ask-for-refund-1.3077192) Jardon expressed what most people would think are reasonable, and fairly tolerant views: “I have been posting different aspects of my religious beliefs the last 11 years, and I’ve never had one single problem with any of my customers,†he said… “One of the reasons my family chose to come to Canada was the freedom of rights,†he said, noting the freedom of religion and freedom of speech… “I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,'†he said. “When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.†That wasn't enough for the LGBT pressure groups. Using the media to attack the man as a bigot, and anonymous individuals who felt emboldened by the anonymity of social media, Jardon received so many death threats on his business's Facebook page that he had to close it down. Hackers posted false articles on his company's website. He finally offered to return their money in an attempt to make the whole thing go away...but where does he go to get his reputation back? (http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2015-05-18/article-4150483/Jeweller-says-he-has-been-bullied,-threatened/1) The nature of society today is that one does not need to be threatened with the legal machinery of the state and the LGBT political pressure groups' lawsuits - the mob mentality of the progressive movement, where a belief that one is "hateful" is sufficient to advocate the destruction of an individual (because he's, you know, homophobic) will now do the job without the need of a lawsuit. Do you think the CO's position will be any different?
  17. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    I doubt that the KoC, which is registered with the government as a fraternal organization (for its tax exempt 501 ( c) (3) status) would be considered a religious organization that would be protected by the First Amendment. I agree with you that it should be, but the Obama Administration's defense of the contraception mandate (which attempted to very narrowly define what could be considered a "religious institution indicates that they would not feel it should be, and would be likely to use the force of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to side on behalf of any civil rights lawsuits that would be directed against it. Although the Church has made the argument that its institutions such as hospitals, adoption agencies, and schools are elements of it religious duties towards charity, the current administration has argued against such an interpretation. It might be possible to ask your deacon or priest to take the role of a CO rep, if it is not possible to use the KoC or the parochial school's PTA. I'm sure that they have ample free time to take on that additional role as well as all their pastoral duties, and we have lots of priests nowadays to take on those duties. There is also the practical concern that must be considered by anyone who is the target of a lawsuit, especially an individual who may lack the legal resources of the ACLU, ACT-UP, and GLAAD, along with the United States Department of Justice - you may feel that the Constitution, and morality, are on your side. You may feel, arguing in the abstract on the issue on a message board, that surely the religious exception must apply in your case. But would you, as the CO rep, have the financial resources to mount a defense against the suits that will be brought by those organizations? Do you have access to the same number of progressive college law students who are eager and hungry to do legal research? Do you have the same number of attorneys who will happily work pro-bono in a progressive cause to achieve fame within their profession for winning a landmark liberal decision for their cause? Do you feel the BSA will provide you with legal backing in your defense, at this point in history, and with Mr. Gates having expressed the opinion he did? Are you prepared to deal with the mental, physical, and emotional stress, as well as the public castigation, media attention, doxxing of your personal information, and the public revelation of any potentially embarrassing incidents from your past that will be dug up by the media and LGBT pressure groups to bring you to heel? Are you and your family and your business associates prepared to deal with all that for months, and probably years, while the suit works its way through the courts? There are quite a few people who have felt, probably correctly, that the law was on their side, but were unable to sustain their fight in the face of well-funded and powerful adversaries. It's sad but true that it isn't always who's right, but who's left, that counts in a legal battle.
  18. AZMike

    Homosexuals Are Not Pedophiles

    Both I and my family fought against racial segregation, so your comparison is both ignorant, bigoted, and false. Rather than arguing the terminology, or trying to marginalize the views held by most Americans until recently by an invalid comparison, why don't you try to address the actual issue raised in the post. Do you disagree that forces outside Scouting will not be content with the so-called "Local Option"? If you do, on what basis do you make that claim?
  19. AZMike

    Homosexuals Are Not Pedophiles

    One can only compromise with the other party if one is in a position to set terms for all the parties involved. There are scouters within the BSA community who would like to see the acceptance of homosexuals as adult leaders, and see the so-called Local Option as a compromise to allow troops that wish to maintain traditional values to continue to do so, and troops that wish to allow homosexual leaders to do so. That's fine, and I don't doubt that you and others in the latter category are sincere in your beliefs. But you are not in a position to speak for the very large and very well-funded forces outside of scouting that demand that NO troop be allowed to maintain traditional values, whether under a local option or the current situation. You can not speak for them or arrange for a compromise for them. ACT-UP and GLAAD do not know who you are, Packsaddle, and do not consider themselves bound by any compromise you or anyone else makes. Their agenda is quite clear and the evidence is open and readily available. The current legal situation is too fluid to allow anyone in the BSA to state authoritatively that the local option will permit troops that hold to traditional views of morality to continue as they are. Do you consider that assessment reasonable?
  20. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    That is both the strength and the weakness of the CO system. Many COs that appear to be churches are actually adjuncts of the church in question - such as the Knights of Columbus or the parochial school PTA. They do not have the legal protection afforded a religion. The legal status of church auxiliaries, and whether they can qualify under the 1st Amendment protections afforded churches are legally up in the air right now, due to the machinations of the current administration. The individuals who function as the CO's rep are often not full time employees of the church, and may have businesses or other interests that are vulnerable to legal and extra-legal coercion by LGBT pressure groups looking to damage COs that don't agree with their views. Look at the things that have happened to the bakers, photographers, etc. who have not simply refused to cater a gay wedding, but have simply expressed disagreement with them. Faced with sufficient pressure against the livelihoods and their position in the community, most COs will decide it's not worth the problems. You expressed the belief that "it would be hard to argue that...etc" Unfortunately, that is not true. Lawyers are paid to argue, and to find rationales to demonstrate exactly why x institution should not be considered a bona fide religious institution. Their chances of finding a sympathetic judge who will look with approval on a novel legal reason to punish the BSA...is actually pretty good right now. In California, you can no longer be a member of the judiciary and also be an adult volunteer with the BSA. Funny how that worked, huh? The legal climate has changed dramatically since the Dale decision. The LDS troops may be able to make a final stand, as the BSA is their official youth program. Any one else, no.
  21. AZMike

    Homosexuals Are Not Pedophiles

    Or find some activist judges that have the same views as you.
  22. AZMike

    Homosexuals Are Not Pedophiles

    Yikes. Just yikes. I check out Bryan's blog but didn't see that on the thread about Gates' comment. Possibly deleted because it didn't fit the narrative.
  23. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    I'm sorry that happened to you, eagle77. When historical revisionists argue that the ban on homosexual leaders is a new thing, and that there was some sort of Golden Age of tolerance when there was a de facto local option, and homosexual leaders were accepted, I think they are living in Cloud Cuckoo-Land. The sort of experience you had was not uncommon - the files that were released by the BSA on adult leaders who committed homosexual acts on scouts would make anyone's stomach turn, and the renewed emphasis in the BSA in the 1970s was largely in response to increasing awareness of the rate of molestation of youths - it had become an epidemic, and scout leaders could no longer turn their backs and assume that an organization composed of teen-age boys would not attract men who were sexually interested in them. We're forgetting those lessons now. I have to disagree with you on the local option, which in my opinion will not remain an option for long. As gay activists have made clear (see the quotes above), they will not accept a BSA where some - or any - COs will still be allowed to exclude gays. They are well-funded, have a formidable legal machinery that supports them, and will attack any remaining COs that do not want to allow homosexual men to have access to teenagers in what are often isolated situations. The local option will remain local for about 6 months to a year, tops. Due to the risk of lawsuits for discrimination against any remaining resisting COs, a uniform policy requiring that homosexual men can become leaders will then become the status quo throughout the BSA. Traditionally-minded troops will close down, if they cannot accept the moral compromise the new policy and the court decisions will require. As I said, I cannot ethically be a part of that, or a situation where a vulnerable boy will again be placed in the kind of situation you were. I wish those who wish to continue in the "New Model" BSA good luck, and I hope things work out for you under the new leadership.
  24. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Oh, so not everyone who identifies themselves as "gay" to the community is actually trustworthy. Some self-identified homosexuals are actually interested in sex with teenage boys. Can I ask you to go back and read what I actually wrote. We are talking about the risks from pederasts here, as we are dealing with an almost exclusively male population of potential victims. Why are you talking about pedophiles, and where did you get the statistic that 99% of those are heterosexual? Given that 2% of the population is estimated to be homosexuals, why then do homosexuals account for far more than 2% of the sexual assaults on minors?
  25. AZMike

    Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Ah. Like Chris J. Wilson, the openly gay, politically connected Phoenix Police Officer, who was their official community liaison to the LGBT community, who was arrested for having sex with two teenage boys he groomed? http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lgbt-advocates-cast-a-pall-on-the-phoenix-pd-and-the-valleys-gay-community-6462115/ http://archive.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20140213trial-phoenix-police-lgbt-liaison-accused-threats-brk.html. He happened to meet the two teenage boys he molested through his job. Good thing he wasn't a "pedophile," though. Or like Obama's chief bundler, the prominent LGBT activist Terry Bean, who raised more than half a million dollars for Obama's 2012 campaign through members of the gay community, who was arrested for sex with a 15-year old boy. Good thing he wasn't a "pedophile," though. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kristine-marsh/2014/11/24/network-silence-obama-ally-gay-activist-arrested-child-sex-abuse Or like gay activist Frank Lombard, the associate director of Duke University's Center for Health Policy, who was arrested by the FBI in 2009, who adopted two boys with his (adult) husband and was arrested after trying to sell their adopted son for sexual purposes to an undercover FBI agent? Good thing he was a prominent gay activist and not a "pedophile." http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/30/duke.molestation.internet/ Or like David Carpenter and Joshua Brown, two openly gay men who lived together as a couple, who seduced, raped, and later murdered a 13 year old boy? Good thing they were openly gay men and not "pedophiles." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Jesse_Dirkhising Or like veteran gay rights advocate and former San Francisco Human Right Commission staffer Larry Brinkin, arrested for possession of child porn involving young boys? Good thing he was only a gay activist and not a "pedophile." http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rights-advocate-pleads-guilty-in-child-porn-case-5162743.php Or like Larry Kramer, the founder of the LGBT pressure group ACT-UP, who wrote in his book, "Report from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist": "In those instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, be they teachers or anyone else, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it." So yeah, this prominent gay activist has educated us that when a child has sex with a "gay elder," he was actually asking for it, so the "gay elder" isn't really at fault. How many more of these do you need me to post, Moosetracker? Don't confuse the wider definition of "pedophilia" (one who desires sex with children) with "pederasty" (the sexual desire of a man for a male minor). It's the latter that is applicable here. Not all homosexuals are pederasts, but all pederasts are homosexual.
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