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NJCubScouter

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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. To those who say "there must be other things we can discuss", or words to that effect, I would ask this: Do I tell you how to spend your time? Why do you care how I spend my time? Is someone holding a gun to your head making you read these threads? If you don't want to read them, don't read them. And the fact is that there are plenty of discussions on "day to day" Scouting topics going on at scouter.com -- just not in Issue and Politics. The other day a woman was trying to help her son with his Citizenship in the Nation and several people (including me) joined in. Someone just asked for comments about the new Merit Badge changes and I am waiting to see what other people have to say, so I can learn something. (My only son is still in Webelos.) Uniforms and training are always hot topics and I read them with interest and chime in when I think I have something to say. But when you come into an area that has a warning label saying "this is the area for topics that a lot of people don't want to read about," what do you think you're going to find? A discussion about service stars?
  2. Weekender figures it all out, and says about tj and me (or is it I): I also doubt that either of you truly care about scouting but that you are simply here to promote your own perverse lifestyle. How did you know? Yes, the 20-year marriage, the 3 kids, the hours spent as a den leader and assistant cubmaster (and before that as a "Girl Scout parent"), it's all a sham and a fraud to cover up the "perverse lifestyle" that I "promote." I mean, it couldn't possibly be that someone who is not "perverse" could be opposed to discrimination against gays, right? And I'm not alone in this deception, it must be a massive conspiracy. After all, if my opinions are evidence of a "perverse lifestyle," then at least 4 U.S. Supreme Court justices, a majority of the New Jersey Supreme Court, most Reform Jewish rabbis, many Christian clergy-members, at least the last 6 governors of my state (mostly Republicans) and a majority of my state legislature during the 90s (mostly Republicans), and many others, have a "perverse lifestyle" as well. All of their spouses and all of their children must be part of the deception also, just part of the charade to cover up their true lifestyle. I'm glad we were able to get that cleared up. (And yes, I know Justice David Souter is a lifelong bachelor and there has been "speculation," but Bush the First never would have appointed a gay Supreme Court justice, would he?)
  3. Question on Requirements

    Derek's mom, I agree with what the others have said. Help your son find the resources to answer the question (of which the merit badge pamphlet is one), and then let him figure the answers out on his own. MB pamphlets may be purchased at your council's Scout Shop if there is one, and Eagle-required ones (like Citizenship in the Nation) are often also found at Scout distributors. In other words, go wherever you bought your son's uniform and they will probably have it. However, for an Eagle-required MB like this, your troop may very well have it in its troop library, or one of your son's friends who has already earned the badge may have it. I cannot help, though, giving YOU a bit of help with question 6. Your list of functions mixes together two things: Functions, and Agencies that carry out functions. National defense is a function of the federal government. The FBI is an agency that carries out a function (law enforcement and criminal investigations.) The Postal Service is an agency (actually it is an independent corporation governed by government-appointed directors) that carries out the postal function. The planning and building of interstate highways is a function. I hope that helps.
  4. Rooster opines: Likewise, this thread seems to have been created as a personal attack on Dedicated Dad. The post by the person who started the thread doesn't even mention him. I did, but what I am really focusing on are (1) his style of debate (2) the belief system of which he is the exemplar in this forum. I used his name because it requires a lot less typing than a full description of what he things and says, which people who read this forum are well aware of. I will respectfully ask the Forum Moderator to close this thread. And if he chooses to, it's his forum. But why? This is not the Cub Scouts board, it is the Issues and Politics board. It has a huge disclaimer on it, if you don't want controversy, don't come in here. Those of us who choose to debate here should be able to handle what goes on, or we can leave.
  5. DedicatedDad, please keep it up. You are on a roll, don't stop. Please keep implying that because I don't want the BSA to discriminate against gays, I am therefore a promoter of pedophilia. Please keep saying that because I am a tolerant and accepting person (and incidentally following the tenets of my religion in being so), that I delight in thinking about other people's bodily functions. And most of all, keep implying that I do not care about the well-being of the boys that I have promised to help lead, and that I want to deliver them into the hands of child molesters. In fact, I wish everybody who supports the anti-gay policy would debate just the way you do, because then your alleged 70 percent support would evaporate like that, and the policy would then disappear. And then Scouting could go back to concentrating on Scouting. And you, having succeeded at being your own worst enemy, could find something else to do. I hear the Taliban has some leadership vacancies for people who like to tell everybody else what to do.
  6. Earrings

    OK, DedicatedDad, I will ignore what could be viewed as a personal attack and implied questions about my integrity. I am confident with my own integrity. As for who between us is childish and insists on making his own rules for debate, I will leave for others to judge. My answer to your question is this: I do not think that having long hair, unnaturally colored hair, or an earring represent "traditional values." I never said or implied that they did. Nor do I think that these things violate "traditional values," as you apparently do. I don't think they really implicate values at all. They are simply matters of style, fashion and taste. I suppose it is possible that at the extreme, matters of style, fashion and taste can implicate values and morality, but (let's say) shoulder length hair doesn't even come close to that line if it's kept clean. Same with pastel-colored hair or earrings. Now, there is a category of things that, so far, I have avoided discussing, such as eyebrow rings, tongue rings and conspicuous tatoos. Even on a youth, I don't think these are necessarily matters of values or morality, but I think they may cross a different boundary. They do show, in my opinion, poor judgment and perhaps an intention to disrupt the group (in the Scouting context) by calling undue attention to ones-self. If I were the appropriate authority in a troop (whether that would be the CO, IH, CR, committee, PLC or some combination, I leave for others to discuss), I might very well approve a rule banning such things at troop meetings. (I'm not sure what you do about a boy who already has a tatoo on the neck or hand, that cannot be covered by the uniform.) Not as an advancement requirement, not as a matter of "Scout spirit," but as a matter of "behavior" during activities. So, bottom line: I think we need to make distinctions between matters of style and fashion that do not implicate values or morals; matters of poor judgment; behavior with disruptive intent; and behavior that is immoral. Category 1 is left up to the individual, category 4 is regulated or prohibited depending on what it is, and categories 2 and 3 are matters of local option. So now, DedicatedDad, it's definitely your turn. I want to know if you think long hair, green hair (our hypothetical Scout got a new dye job), earrings, makeup, shaved head, beard and mustache, are immoral. And don't forget about our Founding Fathers and their long hair. Were they immoral due to their chosen appearance?
  7. Exactly. I would add this: I have debated several times over the years with people, such as DedicatedDad, who claim to believe in "absolute morality." What they actually believe in is their own belief system as the "absolute," and anybody who doesn't measure up is a "relativist" or worse. It's a convenient way to "win" an argument -- your opinion is no longer just your opinion, it is fundamental, absolute truth, and your counterpart's opinion is no longer just his opinion, but becomes the advocacy of evil. It's a fundamentally dishonest way to debate. Folks like DedicatedDad also amuse me because, while they set themselves up at the apex of morality, not everyone would agree with their diagram. To a member of the Amish, or an Orthodox Jew, an extremist Muslim and perhaps others, DedicatedDad would fall far short on the morality scale because the does not toe their line. In other words, it's all, um, er, relative.
  8. Broken Rules and

    the sodomy threads DedicatedDad, you are one funny guy. "Sodomy threads," really. Is that what you really think of the issue of whether otherwise qualified leaders are disqualified because they are honest about their orientation? It's all about what part goes where? Those were rhetorical questions. I'm pretty sure the answers are "yes" even if you don't like the way I asked the questions. By the way, do you realize that in some states, "sodomy" is still illegal even between married persons of opposite genders? Better be careful, someone might be looking in your window to check. Sorry for the topical diversion, but I didn't start it.
  9. Earrings

    OK, DedicatedDad, let's recap here: I asked you what "values" are violated by hair that is long or pink (seldom do you see both), earrings (by which I mean simple stud earrings, not hoops or baskets of fruit or anything like that)or makeup. You responded with such things as humility, modesty, etiquette and a few others. Before I respond to your response, though, I realized that I need to clarify my question. So please answer these: 1. In your world, do "values" and "moral values" mean the same thing. Or, put another way (I guess this is question 1B), are humility, modesty, and the other things you mentioned, moral values? 2. Is it immoral for a teenage boy to have long hair? Pink hair? Earring? Makeup? I also noticed that when you quoted my question, you ignored the fact that I added "shaved head" to the list. Now, as a bonus, I would ask you to answer question number 2 not only for the items mentioned and "shaved head," but also add "beard" and "mustache." I'll explain why after you answer. One more thing. If you do, indeed, believe that "long hair" is either immoral or violates traditional values or both, answer this: Were George Washington, John Adams, James Madison and most of their peers "immoral" because they had long hair? (Yeah, I know they were actually wigs, but it seems to me that if certain hairstyle is immoral, it's worse if you actually make the effort to go out and buy or make it instead of just neglecting to get a haircut. And I didn't mention Jefferson or Franklin because they had their own well-known moral failings that had nothing to do with the length of their hair.)
  10. Shirt sizes

    My son is a Webelos 1 (fourth grade.) He is about average size for a 10-and-a-half year old. He has been eligible to wear the tan shirt since September, but he was not in any great hurry, and so we decided to get as much use out of the blue shirt as possible before shelling out for the tan one. Another factor was, I figured that once he earned the Webelos badge, we could make sure he got the oval one, and go right from the blue shirt with the "diamond" of ranks to the tan shirt with the oval Webelos badge. That time has come. He received the Webelos badge on March 1, and buttoning the blue shirt has become a struggle. So, yesterday I took my son out to buy the tan shirt. Now I need to know if I made a mistake on the size. My wife told me that my son's correct current shirt size is a boys-14, but to look for a 16 so maybe he can wear it for a couple of years. So I look on the rack at the store, and they have Youth Large (14-16) and Youth Extra Large. He tried on the large and it was ok and only slightly big on him; the sleeves were a bit long but not ridiculous. I had a feeling though, that when we got home, my wife's reaction would be, "that will only fit him for a year, if that." Problem is, the Extra Large would literally be a tent on him. The bottom of the shirt went down to his knees, no exaggeration. The Extra Large was basically an Adult Small. So I bought the Large, and when we got home I got the reaction I thought I would get. But I felt I had no choice -- the Extra Large would have looked completely absurd. It seems to me that there is an unusually big difference between the large and extra large youth shirts. I would have liked the shirt to at least last him for his remaining year as a Webelos and into his first year of Boy Scouts. That seems unlikely with the "large" shirt. Did I miss a secret in-between size somewhere?
  11. Earrings

    OK, DedicatedDad, you claimed that a discussion of earrings in the "Traditional Values" thread in "Issues and Politics" would be redundant, presumably because of this thread. So let me ask you this: What value -- not just a tradition, but a value, is violated if a boy wears: An earring? "Long" hair? Purple hair? Facial makeup? You don't need to answer for your other examples, just these. And let me throw in an example: A boy with a shaved head. Does that violate any values? What values are violated by any of these things?
  12. The ACLU

    The side that says we have no right to expect people to act responsibly and to accept personal responsibility instead of only demanding personal freedom will also have and advocate at their table. What "side" says that? I don't know of any group that says we have no right to expect people to act responsibly. The ACLU does not say that. I don't say that. Who says that? People are convicted and sentenced for crimes every day in this country, and are thus required to "accept" responsibility for their actions. I don't know of anybody who is opposed to that. The ACLU only takes part when it appears that someone's constitutional rights have been violated. Here's a case that the ACLU handled that I hope we could all agree with (though I'm sure some of us don't). You may recall that in the mid-90s Congress attempted to outlaw vaguely-defined "indecent" (rather than just "obscene") expression on the Internet. This would have been a disaster because the word "indecent" can mean too many things to different people. I shudder at the thought that some of the people who post to this board, or people who think like them, could have ended up in positions to decide what is "indecent" for the rest of us. Without trying to sound too conspiratorial, it was reasonable to fear that the thought police would have been out on the rampage. Thank God the ACLU (and other groups) successfully fought to have this statute declared unconstitutional.
  13. Traditional /Family Values

    Having read DedicatedDad's response to sctmom, I will now post what I originally wrote: Dedicated Dad sayeth: It would be easier to list an issue and discuss its traditional family values aspects than to try and define centuries of moral and ethical ideals. Abortion AIDS Christian Bigotry Cloning Condoms Available in School Drug Legalization Education Euthanasia Promiscuity Hate Crimes Legal Prostitution Prayer in School Homosexual Agenda Liberal Media Bias This reminds me of a story from when my son was 4 and a half years old and my wife took him to kindergarten registration at the local public school. There was a learning specialist there who was testing the kids to see if they had any learning disabilities. My son, who had not attended any pre-school, was overwhelmed by all the people and attempted to flee from the room. Finally the teacher prevailed upon him to reluctantly sit in a chair facing her. In between them was a table. She put a basket on the table, took a plastic apple out of the basket, placed it between the basket and my son, and asked him, "is the apple in front of the basket or behind the basket?" Pouting the whole time, he said the apple was behind the basket. The teacher asked him to explain his apparently incorrect answer, and he did. He said: "It's your basket." It's your list, DedicatedDad. You should explain what values are reflected in all those items so other people can know what they are responding to. It's not just a question of what you think about the topics, this thread is about what values you think they reflect. Just saying, "we know" is meaningless. I'd prefer meaningful words to ice cream (at least, until I lose some weight.)
  14. Traditional /Family Values

    So, DedicatedDad, nothing about jewelry on your list, I see. I was going to comment on the lack of any discussion by you of your list items, but then I saw you bemoaning the editing situation. So I figure I'll give you a few hours. At least the non-editing affects all of us across the ideological spectrum.
  15. Scout "trivia"

    OldGreyEagle, is there a known answer to number 4? I thought the Unknown Scout was, well, unknown.
  16. The ACLU

    Weekender says: I'm afraid I have to disagree with you here. And you have the right to disagree, and to express your disagreement, as you see fit - thanks in part to the work of the ACLU and others who are constantly defending that right. As Paul Harvey says, "Self-government doesn't work without self discipline." Interesting statement, but I'm not sure why self-discipline is the responsibility of the ACLU. Self-discipline is just that, SELF-discipline, or put another way, knowing when it is best to refrain from doing something you have the RIGHT to do. (Like the BSA choosing to allow female Scoutmasters on a local-option basis AFTER it won the legal right NOT to allow female Scoutmasters -- a measure that can and should be extended to those who are avowedly gay if they are otherwise qualified to be leaders.) The ALCU has a history of promoting not self-discpline but self-indulgence. This is somewhat redundant, but: Promoting self-discipline is not part of their chosen mission. Promoting the ability to express yourself is their chosen mission. Who are you to decide what their mission should be? A number of other organizations promote self-discipline, like the Moral Majority or whatever they are calling themselves these days. Every organization chooses its own mission. That's freedom. I fully realize that this great country was founded on the principle of inalienable individual rights to freedom but there are times when people of good concience must give up their personal freedoms for the good of society (sort of the way we do in the military). Give them up voluntarily or involuntarily? The ACLU fights for your ability not to have your freedoms taken away involuntarily. If you choose to join the military, you give up some of your freedoms so that the military can function the way it is supposed to. (In rare cases, the safety of the country may require that people be drafted, and thereby deprived of their freedoms involuntarily. But that is when the country is really threatened. If the draft has fallen into some disrepute, it is because the last time it was used to fight a war, this country was NOT really threatened.) I think the ACLU has lost sight of the general good and concentrates only on individual rights with out regard to the possible harm their actions may do to the country. If everyone is free to do anything and objection to any action is considered "intolerance," as the ACLU believes, then where do we draw the lines. As I said, there are plenty of others to take the opposite side from the ACLU, and they often do. Often they are better financed than the ACLU, and often they are the government itself. I believe OldGreyEagle has pointed this out but apparently it bears repeating: The ACLU itself does not change the law or interpret a statute or provision of the constitution -- a JUDGE does that. And if a party disagrees with the judge there is a right of appeal. The daily work of the ACLU boils down to a lawyer standing in a courtroom in front of a judge, arguing a case. There is ALWAYS a lawyer standing at the other table, arguing the opposite position. (And quite often, that lawyer who is arguing a position that may restrict my freedoms, is a government lawyer paid by MY tax money. On the other hand, the ACLU is paid for entirely by private contributions.) Our court system is an ADVERSARY system -- the "truth" is produced by the clash of rival advocates. Or at least that's the theory. But the reality can even approach the theory ONLY if there is a lawyer standing on each side. Without the ACLU, quite often the side of "freedom" would not be represented at all. If sometimes they go too far -- and even if sometimes they win when they should not, which believe me does NOT happen very often -- I think it is a small price to pay.
  17. The ACLU

    k9gold-scout writes: Would the Americian people be better served if there either no ACLU or no Boy Scout of America. I know it's a cop-out, but fortunately we do not have to make a choice. Society is better for the existence of both. Neither are perfect, because they are run by human beings.
  18. Traditional /Family Values

    I have been wondering the same thing as OldGreyEagle, especially after reading the thread in which some seem to suggest that wearing an earring somehow conflicts with "traditional values." Traditional behavior perhaps (though "traditional" is not necessarily self-defining and, and does not necessarily represent "good" or "exclusively good" behavior), but not traditional values. And referring to the BSA's website certainly doesn't do it for me. I have read everything on there in the past, and there is very little discussion of specific values. Most of it deals obliquely with the gay issue without really discussing it. These are public relations statements, and look to me like some of them were written by lawyers for judges to read the next time the BSA has to go to court. In some cases, a "link" may be an answer to a question, but in this case it is not. So let's see the list. What are "traditional values"?
  19. How sould the Patrol Method solve this?

    The following are mostly assumptions from OldGreyEagle's post, but they are probably fairly close to the facts: Perhaps Old SPL's enthusiasm for taking command of the troop, even though it is not his job, results from the fact that he is not being "challenged" in his present position of PL. Presumably he was once a PL and did well enough at that job that the troop elected him SPL. Now he is back his former position and is bored. He can do the PL thing standing on his head. So he sees the new SPL perhaps being a bit shy and reticent to take charge, and does not like to see things "drift" in a meeting or activity, so he takes command. As a result, the New SPL becomes even more hesitant. I don't necessarily see any "malice" here. The Old SPL is just trying to "help" and probably does not realize that he is trampling on his successor's opportunity to lead. (I am trying to be positive here; it is possible that "power hungry" would be a better description.) But whatever face you put on it, the boy has a "need to lead." This is a good thing, if channeled in the right direction. But it seems to me that PL may not be the right direction. So maybe he needs a position that will give him something new to do. Troop Guide? Instructor? When I reached the end of my term as SPL back in the Antedeluvian Epoch, I was already 16 so it was easy, I was made a JASM. Or if Old SPL really needs to be Top Dog in something, maybe he could be encouraged to direct some of his energies to OA if he is a member. There he could possibly rise to chapter chief or lodge chief, if the leadership skills he has shown at the troop level are as readily evident to boys from other units. There is a related issue here, and it is one that adults are really no better at dealing with than boys. That is, once you have been Number One, it is difficult to return to a "subordinate" position, and it can also be difficult for the new Number One to deal with. (One might say that dealing with difficulty is part of the learning experience of being a youth leader, but it does not sound like it is being dealt with adequately.) As I said, when I was a Boy Scout I went directly from SPL to JASM so this was not really an issue. However, I have personally faced this situation as an adult. I am on the board of a local foundation to benefit the public school system, and was the second chairman of the board. The first chairman was never quite comfortable returning to being "just" a committee chairman on the board, and I suppose that after I returned to being "just" a committee chairman, there were times that I chafed under the leadership of the new board chairman. I also think back to when I was in law school and a "university senator" and a member of its executive committee, and the president of the Senate (a professor probably 20 years older than I was) accused me at one point of trying to "take over" her job. She probably was not completely wrong, as I saw a leadership vacuum and was trying to help fill it. I wasn't trying to stand at her podium or anything, but I was making suggestions as to what she should do, and she didn't really appreciate it. Now, as an assistant cubmaster, I have managed to subordinate my "need to lead" to the fact that I don't have time to take the responsibility to do the top job the right way -- but in fact I have done part of the CM's job, at his request. We also have had a few "moments" but have worked out a reasonable working relationship. All this is by way of example that this may not be the last time in his life that the Old SPL finds himself frustrated at not being the guy standing on top of the mountain. As far as the "patrol method" goes, I am not sure how it fits in to this situation. Unless I am incorrect, the Instructor and Troop Guide positions are appointed by the SPL, so the PLC is not really involved. The one exception is, maybe if there are enough other boys interested in a Venture Patrol, this boy needs to be PL of that rather than a regular patrol. At least that would provide somewhat of a new challenge. And forming a Venture Patrol, I assume, is up to the PLC.
  20. Shirt sizes

    BobWhite says: Congratulations to your son NJCubScouter for reaching his new rank. Thanks! And unlike a number of the other Webelos in our pack, he seems gung-ho about the idea of becoming a Boy Scout, which is good. It's just that at some moments in every boys development, nothing fits right. Yes, I guess intellectually I knew this, but I have been largely sheltered from the clothes-buying in my family. My wife generally has taken care of this, including uniform needs for our two older children (both Girl Scout dropouts.) The one exception to my wife being the clothes-shopper applies to Boy (Cub)Scout uniforms. I was probably a sorry sight in this sporting goods store, staring goggle-eyed at these two shirts while attempting to get my son to stop doing impromptu science experiments with the fishing weights and come over to the Scouting racks and try the shirts on... I think you had the right strategy. Buy a little large without looking like you're wearing a tent.(and buy the short sleeve shirt not the long sleeve) Maybe half-right, I went with the long sleeve, that is what all the boys in the pack wear, though most of the leaders go for the short sleeve. We bought our sons Boy Scout Uniform when he was a 2nd year Webelos, two days ago he turned 14 and the shirt still fits him. (he is at least 8 inches taller now then he was then). That's encouraging -- maybe this new shirt and another after he starts growing fast will last him the duration if he goes that far. Though if he needs one more than that, there are a lot worse things to spend $28 on. Now what I have to do, so I can spend MORE money, is to get him into a troop that wears the uniform pants. NOBODY in my pack wears them, adults or Cubs. I have thought of buying the pants for both of us anyway, but it will would not be uniform so I'm not sure what the point would be. This will, however, be on our checklist of things to look for in a troop. So if I continue as a leader into Scouting, that will be about $90 for two pairs of pants. Yikes! But worth it, in my opinion. A uniform pool is a good idea, I will talk with the other pack leaders about getting one going. By the way, I thought it made more sense when the Boy Scout pants were the same color as the shirt, as they were "back in my day." But I guess there's little point in debating that at this point.
  21. Uniform award transfers - Cub to Boy Scouts

    BobWhite says: By the way the Arrow of Light is not a rank. It is an award. and The Scout badge is not a rank, it also is an award. The final rank in Cub Scouts is Webelos, and the first rank in Boy Scouts is Tenderfoot. I did not realize that the Arrow of Light was not considered a "rank," and a bit of browsing around on the Internet suggests that people more knowledgeable than I have difficulty with the distinction as well. The Virtual Cub Leaders Handbook contains a lot of information that I have found useful, and at the following address: http://www.geocities.com/~pack215/arrow-of-light.html it states that "The Arrow of Light Award is the highest rank in Cub Scouting." So they call it an award and a rank. I remain uncertain of the difference. If the distinction is that a rank is something that is earned in sequence while an award can be earned at any time (or at least at more than one stage along the trail), then Arrow of Light would seem to be as much of a rank as Wolf, Bear and Webelos. (And now Tiger.) I am not sure if Bobcat is a "rank" because it is just the joining requirements (comparable to "Scout"), though the shape and placement of the Bobcat badge seems to equate it with Tiger, Wolf and Bear. (I remember from my own Cub Scout days that the Bobcat badge was a pin and not a cloth badge like Wolf and Bear -- no Tigers in those days and the only "Webelos" rank/award was the Arrow of Light itself.) To muddle things further, when I was a Boy Scout in the early 70s, they changed the term "rank" to "progress award," though I believe that a few years after I left, they changed it back. More evidence that the distinction is less than crystal clear. Incidentally, when I speak of "awards" above, I have in mind such things as the World Conservation Award, the heroism awards, or for Boy Scouts only, the 50 Miler. You need not earn any particular award before earning any of these awards... well, in the case of the World Conservation award, you must complete certain elective requirements for Wolf or Bear to earn it at those levels, but you actually must earn 2 of 3 specific activity badges to earn it as a Webelos. I don't know about earning it as a Boy Scout. But it's obviously still an "award" and not a "rank." So, is there a publication somewhere that actually defines "rank" and "award" so as to draw a clear distinction between them? Or is this just more of the confusion in terminology that I believe is rampant in the Cub Scout program. But I guess that shouild be a topic for another trhead.
  22. Eagle Problem

    To Rooster: In retrospect, my reading of the post in question is that the extensive discussion of the chartered organization's role itself carried at least a potential implication of relevance to this particular set of facts, which I guess I thought negated your disclaimer to some extent. In other words, I did not think that your point was as clear as you thought it was. You have since made it abundantly clear that you were not saying what I thought you might be saying. However, I also was not completely clear, because in discussing the "making up" of facts, I did not mean that you were trying to change the facts of the actual story, but rather that you were presenting a hypothetical, which would normally be fine but which I did not think belonged in this thread about an actual set of facts. Maybe that is just a different way of saying that you were off-topic, which you have basically acknowledged. It is also possible that I was unduly influenced by what I saw as chiming-in with DedicatedDad, who did inject his own facts into the discussion, and in fact criticized me for assuming that the scenario presented by the original poster represented the Whole Truth. I am still waiting for an explanation from him, and anyone else who cares to join in, as to how a Scoutmaster could deem a boy's hair length suitable for service as SPL (not just as a candidate for the boys to possibly elect, but as an appointee of the SM), but not as a candidate for Eagle Scout. Those are the facts as they have been presented. So, as to you Rooster, I withdraw and regret any negative implications other than that you were off-topic, and normally I wouldn't even say anything about that. In 12+ years of posting on discussion boards on AOL, other services and the Internet, I have been known to make an off-topic remark or two on occasion. I just think it is something to be particularly avoided when someone, and maybe particularly a youth, is asking for help with his own real-life situation.
  23. Eagle Problem

    Thank you, Rooster, for posting part of your post in larger type, my aging eyes appreciate it. But that really isn't the part of your post I was responding to. I was responding to your dragging the subject of the chartered organization into this thread, where it does not belong.
  24. Eagle Problem

    Rooster, why do you and DedicatedDad feel compelled to make up facts that are not part of the scenario presented by the Scout and his mom, and then act as if the answer to your made-up situation is (or may be) the answer to the Scout's question? In your case, there is absolutely no suggestion that the CO has a hair-length policy, or even that the SM went to the CO and asked if he could impose one, and got approval. The facts suggest just the opposite. This boy was appointed SPL by this SM! If there was a rule, or a policy, or a suggestion by the CO, or anything of the kind, that boys in the troop should not have long hair, would this SM have appointed this boy SPL? It makes absolutely no sense to me. Eagle may be the highest rank, but the SPL is the highest ranking boy in the troop even if he is Second Class. So I really have to conclude that this is something the SM came up with on a whim. Now, some others seem to have gone even further than I would and state flat-out that a troop may not adopt a hair-length rule, or at least not a rule against long but clean hair. I am not sure this is true, and I take no position on it. What I do take a position on is that if there can be such a rule, it has to be a rule that governs conduct in the troop, by all boys from Scout to Eagle with palms, and smallest boy in the new-Scout patrol to SPL and JASM. What this SM has done is not adopt a rule to govern conduct in the troop, but only by boys (so far, maybe just this boy) who are going for Eagle. And that is not a troop rule, that is an advancement requirement that the SM is adding, and he cannot do that. It is as if the SM said, I don't think 21 merit badges (if that is still the correct number) is enough to show Scout Spirit, you have to earn 23. Or you have to do 2 projects. Or you have serve in a leadership position while a Life Scout for a year instead of 6 months (or whatever it is.) All to show Scout Spirit, you understand. Nobody would defend that. (Or maybe, having read some of the posts in this and other threads, I shouldn't assume anything about what people will say around here...)
  25. Eagle Problem

    Dedicated Dad, I am not the one who is "assuming facts not in evidence." I am responding to the post as written, while you are making up hypothetical facts such as the existence of rules that appear nowhere in the posts by those who actually know the facts. I suppose that I, and almost everybody else, are assuming several things: One is that the original writer, and/or his mother, knows that the existence of a rule governing a subject is crucial to a discussion of how that subject is being handled by the SM. Another assumption is that the boy and his mother are trustworthy and would therefore present all the facts they believe to be relevant. Therefore, if there were a rule, they would say so. I therefore respond as if there is no rule. What the Scoutmaster said is not a rule; if there was a rule, he would not be talking about what other Eagles in other units might look like, he would just enforce the rule. If I assumed that every writer who presents a "story" were omitting a crucial fact, there would be no point in responding at all, because any response would be worthless. And if everybody assumed that, there would be no point in anybody asking the forum for advice on any subject, because everybody would assume that the questioner is lying about the facts or at least leaving out a critical fact, and the response would not match the question. I see no reason to make such an assumption. Also, DedicatedDad states: Regardless, I still contend the Scout should work to change the rules or arbitrary whims of his Scoutmaster before he runs to the BSA Libertarian zealots who would do it for him. Rules, not in quotation marks, yes. I don't know what a rule in quotation marks is. As for "arbitrary whims," I have agreed with others who have stated that the Scout should speak with the Scoutmaster to state his position and try to get his agreement. The next step, as you suggested in your first post in this thread, would be for the Scout to reconsider his own position and decide whether to challenge the SM. I agree with that. Just because the SM is breaking the rules does not mean that this particular Scout has the obligation to challenge him on it. But the third step, if the Scout in fact decides not to cut his hair or to "collect" examples of long-haired Eagles, would be to follow the established procedures, or rules, to seek a different result. And as for "the BSA Libertarian zealots," I find that phrase rather amusing for reasons that, as I have suggested before, would send this thread way off-topic if I were to discuss them here. I don't know whether you are directing that label to people who may or may not be on the Scout's district or council advancement committee, or to people in this forum. If it is the latter, I would comment that BobWhite and Ed Mori, for two, have not demonstrated a great deal of libertarian zealotry on that subject that I am not going to discuss here. The issue there is what should be a rule in a particular instance; but once there is agreement about what the rules are, as there is here, those 2 gentlemen and I agree that you do not enforce a rule that does not exist. That is not particularly "libertarian," not that that is necessarily a bad word. Almost (note the "almost") everybody I know, including posters on this forum, is a "libertarian" on at least some subjects, even if they don't identify themselves as such. And finally DedicatedDad, I am wondering how many different people are writing under your account name. In your first post in this thread, you said: I see no compelling reason to cut your hair, you certainly have the right to complete your Eagle however you want while remaining inside the rules, let the chips fall where they may. I think youre on solid ground here to make this happen on your terms. and You have the absolute right to finish your Scouting career in whatever manor you wish, but just because you can doesnt mean its the right thing to do. Those statements do not seem consistent with your most recent posts regarding "rules" and "Obedient." At first, you thought the Scout had the right to do what he was doing, you just questioned whether sticking to his guns would well serve him in later life. Now you are questioning whether sticking to his guns is right or wrong, a violation of "rules" and dis-Obedient. If you are merely playing Devil's advocate, you should say so and save the rest of us the time and energy of responding. Otherwise, these cannot both be the opinions of the same person.
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