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NJCubScouter

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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    Smoking and campouts

    Bob, actually, if someone is writing a rule, his approach should be just the opposite of what you describe. It should not be to choose words that can be interpreted to prohibit what the writer is trying to prohibit. It should be to choose words that cannot be interpreted ANY OTHER WAY than to prohibit that conduct. Or stated another way, it should be to choose words that cannot be interpreted at all. Stated in terms of attitude, the writer should not assume a positive attitude by those who are expected to follow the rule, because those who take the positive approach are probably not the people the rule is aimed at in the first place. The attitude SHOULD be a negative one -- assume that someone is going to try to sneak around the rule, and write language that closes off all means of escape. The BSA rule writers seem to follow the same approach described above, because in the majority of BSA rules there is no "wiggle room." Which makes one wonder when there is. And can you explain why the Cub Scout leader book, at least the one that was current until last year, does not seem to follow the same policy? I cannot locate my copy of the newer one at the moment to see what it says.
  2. NJCubScouter

    Smoking and campouts

    First, let me say that I think smoking should be prohibited at all Scouting events, period. That should dispel any questions about my motivation in saying that the rule language quoted by BobWhite is NOT clear. Why don't they just come out and say it the way I said it: Smoking is prohibited at Scouting events and activities. They can leave off the period. The only time I have seen this a smoking policy in writing was in the Cub Scout Leader Book, and it had language that was different from what BobWhite quoted, and it indicated that smoking was NOT prohibited. It said something like, smoking in the presence of boys is "strongly discouraged," or something like that. I don't know if it has been changed, but if it has, they need to take all of the statements about smoking and make them consistent.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  3. NJCubScouter

    ACLU sues Old Baldy council for fraudulent HUD grant

    I personally appreciate the information and perspective that Merlyn provides, even though I often disagree with his opinions. I hope he keeps posting.
  4. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    And still nobody has even tried to explain how it is that Iraq got to the top of the "danger" list, or the "terrorism" list. North Korea has nuclear weapons, we know because they've said so. Pakistan has nuclear weapons and terrorists, including al Qaeda. Now, I know that the terrorists are mainly in portions of Pakistan that actually are not controlled by the central government, but doesn't that fact make people a little nervous? I also know that General Musharraf is our good buddy now, but I think it would take him about 30 seconds to not be our good buddy anymore if he decided it was in his personal interest. And, let's see, what's that country where most of the 9/11 terrorists were from? A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans believe they were mostly from Iraq. That means that the current administration has done a pretty good job selling this war to the public, because the fact is that none of them were from Iraq. Most of them were from Saudi Arabia, but if we really looked we would probably find good evidence that the Saudi monarchy gives all kinds of money to terrorists. We know that they finance Palestinian terrorists. I hear a lot of talk about "links," but our government seems to ignore the "links" between Saudi Arabia and terrorism. Could it have something to do with the direct business involvement by Father Bush in Saudi Arabia? I know, I know, a Republican could never possibly have any motivation other than what's best for the country. I just thought I'd ask. And what about the Palestinian terrorists and other Arab terrorists in and around Syria and Lebanon? Their groups killed Americans long before we ever had any argument with Saddam Hussein. What are we doing about them? I mean, other than telling Israel that they should be negotiating with the terrorist-in-chief, Yasser Arafat. And what about terrorists in Indonesia? Or the Phillipines? There are terrorists all over the world -- and countries with nuclear weapons -- and countries that have invaded neighbors -- and countries with mad-man dictators. Iraq is not the only one, and again, they are not at the top of the list. I would just like to see a little consistency in our policy before that policy is used as a justification to send our young people into a war.
  5. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    One of my problems with this is, our actions have not matched our rhetoric. President Bush has been talking about Iraq and its threat to our nation since shortly after 9/11/01. He received authorization to do something months ago. And, Rooster, you're right, we don't know all of the evidence that our government has, but that only makes it more curious that we haven't done anything yet. When I say that, I don't mean that we should have sent ground forces in already. We have taken military action against Iraq several times since the end of ground action in 1991, with not a single soldier or marine sent into battle. We have sent bombers and missiles, none of which take nearly as much time to deploy as has passed since President Bush first said we were going after Saddam Hussein. We could have been bombing anything that looks like it might be useful in making weapons, and basically wiped out his entire defensive capability. That is what we did before we sent in ground forces in Desert Storm. Why haven't we done that? And I'm not necessarily saying that we should have; what I am saying is that the fact that we haven't, makes me wonder whether the president really thinks we need to.
  6. NJCubScouter

    BSA is dying

    Well, Rooster, if that is the case about the electors, I guess that what I "understood" was not correct. The fact that electors can vote for whoever they want, in some states legally and in some illegally (though the "rogue" vote still counts), makes the electoral system even more ridiculous than I already thought it was. We voters have no clue in the world who these 538 (1 for each Senate and House seat and 3 for D.C.) people are, and yet they are the only people in the country whose votes actually count for president. In and of itself, the "fix" for that would be to eliminate the actual electors and simply count the electoral votes by state based on who wins that state. But I personally think that the whole electoral system is a ridiculous anachronism and that we should elect the president directly. We are one nation, not simply a collection of states. I have a direct vote for my county registrar of deeds and mortgages, but not for the most important position in the country. How absurd.
  7. NJCubScouter

    BSA is dying

    It is my understanding that ALL states have laws requiring their electors to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. However, if one of them violates the law, the consequence is the same as violating any other criminal law, i.e. probably a fine, though I don't know if it has really been enforced the few times this has happened. The law does NOT change the elector's vote -- it still counts for the "wrong" candidate. The often heard statement that the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy, is both meaningless and not completely correct. The original, technical definition of "republic" is any nation where the people are sovereign, that is, there is no monarch. A second definition has developed, basically, a nation where the people actually govern themselves through elected representatives. The second definition is essentially the same as a "representative democracy" -- not "mob rule" as in a "pure democracy" (which has probably never existed in practice), but rule through elected representatives. Some countries are technically republics, but are not truly representative democracies, examples, Egypt, Iraq, the Phillipines during the time of Marcos. There may be "elections" but there is only one party, and no real democracy. Some countries are representative democracies but not republics, because they have a monarch, though one who does not truly rule. Examples: the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark. The U.S. is a republic under both definitions, in other words, a representative democracy.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  8. NJCubScouter

    ACLU sues Old Baldy council for fraudulent HUD grant

    Acco says: What are the federal and state non-discrimination laws? Last time I looked, you could discriminate on the basis of sex and sexual orientation in many states. If by "sex" you mean gender, I was not aware of that. I thought that all states prohibited discrimination in employment, public accomodations, etc. on the basis of race, sex (gender), religion and national origin (and maybe others I'm not thinking of.) I know that New Jersey does, and the federal government does as well. (Note, every anti-discrimination law has some exceptions to it, so nobody needs to tell me that churches don't have to hire Muslim caretakers or that it's ok to limit draft registration to men, I already know that.) Acco, you are correct that some states do not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I believe that federal law also does not prohibit this, or at least, the main civil rights laws, i.e. Title VII, do not. However, according to the ACLU press release, this lawsuit is based not only on discrimination against gays, but also on discrimination against atheists. Under federal law, discrimination against atheists constitutes discrimination on the basis of "religion." I am not sure if this is true under the law of all states; my suspicion would be, yes in some, no in others. P.S. Your first two links require registration to get access to the articles. I noticed that too. I hate that. Most of the major newspaper sites do that now. I almost never register, because I figure I'll get more junk e-mail and I get enough now, thanks. One time I must have registered to read a legal article on a site sponsored by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, which otherwise I have never heard of specifically, but ever since then I have been getting mail from bamsl.org about every seminar on Decedents Estates and Trusts Under Missouri Law and every meet-the-judges dinner in Greater St. Louis. I have never bothered to figure out how to get myself off the mailing list.
  9. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    Pat Buchanan is hardly your typical right-wing conservative. He really has his own "wing." He is not a typical isolationist either. His opposition to Desert Storm II is not surprising, considering that he was just about the only "conservative" to oppose Desert Storm I. Nor are his motivations in opposing war with Iraq in any way related to those of the "peace protesters," or to those of us who question whether the war is a good idea, but who if we did invade, would wave the flag (at least at first) and hope for an easy victory and a rapid withdrawal. To find out what Buchanan's motivations are, I think all you have to do is read the article. Look at all the references to Israel and Ariel Sharon. He believes that the motivating force behind the war is Israel and its supporters in this country. (That would include me, so I guess the fact that I don't necessarily support the war doesn't help his argument.) His famous quote about Desert Storm I was something like, the only people supporting the war are Israelis and their "amen corner" in the United States. What do you think, all you out there who supported Desert Storm I? Did you support it because it would help Israel? Buchanan thinks that that was your (our) motivation. And while we're at it, what is the real ideology behind Buchanan's views? Let's see: He thinks Israel is controlling U.S. foreign policy (a proposition that would come as a great surprise to the government of Israel, which has endured constant, public criticism from the U.S. government for its dealings with the Palestinians.) He criticizes Israel and its supporters in this country every chance he gets. He is clearly pro-Palestinian at the expense of Israel (read the article.) He opposed the prosecution of Nazi war criminals by the U.S. government. He encouraged Ronald Reagan to honor the graves of Nazi SS soldiers in Bittburg, Germany (remember that? That was Buchanan's doing.) And on top of all that, he has written articles claiming that certain portions of the Holocaust did not occur. Add it all together, and it's pretty clear to me. Oh, and he hates gay people, too. Just thought I'd throw that in.
  10. NJCubScouter

    ACLU sues Old Baldy council for fraudulent HUD grant

    Does anyone want to suggest that the Old Baldy council admits gays and atheists? Sure. Not knowingly, though. I think this is a really interesting case. The BSA is probably going to say that it is in "compliance" with all anti-discrimination laws, because to the extent that its practices would otherwise violate those laws, the laws themselves are unconstitutional. This would be based on the "Dale" case. In other words, the argument would be that the aspects of anti-discrimination law that the BSA is "violating," do not atually exist as far as the BSA is concerned. In legal lingo, I think the BSA would say that to deny them public funding would "burden" their First Amendment right to expressive association. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has generally given Congress (and federal agencies) wide latitude to place conditions on the granting of federal funds, basically on the premise that the receipt of these funds is a "privilege" rather than a "right." But using the federal false swearing act makes it difficult. Until the courts decide whether the BSA has to comply with policies banning discrimination in public facilities and funding, it is tough to say that the BSA knowingly made a false statement. As far as they were concerned, they were not violating the law, so they did not swear falsely. If anyone is waiting for an actual opinion from me as to which legal argument is correct, you'll have to continue to wait. Merlyn, is there any specific case law on BSA use of public facilities or funding yet? There have been a number of stories about cases involving facilities, but I have not heard about any published opinions. (This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  11. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    Kwc says: Yet we are about to do the same thing by invading Iraq. This is not a position that the US has taken in the past. We respond, we don't draw first blood. Hmm, I suspect Salvador Allende might disagree. (If he was still alive, that is, but he isn't because our CIA had him assassinated.) I think it might be more correct to say that this IS a position that the U.S. has taken in the past, but it's generally not one that we take anymore since the collapse of the USSR'nt. I agree with your main point though, Kwc. I understand why we want Saddam Hussein out, but I'm not sure how he got on top of the list of people to send Americans into battle to accomplish that goal. And although I have not brought this up before: I also don't think we have a good enough idea what we might leave behind in Iraq when we're done. If you think Hussein is the only "bad man" in the country and the only one who wishes us harm, I have some news for you. We may end up like the Soviets in Afghanistan, or ourselves in Vietnam, staying there for years to "protect our investment," losing thousands of men every year along the way. I just want to be clear, I'm not some peacenik and I'm not one of the guys you are watching on TV at antiwar protests. I just think we need to be clear about the risks and the need to do this before we do it, and I am not at all convinced that our president has made the case that the need outweighs the risks. Maybe he will tonight, but I'll be at a school board meeting, being a part of the government.
  12. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    Rooster says: I trust him and our current government officials to analyze the situation properly and to act accordingly. I guess that's where we differ. I think that politics is playing too big a role in the decision-making about this. Karl Rove as much as admitted that when he said they weren't going to start the war last July or August because "you don't bring out new products over the summer." I think the timing had a lot to do with the elections last November, and the timing now has a lot to do with the elections a year from this November. That's not to say that politics did not play a role in foreign/military policy in the last administration, of course it did. It's just that in the last administration, the vast majority of our war-making (mainly Kosovo and Iraq) was done from the air, and due to our technological superiority, relatively few American lives were lost. (Obviously aircraft can get shot down, like the helicopter in Somalia.) But now we appear to be talking about a ground war; if we were going to do a lot of bombing, I think we would have started long ago. We've had one ground war going on in Afghanistan, though you have to pay really close attention to know it's still going on. I heard something about there being a major battle today, though I'm sure the vast majority of Americans will never know about it. Whether our troops are involved in these ongoing battles, I don't even know, and I try to stay up on these things. I don't think anybody's covering it up, I just think the media has correctly concluded that most people don't care anymore, we're on to the next war. Afghanistan is like so 15 minutes ago, you know? But the point is that nobody rational had any problem with us fighting in Afghanistan, due to the direct link between their government and a direct attack on our country. There is a self-described Communist on New York City talk radio, who never supports any military action by the U.S., and he was supporting the war in Afghanistan (on our side, that is.) That says something to me. But even in Afghanistan, I think most people (including me) are of the impression that our casualties have been relatively few and far between. That just is not the case for Iraq. There is going to be much more significant loss of U.S. life, with benefits (including "loss avoidance") that are speculative at best.
  13. NJCubScouter

    BSA is dying

    Re: Elton John, Freddie Mercury, etc. Let's not forget that great "leading man" of the 50s and 60s, Rock Hudson. Not to mention one of the greatest players in the history of football, O.J. Simpson. I think that the public too often forgets that being able to act, or sing, or run with a football, does not necessarily mean that you have anything else of great significance to contribute, or that your life should be some sort of role model. I hate all of the celebrity news and gossip that seems to be all around me. I don't want to know who Ben Affleck is dating, I am barely sure which one of the gaggle of current actors he even is. Very rarely, someone distinguishes himself/herself in entertainment or sports and turns out to be a genuinely good person who is someone to emulate, and who can excel in other areas. Bill Bradley comes to mind. But in most cases -- look, I am the biggest Beatles fan I know, but I don't want my children taking LSD or cheating on their spouses.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  14. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    I heard on the radio that General Norman Schwarzkopf said, last night or this morning (i.e. after the latest report from the U.N. inspectors) that the U.S. should give the inspectors more time to work, and that war in Iraq is not inevitable, and might not be necessary. I find it pretty persuasive that a someone with Schwarzkopf's military record is saying this. I definitely trust him more than the politicians on all sides of the issue. And for the record, whenever i have heard the general make any sort of political remark, it has been pro-Republican, or at the very least anti-Clinton. So he has no political ax to grind against the president. He just isn't sure that this is the cause into which we should commit the lives of American service-people, and neither am I.
  15. NJCubScouter

    Who needs THIS!?

    I have to tell you, I am not prone to cry, but I felt at least a small twinge when I got to their part where the boy thought he was a Scout. He apparently is of the right age to be a Tiger (or maybe in a Wolf den), and I think he should be. I'd like him to be placed in the custody of some uncle or grandparent who isn't a thief, and preferably one who lives in my town, so he can join my pack and really be a Scout. He obviously needs some adult examples who are not his biological parents, and he probably needs some friends as well.
  16. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    Rooster says: Do you understand that prior to Christ that there was a spiritual wall between us and God? Rooster, do you understand that your question (it's really a statement) is offensive to Jewish people? Jews do not believe that there is a wall between them and God.
  17. NJCubScouter

    War with Iraq

    First of all: I think this is to kwc: Israel is very concerned about Iraq and has been for a longer period than the U.S. Others have mentioned the Scud attacks during the Desert Storm, when Israel sat idly by at our request, while deadly missiles rained down on its soil. I was very upset about that, but I understood at that time that it was important to keep the "coalition" together. There will be no such coalition this time, even if we do have a few allies (UK, Poland, Qatar, whoever) helping us out. We should never ask an ally to do what we asked Israel to do back then. Also don't forget that it was Israel that sent bombers to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor, in order to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. Think about that. Iraq was our buddy then, because Iran wasn't. Korea: It was Benjamin Franklin who replied, "A republic, if you can keep it." The framers of the Constitution would not have used the word "democracy." It was not considered a complimentary term at the time. It really came into vogue around the time of Andrew Jackson, at which time the "Republican" party of Thomas Jefferson changed its name to "Democratic Republican" and finally "Democratic." Now, to the issue. I do not like Saddam Hussein. I would like him out. I wish that our president's father had listened to that great son of the Garden State, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, in 1991, and not stopped our tanks and troops until they had sent Hussein fleeing through the desert with his wives. They were, literally, on a roll. They had the whole Iraqi army surrendering in front of them. I realize it is not that simple. But if there was ever a time to do it, I think that was the time. My feelings about this are very mixed. Iraq is only one of a number of countries that I would, if I could do it without risking American lives, subject to "regime change." Let's see, a partial list would include China; North Korea; every nation in the Middle East except Israel; Zimbabwe. Really, any nation where the people have no say in their government and the government murders its citizens as a means of political control. Pakistan might deserve to be on the list too; it does become a bit complicated, because their dictator is our buddy at the moment. The nation on the top of the list was the one that harbored and supported the murderers of thousands of Americans about 16 months ago. We took care of it, we put in a new regime, now we're just mopping up. So that nation is off the list, though based on its history, it may be back someday. But I don't know how Iraq got to the top of that long list. I also think that the claims that this is a crisis requiring immediate action, are blunted by the fact that it is now about 14 months since our president first raised the idea of attacking Iraq. If it's such a crisis, you don't wait 14 months. Yes, we were a bit busy in Afghanistan for the first few of those months. But in a true crisis, we do have the ability to fight multiple enemies at once. We have done it before, against enemies with far more firepower than the combined forces of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammed Omar. (Remember him? The one-eyed guy?) So, do I want Saddam Hussein out? Sure. Can I justify sending my neighbors' children out to do the job, with some never to return? It's very difficult. If it were up to me, I think I wouldn't do it.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  18. NJCubScouter

    Who needs THIS!?

    Kwc, I agree on the neckerchiefs. If a Cub Scout with a knotted neckerchief is the mark of a fraud, I've been seeing several imposters at every pack meeting. Seriously, I agree with the title of the thread: Who needs this? Who can even explain this? Theft is one thing, but to use your own son as a tool to commit a crime... it's just creepy. I wonder if these people should have their child taken away and placed elsewhere. I don't say that lightly; I believe that these days, child protection agencies sometimes (often?) intervene when they should not. But this is one of those very rare situations where it might be justified.
  19. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    Its Trail Day asks: Could the BSA use of the word 'avowed' with no applied definition be a way to have local option on this question without calling it that? Personally, I think the answer to that is, No. I think the Dale case supports that conclusion. There is no mention that his troop was ever consulted. Once the council found out, he was sent a letter saying (in essence) that his association with the BSA and any of its units was terminated. Now, one might say, his sexuality was basically announced in the newspaper, they couldn't just "look the other way." But that sort of proves my point. If "local option" only exists in the narrow category of cases in which it is not clear whether the person has "avowed" or not, then there isn't really a meaningful local option. Now one might say, there may be units in which some other Scouters "know" someone is gay, and the person does not try to hide it, but nobody outside the unit knows. Some people have written that they know of such situations. TJ is in a similar situation, in which some Scouters (including at district and/or council level) "know." But the problem there is, all it takes is one person to tell council, and that's it. That means that you could have ten leaders in a troop, nine say nothing, but one decides to make a report. That gives any one person veto power over the local option, and again, that does not sound like much of a local option to me.
  20. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    I think the "Rosa Parks" analogy is an interesting one. Ms. Parks was indeed a courageous woman. But notice, she did not have the option (as TJ does) of concealing the characteristic that caused people to discriminate against her. Everybody could see that she was black, and therefore by the "law" of the bus company, she had to stand in the back of the bus. For the same reason, actual laws prevented her from going certain places, educating her children as they should have been educated (probably), exercising her right to vote (probably), and many other things. The "rules" of society dictated that she work at a menial, grueling job that tired her out, and one day she decided she was too tired to stand, she didn't have to stand, she was a human being and had the right to sit regardless of what the "rules" said. Thus is history made. Now, suppose for a second that Rosa Parks had had the ability to pretend that she was white. That, of course, is not a fantasy, many black people who happened to have the "right" skin pigmentation did exactly that. There is something most people don't realize about the ongoing controversy over the descendents (allegedly) of Thomas Jefferson and a slave, Sally Hemings. You look at photos of some of these people and wonder what the issue is, because they sure look like white folks, and not surprisingly, because Sally Hemings herself had 3 white grandparents. (Her father, her owner, was also Jefferson's father-in-law, and her mother also was the child of an owner and a slave.) She herself "passed" after she was freed, as did her children, who were (as the result of their Jeffersonian paternity (Thomas or otherwise), only one-eighth black. More generally, until the "Civil Rights era" starting in the 60's, "passing" was something that many black people tried to do. So what? Well, in "passing," they were at times breaking the law. They were going where the rules said they should not go, and sometimes they were marrying who the law said they should not marry. What would Rosa Parks have done if she were able to pass as white? Would she have still stood in the back of the bus after a long day of work, in order to make a point and support her less fortunate brethren? (Er, sisteren?) Or would she have kept her seat as the usurping white straphanger moved on to other seats in search of a black person to humiliate? We don't know. But more importantly, would we blame her if she took the "easy way out?" I wouldn't. And it's difficult for me to blame TJ. Why put up with discrimination if you don't have to? In the past, I have seen a number of people on here ask, basically, "why do gay people have to announce who they are, why can't they just keep it private?" Well, here is a guy who keeps it private, and the reaction is still negative.
  21. NJCubScouter

    Don't ask, I'll tell...

    Ed says to me: NJ, I don't mean to sound mean spirited but who really cares what you believe in this case. Well, Ed, it sounds to me like you succeeded in sounding mean spirited, regardless of whether you meant to or not. We could all take the attitude of who-cares about what the other person thinks, but then what would be the point of having the discussion. TJ posted he has told other Scouters he is gay. If that isn't avowed then I don't know what is. Not to sound mean-spirited or anything, but I'll partially agree with you: You don't know what it is. From TJ's description, he has not made his orientation generally known. He has not "officially" told the BSA. He has told several individuals in confidence, and it sounds like so far, they have respected his confidence. Now, some have said that TJ has placed these Scouters in a tough position by telling them. I agree. If it were me, personally, I would not have told anyone connected with Scouting, even though I believed they would keep it a secret. Not only has he presented these Scouters with their own case of divided loyalties, but he also has taken a risk that the information will in fact become "officially known." I do not mean that as a criticism of TJ, and I doubt that he would disagree with it. I also suggested earlier, and I don't think TJ responded, that if one of his Scouter friends did in fact "drop a dime," and inform the BSA, then he would have become "avowed." That being said, TJ should have his membership revoked. No morality issue just a direct violation of a BSA policy. As you interpret it. Does anyone think it's a coincidence that most people who favor the policy also interpret so it will have the greatest effect, while we who oppose it, interpret it so it will not. That might be seen as a criticism of both "sides," including myself. It's a natural human reaction to give ourselves, and not the other guy, the benefit of the doubt. But the bottom line is, if you base a policy on whether someone has "avowed" something, and you know that someone has violated the policy, but you don't know who it is, has it really been "avowed." My tree-in-the-forest analogy still stands. (So to speak.)
  22. Acco, it sounds to me like the remedy, both for this boy and the others who may be affected, would be to have a conversation with the registrar's boss. She is adding an age requirement for rank that clearly does not exist.
  23. Acco, I think you are correct, but I also think I know what your registrar is confused about. As you say, there are 3 options for joining a troop: Be 11 years old, have completed fifth grade (by which time almost any boy will be at least 10.5), or earn Arrow of Light. So if the boy is under 10.5, the Arrow of Light would be the way he gets in. Here is requirement 1 for Arrow of Light: Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge. So, it's an either-or requirement, and your registrar seems to be ignoring the first part of the "or." In other words, she is assuming that the part in parentheses is the only option. In most places, school ends in June, meaning that a boy who is active in the Webelos den (which he presumably was already a member of, starting at the end of third grade) from that point, would qualify sometime in December. I have seen people debate the meaning of the word "active" in this context; in other words, if the boy is a member of a pack/den that "takes the summer off," is he active from June to December, or would his "active" period not start until September when the den revs up again. In that case he would not be able to earn Arrow of Light until March. That might be an issue in this case because the boy will not be 10.5 until May. So if he is not considered to have been "active" during the summer months, he might still have to wait a bit anyway. I personally think that, assuming there are no den meetings in the summer, a boy should be considered active if he participates in ANY Scouting activity over the summer. I would include Cub Scout day camp or overnight camp, even though that may be an individual registration with the council rather than a pack thing. But that is getting far afield from your question.
  24. NJCubScouter

    Johnny-Go-Lately

    I think the original post suggests that this is not a matter of leaving early to go to religious services. It says the boy and his father have "a different excuse every time." Let's give the writer the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not referring to religious services as an "excuse," much less a different excuse every time. This is an example of something I have noticed in this forum, and mentioned once or twice. Some people tend to assume that the thread-starter has not told the whole story, and they add in facts that change the answer. Why do some of us do that? Can't we just answer the question presented without turning it into a different question, and even worse, then arguing about the non-question and forgetting the original question. In this case, I think the answer is clear and has been given by several people. Leaving early on a consistent basis and without a valid excuse is not acceptable. It disrupts the event and isn't fair to those who stay behind to load up, for example, the cooking equipment that produced this boy's meals for the weekend. Maybe a talk with the boy and his father will do the trick.
  25. NJCubScouter

    Just can't resist...this time on media bias

    I have to admit that I do not watch Rather, Jennings, Brokaw, etc., so I have no opinion on whether they present the news in a biased manner. I am somewhat suspicious about the fact that the claims of "liberal bias" in these shows are always made by conservatives. But I don't think it matters. The range of news sources is now so broad and diverse that the claims of "liberal bias," if they were ever correct, have become irrelevant. I get most of my news from the Internet, basically its the Associated Press and Reuters wires, and I think most people would agree that those services are fairly accurate and unbiased. I also sometimes watch Fox News Channel, where, by the way, I do NOT agree that a strict line is drawn between "news" and "opinion" on the conservative side. Fox News has news shows anchored by Tony Snow, who clearly skews things toward the right, and the same is true to a lesser extent of Brit Hume. As for O'Reilly, he does not acknowledge taking a conservative point of view, which is clearly what he does. He claims to be "fair and balanced" and that his show is a "no spin zone," which are ridiculous claims to make for a show that has an obvious ideological point of view. I could go on. Anybody who thinks that the New York Times has a liberal bias, read the real leftist press (like the Village Voice) and you will see what leftists think of the New York Times. To them it is the voice of what used to be called the "Establishment," which is not a liberal institution, and of "big business." And then there is the Washington Times. It claims to be a real newspaper, but it is a conservative mouthpiece -- and not just on the editorial pages. More people read the Washington Post, but I hear the Washington Times quoted every day, as if it were a real newspaper, on my friendly local talk radio station. Which is yet another example of "conservative media." The leading New York City talk radio station, WABC (which claims to be the most listened-to talk radio station in the U.S., which is probably true) has a lineup that is heavily tilted to the right. It is the station where both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity's shows originate from (notwithstanding Rush's lofty references to the "EIB Building.") These shows are labeled as "opinion," but it is still all part of the "media."
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