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Posts posted by NJCubScouter

  1. Eagle90 says:


    What's with all the


    all of a sudden in the posts? It makes reading very difficult and distracting. Can you get rid of them?


    I am sure they are trying to get rid of them. Obviously what is happening is that the forum software has suddenly forgotten how to read html tags and is just printing them as regular characters. Even if you don't use the html tags on purpose, when you hit "enter" between paragraphs, the forum software turns it into (pointy bracket) br (other pointy bracket), which it then reads to put a space between the paragraphs. So everybody is using html tags whether they know it or not, and when the software forgets what they are... well, it's a mess. (It will be interesting to see what happens to the bracket-br-brackets you intentionally typed in when the problem is fixed.)


  2. It looks like the html codes are showing up in the forum posts, instead of working. Let's hope that our forum hosts can banish these glitches quickly and permanently as they continue to improve the forum.


    I want to respond to the messages from LongHall and slontwovvy, but I think a few codes are going to show up. I think the best thing to do is just put in the codes I would put in anyway, and hopefully, things will straighten themselves out. In the meantime, basic html font-codes aren't so difficult to "read." :)


    LongHaul, in response to one of my posts, said:


    NJCub Scouter,

    You ask "Who needs a united country(in time of war)" Do I take that to mean you support our response to 9/11/01?


    My comment, in its original context, was sarcastic, and basically meant that (in my opinion) the issue of sexual orientation and how gays should be treated has divided this country, and we don't need to be divided over something so trivial. (Trivial in the sense that gay or straight orientation, in and of itself, is not something that people should become upset over, and certainly is not something that should cause anyone to be discriminated against. Obviously if you are a gay person being mistreated because of who you are, it is not trivial.) The reference to war meant that, especially in these times of national crisis and war, we should focus even more on the things that unite us and not the things that divide us. I think that meaning was pretty clear from what I said.


    So what I said really has nothing to do with whether I agree with our response to 9/11. As it happens, I do agree with what we have done so far, and I think we should continue trying to bring the murderers of our people to justice (or bring justice to them, in the words of one of our leaders, I think it was either Cheney or Rumsfeld.) I just hope that we are not getting ourselves bogged down in a quagmire trying to unify Afghanistan through use of our military force, which I think is a futile effort that will ultimately do nothing more than waste American lives. Once we have fulfilled our mission, that country is a good place not to be. So you wanted my opinion, you got it, off-topic though it may be.


    LongHaul continues:


    Stand up to terrorist as long as peopled died first but if the terorist is only trying to hurt you financally turn the other cheek. Don't stand up for your right to choose who you associate with is some one may be offended. See page 53 of the Handbook, read the part about being brave.


    Not sure exactly what you are getting at here. Are you equating a real war on real terrorist killers with an economic boycott? And which side in a boycott, the side you agree with or all sides? If this paragraph has some relevance to the "gay issue," maybe you should spell out what it is. And as for "brave," how does that relate to the issue? I will venture one possibility, the gay Eagle Scouts who have battled through the courts not to be discriminated against by their own organization, seem pretty brave to me.


    And LongHaul goes on:


    Compromise? What would your feelings be if President Bush announced that the United States would be willing to agree to a compromise with those responsible for 9/11/01. No retaliation not criminal trials "Let's sit down and talk this out." A couple of thousand dead could lead to some meaninful discussion.


    My feelings would be about the same as yours, I suspect. Don't forget, though, that for some period after 9/11, maybe a week to 10 days, the president was willing to leave the Taliban alone if they handed over al-Quaia, even though the Taliban had harbored the terrorists and given them the comfort and safe haven they needed to plan their attack. So maybe what you consider unthinkable came closer to happening than you think.


    Now, at least LongHaul seemed to be relating the "war" issue to the Scouting issue under discussion, though exactly what he was saying was (I thought) difficult to figure out. Slontwovvy on the other hand, picked up on the war message and promptly launched into a discussion that was not, up to that point, taking place:




    You hit the nail on the head. So many idealists want peace, which is not bad. However, they are willing to go to such extremes to get it that it becomes dangerous. I can just imagine what would've happened if this attitude would have prevailed during World War II. We would be "peacefully negotiating" with Adolf Hitler and telling him why he shouldn't annihilate over 10 million people. Idealism, though admirable, is not often practical.


    I wonder who in this forum you think favors peace at the cost of tyranny. And, since I apparently started this sub-thread, however unwittingly, let me be the first to take offense at your comments about Hitler. My great-grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles and cousins were among those slaughtered by Hitler while this country dithered around about whether to get actively involved in the war for more than two years. And turned away ships loaded with refugees so they could get sent back to be killed. We didn't do enough, soon enough about Hitler. So don't talk to me about Hitler.


  3. After reading this thread, I have a wonderful idea. If a few companies and governments who don't like the BSA cut all ties to it including use of meeting space and funding; and then everybody who supports the BSA policy boycotts those companies and governments; and mix in a boycott of any company that gives benefits to gay couples, like some churches did a few years ago when they targeted Disney; and then those who oppose anti-gay discrimination start boycotting the boycotters; and then the boycotters boycot the boycotters of the boycotters... wow, we could end up with two totally separate economies in this country, based entirely on how one feels about the sexual orientation of about 5 percent of the population.


    Right? Isn't that how we deal with things in this country? To completely separate ourselves with all people who disagree with us on anything. I mean, who needs a united country (in time of war) when it means we have to deal with people who don't share our opinions on everything?


    Now, if you haven't figured it out yet, I don't believe in economic warfare, on either side, as a solution to this problem. I don't like to see companies and governments and United Ways cutting ties with Scout councils and units -- and then the BSA has to go into court, when applicable, to enforce their First Amendment rights against any government attempts to enforce their own anti-discrimination policies. Where does it all end?


  4. Eagle90, I know this is getting off the point of the original thread, but I have a question about this statement:


    We do have a boy-run troop - WITHIN BOUNDARIES. Whatever they do must be approved by either myself as SM or the appropriate committee person involved. We do have to veto some ideas, but for the most part they are pretty good at knowing what will and will not fly.


    My Boy Scout experience comes from being a youth member, plus a few months as an 18-year-old ASM, a number of years ago. I have been a Cub Scout leader, but of course that does not require being versed in the intricacies of boy leadership. (Which I suspect is a large part of your problem with the type-A former Cub leaders; they just aren't used to an organization where they are unable to use all of their leadership skills and experience, because the boys are doing the leading.) So, with my son less than a year from crossover, I am trying to learn exactly how the "boy run" principle is applied in practice. In this and other online forums, I have seen a number of different conceptions of what "boy run" means.


    So based on your comments above, I wonder the following: What kinds of decisions by the boys are vetoed by you or the committee? Can you give specific examples? And what kinds of things do you think the boys don't even propose because they have learned they "will not fly"? Do you only veto things that violate BSA rules and regs (including Guide to Safe Scouting)? Or do you go beyond that? Or is it more often a matter of boys proposing trips that are non-feasible financially or logistically?


    Anyone feel free to answer. I will have Boy Scout-specific training around the time my son crosses over, but I'd like some perspectives from this group.


    On your initial issue, I think others have given you some great suggestions. I would observe that knowing how to make best use out of adult volunteers, and how to avoid getting them disgruntled so they walk out in a huff or just drift away, is probably among the most difficult skills for any leader. My own Cubmaster rates a C-minus (at best) in this category. And that is with too few volunteers, not "too many" as you have.

  5. By the way, I just noticed that our Seniority or Juniority as a Forum Member, or lack thereof, has been replaced by more specific information next to our username, such as our date of registration with the forum, our general geographic location and number of times we have posted. This is useful information. I have sometimes wondered where in the country some of the other posters live but never get around to checking the profiles. Now the information is right there, and it is also interesting to know how "active" different people are in the forum.


    Thanks to the moderator for the improvement.

  6. How about a third choice for "please clarify the question"? What does "todays parents" mean? All parents? Some parents? A majority? All parents except for the person answering the question and his/her friends? (The last one is how I think people who vote "yes" probably interpret the question, at least subconsiously.)


  7. Dperry, aren't your Troop Guides in the "regular" patrols really doing the job of Instructor rather than Troop Guide? Although I thought the Instructor was more of a supplement; if you have one permanently assigned to each patrol and are acting somewhat as a "check" on the patrol leader, then maybe you are sort of blending parts of the roles of Troop Guide, Instructor and (maybe) ASPL all in one person. The result, it seems to me, is that you may be limiting the role of the patrol leaders (of the regular patrols) and not letting them "fly on their own" as much as they are supposed to.


    Of course, I could be wrong. I haven't been involved with a Boy Scout troop since 1976 (though my son is less than a year from crossover.) But I do read Scouting stuff on the Internet, and it seems to me like some of the youth roles in your troop might be askew.


    Also just to nitpick a little more, you have the patrol quartermaster doing the duty roster and planning the meals. As I think back, the duty roster was the patrol leader's job and meal planning was more of a group function with the PL in the lead. I don't think it's just a matter of delegating responsibility -- I think the PL needs to be able to do this stuff. And if the PL is skilled and comfortable with doing these things, then shouldn't they be delegated to the APL as part of developing his leadership skills?



  8. Grey Fox said:


    The DE can also investigate and determine if the "proposed new CO" really qualifies as a CO in the eyes of the Council.


    I agree. The fact that it is a "sportsman's club" raises my eyebrows a bit. The primary activity of a "sportsman's club" is hunting. While I have nothing against hunting, it is not a BSA-approved youth activity. Of course, learning how to handle a hunting weapon and target shooting ARE approved BSA activities and there are related merit badges, which members of the club could be helpful with. So the council could see it as a good CO, or not. Their history with their prior (actually, still current if I read the post correctly) unit could also have some bearing.


    And although I don't want to make this a debate, I do think that the "sign here once a year" variety of CO has both pros and cons. That is basically what I have with my Cub pack, although it is somewhat complicated by the fact that the CO is a parent-teacher organization, and the IH is a parent of one of the boys in the pack. She has basically decided to leave the running of the unit to the leaders, which I see as a blessing. "Assistance" and "support" usually comes with a price, and potentially that price can be that someone within the CO decides that he/she knows how to do things better than the unit leaders, and sometimes better than the BSA itself. I think you need to know what the price is, or could be, before you make a move.

  9. Rooster says:


    I'm aware of BSA's official stance on this issue. I've seen their fact sheet and the disclaimer. Regardless, I'm pretty convinced that they are killing two birds (improper role model and reducing risk of pedophilia) with one stone.


    So in other words, you are saying the BSA is lying? That they really do equate homosexuality and pedophilia but are saying the opposite?


    As for reducing the risk of pedophilia, the "gay exclusion" policy seems a pretty odd way to go about it. To my knowledge, approximately five (5) "avowedly gay" men have been excluded from leadership positions, and that includes the two in the Washington, D.C. area who, if I have my facts correct, applied for leadership positions mainly so that they could challenge the policy in court. Now, just as a reflection of society as a whole, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of gay leaders who keep quiet about it. The BSA says they will not ask anyone about their orientation. So how are they killing two birds with one stone? Not only are the overwhelming percentage of gays in the BSA "non-avowed," but I find it difficult to believe that a pedophile, knowing that some in our society equate homosexuality with pedophilia, would announce that he was gay. Especially if he planned to become a Scout leader. So it seems to me that the BSA policy excludes those very few gays who are least likely to be pedophiles. And no, I cannot quote any scientific studies on this, it just seems logical.


    Of course, as always, you're free not to believe it.


    On this issue, I believe what the BSA says. You, apparently, think they have a hidden agenda.

  10. The Cub Scout Leader Book (2001 edition) says the following (not in bold, I did that to set it off):


    Webelos overnight camping at Boy Scout camporees and/or events is not a BSA-approved activity. (P. 21-9)


    That statement is highlighted in the book by making it a "bullet point" on a light blue background.


    The book does, however, encourage Webelos dens to go on one-night camping trips with Boy Scout troops. (Page 22-3) Further clarification is found in the Webelos Leader Book (2001 edition) which states the following:


    Dens of Webelos Scouts with their parents are encouraged to participate in several joint den-troop campouts, particularly during the fifth-grade year. These campouts, conducted with an individual troop for the purpose of strengthening ties between the pack and the troop, are to be held separate from any district or council Boy Scout activities. (Page 21.)


    Then, going back to the CSLB, there is a list of approved Joint Webelos Scout and Boy Scout Activities. These include, overnight campouts (under the guidelines in the book), evening campfires, day hikes, and attendance by the den at a troop "skill-o-ree." (Page 22-3)


    I would interpret all of the above to mean that a Webelos den could attend a district or council camporee to witness displays or contests of Scout skills, but should not stay overnight. Recently the second-year Webelos from my pack attended the district Klondike Derby as the guests of one of the troops -- but this event was not an overnighter where you pushed the sled from campsite to campsite, as it was when I was a boy. It was a one-day event where all the sleds were on a huge open field. In other words, no camping was involved (although at one "town" the boys did have to set up and take down a tent.) So I think it was ok for the troop to invite the Webelos den.


    Now if you want to get really technical: If a Webelos Scout arrives at a Camporee on Saturday and crosses over to a troop that day, can he camp with the troop that night? He is no longer a Cub Scout; he is now a Boy Scout and a member of the troop, right? Or does the actual "membership" in the troop have to await processing of the boy's Application to Join a Boy Scout troop by the council?


    The answer is important not just because of what I have quoted above, but because of the differing leadership requirements for Webelos and Boy Scout camping. If the boy is still considered a Webelos, there must be an adult specifically responsible for him -- not true if he is a Boy Scout.

  11. My council has a program called Webelos Woods, but I believe it is a weekend rather than a one-day event, and it is held in September, so it is not held in conjunction with crossover. It is open to second-year (fifth-grade) Webelos. I am not that familiar with the details, though my son will be eligible to attend Webelos Woods this fall and we are planning to go. (Actually he doesn't know about it yet, but he likes the camping we do with the pack so I'm sure he won't mind.)


    Out of curiosity I just did a Yahoo search on "Webelos Woods" and got a bunch of pages from different councils. Flipping through the first few, it seems as if councils use this term to describe a variety of different camping activities at different times of the year. Some of them appear to be half-week Webelos resident summer camps (which my council has, but they don't call that Webelos Woods.) Despite the differing methods, I am sure that all these programs are designed to orient second-year Webelos into Boy Scout activities and to encourage them to cross over.

  12. I read the Ann Coulter article, and while Rooster says it is "nicely written" (personally I find very little nice about her writing and tv commentary), it is nevertheless incorrect as far as Scouting is concerned.


    The article is mainly about the sexual misconduct scandal involving Catholic priests. After introducing that subject, Ms. Coulter says the following:


    Meanwhile, no spate of sex scandals is engulfing the Boy Scouts of America. Inasmuch as the Boy Scouts were not taking risk-assessment advice from Norman Mineta, they decided to eliminate a whole category of potential problems by refusing to allow gay men to be scout leaders. Perhaps gay scout leaders just really liked camping. But it was also possible that gay men who wanted to lead troops of adolescent boys into the woods were up to no good.


    In other words, she is saying that the BSA policy against gay leaders is a youth protection device. Because gays are more prone to pedophilia than non-gays, she seems to be saying, the Boy Scouts have reduced the incidences of pedophilia by excluding gays. I don't think the above-quoted passage can be interpreted any other way. Additionally, the first sentence of this passage implies that the BSA is not experiencing a pedophilia scandal because it has banned gays.


    Now some people may believe what she says, but the BSA does not -- or at least, her statements are contrary to what the BSA has said. The BSA has been very clear on the fact that its anti-gay policy is not based on the need to exclude pedophiles. I looked for some proof of this, and found some. The following is from the Scouting magazine web site (and was apparently published in the March-April 2001 issue which I probably still have around somewhere:


    FICTION: The Boy Scouts of America has chosen to exclude avowed homosexuals from the ranks of its members and leaders because of a fear of pedophilia.


    FACT: The BSA does not equate homosexuality with pedophilia, but neither avowed homosexuals nor pedophiles are appropriate role models for Scouting youth.


    Now, there is a very good reason why the BSA would not want to equate homosexuality with pedophilia -- other than the fact that gays are no more likely to be pedophiles than straights. The reason is that the BSA does not exclude all gays, just those who "avow" their orientation. If it were necessary to exclude gays in order to protect the boys from sexual abuse, as Ann Coulter believes, then the BSA would have to exclude all all gays, and in order to do that they would have to go on a gay hunt to find all the closeted folks in the BSA. The policy is not to do that, and specifically not to ask prospective leaders about their sexual orientation. That part of the BSA policy I agree with. Ann Coulter, however, appears to be unaware of the reasons behind the anti-gay policy and the details of its application.


    Ann Coulter is also wrong about her comments on "no spate of sex scandals." There was, if not a "spate," then at least a series of sexual abuse cases in the BSA in the 70s and 80s. The BSA's response was not to ban gays -- a "policy" that was not even made public until around 1990. Rather, the BSA's reaction was to adopt its youth protection guidelines: Two deep leadership, no one-on-one, as well as education of youth and adults about the problems of sexual abuse. The BSA has been applauded for its response to this problem, which has largely been successful. Ann Coulter apparently does not know about this, and therefore makes statements that have no basis in reality.


    I also have to comment on her statement about the efforts of "liberals" at "turning the Boy Scouts into a gay-rights re-education camp." How about, turning the Boy Scouts into a place that doesn't disciminate against gays? Her statement basically says that it is natural and proper to deny gays equal rights, not surprising coming from her, and it isn't surprising that Rooster agrees. But you shouldn't be too surprised that a lot of us don't quite see it that way.

  13. Most of the councils in my state (NJ, hence the name) also seem to follow county lines. We also have seen a great deal of consolidation of councils. I believe that in 1999-2000, eight councils in the northern half of New Jersey were consolidated into three. Each of these three councils probably has in the vicinity of 1.5 to 3 million residents, but obviously the Scouting percentages differ. (One result of the consolidation is that the 4-county Northern New Jersey Council, which is not mine, ended up with 11 countem 11 camps of various shapes sizes and locations, including a few high adventure camps in the mountains of upstate New York. They have recently started trying to sell off some of the New Jersey camps, but the neighbors kind of go nuts about the idea of a developer buying 500 or 1000 acres and turning it into 8 condos per acre with a mega-mall on the side. State legislators get into the act, lawyers start looking carefully at deed restrictions written when the land was donated 70 years ago, and what the council thought would be a good source of cash turns into a big headache.)


    If you go back 30 years or so, I suspect that New Jersey has probably gone from a few dozen truly LOCAL councils to about 6 or 7. The first council I was in as a Boy Scout, Robert Treat, was just the city of Newark and two smaller towns. At that time the Bayonne Council -- one small city, and the council in which my father had been a Boy Scout, still existed. Both of those councils became part of "county" councils somewhere in the 70s or 80s and are now part of Northern New Jersey.


    All this is to say that the council lines in this area make sense because they mostly follow natural political lines. I believe there may be 2 counties along the Delaware River that are part of a Pennsylvania-based council, but that is about as "odd" as it gets. Someone with big bucks must be behind the Monmouth Council (ironically, the one that made James Dale famous), because it is the only remaining single-county council I am aware of in this state.


    As for districts, again these seem to mostly follow county lines, though higher-population counties (say 300,000 and up) are divided into two or more districts. My county has one district, which also includes a couple of towns in the next county (most of which is in another council), but this is not gerrymandering -- it is just a natural-looking line drawn in one place rather than another.

  14. On the "Open Discussion" board there was a thread on "Earrings" that was turning decidedly "Issues and Politics" like, so I am continuing part of it over here.


    DedicatedDad and I were having a back-and-forth about the implications of various adornments, such as earrings, long hair etc. on Scouts, and whether those things were matters of values, style, etc. I opined that they are matters of style and do not reflect values or lack of values one way or another, unless a true extreme (which I would define as being contrary to physical health) is reached.


    However, just when it was DedicatedDad's turn to answer one of my questions, he stopped answering. No answer for 2 and a half days. I have seen him post elsewhere since then so I assume nothing is wrong there in DedicatedDad-land. In fact, it was just yesterday that he accused me, in another thread, of promoting pedophilia. Weekender was much more polite, he only accused me of having a "perverse lifestyle."


    But anyway, DedicatedDad, here was my last question, which by the way, you specifically said you'd be happy to answer after I answered yours, which I did.


    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?


  15. Quixote -- Instead of asking NWScouter to retract what he said, why don't you discuss why you think what he said was wrong or incorrect? I have read several magazine articles that discuss, in great detail, the same subject, and that demonstrate to my satisfaction, that what NWScouter said is correct. Perhaps "taken over" is a bit too strong, but "come under the influence of" would be accurate and would have the same functional effect. But if the discussion is limited to the "gay issue," "taken over" seems correct to me. What is your evidence to the contrary?

  16. TJ: Well said. I would just add: When I tell people about my son's and my involvement in Cub Scouting, most of them do not want to know about, or ask about, what my son is doing, what he has learned, what we do at meetings, how often we go camping, what "war stories" I have from running the pack's Pinewood Derby this year (and I do have some), or anything actually related to the program. To them, Scouting doesn't mean a program or activities, as I think it once did. To them, Scouting means opposition to gays and exclusions of gays. Some think the policy is a good idea. Others tell me that I am a member of a "hate group" (in the words of a former employer) or "an exclusive paramilitary club" (in the words of my sister-in-law's sister, speaking to me and my 63-year-veteran father, which she later somewhat sheepishly retracted.)


    Point is, I want Scouting to mean what it meant when I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout. Helping little old ladies across street corner, while obviously a caricature, meant that Scouts were supposed to give cheerful service to others. "Follow the rugged road." Anyone remember that? Or, "Scouting rounds a guy out." (Which, as someone else recently pointed out, has an ironic meaning when I look at my mid-section.) How about the TV commercial, probably from about 1972, in which a guy is walking down a dark alley, looks over his shoulder and sees two young men following him in the dark shadows. He looks very nervous until he glances back again as the two walk into a lighted spot, and he sees they are wearing Boy Scout uniforms. He heaves a big sigh of relief. I am not making that up, am I? That really existed. The message was that Scouts are good guys, and if you see a Boy Scout, you know he has received the lessons of respect and fair play. He is not a gang member, he's not going to beat you over the head and take your money. If you trip, he'll help you up. The BSA didn't use the words values or morals or character so much back then -- they didn't have to, because they showed them in action. A better way to get your point across, I think.


    And the whole thing about how the BSA is a "private organization" is ironic because, back in those days, the BSA never would have called itself "private," at least not so anyone but other lawyers could hear. Join us, was the message. Now it's, join us if you meet the exclusive requirements for our private club, but the only rule we'll actually enforce across the board is the exclusion of gays.


    So the point of this thread is a good one. The issue is relevant not only because the current policy erodes the organization's integrity and detracts from its true message, but also because it basically hijacks its public image and turns it into something it never was.

  17. Now that the hats are color-coordinated with the neckerchiefs, I suspect that BSA would frown even more at custom Cub Scout neckerchiefs. As of this year, every rank of Cub Scouting that wears the blue or tan uniform has a hat with a front that matches their neckerchief -- yellow for Wolf, light blue for Bear and plaid for Webelos. The hat-front of the Tigers is orange, to match their shirt. (And I assume that when they put the Tigers in the blue shirts in 2 or 3 years, their neckerchief will be orange -- or else they will come out with a new hat. That is, unless they have already become bored with the color-coordination idea and have moved on to something else.)


    I personally like the standardized color-coded Cub neckerchiefs because if a boy I don't know by sight strays from where he is supposed to be at a pack meeting, I can quickly narrow down which den leader he is supposed to be with and send him back whence he came.

  18. 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?

  19. 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?)

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

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