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packsaddle

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Everything posted by packsaddle

  1. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    That may be. But you must keep in mind that at the bottom of everything, including the institution of slavery, is(was) greed. And that still works. In this case the choice of taking down 'the flag' was something that I think everyone recognized was inevitable and this event merely provided the best context for completing the process. In my opinion, I seriously doubt that many of those legislators who voted to remove 'the flag' will have much trouble getting re-elected. The Republican Party was urging this action and will provide backroom protection. These days, the actual election is pretty much over with the primaries. NONE of them have anything to worry about from any other political party.
  2. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Bad Wolf: "....the flag is BOTH a symbol of heritage AND racism..." Yes and they are one and the same for many of the people who announce their interest in 'heritage'. And yes, they have admitted this to me on many occasions. They wink with the word, 'heritage' and smile. and then: "Let's not re-write history or try to over simplify things." Well, there's Haley Barbour, "Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession,†in an interview with Politico. “The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery,†he continued. “Abolishing slavery was morally imperative and necessary, and it's regrettable that it took the Civil War to do it. But it did.†Or we can read it directly from the words of South Carolina at that time: Begin quote: Confederate States of America - Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue. And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act. In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do." They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled." Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof." Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE. In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States. The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority. If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation. By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken. Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights. We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences. In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof. The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due." This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River. The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States. The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation. The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor. We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection. For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety. On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States. The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy. Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief. We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. Adopted December 24, 1860 End quote That's about as 'horse's mouth' as it gets. And a few months later a really, really stupid person in Charleston fired the first shot. No need to wonder how THAT worked out, I'm still living the results. But anyone who reads the above and concludes that it wasn't about slavery, ....I don't know how to respond really.
  3. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    94 to 20 on the third reading. I sort of agree with the 'heritage' argument except it's not the kind of agreement that those who tried to keep the status quo would like. The 'heritage' IS one of racism and desire for the days of segregation, all based on a solid and tragic foundational 'heritage' of slavery. And the vote, after at least 60 attempts to amend the bill, rejected that argument. I give the governor credit for taking the lead on this. If she hadn't taken that lead when she did, this issue might have been delayed to the point that it withered politically and the status quo might have won the day. It will be interesting to see if we move on to other issues that have more profound effects on - and importance for - the state.
  4. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Thank goodness for Illinois.
  5. packsaddle

    Digital Badging - No More Sewing?

    Sheesh, I was hoping this topic would give me some ideas for a new application for my son's new 3-D printer.....bummer.
  6. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Egad, I was really hoping that somewhere, someplace...there might be something better........ I'd like to think that there are states with better standing with regard to things like domestic violence, infant mortality, education, standard of living, poverty, (need I go on?)...or as I sometimes mutter to myself, 'well at least there's Bolivia'.
  7. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Bad Wolf, the house will not be as clear-cut as the senate was. That debate is ongoing. A few days before the shooting, if anyone had polled the senate, there would have been scant support for taking down 'the flag'. So do you really think they changed their minds in the course of a couple of weeks? Unlikely. If someone thinks in those simple terms, I believe they do not understand THIS state government. What I think more likely happened is that suddenly, 'the flag' became...NOT a toxic hot button of which to dispose....but rather it represented a profound threat to the structure of state government in this state. Persons outside SC probably are unaware of the way this structure was formed and why. If you will read a rather turgid but very readable history of SC entitled, "South Carolina, A History" by Robert Edgar, you will realize that from the early days of the initial establishment of the plantation economy and system of government by the landed planter elite, there have been two continuous interrelated themes: the perpetuation of the "order and stability" of the colony (state) through the perpetuation of the elite. This has produced the government in which the 'elite' find their way to the houses of government and power is established there and NOT in the hands of the governor (whose 'executive order' has as much 'weight' as the veto, that is to say NONE - just today the legislature overrode every veto on the budget that the governor had made, a result that has happened every year that the governor has attempted to exercise such veto 'power') 'The flag' was placed on the top of the statehouse, yes, as a symbol of resistance to desegregation, but also as a symbol of resistance to anything (such as a black electorate) that would challenge the elite and the "order and stability" of the system. Throughout the history of this state, from its early days of colonization by planters from Barbados and other parts of the West Indies to the establishment post-reconstruction Jim Crow laws, codes, and governmental structure, Edgar argues that the goal was always to maintain the "order and stability" of the government by the elite (and the profit that followed). I had often wondered how things here could have gotten as 'messed up' as it is and when I read this history, everything began to fall into line. 'The flag' was symbolic of many things. And in 2000 when the legislature 'compromised' and moved the flag to a position in front of the statehouse, what they really did was pass legislation that further strengthened their hold on power in this state. NO ONE else has the power to decide the fate of historical things of any kind: flags, buildings, names, monuments, you name it. This move was recognized for what it was by the NAACP, hence the boycott was not ended with that compromise. And TODAY, because of the national and international attention after the shooting...and the pain of loss of investment by multinationals in this state (read: loss of profit), they recognize that 'the flag' has not only become a financial liability, if they continue to stand by their previous 'compromise' the 'elite' themselves may be threatened as a result (read: threat to the "order and stability" of the present structure of government and society). There is far more to 'the flag' issue than some rednecks in white robes using it as a symbol of racist hate. It has been transformed into something that, if left in place, threatens the "order and stability" of the status quo which has been guarded carefully from the very beginning. And in those terms, a senate who would not have even allowed legislation to remove the flag to 'see the floor' a few weeks ago...NOW has done an abrupt and rational about-face, knowing that to do otherwise WILL threaten that "order and stability". It was an easy decision for them. They do understand what is at stake. And it's not heritage or tradition that's at stake...it's the status quo of government by the elite...and profit.
  8. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Referendum? That's easy. It's against the law. The legislature wrote strict legislation giving themselves the ONLY authority to change 'historical' or other symbols displayed in the state. That also applies to the names of buildings, etc. A referendum is forbidden by law. Here's the irony. The legislature passed that legislation IN ORDER TO PREVENT any such referendums and to completely control the disposition of such symbols. Don't like that? Tell it to them. As for majority? Keep in mind that the vast majority of the state senate just voted to remove 'the flag' - no substitutes. The house is now deliberating. Also keep in mind that this state is completely dominated by conservatives. Both US Senators, most Congressmen, the governor, the vast majority of both houses of the legislature, as well as the vast majority of local government officials are all Republican. The Democratic Party in this state is as moribund as any can be without disappearing completely. They have not fielded a serious candidate for significant elected offices for decades. So take your complaints to the conservatives. They're in complete control.
  9. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    OK, removing 'the flag' from in front of the statehouse infringes on what freedom? Its presence is symbolic of that 1962 desire to continue to infringe on the freedom of black people so I'm guessing.... its removal would be infringing on the freedom to infringe on black people's freedom? And that's a bad thing?
  10. Depends. On the trail, I despise gps. OTOH topos are kind of unwieldy. I study the topos and then work from memory mostly. Dead reckoning, use of distant landmarks, a compass if needed...and memory. Someday I may forget. They'll find me with my boots on.
  11. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    I can see her point if 'the flag' is flown on someone's front yard. It's different if that symbol is embraced by a government. In our case, this is even more troubling when considering the reason for the original embrace. As you say, there have been real changes for the good. So why cling to symbols of the bad?
  12. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    I can write with some authority on this 'flag' thing. In SC 'the flag' has not flown on the top of the statehouse building since 2000. It was placed on the top of that building in 1962 as a blatant symbol of opposition to desegregation. In 2000 a political compromise was reached in which it was taken down and flown on a mast near the Civil War memorial out in front of the statehouse. The NAACP called for a boycott of conventions and sports championships which began in 2000 and took a serious bite out of revenues for cities like Charleston. The mayor of Charleston sued to have the flag taken down but by then the legislature had passed legislation giving them the exclusive ability to make decisions about all such 'memorial' things like 'the flag'. The Supreme Court of SC threw out the lawsuit on that basis. The boycott is still in effect, even after the compromise in 2000. On a personal note, I have turned down invitations to make presentations at professional conferences in SC in observance of the boycott. When I inform the organizing committees of my decision they have been surprised to learn about the boycott. I am fairly certain that I have, single-handed, caused at least three such conferences to eliminate any consideration of SC as a venue. This morning, as is common in these parts, I saw three pickups driving through a college town with 'the flag' flown from poles mounted behind the cabs. This is so common around here that I hardly notice anymore. I can go less than 10 miles from where I write this and find 'the flag' flown on the same mast as - and ABOVE - the flag of the United States of America. This kind of display seems confined to towns where, in the 1970s, there were still signs at the town limits announcing their 'sunset' laws in words that read, "N*****, don't let the sun set on you in >>>>>>, SC". Most of the people who were 'behind' those signs are still alive. They're just quieter these days. 'The Flag' IS a symbol of racism to racists and to those of us who know those racists. I will never, ever, forget its prominent display at the last time I saw the KKK burning a cross in a field next to the highway where they were stopping vehicles (including the one I was in) looking for n*****s. I was in a corporate vehicle at the time and a black employee was in the car with my work crew. Fright is hardly the word to describe his fear. It was visceral and I felt it too! We refused to lower our window when they stopped us and the driver, thankfully, gunned the engine as if he was willing to run over the robed figures standing in our way, They stood aside. I saw terrible things while in high school. I experienced the result of the ruling by Judge McMillan regarding forced busing. The treatment that teachers gave the black students was disgraceful. My black friends and I knew never to openly display anything that betrayed friendship while at school. Black athletes were revered for their physical prowess but reviled off the fields (sound vaguely familiar?). I attended a 40th class reunion (for reasons I won't go into) and even though about 30% of the graduating class was black, there was not a single black person at the reunion. During one evening at the reunion a cadre of my former classmates stopped the dancing and played some inspirational music while they paraded through the reunion with 'the flag' held high before them. I noted objection to this to the organizers and I was met with indignation. There were black scout troops but mostly there were white troops. No mixing. I remember one Scout Exposition where one black troop showed up, created their display and tried to join in on the festivities. They were universally shunned. Other than me and a couple of my friends visiting them mostly out of curiosity, they stood alone. White adult leaders complained with district people about why those 'n*****s' had been allowed into the Exposition. It was the norm back then in the early '60s. I knew classmates who had absolutely no personal reason to harbor their intense hatred other than the fact that they were taught to feel that way by adults. They were open about it and at times engaged in acts of terrible cruelty and disregard for the pain of others. I don't like to even think about some of the things I heard about and I find them credible because of the things I actually saw. All the while, their rooms and in some cases, their homes, were decorated with either photos or 'the flag' itself. It was clearly the symbol of their hatred. My father had a small business and there was one particular black client who was a good friend. I will never forget one thoughtful conversation between them that I overheard. They were discussing what they'd do differently if they had it to do over. Mr. A (I'll just leave it at that) and my father traded thoughts of regret and some of triumph. Mr. A was very well to do. He was a brick mason and his business was very successful. He always drove new cars and his children were well-dressed and behaved, better than I was. Mr. A confided to my father near the end of that conversation that one thing...if he had it to do over, he'd rather not have to do it as a black man. I will never, ever, forget those words. They echoed years later when at a terrible car wreck, a black woman, obviously dead, laid exposed in the middle of the road and the crowd that gathered included some of those people I know so well. They were cracking jokes about her anatomy and I noticed off to the side, two little black boys...her children. They were cut and bruised and one had his front teeth knocked out and they were in shock, staring at their dead mother while rednecks laughed about it. I gathered them into my arms and carried them out of range of that sight and sound and waited until the ambulance crews and police arrived. I thought about those words that Mr. A had uttered. Those boys didn't have much of a chance. These feelings are still alive and well in the South and I have learned during my travels that they are not confined to this region...although we may have honed them to perfection. Taking down 'the flag' will be a symbolic gesture but it will not change any hearts. Those that have been hardened long ago probably can't be hardened any more than they are already. What I think will be necessary is for old age and death to finally remove those persons. Unfortunately, as with my classmates, there is a form or inheritance that is social in nature and can be passed to young persons quite easily if they are, for any reason, susceptible to those ideas. As the recent shooting demonstrated. Anyway, I share these things because I sense something in this thread...I can't quite put my finger on it...maybe it's just me but I've sensed it before. Was it the...reunion.....?
  13. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Twocubdad, you only have yourself to blame for this thread.
  14. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    I admit that BSA put itself into the political light...that happened a long time ago. But regarding enrollment, I admit no such irony. There is no one who has produced causal evidence of much of anything. It's all correlation and speculation. Which is why, to me at least, such endless discussions about enrollment numbers are both fruitless and boring. As far as scouting being for every boy, the issue was WHO made the decision: the boy and his family, or Irving, TX. I continue to be an advocate for personal liberty and local option.
  15. This steers my thoughts once again to "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson. You can read it online - I have linked the title to a text version - or preferably in the form of a paper book. But I recommend just starting the book and see if, after reading the first chapter on 'The Night Soil Men', you can put it down. That first chapter is a masterpiece. My personal favorite passage, "It's true enough that the Victorians were grappling with heady issues like utilitarianism and class consciousness. But the finest minds of the era were also devoted to an equally pressing question: What are we going to do with all of this shit?"
  16. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Mmmmmmm......steaaaaaaakkkk........
  17. I'd be good with watching a lot of the adults I know try to pass the personal fitness aspects of these rank and MB requirements. Deeeeelicious! Otherwise, agree with Bad Wolf. Leave it as a boy's program.
  18. packsaddle

    Boooorring!

    Shhhhhhhhhhh..........................
  19. packsaddle

    Advice Needed

    Point taken in theory.. but in practice, lol? Edit: OK, I'm thinking about the t-shirt I have from Click and Clack which is in Latin but loosely translates to "Unencumbered by the Thought Process". Maybe..."A scout is 'encumbered'"? How many of these kinds of problems could be eliminated or at least improved if people just thought about it little more?
  20. packsaddle

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    Thing is, the really great aspect of a successful administrator is that not only do you get to create all this paperwork, you get to make others do that work for you. Until THEY have to deal with all the red tape there will never be any incentive to cut it and that steaming pile will just grow and grow.
  21. packsaddle

    Advice Needed

    Maybe the 13th should be ' A scout is polite'?
  22. packsaddle

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    This is the natural tendency for ALL administrative structures and administrators. As just one example, there are few things that are more professionally gratifying for an administrator...than to create a new form that people are required to complete.
  23. packsaddle

    Wake Up Call

    This system is structured in a way that depends totally on having willing (and usually 'interested') volunteers. It is a natural tendency for someone who invests freely and sometimes deeply into something they have great interest in...to naturally have a feeling of 'ownership' for the thing (a pack or troop in this case) in which they've invested. This is to be expected. However, this also naturally tends to produce competition by forming little 'fiefdoms' like 'feeder packs' and 'feeder troops' and 'the-way-we-usually-do-things'. Once these expectations are in place, any departure can be considered a threat to the 'stability' of the existing structure. I get all this. None of it, however, is part of 'friendly', 'courteous', 'helpful', or 'trustworthy'. And when things like I experienced happen, I'll throw in violations of 'cheerful' and 'brave' as well because the behind-the-back way they happen is cowardly as well. While it is understandable, it is not completely realistic because individual families are free agents and if they're not allowed to make their own choices of units, they can, and do, choose to leave scouting. If there is any part of 'training' that warns against this kind of thing, I am unaware of it. BUT, these sources of discord and conflict are the natural tendency of things if the structure of the organization depends on interested volunteers. Perhaps the 'training' should address this kind of thing directly as something to avoid. At least then no one could claim they were unaware of the potential problems.
  24. packsaddle

    Wake Up Call

    When I took over as CM, the pack was declining. One of my bear DLs decided to disband the den. She said something to her friends... to the effect that she thought the pack might die. She never said anything to me about this but then, I was the new CM and still finding my way. She really didn't know me that well. But then, a den leader from another pack in town, who is friends with the 'former' Bear den leader, started calling all of the parents in our pack to inform them that the pack was going to close and they should switch to the other pack. I didn't find out about any of this until one of those parents called me with an angry tone to complain that I should have been honest enough to tell them the pack was going to close, rather than hear about it from the other pack. I was flabergasted and completely blindsided by this. Then I found out that it went farther than one person from the other pack making a few phone calls. The DE had been giving all sorts of preference to the other pack for years. That was when I began to understand the toxic sociology of adult leadership in BSA. Because in my past I had already learned about and understood such things as a sort of norm in the South, I was able to adjust and take the measures needed to first: survive the immediate assault, and then: to outmaneuver the others in a way that turned the tables. But it took years of effort to turn those tables. I can tell you that in matters like this, to be on the receiving end is a pretty bad feeling. It encompasses all sorts of betrayal and wholesale violation of many points of the Scout Law. My pack survived nicely in the end, but the experience in total led me to have a healthy contempt for BSA 'professionals' and to be wary of the other adult leaders. It was bitter fruit but I suppose that is what the system is designed to produce.
  25. packsaddle

    New Cub Scout Shooting Sports Rules

    One BB at a time, huh? Here's the way to jazz that up. My son discovered it on his own when he was that age and I had given him an air rifle to learn marksmanship. He discovered that if you make the target a can of seltzer, you get instant gratification for a solid hit. There's no reason why water balloons wouldn't do just as well. Plus, if they're not being thrown at anyone, you can make them bigger than an egg, lol.
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