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Prairie_Scouter

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About Prairie_Scouter

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    IL
  1. Prairie_Scouter

    NASA - Moneyhole!

    Interestingly, Tang existed before the manned space program began, but because it was used on many of the flights, folks started to believe that it was created by NASA. Weirdly, some home tips sites say that Tang makes a good dishwasher detergent because of its high citric acid content. NASA used to publish an annual journal called Spinoff that detailed all of the technologies that came out of, or were enhanced by, the U.S. space program. Manned exploration has always been a debated topic. Some things in exploration can only be done by humans. One of the Mars rovers is stuck in sand and can't escape by use of remote instructions, to the point that NASA now calls it a "stationary test platform". Why go to places like the Moon and Mars? Why did humans go to North America not knowing what was there? The North Pole? The South Pole? Australia? Why do we explore the bottom of the ocean? Probably because we are explorers, but also because you never know what you're going to discover by visiting an unknown environment, or what you might learn simply in the attempt.
  2. Prairie_Scouter

    Questions about homosexuality in BSA

    As Trev says, it depends on what question you ask, but the surveys I've seen, including the one quoted above, show small majorities do not favor gay rights, but hardly in overwhelming numbers. As far as explaining why gay rights have mostly lost in votes taken, there's actually some pretty solid reasoning on why that's so. Gay rights is an issue that only resonates with a small number of voters in a way that's strong enough to get them off their butts to vote. Those against gay rights typically have done a much better job in these local elections to get their voters out. In a country that can't even get a good number of people to vote in their presidential elections, I don't know that ANY election these days can be taken as much of a mirror of how the general population actually feels. Our country is decidedly middle of the road. The University of Michigan has generated some really interesting maps of voter preference, much like the red/blue maps shown on TV during the election, but in this case using 3 colors. Red and Blue were used for counties that were 70% or more for either party, and then shades of a 3rd color for everything else. They then used this to create a cartogram which really shows how the country is split, or not, actually. A little bit of red, a little bit of blue, with a whole lot of "in between".
  3. Prairie_Scouter

    Questions about homosexuality in BSA

    So, glad to see some things don't change. Before I had to go away for awhile, we were debating these same things; Guess I haven't missed much :-). tominrichmond, Welcome (and I guess, welcome back to me). This is certainly an interesting topic, but I don't know that you'd get everyone to agree that it's just plain "common sense" that BSA wouldn't allow gays. The fault in your argument is accepting as fact the idea that gays are natually attracted to young boys. There's no evidence of this, any more than there is evidence that just because I happen to like women, I'd be attracted to 12 year old girls. The real problem, as I see it, is that BSA has taken a political stance on an issue on which there is no clear consensus. The country is split almost evenly on the gay rights issue. Many religions and even factions within religions don't agree on this. I continue to believe that BSA has unfortunately allowed itself to become a pawn in a political game being played between right and left wing extremists. When the game has been played out, BSA will be left to deal with the aftermath. The rumor has been for some time that if the BSA allowed gays to enter, the LDS units would walk, along with their money. That's a powerful political weight for the BSA to overcome on its own, and would require more courage than I suspect they have at this time. Just my opinion, of course. What was the question, again? :-)
  4. Prairie_Scouter

    Who are we ... we few?

    Hey wait. My post said I sent my response on Saturday night. Holy smoke, I just lost half my weekend
  5. Prairie_Scouter

    Who are we ... we few?

    Did my homework. Are we being graded?
  6. Prairie_Scouter

    North: Values under siege

    LisaBob, I think it's pretty safe to say that you've insulted a lot of self-respecting weasels out there. Re: Ollie North. Broke the law, lied about it, got off on a technicality. Now, makes big bucks making speeches about integrity to his believers. No wonder young people today are dissillusioned about the hypocrisy of their leaders (the same as many of us were when we were that age).
  7. Prairie_Scouter

    Justices OK Berkeley's move against Boy Scouts group

    I have to agree with acco40 on this one. Seems like a pretty cut and dry issue. The city says you can have a free berth if you comply with their non-discrimination rules. Otherwise, you just pay the going rate like everyone else. They didn't say the Scouts couldn't berth there. The city is not impinging on the BSA's rights in any way, shape, or form.
  8. Prairie_Scouter

    A Christian Nation?

    I'll bet the Iroquois Nation was really happy that they helped us jump start our country, seeing that we repaid that kindness by killing off most of them later. I suspect that from a political perspective, it'll never really matter what the true history is behind the founding of the country. In these days, when elections are won by those with the most money in order to spin their story for the media, truth or fact doesn't really matter that much. Unless we get a more moderate administration in place at both the federal and state levels, I fear that it's only a matter of time until our laws become more and more based on conservative Christian beliefs. One book I read recently about Biblical history commented that if you want to see what kind of things can happen when you have countries controlled by religious values, you only have to look to some Middle East countries. I have no problem at all with various sects setting their own rules, let's say, to prohibit gay marriage. But I don't see where they have the right to try and force their religious beliefs on the rest of country by enacting their religious beliefs into law. I would think that laws like that would be directly in conflict with the Constitution. The fight on abortion right now is strictly a religious battle; there's no pretense that this has anything to do with medicine. And yet, that seems to be ok. I don't understand, I guess.
  9. Prairie_Scouter

    Sweeping it under the carpet

    We shouldn't for the tiniest fraction of a second look for some sort of blame to be assigned to any of these victims. Doesn't matter whether they reported it 10 seconds after it happened, or 10 years. If you want to see reasons for not reporting it right away, all you have to do is look at the story. While at camp, they were virtually held prisoner by adult leaders how looked the other way while the abuse went on. When word finally got out, the boys were harassed at their school to the point that they had to leave school. What adult authority figure were they supposed to go to? How important this was to the courts out there can be summed up by the sentence doled out. 24 cases of abuse get you 150 days of jail and probation, or about 7 days per case. Now, there's justice for you. Re: the Atlanta case. Ed, sounds to me like Brent is just ranting from the other side of the fence.
  10. Prairie_Scouter

    Question on BSA and religion.

    Perhaps our overseas brothers are concerned because they see the BSA straying from what they see as the correct intent and philosophy of Scouting today? "The BSA feels strongly that their values are paramount to their success." I'm afraid that I took a little more pragmatic view of things, in this case that BSA feels strongly that whatever grows their membership and keeps funds rolling in is paramount to their success. Just think, for example, if the urban legend is actually true that the LDS members threatened to take their 400,000 members and leave if BSA didn't take a more conservative stand on religiously-based issues, and pretend for a moment that the BSA national leadership at the time had had the gall or courage or whatever to call their bluff. Had they left, BSA would have either folded or looked to open their tent to membership. Given the amount of money involved, does anyone really think the organization would have been allowed to fold? I expect not.
  11. Prairie_Scouter

    Question on BSA and religion.

    And, boy, won't we all be surprised when we find out that the one truth faith was actually formed on a planet circling Alpha Centauri and unfortunately it hasn't found its way to the little backwater solar systems that include places like Earth. You know, I just have this feeling that in the end, whoever or whatever the higher being or beings end up being, they're going to pay us a visit and say "nice try, but man, did you guys ever get it wrong. Where did you guys come up with all this "my religion is better stuff", and whoever said it was ok to kill in my/our name, huh?".
  12. Prairie_Scouter

    Boys' Life Bible Stories?

    Hi Newbie, I agree with much of what you say. However, I think that the heart of the matter isn't just having a belief in God as a prerequisite for membership. The text that goes along with that implies that you can't be as good a person, or citizen, if you don't have a belief in God. That, now, is just an opinion that can't be substantiated. I think it'd be better if we judged a person based on their actions (in a Scouting environment) and not just what they believed in from a religious standpoint. If the conservative Christian views continue to hold sway in Scouting, how far away are we from saying that not only are Athiests not good role models, but neither are, say, Buddhists or any other religion that is not Christ-based?
  13. Prairie_Scouter

    Question on BSA and religion.

    I think that whole issue of gays in Scouting is really overblown in relation to the possible impact of allowing gays in leadership or scout positions. The arguments about safety and such are really just vapor. I've seen absolutely no studies linking gays to child abuse at any higher levels than in the general community, and I think that there are none. Personally, I think that these arguments are just a smoke screen. The issue of gays in Scouting is largely a religious issue that is not shared, I think, among all religious sects represented in Scouting. It's a religious issue, not a Scouting issue, and shouldn't even be a part of the discussion. If the Mormons, or Catholics, or Protestants, or whoever (just examples), want to keep gays out of their congregations, then that's their choice, but to inflict their views on the Scouting community is something else. I agree that BSA will have to address it at some point, if for no other reason than to appear not too far out of the mainstream of American values. But, it probably won't happen as long as we have national BSA leadership hiding behind the "we're a private organization and we can do what we want, nyah, nyah" mantra.
  14. Prairie_Scouter

    Ya just gotta wait of it!!

    Part of the problem is just keeping track of who's who in the Middle East. You've got the Taliban, dreaded enemy, except that we helped to get them set up in Afghanistan. And then, of course, you've got Iraq, who is/was an enemy. Or was that Iran? No, wait, that was before. Somebody's a friend, we happily sell them our weapons, and lo and behold, they use them on us a couple of years later. One of the neo-conservatives that was at one time a part of Bush's "think tank" is publishing a book about how their policies were basically a good idea that got out of hand. Should be an interesting read. Now, maybe we should move on to another topic. I'd hate to have Rooster burst his aorta or something Just lookin' out for ya, bro! Maybe we can talk about something less painful, like gays in Scouting, or uniforms
  15. Prairie_Scouter

    Ya just gotta wait of it!!

    International weapons inspectors roamed Iraq for years, and our own inspectors have had the run of the country for 3 years now. Along with intelligence gathering and everything else at our disposal, don't you think we'd have come up with SOMETHING by now if there was something to find? Missiles, warheads, and the payloads are not the easiest things to hide, after all. They have volatile fuels, and some of the biologic and chemical payloads are volatile as well. Maybe Iraq has their own version of Area 51 that is shielded from our view using alien technology? Or, maybe there's just nothing to be found. 15 years ago, sure, Saddam had the weapons and used them. There wasn't any evidence that he still had that capability anytime in the near past. Since there were opposing intelligence views before the war began, don't you think the prudent thing to do would have been to verify absolute proof of a threat before invading and destroying another sovereign nation? Something was mentioned about "taking on all of our enemies at the same time". When the only reason an administration can come up with to invade a country is that their leader is a bad guy, that opens you up to wondering why we're not assisting all these other countries who have bad guys as leaders, in just as aggressive a manner. The U.N. loses credibility when it's strongest member, the U.S., refuses to participates in the global process. That's what hurts the U.N. Participants in various committees within the U.N. are usually arranged by membership rotation. Given our recent record, we wouldn't belong on such a human rights commission, either. "Yeah right you take the word of a man who murders thousands (Hussein) over a man who seeks to rid the planet of murders (Bush)." Excuse me, I'm laughing so hard over this one I can hardly type. Bush, the man who had his lawyers find loopholes in the Geneva Conventions so we could "legally" torture prisoners. Bush, the man who's team created a "1st strike" policy for the first time in our history so that we can invade other nations basically when we feel like it. Sorry, I have a real hard time seeing our President as some sort of Ultimate Patriot, trying to save the world from evil. He's basically just turned the U.S. into the world's single biggest bully. We can do better.
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