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About rdclements

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  1. Scouting uses many elements that are similar to the military and I know some military veterans who are excellent scouters. I have also seen problems when adults with military experience try to make scouting too militaristic. Then there are the adults who were never in the military but wish that they had been and that can have some troubling impacts on their scouts.
  2. The campaign to get SYG laws on the books is a tactic from the NRA to outflank any federal regulation of guns. The SYG provisions encourage people to shoot first which only increases the level of violence and they make it more confusing to the authorities on when to prosecute.
  3. The juror interviewed by Anderson Cooper specifically mentioned the stand your ground law even though it was not highlighted as part of the legal arguments in court. This indicates that the jurors were at least aware of the law. The problem with the stand your ground laws is that they are not needed. Self defense has been an acceptable use of force for a very long time. The stand your ground provisions only serve to increase the motivation for violence. Self Defense: "I tried to get away from him but he kept after me so I had no choice but to defend myself." SYG: "I felt threatened so I
  4. I highly doubt that Zimmerman shot the Trayvon Martin because he was black. I think folks are forgetting a few things and not thinking analytically. One, as jblake47 and others have tried to point out - jury trials such as these do not have an objective to prove someone innocent. The judges direction to the jury was to determine if George Zimmerman acted in self-defense or in legalese - if the death of Trayvon Martin resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force and that a person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent i
  5. Yes, judging folks by race happens all the time. I try to be intentional to avoid making that error. The media reaction to the Paula Deen mess, and all the companies racing to dissociate from her, was an overreaction. It would have been more beneficial to acknowledge that Mrs. Deen recognizes that the racial attitudes that were common in certain places 20 years ago are not acceptable today. But here's the challenge: If it is offensive for a white woman to use certain racial terms, why is it acceptable (common) for a black rapper? To say that certain words are acceptable when spoken by one
  6. I believe that it is wrong and foolish to judge individuals based on race. As a southern white male, I do not have much experience being the recipient of racial or gender discrimination. At the same time, it is possible and probable that my judgement is influenced by race due to my heritage and life experience, even though I would prefer that it was not. I have been in situations where black people have accused me of being racist due to a decision that I had made. It is easy to excuse comments made in the heat of the moment. The fact is that there is racism in our country and accusing peop
  7. Protecting the right of gay people to get married should be a conservative issue. You've go two people, in a committed relationship, who want to get married and raise a family together, taking equal responsibility for their children. This is what conservatives have campaigned for for many years.
  8. Zimmerman decided to follow and confront Martin - in his own words, "This guy looks like he's up to no good". This was based on observing what Martin looked like. Martin had not been involved in any criminal activity. He was walking along, minding his own business. Zimmerman decided that Martin looked suspicious. How are black teenage men supposed to walk so that they won't get shot?
  9. Zimmerman chose to exit his vehicle and confront Martin. Zimmerman knew only what he told the dispatcher on the phone, that the person he was following was dark skinned, wearing a hoodie, walking slowly - Zimmerman decided in his mind that these characteristics were suspicious. He decided that Martin was a bad guy and appointed himself to do something about the bad guy. He chose to make the confrontation and is therefore responsible for the outcome. Maybe the prosecution blew the case, I don't know. I do know that is Zimmerman had stayed in the car, Martin would not have been killed. Marti
  10. Years ago I took the Camp Director training from National Camping School in order to qualify to run our district Cub Scout Day Camp. One of the publications that I received was the guidelines on what is an appropriate skit for a campfire. I don't have that anymore, but some of the topics to stay away from were: killing, suicide, bullying / humiliation, alcohol / drunkenness, sexual acts, bathroom acts, cross-gender impersonations, underwear / nudity, and inside jokes. That list would eliminate pretty much all of the skits that I can remember from when I was a scout, but with the experience
  11. Some years ago, I had a scout who needed to earn some dough to pay for summer camp, so I hired him to move and stack some firewood. He did a fine job and make exactly what he needed for camp. Of course a few weeks later I needed to hire another camper to move it back. I liked it better over there anyway.
  12. dedkad, why are they staying away? Intimidated, too busy, program not attractive to them? As a unit leader, there is only so much you can do.
  13. Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual of human likeness is against the rules in order to reduce accidents and encourage the development of a safety mindset, sort of like 'always assume that a gun is loaded'. Gun violence involving children is a national crisis. In 2010, 496 American military personnel were killed in Afghanistan. That is a tragic figure and a costly sacrifice. In the same year, 606 people in the US were killed in unintentional shootings and 15,576 children in the US were injured by firearms. Pretty much every Scouter that I know would take a b
  14. Sorry Brew, I'm not going to go out on the extreme with you. Social progress is like this with a few steps forward and a step back, moving in lurches and not with predictable steadiness. I understand that some people oppose equal rights for certain groups of people. Some of these opponents even believe that their religious beliefs have legal relevance. Of all of our contemporary social topics, Jesus is quoted most often speaking about money. If he was as worried about homosexuality as today's conservatives would like to believe, I think that he would have had more to say about it. Despite
  15. Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point (http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/) provides a really interesting analysis of how trends build slowly and then suddenly reach the critical mass needed to 'tip' and become mainstream. He uses the term 'social epidemic'. Much of what Gladwell describes in his book applies to the progress made in gay rights. I do not agree with Scouter99 that our society has been manipulated in some sinister way. We are seeing the recognition that essential human rights should not be denied to any group. When on man's rights are taken away, we all lose something
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