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RobK

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About RobK

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    Lafayette, IN
  1. Wow! And to think B-P thought boy scouts should form fire fighting brigades in their home towns...
  2. RobK

    Sheath knives

    At what point Bob, did I say anything about letting the boys be unsafe? I never suggested that, and you know it. I have no use at all for a .50 BMG rifle, but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be fun to own and shoot, or that I can't do so safely! That's the point with the sheath knives. Let the boys who want, take their sheath knives. Let them see that it's not the right tool for the jobs they're most likely to encounter. Let them get it out of their systems -- safely!
  3. RobK

    Sheath knives

    'What concerned me most about Eagle2's post is the suggestion that the the tool be allowed not because it is the right tool for the job, but simply because it is seen as "cool" in the eyes of a scout.' What's wrong with that, Bob? Who does it hurt? We better be doing things simply because they're cool in the eyes of a scout. What's the point of sleeping in the woods? Really, what's the point of Scouting at all? Why don't we just make them come to some confrence room and take notes? Not many boys would volunteer for that, would they? Scouting worked for B-P in the first place because boys thought it was cool. If the boys don't think the program is cool, there is no program. Boys like to go out in the woods and play frontiersman/pioneer/soldier/whatever. Part of that is big sheath knives! It's a game, Bob. If we're not bringing them in with what they think is cool, silly as it may be to an adult, we're not bringing them in! Those knives are the bait, along with the axes, the matches and fire, the ropes and knots, the tents, etc. Scouting better be about what boys think is cool, or else Scouting won't serve boys. One other point I want to make: it shouldn't be the adult leadership that tells a new boy that it's silly to bring a big sheath knife. It should be the older boys. Boy led, right?
  4. RobK

    The Song of the Strange Ascetic

    Merlyn says regarding my assertion that HUDs nondiscrimination requirements violate BSA's religous freedom: They don't. They require everyone to follow their nondiscrimination requirements. But HUD's nondiscrimination requirements violate BSA's beliefs! You might just as well say "You need not believe in Athena, but you must attend her temple if you want to get government funds!" And HUD seems to fall within "promote the general welfare" Wow! You want it both ways, don't you? I'm simply going to quote the man who wrote the Constitution, James Madison, from Federalist 41. Pardon the length, emphasis added... It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare." But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. Full text of Federalist 41 may be found here:
  5. RobK

    The Song of the Strange Ascetic

    No Merlyn, you've missed it completely. I think the federal government should follow the Constitution which forbids it from funding anything except the narrowly defined things outlined in it. HUD shouldn't be funding the BSA, the KKK, the ACLU, the NAACP or any other group. HUD should not exist! Private groups do a better job, and no one's toes get stepped on. BUT, if they are going to fund groups, then they should not discriminate against the BSA based on its religous/moral beliefs.
  6. RobK

    The Song of the Strange Ascetic

    I admit the NEA comparison is far from perfect; the point was to show that the government spends our money on things each of us don't like. In your case, the BSA, in mine, artists like Maplethorpe. The beliefs of the BSA (as the BSA currently interprets them) require them to disallow homosexuals and atheists. To refuse to fund the BSA based on this is to discriminate against them because of their religous and moral beliefs. This is the problem with government leaving the narrowly defined powers given in the Constitution: If they refuse to fund based on religion they're discrimnating against religion, if they fund religous based things, they're promoting it. Ergo, the government should stop funding stuff not expressly required by the Constitution. As to HUD being allowed to require a Nondiscrimnation agreement... It was legal for Selma to require blacks to ride at the back of the bus. Not everything that's legal is moral, not everything that's moral is legal.
  7. RobK

    The Song of the Strange Ascetic

    Way to dance around the question, Merlyn! But here's another point: do you have any problem with the National Endowment for the Arts funding things like Maplethorpe's "art"? I think that stuff could be considered to discriminate against Christians. Why is that OK and funding the Boy Scouts isn't?
  8. RobK

    The Song of the Strange Ascetic

    Merlyn, Isn't it discriminatory to require that a group not discriminate in order to receive federal funds? To my way of thinking, making requirements about what a group's beliefs or actions are to receive federal funds is unequal treatment. What the Boy Scouts are doing isn't illegal, so why should they be denied funding? I'm still wondering where the authority for doling out these grants is given in the constitution anyway... -Rob
  9. RobK

    Most Hated Nation

    "54.40 or Fight" coined in 1848 by US president James Polk for a Manifest Destiny movement that believed the Canada-US border should be moved north to the 54th parallel, 40th minute (ie, the present-day border of Canada and Alaska). More:
  10. RobK

    Sheath knives

    What's the harm? And I mean literally, what is the actual harm? Show them the proper tool for the job. It won't take too many instances of that big meat cleaver being a hindrance instead of a help for them to get the picture. Be quick to punish misuse, and otherwise let it go. They'll mature. Just help them learn the principle of 'the right tool for the job'. I remember being that age and wanting one of those big pig stickers. For a year or so, I carried four or five pocket knives with me everywhere because I could. I grew out of it. They will too. I think too many Scouters have lost sight of the fact that Scouting is a game. These boys aren't there to take a management trainging course. They're there to fantasy role play -- to be the big adventurer, soldier, and hero! B-P used that desire, which is so natural in boys, as the honey to draw them in and while they're not looking teach them to be fine men. Just look at the opportunity for them to have those big knives as the honey. In fact, you might contrive some situtations where those knives would be detrimental. Give them reasons other than "them's the rules" to not carry the big knives.
  11. RobK

    Most Hated Nation

    under-paid childworkers of international sweatshops... Under paid in comparison to what? Park Avenue CEOs? Or the people within ten miles of themselves? If you compare their wage against mine, sure I couldn't live on what they make, but they don't live where I do! I couldn't live on what I make if I lived in New York City or San Francisco! But I live pretty well here in central Indiana. I have relatives in southern Kentucky who live better than me on less. Those 'sweat-shops' pay up to FIVE TIMES the prevailing local wage! What else are those 'under-paid childworkers' going to do with their time? Let me give you a clue - it ain't scouting or school work. They're going to sit and starve because they have nothing else! Those who complain about under paid child workers in foreign sweat shops can have no understanding what so ever of basic economics. If there were better jobs to be had, those workers would take them. Those 'sweat shop' jobs allow those people to actually earn a living in their country, and those jobs won't stay the same forever. Look at the history of manufacturing in first world countries. As the money flows in to the area of the 'sweat shop', conditions for everyone there will improve. Life will get easier for everyone.
  12. RobK

    The noble, the brave, and the sickening

    I think we should stand back and get some perspective. The prisoners were humiliated and abused, but did any of them die? Were any of them permanently injured? Were any of them run, feet first and alive, through a chipper-shredder? Let the punishment fit the crime.
  13. RobK

    Oil's Well that Ends Well

    ASM1, I'm not sure exactly what you're protesting. But for full disclosure's sake: I drive a Chevy Blazer, and until recently I had a Chevy Tracker, which I regularly had in the mud, so I'm obviously not against the machines themselves. For ten years now I've been irritated by urban types buying SUVs to drive on city streets because they make them more expensive for people like me, who actually want them to drive off road and use them to do real work. For most people who buy SUVs, it's like buying a 24oz. framing hammer for their household hammering needs. That's their right, but that doesn't make it an intelligent choice. It's the wrong tool for the job!
  14. RobK

    Oil's Well that Ends Well

    FOG, I think you'll enjoy this site: http://poseur.4x4.org/futuresuv.html
  15. RobK

    Oil's Well that Ends Well

    FOG says: I'm confused why every family that got by with a medium sized sedan 20 years ago now needs a Suburban. Or even two Suburbans. Beacuse they can afford them. Compare the prices of food, gas, steel, and housing to what they were twenty years ago as a percentage of average income. Twenty years ago, they didn't have a choice about getting by with a medium sized sedan. But roll it on back 100 years. Most people got by without any motorized vehicle at all, and many without even a horse and buggy. People can afford to drive lumbering giants now and many of the people driving those lumbering giants are the same ones who got by with one midsize sedan twenty years ago. They didn't do it from the goodness of their hearts or as a choice to live a simpler lifestyle. They did it because it was they best they could do. Forty years from now, some folks will be amazed that we ever got by without our own personal rocket-packs, and others will gripe that forty years ago we got by without them just fine. Also, compare and contrast cell-phones. It wasn't so long ago that car phones were very expensive and only those that really "needed" them bought them. Now they're everywhere and every teenager has one. The answer to every question like this is simply because we can.
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