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skeptic

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Posts posted by skeptic


  1. I am looking forward to the next post.  Will you have the entire work available for download or something as well.  It is something I would want to add to my own historical archives, which includes a number of little known essays and such from the last couple of decades of turmoil.  For those that may have the stamina, you seem to have left open a number of jump off points for more detail.  Is that something to which we may look forward as well?


  2. 9 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

    When this movie was released, I was in high school which is a much different viewpoint than now.  Had not thought about the film for many years but I totally agree with you.  This is not a coming of age movie but sexual molestation.  Society and its leaders justify what they they personally like and condemn what they do not.  It is not consistent nor rational.

     

    And it is not difficult to find numerous similar representations that are lauded, and partly because they are real life.  Life and society as a whole is often dark and mean, or selfish and too often accepts the worst of itself as okay, especially in the "entertainment" industries, which includes sports, both actual professional and the pseudo college teams.  Finding our way through and around the mazes of a hypocritical world is a challenge, and it is one that Scouting attempts to navigate, in spite of the numerous crossed branches in the roads and trails.

    • Upvote 1

  3. Over on the FB Talk About Scouting a similar unending he said/did, and so on is going on.  There is not answer to any of this that will satisfy a few, even if the BSA does disappear, as we know it.  One comment that nudged me though was the idea we need to be "fair" to the victim.  Now of course this revolved partly around whether or not some of them are even actual victims and brings us back to the "McMartin scenario", but accepting that this occurred, because we know we have such people in society, "what is fair?"  What amount of money will erase the scar(s) of actual abuse?  Does ruining a mostly positive program that serves the community in so many ways in a positive manner salve the scars on the ids of the real victims?  

    Then there is the connected what is fair to the "lawyers" who we know care less about the final results, even for the victims?  Should not our court/legal system offer a valid response to this that puts the actual victims first and limits, period, the amount the lawyers can take?  

    Finally, what is fair to the larger organization, especially when they are trying to work with the mess, and have admitted error and poor decisions, and already offered open ended counseling and such to verified victims?  We put felons in prison for, in most cases, allotted sentences.  And theory says that they have paid their debt, and can rejoin society, though we know that is sometimes not the case.  Still, there are limits on many types of felony sentences, and even some civil offenses.

    I know I am barking at the moon, but at least it takes it out of my craw for the moment.  Reality is that in our current society there is no win/win, only uneven retribution for the sake of retribution and grudges.

     

    • Upvote 2

  4. 1 hour ago, Navybone said:

    You are right, you never claimed that it was an academic institution.  But Prager attempts to come off academic institution, which is obvious, based on its name.  We find ourselves in an era of internet based "facts", and understanding the bias within the source of these facts is often just as important as the facts themselves.  And PragerU has a very strong right leaning bias.  That means it is not neutral in its statements or videos, but promoting a specific agenda.  And in this case, it is against the ideas within diversity or inclusion.  So much totneh point, that is has distorted the ideas behind these statements. 

    - Jordan Peterson is noted for his research, if you are support the ideas that political correctness has gone too far.  His ideas are not mainstream and he considers himself as a conservative.  Again, know the source.  You attribute the following to him: "Diversity" doesn't mean "a wide ranging group of ideas". It means "increased influence by people more generally aligned with leftist ideals" (usually from groups that deem themselves "oppressed").  This is not fact, it is 100% opinion and only supports the idea that including a wide ranging group of ideas is bad.  

    And to be clear, I was calling out PragerU as a source and revealing its bias for anyone who may be unaware.  I was not offering a counterpoint to any to its statements, no matter what I think of them.  I will not convince you otherwise on a message board like this - its imporssible.  All I can do it make sure that there is no doubt on the bias of the source.

     

    Yep; I have to admit that if I could, I would bar Prager from my FB page, but they apparently do not fit the mold for being able to block.  I just delete posts if possible.  They are so biased as to be almost liberal as they move around the circle.  And, as noted, they also are NOT a university, and purposely try to lead people to think they have an intellectual leg up.

     


  5. While this may or may not be the place for this comment, and maybe it is making myself a target, but I have to wonder about a society that will allow this to happen to a group that has done and continues to do so much for the communities across the country, while so many continue to allow the cesspools in many parts of government and the entertainment industry.  While the issues that are the cause of this problem with BSA are real, it seems to me that the I would say 99%+ positive record of BSA should put them in a better public position.  But, for some reason, people jump on the infinitesimal poor things over the past fifty plus years, even as they sit on the benches in parks, and enjoy the plant boxes in myriad school, and the refurbished cemeteries in many locations, and numerous other contributions of Eagle projects.  They cast aspersions on the entire program based on a different era, one that compared to much of society of the time, was still far better than most groups, and seem to find it okay to destroy the organization and all its history of positive citizenship development and community service, just so lawyers can make money on the backs of a few, even though BSA would and has reached out to those that came forward individually, with counseling and so on.  

    Meanwhile, we see powerful and wealthy individuals sweep far worse things under carpets, and do little to try and stop child trafficking and prostitution, nor fix the numerous welfare agencies that are over-taxed and allow far worse to occur than that for which BSA is being ruined.  

    I am having a hard time balancing right and wrong anymore.  Humans are so many faceted that there is no way to deal with all their myriad failures of conscience and actions.  We will never fix some people's warped ways, nor will we eradicate the worst in society completely.  Just as we will never get completely rid of the common cold or stop the power of nature in general.  

    Enough with the negative.  I need, we all need, to move forward and if we believe in the overall goodness of the program and its foundation, then we will fight to keep finding our way.  

    • Upvote 2

  6. Those that are not BSA should be very aware of this.  It is only one of the internet searches that indicate the ambulance chaser list of possible sources.  And most of these do not have the safeguards of BSA still.  Just not seen as the deepest pocket, but they will continue unless the court system and legal system makes some checks and balances, while still keeping real victims able to sue.  https://www.levylaw.com/sex-abuse-lawsuits/

     


  7. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    I understand where you are coming from but you have to turn around and look at what you are saying. Replace "slavery" or "segregation" with "pedophilia" and I think you'll see what I mean. There is no way to examine this retroactively with any view to trying to put what happened in any kind of context no matter how valid. Trying to engage in any kind of moral relativism can only backfire. Scouting is up against a wall. While the leadership has missed a lot of opportunities to communicate where I think they could have tried to defend themselves or clarify, there are too many things they simply cannot try to explain or defend without making things worse in both a legal and public relations sense. The other issue is that while BSA may have done more than anyone else, however flawed, to prevent abuse, it was still slow to recognize it (they've been aware they were a pedophile magnet since the 1920s) and also failed to comprehend the unique circumstances in which it combined adults with youth, as did the Catholic church to their own great sorrow. Both the scouts and the church had warning bells many decades before they took effective steps. In my opinion it's because the organizational structures and, in a way, cultures, of the two organizations had similar flaws. Both allowed potentially predatory adults unparalleled access to children; both put forward adult leaders -- scoutmasters and priests -- as persons above parental scrutiny and reproach;  both created inadequately supervised franchise- like entities, whether COs/units or parishes, where predators could operate; both put youth in remote and opaque environments with adults, whether on camp outs or for altar duty.  

    I'm really sad about what's happening. It's not panic on my part, just a dwindling of hope. 

    A few things have struck me the past couple weeks apart from the tsunami of claims. One has been the comments by some of the attorneys that this will forever change the way youth organizations are run in this country. Perhaps the good that will come out of this tragedy is that our country's attention will be focused on the need to better protect children and will figure out a way to do it. Another was what happened last week with the last minute scramble by COs to file proof of claims. The CO structure in BSA is dysfunctional because they have long been at cross purposes with each other and that development throws that fact into bas relief.  Another point is that I agree with MattR that scouting is obviously going to cease to exist as we know it, but whatever remains of it is still good. Some version of scouting is better than no scouting. We'll figure something out. 

     

     

     

    The point is not that things were done poorly in an earlier time, and since that time, huge strides have been made to try to fix it.  No amount of rules will stop it completely, but the responses can be more real and accepted in the larger society.  The issue is that, since you mention Slavery, that reparations are never going to fix the past; nor is killing the BSA, a group that is far more good than evil, for youth and the society.  But, unless our legal system gets redirected, this imbalance will get worse, and we will see attacks on many more overly positive and beneficial groups.  Meanwhile, we have to try to work with the system and be sure to stay in the guidelines completely.  It would just be nice if the media would make an effort to tell the complete story, rather than only the "juiciest" part, or most sensational.

     


  8. So, while it truly concerns me, and we are struggling even more due to the pandemic, but we CAN work locally and emphasize the best of Scouting.  As we see noted on here, Scouting is local.  

    Still, I actually like the idea of finding a way to get a valid and actually watched source to do the "complete" story.  That would include digging out stats from the twentieth century, from the teens, and making comparisons of youth groups of the periods, maybe by decade or something.  Also, it would discuss the realities of society's approach to these types of things, again by decades or something, pointing out where the big change in view began and grew.  It also would discuss the "fact" BSA did more than most for the time to try to keep the worst elements out, especially with the totally unprecedented Ineligible Volunteer Files; and it would hopefully show how on occasion, before computers, they were able to keep some of the predators at bay.  Following this would be the huge changes starting in the late 80's, including the challenges of the Dale issue and its post attacks.  It would discuss in depth the continued growth of YP and how the BSA is the model almost all look to for their own developments.  I have tried a number of times to guilt local news outlets into going beyond the shallow, sensationalism that is common today.  But how to get that high level article, one that will as accurately as possible give the complete story and consequences, is lost to me.  It truly appears that the media is not ready to actually write this in a balanced and nuanced way, dealing with the fact of societal changes, especially those from over thirty years ago when families often preferred to not go public, and local authorities had a different approach unless it was someone from a powerful or prominent family.  S

    So, how does this come to fruition?  Is there someone that regularly reads this forum that can somehow make this happen?  I surely do not have the contacts.  Yet, based on the comments I noted from the recent feedback on the Huffington Post's thread from AOL, there are a lot of people that are on the side of common sense and recognize the legal predator angle.  


  9. The subject made it onto the "news" feed on AOL, which is Huffington Post.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the comments, and there are many, are almost all slamming the lawyers and the whole situation.  A number loudly note what has been said on here for a long while, including noting how media hype is almost always aimed at negative stuff, and that the far greater good that has come from BSA is brushed aside.  The amount of comments about the ads and the "ambulance chasers" were very high, and many recognized that it is a societal problem.  And, while there were the few ignorant comments referencing the Dale period, most of those were met with their own negative responses.  Also were a number of ominous mentions of other groups needing to hide, and calls for fixing the legal system.  

     


  10. Unless the focus can be moved to the very real fact BSA tried where nobody else did, and that their current YP is the model today, the mess will continue.  You would hope that there might be a real writer somewhere that might find a media source that could get the real story out, the one that shows BSA had a lower percentage of verified problems during that peak time; that they came up with a way to hopefully avoid some of these people that prey on society everywhere; that the current YP is the model for others, even as the lawsuits continue; that the idea that BSA or anyone could have stopped these problems, especially in an age that had different points of view and methods of dealing with things; and that holding today's BSA responsible for what were often decisions of parents and past societal norms is simply wrong, especially since BSA is attempting to come to a fair accounting, even though it is an unfair expectation in our warped legal system.  As I have noted before, this likely would not fly in hardly any other country, and our legal system needs a serious overhaul.

     


  11. Two things in regard to the most recent posts.

    The Ineligible Volunteer Files were not secret to the councils, they were simply not public information, due to their actual nature.  All councils had access to check a volunteer if they felt it necessary; that was the whole point to begin with.  That was by phone or mail initially, and at some point, likely became available in some electronic form.  They did not hide this information within the organization.  But it was not developed to share with anybody, though I believe if asked by another group, they likely would have reviewed it on a case by case basis.  So, the idea that they were "secret" is over hyped.  Again, they were simply an internal check based on the era in which they started.  And many of them had nothing to do with "perversion", but rather other possible poor models such as major felons and so on.  

    Secondly, anybody that is paying any attention and has involvement with Scouting should be completely aware of the ongoing lawsuits and the bankruptcy.  I seriously doubt many CO's exist that would not have the awareness to see where they might stand in this regard.  Recharter has not hidden the information from the CO's, and certainly the yellow press has done their best to make sure people know about it.  So, IMO, the hyperbole regarding that is simply foolish and not a real concern.  

    I was at our Methodist church today, and they certainly are aware.  The National Men's group, who is the representative for Youth Serving has notified all units to file as needed.  Our Pastor told me it has been done, and that the local Conference is keeping up with it as well.  

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2

  12. Showing my age again, and I REALIZE that we do not live in the fifties now, so just take note that I do understand there are different views today, though I do wonder if some may be overreach much of the time.  

    Anyway, when most of my peers were kids this would have been settled by themselves and they would be friends again soon after.  My dad brought a set of boxing gloves home for my brother and I, and on occasion, neighbor or two.  At times, I wonder if there might be some in between place that would put the onus on the kids a bit more to simply figure it out.  But, I realize, as noted, we live in a different world, and there were some really bad situations that happened back then as well, though most of us would have a fight, sometimes physical and emotional, and very soon be friends, or at least, accepting, with the other kid.  Where to draw the line to not interfere is the question.  But helicopter parents sometimes are flying military grade ones now.  One more reason to find a way to get the foundation of Scouting back into play with the youth of today.  


  13. 21 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    So what? I'm not sure I understand. Are you arguing that if an Assistant Scoutmaster was molesting Scouts, the fact that the same person may have been molesting kids at the YMCA makes it OK? Remember, the attorney is hired by a particular client (John Scout). That the ASM was molesting James YMCA-Person does NOT mean the attorney has to serve as that person's attorney, too.

    And that's the point behind discovery. There's this notion that all you have to do is file a claim and BSA is going to be forced to pay. That's not the deal, at all. The idea is that post-November 16 the claims will be assessed individually.

    I've already gotten word from my council that only about 20-30% of claims are "with specificity" (meaning that they can at least identify the legal minimum to assert a claim). There's still going to be a review period here folks.

    First, it is going to require a modicum of validation. I really, really don't know where people get the idea that any male over the age of 30 is going to be able to assert a claim and get money automatically.

    As for comparative stats for other organizations, so what? The court's not going to look at "Well, the BSA had pedophiles, but nowhere NEAR as many as the YMCA, therefore the BSA gets to walk on this." The fact that other organizations had 100% pedophiles or 0% pedophiles does nothing regarding whether:

    1) a particular person

    2) has a particular claim

    3) against a particular Council and/or National

    4) for a particular amount

     

    No, I am suggesting that IF a claim is being brought against the BSA against a specific individual that "other" possible responsible entities might also be investigated to determine IF they did everything to make sure abuse did not happen, and it it might have, follow up both on the possibly incident and the addition of that entity into their broad brush lawsuit.  We all know that the more checks and investigations of someone that occur, the more likely something might jump out.  If we are going to beat the bushes, lets beat those on the periphery as well.  Meanwhile, exercise due diligence against the lawyers who, if the postings here are accurate, have suspicious or non existent addresses for contacting them.  That, in itself, might be grounds for a judgement of some sort, or so it might seem to a non legal individual.  It just seems to reflect that they are shysters to me.  

    Again, I am mostly spitting in the wind.  The two main posters here seem to obviously not really care about leveling the playing field, or the survival of BSA.  JMO of course.  Since real logic and simple common sense appear to be in slight supply, I will go back to reading and shaking my head at the absurdity of most of this whole thing.  

    • Downvote 1

  14. 58 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Yes, but the point is that there are two levels of liability here.

    1) The perpetrators who did it.

    2) The BSA entities (National and Councils) that oversaw these volunteers and failed to exercise sufficient care of the children under their care/duty to care.

    Another question that has come to mind is are these "lawyers" investigating cases where the actual perpetrator is known?  If so, did they go beyond their participation in BSA?  Were they possibly employed by some kind of youth related group or agency?  Did they also work with youth sports or the Y, or Boys and Girls club?  If so, were there possible similar complaints there?

    Finally, it is odd, at least to me, that there are claims that are saying they do not remember who, or what unit, or where they met, and so on.  IF it traumatized them from that long ago period, you would think they might remember some of the details, and not just that some "ambulance chasing legal group" suggests that they may make a vague claim with little or no need for documentation.  Not suggesting there is no validity to some of the claimants, only that the openly vague option is just that, open and vague.  

    But what would I know.  I keep thinking that we should maybe look beyond the accusation and require at least a modicum of validation.  And I also feel that the comparative stats related to other groups should be in play as far as the claims that nothing was done.  We have already noted that nobody else kept records, or at least none of which we are aware.  That in itself is more effort to root the worst out, than most.  

    • Upvote 1

  15. Meanwhile, back at the ranch:  The perpetrators, the ones actually responsible are long gone for the most part.  The local authorities and political or power brokers that protected the actual perpetrators are basically ignored, since they are either some civilly protected entity or are conveniently untraceable.  Most of the claimants likely are not in the so called Perversion files, as they were shielded by those connected entities or their family's chose, at the time, to NOT put the claim into the public eye.  And, if the claim is actually in the Ineligible Volunteer File, there are notes as to what was done outside the BSA that resulted in no charges or minor charges.  After fifty plus years, most of it is really like the charges lodged against political people that date back decades.  Yet we do not see them being held accountable.  Why?  Because there is power and money that is willing to sweep it away, and the lawyers do not see a pay day.

    • Upvote 1

  16. This reminded me of my foolish young scout days.  I was in a troop as an 11 or 12 years old and we were camped for a few days, summer of 1955 or maybe 56, in the mountains near Slide Lake which is in the Pomona area of So Cal.  Anyway, two of us were hiking and we ran across deer tracks and started following them.  I was wearing my proud acquisition from selling Christmas cards, a belt ax with sheath knife, and I had a hiking stick as did my buddy.  We noticed the tracks were farther apart and wondered if we were close and scared it.  Then we realized there was another set of tracks now, and they were not deer, but large cat imprints.  That was when we decided tracking the deer was not a good idea.  We took my hatchet and knife and put points on our hiking sticks and then we turned around and headed towards camp, constantly jumping at noises and peering into the scrub and mancinita.  We never saw the cat or the deer, but when we turned around, the deer was obviously moving much faster, as were we in the opposite direction.  Funny how I had almost forgotten that.  As an adult, we were camped on the Sespe at Bear Creek.  It was early summer or late spring, and we had not pitched tents.  I got up the next morning and wandered away to water a tree, and on the way back into the site, I saw fresh tracks in the damp sand of the river bar just a few dozen feet from where we were sleeping.  The tracks came within about ten feet of one scout, who was still asleep.  When he woke up, he did not see the tracks, but when I pointed them out to him, the look was pretty funny.  Wish I had had some plater, as the tracks were deep and fresh.  Would have been great to capture them.  

    • Upvote 2

  17. 13 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I wouldn't hike anywhere without a stick or a pole. We don't really have mountain lions around here but we do have bear. There are also a lot of people who hike with their dogs off leash and they are not all friendly. We have also had a number of cases of rabid animals attacking hikers. That's another issue scouts could use more consistent education about.  

    Interesting comment.  Harks back to the early days of Scouting and one of the requirements.  What to do about a rabid dog?  That was actually an issue in those days.

     


  18. Reality is that Ms. Ireland likely met and surpassed most of the requirements in her other earlier Scouting involvements, and that she is qualified in spades.  Most of the push back seems petty to me.  As far as First, or leading the list, or whatever, it is really not important.  What is important that we have pushed past another barrier that can do nothing but improve the reach of the program, and may even enhance it much more than many realize.  Congratulations to them all, and perhaps special kudos to Ms. Ireland for sticking to her guns and helping to open the program to young women who so choose.  Like prejudice, misogyny has no place in Scouting.

     

    • Upvote 1

  19. We might add the possibility that society as a whole was equally responsible in that the responses to these things were completely different in that earlier period.  So, once again, taking the sin/bad behavior out of its own period to be measured against a different view and response mechanism is blatantly unfair to most involved.  And to remove the actual perpetrator from the picture, basically because they are dead or too senile to be held accountable to modern "standards (?)" seems even more unreasonable.  As we have noted before, ours is almost the only country in which this would even be happening.  

    I truly do not understand why these bottom feeders are even allowed inside a courtroom.  It would help of course if the yellow press would change their stripe and tell the complete story, rather than just the most heinous and headline grabber.  

    You would think that other groups, especially youth serving, would be doing all they could to aid the BSA, as it will move to them too soon enough, as the GS already have found; along with at least one youth study group in university research.


  20. On 10/28/2010 at 11:34 AM, Beavah said:

    In answer to #1, of course yeh can accept a donation that someone offers. Who wouldn't?

     

    In answer to #2, it's frowned upon and technically contrary to da charter agreement. The primary reason is its potential for interferin' with FOS solicitation. If you go to a local business and get a $50 donation to a silent auction, what you may have just done is cost the council a $1000 donation from that business. They can easily say "we already gave to Scouting, and we like to spread our donation dollars around." So yeh really just shot your DE and local scouting programs in the foot, because you nickeled and dimed a potentially more substantial donor.

     

    If yeh avoid doin' something like that, or are just taking advantage of an existing program (like lots of supermarkets have some sort of low-level donation program that is available to scout units), then your council isn't really goin' to mind.

     

    Most councils will also be supportive of Eagle Projects asking for donations, or even instruct lads to shops and lumber yards that are known to be helpful. Remember, a donation to an Eagle Project is really a donation to the project beneficiary and not to Scouting, and therefore is not covered by the Rules & Regs.

     

    Beavah

     

    I simply want to know if this is the original Beavah posting?  If so, great to see you are still keeping the eye on things.  

     


  21. 45 minutes ago, elitts said:

    I only have one question and one comment about the news story:

    • (Question) What the heck is she doing using a bow saw to cut down a standing tree?  (assuming that wasn't simply a staged photo)
    • (Comment) The fact that she thinks having earned Eagle Scout in 20 months means she's gotten everything possible out of the program does not say great things about her mindset with regards to participating in scouts.  Though I'll admit this viewpoint isn't exactly uncommon.

     

    I've never questioned a bench project that had thought and planning with regard to appearance and durability involved; but many I see really don't.  Most of the time you get a wood bench put together with no finishing done to the wood at all, they just cut up the raw lumber, and slap it together with screws and a few lag bolts, then set it on a surface that is pretty much certain to rot the wood out within 10 years.

    But if you are talking about a bench that is done right, with surfaces sanded and sealed, screws and bolts countersunk to avoid scratching people, with grass and dirt removed and replaced with either concrete or well drained gravel and the ground contact points protected from standing water, I agree that's sufficient for an Eagle Project.

    The worst projects I see though are the ones where someone just gets a bench or picnic table kit from a "big box" then dumps them on the ground on project day and says " Ok, you and you, build that one and you two build that one.  The instructions are in the box.".  In addition to the complete lack of planning and leadership required of the scout, the wood typically included in those kits is usually the lowest quality possible so a year or two later you end up with warped table-tops and benches.

     

     

    • (Comment) The fact that she thinks having earned Eagle Scout in 20 months means she's gotten everything possible out of the program does not say great things about her mindset with regards to participating in scouts.  Though I'll admit this viewpoint isn't exactly uncommon.

    While I cannot vouch directly for this specific young woman, my overall observation to date on those in this "special category" of Eagle candidates almost all are from long established Scouting families with traditions that they often had to view from the outside.  But many families in these situations simply let the female children participate as they could, without the official recognition.  Many of those young women have shown themselves to be head and shoulders above the male candidates we see.  These young women were already getting more from the program than many male youth.  It will all shake out in time, just as most transitions tend to do.  Then many will look back and make comments about why are today's young female scouts seemingly not as bright as the the earliest ones.  

    When push and shove come into play, it is not really much different than our experience with previous youth.  Some are highly motivated and balk at barriers, sometimes pushing us to our limits, but great Scouts.  Others are not likely to advance far without the interference of adults that do not understand the intent of the program.  IF most of them come out of it with a positive experiences and have a better grounding in the foundational tenets, then we have accomplished our goal.  It has little to do with rank, but rather "Character".  

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