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Everything posted by TAHAWK

  1. Part of my job as a Senior Attorney, General Attorney, and Council at Bell and its successor entities involved ensuring compliance with the consent decree by which the System ceased to exist. I was, for a time, the Corporate Secretary for the Bell entity in Ohio, The Ohio Bell Telephone Company, and officially reviewed hundreds of pages of the documents involved in the breakup and signed and sealed the company's acknowledgements of receipt. I then helped draft "how to" memos to management to help them comply. The anti-trust case had gone on since 1974 and had been before three successive federal judges, and the decree judge, Judge Greene, retained jurisdiction for years more. I am not guessing or "interpresenting" even slightly. It's all in the court record should you wish to look. The myths had not been invented then. I also drafted hundreds of pages of legal memoranda and court briefs on post-breakup legal issues from 1984 to 1999., such as some of those those considering the issue of the circumstance under which an operating company, restricted to "supplying telephone service" by the consent decree, could build a cable television system for an independent entity. (as it turned our, by retaining "bare legal title" to the facilities,. Thus, Cleveland got cable TV at long last.) AT&T had been barred from "general trades computing" for almost three decades under a 1956 consent decree in a 1949 case and literally expected to replace IBM if freed from that decree. After all, AT&T was BIG! Bell Labs largely invented AT&T Unix programming language and Bell was the largest manufacturer of super computers in the World. We all had to view a film whose message was that IBM was trembling over the prospect of AT&T as a competitor. Strange that, given that the vast majority of the viewers already knew that we were not part of the minority who would stay on the mother ship post-break-up. Instead, we would be working for the "regional bell operating companies, groups of the twenty-two Bell operating Companies who, post break-up, would be AT&T's competition for several markets, such as long distance service (for those old enough to recall "long distances charges [revenue"]). The assumption of automatic triumph seemed arrogant. and it was in hindsight. Meanwhile, Asia increasingly priced Western Electric products, even when not black, out of the market for customer-premises equipment, and retaining Western was no small part of what AT&T had traded for giving up its twenty-two operating companies back when $80,000,000,000 was real money. Von Auw left AT&T at 65 in 1981 - before "TPC" decided (in 1982) to offer the settlement that it did. He wrote in 1983, before the break-up took place on "the end of history, 01/01/1984. He therefore missed an event of great relevance to his thesis that service was the great driver that would continue to push AT&T, now long dead, to greatness - the decision by AT&T shortly after the break-up to slash the budget of the half of Bell Labs that remained with AT&T (The other half became the transient BellCore - supposedly to equally serve seven competing Regional Bell Operating companies (the "Baby Bells') AND the simultaneous decision to require that all research show a likelihood to generate added revenue in a few years. These steps would have been unthinkable to the System prior to the new regime. "Labs" was the premiere "pure research" institution in the World. The brief of its scientists was to think deep thoughts and let management know if the found anything useful. - such as lasers and semi-conductors. I read many books by insiders least I be surprised in court by their supposed disclosures. I did not read Van Auw's book all those years ago because it was not informed by the decisions during the critical years after he retired, or the changes to AT&T's proposal by Judge Greene, and no one thought he might "spill" anything critical. Now that I have read it, I see that he pointed out that there was no drive to break-up the System, from Justice or the public. The drive was to allow competition on supplying "stuff' to the telephone business - largely meaning the System - breaking the culture that almost everything purchased by the operating companies and Long Lines came from Western Electric, "the supply arm of the Bell System." I note that he died at 95 in 2011. it would have been interesting to learn what he made of the death of AT&T values of service uber alles and the course of events that led to the death of the original AT&T, but he just wrote the one book Interpretation: AT&T did not "get" that being a monopoly is one thing and being in a competitive marketplace is another. Almost all those with customer contact experience were left behind. and it showed. Then there was the infamous failure of the AT&T desktop computer. It was a fraction of the product line but its awfulness was all over the front page of InfoWorld every week. AT&T was like the ocean liner - unable to maneuver quickly, partly due to government interference that saw AT&T as a bottomless well to subsidize its emerging competitors, one of whom, SBC, bought it in the end after buying Bell South, Pacific Bell, Ameritech, and other bits and pieces.. As I taught history at Ohio State from 1965 to 1970, before Law School, I too recall the old days - copying one page at a time on the new miracle Xerox machine with the big rubber mat and no mechanical feed. Typing. Correcting typing mistakes with Wite-Out or Liquid Paper.. Key-punch cards. Questioning Master's candidates on their dissertations. When I joined Bell from a few years of private practice, I assumed it was for my working lifetime. Instead I experienced constant downsizing ( "resizing" and "rightsizing!) from a department of twenty-eight of all titles to a mere five souls before I retired. "But look on the bright side. There's more work than ever." 😉
  2. Cardboard oven pizza, cookies, cheesy tortilla chips!
  3. As some probably know, big difference between first course ( - 1971) and second course 1972-2000) First course was knowing and teaching Scout skills through First Class. Week-long only. Learners tented in patrol sites. All meals cooked as patrols. Second course was built around eleven "leadership skills," sandwiched between sessions on scout Skills. Weekend courses introduced. Learners tented in patrol sites. All meals cooked as patrols. Some announced that the change was "the end of Scouting." A district-level one day course (J.L.O.W.) was an introduction for leaders (boys) to the eleven leadership skills in the context of the Patrol Method. The second, 1972 course postdated Tuckman's 1965 essay on team forming, which had morphed into the Five Stages of Team Development before the, old, 1965 version was adopted by as the basis of the original, Blanchard, version of the third course. 3a That course was greatly changed when BSA employee rewrote the syllabus to avoid having to pay royalties to Blanchard and Associates. 3b Tuckman was not even listed as a resource in the BSA rewrite of the syllabus. Now we have the fourth course, of which i know little, beyond rumors. It is definitely reduced in length by one day, consistent with the BSA deemphasis on training. It was to roll out in 2020.
  4. Which "old" WB course, Eagledad? There have been four different courses. Really five, if one takes into account the BSA rewrite of the fourth course syllabus (originally by Blanchard and Associates).
  5. This is a question of state law. "Who can survivors of child sexual abuse file a claim against? Under the [new York] CVA, survivors can now file a claim against private and public institutions that may have also been involved in the abuse (this includes negligence of the institution). This is because the CVA removed “the notice of claim” requirement under the old law which usually applies before someone can bring a claim against a public institution. Survivors can file claims against these institutions during the new one (1)-year extension period for claims that had already expired under the old statute of limitations."
  6. if the adults are not trained properly, the "natural" thing they tend to do is be "helpful." " Here, let me help. You will burn that pancake [taking the flipper in hand]." Hence the counsel of my first Sm: "No one ever died of a burned flapjack." The primary job of a Scoutmaster, beyond insuring safety, is training the leaders to lead their patrols and troop. But if, the adults don't know where they are supposed to be going, the odds of getting lost are rather high. So the BSA deemphasis on adult training , including of lack of knowledge about the Scouting program themselves, is having predictable results
  7. ... because some adults lose track of the "fun" part when running the program that they plan and lead. Kids may not want to grind away at a merit badge every single meeting at some advancement mill. You won't see many kids turning out for baseball who dislike baseball. unless dad is trying to live vicariously through his child. (which does happen - like the dad who never got Eagle, but his kid WILL!!) Kids mainly join Scouting to have fun with friends, not to "benefit from" an educational program to make them good citizens. The later sounds like school, which has become near year-round for many, even those not on a sports (year-'round) team.
  8. BSA, although unable to explain the Patrol Method, while expecting a Scout rank candidate to do so, says it is "essential." So is it OK for a Scouter registered with BSA to simply ignore what BSA says is essential, given a specific "purpose" of leadership development and a "purpose" of citizenship training, if you believe you have a better idea? "UNLESS THE PATROL METHOD IS IN OPERATION, YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE A ... SCOUT TROOP." BSA blog - BRYAN ON SCOUTING - OCTOBER 21, 2020 “'The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout troop, it is the only way. Unless the patrol method is in operation you don’t really have a Boy Scout troop.'” Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Position Specific Training, at p. 21, (current syllabus) misquoting Lord Baden-Powell (always "patrol system" to B-P) "In Scouting, a troop is composed of several patrols. Boy Scouting happens in the context of a patrol. The patrol, a small team of eight or so Scouts, is more than an organizational convenience or a Boy Scout version of the Cub Scout den. It is the place where boys learn skills, take on leadership responsibilities, and develop friendships that will often last throughout their lifetimes."d. Id.
  9. If Scouting is not "fun" for youth, it is dead. So who is actually asking the youth what is "fun" to them? BSA didn't ask before the disastrous "Improved Scouting Program." Any youth here? Adult planning is sure to result in program that adults sincerely THINK is "fun." The Patrol Method has the youth decide what they will do in Scouting, subject to considerations of safety and law. Back before BSA misplaced Scouting, it was thought that youth planning, with adults only serving as resources, was more likely to result in "fun" to youth than adult planning. When I was in a position to do so, I had SPLs, representing their PLCs, plan and run our district outdoor events - Winter and Spring. Attendance was up 300% in four years. Complaints about "boring" events in the debrief by PLs Saturday night, plunged. Silly old traditional Scouting. 😉
  10. The VAST majority of units in this area are chartered to religious entities - well over 80%. The percentage took a big jump up when public schools: a) decided they were legally barred from chartering BSA units; and b) "educators" became overwhelming hostile to BSA as described by BSA. I was last allowed to recruit (pamphlet) on public school property in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1987.
  11. Just who advocates a return to the program of ninety-three years ago? A "straw-man argument," I think. A false dichotomy as well. There are many other choices., including the programs of every year from 1928-1969, and something else entirely. What do you propose?
  12. You may be correct. BSA may be beyond redemption. I have never suggested recreating the 1960s program. Like Girl Scouts then, it was heavy on chopping things down, for one thing. My troop as a Scout was regarded as "strange" for minimizing open fires and using WW II "squad stoves" for cooking. Not all change is bad. Not all change is good. As to what I "want," I have been fairly clear. I "want" program that stresses the Patrol Method, Outdoor activities, conservation, and service. If that does not restore relative membership, such a program still seems preferable - to me - to the focus almost solely on revenue to make payroll. I have no objection to changes otherwise. I helped convinced BSA to allow female participants in our NYLT course in 2010 - a year early. (They were all Staff the next year - superior leaders.) I again ask what you "want"? The end of BSA? The end of Scouting? A wholly indoor program? More like school?
  13. I have reached no opinions on your questions. That is due to a lack of evidence that I have actually reviewed vs. "feelings." People can reach different conclusions on the same data but opinions supported only by "feelings" or faith do not carry much weight with me, except as possible proof of sincerity. Forty years does not seem "recent" to me. Many posting here were not alive in 1980. I recall the reaction to the "No one-on-one" rule at roundtable. As Scouting flourished under a Congressional charter that restricted it to "boys," as Girl Scouting flourished bereft of boys, I await evidence that female Scouts added to BSA is a key to BSA serving significantly more youth. I hope it is. As I have served with coed Venturing and Scout units and taught coed history classes at university, it seems quite normal to me. But that's me. Coeducational scouting has not proved a panacea for membership in Canada. A peak was hit in Canada in the 1960s, it became "Scouts Canada" in 1976, and membership has continued to decline.
  14. BSA numbers collapsed in the early 1970's when the typical parent abhorred homosexuality, and have spiraled down for decades. 1970's trial lawyers with homosexual clients, were wise to take special courses on how to deal with overwhelming juror prejudice. If it is foolish to reqard the past as immutable, and it doubtless is, it is equally foolish to regard the present as either inevitable, much less the best of all possible worlds. For better or worse, it merely is what it is. Opinions, of course, differ.
  15. When Wood Badge became primarily about "leadership," I was told it was the end. When female commissioned Scouters arrived, I was told it was the end. When Wood Badge for the 21st Century arrived, I was told it was the end. Those were merely changes, although not all change is for the better, as those familiar with the history of Poland can attest. I see other changes as more critical. Scouting flourished when it was about patrols, outdoors, service, and conservation. My old troop, operated on that basis, flourished until the Scoutmaster retired ten years ago. That Scouting was generally gone in the vast majority of units by 1980 and increasingly gone thereafter, and if BSA did not cause it, it did little to nothing to stop it. For one example, magatrends did not stop BSA from emphasizing recognition of individuals, units, and councils that emphasized patrols, outdoors, service, and conservation. Many more examples could be cited. BSA did, by behavior, do a great deal to stop sexual abuse over time during the last forty years. The suggestion that they did not defies reality. That more should have been done in the previous seventy years is a valid criticism. For those that see Scouting as "old, antiquated, and dying," likely never actually experiencing it, what do you propose instead?
  16. Dear Cynic, how do we know it would not be embraced.? First, one would have to try it. The Patrol Method - Scouting's Essential Method. BSA started deemphasizing the Patrol Method in about 1960 when, after fifty years, it stopped chartering patrols. Planning forms for patrol meeting went away over forty years ago. Patrol Leader stopped being capitalized (unlike Senior Patrol Leader) and the "Unit Leader" became the Scoutmaster. The literature changed to prohibit patrol activities that conflicted with troop activities sometime more than forty years ago. They made Bill, who invented our version of the Patrol Method, retire in 1969 and went all in on the indoor program. BSA has not coherently explained the Patrol Method in nearly fifty years. It says it expects a Scout candidate to "explain it," but, repeatedly and politely asked, cannot say what it is. What "does not work" has not been tried by BSA in over forty years and BSA does not know what it is that "does not work." Their focus is on revenue, not program . In 2017 , BSA posted on line, in "Orientation for New Scout Parents," that "the Patrol Method is one component of what we call the youth-led troop." That statement is still there as I type. Go ahead, look up the "youth-led troop method." As the then head of training at BSA told me in 2014, "it's not so much a conscious policy change as they misplacing Scouting." The Outdoor Program - "Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature." You could make Eagle without starting a single fire under the 1971 "Improved Scouting Program." The camping goal for a troop was lowered to a pathetic five weekend campouts from a modest ten. There were no goals for patrol activities. The awful Handbook , which our Museum cannot give away - literally - taught about answering the telephone and walking home from school. "Better teach about rat-bite than snake-bite" was the rallying cry of the indoor program advocates. Of course, they had never asked the customers what they wanted, only academic former sperts, who endorsed "Urban-centered Scouting." When they finally asked, wondering where all the Scouts and Scouters were going in their tens of thousands, they found they had it backwards. Bill was brought back and wrote a new, more "traditional" Handbook, and stemmed the bleeding, but he was regarded by the folks in the corporate tower as old and obsolete even as he tried to save them from themselves - the "Scoutmaster to the World" as something of a joke. The Fieldbook, when last I looked, said nothing about fire, ropes, woods tools, cooking, or most outdoor skills. The focus was on administration - in the FIELDBOOK! The Journey to Mediocrity in its, Q & A, defines "weekend campout" to include an indoor "lock in" playing video games. As it was explained to me by a representative at National: Camping is desirable; indoor activities are also desirable; therefore, indoor activities count as "camping. " ["You have no idea, said the rep (not born when I had twenty years in as a Scouter)] how hard it is to get kids to do anything." We took 67 kids to our troop-operated summer camp that Summer - six seven entire days in camp plus two more for travel to Twin Lakes, PA. Three Scouts were tied up in high school athletics. A former member got his dad to bring him from Pittsburgh so he could have another campout with his patrol. He earned - EARNED - two merit badges. They built SUPER expedient brush shelters for Wilderness Survival because the Ranger wanted an area "thinned out." Training in the Outdoor program for Scouts and Scouters has declined in breadth and depth. One-third as much time is devoted for basic training of Scoutmasters and SA's in outdoor as was devoted in 1981, when I re-upped as a dad after the move across country/grad school/teaching/law school/start family break. The lake spillway lulled us to sleep each night. All this time of BSA membership decline, public Interest in the outdoors skyrocketed, based on recorded visits to parks and state and federal forests, but not at BSA, based on behavior. A positive effect of the crowds in the back country was the "buy in" by BSA on LNT, although they seem to think it's a set of rules to be memorized. In 2019, the camping requirement for First Class was reduced to a pitiful three days and nights. Since 1981, the Council has sold off three of its four camps, plus 250 acres at the fourth camp, and it sold, solely for revenue, one of the camps that it acquired through merger - a camp that it absolutely needed in Summer, even after adding seven sites at the main camp used for Summer Camp. In 2019, all sites were filled for five of the weeks, but nine of that year's sites are now gone with Camp Stigwandish on the Grand River (sold without open bidding) if anything is left of summer camp for 2021. I live on hope, but the trend has been established for nearly fifty years. The compensation at BSA's top levels has climbed and climbed as youth served declined and declined. Talk about "adapt" or "die." The "good Volunteer," I was told by our very effective middle-manager in charge of capital development, is not about being willing and able to do the work but, instead, almost solely about donating money to meet payroll (She did not say the words. Instead, she rubbed her thumb in a circular motion against her first two fingers of that hand. You know the gesture.) Then she was laid off because capital money that she raised, literally in the $millions as Golden age Scouters died off, does not meet the monthly payroll - it is only useful for the relatively unimportant future. The most common communication that I receive from Council, our districts having been abolished in favor of "teams" led by employees looking for "good volunteers," are reminders to "do my duty" by estate planning to "support Scouting." "Have you remembered Scouting in your estate plan." Indeed, I do remember. Few do.
  17. We had a claim where the plaintiff supplies copious details. We could find no information within the Telephone Company that the plaintiff existed, much less that one of our trucks hit him in a Cleveland street then left the alleged scene. It was late on the night of a storm, and we had nearly twenty trucks out working, some in that area. All the trucks were carefully inspected - by us and the CPD, with no indication of an impact. He also had a medical reports attesting to his injuries - a fractured pelvis and broken arm included. Fortunately, we could prove he was in jail in Toledo that night, following an automobile accident If his claim was allowed fifty years later, it would have likely gone to a jury.
  18. Shortage of adult volunteers has been an increasingly severe problem over decades, and BSA has done little or nothing about it. As a District Chairman, tired of telling kids and want-to-be Co's that there could be no unit without X adults registered as Scouters, I contacted Eagle Scouts not currently registered. I got a 13% "take rate," including eight new Scoutmasters - well worth the effort. I received a letter of reprimand from Region for violating the BSA policy that prohibited direct recruiting of adults: "Adults must come with the boys." Well, that was not working well in Orange County in 1965 and is working far less well this century. OK in Canada, Australia, UK, Philippines, India, and Kenya. Not OK in the BSA. I read today that it's time to recruit "boys, girls [and]... families...." Hanlon's Razor illustrated.
  19. Back up slowly while looking large and prepare to throw rocks. I might well have Bear Spray.
  20. Many Scouters taking WB in my council have not completed Scoutmaster Specific or IOLS. This is supposedly not allowed, but "filling the course" rules over all else. Naturally, when you say to them "Knowing as you do the Aims of Scouting, let us now discuss how the Methods of Scouting meet those Aims," you get some strange looks. " But since you have a totally inadequate five minutes for Methods, there is no time to go back and reprise the inadequate fifteen minute session on Aims and Methods from Scoutmaster Specific. Pretend training completed on time is more important to some, like our Wood Badge Coordinator, than trustworthy training. It is not that way in all councils, as I know from staffing elsewhere. (My solution was to offer my time off schedule and to supply disks or flash drives with the material- and other cool stuff, like an actual, coherent explanation of the Patrol Method, and outdoor program information long gone from BSA literature.)
  21. Nor have they mastered teaching outdoor skills on line. Not nearly. More pretend accomplishment.
  22. "results"? Complex factors in her life got her to that state, most beyond the control of a training course staff. Some people are simply more emotionally vulnerable than others. Routine life is harder for them, and they need friends who can shelter them from day-to-day stress, like competitive candy throwing or singing in "public." They find it hard to engage in unfamiliar activities amidst strangers. She was possibly "talked into" attending against her instincts. The lady mentioned needed to just leave if her patrol mates and TG could not help her successfully cope. I have never seen the gate locked. Kids pushed into sports by parents or peers against their preferences are another population that often is miserable, and the joy of other participants only makes it worse for those who don't really want to be there. As a "field" umpire in high school baseball, i have looked in towards the "plate" and seen kids at bat who close their eyes on each pitch. Clearly, they didn't want to be there, but dad wanted them to "play." i coached a little league team with one bright member who threw up before every game, and the parents knew it. (But Bill Russell did the same before each Celtics game - or so he wrote.) The WB Course once had "The Game of Life" that, poorly managed by staff, caused anger and frustration. Evaluations surfaced that problem and led to reform.
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