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Everything posted by Zahnada

  1. Zahnada

    The Debate

    And up steps good ol Zahnada, Ready to vote for Obama. But if Baracks fate, Was decided by this debate, Id say it helped him, absolutely nada. While McCain had distain and he muttered, Obama had a lotta times where he stuttered. He didnt fire back, To Johns relentless attacks. Baracks performance gave me some shudders. Although I just gave him some knocks, Im still going to vote for Barack. Im sad to confess, Our economys a mess, And McCains budget strategies are just a crock.
  2. Hops, I knew a boy who almost earned all, And his Scout Spirit was never called small. Youre too quick to judge, And hold such a grudge, Cause that boy answered every call. Mark, Thats an interesting question you pose, How to stop liars, nobody knows. There are no patch cops, At the scout shops, Once people pay, then anything goes.
  3. I dont understand the resistance, To offering Troy kind assistance. The negativity of some, Make the forum less fun, And soon scouters will start keeping their distance.
  4. For merit badges, I only got 28, If you earn all, I think that it's great. Earning all in addition, Deserves recognition. Just follow the rules and we'll end this debate.
  5. Zahnada

    Poor Forum Etiquite

    I must say "I'm sorry" to Ed, For I came in and hijacked his thread. But a poetic bent, Rather than arguments. STILL caused a fight over what others said. I'm amazed that anger is swelling. On strange issues some posters are dwelling. We just saw a fight, 'Tween Winger and White, Over proper nautical spelling. And although I feel scouting's the best, Some scouters here can't take a jest. I found the decorum, Of some on this forum, Actually made me enjoy scouting less. So I slip on and off of this board, Certain posters, I try to ignore. Things stopped getting worse, When I went into verse, And my enjoyment has suddenly soared. But I sadly must bid you adieu, Once again, for the time, I am through, But when someone gets to your goat, Just delete what you wrote, And write a limerick, it's good for you!
  6. Zahnada

    Poor Forum Etiquite

    There once was a scouter Gold Winger, Who outstretched his nagging finger. But I'm sorry, my mate, Words don't carry weight, Unless written as a limerical zinger. See, doesn't this make arguing fun? Shouldn't this be how all forums are run? Once posters grow weary, Of this lyrical fury, They will ditch the 'net for some sun.
  7. Zahnada

    Poor Forum Etiquite

    Its Me had something to say, But limerick guidelines may cause his dismay. His etiquette vignette, Was in rhyming couplet, While limericks go A-A-B-B-A. Now before others get frantic, Please note that Im not very pedantic. I would never say stow it To an aspiring poet, So lets just hug and forget these semantics.
  8. Zahnada

    Poor Forum Etiquite

    Nothing quite makes me sicker, Than watching scouts start to bicker. But let's try this trick- We'll argue in limerick, The right answer will be whoever's rhyme is slicker.
  9. Zahnada

    Boy Scout mention in upcoming Adam Sandler comedy

    Disclaimer: I have not seen this movie, nor do I intend to. Everything I say is purely me theorizing. It's not hard for me to imagine that the scene in question was written as a back-handed slap at BSA's policy towards gays. As someone who works in Hollywood and has seen the different stages of production on major movies, I have first-hand experience of the "new image" of BSA. Merlyn's observation is correct, at least in many circles on the west coast. Before, when Boy Scouts were used or mentioned in films, it meant a goody-two shoes, all-American boy who helps old ladies cross the street while obeying all rules ("Jim Kirk was many things, but he was NEVER a Boy Scout.") Indiana Jones was an adventurous Boy Scout, but that was outside the norm. Now, there's a conflicting public opinion of the Boy Scouts. We still have the All-American vibe, but there's also a fairly hefty portion of society who view us as "intolerant," "bigoted," and even "hateful." It's a new image that we should be conscious of and not ignore. I know that whenever I bring up Boy Scouts (which is very frequent because it played such a huge role in my youth), I always get a few raised eyebrows. As for the movie, I doubt the scene is political or meaningful. I bet it was created as a gag. It's not going to form public opinion or hurt recruitment or have any real consequences. It's not a big deal at all. It's just another reminder of the adjusted image that BSA has.
  10. It's not quite the same thing. Yes, the universe is expanding and objects are becoming more and more distant. Some physicists theorize that this will either result in a universal "rip" or that it will all suddenly stretch so far, that it snaps back (like a rubber band) resulting in a sort of reverse Big Bang. But I'm talking about all the matter in the universe being consumed and us being left with a universe filled with nothing. Of course, everyone else is talking about Global Warming.
  11. There's no need to worry. In a few million years, the Sun will have converted all of its hydrogen to helium, and thus have spent all its fuel. At which point, it will swell in size to a red giant. In the process, Mercury and Venus will be swallowed up, while a singed and fiery Earth will be kicked off its orbit. Luckily, the size of the red giant will make life on one of Saturn's moons very hospitable. Hopefully, humanity will move there. Unfortunately, the red giant will then collapse in a supernove (after a few million more years) and form a neutron star. The weight of the neutron star will be so heavy that gravity actually sucks it into space, thus creating a black hole. Good thing for us that black holes emit Hawking radiation, and hopefully but the time we get to this stage, we'll be able to harness the radiation for energy. Eventually, all stars will burn off like this and form blackholes. The blackholes will then begin to merge into super-massive blackholes and all rocks and debris in space will join their orbits. As the blackholes slowly emit their Hawking radiation, they are actually giving off the remainder of their mass. Several billion (possibly trillion) years down the road, the universe will have no light and no bodies of mass. Instead, it will be a giant, empty space filled with nothing but energy. So why worry about Global Warming?
  12. Zahnada

    Gotta Wonder

    In a forum that's made for Scouts, One wouldn't expect interpersonal bouts. But we must learn to censor, Our argumentative nature, But if a thread's closed, there's no need to pout. Hmmm... "censor" and "nature" is a bit of a stretch. My limerick skills are a little rusty, but I'll be back in form in no time. Are there any troops here from Nantucket?
  13. Zahnada

    Gotta Wonder

    I've been on and off this forum for awhile. But I have to say, in all these years, this is the FIRST time I have ever read a post where someone writes a limerick! AWESOME! Limericks truly are the purest form of poetry.
  14. Dankroh, Yeah, I'll be the first to admit that just about all analogies are flawed. But I would like to debate some of your points. 1. "First, being a Christian is a choice. Being a homosexual isn't." I have no problem with the second half of that statement. But, many Christians will say they didn't have a choice in the matter. They feel that God spoke to them and has guided their hearts towards Christianity. And believe me, they feel their religion is completely natural (much like a gay man feels his sexuality is completely natural). 2. "Second, there is the issue of prosletyzing." This is actually the reason why I'm against prayer in public school - it makes it too easy for a teacher to force their views upon their students. But remember that many parents feel that the teacher in question was also prosletyzing. I believe my example was not one of prosletyzing, but rather one of an inappropriate classroom experience. The teacher in my example was not passing out flyers. He was just explaining that he's Christian and it's made his life better. From what I understand, that's exactly the same message the gay teacher was spreading. "It's okay to be gay. It worked well for me." "It's okay to be Christian. It worked well for me." Not all Christians are on a conversion mission. 3. "Third, there is also the constitutional angle (a minor point)." Yeah, I also don't know much about the legalities of this, so I can't argue this exact point. But I will say (and I believe you agree with me) that it's inappropriate to raise such morally controversial issues to a class of 7 year olds. Especially if these teachings are against the wishes of the parents. It's not so much that I feel the teacher was in the wrong for the message. I feel he was in the wrong for having so blatant a disregard for the parent's right to their children's upbringing.
  15. Brent, I can't argue with much of what you say. It's true that, overall, it appears the Dems care less about moral infractions. Heck, most Dems laugh about the Clinton sex scandal and say, "Well, if it were me, I would have lied too." So what's shocking to the nation is that this current scandal involves a member of the Republican Party - a party who sets themselves up as morally superior, more value oriented, more family friendly. People see this as a slight hypocrisy in the party. When a Democrat has a sex scandal, it's seen as less hypocritical because they don't set themselves up as the party of traditional values. (I can see the reponses coming now. Believe me, it isn't "right" that there's the distinction, but it exists. It doesn't give the Dems a free moral pass by any means.) Let me give you an example. If kid holds up a liquor store and gets caught, it's not news. But if an Eagle Scout (yay! I brought this back to scouting) holds up a liquore store, it IS news. Because it goes against what we've been taught to believe about Eagle Scouts. Personally, I'm sick of the Dems always whining. Right now, their platform is, "We're not the party of Bush and Foley." Ugh. Yeah, that's an inspiring platform. The Dems need to come up with some clear statements of purpose. What really infuriated me was when the Democrats started criticizing the administration during the whole "Cheney shoots lawyer" thing. Come on! Just shut up and let the late-night pundits run with it! It's amazing how weak both parties are right now. If the Dems had any strength, they would have been able to tear apart the Republican Party after Katrina. But they just moan and complain and never rally. Both sides are looking pretty disgusting right now.
  16. Ed makes an excellent point. If the class (I'm talking about grade-schoolers here) had to read a book titled "It's Normal to be Christian" and then the teacher came out and told the class "I've accepted Christ into my heart and it's made my life better... but that's your choice" the country would be up in arms. Why? It crosses a line that violates a parent's right to raise their children. I'd also like to respond to my own statement: "Sorry to tell some of you guys, but gays are real, they're here, and they're not going away. [. . .] Your children will be the ones who will either have to accept homosexuals or they will be branded as bigots." I didn't mean to attack any opposing view with that statement. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm just trying to state that in 15-20 years when an elementary school kid starts their working career, it will be in a different world. And with the direction our society is heading, it will be one that is more accepting of homosexuals. Your children don't have to accept gays, but they may face societal disapproval if they voice their disapproval as vociferously as many people do today. fgoodwin, I think the problem with your statement is that for it to be valid, society would need to have had a major push towards the accepting of pedophiles and rapists. Sure, they'll always have their supporters ("It's chemical imbalance in the brain! It's not their fault!") but large portions of society has never endorsed, accepted, or fought for the rights of those people. That's why it's tough to equate gays with pedophiles and rapists in these arguments - even if many believe they inhabit the same rhelm on the moral scale. So you don't have to worry about your children growing up in a world where pedophiles and rapists must be accepted and interacted with on a daily basis. But gays? It is a possibility.
  17. I think I'll try to respond to the issue raised in the initial post. Wish me luck... I happen to agree that the school is in the wrong. In most school districts, parents have the right to have their children withheld from sex ed (the idea being that certain parents would prefer to be the teachers in that area). Parents also have the right to an alternate curriculum when certain literary books are read (for instance, some parents might object to books that contain profanity or sexual themes). So, it is within the parent's right to prevent their child from engaging in activities that either teach about or promote homosexuality, especially if it is against their family's belief structure. Do I agree with such a choice? Not at all. It does the child a disservice to forcefully hold their head beneath the sand. Sorry to tell some of you guys, but gays are real, they're here, and they're not going away. Your children will have to interact with them. Your children will learn about their existence. Most of us grew up in a world where anti-gay statements were allowed. The words "Fag" and "Gay" were synonomous with "bad." But your children will live in a drastically different world. "Fag" may one day be as bad as the N-word. Your children will be the ones who will either have to accept homosexuals or they will be branded as bigots. However, it is still the parent's right to have the final say in their child's upbringing. In our current social climate in regards to homosexuality, schools should respect a parent's wishes on their education.
  18. Note: This thread may have more of a home in Issues and Politics. I'll leave that for a moderator to decide. Anyway, this is kind of a spinoff of the "Promoting Scouting" thread. I know that many of us are angered and discouraged by the constant barrage of anti-BSA action and rhetoric these days. There seem to be more negative stories than positive now. And what has National done? Well, for the most part, they seem to be smiling and taking it. It's upsetting, it's discouraging... it's all they can do. Here's the problem: 1. It's often unwise to respond to negative press (which is often generated by ACLU and other groups with deep pockets). Think of negative political advertising. Why is there so much? Because it works. If you respond to negative advertising, you're essentially drawing increased attention to the message of the ad. It takes away from any other message you're trying to convey. For instance, Kerry couldn't spend the last months of his campaign promoting himself or attacking President Bush because he had to spend so much time defending himself against "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." It ultimately sunk him. So, BSA is trying to ignore the negative press and therefore draw more attention to their positive press. This leads to problem #2 2. There is more negative press than positive press. Negative press is also more "newsworthy". It's a shame that the coverage of even a huge display like Jamboree focused on "Thousands pass out from heat stroke!" So, the public is receiving a very negative image of scouting from recent years. 3. Boy scouts cannot afford to launch a massive PR campaign. Commercials are effective, that's why we use them. But they're also expensive. Expensive to produce and expensive to air. Boy Scout's problems have caused a membership and donation drop. Money is tight. There's just not enough cash to launch a marketing blitz to raise their image. This puts BSA's marketing at the mercy of media coverage, which leads us back to problems #1 and #2. So, what's the solution? There's no grand solution or anything novel. Just run a good program. Teach your boys and make sure they have fun in your troop. Fill your local newspapers and news broadcasts with stories of "Eagle Scout fixes up park" "Boy Scouts collect donations for charity" "Scouting is fun". And don't be afraid to speak up to friends, neighbors, coworkers about what you honestly feel are the benefits to be gained from Boy Scouting.
  19. I think I mentioned this in another thread, so this might be a repeat for some of our loyal viewers. Anyway, the vast majority of Boy Scouts were also Cub Scouts. That's why so much BSA advertising focuses on Cubs. BSA market research also shows that in most cases, the decision to join Cubs is made by Mom. The parents (and especially mothers) make the choice for most of their son's activities when they're in elementary school. So, while it's natural to say "peer to peer" is the most effective means of recruitment, "mother to son" is what actually happens. That's why advertising on the national level often focuses on the mother of Cub Scout aged boys. The large amounts of negative PR that BSA has received in recent years has made mothers question whether scouting is the best activity for their sons. I feel that BSA has done a relatively poor job of cleaning up their public image. Boy Scouts no longer has the impeccable reputation they once enjoyed, and this will obviously hurt in the recruitment process. The last thing you want is to plant a seed of doubt into a mother's mind about the quality of program she's signing her pre-teen son up for. But, "peer to peer" is NEVER a bad thing. It's the most effective recruitment method we have control over. If you run a good program, the boys will learn and have fun. Their parents will talk to other parents (parent to parent being a form of "peer to peer"). Also, their sons will talk to other boys and interest will spread. However, from a market research perspective, "mom" is still the most influencial player in the recruitment process.
  20. For those of you who don't know, Airsoft is a craze that has become very popular with young boys. Airsoft guns shoot a soft, rubber BB pellet. The guns looks real (often designed as standard handguns). The boys then go out and shoot each other, often as part of Capture the Flag. It's a fun sport because it replicates the adrenaline rush created by being underfire. Well, on Friday night (about 8pm, so not very late), I was out jogging around the neighborhood. As I was doing a cool down walk, a young man grabbed me and jammed a handgun into my neck. He demanded money (the fool didn't seem to realize that joggers generally aren't carrying full wallets). I survived. When talking to police, the question was raised as to whether this was a real gun or not. Nobody knew. It could be fake and loaded with rubber BBs. It could have fired a bullet that punched a hole through my neck and left me dead on the sidewalk. I'll never know. The point is, Airsoft guns are designed to look real (the orange rubber tips being very easy to hacksaw off). I don't know if I was held up with a real gun or a fake. If a police officer were there, he would not know the difference either. If your kids plays with Airsoft, tell them to be careful. It's only a matter of time before a police officer shoots a kid who is playing with one of these guns. I know that groups of young boys like to shoot each other with Airsoft in parks. This is a bad idea. Once again, it is only a matter of time. Make sure your boys aren't EVER in a position where someone will have to decide if the gun they're carrying is real or not. Believe me, human instinct always assumes it's a real weapon. Someone will get hurt by this very soon.
  21. Zahnada

    Airsoft guns and boys

    Rest assured, Packsaddle, the Boy Scouts do not own a monopoly on the game Capture the Flag. I has NEVER and will NEVER be played in my troop (or any troop I interact with) with the use of weapons. But it is not uncommon for groups of boys to go into a park or forrest and play Capture the Flag or other shoot 'em games. Often, these games are played at night. Just for clarity sake, my initial post has NOTHING to do with BSA or my scouting experience. But it does have a great deal to do with teenage boys, which is why I felt this was the proper forum to issue a warning.
  22. I would like to add that positive word of mouth is never a "bad" thing. Strong troops with great programs will always have better recruiting because of word of mouth.
  23. I once produced a 30 second TV commercial for our local council. I had a few meetings with the council exec where we brainstormed the script. He told me that the research shows that "Mom" makes the decision on whether her son should enter Boy Scouts/ Cub Scouts in a vast majority of cases. Usually, the progression works like this: Mom signs her son up for Cub Scouts. Boy attends Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts feeds into Boy Scouts. Boy becomes Boy Scout. So, for advertising/marketing/recruiting purposes, Boy Scouts tries to specifically target Mom. The gains in membership obtained by recruiting in public school (especially during class time) is relatively small. As is the membership gained by word of mouth among peers (sadly, that's the case, OGE). Now, the controversies faced by BSA (gay and atheist issues) impact membership because they make make certain parents think twice about signing their son up. In all truthfulness, Boy Scouting has always suffered from the "uncool" stigma within youth culture. Peer to peer and direct student recruitment does not form the bulk of membership. Many boys are initially forced into scouting by their parents. But it's common at that age for parents to determine their son's activities (or else many kids would only watch TV all day). We need to be honest with ourselves about how the system of recruitment works and where it's affected.
  24. Zahnada

    Famous/infamous Eagle Scouts

    Does anyone else notice that whenever a criminal has any kind of scouting history, it is always mentioned? For a work assignment, I was researching serial killers (I will never look at humanity the same), and I believe it was John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer who both had scouting ties. I think there were other famous ones too. Why is it always mentioned? I don't feel it has anything to do with some anti-BSA media bias. It has more to do with standard media shock value. The Boy Scouts is such a stereotypically pure element in our society that it's always shocking to debunct the "All American Boy Scout". In a way, we should take that as a twisted compliment. Boy Scouts do so much right in this world that people always feel the need to mention when they do something wrong.
  25. I was wondering, with the current crisis in the Middle East, the War on Terror, and the conflict in Iraq, do any of you make efforts to educate your scouts on global issues during meetings? Since the US is so crucial to the state of the world, knowing about these conflicts seems to be an inherent part of "duty to country." Afterall, these scouts we train and teach today may soon be the ones fighting these wars. I also like the thought of the youth of this country actually being knowledgable of world events. I'd like to be able to teach these things to the boys in my troop. But the problem with teaching politics is... how do you keep it from becoming political? For instance, there are two very different sides to the war in Iraq. If a boy asks "Why are we fighting in Iraq?" What do you say? a. "We're fighting to keep the world safe from terror." b. "We're fighting to get oil for Bush and his buddies." c. "We're fighting because..." I don't want any political/partisan preaching at meetings (and I'm sure parents don't want that either). But I do want scouts to be aware of the state of the nation and its position in the world.