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angler

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angler last won the day on May 30 2015

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About angler

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  1. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Adamcp I hope I would have half the integrity and intellectual courage that you demonstrate here. I don't fault you at all for the apparent contradiction - you truly want what is good for scouts, whether in BSA or Trail Life. You say above that your hopes should not affect your principles; from the other side of the divide, I understand and sympathize brother. But it's no sin for your hopes to be free of your principles, when those hopes are for the good of others. Clear principles unavoidably lead us to positions of absolutism one way or another; sometimes it's hard to balance those principles against a sentiment of basic decency for people. The man who disagrees in principle with me but honestly (and publicly) engages in that struggle has my respect and goodwill.
  2. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Thanks Moosetracker for a fresh perspective on the question and a thought that challenges the position I've taken. Merlyn_LeRoy and I aren't going to agree, but if there is an area where the words "separate but equal" have been interpreted in a legal opinion unrelated to race, it would probably be some kind of Title IX case. I'll still contend that the common meaning of the term is the now-discredited legal doctrine of racial segregation in American government, regardless of where the term is used. I suspect a google search on the term would confirm my position. But continued dispute about that doesn't help scouting, or even illuminate the original issue of this thread. You've done good work as a moderator in helping steer the discussion back toward the best interests of the scouts. I wonder how much the "large movement" part of scouting is really vital. I've only been in this game a few years, compared to the decades or generations of perspective other scouters bring to the table. But the benefit I've seen in my son, and I hope the benefit I might have been able to provide to other scouts, has been at a more relational, small group level. My son didn't learn his scouting skills in a group of thousands; perhaps a dozen on average. And the opportunities I've had to encourage a boy during a Board of Review or in helping with an Eagle project didn't come from scouting's written standards or the BSA national council. They were immediate things close to home, listening to what he felt he was up against and trying to share something from my own life that might inspire or clarify or encourage him. The distinction between the national standards and the local unit will be a key to some sort of resolution on this membership proposal I think. I've certainly come to draw a stark distinction between the two. Some feel that the proposed change in national standards is a moral problem, others feel that the existing standard is a moral problem. I'm not a moderate on this, I have a definite opinion. But we all volunteer and work with actual people, not with a standard. We do have to have written standards, and they should not be ignored once adopted; scouting advocates not only morals but spirituality, so we will unavoidably have fundamental issues of potential disagreement. But if we can see scouting first as the face of a 13 year old kid learning to be self-reliant, rather than as a book of rules and standards to debate, maybe we can find our way.
  3. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    The 14th Amendment does not include the term “separate but equal.†“Separate but equal†was ratified into American law with the Plessy decision of 1896, which was about race, and properly expelled from American law with the Brown decision of 1954, which was about race. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment provided the basis for the latter decision. So not only is “separate but equal†*not* from the 14th Amendment, the 14th Amendment was the righteous instrument of its destruction as an acceptable policy of American government. Yes the Equal Protection Clause has been used in other contexts, appropriately so. “Equal Protection†is much broader than race. “Separate but Equal†was strictly about race, both in its origin and its demise.
  4. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    I can't take seriously your argument that "separate but equal" carries no insinuation of racism. The term has a long and well-established context in the legal and social history of the United States. But I'll consider that your use of the term was merely naive rather than ill-intentioned, and I accept your quite reasonable argument that a separate scouting program would not be as effective as BSA. I'm not convinced that would be a permanent condition, but it would certainly be true at the start. Yes, I disagree with you on the fundamental that private organizations can't exclude people, for any reason they choose. Many of those reasons for exclusion are certainly malignant, but is free association itself not a basic human right? I admire and respect the uncompromising and forthright statement of your belief in response to my challenge, but I find it logically hard to sustain. You concede that Trail Life is entitled to create its own program, but the very reason for that program is to maintain a membership standard which you argue that no one is entitled to maintain. Are they entitled to maintain their program and standards or not? If yes, then why can't BSA maintain its standards? If no, why would you not advocate compelling Trail Life to change, rather than extending them sincere good wishes? You and I probably would agree and collaborate on a long list of other items. I appreciate very much that you would make that suggestion in this thread, and I join you in hoping we'll have the opportunity to do so.
  5. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Thank you packsaddle for your kind welcome. I generally prefer to introduce myself with a courteous-but-firm knock on the door and a handshake, rather than a battering ram and a flash bang. But sometimes the latter is more appropriate to the situation. I appreciate that political forums can get a bit rough; I don't relish antagonism. In the proper spirit of scouting among scouters I'd like to speak the truth as best I understand it, without personal insult but also without apology or dilution, and be open to fair persuasion and education from others. You probably won't see me here very often but I appreciate the opportunity to participate and I hope I'll contribute something useful.
  6. Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

    Separate but equal was properly struck down as a policy of government in the United States. That decision has no relevance to the proposal within scouting to repeal the ban against homosexual adult leaders. Insinuating that those whose values you reject are racists is an intellectually dishonest argument. Do you seriously contend that organizations cannot maintain membership standards which exclude some people? That is the implication of your statement.
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