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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. Brent, Yes, I suppose you're correct - my argument could very well be interpreted as meaning that any speech used by a scout would be acceptable. As someone who earns at least a little money as an artist, I tend to view the First Amendment as being rather sacred, and well worth defending, even if I find the speech of others to be repugnant (I'm thinking in particularly here of one "Reverend" Fred Phelps). For the scenario you've laid out, foul language or t-shirts with repulsive messages, I believe I would do my best to make sure I addressed it as inappropriate behavior for a Scout while on Scout Time - outside of Scouts, these issues are really a parents baliwick, and its up to the parents to police their children - I couldn't very well penalize a scout for wearing an "unscoutlike" t-shirt in the non-scout world if the parents had no objection to it. But at a scouting event? Completely different story. CalicoPenn
  2. Brent, Yes, I suppose you're correct - my argument could very well be interpreted as meaning that any speech used by a scout would be acceptable. As someone who earns at least a little money as an artist, I tend to view the First Amendment as being rather sacred, and well worth defending, even if I find the speech of others to be repugnant (I'm thinking in particularly here of one "Reverend" Fred Phelps). For the scenario you've laid out, foul language or t-shirts with repulsive messages, I believe I would do my best to make sure I addressed it as inappropriate behavior for a Scout while on Scout Time - outside of Scouts, these issues are really a parents baliwick, and its up to the parents to police their children - I couldn't very well penalize a scout for wearing an "unscoutlike" t-shirt in the non-scout world if the parents had no objection to it. But at a scouting event? Completely different story. CalicoPenn
  3. CalicoPenn


    Eamonn, I know you'll do the right thing for this boy. Yes, at 16, he could very well know what his sexual orientation is (not sexual preference, orientation - it's a completely different thing and not something we need to go into in this thread). But that's really not important. The current policy is very much like the Militaries "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue". You shouldn't ask, he hasn't told - there should be no problem with letting him into the unit. The "evidence" against him is he is very well spoken, very polite, MAYBE a little effeminate, a cheerleader, and an excellent dancer? How about the evidence for him - he attended a dance with a girl - in any other context wouldn't that be considered a date? My concern is actually your other members - the one's who said he can't join because "he's gay" - how do they know that? Did he tell them that or is that just their preception? I see any risk of credibility issues with the other boys as being not sitting down with them and suggesting that they consider how their perceptions of other people leads to prejudice and bigotry - this is one of those very rare teachable moments (that still is a part of the Wood Badge curriculum, is it not?) that can make a difference in the real world - we are talking older scouts who are likely going to be leaders of people as adults. You say when she asked about him joining, her fellow shipmates laughed yet you also say they don't really seem to care if he is gay or not and seem to like him. If there is no objection, then let him join. If there are objections, find out what they are - is it based on the same impressions/perceptions you have? If it's based on perceptions, now's the time to correct them. I'd start with the fact that the current President of the United States was a cheerleader in college, then maybe finish with the fact that he was on a date with a good looking girl from the ship. And isn't being well spoken and polite something the other lads should be striving for? CalicoPenn
  4. Dan, You're post about the dichotomy between potential responses to a flag burning scout versus a gun pointing scout got me to think of the issue in another way (excellent point, BTW, Dan). The Scout Oath says a scout will do his duty to his country (which, of course, is the USA). As most have probably figured out from my earlier post, my opinion is that the higherst duty to country is the defense of the Constitution of the United States, which is the underpinning of our whole nation. Flag burning is, like it or not, a constitutionally protected act of free speech and free expression. If a scout were to burn the flag in protest (and has been mentioned in the thread, it's a) rather doubtful that it would happen and b) burning the flag on US soil is a very rare occurrence) on what grounds would the scout merit expulsion? Duty to country would suggest that exercising a free speech right, no matter how extreme and distasteful we might find the speech to be, is an act that is permissible through the Scout Oath. Some might argue it goes against Scout Spirit but the underpinnings of Scout Spitit is the Scout Oath and the Scout Law - and those are not violated by such an act. CalicoPenn
  5. It will be a purple patch with black trim and a picture of The Count from Sesame Street. CalicoPenn
  6. As the wise old Tootsie Pop Owl said: "3". I'm going to see Michael Bourne's Swan Lake on Thursday night. I'm told the Butler did it. (For those into movie trivia, this was the ballet being performed at the end of Billy Elliot) I'm waiting for someone to come out with an all-female version of Glengarry Glen Ross or an all-male version of the Vagina Monologues (now THAT would be a kick). And I think that brings the other "G" into the discussion. CalicoPenn
  7. My prefered pledge: I Pledge Allegiance To the Earth And to the Life that She Provides One Planet, Interconnected With Beauty and Peace for All I rarely pledge allegiance to the flag - my religion is a goddess tradition, not a god tradition. I no longer consider the pledge, as rewritten by, in my opinion, a cynically motivated Congress in the 1950's to delineate the US from the "godless commies" of the Soviet Union, to be a common statement for ALL Americans. Perhaps I would feel differently if the "God" referenced in the Pledge was neutral but too many people in this country insist that the "God" in the Pledge is THEIR God and no one elses. When the spirit moves me to say the pledge, I never say "Under God" (and I might just say, loudly enough for people to hear me "Under Goddess") Back in my Paramedic days, I took an oath when sworn in to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. I consider that oath to be far more meaningful than the Pledge of Allegiance. After all, the Flag is a symbol of the Constitution and the Pledge indirectly affirms allegiance to the Constitution. My oath to defend the Constitution speaks directly to the importance of the document. As for the vulgarity of God, I consider the word vulgar when it precedes the word Hate, which in this day and age is too common an occurence. Instead of railing against people who spell it G-D out of the sense of respect their religious, or otherwise, traditions call for (protected by the Constitution, by the way), rail against the people who are vulgarizing the word by spouting that God Hates (insert favorite target here). Just my (Constitutionally Protected) 2 cents. CalicoPenn
  8. Packsaddle - you know someone is bound to ask so just out of curiosity, why did you take the snake along with you anyway? Why not just release it at the side of the road near it's home? Can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Back when I worked our Council's day camp (we ran a 6 week program with paid staff, just like summer camp) we had a rule about snakes - don't pick them up - all the boys were told they weren't to pick up any snakes. The site of our camp was along the Des Plaines river, in an area known historically as habitat for the Eastern Massasuaga rattlesnake. A local tavern used to hold rattlesnake roundups through the 1970's (think the Simpson's snake bashing episode and you got the idea). To the untrained eye, a young Eastern Massasuaga looks rather similar to the Chicago Garter Snake (bet most of you didn't know Chicago has it's own garter snake - this species lives in a small area centered mostly around the city) so we felt the precaution was a wise one (though no one had run across a rattlesnake in this location for a while). For better or worse, we didn't tell the Cub's why the restrictions on picking up snakes - we felt that would just encourage them to go into the woods looking for a rattlesnake. Instead we presented it as just being a rather rude thing to do to another creature - after all, we'd be pretty upset if some giant came by and snatched us up off the ground to poke and prod at us. To reinforce this, we also requested that the Cubs not pick up frogs, toads, salamanders, or any other creature in the woods. Of course, as we all know, boys will push the rules to see what they can get away with, and we usually had a snake, toad, frog, etc. picked up at least once per week. One day, a boy came from behind a cabin (conveniently placed at the edge of the woods) carrying a snake and showing it off to all the assembled people. You get one guess as to what it was. I politely took the snake from the boy then gathered the boys around and explained to them just what kind of snake it was - showing the small rattle - then went off to release the snake into to woods - luckily neither I nor the lad was bitten. Then there was the time some boys found a live bat on the ground - but that's another story. CalicoPenn
  9. Which kid do you want to lose? The kid who pointed the gun or the kid who was bullied and had a gun pointed at him. If I were the kid who had the gun pointed at him and you told me that you were going to give Billy a second chance because it was only an air-soft gun, I would leave your troop, likely leave scouting, and never allow my children to even consider joining scouting in the future. It's not often I consider zero-tolerance to be a guiding principle - this is one of those rare instances. The boy that pointed the gun should be gone, period, no discussion. He shouldn't have had a "gun" at a scouting event in the first place (that, to me, is a 30 day suspension) - pointing the gun after an altercation brings it to a whole new level. Not only would that boy be gone, he would have been escorted home in a police car - zero tolerance. OGE makes a great point - had it been a police officer or ranger that boy pointed a gun at, he could easily be dead now - they have no tolerance for guns of any kind pointed at them and are trained to shoot at the body mass. CalicoPenn
  10. By all means, contact your councils Scouting for Food coordinator. I know of some units in small town rural areas that drop the bags off at folks homes with publicity in the local newspaper about the program and signs up in business windows where the intention is for the bag with food to be left at various business drop points during the week (like the local grocery store, fire station, library, restaurant) so that people can fill the bag, if they wish, at their leisure and not have to worry about whether they will be home the next Saturday to deliver the bag. I'm not saying this is what is happening in your area but I would suggest the possibility isn't that remote. CalicoPenn
  11. vmpost - Thanks! I was very fortunate to have mostly positive adult role models that I dealt with directly as a youth, from this Cubmaster (who was also my Cubmaster as a Cub Scout and encouraged me to become a Den Chief) to a Scoutmaster that recognized that I was not as enthused at age 15 about the Boy Scout program after summer camp (and working as a CIT) and the start of my junior year (I was getting bored with it - my folks were that breed of adult leader known as "super scouters" - both became District level leaders - not that I'm complaining about it) and steered me to the Troop's sister Explorer Post (where I got enthused about Scouting again and earned my Eagle) to my Chapter and Lodge Advisor's who supported me as I stood my ground against "Uniform Cop". Because of my parent's heavy involvement with Scouting (interestingly, they were heavily involved with my Cub Scout Pack through 3 kids but not as heavily involved with the Boy Scout Troop - just regular parents in the Troop that volunteered for the occasional camping trip or fund raising booth manning (Pumpkin Sales) and I actually preferred that) I was exposed to some negative role modeling of leaders in other units. I just hope all young men in Scouting get the same kind of benefit I got from the village that raised me (yes, it does take a village) and Uniform Cops just aren't a constructive part of that village. Purce - loved the story - and I can actually picture the guy. CalicoPenn
  12. Having been at the receiving end of a "uniform cop's" scorn, I always side on the "put and end to the uniform police" argument. The year before I became Vice Chief of my OA Lodge, I served as Chapter Chief, and the Lodge Chief always liked to make comments about how I was never in uniform and this was a poor example to the younger scouts. No matter how many times I tried to explain to him that the blue denim jeans I wore with my blue Dickies brand style workshirt was the chosen uniform of my Explorer Post, he always insisted that as Chapter Chief, I should set an example by wearing the full Boy Scout Uniform. It irked him to no end that I would never comply with his "reasonable" request. Some background is in order for those unfamiliar with the old Explorer Post rules. Back when I was an Explorer, there was no set uniform for Explorers. It was highly recommended that Explorer Posts have a uniform but each Post was allowed to choose their own uniform. There were very minimal restrictions on what constituted a uniform (basically, as long as it wasn't risque or insulting, it was ok). The old Exploring program was similar to both the Venture Program and the Learning for Life Program - the post might be high adventure oriented, avocationally oriented (for instance Native American Dance) or might be vocationally oriented (Police, Fire, Medical Careers) etc. Sea Scouts were considered part of the Exploring Program. The uniforming rules specifically allowed denim blue jeans provided it was elected by the Post (so if the Post voted on some kind of work pants, an Explorer wearing jeans in that unit would be out of uniform). At the time I was Chapter Chief (and later Lodge Vice Chief)I was registered as a youth in two Explorer Posts. One was an Native American Dance post that had no official uniform - when we met, we practiced dancing, and when we were performing publically, we wore our costumes. The other was a Wilderness Emergency Services Post. This post had a uniform that we elected to wear which consisted of a Dark Blue Dickie's brand work shirt with proper insignia (flag, council strip, unit number, the orange E insignia, lodge flaps for OA members), black belt, denim blue jeans, hiking boots. I was not registered as a youth in a Boy Scout Troop. This Lodge Chief could never understand that since I was not registered in a Boy Scout Troop (either as a youth or as an adult) that it would not be appropriate for me to wear the official Boy Scout Uniform. At the Spring Ordeal, our Lodge had a tradition of having the outgoing Lodge Chief give a talk at dinner on some aspect of scouting as it related to leadership. Surprise, Surprise, outgoing Chief decided to make his topic the importance of wearing the full uniform correctly to set an example for younger scouts. He gave a talk about what the uniform consisted of, what didn't belong (mentioning blue jeans as a no-no a few times) and then invited a District Commissioner with some experience to perform a uniform inspection of the Chapter and Lodge Leadership (much to our surprise). As we lined up, Chief made comments on how three of the members were wearing blue jeans and this is one of the things he was talking about. Other than myself, the Lodge Secretary and one of the Chapter Chiefs were wearing blue jeans (both had come right from setting up ceremony sites for that night's events). The Commissioner quietly inspected the "troops". When he got to me he asked if I was an Explorer, to which I replied yes, and if jeans and hiking boots were the elected uniform parts for my post, to which I replied yes. After his inspection, he pulled the 5 members of the group that were in full uniform forward. Much to the outgoing Chief's embarrassment, I was part of that group, and he was not. He proceeded to praise the 5 of us, and explained to the assembled mass how my uniform met the full uniform requirement despite my wearing jeans. Then he let the audience know what was wrong with the rest of the group's uniforms - the outgoing Chief was wearing both his Eagle award patch and his Eagle award ribbon (you can only wear one or the other) - oops. The best uniform inspections I ever saw were back in my Den Chief days - the Cubmaster, an ex-Marine Drill Sargeant, performed uniform inspection 3 times per year at pack meetings. Not once did he ever tell a boy what was wrong with his uniform (he marked that on the sheet and gave it to the Den Leader (almost said Den Mother - you can tell how long ago I was a Den Chief). But he made sure to compliment each and every boy on some aspect of his uniform - a boy could be wearing jeans and he might say something about his shirt. I vividly remember one inspection with a boy in my den wearing no other uniform part other than the neckerchief (he had come to the meeting right from a doctor's appointment and didn't have time to change). This Cubmaster praised this boy on how well his neckerchief was rolled - I could see the expression on this boys face change from the fear he was about to get into trouble to happiness. This is the model of uniform inspections I always tried to emulate once I became an adult leader. So as for the Uniform Police, I concur with Ask Andy - just Knock It Off. There are far more important things to worry about than patch placement and sometimes, the Uniform Police are just dead wrong. CalicoPenn
  13. The requirement states: "Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout." It does not mention a specific activity level. The requirement isn't about level of activity at all, its about timing and progression. It prevents any scout other than a Life Scout from earning the Eagle, and it requires the person to be a registered Life Scout for at least 6 months, so that someone could not get his Life Scout rank and Eagle rank in the same month. It prevents too rapid advancement while prodding those who are interested in advancing to Eagle to make steady progression and not spend 4 years as a First Class Scout before deciding to try to earn the Eagle. It also prevents a person who quits at 14 after being a Life Scout for 1 month from joining back up 2 months before their 18th birthday to earn the Eagle. Based on your son's activity record with the Scouts, I'd say he has met the requirements. Don't be afraid to talk to your District's Advancement Chairman, they are there to provide guidance on these issues and to try to ensure that rank requirements are being consistently applied throughout the district (and council). Sort of like a regional manager for a McDonalds, part of their job is to ensure consistency throughout the franchises. CalicoPenn
  14. I'd be interested to see if any council keeps any data on how many denials/deferrals were upheld on appeal and how many Eagles were awarded on appeal. I've seen an Eagle denied because the BOR decided they didn't like the project (appealed and won on appeal). I've seen an Eagle denied because the BOR thought the Scout was too young(appealed and won on appeal). My best friend in high school was denied because a couple of members of his BOR didn't think he was reverent enough because he didn't attend church regularly (appealed and won on appeal - his home church is Church of England - how many Church of England branches are there in the US - and no, the Episcopalians don't count). My Eagle was denied because my BOR didn't like my religion at all (Wiccan(freely chosen at 15)appealed and won on appeal). In most of the above instances, the opposing members of those BOR's were not asked to serve again. I suspect it's the norm rather than the exception that denied Eagle's are awarded on appeal. When I was a Scoutmaster, I always liked to remind my unit's BOR members that it is a Board of REVIEW - not a Board of Inquisition. It seems that some adults in scouting don't understand the difference. CalicoPenn
  15. I did a web search for this story and most of it is from the summer of 2005. There appears to be another push to bring the issue up before the Supervisors, with some changes to the museum with additional exhibits planned (such as an exhibit on the history of gays and lesbians in the military which would be appropriate in San Francisco, though I'm sure there are those who would say it isn't appropriate at all - I'm not going to debate that issue (Part of the history would likely include General (later President) Eisenhower's refusal to authorize an active hunt for gays and lesbians to discharge from the military during WW2 - his wartime secretary was an out lesbian - enough said)). However, it is still likely to fail (unless that vote was taken recently but I can't find any thing that mentions a second vote being taken - which leads me to wonder how this became a story here now). Further, it would only take the votes of six supervisors to authorize this. This is an important point - of the 8 supervisors who voted this proposal down, 3 of them voted it down not because of anti-war sentiments but because of serious financial concerns - the battleship is not tourist ready and will, according to the reports I've read, require a substantial amount of money to get it ready - at the first vote, the group trying to bring the Iowa in weren't prepared to make any financial guarantees though they appear to be willing to do so now - but there is still some question that it is enough and those opposed financially the acceptance of the Iowa apparently still aren't convinced. Now for the kicker - there is a proposal out there to transfer the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier, to San Francisco from Alameda instead of the Iowa. The Hornet is in much better shape and is already tourist friendly (it's an attraction at Alameda but its much more difficult to get to see it in this post-911 world). The proposal already has the support of 4 of the supervisors, including one that voted the Iowa down because of financial concerns. The supporters of the Hornet are fairly confident they can get the support of the other 2 supervisors who voted down the Iowa because of financial concerns. That would be the 6 votes they would need. As I understand it, there is also a possibility that one of the other supervisors may be willing to vote for the Hornet if it also includes a gay and lesbian in the military exhibit - his opposition to the Iowa appears to be less about opposition to the war (though he is opposed to the war) than to displeasure with "don't ask, don't tell). One more point, San Francisco is home to the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a unit of the National Park Service. The USS Iowa could conceivably be housed there (if they still have room) without needing any backing from the City but it doesn't look like the NPS wants it either - could it be because it would just cost too much to restore? CalicoPenn
  16. I've read, and re-read, and read again my post and I can't find anywhere where I said I was a liberal, though I can certainly understand how someone might get that impression from my post. Like OldGreyEagle, I'm one of those pesky independents that has no loyalty to one party or another, nor do all of my viewpoints fit only into a liberal or a conservative mold. Heck, most of my friends consider me a firebrand libertarian conservative liberal moderate socialist communist. I like to think that I take the best ideas from all to infuse my sense of political self. And like someone in another thread said (and I think it was OldGreyEagle again), I'm happy with my contradictions. I'm offended by any politician or religious leader, of any political stripe, that hauls out the old "family values" and "traditional values" tripe - it's simplistic jingoism that adds no value to any discussion, in my opinion. If you want to defend family values and traditional values, then do so - but define what you mean by it in your defense, and what you don't mean by it - don't try to define family values by using the term family values as the definition - some of us can see right through that claptrap. FunScout - I have no problem with you staying home as a stay at home mother - in fact, I salute you for it. Understand though that the example I chose is because that is often a picture painted of traditional values - and in this century, that picture is really no longer the norm. As I alluded to in my post, if a politician forced to define what s/he means when s/he uses the term traditional values includes going back to the era when the stay-at-home mom was the norm (and it no longer is) it would likely be the end of that politicians career. As for Abe Lincoln, his brand of conservatism is a far cry from what passes for conservatism today. Calico
  17. Water Mocassins (aka Cottonmouths) are pit vipers, as are rattlesnakes and copperheads. Coral snakes are in a different family - related to cobras. The treatments for both are essentially the same, though pressure immobilization in a coral snake bite if help is hours away, should be considered. This is done by wrapping an elastic (Ace) bandage starting a couple inches above the bite and wrapping towards the heart for a few inches, then continuing the wrap by wrapping down over and beyond the bite for a few inches. It should be wrapped about as tight as wrapping a sprained ankle. The idea behind this is to slow the spread of the venom through the lymphatic system (that's how venom travels through the body). The same principle works with compression bands - Beavah mentioned that constriction bands are out, but while thats correct in most instances, especially when help is near at hand, if you're deep in the wilderness, constriction bands are still considered a viable option to slow the spread of venom. The main concern with constriction bands is that they may promote increased tissue necrosis (deterioration of tissue) at the bite site as snake venom, particularly in pit vipers, helps with digestion by breaking down tissue. The "but" here is that if you're deep in the wilderness, tissue necrosis is likely the least of your worries - keeping the venom from vital organs for as long as possible is the goal. Tissue necrosis can be treated. CalicoPenn
  18. I've been teaching this method for years, ever since I became an EMT (with A (Ambulance - now generally called Basic (B), I (Intermediate), P (Paramedic) and W (Wilderness) designations)and saw a rather nasty training film on the results of some field snakebite treatments. 1) Wash the bite area with soap and water 2) Keep the site of the bite below the heart as much as possible. 3) Get to professional help as soon as possible. 4) If help is more than 30 minutes away, tie a 2" bandage above the wound to help slow the spread of the venom - not tight like a tourniquet, it should be loose enough to force a finger underneath the bandage. 5) If you feel you must use a snakebite kit suction cup, use it directly over the wound rather than making any incisions. You may be able to remove some of the venom, but then again, you may not. Things not to do: 1) Do NOT make any incisions - it doesn't help and makes things worse. This harkens back to the old days when doctors would "bleed" wounds to remove the sickness from their patients. All you accomplish when making the incisions is to hide the actual wound from the doctor when he does see the patient, and giving the patient even more wounds to worry about. 2) Do NOT use an ice pack on the wounds - snakebite venom freezes much faster than blood will and its crstalline structure can do great damage once frozen, especially if the victim has quite a bit of venom in him. This relates to the film I alluded to earlier - one of the segments was on a snakebite patient whose leg was iced down at the wound site - within 30 minutes, the leg began splitting - leaving a rather gaping wound. 3) Do not use your mouth to try to suck out venom for two reasons: a) you're introducing more germs into the victims leg, and 2) you could swallow some of the victims blood and/or some of the venom and become a victim yourself. Snakebites in the US are rarely fatal, even if they haven't been treated for a few hours - best to make the patient comfortable and get him/her to a hospital. CalicoPenn (This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)
  19. Beavah, I generally agree with your sentiments but in this case, it is too late - this is already in the legal system. It's no longer a matter about trust between scouter and scout - now that it's in the legal system, anything this lad says to an adult leader about this is subject to examination in the court of adjudication. You can be compelled to appear in deposition or in court to determine what was discussed, and what the boy said. Part of building character is helping the lads determine when its time to back away and not get involved (and I think we all generally agree that this covers getting involved in harmful or illegal activities) - this is one of those times. It shows your character to all of the boys when you tell them you aren't going to put up with rumors, you are not going to talk about this, and you are not going to discuss this with anyone because it is not appropriate to do so. If the boy approaches you, the correct response to him should be "If you want to talk about this after everything has been settled, I will be here to listen, and I will listen to you now on any subject you want to talk about - but on THIS subject, you need to speak with your parents and attorney. As much as I would like to, I can not talk to you about this now because it is possible that I could be called to testify on what you say" Now that it is in the legal system, it is not appropriate to discuss, no matter what you personally would like to do. I'm not suggesting that should the lad ask you to appear as a character witness you back away and not get involved, but this is definitely a time not to try to do you own investigation. Consider this possible scenario - you are on the stand, things are going well for the lad, then opposing counsel asks if you've discussed this case with the boy. You say yes and he asks you to tell the court what he said - and what you tell the court is a virtual confession of the boy that he has not made elsewhere. Think religious confession, without the legal protection. That's something to think about. As for Eagle - nope - most measurements are objective, including all those in merit badges. If you are asked to swim 25 yards, and you swim 25 yards, you have objectively met the requirement - you either did it or you didn't - there is no opinion involved. You can't say he swam the 25 yards then decide not to pass him on it. You can either tie a square knot or you can't. You can't say he tied the square knot then decide not to pass him on it. You have either done the Eagle Service Project or you have not. You can't say he met all of the requirements of the Eagle Service Project then decide he didn't do it. Subjective matters are such items as Scout Spirit, following the Scout Law and Oath. There can be a variety of opinions on whether these were met - and that's why they should be given lesser weight than the objective requirements. If you ask a boy if he has lived up to being reverent and he says yes, you may disagree (perhaps he doesn't go to church every week and you see that as a failure to be reverent). Though you may disagree, he has still met the requirement in his subjective opinion. If he's rejected on this basis, you can be assured he will win in appeal. CalicoPenn
  20. Sounds like a great idea - but implementing the idea is another story. Copyrights give the writer (or publisher) rights to control the work and to protect it from any harm to it's commercial value. At the same time, the doctrine of fair use allows snippets of the work to be used without violating copyright for the purpose of criticism, scholarly applications, reviews, parody (Weird Al Yankovic songs don't violate copyright because they are considered parody)and other such things. It's generally accepted that one of the fair uses is that the end user of a CD, DVD, etc. (that's you) is allowed to make a copy as back up and for one's personal enjoyment. It is NOT considered fair use to make a copy then disseminate that copy to others - whether for pay OR NOT (you might recall the Napster case - the courts decided that even though they personally did not post copyrighted songs on the internet for people to download, they were still responsible for enabling others to violate copyright laws - people uploading songs to Napster and other file sharing sites were in violation of copyright laws). Technically, playing a recorded song or movie at camp or a meeting is a violation of copyright laws (no public performances of copyrighted material is allowed). That being said, most copyright violations are a civil matter settled by lawsuit and it would be pretty hard to assess damages for such small violations. However, there is a criminal copyright violation on the books that could come into play in your case, IF the copyright holder(s) found out about it and made an issue of it - it is a felony if a copyright violation involves more than 10 copies and has a value over $2,500. You'll already hit the more than 10 copy mark - what's tricky is value over $2,500. Based on typical retail CD pricing, the value may only be around $1,300 (assuming $13.00 per CD times 100) BUT the law may include more than retail pricing to calculate value. Something to consider. I do think it's a good idea, but I'd think hard about whether its worth the risk. Is it likely one of the copyright holders will find out? Maybe not - but who foresaw 13 year olds getting sued by the recording industry for uploading songs into the internet? If you're still interested in doing this, it won't hurt to try to figure out who owns the copyrights to the songs you would like to use (its generally the publishers but the listing is usually with every CD) and write them a letter asking for permission to include their song on this limited edition CD - I'm willing to bet that you'll get mostly "okie-dokies" from the copyright holders (and get it in writing). CalicoPenn ps - Technically, everything I just wrote above is now copyrighted. It used to be that the author had to write a sentence claiming copyright (and had to use either the word copyright or the c in a circle) but now the US follows the Bern Convention and copyright is automatically bestowed on all writings, songs, etc. I'm familiar with this as an artist (not full time but I do sell works from time to time) - mostly abstract painting, photography, conceptual pieces and some installations - and all of my work is copyrighted.
  21. It's about Politics, Partisanship and Perception. And in the age of instant media and short attention spans stories like this get an instant boost, people make up their minds right away, then never let further reporting get in the way of their already determined opinions. Were a group of Boy Scouts booed at the DNC National Convention in 2000? Yeah, they were. Did all of the delgates to the convention boo the Boy Scouts? No - clearly not. Was it planned? Maybe - but with such a small group of people who did so (and most reports done later, after the initial hullabaloo, indicate that it was only a part of the California contingent - speculation that folks from other delegations also booed isn't borne out by the reporting) is just as likely that it was a spontaneous protest. Did the Boy Scouts hear the booing? Reports at the time done after speaking with the Scouts indicate that they didn't know about this whole booing thing until after the ceremony. Did the DNC use the Boy Scouts? If by use you mean to have them do a flag ceremony at their convention for political gain, then you have to spread that accusation out against both major political parties - Boy Scouts are often approached to perform flag ceremonies for a variety of events, and both the Democrats and the Republicans have used them for this function. Were the Scouts abused? That's an opinion and in my opinion, way overstated. Should the DNC have apologized? My opinion is a firm no. In fact, I applaud the DNC for not apologizing in this instance. What would they apologize for? An apology here would be apologizing for people using their 1st Amendment rights to free speech - "Gee, I'm sorry some people felt that they should be able to actually use the rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution". Sure, that stance has offended some people but frankly I'd rather people be offended than to weaken our 1st Amendment rights by making sure we never offend. If you're apologizing for free speech freely expressed, then you either don't really believe in what you expressed, political expediency and garnering votes is more important to you than free speech, or you just don't like that pesky first amendment. I don't support the BSA's stance on gays in Scouting but I give them a lot of credit for not apologizing for that stance. The same situation is evident with the purple heart protest. This protest was clearly orchestrated by some delegates (no one spontaneously drew a purple heart on an elastic bandage and put it on their arm). It was clearly meant as a jab at one person and no thought was given that it could possibly offend other purple heart veterans (many of whom earned the award with the same kinds of wounds as Kerry - the military admits that during the Vietnam War, these awards were given out by the bucketload). The press never did a very good job of explaining the criteria used to bestow the award so many people didn't (and still don't) have a clue as to what it really means. I've yet to see any recipient of the Purple Heart whose wounds were similar to Kerry's give back the award. The RNC apologized for offending veterans. My take is that it was either a move on their part to prevent the loss of votes to their party or they didn't really believe in the protest in the first place (the cynical part of me believes it was the second reason but the logical part of me thinks its the first). Should the RNC have apologized? My opinion is a firm no. Part of the right to free speech is the responsibility to stand up and accept the consequences of unpopular free expression. I would have a lot more respect for the RNC had they stood up and said they supported the protestors right to make their statement even though some people might be offended. Veterans would have understood that position - most veterans I've met who fought in wars state that they fought to preserve our freedoms, including our freedoms to dissent and to disrespect the flag - they may not like it personally, but they still support the right of others to do so - they know what the stakes truly are. In my opinion, taking the position that you can't disrespect the flag disrespects both the flag (as the symbol of our freedoms) and the veterans that fought to preserve that freedom. CalicoPenn
  22. Just a few thoughts, though no one gave me a penny: * What Boy Scout value would liberal's not like? The values are simple and stated quite clearly: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obediant, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. Reading the explanations beyond the words shows further that these aren't some set-in-stone mandates but that there is room for some interpretation. For instance, not obeying an order from a military superior officer to do a clearly illegal act would still be acceptable under the Boy Scout value of Obediant. Another example, buying a set of kitchen knives that cost $250 or more might on the surface not seem very Thrifty to many people but could be a much more thrifty option than buying a set of $25 knives because the more expensive, well-made set will last a lot longer (maybe a couple of generation's lifetimes) than a cheaper (in price and quality) set. Beyond these values are the policies, and in my opinion, opposing policies is not the same as opposing values. Policies are not the values themselves, policies are peoples manifestations of the values, and those policies could change at some point without changing the values. There are policies against gays, girls and athiests in the BSA - these are the presumed majority's take on how to best ensure the values of the organization. At some time in the future, a different presumed majority may change one or more of those policies and this will be their take on how to best ensure the values of the organization. For me, a prime example of this is the defense of the BSA in the Supreme Court as a "religious organization" - it appears to be the policy of the BSA that it be considered a religious organization. When I was a Scout, the BSA was considered and promoted as a community organization. It is this change in policy (or at the very least, in mindset at the national level) that has resulted in the loss of charters to public schools and governmental organizations - they can clearly support a community organization, it is also clear they cannot support a religious organization. * Just a bit more information on the Pledge of Allegiance - it should be noted that the author of the Pledge, Frances Bellamy, was a Christian Socialist, and a Baptist minister. In many conservative circles, socialists are considered uber-liberals. Bellamy, a Christian minister, never put the words "Under God" in his pledge. It was placed in the Pledge by Congress during the height of the cold war in the 1950's as another way to indicate that "we" (Americans) were different from "them" (Soviets). I suggest that is was a cynical move on Congress' part (if I'm not mistaken, Eisenhower opposed the move) and had nothing to do with God in the first place. * Finally, I find it unconstructive and offensive to pull out the old canards about "family values" and "traditional values" without defining what those terms mean. They are just 2 second sound bites with no real meaning - they just sound good, and what worries me even more is that we have many people in this country, and a so-called free press, who are willing to accept these words from their political and religious leaders without question, without critical thought. I don't take anyone seriously who uses these phrases without telling us just what they mean by them. At one time in this country, it was a "traditional value" that women remain in the home and didn't have their own careers - is this one of those "traditional values" some politicians want to go back to? Could it be those that use the term "traditional values" don't want to define it because they know that if they did, they would never hold office again? How about the old "traditional value" of slavery, of treating African-American's as second class citizens? Do we truly want to go back to those days? Same for "family values". Just what do you mean by this? 2-parent households no matter what? Is it truly a better family value for a women to stay home with a physically abusive spouse, potentially putting her children in harms way, than to get a divorce? Is it a family value to throw a 16-year old child out on the street because he is found to be gay? CalicoPenn
  23. I noted this which I think is a key part of the article: "The survey showed a strong relationship between analytic coursework and literacy. Students in two-year and four-year schools scored higher when they took classes that challenged them to apply theories to practical problems or weigh competing arguments." I fear that the continuing emphasis on using testing to determine success rates of schools will just make matters worse - more and more colleges are complaining that students aren't arriving with basic analytical knowledge or with basic skills. Our society became so obsessed with matching and then surpassing testing levels of other countries that we lost sight of where our true strengths lied. At one time, our greatest strengths were critical thinking, analysis, creativity and problem solving. All of these skills used to play a major role in the education of our young people. Yes, there were countries that scored higher on standardized tests, but they also spent more time on rote learning and less time on the more abstract skills. Those countries weren't as innovative as ours. Foreign soldiers were always amazed at American's ability to jury-rig some device to fix a motor vehicle or gun when no spare parts were around. They could tell you the scientific principles behind a compression engine, we could figure out a way to fix it when it looked beyond repair. Now, we spend more time on rote learning and teaching to the tests that must be passed and less time on the abstract skills. Because of this we are losing our edge, and our students no longer have the same skills of just a generation ago. I've always believed its far less important to memorize the multiplication table than it is to understand how one gets to the figure in the first place. Its more important to learn where to find information than to memorize it in the first place. Calico
  24. The following are the requirements to earn the Mile Swim award, which can only be worn on one's swim trunks, not on one's uniform. Near as I can tell, this award is not approved for Cub Scouts. 1) Explain how regular exercise contributes to good health and why swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. 2) Tell what precautions and procedures a swimmer and escort must follow for distance swimming over open water. 3) Under the supervision of a currently qualified certified aquatics instructor, BSA or equivalent, participate in 4 hours of training and preparation for distance swimming (1 hour a day maximum). 4) Swim 1 mile (1,600 meters) over an approved, measured course. Depending on the award counselor (this award is most often awarded at Summer Camp), an active member of a competitive swim team will likely meet requirement #3 before he even gets to camp - most competitive teams practice at least 1 hour per day, 5-days per week during the season - and high school boys active on swim teams probably swim a minimum of 2,500 meters per practice. Warm up alone would usually be 500 meters. I swam 14 one-mile swims in one two-week session of camp back when I was 14 including 2 1-milers back to back (literally, I got to the end and paused long enough to ask (while still in the water) if I could go again - fortunately my Scoutmaster, who was rowing the escort boat, was willing to go another round.) I completed the second lap in under 17 minutes (a camp record - got into the famous "zone" and no one else swam with me the second time - my 12-year old brother swam with me the first time) and he couldn't keep up with me - at one point, he just started cutting across the lake in hopes of catching up to me. CalicoPenn
  25. Maybe its just coincidence (and I'm doubtful about that) but James Dale was from the Monmouth Council. James Dale, as many will recall, was the plaintiff in the Dale vs. Boy Scouts America that resulted in the Supreme Court ruling that allows the BSA to keep gays out of scouting. Coincidentally (or not), Monmouth had a balanced budget until the year 2000, the year of the Supreme Court ruling. National paid for the court costs for all of the appeals, not Monmouth Council, so the cost for the case can't be blamed for this. Could it be that the Monmouth Council community is expressing their opinion of the results with their dollars (or withholding of dollars)? Hmmm. CalicoPenn
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