Friday, June 25, 2010

Why the Boy Scouts Position on Gays Makes Sense

I was accused this week of being a homophobe because I didn't denounce the Boy Scouts court victory in Philadelphia.  I've written about this case previously, but decided a succinct approach is needed to state my position.

Full Disclosure:  For those who haven't read my blog: I was a Scout from the ages of 8 until 18.   For the last 7 years I've been active as an adult leader in connection with my sons being Scouts, currently serving as a member of Troop Committee and as a Merit Badge counselor.

Boys and girls do not camp together, in the same tents.  Yes, there is Venturing, the BSA program for co-eds, but that is a separate and distinct division of Scouting.   Girls and boys do not camp together, in the same tents (not even in Venturing), and I think we can all agree no one will argue with the whys: setting aside privacy issues and common decorum, no matter how much either John or Jane might promise not to do anything with each other, kids will be kids.  If we accept 'Boy Scouts' having boys and 'Girl Scouts' having girls, then we can stand firm on this point.

So let's carry this to a logical extension. Say boys who are open about their being gay are permitted. Now it shouldn't matter if John says he won't do anything in appropriate to Jim, if we're following the same logic as above. We would have to separate the gay boys.

So we assign gay boys their own tents. OK, if the estimate 10-15% of the population is gay, then it's easy to have, literally, and odd-boy out in his own tent.  Now we're isolating a boy in his own tent, because he's different; and this is acceptable ... how?

And if a unit had 2 or more gay boys, could we allow them to be in the same tent? Because as in the first example of boys & girls, perhaps the parents of the gay boys do not want them at risk of inappropriate behavior from another. The risk, again, is that kids will be kids, right?

One way or another, there will be segregation, exclusion. We're talking about children, not adults.

And if you wish to open Scouting to both genders, would you not still require the segregation?   Venturing has strict guidelines already covering this.  And then by extension, as above, a further segregation?

That's where I stand... tell me if you think I am wrong, but be ready to back up your position.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

You Don't Believe

My eyes with your vision
My choice but always your decision
My play with your direction
Well, it's my lead but always your connection

But when I look into your eyes you don't believe me
I can see it in your eyes you don't believe

My words, your expression
My land, always your possession
My song, your production
My expense is always your deduction

But when I look into your eyes you don't believe me
I can see it in your eyes you don't believe

And the face I see before me
Is both sides of a mirror
You really know you've got a hold on me
And the face you're looking in to
is both sides of a window
any way you look you see through me.

My fame, your reflection
My weakness is always your protection
Well it's my terms on your conditions
And they're my tunes but they're your compositions

But when I look into your eyes you don't believe me
I can see it in your eyes you don't believe

And the face I see before me
Is both sides of a mirror
You really know you've got a hold on me
And the face you're looking in to
is both sides of a window
any way you look you see through me.
When I look into your eyes you don't believe me
I can see it in your eyes you don't believe...

The Alan Parsons Project

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Saturday, June 19, 2010


Item -  I have been absent from Facebook for some time, and just yesterday realized that *all* of my tweets have been appearing on Facebook's NOTES page (I thought I was filtering @replies).... so I seem to have been spamming those who cared to follow me.   Not intended; I apologize to those who were bored.

Item - I managed a blog post or two in the last few weeks... far from the number I used to post.  In some ways I miss it, but in others I am bored by the process.  Have to re-evaluate my entire blogging effort, and even whether I'll continue this pseudonym at all.
Item - if you've followed me for any length of time, you know this isn't the first time I've debated giving up this non de plume.  But I have recently begun using a real profile of my real name... not at all like I've used CharliePATpk, but it's out there.  If you think maintaining one personna is hard, try two.
Item -  Am tired and not-quite-drunk, since I've polished off a bottle of Makers' Mark.  Note to self: buy more.

Item -

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Father's Day (repost)

To all the dad's out there:
On Sunday I'll be sure to raise a glass in your honor
(after the one I raise in honor of my dad).
To all dads - past and future - I also raise a toast in their honor! 

This is a repost done for FatherhoodFriday at Dad Blogs

Yep, it's Father's Day. Some people do it up big, others take a more reserved approach. I am in the latter category.

In my office, for example, there are two guys who are new fathers (one, for the first time a few months ago), and I know there are new dads and soon-to-be new dads who are frequent this blog, too. They're looking forward to their day. And in the case of moms at the office or reading, they're looking to have a big deal for their man. And they're all entitled.

I did some research this week and found it hard to find anyone else who shares my blasaie1 with Father's Day. My dad - father of 4 - always down-played it, as I am told his dad - father of 8 - did (which, considering our Italian-Catholic heritage, seems contrary to the reported history of the day). Men, ordinarily, don't go for this sort of stuff, but Father's Day is seemingly the exception for most.
From my research, the closest to my position is held by Stanley Bing, noted author, who concludes : {D}on’t tell me that Father’s Day is a big deal, because it’s not.

Now I know it already: some guys are firing up their e-mail or clicking on comments right now, about to let lose on me. And moms, too, are ready to tell me not to dismiss the day, in defense of their plans for their man.

Get this: I'm not trying to take anything away from you. I'm not saying it shouldn't be a big deal in your homes. If you want to have all the fuss, don't let me stop you. But like Stanley said, there are plenty of other days that rank higher, including:
Mother’s Day ... Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day (Indigenous People’s Day in Berkeley, California), Christmas, New Year’s, President’s Day, Independence Day, and the day the next Harry Potter novel is released.
...and rightly so. Statistically, Mother's Day trumps Father's Day by a landslide, be it long-distance phone calls, dinners out, or even greeting cards. So while you may not agree it isn't a big deal, no one can argue that it isn't as big a deal as Mom's day (and again: rightly so!).

So like Mr. Bing, I'll be more than satisfied with lunch at Denny's (or similar).
Sometimes less really is more.

1 Strangely, I cannot find a dictionary entry for blasaie. The word is used often enough, but I can't verify its proper spelling.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sending condolences via social media

A buddy of mine suffered the loss of his father Sunday.  He was 82, and the death was not at all expected (i.e. no compelling health issues, was not on life support, etc.)  I haven't heard all of the details, but the obituary says he died peacefully.

I've known my buddy about 7 years; we're on good terms, but close friends would not be apt description. I have never met his father,   I do know my buddy holds/held him in high regard, and was by every definition a good man.

The newspaper obituary links to a guest book.  At last count a dozen people have posted their condolences.  This strikes me as odd, to say the least. Who would think enough of the deceased and his family to NOT send an appropriate condolence card (which, btw, I have)  but instead (or, perhaps, in addition) have posted a comment on blog?  I cannot bring myself to make such a comment... it seems so ... wrong!

Let me ask the question like this: at a wake or a viewing, do you open each sympathy card given to the family, and read what was written inside?  Neither do I, so why would I participate in a blog comment?

Am I alone?  Is this now accepted by the masses, and I am just an old fool?  Do people use social media for such a serious purpose?  Am I going to be in the seemingly minority again, as I was in my post on Randy Pausch's death?

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Quick Hits

Some call it Friday Fragments (as in Half-Passed Kissin' Time), but I have long preferred Quick Hits (mostly because I can post them any day):

  • Business travel has sure changed!! I used to travel as much as 80% on business, but nothing like this ever happened: A friend of ours is expecting her first child in August.  She was on travel to business meeting and my 7 year old son happened to asked where she was.  I explained to him she was on a business trip to which he pointed a finger and said Right.... the baby!    I told him if she came back from Chicago with a baby in her arms we'll all be surprised!

  • Congressman attacks Student: I am opposed to all forms of gotcha journalism, regardless of who is in power.  I am even more opposed to physical confrontations.   Big Government links to a video of a couple of college students asking Democrat Congressman Bod Etheridge (D-NC2) if he supported President Obama's agenda:

    I don't believe asking a member of Congress for their position on the agenda of the president meets the definition of gotcha journalism but I do believe a certain amount of courtesy should be afforded our representatives. Case in point: were I the student in question here, after asking the Rep twice to release my hand, I would have either taken him down (softly) with a leg sweep or thrown a left jab to his face (anyone else would not have been given 2 chances by me).

    What it comes down to is this: Representative Etheridge and others are now feeling the pressure of backing far-Left policies, and are witnessing their less-than-positive effects on the economy. Congressman Etheridge's biggest worry is that voters in North Carolina will be asking Who are you? after he is ousted in the November elections.
  •  Schoolhouse Crock: Teachers Stage Protest at Ceremony of Students Enlisting in the Military  The teacher and school administration admit Mary Beth Verani, the teacher in question, speaks openly about her political positions.  Tell me how long any teacher would last if a Conservative view was expressed.    In the end, as I have said repeatedly, we all have a right to free speech, no matter how outlandish or ridiculous.  However, the results of that speech from others (not the state) - whether good or bad - cannot be escaped.   I would welcome an opportunity to debate this teacher - somehow I wonder if she would be willing to face an adult, since she's seems to prefer challenging the thoughts of children.
  • Telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight... As some have heard me whining complaining, my smartphone has turned ill.   My 3 year old Samsung SGH-i607, a/k/a BlackJack, stopped synchronizing with my home PC Thursday night.   After determining it wasn't my PC nor my cable, I deduced it was either the phone hardware or OS (Windows Mobile 5).  

    Unwilling to crack the case - and noticing how careful I have been to not already have cracks in the case after 4 years -- I decided to execute a hard-restart to bring the unit back to the state it was in when I purchased it, figuring it would allow me to synchronize once again.  

    Well, it booted up with a 1-Jan-06 date, but it still was oblivious to my desktop.  Conclusion?  I am not better off, and in fact am worse off, since I no longer have my calendar or contacts.  So now I have to decide which of the following choices is the least unfavorable: s
    • settle for something less than a SmartPhone
    • buy a smartphone outright to avoid having to pay for a data plan
    • settle for a data plan on a device that will likely have WiFi, thus costing me far more per month than it ought to.
  • Lots of changes around the office....  while I had thought I was safe through 2014, I am now inclined to think I may be let go by the end of FY;  time to crank my personal branding into high-gear.
  • Tonight President Obama will address the nation in regards to the Gulf Oil spill (spill? leak? whatever).  I am certainly not the first to suggest this, but Pres. Obama has handled this issue in the same ways he criticized President Bush's handling of Katrina.  The big difference?   The federal government could do nothing for New Orleans until the Louisiana governor declared an emergency (on this fact there is no dispute).  As the BP disaster occurred in federal waters, there was no such need for state authorization.  In fact, Mr. Obama turned down offers of assistance from both foreign and domestic sources.  Politics has certainly taken first place over the needs of the Gulf Coast and its people... no spin can undo the damage caused by the mismanagement and delays of the Obama Administration.
  • THIS JUST IN:  Aspirin And Bottle Of Bourbon A Day Reduces Awareness Of Heart Attack (h/t The Onion)
Here's hoping I can post more than once-per-month!

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