Open Thread And Link Farm: Inflating Feet Edition

Post what you like, when you like it, with the condiments you prefer, on a plate of a size and shape that reflects your preferences developed in your childhood which were based in turn on the preferences your parents developed in their childhood and so on. Self-linking is wonderful and gives me a tingly feeling in my swollen feet.

  1. Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit Users a Life Lesson in Tolerance
  2. “Oklahoma judge refuses to let trans women legally change their names. In his decision, Judge Bill Graves – who I hope is soon an ex-judge – quoted the Book of Genesis. (Also, take note that this is a mainstream news article writing about trans issues, so expect bad pronoun usage and the like.) (Corrected from the original wording – see comments.)
  3. There Aren’t That Many Takers in America Republicans complain that we’re a society of “makers versus takers,” but the “takers” are only about 5% or less, depending on how you count.
  4. Love these Chris Ware New Yorker covers, mostly focusing on parents and children.
  5. Kill the Indians, Then Copy Them
  6. Our bodies get weird as we age department: Over the last bunch of years, my feet and ankles have swollen, so that they’re now sort of rounder and chubbier. That’s not the weird part, many people’s feet swell a bit as they get to (gulp) middle age. But I asked my doctor about it, and she told me to elevate my feel when I sleep, which I now do. And it works, my feet are now considerably bonier and less rounded in the mornings. But now my feet are inflatable feet; they’re thin in the morning, but slowly inflate over the course of the day. I find that far stranger than I found chubby feet to be.
  7. Can the black middle class survive? A journalist discusses the subtle racism he encountered at places like Time Magazine.
  8. How Obama’s Immigration Policy Is Breaking Up Families
  9. Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women
  10. Economics focus: Taxing the poor to pay the poor. Europe’s big welfare states have very regressive tax systems, and become progressive only with the redistribution.
  11. I can’t resist quoting Gerry Canovan’s post, entitled “And Per Se And,” in full: “Now that I know the true origins of the word “ampersand,” I find I don’t believe in anything.”
  12. ASMR, the Good Feeling No One Can Explain. Oh. My. Spaghetti. Monster. I had no idea that other people felt that tingling response, or that it had a name. For me, it mainly comes from watching people do meticulous tasks. Or even reading descriptions of people doing a meticulous task.


Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming

This entry posted in Link farms. Bookmark the permalink. 

74 Responses to Open Thread And Link Farm: Inflating Feet Edition

  1. 1
    squirrel says:

    The article in number two is pretty bad, even as these things go. Can you edit this to make it clear that these are women, not men, being denied name changes? I realize you’re just quoting the title of the linked article, but that title is all kinds of problematic. A better description is something like “Oklahoma judge refuses to let trans women legally change their names”.

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    Squirrel, thanks for pointing that out. I have an automatic function which copies the title and html link in one step, and in this case I used it thoughtlessly, and I’m sorry for that. Correction made.

  3. 3
    nobody.really says:

    Uh, squirrel? Please —

    [M]y feet are inflatable feet; they’re thin in the morning, but slowly inflate….

    I’ve often thought Amp bore a resemblance to Bruce Banner – especially since college and that whole gamma ray thing.

    So, just to be on the safe side, let’s try not to contradict Amp.

    And if you find the web page turning green, just close your browser. And turn off your computer. And hide. Better safe than sorry.

  4. 4
    KellyK says:

    It’s okay; everybody has inflatable feet. Yours are just doing it more noticeably. Don’t go shoe-shopping in the morning.

  5. 5
    dragon_snap says:

    That Onion News clip kinda makes me want to become an MTV scientist : )

    Also, here is a fantastic clip of a news anchor responding to fatphobic bullying that was directed against her: http://www.upworthy.com/bully-calls-news-anchor-fat-news-anchor-destroys-him-on-live-tv?c=mrp1

  6. 6
    RonF says:

    My feet have swollen as well as I’ve aged. Of course, in my case that means they’ve gone from a 13D to a 14EE.

  7. 7
    Copyleft says:

    How does a judge citing Genesis for his ruling not get thrown off the bench automatically?

  8. 8
    Myca says:

    Well, apparently a Scoutmaster in Moraga, California, (just down the road from me) has denied a 17 year old scout Eagle status because the scout is gay.

    Yahoo news and ABC News have the story. Here’s E. J. Graff on it.

    And of course, the scoutmaster waited until his Eagle project was complete. A project about ending bullying.

    Over and over again, we’ve heard that the anti-gay policies of the BSA are there to block gay scoutmasters and other adults, but that they wouldn’t be about victimizing and bullying gay teens. More proof that the people who say this are liars, and that the BSA is more concerned about bullying gays than mentoring youths.

    Disgusting.

    ETA: Also, Ryan Andresen, the scout in question, says several times how surprised he is by this, and that he knows that the scoutmaster, Rainer Del Valle, is a good man who’s never treated him any differently because of his sexual orientation.

    I assume that that’s true, and if so, it provides another example of how good people can be turned to doing evil by an evil system. Not all segregationists (for example) were monsters … they were people operating within a corrupt system, and cooperating with that system because they thought it did more good than evil.

    They were wrong, and Rainer Del Valle is wrong. This system must change.

    For the BSA to so firmly hitch their wagon to the hate and corruption of the homophobic religious right was a shitty choice and unfortunate for them, but they’re not going to be able to stop the culture from changing. Now they need to decide whether they want to change with it or embrace irrelevance.

    —Myca

  9. 9
    KellyK says:

    Grrr. I hope it’s okay for me to rant a bit in an open thread, because this really upsets me.

    Myca, good point about good people being corrupted by an f’ed-up system.

    The kid is being accused of “not agreeing to Scouting’s principle of ‘Duty to God,’” though nowhere does *he* say he doesn’t believe in God or doesn’t acknowledge a duty to God. Presumably his being gay is *assumed* to make him a godless atheist (nothing against godless atheists, by the way). And yet, there are certainly religious organizations and denominations that don’t subscribe to the “gay = evil” nonsense. His religion, if any, isn’t mentioned.

    If the BSA wants to be a “conservative Christians only” organization (or, “conservative Christians only, but we guess Jews are okay,” or “you must agree with the religious doctrine of the church that sponsors your troop,” or whatever), that should be a requirement when kids *join,* not when they’ve completed the requirements for Eagle and done a ton of work for the troop and the community.

    I’m pretty sure that saying the equivalent of “Thanks for all your hard work, but we decided we don’t like who you are, so get the f*** out,” (either to a kid or to an adult volunteer) is not part of anybody’s “duty to God.”

  10. 10
    Julie says:

    I never knew ASMR had a name! I get it when I get my hair cut, or when a doctor examines me. Non-sexual touch seems to trigger it.

  11. 11
    Myca says:

    Ozy Frantz has more on the Boy Scouts covering up the sexual abuse of children, and how it relates to rape culture.

    In 400 cases, the Boy Scouts did not record reporting the allegations to the police; in more than a hundred cases officials condoned or aided suspects in covering up abuse.

    This is what a rape culture looks like.

    So to be clear … gay scouts = bad, pedophiles = good?

    Thanks, BSA. Thanks for the moral clarity, you fucks.

    —Myca

  12. 12
    jessica says:

    Kelly K:
    While you are right that in general people are too quick to assume gay –> not religious, in this case it does not appear that this was just an assumption.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/10/05/162371701/teenage-boy-scout-denied-organizations-top-rank-because-hes-gay
    This NPR story quotes the Boy Scouts as saying that “This scout proactively notified his unit leadership and Eagle Scout counselor that he does not agree to scouting’s principle of ‘Duty to God’ and does not meet scouting’s membership standard on sexual orientation.” As framed in this statement, those are 2 separate items that were affirmed by Ryan himself, not an assumption that being gay automatically means he isn’t religious.

    That said, this is a terrible decision in a long string of terrible decisions by the Boy Scouts. My friend who was an Eagle Scout credited it as a deciding factor on his NSF Graduate Research Fellowship application, so these things make a big difference in the long term and it’s not so simple as saying “well, in his heart he knows he deserves the Eagle Scout award and that’s all that matters.” This is (another example of) real, tangible harm that the Boy Scouts are doing to real people.

  13. 13
    nobody.really says:

    Ok, this one was news to me — Congressional Research Service 7-5700, R42729, Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (Sept. 14, 2012):

    There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution…. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced.

  14. 14
    KellyK says:

    jessica, you’re right that it’s framed by the BSA representative as two separate statements. Without hearing it as two separate statements *from him* (or his mom or Scout Leader, or seeing a quote from what he said to BSA), I don’t know whether that’s actual fact.

  15. 15
    RonF says:

    You know, you read stuff on the Internet and you have to be careful not to swallow whole something that upon reflection seems entirely ridiculous. For example, this.

    President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz,

    … groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission,

    Genachowski’s friendship with Obama would continue through the campaign trail in 2008 and into the White House: He aggressively fundraised for Obama in 2008 as a campaign bundler, and served on the presidential transition team before winning his appointment to chair the FCC.

    I mean, really. ABC has a lot of people working for it. It’s also a news organization that ostensibly wants to project at least the illusion of impartiality. They couldn’t really have chosen someone with these kinds of ties to President Obama to moderate the VP debate – could they? Certainly they’d choose someone who would not give anyone a reason to doubt their impartiality? How hard is it to go through their organization and pick out someone who has no even remote ties to the Administration? I mean, the report says they were told about this in August. It’s hard to believe such a off-the-wall report. A brief look at the Daily Caller makes it clear where their political sympathies lie, but I don’t know what their reputation for reliability is.

  16. 16
    RonF says:

    Myca, I’ve been following the story about what happened with the ineligible list back in the 70′s and 80′s (and probably before, I’d guess) and I have to say – it’s shameful, it’s a violation of the principles of the Scout Oath and Law, and heads should roll at National. It’s not the way things are done there now, but that’s no excuse for the people who were involved at the time.

    Over and over again, we’ve heard that the anti-gay policies of the BSA are there to block gay scoutmasters and other adults, but that they wouldn’t be about victimizing and bullying gay teens.

    Actually, what we’ve heard from National is that the organizations that sponsor Scout units find homosexuality morally inconsistent with the Scout Oath and Law, whether it’s on the part of Scouts or Scouters (i.e., youth or adults).

    For the BSA to so firmly hitch their wagon to the hate and corruption of the homophobic religious right was a shitty choice and unfortunate for them,

    The B.S.A.’s policies in this matter are a function of the organizations that sponsor its units. But it didn’t choose those organizations; they chose it. Where were the organizations favoring this societal change when it was time to sponsor Scout units back in the time when the change was occurring? The B.S.A.’s been around for over 100 years now (and sitting in my patch collection is one from the first Scouting event I ever attended, marking the BSA’s 50th anniversary). Where were they? Where have they been? Seems to me that it’s easier to shoot insults from the outside than actually get down to the rather hard business of working with kids. If they had been doing that back in the day and hung in there the BSA would be different now.

    Kelly K, it appears that the Troop was not notified by the Scout that he had beliefs and an orientation making him ineligible for BSA membership until after he finished his project. Bad timing on his part, but that’s not the responsibility of the Troop. And let’s not forget that even if he was not openly gay, his statement that he didn’t recognize a duty to God in and of itself would make him ineligible.

    Jessica, how would you imagine that the Troop (there’s no indication so far that the young man or his parents have appealed this to the local Council) should have decided any different? The Scout Oath says “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, ….” If he says that every week and doesn’t mean it, where is his honor? The obligations of a Scout with regard to religious belief are pretty simple, but the young man explicitly and completely negates that. How can the Troop in all conscience consider that he’s eligible for Eagle when he doesn’t meet one of the basic requirements?

    This can’t be a surprise for this kid. He’s been a Scout for at least 6+ years. He’s put his right hand up in the Boy Scout sign and recited the Boy Scout Oath and Law (point 12, “A Scout is Reverent”) probably over 300 times (once a week at Troop meeting, campouts, etc.). He’s likely been asked about it at 5 Scoutmaster conferences and 5 Boards of Review (Tenderfoot through Life ranks). It’s quite possible that he’s seen members of his Troop get the square knot patch for earning their religious award. And he’s not living in a news-free vacumn.

    BTW – you are required to get signoffs and recommendations from 3 different people on the Eagle Rank Application. One of those is required to be from your religious leader. It is acceptable for your parents to sign off on that and state that they are his religious leaders. But you can’t leave it blank. And it certainly wouldn’t be honest in that context for his parents to sign off.

    Kelly K again:

    If the BSA wants to be a “conservative Christians only” organization (or, “conservative Christians only, but we guess Jews are okay,” or “you must agree with the religious doctrine of the church that sponsors your troop,” or whatever), that should be a requirement when kids *join,* not when they’ve completed the requirements for Eagle and done a ton of work for the troop and the community.

    Well, first, they’re not a “conservative Christians only” organization. There’s plenty of non-Christian organizations that sponsor Scout units. Buddhist, Shinto, Jews, Hindu, Muslim – heck, Mormons make up about 1/8 of all membership. And as far as “conservative” goes, I’m a member of an Episcopal parish and we sponsor a Pack, Troop and Crew. So do parishes of other “liberal” denominations. And then there’s the secular organizations; veteran’s organizations such as the VFW and American Legion, fraternal organizations like Lions Clubs and Odd Fellows, community groups such as PTA chapters and PTOs – plenty of groups that have no religious affiliation at all.

    Religious groups that sponsor Scout units can require Scouts in their unit to be a member of their parish/temple/synagogue/mosque/etc. However, whether their units are open or closed, they cannot require members to attend services. And this young man’s status as a Scout is not a function of his not sharing the religious and moral beliefs of the sponsor of his Troop or of a particular set of Christian doctrines.

  17. 17
    Myca says:

    The B.S.A.’s policies in this matter are a function of the organizations that sponsor its units. But it didn’t choose those organizations; they chose it.

    It’s not all one or the other. I doubt that right-wing organizations would flock in such numbers to a BSA that didn’t embrace gay-hate quite so openly. The BSA’s anti-gay policies seem to have begun in the 1980′s, and were made explicit in 1991 … they rose as the religious right rose, in other words. It hasn’t always been that way.

    It’s a ‘redefinition’ of the scout oath, if you like.

    Seems to me that it’s easier to shoot insults from the outside than actually get down to the rather hard business of working with kids.

    I actually do work with kids. I just don’t victimize them for their sexual orientation. It’s not that hard to understand the difference. Try harder.

    I think that this sort of thing really gives lie to the idea that the BSA teaches kids positive moral values. Kids aren’t stupid. When they see their organization and scoutmasters engaged in this kind of discrimination and bullying, they learn that that’s what they’re supposed to do. The Boy Scouts: Turning today’s kids into tomorrow’s homophobic bullies.

    —Myca

  18. 18
    KellyK says:

    And this young man’s status as a Scout is not a function of his not sharing the religious and moral beliefs of the sponsor of his Troop or of a particular set of Christian doctrines.

    Of course it is. Their religious and moral belief that gay = sinful is what’s prohibiting him from getting his Eagle. That is a particular set of Christian doctrines that not all Christians share. (The fact that it’s also a doctrine of non-Christian religions doesn’t mean that, in the US, Christianity isn’t the root cause.)

    His Scoutmaster told him, clearly incorrectly, that it wouldn’t be an issue. “He had been telling me all along that we’d get by the gay thing,” is what Ryan said to Yahoo News.

    My point is that if BSA as an organization wants to be that heavy-handed with gay kids, they shouldn’t let them *do all the work* to earn an Eagle and then not give them the award. If he’s good enough to be in the organization for six years when the Scoutmaster knows he’s gay, and he’s good enough to hold positions of responsibility in the troop (which are required for Eagle), then he deserves the award.

    Let me emphasize this bit, because it’s my main point:


    It is wrong to allow a kid to be in an organization for 12 years, to accept their hard work that benefits other kids and the troop as a whole, and then refuse to grant them an award that they’ve earned.

    If being gay is worth kicking a kid out over, then it’s worth kicking them out when they’re 12 instead of when they’re 16, right?

    Yes, that would be cruel, but it would at least have the benefit of honesty.

    And let’s not forget that even if he was not openly gay, his statement that he didn’t recognize a duty to God in and of itself would make him ineligible.

    That’s not his statement. That’s a statement that the BSA says was provided to him. Please show me any source, anywhere, in his own words, that he does not recognize a duty to God.

    Where were the organizations favoring this societal change when it was time to sponsor Scout units back in the time when the change was occurring?

    There *are* organizations favoring that change sponsoring Scout units. But “no gays” is overarching BSA policy. Some groups have *stopped* sponsoring troops as a result. (For example, the UAHC recommended that congregations stop sponsoring Boy Scout groups back in 2001, though some still do. They determined that it wasn’t something they could change from within.)

    I also reject the argument that because things weren’t different 50 years ago, no one is allowed to complain now. “Our sponsoring organizations say we have to,” is not an appropriate reason for discriminating against children.

  19. 19
    RonF says:

    Myca:

    The BSA’s anti-gay policies seem to have begun in the 1980′s

    Open homosexuality being a disqualification for membership was pretty clear to me when I was a Scout in the ’60′s and ’70′s. And from discussions I had at the time it had been a disqualification well before then. My father was both a volunteer and then a professional Scouter and I had more opportunity to overhear and then engage in discussions on this subject than most kids did. Where are you getting your misinformation?

    and were made explicit in 1991

    They were explicit for anyone who asked well before then. But before then it wasn’t called “homophobia” it was called “common sense” and nobody thought it was headline news.

    … they rose as the religious right rose, in other words. It hasn’t always been that way.

    You are simply wrong. It has always been that way. I’ve been in and out of Scouting for the last 52 years. Find me someone who’s been around that long who says differently.

    then refuse to grant them an award that they’ve earned.

    There’s far more to earning Eagle than completing a service project. From the Eagle rank application:

    “REQUIREMENT 2. Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life. ….”

    A Scout who has not done this has not, in fact, earned Eagle. And by the time the kid turns 17 and gone through what you have to do to get through Life rank you know quite well what the principles of the Scout Oath and Law are – especially since this is a requirement for every rank from Tenderfoot on up. And it’s not an automatic checkoff. A Life Scout in my Troop just got told last week – for reasons unrelated to the topic of this thread – that the Troop committee and leadership are of the opinion that he has not lived up to this requirement and that if he appears before an Eagle Board of Review he will fail.

    It would be wrong to withhold something from the Scout that he has earned. But that’s not what’s happened here.

    Now, the young man claims that the Scoutmaster knew he was gay for some time. But we haven’t heard from the Scoutmaster. If that’s true, then he deserves to lose his office. After a Scout gets his requirements signed off on by the Scoutmaster or other leaders, he goes to a Board of Review where the Troop committee reviews his work and decides if he has truly met the requirements. If the Scout has gone public since he earned his Life rank then it’s entirely possible that one or more of the Troop committee would nix his advancement. The Scoutmaster – and every Life Scout, because they get briefed – also knows quite well that at an Eagle Board of Review – unlike the Board of Review for Tenderfoot through Life – there is at least one Council representative present. That person is also quite likely to vote against the Scout’s advancement if the Scout was open about his sexual orientation – and an Eagle BOR vote must be unanimous. This kid was strung along by the Scoutmaster and his parents, who knew what the requirements and standards were but didn’t have the guts to tell the kid what he was facing.

    As far as the issue of “Duty to God”, the B.S.A. has shown no particular reluctance to withhold a Scout’s membership or rank if the issue was homosexuality alone, so I’m taking the statement that he also said he didn’t recognize a duty to God at face value. If the kid denies he said that, then I’ll give the kid the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the family is not talking about it because they know that such a position is less likely to gain them sympathy.

  20. 20
    KellyK says:

    This kid was strung along by the Scoutmaster and his parents, who knew what the requirements and standards were but didn’t have the guts to tell the kid what he was facing.

    At least we’re agreed on that part. Or…most of it. Why his parents? When the Scoutmaster says not to worry about the gay thing, it’ll be okay, the parents have no reason to question that.

  21. 21
    jessica says:

    RonF asked: “how would you imagine that the Troop should have decided any different?”
    Personally, I think the troop leader (and all troop leaders) should “go rogue” and ignore the Boy Scouts’ official requirements regarding religion and heterosexuality. Or they should quit the Boy Scouts in protest, as some have. That’s a personal decision — some people are more inclined to try to save a beloved institution from the inside, while others would rather separate themselves from it, and I can sympathize with both views. But I can’t sympathize with falling in line with bigotry, especially against kids!

  22. 22
    nobody.really says:

    As far as the issue of “Duty to God”, the B.S.A. has shown no particular reluctance to withhold a Scout’s membership or rank if the issue was homosexuality alone, so I’m taking the statement that he also said he didn’t recognize a duty to God at face value.

    But what exactly does the “Duty to God” consist of?

    Members of the Boy Scouts of America state, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country….” This oath never states that you have a duty. It merely states that, to the extent that you have a duty, you promise to do your best to do it. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much implied in the word “duty,” so the whole thing is a tautology.

    In contrast, members of Girl Scouts in the USA pledge, “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country….” So girl scouts are on the hook to try to serve God, whether or not anyone could identify any pre-existing duty for them to do so. However, Wikipedia reports that, for girl scouts –

    The word “God” can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one’s spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word “God” with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

    While the Boy Scouts of America have a twelve-point “Scout Law” that includes “A scout is reverend,” this is not required by the Constitution of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement. The Scout Law in the Constitution requires that “A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed,” but makes no reference to reverence. (Say THAT ten time fast.)

    Indeed, various member organizations of the World Organization of Scouting Movement have omitted references to God from their pledges – often with the blessing of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement. For example, the Israeli Boy & Girl Scouts (Tzofim) make no reference to God in either their oath or scout law. Instead, an Israeli scout promises “to do my best to fulfill my duties to my people, my country and my land”(!), and states that “The scout is loyal to his people, his country and his language”(!!)

  23. 23
    KellyK says:

    It would be wrong to withhold something from the Scout that he has earned. But that’s not what’s happened here.

    Okay, then, it’s wrong to define sexual orientation as a criterion for earning the award. It’s also wrong to set up a double standard for Scouts that directly contradicts the Scout oath. If the kid were closeted or had been sent to ex-gay therapy and was “struggling with same-sex attraction,” there’d be no problem granting him an Eagle, right? The prohibition is on *open* homosexuality. And yet, “being “morally straight” includes ” live your life with honesty…be a person of strong character.” Unless you’re gay, in which case, apparently, a Scout lies about who he is and “duty to self” isn’t actually important.

  24. 24
    KellyK says:

    Also, as to the “actually work with kids before tossing around insults” comment, two things.

    One, I have worked with kids and may again at some point (taught middle school, done kids’ activities at SCA events, done childcare at Quaker First-Day School, probably will teach some now that the regular teacher has moved to Colorado.)

    Second, if I *wanted* to volunteer with a local Boy Scout Troop, their own policies prohibit me from doing so. Maybe. I mean, their policy says “open or avowed homosexuals”–it doesn’t mention bisexuality at all, and “open” probably means telling more people than your husband and strangers on the internet. But, yeah, I’m not entirely straight, so presumably BSA does not want my help or support.

  25. 25
    Jake Squid says:

    But before then it wasn’t called “homophobia” it was called “common sense” and nobody thought it was headline news.

    How depressing. People are awful a lot of the time, aren’t they?

    So homophobia was the societal norm once upon a time. Whoopee.

  26. 26
    RonF says:

    KellyK:

    At least we’re agreed on that part. Or…most of it. Why his parents? When the Scoutmaster says not to worry about the gay thing, it’ll be okay, the parents have no reason to question that.

    Because on that basis and others they knew that there was a “gay thing” and that the BSA has a structure that goes well beyond the local Scoutmaster.

    Jessica, if they do all that the kid still doesn’t get his Eagle. See my note above – at an Eagle Board of Review a representative from the local Council is present. He or she would definitely vote down an Eagle award at a “rogue” Eagle BoR. And that’s presuming that the Troop’s committee (who are the other members of the Eagle BoR) and the Troop’s chartering organization (who are the ultimate authority over who sits on the Troop committee and who the Troop’s leaders are) goes along with all this.

    nobody.really

    “This oath never states that you have a duty. ”

    If you read through the first 20 or 30 pages of the Boy Scout Handbook it’s quite clear that this is how it’s interpreted – and how it’s always been interpreted, based on my collection of BSA handbooks all they way from the 1st edition onward (I’m missing a copy of the 2nd Edition, but I have all of the other 11) and my reading of Lord Baden-Powell’s and James West’s writings.

    As far as the GSUSA goes, they are permitted to omit saying that part of the pledge entirely – they do not need to say the word “God” at all – and the GSUSA steadfastly refuses to specify that it’s members need to have some kind of religious or spiritual belief.

    While the Boy Scouts of America have a twelve-point “Scout Law” that includes “A scout is reverend,” this is not required by the Constitution of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement. The Scout Law in the Constitution requires that “A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed,” but makes no reference to reverence.

    The WOSM is pretty clear on the whole “Duty to God” thing. While it’s not necessary to have it spelled out in the Scout Law (Lord Baden-Powell’s original Scout Law did not), his original Scout Oath had “duty to God” in it. Given that you want to cite the WOSM’s Constitution (which, in passing, the GSUSA is not a member of), this comes up pretty early, in Chapter I, Article II (Principles), first part of paragraph 1:

    The Scout Movement is based on the following principles:
    • Duty to God
    Adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them

    Kelly K, you could volunteer to assist your local Boy Scout Troop (or Cub Scout Pack, Venture Crew, etc.) by running the Popcorn sale or Christmas wreath sale or by keeping the kids in line while they’re running the Pinewood Derby or any number of things that don’t require you to be a registered leader or committee member. I can see where you might not wish to do so, but there’s a difference between volunteering and registering. We have parents who aren’t registered come out on our outings all the time and help out.

    “morally straight” includes being honest. It also includes not engaging in homosexual behavior, at least as far as the BSA’s sponsoring organizations are concerned for the most part. So there’s a conflict there. If the Scoutmaster had been honest, things would not have reached this point. If the parents had been honest and advised their son that Eagle was not something he met the criteria for well before he went for it, then this kid wouldn’t have been sandbagged.

    People advised this kid to keep his private life to himself, and then he advanced to this point. Now, after he’s done his project, his office, his tenure and his merit badges and well after he told his Scoutmaster about his sexual preferences, all of a sudden he takes the one step that he, his parents and his Scoutmaster all knew would stop the process? Something’s suspicious about this.

  27. 27
    RonF says:

    And another indicator that Martha Raddatz was the best choice for moderator for the upcoming VP debate:

    Moderator Raddatz Stunned Democrat John Silber’s Campaign for MA Governor in 1990 Debate

    In the days that followed [a 1990 Democratic Gubanatorial primary debate - RWF], Raddatz–then known as Martha Bradlee, after her first marriage to fellow reporter Ben Bradlee, Jr.–came under intense criticism from the League of Women Voters for what they called “irrelevant,” personal questions.

    “During the debate, candidates Francis X. Bellotti and John R. Silber were asked, among other things, what they do when they see a homeless person, asked to describe their personal driving records, to comment on their prior knowledge of Kitty Dukakis’ problems with drugs and alcohol and to itemize the value of their real estate holdings,” reported Renee Loth of the Boston Globe at the time.

    The League of Women Voters complained that Raddatz’s questions produced “no insight into the programs or policies of the candidates.”

    A Democratic consultant agreed: “I don’t mind saying on the record that this was a crop of absolutely ridiculous, frivolous questions that were designed to call attention to the questioner,” i.e. to Raddatz.

    Silber’s complaints included questions from Raddatz that he absolutely botched, and that’s on him. I wasn’t a big fan of his when he was President of BU, either. But the League of Women Voters isn’t exactly a right-wing activist hotbed.

  28. 28
    Ampersand says:

    Aren’t the moderators for the debates chosen by the bi-partisan commission that runs the debates?

    I mean, if we can’t say that it’s a fair system for both parties to agree on moderators ahead of time, then what on earth would be a fair system for choosing moderators?

  29. 29
    nobody.really says:

    “This oath never states that you have a duty [to God]. ”

    If you read through the first 20 or 30 pages of the Boy Scout Handbook it’s quite clear that this is how it’s interpreted….

    Oh sure, and you probably read the owner’s manual for your car, too.

    Come on – Boy Scouts wasn’t designed for bookworms! Boy Scouts was for those of us who simply wanted to get away from our parents, homework, and vegetables so that we could play with fire and sharp objects. And, ok, learn what to do when someone gets hurt with fire or sharp objects.

    Book larnin’ … feh.

  30. 30
    Schala says:

    Well, first, they’re not a “conservative Christians only” organization. There’s plenty of non-Christian organizations that sponsor Scout units. Buddhist, Shinto, Jews, Hindu, Muslim – heck, Mormons make up about 1/8 of all membership. And as far as “conservative” goes, I’m a member of an Episcopal parish and we sponsor a Pack, Troop and Crew.

    I’m an agnostic who likes Buddhist principles (not all of them). I don’t recognize there be a god called God, or YWHW.

    They wouldn’t want me in a million years. Never mind my being trans.

    Buddhists also technically don’t believe in a god, let alone God.

  31. 31
    Elusis says:

    Univision is taking the NY Times to task for continuing to use the term “illegal immigrant” in its style guide.

  32. 32
    Jake Squid says:

    Aren’t the moderators for the debates chosen by the bi-partisan commission that runs the debates?

    I was wondering that myself. Shouldn’t somebody have protested the unfairness of it all/unacceptability of chosen moderator at the time the moderator was named?

  33. 33
    KellyK says:

    I can see where you might not wish to do so, but there’s a difference between volunteering and registering. We have parents who aren’t registered come out on our outings all the time and help out.

    And are any of those parents openly gay or bi? I mean, if it’s such a horrible moral failing, you would think it’d be against the rules for volunteers and not just leaders.

    “morally straight” includes being honest. It also includes not engaging in homosexual behavior, at least as far as the BSA’s sponsoring organizations are concerned for the most part. So there’s a conflict there.

    There’s also nothing stating that the kid has actually had sex. (Incidentally, most of the BSA’s sponsoring organizations are in favor of unmarried teenagers not engaging in *heterosexual* behavior either. Would a teen who’d had sex with his girlfriend be denied an Eagle?)

  34. 34
    KellyK says:

    Come on – Boy Scouts wasn’t designed for bookworms! Boy Scouts was for those of us who simply wanted to get away from our parents, homework, and vegetables so that we could play with fire and sharp objects. And, ok, learn what to do when someone gets hurt with fire or sharp objects.

    So, do you still have all your fingers? And your eyebrows?

  35. 35
    jessica says:

    Yeah, I think they all should go rogue, and it’s probably true that someone in that chain of command/board of review will decide not to and the boy won’t get his award, but I think everyone should at least try.

  36. 36
    RonF says:

    Oh sure, and you probably read the owner’s manual for your car, too.

    I did. Cover to cover.

    Come on – Boy Scouts wasn’t designed for bookworms!

    True. But there’s a requirement in the first rank to “explain the meaning of the Scout Oath and Law in your own words”. Practically that means that we sit down with the kids and go through the exposition in the Handbook. We also read the first paragraph of each point as part of our Court of Honor ceremonies (where we actually hand out the rank, office and merit badges). It’s also common during both Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review to ask the Scout to talk about various sections of the Scout Oath and Law.

    That’s the most interesting part. It’s pretty obvious that the kid don’t get asked questions like “What does ‘duty to God’ mean?” (the only wrong answer, BTW, is “I don’t have one, there’s no such thing), “What does ‘honor’ mean?” or “What does ‘duty’ mean?” The answers get more sophisticated as the kids get older, but it’s still pretty obvious that we are the only people who ask the kids to think about such things.

    Boy Scouts was for those of us who simply wanted to get away from our parents, homework, and vegetables so that we could play with fire and sharp objects. And, ok, learn what to do when someone gets hurt with fire or sharp objects.

    And how to make dull objects sharp. And how to shoot a rifle or shotgun, and actually be encouraged to get wet and filthy. I repeatedly tell the parents “If I send your kid home clean and dry, I haven’t done my job.” Some of them think I’m joking. I’m not, and the tarp I carry in my car for the kids to sit on during the ride home is proof.

  37. 37
    nobody.really says:

    What a difference three decades makes….

    President Carter sought to promote human rights by recognizing improvements documented by Amnesty International, even among nations that were far from perfect in their human rights record. In Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau parodies this policy as a kind of award ceremony.

    The final strip in this series offers an award for the “nation whose sense of mission and high moral purpose most closely resembles that of the United States!” And the winner is … a tie? Why, it’s Western Europe!

    Today, almost 35 years later, the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to the European Union for their decades of promoting “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

    They just noticed now? Perhaps they should read the newspapers – or at least the comics!

  38. 38
    mythago says:

    Well, RonF, as you should know, it varies quite a bit at the local level.

    I know Scoutmasters whose attitude is, look, if you are spiritual, or at least respect that there is value to religious faith, that fulfills the Oath.

    On the other hand, Mr. Mythago (whose father was also a Boy Scout) grew up in a small town where it was very clear that, if you wanted to be an Eagle Scout, you darn well better say that Jesus was your Lord and Savior, full stop. He got a lot of benefit out of BSA, but I wasn’t the parent who said ‘no, our son will not be a Boy Scout’ as a result of that.

  39. 39
    RonF says:

    Hm. Your family’s experience was at variance with National policy. “There is some kind of higher power. I’m not sure what my duty is towards it” is acceptable at the National level – and acceptable to me.

    The kind of abuse of Scouting that Mr. Mythago encountered has not gone unnoticed at National. In fact, in the most recent version of the Eagle Project Workbook, there are two new pages in it that spell out that a) what the requirements are, b) that neither the Troop nor the local Council can add to or delete from those requirements and c) the procedure for appealing to the local Council and to National. The procedures have been in place for many years, but just this spring excerpts from the B.S.A.’s advancement policies (both in general and as pertaining to Eagle) were written into the workbook and instructions were sent out that unit leaders and parents are to be given the workbook and individually instructed to read the whole thing when their kid makes Life.

  40. 40
    mythago says:

    RonF, I’m sure at was. But as I’m sure you know, the Scoutmaster has an awful lot of power in those situations, and complaining to National – especially at that time – would have been a pyrrhic victory, at best. It was enough to sour Mr. Mythago on BSA entirely. And I find it hard to believe he’s the only one.

  41. 41
    RonF says:

    I’m an agnostic who likes Buddhist principles (not all of them). I don’t recognize there be a god called God, or YWHW.

    Shala, while the theistic word “God” is used in the Scout Oath, the BSA (and Scouting in general) recognizes that non-theistic religions and principles qualify. I’ve been to a banquet in Chinatown hosted by a Troop sponsored by a Buddhist temple, and there is a Buddhist religious medal that Scouts and Scouters are eligible to wear on their uniform. “There is some kind of higher power but I don’t understand it’s nature” is acceptable.

  42. 42
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Spiral Scouts is an inclusive scouting organization. Any others?

  43. 43
    Ruchama says:

    There’s also Navigators USA. It seems like Navigators are mostly concentrated in the northeast, and Spiral Scouts in California, but that’s probably because that’s where they were started, and as they grow more, they’ll get more geographically diverse. http://navigatorsusa.ning.com/

  44. 44
    Ruchama says:

    I looked through both websites a bit, and in terms of the organizational structure, and even what the badges and other insignia look like, Spiral Scouts looks pretty similar to Girl Scouts, while Navigators USA looks more like Boy Scouts. Both groups are co-ed.

  45. 45
    RonF says:

    Mythago,

    The SM might have had a little more influence on the process back in the day. But these days the Scoutmaster doesn’t have a lot of power in that. If the Scout calls up the Council office and says “The SM says that if I don’t believe in Jesus he won’t sign my Eagle app” and the SM either doesn’t deny that or can’t give a good explanation of why he or she won’t sign, that Eagle app is going through. The BSA has had enough of this nonsense.

    The reason why this young man’s Eagle app isn’t going through isn’t because the weaselly SM won’t sign. It’s because the young man wrote that letter. If the young man’s parents appeal the SM’s inaction to the local Council it’s going to get killed at that level, and if they appeal to National they’ll kill it too. You’ll note that they keep blaming the SM when they know full well that they can appeal over his head. There’s no mention that they have. His signature on that letter – at this point – won’t make any difference except to have the young man get shot down at his Eagle BoR.

    Among other things I’m a Commissioner in the B.S.A. The best shorthand description of that is someone who acts as a senior advisor to units and people in them when they need information or guidance, etc. It’s not uncommon for that to be an issue that either the kids or the parents have with the unit leader. So, yeah, by no means would that have been the only one. It still goes on. And if we hear about it – and it’s our job to hear about it – Mr./Ms. Scoutmaster gets some counseling from someone like me. Sometimes it’s a group thing, with the leaders, committee and parents together. It can get to be a regular Festivus Airing Of The Grievances. Sometimes it’s one-on-one over coffee somewhere public. But Commissioners have been around since Scouting’s beginning – and so have issues like this.

  46. 46
    Ruchama says:

    (Although, I have to say, the Spiral Scout uniforms look much sillier than any other scouting uniform I’ve seen: http://www.spiralscouts.org/node/34 )

  47. 47
    KellyK says:

    So, you know that letter? The one that he shouldn’t have written, because he was supposed to “keep his private life private”? The kid wrote the letter in response to and support of another gay (or thought to be gay) kid getting bullied, much like Ryan was bullied by other members of his Troop.

    Instead of doing something to address the bullying, BSA kicks him out. (In fairness, they might have done something behind the scenes that’s not being reported on, but their official comment makes it sound like they cared a lot more about kicking out the gay kid than about the bullying itself.)

    I’m pretty sure the lesson that’s been taught here is:

    -Don’t stand up for others who are being bullied. That will only get you in trouble.
    -It’s totally okay to be a bully, as long as the person you’re bullying is gay. They’re also the best targets, because if they say they’re gay, they get kicked out of the Scout troop.

    Intentionally? Probably not. But the message being sent is pretty crystal clear. This isn’t just “kid didn’t get an award.” This is “rampant bullying within the Scout Troop gets completely ignored.”

  48. 48
    KellyK says:

    Ruchama @46, the Spiral Scout uniforms do look impressively silly. But on the plus side, you could take Spiral Scouts to an SCA event and have the hoods count as an attempt at medieval clothing. :) I think that’s why I personally find them so jarring…the medieval-style hood over a modern dress shirt and khakis just makes my brain hurt.

    Though apparently a sash can be worn instead of the capuche (hood), and using standard clothing makes it pretty easy to both find uniform pieces and transition from school to activities. A kid who’s going camping can wear his green polo and khaki shorts to school, then toss the sash on over and he’s good to go.

  49. 49
    Grace Annam says:

    Margaret Halsey: “In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated.”

    I am a member of two groups which have a very rocky history together, to put it very gently: trans people and police officers. When I first ventured out as trans, on the Internet, this caused me some problems, in part because in many trans circles, it is de rigeur to denigrate police officers. I’m a sworn officer and I take my oath and my behavior seriously; I don’t like to be included in blanket condemnations, and I don’t like the good officers I know to be included in them, either.

    But sometimes these trans people told stories, first-hand, from their own experiences. And I know, better than most, that officers are human beings, and fallible, and some simply shouldn’t be officers. So I had to learn to shut up and listen. I had to learn to admit that these bad things did happen, to them, and that sworn officers wearing badges much like mine did these things.

    Until I did that, every time I opened my mouth, even with good intentions, I only did further damage to people already repeatedly traumatized.

    Ron, your intentions are good, and your heartfelt and abiding love for the Boy Scouts is clear.

    But with all due respect, this child was set up and betrayed by a system which has many good qualities but in this case produced an unjust result. If the system does not change, it will continue to produce unjust results like these, and to damage children.

    And the system will not change if good people like you keep defending it when it produces a bad result.

    Grace

  50. 50
    Ruchama says:

    and using standard clothing makes it pretty easy to both find uniform pieces and transition from school to activities.

    This is what Girl Scouts is doing now, for everyone older than Brownies (so, third grade and up.) Uniform is a white shirt, khaki pants or skirt, and an official vest or sash. When I was a Girl Scout, most of us would only wear the full uniform for parades or ceremonies or things like that, and just put on the vest over regular clothes for other stuff, so I guess they’re acknowledging that that’s how girls are wearing the uniform anyway, and trying to go for a standardized look.

  51. 51
    KellyK says:

    So, since this is an open thread and not a “Kelly and Ron argue about the treatment of gay kids in scouting for the forty-bazillionth time” thread, I got a new foster dog. (Our previous foster got adopted after we’d had her for nearly a year.) He’s a nine-month-old pit bull mix, gray brindle with a white belly and white on his face and tail. And big, adorable bunny ears (think Boston terrier or French bulldog ears). And he’s an absolute sweetheart. Shy, but didn’t take long to warm up to us. It took about an hour to go from tail tucked to smiles and wags.

  52. 52
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    Got some geeks, artists and cosplay for you:

    Asheville Comic Con (North Carolina)

  53. 53
    KellyK says:

    Oh, I love the Palpatine/Vader 2012 shirt!

  54. 54
    nobody.really says:

    [Tolerance for religious diversity] varies quite a bit at the local level.

    I know Scoutmasters whose attitude is, look, if you are spiritual, or at least respect that there is value to religious faith, that fulfills the Oath.

    On the other hand, Mr. Mythago (whose father was also a Boy Scout) grew up in a small town where it was very clear that, if you wanted to be an Eagle Scout, you darn well better say that Jesus was your Lord and Savior, full stop. He got a lot of benefit out of BSA, but I wasn’t the parent who said ‘no, our son will not be a Boy Scout’ as a result of that.

    The SM might have had a little more influence on the process back in the day. But these days the Scoutmaster doesn’t have a lot of power in that. If the Scout calls up the Council office and says “The SM says that if I don’t believe in Jesus he won’t sign my Eagle app” and the SM either doesn’t deny that or can’t give a good explanation of why he or she won’t sign, that Eagle app is going through. The BSA has had enough of this nonsense.

    Here’s the irony: According to one version of the story, the Scoutmaster gave the scout signals that he would NOT adhere to the national policy — the tendency mythago complains about. But rather than being motivated to impose an unauthorized religious litmus test, the Scoutmaster was motivated to shield a scout from the authorized religious litmus test.

    Thus, some people might look on the Scoutmaster as a hero — running a little “underground railroad” to help gay/atheist scouts stealthily obtain the rank of Eagle.

    Others regard the scout as a hero – effectively playing the role of Rosa Parks, forsaking stealth and facing sanctions in order to draw attention to how the system metes out harsh judgment on (apparently sympathetic) people. But the scout’s objectives differed from the Scoutmaster’s, so their tactics did not mesh. Arguably the resulting conflict has made the scout more sympathetic, although it revealed the Scoutmaster’s covert operation.

    Come on – Boy Scouts wasn’t designed for bookworms! Boy Scouts was for those of us who simply wanted to get away from our parents, homework, and vegetables so that we could play with fire and sharp objects. And, ok, learn what to do when someone gets hurt with fire or sharp objects.

    So, do you still have all your fingers? And your eyebrows?

    Fingers, yes. Eyebrows, no. But that’s merely due to the Voldemort costume I wore to Rowling’s latest book signing. Oops, my bad.

  55. 55
    Jake Squid says:

    In another thread, Penelope Ariel Ponyweather wrote:

    My impression is that the mocking approaches (apparently tolerated from longer-term members) and self-righteousness on this thread simply shut down any chance of a real discussion.
    I guess that’s my heartfelt contribution. I’m not going to be on the wrong side of a virtual stomp-down (LOL), so I’m out of this thread.

    This is just, I dunno, concern trolling? The only vaguely mocking approach in the whole thread is my response to RonF. RonF, quite frankly, deserves that mocking every time he can’t be bothered to type a single word into google to find out whether his impression of said word is accurate or not.

    Not a single comment before mine could credibly be accused of mocking or self-righteousness and the only one endangering a chance of real discussion was PAP itself through said commenter’s utter ignorance of what was happening before it commented. If being asked a serious question is a “virtual stomp- down (LOL)”, I can’t see how PAP will be able to interact with anybody.

    So, yeah, I think it was concern trolling and I, for one, would appreciate it if you could do that in threads less likely to harm the well-being of others involved.

  56. 56
    Elusis says:

    I wonder if sie was conflating RNJ’s thread with Amp’s thread on disabilities. PAP seemed to be trying to accuse “the usual suspects” of some kind of unfair play there, including “mocking, denouncing, kind of insulting [behavior].” Though I have a hard time finding any evidence of “mocking” there either.

  57. 57
    Penelope Ariel Ponyweather says:

    I’m honored. You don’t want to address issues in the thread in which they were asserted. Instead, you have two people here who simply run to a different thread and then gossip about the third person.

    And not a trace of passive aggressiveness! 5-year-old girls on the playground couldn’t pull it off this smoothly, I tell ya.

  58. 58
    Grace Annam says:

    Penelope Ariel Ponyweather:

    Instead, you have two people here who simply run to a different thread and then gossip about the third person.

    It’s not gossip if they do it in front of you and you are free to comment. Jake and Elusis were well aware that they were posting in a public forum which you could read at will, and they likely knew from your posts that you have read widely here at Alas.

    You have misunderstood a useful and pleasant custom, here at Alas. When a thread gets derailed, or when people want to raise a topic which would damage a thread, people take the derailing topic or new topic to an open thread, and there they can continue to discuss it without having it hinder the thread it originated in.

    In the instant case, you and Ron commented in such a way that two people who had felt safe enough to comment together about an intense personal trauma lost that sense of sanctuary. (At least, I did. I don’t know who Ms. Sunlight is, but I don’t think I’ve seen her before and I don’t know if she’ll return.) You did this not by deliberately targeting individuals, but by starting an intellectual examination of issues which interested you, during a conversation which was more essentially emotional. It was rather like someone who hears a quiet conversation in the corner about the participants’ painful break-ups and sitting down with them to say, “Hey, you know what I’ve always wondered about the psychological factors inherent in breaking up? It’s …”

    It’s not morally wrong, but it’s inelegant and inconsiderate. And it shuts down desirable dialogue.

    Now, Jake wanted to examine whether your post in particular was an instance of concern trolling. It would obviously repeat and compound the problem if he made his comment in the same thread (even though that’s the way it’s usually done on the Internet). So he commented in an Open Thread, which is explicitly open for any topic.

    I hope this helps.

    Grace

    (Edited to correct a name which I mis-typed)

  59. 59
    Myca says:

    Hey, Penelope. I’m a moderator.

    I’m going to ask you, again, to be far less insulting to the other posters here, and to try to make your comments less snide and dismissive. It was a problem in RJN’s thread, it’s a problem in this thread, and it has been a problem in threads in the past.

    There’s nothing wrong with advocating, strongly, for your point of view, but you need to learn how to do that in a way that makes the conversation more productive, not less.

    —Myca

  60. 60
    Penelope Ariel Ponyweather says:

    Myca: Thanks for the tips!

    I have learned a lot here. I honestly wanted to dip into a much different political point of view than I am used to – to try to understand the motivations and viewpoints.

    I’m seeing that it is time to spread my tiny wings and fly away. LOL

    P.S. Since I’m doing you a favor and leaving, can you also not selectively allow my posts and also allow my other (harmless) post?

    kthx.

  61. 61
    RonF says:

    Grace, who did I mock? Jake mocked me, but that’s what he does and it doesn’t get under my skin. Note the lack of complaint on my part when he did it. I get (and give) worse than that in the first 30 minutes of a family poker game than what Jake hands out (10 minutes if the whiskey bottles were opened up before the first hand is dealt).

  62. 62
    Jake Squid says:

    RonF,

    I don’t believe that Grace has said that you mocked anybody. What she did say is that your comment eliminated the sense of safety that two commenters had due to what interested you about the post. See the paragraph that begins, “In the instant case…” as well as the short paragraph immediately following.

  63. 63
    Grace Annam says:

    Ron,

    Jake reflected my point accurately at 14:46. I know that your point was not to make fun or satirize, and I don’t think you did. In that particular case, I don’t think Penelope did, either.

    You could make a strong argument that an open forum was the wrong place for Ms. Sunlight and me to reveal anything personal, because it’s the Internet, and we should know by now how that’s going to end, even with no ill intent. Public forums on the Internet simply cannot be safe spaces for some things. However, Richard had put himself out there to an extent which is pretty amazing, and Ms. Sunlight had obviously taken a big step which she had never been able to take before, and I wanted to support them. I don’t regret it, but I’m very glad that I didn’t go farther in this publicly-accessible forum.

    I’m sure that I have, many times, done something similar to what you and Penelope did in that thread, shutting someone down without meaning to or being aware of it. Privilege will do that to you. I have a particular occasion in mind when I did just that, but it’s probably better as a separate post, and after I’m publicly out.

    This stuff is difficult and slippery, which is why I replied as I did in #58, which in no way resembles my first impulse.

    Grace

  64. 64
    Grace Annam says:

    Also, since as far as I can tell I’m the only person she has addressed directly on it, I’m pretty sure Penelope was mainly referring to me when she talked about mocking. But unless she comes out and says so (or says something else), that’s just an educated guess.

    I’d have replied to her earlier, but it’s been a really busy several weeks and I did not see the comment I’ve linked above until this morning. And at that point, I thought it better to address the other point and let other things await their time.

    Grace

  65. 65
    Mandolin says:

    Hi Penelope,

    (I’m also a moderator.) Your posts aren’t being disallowed, per se, we just put you on auto-mod. I’m sure most things you say would be unscreened as soon as someone had a chance.

    Anyway, I wish you well on your winged way.

    All best,
    Mandolin

  66. 66
    Grace Annam says:

    Penelope Ariel Ponyweather:

    I have learned a lot here.

    Penelope, if you’re willing I would be interested to hear what you have learned.

    Grace

  67. 67
    Ampersand says:

    P.S. Since I’m doing you a favor and leaving, can you also not selectively allow my posts and also allow my other (harmless) post?

    I didn’t let through your last comment on Richard’s post, because it had no content relevant to Richard’s post, and because in my judgement your participation in that thread has been destructive to the discussion there. I didn’t (and don’t) see any reason to allow that to continue.

  68. 68
    RonF says:

    So, based on the principle that an open thread by definition cannot be threadjacked:

    Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are proposing in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal that Federal regulations against public single-sex schools should be removed. They are in favor of giving parents the ability to choose to have their child educated in a single-sex public school. The rationale is that some children learn better in such an environment. In the short extract of the article that is visible at the link (I’m not a WSJ subscriber and can’t see the whole thing) they note that this is especially true of math and science education, which makes me wonder if their concern is concentrated on female STEM education. But, regardless, I wonder what people here think of this. It seems to me that there are obvious questions as to whether this constitutes illegal discrimination (and “separate but equal”). This kind of thing has been a mainstay of Catholic schools in the Chicago area for decades, but now we’re talking about schools that are both publically funded and publically operated.

  69. 69
    nobody.really says:

    Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are proposing in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal that Federal regulations against public single-sex schools should be removed. They are in favor of giving parents the ability to choose to have their child educated in a single-sex public school. The rationale is that some children learn better in such an environment. In the short extract of the article that is visible at the link (I’m not a WSJ subscriber and can’t see the whole thing) they note that this is especially true of math and science education, which makes me wonder if their concern is concentrated on female STEM education. But, regardless, I wonder what people here think of this.

    Let me take this opportunity to say that I wholeheartedly and unreservedly share RonF’s perspective regarding the merits of subscribing to the WSJ.

  70. 71
    RonF says:

    George McGovern has died. He was the first Presidential candidate I voted for – in the first election I was eligible to vote in.

  71. 72
    Radfem says:

    Should Government critics be handcuffed for exceeding time limit

    This just happened. Two women, both disabled were approached by police officers after exceeding the three minute speaking rule. One was pushed on the ground on her stomach and handcuffed. She’s on her knees cuffed at one point telling officers her knees are bad and she can’t stand up without using her hands to help her.

    Women who criticize city government in Riverside have already been targeted by one city councilman and mayoral candidate (including this woman) who took videos of them speaking out (including me) and made derogatory comments and sexist ones to his high school students about the female speakers.

    Eyewitness account of incident

  72. 73
    RonF says:

    So, Radfem, the question I have for you is what the prospects are for re-election for these people?