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Weekend links

  • The Boy Scouts: doing their best to close the gender gap. (Yeah, don’t ask me how that became their mission.) By Eagle Scout Jim Bovard.
  • And don’t even get my friendly local Scout leaders started on the Michelle Obama-inspired (recently) new requirements for the cooking badge. Where’d the fun go? Any kid who had to learn cooking that way would probably avoid the kitchen for the rest of his life.
  • You want to be treated with dignity? Behave with dignity. (Via ML who, like me, doesn’t agree with all Ringer’s points but thinks the overall piece is spot on.)
  • Six months later, they still haven’t been able even to question the cop who slaughtered Tamir Rice.
  • Religion of peace. C’mon, moderate Muslims. Step up, please.
  • The loathsome Section 215 of the USA-UnPatriot Act is set to expire next month. (I love sunset provisions.) Congress actually seems to be in a reform mode — well, a reform-ish mode — about the surveillance state. Courts, too. But I’m picturing the heads of the Uber-Government (in the No Such Agency and other places) cackling wickedly and rubbing their bony hands together over their Black Mamba capes. Laws? Regulations? Courts? Constitutions? Bwaaahahaha! The little fools! Don’t they know they can’t stop us?
  • How to take over a small country. (The kind of humor that really isn’t funny.)


  1. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner May 16, 2015 9:15 am

    I guess this where I part company with Pam Geller and some others, in that I don’t see Islam as a monolith and don’t expect Muslims who follow less-homicidal interpretations of Islam to bear responsibility for or loudly condemn the more virulent versions of Salafist/Wahhabi/Deobandi pathology, any more than I expect Christians to shoulder the weight of Identity murderers. It’s nice if they do, but they run the risk of violent backlash for their bravery and most people just don’t have that in them. As much as Daesh hates us, they hate Muslims with other ideas more, and most of the mosques in America are paid for and run by Salafists.

    I usually look at it as getting as much as I’m entitled to expect when Muslims don’t behead and Christians don’t blow up abortion clinics.

  2. Claire
    Claire May 16, 2015 9:52 am

    I definitely don’t see Islam as a monolith, either. It’s at least as decentralized as Protestant Christianity. Still, I wonder every day why some moderate, widespread, ecumenical movement hasn’t arisen out of Islam since 9/11. Even in the face of danger from the worst Islamist loons (in fact, precisely because of the rising dominance of so many violent loons), that should have happened.

  3. LarryA
    LarryA May 16, 2015 11:35 am

    OTOH I don’t see a lot of Christian backlash against Westboro.

    There’s always been a lot of science in Scouting. You can’t lay a good fire without understanding combustion. One problem I have with STEM is the attitute that it isn’t sciency unless it involves computers or robots.

    Now, has D.C attained “small country” status yet?

  4. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner May 16, 2015 12:20 pm


    It may still do so, and I hold out hope, although I think they’d be swimming upstream not only with the philosophical underpinnings of Islam and its focus on submission and the problems involved in reinterpreting the literal dictated word of Allah, but also because everyone on all sides of the issue is focussed on the Salafists and Twelver Shi’ites and nobody else gets a platform.

  5. RW
    RW May 16, 2015 1:44 pm

    Westboro has had plenty of detractors(Christian) even though they don’t take sex slaves or behead those of other religions. Can’t remember ANY backlash from other islamists about the activities of “the religion of peace”.

  6. Bob Adkinson
    Bob Adkinson May 16, 2015 3:29 pm

    It seems to me to be quite a stretch to equate Muslims beheading people with Christians blowing up abortion clinics. After all, the ratio is all out of proportion number-wise, compounded by the number of Christians among the beheaded. And since those abortion clinics routinely dismember viable babies, even denying treatment when the baby somehow survives the drawing and quartering, I don’t see the comparison.

  7. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner May 16, 2015 5:00 pm


    There’s no proportion or moral equivalency being drawn, merely using Identity as an example as it’s the closest analogue in Christianity to Daesh’s relation to Islam, and even there it’s not all that close. Westboro isn’t a good example since all they really are is a lawsuit factory masquerading as a church.

    The main point where Identity and Daesh are not equivalent is that Identity and similar groups that are indiscriminately violent are demonstrably getting new testament Christianity wrong, whereas Daesh is getting the Salafists’ version of Islam very, very right. This is another reason why moderate Muslims are uncomfortable speaking up. They may not like Salafists but the doctrinal arguments are compelling.

  8. Claire
    Claire May 16, 2015 5:32 pm

    Anyhow, both Westboro and abortion clinic bombers/doctor killers are obviously tiny, uninfluential minorities within Christianity. While they may have some sympathizers, they’re not recruiting thousands of young people, violently taking over territory, slaughtering masses of people who don’t agree with or obey them, etc. They just legitimately fall into the “lone nut” category (even if Westboro is an extended family of nuts).

    There’s really no need for a mass Christian effort to repudiate them because they’re so clearly not representative of any movement. Very different than the violent Muslim groups on the rise around the world.

  9. Old Printer
    Old Printer May 16, 2015 6:47 pm

    The roving wiretaps, Section 215 of the Patriot act is NOT on the ropes. Not at all. See the linked one hour Christian Science Monitor interview of Sen. Bob Corker.
    The entire Senate had a special session in which the NSA or whoever is in charge of meta-data collections, laid a propaganda coup on them. Corker’s derision of libertarian proposals to gut it is the take away from the interview. Meta-data collection is a farce according to him. Nothing to worry about. In fact we need more, not less, because of all the damage that Snowden did. What a piece of statist excrement! And never a word about the massive collection centers in Utah and Texas. To listen to him there is no program. F….ing liar!

  10. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed May 16, 2015 10:13 pm

    I dunno Claire, bout the scouts, i mean. After all:

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, *cook a tasty meal*, fight efficiently, die gallantly.”

    -Robert A Heinlein.

    After reading the requirements for the merit badge, It looks cool to me. If you going to give out badges for mastering the main concepts of modern life, it doesn’t look unreasonable. I know Heinlein Isn’t saying ‘cook a tasty, nutritious and balanced meal’. What am I missing?

    (can’t figure out how to make the blog do Boldface)

  11. Ellendra
    Ellendra May 16, 2015 10:30 pm

    “OTOH I don’t see a lot of Christian backlash against Westboro.”

    It doesn’t make headlines, but it happens. Most christians I know think Westboro is actually a plant, and that the people there are getting paid to make christians look bad.

    I think Casting Crowns was thinking of them when they wrote the song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, but I can’t say for sure. I just know that there’s one verse that makes ME think of them.

    Heck, when some comedian (whose name escapes me right now) challenged Westboro to go stand between ISIS and the christians being slaughtered, I and several other christians offered to chip in for their airfare.

  12. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair May 17, 2015 3:41 am

    About that cooking merit badge. I had to look really hard to find any cooking. Yes, ingredient planning and acquisition are necessary, but it’s the cooking and eating that I live for.

  13. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair May 17, 2015 4:08 am

    And those moderate Muslims? A billion of them quietly bow towards Mecca five times a day, then go about their peaceful lives, while a few hundred thousand crazies get all the press.

    Where are the moderate Americans apologizing for all the violence perpetrated by their government? Yes, a bunch of them are right here, but we don’t get much press either.

  14. Claire
    Claire May 17, 2015 6:15 am

    *cook a tasty meal*

    UnReconstructed — my consternation over the cooking merit badge was precisely that there’s nothing in it about cooking a tasty meal. In fact, I’ve never seen anything more likely to put young guys off the very idea of cooking.

  15. Stryder
    Stryder May 17, 2015 8:01 am

    Just read the scout requirements, instead of a merit badge anyone completing those should get a diploma from a cooking school!

  16. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty May 17, 2015 8:55 am

    Forty some odd years ago, I was the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner for our region. This, of course, was after several years as a Den Mother.

    I don’t remember the details now, but at one “Camporee” we had a nice campfire. The boys were given instructions, then a demonstration of cooking an egg in a paper cup of water, held with a wire over the open flame. The egg was not in the shell. Theory was that the cup would not burn as long as there was water in it. Hmmm

    Eggs and equipment were handed to the boys and they were responsible for cooking the egg – which was to be part of their breakfast. I have no idea how many eggs got dropped into the fire, but I do know that we all had a hilarious time with it. Nobody went hungry in any event. 🙂

    I’m sure that Scouting has suffered greatly with all the PC nonsense, liability issues, and the gender wars… but I’ll bet it is still a fun thing for the boys – and maybe the girls. At least I hope so. Those are good memories.

  17. KiA
    KiA May 17, 2015 7:42 pm

    a bit late, but a good read about white house’s hollywood version of the bin laden raid and how obama double crossed the pakistanis who had bin laden imprisoned since 2006; assuming that it’s true, or that it matters at this point.

  18. Laird
    Laird May 18, 2015 9:17 am

    Recently I have been thinking about taking over a small country, so that article was quite timely. Thanks for the link!

    WRT the Ringer article, one quibble: he seems to think that “virtuosity” is an ostentatious form of the word “virtue”. It’s not. Pro tip: don’t try to use fancy words when you don’t know what they mean (that’s why we have dictionaries).

  19. LarryA
    LarryA May 18, 2015 12:22 pm

    Taking over a small country can be tempting, but remember how many other people are reading the same instructions. I’m not seeing Ten Easy Steps to Hold On to a Small Country.

  20. winston
    winston May 20, 2015 7:21 pm

    STEM scouts? More like “you can just have my lunch money” scouts.

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