Travel is an education of itself

July 27, 2010

It’s a tough place to go to school, but somebody has to do it.

Kenny Darrell in Chania, on the island of Crete

Kenny Darrell in Chania, on the island of Crete, becoming a teacher - photo by Stacy Grace


Mike Rowe proposes an amendment to the Scout Law

July 27, 2010


New stamp honoring Scouting — buy some today.

July 27, 2010

Show your support of Scouting — get the commemorative Scout stamp for your important letters.

USPS stamp honoring Scouting Centennial

USPS stamp honoring Scouting Centennial

The stamp is available for sale at your post office, starting today.  Press release from USPS below.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service today awarded scouting its ‘stamp of approval’ to celebrate 100 years of the U.S. scouting movement. The 44-cent first-class Scouting stamp, available nationwide today, was dedicated at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, VA, where more than 30,000 scouts from around the nation set up camp for 10 days of premier scouting fun during the organization’s centennial anniversary.

“Scouting showed me the importance of protecting the environment,” said former Boy Scout Sam Pulcrano, who, as the vice president of Sustainability, oversees the Postal Service’s green initiatives. “That is why I am proud of the work we are doing at the Postal Service. We have a long history of environmental leadership and innovation. We were testing electric mail delivery vehicles during the horse and buggy days, and we were recycling long before there was a universal symbol for it. Just as the scouts are famous for serving others and helping their communities, our sustainability efforts are benefiting our families, friends and neighbors in the communities where we live and work.”

Joining Pulcrano in dedicating the stamp were Robert Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America; Terry Dunn, 2010 Jamboree chairman; and Lt. Colonel John Haefner, U.S. Army Ft. A.P. Hill Garrison commander. Emceeing the event was 15-year-old Eagle Scout and Bloomington, MN, native Jeremy Biedny, who earned his stamp collecting merit badge shortly after becoming a scout and discovered a personal passion for stamps.

“We are appreciative that scouting’s centennial will have a place in history with the many great people and events that are commemorated on U.S. stamps.” said Mazzuca. “It is truly an honor to receive the distinction of a commemorative stamp, and we hope that it provides the entire country the opportunity to share in the milestone of our 100th anniversary.”

The design, created by illustrator Craig Frazier of Mill Valley, CA, depicts the spirit and outdoor adventure of scouting through a backpacking scout and a large silhouette of a scout surveying the landscape.

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 100th anniversary Feb. 8, 2010. To mark this milestone, the organization has undertaken celebration efforts nationwide that reintroduce the organization to today’s young people and families, reinforcing the value of scouting and reconnecting with the millions the organization has affected. For more information visit www.scouting.org. The Scouting stamp recognizes the contributions to society made by all U.S. scouting organizations.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Scouting Stamp
Postmaster
117 Milford Street
Bowling Green, VA 22427-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Sept. 27, 2010.

Ordering First-Day Covers
Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products
Four philatelic products are available for this stamp issue:

  • 465461, First-Day Cover, 82 cents.
  • 465465, Digital Color Postmark, $1.50.
  • 465491, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
  • 465499, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $10.95.

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Making Boy Scouting a political football — shame on those outlets

July 27, 2010

When President Barack Obama met with a group of outstanding Boy Scouts in the Oval Office a few weeks ago to discuss policies affecting Scouting, and especially policies affecting children, teen agers and young adults in the U.S., very few conservative sites thought it important to cover.  Let’s be more precise:  No conservative Obama critics, nor much of anyone else, bothered to cover it.  I’d love to see links even of local media in the Scouts’ hometowns that printed a story or photo.

To the credit of the White House, neither did the press promote the meeting as a political point.  Scouting prefers not to be a political football, and Scouting policy asks that Scouts avoid even looking like politicking while in uniform. (Scouts are encouraged to participate in the political process, including through the three citizenship merit badges, which encourage Scouts to communicate their concerns about policy to elected representatives, while working for the merit badge and in the future as participating citizens.)

2010 is a grand year for Scouting.  It’s the centennial of Scouting’s coming to the United States.  There’s a special Scout Jamboree, being held at Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia (the last time the Jamboree will be held on federal property — that’s another story for another time).   It’s always fun when presidents come to the Jamboree and speak, but it’s not always possible.

But today, news comes that President Obama will send a video speech to the Scouts at the Jamboree, as has been done sometimes in the past.  Many of us are disappointed that President Obama will not appear in person; but some of us who have experience scheduling such things know that elected officials cannot make every appearance they would like to.  Presidential schedules in the modern world are particularly difficult; for an appearance at Fort A. P. Hill security must be imposed (even on a Scouting event), aircraft landing sites need to be arranged and secured . . . dealing with more than 30,000 Scouts becomes an onerous task.

Still, we’re disappointed.

Adding to that disappointment, comes now a group of harpy Obama critics, no friends of Scouting that I can determine, but anxious to claim this scheduling decision as some sort of snub to Scouting, and to the American flag.

Media Matters has the facts, and puts the scheduling stuff into perspective, “Overhyped conservative nonsense of the Day:  Obama hates the Boy Scouts.”  UpdateBlue Wave News has it in perspectiveWonkette’s satire, unfortunately, goes awry, but her heart and brain are in the right places.

The snub is by those critics who attempt to turn Scouting into a political football.  The insults are all from them.

Shame on them, collectively and individually:

Update: We’re going to have to add on a wing to accommodate the Wall of Shame:

Hmmmm.

I’ll wager none of those authors bothers to volunteer for Scouting.  I’d be surprised (and disappointed) to discover any were Scouts.  Scouting wouldn’t revoke their citizenship merit badges, but they’ve forgotten them, if they ever earned them.

Scouting faces severe hurdles these days, some of them I would say were placed by poobahs at the top of Scouting; these guys listed above are not helping.

Here are some tests to see which of these blogs and pundit outlets is friendly to Scouting:  Which of them covered the award, this morning of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award to Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee?  Which of them covered the dedication of the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp honoring the Scouting Centennial, today?  As of this moment, I can find no media coverage of these things at all, even by local media.

Why do these pundits cover Scouting only when it gives them a chance to make an unfair shot at a politician they don’t like?  Seriously, who is doing disservice to Scouting, and the nation?

Good news about Scouting’s 100th Year, and the Jamboree:


Warming deniers surprised by winter

July 27, 2010

Were you writing fiction, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

Another bastion of people misled by the lack of a Hemingway-brand Solid Gold Sh*t Detector™.

Another person proud as heck of her denial of global warming, points to cattle freezing in South America in July as proof that the Earth’s atmosphere is not warming.

At a blog called Frugal Café Blog Zone, “Where it’s chic to be cheap… Conservative social & political commentary, with frugality mixed in,” blogger Vicki McClure Davidson headlined the piece:

“Remember Al Gore’s “Global Warming” Hoax? People & Cattle in South America Are Dying from Extreme Cold in July”

Gee, how to break this news to her?

Vickie, sit down.  This is something you should have learned in geography in junior high:  In the Southern Hemisphere, winter starts on June 21It’s cold in South America in July, because it’s winter in South America in July.

Cold in winter.  They don’t expect it.  These warming denialists provide the evidence those crabs need, who wonder whether there shouldn’t be some sort of “common sense test” required to pass before allowing people to vote, or drive, or have children.

Oh, it gets worse:

Another site picked up the post.  No, seriously.  (Has Anthony Watts seen this yet?)

  • Voting Female [I am convinced that is a sock puppet site designed to insult women; no woman could be that stupid, could she?]
Earth at northern solstice

Earth at northern solstice - Wikimedia image


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