Exxon-Mobil’s Rex Tillerson urges Scouts to get on with the “main thing,” Scouting, after historic membership policy vote

June 11, 2013

Late last month the national board, the governing body of the Boy Scouts of America, voted to open Scouting again to Scouts who have determined they are homosexual.

Scout leaders voted to change a 22-year-old membership policy that effectively banned Boy Scouts from being homosexual, or acknowledging they are gay.  The policy was a haphazard outgrowth of a 1991 policy change, still in effect, that bans homosexuals from leadership positions.  Over the past decade the issue heated up, with a few boys having completed their work to earn Scouting’s highest rank, Eagle, and then being denied the rank when officials discovered they were homosexual.

No brief description does full justice to the issue, to the change in policy, nor to the difficulty of discussions surrounding the change.  Several national groups assailed BSA for even considering the change, including the Family Research Council and members of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Discussions in some quarters were as ugly as any I’ve seen on any issue anywhere — worse than union votes in non-union corporations, worse than votes to cut teacher pay in state legislatures, worse than civil rights votes, worse than abortion issues.

Bryan Wendall’s blog, Bryan on Scouting, is a semi-official mouthpiece for Scouting — he is the editor of Scouting magazine, the monthly publication to leaders of Boy Scouting.  At the blog, where serious discussions of the new policy unfolded since February, Bryan posted a video of immediate past President of Boy Scouting National Council, Rex Tillerson, talking about the next steps.  I’ve reproduced Bryan’s introduction, and the video.  Discussions at that blog have been rather intense (but not nearly so ugly as those at Family Research Council venues, and at WorldNet Daily).

One more piece of background:  In Scout leader training, two mantras rising over the past 15 years involve reminding leaders to stick to the main purposes of Scouting in any controversy, to help get through difficulties or crises in unit management or local organization issues:  “Remember, we do it for the boys, they are the main thing.”  And, “The main thing to remember is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  Tillerson knows Scouting, and knows Scouters, when he makes his appeal.

Rex Tillerson at 2013 National Board meeting of BSA

Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson exhorted Scouters to get on with ‘the main thing,’ making Scouting work for boys. Tillerson is a Distinguished Eagle Scout, and past national president of the organization; he remains active in his local Scouting organizations, in Circle 10 Council in Dallas, Texas, and surrounding counties. Photo by Michael Roytek/BSA

Rex Tillerson speaks out about change and ‘The Main Thing’

“So we’ve made the decision. We’re going to change,” says Rex Tillerson. ”Now what?”

Less than 24 hours after the volunteer delegates voted to change the BSA’s membership policy for youth, Tillerson addressed a large room full of Scouting volunteers and professionals at the closing general session of the BSA’s National Annual Meeting.

In a powerful, heartfelt speech, Tillerson made his message clear: Change is inevitable, but “The Main Thing,” which is to serve more youth in Scouting, hasn’t changed. With that in mind, he reasoned, it’s time for all of us unite toward this common goal.

Tillerson, immediate past president of the Boy Scouts of America and a 2010 Silver Buffalo recipient, knows something about making big decisions and dealing with change. When he’s not serving as a Scouting volunteer, he’s the chairman, president, and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., one of the world’s largest companies.

In 1999, Tillerson worked for Exxon when it merged with Mobil—definitely a big change for both companies.

Take 10 minutes to watch the video below and listen to Tillerson’s message. Then, share it with the members of your Scouting family.

Are you volunteering in any way in Scouting now?  You should.

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Holes in the wall, Glen Canyon NRA

June 11, 2013

Ever get one of those days you just want to find a nice, warm hole and crawl inside?

Then head out to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area:

There are many unique areas within America’s public lands. Case in point this spot in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  Photo: Cassandra Crowley

Caption from America’s Great Outdoors: There are many unique areas within America’s public lands. Case in point this spot in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Photo: Cassandra Crowley

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Flag day June 14? Heck! Fly it all week!

June 11, 2013

“The American Flag”, music by L.S.D. Rees and words by J.B. Dickson, 1862. Music Division, Library of Congress

President Barack Obama proclaimed the week of June 9 through 16 National Flag Week, in anticipation of Flag Day, June 14.

Boy Scouts from Troop 123 stand together during a Flag Day ceremony Thursday, June 14, 2012 at Veterans Memorial Park in Peru, Ill.

Boy Scouts from Troop 123 stand together during a Flag Day ceremony Thursday, June 14, 2012 at Veterans Memorial Park in Peru, Ill. Photo and caption from Reactions

Fly your U.S. flag all week!

Of course, you may fly your state and local flags, too.

June 14 commemorates the day the first resolution was passed designating the stars and stripes as the national flag of the united colonies, June 14, 1777. This is another event occurring even prior to the creation of the United States by the Constitution.

Here’s the proclamation from President Obama:

For Immediate Release

June 07, 2013

Presidential Proclamation — Flag Day and National Flag Week, 2013

FLAG DAY AND NATIONAL FLAG WEEK, 2013

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Each June, our Nation lifts its sights to the flag that has watched over us since the days of our founding. In those broad stripes and bright stars, we see the arc of the American story — from a handful of colonies to 50 States, united and free.

When proud patriots took up the fight for independence, they came together under a standard that showed their common cause. When the wounds of civil war were still fresh and our country walked the long road to reconstruction, our people found hope in a banner that testified to the strength of our Union. Wherever our American journey has taken us, whether on that unending path to the mountaintop or high above into the reaches of space, Old Glory has followed, reminding us of the rights and responsibilities we share as citizens.

This week, we celebrate that legacy, and we honor the brave men and women who have secured it through centuries of service at home and abroad. Let us raise our flags high, from small-town storefronts to duty stations stretched around the globe, and let us look to them once more as we press on in the march toward a more perfect Union.

To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by joint resolution approved August 3, 1949, as amended (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as “Flag Day” and requested that the President issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the flag of the United States on all Federal Government buildings. The Congress also requested, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966, as amended (80 Stat. 194), that the President annually issue a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as “National Flag Week” and call upon citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2013, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 9, 2013, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during that week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

You may want to read further history of Flag Day and the Wisconsin-born dentist who created and promoted the campaign to commemorate it, Bernard J. CiGrand, at the National Flag Day Foundation site.


Flag Day cartoon  by Joel Mielke in the North Coast Journal, Humboldt, California

Joel Mielke cartoon in the North Coast Journal, Humboldt, California. Each of these flag uses is, technically, a violation of the flag code. Fly your flag on Flag Day; it’s a non-violative, non-offensive way to honor the flag, and our nation.

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Seen on the street: Where do gays come from?

June 11, 2013

Gay babies from straight couples street sign

Photo from George Takei’s Facebook page; can anyone tell us who took the photo?

From George Takei’s Facebook page.

Sign on the street said, “If you don’t like gay marriage, blame straight people.  They’re the ones who keep having gay babies.”


Horizons of South Dakota at night, in wonderful time-lapse

June 11, 2013

Photographer Randy Halverson lives and shoots in South Dakota, mostly.  Here’s an almost-five minute piece showing the night skies of South Dakota with a little Wyoming thrown in.

Halverson’s description:

If you have ever been in a wide open landscape the most interesting thing isn’t necessarily the landscape itself, but what you see coming over the horizon. Growing up in South Dakota the landscape itself can be beautiful at times, but that doesn’t compare to what the sky can do, especially at night. Combine that with the landscape, and it makes for great photo opportunities. More information and stills at dakotalapse.com/2013/06/horizons/

Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead, Defiance, Battlestar Galactica, etc) once again helped me with some original music for the video. This time he suggested adding vocals to the mix. Brendan McCreary and his band (Young Beautiful in a Hurry) did just that. They came up with “I Forever” The single is available on iTunes tinyurl.com/pgrq45p , Amazon and other online sources.

I shot Horizons from April – October 2012 mostly in South Dakota, but also some at Devils Tower in Wyoming. From the rugged Badlands, the White River valley and the Black Hills, the horizons seem to endlessly change.

Download the 30 minute long Horizons feature at dakotalapse.com/2013/06/horizons-feature

Photography and Editing – Randy Halverson
Production Assistants – River Halverson and Kelly McILhone
Color Correction – Jeff Zueger – Spectrum Films

Sponsors:
Dynamic Perception – The Stage Zero and Stage One dollies were used in many of the shots. I can’t recommend them enough for a quality product at a low price. dynamicperception.com/#oid=1005_1

Borrowlenses – Throughout the summer I got some great Canon and Zeiss lenses from Borrowlenses to use in the shoot. They have great service and every lens performed flawlessly. So if you ever want to try out a lens ,or just need one for an special shoot, give them a try! borrowlenses.com

Granite Bay Software – I try to avoid flicker in sunset or daytime timelapse while shooting. But sometimes it is unavoidable. I used GBDeflicker to smooth out the flicker in some of the sunset timelapse. granitebaysoftware.com/

Equipment Used
Canon 5D Mark III, sometimes with a 2nd from Borrowlenses.com
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 60D

I used a variety of lenses, many from Borrowlenses.com

Canon 14, 16-35, 24-70, 50 F1.2, 70-200mm lenses

Zeiss 21, 25, 35mm lenses

Nikon 14-24mm with Novoflex Adapter

Available in 4K resolution.

Contact for licensing footage, shooting rates or anything else.
Randy Halverson
dakotalapse@gmail.com

Tip of the old scrub brush to Yahoo! Sideshow blog.

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Description unavailable

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming; image by americanbackroom.com


Moral Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina

June 11, 2013

Unidentified pProtester Thierry Wernaers in Raleigh, North Carolina,  in photo by an unnamed photographer:

Protester in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Moral Monday, June 11, 2013

Protester Thierry Warnaers in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Moral Monday, June 11, 2013; photographer unidentified

Love that sign:  OMG/GOP/WTF?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Devona Wyant. Thanks to Thierry Warnaers for writing in to identify himself (see comments).

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