Scouts will include girls, units are single-gender, programs the same

WEBELOWS (whipped rope) to Philmont to leather crafting in my adult life, scouting has impacted me

For those still interested. Scouts will include girls, same programs as boys, all units will be single gender and as much as possible the same grade in school. Two adults are required for any scout gathering, for girls units at least one must be female over age 21.

The goal is to offer the same life changing life experiences to all children, regardless of gender, with no intention of creating any environment where abuse could occur.

My personal experience is with Troop 433 in South Bend, which had at least 12 men who shared the adult responsibilities.

We went camping EVERY month, rain, snow, tornado, it didn’t matter. We (the boys) were organized by patrols and had our own elected patrol leader. Our patrols also went camping and hiking and met weekly.

We did Scout-O-Rama every year (I earned my first scout knife by selling tickets, then promptly cut myself and lost a corner of my tote-n-chip card right in front of my scout master).

We did Klondike Derby every year, and our troop was so well trained and disciplined that we were told we did earn all the awards in all the contests but they had to give some to the others. We learned to be kind. We learned to each bring a can of soup for the big pot so everyone ate around that big cooking fire on a cold winter day.

And did I mention we had FUN?

This program change will begin by including girls in all-girl Cub Scouts units.

I remember Jack Hill leading my Cub Scout group, and today I still use the rope handling, knots, and whipping skills he taught us. We had fun learning, and so did the adults! Mr. Hill was one of the leaders camping with us at a little place west of South Bend with a big lodge and a creek. He was chasing one of us and stepped on a log spanning the creek to get across, but Mr. Hill was more than the log could handle, so he got dumped into the creek.

I remember (Mr.) Bob Fuller hiking with us through the pine forest even though he had gout and it hurt.

I remember that once I got to go to Philmont Scout Ranch where we lived in the wilderness hiking and camping for a week.

I remember my first camping with the troop when we went for a weekend at a lodge on the Tippecanoe river. I pitched my tent on a bit of too-low land, and it rained with a vengeance that night. One of the adult leaders caught me floating on my air mattress heading down to the river and took me into the lodge where they had a nice fire going and dried us all out.

My brother’s eagle project was conservation to prevent erosion (planting kudzu) and mine was creating a week long summer camp for oral deaf kids who my speech therapist aunt taught in the Gary school system.

Scouting was more than fun: I learned that adults can work together as a committee to make an amazing troop, and that it is infinitely better than one man doing everything as sole dictator. I learned that when you have a bunch of adults with many different careers they all still have fun and the diversity makes for a very strong troop because each adult can teach us something from their world.

I learned that I can make things, fletch arrows, hit targets, swim, fish, canoe, stalk, save lives with first aid, patch a knothole with a tin can lid, sharpen a knife or axe, start a real fire with no gasoline and only one match, cook my own food AND clean up my dishes afterwards using that fire, including an easy way to get ALL the soot off the pans, dump the fish guts OUTSIDE AWAY from camp, dump water AWAY FROM the tent door so I don’t have to walk in it later, that a brown eagle sitting on a limb five feet off the ground in your campsite is one BIG bird (even if you tell your nieces and nephews it’s a ‘birdus woodsus’): I learned that I could (and should) plan and discipline my actions for success, and that my success was my own responsibility.

Above all I learned to leave my campsite (and my world) in better shape than I found it. Girls need that responsible attitude in their innermost being just as much as boys do, because girls grow up to become women and boys grow up to become men, and those are the people who will be changing our world in just one decade. We need it changed in a good way, by responsible people.

My experiences growing up with scouting changed my leadership and personal responsibility perspective, and I still live today to try to make the world a better place as a result: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the scout law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. I admit I am slacking on the physically strong part but I’m working on that.

Girls need this too. Not every girl cares to go camping or hunt or fish. Not every boy does either. Those who do should have a good place to learn and grow to be amazing. Girls can camp and lead and actually work with their hands instead of just being helpless consumers always waiting for someone else to save them. Our world needs women who will step up to the plate to form committees, who take responsibility working together, to make troops for girls to grow up in, or corporations for people to work in, or governments to guard our peace and prosperity, just as we need men to do these things.

‘Net Doc to your home soon

Photo of Indiana Sen. Todd Young

Indiana Sen. Todd Young

From email today from Senator Todd Young:

Leading Technologies in Medicine

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that a new $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” is being established to create telehealth opportunities for veterans and Americans living in rural and low-income areas. Telehealth is a modern way to deliver medical assistance to citizens while decreasing the amount of time spent in a doctor’s office. This could be particularly helpful in rural and other underserved communities that face challenges in obtaining access to high-quality healthcare.

This announcement follows FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr’s visit to Indiana in May where he received a firsthand look at the need for continued investments in rural broadband and telehealth. Last week, I sent a letter 
to Commissioner Carr urging the development of new and innovative programs to expand the use of telemedicine throughout Indiana and the entire country.

To read the full letter, click here.

Due prossess – it’s not just a good idea, it’s the Law

A note for those who have a brain and think.

In this country we have law, essentially in several tiers. There are our local laws, such as how large a sign we are permitted to place in our home’s front yard, and State laws to provide uniform coverage for healthcare or education or even law enforcement. But the highest Law in our land is our Constitution.

Our constitution was not haphazardly slapped together but instead was the product of significant years of experience and debate. The first such document was not the one we follow today, rather it was The Articles of Confederation, and was intended to “bind the States in a League of Friendship”. But friendship did not make for efficient government. George Washington convinced the Congress to hold a Grand Conference, or Constitutional Convention, to revise the Articles of Confederation.

The Constitutional Convention was assembled at the Pennsylvania Statehouse in Philadelphia in May 1787. George Washington was elected President of the convention and they then shuttered the windows, swore secrecy, and proceeded to swat flies, sweat, and argue for four months. What resulted was referred to as The Great Compromise: the beginning of our US Constitution.

Even with all that effort, debate, and compromise, the Constitution would not be ratified by the 13 States until further safeguards and protections were promised. By Joint resolution of Congress, on September 25, 1789, twelve (12 – not 10) amendments were proposed. The Constitution and proposed amendments were submitted to the States for Ratification, and ten of those twelve proposed amendments became the first ten amendments to the US Constitution.

These amendments were required because of concerns the Federal government would over reach, intruding into the private lives and rights of individual citizens, or the rights of the States. To prevent this and legally restrain the Federal government, these amendments were added, and then the 13 States ratified the new government, as set forth in the US Constitution.

There are many books written on each of these amendments: the second amendment is high in the public conscious these days with the push from certain quarters to disarm law abiding citizens under a pretense of “security” – a common reason used by nobles and monarchs in Europe which always resulted in worsening the lives of their subjects. The fifth was commonly sited in the ’40’s and 50’s – “I’ll take the 5th” meant a person refused to answer that question because it could incriminate her.

The fourteenth amendment (14th) was passed by Congress June 13, 1866 and ratified July 9, 1868. It states in Section 1:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This amendment has many implications for us now. For one thing, it reveals the legal concept motivating the “anchor baby” – when a pregnant illegal alien gives birth on American soil, the baby is legally an American Citizen: the mother is not, but the child is. This can be used to create humanitarian problems as well as legal problems. Nothing in the Constitution says the illegal alien can stay here illegally, but it does say the child cannot be punished without due process. Often the solution has been to simply acknowledge defeat and allow the illegal alien to remain in the US illegally with her child. She could be deported immediately and given the option of taking her citizen child with her or giving it up for adoption.

Another relevant application of this, our highest national Law, is the treatment of persons accused of crimes: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This means everyone is to receive DUE PROCESS.

One example where this could apply would be if a police officer, during a routine traffic stop, believed that the operator of the car was carrying a “large amount of cash”. For example, if she or he were on their way to purchase a large appliance or recreational vehicle with money they had saved in advance for that purpose. But the law enforcement officer might believe “no one buys with cash anymore, the car loan is a way of life, you’re always going to have a car loan”. So, if he decides the driver of the car might possibly be intending to use the cash for an unlawful purpose, such as buying a cache of controlled substances, he can simply take the cash – no due process, no proof of an actual crime, just “he feels this is an unusual amount of cash for someone to be carrying around”.  Is he stopping a drug dealer from making a purchase? Likely so. But what if the citizen really has paid off all his debts, accumulated an emergency fund, and buys with cash, never borrows?

This type of abuse was common in medieval Europe and a strong reason why the first ten amendments were demanded before the States would ratify. By ignoring our highest laws we cause ourselves problems. Suppose a government official in the future decides you have “too much” of something — food, clothing, some other scarce and needed goods? Is this setting a precedent today that results in unilateral confiscation of anything, anytime, from anyone in the future? The Founding Fathers were concerned this could happen, as it was the norm in Europe! So they wrote “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process”. More difficult, more inconvenient for government. Exactly as the writers of the Constitution intended. Harry Truman wrote “The Constitution was not written to make the government as efficient as possible, rather to make it as safe as possible for the citizens”. Where The Buck Stops by Harry S. Truman. Read it.

A very significant part of the 14th amendment is that we are not tried and condemned legally by public opinions, in the public media, such as FaceBook. Nor are we automatically guilty and condemned because someone merely accuses us. Additionally if there is evidence that our accuser has been consulting with others on what to say and how to say it, instead of going to proper authorities to file her charges, her testimony could be summarily dismissed as potentially fraudulent.

The reason we have a Constitution like this, and require all citizens receive due process, is because if we bend the rules to condemn someone we do not like now, then it sets a precedent that later, if we are accused of something, we ourselves could be denied due process.

Our Constitution came into being as a way to unite our States for commerce and protection, “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. This is not a need to be taken lightly.

From Wikipedia:

Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black vigorously defended the “plain meaning” of the Constitution, rooted in the ideas of its era, and emphasized the supremacy of the legislature; for Black, the role of the Supreme Court was limited and constitutionally prescribed.  His absolutism led him to enforce the rights of the Constitution, rather than attempting to define a meaning, scope, or extent to each right. Black expressed his view on the Bill of Rights in his opinion in the 1947 case, Adamson v. California, which he saw as his “most significant opinion written:”

I cannot consider the Bill of Rights to be an outworn 18th century ‘strait jacket’ … Its provisions may be thought outdated abstractions by some. And it is true that they were designed to meet ancient evils. But they are the same kind of human evils that have emerged from century to century wherever excessive power is sought by the few at the expense of the many. In my judgment the people of no nation can lose their liberty so long as a Bill of Rights like ours survives and its basic purposes are conscientiously interpreted, enforced, and respected… I would follow what I believe was the original intention of the Fourteenth Amendment—to extend to all the people the complete protection of the Bill of Rights. To hold that this Court can determine what, if any, provisions of the Bill of Rights will be enforced, and if so to what degree, is to frustrate the great design of a written Constitution.[53]

“The Law, once bent, does not easily spring back into shape.”

Constitutional protections apply to all of us, even if we are guilty, even if we are accused by someone. We need to see that Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill receives the same due process as everyone else, guaranteed by our Constitution, not because he is or is not guilty of anything, but because in so doing we protect our own future right to due process.

Much information is available on our laws and their history at the national archives. Many good sources are available for a very nominal price, prepared by skilled and studied historians who curate these archives. The National Archives Store can be found at They have a very nice, picture rich, history of our founding documents (signed by the author!) for under $27, including shipping. EVERY American should know where we come from and how, to appreciate and be motivated to defend our way of life. I highly recommend you buy and read this book: The Charters of Freedom by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.