Thursday, July 28, 2005


This is not a picture of young men blow up in Iraq.

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

From CNN:
A Boy Scout National Jamboree already marred by the deaths of four people weathered another blow Wednesday in Virginia when about 300 Scouts and adults suffered symptoms resulting from the 100-degree afternoon heat, a spokesman for the organization said.

Thousands of Scouts had gathered in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, for the opening ceremonies, which were canceled because of "heat-related health concerns" and the threat of severe thunderstorms.
Got to break them in! The Boy Scouts was founded as a quasi-military organization to harden up young men so they could be better soldiers later on. This worked great in WWI so Boy Scouting became a big thing.

Of course, connecting the activities to the end: being blown up, had to be hidden carefully. This is now so carefully done that they can salute the flag, march in formation, sing patriotic songs, wear uniforms and not even imagine signing up to fight in Iraq.

The adults don't dare mention Iraq to them. No one dares ask them to sign up to be blown up.

Nonetheless, the Jamboree is held in the hot summer sun, hardening them up for reality in Iraq's hot summer sun. Only they couldn't take it.

I worked for 50 years outdoors doing construction work in the very hot sun not to mention freezing cold. The same day the Boy Scouts were fainting from the hot sun, I was outside working as usual. It was hot, all right. Too much airconditioning! Weakens the boys, rendering them unfit for battle!


Anyway, these boys were marched out onto a field to await their beloved Leader, AWOL Bush, who was going to egg them into signing up to die for Halliburton. But he didn't come. They sat and sat and fainted in the hot sun while we wonder, what was delaying Bush?

Evidently, he was busy making porcine deals for passing CAFTA so we can have a totally flat earth and lose even more jobs and have lower incomes. And one prize porker was a $1.4 billion gift to Sugarland, Texas. This has no strings attached, it was merely another billion plus so they can have more money for Halliburton.

I think I will faint, too.


At 28 July, 2005 09:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I love this site so much, I'll first say that I am aware of the general snarkiness. I do want to be clear though that as an Eagle scout, I found boy scouting ot be very important to my youth. I hope that we can rescue the organization from teh nut cases that took over at the national level and started the campaign of bigitory.

At 28 July, 2005 10:07, Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

My husband is a proud eagle scout.

He is disabled, too. Won all the badges. Hard work. But back years ago, they didn't really want people like him. He was already a 4F. He proved you can do it and it matters.

It is just very odd how the Boy Scouts have basically turned chicken hawk too, they did this during Nam. Kids wouldn't join if the scout masters suggested they sign up to fight so no one talked about the raging war. They pretended it was peace time! Just like now. It is all so very sad.

And seriously, no one should have fainted in the sun that day. I grew up in places like Death Valley with no air conditioning. In Tucson, in summer, I had to carry a sweater around for when I went indoors because I was freeeeezing to death! Too fricking cold! I like the heat.

At 28 July, 2005 10:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn yellow pussies how can they serve the EMPIRE if they faint they'll get slaughtered by brown people and most importantly wont be able to take a few with them

At 28 July, 2005 11:40, Anonymous Darrow said...

"Bush visit postponed due to weather." Yeah, and he still says the jury's out on global warming.

While his faithful are fainting from the heat in the US, who knows how many US soldiers have died from heat stroke and heat-related injuries in Iraq?

My back-door-drafted bro-in-law, who went through "desert training" in New York in the dead of winter where they were digging up snow and ice so they could pitch a tent to sleep in, and his unit hit the ground in Iraq in the spring of 2004 just as all hell was breaking loose. A young kid in his unit (early 20's) dropped dead from a heart attack just days after arriving in the extreme heat.

At 28 July, 2005 11:43, Blogger la said...

As a proud Den Mother and the Mother of an Eagle Scout, I haven't noticed the Boy Scouts pushing boys into the military, quite the opposite; they seem to want to get them to go to college.

I am so mad about this CAFTA stuff that I could spit. 15 Dem traitors voted for this crap; they should be run out of town on a rail.

At 28 July, 2005 14:21, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 28 July, 2005 15:46, Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

4F means they won't take you even as a volunteer, kid.

At 28 July, 2005 16:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALLCAPS make the Baby Jesus cry. It is not the Sign of the Beast, but it is The Sign of the 'Tard.

At 28 July, 2005 16:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, they claim they are a Christian organization? Have they read a damn page of the bible? I hit them with lightning, and they don't get the hint. Heat wave, and they still can't figure out that I might not like their nasty combination of homo-bashing and America-the-Chosen (by me? why would I do that?) crap.

I guess I'm gonna have dig up the locusts next.

-- God

At 28 July, 2005 17:54, Anonymous JasonB said...

I love the site, but....
I gotta say I'm with the first Anonymous here. I was a Boy Scout (never made Eagle, burnt out after making Life) but my father was an Eagle Scout and his father was a Scoutmaster (all in the same troop).

it was an important part of my life. At least at the time, in my troop, it was all about being a good person (it wasn't overly religious, although at the time I wasn't the atheist I am today), learning about the value of hard work and dedication and many, many other things that have made me a better person today. And it was (and is?) hardly a "paramilitary oganization." Oh no, I got my Rifle merit badge! :\

It's sad the fundies that have taken over the Boy Scouts today at, as the first anonymous said, the National Level. But let's not fall into the trap of "all Boy Scouts must be chickenhawks/paramilitary creeps/wackos" please. We get too much of that directed at anyone from a red state ("all red states are backwards hickfests full of morons") on the comments at kos.

And mocking kids (remember many of these kids are like, 13 and 14 years old) for passing out in heat where the humidity combines to make it feel over 110 degrees goes beyond snark.

Snark is one thing. Meanness directed at kids who just want to go camping is another.

At 28 July, 2005 17:54, Blogger City Elf said...

Wow, this is a bit shitty even for me to take. My 15-year-old nephew is there at the Jamboree and I haven't been able to stop thinking about what he must have felt when those Scout Leaders died. For Christ's sake, those are kids there in West Virginia.

I can understand - and fully support - ribbing adults of fighting age for supporting the war and not enlisting, but have a touch of compassion for the families of the kids who are at that event. If you can't even do that, you're not better than any Republican asshole.

At 28 July, 2005 18:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 28 July, 2005 18:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it's good enough for Amerikans to be out killing brown kids but heaven forbid white kids get traumatized because they got off there asses and stopped watching tv

At 28 July, 2005 18:31, Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Even a casual reader of the history of the Boy Scouts has to admit it was founded so as to harden up male youths so they could be better soldiers. The Brit who started this all was alarmed at how soft "civilized" boys were becoming in VICTORIAN England, the empire before our empire.

The youth today participating in scouts do all the requisite military stuff including big flags and swearing alliegences and all such. Like during the Nam war, this was all a fine thing utterly detached from reality.

REALITY: in both this war and the Vietnam war, NON SCOUTS from the inner cities or third world countries were sent into battle while the good kids stayed home!


The heat collapse: they weren't ditch digging. They weren't toiling on a hot roof, tarring it (two things I have done in very hot, humid weather!) but SITTING. And they couldn't take it.

Yet we force people who are in the military for economic reasons to sit in the hot sun! And dig! And whatever!

This goes to the very core of what is going wrong with us all. We are cuddled and coddled and then want to go to Iraq and push people around and tell them how to live and we sneered at them, calling them cowards because they won't fight a battle where we get to use military jets and depleted uranium bullets that they don't have!

The Boy Scouts are an outlier. They are the beginning of the "feed the beast", they exist only to prepare boys for battle. They pretend they have other uses but in the bitter end, this is the main if not only reason for them existing. Camping is all about moving armies around. Ask the Mongols.

At 29 July, 2005 00:11, Blogger merlallen said...

the anonymous coward who posts in all caps needs to be banned pronto, or leave an address so i can find him/her and kick his/her ass.

At 29 July, 2005 15:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya got it backwards about the founding of Boy Scouts. It wasn't founded to give the military good recruits; it was founded because Baden-Powell believed that certain aspects of military culture -- especially those relating to outdoor survival (hence the name "scouts") -- were good training for other aspects of life as an adult. Also note that in practice he was very progressive from the start: in a time and place of deep class divides, he focused on disadvantaged youths. Again, it wasn't about guns, it was about taking care of yourself and helping others.

And while I agree that at some level the national organization has become more fundie since they moved to Texas (from NJ) in the early 80s, the local organizations haven't changed a bit and are very inclusive.

And, by the way, almost every Eagle Scout I know, including me, (and I know a lot of them)is left of center politically. Whether or not the national BSA tries to tie it to religion, the values that Scouting teaches are good. Honesty, teamwork, courtesy. Even, I might add, tolerance of differences, certainly at a local level, and even (with the well-publicized exceptions) at the National level.

So-- wrong place to snark. Scouts and Scouters are by and large not ideologues and are good people.

At 29 July, 2005 23:43, Blogger cornhuskerblogger said...

Bush has moved past the little brown shirts and is tapping another set of hessians:

At 30 July, 2005 08:03, Blogger Karl said...

The Scouts are a good organization of many, many, good people.

Unfortunately, on the national level, they have been highjacked by social conservatives in general and one religious sect in particular.

The best way to do good for real people is to support your local Scout organization, including those councils (and there are many) that advocate for more inclusiveness in the Scouting movement.

I would not recommend that my nephew join a Scout Troop with a leader closeted under the Scouts' version of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. But a man who refuses to hide or deny who he is would personally exemplify the Scouts' good leadership qualifies.

And forget about the National HQ.


At 31 July, 2005 04:53, Blogger john_m_burt said...

IIRC, paramilitary training for the Scouts was from the beginning strictly limited, precisely so that it would be seen as more than just pre-Boot Camp.

The dickhead who types anonymously in ALL CAPS should grown a pair, and/or a spine, to say nothing of a brain.


Post a Comment

<< Home