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Be prepared

I was never a Scout. It seems to me that Scouting appeals to a certain sort of person who likes things to be "just so", with their motto "BE PREPARED" (in capitals).

The Scout website explains it as:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY. Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and ......

There's more, but that's about as far as I would read before noping it.
Logical orders I have no problem with, but some bad things have happened because people obeyed every order. Indeed, a more important life motto is "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (often attributed to Edmund Burke, but actual origin unknown).
Scouting seems... kind of paramilitary to me.

Anyway, taking the "BE PREPARED" (in capitals) motto at face value, one can look at the complete omnishambles of the big jamboree in South Korea and say for certain that nobody was prepared. The Koreans weren't. And the Scouts themselves... what sort of nutter erects an identikit neon coloured tent on an open field with no shade in the middle of a heatwave?
Those things are like glass-less greenhouses. It's no wonder children were being felled by the heat.
Okay, okay, we can maybe forgive the British Scouts, they probably have never encountered actual sunshine before 😛 but for the rest, come on, in an environment like that you camp in shade, and if there's no shade you don't camp (*). If your owl den bear fox whatever the hell the person in charge is called told you otherwise, they need to be replaced by somebody with a clue.

* - There is a method to erect a tarp over the tent as a sort of sun screen (but it's fiddly because airflow must be preserved to stop it turning into an oven), but this isn't the sort of thing that I'd expect children to be aware of.

Looking at the faraway pictures, were those identikit tents just cheap single skin ones? You really want a double layer tent, one with a cloth inside and the waterproof flyer that drapes over it. Again, to aid in keeping cool (as the air between the layers acts as a barrier).

If it was a cheap single skin tent, then one of the simplest ways to keep those cool is to simply break them down in the day. Unclip the four pole ends and let it lay flat. The sun can't heat up air that isn't there.

Plus, being on reclaimed land, the camp site was plagued with bugs. Which would have meant using the bug nets (I do trust the identikit tents had bug nets!) which would have greatly reduced airflow which would... yeah, you see where this is going. I'm not a Scout but, dammit, this is just common sense.

Now everybody is being evacuated because a typhoon is bearing down on the place.
At least they've had the sense to decide that whatever God they believe in really didn't want this year's jamboree to happen. I mean, they could have just handed out heavy duty tent pegs, right?


I was never a Scout. But I was, very briefly, a Girl Guide. Sort of. A neighbour's kid was "babysitting" me (I was about eight and had a tendency to do things like unscrew the electric sockets to see what was inside) and she didn't know what to do with somebody who wasn't interested in being plonked in front of the TV. So she took me to Guides with her a couple of times.
And it seemed to me that girls (some in blue dresses and some in brown all with weird neck handkerchief things, and me wearing my preferred absence of colour ☺) were learning useful stuff, like sewing.

I mean, it's all very well knowing how to pitch a tent and make fire by rubbing sticks together, but let's face it, if you're going to go on an actual wilderness expedition, you'll need a lot more training than you'd be likely to get from Scouts. And if you need skills like "making fire" in normal (sub)urban life, you're more likely to need to know how to protect yourself, how to improvise weapons, and which parts of the anatomy to aim for (and how you do that depends upon the situation, you can fairly easily drop someone with a six inch cooking knife, but that's a bit useless if that someone has a gun aimed between your eyeballs).

Sewing, on the other hand, is a practical and useful thing. Fixing holes in jumpers, socks, whatever.

Unfortunately, back in the early 80s gender was a non-optional thing that happened at the point of creation and I pretty much failed the "girl" part of Girl Guides due to the Y chromosome, so I didn't get to continue. Shame, as maybe if I had I'd suck a little less at cooking, and would be able to fix my socks without watching a half dozen YouTube videos, getting confused, and tossing them out and buying new ones...


Pass the Popcorn

The fat orange cat crushing the reddish elephant.
The fat orange cat crushing the reddish elephant.

While The Law seems to be slowly catching up with Trump, the whole thing seems to be asking more questions than it answers.

  1. Why is the GOP still so enamoured with him? Given his (alleged - that's what this action is about) attempt to circumvent the entire democratic process, I can't help but feel that anybody still openly associating with him either has a massive closet full of skeletons, or they themselves are not interested in a functioning democracy, only in gaining more ill-gotten power.
  2. Weirdly, his polling went up after his indictment.
  3. A sitting President is immune from prosecution. But what if this prosection began prior to his election when he was not a President?
  4. It would be a huge watershed moment if he actually gets convicted while having the official GOP nomination, especially if it's for messing with the electoral process, but this won't actually make much practical difference. He can still continue his election campaign, and he's certain to appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court...which just happens to be stacked in his favour.
  5. That being said, if the Supremes overturn a conviction of this magnitude... this is all quite unprecedented.
  6. There's always Section 3 of the 14th Amendment...
  7. He's currently facing 78 felony charges in three separate cases. If convicted, he could be sentenced to prison for hundreds of years.
    He's 77.
  8. He's complaining that he isn't going to be able to get a fair trial in a Democrat state. Yeah, like anybody is dumb enough to think that a Republican state would offer a fair trial.
  9. Didn't he just ask the judge to recuse herself? That's a pretty serious demand (it implies an accusation of prejudice) which isn't going to win him any favours.
  10. You must be a native born American to be President. Having nationality doesn't count, that's why there's no President Arnold.
    However, there does not appear to be any restriction on whether or not the nominee is a criminal, has a criminal record, or whatever. A curious omission, don't you think?
  11. Speaking of curious omissions, there doesn't seem to be anything preventing him, if actually elected President, from pardoning himself. It is legally untested, but, then, so was the outgoing President trying to subvert the democratic will of the voters and people are still buying that "The election was stolen" bullshit.
  12. As I'm writing this, I'm reading some of the comments on an article in the New York Post and, well, it looks as if politics are now spectactularly polarised. One half thinks he's a criminal who should never go near the White House again, the other half thinks he'll be the next President and the entire Democrat party (local, state, and federal) should all be impeached "in order to defend the republic".

It's an unholy mess, and yes there is a very real risk of Trump coming back. So... pass the popcorn, please.

It took a few tries, but I eventually got Dall-E2 to make a design that I was happy with. I'm quite sure the significance will be obvious.



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C Ferris, 7th August 2023, 20:50
It depends on your view - but if Trump had been in power - would Putin have moved! Mmm
Rick, 7th August 2023, 21:27
Given that he apparently used to talk to Putin *about* invading Ukraine, same they were kinda chummy, one could well argue that he might have been the one who enabled Putin. 
What I think we can also say is that if he'd been in power still, Ukraine would not have received the help it has from the US. 
These are dangerous times, and the last thing we need is 45 = 47. 
C Ferris, 7th August 2023, 21:44
What is the final outcome of this conflict? 
The eastern Christian religion is split - hate probably lasting centuries - how will the border be policed - Chinese soldiers.
Rick, 7th August 2023, 22:24
"The eastern Christian religion is split" 
Just like the west. 
"hate probably lasting centuries" 
Just like the west. 
"how will the border be policed" 
Who says it would need to be? If Russia wins, there will be no border. 
If Ukraine wins, well, peace could be possible at some point. After all, ironically, Germany had a border with itself for much longer than there was a border between it and France. 
Gavin Wraith, 7th August 2023, 22:45
I was put in the Cubs automatically at the of seven, by the boarding school I was sent to. I was graciously given a choice about whether I wanted to proceed to the Scouts. I said no thank you. Instead I had to play shinty, a sort of stone-age version of hockey, that was put on for the scout-denying bolshies. I suppose I could have learned something from scouting, but the moral encomia that seemed to go with it did not appeal to me.
Rob, 8th August 2023, 22:47
I was never in the scouts as a kid, but did somehow end up as a helper at the local cubs, some 20 years ago. Then found myself running the sessions when the Akela left. Had help from the beavers leader, but for the most part we just played games for the whole time until somebody was found who knew what to do... In the years I was there, I never did get around to getting any training..
Anon, 9th August 2023, 11:47
I was in the Cub Scouts when I was about 7 or 8. The only thing I objected to was being forced to pledge alliegence to $DEITY and $MONARCH (more the former actually, the latter was at least a real person rather than an imaginary friend.) 
The Cub pack was attached to the school I was at (it was a boarding and day school, but I wasn't boarding at that point). They were a little reluctant to let me join due to me being a devout atheist even at 7 years old. However they relented. 
Most of it was just setting things on fire and toasting marshmallows though. My inner pyromaniac loved it of course.
David Pilling, 9th August 2023, 13:53
Cunning plan, 52% of US voters won't vote for Trump under any circumstances. All you then have to do is ensure he is the candidate by making the other 48% feel sorry for him. 
Why don't they pop the bubble by picking someone else... 
It's like is history dependent on individuals - or are individuals a product of history. Give Putin his P45, is that the end of the trouble or does someone else with the same policy appear the next day. 
Rick, 9th August 2023, 14:48
I think the problem with politics is that they're scared of him. 
Remember when Johnson got elected, and the first thing he did was pack the cabinet with leavers and mates and kick out the more moderate? 
Imagine Trump, given how much more polarised American politics is. 
Plus, I think one must be a certain type of arsehole to want to be the frontrunner of the Republicans these days. Trump, at least, has that going for him, I guess. 
As for Russia, the guy handing Putin his P45 might subsequently suffer an unfortunate incident. And if it was the other kind of 45 (between the eyeballs) then there will be an equally awful person stepping up to take his place. 
Like that militia thing the other month (Wagner group or somesuch?). Would the mercenary bloke taking over be better than Putin...or worse? 
And being Russia, the people will do...what they're told. 
Rick, 9th August 2023, 14:49
Anon - I forgot about the religious undercurrent. 
That being said, I never felt I needed anybody's approval in order to strike a match...
C Ferris, 10th August 2023, 09:19
Rick you got to remember with Religion - people will fight - my vicar is better than your vicar :-(

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