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Stateside with Rosalea: Sending Out An SOS

Stateside with Rosalea Barker

Sending Out An SOS

To all those readers who take the Boy Scouts of America and their Commander in Chief seriously: What follows is a parody, so you might want to leave before you get offended. But as a special gift, just for reading this far, here is a photo from the U.S. Army news service (where all images are public domain) of Maj. Gen. John A. Yingling (left), confering with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, (right), and Chief Scout Executive Roy Williams at the National Scout Jamboree July 27. Photo by Maj. Vince Mitchell.

Click for big version

And as a special bonus, here are the three key points of Bill Frist's amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill ... "Support Our Scouts Act of 2005."


**It makes clear that the Congress regards the Boy Scouts of America to be a "youth organization," not a religious organization.

**It asserts the view of Congress that government support of the National Scout Jamboree (by the Defense Department) helps with the training of our armed forces.

**It removes ANY DOUBT that federal agencies may welcome Scouts to hold meetings and go camping on federal property.


Okay, you can go now, leaving us to wonder just what the hell that was all about. Or maybe you'd like to listen Jamboree Radio "The Eagle's Voice" (powered by at which will carry President Bush's appearance tonight at the Arena.

At the time of writing it's playing some damn fine hard rock music and the DJ keeps announcing, "The mobilization has begun," meaning that the groups of scouts are making their way into the Arena.

Fort A.P. Hill is a 76,000-acre U.S. Army facility that has served as the permanent site for the national Scout jamboree since 1981. The Boy Scouts of America uses approximately 3,000 acres of land to support a city of more than 40,000 Scouts and leaders.

Anyway, back to Wednesday's opening gig. Another photo on that ARNews website, credited to Sgt. Chris Pisano, was a panoramic view of Bill Frist addressing the jamboree "drenched in sweat" on that sweltering hot day. The odd thing about that photo is that the only people in focus are the Scouts within a stone's throw of the podium where Frist is speaking.

And the odd thing about the story is that it concludes by saying that President Bush was supposed to speak but cancelled because of an approaching thunderstorm. Yeah, right. I reckon there were rumours of a Georgian-style assassination attempt. That's why the photograph concentrates on the lads within a stone's throw of the podium.

With apologies in advance to the subjects of these photos, who should know I don't seriously for one minute think that they're would-be assassins, here are my picks for Most Threatening Boy Scouts at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, in 2005:

Well, hey. Do they even LOOK like Boy Scouts of America? Where's their brown shirts? Oh! Maybe they're international scouts.

Is he really blind? That stick could contain some James Bond-style contraption.

Yeah, right. The Boy Scout socks on that cameraperson don't fool me for a moment. And look how close that damned thing is to Bill Frist!

Anyway, you gotta laugh or you'll cry. Four scoutmasters were fried in an electrical accident before the jamboree even started, and in a totally unrelated incident way out West, a boy scout and scout master were killed by a bolt of lightning on Thursday.

Keep that brolly up, Mr Bush!


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