But first, some really cool science news!
Captured deep beneath the waves: 10ft squid filmed in natural habitat
That's right, they actually caught a giant squid on film. Granted, it was only 10 feet long, while they can possibly grow up to over 50 foot, but still, pretty cool! They basically had to film it in near blackness, mostly because they appear to avoid light sources. I really can't put into words how interesting this is, but I hope that more research on these animals is on the way.
The second topic I was wanting to write about is a good demonstration of why critical and rational thought is important. I recently saw on FaceBook a post that basically states that the Girl Scouts of America are funding abortions through Planned Parenthood. In an October 1, 2004 press release, Nina Boggia stated "Healthy living is a big part of Girl Scouting. We want to raise awareness about girls' health, so we're also partnering with local hospitals and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to promote cancer education." From what I can find on the official Girl Scouts website, found at www.girlscouts.org , they are no longer in a partnership with them. The Girl Scouts have quite a few partners across the corporate and governmental sectors.
Their corporate partners are:
Their governmental partners are:
The Girl Scouts also have programs for minorities, girls with incarcerated mothers, rural communities, and an anti-violence campaign. So far, nothing to ruffle anyones feathers right? Not quite. According to an article on snopes.com, Indiana state rep Bob Morris issued a statement concerning the state recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. What his statement boils down to is that the Girl Scouts are a radical group trying to push abortions on everyone, and promote female sexuality. He even stated that he did a little internet research and even though neither the Girl Scouts nor the Planned Parenthood websites said they were partners, and they even denied it, they had entered into a "strategic affiliation". What the hell this unholy union is supposed to accomplish, Representative Morris never quite makes clear. He goes on to make a lot of other claims and complaints. Most of them are patently false. For the entire article, which will not let me copy and paste, look here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/girlscouts.asp There are also the rebuttals from both the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. just for reference, the recognition passed unanimously. Part of this rumor stems from the fact that Girl Scouts did partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, who has donated money to Planned Parenthood. I guess it's a homeopathic donation. The conservatives tend to focus on Planned Parenthood and abortion. Yes, they do provide help with abortions, but they also give help on: Birth Control, general health, men's sexual health, the morning after pill, Pregnancy, Relationships, Sex and Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, STD's, and Womens Health. So yeah, they are a truly evil and morally reprehensible organization fully capable of bringing about the downfall of western civilization. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)
I have heard a lot of the conspiracies concerning the Girl Scouts use the words "radical" "feminist", and "liberal". I think these are the conservative code words for "intelligent", empowered", and "modern". Yes, the Scouts do promote women's health issues, including sexual health. Unfortunately for some of these girls, this may be the only way they get the information that can help them make informed decisions concerning their own sexual practices, from abstinence to contraceptives. I know that, as the father of a 16 year old girl, these are topics most parents really don't want to broach or think about. Yes, the Colorado Girl Scouts did allow a transgender boy (he lived his life as a girl, and identified himself as a girl as long as he could remember) to join which Fox News did make it sound much worse than it was. The Girl Scouts are inclusive, pretty much regardless of sexual orientation, and in some cases, physical gender. I myself am a male Girl Scout. I know how that sounds, and no, I only wear the sash and skirt at official events. I kid, at least about the sash and skirt. I actually am an adult member, and I am not the only male, even here in the buckle of the ultra conservative bible belt. But without the education some of the girls get from their troop leaders, they could easily make bad decisions that possibly affect them for the rest of their lives, especially as some of them have no other female role model that they can ask questions.
And finally, the coupe de resistance, the cookies and where the money goes. Some of them are especially addictive, (I'm partial to the peanut butter and chocolate Tag-a-longs) and some people do eat way to many at this time of year. I've been known to eat an entire box at 1 sitting. The cookie sales are the troops best known means of fund raising. They have to pay for their camps, outings, and any activities or philanthropy projects. A percentage goes to the troops, the councils, service units, and the bakeries get the rest. The sales aren't just about fund raising either. They help teach the girls to speak to people, how to be an entrepreneur, and how to manage money.
I know that I've put a lot of info out there, and I haven't covered nearly everything, but I still recommend whenever you hear someone spout off and they use the words "Conspiracy", "radical" "liberal" or "real truth" do some research on your own. Not only will you be better prepared the next time, but you might learn something you weren't expecting.
So until next time, I'll put the usual rigmarole here. feel free to leave any comments or questions here on the blog. And always remember, be good. Next time, Bigfoot Hunters, Part 2!
The Skeptical Okie