scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Clinton's signature dropped...
Settummanque, the blackeagle ((MAJ Mike L. Walton) (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Sun Aug 27 2000 - 21:28:37 CDT
Jay Thal wrote and asked:
>Well, that's the good news AND the bad news.
>It's good news that this option is still available.
>It's bad news because:
>1) National is not openly informing people of that option;
With good reason, Jay, I am sure...the biggest thing I can see is that in
openly telling everyone of this option, it opens up the entire issue of
having THIS Honorary President's signature on everything...which the BSA
doesn't want to restart.
>2) Anyone with a semblance of management acumen would know that:
> a. this is an inefficient and costly procedure for all involved;
> b. the approximate number of youth receiving Eagles can be projected
> in time to the known date of Presidential transition to
> limit any
> production run (the same applies to CSE);
> c. if transition occurs before the anticipated date: FDR-Truman,
> Kennedy-Johnson, 1963; Nixon-Ford, 1974 you accept stock
> on hand as
> sunk costs;
> d. National should not, with five months until the Inauguration, be
> removing stock - but depleting stock or limiting reorders;
All valid statements...there was a "jumping of the gun" (at least what I
understand it being) when President Nixon left office early, the BSA had to
destroy a lot of certificates and cards in a rather hurry and start
producing the new ones with the signature of Gerald Ford, the next President.
So, when President Clinton's issues rolled over into Congress and
impeachment votes, the BSA hedged their bets and printed new certificates
(before, mind you, the final vote) without a Presidential signature. Then,
after some Scouts and Scouters and former Scouts started in with the "I
won't have anything with his signature" thing, the BSA was ready with
Now, that all three officers will be replaced on the certificates (National
Honorary President, President and Chief Scout Executive), the BSA is
pushing those previous certificates to the local Councils for liquidation.
Costly, yeah...but the cost is mostly an in-house printing cost associated
with printing new certificates with the appropriate signatures.
>3) If National chose to accomodate those who desired not to have
> Clinton's signature on the certificate they could have done a
> limited production run;
>4) If National chooses to reinstitute the signature of the next and
> Presidents upon the Certificate (and other places), it will
> demonstrate the political judgements they interpose upon
Not so much political but procedural decisions, Jay. The Honorary National
President's signature has appeared on BSA items going back to the middle
40s, if not before then (I'm only personally aware of the 40s.). To change
policy now is to change tradition, something that the BSA is not really
willing to do right now....
Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Crystal City, VA