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 THE SANDBOX Archive ~ 2000 (Part 3 of 5)
SEP, 2000 ~ #79, #80, #81, #82, #83, #84, #85,
            #86, #87, #88, #89, #90, #91, #92
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THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #79 ~ September 3, 2000

       "The best things in life are not things."
                      - Art Buchwald

Look who's talking today:

Michael West Rivers (68WB), Patty Stordahl (72),
Shirley Collings (66), Vernon Blanchette (64), 
John Allen (66), Dick Epler (52)


Subj:    Re: A Sandbox Note
From:   mwestr@lasvegas.net (Michael West Rivers)

Just a small question, WHERE, is Shippenville,
 USA? Any where near the Simpson's home town
 Springville USA? :o)  Sounds like an "neat" place
 though. :o)...-Michael West Rivers :o)  (68WB)

Answer: About five miles from Clarion.  Yes,
 Shippenville USA is a "neat" place, both from the
 standpoint of nature in an environmental sense,
 with beautiful rivers and woods, and the nature of
 people, too; people who flash their lights to
 relinquish their right of way so you can get in and
 out of traffic easily, where if there are two lines
 waiting to buy stamps at the post office, folks at
 the head of one line will relinquish to a person in
 the other line if he or she has been waiting longer,
 where if you sneeze on the street, a local doctor is
 likely to walk up and write you a prescription at no
 charge, even if you are not one of his patients; stuff
 like that.  You can smile freely as you pass folks
 on the sidewalk whether you know them or not,
 without fear of being shot.  Wish you could all
 come up here for the spectacular fall colors
 celebration we'll be having here in just a few
 weeks.  A supremely beautiful time of year in
 Shippenville, USA and the surrounding environs!

                                 ~ ~ ~
Subj:   Sandbox Note
From:   miles2go@cheerful.com (John M. Allen)

Al,

I assume that since you didn't mention it, you have
 not lost any submissions in your latest move as you
 did when you moved back East. Is Shippenville in
 a state?

Answer: No, John, I don't believe any submissions
 were lost in this most recent move as did happen
 concurrently with my last move do to a computer
 crash.  Some may feel their submissions have been
 lost, however, since quite a backlog of Sandbox
 submissions has developed due to a high level of
 interest and participation in this forum by so many
 of our fellow alumni.  I hope to be able to find the 
 time to put more issues out more frequently in order 
 to keep up with the demand.  I certainly do 
 appreciate everyone's enthusiasm and want to make 
 every effort to assure that all contributions are 
 published in a fresh and timely sequence. 
 Shippenville is not a state, but if it were, it would be
 a very good state to be in.

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: A Sandbox Note
From:   DZIGNRITE@aol.cfom (Patty Stordahl 72)
To: SendBOX

Where is Shippenville?
-Patty Stordahl 72

Answer: In Clarion County, USA

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Re: A Sandbox Note
From:   asking@att.net (Shirley Collings Haskins, '66)
To: SendBOX@aol.com

What an inspirational message!  Thanks for sharing
 your thoughts, Al.  Best of luck in your new
 home.

          :)  Shirley Collings Haskins, '66

Thanks Shirley!  I certainly am enjoying life out
 here.  Also I find myself supremely busy handling
 various events, all of them with positive outcomes,
 I am sure.

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Re: A Sandbox Note
From:   vernon@digital.net (Vernon Blanchette, '64)
To: SendBOX@aol.com

where is Shippenville?

Answer: Shippenville is 5 miles from Clarion, The 
 County Seat of Clarion County in Western 
 Pennsylvania, kinda midway between Pittsburgh 
 and Erie.  Maybe not quite midway but somewhere in
 between.  If you follow Interstate 80 to exit 8 in
 Pennsylvania, you'll be getting very close to me.
 Pennsylvania: Where much of what our nation is today
 began and where much of it is still the same!

                                  ~ ~ ~


Subj: The Politics behind Richland's Fast Flux Test
   Facility (FFTF)
From: depler@ortelco.net  (Dick Epler, '52)
 
I have to believe that Jim Moran (87), writing in
 SANDBOX #75, realizes by now that I did NOT
 say that the FFTF was shut down by the present
 Administration. I clearly stated that I thought it
 was shut down in 1991. Actually, the FFTF's last
 operating day was March 19, 1992, and yes, I was
 there and signed the commemorative log in the
 control room.
 
I suspect Jim is responding to my statement that
 "Unofficially it [the reactor] was shut down for
 two reasons: 1) Washington State doesn't want
 anything to do with nuclear stuff; and 2) the
 present Administration wants to build a new
 reactor for producing Tritium and medical isotopes
 in Tennessee (wonder why Tennessee)?" What I
 should have said is that the reactor was not
 *restarted* because of [those] two reasons. That
 would have made my statement correct. You see,
 technically, the FFTF is not shutdown, it's on
 standby, and the Clinton Administration had the
 option of restarting it in 1993 and maybe for a few
 years after that. At this point, however, the reactor
 probably can't be restarted since much of the talent
 is gone. I suspect it's finally time for the sodium to
 be drained and the facility dismantled.
 
Nevertheless, Jim is quite correct when he says that
 the shutdown of the FFTF was many years in the
 making. Indeed, even before the reactor went
 critical for the first time on February 9, 1980, its
 future was in doubt. The FFTF is a test reactor and
 was built for the express purpose of testing
 materials for the LMFBR (Liquid Metal Fast
 Breeder Reactor) that was to be built at Clinch
 River, Tennessee. In those days, liquid metal
 breeder reactors (LMR) were the solution to the
 shortage of fissile materials like U-235. Well,
 anyway, shortly after the Three-Mile Island nuclear
 incident (March 28, 1979) President Carter
 stopped construction of the LMFBR, and
 challenged the FFTF to find another mission or be
 shut down as well.
 
No problem. As a research test reactor, the FFTF
 was without peer in the world. Indeed, at different
 times, the reactor was actually a revenue producer
 for DOE as it was able to produce very useful
 research under contract for LMB's belonging to
 both France and Japan. And for the United States,
 the FFTF demonstrated viable capabilities in four
 critical areas: 1) Medical Isotopes that were in
 increasingly short supply; 2) the transmutation of
 Hanford's long-lived waste isotopes, including
 I-129 and Tc-99; 3) the transmutation of
 Americium and Neptunium into Pu-238 and
 Pu-239 for use in thermoelectric power generators
 for the NASA's space program, and 4) the
 production of Tritium for the DOD. Oh yes, one
 more thing. FFTF was built with a power option
 that could deliver, I believe, a little more than 100
 MW of electricity to the grid.
 
Jim is also correct when he alludes to President
 Bush's Energy Secretary, Admiral James D.
 Watkins, who after touring the FFTF on August
 29, 1989, made the comment that the FFTF is the
 "crown jewel" of DOE's reactors – and then, just a
 few months later, in early 1990, announcing that
 the FFTF would be shut down at the beginning of
 FY91. For political reasons, however, the decision
 was delayed a year to FY92. 
 
Understand, now, the FFTF was the nation's
 newest, largest and safest R&D reactor. Indeed, it
 was the ONLY DOE reactor that met all modern
 criteria for nuclear safety and environmental
 protection. Its operation had already been subject
 to a complete EIS (Environmental Impact
 Statement) just like commercial reactors licensed
 by the NRC.
 
Moreover, at least four FFTF missions had been
 identified, all critical to the Nation's medical,
 waste-cleanup, space, and defense programs. So
 how was the DOE going to meet these critical
 needs? Their choice was to transfer existing FFTF
 programs to the tiny, aging, EBR-II (Experimental
 Breeder Reactor-II) at INEL in Idaho, with the
 possibility of building a new reactor in Tennessee
 at a later time. The point was that FFTF HAD to
 be shut down, and EBR-II designated inadequate,
 before Congress would consider funding a new
 reactor.
 
For most of us at FFTF, it seemed the only way to
 reconcile such an overtly political decision was to
 conclude that if the FFTF were located in Idaho or
 Tennessee (two states that are much more tolerant
 to nuclear research), then the FFTF would be alive
 and well for many years into the future.
 
I should probably mention that in February 1991,
 the Washington State congressional delegation
 introduced a bill in Congress to permit private
 industry to support FFTF operations, but of course
 it went no-where and really didn't fool anyone.
 Over the years, both DOE and NRC had quite
 enough of Washington's environmental lawyers
 and really needed to get out of Washington as
 quickly as possible.
 
Maybe the worst thing Jimmy Carter did, as
 President, was to create the DOE in a way that
 politicized the nation's energy policy for all
 succeeding Presidents. The DOE really has no
 power to do or suggest anything useful. Anyone
 who has had to deal with the DOE knows the
 problem. In effect, the President is the one and
 only Energy Czar and the DOE secretary is just the
 whipping boy. No doubt, Admiral Watkins found
 that out soon enough. It must have been hard for
 him.
 
As an aside, President Reagan was the first to try to
 abolish the DOE recognizing that it had no useful
 function, but was prevented by the Democratically
 controlled congress. The Democrats were
 concerned that doing so would help bring the
 budget into balance. The budgets Reagan
 submitted to Congress were always balanced, and
 the possibility that Reagan's success could be even
 greater was anathema to the Democratic Party. So
 they simply put the money for DOE (along with a
 great many other things) back into the budget.
 Currently, the direct cost to taxpayers for DOE
 will be $16.8 billion for FY2000.
 
In defense of DOE-RL, they treated the Reduction
 Of Force (ROF) of the mid-90s the same way they
 did the one that resulted from a shutdown of
 N-Reactor. No competent employee was forced
 out of a job. In the '95 ROF, most transferred to
 the 200 Areas for waste cleanup; some, like
 myself, took early retirement; and some transferred
 to other DOE sites like Savanna River. A few
 accepted a voluntary-ROF that provided them with
 educational opportunities to learn new skills.
 Richland has always tried to take care of their
 own.
 
Before leaving this subject, I should probably say
 that I'm not unhappy that the LMRs didn't
 succeed commercially. Their failure, in the face of
 the nation's increasing energy shortage, has
 provided the impetus for the private development
 of a much more satisfying energy source: fuel cells.
 Check it out. It's a technology that's been waiting
 in the wings for a long time now and is just about
 ready to go commercial big time. Unlike Wind and
 Photovoltaic's, DOE has let private industry
 develop fuel cells with little interference, and that's
 been a very good thing for the nation.
                      - Dick Epler (52)

                             - 79 -
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THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #80 ~ September 9, 2000

               Great American Conversations
       With the Alumni of Richland High School,
                AKA Columbia High School
                    Richland, Washington


    "I'm proof against that word failure, I've seen
 behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is
 failure in cleaving to the purpose he sees to be
 best."
                     - George Elliot

Look Who's Talking Today:
                Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)
    Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54, 
                     Jack Grouell '61


Subj:   Don't Mess With Texas
From:  Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)
mah@satx.net

Paul Ratsch (58), it is my guess that you have never
 been to Texas or you would know that we Texans
 enjoy a very low cost of living.  It is probably one
 of the lowest in the nation.  More people here
 enjoy above average living conditions than in
 Washington or California, especially California. 
 While even the affluent are living in less than
 adequate homes in California, people in Texas are
 paying the same price to live in upper-class
 neighborhoods where the houses range from 3000
 to 4000 square feet in size.  The cost of living in
 Washington State is much higher than here also. 
 Blue-collar workers can afford to live very nicely
 here and they do not pay more than their fair share
 of the taxes, as you seem to think.  We do not have
 a state income tax that drains the poor and middle
 class of their wages.  One is only taxed if they own
 property and it is based on the appraised value of
 the property.  The rich pay the most by virtue of
 the fact that they live in higher priced homes. 

Texas probably has the best highway system in this
 country.  We also have excellent schools that are
 not falling down and endangering our children as
 Vice President Gore tried to portray in his speech
 at the Democratic National Convention.  If
 Governor Bush had been from another state, I am
 sure that he would have picked a school in that
 state to zero in on.  In my opinion that segment of
 his speech was a subtle way to discredit Bush and
 Texas without being accused of taking a direct
 shot.  A Bond has already been passed to renovate
 or rebuild the school in question.  

We pay far less for gasoline and license plates than
 most places, leaving more money in our pocket to
 afford the better things in life.

I would suggest that you or anyone else that is
 under such a misconception check out
 Homefair.com on the web.  This site will give you
 all of the information that you need to compare the
 cost of living in any town or state.  It will compare
 what your wages need to be to achieve the same
 standard of living anywhere in this country.  You
 will probably end up wishing that were so lucky.

I think that the stock market is the pulse of this
 nation right now because it encompasses a vast
 number of people from every ethnic, age, and
 economic group as it never has before.  If Bush
 starts leading in the polls, the stock market will
 rally because fear of big government's attacks on
 big business will diminish.  

I don't think that this country is as well off right
 now as this administration would have us believe. 
 Many companies are still downsizing and it takes
 two salaries and longer hours for a family to make
 ends meet.  The high cost of groceries makes it
 near impossible to plan a healthy diet for most
 people.  Health Insurance is out of reach for most
 people and under Gore that cost would go up after
 he wages his attack against HMO's.  

I think that this administration underestimates the
 intelligence of the American people or relies on
 those that don't bother to become informed.  To
 say that we need to spend taxpayer dollars so that
 the elderly can buy their prescription medicine is
 ludicrous.  Supplemental insurance to Medicare
 costs next to nothing for the elderly.  The elderly
 are the only segment of our society right now that
 can enjoy adequate health care at very little cost. 
 My mother pays $30 a month for the top Humana
 supplemental policy and she only pays a small
 CO-payment for all of her medication and doctor
 visits.  With Secure Horizons there is no premium
 to pay because the cost is taken out of one's
 Medicare payment.  There are many other
 insurance programs available too numerous to
 mention.  When my mother had a stroke she
 received topnotch care in one of the best hospitals
 in town under her present HMO, with no out of
 pocket expenses or forms to fill out.  There are
 insurance companies that do try to rip-off the
 elderly and before the family took over her affairs
 she was paying $300 a month for a policy that was
 not an HMO.  Without HMO's the elderly would
 need to rely solely on the taxpayers because
 Medicare supplemental insurance would be too
 costly for many to afford.  Why aren't the elderly
 being informed that affordable Medicare
 supplemental insurance is available to them instead
 of being led to believe that the government's help is
 their only option?  What good is it for the elderly
 to have government paid prescriptions if their
 Medicare is not adequate enough to pay for their
 medical procedures?  It would make more sense to
 me to provide the elderly who cannot afford
 supplemental insurance with some sort of tax
 credit to help pay for their insurance premium. 
 This would not only ensure them the prescriptions
 that they need, but other health care as well. 

The Estate Tax is a criminal tax that needs to be
 abolished and to say abolishment would only serve
 to benefit the rich is ludicrous.  Due to 401K's and
 other available investments, the percentage of
 estates subject to the tax will balloon in the future. 
 It is feasible for almost everyone today down to the
 lowest paid people to leave at least a million dollar
 estate and probably more because many are
 starting to plan for retirement earlier in life than
 ever before.  Realistically it is not the person
 leaving an estate that is affected by this tax, it is
 their heirs.  A person's heirs may be small children
 who still need to be raised and educated; a spouse
 with little earning capacity; a handicapped family
 member; heirs who wish to continue a family
 business; or just love ones who deserve to reap the
 rewards of what is left from a person's lifetime of
 hard work.  Use winning the lottery as an example. 
 The government would take a large portion of
 your winnings right up front and then when you
 die they will take half of what is left.  In the end
 the government manages to get most of it.  The
 situation is no different with your 401K, IRA, or
 other assets that have already been taxed to the hilt
 before they ever become part of your estate. 
 George Bush has stated that he is for repealing the
 estate tax.  If he were in office right now, the
 estate tax repeal bill would not have been vetoed. 
 The estate tax was originally instituted to pay off
 World War I debts.  After the debts were paid, it
 was never taken off the books.  It is high time that
 the American people challenge its continued
 legitimacy.

If a candidate has good common sense and
 character, things will fall into place and issues will
 be addressed to our satisfaction.  If a candidate is
 for the people, he or she should be for all of the
 people.  For Gore to say that he is not for big
 people, but only for the common people, is to say
 that the common people risk alienation from the
 populace if they strive to rise through the ranks.  I
 don't think Robin Hood economics will keep our
 economy thriving.  Hopefully both candidates will
 run a campaign over the next few months that will
 give us the insight that we need to make the right
 choice.  

I challenge anyone to come up with a place with a
 lower cost of living and a better salsa and
 basketball team than Texas.  Perhaps Shippenville?
 
Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj: Day's Pay
From: Jack Grouell '61
grouells@millenicom.com

Late in WW II when the Allies had managed to
 gain almost complete air superiority in the skies
 over Europe, the United States eliminated
 camouflage paint an almost all combat aircraft to
 save weight and reduce drag.  Wing, Group, and
 Squadron markings became extremely colorful on
 the natural aluminum finish.

In the book "The Mighty Eighth" (Roger A.
 Freeman LOC 72-76476) Illustrator John B.
 Rabbets presents several pages of drawings
 showing these brilliantly colored airplanes.  Of
 particular interest are the B-17's of the 94th Bomb
 Group with bright yellow vertical and horizontal
 tails and wing tips, red cowls, and a red chevron on
 the starboard wing.  A visit to the 94th Bomb
 Group web page 
(http://www.94thbombgroup.com/94thB-17sNames-NumbersD-E94.htm) also lists 
that a B-17 named
 "Days Pay" served in that outfit.  The artist must
 have done some research to have come up with
 that data.

                       - Jack Grouell '61

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Those Conventions
From: Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54
bobs@proaxis.com (Robert Carlson)

Well, are you all as thrilled as I am? 
 Weren't those conventions suspenseful? Ho hum.

Guess most of you young folk don't remember
 when listening to or watching a political
 convention used to be fun.  There was suspense,
 there were people who had something to say.  Not
 just the same speech delivered differently.

When was the last time there was a good "floor
 fight?"  No, I don't mean when Dan Rather or John
 Chancellor got thrown out.  I mean a good, honest 
 floor fight over credentials or a plank in the party's
 platform.  There was something in those that the
 analysts could maybe tell who might win the 
 nomination.

The first year I ever really listened to what was
 going on was 1948.  The Republicans were
 fighting over Taft or Dewey, with a little Stassen
 thrown in.  It really was interesting to hear which
 delegates might cave in and give the nod to one
 or the other.  (In reality, Stassen never stood a
 chance.)  In the end the fellow Alice Roosevelt
 Longworth described as the fellow on top of the
 wedding cake won.

The issue wasn't in too much doubt in the
 Democrat's camp; except that the Dixiecrats
 (southern republicans disguised as democrats)
 walked out over the issue of "States Rights" (read
 segregation).  The fun came when the talking
 heads tried to predict who Truman's running mate
 would be.

And to top it all off, there was the Progressive
 Party.  They were as much fun as a Pat Buchanan
 labor rally.  The former Vice President (whom J. 
 Edgar Hover said was a direct pipeline to
 Moscow), Henry Wallace was the nominee, some
 fellow from Idaho was his running mate.

Then came the campaign.  Dewey and his cohort,
 Earl Warren, then Governor of California,
 meandered about the country in a leisurely fashion,
 not really saying or doing much.

Truman stumped the country from the back of a
 train, speaking at every whistle stop and water
 tank along the way.  He didn't brag about his own 
 virtues, but instead railed against the 89th
 Congress for doing nothing.  It was a Republican
 controlled group and they really did nothing.

Even 1952 was fun.  Would the Republicans
 nominate Taft or would they "like Ike?" 
 And what about the Dem's?  Truman wasn't going
 to run again, so the nomination was really up for
 grabs.

The big issue during this campaign was Korea.  Ike
 said he would go and put a stop to the fighting if
 he were elected.  Everybody else in the Republican
 Party came down on Harry for firing MacArthur,
 so guess who won?  Well, Stevenson wasn't that
 glamorous a candidate, too cerebral.

So, what do we get now, packaged pap from both
 parties, and since Jessie "The Body" Ventura said
 he wasn't interested the whole campaign becomes a 
 crashing bore.  Wait a minute, that sounds like
 both major candidates.  And did they ever whip the
 country into a frenzy.

Could Chicago, 1964, be to blame?  Probably
 scared the stuffing out of both parties.  Can't have
 that sort of thing, bad for the image and all that. 
 So what did they come up with, two hours (more
 or less) of prime time gunk.  Is it so surprising that
 reruns of "Gilligan's Island" on Nick-at-Night had
 higher ratings.

And you wonder why there is voter apathy.

I fully expect to hear from Dick Epler, '52, about
 this.  But he lived through those "fun" years also. 
 We may not have agreed on the choice of 
 candidates, but I think we both had fun listening
 (on radio in '48) and watching (TV in '52).  But
 since Lyndon and Barry slugged it out, 
 conventions and campaigns have become more
 boring.  Maybe this is all retribution for General
 LeMay's comment about bombing someone back
 to the stone age.

My advice: Sit back, relax and "Just Vote No" on
 most tax measures.

      - Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54

                               ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks.
 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
 and subscription requests.  To join in the ongoing
 conversations here, send your comments to:
 The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com or simply hit the reply
 button and start talking to us!

-Al Parker,  Your Sandbox Moderator
                        - 80 -
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THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #81 ~ September 9, 2000

  "The free expression of opinion, as experience has
 taught us, is the safety-valve of passion.  The noise
 of the rushing stream, when it escapes, alarms the
 timid but it is the sign that we are safe."
                           -Gladstone

The SANDBOX is an ongoing forum participated
 in by the alumni of Richland High School, (AKA)
 Columbia High School, Richland Washington.

Look Who's Talking Today!
   Steve Carson `58, Paul W. Ratsch `58,
   Jenny Smart Page `87, Kelly Weil Austin `81,
   Jack Grouell '61, Barbara Seslar `60
   Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh `63
   Ann Minor '70
                            ~ ~ ~
Let The Conversations Begin!

Subj:   Re: Brad Wear
From: Paul W. Ratsch [58]
pratsch@hotmail.com

(Referring to comments by Brad Wear in an earlier Sandbox)

ANOTHER TEXAS BUSINESS MAN STUMPING FOR BUSH!!!!!!!!!

                            ~ ~ ~

Subj: Laws, Skills and Living Standards 
From:   Steve Carson 58
SteveNitro@aol.com

For Paul - I just returned from two weeks in East
 Africa with my Dad and Brother.  Now there is a
 place where living standards are at the first
 Maslow level of sustenance.  Paul, I don't have
 time to find the actual statistics but The top 10% of
 taxpayers (the evil rich) pay 90% of the income
 taxes.  My issue with the democrats, coming
 straight out of Mr. Gore's mouth, is that he wants
 everyone to be able to pursue their dreams but if
 you succeed in achieving your dreams and the
 income to match you instantly become the evil
 rich.  And... the term "working families" confuses
 me.  Does the 60 hours a week I spend
 shepherding my company along not count as
 working?  I don't think your living standards
 depend on laws,  Paul, I suspect that your skills are
 what support  you.   Be Well!

                              ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:    Harry Potter And Another Choice
From: Jenny Smart Page (87)
mailto:jpage@3-cities.com

    Although I have not read the "Harry Potter"
 series, I am reluctant to introduce it to my young
 reader for a variety of reasons. First, I am not
 comfortable with the wizards/witches, etc.
 storyline that is promoted. I agree that this single
 series of books is not going to turn the next
 generation into a bunch of witchcraft spell-spinners.
 But, I think it's also more than that --- its one
 more chink in the pole of standards of our society,
 making what used to be viewed as "abnormal" as
 "normal". Secondly, I've heard these books (among
 others) described as "junk-food reading"; meaning
 that although it may be an exciting story, there's
 not any real challenge to it. And, I would assume,
 that any 700+ page book that a kid can read in a
 matter of a couple of days confirms that.

For those of you looking for an alternative that
 does not involve a topic offensive to some basic
 Christian beliefs, I do have a suggestion. Point
 your kids (and yourself) to the "Left Behind" series
 by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. It's a series of
 six books (I think), for kids, and a series of seven
 in the adult series (but I know many young teens
 and pre-teens who have read the adult versions.
 The difference between the series is the age of the
 main characters). The books are about the Second
 Coming of Christ and the seven year tribulation
 period between the Rapture of the Church and
 Christ's actual coming. Excellent stories, so good
 in fact a movie is being made from the first book
 this summer (due out next year maybe?). Good
 guys, bad guys, lots of action, a little romance
 (but nothing even close to being graphically
 inappropriate for young kids), some violence that
 may make some squeamish.

Although these books are a quick read, they can certainly make you stop and look at your life, and
think about which side of eternity you might be on if this were to happen today.

                   -Jenny Smart Page (87)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Potter
From: Kelly Weil Austin (81)
mailto:kaustin@austin-home.com

RE: Harry Potter

    8/23's sandstorm has probably beaten this subject
to death, but I'll put in my two cents worth.

    I have not personally read these books, but if I
 were to place my judgment on any book, it would
 be beneficial for me to read it first, right?

    I can thank people like J.R. Tolkien, Walt
 Disney, Lewis Carroll, and many other authors of
 children's literature and movies for helping to
 nurture my imagination in my childhood. I loved
 books and movies like "The Lord of the Rings",
 "Mary Poppins", "Bed Knobs and Broomsticks",
 "Star Wars" and many others of magical content.
 They haven't corrupted my mind or turned me to
 the "dark side". Plus, these characters used their
 magic for good, not evil. Most of the stories I've
 read were always good against evil, with good
 always winning out!

    I could site many a biblical reference (too many
 to list here) that pertained to magic. Many of our
 greatest prophets, Moses and Daniel to name a
 few, used magical powers with the help of our
 Lord to perform miracles and wonders. It is the
 Spirit whom they called upon to make a point that
 made a difference. Jesus cautions us not to call
 upon the name of anyone but Him. Many of the
 magicians, mediums of Pharaoh's and 
 Nebukednezzar's (sp.) courts didn't recognize
 God's power or assistance in interpreting dreams
 and performing their magic. In actuality, if they
 didn't side with God, they sided with Satan and
 all he stands for.

    This is the argument that many people have a
 problem with in comparing modern literature to
 what the Bible says about magic. God cares about

 the heart, not outward appearances.

    Get to the heart of any matter before you place
judgment upon it!

         Thanks for letting me vent my opinion.

                   -Kelly Weil Austin (81)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj: Re: Days Pay and The SANDBOX Issue 76
From:   Jack Grouell  '61
grouells@millenicom.com (Jack Grouell)

Al,

In the latest Sandstorm, Maren posted the ULL for
 a Web page that has quite a bit of information on
 "Days Pay" and a nice picture of the mural.  -Bob
 Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54) also posted
 essentially the same information about
 uncamouflaged airplanes late in WW2 that I
 originally sent to the Sandbox.  I plan on doing
 two things:  I'll send the mural ULL to the 94th
 Bomb Group site and I'll draft a short post to the
 Sandstorm explaining what I have found about the
 markings on the mural accurately reflecting the 94th
 Bomb Group and finding a B-17 named "Days
 Pay" on the roster of 94th Bomb group aircraft. 
 Hope this is OK.  And keep up the great job you
 are doing facilitating the exchange of ideas and
 information on all subjects - it is a gift to all of us
 and we are very fortunate to have you and Maren
 taking this on!

                  Day's pay web page is at:

     http://AllBombers.tripod.com/dayspay.html

                     - Jack Grouell '61

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Well said!
From:    Barbara Seslar (1960)
radman@gte.net (Brackenbush)
 
Re: When Did Being a Parent Change, and Why?
   (Patty Stordahl 1972)

Well said.  I believe one of the worst influences we
 have today is the television programming (even
 some of the children's programming).  I have a
 hard time allowing my grandchildren to watch any
 of it.  And I can't find a movie to go see.  I do
 enjoy checking movies out of the library -- they are
 from earlier days, before we even needed to
 impose a rating.

Someone stated "the media owned by the
 conservatives..."  That is the first time I ever heard
 that!  Please explain further.  :-)

                   - Barbara Seslar (1960)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Government By The People Is Still Alive
 And Well in Simi Valley
From:  Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh (63)
Reply-to: barbra.williamson@worldnet.att.net

Normally I don't reply to any conversations that
 take place in the SANDBOX but Anna
 Durbin's(69) comments about partisan politics and
 government "not really by the people" struck a
 sour cord with this elected official.  Just one
 question?  When was the last time you contributed
 to a "local" campaign?  When was the last time
 you walked a precinct for a candidate (any
 candidate) you truly believed in? Or the last time
 you donated $100 for a local, grassroots city
 council member? I represent a city of 110,000
 residents.  We are the safest city in the United
 States.  We are graffiti free. To run for re-election
 I need to raise approximately $60,000. For that,
 I will mail three mail pieces, (printing, 4 color is
 about $15,000) postage will run about $10,000. 
 Signs run about $2,000, etc. My salary for being
 an elected official is about $1,100, which I have
 to pay taxes on.  I travel about 800 miles a month
 and I attend such functions as the Disabled
 American Veterans, Boys & Girls Club Annual
 Auction, YMCA, and oh, I pay my own way.  I
 figure when all is said and done, I go in the hole. 
 The other eight hours of the day, I am a Vice
 President of a local bank, so the political thing is
 really a volunteer job to help make peoples lives in
 our city just a little bit better (especially senior
 citizens who live BELOW the poverty level
 because their Social Security check just can't quite
 make it and now HUD wants to take away
 their section 8)  I am in the local phone book so
 people can call, day or night (and they do) so I can
 be of service to them, after all, that is what I was
 elected to do.  I am not complaining, mind you, I
 just get a little ticked when silly comments are
 made.  Yes, I realize you were pointing at
 Congress, but it all begins at the "grassroots" level.
 As the old saying goes, "If you're not part of the
 solution, you're part of the problem" Just some
 food for thought.

       Barbra Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh(63)
       Council Member
       City of Simi Valley

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Horatio Alger
From:  Ann Minor '70
Reply-to: weaselmthr@ncidata.com (Ann)

After contributing to the "draw a peace sign an
 every brick" moment on every brick moment at
 Col-Hi, and yes, I admit it (and would do it again)
 "walking on the bomb" in the foyer, I now live on
 an Indian reservation and consider myself a
 recovering liberal.  War is still evil- but some are
 more evil than others. I cannot imagine willingly
 sending my twin boys off to one willingly...but as
 far as Horatio goes, like I said, I live on the rez
 and now support termination.  People who are just
 given boots can rarely seem to find the straps. 
 Don't think I could bring myself to vote for a Bush,
 but Gore is so smarmy I could only vote for him if
 he swore to wear a bag over his head for his whole
 term...BMW, Mike Franco, your father is still
 spoken of with great fondness in my father's
 household, and Al Parker, thank you for
 hosting.

                        -Ann Minor '70

                               ~ ~ ~ 
That concludes this issue, folks.
 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
 and subscription requests.  To join in the ongoing
 conversations here, send your comments to:
 The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com or simply hit the reply
 button and start conversing with us!

                      - Al Parker (53)                 
                   Your Sandbox Host
                         - 81 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #82 ~ September 12, 2000

"There are important cases in which the difference
 between half a heart and a whole heart makes just 
 the difference between signal defeat and a splendid 
 victory."  -A. H. K. Boyd

Look who's talking today~

           Norma (Loescher) Boswell (53
         Ann Minor '70, Steve Carson (58), 
        Gene Trosper (85), Dick Epler (52)
        Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54

Let the conversations begin!

Subj:   Re: TV Sitcom: "99352"
From:   Norma (Loescher) Boswell (53)
rosybos@altavista.com (Norma Boswell)

Our moderator Al Parker asked an interesting
 question. Would we like to see 99352 expressed as
 a sitcom or a drama? Who would be the
 characters? What would be the plot? Is there a
 theme?

I lean toward a sitcom. "A little bit of sugar helps
 the medicine go down." People will listen to
 almost any opinion if it makes them laugh. A good
 writer could present history in humorous terms
 ranging from gentle to sharp-edged. The characters
 could be people like ourselves and our parents,
 living through the 40's. If the series received good
 ratings, the timeline could move into later years,
 perhaps up to the present.

Two possible themes could be persistence and
 resilience.

            - Norma (Loescher) Boswell (53)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Bismuth-213:
           A Query About Cancer Therapies 
From: -  Ann Minor '70
Reply-to: weaselmthr@ncidata.com

OK, attach Bismuth-213 (re: issue # 75) to pt's own
cancer antibody works for me, but in the case of 
leukemia, are the "bad" (cancerous) white blood
cells different enough from the healthy ones that
the antibodies attach to only the bad ones? 
What about the stem cells or whichever in the 
marrow that are producing the "bad" ones?  I 
imagine the point of the letter was pro-nuclear 
rather than what's new in oncology, but I really
 am interested.  The new therapies really rock, 
and will, I truly believe, make chemo obsolete 
in our (hopefully) lifetimes. Anyone know more 
about the use of radioactive isotopes in cancer 
tagging therapies? Thanks. 

                    -  Ann Minor '70

                           ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Foreign Policy
From:  Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com
Re: The SANDBOX #78

For Marc Franco.  I appreciated your response and
 believe that we are in agreement.  The elements I
 would look for in our foreign policy would be an
 acknowledgment that countries we are dealing
 with have their own culture and values and that we
 respect them.  (Human Rights should always be in
 our consciousness and we a proponent of them)  

I like the Bush acknowledgment that we have been
 essentially ignoring our South American neighbors
 and that his administration will address that.  As to
 foreign policy in trade matters I believe that a
 mirror policy would serve us well and put the
 onus on our trading partner to set the bar. 
 Another question is how we could go about
 managing our monetary foreign aid so that it gets
 to the programs intended and not into the pockets
 of the government officials.  
  
                Be well, Steve Carson (58)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj: If McCain Had Been Gore's Running Mate
From:   Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com
Re: The SANDBOX #78

Mr. Eckert: The problem with your scenario is that
 if McCain was named to the Democrat ticket he
 would be booted out of the Republican party, loose
 his seniority and his Chairmanship.  

Given Gore's actual pick will we now hear of the 
 Radical Religious Left?

                      Steve Carson (58)

                              ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:  Libertarians Becoming More Representative
  of The Populace
Re: The SANDBOX #78
From:   Gene Trosper (85)
gtrosper@ez2.net

Bob Carlson wrote:

"...the reason that libertarians are not represented in
 national office is not their respectability, but their
 intelligence.  They are too smart for the voters. I
 don't mean to say that they are smarter than the
 average voter, they just appear to be.  Does this
 explain Jesse Ventura?  Who knows."

Ah! The "Geek Factor"! being a Libertarian, I
 know full well the impression that some people
 have of us: Intelligent and overly rational. It's no
 secret that many Libertarians are professors,
 computer scientists, engineers, philosophers, etc.
 Attending a Libertarian Convention can sometimes
 seem like a convening of the "intellectually
 supercharged."

I think a lot of this stems from the early years of the
 party when a majority of it's members were
 devotees of Ayn Rand and her Objectivist
 philosophy. A philosophy which praises reason and
 success.

Over the years however, we have seen more
 "average Joe's" filter in to the Libertarian Party. In
 fact, at our recent national convention in Anaheim,
 CA, I would say that the average Joe easily
 outnumbered the "Old Guard." We finally have
 become much more representative of the populace.

Many of us can wait for our shot at representation
 in national office because we would rather slowly
 and methodically build our base of support from
 the bottom up. If we have no solid foundation, we
 will surely crumble, just as the Reform Party has
 already done.

As for Jesse Ventura being a libertarian....not on
 your life! He may agree with libertarians on some
 issues, but he takes a decidedly unlibertarian
 stand on many other issues. He is more of a poulist
 than libertarian. And while I am at it, I may as well
 remind everyone that Lyndon LaRouche IS NOT
 a Libertarian! I have no idea how that rumor
 started, but it is finally coming to an end.

                      - Gene Trosper `85

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj:  The Surplus, Social Security, and Taxes
 August 31, 2000
From: Dick Epler (52)
depler@ortelco.net 

This year's election rhetoric is going to be mostly
 about "spending the surplus." So maybe the first
 thing we need to know is that there is NO Budget
 surplus -- yet. If there were a surplus, then we
 would actually be spending less money than we
 take in, and the public debt, which is an
 accumulation of deficits, would be getting smaller,
 right? Well, it's not! We were supposed to have a
 small surplus in FY99. Didn't happen, instead,
 FY99 wound up a $130 billion deeper in the hole.
 In another month (9/30/00) we'll know the results
 for FY2000.
 
The debt varies from month to month and has been
 lower in some months than the previous, but on a
 yearly basis, the debt since 1969 has always been
 higher than the year before. An Internet site that
 provides an up to date accounting of the public
 debt down to the penny is
http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm
. There are other sites, based on the same official
 information that provide a more graphic portrayal
 of the Government's income and expenses that
 produce this debt, currently at $5.67 trillion.

So how, you might ask, can both political parties
 rationally argue that we have surpluses when the
 debt is increasing? The short answer is that they
 can't - at least not yet.

The long answer, that I won't get into, has to do
 with various economic projections, which may or
 may not come to pass. In truth, what the
 politicians call a "surpluses" is only a future
 projection and therefore not reliable. Worse, the
 mentality of Government's everywhere is never to
 end a fiscal year with a surplus. People who have
 been involved in Hanford's budgeting process
 know this all too well. At the end of each fiscal
 year, there is generally a rush by each department
 to finish with a small overrun. It's a tried and true
 way you get your department's allocation
 increased for the next year. To his credit, President
 Carter tried to institute zero-base budgeting, but of
 course it didn't help a lot. When it comes to
 spending money, Government is very creative.
 Whatever the projected surplus is now, it WILL
 change, especially AFTER the election and in a
 negative direction. We can depend on it. After all,
 the people projecting surpluses (the CBO and the
 OMB) are the same as those who, just a few years
 ago, were projecting deficits to the end of time.

What we really have here is an accounting problem.
 Any corporate CEO or CFO that used our
 government's accounting rules would be put in jail.

Social Security (SS) is an excellent example. It's a
 pay-as-you-go plan, also known as a pyramid
 scheme because it's dependent on always having
 significantly more contributors at the bottom than
 recipients at the top. But current demographics
 suggest just the opposite, which means that Social
 Security, rather than having a surplus, is actually
 running a deficit in actuarial terms, as there are NO
 reserves (trust fund) to pay future claims. All
 claims are paid from current receipts. It's always
 been that way. No private insurance company
 would be allowed to do that. But that's not even
 the worst part.
 
The worst part is that even if the surplus were real,
 Government will never have the will to setup
 individual SS accounts that are "untouchable" by
 Government. Both parties seem to agree on this.
 Every year the SS "surplus" is spent in its entirety
 by Government on other programs. In all previous
 years, to even suggest investing that money in
 separate SS accounts would mean the Government
 would have to either cut existing programs or raise
 taxes. Apparently, that will be true in the future,
 whether there is a surplus or not, as neither party
 really believes in privatizing SS.
 
In truth, however, having the Government "save"
 money by investing in the markets is a bad idea
 (big, BIG, source of mischief there). So the best
 the Treasury can ever do is to buy back debt, but
 the last time we had a surplus in 1969, the money
 was simply carried over to the following year to
 cover proposed increases in spending. This year, a
 real tax reduction has been proposed as an
 alternate to increased spending. And that's a large
 part of what the current political rhetoric is all
 about.
 
Currently, the accountants tell us that Federal
 taxes are at 20.1% of GDP, the highest since 1945,
 but most people aren't aware of it. That's because
 almost 50% of the people don't pay any *Income*
 tax. But even if they don't pay Income Tax,
 they're paying a full 15.3% in SS (FICA) taxes on
 all earned income.  But they don't think of it as a
 tax because they're under the illusion that the
 money is being saved in a separate account for
 their retirement. It's been a useful illusion. I should
 mention that only half of the 15.3% (7.15%) is
 visible on the pay stub. Employers are forced to
 hide the other half, so this is another useful
 illusion. Another major illusion is that corporations
 pay taxes. Not true. The consumer pays corporate
 income taxes at the register just like "state sales
 taxes." The only difference is that corporate
 income taxes are paid in the form of increased
 prices so they're not as visible as sales taxes.
 Calling for increased corporate taxes is like calling
 for a tax increase on yourself. In truth, consumers
 pay ALL taxes whatever you call them and it's a
 good deal larger than 20.1% of GDP.

The real tax questions, then, are whether you
 believe Government can spend your money better
 than you, and if so, how much should government
 allow you to keep (implying that the money really
 doesn't belong to you). For what it's worth, Alan
 Greenspan thinks individual spending is best
 economically.
 
Regardless, the SS problem remains. The problem
 is not that SS will run out of money. The problem
 is that SS doesn't have any money. Never has!
 Contrary to popular belief, Social Security taxes
 are not deposited into Social Security trust funds.
 They flow each day into thousands of depository
 accounts maintained by the government with
 various financial institutions across the country.
 Along with many other forms of revenues, these
 SS taxes become part of the government's
 operating cash pool, more commonly referred to as
 the U.S. Treasury. In truth, once these taxes are
 received, they become indistinguishable from other
 monies the government collects. Regarding SS
 specifically, the best government can do is to
 estimate when it will be necessary to increase taxes
 when unfunded SS obligations become due.
 
To fix SS, the existing system has to be
 significantly changed. Doing that has been called
 the third-rail of politics, which is a subway train
 metaphor implying that touching it will kill you.
 Credit George Bush with a plan ALL politicians
 know has a chance of succeeding. Maybe
 Government can't save the "surplus," but
 individuals can. For the first time in the history of
 SS, individuals would actually have personal
 accounts the Government can't touch. Lieberman
 and other Democrats know it's the only reasonable
 option, but that doesn't mean they won't try to kill
 it. Democrats simply can't afford to have the
 Republicans taking credit for something so
 intelligent.
 
At this point, Marc Franco (66) might suggest that
 I'm only proving his point that there's little
 difference in the two parties. Of course, he's right
 in many ways, but I would argue that in one very
 fundamental way, the difference is huge. It has to
 do with exactly how Government plans to impact
 our lives in both the short and long terms. The
 approaches of the two men and their parties really
 are significantly different.
 
Maybe the tax plans of Bush and Gore are the
 single best examples to illustrate the difference. It's
 been said that Bush's plan is very simple, but is
 hard for the public to grasp, while Gore's plan is
 complicated but is very easy to grasp. So why is
 that? The explanation isn't that hard, but I've yet
 to hear anyone actually say it. In essence, simple
 plans like Bush's aren't dependent on the media or
 anyone else for understanding. Media
 interpretation can be checked too easily so they
 just don't say anything about Bush's plan. It's
 something we can do for ourselves. On the other
 hand, complicated tax plans allow the author
 (Gore) to utter cutesy 5-second sound bites that
 can go unchallenged. In other words, complicated
 plans are essentially a license to lie with impunity.
 Regardless of what you may actually think, you
 have to believe that further complicating the tax
 code is another big source of mischief.
 
Nevertheless, a few independent accountants have
 attempted to analyze Gore's tax plan. His
 apologists use selected details as debating material
 on the Sunday talk shows without ever mentioning
 the accountant's conclusion. Occasionally,
 however, a host like Tim Russert, spoils
 everything. On Sunday TV, Tim had the audacity
 to display the following conclusion: "Gore's Tax
 Plan is not really a tax cut, but is simply a
 collection of Government programs to be
 administrated by the IRS." That's as honest a
 statement as you'll see in this campaign. Another is
 that Gore's tax programs can be better described
 as the "FY2000 Full Employment Act for Tax
 Lawyers and Accountants" (anonymous), as those
 are the people who benefit a good deal more than
 the taxpayers.
 
But that's not why I personally don't like Gore's
 plan. My big objection is that, like most
 Government programs, Gore's plan distorts the
 free economy by wasting valuable resources on
 contrived problems created for the purpose of
 buying votes. In addition, large centralized
 programs always impose significant overhead to
 become major impediments to getting things done
 in a time useful to improving the situation of those
 needing it. Again, the real beneficiaries of such
 programs (bureaucrats, lawyers, accountants – big
 government) are precisely those who don't need it.
 On the other hand, history consistently teaches that
 the best solutions are those that are made closest
 to the source of the problem, i.e., on the local or
 individual level.

Similar arguments can be made regarding other
 issues such as education and medical. In each case,
 the Democrats would expand Federal Government
 to administer large programs that generally make
 problems worse. The Republicans, in contrast, use
 Government to encourage solutions closer to the
 source, often down to the individual level. Here
 are some of the consequences: For Democrats,
 Government money always goes to the
 *providers* of a particular benefit; for
 Republicans, the money goes to *individuals* who
 then decide among competing options to achieve
 satisfactory solutions. For Democrats, giant
 bureaucracies and industries are created to take
 advantage of new Government money; for
 Republicans, small highly mobile companies are
 created to encourage people to consider alternate,
 more satisfying, solutions than the single
 Government recommendation. For Democrats,
 people's unrealistic expectations often lead to
 bitterness and class warfare as they worry that
 someone else is getting away with more than they
 are, and so feel angry about not getting their fair
 share; for Republicans, people feel empowered to
 decide their own fate, to enjoy success and to have
 great feelings of self-accomplishment.  For
 Democrats, a bureaucracy is created that takes on
 a life of its own to where it can never be gotten rid
 of even after the original problem is gone; for
 Republicans, getting individuals involved in their
 own success is self-correcting and essentially
 immediate. For Democrats, the original problems
 never get solved, they just get more expensive; for
 Republicans, once the initial problems are solved
 the efforts are redirected to solving new problems
 resulting in consistent progress.

To my way of thinking, those differences are
 significant enough to use as a rational basis for our
 vote. Voting on the basis of "image" is something
 else entirely.

                     - Dick Epler (52)
                   depler@ortelco.net

Subj:   Not a Clinton Lover/Apologist
From:  Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54
bobs@proaxis.com (Robert Carlson)

I see I have now been singled out as a "Clinton 
 Lover/Apologist."  Sorry, but I am neither.  I'm
 just a tax payer who's pissed off over the money 
 spent to prove that Clinton was a liar.  The 100 
 million Ken Starr wasted would have been a nice
 boost to Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security. 
 And now the new guy wants to spend even more
 rehashing the same old stuff.  How many times to
 you want to flog the dead horse?  You don't have
 to spend a hundred mil to prove a politician is a 
 liar.  That is a given.  All you have to do is use
 your eyes.  If the politicians lips are moving, he's
 lying.

Let's face it, "Slick Willie" (in the British slang
 connotation of the word) was to the voters the
 lessor of two evils.  And that seems to be the way
 of politics, at least on the Presidential level for the
 past several elections going back to Roosevelt.

I will admit that I did not favor Kennedy over
 Nixon, and in retrospect I thought that if Lodge
 were the candidate, the Republicans might have
 won.  At the time I felt the nation could best be
 served by someone who had the experience, not
 some rich kid who was running because "Daddy"
 had a dream.  But that is hindsight, which at times
 is as nearly myopic as foresight, and "Bootleg"
 Joe's kid won.

I guess what I miss is Harry Truman.  Not every
 one agreed with his position on a given issue, but
 at least we knew where he stood.  Even his musical
 tastes were well known; although endless
 variations on "The Missouri Waltz" tend to get
 boring.  Just don't pick on his daughter's singing
 ability.  I begin to think that Bore and Gush
 operate on the philosophy of "take any issue and
 I'll agree with you on it."  Let's face it, they're both
 politicians.

And in this light, think of it this way.  Clinton is a
 liar, he has been impeached by the House and
 found not guilty by the Senate.  The race is over,
 you lost, forget about it, and get on with better
 things.  Or are you still shocked that Jackie
 married the Greek?

         Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54 

                              ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks.
 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
 and subscription requests.  To join in the ongoing
 conversations here, send your comments to:
 The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com or simply hit the reply
 button and start conversing with us!

                      - Al Parker (53)
                 Your SANDBOX host
                       - 82 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #83 ~ September 14, 2000

   "Those who have finished by making all others
   think with them, have usually been those who
   began by daring to think for themselves."
                             - Colton

Hear Who's Talking Today~

  Mary (Ray) Henslee (61), Steve Carson (58),
  Patty Stordahl (72), Ron Richards (63)
  Chuck Monasmith (65), Linda McKnight (65)

Ladies and Gentleman, Start Your Engines!

Subj:   Medicare Reform
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61) Mah@satx.net

The more that I learn about the prescription drug
 plans set forth by the candidates, the more I
 wonder about the future of this country.  Of the
 two proposals, I think that Bush's plan makes the
 most sense and is flexible enough to streamline and
 get passed.  Gore seems to think that insurance
 companies cannot effectively handle the issue and
 that the government with all of its wisdom and
 compassion is the be all, end all that can.  Hmm! 
 Why is it then that in 1982 the Federal
 Government recognized that Medicare was not
 comprehensive enough coverage for most people
 so it began contracting with health care
 organizations to offer more benefits at little or no
 additional cost to Medicare recipients? 
 Historically these organizations have been known
 as Medicare HMO's.  Today they are sometimes
 called Medicare Plus Choice organizations.

I decided to find out more details about the
 Medicare HMO plan that PacifiCare has to offer
 called Secure Horizons, which I mentioned in my
 last entry in Issue 80.  After I found out just how
 this plan was tied to Medicare, I decided that it
 would be prudent for the government to strive for
 a similar arrangement with other companies.  Such
 a plan would incur no extra cost for the
 government over and above what they are already
 paying out for Medicare claims.  The plan works
 thusly: Medicare has a formula that they use to
 determine how much to pay Secure Horizons for
 each Medicare recipient participating in their plan. 
 The formula is based on the amount that Medicare
 pays out in claims in a particular region divided by
 the number of Medicare recipients in that
 particular region.  The result of this equation is the
 premium that the Health Care Financing
 Administration, which is the agency that
 administers Medicare, pays Secure Horizons to
 totally take over a person's medical claims
 including prescription drugs.  Medicare is then out
 of the mix except for paying the premiums.  No
 more or less is taken out of the Medicare
 recipient's social security check for Medicare and
 there are no out-of-pocket premiums due.  The
 only difference that Medicare recipients notice is
 better coverage.  A person has the option of
 dropping their Secure Horizons coverage at
 anytime and resuming their Medicare coverage. 
 Secure Horizons is offered in 15 states now,
 including Texas. 

The only requirement for Secure Horizons'
 coverage is entitlement to Medicare Part A and
 enrollment in Part B.  A person cannot be refused
 coverage for health reasons.  Secure Horizons pays
 100% of all hospital stays with no limits.  There is
 a $6.00 co-payment for prescription drugs with no
 limitation on generic drugs and a $1500 limit each
 year on brand-name formulary drugs.  Doctor
 visits require a $6.00 co-payment.  The coverage
 for running tests is 100%.  Nursing home care is
 paid for 100 days and home health care is
 completely covered.  Durable equipment such as
 wheel chairs, etc., is completely covered.  This plan
 and most Medicare supplemental plans cover some
 vision, dental, and hearing services, while
 Medicare does not.  This coverage is far more
 extensive than Medicare's coverage and certainly
 adequate enough coverage for those who cannot
 afford a Medicare supplemental insurance
 premium.  My daughter is a Director at a
 retirement village where many residents are
 enrolled in Secure Horizons and are very satisfied
 with their coverage.

The hidden costs for handling something as major
 as what the candidates are proposing is never
 mentioned, such as added paperwork and more
 man-hours for government employees.  Gore's plan
 would require the government to function like an
 insurance company.  Individual claims would have
 to be monitored so that they don't exceed the
 limitations set forth or include brand-name drugs
 that could be replaced with generic drugs.  A plan
 such as Secure Horizons would not generate extra
 clerical work for the government, but rather serve
 to cut down on paperwork and man-hours.  A
 Medicare supplemental insurance plan to cover
 prescription drugs would also prevent extra clerical
 work for the government.

Having the government pay for prescription drugs
 instead of an insurance company would end up a
 bureaucratic nightmare and the cost would be so
 astronomical that the FICA deduction would
 surely rise in the future, especially after baby
 boomers hit the scene.  Many doctors refuse to be
 Medicare assigned doctors because they are forced
 to charge less and wait longer for payments.  The
 pharmaceutical companies may take the same
 position after a while.  This is one issue that should
 be handled in a bipartisan manner when it reaches
 congress.  Bungling this one will effect the elderly,
 taxpayers, and future Medicare recipients.....in
 essence, everyone.  For a candidate to propose
 something that will never become reality in order
 to win a select group's vote, is especially sad when
 that group is the elderly who may not realize that if
 it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true. 

There are many people under 65 who must decide
 between medication and other necessities because
 they do not have health insurance.  I think that
 before the government gives tax credits for
 childcare and college tuition, they should give a tax
 credit for health insurance to those with an income
 below $25,000.  I think that the Earned Income
 Credit should be abolished because I am sure that
 many get away with fraudulently claiming the
 credit at the taxpayers expense.  The money
 utilized for this credit would be better spent
 subsidizing health insurance premiums for the
 family's children rather than given in the way of a
 check that can be used for a bottle of booze or
 anything desired without any accountability.  I
 survived without a childcare credit.  I survived
 without a tax credit for my children's college
 tuition.  I may not survive without health
 insurance.  Making it possible for everyone to have
 health insurance should come first because our
 good health is more important than anything else
 is.  Let's hope that the Medicare issue is handled
 prudently so that the wealth can be spread around
 and those under 65 can also enjoy good health.
               - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Media Ownership and Test Scores
From:   Steve Carson (58)    SteveNitro@aol.com

For Anna Durbin (69):  I agree with much of what you write.
Exceptions:  "The Media is owned by Conservatives" 
If that were true then the press would be supporting
the conservative view.  Education:  Testing is 
necessary and yes Tests at Col Hi did focus me and
lock in the information taught.  Our good teachers
inspired and you wanted to show well on tests.

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj: Where is Pat Paulson When You Need Him?
From:   Patty Stordahl (72)   DZIGNRITE@aol.com

The older I get the less wool one can pull over my
 eyes. I am of a sound mind to believe nothing I
 hear from a candidate and research backgrounds.  I
 and my voting household are so sick of all the
 deterioration of the Democrat & Republican
 parties that we have decided to vote under a
 protest vote.  Big money elects the puppets in the
 higher offices and for any American who believes
 their vote other than a protest is less than savvy in
 my eyes.  With the computer age well into
 everyone's reach we no longer need an electoral
 vote.  We could all mark our ballots right from
 home and our own little PC's.  Then the popular
 vote would mean something.  We just may get the
 one we really want.  Not just the lesser of the two
 richest evils.  Join me in registering a protest vote.  
 Whether it does much good or not at least the
 more protest votes there are the more the two
 major parties will have to take a serious look at the
 voting public.  Every one thinks there is only Bush
 & Gore.  Hey where is Pat Paulson when you need
 him.  

I vote common sense and Liberty for the
 country.  Can we handle the no government
 freebies and handouts that overtax the middle
 class?  I for one am so tired of free this and free
 that to all less fortunate.  IF there were less
 programs, there would be more pride in the
 American lifestyle.  If I could sit on my butt and
 have the tax payers foot my bills, that may be a life
 style I would get used to, but not totally like. 
 Free handouts breeds laziness.  As a single mother
 of 4 for 14 years, I always found work.  Medical
 bills were my responsibility as well as school
 lunches and clothing.  Handouts are for lazy people
 and indifferent adult children who have older
 parents and will not provide for the folks in their
 old age.  My rearing has never left an option We
 take care of our own, If each family took care of
 their own there would be no need for the
 government to use my tax dollars to pay for
 abortions, to pay for  medicaid, to supliment the
 homeless or drug users.  

I say vote for Brown or Nader as a serious protest. 
 Change the vision of the Democratic &
 Republican parties and bring some control back to
 the people.  I want my gun, my life and my old age
 investing to be my decision only.  Kick the
 government out of homes, churches, schools, and
 out of my paycheck.  Charity begins at home not
 with Uncle Sam stealing 38% of my wages.  By the
 way there are more brand new Toyota's & Honda's
 and Lexus's in our Seattle suplimented housing
 project parking spaces than in my entire town.

Humm I wonder how I can get a section 8 so I can
 have a new car???
                   - Patty Stordahl (72)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Fuel Cells
From:    Ron Richards (63)    G1A1S1@aol.com

I couldn't believe my eyes - a positive statement
 (regarding fuel cells) from Dick Epler with which I
 could agree.  Now I ask Dick to recognize the 
 possibilities for advancing the commercialization of
 fuel cells through the construction of several fuel
 cell distributed power facilities in the Tri-Cities as
 a condition of Snake River Dam removal.

At the same time one should not sell short the
 possibilities for doing the same with solar power. 
 Shell Oil Company is the largest producer of solar 
 panels in the world today.  Maybe there is a
 message here.  AstroPower has more demand for
 its solar panels than it can meet.  Maybe there is
 also a message here.  And the examples go on.

The combination of fuel cell and solar panel
 technologies will be an important part of the
 development of the hydrogen cycle.  The economic 
 development gurus in the Tri-Cities should not let
 this opportunity pass.  It is not too late for
 Hanford to become a major player in this game.  
 Mitigation for any negative impacts from Snake
 River Dam removal is just the ticket to jump start
 this effort.

To read about a few of the interesting
 developments with these technologies 
 (and perhaps to discover some good investments,
 although perhaps not as good now as a while ago),
 one should check out the Yahoo news reports for
 FCEL, APWR, ENER, and BLDP.  It's an
 interesting world out there beyond the constraints
 of atomic energy, the internal combustion engine,
 and hydro power!
                     - Ron Richards (63)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 79

For Dick Epler - Thanks for the history lesson.
   - Steve Carson (58) (SteveNitro@aol.com

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Words to Harry Potter Critics
From:   Chuck Monasmith (65)  msmith@owt.com

Dear Jenny Smart Page (87)

Unlike most of the persons stating opinions about
 the Harry Potter books, I have read all four.  The
 books are fabulous tools for teaching kids right
 from wrong, good from evil, how to make value
 judgments and how to stand the courage of their
 convictions.

Book Two, Harry Potter and The Chamber of
 Secrets was especially good for teaching kids one
 very specific lesson.  

How can you teach examples of hatred, prejudice
 and bigotry without offending at least one
 oppressed group?  It's easy. You show kids how
 the bad guys in the story display bigotry towards
 the muggles and the mudbloods.  How can any
 race or group of persons who has been the victim
 of bigotry be offended when the lessons are taught
 and passions rallied against bigotry when the
 oppressed are the muggles and the mudbloods? 
 Harry, Ron and Hermione set an example for all
 our kids (and some of us adults too) on how best
 to respond in the face of bigotry. 

Jenny, Please let your young reader experience the
 Harry Potter series, better yet, you read it aloud to
 him.  Censorship of the unknown is the very worst
 kind of ignorance. Teach your young reader to be
 enlightened and to make judgments based on
 experience and fact, not on conjecture.  

I realize my letter has been pretty hard on Jenny.  It
 just happened her letter was the one that pushed
 my button against censorship. 
            - Chuck Monasmith (65)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Harry Potter
FROM:  Linda McKnight (65)
LMckn21142

Before anyone should voice an opinion about the
 Harry Potter books, pro or con, I think those
 people should read the books.  While witches and
 wizards sound pretty terrible, it seems we all grew
 up with the Wicked Witch, the Good Witch and
 the Wizard of Oz.  How are these books any
 different?  Are there really some parents out there
 whose children were forbidden from reading Alice
 in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz?  Didn't good
 triumph over evil?

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks.  Please remember
 to include your class year and MAIDEN name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.

To join in the ongoing conversations here, send your 
comments to:  THE_SANDBOX@bigfoot.com 

Enjoy visiting THE SANDBOX archives at:
 http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                      - Al Parker (53)
                 Your SANDBOX host
                       -83-
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #84 ~ September 14, 2000

         "A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
                              - Dickens

Hear Who's Talking Today~

  Chuck Monasmith (65), Marc Franco (66),
  Dick Epler (52),  Paul Ratsch (58), 
  Steve Carson (58), 


Let The Conversations Begin!

Subj:   Texas - Smexus
From:   Chuck Monasmith (65)
msmith@owt.com

Mary Lee Henslee Wrote about the cost of living
 differences between Richland and Texas.

Well, Mary, I went to file://www.homefair.com/ 
 This site can also be reached through the USA
 Today home page.  This site has a salary
 calculator.  Plug in any two cities and presto, you
 get the salary difference you would need to have
 the same life style.  If I earned $100,000 in 
 Richland, (I wish) I'd have to earn $103,000 to
 live in Dallas.  And I don't have to put up with
 Texans!

P.S. Maren, Welcome back!!

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Assorted comments - including a reply to 
  Mary Henslee
From:   Marc Franco (66)
Reply-to: mfranco@sttl.uswest.net 

Well, I am back from three weeks vacation, and
 have seen that nobody noticed I was gone. It's
 always nice to be needed! I've read through the
 Sandboxes that I've missed, and although there
 were numerous very interesting comments by a
 variety of people, I've already missed the boat on
 those, and will confine myself to the present.
 Except that I do have one question for people: It is
 old news now that Dick Cheney voted against
 abortion, even if the mother's life is in danger.  My
 question is, if anybody, especially women, resents
 that. I have no quarrel at all with people who are
 against abortion, as long as I don't have to agree
 with it, but it strikes me as demeaning for a woman
 to be told that her own life is worthless, and that of
 her family, as long as she carries the child that
 might kill her. But, of course, I am not a woman,
 and may be reading this wrong. I know this is old
 news, as I said, but I didn't have a chance earlier to
 ask this.

To the present, I thought Mary Henslee in #80 had
 some really nice comments. To paraphrase, she
 said that she didn't think the country was as well
 off economically as the administration was telling
 us, and also that Gore's comments might lead to a
 schism in our society. The comments about the
 economy of the country were interesting, because I
 have read that there are actually quite a few people
 who have not participated in the stock market
 surge that many other people have benefited from.
 The actual rise in stocks has been limited to only a
 few, and many stocks have done little or nothing.
 So there really has been great wealth generated,
 but only for a few people. Many others, if not
 most, have not seen any real benefit.  Downsizing,
 another of her comments, has affected many 
 people, but on the other hand, it would not be fair
 to ignore that unemployment has been at 4%
 for a while now. There will always be dislocations
 in any economy. But her comments were well-
 founded. Many people have benefited in this
 economy, but many have not.

Mary also made a comment which had not occurred
 to me before- not exactly something new- about Al
 Gore saying he represents the common people,
 not the "big" people. This basically would imply
 alienation of one segment of the population from
 another, since if a common person rises in the
 ranks, then presumably he would then be a "big"
 person, and would no longer be represented by Al
 Gore. I think few people would deny that such
 alienation already exists, but it is true that Gore
 could probably express himself so as to not
 propagate such alienation. It was a very interesting
 comment.

I would also like to express my disappointment in
 Clinton's attempt to develop an ABM system.
 There has been no evidence that this would ever
 work; it is hideously expensive; it would surely
 begin a new arms race (our foes in the international
 arena probably have little interest in seeing
 America attempt to become invulnerable); and
 even our own government admits it is a violation
 of the ABM treaty currently in force with Russia. I
 wonder how we would react if Russia broke a
 treaty with us. I am aware that Clinton finally
 decided not to go ahead with it, leaving it to the
 next administration to decide if it wants it (Bush,
 for some reason, calls that bad leadership- much
 better, apparently, to force a new administration,
 which may not want the ABM, to spend the money
 anyhow. even if it doesn't work.) But I am still
 very disappointed that Clinton even considered
 this.
                     - Marc Franco (66)

                               ~ ~ ~

From:   Dick Epler (52)
depler@ortelco.net
First Subject: Bob Carlson's "Not a Clinton
 Lover/Apologist" Comments in Issue 82B

I hate to be critical of anything Bob writes because
 he's really a neat guy (we share a lot of history and
 like a lot of the same music). Regarding Clinton,
 however, it seems that Bob and I are continually
 repeating ourselves and I really hate that. But
 maybe I've made some progress. At least Bob isn't
 saying that the Clinton impeachment is all about
 sex anymore. But it wasn't all about lying either.

The central impeachment issue was whether Bill
 Clinton, as President of the United States, is above
 the law? And if so, what other law is the President
 free to ignore? Understand now, this is the
 Commander In Chief of the greatest military force
 in the world (not as great as a few years ago, but
 still substantial). For such a leader to believe s(he)
 is above the law is something that should generate
 a lot of concern. In the impeachment proceedings,
 the Senate refused to answer these questions.
 David Shippers, the House lawyer, recently wrote
 a book about the Senate's sellout. And thus the
 book is appropriately named "Sell Out: The Inside
 Story of President Clinton's Impeachment." It
 answers a lot of questions that were only
 speculation previously. Maybe these Constitutional
 questions will be answered once Clinton is out of
 office, but maybe not right away if Hillary gets
 elected.

The impeachment was also not just about Clinton's
 personal life. His pattern throughout most of his
 life has been very consistent. Indeed, my guess is
 that Clinton's success and behavior in public life
 led him to believe he could get away with just
 about anything in his private life as well. In that
 sense Clinton's behavior IS directly related to his
 official position as President.

We often make the observation that "power
 corrupts" but that's not the case here. The Clintons
 were already pretty corrupt when Bill came into
 office which was what most of the early
 investigations were all about. So the REALLY big
 question is whether our Constitution is still
 effective in preventing corruptible people from
 gaining excessive power to manipulate the lives
 and fortunes of the populace. That was a big
 concern for the framer's. They believed a division
 of power between the three branches would
 counterbalance this destructive tendency, but in
 those days, they couldn't know about the "fourth
 branch of government" - the media - whose
 interests are independent of the Constitution. The
 media is primarily interested in "alliances" as
 Richard Hatch of "Survivor" fame advocates. The
 Republican's problem is that they're outside the
 alliance. A recent poll revealed that ninety-three
 percent of the media vote Democratic ... no big
 surprise there.

Maybe the United States is destined to go the way
 of every other great power. I hope not. But make
 no mistake: It's been our Constitution that has held
 us together this long. Without it, and respect for
 the applicable law, history teaches we cannot long
 survive.

~~~

Second Subject: A Summary

This will be my last contribution to the SANDBOX
 before the election. To date I've used a lot of
 words to encourage readers to ignore the message
 of the media by providing some foundation for
 making a rational selection between the two
 candidates.

The media (and Bob) likes to tell us that political
 conventions are boring and are a waste of time to
 broadcast (but they televised more of the
 Democrat's convention than the Republican's).
 They tell us that there's really no difference
 between the two candidates since the Republicans
 promise the same things as the Democrats and
 therefore have to be lying ... just like the
 Democrats (no dispute there). But I disagree ... in
 part ...

If the media doesn't like the conventions it's
 because they're not a big player in that format. The
 media currently prefers events with play-by-play
 and color commentators much like a football
 game, where the outcome goes to the "team" that
 provides the most spectacular plays on a given day.
 But I would suggest that voting for the leader of
 the most powerful nation on earth should not be
 dependent on contrived theatrics. Though both
 conventions were carefully scripted the content
 was important primarily for evaluating the message
 consistency of the two candidates. Consistency is
 indicative of a candidate with a moral rudder who
 will most likely be honest with the American
 people and faithful to our Constitution in
 accomplishing goals.

Which leads me to the central thesis of almost
 everything I have written to date: the WAY
 something is done is often as important as WHAT
 is done. Both candidates may promise similar
 things but that doesn't mean there's no difference.
 That's because the methods used by the two
 candidates to accomplish their goals are key.
 Bush's goals are more likely to be achieved with a
 greater participation by individuals resulting in
 more satisfying solutions with less government
 intrusion. Gore's goals, like Clinton's, will be
 achieved through centralized bureaucracies backed
 by the threat of guns (the police and other
 enforcement agencies ... think Waco). Generally
 corrupt leaders like to force solutions that benefit
 the few at the expense of the many, which,
 according to the experts, is much easier to achieve
 if the populace are disarmed in advance.  All this
 naturally results in a larger government with a
 greater confiscation of the nation's wealth.

As voters, we only have to ask ourselves two
 questions regarding the problems of the world and
 our nation: Do we want government, and the
 media, to enforce the "one single 'best' solution"
 for our problems? Or do we want to be an active
 and independent part of each solution as our
 Constitution encouraged? I caution against
 concentrating too much power in the Presidential
 office, for such power can only further enable an
 already corrupt leader. Also bear in mind that a
 vote for "image" is a vote for media. Look beyond
 the image for substance - and media ratings be
 damned!

Your vote is important. Vote wisely!

                      - Dick Epler (52)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Questions and Answers About Texas
From:   Paul Ratsch [58]
pratsch@hotmail.com
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 80 
[Reply to Mary Henslee]

Can you take out a second mortgage on your home
 in TEXAS?...NO

How can you save and or invest money for your
 retirement if you don't make any?

Most people have to work until they drop in TEXAS.
 Reason: No assets or cash flow to retire
 on. Texas is a slave labor state and you know
 it, admit it.

Why do so many Texans come to the state of
 Washington to work? Answer: Better standard of
 living.

We certainly wouldn't come to your state to
 work, the way Texans treat outsiders.

Don't tell me about Texas, I have been there....   

                   -  Paul Ratsch [58]

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 81
From:   Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com

Now Barb Seslar and I have both asked for facts
 about the comment..."The conservative controlled
 (owned)? media.  I don't recall who made the
 original comment but I believe it to be
 disinformation.

For Ann Minor, serving in public office at the local
 level is tough and I congratulate you.

                   - Steve Carson (58)

                             ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

             The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

     http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                     - Al Parker (53)
                 Your SANDBOX Host
                       - 84 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #85 ~ September 16, 2000

 "If any man seeks greatness, let him forget greatness
            and ask for truth, and he will find both."
                         - Horace Mann

Hear who's talking today~

         Anna Durbin '69, Jerry Swain '54), 
         Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54, 
         Ann Minor '70, Lloyd Swain  '66
         Steve Carson '58,  Jim Moran '86. 

Let the conversations begin!

Subj:   The High Cost of Elections Keeps  
            Good People Out of Politics
From:  Anna Durbin '69
golddurb@libertynet.org
  [Referring to the article,  "Government By The
  People Is Still Alive And Well in Simi Valley" by
  Barbara Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh (63)
  in SB81]

Dear Barbara aka Jeanie:

I did not mean to insult you or any other local
 official, and I am very sorry if I hurt your feelings. 
 You sound like the kind of person I would spend
 my time working for.  I am just very disgusted
 with Senate and national races and how much 
 they cost.  I still vote.    

But all the money that is spent on these mindless
 sound bites drives me crazy.  I would never run for
 office because of all the money it costs.  I think it
 is terrible you have to go in the hole to be a public
 servant.  And I hate getting the letters from losing
 candidates who have to raise money to make up
 their losses.  It scares a lot of good people out of
 politics. 

I was referring to national government and not to
 local.  I thought I put in how the grass roots is the
 only place you can have input.  In my district, we
 elected a new school board that stopped deferring
 maintenance and did a study of what was needed,
 bit the bullet and started fixing the dangerous stuff. 
 They are taking a lot of heat for the bond issue and
 higher taxes, but I will leaflet my precinct again for
 them.  And I am proud that my daughter who went
 off to college and turns eighteen two weeks before
 the national election registered to vote and applied
 for an absentee ballot before she went.  In one
 election, she agreed to make calls on election day
 to remind people to vote, while we were working
 the precinct, and we got a majority of the school
 board by about 30 votes.  I think she made thirty
 calls. She didn't reach them all, but she had a big
 part in it.  I do give my money to local candidates. 
 We elected a new congressman last time by 85
 votes.  We walked the precincts.  My family put up
 a campaign volunteer from out of town in our
 spare room for a month.  But huge money is
 coming in to the campaign from out of state this
 time.  I don't have an extra thousand to put up with
 college tuition, but I will put up another campaign
 worker and walk the precincts.  

The point I was trying to make is that elections cost
 way too much.  People should be able to make a
 living and be public servants and be paid for it. 
 They should not have to send out a letter two
 weeks after they are elected asking for money to
 be reelected and then spend a huge amount of
 their time calling people for money and going to
 fundraisers so they can pay media bills.  Why do
 we have so many millionaires in Congress?  They
 are the only people who can afford it.  And they
 forget what the lives of the people you work to
 help are like.  (If they ever knew.)

Apathy is our greatest enemy.  When our country is
 controlled by 20% who are narrow, special interest
 voters, we may stop being a democracy because so
 few people vote.  

                       - Anna Durbin '69

                                 ~ ~ ~
Subj:   Flying uncamouflaged and "Don't Mess With
 Texas"
From:    Jerry Swain (54)
Reply-to: jmswain@home.com
To: The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

Note to David Henderson (60):

As a pilot who flew a load of fuel in an
 uncamouflaged KC-135 to within visual range of
 Hanoi to help out Lt. Col. Robby Risner in his
 crippled F-105 so he could get back to Korat,
 Thailand, I can relate to a pilot who would fly a
 colorful B-17 deep into Germany with a load of
 bombs in a formation of B-17s.  The effectiveness
 of the formations of B-17s in defending against
 German fighters was well known during the
 German bombing campaigns.  In Viet Nam, Lt. Col.
 Risner and I had seven F-105s on our wing as we
 pumped fuel into his battle damaged F-105 at
 24,000 feet on our way back to Korat.  Strength in
 numbers...!

Note to Mary (Ray) Henslee (61):

Right on Texan!  Every point in your well written
 Sandbox letter should be forwarded to the Gore
 camp telling them not to mess with Texas (or the
 USA).

                        -Jerry Swain (54)

Another WASHINGTON business advocate for
 Bush!

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Budget Surpluses and Deficits
From:   Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54
bobs@proaxis.com

Once again Dick Epler, '52, has given us an erudite
 commentary on the financial situation of the
 nation.  And, for once I agree with him.  I just 
 think he could have used fewer words to say what
 one man's surplus is another man's deficit.  It just
 depends on which side of the political fence you
 are sitting

For those of you who would rather straddle that
 fence, I'm afraid all you get is chaffing in places
 you don't want to tell your children about.  Or 
 perhaps the Mugwump Party has reappeared.

It seems that neither major political party has
 grasped a basic economic premise that income
 should exceed expenditures in order to maintain a 
 certain amount of financial growth.  It has been
 stated more than once that if a business were run
 the same way government is, it would go out of 
 business in a short while.  What the pundits forget
 is that government has the power to print the
 money it spends, and business does not.

This is not to say that this is the reason Johnson's
 "Great Society" failed.  Guns and butter don't mix,
 especially if the "guns" part is the most unpopular
 armed conflict this nation entered.  And the rest of
 it was beginning to sound like a "socialist utopia,"
 which is also frightening to most Americans.

No matter what many say, the basic American ethic
 is "I got mine and you don't get any (unless I get a
 good tax break)!"  A president went out of his
 way to clarify how we should help one another,
 and even other nations.  But, we as a people, don't
 really want to.  Not that this a bad thing, it's just
 too self centered.

The nation has tried to institute different ideals for
 the betterment of all citizens.  The failure of these
 schemes has not been in the idea, but in the
 bureaucracy that was established to make the
 program function.  Social Security, Medicare,
 Medicaid and countless other good intentions
 would possibly function much more efficiently if
 the bureaucracies that run them had a positive
 rather than a negative function.

Did you ever wonder why you can't get simple
 tasks taken care of by these people?  Their rules
 don't permit it.  And, unfortunately, they are the 
 ones who make the rules, even if other rules
 prohibit such actions.  This applies to all
 governmental functions from the lowest level
 upward.

Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.

          Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Termination, Potter, Medicare, the Rapture
From:   Ann Minor '70
Reply-to: weaselmthr@ncidata.com (Ann)

Termination: Oh s--t, put my foot in it again, in it?
 By "termination" I did NOT mean terminating all
 tribal members (although I think there may be a
 few who wish to terminate me)! Termination is a
 political term that refers to ending a tribe's status
 with the US government and therefore ending their
 eligibility for entitlements.  There are at times a
 significant number of tribal members around here
 who support the concept.  The thinking is that
 handouts enforce dependency and destroy
 initiative. It is seen by some tribal members as a
 way to continue the domination of tribes by the
 white culture in that it tends to foster a continual
 state of dependency. I apologize for any
 misunderstanding, although it is still true that as
 David Allen Coe said (speaking of Texans)! "My
 long hair just can't cover up my red neck..."

Harry Potter: read em, loved em. Not advocating
 necessarily placing them on school required reading
 lists, although I certainly wouldn't object to it. I do
 most fervently object to anyone else telling me
 what I must or must not read, or allow my children
 to read It is first amendment, folks.  If one is
 looking for Christian writing, by the way I would
 strongly recommend The Lion, The Witch, and the
 Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis...oops there is that W
 word again.  Now tell me. will anyone out there
 tell me that C.S. wasn't a Christian?

The Rapture: Liked the book?  You might love the
 movie! And while reading and to a lesser extent
 movie watching I am fairly liberal about with my
 kids, I sure am not going to let them watch it for a
 few more years.

Medicare: I have worked in hospitals too long to
 have any illusions about the adequacy of Medicare. 
 I have worked in discharge planning and in
 Utilization Review within the last year, and it is
 frightening.  Even with a "good" supplement (and
 by the way there is only one supplement available
 in Eastern Washington at this time. (And it isn't
 good) it is expected that a person will come in for
 a knee replacement and be out the door in three
 days.  Sometimes yes, but if not some are faced
 with private pay at $800 per Day, exclusive of
 medications. Speaking of medications, I take
 several. One of them costs $400 per month, for
 arthritis. I was on a gall bladder med that was over
 $800 per month.  many of the new cholesterol
 drugs can cost that much, as can new
 antihypertensives and antiarrythmics.  I suggest
 anyone who thinks prescriptions are not a problem
 for fixed income seniors spend a few hours at their
 local pharmacy, and ask seniors about the costs of
 their medications. And hello! what on earth is the
 point of a tax break if you don't make enough to
 pay taxes???

Governors race: how bout it, WA State residents?
 Who do you support, and why?

     Take care all, am hoping for many earnest
 responses
 
                   - Ann Minor '70

                           ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Opening Scene, Sitcom: "99352"
From:   Lloyd Swain  "66"
Lswain6680@aol.com

Hey.. I really like the idea of a "99352" Sitcom.... 
 How about the beginning where the lead male is
 working in some large canyon building.. not
 knowing of course what he is doing... all of this to
 some great big band music theme.. The whistle
 blows... and he punches the time clock and heads
 right out into a "termination wind"..... oh great...
 he can't find the bus.... because there is too much
 dust... Cut to mom frantically pulling brown sheets
 of the clothesline... ones of course that have not
 blown away.... the kids of course are playing in all
 of this... they are brown now too... 

Dad finally makes it home.. wife cooking... kids
 washed up and come down to dinner,... in the
 small prefab dining room... they say grace and
 blow the dust off the table... Dan sneezes.. they all
 laugh and dig in... How about that for an intro?

            Lloyd Swain "66" (achoo!!!)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 82B
From:   Steve Carson '58

Dick Epler, WELL SAID!!  

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:    If This Were a Perfect World
From:    Jim Moran '86
jpmoran@cyberhighway.net (James Moran)

In reply to Patty Stordahl comment about how
 charity begins at home.... you know if we all lived
 in the perfect world, this would be great!!  But the
 truth of the matter is we all do not have a wealthy
 uncle or aunt, or a large family to support us in
 times of troubles.  Without getting in to details, my
 family, when I was very young, experienced a
 situation where we were finically destroyed in the
 early 1970's.  My family just moved to the great
 city of Richland, where we had no support
 network.  The only agency which helped us was
 the government.  I'm I proud of this? Hell no, but I
 know there are people just like me who need this
 type of help today, like my family needed help
 then.  Are there people who are abusing the
 system?  Unfortunate yes, but does this mean you
 destroy the system because of a few bad people? 
 No.  However, if you take that mentality, then let's
 destroy all corrupt corporations who lie to their
 customers about their defective products, or
 the CEO who receives a million dollar retirement,  
 then runs for a national public office.  In short, I
 see the need of the greater good outweighing the
 greedy few.  In the perfect world, we would not
 need any government assistance (or government
 for that matter ), but this IS NOT THE PERFECT
 WORLD.

Also, it always amazed how anybody who lives in
 the Tri-Cities could ever say with a straight face
 that they live a self sufficient life without 
 government assistance.  Uh, HELLO, the economy
 of this area is tied directly to FEDERAL FUNDING...
 You know, big bad government, aka,
 TAX MONEY. All tied to the big DOE (which I
 have heard is expected to increase).  So, when it
 comes to pushing up to the federal pork barrel, the
 people of Hanford and the Tri-Cities have received
 their far share.

                       - Jim Moran 86

                              ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                       - Al Parker (53)
                   Your SANDBOX Host
                          - 85 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #86 ~ September 17, 2000

  "They who disbelieve in virtue because man has
  never been found perfect, might as reasonably
  deny the sun because it is not always noon."
                            - Hare

Hear who's talking today:

   Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)  Dave Doran `72
   Lloyd Swain "66", Brad Wear 71, 
   Barbara Seslar (60), Steve Carson, 58

Let the conversations begin!

Subj:  The Bad Guy Gets It In The End
by  Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)
payson4@owt.com

I haven't logged in to the Sandbox for quite a while,
 but I do want to put my two cents worth in about
 Harry Potter.  I have read the first three books of
 the series, borrowed from an adult friend, and 
 am waiting for her family to get through book
 four.  Of course, it is the choice of parents what
 their children read.  I have always been very liberal
 as far as that is concerned.  I did make it a point to 
 read along with my children when they were
 younger.  My daughter was enamored with Sweet
 Valley High and the Baby-sitters Club series.  I 
 read those until I couldn't take it any more.  One
 mother asked my opinion of the Sweet Valley
 series because she felt that her daughter was too
 young to be reading such "mature" material.  My
 reply was that there was nothing I objected to for
 my fifth grader and the "bad" characters always
 lost in the end.  We always made a habit of 
 reading before bed for about 20 to 30 minutes. 
 We read a range from Beezus and Ramona stories
 to classics like Treasure Island.  My children and I
 always discussed what they were reading at home
 or at school.  That carries through to today when
 we recommend books to each other and enjoy the
 discussions that ensue from reading common 
 books.  I don't think it matters what your children
 read as long as reading is encouraged and they see
 their parents reading for pleasure at home.  So
 what does this all have to do with Harry Potter? 
 The bad guy gets it in the end!

              - Mina Jo Gerry Payson (68)

                              ~ ~ ~


Subj: Re: The SANDBOX Issue 84
From:  Dave Doran `72   
Salt4385@aol.com

As a new subscriber to the Sandbox I suppose I
 should just observe for a bit but I can't help but
 comment on a few of the views in Issue 84.

I'm not a Clinton apologist but, really, he was
 corrupt when he took office? I may have missed
 some breaking news but didn't Ken Starr fritter
 away $100 million or so and come up with a big
 nothing save for the sex thing? Of course it was
 stupid to lie about it but certainly no worse than
 some of the stupid and illegal things Presidents
 have been doing forever. The Contras, Watergate,
 Irangate and Reagan's own Star Wars all best
 Clinton on my stupid list. And the last time I
 looked there were many more than two candidates
 for Presidential office although I agree that with
 our present system they have a collective fat
 chance.

I enjoyed the comments on the stock market
 because, of course, hindsight is always perfect. A
 great many stocks have done well and anyone with
 a few hundred dollars to save could have picked up
 double digit returns in any one of a number of
 mutual funds. The economy has been genuinely
 good for anyone who works, saves or borrows
 unless they were stuck in a menial job or put their
 savings in a bank account. 

  My biggest peeve is reserved for that traffic cop
 of the almighty dollar, Alan Greenspan. I can't
 believe that anyone as myopic as a single man
 should wield the power that he does. He wants to
 slow the economy to prevent 'inflation' and, like
 anyone who is single-minded, he does it without
 regard as to the larger consequences like people
 losing their jobs and not being able to buy homes
 and of course he is wealthy enough to be largely
 unaffected. Our economy has an unemployment
 factor built into it thanks to Mr. Greenspan who
 believes that, if too many people have jobs, then
 employers will lose their leverage to fire at will and
 the competition for workers will raise their payroll
 costs. How about a 'rising tide lifting all the boats'
 theory straight from Ron Reagan himself except
 some boats must be left in the mud so one can tell
 that theirs has risen.
                          -Dave Doran `72

                                  ~ ~ ~


Subj:   If It Were Not For Us...
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 82B
From:   Lloyd Swain "66"
Lswain6680

WOW>. where is Pat Paulson when we need
 him?..... I don't know about the rest of you..... but I
 am going out to vote... and hope to hell I get it
 right this time...... I love all your editorials.. some
 are just too long to read....mainly because my short
 attention span and the fact that I don't get here
 much... But really... We all need to hold our
 elected officials to task... when we are not too
 busy working.. taking care of a family....and doing
 yardwork....  and helping this robust economy
 grow... and we are the ones you know.....that
 make all of this work..... We're the Boomers... and
 if it weren't for us ... well ... it would be a lot
 different... 
                      - Lloyd Swain "66"

                                ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:    Doing Great In Texas
From: Brad Wear 71  
Wear90@aol.com
To Paul Ratsch 58:

Paul,  
I don't know what decade you were in Texas, but
 you need to come into the 21st century.  Yes, you
 can have a second mortgage on your home in
 Texas.  Years ago they were not allowed, primarily
 due to the "Homestead Act" that reduced the tax
 valuation of your property.  Home equity loans are
 a common albeit risky practice for several years
 now.

Take a look at any salary rating matrix and Texas is
 up towards the top.  Primarily due to the "High
 Tech" industries that are located in Dallas, Austin,
 and San Antonio.  The salary levels would be even
 higher if we didn't have the Illegal Alien issue to
 deal with.  Contrary to popular belief we live in
 modern homes, have 401K's IRA's, and corporate
 retirement accounts.  Most companies even have
 stock purchase plans. Texas and Washington are
 really closely tied in their economies and their
 industries.  I have met countless people here who
 have lived in Washington, even Richland to be
 specific, that work on some of the nuclear
 facilities.  Seems like no one can get the running of
 these facilities right, (Commanche Peak, South
 Texas Project here), Hanford up there.  There
 seems to be a heavy cross pollination of workers
 from Texas and Washington.  It's also quite
 common in the aircraft industry.  Big B has plants
 here, and partners with several of the other local
 big manufactures.  Quite a few Washington Stater's
 have matriculated down here when the industry
 slowed up there, and Texans have gone up there
 when it slowed here.  Amazing how that works. 
 Most of the local work slow downs occur when
 the unions get involved and force a closure of one
 plant or the other.  Texas welcomes most 
 outsiders, just look at the list of fastest growing
 cities.  Texas has three of the top four.  If we're
 such a bad place to live why are so many people
 coming here?  

To Chuck Monasmith 65:

Richland Vs Dallas

Chuck, I lived in Dallas for several years and would
 rather die a day sooner than live IN Dallas.  The
 taxes are excessive, they have one of the worst
 education systems in the state.  Perpetuated by the
 Texas Education Association (TEA) the state
 education union, the local board, half of which
 can't or won't speak in full sentences. They've had
 four Superintendents in the last five years.  One
 resigned after a long tenure, one sent to prison for
 embezzlement, one fired after eight mos., and two
 interim's that would not take the job due to the
 board.  Salary $260K, nice chunk of change.  The
 boards first question, as well as the local
 communities, when they announce a candidate is
 "What Color is he?"  I find that interesting, What
 should it matter?  Dallas is one of the last bastions
 of Democratic dominance in Texas.  They are also
 the highest Taxed, highest enrollment in Welfare,
 lowest scores on the TAAS tests, second highest
 school enrollment where English is a second
 language.  Now flip that to the city where my
 youngest son goes to school.  Plano, when I
 moved here 22 years ago it was a sleepy little town
 of 37,000.  This years census puts it at 385,000. 
 They have the highest scores in the state on SAT,
 TAAS, ACT, the most scholarships awarded,
 (nation wide), and the most graduates that receive
 IB or AP certificates.  We've also voted some of
 the biggest bond issues dedicated to Information
 Technology and High Tech infrastructure in the
 schools.  All schools are networked with fiber
 optics, pentium III's and the latest software.  My
 son had CNC training in 8th grade.  In 4th grade
 he had his own PC at his desk that was state of the
 art, and it's only gotten better.  Local control is the
 reason.  We would be even better if Ann Richards
 (Ma' Richards) hadn't passed the "Robin Hood"
 amendment.  Take funds from the wealthiest
 school districts and give to the poor.  The concept
 is fine, but when the TEA fights accountability and
 poor schools pay the brother of the superintendent
 or some other relative millions for the same job
 over and over again "what's wrong with this
 picture?"  

I'd move back to Richland, it's still home, in a
 heartbeat, if there were jobs there that could meet
 the income I'm earning now.  Will I move back
 some time?  You bet, I love it there.  But for now I
 like it here in TEXAS.  

                Ya'll come down, ya hear. 
                      - Brad Wear 71 

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Comments about Issue 84
From:    Barbara Seslar (60)
radman@gte.net

Re:  Dick Epler (52) comments re: Bob Carlson's
 "Not a Clinton Lover/Apologist" Comments in
 Issue 82B

I appreciate your well-thought out comments.
  Thank you for expressing them.

                   - Barbara Seslar (60)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 84
From:   Steve Carson
SteveNitro@aol.com

For Paul Ratsch (58)

Paul, when we first started talking in the Sandbox it
 was about your low opinion of Texas.  Then I
 thought it was because your union people had been
 painting an unfair picture of the state because of
 the "Right to Work" issue.  Today I am not sure
 what is under your saddle but Texas is a cool state. 
 Are some of the people a little "proud" yes and
 that would be their loss.  Relax a little Paul.  There
 are good people and less good people everywhere.  
 Let's focus on the issues that will impact us and
 take the time to become fully informed.  I can't
 wait to have a couple of beers with you and hope it
 is soon.
            
                    - Steve Carson 58

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                        - Al Parker (53)
                   Your SANDBOX Host
                      -86-
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #87 ~ September 18, 2000
                  
 "Measure not life by the hopes and enjoyments of  
 this world, but by the preparation it makes for another; 
 looking forward to what you shall be rather than 
 backward to what you have been."

                                 -Tieck

Let's hear who's talking today~

     Mary Ray Henslee (61), Paul Ratsch [58]
           Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54,
      Janie O'Neal (65), Gene Trosper (84wb)

Let The Conversations begin!

Subj: More Rhetoric Comments
From: Mary Ray Henslee (61)
           Mah@satx.net

Sorry guys, but I feel compelled to come to my
 defense and the defense of other Texas transplants
 against less than accurate statements. 

Chuck Monasmith (65), I think that it is only fair to
 compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. 
 When you compare Dallas, our highest
 cost-of-living city, to Seattle, which is probably
 Washington's highest cost-of-living city, the figures
 are a little more credible.  If you make $100,000 in
 Dallas, you would have to make $132,580 in
 Seattle to own and $110,476 to rent.  Richland is
 probably not the best example because I am going
 to guess that most of the homes are probably the
 original homes built by Hanford compared to much
 finer homes in Dallas.  You are also comparing a
 small town to a large Metropolitan area.  

Paul Ratsch (58), Texas fought Home Equity Loans
 (second mortgages) for sometime because of the
 pitfalls.  These loans make it far too easy for
 people to overextend themselves and lose their
 homes.  You will need to update your Texas
 bashing checklist because the Banks won out and
 Texas is now allowed to offer Home Equity Loans,
 which has been the case for quite a while now.  As
 for your other comments, I will leave those for
 someone else to comment on because you lost me
 somewhere between slave labor and the dismal
 retirement we can expect.

Texas is no different from most places.  There are
 good people and bad people everywhere.  Texas
 has always been famous for its friendliness.  If your
 opinions of Texas are based on your political
 views, just remember that Governor Bush has not
 run Texas for its entire history and like many
 elected officials has inherited some problems from
 his predecessors. 

I do think Bush is very much for fairness and is not
 afraid to speak up against injustices.  He was not
 afraid to speak up against the outrageous fees that
 Attorney's were receiving from the tobacco
 settlements.  He is not afraid to take the most
 sensible approach to the Prescription Drug issue at
 the risk of appearing to have a less effective plan
 than Gore because Gore is pledging more
 government money.  I read an article where
 someone suggested that Bush concentrate on
 education and forget about prescription drugs
 because Gore plans to spend the most so he will be
 seen as wanting to do the most for the elderly. 
 Maybe Bush goes shopping with his wife more
 often so he knows that you can get the same
 product for less if you know where to shop.  Bush
 just needs to really concentrate on spelling out
 how his plan will not only offer prescription drugs,
 but more extensive coverage in other areas of
 health care as well and why it is possible for his
 plan to be more cost effective without
 shortchanging the elderly.
 
Study the issues and vote wisely for your sake and
 that of your family.

                = Mary Ray Henslee (61) =

                               ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:   Much Ado About Nothing
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
bobs@proaxis.com

As a former "forced" resident of the state of Texas,
 I must agree with most of the derogatory remarks
 about that place made both here and in "The 
 Sandstorm."  The only thing I found "cheap" about
 the place were the price of gas, and the politicians. 
 I remember a story about "Landslide" Lyndon 
 that made the rounds shortly after he was elected
 to Congress.

One of the campaign workers came across a small
 boy sitting on the sidewalk crying his heart out.

   "What's wrong, son?" asked the worker.
   "My father did not come to see me yesterday day,"
 sobbed the little boy.
   "But your father is dead," answered the worker.
   "I know," the little boy replied, "but he came and
 voted for Mr. Johnson."

Mary Ray Henslee speaks of Medicare and
 Medicaid, and she very politely reminds us that
 there is "no free lunch."  Even such programs as 
 Medicare cost money, and the primary burden is
 on the tax payer.  And believe or not, even the
 "nicest" HMO is in business to make a profit.

On conservatives controlling the media, they don't. 
 On the other hand, the ownership of movie and
 television studios, and radio and television 
 stations lie in the hands of persons of a fiscally
 conservative nature.  Some refer to them as
 "bottom liners" (or is it feeders).  To a certain
 degree, they may be politically conservative.  So as
 a very broad statement, the media is owned by
 conservatives.

My erudite colleague, Mr. Richard Epler, RHS '52,
 has again succinctly stated a case for being
 involved in politics, even if both candidates make 
 watching grass grow more exciting.  And now that
 Mr. Gush has firmly planted his foot in his mouth,
 can it be too much longer before Mr. Bore 
 does likewise.

And, Dick, I guess what I meant to say is that most
 Libertarians are too smart to get involved in
 campaigning for national offices (which as we all 
 know cost too much money).

But then I am reminded of a philosophy prevalent
 in Chicago during the reign of Mayor Richard the
 First:  "Come early and vote often for the 
 candidate of our choice."

And for those of you who are wont to condemn
 books on the word of an "expert," please, please,
 take the time to find out two things.
    1.)  What is the agenda of this "expert"
    2.)  Read the book before making up your mind.

I, personally, don't read Stephen King, Judith Kranz
 and some other authors, basically because of the
 genre in which they write, but I do not tell others
 they should not read these books.  I may look
 askance at them, but that's as far as I will go. 
 Besides there are better authors out there.

     And that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

         = Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54 =

                                ~ ~ ~

Subject: Harry Potter
From:   Janie O'Neal (65)
jjanssen@onlinemac.com (Janie Janssen)

O.K. Here's my two cents.  I also read the Harry
 Potter books with my grandson.  And also I found
 them every fascinating, it was a very good
 opportunity to talk to him about allot of issues. 
 Although there are allot of things about Harry
 Potter I personally do not agree with, it has
 become a very useful tool.  It has helped show my
 grandson not to take everything at face value, to
 look beneath the first message. I find this topic
 concerning to me because of a resent survey I was
 involved in through our church.  We went to down
 town Portland, set up an area to look like a
 television crew and did interviews with teenagers
 while taping them.  The first question we asked
 was who they thought Jesus was.  The answers we
 got nearly broke my heart.  One girl said, "Well, I
 think he was someone's grandfather who did really
 nice things and everyone just got carried away
 after he died."  Another question: "Do you believe
 in God?" Two girls dressed all in black responded
 to this question, "Of course we believe in God but
 we're on the other side." When asked if they
 weren't afraid of the devil they said, "No we made
 a pack and when we get to hell we'll be his
 helpers." One boy responded, "Yes, and I used to
 go to church but when my parents got a divorce
 we stopped going."  Then he broke down
 crying. Then we ran into the Good Witch, who
 only cast good spells on people, unless they
 weren't nice to her.  I have worked al lot with kids
 over the past 35 yrs, ranging in age nursery
 through high school and the thing that bothers me
 is they are the most confused group of children I've
 ever seen.  When we were growing up, right was
 right and wrong was wrong. We knew exactly
 where our boundaries were and we knew when we
 crossed over them. Few children of today have
 those guidelines, there are too many gray areas. 
 Harry Potter is not a worry to me.  It's what you
 do with it. Is there such a thing as a good witch? 
 Is witchcraft something we want our children
 experimenting with?  I say No!  And I'm sure almost
 everyone agrees with me.  I strongly feel the only
 hope for our future generation is that every
 grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, mom and dad
 commit to handing down some of the good old
 Christian morals and values we all grew up with.
 And take those kids to church. Let them get
 involved, make relationship that enrich there lives.
 I've seen to many kids on the streets aimlessly
 wondering around trying to make since out of life. 
 Well, I'll climb down off my soap box now, but if
 you could have seen some the things I've seen
 over the years concerning children, it would break
 your heart.

                     = Janie O'Neal (65) =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   If Bush and Cheney Get In
From:   Paul Ratsch [58]
Pratsch@hotmail.com

How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Gas, oil, or
 Natural Gas! 

If Bush & Cheney Get In, you Will Really Get
 Hammered.  These Guys Are Ex. Big Oil
 Executives.  Cheney Was the CEO for Halliburton,
 One of the Biggest Slave Labor Companies In the
 Country, don't Believe Me, Ck. It Out.

                     = Paul Ratsch [58] =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Reply to Jim Moran
From:   Gene Trosper (84wb)
Reply-to: gtrosper@ez2.net

Jim Moran writes:
>In short, I see the need of the greater good
 outweighing the greedy few. In the perfect world,
 we would not need any >government assistance
 (or government for that matter ), but this IS NOT
 THE PERFECT WORLD.

You are exactly right...this is NOT a perfect world.
 Outcomes in life are NOT guaranteed. It's a sad,
 but very hard truth. This is an excellent reason
 why we should try to limit the size of government
 and it's constant attempt at creating an equitable
 society.

What exactly is the "greater good"? Does the need
 of one person automatically assign an obligation
 upon others?

Do you have the right to force your neighbors to
 contribute to your cause, (hunger, poverty, 
 environmentalism), simply because you think it is
 just? Is it any more legitimate for a group of
 people to undertake the cause for you and force
 everyone to "donate"?

You speak of weighing the greater good versus the
 "greedy few". Does resistance or reluctance to
 government funding make one greedy? I don't
 think so. Those you want to brand as greedy come
 from all walks of life...some rich, some poor. Some
 black, some white. People on fixed or low incomes
 are hit just as hard (if not harder) through increased
 taxation. Is it fair to force a widow to pay more in 
 taxes because a vocal group of people demand 
 government funding for their own pet project or cause?

I use the word "force" quite often in this response
 simply because it's the truth. The government
 doesn't ask every citizen each year kindly if they
 would like to pay some income taxes...neither do 
 they suggest you pay taxes. They FORCE you to
 pay taxes. If you don't pay, they threaten you. If
 you ignore their threats, they freeze your assets
 and seize your property. If you resist the seizure of
 your home, they will come to arrest you. Further
 resistance will be dealt with physical harm or
 death.

Kind and compassionate government? I will let you
 decide.

If someone wants to throw the word "greedy"
 around, let's first look to those who constantly call
 for government funding of their pet projects and
 causes. It's much more greedy to use the armed
 might of our government to force people to pay
 more in taxes to satisfy the desires of "do-gooder"
individuals and organizations.

I pay my taxes...simply because I don't want my
 home ripped from under me and my daughter to
 suffer from the "compassion" of others. Neither do
 I wish to die because of it. I sincerely believe
 many, many other people pay not because of
 patriotism, fair play or benevolence. They do so to
 simply escape the further wrath of Uncle Sam. It's
 not fun to have a significant portion of your
 hard-earned income extracted from your wallet
 every April 15.

I'm not anti-government. I'm pro-government. But I
 do believe our government MUST be limited much
 more than it is now.

                  = Gene Trosper (84wb) =

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                        - Al Parker (53)
                   Your SANDBOX Host
                        -87-
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #88 ~ September 19, 2000

   "Fly no opinion becase it is new, 
    but strictly search, 
    and after careful view,
    reject it if false,
    embrace it if ‘tis true. 

                           --Lucretius.

Let's hear who's talking today~

 Mary Ray Henslee (61), Steve Carson (58)
        Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54, 
              Jenny (Smart) Page 87

Let the conversations begin!

Medicare Reform
From: Mary Ray Henslee (61)
          Mah@satx.net

Moderator's Question: Which Medicare Plan
 Would You Prefer?

I have been doing a lot of sounding off lately about
 the Prescription Drug issue and it just occurred to
 me that some of you may have missed the article in
 your local newspaper detailing Gore and 
 plans or perhaps it never appeared in your
 newspaper.  It is always better to make informed
 choices so I am taking this opportunity to share the
 two plans with you.  According to the newspaper,
 Bush's plan essentially builds on the expansion of
 managed care in Medicare that was required by the
 balanced budget act of 1997.  It is modeled after
 the health plan that is now offered to federal
 workers whereby people are allowed to choose
 from a select group of insurance plans.  Gore's plan
 solely relies on government funding without any
 relief from insurance companies.  Compare and
 come to your own conclusions.  

HOW PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS
 COMPARE

OUTLINE

Bush:  Elderly would have the option of using a
 subsidy paid by Medicare to purchase a private
 insurance plan containing a prescription drug
 benefit.  Each private plan would determine extent
 of coverage.

Gore:  Elderly would have the option of enrolling in
 a Medicare prescription drug program similar to
 the Part B program that covers doctors' bills. 
 Medicare would pay half of prescription drug
 costs, up to $5,000 annually.

ELIGIBILITY

Elderly with income at or below 135 percent of the
 federal poverty level ($11,300 for individuals,
 $15,200 for a couple):

Bush:  Free premiums for Medicare coverage,
 including prescription drugs.

Gore:  Free premiums and cost-sharing for
 Medicare coverage, including prescription drugs.

Elderly with income above 135 percent of the
 federal poverty level:

Bush:  Subsidy covers drugs for those with incomes
 of up to 175 percent of the poverty level ($14,600
 for individuals, $19,700 per couple).  Subsidy
 declines as income rises toward the 175 percent
 mark.  All seniors with income above 175 percent
 of poverty receive a 25 percent subsidy for drug
 coverage.

Gore:  Subsidy covers drugs for elderly with
 incomes between 135 percent and 150 percent of
 poverty level.  Subsidy declines as income rises
 from the 135 percent level to 150 percent.

CASTASTROPHIC COVERAGE

Bush:  Medicare covers out-of-pocket medical
 costs exceeding $6,000.

Gore:  Medicare covers out-of-pocket prescription
 drug costs exceeding $4,000.

EFFECTIVE DATE (IF PASSED BY
 CONGRESS)

Bush:  2001

Gore:  Begins 2002, fully implemented 2008.

                 - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    The Plane Truth About Camouflage
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
bobsown1@hotmail                      

For Jerry Swain '54

 Good to hear from a fellow classmate.

     I think more for financial reasons, rather than
 tactical, paint was removed from most Army Air
 Force planes during WWII.  Some bean counter in
 the Pentagon probably figured out that they could
 save a whopping $1.98 on the cost of each B-17.

     As for your situation at 24000 near Hanoi, I
 don't think a camouflage paint job would have
 helped much, unless it was radar suppressing.

      The Navy, on the other hand, took the gaudy
 yellow paint off the wings of their planes right
 around the time of Pearl Harbour, and painted the
 planes in varying shades of blue.

      Someone, much smarter than either of us,
 thought more of the pilot's psychological well
 being; and said that a camoflage paint job would
 make the pilot think he was invisible.

      But, as I recall, the Air Force kept the
 unpainted aluminium scheme until into the Vietnam
 fracas, when the "BUFF's" got black paint, and
 some of the other's when back to the olive drab.
 The black was to reduce visibility from the ground
 during night raids (also used in WWII).  I haven't
 figured out why the o.d. paint on a fighter plane. 
 Unless it was to foil "Charlie's" spy satellite photo's
 while they were parked at Tan Son Nuit or Da
 Nang.

      At any rate, your in-flight refueling was
 probably much more exciting than the fellow
 racing down the runway in a '35 Ford pickup
 trying to keep up with a Curtis Jenny (Smart)
 Page while the guy  in the bed was pumping 
 madly on a hand pump to get fuel from a 55 gallon
 drum to the airplane.  In  either event, my hat's off
 to you for doing the job you did.

     Well, that's my opinion and I'm welcome to it.

          = Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54 =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Potter
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page (87)
Reply-to: jpage@gocougs.wsu.edu

I'm a few days behind in reading the entries, so
 forgive me for not responding immediately to
 Chuck Monasmith, and the others who commented
 on my original statements.  And, Chuck, just to let
 you know, I didn't think you were being too hard
 on me.  Actually, all you did was set me firmer in
 my beliefs on Harry Potter (read:  you pushed my
 buttons too).

It has been stated that without having read the
 Harry Potter books, that one is not in a position to
 comment on them. Following that train of thought,
 that means that because I don't listen to Marilyn
 Manson and Enimen (sp?), I can't call their music
 garbage and hateful; and because I've never had an
 abortion, I'm not qualified to say that its the
 murder of an unborn child; and because I've never
 smoked dope or shot something into my veins, I'm
 not able to say that drugs are a bad thing to do;
 and because I've never had skin cancer, I'm not
 capable of knowing that laying out in the Tri-City
 summer sun is harmful???  Sorry, folks, that logic
 doesn't float with me.  I believe I am able to look
 at a synopsis of a book, or movie, or whatever,
 and listen to what others have to say about it, and
 make a judgment about how it fits with my moral
 standards.

We live in a different world today than we did from
 even when I was a kid.  Things are not interpreted
 the way they used to be, and what once was safe
 and fun now is not.  As an example, how many of
 you walked to school every day? Or stayed out
 hanging on a street corner after the football game?
 Or rode your bike across town to a friend's house,
 and then went to some field in the neighborhood to
 burn up ants with a magnifying glass, being told
 only to be home when the streetlights came on?  I
 did...my friends all did...and now today, I don't
 know a single parent who would let their kids do
 the things we did.  And you know why?  Because
 its a different world we're living in --- even right
 here in the middle of no-where-southeast-Washington.
 There's too  many wackos out there, and they're all
 masquerading as "okay-people".

So, here's how I see it with Harry Potter.  Just as I
 wouldn't tolerate my kids smoking a joint or a
 cigarette (after all, they are gateway drugs), or
 taking a nip from the grandfather's beer (if he were
 to drink), or for my daughter to be dressed like a
 whore when she leaves the house (all in the name
 of "fashion" and the "latest craze"), I won't tolerate
 my kids reading something that I think is offensive
 on many different levels.  Like I said in my original
 statement, I don't think Harry Potter books alone
 are going to turn every kid to witchcraft.  But, it
 may very easily be the first stepfor some -- but not
 my kids.

Again, let me give a shameless plug for an
 alternative, for those of you who may be looking
 for something different, and yet still a quick read
 for you and your kids.  Go read the Left Behind
 series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins (they're in
 the Richland Public Library, at the books stores,
 and even at Costco for less than $8 a book).  Good
 versus evil (as in Christ vs. the anti-christ); lessons
 about lying and deceit, making payment for past
 wrong actions....all those supposed lessons that are
 to be learned from Harry Potter.  Except this time,
 it truly is the good guys who win.

Am I telling you that YOU can't read the Harry
 Potter books?  No.  Go ahead. And, like the
 bumper sticker I saw the other day says, "If you're
 living your life like there is no God, you'd better
 hope you're right."

       Standing firm with my original opinion,
       Jenny (Smart) Page
       Class of '87

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj: Unemployment Factor Misread
From: Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com

For Dave Doran (72)

Dave I think you misread the unemployment factor
 in Greenspan's equation.  Today unemployment
 hovers around 4%, which really means that
 everyone who wants a job has one, and businesses,
 like mine, can't find employees to sustain our
 growth.  For the most part companies are now
 having to offer higher salaries, not because the job
 is worth more or more productity will occur,  but
 because not having a person in a critical position
 will strangle the company and cause long term
 damage to companies and their employees.

So, Greenspan looks at these factors 1.)increased
 wages without increased productivity, and 2.)
 insufficient staffing to sustain growth and draws
 his conclusions.

I now have to spend 40% of my time recruiting and
 just today participated in a "job fair" with 50 other
 employers.   The quality of those still in the
 available labor pool consist of the poorly educated
 and most have job records of multiple jobs of short
 duration and not good prospects.

No one wants anyone to be without work that
 wants a job.  Many companies have had to hire
 unqualified people and then run a school to try to
 bring them up to speed.   The education system is
 failing the people and must be fixed if we are not
 to become a 3rd world company.

For Paul Ratsch: Paul, you are beginning to be funny.
Is this a stand up routine? Slave Labor? Give me a break.

             = Be well! Steve Carson (58) =

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland Highschool, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                        - Al Parker (53)
                   Your SANDBOX Host
                      -88-
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #89 ~ September 23, 2000

   "It is right to be contented with what we have,
        never with what we are." - Mackintosh
 

Let's hear who's talking today~

            Jim Blakely (67) - Brad Wear '71
     Paul Ratsch (58) - Chuck Monasmith '65
         Dave Doran (72) - Anna Durbin '69
                  Linda McKnight (65)

Let our conversations begin!

Subj:  History Question
From: Jim Blakely (67)
mailto:jimblakely@engineer.com

Q: If you owned a model Mark IV FM, which 
 product would you have?

a. A recreational vehicle made by General Motors?
b. Sony's not yet released top-of-the line DVD player?
c. Cambridge Audio's best table-model radio?
d. None of the above?

   (See answer at the end of this issue of 
     The SANDBOX.)

                            ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Weighing the Cost of Paint
From:   Brad Wear '71
Wear90@aol.com

To Bob Carlson, '54

Bob,

I think you're right about no paint being a financial
 matter on the B-17's as well as the B-29's.  It had
 more to do with the added weight of the paint, and
 the "wear and tear" on the engines.  I think it was
 the 5,000th ship off the line that was signed by all
 the factory workers.  Just that amount of paint
 forced that particular aircraft to run it's engines at
 a higher rate and thus added more to the
 maintenance aspect.  The planes in the different
 theaters also had different paint schemes.  Not
 knowing what the final destination was of the ship
 that rolled off the line it was probably easier to
 have them painted when they reached their final
 base.  My aunt and grandmother were both "Rosie
 the riveters" in the Seattle Boeing plant during
 WWII.  They had some interesting stories.
 American Airlines, (another fine Texas company)
 saves millions of dollars a year over their
 competition with the striped paint scheme versus
 the full body paint job.  The weight factor is
 incredible.  I don't know how many gallons of
 paint go on a plane, but I bet it's a significant
 amount.  Just consider the weight of each gallon
 and the total probably equates to several fully
 loaded passengers.  You know what they calculate
 for a fully loaded combat Marine was 250 lbs.  I
 would have had to carry an extra 100 lbs to meet
 that mark when I was in the Corps.  

                     - Brad Wear '71 

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    For Steve Carson
From:    Paul Ratsch (58)
pratsch@hotmail.com 
The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

OK, Steve- (slave labor) = not a livable wage.  I
 agree on the schools. If we don't motivate the
 children to learn & pay attention in class, our
 future is slim and none....

                      - Paul Ratsch (58)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Sticking to Beliefs and Censorship
From:   Chuck Monasmith ' 65
msmith@owt.com (Chuck Monasmith)

To Jenny Smart Page

I am so very glad you are going to stick by your
 original opinion.  I will forever support your right
 to do so and will consider you as someone to
 respect for sticking to your beliefs in the face of
 criticism.  Good for you.

Now, let me make sure I understand your position. 
 You would prefer to have your kids read a book
 where David sends a subordinate into a no-win
 battle just so he can keep slipping it to the
 subordinates wife, rather than a fantasy about
 children in a magical land?  Do you also boycott
 Peter Pan?  Alice in Wonderland? Did the
 tooth fairy never visit your children? 

I best be careful or your intolerance will make me
 cynical.

Censorship is a blatant ignorance.  Hide censorship
 behind Christianity and it's abhorrent.

                 - Chuck Monasmith '65

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Manipulating Levels of Employment and
            Judging a Book By Its Content
From:   Dave Doran (72)
Salt4385@aol.com

I love this Sandbox thingy!

To Steve Carson: I own two businesses and it's
 true that it is hard to find 'good' and qualified
 people. I meant no particular moral weight to the
 statement about our institutionalized
 unemployment factor, only that one exists. I can't
 agree that anyone who wants a job can have one or
 at least a fitting and interesting and living-wage
 one but that may have more to do with the part of
 the country they live in and their level of training.
 Alan Greenspan uses or tries to manipulate the
 level of unemployment and my only remark is that
 he is not smart enough to be left alone with so
 much power!

To Jenny Page: With all due respect to your
 beloved opinion I see reading a book as more
 analogous to taking a trip or journey where, if one
 doesn't start at the beginning and continue through
 to the end, the entire experience may not be valid.
 And I hate to say it but it is the height of arrogance
 to condemn a book or a journey that one has not
 even tried to experience. Sorry, but having read
 the Bible all the way through I find it to be full of
 the magic and mystical and egotism and goodness
 and ignorance that one might expect of such an
 antique and eclectic document. Some of the
 lessons contained therein are for the good of man
 and just as many that reflect the fear and loathing
 of the unknown so that one has to read with an
 open mind to discern the differences. Just like any
 good book. You have to read it though, there is no
 substitute.

                       Dave Doran (72)
        
                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Re: The SANDBOX Issue 88
From:   Anna Durbin '69
golddurb@libertynet.org  

Dear Sandbox:

I think people are believing too much of what
 they see on TV, and guess what, it isn't all true. 
 Nobody without a job who wants one?  4%
 unemployment rate?  I don't think so.  They came
 up with that unemployment rate by adding the
 military in.  They didn't do that before Reagan. 
 
Next, tell me there is no prejudice in this country. 
 What are the unemployment rates in African
 American communities?  It isn't 4%. And if you
 believe people don't want to work, you are just
 wrong.  

I have a client who was a letter carrier who injured
 her leg while delivering mail.  Instead of
 accommodating her as the Americans with
 Disabilities Act requires by finding useful work
 that she could do, the USPS sent her to the Cripple
 Crew.  They work from 8:30 PM to 5:30 PM at
 work that is the equivalent of a white room with
 nothing to do.  She had to be away from her
 teenaged daughter and son at night.  (Dad the drug
 addict has not been in the picture for years.) 
 Guess who got pregnant?  Her 16 year old
 daughter.  When my client put what she had been
 told was trash in her pocket, they arrested her and
 charged her with two federal felonies of mail theft
 and mail obstruction.  I represented her in a federal
 trial where she was found not guilty.  Would the
 postal service reinstate her?  No.  And they took
 away her unemployment and her medical
 insurance.  What job could she find?  Minimum
 wage cashier at a drug store - no benefits.  Support
 two teenagers on that?  Sure. 

Jenny would not let her kids hang out after a
 football game or be kids?  Neither does my sister
, because she watches the evening news which
 features nothing except what horrible things have
 happened today.  Guess what?  Those events are
 pretty much exceptions to the rules.  My kids go
 places with their friends and I trust them.  They are
 careful about unusual happenings, but they are not
 confined in a cage.  I try to help them think for
 themselves instead of presuming that anyone who
 they don't know or who has different skin or a
 different life style is automatically evil.  They have
 gone to integrated summer camps where they have
 learned that there are rotten white kids and rotten
 black kids.  And there are great white kids and
 great black kids.  They have learned what to look
 for in the qualities of their friends and they are not
 afraid of the world or naive and rebellious because
 we have overprotected them.  Everybody makes
 their own choices which is what makes this
 country full of different people.  I just wanted to
 let you know some other choices that have been
 made.  
       
Drugs - the great demon of our country if you listen
 to the politicians and the news.  We have over two
 million people in prison in this country - I believe a
 majority from nonviolent drug offenses.  Many of
 them were (1) working hard at making a living at
 what was available where they lived and would
 have been called energetic entrepreneurs if they
 were selling tobacco or (2) self medicating their
 depression at their lack of a decent future.  It's
 okay if it's prescribed by a doctor or if it is alcohol. 
 We did not learn or forgot rapidly from Prohibition
 that making things illegal causes violence when
 people are willing to pay for the product.  Many
 more people die in this country from alcohol
 related incidents than drug related incidents every
 year. But we don't want to think about that.  And
 what happens when we lock up so many people for
 drugs?  A lot of them have children.  A lot of them
 have aging parents who need them.  What
 happens to those innocents?  We just don't seem to
 care too much.  

        So, my rant for the day.  I shouldn't read The
 Sandbox after work.  

                      - Anna Durbin '69

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Until Your Children Are Safely Grown
From:   Linda McKnight (65)
Lmckn21142@aol.com

To:  Jenny Smart (87)

I hope you have eyes in the back of your head and
 are able to stay up night and day for the rest of
 your days until your children are safely grown and
 moved away from your house because you do not
 have any idea what your children will be reading or
 doing when they are not in your presence.  It is
 human nature for children to rebel against what
 their parents believe or don't believe, because that
 is the way they reach their own conclusions, and
 become people.  What will you do, Jenny, if your
 kid does read a Harry Potter book or smokes a
 joint, or pierces an ear, or gets a tattoo??  Will you
 love them any less?  I have been through about
 everything I ever cared to while my kids were
 growing up and they and I have lived to see them
 become over 21. (The adult part we are still
 working on.)  They have had their share of
 rebellions but the one that caused me the worst
 grief was just recently.  It was when my son came
 home and said, "I registered to vote today.  I
 registered Republican."  I replied, "OH, MY
 GOD...PLEASE DON'T TELL YOUR
 GRANDFATHER.  IT WILL PUT HIM IN HIS
 GRAVE!"  Best wishes to you, Jenny, and lighten
 up on yourself and your kids.  Life is really pretty
 wonderful wherever you may be.  God bless. 

                     -  Linda McKnight

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   History Question Answer
From: Jim Blakely (67)
mailto:jimblakely@engineer.com

The question was:

Q:  If you owned a model Mark IV FM, which
product would you have?

a. A recreational vehicle made by General Motors?
b. Sony's not yet released top-of-the line DVD player?
c. Cambridge Audio's best table-model radio?
d. None of the above?

The answer is:

d. None of the above

You would own the atom bomb dropped on
 Nagasaki in 1945.  The bomb was
 designated the Mark IV FM on its blueprints.

      (Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES)

                             ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                 - Al Parker (53)
                 Your SANDBOX Host
                       -89-
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #90 ~ September 24, 2000

 "Great opportunities come to all, but many do not
 know they have met them. --The only preparation
 to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to what
 each day brings."  - A. E. Dunning


Today's Articles:

   Read and Evaluate
           By Jinnie (Eckert) Stephens `58

   Ban Parking Lots at Taverns and Pubs?
           By Jim Moran `86

   Harry Potter and God
           By Patricia de la Bretonne `65

   Can It Get Any Worse?
           By Mary Ray Henslee   `61

   Not Enough Evidence
           By Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) `54

   Judicial Choice
           By Ron Richards `63

                           ~-~-~-~-~

Are you ready?  Filled your cup or glass?  OK then, 
 sit back, relax, and let's hear who's talking today!
                        
Subj:   Read and Evaluate
From:   Jinnie (Eckert) Stephens `58
jinnie@owt.com

WOW!! [re #89] Good issue.  Sorry, Jenny Smart
 Page.  I can't say it any better than Chuck
 Monasmith (65) and Dave Doran (72).  Hope you
 decide to read and reevaluate your opinion of the
 Harry Potter books.

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Ban Parking Lots at Taverns and Pubs?
From:   Jim Moran  '86
jpmoran@cyberhighway.net

In response to Anna Durbin's issues of drugs and
 alcohol in our society. [In #89] She makes many
 good points, which I agree with.  And I would like
 to add this one point about alcohol and how our
 society is so willing to accept it as the drug of
 choice.  If we as a society, really want to limit the
 number of people who are killed by drunk drivers,
 then why do we, as a society, allow parking lots at
 taverns or pubs?

                      - Jim Moran  '86

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Potter and God
From:   Patricia de la Bretonne '65
Pia5847@aol.com

Hi. I have read the first 2 Harry Potter books and
 thoroughly enjoyed them. Much more fun and less
 gory and scary than Grimm's Fairy Tales and a lot
 of the classics were to me as a kid.  But basically it
 seems to me it's the same battle between good and
 evil and good wins!  Blaming God for a bias is
 reprehensible.

             - Patricia de la Bretonne '65

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Can It Get Any Worse?
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)
           Mah@satx.net

Gore's relentless grandiose pledges may just get
 him elected if enough American people are blinded
 by their own greed. Make $120,000 a year and you
 don't want to give up buying that Mercedes to
 send your kid to college, Gore will see to it that
 you are not deprived.  You will be given a tax
 deduction for your kid's tuition of up to $10,000 a
 year, which equates to a $3,100 savings in your tax
 bracket.  That should help finance that Harvard
 education you have been planning for your kid or
 hey, send the kid to one of those universities that
 other people send their kids to and it will hardly
 cost you anything.  I sent my son to A&M
 University and the cost was about $2,000 a year,
 excluding food and housing.  You do the math. 
 Now, me a commoner should help to send a big
 person's kid to college?  Nobody helped me!  I
 made too much to qualify for a Grant and too little
 to really be able to afford the expense.  Now
 people who make much more than I do are being
 promised a tax break that is equivalent to a Grant.

When did the table get turned?  I think that Gore
 needs to define big people because if I made
 $120,000 a year, I would feel like a big person. 
 Simple arithmetic says that lower income people
 would save much less by virtue of the fact that
 they are in a lower tax bracket.  Does this mean
 that Gore is more for the big people than the
 common people?  How big is big?  I am so
 confused. 

I am really disappointed that Bush is validating
 Gore's pledges by throwing his hat into the ring on
 this particular issue. However, it is understandable
 given Gore's generous pledges and the American
 people's readiness to jump on the highest bidder's
 band wagon.  What's an opponent going to do?
 The system is already set up with Grants and
 Loans to assist the most needy.  I do not think that
 College should be an entitlement and I do not think
 that the cost should be subsidized for everyone at
 the taxpayers expense. 

I heard about Gore's college tuition tax break on
 the news last night and just couldn't resist
 commenting.

It seems that anything of importance is only a blip
 on the radar screen, but anything insignificant that
 can be sensationalized in any way is in our face day
 and night.  Vetoing the Estate Tax Repeal Bill and
 Marriage Penalty Repeal Bill was swept under the
 rug before the dust settled.  Gore soliciting a
 $100,000 contribution as a quid pro quo for a
 presidential veto was just a whisper on the news
 and I found nothing in our liberal newspaper.  How
 Bush's debate videotape made its way to the Gore
 camp was not questioned for very long.  Say an
 expletive when nobody is supposedly listening and
 you will never hear the end of it.  Like Gore and
 Clinton didn't use a few choice words to describe
 the press during the Monica scandal? I am having
 nightmares about rats due to that darn subliminal
 message that keeps flashing across my TV screen
 day and night.

It can't get any worse, or can it?

                  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Not Enough Evidence
From:  Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
Reply-to: bobs@proaxis.com (Robert Carlson)

    Well, boys and girls, it's official: There just ain't
 enough evidence against the Clinton's to justify
 continuing the investigation.  Now, maybe we can
 get on with more mundane matters.

    It seems that this year, the general election ballot
 in the State of Oregon will have even more
 measures to vote on than in years past.  Most of
 them are bolloxed up tax measures that do not do
 what the proponents want them to.  It just
 behooves us voters to read the fine print, so that
 our "no" vote does not turn out to be a "yes" vote. 
 Oh, they get mighty slick sometimes.

    This is not what worries me the most.  We have
 an organization in this state known as the Oregon
 Citizen's Alliance.  The leaders of this group seem
 to be obsessed with the idea that unless we allow
 the OCA to protect us, we will be overrun by
 vicious, gun wielding homosexuals, or something
 of that nature.  Their current proposition is to
 make it illegal for schools to advocate or promote
 in any way the homosexual lifestyle (whatever that
 may be).  I guess I must have been living all this
 time with my head in the sand like an ostrich.  I
 wasn't aware that the public school system was
 doing any promotion of homosexuality.

    Now, don't get me wrong and claim that I am a
 defender of homosexuals.  I don't personally care
 for their lifestyle, but they are human and citizens,
 and should basically have the same rights as the
 rest of us.  What goes on behind closed doors is
 their business and not mine.  However, in order to
 have an informed citizenry, one should have a little
 knowledge about a lot of things.  I think it is
 confusing enough to try to figure out the normal
 ebb and flow of life without throwing a ballot
 measure like this one before me.

    One of the corollaries of "Murphy's Law" is that
 "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  If the school system
 is not now advocating or promoting homosexual
 lifestyles, why must there be a law against it?  Or is
 there something that we're not being told?  In
 previous campaigns for "anti gay" measures, the
 OCA informed the people that "the gay and lesbian
 community had an agenda to take over the   world."
 Geez, and all along I thought it was the
 "evil empire" of those dirty, rotten commies that
 wanted to take over the world.

    As a parent I worried about my sons' sexual
 orientation.  I didn't express my worries to them
 or to my wife.  I figured that if something went
 askew, that was life.  The kid was still my son, and
 that was that.  Now I have threatened to cut them
 out of the will for various misdeeds, like
 forgetting birthdays and the like, but never for their
 choices in life.  Am I, then, an enlightened parent?
 I doubt it, and I'm sure the boys will tell you I am
 not.

    So, what do we do with people who claim to
 "know what is best for everyone"?  I think a "no"
 vote is best indicated here.  Most of the citizens
 had hoped to have seen the last of this group a few
 years ago, but they're sort of like bad pennies, you
 just can't get rid of them.  I just wish they would
 Teletubbie is the gay one.

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.
 stick to keeping us informed as to just which

            - Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Judicial Choice
From:   Ron Richards (63)

In the November general election, all good
 Richland Bombers living in Washington State will
 have an excellent choice for Washington State
 Supreme Court Justice, Position 2.  Her name is
 Susan J. Owens.  I knew Susan well both
 professionally when I was an attorney in Clallam
 County, and politically when I was a Democratic
 Clallam County Commissioner (and responsible for
 Susan's District Court budget).  Her long tenure as
 a District Court Judge in the very conservative
 town of Forks, Washington, speaks well of her
 reasonableness.  Her resume, which can be found
 at http://www.forks-web.com/susansupreme/, or
 by doing a Yahoo search for Susan J. Owens,
 follows.

Ron Richards ('63)

"A Judge for Justice" 

Judicial Experience 
Judicial Leadership 
Judicial Common Sense 

Committee to Elect, Susan J. Owens
For Supreme Court 

Karen Unger, Chair
332 East 5th St.
Port Angeles WA. 98362
360-452-7688

Jennifer Zaccardo
P.O. Box 366
Beaver WA. 98305
360-374-2275
 
Resume of Judge Susan J. Owens

P.O. Box 1933 Forks, WA 98331
Ph: 360-374-9095 Fax: 360-374-9895

Email: sowens@olypen.com 

Education:

1971: Bachelor of Arts, Duke University, North
 Carolina. 

1975: Juris Doctor, University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill, NC
Three time graduate, National Judicial College,
University of Nevada, Reno, NV. 

1984: Special Court Jurisdiction 

1990: Alcohol, Drugs, and the Courts 

1998: Tribal Court Jurisdiction 

Professional Associations:

Washington State Bar; admitted 1976 
Oregon State Bar; admitted 1975 (inactive status) 
Federal Bar; Western District of Washington;
 admitted 1976 

Makah Tribal Bar; admitted 1978 
Quileute Tribal Bar; admitted 1983 

Employment History:

1981 - present: Judge, District Court II, Clallam
 County, Washington 
1994 - present: Chief Judge, Lower Elwha Tribal
 Court 
1987 - 1992: Chief Judge, Quileute Tribal Court 
1978 - 1987: Private Practice, Clallam County 
1987 - present: Limited Private Practice, Clallam
 County 
1976 - 1978: Staff Attorney & Acting Director
 Olympic/Evergreen Legal Services, Port Angeles, WA. 


Professional Activities:

District & Municipal Court Judges Association: 
2000 President- Elect, 1999 Vice President, 
1998 Secretary-Treasurer, 1992-1996 Board of
 Governors. 
Rural Courts Committee: Co-Chair; 1991 - 1993 
Diversity Committee: 1992 - 1994 
Education Committee: 1992 - 1993 
Conference Committee: 1995 - 1996 
Long Range Planning Chair: 2000 - 2001 

Board of Judicial Administration: 
Justice 2001: 
Present: Jurisdiction & Portability Working
 Committee. 

Northwest Tribal Judges Association: 
Present: National Trainer on Domestic Violence.
 Contributor Domestic Violence Bench book for
 Tribal Judges. 

National College of District Attorneys: 
 1999: Presenter, at annual Domestic Violence
 Conference, invited for October 2000. 

Office of Administrator For The Courts: 
1998 - Present: VAWA Instructor, Rural & Tribal
 Court Judges. 

Washington State Bar Association:  
1995 - 1999: Special District Investigator. 1978 -
 1980: Civil Rights Committee. 

ABA National Conference of State Trial Judges: 

Community Activities:
 
Soroptomist International of the Olympic
 Rainforest: 
1991 - Present: Charter Member 

Forks Chamber of Commerce: 
1995 - 1998: President & Past President 

Forks Congregational Church: 
Past Moderator 

Quillayute Valley School District: 
1993 - Present: Instructor, Judges In The
 Classroom. 

West End Youth League 
Softball Coach

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit your reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

Do everything you can to make for yourself and
 those around you, a very good day!

                        - Al Parker (53)
                  Your SANDBOX Host
                               - 90 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #91 ~ September 27, 2000

"Territory is but the body of a nation. --The people
 who inhabit its hills and valleys are its soul, its
 spirit, its life." --Garfield.

Today's Features:

     Votes No on Banning Tavern Parking Lots
          By Larry Stone (71)

     Points To Ponder  
          By Mary Ray Henslee (61)
    (Re: The future of Medicare and relevant health plans).

     Wake Up America!
          By Patty Stordahl `72

     The OCA: Like Bad Pennies
          By Bob Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54)

     Reading Comprehension 101
          By Tony Sharpe '63

     Missing My Point About Harry Potter
          By Jenny Smart Page '87

     Sharing Concerns
          By Steve Carson '58


Are you ready?  Filled your cup or glass, or golden
 goblet?  Great!  Now you can just sit back, relax
 and hear who's talking today! 

Subj: Votes No on Banning Tavern Parking Lots
From:   Larry Stone (71)
StoneL53@aol.com

Re:  Jim Moran (86) and his anti parking lot scheme

Not everyone who goes into an establishment,
 which serves alcohol goes there to drink alcohol. 
 I often go in for lunch or dinner because many of
 these places serve excellent food at reasonable
 prices.  And if you think banning parking lots will
 solve the problem, you are so far off course it isn't
 funny.  Do you really believe everyone will leave
 their vehicle at home?  That they won't park in the
 nearest parking lot and just walk the few extra
 feet?  With that kind of thinking, you must be
 a politician.
                     - Larry Stone (71)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Points To Ponder
re Medicare & Senior Health Insurance Availability
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)
Mah@satx.net

I am still into researching the Prescription Drug
 issue because its possible negative impact on the
 Medicare system concerns me very much and
 because I don't want to pass on any misleading
 information in this forum.  The more that I learn,
 the more that I find myself spotting misleading
 information being reported on radio talk shows,
 TV newscasts, and in the newspaper.  This is
 unfortunate because the average person under 65
 years old is not versed enough on the intricacies of
 Medicare to be able to recognize misleading
 information when it is being disseminated to them.  

Now that I know why 1/3 of the elderly are without
 insurance, I cannot help but question why this has
 been the case throughout this Administration.  The
 following are some points to ponder that occurred
 to me:

POINTS TO PONDER
First Point to Ponder: I talked to a person at
 Humana, where my mother is enrolled, and found
 out some pertinent information.  I was informed
 that my mother is no longer being charged any
 premiums because of her place of residency, but
 that this is not the case in all Texas cities.  I was
 told that demographics determine the availability
 and cost of a Medicare HMO because of
 government funding.  People who live in rural
 areas are left out of the loop right now due to the
 formula that the government uses to determine
 their payments to the HMO's.  Given this
 information, I have to question why the
 government has not tried to pay the HMO's
 enough to include every region of every state. 
 Especially, in view of the fact that Gore is now
 pledging much more than this would have cost.  If
 every Medicare recipient in this country lived in a
 region that offered Medicare HMO's right now,
 everyone would only be paying a small co-payment
 for their prescription drugs and little or nothing for
 medical procedures.  Keep in mind that Gore's plan
 will only pay for half the cost of a prescription
 drug and it does not increase any other Medicare
 coverage.  This did not have to end up being a
 campaign issue and the present system does not
 have to be changed, just expanded.

Second Point to Ponder: Gore defends his plan by
 telling us that HMO's are pulling out of the
 Medicare system.  This is a disingenuous
 statement.  It may be true that some are pulling
 out, but he doesn't bother to clarify his statement
 by telling us why.  In my opinion, half-truths are
 worse than lies.  If they are pulling out, it is
 because the government is not negotiating
 effectively with the HMO's.  It stands to reason
 that a company cannot continue a partnership with
 a person or entity that is threatening and
 unreasonable.  A company cannot offer a product
 at a low cost without having stringent
 cost-effective policies in place.  To expect any
 different, is to expect something for nothing. 
 HMO's have to make a profit in order to continue
 with this partnership.  The government must pay
 the HMO's enough for the HMO's to be able to
 continue supplementing Medicare at little or no
 out-of-pocket cost to Medicare recipients.  The
 HMO's are not perfect, but they beat relying on
 Medicare alone.

Third Point to Ponder: Another tactic that Gore
 uses to promote his plan is to exploit people who
 have been denied insurance coverage or lost their
 insurance coverage due to health problems.  This
 may be true if they are enrolled in a standard
 supplemental policy that is meant for everyone
 because these policies do not give special
 compensations to Medicare recipients.  Once again
 Gore fails to finish his sentence.  He fails to
 mention that you can't be denied insurance
 coverage or lose your insurance coverage due to
 health problems under a government funded
 Medicare HMO.  Ask yourself how 2/3 of an ailing
 segment of our population would be able to get
 insurance if this were not the case?  You have to
 be on your toes when listening to Gore sometimes.

Fourth Point to Ponder: This point is the most
 troubling to me and why I continue my crusade.  If
 Gore were to get elected and manage to implement
 his plan, it would be so costly that there would be
 nothing left in the budget to pay HMO's to stay in
 the system and continue to cover the 2/3 that are
 now covered.  If Medicare HMO's go by the
 wayside, the elderly who now enjoy supplemental
 coverage at a low cost will be faced with paying
 $200 to $300 a month if they want to supplement
 their Medicare coverage.  This would mean that
 their once adequate income would become less
 than adequate.  They will find themselves in a
 catch-22 situation because if they don't choose to
 carry supplemental insurance, than they will be
 faced with higher medical bills due to Medicare's
 inadequate coverage.  In essence, 2/3 would lose a
 lot of ground for 1/3 to gain a little ground. 
 Almost all Medicare recipients pay into Part B and
 for Part C to be successful, I'm sure that the same
 would have to be true.  Right now 2/3 of the
 elderly have no reason to pay into Part C.  Do we
 really think that the government is going to
 financially support added Medicare coverage and
 the HMO's simultaneously?  I do not foresee
 continued contracting with HMO's if Gore's plan is
 implemented.  Why would Gore want to
 implement a plan that would take away far more
 than it gives?  Why a plan that would leave far
 more people with inadequate coverage than is the
 case today?  Why not expand upon a plan that is
 already in place and working for 2/3 of the elderly? 
 After reading some newspaper cyberspace forums,
 I found that some elderly people have already
 figured out that their HMO's may become history. 
 One woman wrote that she was satisfied with her
 insurance coverage and feared that her coverage
 might be jeopardized by Gore's plan.  Although
 some may see the handwriting on the wall, there
 are probably many who may be in for a rude
 awakening.  I am yet to hear anyone ask Gore if he
 plans to continue funding Medicare HMO's.  I
 hope that Bush asks this question during the
 debates. 

To: Ann Minor (70), I can understand your frustration
 at not having an adequate supplemental policy
 available in your area.  I have always assumed that
 Medicare HMO's were available everywhere and I
 am dismayed to find out that this is not the case. 
 When I wrote my Don't Mess With Texas entry,
 details of the candidate's plans had not been
 published in the newspaper yet and I suggested a
 tax credit be given to help pay insurance
 premiums, which is basically a welfare check given
 at tax time.  However, if the government has not
 negotiated with an HMO for coverage in your
 area, a tax credit would obviously serve no
 purpose.  A tax deduction is totally different and
 just as you say, it would serve no purpose under
 any circumstances because a tax deduction doesn't
 benefit those in a low tax bracket very much and if
 someone doesn't make enough to pay taxes,
 obviously there is no benefit at all. 

I think that it is Bush's hope to bring the elderly
 that have been left out of the loop for demographic
 reasons, or for whatever reason, into the loop, in
 which case you might see a good plan implemented
 in your area.  He is planning to subsidize premiums
 if necessary, not with a tax credit, but by payments
 made by Medicare directly to select plans.
 
These are the facts as I interpret them.  Someone
 please correct me if I have misinterpreted anything.
                 -Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                            ~ ~ ~

Subj: Wake Up America!
From:   Patty Stordahl `72
DZIGNRITE@aol.com

Regarding Bush or Gore.  America Wake up.  Why
 vote for the lesser of two evils.  Vote for
 conviction and protest.  We need a change and a
 real wake up call to the singular yet two headed
 monster going by the name of Demorepublicates.
 Vote for any one like Nadar or Brown but my God
 do not vote for fear.  Stand up and finally have
 your voice heard.  If enough of us do this, all
 parties will have to listen.  Lets shake up the
 government who has stolen our country through
 amendments to our constitution.  Flat tax,
 communities running their schools, government
 out of our homes and off our backs.  Tax hike-
 who can afford it?  Do I make over 120,000.00?
 No.  Do you?  Any less and Bush & Gore will
 screw us to the walls.  WAKE UP!
                     - Patty Stordahl `72

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   The OCA: Like Bad Pennies
From:  Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
Reply-to: bobs@proaxis.com (Robert Carlson)

[Moderator's Note: In Issue #90 of The
 SANDBOX, two lines toward the end of Carlson's
 piece, "Not Enough Evidence," were inadvertently
 transposed.  We regret any confusion that may
 have caused to our ever vigilant readers. 
 The following reprint shows those lines as they
 should have appeared preceded by sufficient text
 excerpted from the original article to keep
 everything in context.  -ap]

     ...We have an organization in this state known
 as the Oregon Citizen's Alliance.  The leaders of
 this group seem to be obsessed with the idea that
 unless we allow the OCA to protect us, we will be
 overrun by vicious, gun wielding homosexuals, or
 something of that nature.  Their current
 proposition is to make it illegal for schools to
 advocate or promote in any way the homosexual
 lifestyle (whatever that may be).  I guess I must
 have been living all this time with my head in the
 sand like an ostrich.  I wasn't aware that the public
 school system was doing any promotion of
 homosexuality.

    Now, don't get me wrong and claim that I am a
 defender of homosexuals.  I don't personally care
 for their lifestyle, but they are human and citizens,
 and should basically have the same rights as the
 rest of us.  What goes on behind closed doors is
 their business and not mine.  However, in order to
 have an informed citizenry, one should have a little
 knowledge about a lot of things.  I think it is
 confusing enough to try to figure out the normal
 ebb and flow of life without throwing a ballot
 measure like this one before me.

    One of the corollaries of "Murphy's Law" is that
 "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  If the school system
 is not now advocating or promoting homosexual
 lifestyles, why must there be a law against it?  Or is
 there something that we're not being told?  In
 previous campaigns for "anti gay" measures, the
 OCA informed the people that "the gay and lesbian
 community had an agenda to take over the world." 
 Geez, and all along I thought it was the
 "evil empire" of those dirty, rotten commies that
 wanted to take over the world.

                                 . . .

    So, what do we do with people who claim to
 "know what is best for everyone"?  I think a "no"
 vote is best indicated here.  Most of the citizens
 had hoped to have seen the last of this group a few
 years ago, but they're sort of like bad pennies, you
 just can't get rid of them.  I just wish they would
 stick to keeping us informed as to just which
 Teletubbie is the gay one.

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.
           - Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:     Reading Comprehension 101
From:   Tony Sharpe '63
tonys@citylinq.com

To: Chuck Monasmith '65

Chuck,
I am really surprised that someone who clearly
 knows Biblical content, would distort the story of
 David just to make an editorial point. I have
 scanned past issues of THE SANDBOX re: Jenny
 Smart Page's alternative reading suggestions to the
 Harry Potter series, and could not find any mention
 of the Bible. She did suggest a series of books that
 are fictional, and were inspired by the last book of
 the Bible.

The most widely published, widely read, widely
 quoted, and probably widely misunderstood book
 in the history of this planet is not a fantasy, it is
 historical, and tells the truth. To set the record
 straight, the story of David is the story of a young
 man who became a great King, and then abused his
 power and authority to have an adulterous
 relationship with his soldier's wife. When she
 became pregnant, he ultimately covered up his
 deed by sending that soldier to his death. As a
 result of his actions, the remainder of David's life
 was truly less than fulfilling.  If you really like
 fantasy, may I suggest the Book of Jonah. It's the
 story of an ornery little man that gets swallowed by
 a big fish, and then regurgitated on shore just in
 time to deliver the greatest sermon of his life. It is
 fun reading, and the point of the story is much
 easier to grasp, or is it?
                    - Tony Sharpe '63

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Missing My Point About Harry Potter
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page (87)
Reply-to: jpage@gocougs.wsu.edu

I think many of you may have missed my point
 regarding ol' Harry Potter.  

First, let's remember that this all came about from a
 fellow in the "daily Spudnut report" newsletter who
 asked for opinions, pro AND con, about the Harry
 Potter books.  He wanted to know what others
 thought about the series, and if they hadn't read
 them, why not.  Unfortunately, the con opinions
 weren't allowed in that forum.  I simply was
 wishing to let him know that not everybody thinks
 the series is okay, and that there are alternatives
 with similar attributes (good vs. evil, quick easy
 read, action, adventure, kid oriented, long book to
 give kids a "sense of accomplishment").  And
 somehow, this has become a "witch hunt", if you'll
 pardon the expression :)  

Second, so many of you are accusing me of
 wanting to "censor" this book.  I never made any
 mention (ever)! of censoring this book.  I have
 never stated that YOU or YOUR kids (or
 grandkids, or your cat for that matter) cannot read
 Harry Potter books.  Quite the contrary!  In my
 last statement, I clearly stated that you are
 welcome to read the book if you want to!  I am
 too firm of a believer in our constitution to EVER
 want ANY book to be banned!  That is the glory
 of living in our free society!  You can read what
 YOU want, and I will read what I want. And we
 can argue over who's reading the best book.  But
 when my opinion is asked (and I do have many
 strong opinions), I will state what I think. (But
 constitutional rights is getting off on another
 subject....)

Third, as for the personal attacks on my ability to
 raise my kids --- back off, folks, and don't be
 telling me what to do and not to do. I have high
 standards for my kids, and I expect them to reach
 those expectations.  How can I expect my kids to
 know right from wrong when they are 15 or 18 or
 21 (or whatever), if I don't lay the ground work for
 that now, when they're 7, 4 and 2?  I can't.  Its my
 primary duty as a person at this stage of life to be
 teaching my kids what our beliefs (spiritual, moral,
 ethical, etc.) are in our family.  And this includes
 not worshipping any thing other than the Lord
 God. How can I expect a 16 year old to
 understand that piercing a nipple and tongue is not
 something thought highly of in our house, if I don't
 start teaching that now, ten years before the
 subject ever comes up?  How can I expect an 18
 year old to not cheat on his biology exam, if I don't
 teach him now that I expect him to follow the rules
 of "Battleship"?  How often have we all been told,
 "you are what you eat" and "garbage in, garbage
 out"?  This goes not just for junk food and data
 processing, folks.  It can be applied to many
 different aspects of our lives -- including our
 spiritual lives.  Why would I want to expose my
 kids, or myself, to something whose whole
 foundation is against what we believe in?  I don't! 
 And therefore, we don't read Harry Potter in our
 house!  

I don't need to read the book to understand that
 Harry Potter casts spells to defeat the "bad guy
 wizard/gobblin/spirit".  The fact that Harry Potter
 is a wizard-wanna-be-student, even if he is
 supposed to be a "good guy," doesn't make it any
 less offensive to me.  Does Harry Potter use his
 wits and ingenuity to help his "cause"? 
 Undoubtedly. I believe you when you say that it is
 an exciting read of a book, filled with action,
 suspense, and enticing characters.  I do give it
 credit for those aspects. For my kids, though, I
 choose to have a better role model than someone
 who calls on a magical spirit to help him out of a
 jam.     

Now, I know some of you are laughing at me right
 now, thinking "Ha Ha, what a foolish young
 mother.  What does she know?  She can't control
 her kids' lives like that!  She can't say that her kids
 are never going to smoke a joint or skip class or
 whatever...She can't control who her kids worship! 
 What is she thinking? Ha Ha Ha. How idealistic!" 
 And to that, I say this: You're right.  I don't know
 what the outcome of my kids will be in 10 or 15
 years.  But if I just throw up my hands now, and
 say what will be will be, then I never should have
 had kids in the first place.  I can't control
 everything that happens in their lives.  I know that. 
 But, I'm going to try my best to steer them down
 the right course of life, and to provide them with
 the tools they will need to successfully deal with
 the temptations of life when they do come around.
 And by doing what I am now for my kids, I believe
 that when they are 15 (or 9) and someone says,
 "Hey have a puff of this" or "Let's play with my
 sister's Ouija board," or whatever, my kid will be
 able to say, "No.  I don't think that's a good idea." 
 And then walk away, knowing the right choice has
 been made.     

Still standing firm in my decision not to read Harry
 (but you can if you want),
                    -Jenny Smart Page (87)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Sharing Concerns
From:   Steve Carson 58
SteveNitro@aol.com

For Anna Durbin: Sorry to hear the story of your
 Postal Worker [Issue 89] and probably should
 have qualified my comments about the
 unemployed, and was only responding from my
 point of view as an employer.  I also share your
 deep concern about the role of drugs in our society
 but would stop short of calling a drug dealer an
 entrepreneur.  The mandatory sentencing law must
 be revisited or serious consideration given to
 legalizing drugs.  
                     - Steve Carson 58

                              ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit your reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                 Be faithful to your day!
                    - Al Parker (53)
                    Your SANDBOX host
                          - 91 -
***************************************
***************************************

********************************************
THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #92 ~ September 30, 2000

   "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
                         - H. W. Beecher

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Today's Subjects and Contributors:

          Guiding Your Own Children
          Patty de la Bretonne '65

          Critical Thinking
          Jim Moran `86

          Harry Potter and Parental Rights
          Jill Walser `81

          Down With the OCA
          Missy Keeney Baker `59

          INTOLERANCE
          Vickie Andersen Simmons '67

          Medicare and Harry Potter
          Bob Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54)

Directions:
   1.  Fill a glass or cup with your favorite beverage.
   2.  Drink your fill of what these people have to say.
   3.  Consider what you might like to add.
   4.  Hit the reply button and talk to us!

                            ~~~

Subj:   Guiding Your Own Children
From:   Patty de la Bretonne '65
Pia5847@aol.com

Dear Jenny Smart Page,

 I definitely support your desire to guide your
 children down the path you believe is right. [re
 SB91]
                - Patty de la Bretonne '65

P.S. Your phrase, "calling on a magical spirit to
 help him out in a jam," does sound a lot like what
 many so called Christians do all the time and feel
 they have a right to, doesn't it?

                                ~~~

Subj:   Critical Thinking
From:  Jim Moran `86
jpmoran@cyberhighway.net
[Re comments made in SB91]

Oh, god!  Yes, how stupid of me.... I forget, many
 of you live or lived in Eastern Washington, where
 such thing as critical thinking is a rare thing.
 No, I was not making a statement which backed
 banning parking lots from taverns or pubs.  But, I
 was making an observation about our society.
 However, there are stiff laws on the books which
 make very important statements about drinking
 and driving.  Just like in Washington State (at
 least when I lived there), it was illegal to have an
 open container of alcohol.  Now, wait, just
 because I have an opened bottle of hard alcohol in
 the glove box of my vehicle doesn't mean I was
 drinking and driving. No.  But, the people of
 Washington State are making a point on this
 subject of drinking and diving

Yes, you are correct, it would not be a great law. 
 But, nowhere did I encourage anybody to call their
 state rep., state senator, or governor on this
 subject.  Rather, I was thinking outside the box.
 (AKA thinking critical) about this subject.  The
 point was we (as a society) do not really want to
 control (very tightly) alcohol, for the government
 makes a ton of money from the sale of it. 
 Remember, Prohibition was repealed in the depth
 of the Depression.  Why?  Because the government
 needed funds and needed them quickly.  The
 government still makes a ton of money from the
 sale of alcohol.  I know most Americans would not
 give up their gas sucking cars, but that's
 another subject which I think is outside the box...

                        Critically thinking,
                        Jim Moran `86

                                 ~~~

Subj: Harry Potter and Parental Rights
To: Jenny Smart Page `87
From: Jill Walser `81
jillwalser@yahoo.com

Hello,

I don't have time to write such eloquent essays, but
 I wanted to commend you for standing up for your
 beliefs. It's rather incredible how others transpose
 their fears onto others with differing opinions,
 regardless of the content of the actual opinions.
 I.E., I don't like censorship, so I'm going to read
 that you are advocating censorship whether you
 did or not.... It's ridiculous. You are the mom, you
 have a right to expose your children to whatever
 you choose as long as its not illegal or immoral.
 Similarly, as mom, you have the right to withhold
 from them (and advocate that they utilize self
 control due to the family's moral values) the things
 you view as immoral or illegal. Period. 

My son loves Harry Potter, he's read them all at
 least 40 times. He also reads an incredible variety
 of other books.  We have about a half hour
 commute to and from the school he attends. As a 4
 year old, he read the book Newf at least 150 times.
 Its about a dog rescuing a cat, very cute. And no...
 he doesn't go about rescuing cats from starvation
 in the Newfoundland wilderness... I've read the
 Potter books all once, to see for myself if I felt the
 material appropriate, and as such, I think they are
 fine for children capable of discerning a fantasy
 story from reality. They are exciting and fun to
 read. My son is able to realize that wizardry is
 someone's idea of fun, not a vocational decision.
 Frankly, I think he equally relates to a lady who
 makes her living writing stories as with a skinny
 English kid who bails himself out of trouble in
 rather inventive ways... His reading Harry Potter
 doesn't change the constant conversations and
 deeds we engage in exemplifying morality,
 conscience and respect.  Anyway, I for one am
 glad you are taking your job as mom so seriously.
 I'm always glad to hear that children are being
 parented instead of ignored, neglected or abused.
 More power to you. 

As for our "idyllic" childhoods, where we ran
 around playing kick the can until we couldn't see
 the can for the darkness... We grew up with
 Wesley Allen Dodd roaming the streets on his
 bike. We grew up with toxic chemicals seeping
 into our swimming holes. We weren't any safer,
 just blissfully ignorant. 
                            Regards,
                            Jill Walser `81

                                  ~~~

Subj: Down With the OCA
From: Missy Keeney Baker (59)
missykb@hotmail.com 
To Bob Carlson, aka Mike Clowes (54)

I wasn't aware that homosexuality was being
 "taught" in our public schools!! How can that be?? 
 Actually, I wish someone would explain in a
 scientific and "rational" manner how one would
 teach someone to be homosexual!  No one ever
 taught me to be heterosexual!!  My sister, Patricia
 Keeney (63), from Forest Grove, Oregon has long
 been an activist in PFFLAG (Parents, Families and
 Friends of Lesbians and Gays).  I know they have
 had to work tirelessly and diligently against the
 kind of hate legislation that the OCA and like
 minded groups are always proposing.  I say "Down
 with the OCA, down I say!!!"

Oh, by the way, it's Tinky Winky.  He's purple and
 the one with the purse!  Oh, and my daughter just
 reminded me that he also has a triangle on his head
 which is supposed to be the symbol of gayness or
 something.  It's sooo obvious!!

               - Missy Keeney Baker (59)

                                ~~~

Subj:   INTOLERANCE
From:   Vickie Andersen Simmons '67
vsimmons@mtaonline.net

Re: the Harry Potter Debate

Hat's off to Jenny Smart Page (87)!  I couldn't
 agree more with her beliefs on raising children.  I
 have raised mine in the same fashion.  I believe
 kids need guidelines.  When they are off on their
 own, they will have had a good groundwork laid
 for them to make their own decisions.

I have 2 sets of twins.  The first set (girls)  
 graduated in 1999.  One is at UAA on full
 scholarship in engineering.  Her twin sister chose
 to join Youth With A Mission and go to Eastern
 Europe for 7 months.  She went to help spread the
 good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also
 to ease the suffering (and there's a lot of it) in
 places that have been bombed or have had such
 poverty.  She went to feed, show love and
 compassion.  Raising her the way we did - morally
 and with strict guidelines as to what was
 acceptable in our home, etc., did not make her a
 'scared little wallflower.'  Quite the opposite!

Thanks to Tony Sharpe (63) for clarifying the story
 of David.  One item he left out was that David and
 Bathsheba lost their first child as a result of their
 sin.

As to the subject of my little 'rant' - Tolerance.  It
 amazes me how many people who would call me
 intolerant are even less tolerant of my point of
 view and my RIGHT to it.  I don't tell my children
 'no' to something from a point of hate for that
 particular thing.  I tell them "no," because I love
 them and know the consequences of going down
 that particular path.  Those who would call me
 intolerant are equally so.

             Vickie Andersen Simmons '67

                                 ~~~

Subj:    Medicare and Harry Potter
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
Reply-to  bobs@proaxis.com
 
Medicare and Harry Potter- Now, there's a pair to
 draw to.

First off, with regards to Medicare coverage. 
 Fortunately or unfortunately, it is not the president
 or any presidential wannabe who determines who
 qualifies and who does not.  It is a "governmental
 gnome" who nobody knows that set this policy. 
 And it will take more than a campaign promise
 (which along with a $1.60 will get you a cup of
 coffee) to change the policy.  Even a congressional
 change to the Medicare/Medicade laws will
 probably not suffice.

Remember what "Daddy" Dawald taught in civics: 
 "Presidents do not make laws, they only propose
 them to Congress."  The simple fact is that no
 matter what Bore or Gush propose to the
 electorate, it is not a fact of life, law or anything
 else.  It is a campaign promise and nothing more. 
 You could think of campaign promises as
 "termination winds"; if you don't like the way it's
 blowing, you can quit.

Mary Ray Henslee (61) has every right to worry
 about this issue, as she is slowly getting to the age
 where she will have to worry about it.
 Unfortunately, Mary, no matter who you select as
 your candidate it won't make that much difference. 
 Previous contenders for the "throne" have vowed
 to change or eliminate the program; and it never
 happened.  Even changing the "gnome" who set
 the policy doesn't help.  Perhaps changing the
 governmental mind set from negative to positive
 would.

Unfortunately too many of our "civil serpents" take
 the negative view and thoroughly resent anyone
 wanting to upset their particular rice bowl.  The
 idea seems to be that the only way they can hold
 their position is to deny service to many, but take
 care of a few and claim "budget limitations" or
 other bureaucratic nonsense as to why they cannot.

Now, on to Harry Potter.

I, too will defend to the death, Jenny Smart Page's
 freedom to read, write and raise her children in
 what ever manner she pleases.  And, if she thinks
 Harry Potter is the devil incarnate, that is her right.
 But, perhaps Jenny was subjected to forces beyond
 her ken while growing up.  Those of us who went
 through childhood before there was television
 really had to rely on imagination to get a
 perspective on the world around us.  Sure, we
 believed that you'd best not tug on Superman's
 cape or try to look under the Lone Ranger's mask. 
 And, yes we knew what these characters looked
 like through comic books and Saturday Afternoon
 Serials (at the Village Theater).

I guess, Jenny, the point we are all trying to make is
 "Don't close your mind."

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm welcome to it.
            
              Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54

                                  ~~~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
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            Your SANDBOX host
                  - 92 -
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             End of SEP, 2000
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      JUN thru AUG, 2000 ~ OCT, 2000