Issue Number 16 ~ December 21, 1998
Col-Hi / RHS Alumni and Participating in The SANDBOX
Today: Bob Rector (62), Tony Sharpe (63), John M. Allen
(66), Teresa Cook Morgan (73), Dick Epler (52),
JosephDan (68), Richard Wight (52), Ray Wells (54), Lee
Johnson (54), Ray Stein (64)
Historical Reference:  
Sat, December 19, 1998, President Clinton Impeached,
Bombing of Iraq halted pending evaluation of mission's
Mon, Dec 21, Stocks soar.  Techs rally to new records.
Subj:    Thank you for collecting the thoughts.
From: (Bob Rector) (62)
To:  (Al Parker) (53)

Have enjoyed the banter in the box.

"None of us is as smart as all of us,"  'cept maybe the
lady who thought seat belts were a Communist plot. Keep
up the good work. -Rector '62
Subj:    And So did yo MAMA
From: (Tony Sharpe)  (63)

Right on Dick!  Your observations in the Dec 19 Sandbox
issue as to the difference in language between
Republicans (conservatives) and Democrats (liberals)
were right at the heart of the problem.  One need look
no further than Mr. Franco's comments that followed.  We
see the classic Democrat defense in "and so did your
mother."  I don't recall any evidence that Ollie lied,
and by the way was he under oath before a Grand Jury?

If Richard Nixon only resigned after the "smoking gun"
of his own tapes, why didn't ol' Willie do the same
after the salvo of the Blue Dress.  O that's right he
didn't inhale, or was it exhale or "EJ" something.
Richard Nixon used the power of his office to cover-up a
break in at the Demo.  Natl. HQ. Mr. Clinton used the
power of his office to cover up an affair with a 21 year
old gaga intern in The Oval Office on MY TIME, and then
perjured himself in front of a Grand Jury.  "Mr.
Clinton, were you ever alone with Ms. Lewensky in the
Oval Office" Bill- duh I don't recall ever being alone.
Get Real!  Any man will tell you that he would remember
every sordid moment of encounters like that.

The only thing that I can figure, Dick, is that being a
liberal must automatically qualify one for the never
have to admit I done wrong club.  The man (Wm. Jefferson
Clinton) has immense political savvy and charisma, but
absolutely no integrity.  PS Mark, It's OK To admit
you're a democrat, but don't say you're not partisan
after laying out the patented Democrat apologist line.
There are only 10 people I am reasonably sure that are
truly "Independent," and they are the 5 Republicans that
voted "No" and the 5 Democrats that voted "Yes."  Come
on Ron R. I'm sure you're just itchin' to say something
on this.

Tony Sharpe, Class of 63
Subj:    How Smart Is He, Anyway? (for the SANDBOX)
From: (John M. Allen) (66)

Bill Clinton possesses at least one faculty that is
truly spectacular and NOBODY disputes it.  He has a near
photographic memory. It certainly is an enviable quality
to have and plenty of people inside the beltway do envy
it.   Most of them are the political pundits who tell us
how bright a guy he is.

BUT IS HE?  I say this is a situation where these
pundits (who are no more lacking in ego than the pols
they cover) are saying To themselves, "How DOES he
remember all ten of my children's ages?   I'm a smart
guy and their FATHER.   I can't do that; how does HE do
that? He must be an unbelievably smart guy.  Gee, I wish
I were that smart."  I suggest they are mistaking his
fantastic memory for true intelligence, and the reason I
say that is because without exception, every one of
these pundits (even the most liberal of the liberal lap
dogs like Al Hunt and Eleanor Clift) have also accused
Clinton of being "terminally indecisive."

They say that he can and does sit and discuss the
minutia of policy ad nausium, but when it's time for the
rubber to meet the road, he simply can't make up his
mind. And even when he does occasionally make a
decision,he then very often waffles on that decision.
SO, if a chief executive possesses the memory qualities
of a Bill Clinton but can't make a decision with the
knowledge he has acquired, what good is that memory
except to impress the majority of society which doesn't
have its equal?

He graduated from Georgetown and Yale Law during the
Vietnam War when both schools were using a Pass/Fail
system to avoid sending students to the draft, and when
he arrived at the one school which actually kept track
of his academic progress (that would be Oxford where he
"sort of" attended on his Rhodes Scholarship) Clinton
failed to graduate.

When confronted with this fact during the '92 election,
he claimed that many Rhodes Scholars were caught up in
protesting the War and the graduation rates in that time
window were much lower.   The real truth (as opposed to
the Clinton truth) is that his Oxford class graduated
the same 80% of Rhodes Scholars it normally does - war
or no war.

The point of all this is that I fail to understand why
libs are making such a stink about keeping this guy
around.   Certainly no one in their right mind is going
to claim that the man possesses even a modicum of common
sense, and his recently departed Press Secretary, Mike
McCurry, is telling BBC television audiences about his
considerable doubts concerning Clinton's fitness to hold
the Office of President; pointing to the alarming
recklessness of his personality.   Do the Democratic
Party and libs in general want to waste their political
capital defending a reckless, terminally indecisive
president who possesses a tendency to lie when telling
the truth would literally be much easier, absolutely NO
common sense, but has an excellent memory?   Does he
really make the "feel good" party feel THAT good when he
flips the political bird at the Supreme Court, the
judiciary in general, the House of Representatives, AND,
not least of all, the American people?

But Clinton does possess one other amazing quality
which, more than any other, has kept him in office.   As
Democratic Senator Bob Kerry from Nebraska said in an
interview after the '92 election, "Bill Clinton is an
exceptionally good liar.  You know that, exceptionally

---John Allen ('66)
Subj:  Out of Touch?
From: Teresa Cook Morgan (73)

I guess I've been sheltered living in Richland for a
large part of my life having moved here with my family
and then following my engineer husband around the
country where he works in nuclear plants.  One of the
advantages of being a writer of fiction is that I can
write anywhere.  I was stunned, however, when I began to
hear from editors as I submitted one of my books.

A little background.  The book dealt with a woman
returning to her government built home town where her
grandfather and his brothers had founded an engineering
consulting company, now headed by her father.  The town
was, of course, Richland, and the mystery dealt with the
selling of classified documents from the 1940's to 1977.

Almost without exception, the editors loved the plot,
characters, conflict and crafting.  Not an editor would
touch it.  Too controversial.  They couldn't take a risk
in the present market.

The book didn't push nuclear power or nuclear weapons.
It was just the subject matter that was being pirated.

My question:  Am I so sheltered, so out of touch that I
never realized that the mere mention of the existance of
the Manhatten Project and its role in ending a horrible
war is horrendously offensive to the majority of people
in our country? Obviously, I am.

Come on, the content of the stories we choose to read
boggles my mind.  And on occasion renders me so
frightened I'm afraid To sleep.

Has anyone else come across this depth of offense at
what our parents and grandparents worked so hard on to
save this country?  I knew that there were some that
insisted we should apologize for dropping the bomb.  I
knew that nuclear power evokes a lot of heated debate.
But I never knew our Manhatten Project was so WIDELY

I realize editors are a wary lot.  They have to worry
about what will sell and make their company bucks.  I'm
not offended.

Really.  I'm just stunned that I was so out of touch
with what the rest of the country may think.

Thoughts anyone?
Teresa Morgan
Subj:     Seatbelts and Safety
From:    Dick Epler (52)

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get
it … and then some.  More “safety” laws mandating the
use of various products are generally not the answer.
The best safety device we have is still between our

Having said that, however, some of the products
discussed in the SANDBOX do more to confuse the safety
issue than help.  For example, when discussing 5 and 6-
point restraint systems along with Kevlar helmets, I
think we need to keep in mind what these things are for.
They're for surviving hi-impact crashes involving high
performance vehicles.  While we’re at it, we should also
consider the use of engineered tubular-steel crash cages
that break away from the rest of the vehicle at 60 to
100G forces.  And we mustn't forget the use of special
fire protective clothing (Nomex and the PBI/Lenzing
blends).  After the impact, the biggest danger to life
is fire.  And yes, with the proper equipment, Princess
Diana could have survived.

Flying single-engine jets teaches that.  Also the
activities of my oldest son teaches that.  He’s a
professional race car driver.

His current specialty is the ear splitting, nitro-fueled
funny cars.  Jim Epler was the first funny car driver to
go over 300 mph from a standing start in the quarter
mile.  But he’s raced almost everything from motorcycles
to the alcohol-fueled limited hydros.  I have a shelf of
videos of his more spectacular crashes.  It’s amazing
what you can walk away from … so long as you use the
proper equipment.

What we need to recognize here, however, is that none of
this has anything to do with being safe.  It has to do
with pushing the limits of both yourself and your high
performance vehicle.

We’re talking about survival under extremely hazardous

Use of the word “safe” in this context is not helpful.

Real safety is having a X2 or X3 margin, considering
your skills, your vehicle and the environment (which
also includes the speed-limit laws of the land).  ALL
cars manufactured for use in the U.S., in the last 5
years or so, have at least a X2 margin.

There is no good reason for an average driver to have an
accident with a recent model car in the U.S.  But many
do … mostly because they’re simply not focused on their
driving and because they’ve never learned how to recover
from common driving situations.  And so, seat belts
become important.

Having Government involved in the research and design of
seat belts could be a good idea.  Having Government
mandate the use of seat belts is not.  Mandating seat
belts tends to give many a false sense of security, and
accidents go up, even though expensive hospital stays go
down.  Its a rather perverse psychology that increases
the accident rate up with the introduction of each new
Government mandated “safety” device.

Could it be that lowering the accident rate is not the
Government's primary objective?

I've read in the SANDBOX where some think the insurance
industry is driving the seat belt thing.  They're partly

It’s more a loose consortium consisting of insurance,
medical, auto and Government entities.  It’s to the
advantage of all these entities to manage the accident
rate in this country.  What is desired is a reasonable
increase each year in the accident rate with little or
no increase to any long-term hospital stay.  We don’t
want any double or quad paraplegics … very expensive.

We DO want “safety systems” that either kill people
outright (or at least within 30 days) or result in costs
that are within the insurance industry’s carefully
calculated limits.

Understand what’s at stake.  If the nation’s accident
rate decreased by 5% for two or more years in a row, a
major growth industry would be in real trouble.  We'd
have lots of insurance claims adjusters, underwriters,
emergency room, and auto body repair people out of work
(but the number of Government regulators would probably
increase).  New car buying would probably take a
nosedive.  There’s lots of economic reasons to want the
accident rate to increase each year.  After all, a
percentage of your pocketbook has already been included
in the balance sheets of each.

*************** I feel compelled to discuss one last
related thing: the “list mentality” of well meaning

Many activists in search of a cause have a list
mentality.  This is where you’re given a list, generally
prioritized using statistics, of things the Government
wants to control. As an example, a partial list for
automobile safety might read: 1) Seat belts; 2) Air
bags; 3) ABS brake systems; 4) AWD systems; 5) Child
restraints; 5) Helmets for all passengers; 6) SUVs vs.
compacts; and 7) center-mounted vs. side-mounted gas tanks.

The activist’s objective is to proceed through the list
by organizing and building support as necessary to get
as many laws passed as possible.

Now, a mandated law is generally very expensive to the
industry, but activists always justify the cost on the
basis of saving lives.  Are lives saved?  Well, when
you're managing a list of many items, its very hard to
know which of the many was really effective.  More
important, however, is the effect of transferring
responsibility for personal safety from the individual
to the Government, which invariably leads to more
accidents along with a possible increase in net deaths
as well.

Nevertheless there is a way to quantify the issue using
the principle of acceptable risk.  The idea is to
establish an economic threshold (cost) below which the
risks to people in not mandating a particular safety
program is acceptable.  We would be asked, for example,
whether the risk to sub-compacts in allowing SUVs on the
road is acceptable given the cost to industry To shift
production, and to SUV owners who would be required to
switch to full-size trucks to preserve their desired
margin of safety.

Most activists, however, are well meaning people.  But
for those who make these lists (lobbyists and the
bureaucracy), and for those who supply the statistics,
(academians for hire), the initial profit potential is
predictable and quite large, as each item on the list
involves a product guaranteed by the Government To have
little or no competition.  Of course, the profit becomes
less as time goes on … at a point when it no longer

To many activists, being able to cross items off the
list provides the illusion of progress.  The problem,
however, is that the “list mentality” relies on using
the force of Government as a consumer buying incentive.
In so doing, it distorts the free market and results in
the misallocation of scarce resources.

Worse, each item on the list takes on a life of its own
and never goes away even after more effective solutions
are found.

The common element in both these discussions is simply
this (from Watergate):  “… if you want the truth, you
must follow the money.”  Anyone want to apply this
principle to the Desert Fox Military Operation?
***************** Back to the future.  In a different
world, safety would be a matter of teaching people “how
to become experts at making mistakes.”  By that I mean
the ability to make mistakes that are easy to correct
and that tend to avoid catastrophe.  These days, it is
popular to shield our children from making mistakes of
any kind, thereby postponing a very important part of
their development.  We teach them, in the schools, to
never attempt anything they’re not qualified to do.
Call an expert (licensed by the government, of course) …
don’t do it yourself.  I suppose this is a consequence
of our liability laws, but it is an unnatural
expectation with dangerous consequences.  Much better to
teach our children how to make mistakes.

It wasn’t always this way.  When most of us were growing
up, we roamed far and wide using our natural curiosity,
experimenting and freely discovering the world.
Remarkably, there were fewer problems than today.  For
the most part, no-one ever knew about our “mistakes.”
Reading the Sandstorm reinforces this as we can read any
number of stories where the writer seems to wonder how
they ever lived to grow up.  I would suggest their
parents (and the environment) subtly taught them the
practice of making easy-to-correct mistakes.

On a larger scale, we as a nation were capable of some
pretty amazing things.  Consider that, in the days of
Will Rogers, the Corps of Engineers commissioned DuPont
to build Hanford, (HEW) under a simple one sentence
contract: "... to build a secret weapon."  Understand,
this was a thing that had never been done before and
mistakes were expected.  Nevertheless, for a cost of
$349.32 million, in a period of just 22 months (Apr 43 -
Feb 45), DuPont built three nuclear reactors (B, D &
F), three separation plants (200 T, D, and F), the 300
Area Labs, 64 single shell tanks, and the town of
Richland complete with 4300 homes, associated schools,
stores and administration buildings.

As I recall, at the peak, there were over 50,000
employees involved in this effort, yet the safety was
remarkably good. Over this period, I believe there were
11 deaths, 7 when a water tower collapsed, and 4 when
two locomotives collided.

So whatya think?  Anyone believe we could we do this

Dick Epler
Subj:   Joseph Dan Loves the way Mina Jo Paysons thinks.
From: (68)
To:      Mina Jo Paysons

Dear Mina,

Concerning Christmas Carols in school:


By the way, Merry Christmas to you, yours and all the
other Bombers out there!!!

Joe (Large) (68)
Subj:   Impeachment et al
From:   Richard Wight (52)

In reading the last couple issues re impeachment and
"conservatives vs. liberals," "dems vs repubs" etc., I
end up feeling sick, demoralized, frustrated, angry.  In
the political spectrum I suppose I've labeled myself
"Republican" over the years, but I'm certainly somewhere
to the left of Genghis Khan.

And I've paid my dues in public service, which gives me
license To have my say.

I feel strongly this way: Humans are flawed ... all of
us.  But most people who ascend to positions of high
responsibility (as opposed to high power, such as
wealth) learn to live up to the standards of the
position, to take the responsibilities very seriously,
and to be leaders in word and DEED (if not in thought)!
Clinton has failed to do that.  So did Nixon. Both of
them apparently thought their power gave them privilege
to abuse the law, both moral and constitutional.  I have
some experience in these matters on a personal level,
and I know that a flawed man can exercise control of his
weaknesses and shortcomings in the pursuit of performing
his duties and responsibilities as a leader.  Clinton
obviously does not meet that standard.  I want him out
of the leadership of my country, just as I wanted Nixon
out when I understood what he had condoned and tried to
conceal.  Nixon apparently finally understood his error
and resigned.  Clinton reads the polls and says "I'm

The defenders of Clinton don't seem to care much about
idealism, about moral standards, about the law.  If that
ends up being partisan, then a pox on the democrats (or
liberal or independents or republicans) who support him.
They are the ones who may succeed in keeping him in
office.  Other societies have been down the same road,
with the same brand of leadership.  They ain't around.
I fear for us as a nation.

Richard Wight '52
Subj:  There is more to Clinton than meets the eye.
From: (Ray Wells) (54)

This morning as I was watching one of the four liberal
networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN), the following
announcement was made:

"Former presidents Carter and Ford are recommending
censure of Bill Clinton to the senate vis-a-vis removing
him from office."

Later I tuned into FOX news and got the rest of the
announcement that the liberal network conveniently
forgot to mention:

"Former presidents Carter and Ford are recommending
censure of Bill Clinton to the senate vis-a-vis removing
him from office if he admits he lied to the American
Public and to the Grand Jury"

Most of the news we hear is composed of misleading half
truths (spin).  Is it any wonder the polls are claiming
support for Clinton?

If you still feel William Jefferson Clinton is the
president for you, then I suggest you visit the
following web sites:

If you need to see the humor in all this then you will
enjoy this website.

---Ray Wells
[To get to any web address, copy it and paste it into
your favorite web browser (depending on the browser
setup, you can paste it into the address field at the
top of the browser window, or go to the browser File
menu, select the Open Location command and paste it
there). ]
Subj:  5 Kinds of Democrats
From: (Lee Johnson) (54)

I would like to applaud Dick Eppler...he has pegged the
liberal faction to a tee.  This group have taken over
the Democrat Party and have run it into the ground.  The
party is now largely made up of: 
         1. The gimme gimme people (non-producers)
         2. Liberals
         3. Liberal Socialists
         4. Liberal Socialist Extremists
         5. Splinter groups looking for a home.

And for some reason they can not seem to deal with
truth, fairness and justice.

---Lee Johnson
Subj:    Cougars and Huskies
From: (Ray Stein) (64)
To: Kenny Wright, Bill Compton and other unfortunate Huskies

I write this for my Bomber-Husky friends who have given
us Cougars such a hard time this year.

Twas Christmas '98 
and all over the Palouse,
Not a creature was stirring, 
no footballs were loose.

Cougars were resting, 
some in their beds 
With visions of a Rose Bowl, 
still in their heads.

But in the Pacific, 
Huskies were abuzz, 
A meaningless Bowl game, 
Oahu it twas.

Now about this same time, 
Santa was ready 
For his Christmas deliveries, 
in his sleigh so steady.

When he flew over Hawaii, 
he said,"sakes alive, 
That looks like the Huskies, 
but they were 6 and 5?"

Now Santa wears red, 
but not for the fashion.
His clothes are all crimson 
'cause COUGS are his passion!

When he looked down 
and saw purple and yellow, 
"Down with the Dogs!", 
cried this jolly old fellow.

So the plan he devised, 
you wouldn't have believed, 
His reindeer had eaten, 
but hadn't relieved.

He circled his sleigh 
and steered it in low.
When they were over the Dogs, 
his reindeer let go.

The sound and debris 
made such a clatter, 
That Lambright looked up 
to see what was the matter.

The brown stuff did fall 
on Huard, on Hooker, On Dalan,
on Pharms, on Hairston, on Looker.

It hit thousands of Huskies, 
surely no fewer, 
It rained from the sky, 
this Christmas manure.

As Santa flew off 
on this bright Christmas Day, 
People who were there 
heard this jolly man say,

"Merry Christmas to you 
and to you and to you, 
Down with the Huskies!  
Forever WAZZU!"

Merry Christmas! 
-Ray Stein (64)