THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #25 ~ January 22, 1999 

  "To be or not to be.  That IS the question." 
             --- William Shakespeare 

     "Well, that depends on what IS is." 
             --- William Clinton 

Historical Marker: Clinton Impeachment Trial 
Continues.  The written Questions are what IS. 
RHS/ColHi Alumni Sharing Thoughts and 
Measuring The Universe With You Today: 
Mike Franco (70), Ray Wells (54), 
Don Ehinger (54), Gene Trosper (84), 
William L. Porter  (68), Dick Wight (52), 
Dick Epler  (52), Dustin Rector (88), 
John Northover (59) 
Exchange Your Opinions, Your Ideas, and Your
Responses with Richland Alumni All Around The 
Let Us Know What YOU are thinking, what you are 
feeling, what YOU are doing, and if you should so 
choose, what YOU are eating today! 
From: Mike Franco (70) 
Subject: The Town Square 

Hello everyone...a few responses to past issues of this 
town square of ours...(Richland never really had a 
"working" town square, did it ?)... 

1) To all: When one wants to do character damage to 
another, labeling him a "pot smoker" and /or "draft 
dodger" merely lumps that individual in with millions of 
others demographically.  I do not support either 
activity.. but reality is that during certain periods 
millions did.... and those that are comfortable with 
reality know it, those that hide from reality become 
senators and congressman and even presidents! 

2) To Marv a relatively liberal person 
(me), your statements are really interesting....UW 
football coach grossly overpaid when "top profs are 
only making $ profs make more than that 
but your point implies that SOMEONE (the 
government ???) needs to fix our priorities???.......The 
economy is growing, doing great, with very low 
unemployment BUT how many of these jobs have full 
benefits, etc.......great point....but this sounds like 
typical bleeding heart liberal pabulum to me (I learned 
some of that from John Allen during Husky football 
games !).....Violent crime rates are NOT really down 
but are up in the Pacific Northwest 8-21%...the 
numbers I see shows much of the most violent crime 
(murder, rape) IS down, but is your point that all the 
right wing conservatives our there who are claiming 
that "Three-Strikes- Yer-Out" legislation has driven 
crime rates down are just smoking something 
(oops, sorry) ??? 

The wonder of most real issues is that once we label 
each other, then politicize the issue we really do start 
sounding like each other!!!  My god, that could lead to 

And to my pal John...are you still "setting traps" out 

-Mike Franco 
Subj:    Moving Beyond Clinton 
From: (Ray Wells) (54) 

I'll try to put a bottom line to this impeachment thing so 
we can move on: 
1. It's not about sex 
2. it's not about removing Clinton from office 
3. It's not about partisanship 

It's about having one set of laws for the rulers and 
another set of laws for the ruled.  It's about sentencing 
116 Americans to prison for lying under oath (many of 
these lies were about sex) and exempting William 
Jefferson Clinton. 

We used to see an American Indian standing on a 
cliff with a tear dripping down his face, as he observed 
how we have polluted the land, the rivers, and the air. 

I now envision Thomas Jefferson, with a tear dripping 
down his face as he sees how we have polluted the 
Constitution of the United States, because he was well 
aware that having one set of laws for the rulers and 
another set of laws for the ruled, amounts to a 
dictatorship, and once we have this, all those 
Americans who gave their lives fighting for freedom, 
from the revolutionary war forward, have died in vain. 

--Ray Wells 
From: Don Ehinger (54) 
Subject:  Said Well 

To Mike Franco (70) 

Well Said! 
From: Gene Trosper (84) 
Subject: Bi-Partisanship Follies 

Just finished reading another issue of the [Sandbox.] 
Great reading always! 

Marv Carstens employed the much-repeated phrase 
"bi-partisan" in a missive regarding the "B.S. emanating 
from Washington."  While I pretty much agree that 
most, (actually, everything!), of what emanates from the 
beltway is B.S., I'd have to make an exception with the 
usage of "bi-partisanship." 

I submit partisanship is not only a good thing, but 
something to actively employ philosophically and 

Partisanship is essentially what separates political 
idealism (i.e., Republicans from Democrats).  How are 
we to honestly assess what any given politician or 
political party professes or hold as ideals, if 
partisanship is wiped away?  You cannot. 
Bi-partisanship consists of melding, not separating. 

It may sound cynical to say this, but in essence, we 
already have a bi-partisan political machine in place. 
Both parties are essentially the same in political 
idealism, which is: CENTRISM, politics of pragmatism 
and poll numbers. 

Philosophically, I am an individualist, politically, I am 
Libertarian.  This allows me a chance to view the 
political goings-on from a unique vantage point.  I agree 
with the old assessment that "there ain't a dime's worth 
of difference" between political parties.  Both operate 
on a collectivist bent. 

The only means of discerning between the two parties 
are through the "radical left" and the "radical right" 
fringes of the two majors.  The radicals tend to more 
honestly reflect what their respective philosophies are 
supposed to be.  Bi-partisanship only blurs the 
distinctions until a homogenous philosophy is created. 

Secondly, I argue that bi-partisanship is primarily used 
as a "let's be fair" political tactic by the minority 
political organization, in this case, the Democrats. 

Partisanship may not seem "fair," but to keep politics 
on the level and philosophically honest, (we don't want 
sheep in wolves' clothing, do we?), we must demand 
clear partisan differences.  The real fairness that 
emerges will be the fairness for citizens, who will not 
be fooled by false philosophy by our representatives. 

Enough for now. 

--Gene Trosper 
From: William L. Porter  (68) 
Subject: Social Security Means Testing 

I am interested in peoples' thoughts of implementing 
means testing for social security.  Do you think you 
should be denied S.S. benefits because you thought 
ahead to your retirement and have a 'healthy' income 
from your investments and retirement funds? 

If you were 'secure' in your finances, would you 
decide to not collect S.S. benefits just to help it stay 
solvent?  Or would you take anything the government 
would give you, whether you needed it or not? 

William L. Porter 
From: Dick Wight (52) 
Subj:   Salmon Be Dammed? 

RE Ron Richard's comments in issue #24.  Gee, 
Ron ... it's at least twice you've got on the "dam" issue 
about salmon.  As a kid (before your time) I chased 
spawning chinook or coho salmon (too young & 
inexperienced to know which) up and down Crow Creek 
in the eastern Cascades.  I still see a few Chinook up in 
the American River, over 300 freshwater miles from the 
Pacific.  As an adult, I spent a number of years chasing 
errant commercial/professional fishermen of several 
nationalities...Russians, Japanese, Koreans, 
Canadians...Americans included, American Indians 
included...illegally fishing the hell out of the species 
wherever they could find them, including a 100-mile line 
of gill nets strung along the 180th in the Bering Sea, 
helpless to do anything but keep them west of the line. 
I also helped capture some Japanese gillnetters hauling 
'em in by the thousands, in violation of international 
treaty, in the Gulf of Alaska.  They abandoned their float 
nets, miles of them, and ran.  We caught them, then 
eventually recovered their nets full of dead salmon.  I've 
tried to carefully pick my ship's way through U.S. and 
Canadian gillnetters lining the inside waterways from 
Puget Sound up to Dixon Entrance, and on two 
occasions "snared" a gill netter whose nets crossed 
the navigable channel without lights, both at night... 
one U.S., one Canadian.  I towed one of boats 
backwards for perhaps a half mile before we got 
stopped!  I've seen U.S. and Canadian trollers so thick 
you could walk on them out on Switsure Bank, and 
hauled in (as in arrested) a Canadian not only in our 
waters, but with undersized fish under both U.S. and 
Canadian law.  Didn't you used to fish commercial in 

I've seen rabid individual "sportsmen" catching salmon 
in fresh water streams of Alaska, Canada, Washington 
and Oregon by the dozens, throwing back carcasses 
of the smaller or most "wasted" ones.  Last week I 
watched tribal members (I think) catching steelhead 
right at the mouth of the Elwha.  I've seen networks of 
gillnets stretched across the Quinalt at Tahola that 
made me to wonder how ANY got by.  Ad nauseam. 

There aren't any (or at least many) native trout in our 
streams any more, or darned few, and no planted fish 
any more.  Dams didn't get many of THEM.  Dams are 
far from the only problem.  Part, for sure...but 
overfishing the species contributes, as does destruction 
of spawning habitat by timbering near rivers, bridge and 
road building, dikes, etc., etc., etc. 

I gave up salmon sport fishing in '80, a favorite saltwater 
fishing "sport" for me.  I LOVED eating fresh-caught 
salmon.  But I never have fished or caught one in fresh 
water.  Never would have.  No one else should be 
allowed to either.  Period. 

If we did nothing else other than ban fishing for salmon 
in the North Pacific, Bering Sea and the streams that 
feed them for 6-8 years, we'd be up to our asses in 
salmon.  I've seen them spawn actively in streams 
in which they couldn't go "inland" more than 1/2 mile. 

There are LOTS of problems salmon (and other 
species) face in surviving a relationship with homo 
sapiens.  Dams are one of them. 

P.S. I hope they nail Clinton.  He smells like dead 

Dick Wight '52 
From: John Northover (59) 

Response to Ms. Carol (Wiley) Wooley (64): 
(re comments in Sandbox #24 of 1/17/99 

The question of the century?? 
"P.S. The donkey was in the stable when Christ was 
born, where was the elephant??" 

Possible answer: 
Was she in stable yard unpacking her trunk??? 

The bigger question is: What was the donkey doing 
when Christ was born?  Was she, [can there be 
she-donkeys??] a practicing nurse-maid, a famous 
sino-cologist, a lady-in-waiting or just a friend of the 

ON Opinions ... as my wife says 'Opinions are like a.. 
holes, we all have them.'  The issues you raise are valid. 
We should get out of the moral dwarf's sex life.  We 
should get out of his personal life.  However, it is no 
longer a matter of sex and personal  ... it has become 
a constitutional issue ... which must be resolved before 
we can do anything about any of the valid issues you 
raise .... just be patient.  All things in their own good 

We Americans have the best we can offer.  We have 
exactly the government we want.  We have the people 
we want in office to look after us the way we want.  We 
have the system in place we want.  AND the bigger 
benefit is that when enough of us want to change things 
 ... we do change.  We want and we have.  When we no 
longer want; we discard and we then want some other 
thing and we have as our hearts desire.  And the cycle 

Our government has served us exactly as it should. 
We want our government to provide jobs, safety and 
wealth ...  We are the top of the hill ... 

Perhaps you should offer your opinions on those issues 
you hold so dear to your soul.  We then can compare 
what we are thinking and then we can read, get huffy 
and know toss that old written rubber 
brick back!!! 

Response to Ms. Peggy Hartnett (72): re THE 
SANDBOX #23 ~ 1/16/99: 

Thank you for you kind comments ... I work very hard 
at my mis-spellings and my fel-swooping.  As far as a 
spelling bee ... Well, the last time I was in the running 
for correct alphabetical sequencing was ... so long ago 
that I forget what I was spelling. 

Perhaps a response for those that come into your 
hostel .. and shout 'We are here to eat!!!"  You could 
say:  "McDonalds is just down the street ... ", or "I 
am sorry, do you have reservations?  If so, perhaps 
you should leave now," or "Room service???...Please 
dial 911," or "We do not serve the socially 
challenged!!!...HHhrrruumph!" ... exit stage left. 

Thanks, John 
The civil savant 
From: Dustin Rector (88) 
Subject: Y2K vs. MacIntosh or: 
Or:         An *OS By Any Other Name... 

Mac's aren't any smarter about Y2K than any other OS. 
Most OSes have been Y2K compliant for over a decade. 
The problem is the software from 1975 that's never 
been updated.  The problem is that little clock in 
your coffeemaker from 1985.  The little electronic chip 
in your '88 Toyota.  The railroad switch that controls 
where the coal train goes when the track branches. 

Your PC is a minor bump compared to the mainframe 
computers that track your bank accounts, FICA tax, 
Medicare, and power distribution grid. 

The only thing switching to a Mac does is help Steve 
Job's ego.  Bill Gates doesn't care -- Microsoft does 
great business selling office software for Macs too. 

BTW, what web browser are you using on that Mac? 

Dustin Rector (88) 

[*OS = Operating System (I think) - ap] 
Note: The following submission was written and sent 
to The Sandbox shortly before President Clinton 
gave his State of The Nation Speech. 

From: Dick Epler  (52) 
Subject: The Nature of Political Issues 

Clinton’s upcoming State of the Union message should 
provide a welcome respite from his impeachment 
proceedings, while providing an opportunity to refocus 
on the “The Issues.”  Contrary to Impeachment stuff, 
which makes us all a little uncomfortable.  Most of us 
love issues, and with good reason.  Today, what we’ve 
come to think of as “issues,” are those things offered by 
politicians in the Form of Federal aid to redress some 
imbalance, or unfairness, in the cornucopia of 
entitlements due its citizens by the richest nation in 
the world. 

We talk a lot about fairness these days, but again, 
there are different definitions.  Where I might equate 
fairness with “a consistency in the use of Rules, logic 
and ethics” to getting something done, I think many 
define fairness more in the context of their favorite 
political issue, as in “no one should be getting more 
“aid” than I, considering my more deserving condition 
or situation.” 

I understand that Clinton’s State of the Union 
message tonight will deal mostly with issues.  Sam 
Donaldson, of ABC, informs us that Clinton will propose 
something for everyone.  Tomorrow, the news analysts 
will tell us who the big winners are, and who was 
shortchanged.  Those who got less will immediately 
lobby for parity, and the whole process will ratchet the 
bar, for Federal giveaways, a little higher. 

But that’s the American way, and most really can’t think 
of any other way to play the game.  The media will, no 
doubt, address these issues in the context defined by 
Clinton (big government), and that would be a mistake. 

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  In the beginning 
(pre-America), the first governments consisted simply 
of local merchants and citizens who got together to 
establish various rules for conducting business, and to 
establish an armed force for protection from outsiders. 
A local tax structure was established to fund this 
activity.  States, whose boundaries were generally 
established on the basis of defendable geographical 
features (rivers, etc.) was an attempt to serve a 
common economic and defense interest, and were 
organized in a similar manner.  Except that the state’s 
“army” (which today we would call the National Guard), 
was simply a reorganization of existing community 
armies for a specific purpose.  In those days, issues 
were always local, which was both highly cost effective 
and results oriented.  Of course, the “issues” of the day 
were somewhat limited, as most citizens were either 
slaves (surfs) or soldiers. 

At the time of the American Revolution, most of the 
Colony's inhabitants knew well the dangers of 
authoritarian governments, and sought to form a 
different kind of government based primarily on 
ensuring personal freedom, to pursue life liberty 
and, happiness on an individual basis.  This meant 
minimizing the possibility of a highly centralized 
oppressive government.  Thus, in the beginning of the 
American experiment, the Federal Government was 
required to do only what the states could not do for 
themselves.  Initially this consisted of a relatively weak 
national army, a central monetary system for stable 
commerce, a judicial system to resolve disputes 
between the states, and, of course, another taxing 
authority.  This concept, where the Constitution is 
viewed a compact between the states, assigns only a 
few, very specific, powers to the national government. 
Everything else belonged to the states.  This is known 
as the 'states rights' view of the Constitution. 

As time went on in the new United States, however, 
events required a more nationalistic view, whereby the 
Constitution is seen as a compact, not between the 
states, but between ALL the people so that the states 
(few people) are subordinate to the Federal Government 
(all people).  At the time, this was a necessary 
interpretation, required to finance both the western 
expansion, and especially the two world wars, but it was 
not without cost.  The resulting highly centralized 
government led to a situation where citizens began to 
look primarily to Washington D.C. for solutions to ALL 
their problems, and thus politicians were able to use 
tax dollars, and “acquired” income to buy votes 
according to the “issues” they sponsored. 

Issues have now divided the nation: Oldsters favor 
Social Security and Medicare.  The young favor 
welfare and education (the two just seem to go 
together).  Women favor childcare and abortions 
(which don’t seem to go together).  Blacks favor 
affirmative action and Eubonics.  Homosexuals favor 
marriage benefits and lots of AIDS money.  Urban 
centers favor lower crime, marijuana and euthanasia. 
And all these many factions can be made “active” at 
election time by irresponsible politicians for the 
purpose of generating votes.  But note that the one 
“issue” missing is national defense, which is one of 
the few legitimate functions of the Federal Government, 
but one that receives the least attention in times of 

Today, we have the interesting situation where the 
original impetus for expanding the powers of the 
Federal government (expansion and major wars) no 
longer exist, while at the same time, our resulting 
inability to acquire new resources requires citizens 
alone to pay (no more acquired income) for both 
government’s largess (issues) and inefficiencies 
(administration) with the surety that the disparity 
between costs and benefits will increase every year. 

All government entitlements, so far as I can tell, are 
based on a sort of pyramid scheme, where the initial 
beneficiaries win the most at the expense of those who 
follow.  Pyramid schemes tend to push the costs 
associated with the program as far into the future as 
possible with the assumption that those who follow will 
adequately spread the costs.  Because of this, 
government-type pyramid schemes are heavily 
dependent on population growth for continued viability. 
Without an ever-increasing populace, the costs for 
any government program tends to increase far beyond 
the benefits offered.  This is the fundamental problem 
with Social Security and Medicare today.  With a 
decreasing population rate of growth, and without the 
prospect of acquiring (stealing) cheap resources from 
other nations, these problems can’t be fixed within the 
framework of the Federal Government.  Of course 
pyramid schemes are illegal for everyone except the 
government.  Without government to force mandatory 
participation, pyramid schemes always fail in a 
relatively short time frame.  With forced participation, it 
takes a little longer but they WILL fail. 

There are a number of self-supporting solutions to the 
Social Security and Medicare problems that don’t 
depend on the continued influx of new members.  I’ll 
save that discussion for another time, but I’ll give you 
a hint: To make it work, we’ll need an honest 
accounting system for the federal government, where 
the costs for highly visible programs can’t be migrated 
to less visible accounts.  And of course, such an 
accounting program MUST be based on accrual, rather 
than cost, accounting principles.  With an honest 
accounting system, it would be obvious that we DON’T 
have a balanced budget, and that there is NO surplus. 
We continue to spend more money than we collect. 
With every minute of every day, our national debt 
continues to increase.  And Clinton continues to lie. 

- Dick Epler (52) 
Subj:   The State of The Union Speech 
From: (Ray Wells) (54) 

Clinton appeared as his usual charismatic charming 
self and his delivery was excellent, but the content was 
really scary!  What he was promoting was pure 
socialism.  I call it his, "I'll promise you everything 
under the sun if it will save my ass speech."  His 
privatization of Social Security plan really amounts to 
direct government investment in the stock market and 
would allow the government to directly influence the 
market.  Trent Locke, leader of the senate was quoted 
as saying it was the worst speech he had ever heard. 
I taped the speech, and if there are enough interested, 
I would like to cover (and encourage the rest of you to 
cover), each item in the Sandbox.  - Ray 
That's it for this issue of the Sandbox, folks.  Please 
remember... Your Ideas and Opinions Are Always 
Welcome Here!  By the way, what do you think about 
the following? 

1.  America and Cuba playing baseball? 
2.  How to discourage telemarketers? 
3.  Mariners Hopes? Seahawks Dreams? 
4.  If you could design a very unique and special 
     Computer Program...  What would you like it 
     to do? 
5.  Will Hilary Clinton make a great U.S. Senator? 

Talk to us about these topics, or whatever else you 
might find moving to the forefront of your brain today. 
See you next time with comments from Bronyn 
Bennett Mosman (71), Eva (Clark) Perry (49), and 
others.  Maybe even you!  See you next time! 

--Al Parker - Sandbox Coordinator