THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #42 ~ June 20, 1999 "In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world." President Franklin D. Roosevelt ~ 1882 - 1945 Address to Congress, Jan. 6 1941 Participants in this issue are: Al Parker (53), Jim Fowler (72), Joe Ford (63), Tom Storms (69), Ron Richards (63), John Allen (66), Tom Hann (61), Vern Blanchette (64), Vera Smith Robbins (58), John Adkins (62), Ralph Myrick (51) ~~~~~ Subject: The SANDBOX and Free Speech From: Al Parker (53) THE_SANDBOX@bigfoot.com The right to Free Speech in America seems ever more endangered with the passing of time. In recent weeks your Free Speech Rights in The SANDBOX have become endangered as well. Should the SANDBOX remain an (almost) unbridled bastion of Free Speech, or should certain guidelines, such as "the amount of rudeness allowed" become imposed? During the past several weeks there seems to have been a growing consensus that some form of control should be exercised over submissions that are published in The SANDBOX. Therefore, a SANDBOX Neighborhood Protocol and Standards Criteria is now undergoing careful consideration. But before this is all laid out, I'd like you all to consider just a few things: 1. What does Free Speech really mean to you? 2. What does Free Speech mean to Americans today? 3. Where would our nation be now, had Free Speech not taken place during the molding of America? 4. How much are you willing to have your own Free Speech rights and privileges limited? (Here, in The SANDBOX, or anywhere else.) 5. What are you willing to do today to help preserve this marvelous Freedom so vital to America, for you and for your prodigy? What are you willing to sacrifice? What degree of discomfort are you willing to endure in order to keep that Freedom alive? Would you rather "separate the tares from the wheat" for yourself, or have someone else do that for you? 6. If something is said here, in substance or method, with which you disagree, would you rather articulate your own feelings on the matter, give some thought to it, just let it pass for now, or abdicate altogether your opportunity to redress or "hear" the views of others and talk about things important to you? 6. If you want me to exercise any form of SANDBOX censorship, where do you want it to start? Where do you want it to end? Perhaps I will have more to say and more to ask you on this subject as time goes on. Most importantly, though, I want to hear from you. With the utmost sincerity, I remain, (and only God knows why), Your SANDBOX Moderator. Actually, on reflection, I do know why I keep on doing this. It's because I still believe The SANDBOX is an important forum and a tremendous Great American Participation Opportunity for us all. There's been a lot of useful information and some very thoughtful insight already published and discussed in The SANDBOX during it's relatively young life. From time to time there's been entertainment, too, and for better or worse, some things that may have raised your blood pressure a notch or few. Many have been inspired by some of the things you've said here. Several of you have placed articles here as good or better than anything seen in national publications, but with insights from your own experiences that the nationals so often lack. (That doesn't mean you have to be polished and professional to talk with us here, however. Please don't get that idea.) So many of you have, in your own way, contributed so much of value that it would take hours to enumerate it all. Let me express my personal thanks right now for all of that. Hundreds of your worthwhile entries have been posted here. Please keep it up! When all is done and said, The SANDBOX will always be be just as good, but only as good, as what you are willing to share with us. Oh, yes... there's one more reason at least, why I'm still here. I enjoy you all and just happen to care about every one of you! Thus I remain, and still maintain: "If anything you have to say is worth saying anywhere, it's well-worth saying here!" And let me say this too, before I go: Because this is YOUR SANDBOX, whether YOU agree or disagree with anything that's said in this little microcosm of America, or even in how it is expressed, YOU will always have the Freedom to Reply! Pray, if you do pray at all, that Our America at large may continue also, to retain that same very rare and precious liberty— The Right to Reply, the Right to Speak Out! Don't you dare give up that right! It's inalienable! I believe our Creator and Founding Fathers delineated a very clear choice for US to make regarding the continuance of all the precious Freedoms they've so generously handed down to us, at so great a price and risk to ALL of them! That very clear choice is simply this: EXERCISE or ATROPHY! Yes, I am shouting now! I certainly must agree with Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the foremost of all our freedoms is the freedom of speech and expression. Without that freedom, all our other freedoms are doomed! We must never let that freedom die. Exercise it! Winston Churchill spoke eloquently when he charged his people to fight with all their might to preserve Britain during the horror of World War II. I would apply those same words and energy to doing all that is necessary to preserve Free Speech in America: "We shall go on to the end,...we shall fight on the seas and oceans... we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills' we shall never surrender." Among those things we must never surrender, is our inalienable right to free speech and expression! Exercise it! If you value this precious heritage as much as I, you will never, ever, let any mere mortal, through inconsiderate remarks or by any other means, turn you away from any opportunity to speak from your heart. Not in this world. Not in America. Not in This SANDBOX! Of course there will be times when something is said that will not be worth replying to. But don't give up the right to choose when, from your heart or from your conscience, or from the very core of your basic intelligence, you have something you need or want to share with your extended Bomber Family here. Don't be driven off. Don't deprive us. Let your voice be heard! I will let the rest of this issue of The SANDBOX speak for itself, as it expresses and addresses YOUR interests and YOUR concerns. O.K. One more thing. Politeness and respect toward your fellow alumni does count toward more effective communication and is very much appreciated by most of us, including me. If all of us can make the effort to treat each other humanely, without demeaning or disparaging, as we champion the values we hold dear and express our feelings about things that are of interest to us, maybe we can avoid the awesome and awful specter of SANDBOX sanctions and censorship. That may require some thoughtful self-editing for some of us, but quite worth the effort, wouldn't you agree? One thing I learned during several years as a member of Toastmasters International, is that your powers of persuasion are generally not enhanced anyway, when you begin by "pissing people off." Let's try to use all of our freedoms responsibly. Long live The SANDBOX. Long live AMERICA! — Al Parker (Class of 1953) Still living and learning and lovin' it at age 63 ~~~~~ Subj: Over The Line From: Jim Fowler (72) ~ JHFowler@Earthlink.net To: THE_SANDBOX@bigfoot.com, Bmbr70@aol.com John Allen has gone way over the line. Either he should apologize [not some holier than now phony bullshit apology] or he should be kicked out of this forum. Unlike Flag burning, his behavior is akin to yelling fire in a movie theater. Bye Bye John. Jim Fowler "72" ~~~~~ From: Ron Richards (63) ~ G1A1S1@aol.com To: SANDBOX Members CC: Bmbr70@aol.com If Mike Franco doesn't participate here any longer, a fairly significant part of the intelligent commentary will have been lost. Maybe the supportive comments from Mike Pearson and Arthur Roberts will cause Mike to reconsider. For those of you who missed it, here is what Arthur wrote: Pray for Peace. Pray for Love. Pray for a kinder, gentler John Allen I would join in Arthur's prayer. I would also add that a lot of the problems that Mr. Allen knows so much about are caused by people like Mr. Allen. Too little analysis. Too many pat answers. Too little compassion. Ron Richards ('63) ~~~~~ Subj: Take me off the list From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe Ford) (63) To: THE_SANDBOX@bigfoot.com Sandbox maintenance; I got on this list when the Richland folk felt that "controversial topics" should not appear in messages posted to the original e-mail list. I've discovered that the Sandbox doesn't do much for me. For some reason, John Allen apparently feels he's got to lecture all of us, and he's simply rude. I'm tired of reading his rants and attacks. Take me off the list. Thanks in advance. --Joe Ford ~~~~~ Subj: Re: To Mike Franco and Mike Pearson From: Tom Storms (69) ~ STORMSY@aol.com Mr. Franco, You judge an entire forum by one person's response. That's like labeling the Sandstorm as a sports site because you only read Phil Jones' contributions. No offense Phil. Don't bow out, you have too much to offer in these discussions. Mr. Pearson Can you explain it to Mr. Allen in lay terms. I'm sure he didn't get it. Tom Storms-Class of 69 ~~~~~ Subj: LIBERAL WHINE (Ouch....Ouch Ouch!!) From: John M. Allen (66) Reply-to email@example.com All you Bomber sports fans, particularly those aficionados of the National Basketball Association, will probably remember Bill Laimbeer, the infamous center for the Detroit Pistons who played in the 1980s and early '90s. Laimbeer's infamy came in large part, due to his much chronicled ability to make it appear that the man he was guarding, OR the one who was guarding him, had committed a foul upon his completely innocent person. Refined basketball fans would frequently watch a Pistons game, focusing not on the ball, but rather on Laimbeer, to marvel as game after game, he raised this technique to a true art form. It became known in NBA parlance as the "flop." The "flop" was all the more effective because Laimbeer was a great shooter and he scored a large percentage of his points at the foul line, isolated in the spotlight/TV camera and unencumbered by annoying hands in his face. In addition to his ability to fake being fouled, he was equally unsurpassed at surreptitiously throwing elbows and hips, thereby causing his opponents a maximum of physical pain. The guy was very simply THE master at what he did, and except at The Palace in Auburn Hills (where the Pistons play), Laimbeer was roundly booed at every arena in the NBA. Now, I have no idea whether or not he was/is a Democrat, but in '89 & '90 when he was helping the Pistons to two NBA World Championships, Bill Laimbeer was certainly better know throughout the land than was Bill Clinton. I make this point only as likely evidence that IF either one learned from the other, it was probably Clinton who learned from Laimbeer. Certainly no one can dispute that with or without consulting Laimbeer, Clinton transported the "flop" into the political arena and has carried it to even greater heights. As examples, I offer you the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" which he somehow snookered the wife he repeatedly humiliates, into proclaiming, and "The Politics of Personal Destruction" which he submitted to the nation (in lieu of his official AND criminal behavior) as explanation for his impeachment by the House of Representatives. But the comparison goes even further. Just as Laimbeer subtly directed hips and elbows at basketball opponents, Clinton has been unequaled in going after political opponents, employing James "Corporal Cueball" Carville and Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal as his political Hatchet Men-in-Chief. Recipients of their attentions have been Paula ("Trailer Trash") Jones to whom Clinton paid $800,000 as settlement in a civil lawsuit, and Monica Lewinsky who was in the process of being nationally trashed as a "nut case" until Jacky Judd of ABC News gave Clinton pause by reporting on "The Stain." Through his henchmen, Clinton even attempted to malign the military record (can you believe it, the MILITARY record) of a Congressman from his own party who dared to criticize Clinton's concept of "telling the truth." As with Lewinsky, some fast backpedalling was required when the Congressman's record, unlike Clinton himself, proved to be unimpeachable. Of course these were only small fry compared with Ken Starr and Linda Tripp who received almost hourly attention throughout the media for over a year. I could bore you with MANY more examples of this analogy, but my point is, that after 6+ years of the "Man from Hope," an alarming number of otherwise normal Democrats have begun to reflexively ape the "flop" technique of their fearless leader. If anyone dares to disagree with their political point of view or their logic, or even worse, has the unmitigated gaul to point out actual DETAILS of the disagreement or flawed logic, then that person is immediately accused of attacking them personally. If someone has the impertinence to express disgust or revulsion at the behavior of the president they helped elect, then that is immediately labeled as "hate." Disagreement, and pointing out actual details of disagreement, are NOT synonymous with personal attack or hate. As a more specific example of this behavior, in issue #39 of the "Sandbox," liberal Mike Franco first invoked the knowledge and experience of his 13 year-old daughter to "attack" the comments I had made in a previous issue. When I then suggested that his daughter might not be the sole clearing house for all teenage knowledge and experience, he "flopped" and cried foul that I was somehow attacking his daughter (who, from my limited observation, is a truly wonderful girl). It makes one wonder if there is no cheap shot (elbow) that a good liberal won't take (throw). ANY time a racial, religious, ethnic, sexual or unsubstantiated personal epithet is flung your way (let's say, just for example, "hate monger"), then you liberals have every right to cry foul. However, when in the course of a debate you find yourselves flush with emotion but fresh out of logic, certain of you need to be grown up enough to admit it instead of "flopping" and then running home with your ball. ---John Allen ('66) ~~~~~ Subj: PRAYER IN SCHOOL From: Thomas C. Hann (61) ~ ThomasC@Hann.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WRITTEN BY A 12 YEAR-OLD-GIRL in Boston Now I sit me down in school Where praying is against the rule. For this great nation under God Finds mention of Him very odd. If Scripture now the class recites It violates the Bill of Rights. Anytime my head I bow Becomes a federal matter now. The law is specific; the law is precise. Praying out loud is no longer nice. Praying aloud in a public hall Upsets those who believe in nothing at all. In silence alone we can meditate and if God should get the credit--great! They are bringing their guns, I don't dare bring my Bible, To do so might make me liable. So, now Oh Lord, this plea I make; Should I be shot in school, My soul please take. Amen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This was found on the web and sent to me by a friend. I sure thank GOD for being raised in Richland and for the times I was raised in. What a sad commentary this Prayer is for the times now. The problems now are so complex that there is no one single answer. The solutions are complex and need to be interwoven in all our lives in the times now. With GOD'S help we must prevail in these times and our continued daily prayers must be interwoven into our daily lives and those lives that we touch. These are exciting times now and I for one do not wish to go back to the times that I was raised in. I look forward to every issue of The Sandbox and the memories that come with reading it. God Bless you all.
< Tom Hann, class of '61 PS. Appreciate any e-mails from those I knew in Columbia Hi; Carmichael; Marcus Whitman ThomasC@Hann.com — Class of 61 -- ~~~~~ From: Ralph Myrick (51) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org [Note: this appeared in an earlier SANDBOX, but we will run it again for any who may have missed it. The entry following this one gives us the answer. -ap] Since the following has to do with political opinion, I decided to put it here. This is funny. Try this. It worked for me. Here is proof that either Bill Gates has a sense of humor or that he is part of that right wing conspiracy Hillary keeps talking about. 1) Open a new Microsoft Word document. 2) Type the phrase, I'd like Bill Clinton to resign. 3) Highlight this phrase as if you we're going to check for spelling. 4) Select: Tools - Language - Thesaurus ~~~~~ Subj: What It Says--- From: John Adkins (62) ~ email@example.com To: THE_SANDBOX@bigfoot.com You all asked what happens with MSWord if you check the Thesaurus against a phrase something like "I Wish Bill Clinton would resign" - well it says "I'll drink to that." John Adkins "62" ~~~~~ Subj: RULES FOR BETTER WRITTING.......... From: Tom Hann (61) ~ ThomasC@Hann.com Have noticed that our writing skills have not improved since English class in Columbia Hi. I offer some rules for our consideration when sending in articles to the SANDBOX 1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects. 2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. 4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive. 5. Avoid clich_s like the plague. (They're old hat) 6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration. 7. Be more or less specific. 8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary. 9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies. 10. No sentence fragments. 11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used. 12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. 13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous. 14. One should NEVER generalize. 15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches. 16. Don't use no double negatives. 17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 18. One-word sentences? Eliminate. 19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake. 20. The passive voice is to be ignored. 21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas. 22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice. 23. Kill all exclamation points!!! 24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them. 25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas. 26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed. 27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." 28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly. 29. Puns are for children, not groan readers. 30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms. 31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. 32. Who needs rhetorical questions? 33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. ..........NOT . -Anonymous Tom Hann Class of 1961 ~~~~~ Subj: Congress - who's doing what From: Vernon Blanchette (64) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org You may wish to bookmark this site -- it carries the records of some of the subjects under debate in Congress, and who's doing what. (For example, John McCain's amendment to let cable companies keep raising rates.) http://www.opensecrets.org/diykit/ ~~~~~ Subj: Re: VIRUS ALERT from The SANDBOX From: Vera Smith Robbins (58) ~ Goldi13@aol.com Thanks for the warning. I hate it when you can't just get online and enjoy yourself. You always have to be watching for crazies. ~~~~~ From: Mike Pearson (74) ~ email@example.com Subj: Response to Vernon Blanchette (64)'s posts (& various good posts) Schoolkids today are like we were...in need of a Good Education. My opinion was fresh and fun when I wrote it... & maybe you can revive the poor thing by smart reading. I like the combination of Bible and military quotations you sent and I remember they flourish within the Prime Directive -- the U.S. Constitution and Amendments, including the Bill of Rights. They're great for thoughtful reading! I believe, based on history, they protect freedom of religion better even than religion itself does. Why do we fly only the flags 100 feet high? We could post 100 foot-tall copies of the Constitution and Amendments -- the product of centuries of management research and experience! You wrote "There are roots of this . . . inside each of us..." (we agree!) and quoted General Powell on leadership -- (excerpt): "...blindly following a particular fad generates rigidity in thought and action . . . management techniques are not magic mantras but simply tools to be reached for at the right times." (Lesson 11) These are true and grand except with respect to the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments . . . which protect freedom of management better than management itself does, by providing peaceful transfers of power and protecting people with rights in any process. Alternative systems produce much more turbulent and quixotic power struggles (in which they lose sight of the original intent of obtaining the reins of management). Kids today are deprived of learning the wonders inherent in Constitutional law. The teachers could read aloud to high school students (with a theatric air?) a fair sampling of law cases and their resolution and they'd be better served than being kept in the dark about the true basis of modern civilization. Any lesson plan can be made interesting, and this lesson plan deserves more attention than it's getting. If school kids knew their rights and learned the true dimensions of them, wouldn't they be inclined to practice those freedoms with more self-respect and respect for the welfare of others? We could show films like _The People vs. Larry Flynt_ in upper high school and it would help!!... Why? Well, have you seen that film? The U.S. Supreme Court and other courts are well portrayed. Unfortunately, as in real life, Larry Flynt is shot and paralyzed, and his wife dies tragically from drug abuse. You quoted Isaiah 55: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord." With the exception of (__________ (fill in the blank) no human is allowed an exception or "Lordship" status by the U.S. Constitution whether they be a priest or priestess, minister, rabbi, mullah, swami or other "spokesperson" for the Lord. They must manage with freedom of religion speech, assembly, press, trade etc. without violating or usurping the rights of others granted by the U.S. Constitution. I hope you agree... it's consistent with what you were saying. Mike Pearson (74) Science does not consist of proving things true but in testing and criticizing them. -- Karl Popper ~~~~~~ Subj: Spike Lee, CBS News Anchor From: Mike Pearson (74) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org Free press used to mean some abuse. Readers might be swayed by false info or purple prose or sensational headlines. But at least there was a "press." With TV and radio, there is only the seductive voice in our ear and the handsome talking head to deliver a party line. How much analysis occurs with 15 stories of 100 words each? A lot! They're manipulatin' the heck out of us, or tryin', with neurolinguistic programming, clever wording, color tampering, and subliminal visual undertones behind the words. These folks average four years of college, mostly in journalism. What is a journal? Just whatever they write in it. The movie about Malcolm X was kinda inspiring, but I never like the Leninist quote on the movie't tee shirt -- "by any means necessary." With a press, they had to gather information and publish tens of thousands of words daily that could be clipped by anyone's Granny for future criticism. With TV and radio, they seem to have no limits and no accountability -- and they're never sorry if they get it wrong. Am I a critic? Just being their detractor -- does that make me a critic? It looks like TV and radio news' motto is "We spy and pry and if necessary, lie, to get out the gossip as quickly as we hear it... or whatever it is we're trying to accomplish." And if you think they're muddled, wait'll ya see how they handle rejection! Tell a millionaire anchor he's a no-good lazy dumb gossipin' interloper and he'll really turn red. Thanks for the forum...I'm Mr. Popular. Mike Pearson (74) ~~~~ That's it for this issue of The SANDBOX, folks. Thanks to all of the contributors for sharing their thoughts with all of us. John Fitzgerald Kennedy paraphrased John Greenleaf Whittier when he said: "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." And I might suggest along that line, "Ask not what the SANDBOX can do for you, but what together we can do to make The SANDBOX the truly fine forum that ALL OF US would like it to be. Thank you for your support! --Al Parker "Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten." B.F. Skinner 1904 - Think about it. Talk about it. Send us your stuff. -42-