Issue #53
                Sunday - March 5 - 2000

              "It wasn't always like this?
               Perhaps it wasn't, but it is,"
              ---W.H. Auden 1907 - 1973

This week's Contributors are:

Commenting on Credit Cards and Pin Numbers:
          Mary (Kingsley) Spradlin (49)
          Maren Smyth (64)
          Sharon (Brooks) Sims (62)
          Tom Hemphill (62)
          Sherry Nugent Dupuy (62)

Sales Taxes and The Internet:
          Tom Hemphill (62)
          Norma (Loescher) Boswell (53)
Responding to other Member comments:
          Jerry Lewis (73) to Eva (Clark) Perry (49)
          Hugh Hinson (52) to Dick Epler (52)

Lee Harvey Oswald's Motivation?
          Vikki Kestell  (70)

Toss Them All Out!
          Patty Stordahl (72)

Stop The Madness
         Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)

The next issue of The SANDBOX will include:
         Ron Richards talking about dams.
         Marc Franco responding to Dick Epler
         Other Tricks They're using to milk 
              Your Credit Cards - Al Parker
         And as likely as not, some poignant comments
             from YOU!

                            ~ ~ ~ 

       Issue #53 of The SANDBOX Salutes:
                    The Class of 1953!

 ... and the following classes whose members led
 the way through those very special years in
 Richland just ahead of 1953!  Check the web
 pages of these classes for E-mail addresses and
 drop these people a line!
              1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 
              1947 1948 1949 1950 1952 

The web page of each of these classes also offer
 links to personal web pages of class members. 
 Go to:
 and link to the class year of your choice!

                                  ~ ~ ~ 

Subj: Credit Card "Pin" Numbers for Merchandise Purchases.

In Issue #52 of The SANDBOX, we asked this question:

"Should credit card companies require
 personal  identity codes ('pin' numbers,) for
 merchandise purchases as well as for cash?"

Here are the responses you gave: 

From: Mary (Kingsley) Spradlin (49)

Yes.  However if the card number was obtained
 from use over the Internet why could the pin no.
 not be obtained the same way?

[Moderator's note: Good point.  However, I was
 referring to information gained by physical theft,
 as did occur in my case, not info gained on the
 Internet.  The "culprit", a visitor to my home,
 stole at least two of my credit cards.  He knew
 my mailing address and that was all he needed,
 along with the credit card number and expiration
 dates displayed on every credit card, in order to
 order computers and auto accessories by
 telephone. One of the mail order companies I
 talked to over the phone while tracking all of
 this, expressed no concern whatsoever that the
 person  receiving the merchandise had a different
 name and address than the name and address
 assigned  to the card.  The vulnerability of "pin
 numbers" given over secure areas on Internet
 servers to legitimate vendors is, (hopefully),
 somewhat remote.]

                            ~ ~ ~ 

Subj: Should "Pin" numbers be required for
 Merchandise as well as Cash Transactions?

From:   Maren Smyth (64)


                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Pin Numbers for Credit Card Puchases
From:   Sherry (Nugent) Dupuy (62)

I have been thinking on this very issue.

Last fall, my Visa Gold had a $4100 charge on it which
was not mine.  To make a long story short - I had used
the card the year before with NEC - it was an inhouse
theft of my credit card # and exp date.  Two computers
were ordered and sent somewhere in California.  NEC
had my # and exp date...would they not also have had
my pin number on record?

Sherry Nugent Dupuy (62)

Live and savor every moment..... this is not a dress

[Moderator comment:  Probably. And a dishonest phone
order taker could use that pin number, along with other info
to make charges on your card. The beauty of pin numbers
however, is that you can change them as often as you wish, 
automatically and privately over the telephone, without the 
hassel of having to cancel your card(s).  Same thing goes 
with passwords on your Internet accounts.  It's a good idea 
to change those passwords every few months.]

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj: Should "Pin" numbers be required for
 Merchandise as well as Cash Transactions?

From:   Sharon (Brooks) Sims (62)

What a great idea.  Using a pin number for a
 Credit card purchase.  I would feel much safer
 using my card over the Internet too.  Yes vote.

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Credit Card Merchandise Sales & Pin Numbers
From:   Tom Hemphill (62)

YES - USE PIN NUMBERS and require venders
 to call for an authorization number

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Internet Sales and Sales Tax 
From:   Tom Hemphill (62)

Sales Tax: Local Business and The Internet

This will become a bigger issue in the near future
 and it has affected our community already.
 Perhaps Internet sales should include a federal
 sales tax with a certain percent being sent to
 the customer's local government.  In our small
 community, 60% of the income of our town and
 county comes from sales tax.  If local sales are
 compromised by the Internet, we run the risk of
 increased property tax and water/sewer rates. 
 Nobody will win this battle.

Tom Hemphill (62)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Check out Clinton, States Take on Net Tax

 Clinton, States Take on Net Tax  Also, online
 voting discussed by Clinton and Governors....,1283,34619,00.html?tw=wn20000229

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Sales Taxes and The Internet
From:   Norma (Loescher) Boswell
 I like being able to buy computer products on the
 Internet without paying a sales tax. So far I'm not
 a big net buyer. I know states need sources of
 revenue, but buyers need to conserve their
 resources too!

                                  ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:    Regarding Eva (Clark) Perry's (49) 
             apocryphal submission
From:    Jerry Lewis (53)
I wish that people would check out their stories
 before they passed them on.  It might be easier
 for a person to objectively assess a story like that
 if there were credible (or any, for that matter)
 resources listed to evaluate the story.  But, like
 the bulk of the (well, it might be true, so I'll
 forward it to everyone whose e-mail address I
 have) stuff that gets slung about the Internet,
 there is no built in way to check it's veracity.

So, I went to my favorite hoax debunking site,
 the Urban Legends Reference Pages at and did a search for "Warren
 Kimbro" and voila,  a whole, detailed analysis of
 this story, down to large sections that matched
 the text that Eva forwarded.  You can read all
 about it at .
 And unlike the story we read in the
 Sandbox (which no doubt has been circulating all
 around the Internet), it has two links and about a
 half dozen references at the bottom of the page.

The highlights of it are that yes, Warren Kimbro
 was involved in the guy's murder (and may have
 pulled the trigger on the shot to his head), but he
 was "allowed to plead to a lesser charge (second
 degree murder) in exchange for turning state's
 evidence ... then sentenced him to life in prison
 but released him after four years".  But the stuff
 about Bill Lann Lee and Hillary Clinton is very
 suspect.   The Urban Legends page goes on to
 say it was the 12,000 Black Panthers swarming
 the campus that slowed things down (it wasn't
 actually closed).  Because Clinton and Lee were
 there, they are plastered with guilt by association.
 At the time, Lee was an undergraduate not 
 a 'radical law student' and
 Clinton's role as a first year law student was to
 'assist the ACLU to monitor the trial  for civil
 rights violations.'  They are basically damned
 because they were there, and because people
 don't like them.  (It would not be surprising if
 they did demonstrate, after all it was the late 60s).

It's too bad that more people don't take the time
 to check out this kind of screed (political or not)
 before they pass it on. I suppose those who
 believe that the Clintons, and liberals in general
 are evil, will read it and nod and cluck about how
 right they are, but it really actually does a
 disservice to their cause because it makes other
 assertions they make suspect.

I usually don't even read the Sandbox, but I just
 happened to scan this one and in my campaign to
 stop reflexive redistribution of false legends, I
 just couldn't resist responding.

Jerry Lewis (73)
                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Lee Harvey Oswald's Motivation?
From:   Vikki Kestell)  (70)        

I read Kathy Wheat Fife's (79) excerpt from
 her former uncle's book regarding a possible
 motivation for Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of JFK. 

[Ed. Note: Readers can see the excerpt referred by going to:]

If you haven't read the passage, it does present
 a credible alternative, the possibility that Oswald
 was actually trying to  assassinate Connally
 rather than JFK, Intriguing. Y'know, because we 
 will just never know the real answer to certain
 dark events in history I sometimes just wish
 we had a way to go back and video tape certain
 scenes: Dallas, 11-22-63; the night Nicole
 Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were
 murdered; Christmas night, Boulder, CO, home
 of Jon Benet Ramsey;  etc. 

                   Vikki Kestell (70)   

  Manager, External Liaison and Development
  New Mexico Engineering Research Institute
  Albuquerque, NM

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Toss Them All Out!
From:   Patty Stordahl (72)

All the incumbents want radical, compassionate
 reform, toss them all out. President Colin Powell
 and VP Alan Keyes, Would any one else love to
 see this ticket?  Gore is just a liar, Bradley is
 boring, Bush is strong but a mama's boy and
 McCain God bless him is an under achiever
 though many great qualities. I want a real leader,
 real compassion, real change, not dancing over
 50 white puppets.  I for one am sick of the
 incredible insecurities in the over 50 American
 European decent males in an income bracket
 higher than $150,000.00 per year who are afraid
 to vote for a Male or female minority. They are
 every bit as American and bleed red just like you
 and I and it is their turn to lead us.  I think many
 of the upper snobbery of the royal courts has
 entered our political ranks and the wealthy feel
 that they are above being lead by someone who
 is real and won't be bought.

I love Alan Keyes tax issues, Fair no kidding this
 guy is the only one with common sense.  Like he
 said, America do you want real change or are
 you just pretending you want change.  If you
 want change get on your knees, pray to your
 higher power and vote for the man who doesn't
 make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Want a real change?  Then lets put someone there
 with real strength of character and a real hard
 line stand for what our country was founded on. 
 Radical ideas.  How about Jessie Jackson and
 Alan Keyes, that ought to shake government up.

What do you think?
Patty Stordahl (72)

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Stop The Madness
From:    Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)
The current federal administration has set into
 motion a malignancy that could at any time affect
 any one of us.  Every day the barrage of lawsuits
 grows, shattering the fabric of this country and
 destroying our peace of mind.  We are seeing
 irresponsible lawsuits being filed by state and
 federal administrations against big businesses just
 to satisfy a political or monetary agenda.  I find
 this very disheartening because these suits have a
 ripple effect that can change the course of many
 lives.  Many people can be caught in the crossfire
 and end up losing their job security, retirement
 benefits, and investment portfolios.  The
 consumer also pays for this madness through
 higher prices. 

We have seen how the lawsuits against the
 tobacco companies have snowballed despite their
 frivolous nature.  I personally fail to see the
 rationale behind the lawsuits since cigarettes are
 a legal product and one that has carried a
 warning label since 1966.  I fail to see how
 someone can be accused of hiding something
 from you that you already know because it is a
 no-brainer.  Will lawsuits against Microsoft spin
 out of control now that the federal government
 has planted the seed?  Will this madness cause
 software prices to increase for consumers and
 life-savings to be lost for employees and
 investors?  These are real possibilities given the
 fact that we are seeing the equivalent of road
 rage in our jury boxes today, making it possible
 for plaintiffs to receive unconscionable
 settlements in lawsuits that have no merit.

Let us not forget that Vice President Al Gore
 showed us that he is into the blame game when
 he blamed the tobacco industry for his sister's
 death rather than consider her responsible for her
 own actions.  My father died from smoking 38
 years ago at the age of 57 and it has never
 entered my mind to blame anyone but him for his
 death.  Let us not forget that it was Senator John
 McCain's over-zealous Bill against the tobacco
 industry that caused the tobacco companies to
 walk away from the negotiating table.

We have seen Janet Reno and her entourage join
 hands and raise them in jubilance before our very
 eyes on TV at the prospect of bringing down
 Microsoft.  One might interrupt this display of
 exuberance to mean that capitalism is no longer
 respected or acceptable in this country.

I am concerned about my future financial security
 because my life-savings is tied to a large
 company with deep pockets.  I will not vote for
 anyone who has a record of favoring litigation
 over personal responsibility or irrational
 reparation from companies for misconduct over a
 rational resolution.  The only way to stop this
 madness is to be very sure that the person who
 we elect to the highest office in this country has
 common sense and integrity.  We need a person
 who will make ethical decisions that are in the
 best interest of the American people. 

Mary (Ray) Henslee (61)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Likes Dick Epler's Comments
From:  Hugh Hinson (52)

To: Dick Epler (52)
Dick I thought your piece on President was well written
and thought out. I agree with you. Hugh Hinson (52) 

                            ~ ~ ~
That's about it for this issue, Folks.  The
 SANDBOX is filled to the brim once again!
 Thanks for all of your contributions.

The next issue will feature comments from Ron
 Richards, Marc Franco, and quite possibly,
 YOU!   See you next time.

Al Parker (53)
Your SANDBOX moderator.
~ 53 ~