The SANDBOX 
                 Issue #65    June 3, 2000
        Ideas - Opinion - Personal Experience
             sandbox@richlandbombers.com

                  SANDBOX Archive Site:
          http://THE.SANDBOX.tripod.com

           "The reward of a thing well done,
                     is to have done it."

                -Ralph Waldo Emerson
                         1803 - 1882

Look Who's Talking Today!

     "To have this site to express our feelings
 whether they jibe with any other's feelings, is
 another of our "Bomber wonders." Thanks one
 and all. 
          - Leona "Mari" Eckert Leahy, '65


     "Democracy will come to Cuba and life will
 get better for the Cubans....but not  by much....   
 Hyatt, Sheraton, Hertz, Avis, McDonalds will
 swarm into Cuba  and make it a wildly popular
 vacation destination... The Cuban population will
 turn into maids, carwash boys and fry cooks to
 serve the rich Americans that "freed" them and
 resentment will build as they realize that they
 aren't really going to get a piece of the pie and
 we'll look at them like 'aren't they grateful for
 everything we've done for them?'"
                      - Brad Upton '74


     "Walter Lippmann wrote "Don't close your
 mind until there's something in it." Cute phrase,
 that, but it got your attention enough to read on
 to where he makes the point that if you hope to
 get anything done, you can't have an "open mind"
 forever. At some point, you need to form an
 opinion and where possible to act on it. The
 SANDBOX of the Richland Bomber Alumni is a
 great vehicle to facilitate this necessary process.
                       - Dick Epler '52


     "A  local High School principal called a special
 parents meeting to warn them that the kids in
 H.S. today think that Oral Sex is just recreational
 and not really SEX.  Shame on Clinton and his
 minions.
                    - Steve Carson '58


     "I feel that most people on this board have
 been courteous, respectful, and fairly curious
 about what other people have to say. There have
 only been one or two people who have ever
 crossed the line in their rebuttals or responses to
 anything.
                     - Marc Franco '66


     "Maybe if elected officials had to play by the
 same rules as the people they serve, they would
 start thinking a little bit more like the people they
 serve."
                 - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                             ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The SANDBOX, Issue #65, Salutes:
             The Col-Hi/RHS Class of 1965
To get to the '65 Home Page, go to:
 All Bomber Alumni Links at:
    http://www.bigfoot.com/~RichlandBombers
    "We Came, We Saw, We Conquered."
    When you click on 1965, you will find:
 E-mail addresses, links to personal home pages, 
 other sites of  personal interest, and a Photo
 Album showing us growing up in Richland, as
 well as glimpses of who we are and where we
 are today. Photos and anecdotes from class
 reunions and pictures or news articles of
 classmates are also shown here.  The Class 
 of '65 website design and maintenance is by
 Steve Upson (65).
 
                           ~ ~ ~ 

Here's More of What We're Talking About Today!

Subj:   Elian/Cuba
From:   Brad Upton '74
From:   bju@sprynet.com
 
This is my first time in the SANDBOX to give my
 two cents worth... The Elian Gonzalez fiasco is
 another non-issue, small story completely
 sensationalized and made into a big story by the
 media who now operate like Hard Copy.  This is
 one family having a dispute with the INS.  There
 are currently thousands of families in this country
 having citizenship arguments with the INS.  This
 story is a media wet dream...Thanksgiving day,
 clinging to an inner tube, dead mom...the media
 couldn't ask for a better set up.  Send him back. 
 He'll be okay with his dad and Grandmas.  What
 are we saving him from?

Yes, Cuba is communist, but not for much longer. 
 Fidel is in his mid-seventies with only the
 possibility of his younger brother (late sixties) to
 take over.  When Fidel kicks in the not too
 distance future, maybe his brother can hang on
 to 'the revolution' for a couple more years. 
 When  Fidel's brother/successor dies, some high
 ranking officer will make a power grab and be
 sorely disappointed when he finds out only eight
 to twelve soldiers are following him.  The U.S.
 will send in a multimillionaire Cuban-American 
 businessman to be the new president of the
 democracy and we will stick out our chest and
 claim victory.  Democracy will come to Cuba
 and life will get better for the Cubans....but not
 by much.  American corporations are salivating
 at getting into Cuba.  Hyatt, Sheraton, Hertz,
 Avis, McDonalds will swarm into Cuba and
 make it a wildly popular vacation destination. 
 The rich Cuban-Americans won't return
 (although they'll keep a vacation home there). 
 The Cuban population will turn into maids,
 carwash boys and fry cooks to serve the rich
 Americans that "freed" them and resentment will
 build as they realize that they aren't really going
 to get a piece of the pie and we'll look at them
 like 'aren't they grateful for everything we've
 done for them?'  They may have their freedom
 but very few will have their dignity.

                     - Brad Upton '74 

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   What Makes Our Country Great
From:  Leona "Mari" Eckert Leahy,'65
Me12147@aol.com

As to the ranting and ravings of  "the liberal
 (vicious) right," I have to say that's what
 makes our country so great--freedom of choice.
 The biggest part of that freedom allows all of us
 to make our own determination of what is
 politically correct and what isn't.  To have this
 site to express our feelings whether they jibe
 with any others feelings, is another of our
 "Bomber wonders." Thanks one and all. 

           - Leona "Mari" Eckert Leahy,'65

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Opinions, the Venue of The SANDBOX
From:   Dick Epler
depler@ortelco.net
 
In Issue 63, Paul Webster (56) seems to wonder
 how people can feel so strongly about today's
 currently divisive issues, such as Fish or Power,
 or Elian's fate. But I suggest it is completely
 natural for people to have opinions about things
 they feel strongly about. The fact these things are
 more divisive than usual is not an accident. It's
 an election year, and politicians are looking for
 wedge issues. That may be Paul's point (but I'm
 not sure, Paul wasn't very explicit). It may be
 that Paul is simply frustrated by the obvious
 manipulation being exercised by our politicians.
 Being human, Paul no doubt senses that many of
 us get drawn into the fray more in response to
 the emotional content than the facts.

Nevertheless, I tend to agree with sentiments
 expressed by Paul's tongue-in-cheek praise of
 the SANDBOX's writers when he wrote "…
 how  blessed we were in Richland to be endowed
 with the intellectual honesty to be [100%] correct 
 on any subject we decide to write about"
 (I'd leave out the 100% bit). Though diverse, the
 opinions of most Bombers ARE "correct" within
 their own world view. Moreover, I find that the
 loyal contributors to the SANDBOX are all
 honorable and sincere people (no hidden
 agendas). Once in a while a real "flamer" comes
 along, but they usually drop by the wayside as
 more reasoned voices dominate. I credit most of
 this to Al Parker for developing a format that
 encourages such reasoned discussions.
 
For myself, I have to say that I enjoy reading the
 strong opinions expressed by the likes of John
 Allen and Marc Franco (there are many more).
 Their diverse opinions tend to coalesce my own
 thinking, while occasionally producing
 commentary from others like Gene Trosper who
 echoed my thoughts when he wrote in Issue 61,
 "I'd really like to say "thank you" for such an
 interesting e-publication: The SANDBOX."

Maybe 40 years ago, the renowned newspaper
 columnist (two Pulitzer Prizes) Walter Lippmann
 wrote "Don't close your mind until there's
 something in it." Cute phrase, that, but it got
 your attention enough to read on to where he
 makes the point that if you hope to get anything
 done, you can't have an "open mind" forever. At
 some point, you need to form an opinion and
 where possible to act on it. The SANDBOX of
 the Richland Bomber Alumni is a great vehicle to
 facilitate this necessary process.

Paul closed with the quote "Never try to teach a
 pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the
 pig." Cute, but nonsensical. More appropriate to
 my point is The Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me
 the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
 the courage to change the things I can, and the
 wisdom to know the difference." Reinhold
 Neibuhr (1926)

                         -Dick Epler '52
                      depler@ortelco.net

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj: Chicago: A bipartisan city    
From:   Steve Carson '58
SteveNitro@aol.com

1.  As a Chicago Conservative Republican I find
 Sherry Nugent Dupuy's characterization of
 people in Chicago being subservient and
 dominated by a democrat mayor waaaaaaay off
 base.  Richard J. Daley, our esteemed mayor, is a
 good man and is doing an excellent job.  This is
 truly a bipartisan city and that is one thing that
 makes it great and keeps me here.  

2.  I am not a radical anything but can not find
 anything redeeming about the Clinton presidency
 (lower case intentional).  he has demeaned us all
 and diminished the Presidency forever..  My
 granddaughter and her friends in High School
 have a very different view of right and wrong
 thanks to Bubba.  It is scary to hear some of the
 positions they take based upon the last seven
 years assault on family and personal values.  A
 local High School principal called a special
 parents meeting to warn them that the kids in HS
 today think that Oral Sex is just recreational and
 not really SEX.  Shame on Clinton and his
 minions.

3.  Good dialog overall and I appreciate The
 SANDBOX.

                   - Steve Carson '58

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   RE: A Challenge
From:   Marc Franco (66)
Reply-to: mfranco@sttl.uswest.net

One of our members has requested that we no
 longer quote people's names in our responses to
 their opinions. I will certainly honor his request
 and will no longer mention his name in my posts.
 However, I am afraid that I will fail his   challenge, 
 whatever it might be. I have no  problems with   
 people quoting my name in their  responses to 
 any opinion that I post, and I have  no problem 
 being held accountable for any  opinion that I 
 offer. Obviously my opinions are not always 
 correct, and in fact, I have been forced  to 
 change my mind at least twice on  issues,  
 because of very cogent and intelligent  responses 
 that have been made on some  comment that 
 I had made. I feel that most people  on this 
 board have been courteous, respectful,  and 
 fairly curious about what other people have
 to say. There have only been one or two people
 who have ever crossed the line in their rebuttals
 or responses to anything. I suspect that most of
 us  don't mind to be cited and, as I said earlier
 about myself, to be held accountable for our
 opinions. I will honor the unnamed person's
 request not to mention his name ever, but I fail
 the "challenge" for any other person- unless
 requested otherwise, of course.

                       - Marc Franco (66)

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Elected Official's Retirement Benefits
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)
mah@satx.net

This letter is in response to Maren's letter
 regarding the elite retirement benefits that
 elected officials receive at the tax payers expense
 and without contributing to Social Security.
 When my father worked for the government
 from 1948 to 1962, first for AEC in Richland
 and then for NASA in Houston, Social Security
 tax was not deducted from government
 employee's pay.  However, my father did have
 payroll deductions for a government annuity
 pension, which my mother still receives to this
 day.  Due to cost-of-living increases, her pension
 has grown substantially through the years.  It has
 always been my understanding that if my father
 had lived to retirement, my mother would not
 have received as much or none at all if it were
 not for the fact that my father paid in extra
 money so that my mother would be able to
 receive benefits.  I don't know what the
 reasoning was for government employees being
 exempt from paying any Social Security tax back
 then?  Maybe someone who knows could lend a
 clue.  In any case, there are similarities between
 what Maren says applies to elected officials
 today and the way things use to be for all
 government employees, with the exception of
 how the plan was paid for by the government. 
 There was no free ride to riches like Maren says
 elected officials are getting today by not having
 to contribute to their retirement plan.

I was shocked to find out from Maren that our
 Congressmen and Senators are not required to
 contribute to their retirement plan and do not
 have to pay any Social Security tax to boot.  I
 thought that all government employees had
 stopped being exempt from paying Social
 Security tax some years ago.  If I am right, than
 making elected officials exempt from paying into
 Social Security is definitely an egregious
 inequity.  We can only hope that some of their
 annuity is invested in the NASDAQ, which they
 are serving to bring down.  With the ripple effect
 that their assault on Microsoft is having, they
 may find themselves wanting back into the Social
 Security program.

Do I think that all government employees should
 pay Social Security tax like the rest of us? 
 Answer is....you bet.  Their pension program
 should be in addition to Social Security benefits
 just like the private sector.  Do I think that all
 government employees should have the same
 benefits package regardless of their position? 
 Answer is....you bet.  Private employers provide
 across the board benefits to all employees or face
 being charged with discrimination.  Maybe if
 elected officials had to play by the same rules as
 the people they serve, they would start thinking a
 little bit more like the people they serve.

My thoughts for the day for what they are worth! 

               - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                            ~ ~ ~

Thank you one and all, for your entries and
 interest.  Please send all of you Ideas, Opinions,
 Personal Experience and subscription requests,
 (on or off) to:

           SANDBOX@richlandbombers.com

Lot's more stuff has already been "passed
 through the transom," so stay tuned everyone!

Wishing all of you a very rewarding summer,
   I remain your humble collector of Thoughts
   (Or something like that)
   - Al Parker '53
           
                               - 65 -