The SANDBOX 
                       Issue Number 73
                         July 22 - 2000

            "Perfection is the child of time."

                   - Bishop Joseph Hall
                          1574 - 1656


      The SANDBOX is illuminated by the alumni of
 Columbia (AKA) Richland High School, Richland,
 Washington. Though we are as grains of sand
 blown by the winds of time all over the world, we
 get back together here.  We trade opinions, express
 ideas and share personal experiences.  So grab a
 cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice),
 and a Spudnut, (if you're lucky), and join our
 free exchange!

                               ~ ~ ~

       Today The SANDBOX salutes the classes of
 1972 and 1973.  To get to their home pages on the
 Internet and find E-mail addresses and pictures of
 the classes as they progressed from K to 12,   
 Just go All-Bomber-Links-
    http://www.bigfoot.com/~RichlandBombers  
    And click on the class year of your choice.

                               ~ ~ ~

Look who's talking today!

        Anna Durbin '69, appreciates Jerry Lewis's 
 debunking and Marc Franco's rationality.

        Steve Carson (58) asks, "Just how would a
 Bush Presidency break everyone?"

         Lynn-Marie Hatcher Foote ('68) Says, 
 "Okay, flog me -- but that's the way it is with some
 of us..."

         John Allen ('66), corrects himself.

         Gary Behymer (64) asks, "Will those of you
 in favor of removal of the four Snake River dams
 please sign the listing to be removed from the
 'power grid' during times of 'brown' or 'blackouts'?

        Dick Epler `52, says, "Libertarians are far too
 principled to be electable to a national office."

                         ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Here's More of What We're Saying Today:

Subj: Durbin finds Lewis illuminating.
(See The SANDBOX Issue #70)
From:   Anna Durbin '69
golddurb@libertynet.org

Dear Jerry Lewis:  

 Thanks for your illumination.  I sent the sites to the
 people to whom I had passed on the forward.
 Great sites.  Keep keeping us debunked, please.  I
 must say that I keep agreeing with Marc Franco's
 rationality.  - Anna Durbin '69

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Extreme Comments
From:   Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com

Paul Ratsch (58) - Paul, your comments are a bit
 extreme for me.  Just how would a Bush
 Presidency break everyone?  And how are the poor
 people of Texas any different than the poor people
 of Washington? I haven't taken a position yet but
 like some of the ideas I am hearing from the Bush
 camp.  - Steve Carson (58)

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Three Hearty "Hear, Hear's"
From:   Lynn-Marie Hatcher Foote ('68)
footay@3-cities.com

Although I always vote, I am pretty politically
 inactive otherwise.  (Okay, flog me -- but that's the
 way it is with some of us), but I really enjoy
 reading The Sandbox.  And I find I must respond
 to three of Paul Ratsch's 7/9 SANDBOX
 statements as follows:

A hearty "hear, hear!!" to the following:

   1. "If the rest of this country has to live like the
 poor people of Texas, everybody will be dead
 broke."  2. "Mariners forever." 3. Also, a hearty I
 hope you're right Paul, to:  "He [Bush] has to
 take California to get elected. He never will.
 Californians are too smart to believe in him." 
  - Lynn-Marie Hatcher Foote ‘68

                                 ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:   CORRECTION
From:  John Allen ('66)
Reply-to: miles2go@cheerful.com

I find myself in the embarrassing position of having
 to correct some information that I put out in issue
 #70 of this publication.  My far too rapid reading
 of AlGore's Bio on his official web site failed to
 notice that he was a graduate of Harvard University,
 having received a BS in Government. It
 was Gore's grades at Harvard, not Vanderbilt
 Divinity School, that were surpassed by those of
 George W. Bush during his time at Yale.  In
 addition to that mistake, I failed to take proper
 notice of the word "attended" in relation to his
 time at Vanderbilt Law School. That word is
 always code for "didn't graduate," and I failed to
 identify the nuance.  Apparently, he was unable to
 "control the legal authorities" at Vandy Law. 
 Shame on me, a good conservative, for being
 taken in by this minor manipulation.  It does
 appear however, that Gore's three semesters in law
 school (Fall '74 thru Fall '75 according to the
 registrar) were enough for him to become
 reasonably infected by the legal mindset which
 generally tends to argue, "If you can't convict
 me of it in a court of law then it didn't happen, but
 if it did happen, then it wasn't really wrong."  
 Again, I cite the "no controlling legal authority"
 and "itsy bitsy bladder" defenses for his White
 House "dialing for dollars" and "Buddhist Temple"
 fund raising abuses during the '96 presidential
 campaign.  For the record minus any judgment,
 Gore attended but also did not graduate from
 Vanderbilt Divinity School.
 
 To sum up, on the one hand we have AlGore with
 a Bachelor's Degree from Harvard, and on the
 other hand we have George W. Bush with a
 Bachelor's Degree from Yale AND a Master's
 Degree in Business Administration from Harvard. 
 Please try to keep these facts in mind when told by
 whomever that Bush is not "smart enough" to be
 president.

                       - John Allen ('66)

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj: Re: Ron Richards... Four Snake River Dams:
 Useful for flood control in very wet years.
(See SB Issue #72)
From: Gary Behymer (64)
Reply-to: bjangary@colfax.com

You are absolutely right Ronald...the four Snake
 River Dams were not built for flood control. 
 Bottom line...but they HAVE been used for flood
 control in extreme wet years.

Will those of you in favor of removal of the 4
 Snake River dams please sign the listing to be
 removed from the 'power grid' during times of
 'brown' or 'blackouts'.

Behymer (64) from downtown Colfax, Washington.

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Electing a President
From:    Dick Epler `52
depler@ortelco.net (Dick Epler)

I'm glad to see the Libertarian Party is now
 represented in the SANDBOX by Gene Trosper
 (85). I, myself, am philosophically a libertarian,
 and Harry Browne and Ayn Rand are two of my
 favorite authors. I have most of their books
 including Harry's libertarian manifesto "Why
 Government Doesn't Work (1995). Although my
 all time favorite of Harry's is "How I Found
 Freedom in an Unfree World." All thoughtful
 readers should read these two books.

Though I believe that, given a compelling reason
 for change, Harry Browne's solutions could work,
 we're probably not quite there yet. And Harry
 knows that. Harry, being the eminent realist,
 simply wants to package a number of key ideas to
 have on the shelf for use when appropriate. But he
 also needs as many people as possible to know that
 there ARE reasonable solutions to the problems
 we face and so he became the Presidential
 Candidate for the Libertarian Party in the last
 election. After logging onto the site Gene
 referenced [ www.lp.org  ], I
 see that Harry has been nominated again … and
 has written a new "manifesto." I suspect he will
 make a reasonable impact in the arena of ideas
 wherever he campaigns. Pity he can't be part of the
 Presidential debates.
 
My understanding is that there are maybe 200
 libertarians holding elective office, but none are in
 Congress. And therein lies the problem:
 Libertarians are far too principled to be electable
 to a national office. Their solutions, based on
 principle, would dismantle much of the Federal
 Government. (Note: Harry even has a solution for
 what to do with all the federal employees that
 would be out of work.)
 
It is said neither Gore nor Bush will provide many
 details behind their plans. They tell us the details
 are complicated and difficult to understand. Well,
 that's not the case with the Libertarians. If you
 ask, the Libertarians will provide you with lots of
 detail. To them, the solutions and the details are
 easy – it's the implementation that's hard – as it is
 with most meaningful long-term solutions that call
 for fundamental change.
 
But Libertarians ARE making inroads in local
 elections and seem to be attracting support from
 previous members of the Reform Party. I wouldn't
 be surprised to discover Gene Trosper in a local
 race someday. Still the question remains: why can't
 Libertarians get elected to national office? The
 political reality is that for a Libertarian to become
 electable, (s)he'd have to utilize the existing
 electioneering industry, pander to the media, and
 adopt the same underhanded techniques as the
 major parties … in which case they would no
 longer be principled.
 
This morning, on Fox News Sunday, I listened to
 two of the Nation's top political consultants, Dick
 Morris and Susan Estrich, discuss the electabilty of
 Gore and Bush. Based on recent research, Morris
 made the following observations:
 
            45% of the people don't believe it makes
 any difference who is elected.
           The National Convention will be able to
 provide a 10% bump for an "energizing" 
 candidate, which would be a wash if the candidates
 were equal. The purpose of the conventions, then,
 is to maximize the difference by hyping an image, if
 not the candidate himself.
-          Between the convention and Election Day,
 the maximum swing expected is about 5%.
 
Some possible conclusions: Issues aren't really
 important. What are important are personalities
 (not necessarily the candidate's – gotta have those
 Hollywood types), image (the candidates), and big
 productions (the convention). Everything will be
 keyed by the convention, which will likely be more
 akin to a coronation than a decisional process. In the
 Nationals, independents aren't as important as
 the media (their candidates got eliminated in the
 primaries). Everything is crafted to achieve the
 right media spin.
 
It bothers me that all this seems to work as well as
 it does. Nevertheless, I tend to believe that, in the
 aggregate, the electorate is smarter than the
 ego-driven politicos and media generally believe.
 Given the choices available, the electorate
 generally makes a reasonable decision, but
 probably not for the reasons assumed by the
 candidates and their handlers. These days I
 estimate 45% of those that vote make their
 decision intuitively, based mostly on self-interest;
 40% are hard-core demos or repubs; and 15% vote
 issues important to the continuation of the
 Republic. To me that means 60% of the vote is
 reason based.
 
Given that, how do we wind up with a Bill Clinton?
 The answer has to do with the choices available as
 forced by the media. Faced with a choice between
 George H. or Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, the
 electorate made a reasonable choice. Why elect a
 wantabe when you can have the real thing? Only in
 Dole's case, it wasn't exactly true. Dole probably
 wasn't a Clinton wantabe, but he allowed his
 handlers and the media to define him as such. Big
 mistake. I think he could have been a good
 President and would have been electable 25 years
 ago. But he simply wasn't prepared to deal with
 the media distortions an honest campaign would
 generate. So he tried to be something he wasn't …
 and that was a mistake. I notice George W.
 doesn't have that problem; even so, because of the
 media, he's not likely to produce specifics for all
 his plans. Neither, of course, will Gore.
 
Sooo … for the 15% of us who like the big issues,
 how are we to pick a candidate in the absence of
 perfect information? Two things: First, look at
 what the man's done and try to find out who the
 real winners and losers were; and two, ignore the
 little compromises and trust consistency. That's
 what I do. My wife, on the other hand, is pure
 intuition. No analysis necessary. She thinks this
 SANDBOX thing is a big waste of time.

                    -  Dick Epler `52

                              ~ ~ ~

That's it for this issue, folks, but more people are
 already at the gates, wanting to speak their piece.
 We'll be hearing from all of them soon and just
 possibly, we'll also be hearing from you!

See you next time!    -ap

                    -73-