The SANDBOX
                  Issue 77   Aug 27,  2000
       Ideas - Opinions - Personal Experience

            "If you don't care, who will?"
                              -anon

Look Who's Talking Today!

           Lee Johnson (55) and Steve Carson (58)
 reply to some of Bob Carlson's comments about
 President Clinton.

          Anna Durbin '69, says, "It's not really
 government by the people anymore because it
 costs so much to get elected."

         Brad Wear (71), comments: "Several issues
 back someone stated "If Bush is in office the US
 will be as poor as Texas," or words to that effect. 
 I'll gladly take that chance.  I live in Texas and see
 on a daily basis the prosperity that is here for the 
educated and uneducated alike."

         Patty Stordahl (1972), wonders, "Why are we
 as parents so afraid to stand up for our children
 regardless of age and lead them away from violent
 & sexually explicit   (entertainment ), bad music,
 bad behavior, bad influences, poor decisions and
 teach solid rewards  and consequences for their
 personal behavior?
                                  ~ ~ ~
Here's More of What We're Talking About Today:

Subj: "Everybody Does it" Is No Excuse.
From:   Lee Johnson `55
           Beeg Byte@aol.com

In reference to the Bob Carlson (AKA "Mike
 Clowes") (Issue 74), trying to mitigate President
 Clinton's behavior....I say shame on you Bob. 
 Your mother did not buy the "everybody does it"
 excuse when you were a kid.  What makes you
 think anyone is going to buy it now?

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Broken Record Defense Wearing Thin 
From:  Steve Carson (58)
SteveNitro@aol.com
 
For Bob Carlson (aka Clinton apologist)  
Your broken record defense of the President 
is wearing thin.  Steve Carson 58

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   What ever happened to "Government 
            By The People?"
From:   Anna Durbin '69
golddurb@libertynet.org

Well, the writers of today [Issue #74], Bob Carlson
 (aka "Mike Clowes") `54, Dave Henderson, and
 Mary (Ray) Henslee made a lot of intelligent
 observations.  They are so intelligent because I
 agree with them, right?  The thing that bugs me so
 much about the partisan politics is that the parties
 have moved so close together because the people
 in Congress are all wealthy and have the same
 interests in the status quo.  It's not really
 government by the people anymore because it
 costs so much to get elected.  And they and the
 media will not allow reforms or for we the
 people to take back the airwaves because it works
 so well for them.  The media, owned by the
 conservatives, gets richer, and congressmen get
 favored as incumbents, and then they get to take
 left over campaign funds with them or give them to
 others for favors, and they have a pension far
 superior to what any of us will have.  We have lost
 our country because we are bored with voting
 because there is no difference, or because we don't
 work at the grassroots to get candidates who stand
 for any principles besides getting reelected.

I do think we did get a good education in Richland. 
 I was afraid when I went to college that others
 would be head and shoulders above me in   
 preparation.  But I had been taught to write
 complete sentences, and I had been taught to
 analyze what I read, and I did well.

I think my child who is going off to college has
 been taught to think and analyze and question in
 her public school, and I am proud of the way she
 thinks things through.  I worry about the fine
 points of her writing, but she wants to be a writer
 and I believe her college will whip her into shape
 and she will learn because she wants to be able to
 communicate those great ideas she has.  And she
 had enough great teachers who made her want to
 learn.  She had her share of the duds who should
 have retired long ago, but she didn't let them get
 her down.  

I think we are going the wrong way with testing
 and forced curricula for improving the education of
 our children.  The money should be going into
 superb training for our teachers to communicate
 the love and excitement of learning.  Think back to
 when we were in school.  Did you learn more
 because of a test?  The greatest learning that I
 remember that I have used since came through
 those teachers who had that enthusiastic sparkle to
 share the excitement of leaning.  We have
 mentioned many of them in The Sandstorm, like
 Julia Davis, Gerry Labrecque, Sonja Harmon,
 Barbara? Jensen, Vera Edwards, Daddy Dawald,
 L.Holland St. John and many others from my era
 that my brain is leaving out.  I believe if we want
 our kids taught well we have to pick the best
 teachers and nurture them and pay them well
 which shows them the respect of the community. 
 Killing their enthusiasm by forcing them to teach to
 the tests will get us nothing but bored kids.  

We should learn a lesson from Harry Potter.  Kids
 do like to read and they do have an attention span. 
 And J.K. Rowling knows how to tell a story from
 the point of view of kids.  She deals with a lot of
 moral choices in those books, about helping your
 friends, and who a real friend is, even if they aren't
 rich or popular.  So did a lot of the classic writers
 that my kids have loved over the years.  My oldest
 fell in love with Shakespeare in junior high when I
 read her to sleep with it.  The poetry comes alive
 when it is read aloud.  We went to all kinds of
 different productions.  All of my children adored
 the Leonardo DiCaprio/Clare Danes Romeo and
 Juliet because it spoke to their times and their
 issues.  Shakespeare has held up over the centuries
 because he knew humans.  We are complex.  We
 aren't as simple as passing the next test.  

Well, enough spouting on my theories of education. 
 I am supposed to be working.  Yeah, I'm not a
 teacher.  I'm a lawyer.  I can't imagine how this
 happened because I hated writing and I hated
 getting up in front of people to talk.  But my
 teachers encouraged me to do those things until I
 became good at them, and they weren't so hard. 
 And now I use them to try to solve people's
 problems and to stick up for the underdog.  And to
 work on school board and congressional 
 campaigns. And to talk to high school kids about
 sexual harassment.  So I guess the time of those
 teachers was not wasted with me or with any of
 you who are still passionate about issues and keep
 up on them. 

     Thanks for the forum.  - Anna Durbin '69   

                                 ~ ~ ~      


Subj:    As Poor As Texas?
From:  Brad Wear (71)
From:  Wear90@aol.com

Several issues back someone stated "if Bush is in
 office the US will be as poor as Texas" or words
 to that effect.  I'll gladly take that chance.  I live in
 Texas and see on a daily basis the prosperity that is
 here for the educated and uneducated alike.

The healthcare issue is definitely a problem,
 primarily due to the high influx of
 undocumented/illegal aliens.  Most of the indigent
 are non-English speaking people of Hispanic and or
 oriental extraction.  This is probably very much
 like the make-up of California and their immigrant
 issue.  The majority of the men are in the
 restaurant and construction industry here.  Both of
 which I focus on in my business.  It's interesting to
 hear from the managers and supervisors about how
 some, not all, but some of the younger workers
 with families refuse the medical insurance due to
 the deduction from their payroll.  They would
 rather "roll the dice" with their families well being
 than have money deducted from their checks to
 safeguard their health.  The older established aliens
 usually take the insurance for their families.  It's
 also interesting to learn that a correlation exists
 with most of my clients that these same individuals
 that refuse the deduction are frequently arrested
 for public drunkenness, spousal abuse, and
 disorderly conduct.  These are not minimum wage
 employees, most are in the $15-17/ hr range.  Not 
 a bad income by most standards.  Now I can't
 speak to their reasons why they would reject the
 insurance.  Several of the managers I deal with say
 it is a machismo thing with them, others think they
 just don't understand how the insurance system
 works in the US.

I thought it was an isolated issue in the
 Plano/Dallas area, but working with companies in
 El Paso, Lubbock, San Antonio, Austin and
 Houston I find it's a common practice.  One my
 consultants have to deal with so frequently we've 
 added it to our software implementation templates. 
 Are the people of Texas subjected to inadequate
 health care due to George Bush?  Probably not.  If
 it were such a problem why wouldn't the 
 Democratic controlled house and senate push it
 through on their agenda?  Walk a mile in their 
 shoes before you make a blanket statement.

                      - Brad Wear 71.

                                  ~ ~ ~ 

Subj: When Did Being a Parent Change, and Why?
From:   Patty Stordahl 1972
DZIGNRITE@aol.com
 
I am wondering why so many parents have taken a
 back seat to being the parent. Why are parents
 wanting to be their childrens' friend or pal? 
 Sharing the first drink or providing a safe place to
 fornicate or offering the pill or the alternative if the
 little darlings get pregnant, MURDERING  an
 innocent life. Many even go so far as to share a
 moment of drug indulgence with them?  When did
 being a parent change and why? Is it really so hard
 to truly say no, be the example, dare to be the
 authority?  Out of all the kids my daughter knows, 
 I have been told I am the only one that dares to
 question their activities, not allow single dating at
 the tender age of 16 and also requiring a meeting
 with all her friends that she associates with on a
 regular basis. It amazes me that many of the kid's
 she knows of in her high school that have any
 social life at all most are no longer virgins many of
 the girls have had abortions and the boys who
 fathered the baby that was destroyed take no
 responsibility, and speak like they just stepped out
 of a gutter somewhere, or the girls parents have
 put them on birth control or  give their boys
 condoms just in case so they would not get
 pregnant. Is it so wrong to not provide all the outs
 for bad behavior?  Is it horrible to train your
 children to respect their own person and to say no
 to lust, to teach them about the consequences of
 bad decisions. Inform them of STD's, To let them
 pray or know that there is a higher power out
 there.  Why is it always someone else's influences
 at fault when our little ones get their butts in a
 sling?

When my kids do something stupid, I make my kids
 shoulder the whole responsibility for their actions. 
 No way am I going to listen to, well so and so
 made me do it.  When and why did the shift of
 parenting land on the shoulders of the state?  Why
 are we as parents so afraid to stand up for our
 children regardless of age and lead them away
 from violent & sexually explicit ( entertainment )
 bad music, bad behavior, bad influences, poor
 decisions and teach solid rewards and consequences
 for their personal behavior? I am still amazed and
 bewildered

Just a wondering question.

                      Patty Stordahl 1972

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Lots more to
 come.  Perhaps in Issue 78, we'll even answer that
 frequently asked question, "Where is  
 Shippenville?" (Clue: Not even close to 99352.)

 Please remember to include your class year and
 former name, (if applicable), in all correspondence
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By the way, how would you like to see a
 historically set TV series, either a sitcom or
 dramatic series, to be titled, 99352?  Any ideas on
 what it ought to include?  Characters?  Conflicts?
 Issues?  

See you next time!

                        - Al Parker (53) -
                Your SANDBOX moderator

                               - 77 -