The SANDBOX
                  Issue 78   Aug 30,  2000
       Ideas - Opinions - Personal Experience

          "To read without reflecting, is like
          eating without digesting." --Burke

Today's Contributors Are:

Marc Franco (66), Dick Wight '52, Bob Carlson 
(aka "Mike Clowes") '54, Andrew Eckert (54), 
Dick Epler (52), and Linda Reining Pitchford (64)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Reply to Steve Carson- Sandbox #71- 
    A Fair Foreign Policy
From:   Marc Franco (66)
Reply-to: mfranco@sttl.uswest.net

A couple Sandboxes ago, I offered a short list of
 what I looked for in a candidate, including, among
 other things, "a fair foreign policy." Unfortunately,
 Steve caught me on this and asked what I mean by
 that.  Also unfortunately, I don't know. There are
 issues out there such as abortion and gun control,
 where the issues and topics are extremely well-
 known, where the information is well-known, and
 where more talking about it really won't change
 anything. We already have all the facts that we
 need, and there really aren't any new ones around
 to make us change our minds. "A fair foreign
 policy" doesn't really fall into that category, and
 more into that of "beauty is in the eyes of the
 beholder." We each have our own ideas on what is
 fair, what is beautiful, etc.

    I can really only offer two items on this. One is,
 that my own preference is that we be aware that
 other countries have their own needs as well as do
 we. Every country in the world has to watch out
 for itself-that is a given. But no country needs to
 run roughshod over others in order to achieve their
 own needs. I guess I am saying that we should
 avoid jingoism. Possibly an example of this is the
 debate several years ago about whether we should
 give back the Panama Canal to Panama or not. (I'm
 not trying to reopen the debate.) I was in favor of
 this, because clearly it would be a matter of huge
 national pride to Panama to have control of
 something on their own land, it would greatly
 enhance our relations with South America-which
 it did-and as long as our own interests were not
 impaired by having Panama run the canal, then
 why not do it? The conservatives, on the other
 hand, went berserk about this, screaming about the
 danger to our country, etc. People here may or
 may not agree with the return of the Panama
 Canal, but to me, that would in fact be an example
 of a fair foreign policy. We achieved great good
 will in South America, and did not impair our own
 interests.

    Second, if Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate
 Foreign Relations Committee, likes something,
4 then I am against it. 

                       Marc Franco (66)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:  President (and I think) Republican Bashing - 
    Bob Carson's comments
From: Dick Wight '52
dwight@nwinfo.net

I read The Sandbox with interest but haven't
 commented before except once early on in a
 discussion of salmon protection.  But Bob's
 comments elicit a response from me.  First, I have
 voted in every federal office election since I was
 old enough, which meets Bob's criteria for
 speaking out.  Second, I served 32 years in the
 military.  Third, I even ran for public office at a
 local level (city council), unfortunately won and
 served a term.  I was younger and more impetuous,
 and surrendered to the strong urge to
 "throw the ***** out," as Bob puts it!

Regarding our incumbent president - I care a great
 deal about his conduct in office, and wanted him
 tried and convicted by the senate, if the charge of
 lying under oath was proven.  As a fellow with
 Republican leanings, I suppose I could be accused
 of partisan bias.  However, I must say that while I 
 voted for Nixon, I wanted him removed from office
 when I finally understood the gravity of his
 misconduct in office.  At least he resigned.  I wish
 the incumbent had done likewise, since the senate
 lacked the resolve to send him packing!

It isn't that I'm such a moral, high-minded guy.  It's
 just that I believe our very public politicians, in
 particular our chief executive, need to try extra
 hard to live exemplary lives while serving in high
 office.  If they can't, they don't belong there.

With regard to Reagan/Bush spending us in to debt: 
 Has Bob forgotten who approves budgets and 
 appropriates public funds?

                      - Dick Wight '52

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Reading, writing and politics
From:   Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54
bobs@proaxis.com (Robert Carlson)

I was gearing up to write a learned treatise, chock
 full of historical insight and heavy handed humor
 in response to Dick Epler's ('52) comments on
 libertarians in the body politic in issue 73.  Then I 
 read Mary Ray Henslee's ('61) comments on
 reading in issue 74.

Let me first address my learned colleague, Mr.
 Epler.  Dick, the reason that libertarians are not
 represented in national office is not their respectability,
 but their intelligence.  They are too smart for the voters.
 I don't mean to say that they are smarter than the 
 average voter, they just appear to be.  Does this 
 explain Jesse Ventura?  Who knows.

Now on to other things.  Mary, you are right in
 saying that "Johnny can read, when he wants to." 
 There are two basic problems when it comes to
 seeing that Johnny wants to read, and maybe even
 write.

The first are the two major detractions of this age: 
 Television and computers.  Later it will include
 girls and cars (but not necessarily in that order).

The other is parents.
Are you aware that there are "responsible" parents
 out there who are afraid of books, and what their
 children might learn from them?  Is this because
 these parents are afraid that their children will
 know more than the parents do?  Or is it the
 parents are afraid that the children will learn to
 think?

Remember the hue and cry in the weeks preceding
 July 8th, inst.?  That was the day the latest Harry
 Potter was to be sold.  Oh, this was a vile and evil
 book!  I don't know, I've never read them (yet),
 but I have purchased copies to give to my
 grandchildren.  For this reason, I don't think the
 books are evil, no more so than Beatrix Potter or
 Hugh Lofting or Edgar Rice Burroughs for that
 matter.

I personally didn't care too much for Ms. Potter's
 stories, but Lofting's adventures of Doctor
 Doolittle were a fun read.  As for Mr. Burroughs, I
 liked his Martian stores much better than those of 
 Tarzan.  And for a young person about to enter the
 teen years, I would heartily recommend Booth
 Tarkington's tales of Penrod.

But then, as family lore would have it, I was able to
 read words in the funny papers at an early age.  I
 don't remember this, but I have been told that it
 happened.

What I think happens is that most parents just
 follow the herd.  When one person in the herd
 panics, the whole thing becomes a stampede.  And
 the funny thing is, these people all try to claim their
 own individuality.  But they still react to the herd. 
 And they want everyone else to feel the same way.

It is obvious, from reading both the Alumni
 Sandstorm and The Sandbox that Bomber parents
 and teachers must have done something different. 
 I recently tried to look up some information about
 a school system that I went to before Richland. 
 There was nothing there.  The school district had a
 web page and one could get to the class of '85.  If 
 you wanted to find out about any other class you
 had to register in a nationwide thing.  Even then I
 doubt the ability to get the information I was
 seeking.  But I can find out about my fellow
 Bombers, their parents and the Bomber wannabes.

But, I digress.  The only sure way to get "Johnny"
 to read is to instill in the mind that reading (and
 writing) is the best relief from boredom.  It is
 surprising what one can learn from reading a book
 without even knowing it.  To paraphrase Will
 Rogers "All I know is what I read."

         Bob Carlson (aka "Mike Clowes") '54

                               ~ ~ ~


Note: Apologies to Mr. Eckert for publishing his
 entry so late "in the season" as it were, due to a
 large backlog of Sandbox entries.  Please consider
 his comments from the perspective of what might
 have happened had Gore chosen such a potential
 running mate as suggested by Eckert in this article.

Subj:    Gore / McCain 2000
From:   Andrew Eckert (54)
ECKERT1108@aol.com

Could this be pay back time? Is it possible that John
 McCain may well be the wild card pick as Gores
 running mate. As almost everyone would be aware
 Bush & McCain slugged it out in a few primaries,
 Bush and the large sums of money made him the
 victor with delegate votes but not with the people. 
 Mostly McCain received more popular votes 
 than Bush & Gore put together. In running this
 Campaign McCain made an enemy of those who
 wanted no part of Campaign reform and one of
 them was Trent Lott, then there is the So called 
 religious right.  So than Gore & McCain have a
 very private meeting on the vice presidents 
 compound.  Salon writes that a statement by Gore
 after this meeting reveals that his number one
 priority after becoming president would be to pass
 the McCain / Finegold bill.  The same day an
 article also attributes this statement to Gore "That
 he may not pick someone like himself as vice
 president and in fact could look to someone in the
 Republican party" Almost immediately McCain
 now indorses Bush and hits the trail campaigning 
 for all the moderate Republicans who now have a
 leader and who appeared to be very uncomfortable
 with there party now being controlled by the very
 right wing.  Add now the name Cheney.  McCain
 continues and is almost believable that he is the
 Republican with Reagan and Goldwater standards
 that no one should question. Move your thoughts
 to Clinton who must want to make sure that Gore
 and his administration continue.  Surely he wants
 to do whatever it takes to bring down this right
 wing of the Republican party that has been
 feverishly trying to destroy him and his 
 administration sense its inception.  Plainly if
 McCain accepted the vice presidency under Gore
 than the right wing would be thrown out as well as
 the extreme left in the Democratic party would exit
 Both would be a welcome outcome to a new non
 partisan government. McCain than becomes the
 leader of his party minus any of the right, one
 added benefit to McCain would be his new job
 would give him the top spot over Trent Lott in the
 senate you just have to believe he would love that.  
 Bill Clinton finally has the satisfaction of ending
 there eight years of attacks and defamation.
 History has it that in the old days the top vote
 recipient was President, the next highest vote
 recipient, his opponent in the other party most
 generally, took the Vice Presidency.  I for one
 would welcome a coalition government, just might
 be able to do some of the country's business for a
 change. McCain said in a strangely equivocal final
 sentence of his convention speech that "I have such
 faith in you, my fellow Americans.  And I am
 haunted by the vision of what will be."  Four years
 from now the tickets could well be, Gore / Hillary
 vs. McCain / Whitman.

                   - Andrew Eckert (54)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Re: Bob Carlson's Comments in Issue 74
From:    Dick Epler (52)
depler@ortelco.net

While I get the impression that Bob Carlson (54)
 likes Bill Clinton I'm not sure exactly why. In
 adopting all the standard Clintonion defenses of
 trashing past American Presidents to excuse bad
 behavior, Bob seems to lack a substantive
 reason to support the man in a positive way. But
 maybe that's really the answer. Maybe people
 don't generally support Clinton as much as they
 can't stand the prospect of any person or party
 leading the nation who might be principled
 (present company excepted, of course – ALL
 Bombers are principled)!
 
On the other hand, I can't help thinking how nice it
 would be to elect someone with character and
 principles who seeks to unite us all, rather than
 attempting to divide us along the lines of class,
 race and sex for political gain. Watching the
 Republican National Convention on TV gives me
 hope … so long as I don't listen to what Bob calls
 the "talking heads" (I tend to invest in .com's).
 
And so I echo Bob's feelings when he writes: "The
 simple solution [to our discontent] is "to vote the
 ******'s out of office" and put new ones in." 

                      - Dick Epler (52)

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   THE.SANDBOX.website
From:   Linda Reining Pitchford (64)
Wabbithabit@aol.com
 
To Dick Epler( 52) re: Sandbox entry #76: just one
 word----THANKS-----a very small word, but it
 speaks "volumes."

                               ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Keep expressing
 yourself here!  Please remember to include your
 class year and maiden name, (if applicable), in all
 correspondence and subscription requests.  There's
 much more in the hopper already, coming to you
 soon!

                         -Al Parker (53)
                 Your Sandbox Moderator

                                - 78 -