Great American Conversations
                   With The Alumni of RHS
                Issue 84  September 14, 2000

         "A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
                              - Dickens

Hear Who's Talking Today~

  Chuck Monasmith (65), Marc Franco (66),
  Dick Epler (52),  Paul Ratsch (58), 
  Steve Carson (58), 

Let The Conversations Begin!

Subj:   Texas - Smexus
From:   Chuck Monasmith (65)

Mary Lee Henslee Wrote about the cost of living
 differences between Richland and Texas.

Well, Mary, I went to file:// 
 This site can also be reached through the USA
 Today home page.  This site has a salary
 calculator.  Plug in any two cities and presto, you
 get the salary difference you would need to have
 the same life style.  If I earned $100,000 in 
 Richland, (I wish) I'd have to earn $103,000 to
 live in Dallas.  And I don't have to put up with

P.S. Maren, Welcome back!!

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Assorted comments - including a reply to 
  Mary Henslee
From:   Marc Franco (66)

Well, I am back from three weeks vacation, and
 have seen that nobody noticed I was gone. It's
 always nice to be needed! I've read through the
 Sandboxes that I've missed, and although there
 were numerous very interesting comments by a
 variety of people, I've already missed the boat on
 those, and will confine myself to the present.
 Except that I do have one question for people: It is
 old news now that Dick Cheney voted against
 abortion, even if the mother's life is in danger.  My
 question is, if anybody, especially women, resents
 that. I have no quarrel at all with people who are
 against abortion, as long as I don't have to agree
 with it, but it strikes me as demeaning for a woman
 to be told that her own life is worthless, and that of
 her family, as long as she carries the child that
 might kill her. But, of course, I am not a woman,
 and may be reading this wrong. I know this is old
 news, as I said, but I didn't have a chance earlier to
 ask this.

To the present, I thought Mary Henslee in #80 had
 some really nice comments. To paraphrase, she
 said that she didn't think the country was as well
 off economically as the administration was telling
 us, and also that Gore's comments might lead to a
 schism in our society. The comments about the
 economy of the country were interesting, because I
 have read that there are actually quite a few people
 who have not participated in the stock market
 surge that many other people have benefited from.
 The actual rise in stocks has been limited to only a
 few, and many stocks have done little or nothing.
 So there really has been great wealth generated,
 but only for a few people. Many others, if not
 most, have not seen any real benefit.  Downsizing,
 another of her comments, has affected many 
 people, but on the other hand, it would not be fair
 to ignore that unemployment has been at 4%
 for a while now. There will always be dislocations
 in any economy. But her comments were well-
 founded. Many people have benefited in this
 economy, but many have not.

Mary also made a comment which had not occurred
 to me before- not exactly something new- about Al
 Gore saying he represents the common people,
 not the "big" people. This basically would imply
 alienation of one segment of the population from
 another, since if a common person rises in the
 ranks, then presumably he would then be a "big"
 person, and would no longer be represented by Al
 Gore. I think few people would deny that such
 alienation already exists, but it is true that Gore
 could probably express himself so as to not
 propagate such alienation. It was a very interesting

I would also like to express my disappointment in
 Clinton's attempt to develop an ABM system.
 There has been no evidence that this would ever
 work; it is hideously expensive; it would surely
 begin a new arms race (our foes in the international
 arena probably have little interest in seeing
 America attempt to become invulnerable); and
 even our own government admits it is a violation
 of the ABM treaty currently in force with Russia. I
 wonder how we would react if Russia broke a
 treaty with us. I am aware that Clinton finally
 decided not to go ahead with it, leaving it to the
 next administration to decide if it wants it (Bush,
 for some reason, calls that bad leadership- much
 better, apparently, to force a new administration,
 which may not want the ABM, to spend the money
 anyhow. even if it doesn't work.) But I am still
 very disappointed that Clinton even considered
                     - Marc Franco (66)

                               ~ ~ ~

From:   Dick Epler (52)
First Subject: Bob Carlson's "Not a Clinton
 Lover/Apologist" Comments in Issue 82B

I hate to be critical of anything Bob writes because
 he's really a neat guy (we share a lot of history and
 like a lot of the same music). Regarding Clinton,
 however, it seems that Bob and I are continually
 repeating ourselves and I really hate that. But
 maybe I've made some progress. At least Bob isn't
 saying that the Clinton impeachment is all about
 sex anymore. But it wasn't all about lying either.

The central impeachment issue was whether Bill
 Clinton, as President of the United States, is above
 the law? And if so, what other law is the President
 free to ignore? Understand now, this is the
 Commander In Chief of the greatest military force
 in the world (not as great as a few years ago, but
 still substantial). For such a leader to believe s(he)
 is above the law is something that should generate
 a lot of concern. In the impeachment proceedings,
 the Senate refused to answer these questions.
 David Shippers, the House lawyer, recently wrote
 a book about the Senate's sellout. And thus the
 book is appropriately named "Sell Out: The Inside
 Story of President Clinton's Impeachment." It
 answers a lot of questions that were only
 speculation previously. Maybe these Constitutional
 questions will be answered once Clinton is out of
 office, but maybe not right away if Hillary gets

The impeachment was also not just about Clinton's
 personal life. His pattern throughout most of his
 life has been very consistent. Indeed, my guess is
 that Clinton's success and behavior in public life
 led him to believe he could get away with just
 about anything in his private life as well. In that
 sense Clinton's behavior IS directly related to his
 official position as President.

We often make the observation that "power
 corrupts" but that's not the case here. The Clintons
 were already pretty corrupt when Bill came into
 office which was what most of the early
 investigations were all about. So the REALLY big
 question is whether our Constitution is still
 effective in preventing corruptible people from
 gaining excessive power to manipulate the lives
 and fortunes of the populace. That was a big
 concern for the framer's. They believed a division
 of power between the three branches would
 counterbalance this destructive tendency, but in
 those days, they couldn't know about the "fourth
 branch of government" - the media - whose
 interests are independent of the Constitution. The
 media is primarily interested in "alliances" as
 Richard Hatch of "Survivor" fame advocates. The
 Republican's problem is that they're outside the
 alliance. A recent poll revealed that ninety-three
 percent of the media vote Democratic ... no big
 surprise there.

Maybe the United States is destined to go the way
 of every other great power. I hope not. But make
 no mistake: It's been our Constitution that has held
 us together this long. Without it, and respect for
 the applicable law, history teaches we cannot long


Second Subject: A Summary

This will be my last contribution to the SANDBOX
 before the election. To date I've used a lot of
 words to encourage readers to ignore the message
 of the media by providing some foundation for
 making a rational selection between the two

The media (and Bob) likes to tell us that political
 conventions are boring and are a waste of time to
 broadcast (but they televised more of the
 Democrat's convention than the Republican's).
 They tell us that there's really no difference
 between the two candidates since the Republicans
 promise the same things as the Democrats and
 therefore have to be lying ... just like the
 Democrats (no dispute there). But I disagree ... in
 part ...

If the media doesn't like the conventions it's
 because they're not a big player in that format. The
 media currently prefers events with play-by-play
 and color commentators much like a football
 game, where the outcome goes to the "team" that
 provides the most spectacular plays on a given day.
 But I would suggest that voting for the leader of
 the most powerful nation on earth should not be
 dependent on contrived theatrics. Though both
 conventions were carefully scripted the content
 was important primarily for evaluating the message
 consistency of the two candidates. Consistency is
 indicative of a candidate with a moral rudder who
 will most likely be honest with the American
 people and faithful to our Constitution in
 accomplishing goals.

Which leads me to the central thesis of almost
 everything I have written to date: the WAY
 something is done is often as important as WHAT
 is done. Both candidates may promise similar
 things but that doesn't mean there's no difference.
 That's because the methods used by the two
 candidates to accomplish their goals are key.
 Bush's goals are more likely to be achieved with a
 greater participation by individuals resulting in
 more satisfying solutions with less government
 intrusion. Gore's goals, like Clinton's, will be
 achieved through centralized bureaucracies backed
 by the threat of guns (the police and other
 enforcement agencies ... think Waco). Generally
 corrupt leaders like to force solutions that benefit
 the few at the expense of the many, which,
 according to the experts, is much easier to achieve
 if the populace are disarmed in advance.  All this
 naturally results in a larger government with a
 greater confiscation of the nation's wealth.

As voters, we only have to ask ourselves two
 questions regarding the problems of the world and
 our nation: Do we want government, and the
 media, to enforce the "one single 'best' solution"
 for our problems? Or do we want to be an active
 and independent part of each solution as our
 Constitution encouraged? I caution against
 concentrating too much power in the Presidential
 office, for such power can only further enable an
 already corrupt leader. Also bear in mind that a
 vote for "image" is a vote for media. Look beyond
 the image for substance - and media ratings be

Your vote is important. Vote wisely!

                      - Dick Epler (52)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Questions and Answers About Texas
From:   Paul Ratsch [58]
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 80 
[Reply to Mary Henslee]

Can you take out a second mortgage on your home
 in TEXAS?...NO

How can you save and or invest money for your
 retirement if you don't make any?

Most people have to work until they drop in TEXAS.
 Reason: No assets or cash flow to retire
 on. Texas is a slave labor state and you know
 it, admit it.

Why do so many Texans come to the state of
 Washington to work? Answer: Better standard of

We certainly wouldn't come to your state to
 work, the way Texans treat outsiders.

Don't tell me about Texas, I have been there....   

                   -  Paul Ratsch [58]

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 81
From:   Steve Carson (58)

Now Barb Seslar and I have both asked for facts
 about the comment..."The conservative controlled
 (owned)? media.  I don't recall who made the
 original comment but I believe it to be

For Ann Minor, serving in public office at the local
 level is tough and I congratulate you.

                   - Steve Carson (58)

                             ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
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 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:   

                     - Al Parker (53)
                 Your SANDBOX Host

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