Great American Conversations
                  With The Alumni of RHS
               Issue 85  September 16, 2000

 "If any man seeks greatness, let him forget greatness
            and ask for truth, and he will find both."
                         - Horace Mann

Hear who's talking today~

         Anna Durbin '69, Jerry Swain '54), 
         Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54, 
         Ann Minor '70, Lloyd Swain  '66
         Steve Carson '58,  Jim Moran '86. 

Let the conversations begin!

Subj:   The High Cost of Elections Keeps  
            Good People Out of Politics
From:  Anna Durbin '69
  [Referring to the article,  "Government By The
  People Is Still Alive And Well in Simi Valley" by
  Barbara Williamson AKA Jeanie Walsh (63)
  in SB81]

Dear Barbara aka Jeanie:

I did not mean to insult you or any other local
 official, and I am very sorry if I hurt your feelings. 
 You sound like the kind of person I would spend
 my time working for.  I am just very disgusted
 with Senate and national races and how much 
 they cost.  I still vote.    

But all the money that is spent on these mindless
 sound bites drives me crazy.  I would never run for
 office because of all the money it costs.  I think it
 is terrible you have to go in the hole to be a public
 servant.  And I hate getting the letters from losing
 candidates who have to raise money to make up
 their losses.  It scares a lot of good people out of

I was referring to national government and not to
 local.  I thought I put in how the grass roots is the
 only place you can have input.  In my district, we
 elected a new school board that stopped deferring
 maintenance and did a study of what was needed,
 bit the bullet and started fixing the dangerous stuff. 
 They are taking a lot of heat for the bond issue and
 higher taxes, but I will leaflet my precinct again for
 them.  And I am proud that my daughter who went
 off to college and turns eighteen two weeks before
 the national election registered to vote and applied
 for an absentee ballot before she went.  In one
 election, she agreed to make calls on election day
 to remind people to vote, while we were working
 the precinct, and we got a majority of the school
 board by about 30 votes.  I think she made thirty
 calls. She didn't reach them all, but she had a big
 part in it.  I do give my money to local candidates. 
 We elected a new congressman last time by 85
 votes.  We walked the precincts.  My family put up
 a campaign volunteer from out of town in our
 spare room for a month.  But huge money is
 coming in to the campaign from out of state this
 time.  I don't have an extra thousand to put up with
 college tuition, but I will put up another campaign
 worker and walk the precincts.  

The point I was trying to make is that elections cost
 way too much.  People should be able to make a
 living and be public servants and be paid for it. 
 They should not have to send out a letter two
 weeks after they are elected asking for money to
 be reelected and then spend a huge amount of
 their time calling people for money and going to
 fundraisers so they can pay media bills.  Why do
 we have so many millionaires in Congress?  They
 are the only people who can afford it.  And they
 forget what the lives of the people you work to
 help are like.  (If they ever knew.)

Apathy is our greatest enemy.  When our country is
 controlled by 20% who are narrow, special interest
 voters, we may stop being a democracy because so
 few people vote.  

                       - Anna Durbin '69

                                 ~ ~ ~
Subj:   Flying uncamouflaged and "Don't Mess With
From:    Jerry Swain (54)

Note to David Henderson (60):

As a pilot who flew a load of fuel in an
 uncamouflaged KC-135 to within visual range of
 Hanoi to help out Lt. Col. Robby Risner in his
 crippled F-105 so he could get back to Korat,
 Thailand, I can relate to a pilot who would fly a
 colorful B-17 deep into Germany with a load of
 bombs in a formation of B-17s.  The effectiveness
 of the formations of B-17s in defending against
 German fighters was well known during the
 German bombing campaigns.  In Viet Nam, Lt. Col.
 Risner and I had seven F-105s on our wing as we
 pumped fuel into his battle damaged F-105 at
 24,000 feet on our way back to Korat.  Strength in

Note to Mary (Ray) Henslee (61):

Right on Texan!  Every point in your well written
 Sandbox letter should be forwarded to the Gore
 camp telling them not to mess with Texas (or the

                        -Jerry Swain (54)

Another WASHINGTON business advocate for

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Budget Surpluses and Deficits
From:   Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54

Once again Dick Epler, '52, has given us an erudite
 commentary on the financial situation of the
 nation.  And, for once I agree with him.  I just 
 think he could have used fewer words to say what
 one man's surplus is another man's deficit.  It just
 depends on which side of the political fence you
 are sitting

For those of you who would rather straddle that
 fence, I'm afraid all you get is chaffing in places
 you don't want to tell your children about.  Or 
 perhaps the Mugwump Party has reappeared.

It seems that neither major political party has
 grasped a basic economic premise that income
 should exceed expenditures in order to maintain a 
 certain amount of financial growth.  It has been
 stated more than once that if a business were run
 the same way government is, it would go out of 
 business in a short while.  What the pundits forget
 is that government has the power to print the
 money it spends, and business does not.

This is not to say that this is the reason Johnson's
 "Great Society" failed.  Guns and butter don't mix,
 especially if the "guns" part is the most unpopular
 armed conflict this nation entered.  And the rest of
 it was beginning to sound like a "socialist utopia,"
 which is also frightening to most Americans.

No matter what many say, the basic American ethic
 is "I got mine and you don't get any (unless I get a
 good tax break)!"  A president went out of his
 way to clarify how we should help one another,
 and even other nations.  But, we as a people, don't
 really want to.  Not that this a bad thing, it's just
 too self centered.

The nation has tried to institute different ideals for
 the betterment of all citizens.  The failure of these
 schemes has not been in the idea, but in the
 bureaucracy that was established to make the
 program function.  Social Security, Medicare,
 Medicaid and countless other good intentions
 would possibly function much more efficiently if
 the bureaucracies that run them had a positive
 rather than a negative function.

Did you ever wonder why you can't get simple
 tasks taken care of by these people?  Their rules
 don't permit it.  And, unfortunately, they are the 
 ones who make the rules, even if other rules
 prohibit such actions.  This applies to all
 governmental functions from the lowest level

Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.

          Bob Carlson (aka Mike Clowes) '54

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Termination, Potter, Medicare, the Rapture
From:   Ann Minor '70
Reply-to: (Ann)

Termination: Oh s--t, put my foot in it again, in it?
 By "termination" I did NOT mean terminating all
 tribal members (although I think there may be a
 few who wish to terminate me)! Termination is a
 political term that refers to ending a tribe's status
 with the US government and therefore ending their
 eligibility for entitlements.  There are at times a
 significant number of tribal members around here
 who support the concept.  The thinking is that
 handouts enforce dependency and destroy
 initiative. It is seen by some tribal members as a
 way to continue the domination of tribes by the
 white culture in that it tends to foster a continual
 state of dependency. I apologize for any
 misunderstanding, although it is still true that as
 David Allen Coe said (speaking of Texans)! "My
 long hair just can't cover up my red neck..."

Harry Potter: read em, loved em. Not advocating
 necessarily placing them on school required reading
 lists, although I certainly wouldn't object to it. I do
 most fervently object to anyone else telling me
 what I must or must not read, or allow my children
 to read It is first amendment, folks.  If one is
 looking for Christian writing, by the way I would
 strongly recommend The Lion, The Witch, and the
 Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis...oops there is that W
 word again.  Now tell me. will anyone out there
 tell me that C.S. wasn't a Christian?

The Rapture: Liked the book?  You might love the
 movie! And while reading and to a lesser extent
 movie watching I am fairly liberal about with my
 kids, I sure am not going to let them watch it for a
 few more years.

Medicare: I have worked in hospitals too long to
 have any illusions about the adequacy of Medicare. 
 I have worked in discharge planning and in
 Utilization Review within the last year, and it is
 frightening.  Even with a "good" supplement (and
 by the way there is only one supplement available
 in Eastern Washington at this time. (And it isn't
 good) it is expected that a person will come in for
 a knee replacement and be out the door in three
 days.  Sometimes yes, but if not some are faced
 with private pay at $800 per Day, exclusive of
 medications. Speaking of medications, I take
 several. One of them costs $400 per month, for
 arthritis. I was on a gall bladder med that was over
 $800 per month.  many of the new cholesterol
 drugs can cost that much, as can new
 antihypertensives and antiarrythmics.  I suggest
 anyone who thinks prescriptions are not a problem
 for fixed income seniors spend a few hours at their
 local pharmacy, and ask seniors about the costs of
 their medications. And hello! what on earth is the
 point of a tax break if you don't make enough to
 pay taxes???

Governors race: how bout it, WA State residents?
 Who do you support, and why?

     Take care all, am hoping for many earnest
                   - Ann Minor '70

                           ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Opening Scene, Sitcom: "99352"
From:   Lloyd Swain  "66"

Hey.. I really like the idea of a "99352" Sitcom.... 
 How about the beginning where the lead male is
 working in some large canyon building.. not
 knowing of course what he is doing... all of this to
 some great big band music theme.. The whistle
 blows... and he punches the time clock and heads
 right out into a "termination wind"..... oh great...
 he can't find the bus.... because there is too much
 dust... Cut to mom frantically pulling brown sheets
 of the clothesline... ones of course that have not
 blown away.... the kids of course are playing in all
 of this... they are brown now too... 

Dad finally makes it home.. wife cooking... kids
 washed up and come down to dinner,... in the
 small prefab dining room... they say grace and
 blow the dust off the table... Dan sneezes.. they all
 laugh and dig in... How about that for an intro?

            Lloyd Swain "66" (achoo!!!)

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Re: The SANDBOX Issue 82B
From:   Steve Carson '58

Dick Epler, WELL SAID!!  

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:    If This Were a Perfect World
From:    Jim Moran '86 (James Moran)

In reply to Patty Stordahl comment about how
 charity begins at home.... you know if we all lived
 in the perfect world, this would be great!!  But the
 truth of the matter is we all do not have a wealthy
 uncle or aunt, or a large family to support us in
 times of troubles.  Without getting in to details, my
 family, when I was very young, experienced a
 situation where we were finically destroyed in the
 early 1970's.  My family just moved to the great
 city of Richland, where we had no support
 network.  The only agency which helped us was
 the government.  I'm I proud of this? Hell no, but I
 know there are people just like me who need this
 type of help today, like my family needed help
 then.  Are there people who are abusing the
 system?  Unfortunate yes, but does this mean you
 destroy the system because of a few bad people? 
 No.  However, if you take that mentality, then let's
 destroy all corrupt corporations who lie to their
 customers about their defective products, or
 the CEO who receives a million dollar retirement,  
 then runs for a national public office.  In short, I
 see the need of the greater good outweighing the
 greedy few.  In the perfect world, we would not
 need any government assistance (or government
 for that matter ), but this IS NOT THE PERFECT

Also, it always amazed how anybody who lives in
 the Tri-Cities could ever say with a straight face
 that they live a self sufficient life without 
 government assistance.  Uh, HELLO, the economy
 of this area is tied directly to FEDERAL FUNDING...
 You know, big bad government, aka,
 TAX MONEY. All tied to the big DOE (which I
 have heard is expected to increase).  So, when it
 comes to pushing up to the federal pork barrel, the
 people of Hanford and the Tri-Cities have received
 their far share.

                       - Jim Moran 86

                              ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
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