The SANDBOX
              Great American Conversations
                 With The Alumni of RHS
              Issue 87  September 18, 2000
                  
 "Measure not life by the hopes and enjoyments of  
 this world, but by the preparation it makes for another; 
 looking forward to what you shall be rather than 
 backward to what you have been."

                                 -Tieck

Let's hear who's talking today~

     Mary Ray Henslee (61), Paul Ratsch [58]
           Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54,
      Janie O'Neal (65), Gene Trosper (84wb)

Let The Conversations begin!

Subj: More Rhetoric Comments
From: Mary Ray Henslee (61)
           Mah@satx.net

Sorry guys, but I feel compelled to come to my
 defense and the defense of other Texas transplants
 against less than accurate statements. 

Chuck Monasmith (65), I think that it is only fair to
 compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. 
 When you compare Dallas, our highest
 cost-of-living city, to Seattle, which is probably
 Washington's highest cost-of-living city, the figures
 are a little more credible.  If you make $100,000 in
 Dallas, you would have to make $132,580 in
 Seattle to own and $110,476 to rent.  Richland is
 probably not the best example because I am going
 to guess that most of the homes are probably the
 original homes built by Hanford compared to much
 finer homes in Dallas.  You are also comparing a
 small town to a large Metropolitan area.  

Paul Ratsch (58), Texas fought Home Equity Loans
 (second mortgages) for sometime because of the
 pitfalls.  These loans make it far too easy for
 people to overextend themselves and lose their
 homes.  You will need to update your Texas
 bashing checklist because the Banks won out and
 Texas is now allowed to offer Home Equity Loans,
 which has been the case for quite a while now.  As
 for your other comments, I will leave those for
 someone else to comment on because you lost me
 somewhere between slave labor and the dismal
 retirement we can expect.

Texas is no different from most places.  There are
 good people and bad people everywhere.  Texas
 has always been famous for its friendliness.  If your
 opinions of Texas are based on your political
 views, just remember that Governor Bush has not
 run Texas for its entire history and like many
 elected officials has inherited some problems from
 his predecessors. 

I do think Bush is very much for fairness and is not
 afraid to speak up against injustices.  He was not
 afraid to speak up against the outrageous fees that
 Attorney's were receiving from the tobacco
 settlements.  He is not afraid to take the most
 sensible approach to the Prescription Drug issue at
 the risk of appearing to have a less effective plan
 than Gore because Gore is pledging more
 government money.  I read an article where
 someone suggested that Bush concentrate on
 education and forget about prescription drugs
 because Gore plans to spend the most so he will be
 seen as wanting to do the most for the elderly. 
 Maybe Bush goes shopping with his wife more
 often so he knows that you can get the same
 product for less if you know where to shop.  Bush
 just needs to really concentrate on spelling out
 how his plan will not only offer prescription drugs,
 but more extensive coverage in other areas of
 health care as well and why it is possible for his
 plan to be more cost effective without
 shortchanging the elderly.
 
Study the issues and vote wisely for your sake and
 that of your family.

                = Mary Ray Henslee (61) =

                               ~ ~ ~ 

Subj:   Much Ado About Nothing
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54
bobs@proaxis.com

As a former "forced" resident of the state of Texas,
 I must agree with most of the derogatory remarks
 about that place made both here and in "The 
 Sandstorm."  The only thing I found "cheap" about
 the place were the price of gas, and the politicians. 
 I remember a story about "Landslide" Lyndon 
 that made the rounds shortly after he was elected
 to Congress.

One of the campaign workers came across a small
 boy sitting on the sidewalk crying his heart out.

   "What's wrong, son?" asked the worker.
   "My father did not come to see me yesterday day,"
 sobbed the little boy.
   "But your father is dead," answered the worker.
   "I know," the little boy replied, "but he came and
 voted for Mr. Johnson."

Mary Ray Henslee speaks of Medicare and
 Medicaid, and she very politely reminds us that
 there is "no free lunch."  Even such programs as 
 Medicare cost money, and the primary burden is
 on the tax payer.  And believe or not, even the
 "nicest" HMO is in business to make a profit.

On conservatives controlling the media, they don't. 
 On the other hand, the ownership of movie and
 television studios, and radio and television 
 stations lie in the hands of persons of a fiscally
 conservative nature.  Some refer to them as
 "bottom liners" (or is it feeders).  To a certain
 degree, they may be politically conservative.  So as
 a very broad statement, the media is owned by
 conservatives.

My erudite colleague, Mr. Richard Epler, RHS '52,
 has again succinctly stated a case for being
 involved in politics, even if both candidates make 
 watching grass grow more exciting.  And now that
 Mr. Gush has firmly planted his foot in his mouth,
 can it be too much longer before Mr. Bore 
 does likewise.

And, Dick, I guess what I meant to say is that most
 Libertarians are too smart to get involved in
 campaigning for national offices (which as we all 
 know cost too much money).

But then I am reminded of a philosophy prevalent
 in Chicago during the reign of Mayor Richard the
 First:  "Come early and vote often for the 
 candidate of our choice."

And for those of you who are wont to condemn
 books on the word of an "expert," please, please,
 take the time to find out two things.
    1.)  What is the agenda of this "expert"
    2.)  Read the book before making up your mind.

I, personally, don't read Stephen King, Judith Kranz
 and some other authors, basically because of the
 genre in which they write, but I do not tell others
 they should not read these books.  I may look
 askance at them, but that's as far as I will go. 
 Besides there are better authors out there.

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

         = Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54 =

                                ~ ~ ~

Subject: Harry Potter
From:   Janie O'Neal (65)
jjanssen@onlinemac.com (Janie Janssen)

O.K. Here's my two cents.  I also read the Harry
 Potter books with my grandson.  And also I found
 them every fascinating, it was a very good
 opportunity to talk to him about allot of issues. 
 Although there are allot of things about Harry
 Potter I personally do not agree with, it has
 become a very useful tool.  It has helped show my
 grandson not to take everything at face value, to
 look beneath the first message. I find this topic
 concerning to me because of a resent survey I was
 involved in through our church.  We went to down
 town Portland, set up an area to look like a
 television crew and did interviews with teenagers
 while taping them.  The first question we asked
 was who they thought Jesus was.  The answers we
 got nearly broke my heart.  One girl said, "Well, I
 think he was someone's grandfather who did really
 nice things and everyone just got carried away
 after he died."  Another question: "Do you believe
 in God?" Two girls dressed all in black responded
 to this question, "Of course we believe in God but
 we're on the other side." When asked if they
 weren't afraid of the devil they said, "No we made
 a pack and when we get to hell we'll be his
 helpers." One boy responded, "Yes, and I used to
 go to church but when my parents got a divorce
 we stopped going."  Then he broke down
 crying. Then we ran into the Good Witch, who
 only cast good spells on people, unless they
 weren't nice to her.  I have worked al lot with kids
 over the past 35 yrs, ranging in age nursery
 through high school and the thing that bothers me
 is they are the most confused group of children I've
 ever seen.  When we were growing up, right was
 right and wrong was wrong. We knew exactly
 where our boundaries were and we knew when we
 crossed over them. Few children of today have
 those guidelines, there are too many gray areas. 
 Harry Potter is not a worry to me.  It's what you
 do with it. Is there such a thing as a good witch? 
 Is witchcraft something we want our children
 experimenting with?  I say No!  And I'm sure almost
 everyone agrees with me.  I strongly feel the only
 hope for our future generation is that every
 grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, mom and dad
 commit to handing down some of the good old
 Christian morals and values we all grew up with.
 And take those kids to church. Let them get
 involved, make relationship that enrich there lives.
 I've seen to many kids on the streets aimlessly
 wondering around trying to make since out of life. 
 Well, I'll climb down off my soap box now, but if
 you could have seen some the things I've seen
 over the years concerning children, it would break
 your heart.

                     = Janie O'Neal (65) =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   If Bush and Cheney Get In
From:   Paul Ratsch [58]
Pratsch@hotmail.com

How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Gas, oil, or
 Natural Gas! 

If Bush & Cheney Get In, you Will Really Get
 Hammered.  These Guys Are Ex. Big Oil
 Executives.  Cheney Was the CEO for Halliburton,
 One of the Biggest Slave Labor Companies In the
 Country, don't Believe Me, Ck. It Out.

                     = Paul Ratsch [58] =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Reply to Jim Moran
From:   Gene Trosper (84wb)
Reply-to: gtrosper@ez2.net

Jim Moran writes:
>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 WORLD.

You are exactly right...this is NOT a perfect world.
 Outcomes in life are NOT guaranteed. It's a sad,
 but very hard truth. This is an excellent reason
 why we should try to limit the size of government
 and it's constant attempt at creating an equitable
 society.

What exactly is the "greater good"? Does the need
 of one person automatically assign an obligation
 upon others?

Do you have the right to force your neighbors to
 contribute to your cause, (hunger, poverty, 
 environmentalism), simply because you think it is
 just? Is it any more legitimate for a group of
 people to undertake the cause for you and force
 everyone to "donate"?

You speak of weighing the greater good versus the
 "greedy few". Does resistance or reluctance to
 government funding make one greedy? I don't
 think so. Those you want to brand as greedy come
 from all walks of life...some rich, some poor. Some
 black, some white. People on fixed or low incomes
 are hit just as hard (if not harder) through increased
 taxation. Is it fair to force a widow to pay more in 
 taxes because a vocal group of people demand 
 government funding for their own pet project or cause?

I use the word "force" quite often in this response
 simply because it's the truth. The government
 doesn't ask every citizen each year kindly if they
 would like to pay some income taxes...neither do 
 they suggest you pay taxes. They FORCE you to
 pay taxes. If you don't pay, they threaten you. If
 you ignore their threats, they freeze your assets
 and seize your property. If you resist the seizure of
 your home, they will come to arrest you. Further
 resistance will be dealt with physical harm or
 death.

Kind and compassionate government? I will let you
 decide.

If someone wants to throw the word "greedy"
 around, let's first look to those who constantly call
 for government funding of their pet projects and
 causes. It's much more greedy to use the armed
 might of our government to force people to pay
 more in taxes to satisfy the desires of "do-gooder"
individuals and organizations.

I pay my taxes...simply because I don't want my
 home ripped from under me and my daughter to
 suffer from the "compassion" of others. Neither do
 I wish to die because of it. I sincerely believe
 many, many other people pay not because of
 patriotism, fair play or benevolence. They do so to
 simply escape the further wrath of Uncle Sam. It's
 not fun to have a significant portion of your
 hard-earned income extracted from your wallet
 every April 15.

I'm not anti-government. I'm pro-government. But I
 do believe our government MUST be limited much
 more than it is now.

                  = Gene Trosper (84wb) =

                                ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue, folks. Please remember
 to include your class year and maiden name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  To join in the ongoing conversations
 here, send your comments to:

               The_Sandbox@bigfoot.com

 or simply hit the reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 1999. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:      

       http://www.bigfoot.com/~The_Sandbox

                        - Al Parker (53)
                   Your SANDBOX Host

                        -87-