Great American Conversations
                   With The Alumni of RHS
                Issue 88 September 19, 2000

   "Fly no opinion becase it is new, 
    but strictly search, 
    and after careful view,
    reject it if false,
    embrace it if ‘tis true. 


Let's hear who's talking today~

 Mary Ray Henslee (61), Steve Carson (58)
        Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54, 
              Jenny (Smart) Page 87

Let the conversations begin!

Medicare Reform
From: Mary Ray Henslee (61)

Moderator's Question: Which Medicare Plan
 Would You Prefer?

I have been doing a lot of sounding off lately about
 the Prescription Drug issue and it just occurred to
 me that some of you may have missed the article in
 your local newspaper detailing Gore and 
 plans or perhaps it never appeared in your
 newspaper.  It is always better to make informed
 choices so I am taking this opportunity to share the
 two plans with you.  According to the newspaper,
 Bush's plan essentially builds on the expansion of
 managed care in Medicare that was required by the
 balanced budget act of 1997.  It is modeled after
 the health plan that is now offered to federal
 workers whereby people are allowed to choose
 from a select group of insurance plans.  Gore's plan
 solely relies on government funding without any
 relief from insurance companies.  Compare and
 come to your own conclusions.  



Bush:  Elderly would have the option of using a
 subsidy paid by Medicare to purchase a private
 insurance plan containing a prescription drug
 benefit.  Each private plan would determine extent
 of coverage.

Gore:  Elderly would have the option of enrolling in
 a Medicare prescription drug program similar to
 the Part B program that covers doctors' bills. 
 Medicare would pay half of prescription drug
 costs, up to $5,000 annually.


Elderly with income at or below 135 percent of the
 federal poverty level ($11,300 for individuals,
 $15,200 for a couple):

Bush:  Free premiums for Medicare coverage,
 including prescription drugs.

Gore:  Free premiums and cost-sharing for
 Medicare coverage, including prescription drugs.

Elderly with income above 135 percent of the
 federal poverty level:

Bush:  Subsidy covers drugs for those with incomes
 of up to 175 percent of the poverty level ($14,600
 for individuals, $19,700 per couple).  Subsidy
 declines as income rises toward the 175 percent
 mark.  All seniors with income above 175 percent
 of poverty receive a 25 percent subsidy for drug

Gore:  Subsidy covers drugs for elderly with
 incomes between 135 percent and 150 percent of
 poverty level.  Subsidy declines as income rises
 from the 135 percent level to 150 percent.


Bush:  Medicare covers out-of-pocket medical
 costs exceeding $6,000.

Gore:  Medicare covers out-of-pocket prescription
 drug costs exceeding $4,000.


Bush:  2001

Gore:  Begins 2002, fully implemented 2008.

                 - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    The Plane Truth About Camouflage
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54

For Jerry Swain '54

 Good to hear from a fellow classmate.

     I think more for financial reasons, rather than
 tactical, paint was removed from most Army Air
 Force planes during WWII.  Some bean counter in
 the Pentagon probably figured out that they could
 save a whopping $1.98 on the cost of each B-17.

     As for your situation at 24000 near Hanoi, I
 don't think a camouflage paint job would have
 helped much, unless it was radar suppressing.

      The Navy, on the other hand, took the gaudy
 yellow paint off the wings of their planes right
 around the time of Pearl Harbour, and painted the
 planes in varying shades of blue.

      Someone, much smarter than either of us,
 thought more of the pilot's psychological well
 being; and said that a camoflage paint job would
 make the pilot think he was invisible.

      But, as I recall, the Air Force kept the
 unpainted aluminium scheme until into the Vietnam
 fracas, when the "BUFF's" got black paint, and
 some of the other's when back to the olive drab.
 The black was to reduce visibility from the ground
 during night raids (also used in WWII).  I haven't
 figured out why the o.d. paint on a fighter plane. 
 Unless it was to foil "Charlie's" spy satellite photo's
 while they were parked at Tan Son Nuit or Da

      At any rate, your in-flight refueling was
 probably much more exciting than the fellow
 racing down the runway in a '35 Ford pickup
 trying to keep up with a Curtis Jenny (Smart)
 Page while the guy  in the bed was pumping 
 madly on a hand pump to get fuel from a 55 gallon
 drum to the airplane.  In  either event, my hat's off
 to you for doing the job you did.

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

          = Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54 =

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Potter
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

I'm a few days behind in reading the entries, so
 forgive me for not responding immediately to
 Chuck Monasmith, and the others who commented
 on my original statements.  And, Chuck, just to let
 you know, I didn't think you were being too hard
 on me.  Actually, all you did was set me firmer in
 my beliefs on Harry Potter (read:  you pushed my
 buttons too).

It has been stated that without having read the
 Harry Potter books, that one is not in a position to
 comment on them. Following that train of thought,
 that means that because I don't listen to Marilyn
 Manson and Enimen (sp?), I can't call their music
 garbage and hateful; and because I've never had an
 abortion, I'm not qualified to say that its the
 murder of an unborn child; and because I've never
 smoked dope or shot something into my veins, I'm
 not able to say that drugs are a bad thing to do;
 and because I've never had skin cancer, I'm not
 capable of knowing that laying out in the Tri-City
 summer sun is harmful???  Sorry, folks, that logic
 doesn't float with me.  I believe I am able to look
 at a synopsis of a book, or movie, or whatever,
 and listen to what others have to say about it, and
 make a judgment about how it fits with my moral

We live in a different world today than we did from
 even when I was a kid.  Things are not interpreted
 the way they used to be, and what once was safe
 and fun now is not.  As an example, how many of
 you walked to school every day? Or stayed out
 hanging on a street corner after the football game?
 Or rode your bike across town to a friend's house,
 and then went to some field in the neighborhood to
 burn up ants with a magnifying glass, being told
 only to be home when the streetlights came on?  I friends all did...and now today, I don't
 know a single parent who would let their kids do
 the things we did.  And you know why?  Because
 its a different world we're living in --- even right
 here in the middle of no-where-southeast-Washington.
 There's too  many wackos out there, and they're all
 masquerading as "okay-people".

So, here's how I see it with Harry Potter.  Just as I
 wouldn't tolerate my kids smoking a joint or a
 cigarette (after all, they are gateway drugs), or
 taking a nip from the grandfather's beer (if he were
 to drink), or for my daughter to be dressed like a
 whore when she leaves the house (all in the name
 of "fashion" and the "latest craze"), I won't tolerate
 my kids reading something that I think is offensive
 on many different levels.  Like I said in my original
 statement, I don't think Harry Potter books alone
 are going to turn every kid to witchcraft.  But, it
 may very easily be the first stepfor some -- but not
 my kids.

Again, let me give a shameless plug for an
 alternative, for those of you who may be looking
 for something different, and yet still a quick read
 for you and your kids.  Go read the Left Behind
 series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins (they're in
 the Richland Public Library, at the books stores,
 and even at Costco for less than $8 a book).  Good
 versus evil (as in Christ vs. the anti-christ); lessons
 about lying and deceit, making payment for past
 wrong actions....all those supposed lessons that are
 to be learned from Harry Potter.  Except this time,
 it truly is the good guys who win.

Am I telling you that YOU can't read the Harry
 Potter books?  No.  Go ahead. And, like the
 bumper sticker I saw the other day says, "If you're
 living your life like there is no God, you'd better
 hope you're right."

       Standing firm with my original opinion,
       Jenny (Smart) Page
       Class of '87

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj: Unemployment Factor Misread
From: Steve Carson (58)

For Dave Doran (72)

Dave I think you misread the unemployment factor
 in Greenspan's equation.  Today unemployment
 hovers around 4%, which really means that
 everyone who wants a job has one, and businesses,
 like mine, can't find employees to sustain our
 growth.  For the most part companies are now
 having to offer higher salaries, not because the job
 is worth more or more productity will occur,  but
 because not having a person in a critical position
 will strangle the company and cause long term
 damage to companies and their employees.

So, Greenspan looks at these factors 1.)increased
 wages without increased productivity, and 2.)
 insufficient staffing to sustain growth and draws
 his conclusions.

I now have to spend 40% of my time recruiting and
 just today participated in a "job fair" with 50 other
 employers.   The quality of those still in the
 available labor pool consist of the poorly educated
 and most have job records of multiple jobs of short
 duration and not good prospects.

No one wants anyone to be without work that
 wants a job.  Many companies have had to hire
 unqualified people and then run a school to try to
 bring them up to speed.   The education system is
 failing the people and must be fixed if we are not
 to become a 3rd world company.

For Paul Ratsch: Paul, you are beginning to be funny.
Is this a stand up routine? Slave Labor? Give me a break.

             = Be well! Steve Carson (58) =

                                ~ ~ ~

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