Great American Conversations
                   With The Alumni of RHS
                 Issue 98 ~ October 28, 2000

   "One man's word is no man's word.  We should 
           quietly hear both sides."   -Goethe


     Ballot measures and other fun stuff
     Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

     Because You Read It, Does Not Mean Its True!
     Andrew Eckert (54)

     Harry Spells Danger
     Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

     The 50's and Richland
     Rich Henderson '62

     Missed The Substance
     Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)

     OK, I'll Offer My Two Bits:  
     Bob Rector '62


Subj:   Ballot measures and other fun stuff
From:  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

    Just recieved Volume 1 of the Oregon Voter's
 Pamphlet in the mail today, with the promise of
 Volume 2 to follow in a few days.  This one is a
 joy to behold, 26 separate ballot measures, taking
 368 pages to explain each measure and why the
 voter should vote either for or against each
 measure.  Several have been proposed by our own
 anti-tax/anit-government gadfly, Bill Sizemore.

    Mr. Sizemore, several years ago, in the wake of
 what happened in California, succeeded in getting
 a property tax reduction measure on the ballot.  It
 passed.  Funny thing, it didn't really reduce
 property taxes, as the appriasals on which such
 taxes are based went up.  Since then, he has in
 each election year proposed further tax cuts, and
 reductions in government.  He even ran for
 governor one year and failed miserably at that task.

    His current proposals have to do with deductions
 for federal income tax paid (which really doesn't
 help anyone except those who itemize); and further
 simplifying the process by which initiative
 measures can be put on the ballot.  The latter
 stems from his frustration in getting some of his
 ideas turned into ballot measures basically because
 no one wanted to sign his petitions.

    There is a measure, supported earnestly by both
 "Piggy" (Portland General Electric) and PP&L
 which would in effect repeal a measure voted in by
 an overwhelming majority in 1978 which does not
 allow the power companies to make the users pay
 for costs incurred in closing or maintaining closed

    One measure that I might be induced to vote for is
 one that says that if the legislature mandates
 educational programs, the legislature had best come
 up with the funding, and not leave it to the school 
 districts.  Legislatures and Congresses like to do 
 things like that:  Mandate a program and then not 
 fund it and wonder why it isn't working.

    Previously in these pages, I reported on the
 current biggoted ballot measure.  Now, to make it
 perfectly clear to those who don't really
 understand, let me cite the text of the measure:

        "Be it enacted by the people of the State of
        "Section 1. ORS 336.067 is amended to read
 (new section):
        "(e)  Sexual Orientation as it relates to
 homosexuality and bisexuality is a divisive subject
 matter not necessary to the instruction of students
 in public schools.  Nothwithstanding any other law
 or rule, the instruction of behaviors relating to
 homosexuality and bisexuality shall not be
 presented in a public school in a manner which
 encourages, promotes or sanctions such behaviors.
        "Section 2.  ORS 659.166 is amended to read 
 (new section):
            "(1)  Any public elementary or secondary
 school determined by the Superintendent of Public
 Instruction or any community college determined
 by the Commissioner for Community College
 Services to be in nocompliance with the provisions
 of ORS 336.067 (e) or ORS 659.150 and this
 section shall be subject to appropriate sanctions,
 which may include withholding of all or part of
 state funding, as established by rule of the State
 Board of Education."

    By way of explanation, the Legislative
 Committee defined "public school" as any public
 elementary schools, public secondary schools,
 community colleges, state colleges and state
 universitlies, and all state and local institutions that
 provide educations for patients or inmates.

    Yes, The Bible, and quite possibly sacred
 writings of other religions tell us that
 homosexuality is not acceptable behavior. 
 Unfortunately, homosexuality has been with "man"
 for quite sometime and it has not been restricted to
 any race, creed or religious preferrence.  It is not
 something that can be legislated or prayed away. 
 It is a fact of life.

    The son of a fellow Bomber passed away
 because of AIDS, and left his father bitter over the
 lad's lifestyle.  I wonder how many other Bombers
 and/or their children have died because of AIDS,
 or may be HIV positive.  No, I am not asking for
 names or for anyone to come out of the closet, or
 even be outed in these pages.  And remember that
 AIDS doesn't strike the gay community alone. 
 Needle sharers, and those with indiscriminate
 mating habits also need be aware.

    If our children and grandchildren are to be given
 some measure of protection against life's
 visisitudes, they must be given the education and
 knowledge necessary to avoid them, all of them.  If
 the discussion on protection against AIDS or any
 other STD promotes homosexuality or bisexuality,
 something is wrong somewhere.  Or maybe we
 should revert back the the V.D. films our fathers or
 brothers told us about when they were in the
 Armed Forces.  If that don't scare kids away from
 sex of any nature, I don't know what will.

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

            Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Because You Read It, Does Not Mean Its True!
From:   Andrew Eckert (54)

Let me cite an example of the press corps' ability to
 spin on important policy. 

This involves Vice President Gore's best-selling book,
  Earth in the Balance.

Soon after the book was published in 1992, Gore
 was selected to be Bill Clinton's running mate, and
 the RNC began portraying the book as an example 
 of crackpot environmentalism. From then until
 now, party spokesmen have pulled stray quotes
 from the book, trying to demonstrate Gore's

A long-standing favorite is a quote concerning the
 future of the internal combustion engine.

"[I]t ought to be possible," Gore writes in the book,
 "to accomplish the strategic goal of completely
 eliminating the internalcombustion engine over, 
 say, a twenty-five year period." In context, it is
 abundantly clear that Gore is talking about
 replacing the IC engine with cleaner technology.
 But apparently that wouldn't sound silly enough,
 so GOP spinners have long pretended Gore wants
 to get rid of cars. In June of 1999, for example,
 RNC chairman Jim Nicholson—author of the farm
 chores hoax—published a full-page open letter to
 Gore in major newspapers, asking Gore to explain
 "why you want to eliminate the automobile as we
 know it." This followed press releases in which
 Nicholson explicitly accused Gore of trying to "do
 away with the internal combustion engine, the

One might think it the work of a serious press corps
 to clarify groaning nonsense like that. And this
 story is especially intriguing because of a 
 ittle-noticed fact. On January 5, 1998, both the
 Wall Street Journal and the New York Times
 presented page-one, lead stories from the Detroit
 Auto Show, reporting that world car companies
 now agree that internal combustion is on the way
 out. Rebecca Blumenstein, page one, Wall Street

[Auto makers from Tokyo to Stuttgart to Detroit
 have reached a surprising new consensus on an
 idea deemed heretical not long ago. A fundamental
 shift in engine technology is needed. "We need to
 press very hard to increase fuel economy and
 lower emissions" of carbon dioxide, says John F.
 Smith, Jr., chairman of General Motors.This then
 would be the world, salvation from the Oil Barrons
 of the world ... Is there not an Oil company baring
 the name "Bush" in Bahrain? Is not Cheney a
 former CEO of a very large oil CO?  Did they not
 hand $20 Million dollars Soft Money to the
 Champaign?  Sure hope everyone is doing there
 homework on our future.  The election is only days
 away, Who can we blame if WE elect the wrong
 person for the wrong reasons.

But do vote.  Your future is at stake.

Information for this article was found  on 
" "
                      Andrew Eckert (54)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Spells Danger
From:   Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

Well, I know we've probably talked the Harry
 Potter subject to death, but while reading the
 Philadelphia Trumpet I came across this article and
 though I would share part of it with you. The
 article was Titled Harry Spells Danger. The part I
 found very interesting was as follows: According
 to a report in the September edition of Youthworks,
 many teenage boys are rejecting
 Christianity and the church for witchcraft. 
 Moreover, there is an even greater response from
 young women seeking female "empowerment." 
 Droves of girls are showing an unprecedented
 interest in witchcraft, with dozens every month
 wanting to join covens to learn about casting spells
 in order to pass school exams, find boyfriends and
 become wealthy.

One organization, the Pagan Federation (a
 UK-based group which represents druids,
 shamans, witches and high priestesses)
 acknowledges that scores of curious youngsters
 are now contacting its main office, with upwards
 of 100 telephone calls per month.  The Federation
 has just appointed its first youth officer in response
 to the growing number of queries from children.

Interesting!!  I don't know if I mentioned when I
 sent in my comment about reading Harry Potter
 with my grandson last year, that the reason we
 were reading it was because it was required
 reading in his 5th grade class?  After reading this
 article I wish that I would have voiced my opinion
 to the school instead of just pointing out issues to
 my grandson.  

                    - Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj:   The 50's and Richland
From:  Rich Henderson '62

   Noticed recent alumni comments about growing
 up in Richland during the decade of  the 50's.

   There was an excellent book published about the
 decade of the 50's.  David Halberstam authored the
 book titled:  "THE FIFTIES", by Villard Books,
 (New York), in 1993.  This single volume book is
 about 700+ pages, (with 46 chapters), detailing the
 many facets of the decade.  The book may now be
 out of print.

   MY COMMENTS:  Some historians have, more
 recently, suggested that this decade was the
 spawning ground for the future "counter-culture
 generation" of the 60's and beyond.  They
 continue, ...that the "baby-boomer generation" did
 not accept all of these values,  that they rejected it!

   I am inclined to agree with the premise that some
 of the values did adversely influence the
 generational mindset.  That  these were seen as
 superficial, shallow, materialist, and lacking in
 compassion and understanding.

   No, I am not bad-mouthing the decade.  It was a
 time of increasing national stability,  .... growth, 
 .... improvements, and communication.  This  was
 offset by increased international instability and
 tensions, i.e., The Cold War.

   Still, the 50's, (and Richland), was an excellent
 time and place to be both a kid and grow up in.

                       -Rich Henderson
                        Class of '62


Subj:   Missed The Substance
From:   Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)
Jenny Smart:

I missed the substance of your objection to Harry
Potter. Would you mind restating it as concisely and
specifically as possible?  Thanks.

Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)
Golden, Colorado


Subj: OK, I'll Offer My Two Bits:  
     (a) homosexuality & 
     (b) Harry Potter
From:   Bob Rector '62 (Robert Rector)

     Just a note to thank the editors etc.  This "page"
 offers entertaining reading and sometimes even a
 cogent thought or two.  Best of all, it keeps my
 aging mind in gear.  Thanks.

     Now, my very personal opinion on two much 
discussed topics:

      (a)  On Homosexuality:
             People are People and Life is Life.
             Wish folks would worry more about
 overpopulation or consumption of fossil fuels.

     (b)  On Harry Potter Books:
            We all hAve fears.
            Some people have dreadful fears, and some
 itty bitty fears.
           Some even have imagined or senseless fears.
           I too have fears.....but reading Harry Potter 
is not one of them.
          When confronted by a scarecrow, & a little
 girl in pigtails, even the Wizard of Oz was afraid.

                   Later,  Bob Rector '62


Thanks for your contributions, everyone. Many
 more to come.  If you've sent an entry recently and
 haven't seen it in The SANDBOX yet, please be
 patient.  Your voice will soon be heard!

                       Al Parker (53)
                     Your Sandbox Host
                           - 98 -