Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                 Issue 106 ~ November 5, 2000

  "Conversation opens our views, and gives our faculties
a more vigorous play. It puts us upon turning our
notions on every side, and holds them up to a light that
discovers those latent flaws which would probably have
lain concealed in the gloom of unagitated abstraction."


       Public Schools, Morality, & School Vouchers
       Peggy (Roesch) Wallan '71

       Re: DARE & What Teachers Face Every Day
       Gary Behymer (64)

       Alternatives To The Internal Combustion
       Engine:  Closer Than You Think
       Ron Richards  '63

       It Just Got Worse
       Mary Ray Henslee (61)


Subj: Public Schools, Morality, & School Vouchers
From: Peggy (Roesch) Wallan '71
Spanaway, WA

I don't know of one teacher with whom I work who
wouldn't be absolutely DELIGHTED to teach morality in
the context of our lessons.  However, it is not up to
and LAWYERS have determined what we are allowed to
teach, and how to teach.  TEACHERS simply have to obey
(a moral principle!  obey those in authority over you!
oooh!) or risk our livelihoods. You people who want
morality, moral standards, whatever, taught to your
children at school had best SPEAK UP.  The P, SB, A and
L certainly aren't listening to the teachers.  

Are you concerned about the lack of morality in the
textbooks your kids are using?  Well, write to the
California or Texas state school boards.  Those groups
drive the textbook publishers.  The rest of us little
districts have to buy textbooks those states have
approved ... The publishers "can't afford" to print
shorter runs of textbooks tailored to smaller state and
district curriculums.  

While I'm griping about it ... I am so tired of being
told by administrators that we can't discipline this
child or that (things like time out, no recess time,
demerits, etc.) because of special ed laws (is morality
suspended just because a child has a learning
disability? THE ANSWER IS YES) or parents who have, in
writing, demanded that their children not be held
accountable for poor behavior -- and this included on
the special behavior plans for these kids (I've seen a
few of those).  Now, don't get me wrong -- there are
some children for whom the usual disciplinary tactics
just don't make sense (I'm thinking of an autistic
student I have); but there are too many kids and parents
manipulating the system, and making the classrooms a
tough place for everyone.  

I recall a bright student I had who had to be watched
constantly because of her "sticky fingers" ... many
little items would up in her possession without the
permission of their owners (students and teachers).
Were we, the teachers, allowed to discipline her for her
thievery?  No, because she has an "attachment disorder"
and therefore the "education laws" protect her.  

I run musical rehearsals with 150 kids at a time (and
I'm the only adult in the room with them) ... but am I
allowed to kick out a disruptive kid who is ruining
rehearsal time for the rest of us?  Want to guess the
answer?  I tried once, and the mother showed up at the
next rehearsal and reamed me out in front of the 150
kids and 3 teachers who happened to be there to pick up
their students. The principal, in private, tried to
console me, but reminded me THAT WE TEACHERS HAVE NO
RIGHTS when it comes to discipline.  

It's probably obvious that I really get toasted when
people complain about teachers not teaching morality.  I
get toasted whenever I see good teachers being lumped
together with a few bad ones and blamed for the
"failure" of our schools. People, when will you
understand: TEACHERS DON'T RUN THE SCHOOLS!  Maybe you
think the teachers' unions are so big and powerful ...
hah!  Sure, they can snarl things up with negotiations
for this and that (NB: I do NOT belong to the union!),
but the unions don't choose curriculum!  They don't make
the special ed laws! They don't set the hiring
practices!  They don't design the schoolwide "classroom
management" programs!  (Ahem, the word "discipline" even
seems to be outlawed by the administration!).  

Arrgh.  I'm getting a stomach ache from this and I know
I'm just spouting off in a rambling sort of way.  But as
I said a couple days ago ... I think every day about
retiring or quitting.  I would love to be in a job where
I was trusted and respected and supported by my
clientele and by my employers?  I wonder what it would
be like??????

      Peggy Roesch Wallan '71 ~ Spanaway, WA

Subj: Re: DARE & What Teachers Face Every Day
From: Gary Behymer (64) ~ Colfax, Washington

[See article by Peggy Roesch Wallan '71, in Sandbox
Issue 105]

Read *The Sandstorm and find this to be oh so true in
downtown Colfax, Washington....If so in small-town
' about in the large cities?

                   Gary Behymer (64)

 *The Alumni Sandstorm, is, as is THE SANDBOX, an online
publication and newsletter written by the Alumni of RHS.


Subj:   Alternatives To The Internal Combustion 
Engine:  Closer Than You Think
From:  Ron Richards  '63 ~ Centennial, Colorado

To: Mary Ray Henslee

Al Gore is not daydreaming 25 years down the road when
he advocates alternatives to the internal combustion
engine.  Ballard Power Systems, Inc., and its partners,
Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler, have operated
fuel cell powered transit buses in rate paying service
in Chicago, Illinois, and Vancouver, British Columbia,
for several years.  They, together with Honda, Hyundai,
Nissan, Volkswagen, GM, and Toyota, have now begun
putting 50 fuel cell test cars and 20 fuel cell test
buses to use in California. Commercial introduction of
the buses is scheduled for 2002 and commercial
introduction of cars is scheduled for 2003.  Two to
three years, Mary, not 25 years.  That's a lot sooner
than Bush could start shipping oil out of the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge.

Furthermore, Mary, contrary to some of your other
claims, Gore's emphasis on alternative energy sources
will help alleviate global warming and energy shortages.
Fuel cells are much more efficient than the internal
combustion engine.  They run on hydrogen produced in a
reforming process from natural gas, propane, or
methanol, or on hydrogen produced by electrolysis.  This
increased efficiency, and the use of these alternative
fuels to provide the power for the fuel cells, will both
result in less carbon dioxide being produced per unit of
power.  Less carbon dioxide means less global warming.
The more natural gas, propane, and methanol used in the
place of oil, the less an energy shortage there will be.
The CEO of Shell Oil Company recently said high energy
prices were harming the oil industry because alternative
energy was becoming competitive.  You can bet your
bottom dollar that the Bush/Cheney ticket, if elected,
and their oil industry allies, would do everything they
can to prolong the day that alternative energy does
become competitive.

An administration can have an impact on how fast these
technologies are integrated into our society. By making
more lenient the emission standards for automobiles, an
administration could lengthen the time we are reliant on
the internal combustion engine.  By not offering tax
breaks for alternative energy vehicles, the time until
the efficiencies of mass production make the vehicles
more affordable would be increased.  By only emphasizing
more oil production, and ignoring conservation efforts
and increased efficiencies, as a means to solve our
energy problems, an administration can further delay the
day when we achieve energy independence.  If you want
delay, George Bush is the man.  If you don't want delay,
Al Gore is the man.

You are dreaming, Mary, when you talk of meeting our oil
needs with domestic production under a Bush
administration.  Without alternative energy sources, the
oil isn't here.  Your man, George Bush, and his oil
industry allies, would not want us to meet our oil needs
with domestic production. Harken Energy, George Bush's
old oil company, and the Haliburton Company, Dick
Cheney's old oil company, are very much international
players. Those companies, and the other major oil
companies, to whose beat Bush and Cheney would dance,
have trillions of dollars at stake in foreign oil
producing properties.  It is not in their interest to
have America self sufficient in oil production.

If you want energy independence, Mary, your best chances
lie with Al Gore.  As the CEO of Shell Oil Company
fears, the day alternative energy sources are
competitive is close at hand.  But just how close
depends in large part upon who is elected President this

       Ron Richards  '63 ~ Centennial, Colorado)

Subj:  It Just Got Worse
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

I am extremely mad and upset as I write this, so all of
you staunch Democrats may want to scroll down to the
next entry.  

Some of you may not know about the following and really
should before you pull that lever.  For those of you who
know what Gore is capable of and really don't care, I
suggest you go to the next entry because you will
probably find the following ho hum.

Rap-A-Lot records was founded by Houston Rap singer
James A. Prince who is not just a recording
entrepreneur.  He is part of a Mafia style drug ring
that spans over many states.  The record label has
released songs that taunt the Drug Enforcement
Administration and talk of killing agency informants.
One of the Rap associates, Brad "Scarface" Jordan,
bragged of the "Rap-A-Lot Mafia's ability to derail an
investigation and drug agents' careers after he was
arrested.  "Can't be stopped, not even by a badge," one
song declares, going on to curse two DEA agents by name.
"There ain't enough (expletive) in the states to come
stop this Rap-A-Lot Mafia. 

This is a group that uses Mafia tactics to scare jurors
and murder to get revenge.  This is a group that none of
us would want living next door to us. This is a group
that we certainly wouldn't want influencing our
children.  Yet we are about to possibly elect a man to
be our President, who in 1999 visited a black church in
Houston that is funded with millions of dollars by
Rapper Prince. He denies any contact with Prince, but
Prince was there the day he went to the church.  I
wonder what they discussed that day.

A few days after Gore's visit to the church, the Houston
police department and DEA agency that had been
investigating the drug ring extensively for years with
over 20 convictions on charges ranging from drug
trafficking to police corruption was sidetracked.  In
September 1999, the Houston DEA was forced to suspend
what had been a highly successful criminal

"What a slap in the face to dedicated, professional
officers who know this case, who know the bad guys and
the informants and have devoted years of work, only to
see politicians ruin it," said Michael J. Hinton, a
Houston lawyer representing the DEA agent who led the
case, Jack Schumacher.  Jack Schumacher who had been an
investigator for 27 years was transferred to a desk job. 

"It looks like the DEA and the Justice Department in
Washington turned their backs on a good agent and a good
investigation," said Joe Harris, a retired Harris County
narcotics investigator who worked on the case. "It
appears the object was to get them to stop their
investigation, and it appears that worked." 

"It will take forever for a new team to catch up;
meanwhile, anyone committing crimes will know they have
a free pass, courtesy of politicians in Washington,"
said Mr. Hinton, former chief of the Harris County
district attorney's organized crime division. "This
stinks of cover-up." 

I had read an article about the Rapper group and
possible donations to Gore some weeks ago and wondered
why it had not gotten more coverage.  I guess it was
because the administration was covering up and denying
an investigation.

It came to light today, November 3, in the Dallas
Morning News and I'm sure other selected newspapers that
caving into pressure by the Houston DEA, the Justice
Department has asked its Inspector General to
investigate "disturbing" allegations that the DEA's case
against James A Prince and Rap-A-Lot records was
"politicized." Still not a lot of coverage.  It did not
appear in my newspaper and maybe not some of yours.  I
would recommend reading today's article in the Dallas
Morning News site on the web plus click on "other
related articles" from prior months.  You will probably
have to find it archived by the time that you read this
or access a Dallas newspaper somewhere.  

It might be noted that U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-
Calif., was instrumental in getting Janet Reno to order
the investigation of Prince stopped a few days after
Gore's visit.  Her husband is from Prince's old
neighborhood in Houston and there are obviously ties to
the group at work here both politically and personally.
She claimed that Prince was in fear of his life from DEA
agents and that he was being picked on because he was
rich and black.  Voila now they are allowed to operate,
so that they can sell drugs to our children.  Now we
know why our Drug Enforcement Program is not working.

If I was a part of this administration, I think the
first thing that I would want to do upon getting home
each night is take a shower.

I tried to do as brief a synopsis of the situation as
possible from all of the articles on the subject, but
would recommend reading them for more details.

On another front.  Soon after Clinton took office in
1993, he turned over virtual control of U.S/Russian
relations to Al Gore.  Out of that arrangement, Gore
developed a personal relationship with Chernomyrdin, who
later fell from power in disgrace, accused of dealings
with various corrupt Russian business entities.  On
January 30, 1995 Gore signed a secret agreement with the
Russian leader allowing him to sell arms to Iran until
December 31, 1999 without any sanctions being imposed.  

This is in violation of the Nuclear-Non-proliferation
Act, which requires the Clinton-Gore administration to
keep congressional oversight committees fully informed
of all issues related to nuclear weapons proliferation.

A bipartisan group of 11 leading national security
officials and former secretaries of defense and state
have issued a scathing report denouncing the agreement
Gore made in secret with Chernomyrdin to keep Russia's
arming of Iran from being revealed to Congress and the
American public.  

This investigation is being stonewalled by the
administration as well.  It is curious that Gore would
do this without a motive.  One can only speculate.
Maybe some of our funding to Russia came back to Gore.

Neither of these situations will be fully investigated
until after the election so one has to draw their own
conclusions.  They may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Of course we all know about Gore's illegal fund raising
that is being investigated right now, which is not easy
because of conveniently missing e-mails.

Gore claims that he only smoked dope a few times. If you
believe that, you, probably believe in Santa Claus.  A
number of his friends, including friends who admit to
supplying him, say he was a heavy smoker for years.  He
was heavily into pot when he got 5 F's out of 8 classes
and dropped out of Divinity School.  Two friends say
that they supplied him up until 1992 when he entered the
White House.  These friends have not gained anything
financially from the Enquirer or other sources and have
maintained a low profile except for a few interviews.  I
tend to believe them.  If you go to you will
find a number of articles on the subject archived over a
period of time.  

When Gore's tells us that we have not seen anything yet,
he is not kidding.  If he gets elected, I think that we
will be in for quite a ride.  As I observed the feeding
frenzy today on every TV station, radio station, and in
every newspaper regarding Bush's .10 DUI 24 years ago, I
became physically sick.  It is all about sensationalism
and keeping a story going until all of the life is taken
out of it.  If Gore gets into office, all of these
really serious situations involving him will then become
sensational and then they will be removed from the
backburner to the forefront.  What a very very sad
society we have become.  How pathetic we must seem to
foreign countries.  How can we expect our children to
grow up to be mature and healthy with the example that
adults are setting today?  Does the media think that
somehow they will be immune from the consequences of
getting someone really corrupt into office?  How do they
sleep nights?  By the end of the day, I just wanted to
grab and hold my grandchildren for dear life.  You won't
be hearing from me anymore before the election, which
some of you may be glad to hear.  I am not planning to
watch TV or read the newspaper until after the election.
It has become too disgusting. On Election Day, I plan to
vote and than go pray a lot.  

                  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
include your class year and maiden name, (if applicable),
in all correspondence and subscription requests.  You may
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Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
AKA Columbia High School, representing classes from 1942
through 2000. Visit the THE SANDBOX website.

Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
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