Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                 Issue 108 ~ November 6, 2000

  "He serves his party best who serves the country
             best." - Rutherford B. Hayes

Sandbox Trivia:

Our Next President and Vice President
Could be from different Political Parties

Did you know that Election 2000 could lead to the
President and Vice President being selected from two
different political parties?  Remember, this is
considered to be a very close election.  Should there be
a tie in electoral votes, here's how it goes:

The House, where each state will have one vote, will
select the President.  The Senate will select the Vice

Three times in our nation's history, the election has
been lost by candidates who had the most popular votes
because the opposition had more electoral votes.  The
last time was in 1888

Source: (The Associated Press)


Issue 108 Contents:

       Alternative Fuel Sources:  Still A Long Way To Go
       Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)

       Fuel Cells    
       Jenny Smart Page  '87

       Complimentary Reply
       Marc Franco (66)

       Global Warming: Nature Plus Us
       Marc Franco (66)

       Attribution, Please!
       Jerry Lewis '73


Subj: Alternative Fuel Sources: Still A Long Way To Go
From: Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76) ~ Richland, WA

Re: Ron Richards (63), Alternative fuel sources.

I notice that the companies you mention foremost in
researching alternative fuel sources, cells, are private
companies.  Which political party heralds and encourages
private companies, and which restricts and vilifies them?
Which party thinks that the private sector is much more
efficient and has accomplished than the federal
government at research, development and production?  Then
what is your basis for accusing Bush and Cheney of
prolonging our dependence on the internal combustion
engine?  Because they both have experience in the oil
industry you assume they still have such strong ties to
it that that will be their overriding concern when fuel
cells should become more available.  Then certainly Al
Gore's ties to the tobacco industry that he took such
active part in (cough) must color his judgment.  Get

First of all, it may be 2003 when commercial introduction
of fuel cell cars is scheduled, but it will be many more
years before the general populace accepts them and is
willing the pay the cost.  And many more years more
before that translates into a significant reduction of
internal combustion engines.  In the meantime, we still
have a 62% dependency on foreign oil from potentially
hostile and extremely anti-American countries.  At a
consumption rate of 20 million barrels a day, it wouldn't
take much of an interruption in flow to cause a major
crisis here, and the glorious economy we are experiencing
that Clinton/Gore like to take undue credit for, will be
toast.  If that happens, do you want Gore the
Environmentalist or Bush the Executive at the helm?  As
you say, it may take a few years to be able to tap our
own resources.  However, having access to our own fields
sooner rather than later in order to decrease foreign
dependency, or at least as insurance against it, does not
preclude alternative source research.  What evidence do
you have that Bush or Cheney have shown any
disinclination toward alternative fuels and that they
would dance to any oil company's beat?  They have severed
ties with their old companies, which is more than you can
say for Gore and Occidental Petroleum.

It is beyond me how you (liberals, Democrats, Gore-ites,
whatever) assume you know what Gore will do in office
when Gore himself doesn't.  He doesn't even know who in
the world he is, let alone what he stands for.  But you
all know.  No, all you know is the fear-mongering hate-
filled rhetoric that the liberal mainstream media spouts
with absolutely no facts to back it up.  

Did you know that Haliburton has received awards from the
EPA, including one from Gore's own National Partnership
for Re-inventing Government, and an Environmental
Champion Award for outstanding performance, was named an
EPA Green Lights Corporate Partner, and Gore himself
awarded Cheney and Haliburton for service well done in
the area of the environment?  You won't hear that from
Dan Rather.

Did you know that we are currently importing 400,000 more
barrels of oil than we were in June, 1999?  Exactly where
is Clinton/Gore's energy policy?  Failed.

Did you know we presently import oil from Iraq? Opening
only 8% of the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge to
exploration will eliminate that.

Some of Bush's energy proposals:
-Propose legislation requiring electric utilities to
reduce harmful emissions; in contrast, Vice President
Gore has advocated only a voluntary program.

-Create the "Royalties Conservation Fund" by earmarking
potentially billions in royalties from new oil and gas
exploration in ANWR to fund conservation efforts.

-Earmark an estimated $1.2 billion of bid bonuses from
opening up ANWR for funding research into alternative
energy resources.  (Does that include fuel cells?)

-Support tax credits for electricity produced from
renewable and alternative fuels at a cost of $1.4 billion
over ten years.  (I'll bet that includes fuel cells!)

Now tell us again how Gore is our only choice for energy

                Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)


Subj:    Fuel Cells  
From:   Jenny Smart Page  '87  ~ West Richland, WA

Hmmmm....fuel cells...fuel cells...ah, yes...a fancy name
for "batteries." Let me think here, if I remember my
physics class correctly with Mr. Thrasher a few years
back, I recall that batteries aren't "naturally" filled
with power.  Meaning, the energy (power) that a
battery/"fuel cell" is charged with has to come from
somewhere else! A battery is just the "storage unit."
Now, let me think here....where are we gonna be getting
the energy to "fill" these fuel cells?  I know, we'll get
it from the coal burning power plants in the Midwest.
Oops.  Can't do that.  Burning coal pollutes the air;
plus ya gotta dig up those shiny black nuggets somewhere
and we all know that Gore won't let us do any more
digging -- we might disrupt a "special weed" or scare a
cricket.  Okay, how 'bout one of those nifty natural gas
burning power plants?  Oops.  Forgot again...Al doesn't
want to do any more exploration for natural gas, either.
Might step on a beetle or something. Okay, I
know...nuclear power plants, that'll do it!! OH MY!! did
I really suggest the "N" word??? How could I suggest
something like that??  Okay, here's the winner:
Hydroelectric power!!  Oh rats! We can't do that either -
- remember the poor salmon? Al's already 95% committed to
ripping out our dams to save our fishy friends. Let's
see, we're running out of environmentally friendly
options 'bout wind powered turbine do-hickeys?
Oops, can't do that either...a bird may fly into those
big ol' props; plus, you know, they're kinda ugly, and we
certainly wouldn't want to mar the view of any
mountainside.  Let see...that about leaves us with solar
power...That might work.  Too bad I remember reading
somewhere that it would take just about FOREVER to charge
a "fuel cell" with enough power for a very brief amount
of operating time.

So, gosh...just how are we supposed to charge up those
nifty new fuel cells that our friend Al wants us so
desperately to be using?  Better shine up those bicycles,
folks....oh, and don't worry if you're too out of shape
to be riding a bike --- Al will have socialized medicine
ready to take care of you when you have your heart
attack.  How's that for a comforting thought??

     Jenny (Smart) Page, West Richland, WA '87


Subj:    Complimentary Reply
From:   Marc Franco (66)

I would like to compliment Mary Ray Henslee on her letter
in Sandbox 103, in reply to a criticism on my part in an
earlier Sandbox. I had basically felt she was accusing
Gore of bringing on the Apocalypse if he were to be
elected and exhibiting some hysteria. Her latest letter-
in #103, was far different, lots of facts and well-
reasoned opinions. I didn't agree with all of it, but, of
course, that's not really necessary. I'd been publicly
critical before, so I felt that I had to publicly be
complimentary now. It was a good letter.

Incidentally, Mary Ray had said that I seemed to be as
hysterical about global warming as I was accusing her of
being about oil. Actually, that's not far wrong.
Information continues to pile up about the effects of
global warming, and the Republican party as a whole, and
Bush in particular, continue to say that it needs more
study. I did not mean to imply that one is more serious
than the other, however- oil vs. global warming. Mary Ray
had only spoken of energy problems, so I spoke only of a
problem that was being ignored. In fact, both need to be
dealt with at the same time.

 Also, I must defend myself in one respect. Mary Ray had
said that party affiliation seems to be important to me.
Actually not- I'm pretty much a centrist who is aware of
problems on both sides of the aisle, so who sees no need
to vote ONLY Republican or ONLY Democrat. Both sides have
good people, and both sides have jerks. The criticisms
that Mary Ray wrote about Gore-campaign financing
problems, etc., are well-founded and are not to be
ignored. My only concern, in replying to her earlier
letter, is that I just plain felt it came on too strong-
"too hysterical," to quote my earlier word. Again, I
compliment her on her later reply to my letter and thank
her for it.

                        Marc Franco (66)


Subj: Global Warming: Nature Plus Us
From: Marc Franco (66)

Kathy Lucas had a couple of comments in issue 105 that I
would like to reply to. First, she said there is a real
danger of energy disruptions, etc. because of our
dependency on Mideast oil. Absolutely correct! Nobody
disputes that. We need to develop new sources of energy,
which so far is not being done. The oil companies have
not encouraged that, either. I think I did not express
myself clearly in my earlier letter, because two people
have now reacted in a similar fashion to that letter. Oil
problems are real, and need to be dealt with, now and in
the future. I never intended to imply otherwise. And yes-
there are certainly environmental extremists who would
not mind if we all gave up cars and TV's and went back to
the stone age.

That certainly does not mean that all environmentalists
are so extreme, and I'm sure that nobody really thinks
so. That's all that I was trying to say in my earlier

Second, Kathy says there really DOES need to be more
study about the greenhouse effect.. Well, you can always
find scientists who will dispute anything- there are
still scientists out there who do not believe in
evolution, either- but there is overwhelming evidence
that the greenhouse effect is real. Yes, I have read some
of the contradicting evidence. There's a lot more of the
supporting evidence- LOTS more. And yes- I am certainly
aware that there are natural cycles in the life of the
earth that will cause warming periods without any input
from humans. This is all understood. But is anybody
really trying to claim that a rise in the earth's
temperature from 6- 10 degrees in one century (the
current estimate) is normal in any respect at all?
Things simply don't change that fast by themselves. IT is
now documented that the polar ice pack is 40 % thinner
than it was 50 years ago- only half a century ago. Again,
things simply do not change that fast when left to their
own devices. Everybody is aware of the natural ebb and
flow of the earthly cycle. What we are seeing now is not
the natural ebb and flow. The proper term (my opinion
only, of course), for the constant call for more study of
a phenomenon that is pretty well documented already- is
fiddling while Rome burns.

Throwing out a "what- if" question- let's just say that
the Greenhouse effect is real. When DO we start reacting
to it? The earlier Republican administrations under
Reagan, and particularly Bush, did nothing about it,
always saying that more study was needed. In fairness,
Clinton did not exactly distinguish himself in this area
either. If the Greenhouse effect is real, and all we do
is study, study, study- it's going to be too late down
the road, isn't it? Actually, I think it is already too
late. We've wasted too much time. Extreme weather will
continue- more droughts, severe hurricanes, etc. Geez-
now _I_ sound hysterical, don't I? I don't mean to. The
severe weather conditions that I have just mentioned have
already begun, so I am not predicting anything that is
not already here.

My only point here is that- yes, the earth has its
natural cycles of warming and cooling- and yes, we have
made the natural cycle a lot worse, and are now refusing
to do anything about it.

                     Marc Franco (66)

Subj:   Attribution, Please!
From:   Jerry Lewis '73

How about some attribution for Mary Henslee's extended
charges about the DEA investigation in Houston? [Issue
106 - Subj: It Just Got Worse] Anyone can spew whatever
they want to 'support' their cause, but without
verification, don't ask me to believe it.

I did find a mention of it here

Regarding Bush's DUI: I think it's irrelevant to this
campaign (as apparently do the majority of the public).
That said, his rationale that he didn't reveal it 'to
protect his (children)" strikes me as about as truthful
as many of Gore's statements (ha, ha)

                      --- Jerry Lewis '73
That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
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Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
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Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
                            - 108 -