Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                  Issue 121 ~ January 30, 2001

   "Fellow citizens, We Cannot escape history."
                      - Abraham Lincoln -

This Issue Reviews Recent Electoral Events With
 An Eye Toward History.

Subjects and Contributors:

  Dick Epler's Comments on Election Irregularities.
  Peggy Hartnett (72)

  Votes and Vote Counters 
  Bill Didway (66)

  Has your Chad been Dimpled?
  Andrew Eckert (54)

  Fat Ladies Not Allowed to Sing
  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson ' 54

  What Has Happened to Bomber Basketball?
  Richard Anderson (60)


Subj: Dick Epler's Comments on Election Irregularities.
From: Peggy Hartnett (72) (A modern hotel in a timeless town)

I read with interest that a number of illegals from Mexico
voted here in the Southwest and CA and that the
overwhelmingly voted for Gore. I can believe anything
actually but I live in a small backward town on the
Mexico-AZ border, I know many of the fine people who work
the polls, many are Hispanic in background/culture/primary
language but they are all US Citizens. So, I wonder how it
is we "know" that all those Hispanics who voted here in
the West were illegals, how it is that they got to vote
(Where I live you still have to present identification),
when one of the major "complaints" about illegals is their
problem with English and if voting is a private affair,
how do we know they voted for Gore? Just curious since no
one that I know who worked the polls has indicated there
was any such problem. And I think I need to ask a direct
question, are you suggesting that just because some
precincts with large African-American populations had very
high voter turnout there must be fraud? Perhaps those
people have a greater sense of
community/responsibility/need than our cynical minds can

All of this leads me to want to suggest a couple of books
that, though fiction, should give us pause on where all
this information and technology that we have access to
could lead: "Cryptonomicon " by Neil Stephenson & "The
Killing Time" by Caleb Carr.

If any of you have already read them, I would love to hear
what you thought.

One last thought, go outside tonight and look up at the
stars--now that is a good way to keep an appropriate
perspective on things.

-Peggy Hartnett (72)


Subj:   Votes and Vote Counters 
Date Submitted: 12/11/2000 
From:   Bill Didway (66)

I think it was Joseph Stalin who said,  "It is not the
voters that choose the winner but the vote counters."


Subj:    Fat Ladies Not Allowed to Sing
From:  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson ' 54
Date Submitted" 12/15/2000  

  It would seem that the Supreme Court has decided that
fat ladies are not allowed to sing in the state of
Florida; hence we'll never really know the "true" vote
count from that state. What the real surprise of the
Court's decision is that two "party" appointees bolted and
voted for the opposition. Will this mean a change in the
Court? Will the Bush kid ask these two to resign so that
he might appoint those who would adhere to the party line?

 And now the hue and cry is for "voter reform" (or is it
"ballot reform")? Wouldn't the better choice be "candidate
reform"? In this particular election there was no lessor
of two evils, no "clear cut" leader, no one to whom the
populace could look at with admiration. All we got was a
lackluster, somewhat tarnished (in his own right) vice
president who thought the job should be his, and a
governor whose major claim to fame is that during his
administration his state executed more people that the
rest of the nation combined.

 A friend of mine predicted that in two years it will be
difficult to find anyone who will publicly admit to voting
for Bush. I would say that in two years it will be
difficult to find anyone who will admit to having voted in
this election. And guess what the first thing we have to
look forward to will be? Tax reform. Yes, it seems that
the 1% who make the most money and pay the least taxes are
going to get yet another tax break. I truly feel sorry for
these people, think of the hardships they must face each
time April (formerly March) 15th, rolls around.

 And now to more pleasant things. Oregon's illustrious
governor, who believes the Snake River dams should be torn
down, is now demanding a meeting to address the
electricity shortage in California and how it affects
Oregon and Washington. I guess he got his latest
electricity bill and saw that the cost of river water had
gone up, therefore he has to pay more for the electricity
he used. Never mind that the state of Confusion (AKA
California) deregulated power companies. It seems that
this wonderful thing, deregulation, is only capable of
driving prices up not down. Those who have been
"deregulated" only want to make as much money as they can
before they get "regulated" again.

 Never mind all that, we must tear down the dams so that a
few fish can live free.

Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.
Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson ' 54


Subj: What Has Happened to Bomber Basketball?
From: Richard Anderson (60)

Last night (Tuesday, Dec. 19) I got to witness a result of
today's astonishing coaching philosophy: Bombers 48 -
Kamiakin 57, after overtime. Bombers scored 6 two-point
baskets in four and one half quarters of hoops — SIX!
During the first half of the game Bombers accumulated all
of 18 > points from 5 three-point baskets and 3 (somewhat
miraculous) free throws. In all the team would throw up 23
heaves at the hoop from 3-point range. This would be all
well and good if the team comprised midgets; however, the
only "midget" is a useful Stein-sized sophomore guard,
John Tierney -- the rest of the roster is all over 6 foot
(an OK starting five could be 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, 6-6, and 6-6;
what would Dawald have done with that)? So does this crew
bang away inside? Well no, it does not: from what I
observed play number "five" seemed to consist of five
(snappy) passes around the three-point arc, ending with a
heave at the basket. Does this crew look foremost for a
fast break? Well, no, it does not: having grabbed a
rebound the player carefully hands the ball over to a
guard underneath the basket and everybody proceeds up
court at a stately pace worthy of a funeral. You have just
no idea how boring this sort of thing is to watch! I'll
give the kids credit for sticking with the "program"; it
must be even more boring for them to play this style of

 Sartorial notes: 1) Bomber home uniforms are traditional
yellow with subdued trim and an elegant Bomber mushroom
cloud logo on the left thigh of the shorts, 2) Coach would
not be out of place on the bench of an NBA team -- very
natty suit, carefully knotted tie, a real clothes horse!


--Richard Anderson (60), Richland


Subj:   Has your Chad been Dimpled?
Date Submitted:  12/25/2000 
From:   Andrew Eckert (54)

This article was in the BBC News, on their web site.
A fascinating news site.

The counting of contested ballots continue
An American newspaper which is reviewing votes in Florida
says it has uncovered evidence of irregularities which,
together with the discarded ballots, could have affected
the outcome of last month's presidential election. Having
examined just under a quarter of the ballots cast in one
county, the Miami Herald said it found nearly 150
ineligible votes, including one cast in the name of a dead
man. Many Gore supporters believe their votes weren't

 Last week, the same newspaper reported that tests
conducted just before the polls opened showed that 13 out
of 20 voting machines were faulty in two of the precincts
with the highest rates of discarded votes. The Miami
Herald and other organizations have commissioned a recount
of votes excluded from the final tally and which were at
the center of the debate over the outcome of the

 Both candidates needed a victory in Florida to win the
presidency - George W. Bush was declared the winner in the
state by fewer than 1,000 votes after the US Supreme Court
halted a manual recount. 

An estimated 60,000 votes, or "undervotes" were excluded
from the final result across the state of Florida. 

 The Supreme Court put an end to hand counts A recount
undertaken for the Miami Herald in just one of the state's
67 counties indicates that Mr. Gore picked up what could
have been a decisive number of extra votes. 

The Miami Herald - which endorsed Vice-president Al Gore
during the campaign -- also looked for irregularities in
Florida's most populous county, Miami-Dade. 

On Sunday the newspaper reported that it had found a vote
cast by someone calling himself Andre Alisme. But Alisme
(Alis me)? died of cancer in 1997. 

The paper also said it found nearly 100 ballots from
people not registered to vote, and 25 from felons with no
voting rights, as well as other irregularities. 

 America was divided over the recounts The investigators
suggest that if the same trend were repeated across the
county, hundreds more illegal ballots could have been
cast. The Miami Herald said antifraud rules were not
always followed because some of the poll workers were so
poorly trained that they did not know the verification

Other possible causes were poll workers faced with
constant engaged-tones when calling the Elections
Department hotline, or feeling pressured by long queues.

The Miami Herald's investigation into the Florida vote is
expected to continue well into the New Year, possibly when
George W. Bush is already occupying the White House. 

The Bush team has dismissed the exercise as "mischief-
making," and one Bush ally has proposed the ballot boxes
be sealed for 10 years. "WHY?" But the paper's executive
editor, Martin Baron, has said it is not intending to
declare who it thinks should have been declared the

 "Our intent is to examine the ballots and describe in
detail what they show," Mr. Baron said. "People can come
to their own conclusions." 


Now what if Gore turns out to have won this as clearly as
the 500,000 popular vote indicates?

In Yeltsin's book, he wrote that the KGB informed him
fully a year before it broke that they had information
that the Republican party was going to bring down Clinton
with a sexual scandal. If we thought that was divisive
what will happen if this, The stealing the presidency??
becomes the agenda of the democratic party, the Hordes of
Lawyers, and of coarse the media.

--Andrew Eckert (54)
That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
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Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA