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Scratchin’ my head over politics and cryogenics

Jeff Ackerman, Publisher
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight…

— The race to determine who our next governor is going to be boils down to which one has the best looking tax returns? Incumbent Gray Davis has deflected media attention to challenger Bill Simon’s personal finances. “I showed mine, he should show his,” Davis has maintained.

I’ll guess most voters would rather look at California’s personal finances, which currently show a $23 billion deficit. That’s a pretty big number to deflect attention from.



— The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, that fun-loving group by the Bay, recently announced an idea to create “Pot Plots,” wherein city property would be turned into marijuana plantations so that the homeless could learn to be farmers. One political pundit wondered why anyone would trade in their “Acapulco Gold” for “San Francisco Brown.” Another wondered if “Prostitution Plantations,” or “Crack Communes” might be next.

— The families of the victims of the World Trade Center attack recently received letters from Uncle Sam offering paychecks contingent upon those families agreeing not to sue the government for wrongful death. Some families say they’ll hire lawyers and sue for more. Others plan to take what’s being offered.




It’s great that the families are being offered much-needed financial help, but I’m having a tough time figuring out what the government did that was “wrongful” in the first place. As evidenced by the recent cries of “racial profiling” and other complaints about the government’s subsequent attempts to protect us against terrorist attacks, I don’t see how the government can be held accountable to a people that don’t seem to want protection in the first place.

If anyone ought to be sued it’s probably the Florida flight school that failed to ask a few foreign students why they weren’t interested in learning to land or take off.

— James Traficant became only the second House member to get kicked out of Congress since Reconstruction. The vote was 420 to 1, the lone dissenter being California’s very own Gary Condit, who was kicked out of Congress by voters last March. Condit didn’t say why he voted against the ouster, but was overheard muttering, “Neener, neener, neener,” as he left the building.

— There’s one glaring problem with John Henry William’s business plans to freeze his baseball legend dad (Ted Williams) in order to sell his DNA. How much would you pay for that DNA after listening to Ted’s kids fight over his body? They can’t hit a baseball. And John Henry apparently can’t read. It seems that in order to take advantage of a “life extension” program, such as the one John Henry stuck Ted in, you need to actually be alive. Ted, rest his soul, was reportedly dead long before he landed in Arizona.

But if you’ve got to be in Arizona in July, you may as well be in a freezer.

— Closer to home…Rene Antonson says he’ll seek election to the Board of Supervisors as a write-in candidate, believing somehow that voters were mistaken when they didn’t pick him in the primary last March. In other words, he thinks he’ll get more votes if voters are required to actually write his name on a ballot than he did when voters simply had to check a box next to his name.

— Duck, duck.

My 49er Breakfast Rotary Club does a duck race every September and they need me to sell tickets. Since I don’t have any friends, that could be a challenge. Especially since I need to sell 80 of them in the next month.

So here’s my pitch, which I’m entitled to throw even if it might be interpreted as a grovel:

Rotary is not a “good ‘ol boys” club. Ours is one of the more diverse clubs I’ve seen. We spend most of our weekly Wednesday morning meetings talking about helping people who can’t help themselves. In fact, the goal of Rotary International is to eradicate polio in our life times. That’s about as noble as it gets. On the local front, the Rotary clubs recognize good teachers, good students and good causes. The annual duck race (each ticket buys you a plastic duck that will be entered in the various Sept. 7 races in Nevada City’s Deer Creek) is our one big fund raiser for the year. Proceeds go to benefit several local schools and other Rotary community projects.

So that’s my sales pitch. Tickets are $5 each and they’re not going fast. In fact, I could probably be talked into, say, three for $15, if pushed real hard.

Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 477-4299,


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