Free country

The election season is upon us, albeit out of sync, but we’re just as excited as if it were the real thing. Next week the CN&R will present its election coverage issue, complete with endorsements. We can’t tell you how to vote, just how we think you should vote. Same goes for your boss, according to the California Chamber of Commerce. In its Guidelines for Political Communications to Employees, the chamber warns that as a boss you can’t control your employees’ political activities “through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment.” Who knew? You can’t put political messages in or on employees’ payroll envelopes. You can, however, inform employees “about the effect of state legislation, regulations and ballot measures on the company, its employees and stockholders.” I guess that means, “Oh boy, Johnson, if this proposition passes, you can kiss your job goodbye. Know what I’m saying?”

The governor on the passing of civil rights icon Rosa Parks: “America’s forefathers thought as Rosa Parks did: that no injustice, no matter how long it has been condoned by law or ignored by society, should be allowed to continue. We have lost the standard-bearer of one of the greatest, most noble struggles this country has ever seen. Our nation will forever bear her mark and we must continue striving to live up to her legacy.” Wait a second, Arnold. Didn’t those same forefathers condone slavery? Maybe he was thinking of the Austrian forefathers.

I like baseball for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the coaches and managers wear baseball uniforms just like their players. (What about basketball and football? Why doesn’t Rick Adelman wear purple shorts and a tank-top while coaching the Kings? Why doesn’t Norv Turner wear pads and a helmet on the sidelines at Raiders’ games? I would think dressing up like the players establishes a sense of solidarity among the players.) I like baseball because Major League Baseball had the class and wisdom to ask for a moment of silence from the fans in Houston during the seventh inning stretch this week to honor Rosa Parks, who died the day before.

We passed the 2,000 mark for dead American soldiers in Iraq this week. Nobody is sure how many Iraqis have died during the same time. Too many to count. Estimates range from 30,000 to 100,000. The United States and coalition authorities say they have not kept a count of Iraqi deaths. The Iraqi government’s counting has proven haphazard. No kidding; those guys are too busy trying to stay alive themselves. And how many countries now make up the coalition? Answer: 26. From Albania to the Ukraine, with Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom in between. Moldova pulled its 12 soldiers out in February and Tonga brought its 40 home last December. Where’s Canada? Don’t even ask about France. The Netherlands, on the other hand, still has its 13 soldiers on the ground in Iraq.

We get word of a new product just in time for the college hazing season: “Van Gogh’s Double Espresso-Double Caffeine—the first premium vodka to receive approval to add caffeine to its formula. The result is a totally unique experience.” What a great feeling—drunk and wide awake. A buzz so strong, you’ll want to cut your ear off!

Butte County needs poll workers on Election Day—Nov. 8. Poll workers earn between $65 and $95 and positions are available in all parts of the county. The only requirement is you must be a registered voter in the state of California. For more information call the Butte County Clerk’s office at 1-800-894-7761. Maybe they should offer Double Espresso-Double Caffeine vodka to potential poll workers as an incentive.