July 28, 2014

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Coonridge Digest
Buy-a-Politican plan at the Bribery Mall PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
The average Joe on the street doesn’t know much about the Supreme Court and I have feeling that’s just dandy with the justices who sit there. We know that they line up once a year for a picture where they closely resemble the judges at a dill pickle contest, and they look like none of them have ever worked for Meals on Wheels. So it’s a rare occasion when the nine ladies and gentlemen do something that rings any sort of gong back home.
Two weeks ago, however, they took the remarkable step of doing away with all types of elections. In their landmark decision on McCutcheon v. FEC, they decided that all future elections could be purchased instead of earned, saying that individuals could slush as much money as they wanted into the hungry pockets of any politicians wanting to take a bribe. Strike that. Chief Justice John Roberts specifically said that this was not a bribe and he must be right because they call him Supreme. You thought “free speech” meant your right to stand up and complain? According to the 5-4 vote, it means you can only be heard if you have enough money. In fact, three times in the last five years the same five justices have overruled any attempt at taking money out of politics. Again, they must be right because they’re Supreme. Note: the Supremes don’t have to run for office.
So with anyone now able to buy any election and influence any vote, what’s the place in our democracy for a poor housewife from Coonridge? As with other great crises in America, Wal-Mart is the model. Let’s do away with the voting booth and install a One-Stop-Buy-Your-Candidate-Mart. Forget the trouble of standing in line to vote. The Buy-a-Bubba will be open 24 hours a day.
We can lay out the new Bribery Mall just like a Wal-Mart, with the various candidates relegated to their own aisles. The first-time candidates will be listed as “Fresh Produce,” and from there you’ll move on down the aisle to the politicians who say the same tired thing election after election. We’ll call these the Canned Goods. From there you’ll have a choice of politicos who’ve been in office forever, the “hams.” Some of these hams have aged a good many years and on occasion they’re even pickled. All you do is spend your money on the honest men and women you’d like to bribe. A polite word for this is “influence.” The real word can’t be printed.
If you have any money left . . . and remember, you’ll be bidding against billionaires . . . you can thumb through the racks of the checkout lane featuring road commissioners, mayors, and sewage department heads.
Of course an even quicker alternative to the election process would be to simply call it an auction. I’ve always enjoyed a good auction, and there’s something in the drone of an auctioneer’s cry that’s thrilling. Put each candidate up on a stage and let the bidding begin. There are no doubt those among you who regard this as silly. I would only ask you to think about what’s happening at the moment.
Take Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. He’s one of the ten richest people in the world. He almost single-handedly financed New Gingrich’s 2012 campaign and he’s looking for somewhere to put his millions in the next election. The Supreme Court says this is free speech so it must be okay. Two weeks ago a handful of presidential hopefuls high-tailed it to Las Vegas to speak in Adelson’s hotel. Maybe they just enjoyed the showgirls and the scenery, but one thing was for sure: they didn’t come to get votes. It was cash, baby. The Las Vegas crowd happened to all be Republicans, but the Democrats won’t be excluded in my proposed Buy-A-Congressman auction. In the last presidential election, none of the top ten donors were Republicans.
Perhaps the greatest savings will be to the lives of chickens. Not the cowards who hide behind super PAC’s and lobbyists, but actual feathered cluckers. Until the Supreme Court struck its noble blow for free speech you had to pay up to $100,000 a plate to eat chicken cordon bleu with the President. Since Justice Roberts and his noble cronies ruled that it was legal to openly buy an election the chickens will now be allowed to live. On behalf of all the chickens in the world, we thank you.
You ever in Coonridge, stop by. We may not answer the door but you'll enjoy the trip.

 
Herb: Giving kindness the way it should be done PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frieda Marie Crump   

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
It takes very little these days for Herb get himself into a royal snit and last week he was snitting full-bore as we stood in the checkout lane of the grocery store. The lady ahead of him had her hands full, both of groceries and children, and a goodly-sized line had backed up behind her as she carefully laid out a row of food stamps.

 
A skill that technology does not help PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Both of the teenage girls were star students, and one will likely be named valedictorian of her class this spring. I was sitting across the table from them at a church banquet and couldn’t help but overhear:
“So how to you do it?”

 
End of winter . . . time to party! PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
I’m ready for a party. Oh, I know that living in this most blessed of nations it’s hard to say that we deserve anything, but dog-gone it, after living through a winter like we’ve just endured I think we’ve earned the right to treat ourselves to a shindig. Print up the t-shirts proclaiming, “I survived the winter of 2014!” Break out the champagne or if you’re Methodist, crack open a bottle of grape juice.
Maybe we could hold a Holi, a celebration in Northern India where the villagers douse each other with gaily colored powder and in some cases throw buckets of dyed water on each other. Before you pooh-pooh these weird native traditions, think back to the last Super Bowl celebration. I’d suggest that we commemorate the end of this God-awful winter by Holi-ing our own neighborhoods. Walk into your local coffee shop or church service and toss of bag of bright yellow cornmeal into the air and shout, “Winter’s over! We beat the bugger!” In some villages the Holi is ended by the women beating their tie-dyed husbands with bamboo sticks. I’ll have a small quantity on my front porch if the urge hits you.

 
D-U-H! What Were You Thinking? PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
Lillian Ferguson was a flibberjibbet. No other word for it. When I was a young girl growing up on the Ridge, Lillian provided hours of pleasure and amusement for the neighborhood by simply being herself.  She was the most innocently audacious woman I’d ever met and she reached the zenith of her idiocy when she’d hang her underwear on the clothesline.

 
There’s magic in the number ‘ten’ PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
I got snookered in. Seems like I always do. The article in the magazine was entitled, “The Top Ten Reasons for Visiting a Health Spa.” I have absolutely no desire to go a spa myself nor do I see any chance of me getting the urge in the near future, but I read the list. My curiosity had nothing to do with shape of my thighs or my hip tone, but it was a list and God knows we’re all suckers for lists.

 
Herb: the thorn in Freida’s side PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
Some women marry partners. I married Herb. I said, “Herbie, I think this calls for a celebration!”
“Of what?”
“Thirty years! This makes thirty years for the Coonridge Digest!”
“I agree. The Black Plague only lasted four and didn’t do near as much damage.”
“Herb!”
“The Great Chicago Fire only went for three days.”

 
Hurray for the Heroes of Winter! PDF Print E-mail

Greetings from the Ridge.
I’m sure you’ve been there. You sit in the store’s parking lot, the temperature hovering somewhere between chilling and killing as you try to summon up the courage to get out of the car and make a break for the automatic doors. You gauge the distance and wonder if you can dash all the way to the store without breathing, knowing that the first gasp of artic chill will stab your lungs like a blast of killer popsicle. Then you see him hurry by.
Most stores hire a young man to retrieve the orphaned carts from the lot’s frozen surface. He’ll gather up an aluminum train of about forty rickety-wheeled carts then push them back into the store where you’ll hope they thaw out enough to grab. Here I sit worrying about simply walking into the store while this kid is spending eight hours on the set of Dr. Zhivago for my convenience. He’s my winter hero.

 
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