Monday, November 16, 2009

Head on a Pole Solution

Republicans are having a good time with their anti-tax tea parties. It has even brought out the creative side of some right-wingers, as they have staged various stunts to demonstrate their contempt for certain Democrats and what they see as excessive government spending, in general.

While this staging-stunts strategy may have seemed silly to people who disagree with the sentiments behind this movement, so far, it seems to me they have received so much attention from the media that they have been effective. Republicans mocking their opponents and raising hell in the street like anti-war demonstrators in the 1960s has been something to see ... and think about.

Emboldened by their success, such as it has been, now more creativity is emerging from the flat-earth side of the aisle.
The Danville TEA Party plans a “Fired Up For Freedom” rally Nov. 21, which will end in burning Rep. Tom Perriello, D-5th District, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in effigy, according to a news release from organizer Nigel Coleman.
Click here to read the rest of the story at

Like cross-burning, effigy-burning sends an attention-getting message to a particular person, and then all those who might sympathize with the targeted individual. In the good old days governments used public executions to send clear messages to those who witnessed them. I’ve heard people say a return to that practice might curb crime today.

Well, I agree, but my idea of what might constitute a crime worthy of a public execution is probably different from what the Danville TEA Party would consider as such. In fact, my idea is much more innovative than anything the Republicans have come up with yet. And, it won't cost the taxpayers a cent.

My plan would call for just one public execution a year. It’s purpose would be to end famine, cure diseases, educate the poor and prevent wars. One person would die each year, in order to facilitate solutions for the worst problems facing not only America, but societies all over the world.

Here's how it would work:

First you make a list of all the billionaires in the world; their names would be put on a ballot. The ballots and ballot boxes would be put in convenience stores all over the world. The same ballots would be available online, as would be the virtual ballot boxes.

Each person would get to vote for the bad billionaire they choose once each month, by paper or online. The unfortunate billionaire who gets the most votes, for being the worst billionaire in the world (hat-tip to Keith Olbermann), would be executed on New Year’s Eve at midnight in the city that wins the bid, sort of like how the Olympics rotates.

The method of putting the billionaire to death would be up to the city. Still, however it’s done, the chosen billionaire’s head must not be physically damaged (on the outside), because it will be put on a pole in the same city.

The selected billionaire’s head would stay on that pole for one year, then, out of respect for the dead, it would sent wherever the late billionaire requested before his or her demise.

Meanwhile, the rest of the billionaires in the world would take note, no doubt. They would basically have two choices to keep their head from being selected to be the next one to sit on the pole:

1: Give away (no tricks) enough money to good causes (again, no tricks) to get off the list of billionaires. 2: Use some of their money to do good works and curry favor with voters who hang around convenience stores or stay online all day.

So, if you are a billionaire, let’s say you’ve got $50 billion, you could choose to give away $49.1 billion, or you could take a chance on spending a billion or two on curing cancer, or AIDS. Or, you could spend a few billion on feeding orphans, or on bringing peace to the Mideast. Maybe you’d pick a particular line of work, say all the musicians in a state or province, and pay their taxes for one year.

Busy billionaires would naturally buy lots of ads in magazines and newspapers, to promote what good deeds they’re doing, in order to increase their chances of keeping their heads on their respective shoulders. So, this deal would save the inky wretches from extinction, too.

Of course there would be lots of blogs calling for the death of every single billionaire. So, the smart billionaires would have no choice but to hire plenty of other bloggers to plead their cases, in order to avoid being the top voter-getter that year.

So, crime rates would drop. Every kid who wants one would get new puppy. The research for new green-friendly technologies would be fully funded. Better recreational drugs with no hangovers ought to be developed. And, publishers would have enough money to pay freelance writers a decent fee for their work.

Each year would start out with a visible symbol atop a tall pole, showing us why we should be good to one another. Just one person would have to die to pour some relief on all our pains, especially those embarrassing pains stemming from the consequences of our own bad works.

Now here’s the reward for reading this far, you get to decide for yourself which billionaire would get your vote, this year.

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James Young said...

Criminalizing wealth creation: what a profoundly stupid idea.

Scott said...

The Libertarians I know who started the tea party (before the last Presidential election) are very different from the Rush blimbos who are tea-bagging these days.

On the other hand, we may all be burning effigies in the form of dollar bills in order to stay warm if the current idiots in power don't stop the printing presses. They are destroying more than wealth- they are destroying trust.

Katey said...

Jeez. I guess it's worth a laugh that neither of the above commenters seem to have much of a sense of humor. Anyone ever heard of a guy named Jonathan Swift? It's called satire, folks.

John said...

Channeling a little Shirley Jackson, huh?

F.T. Rea said...

The year isn't over yet, but the Redskins billionaire owner Dan Snyder get my vote for November.

Kevin said...

You have to understand Katey that James thinks his play on words with things like "Ranting Kaine" is high brow humor. F.T. taking a situation and going all Swift on it is too far reaching for Young. He'll now come back and say he got the joke but he was making a larger point. It's in his nature.