May 09, 2007

A Modest Proposal

An Open Letter to The Hon. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

The Hon. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Office of the Governor
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

RECENTLY, IT HAS COME to my attention that clever individuals have worked up a petition asking you to grant Ms Paris Hilton, recently sentenced to spend 45 days in a Los Angeles County jail, clemency. Many people have responded in favor of this missive. Many others have responded with calls that Ms Hilton spend her entire sentence within the confines of the jail. With such division, I know any decision you may make in this matter will be a difficult one.

However, as a former California resident, I do believe I have come up with a modest and reasonable proposal to satsify both sides in the matter. Thus, I would request that you commute Ms Hilton's sentence, and replace it with a 30 day term sentencing Ms Hilton to the ancient Roman punishment of aquae et ignis. As you will see in this helpful guide, the sentence of fire and water would grant Ms Hilton the freedom she wishes, while still placing her under interdiction from receiving certain necessities of life. Based on media reports of Ms Hilton's lifestyle, such necessities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

* Designer clothing in which Ms Hilton could parade around like a strumpet;
* The companionship of animals described as "tiny and annoying yappy dogs" under the California Civil Code;
* Access to nightclubs, parties, afterparties, or related gatherings;
* An on-call publicist or publicity team;
* Being photographed, filmed or videotaped;
* Uttering vapid catchphrases (e.g., "That's hot!") or other inanities;
* Transportation other than public means, i.e. the sidewalk or the Los Angeles city bus system;
* Engaging in commercial activity;
* and otherwise annoying honest, God-fearing, right-thinking citizens or permanent residents.

I would suggest this sentence be applied to Ms Hilton throughout the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States and myriad other territories, dependencies and states with which the federal Government has a Compact of Free Association. True, California technically only has jurisdiction within California, but let's face it -- California has a way of making sure the rest of the country follows its legal lead. If you can push around the automakers on environmental issues, you sure as hell can get the rest of the country on board with this. Besides, they'll all be good with it anyway, because they're even more sick of her than you are.

This sentence would be relatively easy for the authorities to enforce, due to the Government's power to hand down even harsher measures, such as being repeatedly subjected to those agricultural inspections at the border or being audited by the Franchise Tax Board. It would also mollify those who -- rather unreasonably, I might add -- have called for Ms Hilton to be proscribed and paraded through the streets of Sacramento, subjected to the vitriol and scorn of an angry citizenry.

I do hope you will find my suggestions meritorious and that you will give them consideration. I hope this letter finds you well, and I thank you for your time and attention in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Benjamin Kepple
(formerly of Los Angeles)
Manchester, N.H.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 9, 2007 08:06 PM | TrackBack
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