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A Dictator's Christmas Carol, Part 5

In some cultures/traditions, the Christmas season lasts until next week. So there! The sixth and final part to be posted soon; click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4


The following manuscript was found in a cache of stolen documents, nestled between execution orders and ledgers detailing illegal funds siphoned from international aid programs.


Good port has allowed me to let go of many things. Tonight, by the time I’d finished the bottle, I’d almost forgotten all about the ghost of Dictators Past, his spear, and the vision of my younger self. But I couldn’t let go completely because the meaning of the scene I’d witnessed troubled me. So what if I was a bit of a flip-flopper! These were serious concerns here ... did the ghost mean to imply that I was losing my touch, that the edge of my ruthlessness had been dulled (keep the edge keep the edge keep edge keep the edge)? Hard to tell. Or was it simply this -- he was try to scare me by showing me in an equivocal moment? If that was true, what was he trying to scare me into? Giving up power? Abdicating?

Continue reading "A Dictator's Christmas Carol, Part 5"

Newsflash: Assad is still an Ass

Well, you never heard me calling Bashar al-Assad a genius on this forum.  And it's pretty clear you won't.  I still remember Bashar ("Bashie," as I used to call my young student with the struggling moustache and the penchant for onanism) as a young welp, an eager student looking forward to training in the arts of being a dictator.  And look where we are now. Continue reading "Newsflash: Assad is still an Ass"

A Dictator's Christmas Carol, Part 4

Sorry for the delay, but the holidays ARE the holidays. To read Part 1, click here. Parts 2 and 3 are here and here.


The following manuscript was found in a cache of stolen documents, nestled between execution orders and ledgers detailing illegal funds siphoned from international aid programs. 


The paperwork was going well, and I’d about finished half of a large stack of documents when I looked and noticed the time ... about ten in the evening, and by my reckoning a good a time as any for a well-deserved break. My butler had prepared a robe and silk pajamas, so I slipped into them and picked up a glass of port ... it burned a bit, and I coughed ... I had another, hair of the dog that bit me, as I liked to joke, and this one was better. I sat back and thought about the visitation, wondering again how much credence I could place in Joachim’s shade, before deciding once and for all time (when I make a decision, that’s pretty much it -- I don’t believe in being wrong) that it was just a bit of fog, a wisp of fancy brought on by overly ripe cheese, and those damn oysters. I cracked my knuckles and checked the time.


Curiously, the clock had not moved. It was still still 10 P.M.


More time for a break, then. I poured another glass, downed it, and rubbed my eyes. The chair was very comfortable, the leather supple and yielding against my bulk, and the fire warm, inviting. I yawned. Perhaps a small nap before finishing the paperwork? Usually I delegate as much as I can to my underlings, but there are some things that just need a dictatorial review before affixing the supreme signature, and I was determined to finish tonight.


I was about to ring for my butler when a sound pierced the quiet of the den ... a scraping sound of something metallic being dragged over a threshold, something metallic scraping and ruining my marble floors ....

Continue reading "A Dictator's Christmas Carol, Part 4"