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Dictators and Banknotes

One of the great things about getting to power is that you get to put your face on the country's banknotes.  You can choose one of those great pictures of yourself staring off into the distance, blinding the future will all of your omniscient benevolence and such, or riding a huge, muscular horse into battle, or whatever you want!  It's awesome.

Of course that means when/if you are deposed, the first thing they do is get rid of the money.  Oh well, that's their hassle, not yours.  In the meantime, having your face on the currency means you are everywhere: in cash registers, in pockets, tucked into G-strings, stuffed under mattresses.  It's awesome.

The trick then, is to never die.  I'll go over some tips in the next book.

Dictator Dislikes: The Internet

Really people?  Is there no way to shut this thing down?  I am so sick of the "humor" in disrespecting those who demand total respect.

I think I'll pull the plug and make sure no one I rule has access to this kind of filth.

This isn't funny.

I am your total, undeniable, unreproachable leader. And I won't stand for this.

Generals: prepare the stun rays.  I am sick of this Internet thing failing to provide me with the respect I so utterly deserve.

Somebody: figure out which of these buttons I have to push to turn this filth off.  And get me a fucking pizza, too, while you're at it. 

I mean seriously, really? I don't look like that. And I doubt you'd ever find me cavorting with a Western trollop like that one.

No, c'mon. That's just impolite, really. Have some respect, dammit!

Somebody get my gun.

... so I can shoot myself. Criminy. I don't even understand this one. Maggots! My gun, please!

Damn I love a good public-private partnership

Every damned day I've got the World Bank and the IMF breathing down my back, complaining my government isn't (barf) liberal enough, that my economy needs to be more open, that if I would just succumb to the magic elixir of free trade and economic liberalization I'll benefit from some sort of magical enema that's going to get all my shit clear.  You know what I say?

I say "piss off."  In fact I happen to know quite a bit about your so-called liberal economics.  You want to go head to head?  Let's talk about public-private partnerships.

Continue reading "Damn I love a good public-private partnership"

Kim Dynasty: Permanent Lockdown

I was thinking about what it must be like to live life in North Korea these days. Forget the hunger, the cold, the isolation. Imagine being told every day that a massive military assault is imminent.

So it goes under the "leadership" of Kim Jong Un, who has been relentlessly informing the North Korean people that an American military assault is imminent, and that it will lead to thermonuclear war. KJU can get away with belligerent rhetoric in a nation where no outside sources of information are available with which to contrast his predictions. But imagine how it affects your day-to-day. Would you have children? Learn a trade? Invest? What's the point of living in the first place? Want to go eat the bark off some trees?

Further proof hell exists: we human beings have made it ourselves.

Dictator Dislikes: Death of your Benefactor

Hugo Chavez' body lies in state, and bereaving Venezuelans of all stripes are stopping by to pay their last respects. (Not that there's a rush; they plan on embalming the corpse with something stronger than kryptonite, so you ought to be able to say "adios, jodido" to the guy anytime you get around to it - especially if you're afraid of getting mugged in Venezuela's now crime-filled capital and want to wait for a lull in traffic).

There are few others who will be shedding a fat, wet, tear over the death of Chavez, including this guy here gesturing with two hands to show you how much money he has:
Ortega ain't got no money

Sorry to hear it, Ortega. But you're not the only one left in the lurch.

After all, it sucks when your benefactor up and joins the hereafter. It means the coffers run dry.

Continue reading "Dictator Dislikes: Death of your Benefactor"

Hugo, my Bigmouthed Buddy

Ah well, I guess we all saw it coming, except perhaps his government spokesperson.  My ole buddy Hugo Chavez up and shuffled off into the afterworld, where he and his beret are probably raising a ruckus and eating a fat steak.  Rest in Peace, amigo.  And thinking about that steak reminds me of the one thing I'll miss most about ole Hugo: his big, fat mouth.  Man that guy could talk.  Never mind his multi-hour "Alo Presidente" talk show, a true test in stamina not just for his government sycophants but for the casual listener as well.  And he was quick with a snarky comment, too.  Man, I still laugh when he got all those Venezuelans to wear t-shirts telling the mother of the King of Spain to shut her mouth.  Who says diplomacy is boring?

Still, my loudmouthed friend could have done a bit better.  No matter how many times I tell my students to worry about their legacy, it's the area of despotism that's least frequently mastered.  And Chavy leaves behind a record that does not guarantee him a statue next to Simon Bolivar's: rotten infrastructure, a totally eviscerated political system, impending chaos, and no clear route to succession (or success!)  It will be a while before the public's opinion of ole Fatmouth finally gels.  And I'm not sure how it will turn out for him.

Man, it sure is quiet around here suddenly, wouldn't you say?

Election Tips: Bribery

It might shock you to hear me admit this, but it's true: sometimes I do worry about waking up one day and being out of power ...

Just joking! We all know that would NEVER happen. However, I can empathize with those of you who do find yourselves temporarily out of the highest office (suckers!). I can dig your frustration, my authoritarian comrades, and I know you lose elections now and then, despite your best efforts. Normally I would just tell you to bone up on chapter 12 of my book, which describes in detail how you can get the vote you want, but today I'm feeling magnanimous. That's right, I'm going to give some expert advice. So listen up!

Continue reading "Election Tips: Bribery"