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Mr. 95.5%

When I return home from my month long -- hell, six-week!! -- vacation in West Palm Beach I usually find a bored and angry trophy wife, piles of paperwork, and a gang of sycophants just waiting for access to Il Commandante (that's me). It's usually then that, with a sigh of regret, I say to my mistress 'See you in a week, honeybunny.' 

This year, I turned on the news. And I saw what I'd missed since my well-deserved vacation -- the public mastery of the art of dictatorship. 

Large teeth

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On Not Caring

I'd like to use this opportunity to point out that there are few dictators who ever really achieve the absolute pinnacle of autocracy -- that point you reach when you can simply NOT CARE about international opinion or the grumblings of your people ... thanks for applauding, and yes, yes I admit that I have reached that point (of course I have) and to be honest it is a little lonely here at the summit of tyranny. How can my colleagues relate to me, after all, when they're still looking over their shoulders at the UN, the ICC, the World Bank, and many other international institutions? None of them understand my potency because they don't know what it's like.

Except, that is for my esteemed friend Vladimir Putin.

Let me pet you now

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Yin and Yang

I don't go in much for Eastern philosophy, but even I have to admit that the concept of natural dualities can be applied to my favorite subject -- dictatorship! For every dictator that rises, another one falls, and for every autocrat who makes a mistake another capitalizes on it and assumes power (note to would-be tyrants: don't try that with me or you'll regret it).

The case of Mohamed Morsi illustrates this perfectly.  

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On 'Concessions'

I, Rich Tater, am in a bad mood these days, and that's bad news for the rest of you. Would you like to know what puts me in bad mood most of all? Other than outright stupidity (a close second), the number one thing is a lack of boldness among fellow autocrats. 

I mean, I've put out my dictatorial pearls of wisdom in published form; I've blogged about the positive uses of executions, illegal wiretaps, and sexual blackmail ... and after all that, you humanoids out there still can't figure it out? If I wasn't so frustrated with you, so focused on my own desires, my own locus of power, I'd get in my private jet and show you how to be a real dictator on your own turf.

Things look rough

But look: Mr. Yanukovkch, when you try to use the 'concessions' tactic to quell protests that threaten your reign, use it correctly, for God's (or Rich Tater's) sake! Don't promise piddling, ineffectual 'reforms' like a cabinet reshuffle or a weakening of anti-protest laws. Don't you know that just fuels the rage of the pro-democracy rif-raff? No, reread Chapter 8 of my book and you'll understand what I'm talking about (I can only hope you do, I mean). When you offer 'concessions', offer the moon -- an opposition role in the government, term limits, free elections, free love, whatever! Not that you'd ever intend to actually do any of those things, but at least playing such a forceful hand will get the attention of the rabble-rousers and entice them to calm down. THAT'S when you let your security forces pounce. 

I can't believe I have to explain this all over again. Pay attention, dammit. If I wasn't halfway to West Palm Beach for some much needed R&R with my mistress, I'd make you pay attention, personally. Rich Tater has spoken.  

Propaganda and the West

Here doggy

The new year is a time of reflection, when one looks back and assesses achievements and failures before starting on new and hopefully fruitful projects. 

Well, that may be true for other people; me, I just lie back on my bed of money and wait for the next sugar-bowl full of cocaine to be delivered.

When I think about it though, I must admit that some items in 2013 piqued my interest, particularly the rise of Kim Jong Un and the way he consolidated power and ruthlessly eliminated his enemies. Even more impressive: the way the recent story that he fed his uncle to the dogs played in the West.

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Dictator Dislikes: getting stabbed in the back

If you're going to take me on, do it.  But at least be man enough to attack me head-on!  I hate getting stabbed in the back, and I hate it more when I get stabbed by folks I've hired.  But if that's not bad enough, the final insult is being stabbed by someone I hired to represent me.

You know who else hates this stuff?  'Uncle Bob' Mugabe. 

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The Christmas Spirit

From me to  you

I'm not always a monster. Don't laugh, it's true -- just the other day I pardoned a former cabinet minister on his way to a summary execution, and at this very moment he's very much alive, languishing in an unheated prison cell. It's called magnanimity, and it's a virtue only the best dictators possess. Of course, being magnanimous can (and should) have its benefits, and if you've read my book and studied the Principle of Double Purpose you'll know what I'm talking about. In this case, the poor guy was so broken by the thought of his imminent murder and relieved by his pardon that he quickly gave up a whole rats' nest of burgeoning democrats, some of whom will join him in prison, others ... well, why take a chance, right?

But that's one benefit of being a big man about treason. The other is that since the unexpected pardon, my media image has taken on a nice Christmas shine, especially in the eyes of the international community. Hmmm, I can see them thinking, that General Tater, he's not such a bad guy after all. Maybe there's hope for his country ... democracy taking root ... market economy .... reforms .... liberty ... free speech ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz 

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Dick Move #35: Promoting Self Censorship

This one doesn't take much describing, so I'll be brief.  Sometimes, you need to get out your censor board media oversight committee with their big, black Sharpie markers to make sure nothing makes it into the press you aren't willing to see in the morning paper.  But why take the brute force approach, when you can get the same effect with less effort?

I'm talking about self-censorship, and if you have done a decent job of establishing a culture of fear,  it will happen all by itself.  Imagine how pleasant it is when journalists, bloggers, and citizen spokespeople watch their f*cking mouths for fear awful things will happen to them.  

You may think I'm talking about China, but it's happening elsewhere too.

If you're a Dick, that's awesome!  If you're a citizen, not so much. 

On Incompetence

Folks, as you might imagine I could write a post on this topic every day. 

Watch the cycle

Let's face it, incompetence is something I deal with quite often. Do you have to correct shoddy executioners, or overly conspicuous spies, or off-their-game prostitutes? Well, I do it all the time, and it's a wonder I still have the energy to crush dissent on my way to the bathroom (which I am doing more and more often). And that's just the tip of the iceberg. These days, incompetence is everywhere. I ask for agent provocateurs and I get milquetoasts with degrees in performance art; I send out for cold killers and I get thugs holding guns sideways. You just can't win. 

Which is why I am particularly disappointed in some of my fellow dictators. Continue reading "On Incompetence"

Dick Move #34: "Got to Pay to Play"

Pissed off ProtestersA big shout-out to my disciples, Rep. Lamborn (Republican, Colorado), Rep. Duncan (Republican, South Carolina), and Rep. Cramer (Republican, North Dakota).  I don't remember seeing them in my class, but they've surely been reading my book.  And the bill they sponsored in Congress, House Resolution 1965, is a beautiful piece of autocratic legislation that brings tears of joy to my eyes.

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