Your Excellency: I am president of my country, and thanks to your tip of vote-stealing I win last election, no problem. Also thanks to your excellent book, all political opponents now enjoy long stay in jail. I swim 5 miles all day, drink nice Sctoch from decanter and women like me, sometime even when I forget money. True, English could be better but no one is perfect (except you!). Still, I have problem; I can't sleep at night because nightmares terrify me, I wake up in sweat and think I have enemies unknown, maybe far away but maybe close too. You understand? Or maybe my enemy's son or daughter or dog is thinking revenge? So I say, why take chance? I order second, third, fourth crackdown, arrest all relatives, friends, aquaintances, pets. First I sleep better but can't help wonder, maybe I go too far? Then bad dreams come back. What I can do?
Respect yours, President Yelda.
Continue reading "WWDD? Be Sure. Be Really Sure. "
Sir: Hoping you can help me. My country is poor and getting poorer, the opposition's political sharks are circling, and we're having a hard time keeping the people calm and under control. Increasingly they're trying to riot, complain, demand things it's impossible to provide them, etc. How to regain the upper hand?
-- Dictator Smith
Continue reading "WWDD? Unhappiness and Disillusionment"
It's a sad day, dear dictators, when one of our own tumbles from power and, despite his considerable charms, influence, and fortune, endures a deep humiliation. But the Internet needs to be filled with something, so I'm going to write about it, sadness be damned.
Yes, my old buddy Silvio Berlusconi (a man than knows how to throw a party), is now in free fall, having lost his bid to remain relevant by threatening to bring down the government in Italy. Terrible news -- stabbed in the back by friends, outmaneuvered by leftist ciphers, conviction upheld -- but that's not the worst, not by a long shot.
I could see going to jail, I could understand that. Hey, better a king behind bars than a schmuck selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door is what I say, and who seriously doubts that my friend Silvio, with his connections and money, would not soon own whatever minimum security prison he was exiled to?
That's why I was incredibly saddened when I heard the news.
Continue reading "On Humiliation"
I've something else to say about this shutdown troubling the world's leading democracy -- something besides pointing out how much better things are when I make the rules.
It's this: much as some of you legally elected officials would like to, it's too late to emulate me. You have a constitution (big mistake there), three-branches of government, laws, courts, civil society (maybe not for long), and freedom of speech (big mistake number 2); all those democratic structures aren't going anywhere overnight, so instead of pining for rule by fiat as I'm sure many of you are, be men about it, suck it up, and play by the rules.*
Besides, when I'm around, there's no room for any other dictators. Take that one to heart.
*By the way, know why I'd NEVER shut the government down? Because I'm making too much money off it, that's why, suckers!
Wow: endless partisan bickering, general bureaucratic and administrative dysfunction, cheap politicking, political priority-setting that supercedes the good of the nation. Demagoguery, brinkmanship, willful imposition of irreparable harm in exchange for short-term political advantage.
I don't have to deal with any of this stuff. But then again, I don't run a democracy. Maybe neither should you?
Yeah, I know: "government by the people, for the people." How's that working out for you?
-- Dick out.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!
Ha ha! Actually, I do like those things. Hell, even dictators like kittens, that should be obvious. There's something else I'm fond of that didn't make it into the lyrics of this song:
Global aid workers.
That's right, international assistance. I'm generalizing here, but I've got to go out and make sure a couple of political prisoners are properly whipped in their prison cells, so I'm in a rush. This is what global aid workers look like to me:
Continue reading "Dictator Likes: Aid Workers"
Look, I've written before of my admiration for General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Not only is he on a career path near and dear to my heart, but he's also a spiffy dresser. And the more recent moves he's authorized -- from using the courts to ban the only rival power block to closing their newspapers -- are perfect illustrations of what I've detailed in my book. See Chapter 5, 'The Culture of Fear,' and you'll understand how this type of thing works. Importantly, once you start the crackdown, you have to keep it going. Political violence and mass chaos are fine at first, but you need to fan the flames of fear with additional measures, and that's exactly what al-Sisi is doing.
'But what's net-out?' I hear some of my colleagues in the corporate world saying. The net-out? That's you on a throne, sugar-bowl full of cocaine (or whatever your pleasure) to your right, and no pesky opposition to trouble your sleep.
And that's exactly why I'm a little concerned, al-Sisi.
Continue reading "On Keeping Your Foot Down"
Sir: It's pretty simple. I'm a great guy, my friends and supporters love me. But the rest of the world is giving me a lot of flak. Western media insist on using words to describe me like "tyrant," "repressive," "bloodthirsty," "brutal killer," and even "pariah." I'm getting kind of sick of the abuse and need a little public relations lift to improve my image.
Signed - Mr. Thirsty Blood
Continue reading "WWDD? Social Pariah"
This won't EVER happen to me, but some of you less competent dictators out there might be facing a no-win scenario sometime soon. Or maybe you're already there. Still not sure? Time to take stock: are you a) faced by universal condemnation? b) Have you sparked fears of a regional and possibly world-wide conflict? c) Is your reputation potentially bloodier than that of your bloody-handed father?
Well if you answered 'yes' to these questions, Bashar Assad, then you have only a few tricks left to play. It's endgame time, and I hope that for your sake you've been reading chapter 13 of my book. Good. Have you gotten to the part where I described the slash and burn strategy where you are responsible for the utter destruction of your country? I can see you nodding, but no, don't press that button yet. There's one ray of hope, one lifeline for your legacy.
Continue reading "The Madman Card"
Do you see what these lips are saying? That's right, people: they are saying "Fuuuuuuuuuuck yoooooouuuuuuuuuuuuu." And dammit, I feel great. You may have read my article here about getting the last laugh.
But there's one thing I love more than even that: it's serving out a couple of nice, warm helpings of retaliation. Would you like some 'F U' with that? Thought so.
Continue reading "The Sweet Smell of Revenge"