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Friday fun question

Until recently, I believed Joel was the only one among us who intended to betray the revolution and become dictator for life.*

However, it now appears that others harbor this secret not-so-secret ambition. Just this week (while addressing the hotly subversive topic of pink plastic flamingos**), Commentariat member A.G. weighed in, dubiously claiming benevolent intentions, followed by Dana, who announced a more comprehensive agenda to open his term as dictator for life.***

That got me wondering. How many more intend to betray the revolution and become DfL? Good heavens, it’s possible the field is as crowded**** as the Republican and Democrat presidential races.

So. Your freedom fun question for the day is: What will you do on your first day as dictator for life?

Strictly for laughs, okay? I realize the temptation to find a certain “conservative” Supreme Court justice and give him a fair but extremely brief trial before … ahem … may be tempting once one holds the dictator seat. But let’s keep it light today.

Go for it.


* In the extremely unlikely chance that such an opportunity should arise.

** Let our NSA overlords anxiously ponder the significance of that one.

*** Presumably very short life, just before being liquidated by the usual mob of deviously plotting henchpersons.

**** Though surely not as loathsome, scurvy, and scrofulous


  1. Bear
    Bear June 26, 2015 6:57 am

    Resign. Too much work, too many knives.

  2. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner June 26, 2015 7:04 am

    Why, I’d send Claire a new car, of course 🙂

  3. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 7:14 am

    Awww, RustyGunner. In my book at least, that makes you one of the few dictators who might actually qualify as benevolent. Of course, all the poor, downtrodden peasants whose labor you exploited to get me that car might disagree.*

    Bear — LOL, but really you wouldn’t even abolish some obscure prune-tasting board or something before you resign? Just to say you did it?

    * Dana offered me Creflo Dollar’s GulfStream jet + various other temptations. But having been a peasant myself, I wouldn’t know what to do with a jet plane. A car I can manage. Mostly.

  4. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau June 26, 2015 7:30 am

    Resign. I have zero ambition to “fix” things.

  5. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau June 26, 2015 7:32 am

    I wish I could edit my posts. Anyway I spent my whole life fixing things. I just don’t think I can fix human beings or their institutions, nor do I trust myself to do it.

  6. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 7:40 am

    But Paul … nobody’s actually expecting any actual “fixing” here. Not even expecting serious speculation about any actual “fixing.”

  7. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner June 26, 2015 7:52 am

    Of course, my second act as dictator would be to send my doom legions to round up all necessary persons to put Firefly back into production. Nothing like a little libertarianism-at-gunpoint. BTW, Claire, have you ever encountered the Evil Overlord List online?

  8. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau June 26, 2015 8:06 am

    OK, after reading Dana’s post, I finally get what is going on here. But I’d still resign. 🙂

  9. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 8:13 am

    RustyGunner — For Firefly alone, you have my v*te as DfL.

    The Evil Overlord list? Um … no. But now I wonder how that relates to the superhero registry Ellendra linked the other day …

  10. Pat
    Pat June 26, 2015 8:15 am

    “Every working person is hereby required to take a daily siesta of two hours, followed by Happy Hour.”

    (That would certainly “fix” the Job Culture, even though it isn’t designed to.)

  11. Joel
    Joel June 26, 2015 8:16 am

    Hey the benefit of being dictator-for-life is that things are fixed when you say they’re fixed. How many people argued with Stalin or Mao over things they had fixed? Then compare that list with the people who did it twice.

    I have two plans for my first few minutes in office: First a truly comprehensive cattle round-up and amusing redress of damages around my place. It will involve manure forks. Second, just to steal that would-be usurper RustyGunner’s idea – I’ll claim it’s my own and no one will correct me – I’m going to send Claire Michael Bloomberg’s car. There, see? No peasants were harmed in the making of this fantasy.

  12. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner June 26, 2015 8:22 am

    Peter’s list of things he would do if he became an Evil Overlord is Cheesy Movie Comedy Gold. It includes wise ideas like, “One of my advisors wil be an average 5-year-old child. Any flaw in my plan that he can see will be corrected before implementation.” And “if one of my advisers asks, ‘He is but one man, what can one man do?’ I will reply, ‘This’ and shoot him.”

  13. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner June 26, 2015 8:24 am

    Joel — would that be the limousine with the window air conditioner mounted on it that hizzoner used to get around his own “no idling” rule?

  14. Laird
    Laird June 26, 2015 8:26 am

    I’d fire every federal employee and send them all home. Then go to Denny’s for lunch.

  15. Bear
    Bear June 26, 2015 8:27 am

    Claire, America currently has nine black-robed, cross-dressing dictators-for-life, demonstrably not bound by any law or constitution, who are presently fixing the hell out of everything.

    Do I think there are a lot of things that need real fixing? Heck yeah. But to do it, I’d have to cross a line I find repugnant and initiate force (or threaten to) to do it. It would have to be done over and over and over and over and over and… I’d constantly be fighting folks with a vested interest in obstructing me (think the political/police/industrial War on [Some] Drugs Complex. A lot of people would be out to kill me All.The. Fricking. Time. (Read L. Neil Smith’s Hope. on my first read, I saw it as a fun fantasy; then I thought about it and realized how realistic it was… aside from the fact that Hope succeeded.

    I’d rather be KockBrothers-level wealthy and spend it educating people to fix things themselves. Or even Soros-level, and buy Congress.

  16. Bear
    Bear June 26, 2015 8:44 am

    Joel- “Hey the benefit of being dictator-for-life is that things are fixed when you say they’re fixed.”

    Yeah. Fixed. For ‘life.’ Which period for dictators-for-life is traditionally short.

  17. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal June 26, 2015 9:08 am

    I’m already Dictator for Life- over myself. And I don’t do a particularly good job at it.

  18. s
    s June 26, 2015 9:48 am

    I was offered the ring once long ago, and refused. I passed the test! I will diminish, and remain s.

    Of course, it was in an online forum, not so different from this one.

    Were I somehow granted the powers of DfL despite my wishes, I would decree the dissolution of the pernicious con called government, and demand the creation of myriad private entities to secure individual rights and freedoms, deriving their just powers from the informed and revokable consent of their members.

  19. Ellendra
    Ellendra June 26, 2015 9:56 am

    I’m not sure this is exactly dictator material, but there are a few laws I’d put in place if I could:

    1. Zero-net-sum on new regulations. For every new law, rule, guideline, or regulation instated, an old one has to be removed.

    2. All legislation is decided on a per-line-item basis. No packing a bill full of gobbledygook and passing it whole. Same with budget items.

    3. Any law/rule/regulation that can’t be translated easily into plain english gets removed. Period.

    4. Elections would be run in such a way that people could put their preferences in order. If their 1st choice didn’t get a certain threshold of votes, their vote would go to whoever they marked as their 2nd choice. This will give 3rd-party and independant candidates a better chance, because people won’t feel like they’re throwing their vote away on a long shot. (I actually read that idea in a BHM article, but I can’t remember which one. I thought it was good.)

    5. “None of the Above” as a valid choice in any election. If NOTA gets the most votes, the election must be redone, and the candidates who lost to NOTA are banned from re-running in that election. Repeat as often as necessary, even if no one ever wins.

    6. Constant (or near-constant) surveillance of all politicians and government workers. If you can’t stand the public’s eye, you can’t claim the public’s trust. Body and gun cameras on cops, that sort of thing.

    7. “Fitness” test for all politicians. And I don’t mean the PE kind. If someone wants to run for office, they ought to be able to prove they know how to do the job. So, a basic test on things like economics, history, civics, and constitutional law.

    There were others I thought of but they slipped my mind. I’m sure these can be debated.

  20. Joel
    Joel June 26, 2015 10:13 am

    I’ve always been in favor of the NOTA rule, Ellendra, except that in my version if NOTA gets the most votes he wins the election. No re-dos, better luck next time.

  21. Jim B.
    Jim B. June 26, 2015 10:43 am

    I’m with Joel on this one. If NOTA is picked as the “winner”, then there’s to be no leader for that election period.

    My first act would be to have a building sized Big Gulp erected and then send Bloomberg to drown himself in it. It may prove him right, that those things will kill you.

  22. Gene McCarron
    Gene McCarron June 26, 2015 11:10 am

    Make everything legal, And let Darwin sort them out. ;@)

  23. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 11:11 am

    On MY first day as dictator for life, I’m going to make everybody wear clown noses and big, floppy shoes.

    Oh, so many Very Serious people we have today. Some good thoughts. But really …

  24. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 11:39 am

    “Make everything legal, And let Darwin sort them out. ;@)”

    I might just have to reconsider where I cast my v*te. I like that one.

  25. Joel
    Joel June 26, 2015 11:41 am

    “Oh, so many Very Serious people we have today. Some good thoughts. But really …”

    Hey, we got you a car…

  26. Claire
    Claire June 26, 2015 11:43 am

    “Hey, we got you a car…”

    And I appreciate it; I truly do. The GulfStream jet’s very nice, too.

  27. Karen
    Karen June 26, 2015 11:45 am

    Having given this a lot of serious thought, I vote for Joel, partly because there isn’t enough money on the planet to make me take the job. And Joel is out in the desert where he’s not likely to bother me on the mountain, being as busy as he is with rodents and small mammals.

  28. just waiting
    just waiting June 26, 2015 11:47 am

    Back around the whole Y2K mess, I watched for the day when Bill Gates face appeared on every screen, everywhere, all over the world, at the exact same time, holding a little button in his grubby mitts (a la V) and cackling:

    “Bwahahah, You, the silly masses, who rely on my software for your very existence, today is your day of reckoning. Unbeknownst to you, there’s a secret back door into all of your computers, controlled by me! One push of this button, I fix Y2K. But one push of this button, and I wipe out every bit of data living in any Microsoft based program everywhere in the world, Bwahahah. From now on, I’m DfL, and everybody can just call me Gawd”

  29. Ellendra
    Ellendra June 26, 2015 1:31 pm

    I guess part of my reasoning for the way I wrote the NOTA rule is that the never-ending elections would distract that segment of the population that seems to require political drama. If they don’t have an election to work themselves up over, they create drama somewhere else. This would keep them busy.

    But if not for that, I agree, the office should stay vacant.

  30. Matt, another
    Matt, another June 26, 2015 2:58 pm

    First, I would kill all the lawyers. Second, remove the traffic designers that keep putting round-abouts in middle of nowhere AZ roads!

  31. E Garrett Perry
    E Garrett Perry June 26, 2015 3:31 pm

    I will immediately form my Not So Secret Police. The NSSP will be issued stylish but uncomfortable black leather jackets lined with flannel for use in summer, and stylish but uncomfortable black windbreakers with “cooling channels” for winter. They will also be issued leather shot-lined “sap gloves,” with the word “DUMBASSED FOOL” stitched across the palms and “MEDDLING BUSYBODY” across the backs, in raised stitches stylishly executed in heavy-duty thread, in mirror-image reverse. They will have no power to arrest or even detain- the NSSP’s sole power will be the legal right to slap dumbassed fools and meddling busybodies across the gob with the appropriate technique so that, when said person looks in the mirror every morning for the following month, they will have a helpful reminder not to repeat their dumbassed and/or meddling tomfoolery. They will be kept at least passably integritous by the fact that any person who was not, in the opinion of their peers, acting as a dumbassed busybody would then have the right to shoot the NSSP officer for Clobberin’ Without Cause. The first people to recieve such treatment will be every purple-bellied lawhound who hasn’t got the good sense to bug out for Baghdad (and points East) immediately upon my rise to power. They, of course, will be lined up and smacked as hard as possible, both ways, across all four cheeks.

  32. jed
    jed June 26, 2015 4:43 pm

    Given that being DfL is bound to be hard work, I was all ready to abdicate in favor of Dana, until I got to the part about cats. Not sure it’d be the very 1st thing, but I’d establish the Ministry for Encouraging the OWnership of CATS.

    I’d also set up the Bureau to Encourage the Enjoyment of Refreshment.

    Participation in any programs established by the above would be voluntary.

    But on my 1st day, I think I’d be mostly relaxing and enjoying not being at my current job any longer. Later on, I’d get around to the business of declaring all manner of laws invalid. I’d hire Claire as my official Scrivener, at a wage such that she can buy the vehicle of her choice.

    I would only, just barely, resist the temptation to nuke Detroit.

  33. Tahn
    Tahn June 26, 2015 4:49 pm

    Pardon everyone who was ever convicted of a “victimless crime” and then erase them (mala prohibita) from “law”.

  34. winston
    winston June 26, 2015 10:20 pm

    Well, first things first…I’ll put all the assclown cultural marxist social justice weirdos in a big pen, with maybe a few ‘oppressed’ special interest groups randomly sprinkled in like…I dunno.. a few black panthers, some MS-13, ISIS, people who make their living on the stock market, etc…and put a cage over it and let most of the origins of our current issues work themselves out. But I’d leave a little hatch in the top to airdrop any future bad-idea havers.

    After that, I dunno. Maybe nationalize a brewery and buy everyone a round. I figure that pretty much takes care of most stuff.

  35. A.G.
    A.G. June 26, 2015 11:22 pm

    First order of business would be to hang a “Gone Fishin'” sign on the front door knob at 1600. Then it’s down to Wal-Mart to pick up the necessary supplies from the sporting goods counter (with my own money). Then I’d head over to the fish tanks in the pet dept and cast my line just to get a rise. If anyone gave me lip, I’d just show them my official name badge with my title.
    Later, I’ll do donuts in the parking lot until all of the hubcaps fly off the Grand Poobah limo, which will have the horn upgraded to play the opening notes of “Dixie” just like the General Lee.
    Later still, I’ll dismiss the staff early, hide my wife’s clothes, and chase her about the White House like we’re 18 again.

  36. david
    david June 27, 2015 4:42 am

    Finish up flushing out and exterminating the vermin hordes who made the revolution necessary. Oversee a major overhaul of our infrastructure and school curriculums. Grant myself a comfortable salary, arrange elections in which all citizens could vote, and announce my retirement for 30 days after the elections. Killing all the commie vermin would be work enough for any man or woman.

  37. Kyle
    Kyle June 27, 2015 9:15 am

    On my first (and last) day as dictator, I’d issue the following proclamation:

    “The State is hereby abolished,” and then I’d walk out, like a boss. 😉

  38. LarryA
    LarryA June 27, 2015 9:46 pm

    Every zipcode gets a full-service privately-owned public shootng range.

  39. Adaptive Curmudgeon
    Adaptive Curmudgeon June 28, 2015 5:26 pm

    I’ll have only two rules:

    Whenever a congrescritter (or me!) proposes or votes in favor of anything they must personally copy the text longhand six times on yellow legal paper with a cheap Bic pen. Then they must personally read it aloud in the nearest WalMart once per day for a month as part of the comment period. Then and only then is their yea vote counted.

    As for all existing laws… get out the pen and copy those too punks. If you don’t the law is voided. See if how many votes Obmacare gets when their arms fall off.

    Rule two? Once you pass a law, any law, you’re out of office and that’s it for life.

    Then I’ll copy the Constitution myself to show ’em how it’s done with short and sweet texts, staple it to the White house front door, and go fishing.

  40. jans
    jans June 28, 2015 8:07 pm

    I would strip the anti-gunners of bodyguards. I would strip them and all politicians of immunity from the laws they create. But I would leave the laws that prevent interfering with politicians traveling between their district and the capitol as those make sense.
    I would require that for every law or regulation passed or created, two laws be removed for the next five (10?) years, and then require one law or regulation removed for every new one.
    Per Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s suggestion, I would double the minimum employee requirement for companies to be exempt from regulations.
    As Toyota requires from its suppliers, I would require each government agency to reduce costs (improve efficiencies) by five percent per year.
    After writing the above, I read the previous postings. I agree with most of Ellendra’s ideas, but who decides what tests a politician should pass to become one? That has to be left to the voters.
    Tahn’s plan for releasing those guilty of victimless crimes is a great idea too. Nullifying those laws would be another good step.
    I also like Claire’s idea about the clown noses and floppy shoes, but I would let wearing them be voluntary.

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