Posts Tagged ‘dictators’

National Emergency

January 10, 2019

National Emergency

Frustrated with the actual process of governing, President Donald Trump now believes he can rule by fiat like his pals Duterte, Putin, Xi, Kim, el-Sisi, and Erdogan simply by declaring a National Emergency when he can’t get his way.

More:

“Having Failed To Convince Americans There’s a National Emergency, Trump Now Poised to Declare One,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“National Emergency Powers and Trump’s Border Wall, Explained,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“If Trump declares a state of emergency, he might actually cause one,” Andrea Pitzer, Washington Post

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El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty

May 12, 2017

El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty
President Donald Trump invited FBI Director James Comey to dinner in January and asked for his loyalty. Mr. Comey, a career law enforcement official, promised him honesty. Honesty clearly has no place in a Trump administration, so Comey was sacked, then threatened.

As former FBI agent Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, observes,  “Trump’s loyalty pledge tactic comes straight from the worst aspects of authoritarians and mob bosses who see their rule above the rule of law.”

More:

“Trump Asked Comey for Loyalty a Day After He Was Warned About Flynn: Report,”  Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey,” Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“Trump Threatens Fired FBI Director Comey With ‘Tapes,'” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“The Threat in President Trump’s Interview with Lester Holt,” Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

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Aldous Huxley on Technodictators

February 22, 2017

Author Aldous Huxley, interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1958. Animated by Patrick Smith for Blank on Blank (PBS Digital). Colorist:Jennifer Yoo.  Producer: Amy Drozdowska.

Full interview here.

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Trumpismo Grabs America By the … Throat

November 9, 2016

Trumpismo Grabs America By the ... Throat
American voters have elected the honorable demagogue Donald J. Trump as the next president of the of the United States, and the news has been greeted with glee by strongmen, dictators, authoritarian leaders and far-right politicians across then globe:

“Russia’s Putin pleased as Trump win shocks world,” Nicole Gaouette, Elise Labott, CNN

“Philippines’ President Duterte says his country can enhance relations with the US and congratulates Trump, a month after telling Obama to ‘go to Hell,'” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“China Just Won The U.S. Election,” James Palmer, Foreign Policy

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulated Donald Trump on his victory,” Jay Akbar, Daily Mail

“French far-right leader Le Pen hails Trump victory,” RFI

“Dutch extremist Geert Wilders expects Trump win to boost Europe’s racist right,” Reuters via Raw Story

“Nigel Farage and other far-right leaders hail Trump’s ‘historic’ US election win,” Toby Meyjes, Metro

“Why authoritarian leaders worldwide may be thrilled with Trump’s win,” Patrick Winn, GlobalPost

“The world’s demagogues offer simple solutions and a strong hand. Trump’s victory has been the latest reminder of this.” David Motadel, History Today

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The Law & Order Candidate

October 12, 2016

The Law & Order Candidate

Donald Trump declared himself “the law and order candidate” back in July. He certainly has an impressive legal record for someone who is not a lawyer, having been involved in over 3500 lawsuits. During Sunday’s Town Hall talk-a-thon he proclaimed “We’re going to bring back law and order,” then demonstrated utter contempt for the rule of law.

Although any viewer of televised Law & Order fiction knows “You have the right to an attorney,” Mr. Trump berated Hillary Clinton for acting as court-appointed legal counsel for an accused rapist when she was a young lawyer in Arkansas. And of course the GOP candidate sticks to his promise of extrajudicial mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.

But Mr. Trump’s promise to jail his political opponent has provoked a greater reaction, since that’s what “banana republic” dictators do, not United States presidents. “It’s just awfully good that somebody with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” observed Secretary Clinton. Many agree.

More:

“CNN’s Dana Bash: Trump’s ‘stunning’ threat to jail Clinton was like ‘Stalin or Hitler,’”
David Ferguson, Raw Story

“GOP ex-prosecutors slam Trump over threat to ‘jail’ Clinton,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

“Outrage Over Donald Trump Threat to Punish Hillary Clinton: ‘You’d Be in Jail,’” Scott Collins, The Wrap

“Donald Trump’s ‘You’d Be In Jail’ Line Finally Proves That A Despot Is Running For President,” Claire Elizabeth Felter, Bustle

“Trump Shows His Inner Dictator,” Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

“Donald Trump’s threat to imprison Hillary Clinton is a threat to democracy,” Zack Beauchamp, Vox

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Trump Role Model: Saddam Hussein

July 7, 2016

Trump Role Model: Saddam Hussein

Donald Trump, Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina:

“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? … But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read ’em the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over.”

— “Trump: Saddam killed terrorists ‘so good,'” Associated Press

These claims are nonfactual. Saddam killed no terrorists; he killed political opponents and ethnic minorities.

Mr. Trump previously claimed the world would be “100 percent better” if dictators like Saddam and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. Like them, Donald Trump wants to torture people, execute them without trial, and then kill their innocent relatives.

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March Madness, Foreign Policy Edition

March 16, 2012

March Madness, Foreign Policy Edition

The editors of Foreign Policy magazine have prepared their brackets for the annual “Democrats vs. Dictators” March Madness series. Like every season, anything can happen. Just remember those big upsets in last year’s “Arab Spring” round.

“Democrats vs. Dictators: 2012,” Foreign Policy blog

Related:

U.S. Patent No. 6,092,806, “100 Point NCAA Basketball Tournament Prediction Game” (1998).

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Respected World Leader Dead

December 19, 2011

Respected World Leader Dead

The world lost a beloved statesman this weekend.

That’s right, Václav Havel.

In other news, oddly deranged dictator Kim Jong Il dropped dead on a train.

More:

“The Psychology of Dictatorship: Kim Jong-Il,” Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American

“Dear Leaders and a Volcano,” David Bressan, History of Geology

“Kim Jong Il: Top 10 weird facts about N Korea’s late leader,”Amanda Morrow, GlobalPost

“On the Spot with Kim Jong-il,” Boston Globe photo archive.

“The Way to Understand Kim Jong-il Was Through His Stomach,” Barbara Demick, Daily Beast

“Kim Jong-il’s regime is even weirder and more despicable than you thought,” Christopher Hitchens, Slate

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Image (“Kim Jong Il Has Left the Building”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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