Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Dictator Checklist

The other day I was engaged in an e-mail exchange during which I again expressed my outrage at the invasion of Iraq, and 1 of the other people asked if I thot it was a good idea to get rid of evil dictators. I replied, "If by 'evil dictator' you mean George W. Bush, I'm working on it."

He challenged me, contending that it was inappropriate to compare Bush to Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. In response, I drew up a little "dictator checklist", which I now share.

Yes No - democratically elected
Yes No - presents self as folksy "man of the people"
Yes No - gets input from wide range of sources
Yes No - admits own mistakes
Yes No - rubber-stamp legislature
Yes No - ignores judicial review of actions
Yes No - creates climate of fear and xenophobia
Yes No - constant appeals to patriotism
Yes No - delusions of grandeur and destiny
OK Not - invading helpless countries
OK Not - secret arrests without evidence
OK Not - life imprisonment without trial
OK Not - secret police spying on own citizens
OK Not - torture
OK Not - citizens criticizing regime
OK Not - aggressive investigative press
OK Not - massive body count


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