Darn Those Activist Dictators
It's the end of one of my favorite eras. The newly elected President of Turkmenistan is undoing a few of the wackier precepts of his predecessor the insane in a Bond villain sort of way Saparmurat Niyazov, better known to you and I simply as Turkmenbashi. You see, the new President (who happens to have been Turkmenbashi's personal dentist!) doesn't think that the months of the calendar should be named after Turkmenbashi's family (April is named after his dear mother) or that hospitals outside the capital should be closed.
Some of Turkmenbashi's greater ideas do carry on, despite the revisionist new regime. For instance, TV news anchors (of both sexes) are still forbidden to wear makeup, there are still golden statues of Turkemenbashi in most cities and dogs are still banned in the capital city (he didn't like the smell of them..) And, it appears that the new president is not without his wacky side as well, proposing that all women in the country be given $10 to celebrate National Women's Day. Also, any woman who has 8 or more children will be rewarded with benefits from the State including: $250, free dental care and free utilities.
It's good to know that the spirit of Turkmenbashi lives on. Probably in a massive statue rotating to always face the Sun.
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