General Washington sat resplendently on his ornate throne, holding his scepter in his right hand, with his ornamental bejeweled sword and his fully functional microwave pistol on his left, with five shiny stars on each shoulder.
The General ruled an entire world. More, really -- he owned an entire world. It was his to do with whatever he wished, titles be damned. Right now he wished a lot of Venusians would commit suicide and spare him the pleasure of killing them himself.
A semicircle of thirteen chairs with twelve of them occupied by his highest officials sat in front of him, the thirteenth chair empty to remind the officials of how easily they could be removed, and just what "removal" meant. As if the crucified skeletons surrounding the palace weren't enough of a hint.
He spoke gravely. "Gentlemen, this planet is vastly overpopulated. Five billion is too many of us to sustain. People are going hungry, which isn't the problem. The problem is the unrest it's causing. We, the rulers of this planet, have it good and if it gets screwed up you'll wish you'd been castrated, burned, flogged, and crucified. What do you suggest?"
General Ford, Secretary of War, spoke first. "Your eminence, I suggest we emigrate half the population. Earth is empty, nobody but a few hundred thousand farmers with no weapons or technology. They're ripe for the picking!"
"Yes, but the Martians would never allow it. You remember what happened the last time we tangled with them."
"Well, sir, perhaps we could have a little warfare of our own? Say, an insurrection in a couple of provinces that we could put down with great loss of life?"
Washington smiled. "I like it, Ford. Actually I'd like to kill all the Martians, too, but the bastards are too damned sneaky and get us every time. The insurrection will only help a little bit, but it's better than nothing and will keep the populace's mind off their hunger. Mister Greenwalls, what does the Department of Justice suggest?"
"Well, sir, there aren't enough capital crimes. We're way too lenient. Make donating blood to family a capital offense. Give standing orders that any citizen who gets out of line and talks back to authority gets rayed instead of just having his tongue removed."
"Mister Zak, what does the Department of Commerce say?"
"Nothing, sir, we've already acted. An, ahem, 'accident' took down all the power generation in fifteen southern provinces. No power means no water, most will be dead in a week."
Washington stood. "I see," he said, circling behind his officials, who knew better than to look back at him. "Fool! You could topple us all!"
"But, s-sir..." he started to say before his head rolled across the floor.
"How about that?" said Washington, eyeing his bloody sword. "It's not just for ceremony after all!"