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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Ramble: World War 1, Rats and Democrats

It was 7 am. Unable to sleep, for the past three-plus hours, I peacefully had been binge watching an older British documentary series titled "The First World War, The Complete Edition," (overall not too bad, despite dismissive treatment of US involvement, and only passing mention of the Greatest General of the Great War, Australia's Sir John Monash.) My idyll ended when The Diplowife (retired) burst into the man cave to announce, "Rat! There is a giant rat in the pool! The dogs are in the water chasing it!" All this in Spanish, which comes off much more dramatic than in English. I, however, am used to the Diplowife announcing the presence of rats (here) and took my time repositioning the Lazy Boy, shutting off the TV, gathering and putting on my shoes, slowly lumbering downstairs, and, finally, making it out to the backyard.

Some context to the dazzling events that followed.

Our progressive overlords in California have declared us in a severe drought. That, of course, meant it was raining like hell when I went outside. Global Climate Change causes drought which causes torrential rain. So, please, get with the program you Settled Science Deniers!

My bleary eyes took in a scene comparable to the devastation of Pompei after the volcano; New Orleans after Katrina; Dante's Inferno on a bad day; Detroit after fifty years of Democrat rule; Cher without makeup . . . OK, maybe, I exaggerate.

The dogs, Hartza and Txiki, were, indeed, in the pool. The Diplowife (retired) ran about, yelling at them in Spanish and English, trying to grab 100-pound Txiki by the tail to pull him out of the water and into the rain. On seeing me, the boys willingly climbed out of the pool, and related their adventure. Lots of jumping, barking, howling, wet paws and sloppy kisses. After a few seconds of this ceremony, Hartza ran to the side of the pool, and began poking with his snout and paws at something in the water. Not wanting to miss out on the action, Txiki did a magnificent running belly flop back into the pool, and began swimming furiously towards Hartza. I walked over next to Hartza and peered over his large head into the water. Yes, indeed, a large rat in the pool. When the rodent would poke his/her/transgender head up to get a breath, Hartza, would push the creature back under. Those water boarding classes I had included in Hartza's obedience training clearly had an effect.

With the pool skimmer I fished out the beastie. The poor thing, which I had assumed dead or nearly so, did a Lazarus-like return to life, and in a magnificent Olympic grade leap, he/she/it sprung from the skimmer net over the fence, and into the neighbor's bushes. Gone! He/she/it would live to gnaw again!

Hartza (pictured below) looked at me in total disgust. I had disappointed him and Txiki. What kind of pack leader doesn't kill the enemy or at least allow the troop to tear him apart?


Dealing with rats and chaos, I, of course, began thinking about DemocRATS, and the latest news sweeping our beloved but increasingly ragged Republic.

I refer to ABC "news" anchor George Stephanopoulos. I won't go over the whole mess; there are lots of stories about this (here, for example). I have written before about progressive "journalists" (here) and noted that foreigners rightly express surprise over how much influence and wealth we bestow on news anchors. Little George's apparition at ABC, even before this latest mess, however, made no sense in any world where news organizations pretend to have a modicum of objectivity or at least don't employ the fox to guard the hen house. A long-time Democratic Party hack, and devoted follower of the Clintons, Stephanopoulos has worked for the crooked power couple for years, and has had a close personal relationship with both Bill and Hillary, as well as with their shady Clinton Foundation. Even without "knowing" that he was a donor to the Foundation, and featured as a prominent regular at its events, how could ABC possibly have considered him an objective journalist out for the TRUTH? How could the idiotic Republican party have agreed to allow this DNC hatchet man to moderate a GOP debate next year, especially given his performance the last time when he ambushed the candidates with a stupid hypothetical question about a ban on contraception?

Why not have Karl Rove moderate the Democratic party debates--if there are any? I am available if Mr. Rove declines.

This Stephanopoulos fiasco provides yet another demonstration of the corrupt nature of progressive politics in our country, and the weak response from the opposition. Just what we needed, right? Another example of that corruption and the tepidness of today's GOP. At least in the UK, PM Cameron seems willing to tackle the ideological corruption that has so destroyed the once venerable BBC.

I am going back and finish that First World War series, as I continue my effort to brush up on my knowledge of that war as we mark its hundred year anniversary. By the way, I want to recommend another terrific British three-part series on WWI titled "Our World War." It's a stunning look at the war from the perspective of soldiers in the field--very well done.

Back to guarding the property against the invaders. Fortunately, I have Txiki on the job; always watching for suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Nothing gets by him . . . especially phony news anchors.


Is that Brian Williams over there?



23 comments:

  1. Super fun read. Thanks to you and the dogs.

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  2. http://20committee.com/2015/05/13/new-thinking-on-the-origins-of-world-war-i-video/

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  3. Dear Diplo - I would very strongly recommend a book I have just finished called Mud Blood and Poppycock by Corrigan; by some distance the most useful history of the first world war that I have read.

    Beautiful dogs you have!

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  4. Good to see Txiki on his toes. The WWI reference (and the way things are today) reminded me of Graves "Good-bye to All That"

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    1. Second the Graves "Good-bye..".
      Also - my mother-in-law was a US Army Nurse in France (she lied about her age to join up) and loved L. Stallings' "The Doughboys" about the US Army in France.
      Keep the dogs...they're doing their jobs...unlike some people we can name.

      GoodOleCharlie

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  5. You do know that since the rat survived, he will be back with the rest of his political party?

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  6. I've had dogs catch rats in the past. My present basset hound barks a lot at imaginary invaders but is usually asleep when we come home and misses the excitement. He hates the gardeners.

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  7. I'm curious why you are reading up on WWI. Is it primarily to inform yourself, or is it because you see historical/diplomatic parallels with today's world and want to learn from them, or something else?

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    1. Good catch. Both actually.

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    2. I apologize for posting on an old thread but diplomacy and history are topics that interest me, especially when they shed light on current events. The parallels I see are:

      1. Nationalism made the aggressors and the public eager for war in WWI. Religious fervor inspires jihadis now.

      2. Alliances expanded the scope of war in WWI. Globalization and proliferation of high grade weapons make everyone a player now.

      3. In WWI, the ruling classes felt war would be short and easy, and could be used to solve domestic issues. Today, Obama seems to think he can wage war but control it (keep it limited in scope) to protect his anti-war credibility with his base, and to protect his legacy.

      4. Russia's goals in Eastern Europe and the Balkans complicated WWI, just as they are now.

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  8. Amazing how loooong a dog can get when he wants to see something isn't it Bob? My Billy is the same.

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    1. Ol' Txiki stretches out to over six feet.

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  9. "When the rodent would poke his/her/transgender head up to get a breath, Hartza, would push the creature back under. Those water boarding classes I had included in Hartza's obedience training clearly had an effect."

    And now my keyboard is covered in Orange Juice and Sinus Fluids. Thanks.
    :)

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  10. And yes, I can see your dog's disgust at letting the creature go. What kind of pack leader are you? Should they ever trust you again???

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  11. Stephanopoulos's sin was not in being biased but in making his bias undeniable. The unwashed are hereby ordered to avert their eyes.

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  12. What a handsome pair of boys you have there, DM.

    Vigilance.

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  13. COnsidering how nobody called out Gwen Ifil's "moderating" presidential debates between the O and what's-his-face, I can only say that the GOP is indeed the Stupid Party. Unhappily, our "Smart" Party is not quite as smart as it thinks it is, which is even more dangerous than stupid (think Wile E. Coyote).

    Your link to Sir John Monash's bio had a great-deal of resonance with me. Thanks to the peripatetic propensities of Central European Jews in the late 19th century, my dear father (alov hasholom) had first cousins in both the British and German armies in the First World War. My grandfather couldn't get business loans after the war thanks to being identifiably "Chorman"--but a couple decades later, the Old Country relatives were victims of genocide.

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  14. Mr. Diplomad - So here's the deal. Henceforth, all your posts must somehow include the glorious adventures of your gorgeous canines. Looking ahead, we your readers, will require some serious entertainment to get through the ugly realities of the endless campaigns. I hope that rat returns, or a racoon, or a skunk even (have those in So. Cal.?)......

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    1. When I was a medical student, I lived in a little house in the hills near Glendale. I would come home at night after a day in the anatomy lab and have to negotiate my way through the skunks that seemed to fancy the stone steps to my house as a playground. The owner of the property lived in another nearby house and had a skunk trap he baited with avocado, which skunks love and cats don't. Every trash day, he would have a half dozen skunk carcasses lined up for the trash men. Today, he would probably be arrested.

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  15. Good Grief! Why didn't I leave that Cher link blue..... That needed a warning sign. yuk.

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  16. I hope you had your 357 handy, just in case.

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