There’s a Guy Climbing Over My Neighbors’ Fence…

He’s been there for a veryveryvery long time. I think he’s stuck.

What shall I do? Call the police? Bring him a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal?



NOTE: With egomaniacal Vladimir Putin already moving toward what could be the largest war in Europe since World War II, I felt some silliness was in order. (This piece was originally intended to end with my name.)

Putin’s doing so despite the unceasing, steadfast, and creative diplomatic efforts of President Biden and his foreign policy team, who have garnered widespread praise from both American experts and our NATO allies.

The President has accomplished an impressive feat in bringing cohesion to NATO after his predecessor in the White House did his best to weaken the Alliance. (That same guy may well have encouraged Putin by his destabilizing actions both before and during his term in office and since losing the election.)

I’m sure that Biden wanted nothing less than to be a wartime President. But his determination that we’re in a worldwide (and domestic) battle between autocracy and democracy has made it impossible for him not to act when Putin is threatening Ukraine–and democracies everywhere, including ours.

I hope the American people will stand with President Biden during these tough times. As he said, we can expect cyberattacks, higher energy prices, and even further disruptions of our already taxed supply chain.

My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people, the Russian people who didn’t choose this dastardly path, and all other innocent souls who’ll be harmed by the chaos Putin is about to unleash.

25 thoughts on “There’s a Guy Climbing Over My Neighbors’ Fence…

  1. Biden’s in a very difficult position here. He can’t send US troops to defend Ukraine, because there wouldn’t be public support in the US for doing that, and Putin knows it.

    On the other hand, from what I’ve seen, there’s very little enthusiasm among ordinary Russians for invading Ukraine, either. If Putin goes ahead and then finds his army is in a bloody meat grinder like the Soviet army in Afghanistan, he may face a dangerous loss of support at home. Our best bet in that case may be supplying weapons to Ukrainian resistance fighters, as we did with various resistance groups under German occupation during World War II.

    The best deterrent, though, may be the fact that Putin’s saber-rattling is bringing results which are the opposite of what he wants. For example, Finland and Sweden are now talking about joining NATO, which Putin would hate and which was never on the table before now.

    I’ve been to Kiev and I’d hate to think of that place becoming a war zone. Just down the street from where I was staying there was a magnificent monastery which was rebuilt after independence to be exactly as it was before Stalin ordered it blown up during the previous period of Russian rule. The whole place is full of historic sites, many of them associated with resistance to Russian or German domination.

    Part of what’s so alarming here is that Putin is violating the unwritten basic rule of the post-1945 world, that international borders are essentially frozen in place, not constantly changing due to military conquest as they were before 1945. Some countries have become independent (mostly from colonial empires), but if you look at a world map from 1945 and one from today, almost all the borderlines are in the same places. Putin wants to go back to the old world where borders were routinely changed by force. We didn’t let Saddam Hussein get away with that when he annexed Kuwait in 1990, and we can’t let Putin do it either.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Infidel: Biden is not only inhibited by the lack of appetite for war here; I’m sure he shares that feeling. There is also an unholy alliance between those on the far right and very far left in this country who are expressing isolationist views and appear to be attracted to Putin, the “strongman.” The disinformation is flowing, and there are too many elected Republicans who are willing to side with America’s enemies. I’ve never seen this to such an extent before; it’s deeply unsettling.

      As I understand it, we have been sending weapons and other means of support to Ukraine for some time, and plans are in the works for more. If it comes to an insurgency, I’m sure we’ll continue that assistance.

      I think it’s true that Putin was probably surprised how quickly NATO coalesced—to the extent that Germany has even agreed to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline—not an easy decision. The Biden administration worked hard to obtain such cohesion.

      It is, indeed, alarming that Putin wants to disrupt the borders that have long been in place. Unfortunately, he got away with what he’s trying to do now when he barged into Crimea. I hope enough people realize he will not stop with Ukraine.

      And we must continue to hope that the Russian people determine soon that they’d be better off following Ukraine’s model.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. And so we wait to see what happens. The only decent about this situation is that it’s Biden, not his predecessor, who is navigating these tricky straits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I think if it were his predecessor, Ukraine would probably already be under Russian control—or perhaps if war on his watch was for some reason considered undesirable, he would have gifted Putin some prime real estate for a dacha in New York or California. (A little dark humor, Denise—I can’t even imagine the damage…)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Especially in the nuclear age Ukraine occupies the same strategic place it has had since Caesar, a long muddy slog between here and there! This is a distraction. We just don’t know from what yet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Annie. I enjoyed your post. I agree that the last thing Biden wants is to have loss of US military lives under his watch. He is one of the few remaining older statesmen whose children went into active duty. He is a person of empathy and he grieves when others hurt. But he also has resolve and the will to do what needs to be done. Thank you for the shout out, I am glad you found that video to be useful. Best wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Annie I just finished reading The Betrayal of Anne Frank – A Cold Case Investigation, and will be blogging on it next week, a scary and cautionary look back at WW2 Amsterdam. Will be blogging on it next week. Looks like history is repeating itself..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tragically, Joni, that seems to be true—despite all the warnings (Churchill, Santayana, etc) that we ignore history at our peril. Close to home in the US, we are seeing some dreadful attempts to rewrite large swaths of our history.

    I look forward to reading your post on the Anne Frank book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An electoral question.
    I remember at one time that Ohio and Penn. had sizable Ukrainian/american population.
    Considering upcoming election cycle I wonder if the thuglicans embrace of putin and russian invasion will hurt them with Ukrainian population and if that population is large enough to affect an election?
    (In Deer Hunter the Ukrainian church featured in the wedding scene and funeral. In Flash Dance those churches appeared in background)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The total number of Americans of Ukrainian descent is slightly over one million (out of 332 million Americans total). While current events will probably turn them against Republicans, this seems unlikely to change election outcomes except in cases where the vote is very close. For example, Pennsylvania has 122,000 Ukrainian-Americans out of a total population of 13 million, or less than 1%.

      The number of Americans of eastern European descent (that is, with roots in countries threatened by Russian expansionism) is much larger, but it’s hard to be sure how their voting patterns would net out. For example, Polish-Americans are the biggest group, but Poland is fairly conservatively religious (pretty much the only country in Europe that still is), and however many Polish-Americans retain that tendency would presumably lean Republican.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Infidel. As I noted in my response to anynameleft, I agree with your assessment.

        Though it’s not surprising that the support for the President is so highly partisan, it’s nevertheless disappointing. A deranged egomaniac who sees himself as Peter the Great is threatening the sovereignty of democracies everywhere in his goal to jigsaw-puzzle Europe back to what he considers the good old days. And Americans are charging Biden with being too weak, too militaristic, too quick to impose sanctions, too slow to impose sanctions, and—from those on the fringe, though some are in Congress—supporting the wrong side. Yay, Putin, they say: We love strong men!

        As we face what may well be years of conflict, I am grateful that at this point our President is someone who hates war and cares about our troops but hates autocracy and loves democracy more, has extensive foreign policy experience, has assembled a solid foreign policy team, and is proceeding with caution in concert with our allies and materially helping the Ukrainians.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Putin’s regime is authoritarian, explicitly (if hypocritically) Christian, and anti-gay to the point of tolerating violence by gay-bashers. It’s no wonder the US far-right looks upon it as their lodestar. It’s far closer to their ideal vision for America than America itself can ever be.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Did you bother to even read the comment that you are commenting on?
        ohio and Penn. specifically mentioned. Open Senate seats in those two states. Te fact that the Ukrainian vote would not be enough to swing a national election is obvious to one and all. Whether they could affect specific local/ state elections in those two states was the question.


      4. Anynameleft: Of course I read it. In my response I said “this seems unlikely to change election outcomes except in cases where the vote is very close”, followed by using Pennsylvania as an example. Obviously I, too, was talking about very close state elections, giving Pennsylvania as an example, and only a complete moron, which you obviously are, would have interpreted this as referring only to national elections. Next time, pay attention, asshole.


      5. Infidel: I’m quite sure you wouldn’t permit this kind of personal attack on your fine blog. Please refrain from including them in the normally informative and insightful comments you make on mine.


    2. It’s an interesting question, anynameleft. I agree with Infidel’s response below; it’s probably unlikely to make a difference in most elections—but perhaps in ones that are extremely close.


  7. I was thinking of the open senate seats in Ohio and Penn. So yes I waas thinking about some specific, potentially close, races.
    As for Polish remember that there is an almost genetic dislike/distrust of russians. From a history of russia invading poland and in party with Austria Hungary and german empires they divided Poland up.
    This does not even address Russians as allies of Germany invaded Poland to start WW ll, add to that the Katyn forest massacre, and the tacit approval of the Germans flattening Warsaw while the russians twiddled their thumbs on the outskirts. Oh and purge of Polish leadership after WW ll.
    So i doubt that any pro russian action by the thuglicans would be appreciated by the Polish/American voters.
    As for religion that, in this contexr, would seem a bit irrelevent since the conflict between Roman Catholic (Poland) and eastern orthodox sects of russia and Ukraine would tend to neutralize that particular appeal to delusions and fantasies since they do not share the same inane belief system.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. To Infidel752
    Gee if you had read my post you would have noticed that I specificaaly referred to Ohio and Penn in my first sentence.
    Rather then respond to the subject you spent your almost entirely first paragraph blathering about an issue ( national elections) that was not suggested.
    Please show some curtesy and refrain from inane personal attacks and stay on issue.


    1. anynameleft: See my comment to Infidel above. I note, though, that I thought you were directing your comment to both Infidel and me, and I bristled at the suggestion that I hadn’t read your response. It may not have been a comparable personal attack, but it also wasn’t what I have in mind in my goal that we be agreeable when we disagree. (I’m not even sure there was disagreement here…) Similarly, if you’re really seeking courtesy, which I applaud, you’re more likely to get it when you avoid words like “blathering” and “inane.”

      You have raised an issue worth discussing. I regret that the discussion took this unpleasant turn.


      1. You know, anynameleft, I just reread the responses above, and I think the comment you made that raised both Infidel’s hackles and mine was the result of your internal inconsistency. You made it clear initially, I thought, that you were speaking of the open US Senate seats. But subsequently you said you were speaking of local and state races. I’m not sure whether that changes the equation or not, but you appear to have lost patience when we responded to what you wrote, rather than what you now say was your intent.

        I don’t want to belabor this further.


  9. Please refrain from including them in the normally informative and insightful comments you make on mine

    OK. It’s your blog — you are the boss here.

    On my own blog I would not have allowed the equivalent of his stupidity and rudeness toward me. Since it did appear here, I felt entitled to respond proportionately.


    1. Duly noted. I was late to the final exchange because I think you’re both in the same time zone. I share your view that you were entitled to respond, though I’m not sure I’d call your response proportionate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s