When a nurse in Madrid contracted Ebola while heroically caring for an infected missionary it never occurred to Spanish authorities to place her beloved and apparently-healthy dog in quarantine. Much to the owner’s distress they simply euthanized it “in the name of public safety.”
When Dallas nurse Nina Pham contracted Ebola under the same heroic circumstances it never occurred to American authorities to kill her beloved spaniel, Bentley. He was taken under the wing of Texas A&M veterinary school for monitoring and testing and is receiving “the best possible care.”
This, in microcosm, is why Spain’s lone claim to fame is the beauty of its women, while the USA’s claim to fame is…practically everything.
The truth is, how nations feel about canines tells us much about them: Dog meat is still regularly consumed in China, Vietnam, North Korea and Indonesia – all places that are great to “be from” and lousy to live in.
We can also measure the value of individual humans by how they feel about dogs. For example, while it’s acceptable for an American man who is insecure about his masculinity to say “I hate cats,” he cannot get away with saying “I hate dogs.” A man (or woman) who hates dogs is either a
sociopath or has a serious screw loose.
In fact, when boys and girls reach dating age the first question they should ask of a romantic interest is, “How do you feel about dogs?” If the reply falls short of unbridled enthusiasm, tell the kids to “Run, don’t walk!” to the nearest exit.
Some foreigners criticize Americans for spending billions on their pets and treating them like family. Well, we spend billions because we can, and we can because we’re the most prosperous nation on the planet.
And why are we prosperous? In part, because our hearts are big enough to hold humans, our pets, and a whole lot more.
Descendants of that cock that crowed when St. Peter thrice denied knowing Christ are being heard across America as Democrats fighting for reelection try to distance themselves from Barack Obama.
Take Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who actually voted 99 percent of the time for the president’s policies in 2013. Those same lips so intimately familiar with Obama’s derriere parted to say this in a recent debate: “Let me tell you, the White House when they look down the front lawn, the last person they want to see coming is me.”
Michelle, peeking through the White House curtains: “Omigawd, here comes Udall again.”
Barack: “What’s he carrying this time?”
Michelle: “What else? A big bag of Hershey’s Kisses.”
”Damnit! How many times do we have to tell him – ‘Mark, we only eat Godiva chocolates here.’ And every time he shows up with Hershey’s. He’s the last person I want to see coming across the lawn.”
Apparently Colorado voters are also tired of the senator and his Kisses. Like a majority of other incumbent Democrats suddenly denying their love for the president, he is trailing his Republican opponent by several points.
The roosters, like the chickens, are coming home to roost.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s fundraiser at her home for Barack Obama this week marked the president’s 20th such trip to Hollywood, his favorite venue for enriching the coffers of the Democratic Party.
“As a profession,” an Obama aide confided, “Hollywood actors and filmmakers have two attributes the president cherishes above all others when fundraising: They’re rich as hell and they’re not very bright.”
“That seems a bit harsh,” I protested.
“I’ll give you an example,” he said. “When Gwyneth Paltrow was introducing the president to her guests she turned to him and said: ‘You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.’ Who but a Hollywood actress would say that kind of crap to the president of the United States?”
“How did Mr. Obama react?”
“Pure class. He realized Ms. Paltrow would be embarrassed when she looked back on it later, so he pretended it was a little prearranged joke between them. He playfully pinched her butt and said, “Gosh, Gwynny, you’re so beautiful I can’t speak froperly, either.”
“Well, that’s doesn’t prove all Hollywood people are dumb,” I said.
“No? Gwyneth’s guests paid from $1,000 to $32,400 to come to her house for the fundraiser. A grand got you onto the lawn to hear his speech, five grand got a photo with the president, and 15 thousand bought a photo and a dinner.”
“What did they get for the whole $32,400?”
“All of the above, plus…the president would actually speak a few words to you in person.”
“So they spent about $1,000 a word?”
“Like I said,” the aide smiled, “rich as hell and not very bright.”
Everything that’s wrong with government bureaucrats generally and Obama appointees in particular was on display at this week’s news conference announcing the first diagnosis of Ebola on American soil.
After CDC director Thomas Friedman all but told us God himself couldn’t cause an Ebola outbreak in the U.S., a New York Times reporter asked the nationality of the carrier who had brought the virus here from Liberia. It’s a simple question with a simple answer – unless you’re the ultimate government bureaucrat: someone actually in charge of a federal agency. Someone actually appointed by The Man, Barack Obama.
For these folks power is everything, and nothing is more powerful than knowledge they can keep to themselves. Citing “patient confidentiality,” Dr. Friedman would only say, “The patient was visiting family members.”
The reporter asked again, “What nationality?” And Friedman said again, “The patient was visiting family who live in this country.”
The next day everyone from Earth to Mars
knew the patient was Thomas Duncan, an unprincipled Liberian who lied about his intimate contact with dying Ebola victims just so he could board a plane for Texas. And bring with him the gift that keeps on giving.
Not exactly the kind of person who deserves “patient confidentiality.”
That the world quickly learned all about Thomas Duncan was just fine with Dr. Friedman. He’d had his glorious moment in the sun, standing before the world’s reporters and cameras, letting them all know – twice – that he knew something they did not know. And better yet, he wasn’t going to tell them.
It’s the power. It’s the little people with big jobs.