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With all the news of the coronavirus and politics you probably missed a story a couple of weeks ago about one European Union (EU) member country invading another. Yes, it's true. Poland mistakenly invaded the Czech Republic and briefly held territory in the village of Pelhřimovy, near the Polish border -- by mistake. NPR reported that members of the Polish military prevented Czech citizens from entering a church, thinking they were still in Poland. Czech diplomats quickly worked it out with the Polish government, saying they had been unofficially assured that the incident was a misunderstanding and that the Polish military didn't actually intend to invade their neighboring country, though they added they expect a 'formal statement'. Oops...

This story reminded me of Leonard Wibberly's 1955 classic, 'The Mouse That Roared' (it was made into a Peter Sellers movie). The book is about a tiny 15 square miles country called The Dutchy of Grand Fenwick that invades the United States because the Dutchy's Prime Minister has realized that countries that lose wars to the US get huge infusions of cash to rebuild. Grand Fenwick has been impoverished because their only export, Pinot Grand Fenwick wine, has suffered a catastrophic decline in revenue due to a cheap knockoff made by a California winery. Things go horribly (and humorously) wrong, and Grand Fenwick actually wins the war, even though the US hasn't even known it was at war with anyone. How? They wander into a secret bomb development site and capture the world's most popular bomb. Sounds unlikely? No more so than actual US politics.

Even putting aside the huge catalog of embarrassing presidential tweets and gafes, the news is full of outrageous stories to the point that we have grown so used to them that we take them for granted. Or don't put them aside. My favorite is the Presiden's assertion that the Continental Army took over airports during the Revolutionary War. It's a darn good thing they did, because British air cover would have lost us our country!

If Wibberly were writing new Grand Fenwick stories today could he top that? (Well, yes, probably, he was awfully clever. I really have to reread that book!)

Stories about governors ignoring medical and scientific advice in their haste to reopen their states, and then being surprised when COVID-19 infections rise dramatically have astounded me (and seriously worries me because I have kids living in two of those states). How does it not make sense that if you don't get exposed to a dread disease with no known cure or vaccine it's because you stayed away from people you don't know -- or maybe you do -- who might have it? That is such an egregious breach of common sense it would be funny if people weren't getting sick and dying because of it.

My takeaway is that it's long past time for Grand Fenwick to invade us again and take over our government. It can't be worse than the one we have, and maybe seeing our politics with new eyes would make them make more sense.  After all the PM's original idea of losing a war for the money was a sound one -- it wasn't his fault that it went wrong.

By the way (spoiler alert) it turns out that the bomb that the Dutchy captures is a dud, which its creator decides to keep to himself. The invasion stands, frcing US concessions that forge a path toward world peace. There's an outcome that we should all be able to get behind.

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