Tuesday, September 20, 2016


England brought forth a tidal wave of talent that no other country has matched. Just the Royal Navy was an object unmatched and likely not to be seen again. They went everywhere. How did a little tiny island filled with people with really bad teeth conquer and rule India and half the world for over a hundred years? Their castoffs conquered the entire North American Continent and their convicts did the same for Australia and New Zealand. The Dutch were a close second for a long time and others would argue that Spain put forth a lot as did Portugal but they slipped from greatness five generations ago, just as Spain stayed mired in the provincial mud long after the Industrial Age came to England.

I derive some enjoyment from Nigel Farage, because I can. He's about the last Englishman standing which is too bad although I found the earlier generation almost as wonderful. I was thinking about the home page of Lex tonight and remembered that he had two memorable quotes on it. This one from an Army general was good.

"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."

We have, of late, been honoring the time honored customs of barbarians. I see some muslims slipped over the border and killed 18 Indian soldiers in garrison and now India is weighing how to seek justice for the dead and a wee bit of vengeance. I know they had excellent instruction on the art under the rule of the Mogul but perhaps Napier could also provide some intstruction. They took no retaliation after the massacre in Bombay but they really need to stop turning the other cheek. In England that led to buggery and not another slap across the face. But again, I seem to be talking about the Royal Navy. Rum, sodomy and the lash.

The last time I was in Karachi was long ago. I spent a month up the river there and it was interesting to see that the fuel storage tanks were very cleverly cammoflaged. Living in America, one doesn't think of the imminent fighter bomber streaking over-head to blow up your navy's fuel supply in the largest of your cities.

They're starting to think of that sort of thing now though.

His other quote had to do with dancing.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

I could always hear the music, it wasn't all that long ago that I could see the music. I never could dance.


OldAFSarge said...

As we drift away from those customs and institutions bequeathed to us from the Mother Country things will continue to go badly. There is a reason why the sun didn't set on the British Empire back in the day. They too lost their way at some point.

Great post Cap'n!

HMS Defiant said...

They turned their back so quickly on their war time leader it was embarrassing. They carried on with rationing for another 9 years. Churchill woudn't have tolerated that for a minute. I read his books and if there was a man to motivate mankind it was him. Action This Day!

Bevan was never held to account. This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time. They said much the same about Margeret Thatcher. It's like the democrats rejoicing that they can point to no funds for zika because they were included in the defense budget which the democrats filibustered because they thought they needed another billion in their for Planned Parenthood.

What was that old quote, A man who has not been a socialist before 25 has no heart. If he remains one after 25 he has no head.—King Oscar II of Sweden

It turns out there are many variations.