The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago...
had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.
Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923
Here is another case of truth being stranger than fiction. Who would have thought that the the root cause of Japanese Naval success at Pear Harbor was the character of one English aristocrat. And, if anyone doubts the “it’s all about the money”, here is another example. Nations will always give priority to arms sales over national security. This was all revealed in a fascinating program on BBC called the The Fall of Singapore: The Great Betrayal.
After World War !, the English developed the first aircraft carrier. When the Japanese wanted to inspect this new weapon, the military rejected all requests. But, the government allowed a civilian team to sell technology. This came back to bite them at the outset of WWII, because the Japanese used this in the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Singapore. Of course, English arrogance played a role. They believed that the Japanese, because the were not good cavalrymen, could not be good airmen.
This is not a case of shooting yourself in the foot: it’s a case of shooting yourself in your colony and providing the bullet to shoot those with which you supposedly have a “special relationship”. The United States has some Englishmen to thank for Pearl Harbor. Without them, the Japanese could never have developed carrier-based aircraft, naval pilots, or aircraft carriers. British officers provided the intelligence and know-how, which ensured success of the attack at Pearl Harbor, the fall of Singapore, and ultimate suffering of many Englishmen.
It is surprising to learn that two Englishmen changed the course of history, but providing secret information to a foreign government. What is more surprising--and shocking-- is that the English government knew about their acts, but did nothing to stop them. I do not like to use the word unbelievable, because few things are. This story is believable, because governments are made up of people, and people can be fools. The English have proven to be a particular type of fool, because they foolishly cow to aristocrats. It seems that the aristocracy has priority over national security. Such folks can be proud that an Englishmen was responsible for the fact that England lost its dominance in Asia...and the world.
Ah, the greatest nation the world has ever known...
With friends like the United States, what people on this earth need enemies? This proves, once again, that life is about only one thing: money.
It is not gratifying that more-intelligent, better-connected, and widely experienced people have written books about something I noticed many years ago and have even written about. Where I thought I was being cynical, I should have been being afraid.
If you get to the last paragraph, you will find the sad prediction that things will not get better.
And, more on this subject, by another intelligent man...
If I had not been blatantly honest, some fool might mistake this for a "creative" photograph. It is not; it is a mistake.
The shadow on the right is that of the fool pushing the button by mistake. The pavement is somewhere in Amsterdam. The shadow on the left is of a tree, probably one beside some canal. The posts are to prevent cars from parking.
The view, which I should be photographing, is probably picturesque, but you get to see only the mistake...
You will have to travel to Amsterdam to enjoy the beauty and the sights. Sorry.
Conspiracy to make English impossible for a foreigner to learn. Take just one example: words ending in -ough. Depending upon the preceding first letter(s), almost every word is pronounced differently.
(If any word is unfamiliar, look it up.)
And, since when does g rhyme with f.
This is as bad as articles in German, which also have no rhyme or reason for their assignment to nouns.
Had an interesting chat with the manager of a shop in Amsterdam, who was Italian. When she learned that we live in Germany, she explained that she had done her training in Frankfurt and how much she liked the city. She also said that the time changed her opinion about Germans.
This confirms observations of many about leaning about nation, its people, and its culture firsthand and not through books, hearsay, or prejudices. Everyone should be forced to visit any county about which they hold prejudices, although that would swamp almost every nation with Americans...
The Queen of England plans to make her grandson a Knight of the Thistle. That can’t be such a big deal, because thistles grow wild by the side of the road, which means that anyone can pick a “blossom” and and pin it on his or her--yes, her--jacket. It’s that easy to become a knight, which I thought became extinct after the Crusades.
What a bunch of tosh, as the English would say about anything so foolish...but not about this, because they are suckers for such garbage. Neither my mother or grandmother gave me a thistle. For them, that was a weed...which just goes to show the unbridgeable gulf between England and America.
Amsterdam is a city of contrasts, which makes it an exciting place to visit and an interesting place to live (although I would not want to live here).
Strict rules and regulations do not hamper seemingly endless tolerance of differences. One finds inspiring creativity intermingled with old-fashioned buildings. Free-flowing traffic on water runs parallel and perpendicular to cramped streets, which are clogged with people, cars, and bikes. The variety of restaurants is vitally endless, and eclectic shops make any stroll through the streets an adventure in discovery. Strict Calvinist citizens co-exist with the red light districts.
Nb. The title is the symbol of the city, seen on flags flying throughout.
For all it's worth, I will make a prediction about the economic future of Germany. This has nothing...or very little...to do with the current Euro crisis people keep talking up.
I heard for an informed source that equity funds are being built in the US to take advantage of favorable exchange rates and to buy up companies in Europe. Solid German companies will become targets to lucrative offers, because they are healthy and produce profits. Of course, this will be the death nell for the healthy German economy, because these sharks will strip assets, move company registration to a more-favorable tax address, and squeeze labor unions. Life will be wrung from successful businesses in a a successful country to enrich greedy financiers in a country where they are coddled by politicians.
Does that sound like a communist rant? It is not. It is merely a plea for fairness and equal treatment, which is they way things seemed in the country in which I grew up. That was a time when a strong middle class was the backbone of the nation, as it is a several European countries. Of course, there were greedy people, but they did not rule the roost.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.