Blog Post

Caption: Thalassophobia is an intense phobia or fear of large or deep water. Some claim that those who join the US Coast Guard (Puddle Pirates) instead of the US Navy have that fear…I’m kidding, of course. The Coasties and the Navy have different roles unless you’re Chinese. Then, the Chinese Coast Guard is the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy.


Bullet Points:

** The People’s Republic of China is an ENEMY of the United States and the free world. It is the single largest threat to peace and prosperity in the world. The PRC machine includes citizens of China. It doesn’t mean “all Chinese people.” When encountering the PRC, please be circumspect about whether you buy goods and services or deal with their people. Consider them your enemies, for they certainly are. One thing is certain. THEY consider YOU to be their enemy.

Many of the PRC’s policies have failed abroad. COVID-19 and other developments pulled the curtain back, but a weakened China remains an enemy and a threat.

Do I think the US is on the brink of war with the People’s Republic of China? I suspect that Xi and Pedo Joe are under a lot of pressure to maintain power, and a war would justify any excess, particularly if they’re both orchestrating the war–more like a pageant (as they Wag the Dog).

** “An evil man will burn his nation to the ground to rule over the ashes.” — Sun Tzu

** (Scott Yenor) As red states (free states) burden and ban diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices across the country, DEI operators broadcast defiance. “Under Siege,” reads one headline in the industry-standard Chronicle of Higher Education, “DEI Officers Strategize to Fight Back.” “Leaders Create Informal Support Network Amid DEI Opposition,” reads a headline in Insight into Diversity. Conferences are held to organize resistance. Even “College Presidents Are Quietly Organizing to Support DEI,” reads another Chronicle headline.

An alleged moral necessity underlies this open political defiance. It is assumed that the current environment is saturated with racism. It must be re-engineered with DEI policies: racial preferences in admissions and hiring, mandatory diversity training, and a race-centered curriculum. Peace, harmony, achievement, and opportunity will reign in workplaces and campuses after a generation or so of such policies.

It starts in the ivory tower but can hardly be expected to end there. These assumptions—that the present social order is “systemically racist;” that said racism can only be eliminated by the imposition of group outcome equality, supplanting the American idea of equal opportunity—require a whole-of-society approach, a top-to-bottom reorganization. This is the animating ideology of what Tom Klingenstein has called the “group quota regime.”

This ideology—what many Americans now recognize as “wokeism”—has effectively taken over all of the central power centers across our society: not just the universities but the media, the government, the Big Tech giants, the mass media, and more. It is the animating creed of what Glenn Ellmers and Ted Richards recently identified as an “emerging totalitarianism.” Adherence is compulsory: consider the professions of faith now required of professors or the constantly rising phenomenon of “cancellation.” However, those who object to its ascendancy should focus more on its foundations in academia. Those foundations are surprisingly shaky even on their terms and may present opportunities for regime critics.

** An interesting article on China from the Spectator.

** Keying on a recent statement by LSP, the official/unofficial chaplain at the White House is Greek Orthodox leader Father Alex Karloutsos (age 77).  Biden gave Fr. Karloutsos the Medal of Freedom after the Orthodox Church honored him when he was VP. The Orthodox Church has a lot of sway at the Biden White House. Trust me on that.

** Wall Street Journal: “The world is at a startling demographic milestone. Soon, the global fertility rate will drop below the point needed to keep the population constant. It may have already happened. Fertility is falling almost everywhere for women across all levels of income, education, and labor-force participation. Falling birthrates have huge implications for how people live, economies grow, and the standings of the world’s superpowers.” I might add that the only places where the population is growing constantly are the black African countries.

** Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced Sergei Shoigu with Andrei Belousov, an economist, as the Kremlin’s minister of defense over the weekend. Shoigu’s replacement comes as Russian troops are slowly advancing in the north and keeping pressure on Kyiv’s forces in the southeast. Belousov served as deputy prime minister ahead of his new appointment. According to the news release announcing his new position, he is seen as someone who “would be more open to innovation” in prosecuting the war, rebuilding the army, and modernizing it.



Shaken, Not Stirred

Ian Fleming, Mr. 007, in Room 39 at the Admiralty during WW2. Ian Fleming was a keen birdwatcher and took the name from an American ornithologist named James Bond. He wrote the first Bond book in Dover and found his license number for the license to kill from the number of the 007 bus that stopped outside.



From the Days of Fighting Sail

Sailors and Mental Health

Abstract: What were the specific causes of mental illness among sailors in the Royal Navy during the 18th and 19th centuries? What were the treatments available for mental illness at the time, and how effective were they? How did the stigma surrounding mental illness affect the treatment and care of sailors in the Royal Navy during this time period?

References to mental illness and their treatment can be found as early as 5000 BC, with skulls showing evidence of trepanation. Texts from Ancient Egypt, China, Ancient Greece, and the Romans also indicate an awareness of different types of mental illness dating from 1500 BC to 200 AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, theories of mental illness, including different personality types and temperaments (Theophrastus) and ‘rational explanations’ (Hippocrates), reverted mainly to the belief in demons and other supernatural causes. It took nearly 1000 years before the first hospital for the mentally ill in Europe, Bethlem Royal Hospital, admitted its first patients in the 1300s. Key theories and ideologies emerged over the next 300 years, largely driven by the Renaissance period that swept through Europe. Descartes ‘theory of Mind’ and Burton’s ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’ are influential works from this period.

This post provides insight into treating and caring for sick Sailors in the Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries.

By the end of the 18th century, the Surgeons had noticed an increase in the number of Sailors being admitted to one of London’s Asylums due to mental breakdown, especially after major battles. Sir Gilbert Blane (1749-1843), Physician of the Fleet, quickly realized that during the war, the number of such men had increased sevenfold, and the wings for such cases in the Royal Navy Hospitals were expanded during the 19th century. He recognized that the men often suffered from severe anxiety, depression, and trauma. However, he did not see it as such as it is today. He only recognized the symptoms, such as partial paralysis, sleep disturbances, dysesthesia, delusions, and more. As with soldiers in the army, these illnesses were attributed to the war.


Most of Bethlehem Hospital by William Henry Toms for William Maitland – William Maitland’s History of London, published 1739

This was also partly the case, but the other circumstances, such as malnutrition, trauma through violence, and mistreatment among each other, were not seen. However, French physician François Boissier de Sauvages de Lacroix described something he had noticed in the Sailors in their everyday lives. He called it brain fever. The patients were restless, had severe insomnia and delusions, and their moods could go from happy to sorrowful in a short time. Despite the lack of sleep, the men were overactive and yet powerless at the same time. What he found there were the first documented cases of bipolar disturbances. Although he tried to treat them like a fever, he often had to watch the patients injure themselves or even jump into the sea.

The symptomatic treatment of such diseases was a fundamental problem. No one knew how to deal with these men, so schizophrenia was treated like malaria or depression and was dismissed as melancholic mood, which was treated with sea air, sunbathing, and walks. People hoped for help in the asylums of the cities. The Admiralty sent its men to Hoxton House. Between 1794 and 1818, 1289 men were treated there, of whom 364 were discharged as recovered. 272 died as a result of the treatment, and 52 disappeared. The more serious cases, 494, were transferred to Bethlem. There, they were considered incurable. The Bethlem in London was an asylum with a terrible reputation. It had been run under inhumane conditions since the 14th century.


The hospital may have looked like a palace, but the treatment of patients was hardly ideal, as shown in this etching of William Norris in 1814 

106 Sailors and 20 Prisoners of War had to share two rooms 7.9m long and 4.9m wide. Basic equipment such as tables, chairs, some beds, plates, and cutlery were forbidden. Sanitary facilities were almost non-existent, and men were left like cattle in their filth. The diet, which typically consisted of 450g (16oz) red meat, 450g (16oz) vegetables, 55g (2oz) cheese, 570ml (1 pint) broth, 1 liter (2 pints) tea, and 2 liters (4 pints) ‘small beer’ per day. There were no medicines, fresh clothes, or even fresh air. Ultimately, the men were left to fend for themselves. Officers were, therefore, often placed in private institutions such as Bath, where they were given a cure to restore their health.

However, unlike physically recognizable illnesses, mental illnesses had a stigma attached to them, and many hid their problems to avoid social problems. Or they were not taken seriously, and so depression was perceived as a mood or a woman’s problem. Sailors, who were considered to be masculine and tough, did not have such illnesses (people with mental illnesses were also called lunatics), according to society. However, the opposite was the case. The Navy had a major problem with depression, which was exacerbated by pressure and expectations in the officer ranks. Especially in the Expedition service in the early to mid-19th century, this pressure was exacerbated by the demand for results in a short time, the poor prospects for quick promotions, and the desperate position some found themselves in. What pushed some to suicide was what happened to the two captains of HMS Beagle. On their first expedition, Captain Pringle Stokes shot himself, and the later Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy took his own life with a razor.

The cases became more frequent, and many an officer was taken out of service with serious self-inflicted injuries and placed in one of the naval asylums. At the beginning of the 1820s, as the conditions of the wounded in the hospitals changed, so did those of the mentally ill. The diets were changed, and the accommodation became more comfortable. Labor therapy was tried, although not entirely successful, because the men who seemed physically healthy could work in the gardens for fresh vegetables, saving money and labor. (Only after WWI did these treatments intensify and show some success). In addition, medicines were now being tested for the benefit of mental health, and experimental operations were also being carried out. However, questionable water and cage therapies were also tried.

 For example, William Kemp was given mercury treatment in 1830. He had been taken to the Haslar Hospital for conspicuous behavior and violence towards crew members. William Kemp inflicted, who was brought to Haslar in 1830 for his violent and noisy behavior and, when a mercury cure failed to cure him, was treated as follows: ‘Since the commencement of his present illness his bowels have been kept open by the compound rhubarb pill, the compound aloetic pill, and small doses of sulfate of magnesia and antimony tartrate. A blister was placed on his head without benefit, but the cold infusion had the effect of quieting him and making him less noisy.’

William Kiddall, a sailor admitted to Haslar with mania in 1826, fared differently. Six years later, on 17 August 1832 at 11.30 am, he was ‘observed yawning.’ As he was “unable to account for his sensations,” he was put to bed, and at 2 p.m. “vomiting and purging” began on the order of the orderlies. The report continues: He was then placed in a warm bath and given brandy, aromatic ammonia [i.e., smelling salts], and opium tincture to awaken the vital forces, which were very low, but there was no reaction. At 4 p.m., he was again placed in a bath, and a venisection [bloodletting] was performed on both arms and the internal carotid artery, but hardly any blood came out, and what little was found was viscous and extremely dark in color. Then, a branch of the temporal artery was opened, and about a drop of blood with the same appearance was obtained. At 9.30 p.m., he was dead.

As you can see from these two examples, it was more of a pure symptom treatment but not a real help. None of the men recovered, and they often died, either as a result of the treatment itself, see above, or they took their own lives. Dealing with these diseases only happened in the 20th century and during the great world wars, but for everyone before that, it was often pure torture.


Identify the Aircraft





Four were built


Two views


Parting Shot



19 thoughts on “Thalassophobia

  1. Identify the Aircraft:
    1. Dornier Do 26
    2. Douglas XB-19
    3. Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly
    4. Piper PA-48 Enforcer
    5. Messerschmitt Me 309

      1. If not, close. Sometimes you have the outlier aircraft/vehicle that takes me a long time to identify, if I can. Today’s IDs on the other hand were easy.

        1. I have some fun ones coming over the next few posts. Some would be very difficult for me.

  2. I’m not sure that the PRC sees us as enemies.
    I think they probably see us more as talking pigs that walk on their hind legs. So, vermin.
    We’d probably have to be at least Cantonese or something, to move up the ranks to “enemies”.
    – Kle.

    1. It may depend on who in the PRC you’re speaking with. They’re getting their asses kicked in many ways. For example, The ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative is a foreign policy and economic strategy of the People’s Republic of China. The term derives from the overland ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the ’21st-Century Maritime Silk Road’, concepts introduced by PRC President Xi Jinping in 2013. It’s fallen apart. How many trillions has that boondoggle cost them? There is a lot that they don’t understand about how things work. It leads to folly.

  3. The original Priory of the St. Mary of Bethlehem was located in Bishopsgate in 1247. It went through a series of location changes over the centuries; in 1675-6 it moved to Moorgate, where it stayed until 1815. It was located in Southwark from 1815 until 1930, when it moved to its current location in Monks Orchard, Beckenham. (Thanks, Britannica!)

    It is the place that gives us the term “Bedlam” for mad chaos, and I think it appropriate that the Imperial War Museum now occupies the Southwark building; Bedlam seems to me an accurate description of going over the top into No-Man’s-Land during the First World War.

    1. Going over the top was murder. And yet both sides kept sending their young men until they had no more of those. Then, they sent children and old men. The survivors, in many cases, were wrecked. They were shells. And Hitler said, “Let’s give it another try.” Something like 70% of the German women who became pregnant in the late days of WW2, were fathered by Russian rapes. There are figures on it, but I’m not going to look it up now. I think it’s close to 70%.

      1. The military planners in the years leading up to the First World War anticipated the high casualties that modern weapons insured. That is the reason the armies that stepped off in August 1914 were so freaking huge: they were bullet sponges. “We need enough men in our attack formations to accept massive casualties in the process of getting across the ‘beaten ground’ (their phrase for what later came to be called No-Man’s-Land) to have enough men on the far side to overwhelm the enemy’s defenses.” They were far too optimistic in their calculations, but both British and French high commands remained welded to their pre-war strategic conclusion until the Spring of 1917. (Yes, there were variations on the theme, but the objective from 1914 to May 1917 was on the overwhelming battle to establish a breakout and a return to a war of maneuver.) In a combined staff meeting in Spring 1917, the British and French adopted a strategy of attrition: limited offensives to seize key strategic terrain features that the Germans would want to get back, then dig in and break the Germans’ teeth when they tried to do so. The objective was to kill Germans, not take ground or break out of the trench lines. Eventually, Germany would run out of 18-year-olds to draft…in fact, they already had. At about the same time the Allies made their attrition decision, Germany lowered the draft age to 17, and 16-year-old volunteers were accepted without question. A 15-year-old had to get parental permission to sign up. …And I’m about to launch into a summary of the events of the last eighteen months of the war, so I’ll shut up here.

    2. I mind an English traditional song called “Bedlam Boys” with quaintly vicious descriptions of mad men in Bedlam. As I understand it the equivalent institution for women was called Maudlins and mentally troubled women were held there in much the same conditions. The mad women of Maudlins went on “dainty toes to save their shoes from gravel”. Madness indeed.

  4. “If it weren’t for my old dogs and The Good Lord they’d have be strung up in the psyche ward…” – Yeah…that. Or this…”Beam me up Scotty, I’m done with this planet.”
    “demographic milestone”- Insurance company actuaries are stepping a little lighter to the office Bunn coffee maker, less work for them crunching numbers to save their grifter employers more of “other people’s money”.
    Orthodox Church- Anyone associated with being embraced by this Administration (aka The Wolves) is playing “what’s for lunch” as a sheep. God can’t fix the foolishness in willful people. My favorite KoH quote by Baldwin comes to mind (again)…an exception is given for actual military hero’s to be appropriately “awarded” per time-honored ceremony for their true service and sacrifice to our country.

  5. Were it not for my child (and, hopefully, future grandchildren), I’d feel exactly the same as Mr. Anthony up there.

    They can KEEP the nasty, disgusting, horrible world they’re trying to so desperately to create. There’s a much better place (and I’ll be reunited with husband, without whom this world sucks even more).

  6. >It doesn’t mean “all Chinese people.”
    Nice try. It’s still anti-Sinotism. Noticing is anti-Sinotism.

    @Kle: maybe so about the subhuman vermin business, but if so, the difference is that the Han don’t have whackos claiming that the SHV were put on earth solely to serve them, wherein the SHV will plow and sow and reap, while the Han sit like effendis and eat. Instead, the Han would be perfectly happy to supplant (ie eradicate and replace) all the subhumans. “Not worth enslaving.”

    Pursuant to the above: If the West collapses before the PRC does, sub-Saharan Africa will look back on King Leopold’s Congo as the kindly, halcyon days, compared to what the Chinese almost certainly have in mind for Africa. “Nice continent. Only thing wrong with it is that it’s full of Africans. But we can fix that.”

    1. Their Covid + vaxx didn’t work out there. Gate’s Vax programs show some promise. Though eating bugs won’t appear to strange in some parts.

  7. So, two observations on military spending- 1. Without doing the math, it looks like our defense budget exceeds all the rest of NATO put together. Trumps right, they should be paying their fair share for their defense. 2. Looks like with our help that the Ukraine military budget is equal to or greater than the Russians. Why are they losing ground?
    Idaho Bob

    1. The Ukes have a big manpower problem. Among many other things, that is causing them to be unable to rotate units off the front lines
      for recuperation, and they get burned out and ineffectual..
      On top of that, there’s always the graft to consider. Pretty sure the money on the chart is the beginning point, not the net.
      So first a bunch of people here in the States take their cut, and then a bunch of people in Ukraine take theirs, and whatever’s
      left over actually gets delivered to the war.
      On a tangent, I find it mildly hilarious that this grinding 21st century version of the Spanish Civil War seems to be turning into
      a US – PRC proxy war using Ukraine and *Russia* as the catspaws. China must feel very smug about the shoe being on the
      other foot.
      – Kle.

  8. TT-33’s in the crates next to the rings. They might not look like much to some folks, but I suspect some folks here may have a different opinion.

  9. The Ortho/WH connection thickeneth, and let’s not think for a moment that the Oval Office and associated satraps have any interest whatsoever in Holy Tradition.

    Good China ID.

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