Since Oct 4, 2004
General Douglas A. MacArthur (at the Japanese surrender ceremony)
Christendom is honor and the fatherland and man with his back to the wall. It is the glory of lost causes and the splendor of certain defeat...
Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, The Bankruptcy of American Optimism
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Given the complexity and throw-away nature of today's products, I've come to the conclusion that it would take less time and effort to get a part-time job slinging burgers and use the extra income to buy a new device.
mike at electronicspoint.com on DIY efforts to repair electronic products
A problem for a lot of lesbians is that they are trapped in an essentialist construction that says that lesbians have to be female. If they were more open to relationships with members of the male lesbian community they might find their sex lives getting more active. The activist group Dykes With D**ks has been working on these issues for some time now.
A very knowing American at isteve.blogspot.com
Zhang Fei (? - 221 AD) was a military official who served the Shu Han kingdom (in what is now China) during the Three Kingdoms era (220 - 280 AD). During the 60-year extent of the Three Kingdoms era, the Roman empire had 21 successive emperors (some via inheritance, others via popular acclaim), 19 of whom died unnatural deaths. It was a period of great turmoil in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and Northeast Asia. In a Wikipedia entry, a common cause is posited for these disturbances:
William H. McNeill (b.1917), a world historian, noted in chapter three of his book Plagues and Peoples (1976) that the Roman Empire suffered the severe and protracted Antonine Plague starting around 165 A.D. For about twenty years, waves of one or more diseases, possibly the first epidemics of smallpox and/or measles, swept through the Empire, ultimately killing about half the population. Similar epidemics also occurred in the third century. McNeill argues that the severe fall in population left the state apparatus and army too large for the population to support, leading to further economic and social decline that eventually killed the Western Empire. The Eastern half survived due to its larger population, which even after the plagues was sufficient for an effective state apparatus.
This theory can also be extended to the time after the fall of the Western Empire and to other parts of the world. Similar epidemics caused by new diseases may have weakened the Chinese Han empire and contributed to its collapse. This was followed by the long and chaotic episode known as the Six Dynasties period. Later, the Plague of Justinian may have been the first instance of bubonic plague. It, and subsequent recurrences, may have been so devastating that they helped the Arab conquest of most of the Eastern Empire and the whole of the Sassanid Empire. Archaeological evidence is showing that Europe continued to have a steady downward trend in population starting as early as the 2nd century and continuing through the 7th century. The European recovery may have started only when the population, through natural selection, had gained some resistance to the new diseases.
In popular culture, Zhang Fei is a character in the 14th century Chinese epic novel "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms", collated much as the Iliad was, from oral traditions - real or embroidered - passed on over the centuries. This saga is available in an English translation by CH Brewitt Taylor. It begins with:
Empires wax and wane;and ends with
states cleave asunder and coalesce.
All down the ages rings the note of change,Resources: A History of China, Wolfram Eberhard.
For fate so rules it; none escapes its sway.
The three kingdoms have vanished as a dream,
The useless misery is ours to grieve.