May You Live In Interesting Times
“May you live in interesting times.” Well at least that seems to be true when looking at the national and international picture today. I had always heard ‘May you live in interesting times to be a Chinese curse or to have at least originated in China. Despite being widely attributed as a Chinese curse, there is no equivalent expression in Chinese. The nearest related Chinese expression is “寧為太平犬，莫做亂離人” (nìng wéi tàipíng quǎn, mò zuò luàn lí rén), which is usually translated as “Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period.” The expression originates from Volume 3 of the 1627 short story collection by Feng Menglong, Stories to Awaken the World. Evidence that the phrase was in use as early as 1936 is provided in a memoir written by Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, the British Ambassador to China in 1936 and 1937, and published in 1949. He mentions that before he left England for China in 1936, a friend told him of a Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 31st through August 3rd 2017”
Congratulations to the Classes of 2017
A special congratulation goes out the future leaders of our armed services and our nation. Today, as I’m drafting this, May 26, 2017, the senior classes of the US Naval Academy, the US Military Academy and the US Air Force Academy are receiving their degrees and their commissions as officers in their respective services. Thank you for your dedication and your efforts to date. Your work has just begun and more than ever we value and appreciate your leadership.
Memorial Day Weekend
As we observe and enjoy the unofficial beginning of summer (I thought it would never get here), let us take a moment to remember all those who gave their last full measure in defense of our nation this Memorial Day. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day,” which was first used in 1882. Memorial Day did not become the more common name until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress’ change of date within a few years.
Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day May 24th through 26th, 2017”
Friends of FOD
So I got busy over the last few days and didn’t get an edition out in a timely fashion. Being retired is hard work sometimes.
Philippines and Philippine Leader Rodrigo Duterte in the News
It’s in the news over the weekend last where President Trump has called Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and expressed Washington’s commitment to their treaty alliance and his interest in developing “a warm, working relationship,” according to a Filipino officials comments to Military Times. Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the friendlier ties are needed even with concerns about Duterte’s human rights record, which includes extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users as part of the government’s drug war. Priebus cited the military threat of North Korea. But in a more interesting development, Chinese Navy ships will visit the Philippines for the first time since 2010. Three vessels – the guided missile destroyer Changchun, the guided missile frigate Jingzhou, and the supply ship Chaohu – will dock at Davao City in Mindanao from Sunday until Tuesday. The port stop comes after Russian navy vessels arrived in Manila last week for joint exercises as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s attempts to lower Manila’s dependence on its traditional ally the United States and expand ties with other regional powers. No word of any intended port visits to Subic Bay or Olongapo! Ties between China and the Philippines have warmed quickly since Duterte promised to put aside their territorial disputes over the South China Sea and pursue stronger business links. Follow the $. The Chinese port visit will coincide with Sunday’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila. As holder of the bloc’s rotating chairmanship, the Philippines was expected to adopt a softer-than-usual line on South China Sea disputes and exclude references to militarization or island building in the area, Reuters reported, citing a draft of the chairman’s statement. An interesting development, particularly as Dutente said he didn’t know whether he’d have time to visit the US as per Trump’s invite.
Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day April 29th Through May 2nd, 2017”