Thesis[ edit ] Gibbon offers an explanation for the fall of the Roman Empirea task made difficult by a lack of comprehensive written sources, though he was not the only historian to attempt it. The story of its ruin is simple and obvious; and, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.
Our airports are terrible, and our airlines are finding it harder to compete. I hate driving a topic into the ground, but my experiences over the past few days force me to revisit this: The other day, traveling on vacation, I flew from Singapore to Amsterdam, with a connection in Hong Kong. The connection process in HKG went like this: I stepped off the first plane into a quiet, spacious, immaculately clean concourse.
After a quick and polite security screening that took all of sixty seconds, I proceeded to my departure gate a few minutes away. Compare this, if you dare, to the process of making an international connection in the United States of America.
You step off the plane and make your way to the immigration hall, which as always is packed to capacity. Or maybe it takes even longer: Your next task is to stand at the baggage carousel for twenty minutes and wait for your suitcase.
To get there, you walk outside and spend fifteen minutes in the rain waiting for a bus. The line at TSA is a good forty minutes long, the guards barking at people amidst the clatter of bins and luggage.
Babies are crying, CNN news monitors are blaring, and waves of public address announcements — most of them pointless and half of them unintelligible — wash over one another.
How long did all of that take? A solid two hours on some days. Welcome to the American airport. Back at Hong Kong, a passenger can be off the plane, through immigration and onto the train to Kowloon in fifteen minutes. I remember my last trip to Bangkok, and how I, an arriving foreigner, made it from the airplane to the taxi stand in less than ten minutes!
BKK is one of the biggest and busiest international airports in the world, yet the waiting times at immigration can often be measured in seconds, never mind minutes.
Separately, in a copy of Air Line Pilot magazine, U. Incheon Seoul Airport, Korea. To be fair, the scenario above is a worst-case to best-case comparison.
Many overseas airports require a secondary security check, for example IATA or somebody needs to step in and address the multiple screenings issue. Even some European airports go out of their way to make the travel experience tedious and confusing.
Some of their success is owed to simple geography. The government of the U. The book value of the planes Emirates has on order — to say nothing of the widebody jets it already operates — exceeds the value of the entire US airline industry!
Its hometown carrier, Turkish Airlines, in addition to winning numerous service awards, now flies to more countries than any other airline in the world. The Federal government seems to treat air travel as a nuisance, something to be dissuaded, rather than a vital contributor of tens of billions of dollars to the annual economy.
As a result our airports are substandard across a number of fronts, both procedurally and infrastructurally; our terminals are dirty and overcrowded; our air traffic control system is underfunded; Customs and Border Protection facilities are understaffed; airline passengers are groped and hassled, to the point where, if that CNN poll is to be believed, millions of them will refuse to visit the country.
Incheon Airport railway station. And although our physical location may not be ideal as a transfer point, there are still plenty of travelers moving between continents who can and should be connecting at U. Connecting via the U. Flying from Australia to Europe, a traveler has two options. Even though the flying times are about the same, almost everybody will opt for the westbound option.
The airports are spotless and packed with amenities; the connections painless and efficient.
Changing planes at LAX on the other hand, a passenger has to stand in at least three different lines, be photographed and fingerprinted, collect and re-check his bags, and endure the full TSA rigmarole before slogging through a noisy terminal to the departure gate.
Europe to Latin America, same thing. We can only guess at how many millions of passengers our carriers lose out on each year because of all this.The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds from the beginning of our ashio-midori.com we focus less on the Roman Republic than on the empire that took its place.
The cautionary tale of a fund whose nearly investors not only lost all their money last week but got a big bill as well. The table below presents an abbreviated geologic time scale, with times and events germane to this essay.
Please refer to a complete geologic time scale when this one seems inadequate. Outline of History; Prehistory — Prehistory, the rise of civilization, and the ancient Middle East to c B.C.E.
Prehistory to c BCE — Unit 1: Prehistory and the rise of Civilization to c B.C.E.. FC1 — Biological, Cultural, and Technological Evolution in History; FC2 — A Possible Scenario of Human Evolution; FC3 — A Possible Scenario .
+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. To be fair, the scenario above is a worst-case to best-case comparison.
Many overseas airports require a secondary security check, for example (IATA or somebody needs to step in and address the multiple screenings issue).