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Still not the only cart in the aisle.

Maybe no one wants a shooting war (because guess what, fat and happy, explosions don't feed anyone), but with artificial islands and perhaps-not-an-accident-anymore crashes, it's well past time for people to be on their guard. (I say maybe, because wasn't there a parade earlier?) It's MAD, of course, with all sides interested in reducing anything mutual to their own benefit.

One article I read had an interesting bit of cultural insight into an area that's geographically and ideologically closer to the mainland, with a pre-colonial history of resistance. However, I'd like to point out that at that time, the British were the ones with that sort of military and financial reach, and in what looks to me like a case of what-have-the-Romans-ever-done (the larch still isn't funny), it's due in part to that connection that businesses in that part of the world developed the way they did in more recent history. (Speaking of more recent history, whatever happened to that bookshop and its owner?)

In any case, it's such a relief to see that the ones with the biggest reach in the area nowadays are the ones who have the ability to modulate their response to varying threat situations. You know, "cordial and professional" to one, 鲁 to another, an armed gang on a lone protest leader, that sort of thing.

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