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The entire world has an interest in the South China Sea, but China has nearly 1.4 billion mouths and a growing appetite for nationalism to feed, which is a kind of pressure that no other country can understand. What will happen will happen, whatever the letter of the Asean code of conduct or however the arbitration turns out. Loresto and Yanto, meanwhile, still abide on the Sierra Madre (a grounded ship used by the Philippines to make a claim on Ayungin, in the Spratly Islands), fishing for their subsistence and watching the surf to see what wave the Chinese will choose to ride in on.


‘You’ve got the wrong science-fiction movie,’ one former highly placed U.S. official later told me, when I described what we saw at Subi (Reef, claimed by the Chinese), and what it might mean for the guys on Ayungin. ‘It’s not the Death Star. It’s actually the Borg from ‘Star Trek’: ‘You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.’ ’ The scholar Huang Jing put it another, more organic way. ‘The Chinese expand like a forest, very slowly,’ he said. ‘But once they get there, they never leave.’

Excerpt from the New York Times feature, "A Game of Shark and Minnow"

You’re a Communist country and have your people living under totalitarian rule.  You tell families how many babies they can have, pollute your skies and don’t protect your labor force, which already works for pennies to the dollar compared to other countries.  (Just ask Apple and any other company that makes its goods there.)  You support North Korea and its murderous regime, manipulate your currency and disallow any talk of pesky things like Tiananmen Square.  You censor your Internet and let’s not even talk about Taiwan.  Can you even say "Taiwan"?  
Government of China, go fuck yourself.

You’re a Communist country and have your people living under totalitarian rule.  You tell families how many babies they can have, pollute your skies and don’t protect your labor force, which already works for pennies to the dollar compared to other countries.  (Just ask Apple and any other company that makes its goods there.)  You support North Korea and its murderous regime, manipulate your currency and disallow any talk of pesky things like Tiananmen Square.  You censor your Internet and let’s not even talk about Taiwan.  Can you even say "Taiwan"? 

Government of China, go fuck yourself.

Morning News Read 3 October 2013.

The Hong Kong government announced Sunday afternoon that it had allowed the departure from its territory of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has acknowledged disclosing classified documents about United States government surveillance of Internet and telephone communications around the world.

The government statement said that Hong Kong had informed the United States of Mr. Snowden’s departure.

A Moscow-based reservations agent at Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline, said Mr. Snowden was aboard flight SU213 to Moscow, traveling on a one-way ticket to Moscow. The Aeroflot flight landed in Moscow on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Snowden’s final destination was unclear, but there were signs that it might be beyond Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Mr. Snowden appeared to be making a connection in Moscow to another destination, but did not say where.

Russia’s Interfax news service, citing a “person familiar with the situation,” reported that Mr. Snowden would remain in transit at an airport in Moscow for “several hours” pending an onward flight to Cuba, and would therefore not formally cross the Russian border or be subject to detention. Someone close to Mr. Snowden later told Interfax that he planned to continue to Caracas, Venezuela.

“He chose such a complex route in the hope that he will not be detained and he will be able to reach his final destination — Venezuela — unhindered,” the person said.

WikiLeaks, the organization that released extensive classified American diplomatic communications three years ago, said in a statement on its Twitter feed that it had “assisted Mr. Snowden’s political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers” and safe exit from Hong Kong, and said in a follow-up Twitter post that, “Mr. Snowden is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisers.”

The Aeroflot agent said that Mr. Snowden was traveling with one other person, with the last name Harrison, but the agent declined to release the other traveler’s first name, saying she did not have the authorization to do so. The closest adviser to Julian Assange, who orchestrated the release of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables three years ago, is named Sarah Harrison, prompting speculation that she was the Harrison on the flight with Mr. Snowden.

The New York Times, "Snowden Said to Plan Asylum in ‘Democratic Country’"

Came across this real estate ad in a regional magazine covering New York’s Hudson Valley.

There seems to be a casual disconnect here, with no acknowledgment that the dissident artist who designed this $4.25 million home could be imprisoned by the Chinese government for 81 days and for no reason at all.

Came across this real estate ad in a regional magazine covering New York’s Hudson Valley.

There seems to be a casual disconnect here, with no acknowledgment that the dissident artist who designed this $4.25 million home could be imprisoned by the Chinese government for 81 days and for no reason at all.