Conference on maritime dispute in Southeast Asian Sea

I’m presently in Quang Ngai province, central Viet Nam, participating in a conference concerning Viet Nam’s sovereignty claims in the ‘East Sea’ (a.k.a. Southeast Asia Sea, and to some South China Sea). Clearly, the balance of available evidence suggests Viet Nam’s claims have a superior evidential basis of support. The fact, however, is that mainland has physical control over the islands and so perhaps the only step available to Viet Nam is to demonstrate to the world that in fact these islands are being occupied by an expansionary power.

To call China’s behavior imperialist may have a sensationalist ring to it, which is not intended. But how else can we describe its attempts to impose its control over 80 percent of the Southeast Asian Sea? Will offer some thoughts and reflections on the conference soon. Today will travel to Ly Son Island, home to many of the fisherman most adversely affected by Beijing’s expansionary tendencies…



The recent bombings in Boston have struck closer to home than I first thought possible. The community in which I was raised and the high school which I attended have been the epicenter of one of the worst moments in the history of Massachusetts and indeed the United States.

When I was a kid, I and my fellow Cantabrigians took great pride in the diversity of our city and our high school in particular. This was a school that had kids from practically everywhere and yet, typical teen bullshit notwithstanding, people got along and took pride in that fact. Now Cambridge and Cambridge Rindge and Latin are momentarily shattered, emotionally and in respects physically too. Multiple people linked to the high school have suffered serious and grave injuries. For what?

Two graduates with a profoundly mistaken faith in the wisdom of violence have brought our city indescribable grief. And yet if there is any place in America that can rise to this challenge, to reject the xenophobic impulse, to embrace principles of unity in diversity it is precisely Cambridge and, more specifically, our beloved CRLS.

I’ll have more to say later. Still very much in pain. Sad. Dazed. But still breathing.