"When I talk to people about California independence, they always say: ‘Well, what would you do if China invades?’” says Yes California president Louis Marinelli from his home in . . . Yekaterinburg, formerly Sverdlovsk (city motto: Don’t call us Siberia), an industrial center on the edge of the Ural Mountains in Russia. “Seriously,” he asks, “when’s the last time China invaded another country?” I mention the obvious ones: Tibet, India, and the Soviet Union. There’s Vietnam and Korea. Marinelli is a young man; perhaps much of this seems like ancient history to him. It does not to the Indians, or the Russians, or the Vietnamese, or many others. “No, I mean: When’s the last time China crossed an ocean to invade another country?” he clarifies. “Only the United States does that.”
The American war machine must surely be of some intense concern to California’s would-be Jefferson Davis, inasmuch as there is no legal or constitutional process for a state’s separating from the Union, a question that was settled definitively if not in court then just outside the courthouse at Appomattox.We have been watching a ScyFy TV series called "The Expanse," set in 2020, about (among other things) the pains of nation-building and colonial resentments on Mars and in the Asteroid Belt. Perhaps because I was trying to do crafts while watching the first season, I found I enjoyed a lot of the characters, dialogue, sets, and atmosphere without in any being able to figure out what in the world was supposed to be happening with the many interlocking story lines. The second season is a little tighter and more compelling. Anyway, the characters all have a pretty good grasp of how important it is to get your hands on the occasional warship.