Franny’s on Flatbush Avenue was possibly the best pizza I’ve had in the U.S., Gala Manor in Flushing was definitely the best dim sum I’ve eaten in this country, the projected fall in Wall-E box office is 61 percent (July 4th is a tough weekend but ouch!), and wars of independence are easiest to justify when the population is still relatively small and the nation state is not yet built. Call it investment. Quasi-independence or full independence was inevitable so the real question is whether North America would be better off if Florida remained a Spanish colony and the Louisiana Purchase had never happened. That said, American independence was probably very bad for native Americans and blacks and of course that rent transfer is part of what motivated independence. I am preparing a lecture on The Merchant of Venice and, via Eduardo Pegurier, here is All the Water in the World.