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Weekly Roundup
Earth-Destroying Pets, Slobodan Putin, and America's Middling Brains

Good evening, TAI readers! We’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there, and remind you all to do the same (if you haven’t already done so, of course). As you gear up for the week ahead, take the time to look back at what you may have missed on the site over the week behind:

Funny money and the decline of the West’s soft power: the Western world has exhausted its post-Cold War goodwill through its complicity in offshore finance’s pillaging of former Soviet states, argues Ben Judah. London has become “a byword for corruption,” and many in Eastern Europe are fed up with the West’s hypocrisy.

Slobodan Milosevic Putin. Vlad seems to be imitating Slobodan in both word and deed, and it seems to be working. But then, for a time, it seemed to be working for Milosevic as well.

“Middle-class education produces middling brains.” So writes Peter Lawler, recounting Alexis de Tocqueville’s critique of American higher education. That criticism is a mite too harsh, but it seems that with each passing day we’re moving closer to that reality.

Sanctions against Russia are working. More, please. Michael Singh is impressed by the impact of increasingly harsh Russian sanctions, but the West needs to capitalize on its momentum if it wants to counter Putin’s push in Ukraine.

Don’t let Putin fool you: this is not a Russian retreat. Crafty Vlad called for a postponement of a Donetsk referendum on independence from Ukraine, but this isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a tactical change, and it’s one the West needs to be ready for.

Man’s best friend is Mother Earth’s worst enemy. At least, that’s what one green wants you to believe, arguing in a Guardian op-ed that the more environmentally conscious among us need to lose our resource-devouring pets if we really care about our planet.

Avast, mateys! The battle for the South China Sea is officially on. There’s a confrontation on the high seas, involving the governments of China and Vietnam instead of pirates. China moved a deep-sea oil rig in to waters claimed by Vietnam, and that has led to water cannon fights and boat-ramming.

Massachusetts is debating its worst pension idea yet, and that’s saying something. Following Stanford University’s misguided decision to divest from brown energy funds, the state of Massachusetts is discussing a similar move for its state pension fund.

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  • lukelea

    Please, give us some Ukrainian coverage.

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