Some encouraging signs of free inquiry. I haven't written on this for a bit, as the domestic campaign has taken off. I still don't support including Georgia in NATO; and believe handling Russia requires more than pretending that the Soviet Union still exists. But there's little doubt, it seems to me, that Putin has just sent a chilling signal about the resurgence of Russia and its revived ambitions in its near abroad. And it underlines the point that until the global economy finds a different form of energy, the petro-powers are going to be able to dictate a lot of things in the next couple of decades.