… and comment.
First, a handful of suggestions for weekend reading from browsing the internet this week:
Is Fixing the Climate Incompatible with American Ideals? Inalienable rights in the age of carbon dioxide by Mark L. Hineline at Nautil.us
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Debt to Me by M. H. Miller at The Baffler: “Now thirty years old, I have been incapacitated by debt for a decade. The delicate balancing act my family and I perform in order to make a payment each month has become the organizing principle of our lives.”
Brexit Blunder? by Peter Zeihan at RealClearWorld.com
Stuff you should know: The Entire History of Steel: From hunks of iron streaking through the sky, to the construction of skyscrapers and megastructures, this is the history of the world’s greatest alloy, by Jonathan Schifman in Popular Mechanics
‘They will die in Tallinn’: Estonia girds for war with Russia The head of the tiny NATO member’s special forces details his country’s preparations for a conflict many here see as inevitable by Molly K. McKew at Politico.eu
My wife’s native language, Finnish, is kin to Estonian, and I’m a big Estonia fan. Apart from whether NATO’s decision to embrace the three Baltic countries was wise, and I’m not expert enough to know, the idea that our American president might back away from a now-made commitment to pretty little brave Estonia drains my American can-do, freedom-defending spirit.
Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion by Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine. This is New York Magazine’s characterization of our president’s relationship with Russia, not mine. I’m no conspiracy theorist. It’s a long article, convincing if from nothing other than accretion.
These quotes come from a fellow non-conspiracist, Tom Nichols, in a review of Chait’s article titled What Jonathan Chait Gets Right About Trump and Russia at Politico:
“…if the Russians hadn’t zeroed in on Trump—a man whose venality, vanity and vulgarity are like a menu of recruitable weaknesses—they’d have been guilty of intelligence malpractice.””
“…the litany of direct and indirect contacts with the Kremlin exceeds all possible exculpatory explanations.”
“If Trump was in deep with the Russian criminal and financial worlds, the Russian intelligence services knew it, and so did Russia’s top spook, Putin. Trump must know this as well.”
“The key is to induce the target to do what you want without telling him to do it—to be a friend, helping out friends.””
“…there is no way to read Chait’s story—or to do any judicious review of Trump’s dealings with the Russians over years—and reach any other conclusion but that the Kremlin has damaging and deeply compromising knowledge about the president. Whether it is using such materials, and how, is a matter of legitimate argument. That such things exist, however, and that they seem to be preoccupying the president, should be obvious.”
While our leader rattles around the United Kingdom this weekend breaking China, official Finland has canceled valuable summer vacation time at beloved lakeside saunas (ours, below) to prepare for Monday’s Trump/Putin summit. Here is Reid Standish at Politico.eu, setting the stage – in English – from the Finnish perspective. Let us all enjoy a quiet weekend until Monday, when all eyes will be on Helsinki.
Cheers for now.