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• The Ukrainian crisis may have reached a major turning point with the announcement that Russia is cutting off oil and gas shipments to Poland and Bulgaria:
Moscow is making good on a threat to halt gas supplies to countries that refuse President Vladimir Putin’s new demand to pay for the fuel in rubles. The European Union has rejected the demand in principle but now payment deadlines are starting to fall due, governments across Europe need to decide whether to accept Putin’s terms or lose crucial supplies — and run the risk of energy rationing. European gas prices surged as much as 17% as traders calculated the risk of other European countries being hit next.
The refusal to pay in rubles is likely just a pretext to put the squeeze on Poland and Bulgaria for their support of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Germany is reversing course and will ship heavy weapons to Ukraine after all:
Germany has agreed to allow the export of heavy weaponry to Ukraine, a U-turn that follows weeks of pressure on Olaf Scholz’s government — and which comes despite Russian warnings of the conflict escalating further.
• The New Republic is slowly starting to get a clue about how out of touch progressive elites are:
Too many idealistic progressives fail to appreciate the ways their politics reflect their worldview, and their worldview reflects their privilege. Close to half of college grads of all racial groups say they are liberal, but that’s true of only one-quarter of white and Latino noncollege voters, and about one-third of Black and Asian American ones. . .
The class culture gap extends to “social” issues. It takes self-discipline to show up, on time and without “an attitude,” to blue- and pink-collar jobs, so non-elites of all races highly value the traditional institutions that anchor self-discipline: religion, the military, and “family values.” My crowd in San Francisco scorns such institutions and stresses instead its “sophistication,” a.k.a. the way elites display their cultural capital to others in the elite class through artisanal spiritualities and teeny, tiny portions of labor-intensive food. While elites look down on non-elites as unsophisticated, non-elites look down on elites as insincere and place a higher value on their own unadorned “straight talk.”
• How nice for them:
Harvard University has pledged $100 million to redress its historical ties to slavery. The announcement Tuesday coincides with the university’s release of a 134-page report detailing its connections to slavery, segregation and discrimination.
The Ivy League school’s faculty and staff enslaved more than 70 Black people between its founding in 1636 and 1783, when slavery became outlawed in Massachusetts, according to the report.
Alternative headline: “Harvard To Spend $100 Million on Itself in Latest Virtue-Signaling Initiative.”
• Finally! A stock market I like!