I am beginning to like Angela Merkel more and more. As Diuretic mentioned to me the other day: "They're back," referring to the Soviets. Tensions are indeed rising between the US and Russia, and apparently, between at least some in the EU and Russia. During the '90s, we did not hear too much from the old Soviets. Now that they are increasingly flush with petro dollars, the old Sovets are turning into the new Soviets. To measure Putin's commitment to democracy and freedom of expression, you would need a microscope. If the disagreements between the EU and the Soviets increase, watch the EU scamper back underneath the American security umbrella. We should probably let some, like France and Germany, stand out in the rain for awhile.