College Bound Again

Decided to continue my college studies-  I’m planning to attend the Evans School this fall to begin my Masters Degree! Looking forward to sharing more of my education and public issues in this space :)

Bang the Drum

Send in Wolf Blitzer and AC 360 to fight in the Crimea, perhaps?

Don’t Listen to Obama’s Ukraine Critics via the Guardian. I don’t remember Ukraine being part of NATO though, but this is a good point:

Missing from this “analysis” about how Obama should respond is whyObama should respond. After all, the US has few strategic interests in the former Soviet Union and little ability to affect Russian decision-making.

Our interests lie in a stable Europe, and that’s why the US and its European allies created a containment structure that will ensure Russia’s territorial ambitions will remain quite limited. (It’s called Nato.) Even if the Russian military wasn’t a hollow shell of the once formidable Red Army, it’s not about to mess with a Nato country.

The Throwaways

The lives of criminal informants- terrifying stuff from the New Yorker:

In the mid-nineteen-eighties, Congress enacted federal sentencing guidelines that imposed harsh mandatory minimums for drug offenses, even petty ones. The results of these and similar measures were striking. Over the course of that decade, the U.S. prison population doubled. In Florida, incarceration rates for drug crimes increased nearly twentyfold—with some sentences for marijuana sales surpassing those for murder. The new approach codified a long-standing escape hatch for the accused: to provide “substantial assistance” to authorities in exchange for the possibility of early release or dropped charges. The use of drug informants surged. Soon, legal experts say, the trend swept through state and local law-enforcement agencies across America. Rachel Hoffman was, in this respect, a typical conscript in this country’s numbers-driven war on drugs.

Movie Culture Isn’t Dead

From Richard Brody:

There’s a fundamental category error endemic to criticism: the notion that there’s an arm’s-length appreciation of craft that’s somehow secondary to the principal business of a movie, the creation of character, the unfolding of drama. The love of the stuff of movies is physical; a director’s style is an expression of his or her physical bearing, no less than the brushstroke is for a painter, and the pleasure in the image, in the use of the soundtrack, in the tone of voices, captures that physical connection over space and time. It’s the most immediate and the most intimate part of the moviegoing experience. (The politique des auteurs—the emphasis on the director’s persona—is no mere polemical position but a report from the front row.) The drama, by contrast, is abstract—and it’s why critics who are most indifferent or insensitive to the particulars of the cinema assimilate movies to screenplays and spend inordinate space and energy twiddling details of characters’ behavior on the ends of their fingers rather than taking the movie experience, the spirit of the movie, whole. (That’s also the principal mode of discussion about TV shows, because there’s no image there to experience, nothing to see, nothing to feel physically.) This is as true of a popular Hollywood movie as it is of “Holy Motors.” an image by John Ford or Wes Anderson has as much inflection, as much kick, as much hands-on contouring as does one by Antonioni or Mizoguchi—and that’s exactly what the New Wave discovered and divulged in the fifties.