On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Dmitry discuss the recent Russian incursion into Crimea. Dmitry summarizes Russian interests in the region. Have the US and Europe handled the situation correctly so far? Dmitry suggests that, in the long run, Putin will pay substantial costs for the incursion. Is the new Ukrainian government stable enough to fight back? Rob and Dmitry compare the strengths of the Russian and Ukrainian militaries. Finally, Dmitry thinks through some options for the Western response.
On Critic Proof, Alyssa and Willa discuss the women of HBO’s True Detective. Alyssa worries that the dark, popular new show could all fall apart in the finale. How do professional critics experience TV differently than ordinary viewers? They turn to American Hustle and other Academy Awards nominees, and Willa praises the nuanced moralism in The Wolf of Wall Street. They close by wondering: Are critics trying to take something away from fans? (Spoilers throughout.)
On Drezburt, Heather and Dan pay tribute to the late Harold Ramis, then critique Nicholas Kristof’s recent column accusing academics of being out of touch. Next, they praise Rosa Brooks’s manifesto against Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. In the work/life balance debate, should obsessive parenting get more criticism? Heather and Dan analyze the proposed smaller Pentagon budget that would drastically shrink the size of the Army. Plus: Why Ukraine will muddle through.
On Rational Actors, Kevin and Jason discuss the bills under consideration in Kansas and Arizona that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays. Jason explains why he doesn’t see such proposals as analogous to Jim Crow. Kevin argues that there’s a difference between narrow religious exemption and a general right to discriminate. Does this logic lead inexorably toward Sharia Law? Jason describes his theory of progressive “SimCity Government.” Kevin suggests that Americans have chosen to sacrifice privacy for the sake of social media.