Ben-Meir: Putting Elevate in perspective

October 7, 2010
Since word first broke of Friday’s raid at Elevate, the topic has dominated our campus conversation. Charges of police brutality contend with more cautious and conciliatory claims. With this in mind, we must be conscious of the implications of our conversation, and not let our reactions to the raid go to waste, or worse, to »

Ben-Meir: Taking on the talking heads

September 15, 2010
Over the last few weeks, it has become part of the conventional wisdom that Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives following this November’s congressional elections. Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, who direct Washington’s two most trusted political forecasting outfits, have both revised their estimates of Republican gains past the threshold needed for »

Ben-Meir: Replacing Justice Stevens

April 13, 2010
When John Paul Stevens announced his retirement on Friday, intense speculation began as to who President Obama would select to replace him. Would the president choose another woman, further decreasing the absurd gender imbalance of the Supreme Court? Would he opt to nominate the first Asian justice, the second Hispanic, the third African-American? Could he »

Ben-Meir: Why is this night different?

March 29, 2010
Tonight, instead of taking my weekly French test, I will be going to a Seder. Those who know me, even in passing, might well see a sinister causation in the prior sentence; “religious obligation” as an express ticket to a Dean’s Excuse. After all, nobody would mistake me for a particularly observant Jew. My skull »

Ben-Meir: Political performances

March 2, 2010
This week’s presidential health care summit felt decidedly unreal. While White House officials and Congressional leaders from both parties gathered for a seven-hour discussion on President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, little of substance was said; the summit was, as so many have remarked, political theater. At first, I wondered if part of this perception was »

Ben-Meir: Days for different stories

February 16, 2010
Although we can hardly be blamed for spending Valentine’s Day reading love letters instead of headlines, the front page of Sunday’s paper was not blank. After all, the world does not stand still each Feb. 14 while we enrich chocolatiers, knick-knack makers and teddy bear manufacturers. But what seems, at first, like an irresponsible disengagement »

Ben-Meir: Returning to the island

February 3, 2010
Last night, many Yalies breathlessly watched the premier of the final season of “Lost,” while many others wondered why anyone would still bother to watch. The last few seasons have been full of time-travel and other gimmicks, and many will swear that the show just hasn’t been the same since Charlie died. But these people »

Ben-Meir: Learn, then opine

December 4, 2009
Watching President Obama announce his decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, I did not know what to think. I hate war categorically, although I do not believe that war is never necessary. Like many in my generation, my perception of the use of American military power was powerfully shaped by the dishonestly conceived »

Ben-Meir: Partisanship gone awry

November 4, 2009
Exactly one year ago, although it feels like much longer, America elected Barack Obama as its 44th president. Since then, the national mood has changed in serious ways. At the time of his election, Obama was seen as a movement leader, sweeping into the White House with a huge electoral majority and what seemed to »

Ben-Meir: Internal dissident

October 16, 2009
In recent weeks, Joe Biden has emerged as one of the loudest voices within the Obama administration arguing against escalating of the war in Afghanistan. Were President Obama not seriously considering committing 40,000 more American troops to the conflict, this would hardly be news. However, in light of the president’s very public deliberations on the »

Ben-Meir: We need us more bluegrass

October 2, 2009
Last week I casually suggested to a friend that she listen to more bluegrass. Her slightly stunned and vaguely appalled response drove home a stark reality: Yale has a severe bluegrass deficit. While we can proudly lay claim to stirring architecture, brilliant professors and a surfeit of British art, we have far fewer banjos and »

Ben-Meir: Let us mourn Annie Le

September 15, 2009
Any tragedy contains within itself an untold number of smaller tragedies. Already, the murder of Annie Le MED ’13 is being discussed as an attack on our most basic sense of security, as an act of violence against our city, as a savaging of the natural order. These interpretations are not incorrect, but they confuse »