Wednesday Night #2087

Written by  //  March 16, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Is “headline stress disorder” real? Yes, but those who thrive on the news often lose sight of it
“[T]he question is not whether the problem is real, but how research might quantify and describe its true prevalence, and how to address the problem.”
It began with a basic “news you can use” feature from National Public Radio. Titled “5 ways to cope with the stressful news cycle,” producer Andee Tagle’s piece, published in late February, offered tips on how to cope with anxiety caused by news consumption in tense times.
… the mental and psychological toll of news consumption remains largely unknown to the general news consumer. Even if the research isn’t widely known, the emotions felt by what one Northwestern University Medical School article called “headline stress disorder” probably exist for an certain unknown proportion of news consumers. After all, if these feelings didn’t exist for at least some of their listening audience, NPR would never have published that piece.

Over the past years, we have been subjected to increasingly threatening headlines and news – from the Trump disarray culminating in the events of January 6; the world-wide pandemic with ever-changing and divisive opinions, statistics and regulations culminating in the 3-week occupation of Ottawa and now Russia-Ukraine. And looming over everything, the on-going debate on Climate Change.

In each case, and especially in the Russia-Ukraine situation that evolves minute-by-minute, it has become increasingly evident that those pundits to whom we have listened in the past are as baffled as we are as they are confronted with conflicting reports. A sampling:

Will China come to Russia’s aid?
Or will it simply profit from the U.S. preoccupation with Europe?
Read Cleo: China moves to dominate Pacific with U.S. mired in Ukraine
China is serious about capturing Taiwan as they need it to break the first island chain. At the same time, Beijing is using political warfare to try to burrow into the second and third island chains.

Will Moscow’s inept initial planning be overcome as tactics are evolving and foreign fighters join both sides of the conflict? -A strategic snapshot of Russia’s shifting tactics in the north, south, east and west of the country.
Will sanctions of the oligarchs have the desired results? And how soon?
What do the Russian people really think? I Watched Russian TV So You Don’t Have To
According to Russian state TV, Putin is the good guy. Many Russians believe it.

No-fly zone – a good idea or a really bad one?
President Zelenskyy continues to plea for U.S. help to create a no-fly zone, but …
What is a no-fly zone and could one be imposed over Ukraine?
No-fly zones are used to protect populations but implementing one over Ukraine risks sparking a wider, more dangerous conflict
A week ago, a group of 27 foreign policy heavyweights  signed an open letter to the Biden administration calling for a “limited no-fly zone.”  Is that a solution?
The snafu of the Polish jets will be the subject of analysis, but not now.

How will the world cope with the refugees – is Canada doing enough? Will the IRCC manage to do better than for the Afghans who are still waiting?
Human costs mount in the third week of war in Ukraine
Refugees and displaced Ukrainians have passed the five million mark, as Russia encircles cities and pounds them with missiles.
Ben Hodges:  The Next 10 Days Will Decide This War
The Russians are in trouble, and they know it. That’s why they have reached out to China for help and why they are now recruiting Syrians.
How accurate are these estimates?
As Russian Troop Deaths Climb, Morale Becomes an Issue, Officials Say
More than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in less than three weeks of fighting, according to conservative U.S. estimates
And most important – what is the state of Putin’s mind? Is he stable?
Putin Assails Russians Who Back the West, Signaling More Repression
describing the war in Ukraine as part of an existential clash with the United States and setting the stage for an ever fiercer crackdown at home and even more aggression abroad.
Francis Fukuyama: Preparing for Defeat
Russia is heading for an outright defeat in Ukraine. Russian planning was incompetent, based on a flawed assumption that Ukrainians were favorable to Russia and that their military would collapse immediately following an invasion. Russian soldiers were evidently carrying dress uniforms for their victory parade in Kyiv rather than extra ammo and rations. Putin at this point has committed the bulk of his entire military to this operation—there are no vast reserves of forces he can call up to add to the battle. Russian troops are stuck outside various Ukrainian cities where they face huge supply problems and constant Ukrainian attacks.
Nina Khrushcheva: Even if Putin succeeds in his imperial quest, Kievan Rus is forever lost to Russia. And Ukrainians will never forgive us.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Andrew Caddell‘s weekly Hill Times column St. Patrick’s Day is a time for contemplation is devoted to the rich history of Ireland and its diaspora. He concludes on a hopeful note “Something to think about this St. Patrick’s Day: in a world filled with conflict, there is peace in Ireland.”
If you have not read it, Linda Leith‘s delightful memoir <em>The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Life contains some wonderful vignettes of her early childhood in Ireland.
Finally, as Jean Charest embarks on his campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party, I urge you to read his eloquent postscript Eastern Township Thinking in The Unexpected Louis St-Laurent. One can only hope that he will emulate the ‘Townshipper’ qualities that he evokes with admiration as essential components of M. St Laurent’s character. And yes, both M. St-Laurent and M. Charest had mothers of Irish stock.

Dawson College
Dawson students call on Quebec to revive CEGEP’s expansion project
Petition with nearly 20,000 signatures tabled at National Assembly Wednesday
Jennifer Maccarone, the Liberal MNA for the Westmount—Saint-Louis riding, says the Quebec government now has a chance to “do the right thing” by reversing its decision to scuttle the project.
The Dawson expansion would have created a new health-care pavilion, which was to have housed a community clinic and the school’s seven health-care programs.
Arwen Low, vice-president of external affairs for the DSU, says the CEGEP’s medical programs serve the entire province.
“Our graduates from the health-care programs do not become anglophone nurses, doctors and technicians. They become Quebec nurses, doctors and technicians, and they serve in every region, in French as well as in English.”

Raif Badawi
Although there was much rejoicing over Raif Badawi’s release from prison last Friday, Saudi Arabia has confirmed the 10-year travel ban is still in force. Will Global Affairs Minister turn her attention to this matter?

On a final note: how many of you missed this? Julian Assange set to marry in Belmarsh prison
WikiLeaks founder will tie the knot with Stella Moris on 23 March. There is a Montreal connection.

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm