Brandeis students’ concerns while Ukrainians are shelled

A photo taken last week, while Ukrainian cities and homes were being destroyed, on the Brandeis University campus:

While bravely behind a Zoom screen, students identifying as BIPOC could participate in the “Surviving White Spaces” support group, for example. There was “drop-in” support for the pandemic (where “drop-in” is defined as clicking on a Zoom URL). For those who weren’t sure whether they belonged in the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, there was “Gender & Sexuality Exploration”, from which one could presumably segue into “LGBTQ+ Support Group”.

What about Americans who aren’t in college and who aren’t in Ukraine? They too are experiencing a “tragedy” according to Atlantic magazine’s “How did this many deaths become normal?”:

The U.S. is nearing 1 million recorded COVID-19 deaths without the social reckoning that such a tragedy should provoke. Why?

Why did the CDC issue new guidelines that allowed most Americans to dispense with indoor masking when at least 1,000 people had been dying of COVID every day for almost six straight months?

America is accepting not only a threshold of death but also a gradient of death. Elderly people over the age of 75 are 140 times more likely to die than people in their 20s.

How much of this extra mortality will the U.S. accept? The CDC’s new guidelines provide a clue. They recommend that protective measures such as indoor masking kick in once communities pass certain thresholds of cases and hospitalizations. But the health-policy experts Joshua Salomon and Alyssa Bilinski calculated that by the time communities hit the CDC’s thresholds, they’d be on the path to at least three daily deaths per million, which equates to 1,000 deaths per day nationally. And crucially, the warning lights would go off too late to prevent those deaths. “As a level of mortality the White House and CDC are willing to accept before calling for more public health protection, this is heartbreaking,”

There is some good news in the article. Most of us do follow Science:

a poll that found that mask mandates are favored by 50 percent of Americans and opposed by just 28 percent

Apparently, there is nothing that can happen in Ukraine that will stop us from focusing on the concerns that we had prior to February 2022.

19 thoughts on “Brandeis students’ concerns while Ukrainians are shelled

  1. Grievance peddlers and other academic grifters are going to keep grifting. Nothing new here.

  2. Some of these make sense. Such as unloading $60k/year to study Economics and take Stagflation 101. Such students might draw some comfort in attending the Anxiety Society or the Anxiety Symposium. The smart ones can get scholarships and other tuition assistance.

    • Or attend a public university and live at home.

      The live on campus requirement that many private universities are mandating is just another scam to make more $$.

  3. Amerikans, manely the wealthy democrat home owners, are downplaying the war as a minor spat between 3rd world countries in order to avoid military aid & a so called escalation into a world war.

    Starving renters perceive Ukraine as a 2nd or a 1.5st world country with a higher standard of living than they could ever afford, therefore it’s already a world war. Most of us will never own pianos or 2 story houses like what Russia is bombing. The question is whether a world war is defined by the standard of living of the countries or by the membership of the countries in an arbitrary treaty.

  4. The President of Ukraine is stubborn about the NATO negotiation and said his country is willing to fight to the last man, and now has mandatory conscription for 18-60 year olds. But when the artillery ( and Javelins and Stingers ) start flying around and buildings get hit he says genocide and begs NATO for help. NATO is obliging to some degree, creating a positive feed back loop.

    This posting is from a year ago:

    “Ukraine President Zelensky Is Ready for War With Russia, Vows to ‘Stand to the Last Man’
    By Natalie Colarossi On 4/21/21 at 11:32 AM EDT

    “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday night and warned his citizens that the country would “stand to the last man” in the event of a war with Russia, as tensions continue to build along the border between the two nations.

    • Yeah, it’s easy for him stand to the last man while he’s in safe place whichvmay or may not be in Ukraine.

      Basically, anyone suppying weapons to Ukraine has blood of civilians on his/her hands. It is as simple as that.

    • And the West is encouraging Zelensky with strong talk and the complete absence of peace plans. I’ve come to the conclusion that a new protracted proxy war is the desired outcome.

      For some reason no one cares about the 14,000 casualties in Donbass from 2014 to 2021:

      When the invasion started, I was 100% on the side of the mainstream narrative. But the history of that region is far more complex.

    • averros, it is seems that in your inverted view anyone but the aggressor – Russia – has blood on their hands

    • Anonymous – please keep your mind-readung to yourself. I do not condone wars in any case, though I understand the reason why it started and who any why worked really hard to make it happen.

      Basically, Russians see it as self-defense. Hard not to see it as such when the large neighbor nation not only kills people of your ethnicity (and its top brass openly calls for genocide) but also proudly waves Nazi flags. Russians have really bad memories about Nazis. Check Putin’s approval numbers. Also understand that after Maidan the Ukrainian Army killed way more civilians than the current invasion did.

      Finally, ask yourself: why are you so keen on defending a political chimera created by Lenin? Ukraine was a part of Russia since 1654 becauae Ukrainians asked Muscovy Tzar for protection from Myslim slavers (Crimea was slavers’ major base, BTW). My girlfriend’s direct ancestor signed the Treaty of Peryaslavl (on Ukrainian side). I personally had a major part i n dissolution of the USSR (which created the independenr state of Ukraine due to that alcoholic arse orifice Yeltsin’s total incompetence). So, pretty please, with sugar on top, don’t fucking lecture me about things you know nothing about.

    • @averros, that’s good that you do not condone war, I sure could not derive your position from your comment.

      How Russians see Russian aggression against Ukraine s highly irrelevant to what Russian aggression really is. Shelling and bombing of residential neighborhood without a hint of industrial or military presence there that are located dozens of miles from the front-line is a war crime. You are getting so feeling concerned that you could qualify for Brandeis hurt feeling student group from another post on this blog.

      Not clear why you make nazi flag straw man. Ukraines’s flag colors are blue and white. Same with ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Many of them are fighting Russian aggression and being murdered by Russian troops, sometimes point blank, or by getting indiscriminately bombed, as was my friends’s elderly but working distant family member – she was an ethnic Russian. Her family are now refugees from Russian invasion, are being ethnically cleansed form Ukraine.

      Your historic “facts” are laughable. It is more the pother way around, Russians wanted Ukrainian Cossacks union to fight Poland. Ukrainian Cossacks fought Turkey/Crimea and for Turkey/Crimea, Poland and for Poland, Moscovites and one of them made union with Moscovites. Ukrainians always chose Europe when they had a chance over Moscow czar, for example highly educated Ivan Mazepa who supported Sweden over Russia. Ukrainian cultural and educational institutions predate Russian by almost two centuries for example Kiev Mogila Academy. Ukrainian philosophers, such as Gregory Skovoroda, taught Russian court philosophy. Crimean khans attacked Russian at will in 17th and 18th centuries. Tzar payed them tribute. Crimean Khan Devlet-Girey burned Russia including Moscow suburbs as late as 1751, 4 years before first Russian University was established. Learn real history and not ersatz version as seen on Russian state TV.

      Russian empire did not even have independent parts. It was divided into governorates with Tzar-appointed governor at the helm. Empire was split on surfs that belonged to Russian, Tatar, German, Polish, Ukrainian nobles, on surfs that belonged to Tzar himself/state, small class of relatively free townspeople and nobles. Ukrainian were originally free people but were progressively enslaved by Russian tzars over the course of 18th (and maybe early 19th) century. Kyiv’s, Ukrainian capital, governorate included parts that Lenin and communists decided not to give Ukraine. Lenin and Stalin – he was responsible for international relationships under Lenin – made Soviet Republic out of empire in the way to garner most support from all the peoples of the empire. It included giving Ukrainians most of the land that they lived on, but not all. Don cossacks may fight Ukraine now but they had sang in Ukrainian. If there is no Ukraine pre-Lenin then there is no Russian federation pre-Lenin.

      I am saying all of this not to try to cover history of Ukraine and Russia but so people who read your propaganda points understood that there is much more to it and read real history of Eastern Europe if they want to understand it.

      Millions, vast majority, of former soviet citizens who did shoddy work for little pay could claim historic critical part in dissolution of former USSR. Unless you gave Mikhail Sergeevich idea of Union of Independent States or to GKChP idea of military coup it is unlikely that your role in dissolution of USSR was greater then Putin’s.

    • Some NYT neocon is carefully manipulating public opinion again and hopes for a NATO intervention:

      These people never mention Kosovo, in which case NATO helped the separatists and bombed Serbia, let alone the second Iraq war. Also, their historical knowledge seems to be limited to the period of 1933-1945. There are literally thousands of other historical parallels of a separatist war escalating. The Sudetenland did not even have a preceding separatist war.

      It is fascinating to watch so many people show their true colors and ignorance (e.g., Ben Shapiro recently claimed that Finland was in NATO since 1949!). If they want a war, perhaps they should make Ukraine a new U.S. state instead of foisting it on the EU.

    • @ Anonymous

      “How Russians see Russian aggression against Ukraine s highly irrelevant to what Russian aggression really is. Shelling and bombing of residential neighborhood without a hint of industrial or military presence there that are located dozens of miles from the front-line is a war crime.

      This is ambiguous as all it takes is for one guy (or he/she/they) for purposes of this blog) to set up in an apartment building (or any other civilian building) with a Javelin or even a bolt action rifle to draw unwanted attention of Russian artillery. From what I understand this was common practice in Vietnam, as the common saying of that era “‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”.

      Zelensky could have been compelled to quit poking the Russian Bear next door but instead vowed to fight to the last man. Playing super hero is a risky gambit.

    • @Paul, Russian aviation and artillery bombs residential buildings in Soviet-built large-scale completely residential districts built only with soviet era high-rises according to soviet planning that are dozens of miles from any military action, with no military or industrial targets for miles around.
      There is mobile phone video when Russian planes fly low to hit a residential building in residential neighborhood, dozens miles form fighting
      Small Russian combat team driving towards Kyiv stop civilian cars and shoot drivers point blank. There is a video from Kharkiv where an older civilian stands in the center of a road to make himself visible and not hurt and Russian tank firing a missile at him from about 50 yards away.
      Al those videos are posted to youtube, facebook, instagram, twitter. You should browse them. I had been to some of the places bombed – they are large dead-end residential neighborhoods, in some cases with riverside beaches, with bridges built specifically to access them and with not major highways or railroads crossing them and with 0 military value to anyone. Nobody even needs to occupy them to rule Ukraine. I can not see it as anything but ethnic cleansing to set new waves of refugees.

    • @ Anonymous

      “I can not see it as anything but ethnic cleansing to set new waves of refugees.

      I have watched some videos but I cannot tell what is going on, what is war crimes, media spin, fog of war, etc. If the Russian military is bogging down Vietnam style due to a constant flow of Western “lethal aide” and sanctions, and economic blockades then it would not surprise me if there is increasing amount of unnecessary and indiscriminate shelling in order to create new waves refuges. This was a strategy that evolved in Vietnam, constant harassment artillery fire, high altitude saturation bombing, napalm, and Agent Orange to “drain the swamp”, or basically create a no-mans land as it wasn’t easy to tell who was friend or foe.

    • Paul, I do not know details of Vietnam war as I were a child who lived in another country when it was taking place. I can just tell you from my experiences in former USSR that export of militant communism threat from former USSR was real. I do not think that US role in Vietnam war is comparable to Russian aggression against Ukraine because US supported pro-western government of South Vietnam and had no territorial or security claims to Vietnam and had no interest in ethnically cleansing Vietnam.

    • @ Anonymous

      That is true but its cold comfort to those that lived under that lived (or attempted to) under the B52’s and artillery and napalm.

      Vietnam is a small country and the effort there started out as a a “police action” and ended up with these type of stats :

      “Between 1965 and 1975, the United States and its allies dropped more than 7.5 million tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—double the amount dropped on Europe and Asia during World War II.

  5. > America is accepting not only a threshold of death but also a gradient of death. Elderly people over the age of 75 are 140 times more likely to die than people in their 20s.

    I’ll bet elderly people over the age of 95 are 200,000 times more likely to die than people in their 20s. What good does a “mortality risk gradient” comparison mean without comparison to the: “…and them’s just the facts of life, folks, which is why most dead people at funerals are OLD.”

    This is the Atlantic Magazine, written for people who have (I presume) graduated from College and they trot that “gradient of death” out as though there’s something particularly abnormal about it (and don’t mention any context around the comparison.) The article isn’t giving you information – not in a real sense. It’s giving you Frame and Narrative.

  6. There are some things that we’ve turned into self-perpetuating systems that create their own supply and demand (which of course employ people to maintain them.) Kind of a “subsidized perpetual motion machine.” It’s a little bit different and not a perfect match for all the groups at Brandeis, but it deserves much more consideration than it gets:

    I loved this interview, which was cut short by Cleese himself, as it should have been, and should be much more often:

    “”We don’t want … to be overprotective because that raises children who are not perhaps, um, very well going to adapt to the real world. I think it’s very important that things should go wrong and that minor bad things should happen, because that helps people to learn to become a little bit tougher when they go out into the world, which is not a terribly friendly place a lot of the time and if we overprotect them then I think that doesn’t work very well.”

    “There are people out there who, having heard your views, would consider your them to be ‘old-fashioned’ and not, uh, taking into consideration the feelings of people who have been hurt by some of these comments…for instance in Britain where racist behavior for instance was couched as a bit of banter. Is that acceptable in your view as a joke?”

    “I think it’s a very poor question.”

    “I’d like you to answer it.”

    “Well it’s hard because it’s so scattered and it has so many different ideas in it and I don’t know which place to start with it to answer it.”

    “What I’ve said is, the important thing is that people are protected to the right degree – not over-protected or not under-protected so the question becomes what is the right degree? Now the practitioners of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is a very successful therapy which is used a lot to treat depression and anxiety in young people say that the “woke ideas” are pretty much the opposite of what they use…Now it doesn’t matter whether that’s old-fashioned or even from the early 12th Century that is a very interesting idea…”

    When you generate your own supply of upset people at an institution like Brandeis, then you have to “fix” them. If you start following the money, you figure out pretty quickly what’s really going on.

    “Do you have any CHEESE in this CHEESE SHOP?”

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