Category Archives: News & Views

Ukrainian authorities collect soldiers’ photos of Russian dead and sell them to Russia

I had beers today with a few Ukrainian warriors.

The conversation turned to propaganda, and how effectively Russia advertised photos and videos of Ukrainian casualties.

One of them told me a story of a Russian column of military vehicles getting obliterated by Ukrainian artillery. He said it was a massacre. Easily a hundred dead, and dozens of vehicles. Guys took pictures.

He told me that later the SBU (Ukraine’s FBI) came to the unit to collect all electronic personal devices. He is certain that someone in the SBU made a lot of money by “selling” the pictures to Russia and guaranteeing their censorship.

He says this was a common practice.


The story rings true — both the self-serving corruption on the Ukrainian side, and Russia’s willing to hide at any cost signs of their own weakness. In my essays about Russian propaganda, I’ve repeatedly pointed out that Russia absolutely cannot countenance sign of their own weakness. It’s a recurring theme in history. Russian journalists reporting casualties and investigating rapidly expanding cemeteries have been violently assaulted, or vanished (here, here). There have been stories about mobile crematoriums burning Russia’s dead.


THE REMARKABLE CANDIDACY of Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist, inspired tens of thousands of mostly young supporters to join the Democratic Socialists of America over the last year. This renewed energy in the nation’s largest socialist institution has been a reaction to an assault on the civil liberties, human rights, and economic security on ordinary people by right wing and neoliberal politicians and economic elites. This socialist turn in American politics has strong echoes in the revolutionary movements that emerged in Russia among Jews and other marginalized groups, just as they were beginning to emigrate to the United States in the late 19th century. The peculiar philosophy of Yiddish Socialism, or Yiddishism, that Jews carried with them and refined in the American industrial and political contexts, gave rise to a powerful force of labor and socialist movement activists who were essential to the construction of New Deal, Civil Rights, and Great Society reforms in the middle of the twentieth century. Looking at the conditions under which Yiddish Socialism developed, and how its principles served activists so well as they sought to build radical power among workers of many races and ethnicities, reveals lost lessons that can be applied today as a new movement emerges in the early 21st Century. . . .

WHEN WORKERS OF OTHER RACIAL-ETHNIC GROUPS entered the workforce, Yiddish Socialists were ready to appeal to them not just individually, but through their cultures. The presence of a large minority of Italian garment workers was encouraged by factory owners in the hopes of dividing the workforce through suspicion. Solidarity among Jews and Italians was cultivated by Jewish organizers and their Italian allies. Rose Schneiderman, one of the few paid female organizers in any union, began to reach out to Italian community leaders, including Catholic priests, to build support for the union among Italian garment workers who began to enter the industry even before the Uprising of 20,000. Through education and eventually facilities of their own, the ILGWU created spaces for Italians to explore their ethnic heritage in the union context. In 1916 mostly male cloakmakers formed the all Italian Local 48. Three years later, most Italian women could join the Dressmakers Local 89.

By the end of the First World War, the ILGWU had become the 3rd largest union in the American Federation of Labor. But the post-war Red Scare, new aggressive anti-union tactics by garment manufacturers, and bitter conflicts among the fractured left — Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists — throughout the 1920s and into the early 1930s weakened the union significantly. Workers were being left behind in the great economic surge of the decade. But Jewish unions began to build their own banks and insurance companies to help themselves and their members. And they built cooperative housing their members could not otherwise afford.

During this period manufacturers began to hire thousands of black and Puerto Rican workers as strikebreakers, hoping to foment interracial and interethnic discord. In a truly exceptional moment in American labor history, rather than blame and combat the interlopers, the ILGWU developed strategies to turn the strikebreakers into union loyalists. Moreso, at times when Communist Jews had formed parallel unions in the garment industry, they similarly appealed to black workers in particular.

Through a permanent Unity House in the Poconos, the Workmen’s Circle Camp Kinderland, both built in the early 1920s, and the Socialist Party Rand School of Social Science, among other institutions, Yiddish Socialists invited Black and Spanish-speaking workers to multicultural events, such as plays, concerts and social dances, where they also trained in union building. They also supported A. Philip Randolph, who attended the Rand School in the 1910s with garment workers, as he built the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Despite their efforts, the Depression that began in late 1929 devastated the ILGWU, which was nearly bankrupt at the beginning of 1933.

In the fall of 1933, over 100,000 dressmakers in New York City, working for mostly mostly Jewish and some Italian manufacturers, responded to a strike call by the ILGWU which numbered less than 30,000 throughout the country. Within weeks over 4,000 black and 2,500 Spanish-speaking members joined the union, most of whom were concentrated in the Local 22 Dressmakers and the smaller Local 91 Children’s Dressmakers unions. For 15 years or more, Fannia Cohn had worked tirelessly on the international level, sometimes alone and sometimes with her own money to design and promote education programs and propagate the Yiddishist theory of constructing a militant multicultural labor movement built on a foundation of class-based racial-ethnic identities. Education was the vehicle, and every activity was geared toward preparing workers to take direct action. Dance and sports, for example, were meant for social bonding, but also to train workers to be physical with one another in public and to build trust, qualities essential for picket line battles. Local 22 manager, Charles “Sasha” Zimmerman, a Russian-born revolutionary who had been active in the IWW and the Communist Party before being expelled, enacted Fannia Cohn’s program to the greatest effect.

U.S. Navy Destroyer Arrives in Ukraine Amid Rift With Russia

The U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer Carney sailed into Ukrainian waters Monday in the third visit by a vessel of its kind to the tense Black Sea region since August.

The Arleigh Burke-class U.S.S. Carney docked in the port city of Odessa as part of an ongoing commitment by the U.S. military to show support for Ukraine, particularly in the face of Russian aggression. The former Soviet country has been locked into a prolonged standoff with Russia in its east and south.

Truth hurts. Communist sympathy by age / race – Millenials and non-white are the most communist.

– Among whites, Gen Z has a less favorable opinion of communism certainly than do millennials and also probably than Xers. The survey doesn’t breakdown results by both race and generational cohort, but as seen below, support for communism is much higher among non-whites than it is among whites.

Given that Gen Z is about 55% white while Gen X is closer to 70% white, it’s likely that white Gen Zs report being modestly less favorably inclined towards communism than even white Xers do. Again among whites, zyklons are probably even knocking on the door of boomers, as the latter generational cohort is over 80% white.

– The following pie charts show the racial distribution of survey respondents who report having a favorable view of capitalism and who report having a favorable view of communism:


With demographic change comes economic change.


Data comes from here:

Illustrative Trotsky Quote

The Red Terror is a weapon used against a class that, despite being doomed to destruction, does not wish to perish.

Footnoted in “Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century”,+despite+being+doomed+to+destruction,+does+not+wish+to+perish&source=bl&ots=QX24sDGH-p&sig=UOy2xi9eY8SmE9Zw8YtBNh258oM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZ0YaVwMHYAhUBKFAKHdZ0B2sQ6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=The%20Red%20Terror%20is%20a%20weapon%20used%20against%20a%20class%20that%2C%20despite%20being%20doomed%20to%20destruction%2C%20does%20not%20wish%20to%20perish&f=false

How postmodernists use language as a weapon by Stephen Hicks

off topic, but important

For the postmodernist, language cannot be cognitive because it does not connect to reality, whether to an external nature or an underlying self. Language is not about being aware of the world, or about distinguishing the true from the false, or even about argument in the traditional sense of validity, soundness, and probability. Accordingly, postmodernism recasts the nature of rhetoric: Rhetoric is persuasion in the absence of cognition

Chess champion Anna Muzychuk to forfeit titles in Saudi protest

In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles – one by one. Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. Not to play by someone’s rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature. Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined. All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares. That is a really bitter feeling, still not the one to change my opinion and my principles. The same goes for my sister Mariya – and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care – we’ll be back!

Trump administration approves lethal arms sales to Ukraine

Will all those frothing anti-Trump lunatics admit they were wrong? No. No they won’t. They’ve moved on to the next crisis.


Administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces.

US To Provide Javelin Anti-tank Missiles To Ukraine


The Trump administration approved the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine on Friday as it continues to fight pro-Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, a move that has angered the Kremlin and signifies the U.S. government’s escalating involvement in the conflict.

Incident with crypto exchange owner in Kyiv

Not sure whether to take this at face value. There may be layers and layers of BS to what ***appears*** to be a kidnapping.

Pavel Lerner, the owner of cryptocurrency exchange Exmo, was kidnapped in Ukraine this week.

A Russian citizen, Lerner is responsible for a variety of blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, including UK-based exchange Exmo. As originally reported by Ukrainian news site, Lerner first became unreachable on the 26th of December, and was reportedly dragged into a black Mercedes-Benz and abducted. He has not been heard from since.

Exmo is ranked 23rd by 24-hour volume with $94 million. . . .

While there is as of yet no evidence that the kidnapping will have any effect the experience of using Exmo, trusting funds to a centralized service always carries a certain level of inherent risk. Numerous exchanges have gone under over the years for a variety of reasons from insolvency to government closure, which have put user funds at risk.

London’s High Court has ordered a worldwide freeze of more than $2.5 bn of assets of Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov.

London’s High Court has ordered a worldwide freeze of more than $2.5 bn of assets of Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov. The court ruled in favor of PrivatBank, the country’s largest commercial lender, which was nationalized last year to avoid its financial collapse. The freeze was granted “on the basis of detailed evidence put to the court that Messrs Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov extracted almost $2bn from the bank.” Speaking to, a news website he owns, Kolomoisky minimized the ruling, saying: “This is a temporary arrest during the trial of the case in court.”

Read more at the UBJ