Putin and The Destruction of A Worker’s State

Below is an exclusive video from Russia, with English subtitles, exposing the existence of a palace owned by Russian premiere Vladimir Putin on the coast of the Black Sea. According to the New York Times, this opulent, crime-as-substance cost somewhere around $1 billion dollars. What does this all include?

The ground floor includes a spa, a movie theater, a wine cellar and an outdoor area with fountains described as an “aqua disco.” The next floor up, according to the report, has a larger theater, a casino hall and a windowless hookah lounge with a pole-dancing stage. The report also describes an underground hockey rink, a church, a tunnel to the seaside and a 260-foot-long bridge leading to a teahouse.

And in the text version of the investigation, which you can translate from Russian, you can take a virtual look-around Putin’s classy hookah lounge/private strip club which is beyond sleazy.

This ostentatious temple built to one mans avarice and megalomania is maybe one of the sickest shows that can be conceived by the radical left.

This work of investigative journalism is hosted, and produced by top Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and his associates. The AP describes Mr. Nalvany as…

Navalny, 44, is an anti-corruption campaigner and the Kremlin’s fiercest critic. He has outlasted many opposition figures and is undeterred by incessant attempts to stop his work.

He has released scores of damning reports exposing corruption in Putin’s Russia. He has been a galvanizing figure in mass protests, including unprecedented 2011-12 demonstrations sparked by reports of widespread rigging of a parliamentary election.

And there is another great profile of Mr. Navalny here in the NYT here.

Today, as further reported by the AP, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators gathered in and around Pushkin Square in Moscow to protest the unjust incarceration of Mr. Navalny. They were joined by other protesters across the country standing outside in sometimes -58 F weather. Navalny’s being held on trumped up charges of financial crimes clearly levelled against him as a political hit and and an excuse to imprison him. (The charges brought against him and his brother the European Court of Human Rights have declared unwarranted.) Further, these protests have led to the arrests of more than 3,000 peaceful protesters, many more beaten, by the Russian authorities.

Watch the beatings here:

The breadth and depth of the above investigation is unbelievably expansive. Just scroll through the text, as I did, if you can stomach it, and observe the images , 3-D models, and linked .pdf files of floor plans. Remarkable. This video/text also shows one of the many cases of theft (by the “believed” richest man in the world, according to a Fortune report) from the Russian people by Putin, his cronies, and fellow oligarchs.

Why do I find this so upsetting? Because from the momentous days of the October Revolution of 1917, to the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1989-1991, there was so much work, sacrifice, and eventual loss of dreams for the creation of a true workers’ state. Now look what it has turned into. A plutocracy where the man with more money than Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates has the people beaten in the streets when peacefully protesting. And just over false charges against a rival who wants the best for everyone.

If I were not Kentucky White Trash, I would like to have the money to visit Russia some day and see all of the great sites: St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Winter Palace, Lenin’s Mausoleum. But I swear to you now and to the day of my death, I would never spend a single kopek in the Russian state because, more than likely, it would end up in one of the chests belonging to Vladimir Putin.

Cuban International Terrorism? What!?

On Jan. 11th, the New York Times and the AP reported that Trump’s State Department lead by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Cuba as a U.S. deemed state sponsor of terror. The label was applied to the nation from 1959 to 2015; the time between the Socialist Revolution of the Castro Brothers, Che Guevara, and the countless members of the People’s Socialist Party, and the détente under Barack Obama. In 2015, Pres. Obama took Cuba off the list and renewed diplomatic relations with the Socialist experiment that is Cuba, and Joe Biden is expected to thaw relations even further.

The Socialist Caribbean island-state is designated by Pompeo as a terror-supporting state for three reasons:

  • Cuba has taken in several members of the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) and defied extradition requests from the leaders’ home country. Peace talks between the ELN and the Colombian government took place in Havana beginning in December 2015 and lead to the ELN leaders never leaving. The Colombian government wants them to pay for an ELN bombing of a police station in Bogota that took place in 2019. Cuba refuses to send them back because it would violate protocols established between the two groups during peace efforts that were broken off after the bombing.
  • Cuba is the protective home of Joanne D. Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur. Shakur is a former member of the Black Liberation Army and is still wanted for a killing of a New Jersey state trooper in the 1970’s. Two other fugitives now call Cuba home along with Shakur, and they have never been extradited back to the U.S. for over some 50 years now.
  • Cuba is a strong ally of Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro; the U.S.’s biggest Latin-American boogey man right now (probably the biggest since Fidel Castro.) Despite crippling sanctions on this oil-rich nation of South America, the U.S. government, and most of the media, blame socialist reforms implemented during the time of Pres. Hugo Chavez as the source of every Venezuelan ill. It’s never the sanctions, always the radical left ideology.

The State Department says Cuba has, “…provided support for acts of international terror.” Therefore they join only three other countries on the list: Iran, Syria, and North Korea. (Cuba’s a little out of place, don’t ya think?)

According to a Reuters report, Cuba has already got a cash-strapped economy that shrank 11% in 2020 due to the pandemic, tougher U.S. sanctions, and domestic inefficiencies, according to Economy Minister Alejandro Gil. And the NYT reports, Cuba has began having shortages of both medicine and food, as the article describes,

“…Cubans have been forced to stand in line for hours in the hope of getting their hands on the meager stocks that exist.”

If you go back into the past posts of STL. you will see my obvious sympathy for the nation of Cuba. There are terrible, terrible lies that are spread about Socialist Cuba all over regarding accusations of large executions, brutal forced labor camps, and any and everything Che Guevara related (If you can stomach it, check out this short YouTube clip of Joe Rogan stating on his popular podcast that Guevara was a “mass murderer.”) And most of these lies come from former rich Cubans who were not interested in showing any humanity towards the country’s poor after the Revolution. They all packed their bags, headed north for Florida, and they still cry for their exploitative businesses, like their sugarcane plantations where the peasants did all the work, living in ignorance and filth. This is why Trump won Florida in 2020. “Little Havanna” knew that both Trump’s and Pompeo’s massive egos cannot handle this little island shaking it’s fist at the monolithic United States.

My point, finally, is that it is ridiculous for Cuba to be designated as state sponsor of terror. And second, these sanctions only hurt the people there. The long lines, lack of food, and absence of electricity and cooking fuel in Cuba (and in Venezuela) are a result of sanctions. And now there are new one’s levied by our ruler on his last days in office.

Tell me, have sanctions worked in North Korea, Iran, Iraq under Saddam, Venezuela, or Cuba? No, they have not. They have just hurt the people.

And on a lighter note, check out this comedy sketch about Cuba’s designation as a terror-supporter at the State Dept. from Breakthrough News:

What’s Behind the Suleimani Assassination?

It seems that Pres. Trump could very well have made the largest foreign policy miscalculation in the Mid-East region since Pres. Bush II invaded Iraq in 2003. The assassination of Quds Force Comdr. Suleimani last night in Baghdad via a missile fired from a drone upon his motorcade could be just it.

Here’s a clip from the NYT today showing how the Trump administration is going to try and justify this destabilizing attack in the world’s most volatile (and resource rich) area :

“Suleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” [Trump] said, speaking to reporters from his resort in West Palm Beach, Fla. “We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war.”

At this point the people have not been told by the administration what “imminent attack” Suleimani was “plotting.” Did they “cherry pick” the intelligence to justify the attack, just like the Bush II administration did so to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003? Are they using this assassination as a ploy to rally American popular support beneath Trump’s approval numbers and divert attention from the Dem’s primary race for President in 2020?

I can’t wait to see what kind of justification Secy State Pompeo and Trump reveal to the American people for this foolish, foolish act. We remember Iraq’s WMD’s. We won’t be fooled again…

Organized Workers Taking It to the 1%

In yesterday’s NYT there was a good article entitled “In a Strong Economy, Why Are So Many Workers on Strike?” It reported that from Chicago teachers, to GM workers, to Marriot International Hotel employees, labor is taking it to the capitalists through collective action. Even flight attendants and airplane mechanics are finding creative ways of sabotage (which they unconvincingly deny) due to the fact that they cannot legally strike without federal approval. It’s as D. Taylor, president of the UNITE HERE hospitality workers union, is quoted in the story saying:

“It’s about: ‘OK, the government is not going in to take care of us. Business is not going to take care of us. We’ve got to take care of ourselves.”

Why? The American worker took cuts to their pay and benefits in the wake of the Great Recession ten-years ago, but now their capitalist masters are making billions and billions while the proletariat is getting shafted. Due to the austerity measures they pitched in with during the 2007-2008 economic crisis which remain in place, they are not getting anything back as their wages remain stagnant in comparison to the ridiculous amounts of profits gained by Wall St.
It’s as D. Taylor is further quoted stating:


“It’s been bubbling up for some time. Now it’s come up to the surface.”

The American worker needs to keep up the fight against their rich masters with strikes and sabotage. Organized labor, from Marx and Engels to the Russian Soviets, is an essential force with which to gain leverage over the bourgeoisie. Remember, the 1% are winning the class war while most of the 99% don’t even recognize that it’s taking place.

NYT: Many Top Corps Paying 0% Taxes Driving Some to Far Left Organization

We want what the people want:

Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. “I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient,” he said, “and taxation alone is inefficient.”

www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/us/politics/democrats-taxes-2020.html

FUNYT!: NYT Opinion Page Water’s Down Far Left Possibilities

I have been searching over at the New York Times Opinion Page for the words “Trump socialism.” I read through the search results to learn what the point of view of the “Paper of Record,”or the liberal elite, feel about the radical left, and I was greatly disappointed. (Find four of the most relevant articles below).

The majority of the op-eds mention, especially among young people, that socialism is getting a better favorability rate than maybe ever before. Polling even shows that people under 30 have a higher liking towards socialism than to capitalism. But in ingesting the context around this polling data, the writers were giving socialism an extremely watered-down treatment.

They are starting to state, just a little, that a social democratic direction for the country is preferable to our current brutal and oppressive system which the bourgeoisie labels as “capitalism” (Remember, it’s capitalism for the masses, socialism for the rich. No “laissez faire” there). But yet I hated to here that so many of the authors were advocating the pointless, suffering-inducing, gradual style of a movement towards socialism through the means of a social democratic movement among politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. This is a totally unacceptable strategy.

As I read through these articles, they all outlined how Trump and the rest of the GOP are out to produce another “red scare” to frighten people away from any type of movement towards a real leftist system. It is time for the people to act. We don’t need little barbs in our editorials reassuring people we’re not Venezuela, or that Lenin or Trotsky will not be our new “Founding Framers.” We need to take a real step towards true equality and justice and move towards socializing big business, such as utility companies and manufacturers, which live off the blood of the workers. We need real change, right now. We need to take it to the streets and strike while the iron is hot. With such a high favorability of socialism among the young we do not need any gradual, long-ended social democratic candidates in Washington to eventually change the system over a hundred-year period.

Let’s get it together, NOW!

Proposed Tax On Million Dollar Living Spaces Serving As Second Home

“For properties valued between $5 million and $6 million, a 0.5 percent surcharge would be added on the value over $5 million. Fees and a higher surcharge would apply to homes that sold for more than $6 million, topping out at a $370,000 fee and a 4 percent surcharge for homes valued at more than $25 million.”

This would be huge in NYC where so many high end living spaces remain empty for they are just investments.

Would be great for a subway system revamp, and any leftover for remedying the housing crisis there.

www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/nyregion/mta-subways-pied-a-terre-tax.html

NYT: “The Making of a U.K. Millennial Socialist”

Stand with our British sisters, brothers, and comrades!!!

nyti.ms/2GEXexS

Gaza Medic Murder Investigation: STL Stands Against Israeli Crimes

As in agreement with our far-leftist brothers, Sparking The Left supports the persecuted Palestinians in their battle against the occupying and murderous state of Israel. The reasons are too many to begin with here, but the below video investigation by the New York Times into a medic’s shooting death at the Gaza/Israeli border, should be a start. We profess our support for the Palestinian people, whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or those living as refugees outside of those borders. Israel is running an apartheid regime and has established a ghetto in the Gaza Strip.

As you watch this story, be aware that it has gone completely uncovered by the mainstream media outside of the Video Investigation Team at the NYT. Why?  For any sense of empathy towards any citizen of Gaza is too far left off the spectrum of acceptable dialogue to be engaged in by most corporate media.

Stand With Us!!!

Americans Should be Envious: “Why Infants May Be More Likely to Die in America Than Cuba”

nyti.ms/2HieZUR

A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.