Tag Archives | Communism

Stalin’s Flying Tank

AntonovA40What Stalin wanted, Stalin got, gravity be damned. No evidence the thing actually worked, even with the one “photo” taken of it. Via Wikipedia:

The Antonov A-40 Krylya Tanka (Russian: крылья танка, meaning “tank wings”) was a Soviet attempt to allow a tank to glide into a battlefield after being towed aloft by an airplane, to support airborne forces or partisans. A prototype was built and tested in 1942, but was found to be unworkable. This vehicle is sometimes called the A-40T or KT.

Instead of loading light tanks onto gliders, as other nations had done, Soviet airborne forces had strapped T-27 tankettes underneath heavy bombers and landed them on airfields. In the 1930s there were experimental efforts to parachute tanks or simply drop them into water. During the 1940 occupation of Bessarabia, light tanks may have been dropped from a few meters by TB-3 bombers, allowing them to roll to a stop with the gearbox in neutral.

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Two Icons, Two Deaths, Two Worlds: The Media Simplified Them Both

Jong-Il / HavelThe world has said goodbye to two leaders who were worlds apart. One was a widely celebrated anti-communist, the other a widely despised communist. However, both the lives and thoughts of the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel, and North Korea’s Kim Jung-il were given short shrift.

The playwright turned President Havel who parlayed human rights activism into becoming Czechoslovakia‘s post-Communist President was a leader for the pro-democracy Charter 77 Movement, not just a Red-hating politician on a power trip.

Yet, the press praised him more for what he opposed than what he believed. The people who loved him adored him for both.

One report: “Thousands of silent mourners have accompanied the body of Vaclav Havel through central Prague as the Czech Republic began three days of national mourning for the icon of the Velvet Revolution.

About 10,000 mourners mostly in black, some carrying Czech or Slovak flags, joined a solemn procession taking the former president’s coffin from a church through narrow cobbled streets to Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, on Wednesday.”

Havel was an intellectual, a non-violent revolutionary who also presided over the break up of his country into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.… Read the rest

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North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il Dead

Kim Jong-ilReports David Chance and Jack Kim of Reuters:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip, state media reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program. A tearful television announcer dressed in black said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance" — a reference to advice dispensed by the "Dear Leader" on his trips to factories, farms and military bases. Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il's youngest son, was named by North Korea's official news agency KCNA as the "great successor" to his father, which lauded him as "the outstanding leader of our party, army and people."
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Putin Calls U.S. A ‘Parasite’ Over Its Debt

Alien ChestbursterJust over its debt, Mr. Putin…? Richard Boudreux writes in the Wall Street Journal:

MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called the U.S. “a parasite” because of its huge debt load, evoking a term used by Soviet leaders to demonize people who didn’t work, study or serve the Communist state.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, shown at a youth forum, on Monday labeled the U.S. ‘a parasite’ for its debt load. The term is steeped in Soviet rhetoric: Lenin invoked it after the 1917 revolution, and Stalin, himself denounced as a parasite by Trotsky, used the label against Jews, dissidents and others.

In a speech Monday, Mr. Putin said Russia and other countries should seek new reserve currencies to hedge against “a systemic malfunction” in the U.S. Both Russia and China in the past have questioned the dollar’s pre-eminence as a reserve currency and its role in international trade and investment.

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North Korea’s Most Sought-After Consumer Items: Skinny Jeans, Ramen, Porn, And Human Manure

0-jeans

Wondering what objects people ruled by the world’s most repressive dictatorship would like to get their hands on? A Seoul-based professor who interviewed recent North Korean defectors was told that the hottest consumer goods from the past year include skinny jeans, ramen soup, porn films, and even human feces. The Korea Herald has the story:

Skinny jeans, blue crabs, pig-intestine rolls and even human manure were some of the hottest items among North Korean consumers this year, according to a South Korean professor who has interviewed recent defectors from the communist country.

Kim Young-soo, a political science professor at Seoul’s Sogang University, said in a conference on Tuesday that adult movies, television dramas and instant noodle “ramen” made in South Korea are also selling “like hot cakes” in North Korea.

Skinny jeans refer to slim-fit pants that have gained popularity around the world, said Kim who interviewed about 2,000 defectors this year as part of a research project for the government.

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Cuban Medics in Haiti Put the World to Shame

Cuba In HaitiNina Lakhani writes in the Indepedent:

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.

A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention.

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Two Minutes Hate

thai-crackdownFrom Nick Pell at Red Star Times

Four things happened recently that I think require attention. They speak to not just the world that we live in as it is, but the direction where we are headed. It’s a cliche to repeat, but that won’t stop me–the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” applies now more than ever.

We do, indeed live in “interesting” times. Times as interesting as 1914, 1929 or 1939. We will live to see days like 1905, 1936 and 1968. Only time will tell if they blossom into 1789, 1871 or 1917, but the alternative is too terrifying to even contemplate.

Full Article at Red Star Times

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“The Left” vs. The Working Class

Hi, I'm a Douchebag and my name is This Guy

From Nick Pell at Red Star Times

“The Communist Party cannot fulfill its mission except by preserving, completely and unconditionally, its political and organizational independence apart from all other parties and organizations within and without the working class.” – L. Trotsky

I am frequently maligned and attacked for not supporting “the left.” Slings and arrows thrown my way include admonishments to “get behind the real movement” and appeals for a “united front” from people who clearly don’t understand what the term means. However, it’s worth pointing out (once again) that I don’t consider building “the left” to be the task of a socialist. The task of a socialist is to help the working class organize to take power. Rather than building block along the road towards this end, the left is perhaps the largest impediment to working class politics both domestically and internationally. Whether you think of the left as being the Democratic Party or any number of social democratic and Stalinist parties internationally matters not at all.… Read the rest

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Latvia Sells Secret Soviet City

skrunda Lavtia has auctioned off an entire city to a private bidder. Skrunda-1 has built by the USSR in the ’80s and kept off all maps and records. “It is not immediately clear” what plans the mysterious investor has for it. From the Boston Globe:

Latvia sold a deserted town built around a Soviet-era radar station to a Russian investor who bid $3.1 million at an unusual auction yesterday, officials said.

The town formerly known as Skrunda-1 housed about 5,000 people during the Cold War. It was abandoned over a decade ago after the Russian military withdrew from Latvia following the Soviet collapse.

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