AFL-CIO parade & Housing rally

5 Sep & 18 Sep 2022

AFL-CIO parade that took place on the waterfront on 5 September.

The big story of the past month has been the blitzkieg (lightning war) that Ukraine launched on both
their Southern front near the city of Kherson on 29 August and their Northern front near the city of Kharkiv on 6 September. Before that, they "shaped the battlefield" by hammering the rear areas of Russian-occupied territory, using HIMARS rockets and regular "tube" artillery to take out ammunition dumps, air defense radars, headquarters and bridges. Part of the shaping was to copy a move from World War II. While US and British and French troops were preparing to invade France at Normandy, they pretended that the invasion was aimed at Calais, over 300 km to the North. The deception was so successful, Germany kept troops at Calais until after the Normandy bridgehead was firmly established. Essentially, Ukaine performed a "magic trick," keeping Russian attention so focused on Kherson, they didn't notice Kharkiv until after the counter-offensive there had begun.

Speeches prior to the Union march.

Progress has been far speedier in the North than in the South, but Ukraine is making serious gains on their Southern front as well. Izyum was close to the front lines and was captured a few days ago. Unfortunately, Ukrainians found that it was the site of atrocities. Kupyansk is a major rail center for that region and that was captured on the 10th. That puts  a serious crimp in Russia's ability to hold a big chunk of their Northern front. Big problem on the Southern front is that Russian troops have swamps to their South, the Dnipro River to their East, supplies come from their North and they've got Ukainians attacking from the West. Ukrainians have a salient in their lines that seems to be headed directly towards the town of Beryslav, on the Dnipro River, so it's likely to cut the Russin-occupied area there in half.

Young women practicing their routines.

It's a feature of blitzkreigs that they have very low casualties on both sides, but lots and lots of personnel and equipment captured. From the start of the Kharkiv offensive to 17 September, Ukraine captured 74 tanks and destroyed 21, infantry fighting vehicles 143 and 42, self-propelled artillery 27 and 1 and multiple rocket launchers 15 and 3. I saw a report saying Russian troops withdrew in good order. Obviously, some of them did so, but many did not.

The war has had serious repurcussions for Russian relations with India, China and Central Asian states that used to be Soviet Socialist Republics. Russian President Putin got a kick out of making foreign leader wait for him. Presidents Obama and Trump both had to wait 40 minutes, interestingly, Elizabeth II only had to wait 14 minutes while Pope Francis had to wait an hour. A the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, even Kyrgyzstan maade Putin wait. The leaders of China and India both scolded him. The diplomatic clout of Russia has taken a real beating.

Housing rally 220918

Protest over how the residents of the University City Townhomes have had to struggle just to stay in their homes.

Biden delivers remarks on Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the UN.

“Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the U.N. charter — no more important than the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbors by force,” Biden told the U.N. General Assembly. “If nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, then we put at risk everything this very institution stands for.”

The younger George Bush condemned Russia back in May, only to slip up and condemn his own invasion of Iraq. It is certainly true that the two invasion have a great deal in common. But the Russian invasion seems far more focused on at first, preventing Ukraine from ever joining NATO (Putin declared he wanted to "demilitarize and de-Nazify" Ukraine) and then to, as the Atlantic Council says: "Moscow aims to extinguish Ukrainian statehood and eradicate all traces of Ukrainian identity while incorporating much of the country into Russia itself."  Certainly,
Bush had to settle for goals that were far more modest than even the just plain conquest of Iraq.


Putin has now declared a "partial mobilization," a calling up of reserves. Will it make a difference on the battlefield? Seems pretty unlikely. Russian training of recruits is really bad.

During 2 visits to RU, I saw basic & unit training. It was awful. Familiarization versus qualification on rifles, rudimentary first aid, very few simulations to conserve resources, and...most importantly...horrible leadership by "drill sergeants."

It's likely that new recruis will show up at the front lines fairly promptly, but their usual tactic, typified by the Chinese "Human Wave" tactic of the Korean War in the early 50s, have been tried repeatedly in Ukraine and really haven't been very successful at all. On 15 August:

The Ukrainian military said Monday that it had repelled more than a dozen Russian attacks in the country’s east and north, including attempts to advance on key cities in the eastern industrial heartland known as the Donbas.


What's much worse for Russia is that the reaction of the Russian population is nothing like the cheerful French, British and German approach to World War I. It's much more like the American approach to being drafted from 1969 to 1973, after it had become clear to  the US population that the war in Vietnam was a lost cause. "Russians are protesting and fleeing the country as Putin orders a draft for Ukraine," "Traffic jams and desperation at the border as Russians flee Putin's 'partial mobilization'", etc.  Also: "Anti-war protests have erupted in Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization..."


One extremely good bit of news is that Senator Kyrsten Sinema was a major headache for Democrats trying to pass bills during the past two years. Her term lasts until 2024, but she has no path to re-election, let alone any path to seek promotion to President. Out of 16 demographic categories, she scores, at best, 41 points of favorability and at worst 32 points.

Breaking news:

Sidney Powell no-showed her grand jury date in the Fulton County, Georgia investigation into election tampering.

Also:  Project Veritas found guilty. They owe a $120k fine!


For Donald Trump's legal team, the news went from bad to terrible. The Special Master who was assigned to sort out the regular documents from the privileged ones that were seized from Mar-a-Lago has turned out to be far more rigoous and by-the-book than they anticipated.

Also: "N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James' civil lawsuit hits Trump right in the ego"