Alt Left: Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

An absolutely essential piece by Ernest Everhard from the Alternative Left website sums up perfectly an Alt Left position on SJWism, Intersectionality or Intersectional Feminism. It’s a bit hard to read, but I understood 90%+ of it, so maybe you can understand a lot of it too. This is us. This is really us. This is an immaculate summary of exactly what the Alternative Left is all about. Please feel free to comment on this: this is a very important topic in this great movement we are trying to build here.

Intersectionality Is Itself a System of Power

Intersectionality is itself a system of power. It upholds the status quo and protects the powerful and privileged.
Recognizing this is the key difference between the alternative left and other current forms of political thought.
A fan of the Alternative Left Facebook page recently posed this question to me:

Have you considered that you might be postmodernist? The actual meaning of the term, not Peterson’s ridiculous conflation and confusion of it. It seems as if a lot of your philosophy relies on the rejections of meta-narratives.

At a glance, this seems an absurd question. Isn’t rejection of postmodernism integral to the alt-left? Doesn’t all that deconstruction and bafflegab distract from the hard and real work of class struggle? Isn’t a return to some semblance of economic realism, if not historical materialism, what we’re all about at the end of the day?
Not so fast. While I don’t think postmodernism is a tenable philosophy long term, it does make some good points. It’s like nihilism and other forms of radical skepticism. They’re nice places to visit, and doing so is a sign of intellectual growth, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
My quarrel with postmodernism is how it tends to be cherry picked by the intersectional left, the feminist theorists in particular. They’re quite good at using deconstruction to pick apart the texts of their opponents, and will exploit other postmodernist concepts such as “the death of the author” – the idea that textual interpretation by authorial intent is flawed – to license their tendency to simply read their own narrative into ideas that threaten them.
They use such notions as science being a western, patriarchal “way of knowing” as a legitimizing excuse to handwave otherwise proven claims of some biological basis in gender differences, for example.
Deconstruction, cognitive framing and other advanced linguistic concepts are devastating ideological weapons against those who are not aware of them. Intersectional theorists get a unique education in these concepts in the academic institutions wherein their views dominate. Institutions that are not cheap to attend and require significant baseline intelligence to be successful in. They’re therefore able to win debates against their less privileged opponents simply through framing and linguistic and cognitive gimmicks of this nature.
Ultimately, however, feminist theory’s apparent embrace of postmodernism is self serving pretense. Notice how their own theories are presented as if they were eternal truths, universally binding on all people under all circumstances. Cultural relativism is fine when it’s used to impose multiculturalism and diversity upon western cultural spaces, but has a funny way of disappearing when similar demands of tolerance are made of feminist theorists in turn.
Fixed and objective meaning of text based on authorial intent is not authoritative, since the author no doubt lives in a network of socially constructed systems of which he is barely aware. But not so the feminist critic.
Her views, and her views alone apparently, somehow transcend the context of the society that gave rise to them, and so are above questions of this nature and constitute an ultimate authority on par with divine revelation. No one is faster to declare epistemic superiority for their own points of view – standpoint theories so called – than college feminists who’ve studied the poststructuralists closer than anyone. If feminist theory is not a metanarrative, you tell me what is.
Who deconstructs feminist theory, one must ask?
Yeah, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
Herein lies a very central tenet of alternative leftism: that the brands of postmodern critical theory so prevalent on college campuses and that are the underlying ideologies of the SJW’s are actually conservative, not radical. They are in fact themselves systems of power, like the very notions of patriarchy and colonialism they so love to deconstruct.
This is quite naturally a counter intuitive concept when first exposed to it. Feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory and so on – Intersectionality serving as a kind of one ring to rule them all and thus a useful term for referring to them collectively – is interpreted either as official party line and not to be questioned, in the case of the mainstream left.
Or else condemned as “Cultural Marxism” and taken at face value as advocacy for an artificial egalitarianism, in the case of the right. Neoreaction comes quite strangely closest to the truth in its denouncing of progressive ideology as “the Cathedral” – a vast Matrix like social construct comparable to the Christian church in the middle ages – the state religion to which everyone must pay homage, hence the term.

The Cathedral: It doesn’t challenge the aristocracy.
It is the aristocracy.

Neoreaction’s flaw, however, lies in the irony of its denunciation of progressivism in those terms. Isn’t a medieval form of social organization exactly what they want? The Church of the middle ages, far from being an institution for egalitarian social leveling, had a long history of supporting the aristocracy and running interference on behalf of the status quo, despite a good portion of what Christ actually taught, which may be where the confusion arises.
So it is with intersectionality. Despite its pretenses, and despite what were likely genuinely radical critiques at one time, current year intersectionality does not challenge privilege. It upholds privilege.
Do not misunderstand me, dear reader. I do not condone racism towards minorities, misogyny and homophobia. The left spearheaded the fight against those things for all the right reasons. And not merely because prejudice undermines working class solidarity, thought that is reason enough. To be left is to value equality, to some degree or another, and fair treatment regardless of what one is by accident of birth. Intersectionality itself was intended to be a manner of looking at how various different forms of oppression reinforce one another. This is not in itself a bad idea.
The problem is that intersectionality has evolved into something does not actually promote real social justice. Its lack of tolerance for dissent made it vulnerable to abuse on part of the unscrupulous, who were thereby attracted to intersectional feminist spaces.
They’ve co-opted social justice movements, and used them as tools to oppress people. It’s like Marxist Leninism 2.0 – a popular movement is appropriated and exploited by an elite vanguard professing to represent the interests of marginalized people, and using that to consolidate their own power. Cultural rather than political power this time, but the underlying mechanisms are quite a bit alike.
It’s also quite different from Marxism in one key aspect, and this is often overlooked by those on the right who equate intersectional ideas with Marxian leftism: intersectionality’s lack of emphasis on political economy. It is not merely that they simply don’t care about or are ignorant of the internal workings of the international economy or the political machines of the G7 nations.
Intersectionalists are rewarded by capital for framing privilege in terms of racial and sexual identity rather than in terms of wealth and political power. These rewards include expansion in academia, access to agenda setting mass media and favorable policy service. Ideological systems that truly threaten the status quo do not enjoy universally favorable media bias, moderator bias on major corporate social media platforms and an exalted status in academic institutions.
The state religion does not advocate for the truly marginalized within the polity.
It’s important that you divest yourself of the notion that intersectionalists truly represent the underclasses, including most women and people of color. They occupy a very different world than that of working single mothers or unemployed minority youths in the ghetto, or on their way to prison.
They occasionally will use real oppressions suffered by women and minorities while making the case for an increase in their own influence, but that is the only reason for which they ever seem to do so. If one takes their standpoint theories at all seriously, the plush halls of the academy and major media outlets are not the places we should be seeing credible voices of the oppressed and marginalized. Those voices are kept quite intentionally silent, because their demands will be for redressment of their economic hardships and lack of political representation.
Women who are turned off of men and family as a result of feminism, and men who are turned off of religion, community and nationalism as a result of anti western critical theory find themselves completely atomized and without an identity. This is central to the alt-right’s critique of modern liberalism and the abolition of borders.
But the real question is: who is the real beneficiary of all this? The far right will tell you that this is “cultural Marxism” and is necessary in order to groom the populace for the embrace of socialism.
That’s not what happened. If you do not believe that, observe how neoliberalism increased apace just as this so called cultural Marxism did. The emergence of political correctness coincided with Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. If the idea was for feminism and multiculturalism to precede socialism, they could not have failed more miserably.
Atomized individuals turn to careerism and consumerism to fill the void, and they’re more easily replaced when cheaper cogs for the machine are found. So they’re more obedient and easily used in the workforce and more responsive to consumer trends. When other vectors of identity are removed, do the brands we work for and consume become the way we identify ourselves?
This seems to me to be the triumph of capitalism, and quite in line with the manner in which Marx believed capitalism would progress, abolishing relations based on kinship and reducing all human interaction to commodity exchange, rather than the triumph of Marxism itself that it’s so often described as by reactionaries.
Hard Fact: Social liberalism is the handmaiden of capital, not of revolution. And so capital became socially liberal when national economies became fully saturated and capital had to go global in order to keep up its expansion. The alt-right is hated in the capitalist press because capital must always seek new markets, and it was therefore in capital’s interest to globalize and promote diversity.
Observe one of the methods whereby Intersectionality preserves its hegemony: by seeking to get people who disagree with them fired from their jobs. Often with no recourse or due process whatsoever. In what world does leveraging the power of capital over labor so flagrantly and directly constitute anything that could be at all called left wing?
This is what was done to socialists and trade unionists back in the bad old days of blacklisting. This isn’t to say that removal of an offensive or hateful person from a workplace isn’t sometimes appropriate or necessary, but to use the threat of employment loss as a means of enforcing ideological conformity more broadly is something the left should not be supporting. We can question the rationality of workers supporting conservatism all we want. It won’t seem quite so irrational now that this ugly tactic has been normalized.
Another hard fact: Intersectionality relies on the absolute power that capital has over labor and consumers in order to successfully impose its will on the population, as it’s doing in geek culture, for instance. The capacity for populations to resist cultural and moral relativism imposed from above would be greatly increased if cultural and economic as well as political institutions were democratized and under some or another kind of social ownership.
Intersectionalists are a safe and nerfed form of “leftism.” One that attacks white male “neckbeards” and “dudebros” in places like 4chan while leaving the State Department, the military industrial complex and Wall Street lobbyists unscrutinized.
Activists and even radicals who truly want to challenge the status quo find their anger and vigor channeled into safe outlets that do not truly threaten the powers that be. Offensive statements by white male celebrities are made front page news by an intersectionalist movement that’s presented in the headlines as being radical and subversive – the resistance, so called. Offensives launched by the US military on the other side of the world in defense of petrodollar interests are kept more safely out of the public eye.
Intersectionality is a tool used by an educated elite to police the culture of the underclass, and to undermine the solidarity of that underclass by dividing it along racial and gender lines. We’ve seen this done time and again now: with Occupy Wall Street, with Bernie Sander’s campaign for the White House, now with the Democratic Socialists of America. Most leftist spaces on social media are completely overrun by intersectional dominance, even ones that profess to be Marxist or anarchist.
Intersectional activists have a curious way of coming to dominate leftist spaces, and maintain their power through dividing the left against itself and redirecting popular anger towards other segments of the left. Sometimes the target is white male leftists – brocialists, so called. Sometimes it’s white feminism, or TERF’s or straight feminism. Sometimes straight black males are called the white people of black people.
Sometimes cisgender gay males are driven out of LGBT spaces. Some or another activist has run afoul of the intersectionalist overlords and is publicly shamed, like in a Maoist struggle session or the young kids being banished from polygamous fundamentalist communities for the most trivial reasons.
But the real reasons aren’t so trivial: to maintain the power of the leadership over the flock. Ceaseless purity spiraling destroys the cohesiveness of the left. J. Edgar Hoover and his COINTELPRO could not have done a better job if they tried. Perhaps the FBI still is, and that’s what all this really is.
Like a puritanical religion, intersectionality promotes a guilt based morality that ceaselessly berates its followers for their ideological and lifestyle shortcomings. Theories of inherited privilege based on what people are by accident of birth become a moral burden comparable to original sin. People with a lot of internalized guilt do not take action to challenge their leaders. They punch down, not up.
Nearly any action a person may commit or even a thought they might think can be construed as oppressive in some way or anther. That combined with intersectionality’s taboo on questioning claims of oppression made by its activist leadership – who are above any kind of ethical or moral standards due to their supposed “marginalization” – results in a near cult like atmosphere in intersectional spaces. Not surprisingly, most people want nothing to do with this and thus nothing to do with the left overall. Who does that benefit, in the long run?
As mentioned previously, considerable education is needed to really understand their theories, and the intersectionalists themselves conveniently have a near hegemony within the academy itself. Hence, the relative absence of working class people in these self styled radical movements.
Which in turn makes the whole of the left easy for the right to denounce as “limousine liberals”, “champagne socialists” or the like. No more effective means of turning the working class off of the political left could be contrived. This makes McCarthyism look clumsy and amateurish. People who are rightly put off by intersectionality then defect quite willingly to conservatism as a protest against it. One almost wonders if this wasn’t the intent all along.
The problem is not with education itself, which is perfectly fine and good. But rather with the co-optation of education to serve elite interests. Something that the left was much more willing and able to call out prior to the capture of the humanities and social sciences by intersectionalists.
The ideology of intersectionality itself is constructed to be a closed system of thought, wherein disagreement with it is likened to actual oppressive behavior against a marginalized person. Allegations of racism or sexism – made with the backing of powerful media outlets – against lone individuals without recourse and no due process are effective and currently socially legitimate ways of marginalizing people. It’s a good way of removing someone who’s bringing up facts and ideas that the truly powerful don’t want publicly legitimized.
Far from emboldening the resistance, intersectionality keeps protest culture in line and ensures its continuity as a controlled opposition. One that allows the powers that be to claim that they allow and legitimize dissent – so long as it doesn’t really threaten them. One oligarch or another might get thrown under the bus due to his alleged racism or sexism here and there.
The oligarchy itself is thus made safer, for it submits itself to the appearance that it really is held to scrutiny and made accountable for its abuses. Surely the absurdity of a racist or sexist comment ruining a CEO while his abuse of his workers, defrauding of his shareholders and pollution of the environment as a matter of course going completely unnoticed highlights the absurd nature of intersectionality as a form of radicalism.
With leftism like intersectionality, who needs conservatism? It’s the ultimate metanarrative, and if the postmodernist techniques of deconstruction can be turned against it, that can only be a good thing. An essential thing, as a matter of fact.

Why Trump Is a Disaster: The Environment, Consumer and Investor Protection, and Financial Regulation

Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.
Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)

The environment? I am an environmentalist. Trump hates mass transit. Trump’s rolled back fuel standards. Trump doesn’t believe in global warming. Trump’s promoted the fossil fuel industry which is frankly destroying the whole planet and causing global warming which may the death of us all. Trump is dismantling clean energy, solar, etc. Trump’s disastrous on everything environmental like all Republicans.
Trump’s been catastrophic for consumers. Trump has pushed policies that have jacked up prices on a lot of things for us by dismantling consumer protections and regulations and giving corporations and businesses the right to purse maximum profits at our expense. Trump has even dismantled consumer protections for investors so now corporations can screw them over too, which they do, just as they do to workers and consumers, every time they get a chance.
The Finance Regulatory Bureau has been dismantled. Those regulations were set up to prevent another economic crash. With the regulations gone, there will probably be another terrible crash. Trump loosed regulations on banks so they can rip us off a lot more than they already do.

Letter from Chile

Chile is supposed to be the dream state of the radical rightwing economic types that shows how neoliberalism and radical free market capitalism is the best system ever. They point to Chile and cheer about what a supposed success story it is. But I have always felt that Chile blows under this new model. If Chile is a the rightwing free marketeers’ showcase, then what can I say? They can have it. It ain’t no showcase to me. A showcase for what? What the Hell kind of a model is that?

I really enjoyed this letter from a commenter which sums up all of my feelings about Chile and also adds some new problems that I was not aware of. I also liked her writing style!

Isabel writes:

I lived in the States many years before relocating to Santiago in the early 80’s. I’ve lived here 30 years, so I know what it’s like. There is good and bad as everywhere else, and you just have to come to terms. A taxi driver once told me, “La tierra es buena pero la raza es mala”. I love living near the Andes, but Chilean society is screwed up.

For instance, everybody lies because they can’t be authentic — it’s taboo to be authentic here. Chileans are artists at making nice but once they (esp. males) are behind the wheel of a car, they become total A-holes. The driver with a bigger vehicle who is going a lot faster than you are has right of way.

Abusive practices are the norm. If you show assertiveness, watch out – you will have hidden enemies who will be sharpening their knives then gloating over your downfall.

In my opinion Pinochet was Darth Vader all right. The dictatorship ushered in the reign of evil, the untrammeled power of money.

They trumpet about how Chile is less corrupt than any other Latin American country, but this is just because they hide it better, and  the recent scandals are starting to uncover the dirt.

Appearances are everything here: modernity, progress are a smokescreen — look behind or underneath and you’ll find the cowering underclasses and a middle class under siege.

The powerless fight back with ingenious scams and byzantine violent tactics against the wealthy when they are weakest, like attacking women returning from the mall in their Mercedeses and Porsches at their electric gates.

I do fault the elites here for their selfishness, and yes, their stupidity. They refuse to understand that by holding back the progress of the underclasses and refusing to change their 19th century habits and attitudes, they are destroying the future of a beautiful country that could be a genuine beacon… they’re too addicted to the Just-Us mentality of the ex-colonized and white immigrants who’ve turned into internal colonizers, moneyed groups inside their exclusivist enclaves.

The Mapuche Nation is continually at war with the political and economic elites because these have pillaged and landgrabbed the south far worse than the Spaniards ever did. It really is shameful, the lack of conscience and egoism of the supposedly breast-beating devout Catholic wealthy of this country and the hypocrisy and brazen greed of the corporate classes.

The youth are fighting for free quality education, for dignity and respect — they had it under Allende. It’s shocking to see how the militarized police shoot teargas at schoolchildren and their parents, how they beat peacefully marching high school kids with their truncheons, and how the media blame the students for the violence when witnesses see the police themselves go out disguised as rioters.

Pinochet and the oligarchy have not ceased to hate Allende. They got their way, but they’ve been a total failure notwithstanding all the gleaming high-rises (and no thought for the resulting worsened traffic congestion and no provision of sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely) and the faux macroeconomic growth and lowered poverty rates (while executives earn 500 times more than ordinary workers).

Foreigners agree that Santiago is a hostile city, nothing is done about air pollution, there are growing numbers of homeless, prices vary 50% or 100% depending on whether you live in a poor, unsafe municipality or in a tony one, builders destroy residential neighborhoods with malls and substandard high-rise apartment buildings that fewer and fewer can afford to rent in. Ritzy clinics provide lousy medical care when you do have an emergency.

Many dream of leaving Santiago, but most jobs are here, and services in other regions are under-financed or nonexistent.

I’m not even going to discuss the sorry state of women’s rights and the violence against women.

Something’s gotta give. We need a sea change in mentality. We need to put paid to savage capitalism, i.e., neoliberalism. The foundations of Chilean society laid down by elites with a social conscience and the ethos of service between the 1920’s and the 1960’s have been well-nigh demolished. The military coup was the start of the darkest period ever seen in this country, and we have yet to see how the light will return.

San Bernardino and the Inland Empire

The latest mass shooting shooting occurred in San Bernardino, which is part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. This is a part of Southern California called the Inland Empire. It has long been known as a hot, dry area quite a ways inland from LA.

Out there in Inland Empire cities like Redlands, Riverside and San Berdoo as it is known locally one encounters some of the worst smog in the LA Basin. A lot of the smog produced in the area is apparently funneled back into the Inland Empire with onshore winds back into what amounts to basins surrounded by mountains.

The smog is so bad out there that you can actually see the smog particles floating in the air, you can taste the smog, feel it stinging your eyes and even feel it in your stomach where it gives you a stomachache after you swallow it. I know that all sounds nuts, but you can go out there yourselves and experience it if you do not believe me.

Supposedly LA’s smog has cleaned up quite a bit since I left in 1990. I am uncertain how much it has really cleaned up, and I would have to see it to believe it.

The area is very hot in the summer and pretty hot year-round for that matter. It was traditionally the home of very rightwing, redneck, working class Whites who often wore leather and rode motorcycles. There is also a fairly large White Trash element. Why these Whites are so rightwing is a mystery.

In the last 20 years, San Berdoo has gone from 20% to 70% Hispanic, so it is now one more of the many Hispanic cities in California. The Inland Empire is not a very attractive place, but there are some nice homes out by Redlands. It’s too hot to grow much of anything out there, but the region is a traditional citrus growing region for a long time now. Much of the citrus has been displaced by housing following a traditional pattern in Southern California for 50 years now.

The city of San Berdoo itself is a bit different from the other cities in the Empire, as it is at the far eastern edge of the inland valleys, and high mountains called the San Bernardino Mountains loom up all around the town.

"Fracked Gas Exports," by Juliette Zephyr

Our excellent young female guest writer Juliette Zephyr shows up for another guest post about a subject that has unfortunately been neglected on this blog.

Fracked Gas Exports

by Juliette Zephyr

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you have heard of the disturbing prevalence of a natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” all across the country. It’s been happening in rural areas, where residents have to cope with the effects it has on their groundwater as well as the air quality. In Pennsylvania, the problem got so out of hand that it inspired a groundbreaking documentary, Gasland (2010), which highlights the grim consequences of this dirty method of extracting fuels.
The percentage of fracked gas actually kept and sold in the U.S. is marginal – after the fuel is fracked, it is then typically sent for export to countries in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Anywhere corporations have undertaken fracking projects, the result has been very real and large-scale contamination of surrounding water and air. Yet corporate powers lobby for more projects in states that can ill afford the environmental upheaval, the destruction of plant and animal habitats, and the pollution of the area that would ensue.
Shale basins in this country which contain natural gas are especially vulnerable to opportunistic corporations which will try to convince a local jurisdiction that taking advantage of these natural resources would lead to more jobs for Americans and less reliance on foreign oil.
Anyone who tries to come forward with an alternate view is silenced, with groups such as Marcellus Shale Earth First being targeted by the government as a “terrorist group,” and victims of water and air contamination being labeled and dismissed as delusional nutcases. Since it doesn’t appear that such projects are creating new jobs for Americans or helping us to rely less on foreign oil, it seems that the only authentic benefit of exporting these fuels is the profit reaped by oil companies.
In layman’s terms, the process of fracking involves these three steps:
1. Drilling a fracking well. A well of sorts must be drilled into a geological formation, such as shale. A pipe is inserted in preparation for the Step 2.
2. Fracturing the rock/sediment/tight sands. Let us continue to use shale as an example. In order to fracture the shale rock, “fracking fluid” is pumped into the well. In addition to water and sand, this fracking fluid can contain up to 600 chemical additives. The high pressure injection of these chemicals eventually causes the rock to fracture.
3. Natural gas from the rock then flows back up the well.
This is what fracking is, in a nutshell. Studies show that more than 90% of fracking fluid remains underground, posing a threat to both the environment and drinking water used by locals. In rural communities such as Dimock, PA, footage online shows residents holding a lighter to a faucet of running water. The water stream then catches fire. There are unexplained ailments and health concerns cropping up in these places, symptoms which had not been seen in the community prior to the introduction of fracking wells.
Any fracking fluid that returns to the surface is called “flowback,” and can pollute the surrounding areas and threaten indigenous species and their habitats. Research has also determined that methane is a significant byproduct of fracking. In most cases, and certainly in Pennsylvania, methane leak rates into the atmosphere are occurring at 100-1,000 times what the EPA initially estimated.
Now, solely for the purposes of full disclosure, I, as a Maryland resident who resides where the Susquehanna River meets the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, have a personal bias when it comes to my desire to see all fracking projects, both in my home state as well as the entire country, fail.
I live in a natural scenic area, marred only by a nearly nuclear power plant, that attracts tourists year-round. The Chesapeake Bay is already extremely polluted, and any export facilities on the bay would be a catastrophe. I lament that our own governor, Martin O’Malley, is planning to approve an export terminal in Cove Point (southern Maryland), which would be situated right on the bay. It would be the first of its kind here on the East Coast.
As bay ecologists are observing, any fracking chemicals present in one part of the bay are going to turn up in other parts of the bay too. It is a perilous scenario. Even more ghastly, experts have issued warnings that the proposed facility could be at risk for serious fires and explosions because of the explosive chemicals required to liquefy the gas.
This area has residential neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has rubber-stamped the project, which is being managed by a Virginia-based company called Dominion Resources. Fracked gas from Appalachia is going to be liquefied and then sent for export right here on the water. It will apparently end up in Asia when all is said and done. For people in our area, this has turned into a battle that no one wanted to fight, but FERC and these Dominion scumbags have forced our hand.

Juliette Zephyr, guest author.
Juliette Zephyr, guest author.

Right Wing Corporate Lie: Environmentalists Won't Let Us Build New Oil Refineries!

Woodchucker writes:

Oil sands are refined here and the product sold to – eyup the US. What isn’t refined is shipped in various levels of refinement. Costs to build new refineries at current Environmental standards are too much of a hit on the profit margins. Better to export to an old grandfathered refinery ( out of Country even better ), plus the by products become someone else’s “asset”.

Unless Woodchucker is speaking of Canada about which I have no information, it is just not true that oil refineries are a net loss.
Here is the sleazy, slimy lying game that the dirty oil companies and their oily backers in the Republican Party play:
The oil companies and their Republican whores are always yelling that environmentalists are keeping us from building new oil refineries. Every time there is a spike in gas prices, these scums all start screaming and yelling that we need to get rid of all the regulations on oil refineries so it will be profitable to build new refineries.
Here is the truth. The regulations are no problem at all for building new refineries. They have built new ones in recent years and most of the older ones meet current emissions standards. Oil refineries make money. They are a good investment. The reason oil companies have built so many oil refineries is because they make a lot of money off the refined oil from these refineries which they then market all over the world.
The truth is that the oil companies could build new refineries any time they want to, but they have chosen not to build any new ones for quite some time now. The reason that they have deliberately chosen not to build new refineries is because the oil companies want a permanent refinery shortage. With a permanent refinery shortage, there are frequent bottlenecks in supply that cause prices to be artificially high. So they maintain as few refineries as possible in order to keep prices as high as possible. If they built more refineries, they would still make money, just not as much.
But they hate those regulations that they have to go by because it costs a lot of money to install new anti-pollution equipment. So in order to try to get rid of these regulations, they lie and say that the regulations are what is causing your gas prices to be so high and if it weren’t for those evil environmentalists, your gas would be a lot cheaper.
The corporate media generally goes along with those disgusting charade. For many years, I thought that environmental regulations kept us from building new plants. There are only a few scattered voices in the media who actually tell the truth about the oil industry. The rest of the media are bought off corrupted whores are 100% in bed with the oil companies.

Keystone XL Pipeline: The Truth

This is an excellent piece by a new guest writer on here, Juliette Zephyr, a young woman from Maryland who, believe it or not, is only 22 years old. I was very impressed with the writing in this piece.

Juliette Zephyr.
Juliette Zephyr. Born and raised north of Baltimore, Juliette works in tourism and is involved in environmental activism. She enjoys networking, reading, and performing concerts.

 
People really need to read up on this Keystone Pipeline. It’s a very, very bad idea.

Keystone XL Pipeline: The Truth

By Juliette Zephyr

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project is slated to transport oil sands straight down the middle of the country, all the way from Canada to Nebraska, where it will then connect to an existing leg of the pipeline that was already constructed. In its path is the Ogallala Aquifer, home to a variety of native species such as the sage grouse, as well as being one of the most important sources of drinking water in the U.S.
The pipeline will also cut across North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, where crude oils will be extracted using a well-known and very dirty drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The EPA knows that fracking is a risky business for the surrounding communities in which it is implemented. EPA scientists have confirmed that the water in many areas where this is occurring is indeed contaminated with drilling chemicals, heavy metals, and stray oils, with alarming pictures appearing all over the internet depicting people’s well water catching on fire.
With massive expansion of fracking all over the country, especially in compromised areas where citizens rely on groundwater near drill sites, we have a national problem only made worse by policymakers motivated by corporate interests, attempting to hawk it as a so-called “boost” to our economy, and claiming that it won’t have any long-term negative implications for us environmentally.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of the oil transported by Keystone are eventually destined for export to other countries in Europe and South America. Furthermore, it is expected that just fifty permanent jobs will be created, and there’s currently no substantiated evidence that the pipeline will lower oil prices for American citizens.
Instead, current research paints a bleaker picture. Recent investigations uncovered that the leak detection systems in place for the pipeline are faulty – nineteen out of twenty spills are undetected. What’s further alarming is that spills involving tar sands oil are much more damaging to the environment than traditional crude oil.
They don’t biodegrade easily at all, and sink in the water. It is extremely difficult to undo the damage once an sand oil spill has happened, it and costs a lot to clean up. People can and already have been developing asthma and lung issues from the bad air quality in areas immediately surrounding the Keystone Pipeline. Methane is considered one of the primary concerns of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in these areas.
Keystone is clearly not in the public’s best interest, but let’s take a more in-depth look at the exact environmental impact it would have:
It will significantly add to carbon pollution, locking in high-carbon infrastructure for half a century. It is estimated to reach $128 billion in climate costs. The FSEIS found it could contribute $1.43 billion in accumulated incremental tons of greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere over the next fifty years. Considering that tar sands oil is much more carbon-intensive than conventional oil, these incremental emissions are equivalent to adding 5.7 million cars to the road for fifty years.
The controversy of what this pipeline would entail highlights a larger problem: our dependency on fossil fuels. Instead of funding tests to pioneer cleaner energy sources, Big Oil chooses to put all their eggs in one basket, to the detriment of our ecosystems.

Cow Farts Cause More Global Warming Than Humans?

Repost from the old site.
The latest rightwing crap.
I was on a rightwing blog a couple of years ago and decided to ask how many believed in global warming. The vast majority did not. A few said it was happening, but it was natural. One or two said it was happening, but no one knew what was causing it, and we needed to study it more.
This blog has unfortunately become infested lately with some young White male 20-something reactionary-to-libertarian trolls who are lurking in the comments section.
It’s quite simple to be a libertarian when you are young, dumb and full of cum. I voted Libertarian at age 22. I’d never do it again, but that’s how you learn. People that age just haven’t been fucked hard enough and enough times by life yet. By the time we are 40, most of us have had about a million horrible things happen to us, and narcissism is on sharp decline. That’s why age and wisdom are traditionally synonymous.
They’re causing a lot of dissension, but echo chambers are boring. Comments rules forbid me from banning folks based on ideology, so for the moment, they are sticking around.
It’s kind of interesting to have some pet rightwingers to play with, because like a lot of pets, they do a lot of stupid shit. Since rightwingers can talk unlike all other pets, rightwingers also say stupid shit.
Debating rightwingers is like debating ultranationalist Jewish Zionists. Most of their arguments are absolute crap. The reason is because what they are arguing for is perfectly horrible to most folks.
Hence I really admire Zionists like Samson Blinded who just tell it like it is. I admire libertarians like Entitled to an Opinion who just lay it out in all of libertarianism’s heartless nastiness. Plus TGGP and Obaidah Shoher and really bright guys, and I have to admire that, if they are pushing something pretty awful.
Since conservatism and Zionism are unpalatable to most folks as they actually exist, conservatives and Zionists always have to lie to try to get decent people to go along with their programs, which most folks find repellent.
Anyway, it looks like the rightwing has moved on on global warming. Only 6% of the US says it doesn’t exist, but about 50% of Republican Congresscritters say so.
But the new line is that global warming exists, but it’s not caused by people, it’s caused by cow farts!
Well, if that were so, as a totalitarian, I would just say fine, so kill all the cows, serve the whole world steak for a month and be done with it. If that’s too radical, make a beef hamburger at McDonald’s cost twice what a chicken or turkey hamburger does. Soon every fast food joint has beef and non-beef options and profits are blasting right along.
This rightwing argument, like most of them, is ultimately devious. The rightwingers know that this hamburger-munching Americans will never tax their beloved burgers even one penny.
So they throw up their hands and say nothing can be done, especially about reducing auto emissions, which is really what they have their butts smoking about anyway. How dare you order me to ride a bike!
Cow farts cause global warming, so what business do we have trying to reduce car emissions? Let global warming continue apace.
Problem is that they are playing games with figures.
It is true that the cattle industry, in the totality of its effects, does account for 18% of global warming. However, cow burps and farts only account for 12% of that 18%, and that 12% is 98% burps and only 2% farts. So cow farts actually account for .04% of global warming. That is something like 1% of all transportation (mostly vehicle) emissions. Cow farts and burps in total account for 2.1% of global warming.
If cow burping and farting is only 12% of cow global warming, what’s all the rest? All the land, especially tropical forest land, that is cleared for cattle. All of the fossil fuel burning that goes into the production of fertilizer, feed and growing cattle. All of the transportation costs involved in the cattle industry. And on and on.
One would think that any livestock or animal husbandry is as capable of producing this problem as any other. Not so. Cattle cause the overwhelming majority of the global warming from animal husbandry.
Therefore, we could continue to eat meat, but just switch from beef to lamb, turkey, chicken, pork, goat, etc. I’d love to turn a lot of the cattle lands on the Great Plains back to buffalo and then harvest them for food. We had great herds of buffalo roaming our Midwest for thousands of years with no problems for the ecosystem and no global warming issues. I am told that rabbits are an excellent food.
A great way to do this would just be to tax beef and probably even milk based on the amount of damage it does to the ecosystem. My brother (I won’t go near the place) informs me that hamburgers at McDonald’s cost from $1-4. Double the price. Make them cost $2-8 instead of $1-4, as I mentioned above. It’s probably politically impossible, but that’s why I have totalitarian tendencies.
Cattle also cause a tremendous amount of other damage above and beyond global warming. I will just let the article summarize:

Livestock also produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world’s emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain.
Ranching, the report adds, is “the major driver of deforestation” worldwide, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert. Cows also soak up vast amounts of water: it takes a staggering 990 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.
Wastes from feedlots and fertilisers used to grow their feed overnourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. And the pesticides, antibiotics and hormones used to treat them get into drinking water and endanger human health.
The pollution washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating “dead zones” devoid of life. One is up to 21,000 sq km, in the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the waste from US beef production is carried down the Mississippi.
The report concludes that, unless drastic changes are made, the massive damage done by livestock will more than double by 2050, as demand for meat increases.

Another Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf of Mexico

Here.

They are rescuing 13 workers as you read this.

That does it. Time to pull the plug on this. No more licenses for new offshore drilling until these idiots can figure out how to keep from spilling so much. Existing offshore wells can continue to operate.

P.S. about 70-85% of the oil from the latest Deepwater Horizon disaster is still out there. They didn’t clean it up at all. They did their job and walked away; it’s done now. And Obama won’t hold their feet to the fire either.

Are Private Roads Safer?

In the comments section, Robert Taylor argues in favor of getting rid of all public roads and replacing them all with private roads. He says this will make the roads safer.

I’d say the number of accidents caused by shitty roads is just about zero.

First of all, yes, there are roads that needs some work. In fact, there is a huge backlog of such work in the US. The reason for the backlog is that the the agents of the capitalists (Republicans) in US government refuse to fund government spending for public roads. It’s quite rich when capitalists create a road crisis in the US, then claim that pubic roads don’t work, so we need to privatize them. But this is the way that the capitalist agents work in the US: Starve the government of funds so it can’t do its job. Then call the state incompetent when it can’t function because you starved it of funds. Then argue that the state needs to be dismantled or privatized because it can’t do its job.

One problem with privatized roads everywhere is that it would be horribly expensive. Most of us probably could not afford to drive very much as there would be tolls everywhere. The well to do could easily afford the tolls and would drive just as much s before. The tolls of the well-heeled would probably be plenty enough to keep the system running.

The notion that capitalist-run roads would not hurt any motorists is curious.

Capitalist firms cause the death of 47,000 workers a year in the US and the wounding of many, many more. They are almost never sued over these deaths and injuries and even more rarely are they sent to jail or even fined. Capitalist companies get to kill and injure as many workers as they wish.

Sure, we consumers get to sue capitalist firms that kill and injure us, but capitalists are lobbying their agents in government to limit our ability to do just that.

The record of capitalism’s treatment of workers, consumers and just plain citizens the world over is just flat out mass murder and mass maiming, for the most part in the 3rd World. They usually control the state (as if usually the case under capitalism) and therefore, nothing is done about these killers. If it’s good for the bottom line to kill and maim workers, consumers and citizens, then capitalists will do just that.

Right now, capitalists are destroying the very climate of our world, and this destruction is killing and hurting countless people worldwide.

Air pollution alone of various causes kills possibly 50,000 Americans a year and maybe many more. It injures far more than that. Almost all air pollution in the US is caused by capitalist firms.

In the Sierra Nevada mountains and in the Central Valley, most public roads are pretty darned good. After heavy rain, there are potholes, but these are fixed very quickly.

On the contrary, there are quite a few private roads around here, especially in the mountains. One thing you notice about private roads is that they are terrible almost 100% of the time. You can tell when you are going from a public to a private road because immediately the road turns to shit. Many of these roads are on winding mountain lanes next to expensive houses. The road is owned by everyone who lives on it. No one wants to pay to fix the road, so it never gets fixed.

Also, I was placed under citizen’s arrest once by a hillbilly for “walking on his road.” I was convicted by the crooked DA and the conviction is still on my record. I wasn’t even breaking the law. The road must be marked as private, otherwise you can walk or drive on it all you want to, and the road was not marked.

I seriously doubt if 34% of all accidents in the US are “the road’s fault.” That’s a bunch of shit. “Road conditions” usually means rain, ice, sleet, or snow on the road. Maybe a downed object. The number of public roads I have driven on that are out and out hazardous are few and far between.

I have not seen a lot of evidence for the contention that Caltrans and county road crews are not capable of maintaining our roads. On the contrary, they seem to do a bangup job.

The Ten Declarations of the Maoist Communist Party of China (MCPC)

Warning! Long, runs to 52 pages on the Net.

This is a very interesting document about the formation of a new and very radical political party in China, the Maoist Communist Party of China. They were formed in November 2008 and supposedly had 10,000 members and up to several million supporters at their peak. However, there are rumors that they disbanded in 2009. If that is so, it is too bad.

I support most of what they say here, but not necessarily all.

I think it’s clear that Deng Xiaoping will go down in the history of the Left as one of the worst traitors of all. He didn’t just promote revisionism in China, he promoted the total restoration of capitalism, which is ongoing.

One holdout to the “reforms” is that the state has retained ownership of all land in China. World capitalism, such as The Economist Magazine, has been agitating for the privatization of land in China. Judging by China’s history, this could prove to be a total disaster. According to The Economist, failure to privatize land in China would result in catastrophe for the progress of the Chinese economy. How this crime would cause a disaster is not revealed. But there are ominous warnings that the Chinese government may be contemplating doing just that in recent days.

The Chinese government has not completley gone over to capitalism. The HuKou system, the 2008 Labor Contract Law, the recent increases in the minimum wage and the New Socialist Countryside project, these are all fine socialist projects that the government has implemented recently. No capitalist state would have ever done any of these things. They don’t go nearly far enough, especially the Labor law, but they are progress. In addition, reports by the UN and other bodies continue to show a reduction in poverty, hunger and malnutrition in China. That’s a good thing.

However, China recently rated 3rd worst out over 150 countries in the world in inequality of health care. Some socialist system. Health care and medication is no longer free. This is one of the “reforms” that the world capitalist press like the New York Times has cheered so wildly for. The new model of health care is killing millions of Chinese people. If you can’t afford medicine, medical care or a hospital bed, you just wait out your illness until it goes away, goes chronic and you live anyway, or you die.

Overwork alone is killing 600,000 Chinese a year, many in their prime years, and pollution is killing countless Chinese every year.

Promoters of capitalism are strange people. We have them right here on this blog. The commenters on this site told me that “this is a necessary stage that all developing countries must go through.” Hang on a second now, millions of Chinese must die of preventable causes “in order for the country to develop?” Fuck that. It’s not so. You don’t have to kill millions of citizens to develop your country. You can do it without stacking up the bodies. Maybe the process is a little slower, but it’s worth it. It’s amazing how many people capitalists will for their precious “economic development” = money and stuff.

Dire warnings about the Chinese economy are not warranted. Naysayers said that China would collapse since it was dependent on exports along with the collapse of the world economy. Yet China has held up quite well, mostly because it is strong regulation of speculative investment and most of its banking is run by the state. Nations with GDP’s much greater than China’s have nearly collapsed in this latest mess.

Anyway, China does not live in exports alone. Much of China’s development is coming from internal investment. In addition, the internal market in China is growing quickly. Many foreign firms are staying in China despite rising wages because of this growing internal market.

The Ten Declarations of the Maoist Communist Party of China (MCPC)

22 March 2009

1. We strongly condemn the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party and its policy of secretive suppression of our party!

On 26 December 2008, our party gave out the pamphlet “To All the People of China” that declares that “the peoples of China have the right to rise up against the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party” in the central districts of cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. By doing this we have “dared to touch the tiger’s ass”!

Afterward we engaged in more propaganda online and in other cities. This revolutionary action of our party has resulted in a strong political wave against the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party, and managed to beat down the arrogant air of the revisionist ruling bloc.

This is the clarion call for a great revolutionary movement among the Chinese proletariat against capitalist restoration; this is the signal flare to mobilize the people to strike against the crimes conducted by the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc; to peel away the false skin of the revisionists, and to engage in a people’s revolutionary war through both words and actions.

The pamphlet of our party To All the People of China not only received great attention within China, and to a great extent served to wake up and stimulate the Chinese proletarian class, but it also triggered a lot of international political responses. “Radio Free Asia” and “Voice of America” all made reports about us. Reactionary forces both inside and outside of China immediately felt threatened by our pamphlet, and started to attack our party and offered strategies to the ruling regime of China.

They used slogans such as:

Shocking, going against Hu Jintao in favour of Mao Zedong, the sons and grandsons of Mao have created the Maoist Communist Party of China.

Without completely getting rid of the legacy of Mao we will surely be breeding problems for the future.

We strongly propose that the portrait of Mao be removed from Tiananmen.

We demand that the Chinese government discard its communist coating.

If the CCP does not destroy the MCPC fast, it will surely die in its hands.

…it’s almost as if chickens and dogs are flying apart! The traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party pretends to not hear anything, but in practice they have began to utilize police forces to pursue our party. They are keeping the locations where we hand out our pamphlets under careful supervision, and are checking the CCTV images of the days when we are active. Through the internet police they are pursuing suspicious personnel. They want to destroy our party while it is still in its infancy.

We strongly condemn the actions of the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party!

We strongly demand that all secretive suppression of our party by the regime completely cease immediately!

Our party follows the democratic political principle of “the virtuous person uses their mouth not their hands,” but we also follow the iron revolutionary law of “if the petty reactionaries use force, we shall do likewise.”

The pamphlet To All the People of China, as well as the Ten Declarations here, shall act to mobilize everyone in China to start considering the big events of our country. We firmly oppose the utilization of fascistic “white terror” by the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party!

If the revisionists stubbornly carry on with their actions, and drag the people of China into bloody wind and rain, then we will surely accompany them to the very end! We shall not stop until every single anti-Maoist reactionary has been removed from China! We shall not cease our struggle until every single traitorous revisionist that dares to embark on the capitalist path has been utterly destroyed!

2. We shall give thanks to the understanding and support shown to us by the people.

Chairman Mao once said:

What is the real ‘bronze wall and iron shield’? It is the masses, the masses who wholeheartedly support the revolution. This is the real ‘bronze wall and iron shield,’ something that cannot be destroyed by any kind of force. The counter-revolutionaries cannot destroy us, but we shall destroy them.

The creation of our party and the release of the pamphlet “To All the People of China” have received the support of the majority of the masses who know what this really meant. The masses who got into touch with our party not only felt happy at our party’s creation, but also offered a lot of support both spiritually and materially.

Especially ever since the first great political line struggle in the first three months of the short history of our party, more and more people who learned the truth about us started to show their understanding and support. Those who did not wish to join our party at the start, now actively wished to join; those who did not decide to support our party at the start, now started to offer a lot of help…

For this, we shall offer a revolutionary salute of the highest degree to all those who understand and support our party! We shall give thanks to the understanding of the people! We shall give thanks to the support of the people!

Some people are concerned that the continued activities of our party will cause more retaliations by the enemy. In fact, the more active our party becomes, the more support it will get from the masses, and the more support it has, the safer our party will be.

Without doubt, the existence and actions of our party has caused the ruling bloc to feel uncomfortable. They hate the fact that they cannot destroy our forces in one go.

But the enemy by habit tends to underestimate the power of the revolutionary people, and by habit tends to wrongly judge the wisdom and courage of the revolutionary masses. Since our party fits in with the wishes of the masses of people and the majority of the ordinary party members of the Chinese Communist Party, because our party has only emerged through taking in nutrients given out by the masses, our party has deep roots within the people.

Therefore, when the anti-restoration revolutionary situation arrives, our enemy would be confused – they would not be able to know how many people and whom they can trust on to follow them on the route towards counter-revolution, and furthermore they would not realise exactly how many people and whom would be prepared to overthrow them in a revolution. Therefore, there is no surprise in the fact that the ruling regime cannot really do much to our party.

3. We declare that the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party is the top enemy of the peoples of China.

History has shown that if the revisionists get into power, the workers and peasants shall be cast down. If the revisionists control the government, then the proletariat would lose their political power. If the revisionists engage in the so-called “opening-up reforms,” then the laboring masses of the country will be exploited for the second time.

All of the disasters that have been brought upon the country and our people by the so-called “opening-up reforms,” are directly caused by the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party. Globally, the Chinese revisionists also share responsibility for the disasters imposed upon countries that have been invaded by imperialist powers!

Therefore, the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party is clearly the number one enemy of the peoples of China. The capitalist right-wingers are also attacked by us, but our main enemy is no doubt the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chairman Mao once said:

To negate the basic principles of Marxism, to no longer acknowledge the universal truths of Marxism, such is called revisionism.

At the same time he points out:

Revisionists deliberately try to white-wash the differences between socialism and capitalism, and dampen down the fundamental distinction between the dictatorship of the proletariat and the bourgeois. What they propose is not really the socialist path, but the capitalist path.

The representatives of the bourgeois class within the party, such as Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, are all counter-revolutionary revisionists. They wish to white-wash the distinction between socialism and capitalism, to confound the two together; but in their actions they completely pursue the capitalist line; they all deliberately destroy the fundamental difference between the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the bourgeois, and in action they are completely capitalist. In one phrase, they all oppose socialist revolution and proletarian dictatorship.

Chairman Mao teaches us:

The rise to power of the revisionists means the rise to power of the bourgeoisie. And indeed it is the worst kind of capitalism, it is like fascism. If one day the Chinese Communist Party no longer serves the interests of the people, then the people should rise up to overthrow it!

Today the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party is indeed in power, and therefore should be overthrown.

4. We declare that the Maoist Communist Party of China is a proletarian revolutionary party.

The Maoist Communist Party of China is a proletarian revolutionary party armed with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, it is the faithful heir of the will of Chairman Mao and the Chinese Communist Party during the Mao Zedong era, and it is a vibrant revolutionary vanguard organisation composed of the advanced layers of the proletarian class.

The Maoist Communist Party of China was formally created on 28 November 2008. The creation of the Maoist Communist Party of China is the sign that the new generation of Chinese Communist Party members have now completely broken with the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc; it is the sign that the era of the second socialist revolution has arrived in China; it is the sign that the great revolutionary struggle against capitalist restoration by the peoples of China has formally began!

The basic political line of the Maoist Communist Party of China is to completely overthrow the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc within the current Chinese Communist Party and the restored bureaucratic-capitalist class, so that Maoism shall gain victory over revisionism, and socialist society will win against capitalist society. The ultimate objective of our party is to achieve communism.

The basic method of the Maoist Communist Party of China is to follow the proletarian revolutionary line first laid down by Chairman Mao, and use Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the theoretical basis and the general strategic guideline. We will widely mobilize and organize the people, and rely on the power of the masses.

In a methodical and organised manner we shall engage in China’s second socialist revolution on the basis of the first socialist revolution and under the conditions where bureaucratic capitalism has been restored and the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party has obtained political power.

The first mission of this revolution is to win back all of the rights that the masses of people have lost, and thereby re-establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The method through which this political mission can be accomplished is to initiate a great revolutionary movement against the capitalist restoration of the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc within the Chinese Communist Party, and to engage in a people’s revolutionary war through both words and actions, and in the end acquire complete victory.

The central work of the Maoist Communist Party of China in 2009 is to engage in public propaganda, to ideologically arm the masses, to develop our organisations, and to engage in concrete political struggles. We shall use Maoism to arm the entire party, the entire army and the entire people of China, so that we can actively develop a cadre and the various regional branches, and collect the funds required for our revolutionary work.

We will engage in struggles against our enemy and support the various struggles for basic rights conducted by the masses of the people. Through this we will lay down the basis for the height of the revolutionary movement against capitalist restoration that will gradually arrive.

5. We declare that we will firmly embark on the road of the second socialist revolution in China.

As Chairman Mao clearly stated:

when the revisionists get into power, that’s the same as when the capitalists get into power.

Mao also clearly said:

the antagonism between the proletarian and the bourgeois classes need to be resolved through socialist revolution.

The traitorous revisionist ruling bloc in the Chinese Communist Party today is just a variation of the capitalist class. They are the running dogs and servants of imperialism.

As Chairman Mao correctly pointed out:

The presence of capitalist influences is the fundamental domestic cause of revisionism; to bow down to the pressures of imperialism is the external cause of revisionism.

The basic antagonism between the Chinese proletarian class and the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc within the Chinese Communist Party today is equivalent to the antagonism between the proletarian class and the bourgeois class. The way to resolve this contradiction is to engage in a socialist revolution against capitalist restoration.

The concept of the second socialist revolution is formulated on the basis of the conscientious summarization of the 27 years of socialist revolution that Chairman Mao personally led, as well as through the careful consideration and research of the contents and strategies of the new socialist revolution. It originates from the formal creation of our party, and the objective conditions that are now mature enough in terms of ideological, theoretical and active elements for us to embark on the road of a new socialist revolution.

Therefore it is called the second socialist revolution.

The general political direction of the second socialist revolution is to firmly follow the leadership of the Maoist Communist Party of China, to firmly carry out the political line, methodology and policies of our party, to firmly engage in the struggle to replace the capitalist system with the socialist system, to firmly engage in the proletarian political struggles against the bourgeois to eventually establish a dictatorship of the proletariat, to firmly focus our efforts to build a real modern, prosperous and strong socialist state, and to firmly and diligently struggle for the genuine realization of communism.

Only through firmly holding onto this general direction, can we victoriously achieve the glorious mission that history has bestowed upon us. Only by firmly holding onto this general direction, can we realise what Chairman Mao required of us:

United in consciousness, united in policy, united in planning, untied in leadership, and united in action.

Otherwise, even if we come out of the crematorium as ashes and continue to embark on endless arguing, it would be to no avail, as we cannot solve the problem of how to become “united in consciousness,” nor can we become united in the other areas. Therefore, to firmly hold onto this general political direction, is to firmly hold onto a general political line that fits in with Maoism and is objectively correct under the present conditions of capitalist restoration in China.

6. We declare that a great revolutionary movement against capitalist restoration among the peoples of China will be enacted.

According to the principles of Maoism, to defeat the great project of capitalist restoration of Chinese bureaucratic capitalism, we must engage in an anti-restoration great revolutionary movement of the Chinese proletariat to match against it. We must enact a great revolutionary movement against capitalist restoration among the peoples of China, and to engage in a people’s revolutionary war in both words and actions!

Without doing this we shall not be able to overthrow the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party; without doing this we cannot re-establish the proletarian dictatorship and the new socialist system; without doing this we cannot realise the wills of the older generation of proletarian revolutionaries like Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou; without doing this we cannot honestly face the thousands of revolutionary martyrs who have given their lives for the interests of the proletarian class; without doing this we cannot contribute properly to the international communist movement as Chinese proletarians!

The basic nature of the great revolutionary movement against capitalist restoration by the peoples of China is the struggle between Maoism and modern revisionism, the struggle between the Chinese proletarian class that has lost its political power and the bureaucratic capitalist class that are in power, the struggle between socialism and capitalism.

The feature of this great revolution is to have a bottom-up people’s revolutionary theoretical struggle under the present conditions of ideological confusion among most layers of the population. The spearhead of this struggle is pointed towards the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party and the die-hard counter-revolutionary right-wingers that support them.

The method of this struggle is to first arm people ideologically, and then gradually increase in levels, ultimately resulting in complete victory. And the sharp weapon that is to be used to win this war is Maoism.

Chairman Mao pointed out:

Imperialists and all other reactionary forces are nothing but paper tigers. Revisionists are also paper tigers.

Superficially it seems as if this revisionist ruling bloc controls everything: the law, the army, the armed police, the police force; it is as if they are powerful beyond recognition. But in reality, due to the reactionary nature of its politics and the corrupt state of its life, it has already become very weak. The emergence of the Maoist Communist Party of China indeed foreshadows the death of this ruling bloc.

At this stage our party focuses on theoretical struggle rather than military struggle, this is a very realistic approach. From a military perspective, our current plan also fits in with the revolutionary military principles of “avoiding the strength of the enemy, while striking at its weakness.” Our efforts and actions now should be mainly focused on mobilizing and motivating the people around the country to engage in the great revolution against capitalist restoration. We need to mobilize the people, unite the people in solidarity, so that the masses of the people will voluntarily act. Only through this can we continue to the next step.

Chairman Mao once remarked that the Cultural Revolution was a conscientious military exercise. Today it is clear that this “conscientious military exercise” has prepared us for our real struggles today.

At present, the domestic and international environment is very conducive to the Chinese revolution. The economic crisis of global capitalism is continuing to deepen, and there is no way for the Chinese bureaucratic capitalists to pull out of it themselves. The economic and political rule of the ruling bloc has been shaken from both sides. Against the rising revolutionary situation, the ruling bloc is already utilizing ways to satisfy the people in a limited manner to appease the public, as well as strengthening their control on the army and the police to protect their wavering rule.

Looking ahead towards the future, as the revolutionary consciousness of the masses continue to improve, the economic struggles to protect their own interests will continue to rise to the level of political struggle to change the social system.

Our party and other revolutionary organisations will increase in power, and countless revolutionary leaders with political foresight, a great sense of altruism, an ability to achieve concrete objectives, a willingness to sacrifice themselves for political goals, as well as a great understanding of the art of struggle, will flock into our party, and various pseudo-leftists will be weeded out through real revolutionary struggles.

The various opportunists and dogmatists both within and outside the party, due to their unwillingness to part with their petit-bourgeois world view, will become depressed when faced with the unexpectedness of the struggle situations, to the extent that some may even degenerate and become shameless traitors of the revolution. Those who only care about their status within the party would become sidelined more and more as the revolutionary situation continues to develop.

But the genuine members of the Maoist Communist Party of China will sing the Internationale and firmly stand on the front lines of the great revolution against capitalist restoration. No setbacks or problems would stop their advance. They shall, one step at a time, lead the people to fight the great struggle against the counter-revolutionary revisionist ruling bloc to its complete conclusion!

Regardless of whether or not there has ever been a prior instance in the history of world communism in which a revisionist ruling party has been overthrown, we shall not follow the demise of the former Soviet Union, we shall complete our struggles one day before the “red flag” drops down onto the ground! We shall certainly report to Chairman Mao: “Chairman, we have won!”

7. We declare that Maoism is the powerful ideological and theoretical weapon one can use to gain victory over the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party.

Maoism is the epoch-making continuation and development of Marxism-Leninism, and the comprehensive and systematic summarization of Mao Zedong Thought in general. Maoism has raised Marxism-Leninism to a new height, it is the third great milestone in the history of the proletarian revolution.

Maoism is the soul and foundation of the Maoist Communist Party of China, it is a great artifact to defend oneself against the various types of capitalist thoughts and opportunism within the party, and it is the great ideological and theoretical weapon that one can use to acquire victory against the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chairman Mao pointed out:

The correct ideologies that represent the advanced class, once they have been absorbed by the masses, would then become the material force to transform society and transform the world.

The purpose for us to hold onto this ideological weapon, is to let it become the material force to transform human society and the natural world. We do not use our weapon to merely shake the counter-revolutionary government that is in power today, but to completely overthrow the counter-revolutionary government.

To arm the people’s thoughts with Maoism, our struggles would definitely become victorious; without using Maoism to arm the thoughts of the people, all of our revolutionary struggles could only ever stop at the stage of superficial slogans and would never gain actual victory. Therefore, we must give the sharp weapon of Maoism to the people, and use every method we can use to spread the information that tells people about the truth of the ruling bloc to every region in China.

We shall lead the masses of the people to strike together comprehensively, continuously and fiercely against the revisionist ruling bloc. This is indeed the glorious mission of every party member and supporter!

8. We declare that we shall remove all the erroneous thoughts among the left, so that a road to the great revolutionary movement of the proletarian class can be opened up.

How to counter the great restoration of capitalism, the various tendencies within the left in China have continued to argue without resolution. For a long time the research into how to solve the problem of capitalist restoration was limited to debating “the various means to kill a pig.”

Ideas that have been raised include “go back to Jinggang Mountain, re-establish a revolutionary foothold, and acquire political power through guerrilla warfare,” “the struggles against the capitalist restoration of the ruling bloc is not just a matter of “fighting against revisionism,” but the struggle against bureaucratic capitalism,” “the capitalist restoration has been completed, today’s revolution is no longer anti-revisionist,” “our revolution now should be a democratic revolution primarily,” “we should go to the countryside and establish collective enterprises,” “we should form friendships among the grassroots layers, and increase our numbers,” “we should engage in struggles within the framework of the law, and make the central government turn left,” “split up the country through armed force and directly conquer cities” etc.

The sheer number of various “revolutionary strategies” that have come forth is numerous enough to make people dizzy.

Although all of these views are right in their wishes, objectively they are all partial, dogmatic and metaphysical. Some fundamentally reject the fact that the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc within the Chinese Communist Party exists at all; some do not see the restoration methods of modern revisionists; some partially emphasize on a particular point but neglect the whole and the essence; some don’t even seem to have a basic understanding of class nature and class struggle.

As Lenin once pointed out:

They all call themselves Marxists, but their understanding of Marxism is degenerate to the extreme. The determining factor of Marxism, the revolutionary dialectics of Marxism, they have no understanding of at all.

These people don’t even understand the essential meaning of the great Maoist teaching:

The correct ideologies that represent the advanced class, once they have been absorbed by the masses, would then become the material force to transform society and transform the world.

Some don’t even grasp the essential nature of this revolution, is this not very stupid and laughable indeed?

According to the principles of Maoism, the living soul of Marxism is the ability to have a concrete analysis of concrete situations. Many people understand this, but few can really apply it. Both opportunists and dogmatists treat Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as abstract and narrow formulas to impose on all sorts of situations.

They refuse to investigate the transformation of contradictions and the special circumstances of different contradictions. In this instance they do not consider the actual history of how bureaucratic capitalism came to be what it is like today, they do not recognize that the special nature of the bureaucratic capitalists in China is that they are in the form of revisionism. They only look at the phenomenon, but not at the essence.

They only grasp a singular point, but not the rest. They only care about historical experience, but have no ability to be creative according to the circumstances. When they see a lame person they want to treat his/her leg, but they don’t see that this is caused by a stroke, and do not recognize that as long as the stroke is not treated, the leg will forever remain lame.

So despite shouting about going back to Jinggang Mountain, to this day there isn’t a single person there; despite some friends calling for people to go to the grassroots layers to enact changes, to this day there has been no real changes at all. The names of collective enterprises like Nanjie Village are indeed quite famous, but they cannot even harm a single hair of the revisionist ruling bloc, nor can they block the great waterfall of capitalist restoration. All of these, are in the end what Lenin called “dodging this way and that, like a cat around a hot meal.”

The relation between the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc and bureaucratic capitalism is the relation between cause and effect. If the “cause” is solved, the “effect” will be solved directly. If there is no correct understanding of the “cause,” then there is no way to solve the “effect.”

Therefore, if we directly sort out the “effect” but don’t examine the “cause,” then not only can we not find the thread within a confused mass of strings, we are not doing things according to the objective laws of their development either. Therefore, to under-estimate the importance of theoretical revolutionary struggles under the rule of revisionism is very incorrect, and is a severe violation of the revolutionary dialectics of Marxism.

In addition, electoralism in politics, liberalism in thought, dogmatism in theory, opportunism in form, and sectarianism in action etc, are all like stumbling blocks in front of the great revolutionary movement of the Chinese proletarian class against capitalist restoration.

These stumbling blocks and those mistaken views, all objectively obstruct the positive development of the anti-restoration revolutionary movement. Their existence can only cause delays in the revolutionary movement.

If we can transform these negative influences into positive ones, so that the entire left in China think along the same lines and utilize their efforts in the same direction, then what difficulties would there be to take down the current regime within the next three years? It would be as easy as a chef cutting up cucumbers.

Therefore, all leftists who consider themselves Maoists and the members of our party have the responsibility to set a high standard for themselves in the areas of political thought, revolutionary theory and actual practice, and self-consciously sweep away all of the mistaken thoughts and obstructions that block our way! Only through this, can we open up a way for the great revolutionary movement against capitalist restoration! Only through this, can we embark on the road of historical progress by the people!

9. We declare that the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc of the Chinese Communist Party must be cast down.

As Chairman Mao pointed out:

The truth of Marxism cannot be resisted, the masses of the people will certainly engage in revolution.

As the great revolutionary situation against capitalist restoration continues to develop, the internal conflicts within the revisionist ruling bloc will also gradually change. This kind of change is caused by external factors and will gradually begin to have an effect.

The wind of revolution will be blown into the army barracks, and the consciousness to rise up would sweep across the army. Every soldier will think about his/her own political stance – the majority will side with the revolution, only a tiny minority will go to the side of counter-revolution. The division within the army would become a necessity. Obstinate revisionist leaders and reactionary officers within the army will be gradually isolated.

The heads of the ruling bloc will either be “fired” from their positions by the waves of strikes across the country by workers and students, or be directly overthrown by the revolutionary forces of the proletarian people, or be forced to engage in passive negotiations with the people’s revolution and be pressured to resign. Regardless of how they would go, they must go, of this there is absolutely no doubt at all!

Our party, in this first phase of the anti-restoration great revolutionary movement, calls on the heads of the counter-revolutionary ruling bloc to resign voluntarily. As the old Chinese saying goes: “The truly capable and virtuous understand the requirements of the times.” The earlier you voluntarily come down, the more active you are. The later you come down, the more passive you become.

If you resign as a result of negotiation, then it’s the most wise choice, by giving up your power early you have let the pressure off yourself early, and can then live in peace. This way not only can you leave yourself with a relatively respectable path ahead, but also you leave behind a way towards the light for your descendants and families.

If on the other hand the ruling bloc refuse to repent and engage in mass slaughter, then your crimes will increase by a thousand-fold, not only would this leave a bad name for a thousand generations on yourself, but it would also bring about the complete destruction of your clans. As for the proletarian class, it would just be experiencing another round of revolutionary baptism through blood and fire.

10. The basic political programme of the Maoist Communist Party of China:

1. We call for the overthrow of every big and small capitalist-roader and corrupt bureaucratic elements. We shall remove the capitalist constitution and law that has been imposed upon the peoples of China by the traitorous revisionist ruling bloc. We shall establish people’s supervisory councils, so that everyone takes part in the management and supervision of the state, army and government, so that the people are guaranteed to become the real rulers of the country.

2. Every single publicly owned work-unit established before 1977 will be completely restored. Every unemployed worker who used to belong to one of these work-units will unconditionally get their post and salary back. All of the possessions that have been taken away from every publicly owned work-unit will be chased back and re-constituted.

3. Every monopolistic state-owned joint-stock enterprise formed after 1977 will be given over to the people.

4. People’s communes will be restored in the countryside. Concretely for each particular village, we shall respect the choices of the masses, those who wish to embark on the collectivist path the state shall give support, those who wish to keep things as they are will also be allowed to do so.

5. The military ranking system would be removed, the army will be reformed. The revolutionary modernizing construction of the army will be resumed. The army will be prepared always to hit hard against any foreign invaders and pirates who dare to violate our country.

6. Every primary and secondary school, as well as every university and college, shall become completely free apart from the costs of basic textbooks. The universities will offer free food and free accommodation, as well as a certain amount of financial assistance to those students that require them. The education system will be primarily geared towards creating socialist new people that are both “red” and “expert.” Jobs for all graduates shall be guaranteed for everyone.

7. The quality of service in every people’s hospital and traditional Chinese hospital will be fundamentally improved. New hospitals will be constructed in every town and city in China. All rural and urban residents in China, as long as they are citizens of the People’s Republic of China, will receive free healthcare apart from the basic costs of medication. The basic cost of medication will be regulated directly by the state, and some medication will also be provided on a needs-basis.

Chairman Mao’s political command of “let the weight of the medical and healthcare sectors be transferred to rural areas” will be enacted. The people’s communes in rural areas will establish new hospitals, and clinics will be built in every single village area. Every single person will be guaranteed to have convenient and cheap healthcare. The current sad state of poor people “wait on with a small illness” and “wait for death with a big illness” will be changed forever.

8. All old people who have lost the ability to work, regardless of whether he/she is an urban or rural resident, will receive a state pension. Every disabled person who has lost the ability to work will be taken care of by the state. All concerns regarding the care of elderly and disabled people will be gone.

9. Every adult who is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China can choose his/her line of work through application. The state will be in charge of the overall plan of job allocation. The socialist distributive principle of “each according to his/her labour” will be enacted.

10. All privately owned enterprises and companies that do not rely on selling out the state, opportunism or gross exploitation, and do not harm the welfare of the public, can carry on running as before. At the same time, the law of the state protects the right of every person who wishes to engage in small-scale private businesses and will provide help when necessary.

11. Every adult citizen of the People’s Republic of China will be guaranteed to have a living place that belongs to himself/herself.

12. The procedures to join the party and promotion within the party will be set according to the charter of the Maoist Communist Party of China. Sometimes they will be very rapid for certain people.

13. All those who have sided with the reactionary side during the counter-revolutionary capitalist restoration phase, all those who have beaten the drums for the coming of the “opening-up reforms,” and all those who have sided with the revisionist ruling bloc, shall never be allowed to have any leadership post within any department in the entire country. All those who have managed to divide a line between themselves and the ruling bloc and fight back against it during the anti-restoration great revolution will be pardoned from their former political crimes.

14. All those who superficially seem to actively and diligently join the revolution during the great anti-restoration revolutionary movement, but in reality only care about how to acquire private interests for himself/herself, will not be qualified to hold any kind of leadership post within the party or the country.

15. Revolutionary cadres are the servants of the people. Apart from the guards and necessary assistants for the main leading cadres of the party and the state, every cadre is not allowed to have any personal secretaries, doctors, chefs, drivers or any other service personnel.

16. The salary levels of every cadre and leader in the party must never exceed the highest salary level of the workers in the country. Their living spaces cannot exceed 150 square meters.

17. All cadres who have taken apart in embezzlement, bribery, and have done things contrary to the interests of the masses of the people, and do not act according to the people’s wishes, will be removed from their posts.

18. Necessary and comprehensive special care will be given to the families and descendants of revolutionary martyrs, as well as all those who heroically help others at the expense of their own safety.

19. All corrupt officials who have escaped overseas with large amounts of money, will be chased down and arrested no matter where in the world he/she has escaped to! Those who refuse to repent for their political crimes, no matter where they are located in the world, will be executed at any cost.

20. Every counter-revolutionary right-wing element who has risen up against the second socialist revolution and who opposed the proletarian dictatorship will be forcefully re-educated under supervision. Those counter-revolutionary elements who have an especially malign and reactionary attitude will be suppressed without mercy!

Our detailed programme does not stop here.

We believe that in the not-so-distant future, the people will work for faith and honour, their thoughts and lives will experience a thorough transformation. The banal and corrupt thoughts and lifestyles of the bourgeois class will be completely abandoned, and a new socialist society will emerge to become an example for the historical development of all humanity. A new modern, socialist, prosperous, and powerful state will firmly rise up in the eastern world and become an “oriental pearl” in the real sense.

Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs in the Sierra Nevada

Repost from the old site.

I don’t write much about amphibians on here, but I am amphibian nut, in addition to being a mammal, reptile and bird nut. I would be a plant and insect nut too if I could only figure out how to identify them. I’m interested in fish, but they are a little harder to observe in the wild unless they are at the end of your hook.

Anyway, I have long taken an interest in amphibians here in California and to a much lesser extent, throughout the entire West. I am particularly interested in threatened and endangered amphibians here in the state.

The mountain yellow-legged frog has declined disastrously here in the state, starting with heavy fish stocking in the Sierras by pack mules, and then declining wildly with arial stocking of high country lakes via airplane that began after World War 2. This arial stocking has since proven to be one of the stupidest things that the California Department of Fish and Game has ever done.

Every year, countless fingerlings were dropped into lakes all up and down the Sierras, even though after a while almost all of these lakes had completely self-sustaining populations and many lakes saw few if any fishermen in a given year. Furthermore, the populations grew so high that the fish became stunted and malnourished.

In addition, they caused serious problems to the entire ecosystem of the Sierra. This is because in general, fish were absent from much of the high country in the Sierra. The exception was in the Southern Sierra, where the golden trout was native. In the North, Paiute Cutthroats and Lahontan Cutthroats were native to some streams.

Rainbow trout were present, but mostly at the lower elevations. Apparently the streams were so steep that trout were not able to climb up the rivers and creeks to even get into the high country. When men first came in numbers to the High Sierras in the late 1800’s, they found most waterways devoid of fish.

However, there were vast populations of amphibians, in particular mountain yellow-legged frogs. They were so numerous at many high country lakes that you could almost hardly walk around without almost stepping on them.

Before World War 2, limited fish stocking began in the Sierras. Stocking was done in the high country via mule trains and was not particularly effective. However, the stocking was already starting to cause declines in the mountain yellow-legged frog population.

After WW2, arial stocking began and soon turned into a comedy routine and a massive waste of taxpayer money. The CDFG was addicted to fish stocking in the Sierras and refused to stop it or even study it even when environmental groups demanded that they do so.

CDFG claimed that the fish stocking program was somehow exempt from CEQA, California’s landmark environmental law and probably the one law that California’s business class hates more than anything else. Business interests have been trying to get rid of CEQA for decades now, but it’s not going anywhere.

The reason environmental groups wanted the stocking stopped was because studies began to show that fish were having a devastating effect on the mountain yellow-legged frog (MYLF) populations. This is because the MYLF did not evolve in the presence of fish and hence had adopted no defenses against them. Wherever fish were present, MYLF was either not present or there in only reduced numbers.

The fact that CDFG dragged their heels on protecting the MYLF for ages shows that CDFG hardly has an environmentalist agenda at all. They almost never propose any species for threatened or endangered (T & E) status anymore, and usually reject almost all petitions by environmental groups to list anything. They hardly protect anything once it does get listed anyway, so one wonders what good the listing even does.

The CDFG screams that budget cuts means they can’t do anything at all, and another problem is that much of their budget is funded out of fishing and hunting licenses. I have met quite a few individual biologists who work for the agency and by and large they are good folks. I think that there are political appointees at the top that thwart just about anything reasonable getting done though.

It’s not well understood that California is not really a very liberal state in many ways. The voters are still mostly White and older and they are much more conservative than the population as a whole.

Despite blatherings by White Nationalists that Euro Whites are the only race that bother to protect any nonhuman life that lacks utilitarian use for man, since 1980 and US Whites voting rightwing, there has been no greater enemy of the environment and nonhuman life in the US than Whites.

These Whites have solidly supported a pro-business and pro-corporate agenda that has declared war on the environment and every living thing in it. If we let capitalists have their way, they will exterminate all nonutilitarian nonhuman life on this planet, all because those living things get in the way of making a buck.

Hence we have a state run by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger that is almost totally beholden to corporate and business interests. This has been the case for every California governor since Jerry Brown.

Anyway, various hypotheses have been proposed for the decline of the MYLF. The non-native fish hypothesis has born out well. Pesticides from the Central Valley drifting up the mountains have also been suspected in the decline, along with the ozone hole.

There is some evidence that pesticides are related to MYLF declines, but testing the ozone hole hypothesis has shown that a thinning ozone layer is not frying frog eggs, even at high elevations. However, the thinning ozone layer has been having a bad effect on other frog and toad species. It seems that different species are variably effected by the thinning ozone layer.

Another hypothesis has been that a fungus called chytrid has been killing MYLF’s. This seems to be the case, and the killings are accelerating. Chytrid has been devastating frog and toad populations in various distant parts of the world, especially North, Central and South America and Australia.

An article was recently published in the journal Nature claiming that global warming was causing chytrid to spread. However, a subsequent article was published in another journal that seemed to indicate that global warming had not been proven to be behind chytrid’s spread. A cautious analysis seems to indicate that neither side has proven its case yet.

This particular type of chytrid seems to have escaped from a lab in Australia and has since been devastating frog and toad populations. First it pounded populations in Australia, then it moved to the Americas. Frogs and toads may not have evolved with this fungus, so it’s been hammering them hard. If any frogs and toads can survive the fungus, they may be able to pass on an immunity to it and enable the species to survive.

There have been widespread chytrid outbreaks in the Sierras in recent years. Just when some recent efforts to eliminate fish from some national park waters in the Sierra seemed to be bearing fruit, the fungus has been nailing the MYLF but hard. There have been 25-30% reductions of all types of frog populations in the Sierra over the past five years due to the fungus.

One theory is that the fungus has always been there but that recent environmental changes such as industrial and agricultural contaminants in the air, the frogs’ immune systems have been compromised, making them susceptible to the fungus.

However, some populations get hit very hard by the fungus for a while and then bounce back. The theory is that they have some sort of genetic resistance to the fungus. If this is true, then maybe the MYLF can survive in the Sierra after all.

As usual, the Bush Administration, the most anti-environmental President in recent history, refused to list the MYLF although it has been petitioned repeatedly. The most recent designation is “warranted but precluded “.

This is a sickening game that the Fish and Wildlife Service has been playing for some time now, dating back the “liberal” Clinton Era. The game says that the species qualifies for listing, but there are no funds to list it. It’s just a despicable bureaucratic game. How much does it cost to publish a listing notice in the Federal Register? Very little.

At the same time that the Administration pricks whine that there is no money to list any new species, they cynically and dishonestly cut the budget for listing new species! “Liberal” Bill Clinton started this bullshit, but Bush took it to overdrive. Sometimes, there is no lower life form than a politician.

Anyway, there are all sorts of species sitting on this idiotic warranted but precluded crap list for ages now. As the MYLF has declined by 93.3% in the last 100 years, that’s an endangered listing right there, and I’m not even a biologist. I know the listing criteria.

The Southern California population, which may be a separate species, is virtually extinct. It has declined by 99%. The Bush Administration did list this frog, but it’s almost gone anyway, as there are only 79 frogs left.

Probably no man has done more to save the MYLF than Roland Knapp, a Research Biologist at the University of California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory.

These guys associated with universities are usually pretty honest and non-corrupted, while the fisheries and wildlife biologists and botanists I met working for the local National Forest were some of the most awful, corrupted and dishonest people I have ever met. If you don’t care about species and whether they go extinct or not, don’t take a job with the feds dedicated to protecting them.

The local national forest, the Sierra National Forest, is doing absolutely nothing to my knowledge to protect MYLF and MYLF is almost gone from Sierra National Forests anyway. Truth is that even USFS wildlife and fisheries biologists are ecstatic if a rare species of extirpated or nearly extirpated from their forest. Now we don’t have to save it! Less paperwork! I’m not kidding.

It was Knapp’s research a while back that conclusively proved that it was nonnative fish that were driving the MYLF extinct.

Knapp’s MYLF blog. Knapp’s MYLF page.

Fishermen are understandably upset about fish removal projects in the Sierras. To date, these projects have been very limited. It is probable that the main reason that the Feds are not listing the frog is that a listing would mandate fish removal from many or most Sierra waters. Those fish were not even there to begin with, and the MYLF is only present at high elevations anyway. There are plenty of low elevations to fish in.

I’ve done fishing in the High Sierras myself, but if you are so shallow that you can’t hike into the High Sierras and just dig it for what it is without wetting a line, I don’t even think you should even be back there.

Even better, fish removal would probably reduce the number of humans in the backcountry. It’s mostly wilderness anyway, so why do we need tons of people back there? They can remove the fish from most of those waters for all I care. If there are no fish in the lakes, just bring a book or lie on your back or explore around all day.

Recent research indicates that there are three separate genetic units of the MYLF in the Sierras, a Northern, Central and Southern genetic unit. At present, these have been split off into a new species, the Sierra Yellow-Legged Frog , or Rana Sierrae.

The Southern California population and some southern Sierra populations have been split into a whole new species, the Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. Distribution maps for Rana Sierrae and Rana Muscosa. Rationale for the split. The two species are estimated to have split 2.4 million (!) years ago. Hence, the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog, the subject of this post, no longer exists in its former form.

This split was done on the basis of an article last year (Vredenburg et al 2007). Whether the three separate genetic clades of the Sierra Yellow-Legged Frog warrant splits into subspecies has not yet been determined. In order to split into subspecies, usually a certain X genetic distance must be shown.

In February of this year, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned again to list Rana Sierrae as endangered. Surely it qualifies.

Lots of cool frog, tadpole and terrain photos at the links.

References

Lips, Karen R., Diffendorfer, Jay, Mendelson III, Joseph R., Sears, Michael W. 2008. Riding the Wave: Reconciling the Roles of Disease and Climate Change in Amphibian Declines. PLoS Biology Vol. 6, No. 3.Pounds JA, Bustamante MR, Coloma LA, Consuegra JA, Fogden MPL, et al. 2006. Widespread Amphibian Extinctions From Epidemic Disease Driven by Global Warming. Nature 39: 161–167.

Vredenburg, V. T., R. Bingham, R. Knapp, J. A. T. Morgan, C. Moritz, and D. Wake. 2007. Concordant Molecular And Phenotypic Data Delineate New Taxonomy And Conservation Priorities For The Endangered Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. Journal of Zoology 271:361-374.

Pollution Knocks 5 Points Off US Kids' IQ's

It never amazes me that almost all race realists seem to deny that environment has any effect at all on IQ.
IQ’s have risen 22 points since 1930? Um, uh, um, uh. But they didn’t go up on “g”, so really there was absolutely no intelligence increase at all.
Abecedarian Project produced lasting 5 point gain? Um, uh, um, uh. Quote negative studies that produced no gain.
Iodine deficiency reduces IQ? Um, uh, um, uh, no comment.
Blacks closing the gap with Whites on IQ, surely Black children? Nope, cherry pick your studies to show no gap closing at all.
Dramatic increases in head size correlating with 22 point Flynn Effect gain? Express incredulity, deny, obfuscate, change the subject.
The sickening truth is that most race realists are just racists, and almost all of them are White. They have a vested interest in White superiority and the inferiority of other races. They are committed to a relentlessly pessimistic view of man in which environment has so little effect that we may as well all convert to Calvinism with its preterite and elect and say screw it.
People are getting stupider and the world is getting worse. Dysgenics is wracking the world, but modern humans could not possibly be smart enough to behave eugenically the way humans always have. Everything is hopeless and all environmental interventions are futile. Blacks and Browns are hopeless and Whites need to get away from them by re-instituting forms of segregation or out and out racial nationalism to get the Hell away from the non-Whites.
As with intelligence, “personality” is also fixed in the first few years of life, so a fuckup is a fuckup and a criminal is a criminal and that’s that.
Never mind racially identical groups with wildly different crime rates, crime rates in a single group that go all over the place with time.
Gloom and doom, gloom and doom.
Well, let’s toss one more firecracker into the laps of the racists.
Turns out that women with the highest exposure to a certain type of pollutants had kids who scored 5 points lower on IQ tests at age 5 than those with less exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (caused by burning fossil fuels). PAH’s are particularly emitted by cars and trucks idling in heavy city traffic.
All mothers were Domincans, so I assume that race is irrelevant. Mother’s exposure to PAH’s in the womb was associated with smaller head size in babies. Similar results are being found in China in terms of motor delays. Assuming the study is correct, we could rise IQ’s in certain groups with maximum exposure to exhausts (usually found in big cities) by up to 5 points. In the real world and across a large group, a 5 point gain especially toward the lower end is going to have some real and measurable gains.

Photos of Smithfield Foods' Granjas Carrol Site in La Gloria, Mexico

Dead pigs left out in the heat to rot. Scavengers have been feeding on these pigs.
Dead pigs left out in the heat to rot. Scavengers have been feeding on these pigs.

Dead pigs in a cart left out in the heat. It's not known if these pigs are supposed to be disposed of or made into food.
Dead pigs in a cart left out in the heat. It's not known if these pigs are supposed to be disposed of or made into food.

Dead pigs rotting away in the pig waste lagoon. The lagoon is filled with pig shit, pig piss, dead pigs, pig afterbirths, dead piglets stomped to death by their parents, on and on.
Dead pigs rotting away in the pig waste lagoon. The lagoon is filled with pig shit, pig piss, dead pigs, pig afterbirths, dead piglets stomped to death by their parents, on and on.

The famous pig shit lakes that bred the Swine Flu. The lakes are full of pig blood, pig shit, rotting dead pigs and other charming and delectable items. Note broken pipe. The smell from these lakes is so horrible that workers are sometimes overcome, pass out, and fall into the pig shit lake. Those who dive in to save them almost always die too. It sometimes takes weeks to fish the bodies out.
The famous pig shit lakes that bred the Swine Flu. The lakes are full of pig blood, pig shit, rotting dead pigs and other charming and delectable items. Note broken pipe. The smell from these lakes is so horrible that workers are sometimes overcome, pass out, and fall into the pig shit lake. Those who dive in to save them almost always die too. It sometimes takes weeks to fish the bodies out.

Aren’t these pig shit lakes just wonderful? Go capitalism go! Hat tip Cogitamus. From the Veracruz investigative reporting paper Enlace Veracruz 212.
Of course, as is always the case in corrupt Third World capitalist hellholes, many of the people who complained about this mess have been harassed, detained, arrested, threatened, etc. by government officials whored out to the multinational. There doesn’t seem to be any getting away from this. All 3rd World capitalist states do this and there is no avoiding it. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.
It looks increasingly like this facility is where the Swine Flu was birthed. It’s not true that the company cleared its operation of guilt; this is just a corporate lie being shopped around by the whored out corporate media.
Whored out medias in bed with monopoly capital are quite common in most capitalist states, and the US is no exception. There doesn’t seem to be any getting away from away from it. The papers are always run by corporations themselves, and they usually back up their corporate brethren. Once again, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature, and it’s unavoidable under capitalism.
Much is being made of the fact that the Swine Flu turned out to be a fake scare, but it’s strange that it did kill many very healthy people, over 200 at last count. This is unusual for the flu, which usually kills the very sick and elderly, and it makes this flu all the more tragic.