Category Archives: Mother Nature

Best Explanation Yet For the Holodomor

Repost from the old site.

First of all, we really ought to note that there was no “Holodomor” as the Ukrainian nationalists and Ukrainian Nazis have it. According to them, there was a man-made famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that led to 6 million Ukrainians dying.

The harvest was excellent, but the evil Stalinists confiscated all of the grain to starve the people due to their resistance to collectivization. This is the view that Americans have been fed their entire lives by the controlled US propaganda media (There is no free press of any consequence in the USA).

Most historians now completely reject the notion that the USSR intentionally starved anyone to death in order to punish them for resisting the state’s directives. There was a famine in 1933, and it continued for a few years afterward, but it extended over most of the USSR and was not confined to the Ukraine. The government was not happy about the famine and took severe measures to curtail it.

Most died of disease after being weakened by famine, not of starvation itself. Poor decisions were made by the state, but historically, this is often the case during famines. One can argue that the famine was caused by state policies, in particular an effort to jump-start collectivization and do it very rapidly.

A similar effort in China in 1959-1962 also caused a famine and led to 15 million deaths, again, mostly from disease. There seems to be a pattern of too-rapid collectivization of agriculture causing disastrous famines in Communist countries (something similar happened during Pol Pot’s reign).

There was also an armed struggle going on, with bands of kulaks taking up arms against party officials, collective farms and farmers, etc. In the course of this armed struggle, the state killed 390,000 people, mostly Ukrainians. If you want to call this mass murder or genocide or whatever, you’re entitled to do that, but that’s not what the Holodomor crowd is arguing.

Also, there was widespread sabotage in the USSR around this time, mostly in the Ukraine again, whereby those resisting cultivation destroyed 50% of the livestock in the USSR and a good part of the grain crop too.

The reasons for the famine and the story of the famine itself are quite complex and go beyond the scope of this post. For now, this review by Mark Tauger of a recent book by Davies and Wheatcroft perhaps sums up the famine in the USSR during this period to the best of our knowledge. Instead of summarizing this complicated review, I will just link to it and let you go read it yourself.

On a related note, it appears that the Ukrainian Nazis (Holodomor crowd) have taken over an article called “Holodomor Denial” and pretty much ruined it. Most of the people accused of being Holodomor Deniers do acknowledge that there was a famine in the USSR during this period that killed at least 1 million people.

Walter Duranty, the famous New York Times columnist, acknowledged at least 3 million deaths from famine. Douglas Tottle, Mario Sousa and Jeff Conlon, all supposedly Holodomor Deniers according to this outrageously biased article, all agreed that from 1-2 million died of a famine in the USSR during this period.

The reason the Ukrainian Nazis have even come up with the phrase Holodomor Denial is to parrot the Jews’ Holocaust Denial. The Holodomor was given that name in the late 1980’s by Ukrainian nationalists in Canada, most of whom supported the Nazis and often fought beside them in WW2. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial are rampant amongst these fascist supporters.

Just to show you how wicked Wikipedia is, take a look at the talk page for the article. The talk page was taken over by Ukrainian Nazis, I mean Holodomorists. Check out this entry.

The person who wrote that, Jeff Peters, was subsequently permanently banned from working on Wikipedia merely for opposing the Ukrainian Nazis’ Holodomor lies. Here is his talk page with all the dirty details. Looks like he was also a supporter of Hezbollah and the Palestinians and ran afoul of the Wikipedia Jews.

This is par for the course on Wikipedia. Most articles on Communism are seriously ruined by the Wikipedia Cabal. The Cabal, which takes orders from Jimmy Wales himself, is heavily loaded with libertarians who are quite hostile to any kind of socialism or social justice.

Jimmy Wales himself is a wild and extreme libertarian who argued that the federal government should not have lifted one finger to help the Hurricane Katrina victims in any way.

It’s amazing that not one single article in the “US free press” about Wikipedia or its corrupt founder has ever mentioned the extreme corruption and intellectual dishonesty at Wikipedia, the propaganda cabals that are allowed to run amok, or even Wales’ own extreme political views themselves. A free press in the US? It would be a great idea!

Was there famine? Yes. Was there a Holodomor? No.

The most responsible estimate of deaths due to the famine range from 1.5-6 million over a few years across much of the USSR.

It is interesting that in private correspondence, Robert Conquest, who for decades insisted that the famine was intentional (his view is now the received wisdom on the subject in the West) admitted in private correspondence with Davies and Wheatcroft that the famine was not intentional.

It’s truly sad that what is now regarded as settled fact among responsible historians is still regarded as wild, unheard-of propaganda in much of the West. But then we get back to that wonderful American “free press” again, right?


Coplon, Jeff. January 12, 1988. In Search of a Soviet Holocaust. The Village Voice. Douglas Furr’s website.

Coplon, Jeff. March 1988. Rewriting History – How Ukrainian Nationalists Imposed Their Doctored History on High School Students CAPITAL Region. Douglas Furr’s website.

Davies, R. W. and Wheatcroft, Steven G. 2004. The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Souza, Mario. Lies Concerning the History of the Soviet Union. North Star Compass website.

Tauger, Mark B. 1991. The 1932 Harvest and the Famine of 1933. Slavic Review 50:1, pp. 70-89.

Tottle, Douglas. 1987. Fraud, Famine, and Fascism: the Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard. Toronto: Progress Books.


Filed under Agricutlure, Anti-Semitism, Asia, China, Death, Ethnic Nationalism, Europe, Europeans, Fascism, Government, Health, History, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricanes, Illness, Jews, Journalism, Left, Libertarianism, Marxism, Modern, Mother Nature, National Socialism, Nationalism, Nazism, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, The Jewish Question, Ukraine, USSR, War, Wikipedia, World War 2

Wikipedia on Mao

Repost from the old site.

Granted, he’s a controversial fellow all right, but this hit piece is just an outrageous travesty of anti-Communist propaganda. The discussion page shows the details of the travesty, including the banning of anyone promoting an opposite point of view (a typical smarmy Wikipedia “Neutral Point of View” practice).

My 1990 World Book article on China< and my Time-Life book, China, from 1962 (height of the Cold War) are vastly more fair than this. World Book is hardly pro-Communist and Time-Life was always fanatically anti-Communist.

Fact is, Wikipedia is run by a bunch of little libertarian shits. Jimmy Wales is a wild-eyed, fanatical libertarian crazy person, and he’s using his evil website to try to poison the mind of a planet in favor of his libertarian nightmare.

That’s his right, but the US “free press” (there is no free press in the US) really ought to call him on it. I’ve seen all sorts of MSM bullshit about Jimmy and his jerk-off webcyclopedia, and every single one of them has been a fawning valentine (as we call such pieces in the journalism field).

Never once has even one article hinted that Wikipedia is grossly unfair, or that it is run by various cabals that are all tied in with the super-cabal of ultra-right libertarian Hindutva-Zionists around Wales. It might be nice to let the world know exactly what the politics of him and his creepy followers really are.

Let them know that Wales was furious that the federal government had done anything whatsoever to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina before, during and after the storm in any way whatsoever. Can you imagine?

In Wales World, there is no role for a government to play in a world-class hurricane. Need to be rescued? Call your friend who obviously has a helicopter, or pay $1000’s for some Israeli-cum-Halliburton mercenaries to come rescue your ass.

No government help to put up victims afterwards, to clean up the mess, or even to collect the fucking bodies. Let the epidemics come. No government help to rebuild the city afterwards. Let it stay underwater oozing gators, toxic waste, mold, decaying flesh and ruined structures. All of this is the proper domain of the private sector! Can you imagine how many people would have died?

I mean, this is what we got anyway under Libertarian Lite George Bush, but in Jimmy World, things would have been incalculably worse.

Look. If that’s Jimmy’s worldview, no problem. Hell, there are still dedicated Pol Potists out there. But the world really ought to know what Jimmy Wales’ fanatical ultra political views are so they can decide whether or not they agree. They should also be told how he uses his fake unbiased Webcyclopedia like Rupert Murdoch uses his media empire, to push reactionary politics in the name of “fair and balanced” bullshit.

That the “liberal media” MSM refuses to do this is worrying. It makes me wonder how reactionary they really are. Is the MSM as ultra-right as Wales, or are they just scared to talk about it? What’s up?


1. Here is some text from my World Book article on China. Note how the very rightwing World Book encyclopedia is able to acknowledge that Mao did many great things:

The Communist government has achieved an impressive record of economic growth. The Communists have provided widespread job opportunities, job security and a more even income distribution to the workers…China’s farm output has expanded greatly under the Communists…Production of chickens and livestock has improved significantly since 1950…

Under the Communists, industrial production has grown at an average rate of 12% per year…Since 1950, China has made great progress in educating its children. The number of children in both elementary and secondary school has increased sharply…Communist have conducted mass literacy campaigns so that now 75% of the population is literate…

All of the Communists’ health programs have resulted in a population that is much healthier than before. The Communists have almost wiped out cholera, typhoid and many other horrible diseases that used to kill millions of Chinese every year.


Filed under Agricutlure, Asian, Chinese, Conservatism, Conspiracies, Economics, Education, Government, Health, History, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricanes, Illness, Journalism, Left, Libertarianism, Livestock Production, Maoism, Marxism, Mother Nature, Political Science, Politics, Reposts From The Old Site, Wikipedia, Zionism

“Facing the Next Fifty Years: Global Warming,” by Abiezer Coppe

Climate change is killing 150,000 people a year now. That is the estimate of the World Health Organization for the year 2000, and now it is ten years out of date. So let us double that:

The once in a thousand year 2010 Moscow Heatwave caused an estimated 15,000 deaths.

For the “we have nothing to do with it” global warming deniers, here is a little primer on the current state of the science.

The science is already in.

There are metacommentaries on Russia’s heatwave here and here.

Climate records are being broken all over the world this year.

This is the actuality. It does matter. We can, all of us as individuals, do something.

Stopping global warming is actually a dream from which some of us still have to awake: it is more realistic to prepare ourselves and our society for the shocks that will inevitably come by practicing bioresilience. Our extraordinary adaptability as a species will be tested to the utmost in the next one hundred years. We have never had a challenge like it in the history of mankind.

Slowing the rate of growth of human carbon emissions (the global economic recession did so last year, although I see no real evidence at the level of political leaderships to cut carbon emissions) is one goal for the political elites, with eventual cuts at some unspecified date in the future, but a reduction of carbon emissions by 90% is actually what we must aim at as a society, which involves almost inconceivable transformations in the way we live, work, eat, travel and generate energy. A worldwide citizens’ movement is our tool.

We shall still move to a hotter world, but one that we shall survive, with far more modest and local lifestyles. We/I will also make the spiritual shift in our/my consciousness, and create new ways for ourselves/myself and our/my children to connect with and appreciate the beauties of nature in our over-informatized and mediatized world. Spiritual shift has now become a categorical imperative. Be the change you want to see. May I be the change I want to see…in me and in my world.

We have the luxury, in the privileged West, of having a little bit of potential space in our lives to accomplish this. If you are starving, drowning (as in Bangladesh and Pakistan), living at the edge of subsistence (Mali, Niger and Southern Sudan) and walking 12 miles a day simply to fetch water, there is much less space.

And the very poor are not producing the carbon emissions. It is us, in the developed world. I am not asking for guilt or a hair shirt: I am asking for awareness. And action. From myself, and from you!

Too much information, especially about such an explosive topic, actually creates anxiety and depression: have you noticed? I did in 2006, when I studied global warming nonstop for months. Too much (usually poor quality) information is actually the curse of our world: paying it too much attention creates a state of no peace.

Therefore we/I need to learn new ways to care for ourselves/myself, as we/I reconnect with the warp and weft of our ineffably beautiful and breathtaking living planet.

In time, perhaps, too, biodiversity will start to return to a planet currently in the sixth great extinction crisis of its long geological history. We need not be a plague on the planet. It is not our purpose here.

Once we come from a place of deeper peace and connection in ourselves, we rule out fear and chase it from our bodily abode: we then inspire others to seek that as well. Our activism has a more transformational quality on all around us. I have much to learn, much to heal, and much to change in myself.

Most campaigners, and part of the scientific community (James Hansen in particular), think that emissions cuts should begin at the latest by 2015. With the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in power until then, we certainly have our work cut out.

“Business as usual” = civilizational collapse, sooner or later. And unimaginable human suffering. The suffering of Pakistan at the moment, but multiplied a million fold…

If you do not care, do not have children. They may not forgive you. Consciousness is rising about the scale of the challenge we face.

If you wish to be up to date on the subject of global warming, read the scientists! I suggest here and the NOAA, plus the climate progress website mentioned above.

I read them, and I am not a scientist.

The human race currently emits 29 billion tons (29 gigatons – more here) of carbon a year. And we do not do it by breathing or farting alone!

We have multiplied our biological carbon emissions as a species many fold through the development of technology, which required the burning of fossil fuels, the ancient sunlight of antiquity. Thus we become our own Nemesis.

It is difficult to point to any aspect of our current material lives that is not dependent on fossil fuels in some way, from plastic bags to cheap food.

We are changing the climate, and without global carbon emission reductions there is a point of no return, where positive feedbacks kick in and carbon emissions from natural processes such as the melting of the subarctic tundra, the loss of arctic sea ice in summer, and the burning of the world’s forests, start to render annual human emissions almost insignificant, kicking global warming into high gear.

We have – perhaps – a little window of opportunity now. It is human to hope. Nobody knows how long we have. It seems, from my many years of reading on the subject of global warming, that the window will certainly close by 2030.

And that date is based on the most optimistic of all projections.

When the climate “tipping points” are passed (the scientific consensus – but no one really knows – is that this starts to happen at 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade above preindustrial global temperatures: we are currently 0.8 degrees Centigrade above), we are in for a very rough ride indeed.

That article is from yesterday’s UK newspaper, The Independent.

Given the current levels of urgency regarding this issue on the part of the global elites, runaway global warming is currently more likely than not.

Anthropogenic global warming has the potential to be the new global genocide. A genocide of the poor by the richest countries, with the highest per capita output of carbon emissions. Ask a Pakistani farmer in Sindh province how he is doing at the moment, and what his prospects are for 2011.

With runaway climate change, civilization will collapse, and there will – at some point after 2050 – be a catastrophic collapse in the global human population in the “business as usual” scenario (I do not like James Lovelock’s politics at all, but in that sense he is hard to contradict). For more on this, see Anatoly Karlin’s review of Six Degrees, by Mark Lynas.

It is a very graphic and a very detailed description, degree by degree of global warming above pre-industrial levels, of how human-induced global warming is changing the world we live in. And the précis saves you reading the book.

By 2020, at the current 0.2 degrees Centigrade of global warming per decade, we shall have passed the threshold of 1 degree of global warming globally since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Here is Anatoly Karlin’s summary of one degree of global warming.

One Degree

Though the Great Plains are one of the world’s great agricultural breadbaskets, a desert slumbers underneath. Increased dessication and pummeling storms will erode away the thin topsoil, recreating the Dust Bowl on a giant scale and re-awakening the sand dunes. More irrigation will only postpone the inevitable. There will be large-scale migration to the wetter Mid-West and Great Lakes regions. AK: actually called the Great American Desert during the 19th century!, and is now dependent on depleting Oglalla Aquifer.

Higher rainfall, glacial melt and strengthening Siberian rivers may interrupt the Gulf Stream (part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system), drying western Europe and cooling it by as much as 2 C – recreating the conditions of the Little Ice Age during the worst winters. However, most models predict this will be a slow death. AK: If not, expect increased European dependency on Russian gas during the 2010′s and 2020′s.

In Africa, Kilimanjaro will lose its remaining ice by 2020 – causing wildfires, fish stock declines and problems with hydroelectricity production. Based on paleoclimate, in the long term, there will be a greening of the Sahara (into a savanna) and an enlarged Lake Chad…however, models say that there will only be a short interlude of heavier rains in the Sahel and on the West African coast, followed by even fiercer drought.

Coral reefs around the world will be increasingly bleached and taken over by seaweed; polar bears are pushed off the top of the world and creatures like pikas are shoved off the planet, accelerating the Anthropocene Mass Extinction event. Hurricanes will become stronger and more ubiquitous, spreading to the South Atlantic. More rockfalls in the Alps. Increased incidence of drought in the Amazon, pushing it to the brink. Atolls become doomed worlds, fated to submerge amidst the rising waves.

It will have taken around 250 years for a one degree rise in the mean global temperature to occur. However, climate dynamics are like a slumbering beast. There is a great deal of inertia locked into the system. First, there is very good evidence that the level of greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere is itself rising. Secondly, the rate of global warming has been speeding up. Therefore we can, optimistically, expect the second degree of global warming after 2050, even with a concerted scaleback in emissions. That is within my children’s lifetime.

Now read Karlin’s summary of two degrees. Many of us will live to see this. At 0.3 degrees centigrade of increase in the global mean temperature per decade, two degrees arrives in 2053. A “climatic flip” is also possible: a sudden, dramatic acceleration, leading to climate collapse, from our perspective. The British Meteorological Office considers four degrees of global warming a possibility by 2060:

Now read Karlin on four degrees of global change. Are we not living through a planetary emergency?

Please read Anatoly Karlin’s review of Lynas if you read nothing else I reference. It is a glimpse into the uncertain future toward which we are headed, with no stars to steer by.

Global capitalism requires 3% compound growth to continue in existence, as David Harvey explains here in 3 parts. Capitalism must expand, or die. Both natural and institutional limits to the self-reproduction of Capital are a mortal threat to its very being. 3% compound growth, and our additional numbers, explain why the human species has moved from using 62% of planetary biocapacity in 1961 to 144% of planetary biocapacity in 2006. Is your country living within the mercy of its ecological means? Check the ecological footprint network atlas.

Not sustainable, and not a good outlook for the species. “No future, no future, no future for me,” as the Sex Pistols once sang.

I suspect, therefore, that the answer to human survival in this century and the next, and a civilizational level higher than that described in the visionary and beautiful written novel of our potential future in a much warmer world, Far North by Marcel Theroux, lies in a re-visioning and implementation of communism.

Read it and see what you think; then comment.

Despite the 20th century deviation of Communism from its original envisioning by Marx and Engels and the ecological disasters of the Eastern Bloc, Mao’s China and the Soviet Union, Marx’s vision of post-scarcity communism was profoundly ecological.

Cuba is the only country in the world today that lives within its ecological limits (page 14).

I find it very heartening that there remains one country in the world that has, largely by default, found a sustainable way to live, and that it is, with all its human rights and politico-economic flaws, a non-capitalist country.

Cuba is a glimmer of hope in a world ruled by the mantras of greed and growth. But not the only one by any means. People are waking up all over the world. Morales’ Bolivia, one of poorest countries in the world, and heavily dependent on extractive mining, has produced one of the most visionary ecological statements of the last year (to find it go to the Climate and Capitalism website).

Hope was the last thing left in the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, which we have, in the course of industrial civilization, unknowingly thrown open wide.

May we not let hope fly away altogether: this is my prayer for my children and yours, their children and your grandchildren.


Filed under Africa, Americas, Asia, Bangladesh, Capitalism, Cuba, Economics, Environmentalism, Eurasia, Europe, Global Warming, Hurricanes, Latin America, Left, Mali, Marxism, Mother Nature, North Africa, Pakistan, Politics, Regional, Russia, Science, South Asia, Weather

Worries About Starving Pets In New Orleans May be Exaggerated

Repost from the old site. This is a famous post. It got tons of hits on the old site, but it’s an old post.

As you can see from these pics here, the widespread worries about all the lost pets, especially dogs and cats, starving to death in NOLA after Hurricane Katrina are somewhat overdrawn. Clearly, some pets, such as the enterprising hungry stray dog above, are finding plenty of food on their own, although it’s not exactly Alpo.

Some folks asked me why the MSM (mainstream media) doesn’t show these pics and I said I did not know.

Clearly, the MSM have been carrying water for Bush for much of this disaster, though at the start, segments of the media demonstrated some rarely-seen backbone and stood up to Bush for once, as demonstrated in my previous post, New Orleans Is Gone.

Does the media not like to show disgusting pics like this, out of ethics (sic) or worry over being criticized for pandering (as if they don’t pander enough as it is)?

Not sure what the answer is. Feel free to weigh in.

Pics from Postman Patel, a fine British blog.

One more thing: alligators. Initial posts noted that rumors of alligators in NOLA after Katrina were unfounded. However, we now have verification, via Juan Cole’s blog, that alligators have in fact been lunching on folks in NOLA. Sorry folks, no pics yet. But I’m working on it.

What about other hungry critters? Anderson Cooper on CNN noted here that he observed rats eating corpses in NOLA. Sorry, no photos of that either.

I have received numerous complaints and comments about this post:

  1. The dog (there is only one dog in both pics) is not eating people, but is instead a cadaver dog – dogs that work with police to locate corpses.
  2. Those are not corpses, but “dummies“.
  3. The statement that these photos and “sensationalistic captions” are a reflection of the “poor journalistic standards” of National Geographic and put it on a par with National Inquirer.
  4. They can’t be stray dogs because strays always operate in packs.
  5. This post is amateur, yellow-journalistic tripe and that it’s credibility is further weakened by appearing on a “random blog”.
  6. The dog is only interested in hands and feet, and therefore must be a cadaver dog and cannot be a stray dog.
  7. I am not honest, and that the MSM is objectively more honest than I am. (Now that’s insulting!)

In order to try to resolve these questions, I somehow tracked down the freelance photographer who took the second photo (I still can’t figure out who took the first photo).

Allen Frederickson is a freelance photographer from Milwaukee who was in NOLA after the flood to cover it as a photojournalist. I communicated with Fredrickson via email and phone to try to resolve some of the questions posed above about his photo. Here is his abridged email correspondence:

Robert, you present some interesting questions. I work for Reuters as a contact photographer, and have since August 1990. Faking or manipulating photos is not a smart practice, and something I do not engage in. Corbis [where one of the photos was found on the web] does some of the secondary sales for Reuters .

The photo in question was taken in New Orleans on at 3:39 PM (according to digital info on my camera) on September 5, not September 6, as National Geographic states on their website.

The photo was taken as I flew as an embedded photographer in a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter piloted by National Guard aviators. The Guard was engaged in repair of a levee wall very close to the south side of Lake Pontchartrain.

The dog in the photo appeared to be a stray, and the corpse was about 50 yards from the spot where 16,000 pound bags of sand (actually crushed limestone) were being dropped. On two separate runs, about 15 minutes apart, the dog appeared to be eating this poor man’s leg.

I cannot imagine the dog was simply licking his master but that’s an outside possibility. The pilot of the Chinook told me he’d seen two dogs, a black one and this brown [or yellow] one, near the cadaver for the past three days, (September 3-5), as he helped drop bags. There were no live persons on the ground in the area, and no indications that either of the two dogs near this man would be cadaver dogs.

In his phone conversation with me, Allen basically reiterated these points. He said that cadaver dogs operate with police close by, and there were no police, or any live humans period, anywhere near this site for days on end. Furthermore, the dogs in question had been running wild and hanging around the corpses for three days prior, once again under no human supervision.

I think we can put this matter to rest and assume that this yellow dog was actually eating a human corpse in NOLA at 3:39 PM on September 5, 2005 on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain. Further, we can suspect that the same dog may have eaten another corpse around the same time frame (note the first pic from an unknown source).

We can also assume that the yellow dog and a black dog had possibly been eating at least the body in the second pic above for the prior three days.

Let us deal with the questions above. The dog in the pics is a stray dog, not a cadaver dog. The bodies were real bodies, not dummies. The fact that the what may be the same dog is eating two bodies is not relevant and does not prove he is a cadaver dog.

Apparently, dogs who eat people eat extremities, not just central areas, and cadaver dogs are not the only dogs who investigate extremities of corpses. Apparently, stray dogs do not always operate in packs, maybe especially after major disasters like this one.

Based on Fredrickson’s statements, National Geographic is not exercising poor, National Enquirer-style judgment in its photos or captions, nor am I dishonest.

The notion that blogs are an inherently dishonest medium is a common prejudice against us poor unpaid bloggers, and it seems to be without substance. Some bloggers are principled and fact-check (ahem) well while others are pretty atrocious and don’t check sources.

In contrast, the MSM has been demonstrably dishonest for a long time, as Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and other works make clear.

The second photo above (Fredrickson’s photo) has appeared in a number of other places on the Net. The original National Geographic site where the photo appeared is here. It also appeared on the Corbis site, where some posters nabbed it.

The first photo mysteriously appeared only on this strange site here. The site is accessible only through it’s uploads folder; the main page is blank. In the past, this odd page has been used to upload controversial photos to the web. Fredrickson says he did not take that shot, and he knows nothing about it. The page with the photo may be affiliated with the Indymedia Pittsburgh site here, based on its partial web address.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, Animals, Dead Bodies, Dogs, Domestic, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricanes, Journalism, Louisiana, Morbid, Mother Nature, North America, Politics, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, Republicans, Sick, Sick and Evil, South, US Politics, USA, Weather

The Significance of the Refoundation of the Maoist Movement in Pakistan

This is an interesting document outlining the prospects for revolution in Pakistan.

If not for Islam, Pakistan would probably already be in a revolutionary situation right now.

Bangladesh, where objective conditions are just as bad as in India, if not worse, has seen little progress in an actual armed struggle by Maoist forces, mostly due to the presence of Islam. Islamic Bangladesh has recently seen a large movement towards Islamism, though the nation’s elites are still secular. The Islamic parties are very large and popular.

Your average poor, starving peasant, who ought to be on board with revolution, is instead wasting his time jerking off with Islamist reactinaries. The Islamist militias have attacked the Maoists many times, killing many cadres. The state is probably using them for this purpose. This is reminiscent of the situtation in Indonesia in 1965, when Islamist militias were used to kill 1 million Communists in less than a year, a massacre that the CIA was involved in from start to finish.

Every time revolution rears its head in the Islamic World, the Islamists immediately condemn them as “atheists” and slaughter them. I assume that your average religious Muslim supports this massacre of the apostates.

Since Islam is so embedded in the population, I am dubious at the prospects for revolution in Pakistan. The Islamists will quickly condemn the Maoists as “atheists” and will be free to slaughter them. Further, the state will use the Islamist militias, as it already does. For instance, the Pakistani state used the Islamist militias to kill Benazir Bhutto recently. Further, getting pegged as atheists will make it hard for the Maoists to get support.

The revolutionary situation in Hindu countries is much better for some reason. Maoism went over great in Nepal, and the Maoists are doing well in India. In Nepal, the Maoists simply asked, “What’s Hinduism done for you lately?” The answer in general was nothing. Hinduism was used via the caste system by local elites to repress the peasants in a feudal to semi-feudal manner. In India, most of the Hindu Maoists have not really given up Hinduism. I suspect that Hinduism is not as deeply embedded in your average peasant’s psyche as Islam is.

Nevertheless, I understand that the PMKP is already quite popular among peasants oppressed by semi-feudalism. They hold large rallies in favor of land rights and lots of peasants show up. I assume that they don’t directly attack Islam – that would be idiotic in Pakistan. I have a Pakistani friend who comes from a feudal landlord family, and even she supported the PMKP, saying they were good for the peasants.

At any rate, I don’t think a revolutionary situation exists in Pakistan right now, and it will be a while before one starts up. And that’s almost all due to Islam.

The Significance of the Refoundation of the Maoist Movement in Pakistan

August 12, 2010

A Statement to the Seventh National Congress of the Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party

From the General Secretary of Revolutionary Initiative

With our fists raised as high as our hopes for the future of the
Pakistani revolution, Revolutionary Initiative, a
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist pre-party formation in Canada, offers a red salute to the comrades convening the August 2010 7th National Congress of the Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party (Pakistan Workers and Peasants Party).

We understand that the 7th Congress will mark a return of the PMKP to the Maoist origins of the party, as established by its founders Major Ishaq Mohammed, Afzal Bungish, Eric Sperian, and Ghulam Nabi Kaloo in the 1960s.

The new program of the PMKP will effect a decisive break with the pseudo-alternatives currently being presented to the people of Pakistan: the perpetuation of a backward semi-colonial, semi-feudal society maintained by the pro-imperialist military and civil bureaucracy, comprador bourgeoisie, and feudal ruling elite; versus the equally backward social program offered up by the Taliban of
Pakistan. By breaking with the revisionist Left, which looks to U.S. imperialism for enlightenment through its brutal “War on Terror”, the PMKP is setting a course to truly rally the peasants, proletarians, and the progressive petty-bourgeois elements to the anti-imperialist cause.

Further, by exposing the program of the Taliban as fascism in a different form, the PMKP has truly placed itself at the vanguard of all the toiling masses in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s lackeys to the imperialists and the Taliban only appear to be irreconcilably opposing forces, but in practice they are two sides of the same coin. The world will never forget that it was U.S. imperialism, during the course of the Cold War, which helped create the Taliban with the unwavering support of the Pakistani state.

Due to the Pakistani ruling classes’ subservience to U.S. imperialism, the vast majority paid a steep price for the maintenance of the country’s incredible state of economic backwardness. Today, this relationship
has brought only new sufferings, with U.S. imperialism raining down drone attacks upon the heads of Pakistani civilians.

With a population of 170 million people, 48% of Pakistan’s labour force is involved in agricultural production. About 55% of the country’s population possesses no land at all. The vast majority of people in the countryside are exploited by landlords, usurers, merchants, and the religious institutions.

As the PMKP’s new draft program reads, it is the semi-colonial aspect of Pakistan’s countryside that remains the “main obstacle to the release of productive forces and the progress of our country”. This is what makes the heavily exploited and oppressed peasantry the “main force in the peoples democratic revolution carried out under the leadership of the proletariat.”

It is these conditions that make Pakistan ripe for People’s War. If the Maoists do not lead the struggle of the people, the Islamic forces will continue to prevail in their reactionary mobilization of the masses in their pseudo-opposition to U.S. imperialism.

The floods that are currently ravaging Pakistan, bringing great misery and dislocation to as much as 10% of the population and claiming thousands of lives, could be easily mitigated by a socialist society which places all the productive forces of society in the hands of the workers and peasants.

It is our hope that the floods do not derail the plans for the 7th Congress, but if they do, we know it will be because of the urgent need for the revolutionary vanguard to serve and guide the people in a time of great hardship. It is inevitable that the imperialists and the reactionaries in Pakistan will use the catastrophes to strengthen their legitimacy and order, just as the imperialists and reactionaries have done in Haiti with the great earthquake there in January 2010.

In addition to the great consequences that the rise of the Pakistani Maoist movement will have at the domestic level, the Pakistani revolution would also affect historic transformations at the regional and world levels.

Regionally, the revolution in Pakistan would carry the revolutionary tide sweeping South Asia deeper into the Muslim world, breaking the monopoly of the clerical fascists in the struggle against imperialism, which they do not fundamentally oppose and do so in appearance only for their own opportunistic and self-aggrandizing purposes.

At the world level, the rise of a revolutionary communist tide in Pakistan would deal a blow to the ideological basis of the imperialist ‘War on Terror’. In the Western imperialist countries, Muslims are being scapegoated to divert the rest of the masses from the true geopolitical and economic interests of the NATO bloc of imperialists: to plunder the world, exploit the toiling masses, and gain the upper hand in the inter-imperialist competition with the other imperialists and regional geopolitical rivals, especially Russia and China.

The masses in the West are blackmailed into supporting the imperialist war of aggression in Afghanistan through the specter of Taliban rule. But we know that the war against the Taliban, a war on domestic reactionaries and exploiting classes, can only be the class war of the toiling masses, not the imperialists. The world was reminded of this on May 1st, 2010 when the PMKP rallied and marched in North-West Frontier Province for the support of the revolution in Nepal.

We look forward, comrades, to the great feats that the people of Pakistan will achieve under the leadership of genuine communists guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and we will show the masses in our country that the people of Pakistan are our friends and comrades, and that they strive for genuine democracy, for socialism and for communism, just like ourselves.

If the PMKP, alongside our comrades of the Shola Jawid (Communist Party Maoist of Afghanistan) and Sarbederan (Communist Party of Iran-Maoist), successfully organize and arouse the masses for national democratic revolution by way of anti-imperialist People’s Wars in Central and South Asia, genuine communists all around the world will rally to your cause, learn important lessons from your struggle, and promote them amongst the proletarians of their home countries.

If the PMKP holds fast to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism after the convention of the 7th National Congress, deeply uprooting the revisionism of the past decades, and boldly applies MLM to the conditions of Pakistan, then a glorious future lays ahead for the people of Pakistan and South and Central Asia. The era of imperialism is the era of world proletarian revolution. In this phase imperialism’s strategic decline, the phase of the second great crisis of capitalist imperialism that has plagued the world since the early 1970s, the conditions for proletarian revolution are inexorably improving.

Finally, this message of solidarity would not be complete without our own organization clearly identifying Canadian imperialism as a leading enemy of the people of the world, including the people of your country. A leading player in the occupation of Afghanistan and NATO is Canadian imperialism, the basis of which is Canadian monopoly-finance capital. As the imperialist war in Afghanistan more and more spills over into your country, your connection to the Canadian proletariat’s revolutionary struggle deepens more and more.

The proletarian youth who are being sent to Afghanistan only to return to Canada in body bags are also the victims of imperialist war, but they must be driven from Afghanistan just the same. The ruinous war in Afghanistan sets the basis for revolutionary agitation amongst the soldiers, no less than the Korean War and the Vietnam War radicalized whole generations of youth and soldiers in the West.

Together, let us hasten the movement towards socialism and communism on a world scale before the imperialists drag us further into a hellish world of war, avertable disasters, ecological catastrophe, and the day-to-day grinding exploitation and oppression of capitalism.

Red salute to the PMKP for taking up the banner of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism!

Onwards with the People’s War in Pakistan!

From Canada to Pakistan, long live the international proletarian revolution.


Filed under Afghanistan, Americas, Asia, Asian, Canada, Capitalism, China, Cold War, Economics, Eurasia, Fascism, Geopolitics, Hinduism, History, Imperialism, India, Indonesia, Islam, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Modern, Mother Nature, Nepal, North America, Pakistan, Political Science, Politics, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Revolution, Russia, SE Asia, SE Asian, Socialism, South Asia, Terrorism, US Politics, US War in Afghanistan, Vietnam War, War, Weather

Awesome Pics of October 2007 California Fires

Repost from the old site.

The fires in California last October 2007 were historic. 1,500 homes, 500,000 acres were burned, 9 people died, and 85 more were injured, including 85 firefighters. Here are some of the more spectacular pictures of the fires.

An incredible photo of Mount San Miguel burning during the Harris Fire on October 23, 2007. I was following all of these fires closely and I remember as this wall of flame charged down Mt. San Miguel towards the homes below. This horrible fire burned 206 homes and 252 outbuildings and damaged 253 structures. It killed 5 people and injured 55 more, 34 firefighters and 21 civilians. What an incredible fire. Those flames must be 100-200 feet high.

This photo still creeps me out. It reminds me of some popular horror movie like Friday the 13th. I keep expecting Freddy to pop out and start roaming the streets. This photo was taken in Irvine, California, and the fire is the Santiago Fire. The wall of smoke is so vast it seems to have blotted out the sun altogether. Awesome photo. I’m not sure when this was taken.

Another strange and very creepy photo. A number of fires were burning in and around Santa Clarita northeast of Los Angeles at the time that this photo was taken on October 21, 2007. The fires with the halos around them almost look like UFO’s. The homes in front lit up by street lights adds to the creepy effect.

A strange photo of the Santiago Fire taken on October 23, 2007. The Hellish-appearing flames of the fire seem to loom in the background, while another strange line that looks like headlights on a distant freeway burn closer to town. The photo was taken from Aliso Viejo, with Lake Forest in the foreground.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, Art, California, Fires, Mother Nature, North America, Photography, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, USA, West

“On The Ground in Haiti,” by Alpha Unit

New Alpha Unit on the Haiti catastrophe. I like Doctors Without Borders. A great organization.

Fractures. Burns. Open wounds. Amputations. These are some of the injuries and surgical necessities being dealt with in Haiti by Doctors Without Borders. They are reporting that they are now treating gunshot wounds. Understandably, violence has been on the increase in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck on January 12.

Not only has Doctors Without Borders set up hospitals in Port-au-Prince, they have paid special attention to western Haiti, location of the quake’s epicenter, where the devastation has resulted in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. People are sleeping in the streets. So far there is very little help for them.

It’s all over the news that Doctors Without Borders, which already had a presence in Haiti, has had difficulty landing some of their cargo planes carrying surgical equipment and surgical teams. Apparently there is great confusion in giving planes the necessary clearance. According to Benoit Leduc, operations manager for Haiti, there isn’t a “smooth liaison” in decision making between the United States military and the United Nations.

Doctors Without Borders has been in the middle of humanitarian crises like this one since its founding in 1971. A group of French doctors created it after the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. The southeastern region of Nigeria had broken off to form the independent nation of Biafra.

France had been the only major country to support Biafra (France wasn’t exactly neutral in all this; it had its own interests in the conflict.) Some French doctors had volunteered with the Red Cross to work in hospitals in the region. But the volunteers found themselves under attack by the Nigerian army, and also saw abuses against civilians.

A principle dear to the Red Cross was neutrality. It did not allow itself to take sides in any hostilities or inject itself into religious, political, or ideological disputes. These doctors wanted to focus solely on the needs of victims, without being beholden to appearances of “not taking sides.”

The group, in fact, does not take sides. But as they learned long ago, unfortunately, humanitarian groups have been attacked if ruling powers perceived them to be doing so.

Of course, Haiti is a different story. The enemy here seems to be the chaos following the devastation of last week’s earthquake. Life-saving endeavors proceed in spite of it.


Filed under Alpha Unit, Caribbean, Death, Earthquakes, Guest Posts, Haiti, Health, Illness, Latin America, Medicine, Mother Nature, Public Health, Regional

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.


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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, Biology, California, Conservatism, Democrats, Endangered Species, Environmentalism, Evolution, Genetics, Global Warming, Mother Nature, North America, Political Science, Pollution, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, Republicans, Science, US Politics, USA, Weather, West

Tsunami Kills 134 People in Samoa

An incredibly huge 7.9-8.3 magnitude earthquake hit the South Pacific early on Tuesday.

The tsunami caused some waves that were 5 feet above height, and there were deaths from the tsunami in both American Samoa and Western Samoa, over 100 deaths in Western Samoa and 34 deaths in American Samoa. 1 New Zealander, 3 Koreans and 1 Australian were among the victims. 6 Australians and 1 Koreans were still missing. 5% of the Australians living in Samoa were either killed or missing. Another 145 people were injured and whole villages were wiped out.

Fautasi was one village that was completely obliterated. There were at least 5 dead in the village, and the death toll there could go into the 100’s in that village alone. The village of Salesatele was destroyed, and 37 bodies have been found there.

A reporter saw at least 20 bodies in the southeastern town of Lalomanu. The town and surrounding region were flattened. There were 7-8 dead in Malaela, and many are missing. There were also many dead in Vailoa and Aleipata.

The village of Sau Sau Beach Fale was wiped out. There were also an unknown number of deaths in Talamoa. 40 bodies had been brought to the local hospital in Apia. 20 bodies were seen in a hospital in the city of Upolu. 100 bodies were reported from the southern coast alone and the total was rising all the time.

Tsunamis were recorded at Apia and Pago Pago in American Samoa. Tsunami waves 15-20 feet high struck Tutuila Island, where Pago Pago is, and moved up to 1.6 miles inland. The National Park Service office on the island was completely obliterated. 80% of the park workers are volunteers are missing.

Hawaii was spared by the tsunami, but waves 1-2 feet higher than normal hit the California coast a couple of hours ago.


Filed under American Samoa, Earthquakes, Mother Nature, Pacific, Tsunamis, Western Samoa

Awesome Pics of October 2007 California Fires

Repost from the old site.

The fires in California last October 2007 were historic. 1,500 homes and 500,000 acres were burned, 9 people died, and 85 more were injured, including 85 firefighters. Here are some of the more spectacular pictures of the fires.

An incredible photo of Mount San Miguel burning during the Harris Fire on October 23, 2007. I was following all of these fires closely and I remember as this wall of flame charged down Mt. San Miguel towards the homes below. This horrible fire burned 206 homes and 252 outbuildings and damaged 253 structures. It killed 5 people and injured 55 more, 34 firefighters and 21 civilians. What an incredible fire. Those flames must be 100-200 feet high.This photo still creeps me out. It reminds me of some popular horror movie like Friday the 13th. I keep expecting Freddy to pop out and start roaming the streets. This photo was taken in Irvine, California, and the fire is the Santiago Fire. The wall of smoke is so vast it seems to have blotted out the sun altogether. Awesome photo. I’m not sure when this was taken.

Another strange and very creepy photo. A number of fires were burning in and around Santa Clarita northeast of Los Angeles at the time that this photo was taken on October 21, 2007. The fires with the halos around them almost look like UFO’s. The homes in front lit up by street lights adds to the creepy effect.

A strange photo of the Santiago Fire taken on October 23, 2007. The Hellish-appearing flames of the fire seem to loom in the background, while another strange line that looks like headlights on a distant freeway burn closer to town. The photo was taken from Aliso Viejo, with Lake Forest in the foreground.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, California, Fires, Mother Nature, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, USA, West