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All-Species List

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The All-Species List, a proprietary label for all of God’s creatures, including Man, had its genesis in’s long-running Bar Chat column, now over 17 years old and nearing 2,000 articles.  Bar Chat focuses mostly on sports, but what else do we talk about, sitting with our friends, having an adult beverage?

Among other things, animal attack stories!  Shark attacks.  Rabid beavers.  Stealthy mountain lions or grizzly bears ripping apart unsuspecting hikers.  And we also talk about man’s best friend…Dog.  There are no “rescue cats,” a friend of mine always says.

Well, I thought why not put all the species in order.  As good as Man can be, in our charity work and after natural disasters, Man can be vicious, brutal…think Syria.  Man is also prone to be a jerk in our simple interactions with our fellow man.  Like failing to help the elderly across the street, or in our distracted driving and imperiling innocents.  Ergo, Man doesn’t stand a chance of ever cracking the Top Ten, frankly.

So this is how it all started.  Now I am taking the “All-Species List” to the next level.  Granted, Dog is going to be tough to dislodge.

To read more and comment on your favorite species, please visit All-Species List.

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Hot Spots


Xi Jinping Thought

What is Xi Jinping Thought?  Today, it is everywhere in China... “schools, newspapers, television, the internet, billboards and banners all trumpet the ideas of Mr. Xi,” China’s president and Communist Party leader, now via constitutional change for as long as he desires.

Chris Buckley of the New York Times had a piece on Xi Jinping Thought prior to the major changes that were approved by the latest Communist Party Congress, which just wrapped up a week ago.


“Boiled down, the doctrine is a blueprint for consolidating and strengthening power at three levels: the nation, the party and Mr. Xi himself....

“Since Mr. Xi became chairman of the Communist Party in 2012, he has vowed a ‘great rejuvenation’ to restore China to its ancient prominence and glory.

“In recent decades, China has become the world’s second largest economy and a powerhouse of global trade and investment. Xi Jinping Thought promotes taking the next step, making China not only prosperous but also politically powerful.

“ ‘Never before have the Chinese people been so close to realizing their dreams,’ Mr. Xi is often quoted as saying.  Implicit in the dream of being counted among the world’s powers is the idea of China nearing the United States in strength and influence.

“To sustain China’s global rise, Mr. Xi is modernizing China’s military and investing heavily in a $1 trillion international trade initiative known as Belt and Road. Under Mr. Xi, China has expanded the size and scope of its military, purged corrupt officers and built military installations in contested waters of the South China Sea....

“Xi Jinping Thought promotes the supremacy of the Communist Party to growing numbers of avid consumers, internet users and world travelers – a group fundamentally different from the workers and peasants who were supposed to be the soul of the Communist Revolution.

“Mr. Xi’s philosophy teaches that the goal of a powerful, unified China be achieved only if the Communist Party stays firmly in control of China. The party, he says, is the solution to China’s problems, not their source.

“Harping on the importance of one-party rule is not new in China.  But Mr. Xi has taken aggressive steps to revitalize the Communist Party’s grip on business, the news media, the internet, culture and education. The influence of party permeates every corner of society – even rap music.

“Official news media routinely point to the corruption and failings they see in Western democracies.  ‘Why question the Communist Party when the alternative is chaos and corruption?’ goes the message....

“Central to the doctrine is the idea that for China to continue its global rise, and for the party to maintain its rule, a decisive leader is needed at the helm. And the man for the job is Mr. Xi.”

[Witness the move to abolish presidential terms limits, allowing Xi to remain in power indefinitely.]

“In propaganda, Mr. Xi is referred to as ‘lingxiu,’ a reverent Chinese word for a leader that was also used for Mao Zedong. In official imagery he is portrayed as a visionary leader on a historic mission – brave, wise and decisive....

“Mao said he wanted to smash the grip of Confucius on China and ignite revolution. But Mr. Xi regularly quotes Confucius and other ancient sages, stressing their teachings on obedience and order, and promoting the idea that the party is the custodian of a 5,000-year-old civilization.

“Party propaganda now even equates Mr.Xi to a Confucian patriarch who runs the country as if it were his own family.

“And all good Confucian children must observe filial piety.”

Hot Spots will return in a few weeks.

Brian Trumbore