Water — the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic

The question should be, “Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water?”

Survival Topics.com says, “People have survived without food for weeks or even months, but go without water for even just one day and the survivor will be in desperate straights indeed.”

However, how long can one go without total freedom of political expression and to join any global religion? The choices of world religions are many. According to Religious Tolerance.org, “There are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.”

One of the most common complains outside China is that its citizens do not have these two abstract freedoms and all of those religions to choose from—China offers seven approved choices.

This post explores which country is doing a better job of supplying water to its people—China or India.  When you finish reading and watching the two videos, you decide which country you would rather live in if you had to make a choice between them.

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compares the world’s largest democracy, India, with China. In “The Big Melt” by Brook Larmer, we see a convincing reason why China’s mix of socialism and capitalism may be the world’s answer to avoid future calamities. Where Western style democracies stall due to partisanship, special interests, religious beliefs and political agendas, China’s government, ruled by engineers and scientists, appears to be planning decades ahead.

The claims of Tibetan separatists and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron dictatorial fist also appears to be wrong when Larmer visits a family of Tibetan nomads. He writes, “There is no sign of human life on the 14,000 foot high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world.” Larmer sees “the NOMADS’ tent as a pinprick of white against a canvas of brown.”

We meet Ba O, a Tibetan nomad. In Ba O’s tent, “there is a small Buddhist Shrine: a red prayer wheel and a couple of smudged Tibetan texts…” A few years earlier, Ba O had several hundred sheep and the grass was plentiful. Now the Tibetan nomad has about a hundred left and fears this way of life is ending.

Ba O says, “This is the way we’ve always done things. And we don’t want that to change.”

But no matter what Ba O wants, change is coming, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is from global warming. The Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

To insure that the Tibetan nomads will have a place to live, China’s government has been building resettlement villages. The “solid built” houses are subsidized. When the Tibetan nomads can no longer survive on the open Tibetan prairie, it is the nomad’s choice to move into the new villages. The government does not force them to give up their old way of life. Nature does that.

Along with the house comes a small annual stipend for each family so they can eat as they find another way to earn a living. The home Larmer visited had a Buddhist shrine and a free satellite dish for a TV and maybe an Internet connection. In addition, the one child policy does not apply to the Tibetan people since they are a minority in China.

To make sure there will continue to be water to drink, China is planning to build 59 reservoirs in Tibet to capture and save glacial runoff.

In India, by comparison, the young wife of a fortuneteller spends hours each day searching for water. She lives with her husband and five children in Delhi, India‘s capital. There are fights over water. In a nearby slum, a teenage boy was beaten to death for cutting into a water line. The demand for water in Delhi exceeds the supply by more than 300 million gallons a day.

What happens to life when there is no water?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note—This revised and edited post first appeared April 19, 2010 as Water – Two Countries Tell a Tale

7 Responses to Water — the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic

  1. Helen Burnette says:

    Highly educational….look forth to visiting again.

  2. […] Another example of Sid’sintellectual dishonesty was an argument over Water – the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic. […]

  3. Troy Parfitt says:

    That’s not why Chinese people drink warm water. It may have been thousands of years ago, but isn’t now. At least it’s not the primary reason. They drink it hot because they like it that way and think it’s in keeping with body temperature. It’s a common belief that cold water is bad for you, that it damages you muscles, etc. (You know all the ancient beliefs re properties of food, I take it?) Chinese doctors of Western medicine, will, if they are older, tell you not to drink cold water. Younger doctors, especially ones educated in the West, will tell you that’s nonsense, superstition. That’s one of those things Lloyd, that you learn from living in Chinese society.

    • Mr. Parfitt said, “That’s not why Chinese people drink warm water.

      Parfitt’s entire comment is another Red Herring, which is a fallacy when irrelevant material is introduced to the issue being discussed, such that everyone’s attention is diverted away from the points being made, and toward a different conclusion. It is not logically valid to divert a chain of reasoning with extraneous points.

      The topic in the post was about India and China and which country was doing more to make sure its people have a supply of water—not if people drink warm water because they like it or if it is safer to drink boiled. This post was also not about ancient Chinese beliefs.

      When Mr. Parfitt claimed that the Chinese drank hot water because they liked it that way, he called my wife, her entire family and every Chinese person she knows a liar. After all, he is the self-anointed expert on China because he was an ESL teacher in Taiwan for more than a decade and read many books about China.

      However, “Publishers Weekly did not refer to Mr. Parfitt as a China expert in its review of his book. PW said, “The result is mostly travelogue told from an outsider’s perspective, contextualized with overviews of major events in Chinese history.”

      When in America, all the Chinese that come to stay at our home will drink water cool from the tap including my wife and daughter, but in China, they will boil the water or buy distilled water with the seal intact.

      From this point on, when Mr. Parfitt attempts to hijack the topic of a post or divert attention from that topic using one or more of the Fallacies of Logic, I will delete his comments. If he persists, I will bar him from this Blog. Mr. Parfitt must also answer all questions he is asked with evidence from valid sources with links provided. If he challenges evidence, he must provide counter evidence instead of questions.

      If Mr. Parfitt’s evidence comes from a book, the link must be to the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.com with page numbers. In addition, all comments from everyone must be approved before they will appear on this site.


      The following Notes are for readers of this Blog — not Mr. Parfitt

      When we were organizing the rules for our debate [not the comments], Mr. Parfitt wrote in an e-mail that he had never taken a debate class [I saved all the e-mails]. Now he has anointed himself as an expert on the proper way to argue or debate without ever having taken a debating course [if he was honest about never having taken one], and since he never answered my question about the books he read about the logic of debates and arguments, we may assume he has never read one.

      Mr. Parfitt wrote in a comment that I deleted [because it was another Red Herring, in addition to a few other Fallacies of Logic], “There is no such thing as weasal [spelling] words [do not forget that Mr. Parfitt claimed there is no such thing as weasel words].

      “Again, that’s teenagese,” Parfitt said. “You could never use the term weasal [spelling] words in academic discourse [Since when was this discussion or Blog an academic discourse following university rules?], just like you could never use dude, LMAO, bittersweet, etc. There are proper – adult – terms for such things. That you used the phrase weasal [spelling] words underscores a dearth of knowledge, juvenility, or both.

      “You can quote or copy-and-paste all the fallacy definitions you wish,” Mr. Parfitt said, “but you’ll never be able to employ them in argument or rebuttal. You lack the wherewithal.”


      Readers may not recall that Mr. Parfitt claimed that there would be no books on the Fallacies of Logic terms I have used as examples of his debate tactics.

      He also claimed, “There are books about how to construct and denconstruct [spelling] an argument. You won’t find these terms in those books, however.”

      Mr. Parfitt’s comment claiming that I would not find these terms in those books may be found through the following link.


      Mr. Parfitt also claimed, “There is no such thing as weasal words.”


      Someone better tell Merriam Webster Dictionary, the Media Awareness Network and the Telegraph in the UK to delete and/or never use ‘weasal words’ again because Mr. Parfitt says there is no such thing.”

      Merriam Webster says this about weasel word — “a word used in order to evade or retreat from a direct or forthright statement or position”

      Note: Something that Mr. Parfitt does all the time.



      Oxford Dictionaries.com says of weasel words, “words or statements that are intentionally ambiguous or misleading.”

      Note: Something that Mr. Parfitt does all the time.



      The Media Awareness Network has a post about “Watching for Weasel Words”



      The UK’s Telegraph had a piece called “More weasel words from David Irving”


      “Last week, I blogged about David Irving’s visit to Treblinka, and showed how the pro-Nazi polemicist was using weasel words in an attempt to disprove the existence of an exterminatory gas chamber at the site.”


      Anyone that wants to learn more about the Fallacies of Logic Mr. Parfitt often uses in his comments may buy a number of books on Amazon that discusses the topic, or you may refer to the links I provided in a recent comment to another post that will take you to a number of Websites that discuss the same topic.

      Here are a few of the most popular titles of books that Amazon offers, which covers all or many of the same Fallacies of Logic.


      How to Win Every Argument by Madsen Pirie


      Book Description: Publisher’s warning: In the wrong hands this book is dangerous. We recommend that you arm yourself with it whilst keeping it out of the hands of others. Only buy this book as a gift if you are sure that you can trust the recipient.

      In this witty and infectious book, Madsen Pirie provides a complete guide to using—and indeed abusing—logic in order to win arguments. He identifies with devastating examples all the most common fallacies popularly used in arguments. We all like to think of ourselves as clear-headed and logical—but all readers will find in this book fallacies of which they themselves are guilty. The author shows you how to simultaneously strengthen your own thinking and identify the weaknesses in other people arguments. And, more mischievously, Pirie also shows how to be deliberately illogical—and get away with it! This book will make you maddeningly smart: your family, friends and opponents will all wish that you had never read it.

      The book includes entries on:

      • Affirming the consequent
      • Blinding with science
      • Conclusion which denies premises
      • Emotional appeals
      • The Exception that proves the rule
      • Half-concealed qualification
      • Poisoning the well
      • Positive conclusion from negative premise
      • Shifting the burden of proof
      • Trivial questions
      • Wishful thinking


      Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders [Paperback] by Jamie Whyte


      Book Descrition: In the daily battle for our hearts and minds–not to mention our hard-earned cash–the truth is usually the first casualty. It’s time we learned how to see through the rhetoric, faulty reasoning, and misinformation that we’re subjected to from morning to night by talk-radio hosts, op-ed columnists, advertisers, self-help gurus, business “thinkers,” and, of course, politicians. And no one is better equipped to show us how than award-winning philosopher Jamie Whyte.

      In Crimes Against Logic Whyte take us on a fast-paced, ruthlessly funny romp through the mulligan stew of can, folderol, and bogus logic served up in the media, at the office, and even in your own home. Applying his laserlike wit to dozens of timely examples, Whyte cuts through the haze of facts, figures, and double-talk and gets at the real truth behind what they’re telling us.
      “An incisive philosopher.”
      –Sunday Telegraph (20031129)


      Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments [Paperback] by T. Edward Damer


      Book Description
      Increasingly college courses and programs require a critical thinking component–and include assignments meant to measure your critical thinking skills. ATTACKING FAULTY REASONING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO FALLACY-FREE ARGUMENTS, SIXTH EDITION, can help you brush up on these skills–and learn how to develop the logical, persuasive arguments you need now and throughout your career. This useful handbook addresses more than 60 common fallacies of logic with the help of over 200 memorable examples. It provides explanations and tips for avoiding fallacious thinking, and is an ideal resource when writing papers, essays, or arguments.


      A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston


      Updated examples, streamlined text, and the chapter on definition reworked in a rule-based format strengthen this already strong volume. Readers familiar with the previous edition will find a text that retains all the features that make Rulebook ideally suited for use as a supplementary course book — including its modest price and compact size. Unlike most textbooks on argumentative writing, Rulebook is organised around specific rules, illustrated and explained soundly and briefly. It is not a textbook, but a rulebook, whose goal is to help students get on with writing a paper or assessing an argument.

      James ARvo from Pasadena Califonria said, “This wonderful little book lists 44 specific suggestions, or “rules”, for injecting much-needed logic into argumentative discourse. In the author’s words, each rule is “illustrated and explained soundly but above all briefly”; Hence, to Weston the book is a “rulebook” not a textbook. Weston continues “In this book, ‘to give an argument’ means to offer a set of reasons or evidence in support of a conclusion.”

      Throughout the book, Weston offers advice that we would all do well to remember. For example, he reminds us that one can neither craft nor analyze an argument by merely consulting our prejudices, and that “it is your reasons, not your language, that must persuade.” With regard to language, Weston asserts that prejudicial or loaded language “preaches only to the converted, but careful presentation of the facts can itself convert.” Moreover, “It is not a mistake to have strong views. The mistake is to have nothing else.” Well put.”

      The book includes a short but helpful chapter on fallacies, focusing primarily on the two “great fallacies” of generalizing from incomplete information and overlooking alternative explanations. One angle that I found illuminating is that several classic fallacies are in fact species of “overlooking alternatives”, such as “affirming the consequent”, “denying the antecedent”, and “false dilemma”. Several fallacies were discussed in this chapter that I have not encountered elsewhere, at least not by these names: specifically, the fallacies of “persuasive definition”, “poisoning the well”, “provincialism”, and “weasel words“. All are tersely but amply illustrated. Weston concludes with a brief chapter on definitions, of which there are several varieties: stipulative, operational, essential, and genus-and-differentia. I found these distinctions to be equally illuminating. As Richard Feynman said, “To name a thing is not the same as to know a thing”, yet it is often a step in the right direction.


      Non-sense, a Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J. Gula


      Book Description:
      Nonsense is the best compilation and study of verbal logical fallacies available anywhere. It is a handbook of the myriad ways we go about being illogical–how we deceive others and ourselves, how we think and argue in ways that are disorderly, disorganized, or irrelevant. Nonsense is also a short course in nonmathematical logical thinking, especially important for students of philosophy and economics. A book of remarkable scholarship, Nonsense is unexpectedly relaxed, informal, and accessible.

      Gabriel E. Borlean of Odense, Denmark wrote in his review, “I just know that that doesn’t make any sense, but I’m not sure why” begins the author in the first chapter “Everyday Nonsense.” The end of the book has a summary listing of all the fallacies and nonsense terms, a Bibliography, and a useful Index. The author, Robert John Gula (1941-1989) was educated at Colby College and Harvard University. He taught a course on logic (among other subjects) at a very elite private American high school.


      The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi


      Book Description:
      This title contains two audiocasettes. This classic work on critical thinking – now fully updated and revised – uses a novel approach to teach the basics of informal logic. On the assumption that ‘it takes one to know one’, the authors have written the book from the point of view of someone who wishes to deceive, mislead, or manipulate others. Having mastered the art of deception, readers will then be able to detect the misuse or abuse of logic when they encounter it in others – whether in a heated political debate or while trying to evaluate the claims of a persuasive sales person. Using a host of real-world examples, the authors show you how to win an argument, defend a case, recognise a fallacy, see through deception, persuade a sceptic, and turn defeat into victory. Not only do they discuss the fundamentals of logic (premises, conclusions, syllogisms, common fallacies, etc.), but they also consider important related issues often encountered in face-to-face debates, such as gaining a sympathetic audience, responding to audience reaction, using non-verbal devices, clearly presenting the facts, refutation, and driving home a concluding argument. Whether you are preparing for law school or you just want to become more adept at making your points and analysing others’ arguments, “The Art of Deception” will give you the intellectual tools to become a more effective thinker and speaker. Helpful exercises and discussion questions are also included. The approximate running time is 160 minutes.

      Editorial Reviews
      “I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about intellectual self-defence. It should be on every student’s book shelf, and on every educators list of recommended reading.” –Dr Jason Braithwaite, Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre, University of Birmingham. –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

      About the Author

      Nicholas Capaldi, Ph.D. (Baton Rouge, LA), holds the Legendre-Soulé Distinguished Scholar Chair in Business Ethics at Loyola University of New Orleans. He is the author or editor of many books including Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Unfair Preference?; Immigration: Debating the Issues; and John Stuart Mill: A Biography.

      Miles Smit, Ph.D. (Toronto, Ontario), works as a business analyst in Canada and holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

  4. Alessandro says:

    He’s not even demonstrated he speaks chinese for that matter…

  5. Troy Parfitt says:

    An estimated 75 percent of China’s river water is not safe for drinking or fishing, according to Rob Gifford, author of China Road.

    “One-third of all freshwater in China – that is, all the rivers and lakes in this enourmous country – is considered unsafe for industrial use.”

    “… 50 percent of bottled water in China is contaminated.”

    J. Maarteen Troost, author of Lost on Planet China.

    Here is some interesting reading about China’s water pollution. Of course, it’s probably just anti-China propaganda, written only to hurt the sensibilities of 1.3 billion Chinese.


    Hmmm. Interesting stuff. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people without access to safe water or sanitation; a dire warning from the World Bank….

    When not acting as hollow apology to the CCP, the content on this site offers high comedic value. There is no such thing as an authoritarian republic, at least not to people who know what authoritarian and republic mean.

    Lloyd said,

    “The question should be, “Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water?””

    That’s great. Classic, in fact. Drinking water, democracy, religion – surely the reader can see the connections.

    What’s next? A post on democracy and rice? Religion and shopping? Water and kung fu movies? The mouse has stopped running in the wheel.

    The host of this site posts bits about books on argumentative logic and links to such books on this site, but he’s never read any of those books.

    Have you, Lloyd?

    • Mr. Parfitt said, “An estimated 75 percent of China’s river water is not safe for drinking or fishing, according to Rob Gifford, author of China Road … One-third of all freshwater in China – that is, all the rivers and lakes in this enourmous country – is considered unsafe for industrial use … 50 percent of bottled water in China is contaminated.”

      Which is why the Chinese boil their water. Even in restaurants, the water comes to the table hot to prove it was boiled. At least the Chinese have water to boil. Even if there were no industrial pollution, the water would still have to be boiled because China’s farmers put human waste back into the earth as a means to keep the soil fertile—this is a common practice in third world and developing countries, which includes India.

      Mr. Parfitt said, “The host of this site posts bits about books on argumentative logic and links to such books on this site, but he’s never read any of those books. Have you, Lloyd?”

      Sorry, Mr. Parfitt, you answer the question first. How many of these books have you read and what are their titles? Provide links too.

      And you still have not demonstrated that you know the difference between a republic and a democracy. Do you, Mr. Parfitt? If so, prove it.

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