Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 10/10

On January 1, 2012 at 21:01, in Part One of the China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts, Sid said in a comment, “How can one engage in an ad hominem attack by asking questions? I’m simply trying to get the root of your ideology. What, besides being delusional, would cause someone to come to such conclusions? There had to be an event. If it’s not Vietnam or something to do with teaching (i.e. a lack of respect), it’s got to be something. Something regarding racism, perhaps?

These are loaded questions that achieve a similar goal that ad hominem does but more subtly, and as we’ve learned, they are often used rhetorically, which is a question asked merely for effect with no answer expected, serving the questioner’s agenda.

In fact, rhetorical questions rarely appear in academic discourse because they are logical fallacies.

In these loaded questions, Sid infers that because I do not agree with his opinions of China, there has to be something wrong with me, but as we have learned from Professor deLaplante, this is not the case.

Then the next day on January 2, 2012 at 22:03, Sid launched a series of ad hominem attacks against my character. He said, “You’re a mythomaniac, a propagandist, and endorser of one of the most repressive regimes in the world. And your website is a series of disconnected nonsense decorated by retarded videos. You can’t construct an argument to save your life, and the sycophants who show up here saying, ‘Yes, Lloyd, I agree with you,’ belong in Sgt. McGillicuty’s Travelling Nutbar Show.

“Your ideas are an advertisement for how whacky you are, and you’re so whacky, you don’t even realize it. Ever wonder why no one except other crazies post comments here? I’ll tell you: those thousands of viewers read your posts and think, ‘Good god!’

“Not all the bold font on Earth can make you make sense Lloyd. This China business is a lost cause. I suggest you give it up and get some help.”

After having been slandered once again by Sid, I was curious about his character, since he was so fixated on mine.

I then spent a few days thinking about what makes Sid tick and did some research. I went over his comments and use of logical fallacies, examined how he often diverted the topic when he couldn’t hold up his end of the argument, and on January 14, 2012 at 13:00 in a comment in Part 2 of The Economic Health of BRICS, I suggested that Sid may suffer from “Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder” and provided one of those “retarded videos” that explained what this disorder was in addition to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library.

Sid’s last response arrived at 20:19 on the same date. “You’re an imbecile Lloyd, a soft headed moron,” which caused me to reconsider that Sid might suffer from “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” instead of “Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder” or possibly a combination of both.

“People with narcissistic personality disorder are typically described as arrogant, conceited, self-centered and haughty… Despite this exaggerated self-image, they are reliant on constant praise and attention to reinforce their self-esteem. As a result, those with narcissistic personality disorder are usually very sensitive to criticism, which is often viewed as a personal attack.” Source: Narcissistic Personality Disorder –

Professor deLaplante was right when he said in one of his videos that it was a waste of time debating people such as Sid, which, as you know, isn’t his real name. In fact, SID is an acronym for “Studying Intellectual Dishonesty”.

For more information on Professor deLaplante and logical fallacies, I suggest reading the two-part interview of him on Psych Central’s World of Psychology.

Return to Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 9 or start with Part 1


Meet the real Sid and learn about him from his own words and the opinions of others


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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16 Responses to Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 10/10

  1. Troy Parfitt says:

    “Politics are crazy.”

    It certainly are. 😉

    Just kidding.

    Sure, you get factions in any party -moderates, hard liners, extremists…. I don’t know if it happens in the US, but in this nordic workboot nation sometimes policians come to a realization they’re in the wrong party and “cross the floor.” There have been a couple of high level cross-overs, in fact. There’s one I can think of that was really successful. The guy crossed over from the Conservatives to the Liberals years ago. He’s still a thriving (and very adroit) politico. But politics is more divisive in the US. Obviously it would be with a two-party system. (Here, people often vote for the party based on their liking of the leader – a bit strange to an American, who usually support the leader because of their party.) Usually.

    “It dawned on me that if this Party member that was a taxi driver was serving the people in such a job, he may have been a Maoist.”

    Or maybe he was just poorlly educated guy who hoped to make some connections or something. Who knows? Maybe he’s a devout Marxist? Maybe he isn’t. Why people join/support/vote for parties can be complex/silly/logical/cuckoo. They might just like the party colours. Who knows? In Taiwan, some Taiwanese Taiwanese (the Han with ancestors going back a couple hundred years, usually) vote for the KMT, which, on the surface, doesn’t make any sense. But the reason they often give is because of economic stability, which makes perfect sense.

    As they say in Chinese: “It’s complicated.”

    • The US has had a few politicians change their colors by switching parties and some even go independent and belong to no party. Senator Joe Lieberman is one example. The following link leads to info on the subject of independent politicians in the US.

      In fact, back during the LBJ era millions of southern democrats (voters not politicians) switched parties due to LBJ’s stance on civil rights causing America’s southern states to favor mostly Republican (but not always) candidates in elections since then.

      Then during the Reagan era, more democrats switched parties for a different reason. America’s neoconservatives started out in the Democratic Party but their political ideology was pretty much ignored by the leadership. Then President Reagan offered them an ear and they switched. It took those Republican neoconservatives a few years but their political ideology came into vogue with the second President Bush leading to two wars and nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the war on terror after 9/11. In fact, it has been reported by one member of his cabinet at the time that Bush said at a cabinet meeting before 9/11 that he wanted to wage war in Iraq and needed a reason to start it.

      You may have noticed that the nation building has continued with President Obama with all of the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, which many call the Arab Spring. In fact, several of Obama’s White House staff are known neoconservatives—not all left the Democratic Party for the republicans since some stayed behind and Obama may be a neoconservative democrat or at least hold some of their beliefs in nation building. When he was at the University of Chicago some of his close friends are known neoconservatives.

      In addition, to get an idea of how complex politics are in the Republican Party, I recommend reading another piece in Time magazine about the different factions within that party.,9171,2105970,00.html

      Bringing this back to China and the CCP, I read that in 1949, according to this site, there were 14 separate political parties at the time Mao become the Chairman of the People’s Republic.

      I just did a quick search to see what I could find about this and came up with the “History Learning Site in the UK”, which sounds accurate.

      I recall that those 14 political parties were absorbed into the CCP, but that does not mean the many different political beliefs were absorbed. However, as the closing paragraph in this post says, “Those who were found guilty of speaking out against the party line faced serious punishment. They could be sent to prison or sent into the countryside to be ‘reformed’ by the peasants, ” which is what happened to my step daughter’s fraternal grandparents, my wife, and my wife’s parents in addition to many of my wife’s friends. The slightest suspicion and any denunciation by another could result in being sent into rural China to be ‘reformed’ by the peasants.

      There have been a number of books written on this subject and a movie directed by Joan Chen, which landed her in hot water with the Party and a hefty fine to be forgiven.

      “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress”, a novel, is one book on this subject and Chen’s movie was “Xiu Xiu: The Send Down Girl” (1999).

      I’m sure the smart ones from those other political parities learned quickly to keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves and only later, years after Mao was gone, felt that they could express their individual beliefs within the Party, which is why there is a minority faction in the Party pushing for more of a democratic political system similar to those in the West with multiple parties, which I doubt will happen any time soon or even in our lifetimes. If it does come-to-pass while I still live, I will be surprised.

  2. Roundys says:

    Hi Lloyd, I want to thank you for putting up this blog. You must have put up with a lot of verbal abuses since starting this site. Being a conformist is easy, but advocating a view that go against conventional wisdom is difficult. I know how you feel of being suck into a sinkhole of “hate”. I myself have several of these incidents when I posted my views on some of the blogs about China that I think are misguided. Recently I came across a blog that said China is a hegemon and I replied to that blog and said based on the past 60 years of history, there is no evidence of that. And I included links from reputable Western sources to support my view. His reply to me is that I should not read history books from Communist China and said I am ignorant. It turns out he didn’t even read my links because he thought I might be a “wumao” and he doesn’t want his computer to get infected by virus by clicking on my links. I don’t think he is intentionally being intellectually dishonest, I think he is brainwashed, for lacked of a better word. People who are brainwashed are very sure of his or her view, no matter how strong the contrary evidence is. According to him, he has a PhD (or in the process of obtaining a PhD) in political science in UCLA, specializing in East Asia. So I am pretty surprise at how uninformed he is.

    I think you should start a thread discussing how to talk to brainwashed people. Because I think this is what is most needed in this kind of debate. What is the technique to make them see things critically, rather than uncritically. You if you can do that, that will be great.

    • Roundys,

      Actually, the “Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty” series was intended to do what you suggested–offer knowledge about how to recognize and deal with people like the PhD candidate you mentioned and Troy Parfitt. If you are willing to spend the time watching all the videos, visit Professor deLaplante’s Website and the other Websites I Reposted, you may pick up the necessary skills to do just what you want.

      I’m not surprised that earning a PhD specializing in East Asia would lead to a perspective that could be wrong or tainted. Much of what has been written in the West about the Mao era and the CCP is tainted by Western bias–the same bias that Mr. Parfitt reveals in his writing.

      Although I have said this several times since the debate, I will repeat it here since Mr. Parfitt has always ignored what I said and gone off on one of his Red Herring hunts or listed a string of loaded questions as if I had said nothing.

      The Mao era was mixed and the worst of it was The Cultural Revolution. However, even during the worst of times while Mao ruled China the lifespan almost doubled, the population did double and the standard of living improved about 4% a year. Starting in 1949, the CCP was the first and only government in China’s history to implement programs to help those living in severe poverty, which prior to 1949 was about 95% of China’s population.

      Some of those programs failed miserably and others didn’t. I have also said on the Blog that Mao was responsible for ruthlessly going after anyone in the Party that he felt was a threat to him. When he launched the Cultural Revolution, I’ve read that most of or the entire Politburo of nine men were against what Mao wanted to do, and Mao got rid of all of them one way or another and he did this indirectly by letting the people that carried out the Cultural Revolution [mostly teenagers and bullies] to denounce these men and send them to execution or reeducation camps.

      There’s a reason that Mao’s wife screamed near the end of her trial that she was Mao’s dog and when Mao told her to bite, she bit.

  3. Betty Tredennick says:

    My daughter is reading Mr. Parfitt’s book right now. She says it’s funny but she doesn’t like the history parts. She says they are too long and boring and remind her of a textbook. I liked the history parts because I like to learn about new things. She says she probably wouldn’t go to China to teach or study Mandarin. I tell her its her decision.

    I think Bosshard made a good point to be fair Loyd. He said the things you accuse Parfitt of doing you do them too, like cherry picking. Your pull quotes are the very worst comments about his book. You didn’t include the positive ones therefore it isn’t balanced. Isn’t that what you mean by cherry picking? (maybe I don’t understand cherry picking!) If someone reads all those negative review quotes you posted and then goes to Amazon and reads the peer reviews well there is a big difference!

    Also Loyd I have to say I don’t think it’s very nice to reveal a private email saying that it’s the email so and so didn’t want you to see. Of course so and so didn’t want the public to see it. It was an email.

    If I sent you an email to dicuss the ancient city of Xi’an and I disagreed with you about some point would you get angry and post my emails on the Internet? There is no excuse for Mr Parfitt saying rude things to you but if you show private correspondences to the public and do what you blame him of doing and censor and delete his remarks as he claims and try to show he has some medical condition based on information from the Internet then I can see why he is upset. I don’t think he’s justified to be impolite but honestly how would you feel if someone did that to you?

    I think if you want people to read your blog and comment and come back for more you shouldn’t call them anonymous (that’s what the Internet is all about) and I don’t think you should manipulate their comments like delete them to use them later or chop them up and reply to each little thing. People are just expressing their opinions. They should be allowed to do that. What’s wrong with just saying well sorry I disagree but thanks for your comment?

    People don’t seem to comment so much since you started deleting comments. Readers might wonder if that’s because you are deleting comments. That might make them reluctant to comment themselves. That might also make them read China blogs that don’t delete comments or list a lot of requirements (besides be polite). I think you need to stop writing posts like Analyzing Mr. Parfitts Dishonesty. You need to acknowledge that other people know a lot about China too and not all of those people are ones who agree with you. All because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are dishonest. For example I disagree with posting people’s emails online and that is my honest opinion. Also if you keep talking about Mr Parfitt and how terrible and dishonest he is that will only make people interested in his book (forbidden fruit!). If they read his book and don’t think it is dishonest (I thought it was honest) then that makes you look dishonest or it at least like a bad sport.

    That’s your daily lesson from the nagging mother! Just my opinion Loyd. God knows I’m not always right. If I was I would of won the lottery by now! LOL!

    Looking forward to posts about China.


    • Betty,

      Yes, I admit that I did some cherry picking [fighting fire with fire] but to be fair I did supply the links to the reviews/sources I quoted so readers could read all of the content for themselves and then judge, which is something Mr. Parfitt did not do in his cherry picking. Does that make it right? Probably not, but the pull quotes I selected were those that I thought revealed something about Mr. Parfitt’s character and were related to the topic of these posts. Now, all of his former deleted comments have been posted, and I went out of my way to provide as many links as possible. If readers support him, that is their choice. Personally, I cannot stand the man and would not want to be his friend or his acquaintance and I suspect he feels the same about me.

      I also realize that I am not always right but I admit that what I believe is a personal opinion and I often support my opinions with links to sources [many of them reputable]–something Mr. Parfitt seldom does.

      In fact, in your comment, I didn’t feel that you were doing anything similar to what Mr. Parfitt wrote in the comments that I deleted and then republished today all in one post. For whatever reason, I felt it more revealing to publish all of his deleted comments in one place instead of having them scattered all through the Blog. I cut and edited nothing of those Parfitt comments. In addition, because of your comment, I softened the notice I recently posted for the comment section but I won’t do away with it totally.

      I doubt that few people enjoy being insulted and intimidated and my response to Mr. Parfitt is a reaction to what I felt was unnecessary badgering on his part. He could have responded by writing comments that avoided such fallacies as ad hominem, red herrings, straw man and loaded questions but he refused.

      Yes, Mr. Parfitt does know a lot about China. However, I see that he picks and chooses what he wants to believe as part of his personal, dark bias, which influences how he sees China and he goes out of his way to focus on the dark side and often exaggerates what really may have happened. If we were to focus only on the dark side of American history and its culture, what would that look like?

      Hmmm, that sounds like an interesting post to research and write. There’s a lot of darkness to explore there. After all, none of us are perfect, which is something I would like to hear Mr. Parfitt admit about himself.

      As for that e-mail of Parfitt’s, you have a right to your opinion and if Mr. Parfitt hadn’t turned so mean spirited and insulting with ad hominem attacks, I would have never shared the contents of that e-mail here but as he ratcheted up his insults and his use of logical fallacies, I felt impelled to respond. I didn’t ask for that e-mail. When he sent it, he never asked me to keep it off the record. One day, it was just there and reading it shocked me. Call me old fashioned, but I was raised by a very religious mother that taught me to never go about bad mouthing people like that. If I had badmouthing someone as Parfitt did to me and the other readers to my mother or my godmother, that would have seen me with soap in my mouth and paying 50 cents as part of the punishment. My godmother kept a can on her fireplace mantle for those quarters, which she then donated to the church each Sunday and everyone paid that can — even my godmother when she slipped. I don’t know what was worse — losing 50 cents because of what came out of my mouth or the soap that went in.

      To a journalist everything is fair game unless the journalist agrees in advance to keep it off the record and that never happened. My BA is in journalism. I taught journalism classes and I sort of think like a journalist, so I used the e-mail when I felt it was fair game since Mr. Parfitt was writing the unwritten rules of the debate. If I had known about the use of logical fallacies before we agreed on the debate’s format, I would have brought that topic up and included them in the rules.

      I never understood why he wrote that e-mail. To me, it seemed he needed to boast and express his own opinions of the other readers’ comments and about them as individuals.

      Before that, the e-mails between us were mostly about the rules and structure of the debate and then for some reason about halfway through the debate, that e-mail arrived and I didn’t agree with what he wrote and replied saying so.

      I haven’t read Mr. Parfitt’s book and probably never will. I don’t see a need to read a tourist guidebook to travel through China. In addition, after reading so many of the reviews of his work, I have no desire to read his dark biased opinions of China. However, it is clear from most of the reviewers that they may be surprised that your daughter says the historical parts are too long and boring and remind her of a textbook. Many of the reviewers seemed to enjoy those sections over the criticisms of China. I haven’t read a review yet that said Parfitt’s writing was boring.

      I’ve been to China about ten times since 1999, and my wife felt why go on a tour when she knew so much about China—probably more than most of the tour guides. When she worked for the Shanghai film studio after her labor camp years, she was a location scout for a number of films and visited many remote areas of China. In fact, she knows a lot about Chinese history and she grew up during the Mao era. Every time she goes to China, she comes back with as many books as she can carry and most are nonfiction and all are written in Mandarin [about 50 to 100 annually]. She also reads quite a few in English. For example, “The Unknown Story of Mao” by Jung Chang, the author of Wild Swans, which she passed to me when she finished it as she did with Sterling Seagrave’s “Dragon Lady”.

      When I asked her what she recommended to learn more about Chinese culture and China’s people, she recommended Lin Yutang’s “My Country and My People”, which I found used on the Internet, bought and read. Even today, much of what Lin Yutang says is still true of Chinese culture. When we consider all of China’s history and culture, the influence the CCP has had on changing the way Chinese think is probably equal to one comma in a book that has of a quarter million words.

      As for people not commenting as much since I started to delete Mr. Parfitt’s comment, I’m not sure if they stopped because of that since I didn’t make a big deal about deleting them at first until I started to pull some quotes out of deleted comments to use as examples in my post and then said what I was doing. In fact, there were more comments during the debate than at any time since I started the Blog. Mr. Parfitt has a way about him that seems to inflame emotions.

      One thing I know, I don’t want this Blog to degenerate into what I have seen on so many other Blogs where too many readers leave comments with no substance but only attack other people and call them insulting names through ad hominem attacks.

      • Betty Tredennick says:


        Personal attacks are not acceptable I agree but neither is posting a private correspondance. All because Mr. Parfit didn’t give you permission to post a private email publicly doesn’t mean you should. If I invited you to my summer cottage and hit you over the head with the aluminim baseball bat my husband keeps by the door (there have been break-ins) I wouldn’t say I did that because you never told me I couldn’t. LOL! Just because someone doesn’t give express permission not to do something it doesn’t mean you should do something.

        See what I mean?

        I think your new posting rules are good. That’s pretty standard I’d say. And I like your nap culture post. Now is that just in China or in all of Asia that people take naps? We should do that here.

        Lin Yutang’s book does sound interesting (5 starred review on Amazon) but I’d like to read more female Chinese writers for a new perspective like Life and Death in Shanghai and Factory Girls by Peter Hessler’s wife. I loved Wild Swans but it is very sad.

        I don’t know if Mr Parfitt’s book is a travel guidebook. I would say a guidebook is more like Fodors or Lonely Planet. His book reminds me of one written in the 1980’s maybe you read it, it’s called Behind the Wall by… Colin Thubron (I forgot his name, had to check on Amazon) only I would say Thubron is more literary. But there isn’t much history in Thubron’s book and Parfitt’s book is also very descriptive and revealing about China. Is his book balanced? No. But does it provide balance in the China discussion? I think yes it does. He seems to be saying, look, China cannot rule the world because it is a very troubled place and here’s why. I think a lot of old civilizations are very troubled. Look at Egypt in the news! Look at Iran and India and Iraq and Greece. I read that in Greece it would cost the state less to pay for taxis for all train passengers than it does to run the train system! Many old civilizations had their golden eras but now they seem corrupt and brutal. Most are not open or democratic and I think many wish they were. I wish to see China open up one day for the sake of the people. I know life is better now for many Chinese than it ever was but I hope that progress can be followed by more rights and freedoms. I know that is a typical western standpoint but well I’m a western person!

        I think it’s important to read a wide range of books and keep an open mind. Read male writers, female writers, Chinese ones, western ones, books about history and politics and books about people’s experiences like Petter Hessler. It’s kind of like going to the gym. You have to exercise all angles.

        Speaking of exercise we’re off for two days of skiiing.

        Happy blogging Lloyd

        Mother B

      • Betty,

        Cross country or downhill? You actually have snow… In California since last Fall, we’ve had about two or three days of rain, and the last I heard the Sierra’s only had about 4 inches of snow.

    • Betty,

      If your daughter has been influenced by Mr. Parfitt’s book so much that “she probably wouldn’t go to China to teach or study Mandarin” and she was considering that option before reading his book, I suggest reading a few others that have not had the same negative experience or view of China as Mr. Parfitt has. Mr. Parfitt’s view is dark, brooding and pessimistic. I suspect that anyone that dares disagree with him are often attacked and ridiculed for their opinions as he has treated me with his vile words.

      Here are a few views and opinions of China that do not match Mr. Parfitt’s. I’m sure we could find many more…

      Not everyone sees China through the eyes of a Troy Parfitt. Sure, living and working in China is not for everyone as we have learned from Mr. Parfitt. However, for a balance, it helps to read what others, who are not Chinese, have to say about China and its people.


      The memoir, “The Last Days of Old Beijing” by Michael Meyer is one such source. Remember, Mr. Parfitt never lived in China. He lived and worked in Taiwan. Michael Meyer lived in Beijing and taught ESL to Chinese students.

      Meyer’s book is part of my China collection. It’s humorous and filled with rich detail of daily life in China from the point of view of an open mind and is worth the time to read to see that there are other viewpoints of China that differ from Mr. Parfitt’s.

      From Publishers Weekly a Starred Review. Just in time for the Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Old City’s narrow lanes and shops are being bulldozed and their residents displaced to make way for Wal-Marts, shopping centers and high-rise apartments. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue and part call to action, journalist Meyer’s elegant first book yearns for old Beijing and mourns the loss of an older way of life. Having lived for two years in one of Beijing’s oldest hutongs—mazes of lanes and courtyards bordered by single-story houses—Meyer chronicles the threat urban planning poses not only to the ancient history buried within these neighborhoods but also to the people of the hutong. The hutong, he says, builds community in a way that glistening glass and steel buildings cannot. His 81-year-old neighbor, whom he calls the Widow, had always been safe because neighbors watched out for her, as she watched out for others: the book opens with a delightful scene in which the Widow, a salty character who calls Meyer Little Plumblossom, brings him unsolicited dumplings for his breakfast. The ironies of the reconstruction of Beijing are clear in the building of Safe and Sound Boulevard, which, Meyer tells us, is neither safe nor sound.Meyer’s powerful book is to Beijing what Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities was to New York City. 25 b&w photos. (June)

      Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


      Then there is Tom Carter’s work. My wife says his book, China: Portrait of a People, is the only one she has seen that captures the heart and soul of China. Carter has also written a series of guest posts for this Blog, which reveals still another perspective of China. When he first went to China, he taught ESL there. Today he is married to a Chinese citizen and lives in China. However, unlike Mr. Parfitt, who spent only a few weeks in China as “more than a tourist,” Carter spend two years on foot visiting every province of China and his book documents not only in pictures but in words his perspective of China, its culture and its people.

      Getting a full picture of China – a vast country with an enormous population, a place that is experiencing sweeping cultural and economic changes – is, of course, impossible. But Tom Carter comes close. … It’s a remarkable book, compact yet bursting with images that display the diversity of a nation of 56 ethnic groups. –San Francisco Chronicle, September 26, 2010

      In China: Portrait of a People, Tom Carter shows us that there are actually dozens of Chinas. The American photojournalist spent two years traveling 35,000 miles through every province of China by bus, boat, train, mule, motorcycle, and on foot. –Christian Science Monitor, August 27, 2010

      Here are links to a few of Tom Carter’s guest posts:


      Next up is Sexy Beijing.

      About Sexy Beijing—it is an Internet TV station run by an in-house production team. We also work with a handful of contributors in the editing room and on productions.
      Sexy Beijing has been on the Internet since 2006 when we launched Danwei TV, a now popular video site. Since then, we have moved our productions to:

      Our shows have also aired on NBC in Los Angeles, Hunan TV, China Educational TV, and many other stations around China as well as conferences around the world


      Then there is this series of guest posts by an American businessman named Bob Grant, who for years made his living working with the Chinese in China and selling the products they manufactured outside China.

      “I have a Love Affair with China and its People”

      “They All Look Alike”

      “My Big Day Off – In China”

      “Flying the Friendlier Skis in China”

      “I Ate no Dog – I Ate no Cat”

      “I Never Met a Communist in China”

      “I am not the Manchurian Candidate”

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        You provide a link to a blog [POST on this Blog] entitled “I Never Met a Communist in China.”

        Richard McGregor, in his The Party, a book you’ve read, mentions, in astonishment, that he met with Rupert Murdoch who said the same thing: I haven’t met a communist yet – yet he’d met with many; he just didn’t realize it. You never know who’s a communist party member – how would you unless it was really obvious (like having a sit down with someone at the local comminist HQ) unless you asked, or they volunteered that information? When I was Shanghai, I had a cabbie who was a party member – he seemed like a very nice guy.

        Also, you forget Lloyd, that I lived in Beijing for a short period and also taught Chinese students, as in citizens of China. (And the students I taught in Taiwan were also Chinese – Taiwan is Chinese.)

        Moreover, it’s interesting you mention the hutong, because in my book, I talk about the hutong and what a shame it is you see the character “chai” (demolish) painted on their sides. In fact, I get pretty lauditory about Beijing’s cultural relics. The hutong are fascinating, and Beijing in general is really interesting place on a cultural level, much more so than, say, Shanghai.

      • This is the first civil comment you have left for some time, and I feel that it is worth sharing with readers.

        Thank you.

        You may have lived for a short time in Beijing (a few weeks I suspect), but Meyer lived there for several years and not in a hotel. Tom Carter also taught ESL in China for a number of years before his two years on the road visiting every province of China. Today, Carter lives with his wife and her family in a very small village in an agricultural area (that is unless he found a job in one of the cities and moved)

        The first time I visited Beijing in 1999, we stayed with my wife’s sister and her husband. When in Shanghai, we lived with my wife’s parents and slept on the floor of the balcony/second floor porch, as there was only one bed in the small space where her parents lived in the old French sector of the city. For a time, my father-in-law gave me Chinese language lessons but since we live in the US more than we spend time in China, I have forgotten most of what he taught me. It also does not help that I seem to be tone deaf and say words in the wrong tone changing the meaning.

        That was my first trip to China and I was never a tourist or even “more than a tourist”. Although I have traveled extensively through China with my wife (she knows people throughout China), I have never taken a tour. I spend my time with my wife, her family and friends. My shortest trip to China lasted almost three weeks. The longest an entire summer. I’ve been there about eight or nine times. I’ve been in Beijing in both the summer and winter. We have also visited a hutong and even stayed on one for several days before returning to Shanghai.

        It is quite possible that you did have a Party member as a taxi driver. I understand that some Party members work in jobs such as a taxi driver or plumber because it is considered honorable to serve the people and elevates that individual’s status in the eyes of others.

        However, I agree, if you met a member of the Party, unless he or she told you they belonged to the Party, you probably would never know. Our daughter’s fraternal grandfather was a high-ranking party member. Today he is 82 and retired but as a young man he fought in the civil war with the CCP, and his family was wealthy before 1949. In fact, he and his wife came for a visit recently and stayed with us in California for a number of days. It’s amazing how much one learns about the Chinese and their culture by marrying into a Chinese family — far more than just reading books I suspect even though I have read too many books on and about China to remember how many in addition to the number of Chinese movies I’ve seen that don’t come with English subtitles so my wife summarizes while we watch. My daughter’s grandfather and I have had many long conversations about China and the Party.

        I also agree with your comment comparing Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing was a Chinese city. Shanghai was built mostly by the French, English, Americans, Germans, etc. Before the 1st Opium War, Shanghai was more of a fishing and agricultural town. After the war, Shanghai became one of the trading ports and grew as the foreign enclaves were built. The British even built a racetrack for horses.

  4. Betty Tredennick says:


    Your site seems to have degenerated. Your blogs about Xian, the tea trade and so on I found enlightening. But since your debate with Mr. Parfit something has changed. Not sure why you are accusing Mr. Parfit of intellectual dishonesty. You and he seem to have different opinions but I don’t think that’s any reason to censor remarks or accuse someone of dishonesty. If it was my site I wouldn’t want to come off as a bad sport. And I don’t know why the heavy handed warning to to not use logical fallacies. I don’t know anything about logic so I wouldn’t know if was making a logical fallacy or not. There was another man’s post I read that disagreed with your position on China. He said something like ‘The China you describe is not the China I live in.’ But his post was polite. He even said God bless at the end. But you deleted it.

    I don’t understand. Other blogs cut rude remarks and attacks but it seems that if someone disagrees with you, they get axed. Also you admit to just learning about logic now (and thanks for the videos! they are very helpful!) so it seems unusual you would demand people use logic in a comment. Your viewers are not debating you. They are giving you feedback. Isn’t discussion what the Internet is all about?

    Well that’s my “lecture” for today. LOL!

    On a lighter note I have a friend who read you wife’s Becoming Madame Mao. She told me it was good so I hope to read it soon.

    Thanks for listening Loyd. I hope I don’t get deleted too!

    • Betty,

      You stated your honest opinion and I didn’t see any ad hominem insults.

      Which comment are you talking about that ended with “God bless”? If it was the one about contaminated water from Bosshard, it will appear later as part of a series of posts and instead of being a comment it will be included in the new posts where more people will probably read what Bosshard had to say but as part of the topic it fits, so “Bosshard”, an anonymous person, will still have his opinion published and I will provide a link to where the original post appeared with the comments I left there and a link back to the series of new posts.

      I felt that what Bosshard had to say was important and deserved more attention. I also felt that he could have expressed himself without the personal insults as you did in your comment.

      And you are right “Your site seems to have degenerated. Your blogs about Xian, the tea trade and so on I found enlightening. But since your debate with Mr. Parfitt something has changed.”

      I have also considered this. I allowed myself to be sucked into a sinkhole of “hate”. If you read Mr. Parfitt’s [so-called] censored comments, which I just published, you may understand…

      I must follow Professor deLaplante’s advice and return to the purpose of this Blog. In fact, I have already scheduled a series of posts that have nothing to do with Mr. Parfitt and our debate. I hope you will enjoy them.

      Maybe in time, the debate and the series of run-ins with Mr. Parfitt will serve an educational purpose about people that see China as an empty glass. What I want to do now is get this behind me and move on.

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

      • Troy Parfitt says:

        “It is quite possible that you did have a Party member as a taxi driver.”

        Not only is it possible, it really happened. Shanghai is where the Party started, so it shouldn’t be any big surprise. There are 70 million of them. The guy proudly told he was a member and even showed me his card. Mighty proud. He just seemed like a regular bloke. In my book, I interview a real life commie. What an evil bastard he was. He smiled at me constantly and gave me lots of pineapple and Coca-Cola and let me into his home and happily answered all my questions in Sichuanese. I’ve course, I know his cheerfulness was just a put on and that he was really trying to get me to start a cell in my own country.

        In Taiwan, I used to have breakfast sometimes with an old Nationalist Party guy. He was really funny and I remember one day when the rival party president came on TV to make a speech, he yelled, micheviously, ‘He’s a bull shit artist’ and then giggled like a school boy. I try to ask him about battles and so on and which province he was from, but he just said, “Oh, na jiu shi hen jiu qian de a! Wo bu zai hu a!’ “Oh, that all happened a long time ago. Who cares?/I don’t care.” Which I thought was quite funny. Reading about all the KMT sleaze that goes on local newspapers (or hearing about it from well informed people, like a bank executive I used to tutor – the guy has his own security detail) could make a lao wai pretty anti-KMT, which is what most foreigners become (unless they marry a KMT-supporting woman), but then you meet an old guy like that and think: what party should he support? He just got caught up in some historical event – a war. Who knows what his story is?

      • “I’ve course, I know his cheerfulness was just a put on and that he was really trying to get me to start a cell in my own country.”

        So, did the CCP Party person ask you to become a spy or start a cell in Canada?

        That has never happened to me. Other than our stepdaughter’s fraternal grandfather, few I’ve met in China are CCP members and few outside the Party trust the Party any more than they can throw an elephant with one hand that is crippled with arthritis.

        When I say distrust, I mean the people do not trust that the political situation in China will always stay the same—after all, there is always the chance that the Maoists could come back into power and turn things upside down as they did during the Cultural Revolution. Maoist elements still exist in the Party and consider those that are in the majority the same as traitors that should be executed—sort of like America’s extreme far right evangelical, Bible thumping conservatives that want to execute women that have abortions or condemn anyone that smells or looks like an evil liberal, which means anyone that does not agree with them 110%.

        However, Frank (daughter’s fraternal grandfather), has never asked me once to start up a cell or be a spy for the CCP. He lives in a modest three bedroom, one bath flat on the second floor of an older building in a suburb of Shanghai surrounded by similar ugly buildings. His two sons are not Party members. Instead, one is an artist and he and his brother run a gallery. He grew up in a very wealthy family among China’s top one percent economically – for sure – but as a youth, he joined the Party well before 1949. I’ve seen one of the houses his family once owned near the Westlake—it’s a museum for tourists today and his oldest son resents the fact that he cannot live in such a house.

        Frank loves to fish and take photos, which he shares with everyone and has never even shouted or whispered Party slogans to me or anyone else. If I hadn’t been told he was a Party member, I would have never guessed it. Out of curiosity, I asked him about the structure of the government and the Party and he answered with no embellishments, which are understandable since during the Cultural Revolution his wife was denounced and sent to a reeducation camp by the teenage Red Guard where she suffered horribly for years and developed a serious case of PTSD. Yet, even then, Frank stayed in the Party and worked as a government official doing the job he was assigned until age 67, and he held a high rank in the government.

        Frank was the one that told me that inside the Party there are several different political factions and these factions do not agree on everything—sort of like the US political atmosphere but all contained in one Party organization instead of split up between Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, etc. In fact, I have a friend I’ve known for about fifty years that is an evangelical, conservative Republican and he attempts to convert me to his way of thinking every time we meet so I’ve learned to avoid him and limit contact because he just won’t stop preaching about his conservative politics being right and how evil the liberals are and how anyone that disagrees with his views belongs to the other side.

        In fact, my wife’s father is glad all of his children live outside China with their families because he fears that the Maoists or their type might return to power one day. Especially if the current element of the Party that holds the consensus makes a big mistake that leads to an economic meltdown similar to the one that hit the US in 2008, which reminds me of a piece I read in the February 13, 2012 issue of Time magazine.,9171,2105971,00.html

        It seems the US Justice Department is finally moving on the American crooks that contributed to or caused the $40 trillion dollars in losses from the 2008 Global Economic Crises. After several years of investigations, there have been fifty-six convictions, seven cases are pending, and there have been no losses in court for the DA handling these cases of American corruption that has caused so much financial suffering in the US and the entire world for that matter.

        I do not doubt your experience in China, because we could easily swap out “CCP Party member” and “Nationalist Party guy” with “American godless liberal Democrat” and “evil, warmongering, nation building, lying, conservative Republican” with those terms and the rest of what you wrote would pretty much fit those American idealists. Politics are crazy.

      • It dawned on me that if this Party member that was a taxi driver was serving the people in such a job, he may have been a Maoist.

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