About iLook China

March 10, 2012 marked a milestone for iLookChina — we reached 1,500 posts and decided to slow down. We now post two or more days a week instead of daily. Regular weekly posts will appear on Tuesday and Wednesday (starting October 1, 2013).  Thank you!

______________________

There are many misconceptions about China, and the Western media often does not get it right at least in the way they interpret why something happens the way it does in China. Judging China from Western standards and beliefs is wrong. Since China is changing at a fast pace, judging today’s China based on its history before 1976 is also wrong.

My goal is to write a Blog where people outside China may discover China and understand it better.

If you run into an advertisement, I make no money from them.  Since I haven’t paid the annual fee to block ads from this Blog, WordPress places a few on this site and I have nothing to do with them.  Eventually, I’ll convince myself to pay the blocking fee to get rid of them.

I am seldom critical of China since many in the West are so good at that.

It seems that racists, China’s critics (Tibetans and members of Falun Gong and the biased supporters of both groups), Sinophobes (according to my research about 35 to 50% of Americans) and out-of-date ignorant people dominate the major Western media and the Blogosphere.

It does not help that each time there is an election in the so-called free and democratic USA that politicians crawl out of the termite infested woodwork and use China as a scapegoat to gain votes from the same people that are either China’s enemies or are ignorant of and fear/hate China.

In fact, the media has been a willing pawn of political parties since the presidential election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

In addition, George Washington wrote a letter to the American people as his farewell address. In that letter, he warned the nation about the dangers of political parties to the government and the country as a whole.

While Washington accepted the fact that it was natural for people to organize and operate within groups like political parties, he also argued that every government has recognized political parties as an enemy and has sought to repress them because of their tendency to seek more power than other groups and take revenge on political opponents.

Over the years, while still attending public schools, our daughter reported several times that her history teachers, when talking about China, were often wrong and their views were outdated.  When she raised her hand and told what she knew of today’s China, the teachers and the students would not accept what she had to say.

To those Americans that have never visited or studied China, our daughter was wrong.

In fact, our daughter did not learn of China by reading iLook China or from books.  Although she was born in Chicago, USA, she has been to China every year since her birth to visit her grandparents and has usually stayed all summer. Many times, she returned to China during the December winter break. She has also traveled extensively throughout China.

You see, family, to the Chinese is extremely important—more so than most non-Chinese Americans could imagine.

Living in China and speaking the language (without an accent) gave our daughter an education and a different perspective of China than the popular but often wrong view held by most Americans that have no knowledge of China but the standard gloomy stereotype of a despotic government ruling over an oppressed, depressed population, which is 99.9% wrong once you get to know the “real” China.

However, I have discovered a few media outlets that report unbiased news and information of China such as Al Jazeera English and Foreign Policy Magazine, and I sometimes rely on them for the posts I write. I also rely on first-hand experience of having visited China and traveled extensively there. It also helps to know a few expatriates that live in China, such as Tom Carter, the author of China: Portrait of a People—Tom and I met after we read each other’s books.

I do not claim to be an expert on China, but why should I let that stop me from sharing what I do know?

In this Blog, I will be writing posts about China’s history, art, music, operas, individuals, and current events with editorial comments sometimes included.

Many will focus on current events and China’s five thousand year history.

When I read someone else who is offering an unbalanced, one-sided criticism of China and I disagree, I will write posts that provide a different view to offer a balance.

I’m sure that this will encourage a few Americans to get angry with me, since I will achieve this balance with “ugly” examples from the U.S.  Since I launched iLook China, I have been called “stupid”,  “Pro China” and a “Panda Lover”.  Those are a few of the polite terms.

In fact, since I was born in the U.S., I will take advantage of my “First Amendment, freedom of expression” rights. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me or pointing out something that may be wrong as long as he or she knows what he or she is talking about and offers a well balanced argument and the response isn’t all emotion.

Some Americans, who only believe in his or her freedom of expression, may feel I’m a traitor.

However, how could I be a traitor since the US is not at war with China and China is America’s largest trading partner and has helped keep America economically viable by buying more than a trillion dollars in US debt to keep the US government floating.

Instead of being America’s enemy, China has been our friend even after having its hand of friendship bitten many times. Of course, China’s government must consider its national interest as the US does, and this may lead to decisions that Americans may not like.

Who is Lloyd Lofthouse? Well, he lives in the belly of a Chinese family, and he earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. Later, he earned an MFA in writing.

While working days as an English teacher (taught 5th grade to 12th from 1975 – 2005) at a high school (1989 – 2005) in California, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub (1980-1982).

He now lives near San Francisco with his wife, with a second home in Shanghai, China.

Lloyd has traveled to China often since his first trip in 1999. He has also spent more than a decade researching China, and his first two novels are about China.

Lloyd’s first novel, My Splendid Concubine [now in its 3rd edition combining both the prequel and sequel in one book] earned honorable mentions in fiction from the 2008 London Book Festival, 2009 San Francisco Book Festival and the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00035]

– book cover for 3rd edition –

His second novel, Our Hart, (the sequel) won honorable mentions in fiction at the 2009 Nashville Book Festival, the 2009 London Book Festival the 2009 DIY Book Festival, the 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards in Historical Fiction.

His short story, A Night at the Well of Purity, was named as a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.

He also writes two other Blogs. Crazy Normal, the Classroom Expose is about teaching in America’s public schools, the US public education system, the politics of education in the US, and parenting, etc. The Soulful Veteran is a Blog about the Vietnam War, combat and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

74 Responses to About iLook China

  1. Peggy says:

    Hi, blogger, sorry to leave a topic-unrelated information to you cause I have not found your connecting information.

    I just would like to correct a link on your blog’s right side.

    In the “Blogroll on China” Item, there is a false link named ” Ian Carter’s “. I am a website master of TCT, and would like to offer you the right link from our site.

    Could you please send me an mail so that I can contact with you on this matter?

    Best Regards
    Peggy
    Top China Travel site

    • Peggy,

      You are referring to a Post that I wrote that first appeared in February 2010. The information from that post came from a comment left by an Australian living and working in China. His name was Ian Carter. The link he provided at the time did not lead to your site because he said he worked for that site then. I must assume that Ian Carter no longer works for the travel agency that hosts that site so I will remove the link but leave credit to Ian Carter because he told me about those American heroes in China.

      http://ilookchina.net/2011/02/24/heroes-and-foreign-devils/

  2. Hello Lloyd, it’s beautiful to see you speak in a video. I like your charisma.

    I would participate more on your blog if I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. I know close to nothing about China, so I don’t feel up to your wisdom.

    Your blog is very educational which is the reason why I like it. My blog falls short in comparison. Could you please give me a few hints on how to improve my own blog?

    Many thanks Lloyd.

    • Thank you. My day is a bit busy so I will provide a few tips about your Blog later in the week if you don’t mind.

      On another note, a comment just appeared about the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989 and there were links to some very revealing facts/truth about the real incident. The comment is at the bottom of the post. Here’s the link.

      http://ilookchina.net/2010/04/05/1378/

    • Nomi asked, “Your blog is very educational which is the reason why I like it. My blog falls short in comparison. Could you please give me a few hints on how to improve my own blog?”

      I checked your Blog. I’m not sure what you are asking.

      1. To improve search engine rank so more people will find the Blog
      and/or
      2. How to write posts so they are more educational

      In reply, I checked your Blog and saw that it has four sites linked to it and has an Alexa rank of 6,643,909 that sounds as if you do not have a high search engine rank but consider that you are competing against about 500 million Websites and Blogs for that rank so it seems your Blog already has a pretty good search engine rank but it could be improved. I believe the highest ranked site on the Internet is Google at # 1

      It takes time to build search engine rank and attract possible subscribers.

      Did you buy the Domain name for NomiSunrider?

      If yes, then the next step might be to get rid of the “wordpress” part of your html address so it reads http://nomisunrider.com instead of http://nomisunrider.wordpress.com/

      WordPress probably has a tutorial that will guide you through that process.

      You may notice that in most of my posts, I use facts from other sources and sties and usually quote and link to them. This means I sometimes spend hours researching a post I’m writing. Some posts take days to finish. As for my Blog writing style, well, I do have a BA in journalism and for seven of the thirty years I was a classroom teacher, I also taught Journalism so when I write a post I’m usually following the format for a feature and/or opinion/editorial piece.

      Some advice and suggestions to boost your search engine rank–not about your writing but about the structure of the blog and not even about the structure–about adding elements to each post that search-engine spiders use for ranking sites.

      First: If you haven’t done this, register your domain name with the top-ten search engines. There is no need to pay someone to do this for you. You may do it for free on your own. However, there are many that will promise miracles if you pay them to register your site with search engines and find links for you Blog, but in my experience it is best if you do this on your own over a long period of time and be selective.

      http://topbestlisted.blogspot.com/2011/08/worlds-top-10-best-popular-search.html

      Second: add both internal and external links to each new post.

      Three: add embedded videos and/or add photographs to each post

      Four: Find Blogs you enjoy reading, leave constructive comments and then eventually ask the other Bloggers with similar themes to link to your Blog and say you will link to them.

      Then be patient and persistent. I learned at one of the Blogging workshops I attended that it takes time to build traffic and have people subscribe to a new Blog. The rule of thumb is that the traffic usually doubles each year but there is never any guarantee of results no matter how much time we work at building our Blog.

      For example: for my oldest and most developed Blog (iLookChina.net), that I launched late January 2010, by the end of February 2010 it had 407 views and by December it had 5,742 for the last month of the year. The first year for iLookChina.net ended with a total of 28,431 views, but 2011 ended with 126,557 views.

      Average daily views for 2012 were 84.

      In 2011 the average daily views was 347, and so far this year the daily average is 555.

      The most growth comes from posting daily.

      As for the posts you are writing, all I can say is be honest with who you are and what you believe. From what I have learned, many Blogs are more of a journal or letter to readers and do not go as far as I do to research, quote and link to the researched sites.

      For example, there is the Blog (Julie/Julia Project) started by Julie Powell in August 2002 chronicling her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Childs Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

      Powell’s Blog gained a large following that eventually led to a book called Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. Then there was the movie. She did all this without embedding posts, photos or adding external and internal links.

      Check it out at http://juliepowellbooks.com/blog.html

      Most Blogs eventually represent the character of the person writing them.

  3. Roundys says:

    Found an interesting piece of local Idaho history that has to do with the Chinese there.

    • Thank you. This is an excellent video, which I may turn into a post along with some other history of the Chinese in America.

      • Victoria says:

        There is a book called Deep Creek by Dana Hand that deals with the same material as a murder mystery.

      • I want to thank Victoria Dixon for telling us about this novel.

        Deep Creek by Dana Hand

        This novel was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt February 10, 2010

        Here’s the link to its Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0547237480/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=14309209050&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13933498771626635341&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&ref=pd_sl_ikwrt326j_e

        There are thirty reader reviews on Amazon for this novel—24 have five stars. I’ve taken the liberty of copying the most popular Amazon review, which was written by John V. Fleming.

        “Deep Creek”, Dana Hand’s debut novel, is richly satisfying in at least four ways. It meets my first requirement of all fiction: it tells an engaging story. Next, that story is firmly grounded in actual historical events, many of them of the sort that may not automatically come to mind at the mention of the word “Western”. The animating event of “Deep Creek” was an actual mass murder of immigrant Chinese gold miners in 1887. The book’s western setting (Idaho in the 1880s) is vivid, detailed, tactile, not an opera backdrop with painted cardboard forests and mountains. Dana Hand has a real sense of locality and landscape. As in many fine books topography becomes a kind of ancillary character. Finally, the actual human characters are varied, developed, and fully credible.

        At one level “Deep Creek” could be described as a “detective novel”. It is certainly enough of one that a reviewer must avoid spoiling its deft plot with a dull summary. Its quiet hero, Joe Vincent, is of a type you have probably met before: a good man whose duty it is to defend and enforce legality and civil values, placed in a situation where law and civilization seem at times mere words. In him there’s a hint of the sheriff of “High Noon” and perhaps more than a hint of the lawman of “No Country for Old Men”. I found myself closely identifying with him not in hero-worship but in simple and genuine fellow feeling. It is true that I was so deeply caught up in the book’s central and horrific crime that I was hoping against hope that its resolution would be some kind of ideal and definitive justice that, unfortunately, the real world too seldom affords.

        Any reader who likes a good western will like “Deep Creek”. Though it is beautifully written, it is not oppressively “literary”. Though its central satisfactions are those of a fascinating tale told in a fascinating manner, it touches upon themes of perennial relevance in American history: political, racial, legal, ethical, ecological. We want to read a book like this for the story, certainly; but there’s way more to it than the shoot-`em-up. Dana Hand naturally invites comparison with some of the greats of the modern western, certainly with Larry McMurtry and Wallace Stegner. One of the several settings in Stegner’s great “Angle of Repose” is actually the mining country of Idaho; but what really makes Dana Hand his soul mate is their shared meditation on the American west as the laboratory of our American civilization.

        Don’t read the first few pages of “Deep Creek” unless you have a couple of hours free. You won’t want to put it down.
        _______________________

        Here’s a link to Dana Hand’s Website. http://www.dana-hand.com/

        The summary for the story on the Website:

        Idaho Territory, June 1887.

        A small-town judge takes his daughter fishing—and she catches a man. Another body surfaces, then another, until the toll tops 30, all Chinese gold miners brutally murdered.

        Soon their employer, the Sam Yup Company of San Francisco, hires Idaho lawman Joe Vincent to solve the case. He journeys up the wild Snake River with Lee Loi, an ambitious Sam Yup agent, and Grace Sundown, a métis mountain guide with too many secrets.

        As they track the killers across the Pacific Northwest, each must put aside lies and hatreds to survive a quest that changes them forever.

  4. Augis says:

    Can I give 2 little suggestions for your site to improve the experience of your readers?

    1) I was looking for “About” page and did found it… in blogroll. That’s very unusual place to put the “About” page.
    I am sure that many people look for it but don’t find.
    Why wouldn’t you put it in the menu bar (just below the header)?

    2) I did subscribe to your RSS – since this is the way I usually read the China-related blogs of interest. And many people use RSS. But you do not have the “RSS” button anywhere (in the header, or sidebar) – so I had to guess your RSS url, which I think that most of your readers won’t bother to do. So, adding RSS button would really help.

    Keep on the good work!

    • Augis,

      Thank you for the suggestions. AT one time, all of those functions existed on the Blog. There was an RSS feed for a while but when I activated another option on the home page, it vanished. I recall losing that one when I added the search function.

      I also had a link to the “About” page at one time at the top of the home page, and that too vanished when I activated another option, which is why I have added a link to the “About” page at the end of every post and in the menu bars.

      It seems that there is a limit to this WordPress Blog format as to how many buttons I can provide on the homepage.

      Maybe I should consider buying one of the premium Blog designs from WordPress that provides more options. I’ve thought about it. WordPress offers hundreds of premium Blog formats for a one-time fee. The reason I have dragged my feet on this is that I don’t want to lose my banner art. Now, if I can find a premium design that has the same banner option, then it would be easy to switch. Then again, I could create a new banner using the same photos since I’m the one that took them on trips to China.

      I believe WordPress does have an RSS link provided in the Follow link at the top of each page.

  5. Roundys says:

    Hi Lloyd, thanks for refuting Dennis Prager’s claim that the Chinese (which I think he actually means the Han) killed over 1 millions Tibetans. In fact the Dalai Lama and his shop was responsible for propagating such ‘facts’. And he has been called out as a liar by none other than one of his supporters.

    “These [Free Tibet] groups hate criticism almost as much as the Chinese government does. Some use questionable information. For example, the Free Tibet Campaign in London (of which I am a former director) and other groups have long claimed that 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese since they invaded in 1950. However, after scouring the archives in Dharamsala while researching my book on Tibet, I found that there was no evidence to support that figure. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/opinion/22french.html

    • Roundys,

      Thank you for the link to the NY Times piece.

      Patrick French says, “The leadership is not amenable to ‘moral pressure,’ over the Olympics or anything else, particularly by the nations that invaded Iraq.”

      True.

      However, what is considered “moral” in the West may not be seen as “moral” in China. The West’s moral code comes from the ancient Greeks, Christianity and Judaism.

      China’s moral code comes mostly from Confucius, Buddhism, Taoism and Mao [in that order]. Thanks to Confucius, in China teachers are respected while in the West they are often blamed for many of the problems that plague society and treated as if they are incompetent when parents are the ones often responsible.

      French says, “Tibet was effectively a sovereign nation at the time of the Communist invasion and was in full control of its own affairs.”

      Yes, from 1913 to 1950, Tibet ruled itself. In 1913, the British Empire took advantage of the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, to convince the Tibetan leaders to declare their freedom from China.

      The reason Tibet stayed free until 1950 was because of the chaos, anarchy, civil war and Japans invasion of China that would keep China occupied until after 1949.

      I have an original copy of the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine with a piece [lots of photos] about Tibet written by Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D., who was sent to Tibet by the Emperor in 2007. Dr. Shaoching stayed for two years and described in detail how the Emperor appointed two political governors and that the Dalai Lama was only the spiritual leader of Tibet.

      In 1949, the average life span in China was about 35 and it was about the same in Tibet. Today the average life span in Tibet is to age 60 or better and in China approaching 80.

      http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/tibet.htm

    • Yep, that opinion piece in the NY Times says the way it mostly went down.

      However, from my understanding, the workers’ protest came first and the students arrived a few weeks later and were not very well organized.

      My wife knew one of the student leaders/organizers [someone she knew during the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s that had been a leader in Mao’s little Red Guard—anarchy anyone?] and he asked her to join him in Beijing. My wife was in Shanghai at the time and she said no and returned to the US to continue her college education. She says that what he told her sounded too much like a repeat of the Cultural Revolution and she didn’t want anything to do with it.

      Her Red Guard acquaintance left for Beijing about the time she returned to the US, and the rest is history. Today, that same man lives in the US and has done very well for himself. He was one of the few that easily slipped out of China with a US Visa soon after the failure of the student movement in Beijing.

      In addition, my stepdaughter’s granduncle was a doctor in Beijing and a very high-ranking Communist Party member who told his niece that the students and other protestors were warned many times with loudspeakers over a period of days to clear the streets and those demands were ignored.

      After the mobs killed the PLA troops, another military unit that was mostly combat veterans were sent in and this time they had weapons with ammo and the orders were to fire if there was resistance.

      That was when the shooting started, but not in Tiananmen Square. As reported by the Chinese, any civilians that were killed took place in other locations around Beijing. I doubt that we would find many governments, including the US, that would allow twenty something’s and teenagers take over the government. China already had that happen once, it was called The Cultural Revolution, and there aren’t many Chinese over the age of 30 that want to see that happen again.

      For an example of what that may have been like, I recommend seeing the recently released movie, The Iron Lady, where Meryl Streep is playing Margret Thatcher. There are several scenes in the movie—probably actual footage— of the British police beating the “you know what” out of teeming, violent, rioting mobs that were fighting back.

      However, we cannot call that a democracy movement because the UK was already a parliamentary republic with a queen. If the mobs had been successful in the UK, could we call it an authoritarian, anarchy movement?

  6. Roundys says:

    Hi Lloyd, its me again. This is a very good site. Thanks for doing this. I was looking through the posts of this site and came across the article “What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square?” and in it you raised the idea of the possible CIA involvement in the incident. I want to alert you to a link that did an excellent in depth analysis of the incident and in it it present some circumstantial evidences to support your theory. Here is the link:

    http://www.bearcanada.com/china/letstalkabouttam.html

  7. Roundys says:

    Hi Lloyd,

    I came across your site while searching for the India China border war of 1962 and I want to make a comment there but it was closed. So I am going to make a comment here, hope you don’t mind. Here are two excellent links I found on the subject.

    [audio src="http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/podcasts/India_China_Border.mp3" /]

    http://www.gregoryclark.net/redif.html

    • Roundys,

      Thank you for this valuable and informative material. I recommend anyone interested in the India China border war of 1962 to click on both links and listen to the mp3 while reading the Gregory Clark post.

      My post on the India China war should not be closed to comments. I’ll see what’s up.

      • Roundys says:

        Hi Lloyd, thanks for making the recommendation. Indeed one of the speakers in the mp3 is Neville Maxwell. He is considered to be the preeminent scholar in the India China border war of 1962, having written a now classic “India’s China War” which you can read it online here:

        He has written extensively on this subject since the publication of this book and you can find them in the internet by googling his name.

        As you have said in this blog, most of the foreigners get it wrong on China, and one of the things I noticed in the Western mass media (and the most damaging) is that China is often portrayed as some kind of territorial aggressive nation. In fact, the opposite is true. Here is a study on China’s border settlements with its neighbors.

        Click to access i8782.pdf

      • Roundys,

        Thank you for these links.

        In a previous e-mail, you mentioned that the comments section was closed on one of the posts you read. I investigated and discovered that there was a setting that closed comments 14 days after a post appeared, and I unchecked that setting, so comments will stay open and not close. Sorry about that. I don’t know how that happened unless it was orginally a default setting when I launched this Blog.

  8. David says:

    Hi Lloyd ,
    I run a free learning website called bizpanda.org and I recently added your
    link to my blogroll. I’m a long-time admirer of your blog. I would love it if you
    added my link http://bizpanda.org/ to your blog. I feel it would benefit
    visitors to your blog studying Chinese or doing business with China.

    Yours Sincerely,
    David Glynn

    • David,

      Thank you. I will link to your blog. However, a friend told me I should add an easier way for viewers to subscribe to my Blog and I did that today.

      When that happened, my Blogrolls and all my other menus vanished. I’m trying to figure out what went wrong so I can reverse what I did. So far, no luck. Any suggestions would be welcome.

  9. hocdyckdyck says:

    Suffering is the great teacher. And unlearning is the great gift. I observe these experiences in myself and in the world. Surely they are undeniable. And though much time is involved, logically they lead to the goal.

    The learning of opposites… from opposite experiences, is also reassuring on the journey. It posits that for one to ‘understand’ one must be free, innocent. That is, impressions causing the molds into which all behaviors must fit, must nullified.

    Impressions are nullified when one has experienced equally the opposite molds of behavior. For example when one experiences fully the comforts & privileges of a prince and the wants & limitations of a beggar it begins to resolve. Of course, it isn’t that simple but it shows the idea.

    So this must occur over thousands and thousands of lifetimes. Although many would not subscribe to it, for me this process requires reincarnation. A few books explaining this and more are: Discourses (conversational), and God Speaks (technical), both written by Avatar(God), Meher Baba.

  10. hocdyckdyck says:

    Very interesting Lloyd. So, it gets a wider focus.

    Maybe its as wide as the notion that humanity is on a journey to find out how to live together on a shared earth with all shared resources, even health and well being.

    We start by thinking we’re all independent, and survival of the fittest prevails. This is still cave man mentality we’re in. (note Darwin was intelligent enough to never to include humans in his theories)

    The difference seems Compassion, and the affects of Collective Intellect. The world appears to be at the beginning of a shift. In my view it is precipitated by confluence of Bin Laden actions, Diseases & Medicine- the costs of which are unsustainable, and what began in Tunisia as a one man protest against his government and spread & emboldened others (commoners) in the Middle East and other places (USA- Wisconsin).

    Why do we collectively allow one man to profit at the pain or expense of another’s comfort or need?

    It’s all a great thrill because it sill swallow big money influence, power of all kinds, and all outside its cause… bringing care to an otherwise wayward people.

    • Have you heard of or read “Living With Evolution or Dying Without It”, by J. D. Koratsky?

    • The big difference is WMD. Prior to the end of World War II, we didn’t have the means to destroy the earth and all life on it. Now that we do, it is in our best interests (except for the crazies that believe that some of us get to live with God when everyone dies such as the Bin Laden promise that after a suicide during a holy war those who sacrifice like the terrorists that ran the jets into the twin towers will go live in heaven with all those virgins. These are people to stupid to realize they have fallen for a false prophet) to learn how to get along and share resources. I’m not sure that enough of humanity has learned that lesson yet though or ever will.

      Some people learn this lesson in each generation as the Old Testament shows us “Thus it came to pass, when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living” (Genesis 19: 20).; Abraham debated God and asked for Mercy and God gave it.

      Then there is Jesus Christ’s defense of the harlot and his Sermon on the Mount.

      I do not believe all meant to learn this lesson. After all, we do have free will and even Adam blew it by eating the forbidden apple. However, the idea of living a moral and unselfish life is offered to us to learn from and there are individuals that learn and practice this life in all generations.

      The fact that the average American family lives about $10 thousand in credit card debt due to consumer purchases tells us that selfish motives still prevail since so many live beyond their means and the gathering of massive fortunes continues. Recently I read that there are now more millionaires than ever and the gap between the rich and poor widens with more people on the poor side.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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