THUGS: “to be, or not to be, that is the question”

October 16, 2019

This post is about the protests and riots taking place in Hong Kong, but I’m going to start with a question first and attempt to answer it.

What would happen in the United States if thousands of protestors swarmed Washington Dulles International Airport or flooded Wall Street in New York City?

To find out, I turned to history. After all, we can learn from what has already happened, right?

CNBC.com reports, “In 1863, citizens were drafted to serve on the Union side in the Civil War. … Resentment at the situation eventually resulted in rioting, but those taking part soon targeted African-Americans, and large numbers were lynched in the streets and had their homes destroyed. President Lincoln sent militia regiments to pacify the city, and by the fourth day the uprising was crushed decisively. … Figures vary between 120 and 2000 people killed …”

Seattle 1999

“Activists blocked traffic at major intersections … police responded by firing tear gas, pepper spray and, eventually, rubber bullets, to disperse the crowds … Protesters responded by destroying storefronts, pushing flaming dumpsters into intersections and slashing the tires of police cars. Ultimately, 600 people were arrested, chief of police Norm Stamper stepped down and the vandalism caused $20 million in damages.”

New York City 1977

“The 1977 blackout, which affected only New York City, was marred by pervasive arson and looting. … All told, over 1,600 stores were damaged, over 1,000 fires were reported and 3,776 people were arrested, the largest mass arrest in city history.”

Cincinnati 2001

“It was a reaction to the fatal police shooting of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas, who was attempting to escape from police officers on foot.”  On the 3rd night of rioting, it rained. “The precipitation stopped the violence in its tracks and limited the damage to $3.6 million.”

Detroit 1967

“When the violence dissipated five days later, property damage was estimated to be between $40 million to $80 million.”

Chicago 1968

“Arson was so extensive that the fires exceeded the capabilities of the city’s fire department, so many buildings burned to the ground. Many that didn’t were so badly damaged that they had to be torn down, rendering hundreds of people homeless and costing more than $10 million in damages.”

Watts 1965

“The situation degenerated into widespread violence that didn’t fully die down until six days later, at a cost of $40 million and 34 lives. The unrest would stand as the worst such case in Los Angeles history until the 1992 riots 27 years later.”

Newark 1967

“The account proved to be false, but the rioting took on a life of its own regardless, and persisted for six long days, resulting in 26 fatalities and $10 million worth of property damage.”

Los Angeles 1992

“Thousands responded to the verdict by engaging in widespread arson, assault and looting, killing 53 people and injuring thousands more. The unrest went on for six days and did not die down until the National Guard was deployed to the area. When it was all over, more than 1000 buildings had been destroyed by fire, and most assessments of the damage put its cost at almost $1 billion, making it the costliest episode by far of civil unrest in United States history.”

Now, back to Hong Kong. Vox.com reports, “9 questions about the Hong Kong protests you were too embarrassed to ask … Protesters filled Hong Kong International airport two weeks ago. … They carried signs and decorated the walls and floors with messages explaining why they’re rallying, disrupting the transit hub. … The airport protests encapsulated months of turmoil in Hong Kong. Weekly demonstrations and sit-ins have at times turned tense and violent when police arrive spraying tear gas and rubber bullets.”

What is happening in Hong Kong has happened before, all over the world, not just the U.S. and HK.

When there are demonstrations in the United States, police and demonstrators also clash as tensions escalate.

Therefore, if the rioter and protesters in Hong Kong are led by alleged pro-democracy advocates, what do we call the rioters and protestors in the United States that is allegedly a democracy?

Do we call them anti-democracy advocates or are they all, in HK and the U.S., just thugs that are out of control?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China’s October Golden Week Holiday

October 2, 2019

China and the United States have at least one thing in common, a holiday that celebrates the founding of a country.

For the United States, that day is July 4. History.com says, “On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later on (July 4th) delegates from the 13 (British) colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.”

Of course, the United States would end up fighting its war for independence with the British Empire from 1775 – 1783. A war that lasted eight years until the country was really independent. During this conflict, the United States lost an estimated 25,000 – 70,000 killed vs 78,200 British, German and Loyalist troops that lost their lives.

China, on the other hand, waited until after the civil war to celebrate, and it was a long wait from 1927 – 1949, twenty-two years if we do not count the so-called time-out to fight World War II from 1937 – 1945. Some eight million Chinese were killed during a Civil War that was complicated by the Japanese invasion of China that killed an additional twenty-million Chinese.

Imagine what it must have been like to be fighting a Civil War and then getting invaded by another country at the same time.

In China, “National Day holiday is fixed at October 1–7 with adjacent weekend days being mandatory workdays to make up for lost time. This period is also called ‘golden week’ because of the biggest week for tourism in China, when people have a week off to reunite with families and take trips.”

China Highlights.com reports, “Due to preparations for the celebration of China’s 70th Anniversary, many top attractions in Beijing will be closed for a certain period in 2019.” Click the link in this paragraph to discover those facts.

The History of China’s National Day

After the Civil War ended, the People’s Republic of China was established, and an official victory celebration and ceremony was held in Tiananmen Square on October 1, 1949.

The South China Morning Post reported, “Twice a year China sees a mass migration of its citizens as it celebrates Golden Week. … In 1999, an estimated 28-million people travelled for the first Golden Week. In October 2017, 705-million people travelled around China and spent 583.6-billion yuan (US$85 billion).”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Who is Winning Trump’s Trade War with China?

September 25, 2019

Trump took the U.S. Constructional mandated Oath of Office (and he has repeatedly violated that Oath of Office) to become President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

  • In 2016, the United States exported $115,594,800,000, in good to China and imported $462,420,000,000 from China. [- $346,825,200,000]
  • In 2018, the United States exported $120,148,100,000, in good to China and imported $539,675,600,000 from China. [- $419,527,400,000] – United States Census Bureau

Do the math. Since Trump has been President of the United States, the imbalance in trade between China and the United States has increased by more than $72.7 billion dollars.

The Balance.com says, “China can produce many consumer goods at lower costs than other countries can. Americans, of course, want these goods for the lowest prices. … If the United States implemented trade protectionism, U.S. consumers would have to pay high prices for their ‘Made in America’ goods. It’s unlikely that the trade deficit will change. Most people would rather pay as little as possible for computers, electronics, and clothing, even if it means other Americans lose their jobs.”

Then we learn from the South China Morning Post that “Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs on China failing to bring jobs and manufacturing back to the US

“There is a clear sign that in the trade war between the US and China, the winner is not going to be the US and it’s not going to be China,” Breteau said. The winners are “going to be Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and very likely Mexico and Bangladesh”.

What is China doing to counter this loss? The World Bank tells us about the significant policy adjustments required for China’s growth to be sustainable. “China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) addresses these issues. It highlights the development of services and measures to address environmental and social imbalances, setting targets to reduce pollution, to increase energy efficiency, to improve access to education and healthcare, and to expand social protection. The 13th Five-Year Plan’s annual growth target is 6.5%, reflecting the rebalancing of the economy and the focus on the quality of growth while maintaining the objective of achieving a ‘moderately prosperous society’ by 2020 (doubling GDP for 2010-2020).”

In addition, according to McKinsey.com, “[Chinese] Consumers remain the key driver of China’s domestic growth (not the United States), creating 78 percent of GDP growth in the first nine months of 2018.” … For instance, “Sales of China’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) grew by 6.3 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, and even supermarkets have grown by 5.0 percent. Across fresh foods, alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, and more, ten times as many consumers report trading up to higher-priced goods than down.”


Meet China’s New Middle Class representing 30-percent of the total Middle Class in China

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Comparing China to the World through History

September 18, 2019

During the Han Dynasty, China had a population of some sixty million people, about one-fourth of the world’s population at the time, and the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) marked the beginning of China becoming the wealthiest and most innovative country on the planet. The first video shows the history of the world from the rise of civilization to the present day.

In that video, keep an eye on China and remember that all but two of China’s dynasties were ruled by the Han Chinese regardless of the name of the dynasty. The two dynasties that were not ruled by the Han were the Yuan (Mongols) and the Qing (Manchus). The beginning of China’s decline started with the Ming Dynasty that was established by a nationalist, isolationist, religious cult (similar to the Donald Trump administration in the United States today), and the decline accelerated near the end of the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century.


Pay attention and you will discover that Tibet was ruled by China’s Qing Dynasty in the early 18th century.

In 1793, even though China had been in decline for two-to-three hundred years, it was still the wealthiest country on the planet as the second video reveals.


Top 20 Country GDP (PPP) History & Projection (1800-2040)

China’s Emperor Qianlong’s letter to King George III of the British Empire reveals how powerful China still was. “The following is one sentence from the response given by Chinese Emperor Qianlong (b. 1711, d. 1799) to King George III of Great Britain (b. 1738, d. 1820) following the first British envoy to China, known as the Macartney Embassy.”

One line from Qianlong’s letter read: “As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures.” – China.org.cn

After “Macartney left Beijing, Qianlong issued many documents outlining the need to strengthen the military defense and guard against surprise attacks by Britain. Qianlong issued orders to closely guard the coastal ports. One of the main points Qianlong made was that Britain was demanding that China assign some areas near Zhoushan or Guangzhou for them to set up trading bases to make it easier for them to trade. ‘We must not only observe the coastlines carefully but also prepare a military defense, especially in Zhoushan and Macao. We must prepare our soldiers in advance to avoid Britain capturing (our land).’ This shows that Qianlong was aware of the potential threat Britain posed and could help explain his actions in rejecting British advances.”

There is a 16th-century idiom that says: “If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.” In his letter, Qianlong refused to give the British Empire the inch King George III had demanded. Soon after that happened, the European colonial empires and even the United States took that first inch by force.

The second video compares the GDP (PPP) of the top twenty countries starting in 1800, a century before China lost 1st place as the world’s wealthiest and most innovative country on the planet.

If you watch the dates in the second video you will see that China’s decline as the wealthiest country on the planet started during the Opium Wars in the early 19th century. These wars were started by the British and French colonial empires just like Emperor Qianlong had feared, and many of America’s oldest and wealthiest families made their fortunes selling opium to the Chinese.

China did not lose 1st place until 1890 after the French Empire defeated the Qing Dynasty in the Sino-French War (1884-1885) followed by another defeat in 1895 in the First Sino-Japanese War. The final nail in China’s Imperial coffin was the Eight-Nation Alliance (including the United States) that defeated the Boxer rebels and Qing Forces in 1901.

One-hundred-and twenty-three years later in 2013, China regained 1st place and now has the largest GDP (PPP) on the planet with the United States in second place.

“The Gross Domestic Product measures the value of economic activity within a country. Strictly defined, GDP is the sum of the market values, or prices, of all final goods and services produced in an economy during a period of time.”

In addition, over the last few decades, China’s navy has rapidly expanded. As of 2018, the Chinese Navy consists of over 300 ships, making it larger than the 287 vessels comprising the deployable battle force of the United States Navy.

Do you think China will let itself become a victim again, and since the birth of Jesus Christ, how many years has China had the largest GDP (PPP) on the planet?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Say Hello to “The Farewell”

September 4, 2019

If you marry someone that grew up in China, the odds favor that you will also be married to a Chinese family. When I married Anchee in 1999, I got a lot more than a wife. In China, I also was accepted by her family, her friends, and I started to learn about the country of her birth, its long history, and its culture, and I haven’t stopped learning. The only thing I haven’t learned is Mandarin, a tonal language where what sounds like one word can be four words depending on the tone. I’m not tone deaf. I enjoy listening to music, but I cannot tell the difference between the sounds needed to pronounce four different words that sound like they are one word.

I saw “The Farewell” alone on a Monday morning in an almost empty theater with two other people that sat higher up in what I call the bleachers. The film offered more than the drama of a Chinese family that discovers their beloved grandmother in China has a short time to live. Throughout the film, the Chinese family and their friends, and even the Japanese bride hide the doctor’s verdict from the grandmother.

To keep this secret, her two sons that haven’t been to China with their families for twenty-five years, use the excuse of a sudden engagement to bring family and friends together for this unexpected wedding before grandmother dies. One son lives in the United States, and his brother lives in Japan where his son has a Japanese girlfriend, the bride to be.

The lead character is Billi. She was six when her mother and father moved to the United States. When we first meet Billi, she is in her twenties and living alone in a postage-stamp-sized apartment in New York City.  She can’t pay her rent, won’t ask her parents for financial help, and doesn’t want to move back home.

Billi played by Awkwafina, an actor that was born in New York City in 1988 as Nora Lum, grew up Chinese in the United States helping her understand the differences between the two cultures.

What I think made this film worth watching was witnessing Billi’s American individualism in conflict with China’s collective culture, until she remembers or learns, when in China, do as the Chinese do.  By the way, the grandmother lives in an older building. Many residential buildings in China’s cities are newer looking and more modern than what I saw in this film unless the story took place before the 21st century.

Too bad, so many Americans are not interested in learning about other cultures. “The Farewell” opened July 12, 2019, and its total domestic lifetime gross to date is about $12.8 million. More Americans should see films like this one instead of cartoons like “Monsters, Inc.” that grossed almost $600 million.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Army Day in China

August 7, 2019

China and the United States both honor their military. The United States does this on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). China celebrates its annual Army Day on August 1st.

Veterans Day in the United States is a federal holiday to honor military veterans that have served in the United States Armed Forces.

History.com says, “Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.”

In the United States, federal employees get the day off for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

China celebrates Army Day August 1st, and according to China HIGHLIGHTS.com, the men and women that are active-duty troops have half a day off. Although Army Day in China is a holiday, it is a working holiday and not an official day off.

Army Techology.com says, China Military Online estimated in 2015, that 53,000 women (less than 5 percent of the total number of troops) also serve in China’s Army. In the United States, according to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.

The Basics explained by Chinese American Family.com: The People’s Liberation Army was founded on August 1, 1927, in Nanchang during a rebellion against nationalist Kuomintang forces. They were known simply as the Red Army during the Chinese Civil War (April 1927 – May 1, 1950). The People’s Liberation Army assumed its role as the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Today, the People’s Liberation Army counts more than two million troops.

I think it is important to note that China’s Civil War started days after the Shanghai massacre of April 12, 1927 when Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had his troops slaughter thousands of Communist Party members and union workers without warning followed by a full-scale purge (executions without trials) of Communists in all areas under the KMT’s military control. Before April 12, 1927, the Communist Party was one of the political parties that made up the fledgling Republic of China started by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

“You’re unlikely to see any public celebration of Army Day outside of China, except for perhaps a joint ceremony with a host country at a foreign embassy. Otherwise, this is a domestic state occasion marked by speeches and military demonstrations.”

AnydayGuide reports, “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China established Red Army Day in 1933.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China’s Shrinking Carbon Footprint

July 31, 2019

If you don’t know what per capita means, you will not understand that the United States is a much bigger polluter than China is.

Collins Dictionary.com says, “The per capita amount of something is the total amount of it in a country or area divided by the number of people in that country or area.” Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

i.e., per-individual person.

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports each country’s share of CO2 Emissions and ranks the world’s countries. China is ranked #1 for total carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion but is #36 for per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion.

China’s population at 4:49 p.m. on 5-19-2019 when I first wrote this post was 1,419,480,841, and the U.S. population was 328,912,052.

Based on those population numbers, China’s per capita carbon dioxide emission from fuel combustion (metric tons) was 6.59 metric tons per person for a total of 9,354.5 million metric tons.

For the United States, the per capita was 15.53 metric tons or 5,107.8 million metric tons total.

To put it another way: if China’s per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel consumption were the same as the United States, China would be producing 21,589.2 million metric tons or 2.3 times more than it actually is.

And if the United State emitted the same per capita carbon dioxide that China does, then the U.S. would reduce its total carbon dioxide emissions by more than half to 2,167.4 million metric tons instead of 5,107.8.

Then there is what I call the Trump Factor that will increase pollution.


President Donald Trump is replacing the Clean Power Plan with a dirty one, and he will deny it because he is a serious serial liar.

Thankfully, China is not following in the tracks of Donald Trump’s golf cart.

The South China Morning Post reports, “China is stepping up its push into renewable energy, proposing higher green power consumption targets and penalizing those who fail to meet goals to help fund government subsidies to producers.”

Forbes.com reports, “No country has put itself in a better position to become the world’s renewable energy superpower than China, … China has taken a lead in renewable energy and is now the world’s largest producer, exporter, and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles.”

However, in the United States, Donald Trump wants to cut renewable energy and energy efficiency by 70-percent. Does that mean everything China does to improve clean energy consumption will be reversed by Trump’s agenda in the United States?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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