The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 2/5

January 6, 2012

Another question Parfitt asked in in his comment to Comparing India and China’s Potential for Economic Growth was, What about China’s debt problem? Would that hinder it [China] in its supposed race against India?”

I doubt strongly that there is an economic race between India and China. If it is perceived that one exists, we may thank the Western media circus for that, since the media often compares the annual growth of India’s GDP with China’s.

The answer to Parfitt’s question leads to another question that should have been asked instead.

Will India’s corruption [50% of GDP], poverty [25%], literacy rate [61%] and debt problems hinder it in its supposed economic race with China? Source of facts used: CIA Factbook

By comparison, literacy in China is 92.2% and those living below the poverty line according to the CIA Factbook represent 2.8% of the population.

India’s GDP [Purchasing Power Parity – PPP], according to the CIA Factbook, was about $4 trillion dollars in 2010 but its public debt was 50.6% of GDP. It’s reserves of foreign exchange and gold was $287.1 billion [this is the same as a savings account], and its external debt was $316.9 billion, which shows us that India owes more money than it has in its savings account. In addition, it has been reported that corruption in India is worse than China.

By comparison, China’s GDP [PPP] in 2010 was more than $10 trillion and its public debt was 16.3% of GDP, its savings account held almost $3 trillion and its external debt was $519 billion.

Another point of comparison is the US GDP [PPP], which was $14.66 trillion with $14.71 trillion in external debt and a public debt of 62.9%, while its savings account holds $132.4 billion.

With these numbers, which country is in the best shape economically to face challenges at home and globally in the near future and in the long run?

I replied to Mr. Parfitt’s comments and there was another reply from Alessandro, a regular visitor to this Blog. The reason I’m writing this post is the IGNORANCE Factor, which plays far too large a role in the circus of American politics and public opinion, which is often inflamed by the biased opinions of individuals such as Mr. Parfitt.

Continued on January 7, 2012 in The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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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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The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 1/5

January 5, 2012

On December 30, 2011, Troy Parfitt, whom I debated in this Blog, left a comment to another post I wrote, Comparing India and China’s Potential for Economic Growth.

In our debate, one of Parfitt’s tactics was to often throw out short claims/opinions as if they were bullets from a machine gun while cherry picking the facts [also known as confirmation bias, my-side bias and verification bias] used to support his opinions, which he treated as facts.

If you doubt my claim, read the entire debate and see if even once Parfitt admitted his beliefs were nothing but his personal opinions subject to bias.  And mark my words, all opinions are subject to bias unless supported by a vast majority of facts that are not cherry picked.

Cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.

Confirmation bias is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. These biases appear in particular for emotionally significant issues and for established beliefs.

For this sort of bias to succeed in winning over others, it often depends on the ignorance of the people.

Mr. Parfitt said in his comment,  “So, if China is a republic, and Sun Yat-sen wanted a republic based on the American model, has SYS’s dream been realized in China? One of the tenets of Sun’s philosophy was democracy. Has China achieved democracy?”

My answer to this question is easy but the longer explanation to counter Parfitt’s misleading confirmation bias will appear later in this series of posts.

The short answer is YES, what Sun Yat-sen may have envisioned as a republic for China may have been achieved more by today’s Chinese Communist Party [CCP] than Taiwan.

In fact, we will never really know exactly what Sun Yat-sen wanted as a Republic in China, since he died in 1925 before he achieved his dream of unifying China.

However, we can gain a better idea of what his vision may have been by discovering what it was like in Hawaii and America at the time Sun Yat-sen lived in Hawaii before it was a territory of the US.

Readers may find it interesting that Hawaii was a Republic [1894 -1898] before it became a territory of the United States [1898 – 1959], and before it became a state in 1959.

In fact, a commission during the administration of President Grover Cleveland [1885–1889 and 1893–1897] concluded that the removal of Queen Lili’uokalani was illegal, and the U.S. government demanded that she be re-instated.

Then in 1993, a joint Apology Resolution regarding the overthrow of Hawaii’s Queen was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, apologizing for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Continued on January 6, 2012 in The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 2

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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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The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 2/5

January 1, 2012

It is a fact that China has done more to reduce severe poverty than any nation on the earth and 90% of global poverty reduction starting in the 1980s took place in China. In addition, the Chinese Communist Party, starting in 1949, was the first government in China’s long history to have an organized plan to reduce poverty in that country.

Even during Mao’s era, there were annual improvements in the economy, health, life span, mortality rates and lifestyles in spite of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

To create an in-depth profile of China, I’ve written more than a thousand posts and a half million words. To talk about the reason India’s economy will not surpass China for a long time led to this post.

Then, Manjeet Pavarti, an Indian citizen, challenged my opinions on this subject. It is obvious that Pavarti must be a nationalist who loves his country—an admirable trait except when a patriot is misguided and possibly misinformed and/or uninformed.

In Pavarti’s last comment of October 16, 2010 at 01:33, he challenged my sources—a photojournalist (Tom Carter) with extensive experience traveling in China and India, and my use of evidence from The Economist.

To correct the shortcomings of the first post on this topic, I talked to Gurnam S. Brard, the author of East of Indus, My Memoires of Old Punjab. He agreed with my opinion and said there are many in India like Pavarti that refuse to see the problems that hold India back from achieving its potential.

I also talked to Alon Shalev, author of The Accidental Activist. Shalev told me of his extensive trip through India with his wife and his impressions were the same as Tom Carter and Gurnam Brard.

Next, is Foreign Policy magazine’s Prime Numbers, Mega Cities, where there are no opinions—just facts. I’m going to cover “three” that are roadblocks to India future economic growth.

Continued on January 2, 2012 in The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short


China Protecting its Teeth in 1950 Korea– Part 1/9

February 22, 2011

While searching Google for a Monroe Doctrine link, I stumbled on PCMS Social Studies and a post that appeared January 20, 2011.

Quote: “The Monroe Doctrine was put in place on December 2, 1823 by (President) James Monroe….   He did not want European Countries coming back and taking over the United States….  I know that I would definitely not want someone telling me I have to change the way I believe.”

China’s reaction was the same in 1950 when the People’s Liberation Army entered the Korean War.

Because Korea sat precariously between China, Russia and Japan, Korea had always been at the mercy of its bigger neighbors. For centuries, those nations had fought each other in Korea.

As World War II was ending, in July 1945, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin used his troops in coordination with the US to force the Japanese out of Korea. The Soviet and US armies met at the 38th parallel and agreed to divide Korea along that line.

The Soviets would control the northern half of Korea and the US the south.

While Soviet Russia and America were dividing the spoils of war in Europe and Asia, China was involved in a bloody civil war between the Communist and Nationalist Parties that would last until 1949

Prior to Japan occupying Korea in 1900, Korea had been a tributary state of China for centuries. However, China was in no shape to protest what Russia and the US was doing in Korea.

Two years later, the super powers left Korea leaving behind a Communist state in the north and a capitalist republic in the south ruled by a Korean authoritarian dictator educated at America’s Princeton University.

On June 5, 1950 at 4:00 AM, the Korean War started when North Korea declared war and invaded South Korea by land and sea.

Since the US had deprived South Korea of weapons and ammunition in fear that the south might invade the north and start a war, the North Korean army met little resistance.

The US strategy of restraint had backfired. South Korea had no weapons to defend itself. In two days, Seoul, the capital of South Korea fell to the invading army.

North Korea counted on America doing nothing. However, the majority of Americans in the US was outraged and demanded action, which caused President Truman to send in the United States air force while the US Navy bombarded Korea from the sea.

On July 19, 1950, President Truman called on the United Nations to act quickly and stop the aggression of Communist North Korea.

In the beginning, the US army was weak and far from Korea mostly in Europe. The huge American army that won World War II in 1945 had been disbanded resulting in a much smaller force.

In early July, 1950, an American brigade entered Korea and fought North Korean troops thirty miles south of South Korea’s captured capital of Seoul. The first battle didn’t go well for the US.

Learn about The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Running toward the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD) – Part 1/4

September 24, 2010

If we were to compare Chinese civilization to an amusement ride, it would be a roller coaster.

As each dynasty ended, there was usually a period of chaos, war and anarchy among rival factions.

After the collapse of China’s last Dynasty, the Qing, between 1911 and 1949, chaos, anarchy, warlords, rebellion and World War II tore at the fabric of China. See The Roots of Madness

Then Communist China was born, which eventually led to China’s Capitalist Revolution.

The Xia Dynasty (about 2205 – 1766 BC) ended with the reign of a tyrannical emperor, who lived an extravagant life. When patriotic ministers attempted giving him good advice, he killed them. Then the people rose in rebellion.

The Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1122 BC) ended in similar circumstances when the last emperor lived a luxurious life and tortured both his ministers and people. Another rebellion led by the chief of the Zhou tribe brought down the Shang.

The Zhou Dynasty (1122 – 221 BC) was divided between the Eastern and Western Zhou Dynasties, which fell apart during the Spring and Autumn (770 – 475 BC) Period and the Warring States Period (476 – 221 BC) when the Zhou Emperor didn’t have the power to control the nobles, who fought amongst themselves again leading to chaos and anarchy.

The short Qin Dynasty (221 to 207 BC) unified all China ending the Warring States Period.

However, Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, was brutal and soon after his death, the Qin Dynasty was swept aside to be replaced by the Han Dynasty.

The Han Dynasty (207 BC to 220 AD) was divided into the Western and Eastern Han. Near the end of the Han, the last two emperors were weak. The rule of law broke down again and life was hard.

The Han ended with another rebellion leading to the Three Kingdom’s Period (220 – 280 AD), which meant more chaos and anarchy before China would be unified again under one emperor.

With the end of the Three Kingdoms Period, the Jin Dynasty (265 – 420 AD) ruled until the final emperors were too weak to control the warlords, which led to chaos and anarchy.

The Jin Dynasty was followed by four successive southern dynasties (420 – 589 AD)  and five northern dynasties (386 – 581 AD) followed by the Sui Dynasty that lasted for 38 years when the last emperor of the Sui yielded the throne to the Emperor Gaozu of the Tang Dynasty.

The early Tang emperors built an empire that pushed China’s boundaries to their farthest existence and a culture whose achievements would profoundly influence all Asia.

A thriving economy with complex international ties created one of the richest, strongest and most sophisticated states in world history.

The western capital of Chan-an, which had been the first capital of the Zhou, Qin and Han Dynasties, had a population of a million inside the city walls.

Continued in the Tang Dynasty – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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China’s Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1961) – Part 1 of 6

June 21, 2010

Before reading this series about Mao’s Great Leap Forward, I recommend you first read China, The Roots of Madness to understand what led to Mao’s era as the leader of Communist China (1949 – 1976). This link will take you to that post.  When you finish, return to China’s Great Leap Forward.

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Mao’s era begins in October 1949 with victory celebrations in Beijing, as the country with the largest population in the world sees a Communist government come to power.

(when the advertisement appears, advance the video scroll bar to 2:00 minutes to avoid it)

 

Mao says, “The People’s Republic of China is founded today. China will be free of inequality, poverty and foreign domination.”  In 1950, most Chinese live as they have for centuries. The video shows what this life was like.  Before Mao, most lived in poverty and were in debt to landowners.

Hu Benxu, a peasant farmer in Sichuan says that in the past, there was justice for the rich but nothing for the poor.

President Ronald Reagan

Chiang Kai-shek believed that improvements would spread through the country (sort of like President Reagan’s trickledown theory, which didn’t work) as foreign investments poured into China. But the opposite happened. As the country industrialized, the gap between the rich and the poor grew wider. The rich held on to money and wanted more. Protests about working condition in the factories were met with death from Chiang Kai-shek’s troops.

Meanwhile, Mao promised land reforms, and his troops treated the peasants with respect. When Mao won China, he said, “We Chinese should work hard. The country is poor. Our people are uneducated.  We must make China a modern industrialized state.”

However, there would be many mistakes and much suffering during the next 27 years. After two thousand years of an Imperial system of government, China was embarking on a journey of reinventing a country and a culture without any foreign influence.

Go to Part 2, China’s Great Leap Forward

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Red Dawn Remake

June 9, 2010

Cinematical reports that a remake of “Red Dawn”, a 1984 move about the US being invaded by the Soviet Union, is scheduled to be out later this year.  However, since the evil Communist Soviet Empire does not exist anymore, the remake needed another bad guy to invade the US, so they made Communist China the villain.

This resulted in Chinese newspaper headlines saying the “U.S. Reshoots Cold War Move to Demonize China.”

Judging from at least one comment on Cinematical, I’d say the Chinese have a reason to be upset.  Some person (who can’t spell or punctuate) called “Buzz” said, “Guys china is not our friend or allie.  They are still very bad people (gov’t) who want to dominate the world. Let them grip and complain. Who cares? Their newspapers are full of anyi American propaganda so why should we care what they think.” 

If “Buzz” didn’t grow up in Kentucky or Tennessee, he must be a Tibetan or Uyghur refugee.

Here are a few reasons why the Chinese might be sensitive when demonized in the West.

1. The Opium Wars (1839 and 1860) invaded by France and England
2. Taiping Rebellion (1851 to 1864) led by a Christian convert
3. Burning of the Summer Palace (1860) by a Western allied force
4. Dungan Revolt 1862 (a Muslim rebellion)
5. Yangzhou riot 1868
6. Tianjin Massacre 1870
7. Panthay Rebellion 1856 to 1873 (another Muslim rebellion)
8. Sino-French War (1884 -1885)
9. Sino-Japanese War (1894 – 1895)
10. The Boxer Rebellion followed by a Western invasion
11. The collapse of the Qing Dynasty followed by forty years of civil war and anarchy as warlords fought for control of China and the West did nothing to intervene.
12. World War II (1937 – 1945) invaded by Japan
13. The Korean and Vietnam wars, which to the Chinese were seen as threats to China considering the century that came before those two conflicts. Mao said that Vietnam was the lips to China’s teeth. What happens to the teeth when the lips are gone?

How many times has China invaded America, England, France or Japan with a military force? Has a Chinese Buddhist or any Chinese raised in Confucian tradition started a rebellion anywhere in the world?

See Christianity and Islam in China

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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