Water — the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic

January 10, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happens to life when there is no water?

______________

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

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China

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


Dissecting an American Conservative Spin Master – Part 4/4

November 7, 2011

Did you know Dennis Prager wrote on Creators.com that, “Consider the facts (I’m surprised he used this word): Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world’s oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled.”

All of Prager’s emotionally driven claims such as “killed, obliterated, looted, destroyed, tortured, murdered or exiled” have been proven wrong, but most of Prager’s Parrots are not interested in the facts. I say that Prager owes China an apology.

In fact, Tibet was not a nation until 1911 when the British convinced the Dalai Lama to declare freedom from China, after having been ruled by China since 1279 AD during the Yuan Dynasty, then the Ming Dynasty starting in 1368 AD and last the Qing Dynasty until its collapse.

All the “facts” are there for anyone willing to trust the experts and sources such as Sir Robert Hart (1835 – 1911) and a piece written for the October 1912 National Geographic Magazine by an expert Western trained medical doctor named  Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D. that happened to spend two years in Tibet starting in 1907 after the last Qing emperor ordered him there to deal with a cholera epidemic.

In addition, Prager forgot to mention that there are more than sixty spoken languages in China and one written one. China has 56 minorities and each has its own language as the Tibetan minority does.  It’s been this way in China for more than 2,000 years.

In fact, by not mentioning America’s native minorities, it is my opinion that Dennis Prager is a hypocrite and deceitful.

North American native tribes and nations were free and governed themselves for more than ten thousand years (much longer than the 1,400 years he claims Tibet governed itself before 1950) before Europeans arrived and drove them from their land.

If you visit Native American Nations, you will discover how many spoke their own languages and many still do — the only difference is today native Americans live on reservations and the US Department of the Interior is responsible for the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

One example is the Navaho Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the United States, which is in Arizona. The Navaho Nation covers 27,425 sq miles (71,000 km2) with a population of about 174,000.

The Navajo Nation, like Tibet, is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory within the United States.

Another example is the Cherokee Nation, which had its own written language developed early in the 19th century by a mixed-blood Cherokee called Se-Quo-Yah, so the Cherokee Nation would be considered educated, literate and capable of governing itself as an equal, independent nation.

However, this did not stop the United States from breaking treaties and waging war with the Cherokee Nation to exploit the natural resources of their land.  It’s called conquest and anyone that studies history knows this is a natural part of the evolution of all species including man.

How is this situation different from Tibet and China? Native Americans had their own religions too and were not allowed to practice them by the United States, while China allows Tibetan Buddhists to practice their religion within a semi autonomous territory, which is administered by a CCP government agency similar to the US Department of the Interior.

Another fact that Prager conveniently left out of his opinionated rant of an essay is that after 1976, China rebuilt many of the Buddhist temples in Tibet that were destroyed during Mao’s Cultural Revolution when religions in China were banned and the entire population suffered.

Today, there are seven-major religions in China including Christianity and Islam.


Rush Limbaugh, the host of the number-one conservative talk-radio show, explains how talk-radio works.

Michael Orion Powell writes, “Prager is a good example of what happens when a commentator ties himself to one side of the political spectrum permanently.” By Seattle standards, Michael Powell calls himself a conservative, but by actual conservative standards (as defined by talk show hosts such as Dennis Prager), he says he is a raving liberal.

In addition, decades ago, I too listened to Rush Limbaugh and then deserted him for Dennis Prager.

I eventually fled Prager too, after I questioned his emotionally driven opinions and compared them to the facts of experts discovering that he was often wrong and misleading.  Now that I’m an ex-Prager Parrot, I guess that makes me a leftist-liberal prone to hysteria that fears death even though I support the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms (weapons such as rifles and pistols).

So, we either trust the emotionally-driven opinions of conservative talk show hosts such as Dennis Prager (with a major in Middle Eastern Studies and History who also studied about Russia), or trust 1,500 of the world’s most distinguished senior scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in science.

And the truth is, there is a chance the experts could be wrong about Global Warming, since it is only a theory supported by facts, but are we willing to risk ignoring them as Prager and his Parrots argue?

Return to Dissecting an American Conservative Spin Master – Part 3 or start with Part 1

View as Single Page

______________

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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top right-hand side of this page and then follow directions.

About iLook China


Tibet’s Murky “Western” Cloud

April 22, 2011


Jonolan is an anonymous Blogger who writes opinions at Reflections from a Murky Pond.

The name of Jonolan’s Blog is appropriate because his knowledge of Tibet and China is often “Murky”. However, that is not unusual since most people outside China are ignorant of the facts.

One of many definitions for “Murky” reads, “Hard to see through, as a fog or mist; Gloomy, dark, dim; Obscure, indistinct, cloudy; Dishonest, shady.”

“Jonolan’s political leanings are far to the Right on some issues and equally far to the Left on others. In areas of foreign policy, he favors isolationism in the vein of walk softly but carry a big stick. On social issues he favors a more liberal view that follows the guidelines of Do what thou wilt shall be the whole Law and An it harm none, do as thou wilt.”  Source: About Page of Reflections from a Murky Pond


Listen to the Facts — not Popular Myths

In response to one of my posts, Border Crossing and the Blood on Our Hands, Jonolan wrote, “Again I’m forced to point out the difference in situations. Tibet is a conquered / occupied territory. Its people are not allowed the same freedoms, such as they are, that are allowed the Hans. Do you really believe that the Chinese didn’t murder Tibetans trying to reunite with their government-in-exile? Don’t get me wrong. China won that war and I accept the restrictions placed upon conquered peoples until their culture can be destroyed and their population assimilated. The world-at-large doesn’t though.”

As usual, my “reply” was too long. I can’t help it. I’m more of a novelist than a Blogger.

Since I’ve already covered the Tibet topic in depth, I built a menu for “The Tibet Issue” and placed every post I’ve written of Tibet in that menu on the home page for iLook China.

Anyone interested to learn the facts of Tibet, may visit the Home Page, scroll down and  hopefully discover enough to blow away the cloud from a “murky pond” that obscures this issue from “the world-at-large”.

Just because Hollywood types such as Richard Gere, considered His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s most high-profile disciple, parrots the words of the Dalai Lama, that does not mean those words are the truth.

Instead, those words are the myths people want to believe.

______________

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.


Tibet as a Province of China – the unresolved issue

March 2, 2011

While Korea is the unresolved war, Tibet is the unresolved issue. Both events are more complex than the propaganda that the media often presents.

China maintains that Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say the region was functionally independent for much of its history.

Since Tibetan separatists have claimed that China “never” ruled over Tibet prior to Mao’s reoccupation in 1950, every time the Dali Lama wins another award for humanitarianism or meets a world leader, it is a slap in the face for most Chinese — not just their government.

Have you ever been treated as if you were a liar when it wasn’t true?

The Chinese are proud of their history, and they don’t like foreigners believing lies about their country.


The facts presented in this video are supported by the October 1912 issue of National Geographic Magazine and Robert Hart’s 19th century journals.

Tibet was first occupied by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367), and it was a Mongol emperor or king that made a Dalai Lama the spiritual leader for Tibet in the 13th century.

Before that, the Tibetans were a warlike race and were a plague on a peaceful China. Warlike Tibetans, not exactly the image the Western media paints, raided China for centuries from their mountain fortresses.

When the Ming Dynasty drove the Mongols from China in 1368, the Ming emperor sent an army to Tibet.

For the next six hundred years, the Tibetans were never easy to rule.

Sir Robert Hart, considered the godfather of China’s modernization, said the same thing. He wrote in 1888, “China will regard England as an ally and helper in reducing trouble-some tributaries (meaning Tibet) to a proper sense of position!”

Discover Invisible White Elephants

______________

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.

 

Note: This post first appeared on iLook China February 8, 2010 as post # 34. This revised version reappears as post # 1098.


China’s Sensitivity over Tibet – Part 2/2

December 7, 2010

Since the two best-known spiritual rulers in the world are the Dalai Lama and the Pope, I’m going to compare the two.

The Dalai Lama seems to get about as much attention as the Catholic Pope in Rome, who rules over the Vatican in Rome. The Pope is also the spiritual leader of about one billion Catholics.

What about the Dalai Lama and Buddhism?


The working class peasants/serfs in old Tibet before 1950

Buddhanet says that it is generally agreed that about 6% (or 350 million) of the world’s population are Buddhists.

Then Adherents.com says, The number of adherents that follow Tibetan Buddhism is estimated to be between ten and twenty million, (which is about the same as the population of New York state in the US).

There are four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama is the temporal head of the Gelug(pa) “Way of Virtue” school, and Dalai Lamas have been the “spiritual” leaders of Tibet from the mid-17th to the mid-20th centuries.

The 2000 population census in China reported that about 2.62 million lived in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

If those facts are correct, today’s Dalai Lama is technically the spiritual leader of about 2 million in Tibet and between 8 to 18 million globally that are citizen of other countries.


The ruling class in old Tibet before 1950

The only explanation for the attention the Dalai Lama gets in the media is that a very vocal following of fanatics has grown around him turning him into a cultish godlike figure.  At best, the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of about one third of one percent of the global population. 

At the low end, the Dalai Lama only represents about one tenth of one percent, which may represent the number of followers he has in China compared to the total population there.

Learn more About Tibet or return to China’s Sensitivity over Tibet – Part 1

______________

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.