A Difference in Defensive Thinking

June 20, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Compare this to Sun Tzu, who wrote the Art of War. He said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

I’m not sure that America speaks all that softly and that stick has been around the world more than once and has been costly.  I did a bit of virtual sleuthing and the military budgets approved by the Congress between 1946 to 2009 have cost the American tax-payer about 23 trillion dollars. These figures do not include the wars since World War II.

In today’s dollars, the Korean War cost more than $340 billion; the Vietnam War cost $740 Billion.

To date, the cost of war in Iraq has cost more than $810 billion and Afghanistan $629 billion.


To compare, the US military has more firepower.

China intervened in the Korean War and sent hundreds-of-thousands of troops. To understand why the Chinese got involved, Mao said,”Vietnam is the gums to our teeth. What happens when the gums are gone?”

Between 1965 and 1970, over 320,000 Chinese soldiers served in North Vietnam.

“Rather than worrying about this development, we should understand that Beijing’s maintenance of a large, modern military is driven by history.” Source: Huffington Post  “On 4 March 2010, Beijing announced China’s declared defense budget will only increase by 7.5% this year — the slowest rate in 20 years.”

In 2012, China defense spending increased by 11%—more than $100 Billion compared to $738 Billion for the US.

Discover When China’s generals laughed.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His latest novel, Running with the Enemy, was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

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The Dog that Turned on its Master

August 27, 2012

This morning while reading a few Blog Posts on China topics, I ran into another example of manipulating the facts to influence public opinion—we could call it a white lie but I believe it is much worse than that because one day telling such half truths may lead to a war that kills millions of people and does unimaginable destruction to human civilization.

The Buffalo Hair Gazette International, claiming to be a News and Video and Resource Portal (in the worst possible way), reported that the “Free Syria Army Stocks Up  with Weapons Captured (Thank You Russia and China For Supplies).”

Besides a photo of weapons and bombs, that was it.  What that headline says may be the truth, but what was your first impression? Did you think that Russia and China were supporting the Assad government in Syria?  How about America—did you feel that America was a role model in this area and believed that it would never do the same thing as a champion of democracy in the Middle East?

If you formed an opinion that America was the good guy and Russia and China were evil, then you have been mislead by another example of how the media in the West twists facts and manipulates public opinion.

For example, America and other Western democracies have praised Egypt’s recent democratic election, which saw an Islamic fundamentalist president voted into power. Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s new civilian president, is the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

What does this mean for the West?  Who knows? We may only guess.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood’s credo was and is, “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but the current government of Iran was voted into power through democratic elections and yet Iran is considered one of America’s most dangerous enemies second only to al Qaeda and one day soon, we may be at war with Iran.

Again, correct me if I’m wrong, there is a reason why America’s Founding Fathers despised democracy—they believed it would lead to mob rule and eventually the end of the freedoms spelled out in the US Bill of Rights.

After all, doesn’t a democratically elected mob rule Iran?

Oh, I thought you should know that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad is known as an enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Syria, this Islamic fundamentalist political party has been suppressed for decades. His father, Hafiz al-Assad was ruthless with the Muslim Brotherhood too.

Sometimes it’s better to stay with the devil you know.

Anyway, back to Buffalo Hair Gazette International’s manipulation of public opinion by only telling some of the truth.

War is Business.com reported, “Between 1950 and 2009, American weapons merchants sold 47.6% of the weapons that ended up in Muslim countries. In 2009, that percent was 52.7%.”

In fact, if it weren’t for America, there would be no al Qaeda.  The US funded and trained al Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and when the Soviets were defeated, al Qaeda turned on America.

Have you forgotten 9/11 yet?

The Economist also ran a piece on this topic. Click on the link and read what The Economist has to say. You will discover that between 2006 – 2010, Russia sold 23% of the global share of weapons while the US sold 30%.  In fact, if we add up four of the top five weapons merchants—the United States, Germany, France and Great Britain—the total is 52% of all global weapons sales. France even sells to China as does Russia.

When we look at a ranking of the World’s largest arms exporters, China ranks sixth place while the US is first place.

1. United States

2. Russia

3. Germany

4. France

5. United Kingdom

6. China
(In fact, China sold less than one eighth of the weapons US arms manufacturers in the private sector sold to other countries with the blessing of the U.S. government.) Source: Arms industry.Wiki.org

Then we have the clincher—a story reported by Foreign Policy Magazine that fills in the rest of the blanks ignored by the Buffalo Hair Gazette International.

Foreign Policy asks, “Why is the U.S. Selling Billions in Weapons to Autocrats?” — Published Saturday, June 23, 2012

An excerpt from Foreign Policy Magazine says, “The Export of American arms to countries around the world—even those actively repressing their own citizens—is booming.

“Every May and June, different branches of the State Department paint contrasting portraits of how Washington views dozens of strategically significant countries around the world, in seemingly rivalrous reports by its Human Rights and Political-Military Affairs bureaus.

“The former routinely criticizes other nations for a lack of fealty to democratic principles, citing abuses of the right to expression, assembly, speech, and political choice. The latter tallies the government’s latest successes in the export of American weaponry, often to the same countries criticized by the former.”

Discover What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square?

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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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Two Military Space Missions – one Chinese; one American – one transparent; one not

June 18, 2012

Shortly after the Chinese publicly announced to the world that it had succeeded with an ambitious space launch that includes time spent in a small space station, an unmanned US Air Force space plane landed in California.

The U.S. military space plane known as X-37 OTV is an unmanned robot plane (with what looks like three windows down the side). This military robot space plane just spent a super-secret fifteen months circling the earth in low orbit with a super-secret package aboard, which could be anything.

The X-37 was built by Boeing Government Space Systems.  It weighs 11,000 pounds, stands 9.5 feet tall and is just over 29 feet long.  This robot space plane was a NASA project before it was turned over to DARPA in 2004.  While NASA has seen its funds cut, the military has seen its funds increased dramatically (more than double what it was in 2001). The 2012 Department of Defense budget is $707.5 billion (oh, and interest incurred on debt from past wars runs between $109.1–$431.5 billion annually).

China’s 2012 defense budget, on the other hand, is US$106.4 billion with no interest incurred from past wars since China hasn’t fought any for decades.

In 2001, US Military Spending was  $307.8 billion; in 2002 – $328.7 billion; 2003  – $404.9 billion; 2004 -$455.9 billion; 2005 – $495.3 billion; 2006  – $535.9 billion; 2007 – $527.4 billion; 2008 – $494.4 billion; 2009 – $494.3 billion; 2010 – $712.0 billion, and 2011 – $658.7 billion.

Since the X-37 is now a military project, there is no way to discover exactly how much was spent unless someone at Boeing leaks the information.

How about the Chinese?  Well, their most recent space mission is no secret. The Chinese have often been criticized in the West for lack of transparency, but when the US spends years on a military space project wrapped in secrecy, the Western media does not complain about that lack of transparency.

On the other hand, I approve of both America’s X-37 space project and China building a space station. In addition, China plans to colonize the moon and visit Mars in the near future. Maybe this will motivate America to seriously get back into the space game. A little competition could be a good thing.

Meanwhile, Sebastien Blanc writing for AFP, reports, “This is China’s most ambitious space mission so far. It is longer and more complex than anything previously done,” said Morris Jones, an Australian space expert.

“It shows that China is serious about its long-term goals in space. …

“Beijing has long maintained that the rapid development of its space capabilities is peaceful in nature, and the white paper reiterated this, saying Beijing “opposes weaponisation or any arms race in outer space.”

“But concerns remain over China’s intentions.”

Is anyone questioning America’s intentions?

After all, what nation has the largest military budget in the world; what nation is waging several military conflicts around the globe; what nation has several hundred military bases spanning the globe; what nation has the largest prison population on the planet; what nation has more than half the world aircraft carriers (eleven with three under construction), while China only has one and it was picked up used from Russia; what nation has the largest global weapons industry ($37.8 billion in 2008– Italy is number two with $3.7 billion in sales) and what nation is the only nation on earth to have ever used nuclear weapons during a war—twice?

Double Standard?

Discover more at Growing Great Honor in One Lunar Leap

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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 Democracy Club and the rest of the world – Part 1/2

April 23, 2012

Recently an e-mail arrived from a friend, and she provided a link to a CNBC.com piece about India testing an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,100 miles.  The test was successful. This long range missile is capable of reaching deep into China and Europe.

My friend wrote, “This doesn’t thrill me. I think the international community should come down just as hard on India as on North Korea.” She was right, and the Hindustan Times reported, “North Korea violated international law by missile launch.”

So, why is North Korea’s failed missile launch different than India’s?

Nowhere in the CNBC piece was India criticized as North Korea was for its failed test of a long range ballistic missile.


This 10 minute video may “BLOW” your mind—pun intended!

Instead, CNBC reported, “India lost a brief Himalayan border war with its larger neighbor, China, in 1962 and has ever since strived to improve its defenses. In recent years the government has fretted over China’s enhanced military presence near the border.”

In addition, Srikanth Kondapalli, professor in Chinese studies at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University told Reuters, “India can now deter China, it can impose maximum possible punishment if China crosses the red line.”

It is obvious to me that there is a double standard in the world.

There is the Democracy Club and countries that feed the world’s democracies with oil and then there is everyone else.  India is a member of the democracy club and seldom if ever is criticized in the Western media even though the maternal mortality rate is 46.07 deaths per 1,000 live births (ranked #1 globally), life expectancy is 67 years at birth, 43.5% of the children at age five are underweight (the highest in the world), about 5 million children die (50 million each decade) from malnutrition and starvation annually, the literacy rate is 61% of the population, and 25% (more than 300 million people) live below the poverty line. Source: The CIA Factbook

Comparing India’s democracy to a non-democracy, such as China, reveals the double standard I’m talking about.

Before 1949, life in China was equal to or worse than India is today (life expectancy was 35 and 87% of the people lived in severe poverty).  However, according to the CIA Factbook, today, the most recently reported maternal mortality rate was 15.62 deaths for each 1,000 live births ( a third of India’s and ranked #111 globally), life expectancy was almost 75 years of age, and literacy was more than 92% while the population living below the poverty line was 13.4% (about half of India).


6,000 children starve to death in India EVERY DAY

Then there is the fact that India’s middle class is about 5% of the population (61 million), while it is estimated that China’s middle class is now more than 230 million people or 37% of the total urban population. With all of these facts for a comparison, there is no doubt that the quality of life in China’s authoritarian republic is far better than life is in India’s democracy where people are “free” to starve and be illiterate.

Moreover, nowhere in that CNBC piece does it mention that India also fought border wars with Pakistan and Nepal—India fought with Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and came close to war in 1990 all over disputed Kashmir.

In fact, soon after the conflict with China, India had a clash with Nepal over a paltry 75 square km in Kalapani.  Indian forces occupied the area in 1962, and the dispute with Nepal intensified in 1997.

Nowhere in the CNBC piece does it mention that India has 90 nuclear weapons while China has about 240.

Is India really serious about punishing China for future  alleged violations of a disputed border?

In addition, the American/Western media crucifies North Korea for having 10 nuclear warhead compared to America’s 8,500 and Russia’s 11,000.  Source: Huffington Post

Now, don’t get me wrong, North Korea’s government has earned its infamy, and I’ll spend more time with what that means in Part 2. Oh, lest I forget, North Korea has tested two nuclear bombs—one in 2006 and one in 2009. How many nuclear bombs has America tested? Watch the first video to discover that answer.

Continued on April 24, 2012 in The Democracy Club and the rest of the world  – 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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China and its Rare Earths Dilemma – Part 2/2

March 21, 2012

In January 2011 (more than a year ago), Reuters reported, “China has said other countries should share the burden of mining the metals. Illegal mining practices and over-exporting rare earths have hurt China’s environment and depleted its resources.”

After the recent threat by President Obama and the West’s media coverage of China regarding rare earth metals, it appears that other countries do not want to share that burden even if they will not admit it.

As the following video points out, the US has the third largest reserves of rare earth elements. However, US companies, unable to compete and under fire from US regulators for sloppy environmental practices, shut down leaving it up to China to pollute its environment while supplying the world with rare-earth metals.

As you are discovering, this story of rare earth metals is more complex than what the media is reporting.  For example, in February, according to a recent 2012 Gallup poll, Iran was considered Americans greatest enemy with China earning second place.

In this pole, Gallop’s asked, “What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?”

The results: Iran earned 32% of the vote, and China had 23% for second place followed by North Korea with 10%. Afghanistan snagged fourth place with 7%.

Gallup says, “More Americans mention China as the United States’ greatest enemy (23%) this year than at any point in the 11-year history of the question, likely reflecting at least in part Americans’ concern over China’s global economic influence. Last year, China tied North Korea for second place, but mentions of North Korea have declined, leaving China alone in second place in 2012.”

If Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted February 2-5, mirrors public opinion in the US, then why does America depend so much on China to supply rare earths for its global high-tech war on terroism?

It isn’t as if America doesn’t have its own supply of rare earth metals — the US has an ample supply, but due to harsh environmental laws that deal with pollution, it is too expensive to mine and produce these rare earths in the US and cheaper to let China do it even if it does pollute China’s environment leading to criticism from the American media and Western bloggers that use computers and smart phones that would not exist without China’s rare earths. Do you see the irony and hypocrisy here?


Is China America’s new enemy?

If you doubt that America does have an ample supply of rare earths, then read this report released by the Natural Resources Committee – US Congress on November 17, 2010.

Once all the facts are known, it appears that the US federal government does not agree with the 72 million Americans that believe China is our second greatest enemy. In fact, America’s leaders may not see China as an enemy at all but prefer that many Americans continue to feel this way. The answer why may be found in the US  Department of Defense, which has the largest slice of the US federal Budget. According to US Government Spending.com, the defense department’s slice of that pie is 24% or $ 901.4 billion US.

After all, without a boogieman to scare US citizens and give them nightmares that America has serious enemies, where is the justification to continue this massive defense spending, which may soon bankrupt America?

Return to China and its Rare Earth Dilemma – Part 1

                                                                                 ______________

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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China and its Rare Earths Dilemma – Part 1/2

March 20, 2012

Recently, the media released a barrage of criticism on China regarding rare-earth minerals, since China produces 97 percent of the global supply of these vital metals.

This happened when President Obama said he would pressure China through the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the media mob focused on this threat while ignoring many of the facts.

For example, on March 13, 2012, the National Journal reported, “Obama Challenges China over its Hold on Critical Technology Materials.”

However, all but forgotten is what Reuters reported in January 2011, that China “slashed its export quota by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 compared with a year earlier, saying it wanted to conserve reserves and protect the environment … new environmental standard (in China), described as ‘stringent’ by an expert who helped draft the rules, would limit the amount of permissible pollutants in each liter of waste water…”

In fact, China’s tougher environmental laws designed to clean up the air, soil and water within the next decade may be the real reason behind China cutting back production of these rare metals igniting global concern and criticism regarding supply and demand. After all, how many countries, including the Untied States, are willing to pollute their environments to produce these rare earth metals?

To understand how much pollution is caused by the production of rare earths, according to How Stuff Works.com, “In recent years, rare earth metals like lithium have been imported almost exclusively from China, which was able to lower its prices enough to monopolize the industry. One of the reasons China could sell lithium so cheaply was because it widely ignored environmental safeguards during the mining process.”

In addition, while China’s critics bash China for environmental pollution, these same voices also criticize China for attempting to do something about the pollution by cutting back production of rare-earth metals and enforcing China’s laws designed to clean up the environment, which will also cause the price of rare earth to increase and pressure other countries to produce their own rare earths.

For another example, How Stuff Works.com says, “In the Bayan Obo region of China … miners removed topsoil and extracted the gold-flecked metals using acids that entered the groundwater, destroying nearby agricultural land. Even the normally tight-lipped Chinese government admitted that rare earth mining has been abused in some places.”

Why are China’s critics and the Western media along with President Obama pressuring China to resume business as usual, which means continuing to pollute its own environment?

Follow the money/profit motive, and you may find your answer. After all, rare earth minerals are vital for electronics, clean energy technology, computers, wind turbines, electric cars and the production of America’s high-tech weapons necessary in its war against global terrorism.

Continued on March 20, 2012 in China and its Rare Earth Dilemma – 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 Politics of Fear – Part 5/5

September 18, 2011

The prescription that leads to a successful “noble or big lie” is keeping people semi-literate or illiterate so it is more difficult to recognize the “Politics of Fear”.

However, what is literacy and how do we define it? There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, the most common definition is the ability to read and write at a specified age.

In addition, literacy is learned, while illiteracy is passed along by parents who cannot read or write, and in 2003, 5% of Americans that read Below Basic did not graduate from high school, 44% spoke no English before starting school, 39% are Hispanic/Latino adults, 20% are African-American/Black adults, 25% are age 65+ and 21% have multiple disabilities.

But, at 18, many of these illiterate people are eligible to vote and votes can be influenced with little and BIG lies—especially when the voter reads at Basic or below, which is more than 40% of the population of the United States.


Manufacturing Consent: Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies

NCES.ed.gov says that in the United States, “14% of the people read ‘Below Basic’, which means no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills; 29% read at the ‘Basic’ level, which means these people can perform simple and everyday literacy activities; 44% read at the ‘Intermediate’ level, which means they can perform moderately challenging literacy activates, and 13% of readers are ‘Proficient’, which means many of these readers can perform complex and challenging literacy activates” and are the most difficult to fool.What is more shocking is that compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. is doing well.

According to the latest International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), between 19% and 23% of American adults performed at the top levels for each of the three literacy scales: document literacy, prose literacy and quantitative (number) literacy. Sweden is the only country that scored higher. People that are literate and read often are harder to fool.

Yet, many Americans are being left behind. The same survey found that between 21% and 24% of U.S. adults performed at the lowest level. Source: Education-Portal.com

The state of literacy in America explains why neoconservative voices such as Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck may influence millions of listeners and talk to them as if they cannot think or reason.

In fact, Rush Limbaugh often says on his neo-conservative radio talk show that he will do the thinking for his audience so they do not have to, and his audience may be as large as 30 million—which is a large number of votes to influence.

This also may explain why ABC World News started their piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?”

Since China is now the world’s number one energy consumer and the second largest economy, why not, if it is in China’s national interest to have an aircraft carrier?

In addition, if Brazil, France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Britain all have one or more aircraft carriers, why can’t China join that club?

How is this a threat to America, which has twenty aircraft carriers?

What we have is simple language for simple minds to generate fear and control public opinion. If you read the ABC World News piece, you will notice they don’t mention the other countries that have aircraft carriers or how many the U.S. has.

Return to The Politics of Fear – Part 4 or start with 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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