The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 5/5

July 13, 2012

Global Issues.org reported on War, Propaganda and the Media: “When it comes to propaganda for purposes of war, for example, professional public relations firms can often be involved to help sell a war… Media management may also be used to promote certain political policies and ideologies. Where this is problematic for the citizenry is when media reports on various issues to not attribute their sources properly.”

For example, to sell the Gulf War in Iraq in 1991, John Rendon, the founder of a Washington PR firm, told the cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996, “I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager…”

In varied ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover, and deception, and psyops [psychological operations].

“In March 2005″, Global Issues said, “the New York Times revealed that there has been a large amount of fake and prepackaged news created by US government departments, such as the Pentagon, the State Department and others, and disseminated through the mainstream media.”

In addition, smear tactics often used to discredit, stain or destroy the reputation of someone are increasing in sophistication. With the increasing popularity of the Internet, and search engines such as Google, smearing is taking on additional forms and techniques.

In fact, negative campaigning through the media in America was launched by two lifelong friends, John Adams (second US president–1797-1801) and Thomas Jefferson (third US president–1801-1809), when they ran against each other for the office of President of the United States.

CNN.com says, “Things got ugly fast. Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

“In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.

“As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward.

“But the key difference between the two politicians was that Jefferson hired a hatchet man named James Callendar to do his smearing for him. Adams, on the other hand, considered himself above such tactics.”

Jefferson’s tactics won him the White House but his hatchet man, Callendar, went to prison for slandering John Adams.

Fast forward to December/January 2005, and a piece in the American Journalism Review, which said this of Dirty Politics, “These political campaigns are corroding our electoral process. Who wants to participate in character assassination, Orwellian “doublethink,” dreamland oratory, and outright lies and inflated claims?… The news outlets that used to educate voters are no longer independent (and presumably neutral) sources of impartial information.”

I close this series of posts with the following questions—comparing the media in China and in America, how much of a difference is there in how the people get their news? Either way, can you trust what you read and hear? Is there a difference between a politician, a government official or corporate employee?

In China, the government owns the media and sensitive news is censored. In the US, politicians and the government-manipulate news fed to the media, which in turn manipulates the news to support the political beliefs of the corporate bosses that control the corporations that own the media.

In both countries, the Internet Blogosphere is a free-wheeling madhouse of opinions and news, which may be correct but there is no guarantee. In the end, American and Chinese citizens will believe whatever they want no matter what they read or hear from the media/government.

Return to The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – 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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The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 4/5

July 12, 2012

PBS ran a special on Milestones in the History of Media and Politics. From this PBS special, I learned that “In 1690, the first newspaper published in America was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris. Since it was published without consent of the government, it was immediately suppressed, its publisher arrested and all copies destroyed.”

PBS said that in 1798, the Sedition Act made it a crime to print “any false, scandalous and malicious writing…against the government of the United States.”

“Introduced by President John Adams as the US was on the brink of war with France and rabble-rousing from French immigrants was feared, the Sedition Act made it illegal to criticize the government, under penalty of a $2,000 fine and 2 years in jail. The Act directly contradicted the First Amendment, which had already been ratified in 1791. Everyone from writers, editors, printers, and “even drunks who were overheard condemning (President) Adams” were prosecuted.”

“In 1841,” PBS said, “Horace Greeley launched THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE, which…was strongly antislavery, and as a reform-minded journal of ideas, reported on women’s rights, socialist experiments, temperance, and other reforms. Greeley explained, “I founded the New York Tribune as a journal removed alike from servile partisanship on the one hand and from gagged and mincing neutrality on the other.”

In the 1880’s, Joseph Pulitzer, a key figure in developing the big-business model of the newspaper, and William Randolph Hearst, seeing the press as both political agency and business, competed for mass circulation. The sensational reporting they turned to became known as “yellow journalism.”

Starting in the “1890s,” PBS said, “many independent newspapers were swallowed up into powerful “chains.”

“During and after WWI, the government suppressed radical newspapers and German language papers, but in 1925, in Gitlow v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld a conviction of radical pamphleteers…”

Continued on July 13, 2012 in The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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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 meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 1/5

July 9, 2012

China is often criticized for not offering the same freedoms of religion, the media, and expression that the United States offers its citizens.

However, no one seems to question what these freedoms mean and are they real? Do these freedoms put food on the table?  Do these freedoms pay the rent or mortgage? Do these freedoms provide jobs and financial security?

Many eligible Americans don’t vote and America’s next president will be decided by a few hundred people in the U.S. Electoral College, so why are these freedoms so important?

I subscribe to Poets and Writers magazine and a line in the March/April 2012 issue caught my attention.

Stephen Morison Jr. wrote a piece called Middle Eastern Rhythms. He interviewed several authors and poets in the middle east where these freedoms Americans take for granted do not exist.

Nourredin Zuhair, a traditional Arabic poet, said, “America was good because it encouraged individuality, but because of capitalism there is only one kind of individuality now… In the contemporary, globalized world, a new kind of censorship means you can never say democracy is bad.”

There is some truth in Zuhair’s words. We may have freedom from government interference in what we say or write, but we are not free from other critics and the special interest mobs that use the media to push political and/or religious agendas causing this form of globalized individuality that Zuhair talks of.

In fact, the so-called free media contributes the most toward the growth of this cloned globalized individual.

Ask someone what these freedoms mean and see what he or she says. Ask if it makes life better

Continued on July 10, 2012 in The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – 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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Searching for Impurity – Part 3/3

May 23, 2012

On page 23, Worst Polluted.org reported, “Almost every country in the world has some kind of industrial estate, with Vietnam and Sri Lanka estimated to each have 50 to 60 industrial areas, and India and China reaching hundreds of industrial clusters…”

On page 32, the report said, “Studies in China have found that certain crops, such as corn, are particularly susceptible to lead accumulation when grown in close proximity to smelters.”

There was also a list of four countries at the top of page 32 on regions most impacted by lead pollution and lead smelting. China was in last place with seven sites impacting 158,100 people. The other three countries/areas totaled more than 1.8 million people impacted by this type of pollution.

On page 43, there was a picture of a lead-zinc mining facility in China.

On page 59, there was a picture of a chemical manufacturing plant in China.

That was it. In seventy-six pages, China was only mentioned five times. What a disappointment. I was expecting so much more considering the amount of criticism heaped on China by its enemies and critics.

One city in China was listed as the most polluted in the world in 2006. I wondered why it didn’t make the list for 2011.

Linfen, China is situated in China’s southern Shanxi province along the banks of the Fen River.  In 2010, this city had a population of about 4.3 million inhabitants.

Then in 2007, Times Magazine said that China was home to 20 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, and said, “Only 1% of China’s 560 million urban residents breathe air that is deemed safe by European Union standards.”

However, it was tragic to learn that China is now leading the clean economy race. The Chinese government is “going for the gold” and “taking this challenge much more seriously than others … doing things differently, making longer-term, sustained commitments that are much larger,” wrote Andrew Winston in the Harvard Business Review. [ Harvard Business Review “China Leads the Clean Economy Race” Sept. 23, 2010 ]

China is investing about US$75 to $100 billion EACH year in clean energy for the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, according to the “country’s ten-year plan that made some jaws drop”. [ Harvard Business Review “China Leads the Clean Economy Race” Sept. 23, 2010 ]

China retained the top spot in 2010 as the world’s leading investor in low-carbon energy technology, according to a report by the US Pew Environment Group, which wrote that China’s “ascendance has been steady and steep … With aggressive clean energy targets and clear ambition to dominate clean energy manufacturing and power generation, China is rapidly moving ahead of the rest of the world.” [ Pew Environment Group report “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race 2010?”; BBC News “China tops global clean energy table” March 29, 2011 ]

On an end note, Worst Polluted.org mentioned the United States three times, Canada once and India twenty-three times. I didn’t check for any other countries on this report. As I finished posting this series, I realized that I could not score any points with China’s enemies and critics, since it was a country that many in the West love to hate. In addition, I suspect India is mostly ignored by these same people because it was a Western style democracy.

Return to Searching for Impurity – Part 2 or start with Part 1

For more on the topic of pollution, see The cause of China’s pollution or Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem

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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 Man that may be China’s next President – Part 1/2

April 3, 2012

I’m sure that you have never heard of a dictator that had term limits—in fact, two different term limits. You may often hear that the president of China is a dictator and that China is a dictatorship. However, the facts say otherwise unless the definition for this term has been changed in recent years to fit China.

However, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says that a dictator is “a ruler who has complete power over a country, especially one whose power has been gained by force.”

The Oxford Dictionary (the world’s most trusted dictionaries – according to them) says, that a dictator is “a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force.”

Wiki says “A dictator is a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch… In modern usage, the term ‘dictator” is generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly.”

Therefore, when the president of China is limited to two, four-year terms and/or must retire at age sixty-eight (whichever comes first) and there is a legislative body that has the power to make laws while the courts enforce them (but may not overrule or interpret those laws), does that mean that president is a dictator too? I’ll leave that answer up to the reader.


Newsmakers 2011 – Xi Jinping

In addition, Article 62 of China’s Constitution says that The National People’s Congress (NPC) “elects the President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China… In Article 63, it also says the NPC has the power to recall or remove from office the President and the Vice-President, which hasn’t happened yet but to be fair, it hasn’t happened in the United States either.

Then in Section 2, Articles 79 to 84 you may discover what the power of China’s president is. In Article 80, it says, “The President of the People’s Republic of China, in pursuance of decisions of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, promulgates statutes … confers state medals and titles of honour; issues orders of special pardons; proclaims martial law; proclaims a state of war; and issues mobilization orders.”

I suggest clicking on this link to China’s Constitution and scrolling down to Section 2 to learn the rest.

Anyway, these two posts are about the man that may rule China as its president for the next four to eight years. Earlier this month, that man visited the United States and his name is Xi Jinping.

We will learn more about him as a person in the next post.

But first, it helps to learn more about how China’s government works. Patrick Chovanec is a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. He says, “In China there is the Party, the Army, and the State. Unlike in the U.S., where the three branches are co-equal and are specifically designed to check and balance each other’s powers, in China the Party is supreme and rules over the other two elements. China’s ‘leadership transition’  involves coordinated handovers of power involving all three parts of the political system.”

Chovanec says, “Since the late 1990s, a semi-official mandatory retirement age of 68 has applied to all Politburo members. If that rule is applied in 2012 (and there is no reason to expect that it won’t), all seven members of the current Politburo Standing Committee besides Xi and Li (including Hu and Wen) will retire, and be replaced by new appointees.”

I recommend clicking on this link to Chovanec’s Blog to read the rest of his post on this topic. It may be worth your time to learn more about how China works.

Continued on February 29, 2012 in The Man that may be China’s next President – 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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Americans doing Business in China – Part 10/16

March 1, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: The Wall Street Journal reported, “Beijing Brews Up Its Own Craft Beers… With the recent opening of Slow Boat Brewery in Beijing, the city’s number of American-style microbreweries officially doubled — to two. Mr. Jurinka and Slow Boat co-founder Daniel Hebert are looking to open a tap room and sell their beer directly to local bars and restaurants… The other brewpub in town is Great Leap Brewing, set in a classic hutong in Beijing’s Gulou neighborhood… Great Leap’s owner, Carl Setzer, has been living in China and Taiwan for eight years… U.S. microbrew beer exports to China hit a record in 2010, with sales reaching $546,000, five times the level just five years ago…”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

As I write about my personal experiences in China, I again want to note that they are strictly that—my “personal” experiences. I am certain there are people, who have visited China who could contradict everything that I have, or will write. The products I imported perhaps did not lend themselves to the typical “Sweat Shop” stereotype in terms of the factories that produced them.

However, I never saw or visited any factory that, in my mind, would fit that definition.

If the factories were not what I would call “modern”—they were certainly clean. The employees (factory workers) wore uniforms at most places I visited. They seemed proficient in their work and the products produced, and for the most part, were without quality problems—certainly no different from products produced in other countries.

Most of the factories tended to be in Industrial Parks that were quite large. Usually, the factories were a “small city” into themselves. There was housing provided for the employees on the factory grounds along with areas for recreation. I don’t suppose there was another way of doing it, but I saw a lot of laundry hanging from outside the housing units plus commercial apartments buildings I saw throughout China.

Most factories had certifications that were either the same or similar to those held by US factories. I saw elaborate R&D sections in most of the factories I visited. The office space was usually as modern and pleasant as any I had visited in the US.

A ritual that I truly enjoyed was at every meeting when hot tea was served. Sometimes the owner or general manager had tea to make in their office and other times it was brought in. However, I can’t recall a meeting where tea was not offered.

Being a non-smoker, another ritual I did not enjoy was in almost every meeting I attending most of the parties present smoked. I heard a figure once that 85% of Chinese men smoked. I can attest that this is probably a good estimate. Once inside the office or meeting room, the smoke became quite thick and uncomfortable for me; however, I was their guest and felt I could put up with the discomfort in the course of conducting my business affairs.

I have fond memories of my factory visits and discussions. I think the fact that I came to China, and met with the factory personnel aided my business immensely versus doing business in name only.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 2, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 11 (a guest post) or return to Part 9

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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 guest post first appeared on March 5, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 5/16

February 25, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Baizhu Chen, writing for Forbes, says,In 2009, iPhones contributed about $2 billion, equivalent to 0.8% of the Sino-U.S. bilateral trade deficit. One iPhone 3GS was sold for about $600. These phones were exclusively manufactured by Foxconn, a factory in a Southern Chinese city called Shenzhen. To produce them, Foxconn had to import $10.75 worth of parts from American companies. The rest of its $172.46 components came from Korea, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere. Out of a $600 iPhone, how much does China get? A puny $6.50, or 1% of the value.”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

When I first traveled to China, I was warned about the food from many well-meaning people—some who had traveled to China and some who had not. I was told that I would starve if I did not take food in my suitcase, so I did. I took trail mix and hard candy nearly overloading my suitcase. It was just one of the stereotypes of China that I had heard and believed before I experienced true Chinese food for myself. For that first trip, I ended up throwing away most of the food that I had brought because I did not want to lug it back to the U.S.

I will admit that the food is different from what I normally eat—to be honest, it is definitely healthier. I found there to be a lot of vegetables, fish, and chicken—I never ate Dog or Cat at least to my knowledge. I ate at restaurants and I ate in factories. I ate what was put in front of me, and I stayed in places where my associates stayed. I had customers who went to China on their own for other products. They would not stay in anything but “Western Style” hotels and would not eat anything but “Western Style” food, and there are places in the larger cities, which have both. Some of them would even go as far as to not eat during the day with their hosts—rather waiting until they returned to their hotels for their “Western Style” food. I always felt that was rather rude to say the least and a bit disrespectful.

As for the food itself, I found it to be, for the most part, rather tasty. I took my hosts advice and did not drink the tap water. I drank bottled water, their very excellent hot tea, and a lot of their extremely appealing Chinese beer. The food was normally brought out as it was prepared and put on a Lazy Susan. Everyone turned it until the food they wanted was in front of them and then put it on their plates or ate it over, or on, a bowl of steamed white rice. We ate a lot in restaurants in private rooms, which I truly enjoyed. There was no outside noise, and the atmosphere was more personal. When I ate in factories, it was what the employees ate and in their dining area—each experience was unique and enjoyable. I learned to use Chopsticks at least enough to get food from the plate to my mouth. Although people keep bringing me utensils, I stuck with the Chopsticks while in the country. I “never” got sick from anything that I ate or drank in China, which is more than I can say for my normal diet.

The food is just one of the misconceptions of China and its people. I believed what I was told until I experienced it myself—not unlike other things in my life that I have been told by others only to be dispelled once I experienced it personally.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued February 26, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 6 (a guest post) or return to Part 4

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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 guest post first appeared on February 19, 2010


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