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The WEST's war of words against CHINA. Starting with the Uyghurs.

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By now, most people have heard about the "Weeger" issues in China. There are supposedly concentration camps, torture camps, medical experiments, thousands imprisoned, etc. When someone changed thousands to "for all we know, there might even be millions" the new number changed to "millions" without Western media even batting an eyelash. 

So here's an opinion about it, which focuses on Xinjiang Province (also known as the “Uyghur Autonomous Region”)...

There’s a lot of background to this, but the basic problem is geopolitical: The US wants to sabotage the growth of China as a world power in favor of the Western model of capitalism and imperialism.

What imperialist Western elites see as China’s weakest links are its new Belt & Road Initiative (BRI: an infrastructure project to expand high-speed rail, telecommunications, and both dirty and renewable energy worldwide) and its relations with other Asian and Muslim countries (which are increasingly friendly). There has been a “New Cold War” against China since Obama’s/Hillary’s “Pivot to Asia” strategy (of which the TPP and the deployment of THAAD in Korea were a part), but especially renewed now since Trump’s propaganda and trade war. China is threatened by HUNDREDS of US military bases and nukes surrounding it (and Russia, Iran, etc.)!

The basis for the propaganda has always existed, of course: “Tiananmen Square was a heartless massacre proving the unpopularity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” “Hong Kong is being brutalized by Beijing,” “China is genociding Tibet,” and so on. I think most of these issues are lies — completely fabricated — or distortions of reality not presenting the whole story. The CCP, for example, is one of the most (perhaps THE most) popular political parties in the world, which hilariously perplexes international polling agencies and Harvard researchers time and time again.

[See “Understanding CCP Resilience” by Harvard University. The writing is biased, but the researchers are forced to admit the fact that the Chinese people — and particularly underprivileged minorities — are in love with the Party.]

This claim — “China is genociding Muslims” — is no different. The “1 million Uyghurs in concentration camps” and “forced to eat pork” are complete fabrications. They were alleged by one US official, and then some Western diplomats went along with it. Most of the recent “reports” and “statistics” (which extrapolated numbers to ALL of Xinjiang from a localized study!) originate from US-funded think-tanks, usually involving a man named Adrian Zenz. Zenz is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who believes that he has been “led by God” against the unspeakable evil of China. In Western media, when they write “reports show” such and such, find their source; it’s typically Adrian Zenz.

[See: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/21/china-detaining-millions-uyghurs-problems-claims-us-ngo-researcher/ ]

It has not merited an official statement by the UN. In fact, nearly every Muslim-majority country has praised China’s response to the rise of Islamic extremism and terrorism in Xinjiang Province.

Speaking of which, how did this extremism arise in the first place? One answer is poverty and lack of adequate education. The other is the promotion and funding of Jihadist terrorist groups by the US and the West since the 1980s, first against the Soviet Union, and then again recently in Afghanistan, Pakistan, former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and China — all of which have sizable Muslim populations. This includes some fundamentalist propaganda and especially weapons from U.S. allies in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (but which are now beginning to move closer to China).

Everybody knows the history, how Obama expanded the wars into Syria and Libya by arming Jihadists, how Hillary admitted we aided Al-Qaeda, and how, going back even further, the New York Times praised Osama bin Laden himself on the cover as our “freedom fighter.” We also don’t need to review the aftermath. We all know how devastating it was, how many millions lost their lives due to the civil wars and US bombs. We also know how many lies we were told, about “weapons of mass destruction” and “chemical warfare.”

China responded to Islamic extremism in Xinjiang Province — which shares borders with Pakistan, India, etc. — through poverty alleviation, education centers, and arrest/punishment for crimes (such as stabbing) or possessing incriminating materials (propaganda, knives, etc.). Most Muslim countries believed this response to be unprecedentedly good. Pakistan went so far as to say that this should be the “model for antiterrorism.”

[See also: https://medium.com/@leohezhao/xinjiang-facts-vs-fiction-bdc2aa403c91 ]

Another thing to research (with a skeptical eye of course) is the 2009 Urumqi Riots in China. These incidents, in which many ethnically Han Chinese people were arrested for retaliating against Muslim violence in Xinjiang, were ugly and brutal, and scarred the CCP and all the peoples of China, especially Muslims. Many Uyghurs also fled China to fight alongside ISIS and Al-Nusra “rebels” (Al-Qaeda) in Syria. This is well-documented! And these are typically the Uyghurs quoted in explosive “news reports” crying “My husband was murdered!!!”

Some more facts: China has built thousands of mosques, both within China and throughout the Middle East and Africa. How can this be explained? The Uyghur population has nearly DOUBLED since 1990, as minority ethnic groups (like them) are guaranteed certain privileges and exemptions by the Chinese Constitution in order to (as the party states) “combat Han chauvinism.” How is this possible if they are being “genocided”? Road signs and schools use Arabic and Uyghur scripts along with Chinese. Many Chinese and Uyghurs intermarry! Do those sound like “genocide”?

In short, there’s a real propaganda campaign ramping up. It’s very possible (and very stupid) that a war with China is brewing. The illegal actions against Huawei (the world leader in 5G technology) are yet another example. Unfortunately, our entire social media experience from the top-down is manipulated by elites, the ones who own it and all the other media we consume.

It is extremely tempting to fall into peer pressure these days and deny real research about this issue because it makes one look like a "genocide denier." Revealing what the research shows makes one seem "evil" for not following what others think. And that is exactly how propaganda works in the modern age, all while the details and research required to become informed are increasingly in the hands of mega-monopolies like Google and CNN.

Sometimes, one can learn from the mistakes of these same media companies, too. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube can quickly ban someone who get complaints against them for showing evidence that goes against Western propaganda. SkyNews just ran a story about claimed Uyghur torture, and they used footage of prisoners in blindfolds. Embarrassingly, it turned out to be SkyNews' own footage from a few years earlier of a prisoner transfer of Han Chinese, not Uyghurs. It had nothing to do with torture, or Muslims. (Blindfolding prisoners during transfers is common practice in many countries.) The original report knew this, but the footage was re-used to fit Western propaganda. There have been many such examples. Another time it was footage of the U.S. capturing Muslims that had nothing to do with China or Uyghurs. Another time it was footage from Thailand or Indonesia repurposed to supposedly show Muslim Uyghurs in China. People have pointed out mistakes in claiming certain persons were Uyghurs just because they looked like they were wearing Muslim garb, which turned out to be a style from Muslims unique to other countries.

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7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Unfortunately, our entire social media experience from the top-down is manipulated by elites, the ones who own it and all the other media we consume.

This statement is 100% spot-on truth. 

I think is started when the Supreme Court decided $ = Speech and that a corporation is a person and hence illegal to curb the corporate "free speech" 20 some years ago.

 

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On 7/26/2020 at 6:19 PM, JW Insider said:

“Tiananmen Square was a heartless massacre proving the unpopularity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” “Hong Kong is being brutalized by Beijing,” “China is genociding Tibet,” and so on. I think most of these issues are lies — completely fabricated — or distortions of reality not presenting the whole story. The CCP, for example, is one of the most (perhaps THE most) popular political parties in the world, which hilarious

Your personal opinion is not important!  It is the FACTs on the ground that remains important.   Atrocities are being hidden unsuccessfully by the Central communist party because real journalists, who know their job, are smuggling out evidence and secretly talking to people who know what is going on.

You have eaten up all the propaganda spun by some pro-communist newspapers in USA (most are now sympathetic to cultural marxism because the UNITED Nations has decided that China is the way forward for the One World Government and its agenda 2030 plans.).  China pays most newspapers in USA to publish good things about them.  This has been going on for years! They have infiltrated universities, media and even have spies working in US who threaten expatriates' lives if they talk negatively about China. Many of the PHD students who are at strategic departments at universities are military personnel...ready to steal new developments.  

America has woken up much too late! Russia and China have turned brutal in their internal affairs. They treated foreign students well before but have become openly hostile to foreigners! The propaganda on TV is hostile to foreigners and US.  I know people who have left china. 

As allies, Russia and China are the true king of the NORTH - ready to contend and undermine America's position (the king of the south). Their allies are all the renegade countries of the world such as Iran, Turkey and many ex-soviet countries who still have totalitarian governments or are close to it with strong ties to Russia. The US Petro-dollar currency will be replaced by a new world currency … once the reset is complete. The dollar will soon no longer be the exchange currency.

The capitalist facelift that both Russia and China experienced for nearly 20 years is something from the past!  Both are going back to the old hardened form of communism.  Stalin has once again become popular in Russia and his millions of murders of his own citizens has been whitewashed  (40 million down to 20 million) and so has Mao se Tung been sanctified with his murders down to 40 million of his own citizens.  Communism - because it is atheist - has no respect for life.  Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea are all examples of severe oppression of its citizens and the killing of unwanted citizens. The Russian orthodox is a hollow religions.  Burning of candles and an excellent vehicle for propagandizing Putin's plans and nationalism  

1 million Muslims are in forced labor camps. Their children are taken away and 're-trained'  to be good communist citizens with NO religion.  The Muslims make Nike, H & M and other famous brands in the forced labor factories.  More than 10,000 people per year are killed for their body parts.  Doctors who have defected have told about these abuses. For medical tourists they have body parts immediately available - no waiting time. There are at least 7 hospitals that do organ transplants every day of the week and their programs are full!

Just to mention one of your assertions about Tibet: China has, and is using the source of all the fresh water which originate in Tibet. They want to make dams for the creation of electricity too !  (The rivers of India and china originate in these mountains). .....and yes - they are doing as all communist countries do (Russia does the same) - they move populations out, and replace them with Chinese or Russian citizens who are loyal to the regime.  This is ongoing.

China is famous for its predatory loans to get control of fast territories and also ports, airports etc.....Not just in all the silk road countries but in Africa and south America. Iran (their other ally - has criminal gangs in Argentina which is making life unbearable for an already suffering people. Resources such as rare earth minerals, wood, fishing waters are being stolen or taken by china. Russia is now in a proxy war in Libya to try to get access of the port to the Mediterranean sea... it already has a port in Syria.  I think you underestimate both Russia and China as the leaders of the communist world!  Putin has now become president for life and immediately on this announcement clamped down on journalists. He is open about his greed for power - as is China, Iran and many of their allies.  Read Daniel 11: 36-40.  It is not just an economic pushing - it may still turn ugly!

Do not push ideas that are against JW teachings and do not push pro-Marxist propaganda on us when we all know that Russia is the King of the North! We do not take sides in the political battles BUT to try to paint China as an innocent who has been maligned - is absolutely incorrect.  Neither is Russia innocent of all the atrocities - especially against Jehovah's people.  China are also using body parts of 'conscientious objectors' for their transplants! and organs are removed while the patients are conscious!

NO organized religion is allowed in china. China agreed with the pope that they would appoint bishops to the catholic church - and once they knew all the catholic inside business they started clamping down on them...….. not to be trusted.  Personally,   I do not care about China's horrific politics because we cannot do anything about it - only Jehovah can do this in future.  What I do now - they are allies with Russia and absolutely wicked in how they are killing their own people.  This is a good point when doing field service when atheists push their ideas.  To show the history of atheist countries. How they killed millions of people in the early 20th century gives them quite a wake-up call because many do not know this history!

This atheist  ideology  is overtaking the world because it has been taught in schools. (Part of UN UNESCO curricula). Satan will use it as a vehicle for severe oppression in future so that Jehovah will have to step in - otherwise no flesh will be saved.  Many are going to die of hunger and oppression in the great tribulation due to a central world government pushed by UN.  USA seems to be heading for a similar type of government with the youth now asking for social justice and a revolution. 

Whether a powerful central government comes in by vote or by dictator - the result is the same.  There is no equality.  The top echelons rule and the bottom are all equal.  Only those that worship the state can  rise to the top and those without a conscience.... this is awaiting the world. 

I believe it when the bible says that it will be the worst tribulation the world have ever seen and I know that a new form of Marxism and central government (united nations together with those who have handed over its power to them) will be calling the shots.  They will turn against all religion and persecute us. Why? because they hate all religion and it is satan's plan to get every person on earth compromised so they cannot get Jehovah's approval. all will be forced to worship the state /beast.

 

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

We do not take sides in the political battles BUT to try to paint China as an innocent who has been maligned - is absolutely incorrect. 

It may be one of those “what goes around comes around situations.” 

Isn’t Bolshevikism in Russia a Western import, injected to better ensure an outcome of WW1, without any regard for the peoples there?

Didn’t the Opium Wars serve to illustrate the West’s only interest in China—as an enriching market, and if you had to transform the population into addicts, so be it? Not to mention how peeved they were after the war that Japan, the country that had behaved so savagely towards them, was nonetheless restored by the US—whereas their interests counted for squat?

Everything may be just as you say, and to be sure, I suspect that JWI is a closet-pinko :) still, it seems to me a case of how the sins of the fathers come home to roost.

@Annashould weigh in on this, for I recall her saying how she has lived under communist rule and is not a fan.

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2 hours ago, Arauna said:

Your personal opinion is not important!  It is the FACTs on the ground that remains important.

Absolutely true.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

You have eaten up all the propaganda spun by some pro-communist newspapers in USA

Absolutely false.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

China pays most newspapers in USA to publish good things about them.

This isn't about US newspapers. It's about facts on the ground. It's also about researching facts, opinions, perspectives, ideologies, propaganda, etc. This can come from hundreds, if not thousands of journalists (and other sources) from many different countries who have been able to get information out of China. One needs to compare the perspectives of those who love China, hate China, and those who are neutral, or at least somewhere in between. One needs to consider the opinions and evidence of those who live in the many various parts of China, both Chinese (many ethnic varieties) and non-Chinese. One needs to consider the opinions and evidence of those who study China from both the inside and the outside. Ones who have left China, ones who have gone back, ones who will never go back, etc.

You can't just get your information from newspapers. Learning about China is a huge project that requires even the most unlikely sources. You have to especially consider what people will admit being surprised about because it goes against their general ideology, and they look for ways to explain it, or (more rarely) adjust their ideology. You should also look at documents about planned propaganda from various sides that was not meant to be leaked to the public. (Also watch out for supposedly secret documents that were planned to be leaked to the public.)

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

As allies, Russia and China are the true king of the NORTH - ready to contend and undermine America's position (the king of the south).

This is not about Russia. I have often found that people who need to hang on to a specific political and/or religious ideology will tend to believe almost anything they hear that fits their world view, and will tend to dismiss any evidence that threatens their religious or political ideology. They often give themselves away by making it a religious issue.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

Do not push ideas that are against JW teachings and do not push pro-Marxist propaganda on us when we all know that Russia is the King of the North!

Did I mention that they often give themselves away by making it a religious issue? It's very easy to fall for propaganda from anywhere, and all nations are guilty of producing propaganda. This should be about facts and evidence.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

Stalin has once again become popular in Russia and his millions of murders of his own citizens has been whitewashed  (40 million down to 20 million) and so has Mao se Tung been sanctified with his murders down to 40 million of his own citizens.

It's very easy to make outrageous claims when no one requires evidence.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

More than 10,000 people per year are killed for their body parts.  Doctors who have defected have told about these abuses.

Evidence?

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

China is famous for its predatory loans to get control of fast territories and also ports, airports etc.....Not just in all the silk road countries but in Africa and south America.

It's almost the opposite. China is actually famous for NOT engaging in these common practices of the U.S. and other Western countries. China has also been quick to completely relieve countries of their debts.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

China are also using body parts of 'conscientious objectors' for their transplants! and organs are removed while the patients are conscious!

Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

2 hours ago, Arauna said:

Whether a powerful central government comes in by vote or by dictator - the result is the same.  There is no equality.  The top echelons rule and the bottom are all equal.

You shouldn't get the impression that revealing facts and evidence that tends to defend an entity or government somehow makes that entity or government automatically good or right in the eyes of the person providing the evidence. Just because a certain government might turn out to be better than they have been previously presented, doesn't mean that this certain government is everything it claims to be.

Even if a certain type of government typically tends to do more for the poorer classes, and tends to equalize the difference between upper echelons and the poor, it doesn't mean that this problem is actually solved. But dismissing evidence just because one thinks that accepting it would endanger their Christian and/or Western world view is not even necessary.

There is another way in which Biblical/Christian values are highlighted even among atheistic nations that try to do more for the poorer classes. For example, a country with whatever good or bad motivations, might find ways to reduce overall poverty without the expected damaging effects on its overall economy. One immediately sees elites of the world going into "damage control" by producing the worst or the most devious types of propaganda. Economic sabotage and interference will immediately be put in place against countries that nationalize resources where previously a Western-propped puppet dictator could be counted on to help the West steal (or control) those resources. This propaganda often plays on prejudices against poorer classes by race or ethnicity and darker skin colors. This has been played out in Hong Kong, Bolivia, El Salvador, Venezuela, and dozens of other places.

The world works on greed, favoritism, prejudice, class warfare, oppression of strong over weak, rich over poor. This is nothing new:

(James 2:6) . . .But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you and drag you before law courts?

Some of the "richest" countries in the world in terms of resources have been purposely turned into the poorest in the world:

(Proverbs 13:23) . . .The plowed field of the poor yields much food, But it may be swept away by injustice.

At any rate, although this was not in a religious portion of the forum, I'm glad you responded, because it is good to begin to distinguish how certain ideas may come from prejudice and religious or ideological propaganda, and certain ideas may come from evidence and facts on the ground.

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20 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

it seems to me a case of how the sins of the fathers come home to roost.

I agree with what you said - all those things did happen.  But when searching, not only for single events, but looking at the entire picture of the 19th century and 20th century mind-frames - through the lens of bible prophecy - (if one looks for steps which could lead to the final outcome of Satanist philosophies ruling the world in the time of the end which would actually advocate the destruction of all religion and totally replace the god of the bible,  and its moral values with worship of state - Daniel 11), then one notices how religiosity was slowly replaced by atheism and its philosophical sisters. 

The development of post-religious humanism (equality, rights) which then further developed into philosophies developed for, and by atheists, which specifically pretended to care for human equality but first advocated the total destruction of previous systems of governance - to be replaced by a centralized government control system which would ensure equality for all. (French revolution killed most of the upper classes and the second wave of killing was actually worst than the first).  Later new philosophies advocated the destruction of all moral values previously valued by Christian societies - something which Satan will use in the time of the end due to its extreme hate for true Christians  (Gen 3:16 - hate between seeds). The new world government will force one to worship the state/ beast as Daniel 11 clearly indicates.

It started before the French revolution when atheist/humanist philosophers started talking about equality, freedom and brotherhood.  This would give and atheist society its values to live by.  It sounds wonderful..... it could replace the government that Jehovah is planning to bring to the earth...(Satan is sly, isn't he?) ….. BUT, unfortunately this so-called equality will be forced on everyone whether they like it or not and a central government will regulate how it is managed. Every person will fall under this control (that is why I have been watching digital programs and facial recognition which could be used by all banks and control systems). 

Certain groups of people will be targeted because they do not adopt the centralized values. We have seen the results of these philosophies which replace the "good and bad" values of Jehovah. Communism (and atheist philosophy) has killed millions in the early 20th century.

Its hate for religion is gaining traction all over the world - and professors and students have all been drinking in the post-modern philosophy and cultural Marxism - which is the old Marxism with a new facelift - to get equality for all those who were previously oppressed by colonizers.

Both west and east have been primed to adopt this atheist views by the schooling system and control by government will bring in a new brand of equality. These riots to replace police, to abolish prisons, to take away the constitution and property rights is not a fad that is going to go away.  These millennials have been learning these things in school and real history has not been taught.  UN agenda is to have one government giving the direction of morality - and like all central governments they will get rid of any groups of people (just like in china) who are a threat or who can INFECT other people with thoughts of individual freedom.

It is a different way of looking at the philosophies which are at present prevalent and leading to Armageddon.  This propaganda is everywhere and the youth are the most susceptible.  We know that Jehovah will have to step in to save us - we know that this philosophy will bring disaster as it did early in the 20th century - unfortunately it is now unfolding on a world-wide scale.  Religion will be destroyed and then they will attack Jehovah's people.  Like in time of Jesus - he was attacked at the right moment (14 Nissan)  so he could die at the right time - on Passover.  Jehovah will preserve his people until the right moment for attack by those who spearhead the atheist agenda for the world.  Most people by this time will have compromised themselves to this worldview of equality of all humans -  in place of the Government of Jehovah.

When they shout " peace and security" we will know that it is going to blow up in their face.  Humans cannot obtain peace and security.... no matter how wonderful the philosophy sounds.  Only the principles of Jehovah and his government can achieve this.

I may sound political when I talk of the commies and their ways of thinking - but actually it is the god-hating philosophies which interest me..... and how it is messing up the minds of the youth and I watch how this propaganda is leading up to Armageddon.

Hope this makes sense to you guys.  Do not be mislead...… china is starting to show its true colors and is all other totalitarian regimes (Iran included and Russia) and it just so happens that they all are allies.  China is Iran's biggest ally and trading partner.  Russia sells them weapons because the Assad government (Syria) and Iran have Shia-religion (islam)  in common.   All these totalitarian countries have atrocious human rights but they do business together in this basis:  I will not talk about your human rights abuses and you do not talk about mine.... we help each other in the UN and we  do not mix in each other's internal affairs... that is the basis of their relationships which seem on the surface to be working ……. until Armageddon?

It is about Satan wanting to compromise as many people as possible to reject Jehovah and worship the state/beast:

The new Marxist philosophies are the perfect vehicle together with totalitarian governments who work together.  I do not take side is this.  I watch for trends to see what gullible people will fall for in time of end.  We are protected by Jehovah because we know that only Jehovah's government can really work to bring true equality - all of us will be equal under god. We will not fall for their philosophies of equality they spin on us ………. we already have a good a good measure of unity and equality - we do not need their philosophies.  Jehovah will unite us even better in the new system.  Self-sacrificing love will unite us all - and it is a love that we all will give WILLINGLY.  It will not be forced on us by some powerful central government. We obey Jehovah because we know his way is best.

 

Russia and china are showing their true colors.  I know for a fact China is busy with atheist, inhuman, and devilish things.  It is not the people - it is their central committee - the CCP who owns most of the factories and the economy.

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

I know for a fact China is busy with atheist, inhuman, and devilish things.

I should have probably put this in the religious part of the forum. But I don't think any moderator/admin needs to move it. It's also appropriate that religion has come up, because religion has actually been one of the motivations behind much of the propaganda: Buddhist, Muslim, Falun Gong, Fundamentalist, Christian/JW, etc.

It turns out that we are often so steeped in Western propaganda that the very idea seems ludicrous or confusing or dishonest that someone could say that China might not be as bad as it's claimed to be. Without researching the evidence, we might not be aware of just how gullible we've been. From an ethical or religious perspective we might not realize just how judgmental, unsympathetic and unloving we have been. Or how we may not even realize that we have begun to take sides in a political ideology without realizing it. Many people think they are politically neutral, but will quickly put the "inhuman/devilish" label on countries that the West tells them to, but without thinking about the West's motivation for creating those prejudices. There are many more than two, but even if there were only two major sides of today's political spectrums, and all sides were "devilish" to a similar degree, then what is our own motivation for focusing much more on the sins of one of those sides, and less focus on the others? That's not neutrality at all.

Also, if we don't know something for a fact, we might end up just repeating the lies that we accept from sources with their own agenda. This can be innocent, but repeating lies can be damaging and unloving to others. And some of what we repeat will no doubt be true and factual, but we should check our motivation for why we would repeat certain one-sided "facts" and not others. As far as it is possible for us, we should love our enemies and be peaceable with all. We should therefore be careful when we repeat claims as facts that could be only partly true, or even outrageously false. 

1 hour ago, Arauna said:

We have seen the results of these philosophies which replace the "good and bad" values of Jehovah. Communism (and atheist philosophy) has killed millions in the early 20th century.

This might be a good example of taking sides, and not showing neutrality. Is it really just communism (and atheist philosophy) that has killed millions as part of a devious process by Satan to replace hope in God's kingdom? Were those nations of Christendom who also killed millions somehow not part of a devious process by Satan to replace hope in God's kingdom? And does this lack of neutrality affect how easily we will accept and repeat just about any number of atrocities that the West has told us to believe about China (and Russia, too)?

Of course, we could argue that if those numbers are true, then it makes a fair point about human government versus God's kingdom as the replacement for those governments. But what if it turns out that the Western governments who promote those numbers, actually had the same, or even much worse numbers than the actual numbers of atrocities attached to Mao and Stalin? Then would it still be fair to single out China and Russia?

Naturally, this will look like a defense of China. I don't care if it looks that way. I just want to have a better sense of the evidence to make sure than when I repeat someone's claims, that I am not just repeating lies and propaganda.

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22 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Didn’t the Opium Wars serve to illustrate the West’s only interest in China—as an enriching market, and if you had to transform the population into addicts, so be it?

Above, I made a point about trying to make careful use of documents not meant to be leaked to the public. Here it is....

21 hours ago, JW Insider said:

You should also look at documents about planned propaganda from various sides that was not meant to be leaked to the public.

The Opium Wars were one way in the West said "Buy our drugs or we'll kill you!" The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has evolved into a journal that takes on a lot more social issues than just health and medicine, so one needs to be watchful of bias. But it explained very well an embarrassing large cache of internal corporate "Big Tobacco" documents made public through litigation.

Turns out that the US and Britain were still intent on using both legal and illegal means to get China to "buy our drugs" from 1915 on with a special new emphasis on 1976 to 1997. (There are much worse examples than what the tobacco companies were doing in China, where the US effectively backed "American interests" by forcing our drugs and drug advertisements on nations that didn't want them.)

https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/9/3/292

Excerpts:

The first words uttered by James B Duke (1865-1925), the tobacco tycoon who established the empire now known as British American Tobacco, on hearing of the invention of the cigarette machine, were “Bring me the atlas”. When they brought it he turned over the pages. He stopped at the figure “Pop.: 430,000,000”. “That,” he said, “is where we are going to sell cigarettes.” And “that” was China.1 By 1915 BAT had established a foundation for a “monopoly that seemed unshakeable”.2 At the turn of the century the BAT advertising system “left no region of China untouched”.2

China's annual consumption of cigarettes rose from a negligible number in the 1890s to about 100 billion in the early 1930s, a rise ascribed to the business practices of the cigarette industry.3

...

However, the idea of even a small share in such a huge market has long mesmerised the world's transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) Philip Morris (PM), RJ Reynolds (RJR), Lorillard and British American Tobacco (BAT), and its American subsidiary Brown & Williamson (B&W).

...

There are discussions, shown from these internal documents, of how these TTC's would use pressure to get around taxation, get around limits based on ongoing smuggling, get around advertising restrictions and still be able to target the young, and target women, and target new smokers, while claiming they were only trying to move their brands into a competitive market of existing smokers.

In 1991 Clive Turner, . . . recommended a review of taxation levels across the Asian region to show: “which countries were vulnerable to pressure to raise those levels—and therefore what tactics should be employed to maintain existing levels.”25

The existence of smuggling of TTC brands through Hong Kong also helped TTC negotiate fewer restrictions with China, and helped push those brands even if not officially condoned.

In 1998, Jerry Liu of BAT [British American Tobacco] was sentenced to jail for conspiring to accept HK$23 million in bribes and a corrupt HK$10 million loan from cigarette distributors in exchange for huge quantities of duty-free cigarettes to be smuggled onto the Chinese market. Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen commented that such crime targeted youngsters by providing them with cheap black market cigarettes.33

...

Claims that advertising only targeted existing smokers were weakened by a PM statement alluding to targeting young adult “starters”.58 In PM inter-office correspondence, Cathy Leiber mentioned targeting young women with Virginia Slims in 1989 at a Pan Asia brand strategy meeting for Hong Kong and Asia. She argued: “we are naturally more interested to learn how you plan to target the emerging young adult female smokers rather than the older female smokers.”59 In a five year marketing plan for 1981-85 involving China, Tso mentioned targeting segments “which are currently small but which may have long term development potential such as a female brand like Virginia Slims.”60 Plainly, the TTCs were well aware of the huge potential to be gained by enticing the largely non-smoking segment of Chinese women into becoming smokers. Their principal tool in this endeavour was advertising: “Demographically, the population explosion in many underdeveloped countries ensures a large potential market for cigarettes. Culturally, demand may increase with the continuing emancipation of women and the linkage in the minds of many consumers of smoking manufactured cigarettes with modernisation, sophistication, wealth, and success—a connection encouraged by much of the advertising of cigarettes throughout the world.”58    The targeting of young males and young adult starters was mentioned more frequently.

Opium Wars have had a modern-day counterpart.

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Then would it still be fair to single out China and Russia?

In the end, the only thing that matters is that certain countries will not permit the spread of the good news, and other countries will, barring only exceptional circumstances, and even then with less vigor. This makes them, by default, “the bad guys”—certainly to us, and if the Good News really is good, to God.

Other than that, would I have anything in particular against communism? I’m not sure that I would. I am content where I am. But by most accounts, persons in China are content where they are too. 

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

we may not even realize that we have begun to take sides in a political ideology without realizing it. Many people think they are politically neutral, but will quickly put the "inhuman/devilish"

This is exactly the point I made long ago regarding Trump that brought JTR to his feet cheering. Brothers will carry on and on about neutrality, admonishing each other should they detect wavering, and then will swallow anything rotten about the US President that his enemies serve up. Even Bro Jackson, when he says we must guard against that furtive thought, “I hope that idiot doesn’t get into power” will cause some to ask, because of the time and place in which he said it, “I wonder what idiot he has in mind?”

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2020/03/ecclesiastes-1020-do-not-speak-ill-of-the-king-jws-and-politics-in-the-age-of-trump.html

I think it is a function of where we have been in life, and what outrages infuriate us most. There are plenty enough to go around and stoke all schools of thought.

Nobody mows them down like the atheists do when they are setting the stage for their next secular utopia, or changing the props, determined to advance with some Great Leap Forward. I like it that @Arauna departed from Asia briefly to highlight what happened with the atheist-rationalists gained the upper hand in France, a nominal “Christian” country. I read a book (on Ben Franklin) that points out that David Hume, the English sceptic, was at a lost as to how to deal with the certainty adopted by the French atheists.

In contrast, when the West mows them down, it tends to focus on just subjugating them, rather than eradicating them. The West is more likely to be “killing them softly”—perhaps by shoveling them into the maw of some financial market, just like JWI outlines above with drugs. In gathering material for ‘Dear Mr Putin- JWs Write’ I found that America bombs more countries than Russia—quite a few more—so that you almost wonder who it is that is putting his trust in “fortresses,” but since the king of the north does it more openly—parading weapons on May Day, and so forth—their military persona stands. Still, it is big business capitalism that inevitably puts lobbyists in Washington to persuade the power brokers that the world is a super dangerous place abounding with enemies, but—“fortunately for you—we here at Bob’s Bombs make just the products that you need.”

When I did a post ago battling atheists who were railing on about slavery as the greatest possible evil, and how the Bible must be no good because it was willing to work with it rather than flatly condemn it, one contributor joined in to say that in the Western world the way it is now, many would be benefited by being slaves—their conditions would improve by most measures, if only because most “owners” would realize the value of keeping their “property” in good repair. He ran then-current figures of minimum wage, and assumed entirely reasonable situations, to show that the lives of many working poor were in many ways far worse than slaves.

It is all what outrages trigger you most, and that is determined by one’s experiences if life. 

23 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

I do agree with this, however “evidence” takes many forms. She speaks of people that “she knows.” Is that lesser evidence than reports that have been culled by a think tank? Go find a think tank of the opposite persuasion—there are plenty of them in any field. The universal pattern in the US is to run the “evidence” of the other person into the ditch, though I will concede that her case is stronger if she makes it in print and with backing. Still, “evidence” is compounded or discarded by whoever’s interests prevail at the moment, often it is financial muscle that propels some evidence and suppresses other evidence. 

 

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

In the end, the only thing that matters is that certain countries will not permit the spread of the good news, and other countries will, barring only exceptional circumstances, and even then with less vigor. This makes them, by default, “the bad guys”

This is certainly a huge problem to us. But if a country doesn't cooperate with us, and won't allow what they see as an "American" religion in their country, we still can't say this gives us the right to make false claims. I know that when you said: "In the end, the only thing that matters . . ." you were not saying the end justifies the means.

[There was going to be a point here that I removed because I only had the first half here and the second half was more than half.]

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This is exactly the point I made long ago regarding Trump that brought JTR to his feet cheering.

 Yes! And I was able to make some good use locally, pointing to your "don't speak ill of the king" blog for the same reasons.

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

In contrast, when the West mows them down, it tends to focus on just subjugating them, rather than eradicating them.

I don't think the evidence makes that "contrast" as clear as you must think. But no one has even barely started on any actual evidence yet. Also, you are speaking from the perspective of how well the West has been able to control propaganda at home. Although I agree that the US has become very sophisticated at subjugating nations economically, you can't tell North Korea, Cambodia, Iraq, for example, that the bombings were not there to subjugate through eradication. It didn't always work (Vietnam), but look what was attempted:  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/unknown-to-most-americans-the-us-totally-destroyed-north-korea-once-before-1.3227633

Some excerpts:

Many of these atrocities refer to what Blaine Harden, author and former Washington Post reporter, recently called a “long, leisurely and merciless” US bombing campaign: well over half a million tons of bombs dropped, napalm and chemical weapons deployed, cities levelled.

...“Although the ferocity of the bombing was recognised as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world,” says Harden, for many Americans it was just another conflict in a distant and poorly understood country, he concludes. Not for nothing is it called the forgotten war.

...The result was perhaps three million dead and, the museum recalls, the first US armistice in history signed without a victory. In three years of fighting a single major city changed hands: Kaesong, which is now the last vestige of a once hopeful détente with the South.

Air Force general Curtis LeMay, head of the strategic air command during the Korean War, estimated that the American campaign killed 20 per cent of the population. “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea,” he said.

‘Radioactive cobalt’

General Douglas MacArthur’s plan to win was a list of targets sent to the Pentagon, requesting 34 atomic bombs to create “a belt of radioactive cobalt across the neck of Manchuria so that there could be no land invasion of Korea from the north for at least 60 years”.

...Incursions by American spy ships and planes, and huge annual drills by the Americans and South Koreans that still practise invading the North and decapitating its leadership, have worsened the deep official paranoia.

Every town in North Korea was burned down. It was actually a war against the civilians, which means that the US was directly engaged in terrorism. Some bombers admitted that every building over five stories high (residential or otherwise) was a target. If Russia threatened a border state (and they have) in the way the US continues continues to threaten North Korea from all sides, the West would be furious at them.

I'm sure you already know about the support the US gave for genocidal atrocities in Cambodia, under Nixon/Kissinger and Pol Pot. And more recently the biological warfare against food, electric and water supplies in Iraq, that resulted in the deaths of perhaps another million, mostly under Clinton. The US speaks openly of illegal coups and regime changes in other countries. And sometimes you only find out after secret documents are leaked or wait until enough years have passed to become public domain. Threatening war, regime change, or cutting off food supplies (sanctions) to a country that won't let us control their oil has been the biggest reason for US wars in the last half century.

 

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10 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

But my point is that true Christianity is most successful where false Christianity was once most successful at murdering people.

Well, you make a good point here.

10 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Every town in North Korea was burned down. It was actually a war against the civilians, which means that the US was directly engaged in terrorism. Some bombers admitted that every building over five stories high (residential or otherwise) was a target.

and here.

11 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

General Douglas MacArthur’s plan to win was a list of targets sent to the Pentagon, requesting 34 atomic bombs to create “a belt of radioactive cobalt across the neck of Manchuria so that there could be no land invasion of Korea from the north for at least 60 years”.

Truman wouldn’t let him, and was pilloried for standing up to the Great Man, firing him. I recall being amazed when I first learned of this. (I had heard it was 50–compromise and say ‘up to 50’)

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1 minute ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Well, you make a good point here.

Yikes! I didn't delete it in time. I removed that because to explain the full point would have taken another page or two. I'll assume you got what I was driving at without needing the full explanation. Hmm. Maybe there's a lesson there in how lengthy my writing should be.

Nah!

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

that certain countries will not permit the spread of the good news

yes and it just so happens that Russia, china, Iran and some ex-soviet countries are amongst them.  

 

3 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

almost always in direct correlation to the proportion of those same country's populations killed by "Christians" armies in that particular co

In Africa and middle east, Christian populations have almost disappeared..... there were large populations before. 

4 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

you are speaking from the perspective of how well the West has been able to control propaganda at home.

This means that they have been wide awake - but unfortunately they have been sleeping for the last 20 years.  And if you think you can trust any of the sources in America - think again. 

7 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

North Korea was burned down. It was actually a war against the civilians

We are not talking about war crimes and injustice on the battle field - you seem to confuse the two aspects.   Most countries commit war terrible war crimes.  I am talking about totalitarianism and how they have killed their own people - not foreigners.  And the possibility for this to come to the West.

 

12 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

nd more recently the biological warfare against food, electric and water supplies in Iraq, that resulted in the deaths of perhaps another million, mostly under Clinton. The US speaks openly of illegal coups and regime changes in other countries. And sometimes you only find out after secret documents are leaked or wait until enough years have passed to become public domain. Threatening war, regime change, or cutting off food supplies (sanctions) to a country

I know all about these American atrocities - governments usually justify these type of atrocities against other countries.....  and it is bad….- but can you imagine what will happen if USA does this to their own people?  The possibility is growing for a totalitarian system to arise.   The Chinese are already doing it, Russia and Iran is doing it, and several north African countries and ex-soviet countries are illtreating their people or justifying death of their own citizens. … .

That is what I am talking about...… this kind of system which could be awaiting the entire world.

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2 minutes ago, Arauna said:

In Africa and middle east, Christian populations have almost disappeared..... there were large populations before. 

True. That's why I made the point about the exceptions in countries with a more recent rise in Islam. (You might still have that part, but that particular point was deleted.)

4 minutes ago, Arauna said:

And if you think you can trust any of the sources in America - think again. 

True again. No specific sources should be trusted. We need to learn what we can and look where evidence leads.

6 minutes ago, Arauna said:

We are not talking about war crimes and injustice on the battle field - you seem to confuse the two aspects

They are not confused at all. It was just a response to TTH about the contrast in how the West "kills them softly" when they mow them down.

1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

In contrast, when the West mows them down, it tends to focus on just subjugating them, rather than eradicating them. The West is more likely to be “killing them softly”

I just wanted to point out that the West is having more trouble maintaining that narrative.

13 minutes ago, Arauna said:

Most countries commit war terrible war crimes.  I am talking about totalitarianism and how they have killed their own people - not foreigners.

I assume you are ready to give evidence about how many people were murdered by Mao? I believe you are working with numbers around 40,000,000?

On 7/28/2020 at 10:40 AM, Arauna said:

Stalin has once again become popular in Russia and his millions of murders of his own citizens has been whitewashed  (40 million down to 20 million) and so has Mao se Tung been sanctified with his murders down to 40 million of his own citizens.

Don't take this link as "evidence" for or against, but the writer reports there that this is within the commonly claimed range of numbers:

https://medium.com/refuse-to-cooperate/mao-zedong-and-the-myth-of-mass-murder-d9679609fa54

Official Chinese sources, released after Mao’s death, suggest that 16.5 million people died in the Great Leap Forward. These figures were released during an ideological campaign by the government of Deng Xiaoping against the legacy of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. However, there seems to be no way of independently, authenticating these figures due to the great mystery about how they were gathered and preserved for twenty years before being released to the general public. American researchers managed to increase this figure to around 30 million by combining the Chinese evidence with extrapolations of their own from China’s censuses in 1953 and 1964. Recently, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday in their book Mao: the Unknown Story reported 70 million killed by Mao, including 38 million in the Great Leap Forward.

Some study of the Deng government is very relevant here. It reminds me of how Kruschev made up numbers to discredit Stalin before him. It also reminds me of Twitter tweets like "The number one cause of death in the United States is D.J. Trump." I can imagine claims by the next president, if there is one 😉, that Trump killed 150,000 of his own people, and North Korea will teach their schoolchildren that Trump murdered 15,000,000.

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

have anything in particular against communism? I’m not sure that I wo

I do not have anything against communism (I know it is flawed like capitalism) ...... however, I realize its atheism and the philosophy behind it is treacherous. It is a perfect vehicle for Satan to use in time of the end because of the totalitarian nature of it.  Satan can influence the wicked atheist world leaders  to bring in a one world central government modelled on neo-communism (which they are planning at present) and the greatest tribulation /starvation the world has ever seen.  Most people are welcoming to this system these days and do not realize the implications of it.  And I am NOT taking sides - just warning of the signs I see developing..... regarding possible fulfillment of the scriptures we have.

I do not take sides in US politics - I am thankfully without a country.   BUT I watch philosophies and trends..... and this philosophy is humbugging everyone!

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

many would be benefited by being slaves—their conditions would improve b

The way things are going, property rights will be taken away (agenda 2030 and the green deal) … so all will be slaves - totally equal.   What most people do not realize is that super capitalism and communism look the same - a few people on top and the rest are plebs. This is why one cannot take sides..... both systems lead to severe oppression when it reaches this stage.....   This is why the super rich in the world - the top echelons are all working together to beget a NWO that will equalize everyone except those already on the top.

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

West is more likely to be “killing them softly”—p

Hunger will kill a lot of people.... without proper medical and other services.... 

 

2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Go find a think tank of the opposite persuasion—there are plenty of them in any field. The universal pattern in the US is to run the “evidence” of the other person into the ditch, t

True-  I studied islam - I know islam inside out - its sharia laws its aspirations.  I still follow the money trails and the front organizations which now are so powerful in USA and forming policies.  America has been subverted, not just by Chinese but by islam….. The situation is building up everywhere for Armageddon.... of this I am sure.   America has been subverted because think-tanks are bought and paid for by those who donate the money.  Follow the money trail and you will find the truth.

Same with this virus - they did false studies that show hydroxychloroquine to be dangerous ( these studies were withdrawn but withdrawals did not get publicly) - so no-one knows the truth. People have been using it every day for 68 years for illnesses such as arthritis and malaria prevention.   Doctors who spoke the truth about it are taken off FB and YouTube etc.  Why?  Pharmaceutical industrial complex behind the maligning and the false studies.  Can one really trust these studies and the fact checkers?  I do not.  I happen to have used hydroxychloroquine. It was prescribed for my arthritis. 

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On 7/28/2020 at 12:17 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

Annashould weigh in on this, for I recall her saying how she has lived under communist rule and is not a fan.

No, I am definitely not a fan. But, as with everything, there are pluses and minuses. Today, there are still those who mourn those days, missing the camaraderie, the "we have nothing but neither does our neighbor". Those who kissed the Bolshevik's butts fared better than those who didn't. Personally, I can't understand why anyone would like anything about that period, except there was maybe less stress, because no one actually worked, but those who wanted to work, or contribute something useful to society, usually had to emigrate, usually illegally, leaving behind family members. As a child, I could never understand why someone was not allowed to leave the country. I don't know much about China, so I cannot compare their communism to the communism I experienced, I am sure there are similarities but also differences. But any totalitarian regime, run by imperfect people, is wrong. 

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15 hours ago, JW Insider said:

we are often so steeped in Western propaganda

Americans are, for sure, but you forget I grew up in Africa and basically am a refugee myself.  Moving from country to country. I saw what the communalist way of thinking did in Africa.  I do not have the American mindset and thankfully did not go to an American school.  While I worked in USA, I saw the mindset of people I worked with and realized their vulnerabilities. 

One of them is that America is the greatest - with the result that they allowed capitalism to blindfold them.  To make a dollar they allowed subversive countries into US to buy large companies, take over and originate so-called "human rights organizations"  (the clay of Daniel) and did not see all the undermining philosophies coming in (through Frankfort school of thought) to break down family and true Christian morality.  The result of this new phenomenon in the streets of US today with the millennials all "emotion" and no thinking ability.

 

13 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

departed from Asia briefly

Yes - these philosophies started in the west and exported to the east as You clearly indicated.

 

15 hours ago, JW Insider said:

From an ethical or religious perspective we might not realize just how judgmental, unsympathetic and unloving we have been

Yes - the new sanctions are unloving because the CCP is hard on their population.  The Chinese people are sitting ducks.  Once one is under a communist system you cannot get out from under it.  You are powerless. The power and money lies in the hands of the few.  Most of the large corporations are owned by the state or the state has a large share of its profits. Some are even owned by the military - which do not swear allegiance to the Chinese people - but to the CCP. 

China has taken over the south china sea.  Vietnam cannot drill in its own waters.... china threatens... and so they have to pay compensation to the middle eastern company that was going to do the drilling.  Philippines took china to international court because of its abuses.  They have taken over all their fishing waters.  China ignored the verdict in Philippines' favor. 

The Pilipino president says he cannot enforce the verdict because he will have to go to war and he cannot afford war against china.  China is on the Indian border, there is talk that the pressure in Nepal is high - it may be the next Tibet.  Tibet was full of monestaries when china took over...….. the entire spiritual way of life of the people, that went on for centuries, came to an abrupt end. 

I am highlighting this to show that once one has a system like this one cannot get out from under it - it is destructive and all consuming...….. just as Satan wants it.  If you stand against the state and keep your religion - you are expendable….

So far, in the west a person had freedom of religion - but this will be taken away in a flash under a new world system where we are social engineered to be 'equal' in all things (including your religion) - which is now in the making.

I see signs that it is coming to the west.  Satan will use it to compromise the integrity of all - we will have to stand the test of our faith.  Who will be able to stand?   

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On 7/30/2020 at 4:06 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

“They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” Is the expression I have heard of the Soviet Union.

In communist YU under Tito (the "best" communism of all types that was mentioned here :)), there was saying: You can not pay me so little, how little work I can do

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6 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

You can not pay me so little, how little work I can do

My wife’s grandfather was born in Zagreb. My son went to Serbia to “find his roots.” He fell in love with the people, and eventually moved there. “You have to be careful in accepting their hospitality,” he says, “becasue they will give you what they don’t have.” He also confirms what you have said about Tito.

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On 7/30/2020 at 1:39 AM, Arauna said:

So far, in the west a person had freedom of religion - but this will be taken away in a flash under a new world system

I have said this before, but I find it extremely difficult to imagine that this could happen in the USA where freedom of religion is written into the constitution. And I find it difficult to see that the USA would change its precious constitution for the sake of some kind of new world system which demands no religion. I also cannot see that Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia would allow anyone to forbid them to worship at their mosques or the pilgrimage to Mecca etc. I cannot imagine the Pope being taken down. What I can see though is that in general, and especially in Europe, people not being too upset about religion, since so many of them are atheists. 

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On 7/28/2020 at 10:40 AM, Arauna said:

For medical tourists they have body parts immediately available -

Of course, everything comes from China these days

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On 7/28/2020 at 12:17 PM, TrueTomHarley said:

, I suspect that JWI is a closet-pinko

Actually, after communism fell in Eastern Europe, and Jehovah's Witnesses were free to preach and distribute literature, many householders would remark that the paradise illustrations reminded them of communist drawings. More recently, my mum gave the book "God's Kingdom Rules" to one of her studies (a lady in her 70's) and she did not like it at all. She said it was like reading a communist book. This is why in my earlier post I was careful to say that a totalitarian regime ran by imperfect beings is wrong. Most of us know that many of the communist ideologies are actually good, but of course imperfect man is not able to make them work, because man cannot rule over other men.

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

Actually, after communism fell in Eastern Europe, and Jehovah's Witnesses were free to preach and distribute literature, many householders would remark that the paradise illustrations reminded them of communist drawings. More recently, my mum gave the book "God's Kingdom Rules" to one of her studies (a lady in her 70's) and she did not like it at all. She said it was like reading a communist book. This is why in my earlier post I was careful to say that a totalitarian regime ran by imperfect beings is wrong. Most of us know that many of the communist ideologies are actually good, but of course imperfect man is not able to make them work, because man cannot rule over other men.

In ex-YU some of people who listened JW preaching used to say how Jesus was first communist.  

Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal')[1][2] is a philosophical, social, political, economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money[3][4] and the state.[5][6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

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I would love to see all these topics discussed, especially as there is a range of experience here, including people who have lived under several types of government themselves, people who have taken an deep interest in history, people who travel a lot, and who have worked or studied with people of many backgrounds.

But before those additional points of interest, what about some of the original questions on China? I have plenty more details and evidence about the Uyghurs, but so far this was mostly just one set of claims against another set of claims.

China has done plenty of bad, but when it comes to looking for evidence of any specific claim of badness, a typical Western response is, in effect:

What more evidence do we need? They are communist. Communist regimes are evil. Look at Mao and how he MURDERED 40,000,000 of his own people!

Since this is so often used as the foundation for why other claims must be true, I recommend that we pivot to Mao, and look at just what the evidence is that he murdered 40,000,000 (or 20,000,000) or 70,000,000 total (which is counted as 38,000,000 in the "Great Leap Forward" plus another 32,000,000.)

Does anyone here know where these numbers come from? And why it's called "murder"?

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23 hours ago, Anna said:

I find it extremely difficult to imagine that this could happen in the USA where freedom of religion is written into the constitution.

These protesters want to throw away the constitution and everything it used to stand for in the past.  All past history must be eradicated and a new start must be given through revolution and the building of a new socially equalizing society and government.  Do not underestimate the power of these atheist, post modernist, cultural Marxists...… the constitution can easily be abandoned. There is much talk of it already....They want police to be abandoned at local level so that they can force a centralized police oversight in federal government..  This is similar to communism.

Police was always locally appointed so the central government cannot control it.  Trump is setting a dangerous precedent...but he is being forced into it by the riots which governors  are refusing to address.  They want anarchy.... 

For example, gun rights are protected and freedom of speech are protected by constitution...and property rights...… but in reality, freedom of speech is already curtailed, next, all will have to give in their guns.... and property rights are already being eroded at local level by "sustainable development NGOs" which were brought in by the Council on Foreign  Relations after adoption of UN Agenda 21.  The constitution is easy to change or abandon.  The constitution is only regarded as untouchable mostly by conservatives.

America will not be what it was before...…its constitution will not protect the individual and his rights any longer - USA will be come collectivist. How quick this will happen in future depends on the outcome of the next election. Does not matter who wins the next election - the acrimony will be worse than before the election, with disputes about vote counting, because both sides are being set up by propaganda that their side will win and both sides believe the other side is ready to steal the election. 

USA will still stand when Armageddon comes but not like before.  An eighth king will take its place - the disgusting thing. 

21 hours ago, Anna said:

communist ideologies are actually good, but of course imperfect man is not able to make them work, because man cannot rule over other men.

Equality sounds wonderful - I agree it is a Christian principle. But when equality is 'forced' on all humans and administered by a central government consisting of people only loyal to a central party and these party officials are not as equal as all the rest - it always becomes oppressive and dangerous.  The nature of atheism and totalitarian central government lends itself to disrespect life. (injustice is in all human systems but some kinds of governments liquidate their own population easier than others. When humans are asked to spy on their neighbors because their loyalty to the party is suspicious...… 

Equality, as taught by Jehovah, comes from the heart - a true personal belief that we should not view ourselves as better than others and should treat others with justice because Jehovah is watching.  A true belief that we all must be self-controlling, self-sacrificing...…and just, kind, good, merciful etc. This is a true equality when all humans apply these principles from conviction.  When all willingly have a self-sacrificing personality which comes from WILLING obedience to a set of standards of justice (good and bad) which comes from Jehovah.  Human laws (human good and bad), enforced by humans over other humans, does not work because humans always protect their own interests and enforce laws unjustly.

Satan has tried to set up counterfeit utopias, both by means of religion and philosophy.  Communism promises an utopian government where all are equal.  Islam promises an utopian government which is religious - where the rulers are religious and all must be loyal to the religious leaders..... similar to Zionism.....

Zionism, the communist manifesto and islam have this in common ……  they believe in a human government that should rule the entire  world and bring in the future utopia..... but all under human rule - whether religious or secular.  In all these forms of government, the person has to divide loyalty to Jehovah and give a form of state worship. As in capitalism and democracy, where money or the self is worshipped, very little worship goes to Jehovah.

2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

about the Uyghurs

As you know I am NOT a fan of Islam... and I can understand why Russia had wars against the Chechnians and subdued them because they were a threat to the stability of the nation with terrorist attacks. Two girls in my congregation here in Georgia both have referred to the school that was taken over by the terrorists.... it was in the territory they lived in. Uighurs are not much different...… but my sense of right and wrong was outraged when I heard that they take children away from parents and re-train them in boarding schools where state propaganda is spoon-fed day and night.  I realized that they can do this to Witnesses.  

This is the nature of a totalitarian regimes whether religious or secular, atheist.  Most Chinese now have their phones checked when they come back from abroad - to see if any religious etc. searches were done on the phone.  They do not like the ideas of freedom or rights to contaminate their citizens. This is similar to extreme Muslim countries where they also check citizen's phones when they come back from abroad.  I met many of them here in Georgia because I worked a minimum of 2 hours most days just in tourism - street work. I met wonderful and sweet Chinese people.....but they are forced to comply at peril of their life or a system that can take all their social credit away in one swoop.  This new social credit system is terrible and may soon come to the west... as Google and other global tech companies cooperated with the Chinese Central party to institute this system.  Facial recognition will be the method of social credit system in future..... in the west as well - by 2025. 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Does anyone here know where these numbers come from? And why it's called "murder"?

I have no idea, but I am sure you do 😄so I look forward to your next post.

 

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20 minutes ago, Anna said:

so I look forward to your next post.

Thanks. I won't be able to weigh in on this until Monday or so. But this should give ample opportunity for anyone who's interested to get the evidence started. Didn't want this to be TOO easy. It's not a simple topic, after all.

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On 8/1/2020 at 7:47 AM, JW Insider said:

What more evidence do we need? They are communist. Communist regimes are evil. Look at Mao and how he MURDERED 40,000,000 of his own people!

On 8/1/2020 at 7:47 AM, JW Insider said:

Does anyone here know where these numbers come from? And why it's called "murder"?

So, I have been doing some reading, (Wikipedia so far) and evidently the above statement is far too sweeping to accurately describe quite a complex and multi faceted situation that brought about the death of many, the numbers  of which vary because they cannot be accurately verified. 
I am assuming the reference to "murder" of 40 million is referring to the "Great Leap Forward" and the "great famine" that resulted from it. If I were to sum it up briefly, I would say Mao Zedong was an idiot who shouldn't have tried to implemented something he didn't fully understand. And definitely not on such a large scale. 

I remember in communist Europe private farms being "colectivized" with the animals being taken away from the small holdings and put in huge  pig farms or cattle ranches. All that the farmers had left was chickens and some geese. They didn't make enough money to make repairs to the buildings, and as a consequence the villages became dilapidated, so much so that when my grand parents returned to their homeland after 40 years, and drove through these once pretty villages, they wept. My "bourgeois" grandfather, before he and my grandmother defected, was put in jail (just for a few days) because he owned his own company. Over the years the capital city, once a crowning jewel, became gray and depressing. 

In China, the farmers were forced into collective farming but as opposed to the later European model, where individual farmers didn't make a nickle, the Chinese farmers suffered terribly, millions of them starving to death in what was called "the great famine". 

One of Mao's absurd campaigns was the plan to eradicate sparrows. Wikipedia:

"The Four Pests Campaign (Chinese: 除四害; pinyin: Chú Sì Hài), was one of the first actions taken in the Great Leap Forward in China from 1958 to 1962. The four pests to be eliminated were rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows........which resulted in severe ecological imbalance, being one of the causes of the Great Chinese Famine. In 1960, Mao Zedong ended the campaign against sparrows and redirected the fourth focus to bed bugs" (!)

I don't know about anyone else, but reading this confirms in my mind that Mao was a raving lunatic.

Then there are supposed reports of torture and killing of non compliant farmers. But I will have to pick that one up in my next post. 

 

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12 hours ago, Anna said:

(Wikipedia so far

I do not trust Wikipedia or the fact checkers... follow the money trail and you know who they represent.... A lot of rewriting of history is going on.....   But say it was not 40 million of their own citizens that they killed.  Say it was only 10 million ……starved to death both in Russia and China. Does that make it OK?  Just asking the questions that need to be asked.....   I am not going to argue over the numbers though (although enough information is currently trickling out of china) because history has been rewritten over the past 2 decades.   I am talking about the philosophy and the ideologies of these governments that inevitably lead to death of citizens because the life of citizens become cheap in a totalitarian society.

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

Mao Zedong was an idiot who shouldn't have tried to implemented

The zeal is great - almost like a religion...…just more emotion with no logic attached to it.  This is what most people do not get - they think these crazy people are just passionate about equality...  For example: have a look at ANTIFA.  They want police disbanded, prisons closed and all the other social justices they believe in to be implemented by a revolution and destruction. Look at the leaders who started Black Lives Matter - you will discover it has little to do with black lives but a lot to do with ideology.  Their zeal for their new religion is great! They listen to no-one and not to common sense. This is the type of people who follow propaganda which leads to Armageddon... those who easily fall for propaganda because this replaces belief in a god.  It gives them a reason to live, the social justice part of it.  And who of us do not want social justice.  We all agree that there is injustice.  But these people do not think like logical people about justice...…. it is a rewriting of what is good and bad from a new secular - religious cum philosophy  standpoint.

12 hours ago, Anna said:

My "bourgeois" grandfather, before h

In current times it is no longer the bourgeois. Bourgeois has been replaced by 'oppressors / colonizers' and all the victim groups - the different groups that have been victims of the oppression. The oppressors must be removed and social justice be brought in.  UN Agenda 2030 is about collectivizing properties and equalizing all peoples - no matter what their culture - even if they HATE western culture (i.e Mu.sl.im.s - hence the Islama.pho.bia on naming the names of the killers).   Yes - just as crazy as the killing of the birds and the murdering of second babies were (during one child policy) in China, there is worse to come...... taking over of property.   We are heading down the rabbit hole with these new philosophies.

 

12 hours ago, Anna said:

reading this confirms in my mind that Mao was a raving lunatic

And yet people are apologetic for this kind of system...…… where these kind of raving lunatics run countries.   Russia now has a president for life, XI ping is also lifelong in office...…. Usually, where there is instability in a country,  dictators rise up and take over and we know what happened to Argentina after oil was nationalized.   

The orthodox church in Russia is so powerful - training young people to fight with weapons so they can protect their ' families' and nation...…. it reminds me of the national socialism of Germany.

Yes - the next few years will be interesting - how many there will be we do not know - but this scenario will play out so that Jehovah will have to step in to save us. That is for sure. 

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19 hours ago, Anna said:

So, I have been doing some reading, (Wikipedia so far) and evidently the above statement is far too sweeping to accurately describe quite a complex and multi faceted situation that brought about the death of many, the numbers  of which vary because they cannot be accurately verified. 

This statement sounds fair, and it sounds like the rest of the Wikipedia articles are a fair place to start. I have not yet read the Wikipedia articles on Mao, Chinese history, or the Great Leap Forward, but I'm sure you are summarizing it well. Like Arauna, I don't trust Wikipedia either, but usually because of its strong Western bias, not a pro-Communist or pro-Chinese bias. I've seen enough evidence of pro-Western bias in several political articles. And I think there is often a lazy tendency in Wikipedia to just look for a compromise between claimed extremes, rather than a strong stand based on preponderance of evidence.

Like TTH has said, there is always a crowd arguing for a claim, and another crowd arguing for its opposite. But these opposite ends of a spectrum are often purposely exaggerating their own side or the other side, to make it easier to fight a strawman or to create a kind of "negotiation" to make their own conclusions seem more correct or reasonable. There's also some value in looking at as many common references as possible, but focusing on how honestly each side might use those same references. Same goes for how each side treats the same piece of ambiguous evidence. I find a lot of value in what one side admits to be true from the other side. Or when a side admits the weaknesses of their own side, and strengths of the other. These are often good starting places to begin building a framework that best fits the evidence.

There is another reference, almost identical to a previous one I mentioned. (That one was just a copy from another source.) It's https://monthlyreview.org/commentary/did-mao-really-kill-millions-in-the-great-leap-forward/

But you should know that this one is from a pro-socialist source, with that potential bias. It doesn't really admit some of Mao's "idiotic" policies, and goes a bit too far in whitewashing or at least ignoring some of his biggest and most costly mistakes. But it's still valuable in widening the picture that the evidence could produce. But it should also raise some more specific questions about places to look for more evidence or clarification.

But, the link is excellent (but not as clear as it could have been) in pointing out real evidence of how the statistics have been tampered with, starting with Deng.

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Mao Zedung [1893-1976] was "Chairman" of the communist party from 1943 to 1976, and primary leader of China from 1949 to about 1976. The Great Leap Forward began in 1958.

For a later time, I think I have some suggestions to help anyone who wants to get a better handle on the numbers, but for now (and tor those who don't wish to read that last linked article), here is the basic gist of Joseph Ball's counter-argument. Some of this is my paraphrase along with a few direct quotes. I'll try to italicize long direct quotes, and indent them. But even my own comments surrounding the quotes might include some paraphrases of the article, not my own opinion, in many cases:

-------------------

Estimates of "Mao's deaths" have been greatly exaggerated.  This has been done, of course, to undermine his reputation. During his lifetime, he had an excellent reputation for improving the welfare of the Chinese people, slashing the level of poverty and hunger. Even reaching a point where he could do this while still providing free health care and education. This alone explains most of the hostility by the "Right" (by the "West," by "Imperialist" powers) because Mao's success gave inspiration to many rebellions against Imperialist powers around the world.

"Peasants had already started farming the land co-operatively in the 1950s. During the Great Leap Forward they joined large communes consisting of thousands or tens of thousands of people. Large-scale irrigation schemes were undertaken to improve agricultural productivity. Mao’s plan was to massively increase both agricultural and industrial production. It is argued that these policies led to a famine in the years 1959-61 (although some believe the famine began in 1958). A variety of reasons are cited for the famine. For example, excessive grain procurement by the state or food being wasted due to free distribution in communal kitchens. It has also been claimed that peasants neglected agriculture to work on the irrigation schemes or in the famous “backyard steel furnaces” (small-scale steel furnaces built in rural areas)."

Mao admitted that problems had occurred in this period. However, he blamed the majority of these difficulties on bad weather and natural disasters. He admitted that there had been policy errors too, which he took responsibility for.

Deng Xiaoping campaigned against the popularity of Mao, and took advantage of the fact that China had never publicly released official census population numbers, birth rates, and death rates under Mao. (Partly because of the difficulty in gathering numbers of so many poor peasants.) Deng released his numbers after no numbers had been released for 20 or more years. Deng, to discredit Mao, claimed that his mistakes led to 16.5 million deaths. American researchers turned that into 30 million based on theories from the incomplete censuses in 1953 and 1964. More recently 70 million deaths have been claimed.

But the sources are dubious, tend to exaggerate, and only concentrate on policy excesses.

There has been a failure to understand how some of the policies developed in the Great Leap Forward actually benefited the Chinese people, once the initial disruption was over.

[In other words the author is saying/implying that, the famines of 1959 to 1961, even if badly mismanaged at first, should be weighed against the great gains in agriculture, food distribution, nearly a doubling of life expectancy, free health care, education, etc.]

On the dubiousness of the "evidence", authors and publishers of studies have admitted that the CIA and other U.S. state agencies have provided money to those who would publish anti-Mao propaganda since the 1940's. One example: MacFarquhar, famous editor of The China Quarterly in the 60's, admitted in a letter to the London Review of Books that he received money from a CIA front organization.

The most popular sources for claiming very high numbers can be shown to present their numbers in a very misleading way. The evidence is inconsistent, and deeply flawed in ways that the author shows later in the article.

Evidence from the Deng Xiaoping regime Mao that millions died during the Great Leap Forward is not reliable. Evidence from peasants contradicts the claim that Mao was mainly to blame for the deaths that did occur during the Great Leap Forward period.

One demographer, Judith Banister, is a prominent advocate of the “massive death toll” hypothesis, yet she admits the successes of the Mao era. [This is one of those places where we see one side admit something that isn't quite in line with their general thesis, and this provides a place to begin looking for stable evidence that might reflect later on the bigger picture.]

She writes how in 1973-5 life expectancy in China was higher than in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and many countries in Latin America 1. In 1981 she co-wrote an article where she described the People’s Republic of China as a ‘super-achiever’ in terms of mortality reduction, with life expectancy increasing by approximately 1.5 years per calendar year since the start of communist rule in 1949 2. Life expectancy increased from 35 in 1949 to 65 in the 1970s when Mao’s rule came to an end. 3

The author also provides some areas of contradictory evidence. Some other authors/researchers say per capita grain didn't increase under Mao, even though the same authors admit the life expectancy gains. And other post-Mao researchers, although not praisers of Mao, admit a different view:

Guo Shutian, a Former Director of Policy and Law in the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, in the post-Mao era, gives a very different view of China’s overall agricultural performance during the period before Deng’s “reforms.” It is true that he writes that agricultural production decreased in five years between 1949-1978 due to “natural calamities and mistakes in the work.” However he states that during 1949-1978 the per hectare yield of land sown with food crops increased by 145.9% and total food production rose 169.6%. During this period China’s population grew by 77.7%. On these figures, China’s per capita food production grew from 204 kilograms to 328 kilograms in the period in question.7

And the Deng regime that fought to discredit Mao with the millions of famine deaths, also released industry figures that would indicate gains, rather than great losses overall, under Mao:

Even according to figures released by the Deng Xiaoping regime, industrial production increased by 11.2% per year from 1952-1976 (by 10% a year during the alleged catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution). In 1952 industry was 36% of gross value of national output in China. By 1975 industry was 72% and agriculture was 28%. It is quite obvious that Mao’s supposedly disastrous socialist economic policies paved the way for the rapid (but inegalitarian and unbalanced) economic development of the post-Mao era.8

There is a good argument to suggest that the policies of the Great Leap Forward actually did much to sustain China’s overall economic growth, after an initial period of disruption. At the end of the 1950s, it was clear that China was going to have to develop using its own resources and without being able to use a large amount of machinery and technological know-how imported from the Soviet Union.

Mao wanted to do a lot at once, building more industry right alongside agriculture, and he put a lot of trust in the enthusiasm of the peasant spirit to make it all work. But it was a mixed bad, as Joseph Ball admits:

Although problems and reversals occurred in the Great Leap Forward, it is fair to say that it had a very important role in the ongoing development of agriculture. Measures such as water conservancy and irrigation allowed for sustained increases in agricultural production, once the period of bad harvests was over. They also helped the countryside to deal with the problem of drought. Flood defenses were also developed. Terracing helped gradually increase the amount of cultivated area.9

One thing people make fun of is the low quality steel of peasant industrial efforts, since Mao thought he could promote "back yard steel furnaces" and trust the peasants to work in parallel with the needs of the agriculture communes. This took more time to gain traction, but did yield advantages in the 1960's:

Industrial development was carried out under the slogan of “walking on two legs.” This meant the development of small and medium scale rural industry alongside the development of heavy industry. As well as the steel furnaces, many other workshops and factories were opened in the countryside. The idea was that rural industry would meet the needs of the local population. Rural workshops supported efforts by the communes to modernize agricultural work methods. Rural workshops were very effective in providing the communes with fertilizer, tools, other agricultural equipment and cement (needed for water conservation schemes).10

. . .

Rural industry established during the Great Leap Forward used labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive methods. As they were serving local needs, they were not dependent on the development of an expensive nation-wide infrastructure of road and rail to transport the finished goods.

In fact the supposedly wild, chaotic policies of the Great Leap Forward meshed together quite well, after the problems of the first few years. Local cement production allowed water conservancy schemes to be undertaken. Greater irrigation made it possible to spread more fertilizer. This fertilizer was, in turn, provided by the local factories. Greater agricultural productivity would free up more agricultural labour for the industrial manufacturing sector, facilitating the overall development of the country.11 This approach is often cited as an example of Mao’s economic illiteracy (what about the division of labour and the gains from regional specialization etc). However, it was right for China as the positive effects of Mao’s policies in terms of human welfare and economic development show.

It’s worth remembering that the “leaps” Mao used to talk about the most were not leaps in the quantities of goods being produced but leaps in people’s consciousness and understanding. Mistakes were made and many must have been demoralized when they realized that some of the results of the Leap had been disappointing. But the success of the Chinese economy in years to come shows that not all its lessons were wasted.

Starting in the next sections Joseph Ball begins discussing "qualitative" and "quantitative" evidence. Those who look for eye-witness or documentary evidence from the time period do not find convincing evidence, so they claim that China's government was repressive and prevented that info from getting out. Carl Riskin considers that explanation doubtful, and author Felix Greene found a lack of evidence where he thought he should have found it.

Chinese history scholar Carl Riskin believes that a very serious famine took place but states “In general, it appears that the indications of hunger and hardship did not approach the kinds of qualitative evidence of mass famine that have accompanied other famines of comparable (if not equal) scale, including earlier famines in China.” He points out that much of the contemporary evidence presented in the West tended to be discounted at the time as it emanated from right-wing sources and was hardly conclusive. He considers whether repressive policies by the Chinese government prevented information about the famine getting out but states “whether it is a sufficient explanation is doubtful. There remains something of a mystery here.” 13

. . . In his famous 1965 book on China, A Curtain of Ignorance, Felix Greene says that he traveled through areas of China in 1960 where food rationing was very tight but he did not see mass starvation. He also cites other eyewitnesses who say the same kind of thing. It is likely, that in fact, famine did occur in some areas. However Greene’s observations indicate that it was not a nation-wide phenomenon on the apocalyptic scale suggested by Jasper Becker and others. Mass hunger was not occurring in the areas he traveled through, although famine may have been occurring elsewhere. Why are the accounts of people like Becker believed so readily when the account of Felix Greene and the others he cites is discounted?

-------------------------

The article is very long, but his best points show that evidence is looked at (and often distorted) through bias. Communism/socialism, when seen as a hopeful means to lift the plight of poor people, reduce poverty, extend lifespans, and provide health care, could pretty much be guaranteed to trigger positive bias in those who thought they would be helped. And it would be guaranteed to produce the creation and promotion of negative bias by those nations that had been making countries poorer through colonialist/imperialist practices. The spread of communism would be dangerous if it were allowed to spread, because it was working if left un-sabotaged. Some implementations of communism sabotaged themselves, even as most Chinese historians and old peasants who remember, will admit that it got worse before it got better. But as many implementations around the world were making things much better for the majority of people, It therefore threatened to "spoil the spoils" of the imperialists like the United States, and the old European hegemony.

(And, also for a later discussion, there was one more major reason to propagandize against communism which was not brought up in the article.)

The author's details about the very questionable statistics that have been used to create the supposed huge numbers of deaths are shown to be mostly an illusion, to Joseph Ball. People should read Ball's article, and as many of its references as they can, of course, to get a feel for the arguments from "the other corner." Its points of argument should not be dismissed without good reason, just as one should not dismiss the arguments for high numbers of deaths by famine without good reason.

But I should add, that Ball misses several key points about Mao's mistakes that should have been admitted.

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There was one more point I should have highlighted from the article I referenced above. Based on the time period of the Great Leap Forward it is useful to make some comparisons with other nations around this time.

Even now, I was reading in an online newspaper from India that says they count about 4,000 children a day in India who die from malnutrition. I don't know how accurate this is, but it is admitted in a globally-facing paper where one might expect a positive spin on Indian news.

So I looked up a Lancet journal article which says: that malnutrition contributes to 3.1 million under-five child deaths annually, or 45 percent of all deaths for that age group.

Very elderly people in poorer nations tend to die at high rates from malnutrition too.

Wikipedia says:

The Bengal famine of 1943 reached its peak between July and November of that year, and the worst of the famine was over by early 1945.[101] Famine fatality statistics were unreliable, and it is estimated up to two million died.[102] Although one of the causes of the famine was the cutting off of the supply of rice to Bengal during the fall of Rangoon to the Japanese, this was only a fraction of the food needed for the region.[103]

Deaths from malnutrition on a large scale have continued across India into modern times. In Maharashtra alone, for example, there were around 45,000 childhood deaths due to mild or severe malnutrition in 2009, according to the Times of India.[139] Another Times of India report in 2010 has stated that 50% of childhood deaths in India are attributable to malnutrition.[140]

also:

Earlier in 1963, the government of the state of Maharashtra asserted that the agricultural situation in the state was constantly being watched and relief measures were taken as soon as any scarcity was detected. On the basis of this, and asserting that the word famine had now become obsolete in this context, the government passed "The Maharashtra Deletion of the Term 'Famine' Act, 1963".[129] They were unable to foresee the drought in 1972 when 25 million people needed help.

also:

The drought of 1979–80 in West Bengal was the next major drought and caused a 17% decline in food production with a shortfall of 13.5 million tonnes of food grain. Stored food stocks were leveraged by the government, and there was no net import of food grains. The drought was relatively unknown outside of India.[136]

So this is currently on the order of about a million malnutrition deaths in India every year, even though these numbers are actually better than past numbers, because India has been doing better every year, they claim.

So how does India relate to China? From about 1947 they both had very high populations and similar high rates of poverty. India has not reported massive deaths from droughts and severe weather, specifically, but droughts, for example, have exacerbated an ongoing hunger problem, which most countries would call "famine." China has managed to raise almost everyone out of poverty, and build up an infrastructure for better distribution in cases of natural disasters.

Of course there had been famines in China and in India under colonial rule and under independent rule. These would have been blamed on communism if it had existed then, but communism has never existed in India:

The first major famine that took place under British rule was the Bengal Famine of 1770. About a quarter to a third of the population of Bengal starved to death in about a ten-month period. East India Company's raising of taxes disastrously coincided with this famine[69] and exacerbated it, even if the famine was not caused by the British colonial government.[70] Following this famine, "Successive British governments were anxious not to add to the burden of taxation."[71] The rains failed again in Bengal and Odisha in 1866. Policies of laissez faire were employed, which resulted in partial alleviation of the famine in Bengal. However, the southwest Monsoon made the harbour in Odisha inaccessible. As a result, food could not be imported into Odisha as easily as Bengal.[72] In 1865–66, severe drought struck Odisha and was met by British official inaction. The British Secretary of State for India, Lord Salisbury, did nothing for two months, by which time a million people had died. The lack of attention to the problem caused Salisbury to never feel free from blame.[fn 8] Some British citizens such as William Digby agitated for policy reforms and famine relief, but Lord Lytton, the governing British viceroy in India, opposed such changes in the belief that they would stimulate shirking by Indian workers. Reacting against calls for relief during the 1877–79 famine, Lytton replied, "Let the British public foot the bill for its 'cheap sentiment,' if it wished to save life at a cost that would bankrupt India," substantively ordering "there is to be no interference of any kind on the part of Government with the object of reducing the price of food," and instructing district officers to "discourage relief works in every possible way.... Mere distress is not a sufficient reason for opening a relief work."[74]

Even the pro Churchill site, www.WinstonChurchill.org, in dispelling a myth about the supposed "Bengali Holocaust, the 1943-45 Bengal Famine in which Churchill murdered 6-7 million Indians" still basically admits that Churchill actually said:

"Besides, Churchill felt it would do no good. Famine or no famine, Indians will “breed like rabbits.”

The site does it's best to defend Churchill, but still admits the following:

Some of his angry remarks to Amery don’t read very nicely in retrospect. However, anyone who has been through the relevant documents reprinted in The [India] Transfer of Power volumes knows the facts: Churchill was concerned about the humanitarian catastrophe taking place there, and he pushed for whatever famine relief efforts India itself could provide; they simply weren’t adequate. Something like three million people died in Bengal and other parts of southern India as a result.

I think people are quick to see some exaggeration and anti-Churchill bias in this and don't actually blame Churchill for murdering 3 to 7 million people in India, even though he was the "leader of India" at the time. (And one can also see that the long-term imperialist policies of Britain were responsible for many avoidable deaths, but it doesn't make Churchill or his predecessors guilty of murder.)

But the point should be clear, and was indirectly included in the Joseph Ball article, too:

Of course it is also important that we do learn from the mistakes of the past to avoid them in the future. We should note that Mao to criticized himself for errors made during this period. But this self-criticism should in no way be allowed to give ammunition to those who insist on the truth of ridiculous figures for the numbers that died in this time. Hopefully, there will come a time when a sensible debate about the issues will take place.

If India’s rate of improvement in life expectancy had been as great as China’s after 1949, then millions of deaths could have been prevented. Even Mao’s critics acknowledge this. Perhaps this means that we should accuse Nehru and those who came after him of being “worse than Hitler” for adopting non-Maoist policies that “led to the deaths of millions.” Or perhaps this would be a childish and fatuous way of assessing India’s post-independence history. As foolish as the charges that have been leveled against Mao for the last 25 years, maybe.

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8 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And the Deng regime that fought to discredit Mao

Why did it do this? Why not proceed as though building on the fine foundation that had been laid?

8 hours ago, JW Insider said:

[Ball:] “It’s worth remembering that the “leaps” Mao used to talk about the most were not leaps in the quantities of goods being produced but leaps in people’s consciousness and understanding. Mistakes were made and many must have been demoralized when they realized that some of the results of the Leap had been disappointing. But the success of the Chinese economy in years to come shows that not all its lessons were wasted.”

This smacks a lot of like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

 

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On 8/4/2020 at 8:40 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

Why did it do this? Why not proceed as though building on the fine foundation that had been laid?

Mao, while alive, had already purged Deng twice. In doing so, Mao sullied his reputation by bringing up past disloyalty and an unexplained military defection, and asked Deng to self-admit his own (Deng's) failings. He had been critical of Mao, but had also been used by Mao and the party for his leadership abilities. After Mao, the "Gang of Four" wanted to continue Mao's legacy and leadership style, and thought of Deng as a political threat to their continuance. Deng's choice to gain political power was to do unto Mao's legacy what Mao (and others) had done to him. This resulted in exaggerations on both sides. But it does show insecurity by both Mao's side and Deng's side, showing that there was some basis of truth even in the exaggerations.

Deng's old political slogan against Mao "70% right; 30% wrong" apparently evolved into a new view of "70% wrong; 30% right." That effectively erased Deng's initial ability to argue that he could build on any "fine foundation" left by Mao. And some of Deng's policies were of this same sort of swapping priorities from 70/30 to 30/70.

I also get the impression that Deng knew the actual numbers of deaths from the famine (and political mistakes that made it much worse) had resulted in perhaps 4 million deaths. (That's my guess for a probable minimum based on the evidence of statistical manipulation. [Some of the researchers admit that they took numbers from smaller, worst hit areas and simply assumed it was like this in all areas of China!]) Pushing this number to 16.5 million was necessary for the "gasp" factor in hurting Mao's party faction and Mao's ideas which had become a "cult of personality." It might have been meant as a kind of "negotiation" number, just to make sure it remained extremely high even when challenged.

Of course, the number not only stuck, it was multiplied in the imaginations of both Deng's and Mao's political enemies, especially those that could be influenced by the West. Here is Ball's take on this:

The reason for this vilification of the Great Leap Forward had much to do with post-Mao power struggles and the struggle to roll back the socialist policies of 1949-76. After Mao’s death in 1976 Hua Guofeng had come to power on a platform of “upholding every word and policy made by Mao.” Deng Xiaoping badly needed a political justification for his usurpation of Hua in 1978 and his assumption of leadership. Deng’s stated stance of Mao being “70% right and 30% wrong” was a way of distinguishing his own “pragmatic” approach to history and ideology from his predecessors. (The pro-market policies Deng implemented suggested that he actually believed that Mao was about 80% wrong.)

The Chinese party did everything it could to promote the notion that the Great Leap Forward was a catastrophe caused by ultra-leftist policies.

On 8/4/2020 at 8:40 AM, TrueTomHarley said:

This smacks a lot of like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

I agree.

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6 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

This smacks a lot of like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

There's a 1960's era joke about a family in their car just pulling out of their driveway in sweltering heat with the all the windows up. The kids ask why they can't roll down the windows to get some air, and the father says: "What? And let the neighbors know we don't have air conditioning?"

This reminds me of one of the claimed blunders of Mao Zedung, who continued to export wheat during a famine so as not to appear weak to the rest of the world. (And Stalin similarly wouldn't import wheat when he needed to, for about the same reason.)

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23 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Pushing this number to 16.5 million was necessary for the "gasp" factor in hurting Mao's party faction and Mao's ideas which had become a "cult of personality." It might have been meant as a kind of "negotiation" number, just to make sure it remained extremely high even when challenged.

When you see such shenanigans in the present human interactions of entirely different spheres, you don’t assume that you are seeing it for the first time ever. Rather, you figure that this is but the latest example of what humans will do in pushing their own point of view. Thus, everything you say is plausible. Exaggeration, over-promotion, running the other side off the road, muddying the waters so the other side will give up, outright denial, seeing only what one wants to see: these are the stock in trade tools of humans. Whether right or wrong, to have someone assert it has been put to work here, as well, in the analysis of Chinese communism, is not shocking. It doesn’t speak well of our ability to “know” anything. If we may go from your “lofty” example to one of pop trivia, if there is one fixed star in Dylanography, it is that Bob was booed at the Newport Festival of folk music snobs because he forsook acoustic for electric. Not so, says Pete Seeger, who was there, and who is usually thought the foremost critic. It was because the sound was so garbled nobody could understand him, but the producers refused to fix it, saying “young people like it this way.”

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/08/i-aint-going-to-work-on-maggies-farm-no-more.html

This is another reason that I like the Bible—it doesn’t make nearly the attempt to appeal to the head that it does the heart. Try to appeal to the head and you must compete with liars, frauds, loonies, and zealots. Try to appeal to the heart and it is a straight shot. Those too “educated” for the Bible might reflect on Carl Jung, who not only acknowledged that there is a spiritual side of things, but maintained that the spiritual side is the more genuine, the more real, the more true. The “statements of the conscious mind,” he says, “may easily be snares and delusions, lies, or arbitrary opinions, but this is certainly not true of statements of the soul.” 

When it comes to government, I very much like the Bible analogy of ancient rulership being like the heavens over mankind that might rain on you one moment, bless you will sunshine the next, blow away in a windstorm all you own in yet another moment, and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. For all the material advances in both education and “political science,” the reality is not so different today, but participatory government better presents the illusion that “we” are in control. Communism makes no bones about saying we’re not. Someone else is. You are cogs in someone else’s machine. You have no say.

If you are going to take over someone’s life, you’d better not screw it up. 

For all practical purposes, most people have no say in Western government either, but they do have some. Put in $1000 worth of effort and you may see a $10 return. That’s not a lot, but people like the idea of control. Even in situations where communism might produce a $20 return, it will be opposed by many, as it goes against human nature.

I took a public speaking course in college in which the professor coincidentally happened to be a huge advocate of participatory government. With student elections coming up—you know, nothing important, just who will run the Student Council of campus affairs—he relentlessly pushed for getting out the vote, and I got fed up. When it was my turn to plan and present my speech, I chose the topic, “Why we shouldn’t vote.” (This was before I knew anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses) I developed three reasons not to vote: 1) candidates lie, saying whatever they must to get elected. 2) Candidates “grow”—they reassess their views afterward—maybe for good or maybe for ill, but independent of your wishes. 3) Candidates may earnestly try to deliver, but find themselves outmaneuvered by those of opposite view. The upshot the three points is that it is just not worth it sinking that much time into politics—there are plenty of other things that offer better payoff. The professor was fairly sporting about it, mumbling that he didn’t agree but that I had raised solid points. He didn’t flunk me.

On 8/3/2020 at 11:55 PM, JW Insider said:

But the success of the Chinese economy in years to come shows that not all its lessons [of the Great Leap Forward] were wasted.

I doubt it shows that at all. The success is more likely due to the Chinese people better capturing the spirit of Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant, you lazy one, consider its ways, and become wise.” Substitute only “cooperative” for “lazy” and you have a perfect fit. China had an “industrial revolution” that precedes that of the West by almost 1000 years—Mao had nothing to do with it.

“In the State of Wu of China, steel was first made, preceding the Europeans by over 1,000 years. The Song dynasty saw intensive industry in steel production, and coal mining. No other premodern state advanced nearly as close to starting an industrial revolution as the Southern Song,” says Wikipedia. Only lack of a middle class, Wiki speculates, prevented that early revolution from catching on, something that makes a hero of Henry Ford, for realizing that without someone to buy his products, he could only go so far.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_industrialization

One author I came across raised the point of Chinese cooperation due to long-engrained Confucian value system that  emphasizes responsibly and holds that the group is more important than the individual—and asks whether that isn’t the very antithesis of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, that holds as “self-evident” the individual’s right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. I think his point is well-taken. The only trouble with too much “group-think” is that it is easy for a scoundrel to insert himself at the head and direct the body per his will.

 

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22 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Whether right or wrong, to have someone assert it has been put to work here, as well, in the analysis of Chinese communism, is not shocking. It doesn’t speak well of our ability to “know” anything.

I appreciate the thoughtful response.

You hit upon the basic problem of what we can "know" for certain, especially about a topic for which the waters have definitely been muddied. The very fact that "experts" give ranges from 10 million to 40+ million deaths, already shows there is huge margin of error involved. And the range of reasons for it are inconsistent, too. (Varying amounts of human error vs. drought, or willful disregard for life, or even murderous intent.)

I put the number 4 million out there for the Great Leap Forward (1958-62) as a probable minimum. (I should have said possible minimum.) The range could start lower, and still go much higher. What I was hoping to point out was that if we really don't know, then we can't use those supposed facts to color our reasoning on other claims we hear (about China in this case).

Personally, I think the 4 million number I posited is too low. I think upwards of 10 million really is quite possible. (So you'll notice that presenting the 4 million as a possibility, I was also using "negotiation" numbers.)

I should also say that I believe Deng was actually careful to use believable reports from the various provinces. (He had been a journalist.) By most accounts, he visited some of the hard hit areas himself and gathered reports from those who visited other areas. Since exact numbers were not available, he would have received wide ranges of numbers, and his anti-Mao bias allowed him to choose the upper end of those ranges. His number (16.5 million) would have been an absolute maximum, but not impossible. Even those who criticize the anomalies in the statistics are not usually trying to "prove" a specific number, only that there must have been a one-sided bias behind them.

But back to that point of what we can and cannot "know." We can't very well use dubious "facts" as a foundation for believing more dubious "facts."  It seems to me that there is a constant (intentional) stream of negative news reports about China, and it has been shown that many of these turn out to be false, or are highly exaggerated, one-sided, or believable, but without any basis in evidence. This doesn't mean that negative reports are necessarily wrong, of course. But it does mean we need to use caution.

Even if we still believe the worst possible scenario (70+ million intentional, murderous deaths?), does that necessarily mean we must accept any and all negative reports we hear about China today?

On this idea of intentional deaths, or even a willful disregard for human life, there is another set of factors at play. In the "propaganda game" in politics and other ideologies, it's common to find quotes taken out of context, or a media title tacked onto an article which isn't supported in the article. Even the most famous of all quotes from Mao about how various production requirements would result in many deaths, we have the authors of books against Mao saying:

“Working like this, with all these projects, half of China may well have to die.”

Back to Joseph Ball's article, he says:

This quotation appears in the heading of Chang and Halliday’s chapter on the Great Leap Forward. The way the authors present this quotation it looks as if Mao was saying that it might indeed be necessary for half of China to die to realize his plans to increase industrial production.

In fact, their book (Mao: the Unknown Story which claims 70 million were killed by Mao) uses this quote as part of their proof for, as they say: "“We can now say with assurance how many people Mao was ready to dispense with.”

But here is more of the context. Note what they left out:

In this kind of situation, I think if we do [all these things simultaneously] half of China’s population unquestionably will die; and if it’s not a half, it’ll be a third or ten percent, a death toll of 50 million. When people died in Guangxi [1955], wasn’t Chen Manyuan dismissed? If with a death toll of 50 million, you didn’t lose your jobs, I at least should lose mine; [whether I would lose my] head would be open to question. Anhui wants to do so many things, it’s quite all right to do a lot, but make it a principle to have no deaths.22 . . . As to 30 million tons of steel, do we really need that much? Are we able to produce [that much]? How many people do we mobilize? Could it lead to deaths?

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Another important piece of context about famines in China even before Mao was in power, based on Wikipedia's list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines_in_China

  1810, 1811, 1846, 1849     Unknown (45 million decrease, unknown how many emigrated or avoided census to evade taxes)[4]
  1850–1873   Nian Rebellion, Taiping Rebellion and drought Primarily caused by famine, lower life expectancy and plague in the case of the Nian rebellion, the total war casualties are claimed to possibly be 10–30 million people[5][6]
Great North China Famine 1876–1879 Northern China Drought 9–13 million[7]
  1896–97 Northern China Leading in part to the Boxer Rebellion  
Great Qing Famine 1907 Northern Jiangsu, parts of central China and Guangdong   Allegedly 25 million
1920–1921 North China famine 1920–1921 Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, southern Zhili (Hebei)   0.5 million[8]
Chinese famine of 1928–30 1928–1930 Northern China Drought 3 million
1936–1937 famine 1936–1937[9] Sichuan, Gansu   Unknown (the source that claimed up to 5 million people has been unproven)
1942–1943 famine 1942–1943 Mainly Henan Second Sino-Japanese War 2–3 million
Great Chinese Famine 1959–61[10] Entire country[11][12] Great Leap Forward, Floods, Droughts, Typhoons, Insect Invasion[13] 15 to 55 million [14]

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      It was no more complicated than that. Later, a Witness visited Dr. Fan Yu. and offered a Bible Study, which he and later his wife accepted. He tells his story in the Awake magazine, #3, 2017.
      He was a mathematician. When he reexamined evolution, which he had absorbed because from an early age people told him to absorb it, he dismissed it on the basis of probability alone. That's what you do. You find some essential component of evolution, the odds of which could happen accidentally are greater than the number of atoms of the universe, and proceed from there.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      As toxic clouds of smog continue to cover much of China, more and more Chinese are turning to vent their anger online at the airpocalypse—even turning to poetry.
      A poem written by a Chinese chest surgeon has gone viral for pointing out the obvious: there is a link between smog and lung cancer. But in China, where many writers and scholars are punished for speaking out about serious problems, people are hailing the poem as a bold move to raise awareness. Many websites have reproduced the poem in the past week, with the articles racking up thousands of shares and comments on domestic social media (link in Chinese, registration required).
      Titled I Long to be King, the verses are told through the viewpoint of a “ground-glass opacity,” the term for a CT scan image showing fluid in the lungs that is an early indicator of lung cancer.
      It reads:
      I long to be king,
      With my fellows swimming in every vessel.
      My people crawl in your organs and body,
      Holding the rights for life or death, I tremble with excitement…
      From tiny to strong,
      From humble to arrogant.
      No one cared when I was young,
      But all fear me we when full grown.
      I’ve been nourished on the delicious mist and haze,
      That sweetly warmed my heart,
      Always loving when you were heavy drunk and smoking,
      Creating me a cozy home.
      Dr. Zhao Xiaogang, deputy chief of thoracic surgery at the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital of Tongji University, said the Chinese public has a low level of understanding about how lung disease develops.
      “I see many cancer patients everyday and I feel their pain. I wrote this poem to bring some common knowledge of lung cancer to ordinary people,” he said in an interview by phone. “Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer in China. Stress, smoking and lack of sleep are all factors that can cause cancer, while environmental pollution is also a factor that cannot be ignored.”
      The poem originally ran in English in the American medical journal Chest in October. Zhao then allowed the publication of a Chinese translation of the poem in The Paper (link in Chinese), a Chinese state-funded news website, last week. He said he has long enjoyed writing poetry and finds it is a way to express his emotions.
      “The intense rise in lung cancer [in China],” Zhao told the Global Times, a state-backed tabloid, “is intimately related to smog.” According to official statistics from 2012, 569,000 people in China die from lung cancer annually. Researchers at the University of California found in 2015 that air pollution kills about 1.6 million people in China each year.
      Expatriates and wealthier Chinese commonly use air purifiers at home and wear masks outside to protect themselves, but air purifying machines and effective facemasks are expensive. The poor are also more likely to work outdoors in jobs such as security guards, taxi drivers, and food stall operators.
      China may have declared a “war” on pollution and shut down the worst polluting factories, but it is unclear whether the country will ultimately prioritize public health over economic growth. Manufacturing is still the backbone of China’s economy, though the country’s energy agency said last week it plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020 in a bid to reduce reliance on burning coal.
      However, authorities have sent mixed signals about whether it condones open discussion about pollution. State-run media outlets regularly air in-depth stories about pollution, but they tend to highlight steps the government is taking rather than investigate short-term or long-term health effects. Some Chinese artists have had leeway to protest against the smog, but online comments from citizens criticizing the government’s handling of the crisis have been swiftly removed. Last year, censors pulled an independent journalist’s blistering anti-pollution documentary, Under the Dome, from websites after it racked up hundreds of millions of views.
      So it is unsurprising that Zhao was careful to stress that environmental factors are not the only causes of lung cancer. There are many things people can do to lower their risk, such as exercising, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, avoiding cigarette smoke, and managing stress, he said.
      As for the toxic air? “Wearing masks helps of course, but it is best to avoid pollution altogether,” said Zhao. “But just as the haze in Los Angeles was solved eventually, I have faith that the Chinese government will tackle the serious pollution and that it won’t take too long.”


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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      There's fresh impetus to explore Namibia's startling landscapes this year CREDIT:FOTOLIA
      6 JANUARY 2017 • 12:31PM
      If your ambition this year is to try new things and explore new places, you're in luck. From Nicaragua to Tajikistan, a number of hitherto "undiscovered" destinations are increasingly catering to discerning holidaymakers, with a host of new resorts opening and experiences launching over the year to come. Read below for more on the most exciting outdoor adventures to be enjoyed around the world in 2017, or for something more sedate see our guides to 2017's best wellness and fitness breaks; 2017's best luxury beach holidays; the year's best yachting and sailing holidays; and the best cities to visit over the next 12 months. 
      The Desert Circuit: Namibia Exclusive Lodges 
      The four new luxury lodges on the Namibia Exclusive circuit are located in some of the most remote and beautiful northern parts of the country, each designed by architect Greg Scott and built of local materials that reflect the region’s landscapes and cultural traditions.
      Sorris Sorris Lodge in Damaraland  has been built into huge granite boulders scattered across the desert landscape, its modern African rammed-earth structures and pool offering views over the Ugab River and the mountains of the Brandberg Massif.

      Sorris Sorris Lodge
      Omatandeka Lodge is surrounded by vast plains inhabited by the Himba people, table-top mountains and a vital wildlife corridor used by mountain zebra, oryx and endangered black rhino, while Sheya Shuushona Lodge, on the northern boundary of Etosha National Park, is surrounded by photogenic salt pans that change colour with the seasons and turn into a lake in the rainy season.
      Finally, Xaudum Lodge, the most recent addition, is surrounded by the sand dunes of the Kalahari, home to some 3,000 elephants. All four lodges are located in areas with indigenous communities and contribute funds so these people can continue to live in traditional ways on their ancestors’ land.

      The Explorations Company offers a nine-night safari, staying at three Namibia Exclusive lodges, from £8,985  per person including flights, air transfers, full board and guiding.
      The Italian Castle: Castello di Ugento, Puglia
      There are few buildings in Europe in which guests can stay above a Norman keep, dine beneath 17th-century Baroque frescoes and wander around a garden in which Bronze Age artefacts have been found. In April, on the southern heel of Italy, the (rather wonderfully named) d’Amore family will open their restored thousand-year-old Castello di Ugento to paying guests for the first time (doubles from £260).
      Visitors can relax within walled gardens, in which more than 100 medicinal and aromatic plants are grown for the kitchen and spa; admire the frescoes painted in 1694 to portray the noble family’s history; sample local wines in an ancient cistern-turned-cellar; and take cookery lessons in a wing turned by the Culinary Institute of America  into its first European school.
      A maximum of 18 guests will sleep in stone-walled rooms with high, star-vaulted ceilings and views over Ugento’s rooftops,  and they will feast on Puglian favourites cooked by Milanese chef Odette Fada, whose refined cuisine at the renowned Rex Il Ristorante in Los Angeles and San Domenico NY  made her name as one of America’s finest Italian chefs. The nearest beaches are two miles away and Baroque towns such as  Lecce are a short drive from the castle. 
      The Urban Forest: Aman Shanghai
      Aman’s latest property in China (its fourth) must be one of its most anticipated to date. The Shanghai retreat (rates not yet available) is a picture of leafy tranquility – and full of surprises. If  a visitor were to drop into the 100-acre property, planted with thousand-year-old camphor trees and interspersed with historic Ming- and Qing-dynasty houses, they’d never believe that they were within easy reach of buzzy downtown Shanghai. Neither the forest nor village are native to this area; both were moved here over the past 10 years from Jiangxi, some 500 miles southwest, by Ma Dadong, a pioneering businessman, when the building of a reservoir threatened their survival.

      Aman Shanghai
      Now that the painstaking replanting (which took three years) and the building of the hotel are complete, the 37 villas in the new sanctuary are being decorated with original beams, floors, sculptures and carvings from the uplifted village homes. Kerry Hill, the project’s architect, has taken care to reflect traditional Chinese culture while blending in contemporary comforts and natural tones of earth, moss and creamy whites. Guests can take day trips to Shanghai, walk in the forest, sample Eastern cuisine, or relax in the spa, beside the two pools or in the Nan Shu Fang contemplation garden. 
      The South American Sleeper: The Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru
      For the first time in May 2017, travellers will be able not only to traverse the Andes in one of the most luxurious trains on earth, but to sleep overnight on one. The Belmond Andean Explorer has been built to carry up to 68 passengers in en-suite cabins decorated by the South African designer Inge Moore in contemporary light woods and comforting alpaca-wool colours.
      Each of the train’s cars is fitted with expansive windows to frame views of the Andean plains, mountains and grand architecture, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Arequipa. Although another two trains already operate in this area – Belmond’s Hiram Bingham, which offers day trips to Machu Picchu, and the more traditional Inca Princess  – this is the first modern luxury train to offer trips from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, on one- and two-night journeys. Chefs from the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco will serve modern Peruvian cuisine in two dining cars; guests can also enjoy spacious lounge and observation cars, and an open deck.  Doubles from £738 , all-inclusive, for one night. 
      The Gorilla Camp: Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
      One of the key trends in Africa in 2017 is the growth of camps that offer both sustainable luxury and adventure. Hence Wilderness Safaris’ decision to open Bisate Lodge in June as a luxury base for tracking the 10 habituated gorilla groups  in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (doubles from £1,762 full board, excluding gorilla permits).
      The lodge, raised high above the forest floor in the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, has been designed by architect Nick Plewman to echo the spherical, thatched structures that dot the hills, as well as the layout of traditional Rwandan palaces. The interiors by Caline Williams-Wynn have been inspired by the rich detail of Rwandan textiles, many of which are made using a technique called imigongo, an ancient art form incorporating geometric shapes.
      When the first guests arrive, they will be able not only to track gorillas, but to  hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and her former research station at Karisoke, to trek to the top of a nearby volcano, and then to relax in the extensively reforested gardens.
      The Jungle Retreat: Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, Nicaragua
      Nicaragua’s first luxe mountain resort sits in the lush landscape of Nandaime, just 40 minutes’ drive from the pretty colonial city of Granada. Nekupe – or heaven, in the indigenous Chorotega  language – was designed with the help of a feng shui architect to have the highest energy flow and least environmental impact possible, and the four freestanding villas and four expansive suites, with king-sized beds, made-for-sharing bathtubs and alfresco showers, are decorated in earth tones and warm woods that echo the serene setting (doubles from £720, full board). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views over Mombacho  volcano’s perfect cone, and wraparound terraces  are perfect for sipping daiquiris, before farm-to-table feasts of nuevo-Nicaraguan cuisine.

      Nekupe will provide access to Nicaragua's underexplored nature reserves
      The surrounding nature reserve,  which echoes with the sounds of primates and toucans, can be explored on ATVs, as well as on paths created for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, or on zip wires, which soar above the forest canopy. For those not expending energy on target-shooting, tennis and yoga, there is an infinity pool and a spa.
      The Cook Ski Spot: Lech, Austria
      Size matters to ski resorts, so the hotly anticipated coronation of Ski Arlberg as Austria’s largest contiguous ski area is big news indeed. Encompassing eight villages, including big hitters St Anton, Lechand Zürs, Ski Arlberg is already one of the best-known ski areas in the Alps. But now its four new lifts are open, linking the entire area to deliver 109 miles  of pistes (three more than Val d’Isère), Ski Arlberg will join the ranks of the world’s über resorts.

      New developments have given Lech a leg up
      The four connected lifts, known as the Flexenbahn, will place Lech at the epicentre of the ski area (stealing some thunder from St Anton). While expanding its lifts, Lech has also been consolidating its position as Austria’s leading town for luxury ski chalets. In December – hot on the heels of properties like the Aurelio Clubhouse, Chalet N, Chalet 1597 and Überhaus, which have raised the luxury bar in recent years – Severin’s Alpine Retreat will open its doors. The nine-suite hotel will be fitted with only the best: Minotti furnishings, a spa with an indoor infinity pool and hypoxic chamber for altitude training, and a ski room with bespoke Indigo kit.
      Guests can take over the chalet, for free rein over the suites, restaurant, capacious spa and fire-lit lounges, or plump for The Residence: a sleek four-bedroom private apartment spanning two floors  with a professional kitchen, cinema, bar and outdoor hot tub. The Oxford Ski Company offers a week for two people at Severin’s Alpine Retreat from £6,440, including transfers and flights.
      The Rugged Destination: Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan
      Tajikistan was the second-fastest growing tourist destination in the world in 2015, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Which is why in 2017 Edge Expeditions will be running a two-week Luxury Tajikistan tour of the country’s spectacular Pamir Mountains: one the most diverse, wild, exhilarating and least-explored corners of the planet.
      With a team of expert guides, a maximum of eight guests will traverse the raw wilderness by either four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a driver, or motorbikes. Journeying along the legendary Pamir Highway, travellers will spend days exploring azure mountain lakes, hidden valleys, ancient ruins and high mountain passes that very few outsiders ever get to see.
      The trip starts off at a five-star hotel in the capital, Dushanbe, while on the road the ground crew will prepare yurt camps with hot showers, comfortable beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and gourmet meals prepared by the expedition’s private chef. Along the way, both British and Tajik guides will interpret the layered history of the region, while astronomers with telescopes will also be on hand to explore some of the least light-polluted night skies in the world. 
      Edge Expeditions is offering a 14-day Luxury Tajikistan journey by four-wheel-drive or motorcycle, from £9,495 full board, starting and ending at Dushanbe, including transfers, motorcycle rental or vehicle (with driver), back-up vehicles, guides and medic, but excluding international flights.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/2017-years-best-luxury-outdoor-adventure-holidays-namibia-nicaragua/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Chinese Communist Party prepares offensive against Christianity
       

    • By The Librarian
      China's governing Communist Party is set to launch a nationwide crackdown on the Christian Church.
      By Matthew Carney - ABC
      The Communist Party has just enacted much tougher laws that criminalise Christians if they do not pledge loyalty to the state.
      Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that all religions now have to become "Chinese" and the new laws will attempt to bring churchgoers and their leaders under party control.
      The new laws will put the state firmly in charge, giving the Communist Party the ability to hire and fire church leaders and change religious doctrine to make it more Chinese...
      That means churchgoers will have to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party first.
      There is good reason to be afraid. Chinese Authorities have already started the crackdown in the Christian heartland in the southern province of Zhejiang.
      It's been extensive and brutal. In the past two years they have torn down nearly 2000 crosses and in some cases demolished churches.
      Church leaders and their followers have been arrested and imprisoned.
      There's also good reason to why the Communist Party is threatened by the Church.
      Some say there are 100 million Christians in China — that's more than Communist Party members.
      The Chinese Government admits there are about 25 million Christians registered at state-run churches where pastors are appointed by the state and theology approved by the governments Religious Affairs Bureau.
      ABC 
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      New York Times 
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    • Another important piece of context about famines in China even before Mao was in power, based on Wikipedia's list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines_in_China   1810, 1811, 1846, 1849     Unknown (45 million decrease, unknown how many emigrated or avoided census to evade taxes)[4]   1850–1873   Nian Rebellion, Taiping Rebellion and drought Primarily caused by famine, lower li
    • I appreciate the thoughtful response. You hit upon the basic problem of what we can "know" for certain, especially about a topic for which the waters have definitely been muddied. The very fact that "experts" give ranges from 10 million to 40+ million deaths, already shows there is huge margin of error involved. And the range of reasons for it are inconsistent, too. (Varying amounts of human error vs. drought, or willful disregard for life, or even murderous intent.) I put the number 4
    • When you see such shenanigans in the present human interactions of entirely different spheres, you don’t assume that you are seeing it for the first time ever. Rather, you figure that this is but the latest example of what humans will do in pushing their own point of view. Thus, everything you say is plausible. Exaggeration, over-promotion, running the other side off the road, muddying the waters so the other side will give up, outright denial, seeing only what one wants to see: these are the st
    • There's a 1960's era joke about a family in their car just pulling out of their driveway in sweltering heat with the all the windows up. The kids ask why they can't roll down the windows to get some air, and the father says: "What? And let the neighbors know we don't have air conditioning?" This reminds me of one of the claimed blunders of Mao Zedung, who continued to export wheat during a famine so as not to appear weak to the rest of the world. (And Stalin similarly wouldn't import wheat
    • Mao, while alive, had already purged Deng twice. In doing so, Mao sullied his reputation by bringing up past disloyalty and an unexplained military defection, and asked Deng to self-admit his own (Deng's) failings. He had been critical of Mao, but had also been used by Mao and the party for his leadership abilities. After Mao, the "Gang of Four" wanted to continue Mao's legacy and leadership style, and thought of Deng as a political threat to their continuance. Deng's choice to gain political po
    • Why did it do this? Why not proceed as though building on the fine foundation that had been laid? This smacks a lot of like “putting lipstick on a pig.”  
    • There was one more point I should have highlighted from the article I referenced above. Based on the time period of the Great Leap Forward it is useful to make some comparisons with other nations around this time. Even now, I was reading in an online newspaper from India that says they count about 4,000 children a day in India who die from malnutrition. I don't know how accurate this is, but it is admitted in a globally-facing paper where one might expect a positive spin on Indian news.
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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric, merci pour cet exposé sur Hanna, Bonne journée. Michel
      ENTRETIEN AVEC DIEU.pptx
      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      LA FOI D'HANNA ENVERS DIEU APPORTE SA RÉCOMPENSE
      UNE femme de foi adresse une prière à Jéhovah. Convaincue que c’est Dieu qui l’a relevée de la poussière, transformant son abattement en exultation, elle le loue à haute voix.
      Cette femme, c’est Hanna. Qu’est-ce qui explique son spectaculaire changement d’état d’âme ? Pourquoi est-elle à présent si joyeuse ? En quoi ce qu’elle a vécu peut-il nous être utile ? Intéressons-nous à son histoire.
      Une famille sous pression
      Hanna est l’une des deux femmes d’Elqana, un Lévite de la région d’Éphraïm (1 Samuel 1:1, 2a ; 1 Chroniques 6:33, 34). Bien que n’entrant pas dans le dessein originel de Dieu pour l’humanité, la polygamie est autorisée et réglementée sous la Loi mosaïque. Elle est néanmoins une source fréquente de discorde. La vie de cette famille, qui pourtant adore Jéhovah, en témoigne.
      Hanna est stérile, tandis que Peninna, l’autre femme d’Elqana, a plusieurs enfants. Peninna se comporte en rivale. — 1 Samuel 1:2b.
      Pour une Israélite, la stérilité est un déshonneur, et même un signe de la défaveur divine. Mais, dans le cas de Hanna, rien n’indique que son incapacité de procréer soit liée à la désapprobation de Dieu. Peninna ne la console pas pour autant ; elle se prévaut au contraire de son statut de mère pour l’humilier.
      Au sanctuaire de Jéhovah
      Malgré ces tensions, la famille entreprend le voyage annuel en direction du sanctuaire de Jéhovah, à Shilo, pour y offrir des sacrifices. L’aller-retour de quelque 60 kilomètres se fait vraisemblablement à pied. Cet événement doit être particulièrement pénible pour Hanna. En effet, Peninna et ses enfants reçoivent plusieurs portions du sacrifice de communion, alors que Hanna, elle, n’en reçoit qu’une seule. Peninna trouve là une opportunité supplémentaire de la blesser et de la mettre dans l’embarras ; il semble que Jéhovah ait “ fermé sa matrice ”, et elle ne manque pas de le lui rappeler. Tous les ans, c’est le même calvaire. Tous les ans, Hanna pleure et cesse de manger. Ces voyages qui normalement devraient la mettre en joie la plongent dans une profonde détresse. Hanna se rend néanmoins chaque année au sanctuaire de Jéhovah. — 1 Samuel 1:3-7.
      Voyez-vous en quoi Hanna est un bel exemple ? Comment réagissez-vous lorsque vous êtes déprimé ? Vous isolez-vous et évitez-vous les contacts avec vos compagnons chrétiens ? Ce n’est pas ce qu’a fait Hanna. Les rassemblements avec les adorateurs de Jéhovah étaient pour elle une habitude de vie. Même face à des circonstances éprouvantes, il devrait en être de même pour nous. — Psaume 26:12 ; 122:1 ; Proverbes 18:1 ; Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Elqana tente de réconforter Hanna et il l’amène à exprimer ses sentiments profonds. “ Hanna, pourquoi pleures-tu et pourquoi ne manges-tu pas ? Pourquoi ton cœur a-t-il mal ? lui demande-t-il. Est-ce que je ne vaux pas mieux pour toi que dix fils ? ” (1 Samuel 1:8). Peut-être n’a-t-il pas conscience de la malveillance de Peninna. Et peut-être Hanna préfère-t-elle se taire plutôt que de se plaindre. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette femme spirituelle se tourne vers Jéhovah dans la prière pour retrouver la paix intérieure.
      Le vœu de Hanna
      Les sacrifices de communion étaient consommés dans le sanctuaire. Après avoir quitté la salle à manger, Hanna prie Dieu (1 Samuel 1:9, 10). “ Ô Jéhovah des armées, implore-t-elle, si tu ne manques pas de regarder l’affliction de ton esclave et si vraiment tu te souviens de moi, si tu n’oublies pas ton esclave et si vraiment tu donnes à ton esclave un descendant mâle, oui je le donnerai à Jéhovah pour tous les jours de sa vie, et le rasoir ne viendra pas sur sa tête. ” — 1 Samuel 1:11.
      La prière de Hanna est précise. Elle demande un fils, et elle fait le vœu que cet enfant sera toute sa vie un naziréen de Dieu (Nombres 6:1-5). Ce vœu nécessite l’approbation de son mari, et certaines actions ultérieures d’Elqana montrent qu’il approuve l’engagement pris par sa chère femme. — Nombres 30:6-8.
      À cause de la manière dont Hanna prie, le grand prêtre Éli la croit ivre. Il voit effectivement ses lèvres frémir, mais il ne l’entend pas parler. C’est qu’en fait Hanna prie dans son cœur, avec ferveur (1 Samuel 1:12-14). Imaginez ce qu’elle ressent lorsque le grand prêtre l’accuse d’être ivre ! Pourtant, elle lui répond respectueusement. Comprenant alors que Hanna était en train de prier “ dans l’abondance de [son] inquiétude et de [son] dépit ”, il lui dit : “ Que le Dieu d’Israël accorde ta requête. ” (1 Samuel 1:15-17). Sur ces paroles, Hanna s’en va ; elle mange et “ son visage ne par[aît] plus soucieux ”. — 1 Samuel 1:18.
      Que nous enseigne tout cela ? Lorsque nous prions Jéhovah à propos de nos inquiétudes, nous pouvons lui exprimer ce que nous ressentons et lui adresser des requêtes sincères. Si nous avons fait tout notre possible pour résoudre le problème, alors nous devrions laisser les choses entre ses mains. C’est ce qu’il y a de mieux à faire. — Proverbes 3:5, 6.
      Après une prière fervente, il est fréquent que des serviteurs de Jéhovah ressentent une sérénité comparable à celle que Hanna a éprouvée. Voici ce qu’a écrit l’apôtre Paul au sujet de la prière : “ Ne vous inquiétez de rien, mais en tout, par la prière et la supplication avec action de grâces, faites connaître vos requêtes à Dieu ; et la paix de Dieu, qui surpasse toute pensée, gardera vos cœurs et vos facultés mentales par le moyen de Christ Jésus. ” (Philippiens 4:6, 7). Après nous être déchargés de notre fardeau sur Jéhovah, nous devons le laisser s’en occuper. Puis, comme dans le cas de Hanna, il n’y a plus lieu de s’inquiéter. — Psaume 55:22.
      Un fils “ prêté ” à Jéhovah
      Dieu se tourne alors vers Hanna. Peu après, elle porte un enfant. Elle met au monde un garçon (1 Samuel 1:19, 20). C’est l’une des rares fois où la Bible fait état de la responsabilité de Dieu dans la naissance de l’un de ses serviteurs. L’enfant d’Elqana et de Hanna, Samuel, deviendra effectivement le prophète de Jéhovah, un prophète qui jouera un rôle important dans la mise en place de la monarchie d’Israël.
      Il est certain que Hanna parle de Jéhovah à Samuel dès sa petite enfance. Mais oublie-t-elle le vœu qu’elle a fait ? Absolument pas ! “ Dès que le garçon sera sevré, je devrai l’amener ; il devra paraître devant Jéhovah et habiter là pour des temps indéfinis ”, déclare-t-elle. Et en effet, une fois l’enfant sevré — peut-être à l’âge de trois ans ou un peu plus —, elle l’amène au sanctuaire, comme elle l’avait promis. — 1 Samuel 1:21-24 ; 2 Chroniques 31:16.
      Après avoir offert un sacrifice à Jéhovah, Hanna et son mari présentent Samuel à Éli. Hanna tient certainement la main de son petit garçon lorsqu’elle dit à Éli : “ Pardon, mon seigneur ! Par la vie de ton âme, mon seigneur, je suis la femme qui se tenait près de toi, en ce lieu, pour prier Jéhovah. C’est à propos de ce garçon que je priais, pour que Jéhovah m’accorde ma requête, ce que je lui demandais. Et moi, à mon tour, je l’ai prêté à Jéhovah. Oui, tous les jours qu’il sera, c’est quelqu’un de demandé pour Jéhovah. ” Ainsi commence, pour Samuel, une vie au service de Dieu. — 1 Samuel 1:25-28 ; 2:11.
      Le temps passe ; bien sûr Hanna n’oublie pas son fils. Les Écritures relatent : “ Sa mère avait coutume de lui faire un petit manteau sans manches, et elle le lui montait, d’année en année, quand elle montait avec son mari pour sacrifier le sacrifice annuel. ” (1 Samuel 2:19). Hanna prie sans aucun doute pour Samuel. Tous les ans, lorsqu’elle lui rend visite, elle l’encourage à coup sûr à demeurer fidèle dans son service pour Dieu.
      Pendant l’une de ces visites, Éli bénit les parents du garçon. Il déclare à Elqana : “ Que Jéhovah t’assigne une descendance de cette femme, à la place du prêt qui a été prêté à Jéhovah. ” C’est ainsi que le couple est récompensé par la naissance de trois autres fils et de deux filles. — 1 Samuel 2:20, 21.
      Quel formidable exemple pour les parents chrétiens ! Beaucoup de mères et de pères se montrent, eux aussi, disposés à prêter, figurément parlant, leurs enfants à Jéhovah ; en effet, ils les encouragent à entreprendre une forme de service à plein temps, même si cela implique que leur fils, ou leur fille, vive loin d’eux. De tels parents aimants méritent des louanges pour les sacrifices qu’ils font. Jéhovah les récompensera.
      Une prière qui déborde de joie
      Comme Hanna est heureuse, elle que la stérilité affectait tant autrefois ! Les Écritures ne contiennent que peu de prières faites par des femmes. Mais, en ce qui concerne Hanna, elles en rapportent deux. La première expose ses sentiments alors qu’elle est humiliée et affligée. La seconde exprime son exultation et son action de grâces ; elle commence par ces mots : “ Oui, mon cœur exulte en Jéhovah. ” Hanna se réjouit ensuite que ‘ même la stérile ait mis au monde ’. Et elle loue Jéhovah, celui “ qui élève [...], qui relève le petit de la poussière ”. Vraiment, il est celui qui “ de la fosse aux cendres [...] fait remonter le pauvre ”. — 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
      Cet épisode de la vie de Hanna, dont le récit a été inspiré par Dieu, montre que les imperfections, voire la malveillance, des autres peuvent nous blesser. Toutefois, nous ne devons pas permettre à ce genre d’épreuves de nous priver de notre joie de servir Dieu. Jéhovah est, par excellence, Celui qui entend la prière, qui répond aux appels à l’aide de ses fidèles et qui les délivre de l’affliction. Il leur accorde une paix profonde et de nombreuses autres bénédictions. — Psaume 22:23-26 ; 34:6-8 ; 65:2.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      1 Samuel 2 : 1-10
      Hannah pria Dieu en ces mots:
      Mon cœur se réjouit au sujet de Jéhovah
      ma force grandit grâce à Jéhovah.
      Ma bouche s’ouvre toute grande contre mes ennemis,
      car je me réjouis de tes actes sauveurs.
      Il n’y a personne qui soit saint comme Jéhovah,
      il n’y a personne qui soit comme toi,
      il n’y a pas de rocher comme notre Dieu.
      Arrêtez de parler avec orgueil ;
      que rien d’arrogant ne sorte de votre bouche,
      car Jéhovah est un Dieu qui sait tout
      et il juge les actions avec justice.
      Les arcs des hommes forts sont brisés,
      mais les hommes faibles reçoivent de la force
      Ceux qui mangeaient bien doivent trouver du travail pour avoir du pain,
      mais les affamés ne souffrent plus de la faim.
      La femme stérile a donné naissance à sept fils,
      mais celle qui avait beaucoup de fils est devenue stérile.
      Jéhovah tue et il garde en vie,
      il fait descendre dans la Tombe et il en fait remonter.
      Jéhovah fait devenir pauvre et il fait devenir riche,
      il abaisse et il élève.
      Il relève le petit de la poussière
      et fait remonter le pauvre du tas de cendres
      pour les faire asseoir avec les princes
      et leur offrir une place d’honneur.
      À Jéhovah appartiennent les fondations de la terre ;
      sur elles, il pose le monde
      Il veille sur les pas de ses fidèles,
      mais les méchants seront tués dans l’obscurité,
      car ce n’est pas par la force que l’homme triomphe. 
      Jéhovah anéantira ceux qui combattent contre lui ;
      pour exprimer sa colère, il fera gronder le tonnerre dans le ciel.
      Jéhovah jugera jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre,
      il donnera du pouvoir à son roi et il fera grandir la force de son oint.
       
       
       


      · 1 reply
    • anniemsbelle@gmail.com  »  Queen Esther

      Do you have the print out for the regional convention 
      · 1 reply
    • anniemsbelle@gmail.com  »  Queen Esther

      Do you have the print out for the regional convention 
      · 0 replies
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