The Un-Civil War Between Old-World Values and New Age Parenting – Part 2/2

25 Apr

Larry Summers cites in his debate with Amy Chua that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard emphasizing what those “two” achieved without a university education.

While Gates was building Microsoft and Zuckerberg Facebook, do you believe these two billionaires spent ten hours a day doing what the average American child (raised by SAPs such as Summers) does to enjoy the first quarter of his or her life?

Summers doesn’t mention that Warren Buffet, one of the richest men on the planet, attended the Wharton Business school at the University of Pennsylvania for two years then transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Working part time, he managed to graduate in only three years.

Summers doesn’t mention that it is common that the top one percent of executives with annual incomes of $500,000 or more often have Ivy league educations from universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Yale or Princeton.

“Asian countries value education more than other countries.”

Summers doesn’t mention that the top 15% of the upper-middle class are highly educated and often have graduate degrees while earning a high 5-figure annual income commonly above $100,000.

To be specific, the median personal income for a high school drop out in the US with less than a 9th grade education is $17,422, and with some college that medium income jumps to $31,054, while a person with a professional university degree earns an annual medium income of $82,473. Source: Wiki Academic Models (this source was citing US Census data).

It’s okay if Summers and his fellow SAPs let their children and teens have fun the first eighteen years of life, but don’t forget, the average life span in the US is 78.3 years.

What are those children going to do for enjoyment while working to earn a living the next 60.3 years as an adult?

Most children raised by Tiger Moms such as Amy Chua shouldn’t have to worry. Those children (as adults) will probably be in the top 15% of income earners and enjoy life much more than those earning less than $18 thousand annually.

Learn more from Costco Connections “Is College Worth It?” or return to The War Between Old-World Values and New-Age Parenting – Part 1


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

This revised and edited post first appeared on iLook China January 31, 2011 as Amy Chua Debates Former White House “Court Jester” Larry Summers

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Education, family values, politics


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2 responses to “The Un-Civil War Between Old-World Values and New Age Parenting – Part 2/2

  1. Andre M. Smith

    February 5, 2012 at 22:14

    ussians call me German, Germans call me Russian, Jews call me a Christian, Christians a Jew. Pianists call me a composer, composers call me a pianist. The classicists think me a futurist, and the futurists call me a reactionary. My conclusion is that I am neither fish nor fowl – a pitiful individual.
    Anton Rubinstein (1829-94), composer, formidable Russian concert pianist, founder of The Saint Petersburg Conservatory (1862).

    WHO or WHAT is AMY CHUA?
    Her father, Leon L. Chua, was born in The Philippines. He was graduated in 1959 from Mapúa Institute of Technology in Manila as a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. His Master of Science followed from MIT in 1961. Amy was born in Champaign, Illinois on 26 October 1962 while Leon was pursuing his studies for a Ph.D. (1964) at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. And it’s here in this synoptic review that her troubles begin with her shield in a contrived public relations makeover comastered by her publisher, Penguin. She states that she is Chinese. But her surname has not been identified anywhere as Chinese.

    Is the author fully ethnically Chinese? I am wondering because while I certainly have not met every Chinese person who has lived, I have known a fair number of Chinese yet have not met a single Chinese person with the author’s surname. I read somewhere that the author’s surname is a translation of a Chinese surname, Tsai, with which I am familiar. How many generations back in her direct family line, i.e. her parents or her parents’ parents, did her family come from China? I have not previously encountered a person who talks & writes so much about being Chinese & talks on behalf of the vast population of mothers born in China yet her surname & how I have heard it pronounced is very different from that with which I am familiar. While I wish to improve to better fluency in Mandarin, I have spoken enough Mandarin with native speakers to notice I have not heard Mandarin Chinese words pronounced with the same pronunciation as I hear her name pronounced. I truly am curious about what I have read briefly about a historical migration of immigrants, including the author’s ancestors, who immigrated to the Philippines, speak a language seemingly common among those immigrants & bear names that are translations from Mandarin Chinese into such language. It is an interesting occurrence I am curious to know more about.

    Cheap Social Worker said…
    When reading excerpts from Amy Chua’s latest book, I noticed that she left out any reference to her Filipino background. Looking at Chua’s biography, her parents spent a considerable amount of time doing business in the Philippines, with her father even going to school there. Chua also spent a good portion of her childhood going back and forth between the United States and the Philippines, though I wonder if she ever went outside the walls of her gated community to interact with the main population. Given that Filipino values on education are very similar to these “Chinese” values Amy Chua promotes, why does “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” ignore her Filipino heritage completely?

    As a Harvard undergraduate during the years that the author was there, I do not recall the author attending any of the many meetings or social occasions held by the Asian students on campus. Although the book discusses the author’s “Chinese” upbringing, and refers to the Chinese food that she loved as a child and the “high culture” of her Chinese ancestors, there is little in the book to indicate that the author is, or considers herself to be, part of a larger community or network of Asians or Chinese in America, an affiliation that’s critical if the author’s voice is to be heard as at all representative of that community.

    It’s not uncommon to hear alcoholics claim that it’s because they’re Irish or to hear that a bad temper is a result of bad genes. Chua is no different, and is justifying her abusive behavior based on the fact that she is Chinese. The reality is that Chua’s style is not a product of her Chinese heritage. Chua has never lived in China; her parents have not either.

    It isn’t at all clear to me when and where Chinese culture came into the heritage of Amy Chua, if indeed it ever has, for the surname Chùa is, in fact, Vietnamese. It means “temple” and is commonly found in Buddhist and other religious contexts, e.g., (1) Chùa Pháp Hoa – Nam Úc, (2) Chùa Ph?t Tích [Temple of Saint Paul], (3) L? Khánh Thành D?i Hùng B?o Di?n Chùa Quang Minh, ph?n 1, and (4) t?i Chùa Ho?ng Pháp, H?c Môn, Sài Gòn.

    Professor Chua is a graduate of El Cerrito High School in California. She claims a superiority of a Chinese culture she has never lived in but is married to a white American Jew. Attempting yet another of her unpersuasive slow-change / quick-change acts she has claimed to have inculcated so-called, but unspecified, Chinese values into her two American daughters. She clearly believes that unrelenting emotional pressure on children and simultaneous denial of affection toward them will improve their physical skills. What implausible culture that has lasted more than seventy-two consecutive hours has advocated such a bizarre relationship between parent and child? She states that she has denied her two daughters the experiences of having performed in school plays. But their father had to have had enough stage experience prior to having been admitted at age 21 into the Drama Department (1980-1982) of The Juilliard School in Manhattan to justify that admission.

    “all you need to be able to do [to get into Juilliard] is just be badass at one instrument and read music.”
    * * *
    I think that is an extremely simplistic way to look at it. There are children who are groomed for Juilliard from grade school onwards. Children who start playing at 3 or 4 and by the age of 10 are already practicing 6+ hours a day. It takes incredible long-term discipline to be “badass” at one instrument.

    Juilliard grants a 10 minute audition. By the time you walk in, greet the jury, tune up, they get their papers ready to go, glance at your accompanist, you have 7 minutes to convince them that you are at the top of the top and that you have a viable career in performance ahead of you.

    Harvard is, in some senses, more forgiving because you have so many more ways to prove yourself. You can show you are smart through grades, you can show that you earned academic honors, you can show character through recommendation…all Juilliard gives you is 7 minutes to blow them away.

    Professor Chua has stepped as an authority into several worlds in which she has no known experience and attempted to convince readers deeply concerned with the subjects she has written about that her word is the best word, founded as she believes on substantial personal experience. She moves in step with a long and continuing line of crackpot self-styled such authorities to lay claim to a success citing her ill-chosen and unexamined demographic whopping sampling of two, one of whom has effectively rejected her horrific emotional, social, and artistic models in favor of a pursuit of a life as a real person.

    Does anyone now remember the scam of Linus Pauling (1901-94), author of “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”? In 1970 Dr Pauling, a hustling chemist with no patients and no clinical studies to substantiate his claims, convinced many of the world’s non-thinkers that tanking up on vitamin C would cure the common cold, cure cancer, cure heart disease, and wipe out miscellaneous infections. He amassed a small fortune from his publications. Forty-one years later? Anyone who has contracted the seed basis for a cold still sniffles, cancer is rampant, heart disease remains with us, and infections are a functioning reality, increasing in their variety, throughout the human species. And Dr Pauling? Who?

    Obstetricians write books on running. Physicists write books on philosophy. Social workers write books on love. Orthopedists write books on financial investment. Vitamin gurus write books advising pursuit of the Fountain of Youth in the manner of Herodotus and Juan Ponce de León (1474-1521). Generals write unbiased books on history. Psychoanalysts – with the highest suicide rate of any professional group in the world – plumb the woes of others promising answers of consolation.

    And, reminding us, yet again, that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, Professor of Law Amy Chua has overarchingly tried to portray herself with her menopausal-crisis magnum opus that she is (1) an authority on music instruction of the preadolescent, (2) is an informed intellectual on the relationships both distinguishing and binding alien cultures, (3) she believes that both private and public sustained and repetitive humiliations of defenseless children will inevitably lead to a positive strengthening of those children’s characters, (4) she believes that children perceive through the senses of sound and sight what their parents want them to perceive, (5) that there likely will be no relationship between enforced disruptive prohibitions of physiological functions of urination and defecation in early childhood and a possible dysfunction of those systems manifesting later in life, (6) that denial of nutrition is an educational tool, (7) that avowals of love following psychological and physical cruelties meted to the young do not establish a perverse link between those avowals and cruelties, (8) that two daughters who know well that their pussy-whipped father had the valuable preprofessional experiences of the very stage presence they may have wished for themselves in adolescence have not formed an unhealthy opinion of compromised male hegemony during those years it might have benefited them in the formation of what will become their future relations with men, (9) that, while their mother was referring to their minds and their bodies openly and publicly in the most vile terms of contempt and debasement their father sat idly by, possibly out of sight but not out of earshot, (10) that the father of two daughters is portrayed in print and public appearances by their mother as the bringer of jollity when permitted to do so by their mother (Egads!), (11) that the phrase “Head of Household” has been perverted in the Chua example to refer to the elder with the loudest mouth and the least flexible personality, (12) [The reader here is invited to continue filling in the blanks . . .]

    Whether or not any modern Chinese man or woman – or, in the example of Amy Chua, any Filipina descended from Vietnamese – subscribes to any of the tenets of historical Confucianism, those tenets continue, for many modern Orientals both in and from the Eastern lands, to elicit a sentimental ideal to which many pay lip service in time of reference.

    Professor Chua has made a significant fundamental error in attempting to define her relationship with her two daughters. “Parenting method” is not a synonym for “Being a parent.” The former arises from the jargon and complex overlays of institutional structure established by American teachers colleges, their promulgators, and devoted acolytes fallen under the influences of Frederick Wilson Taylor [] and leaders of The Efficiency Movement [] in the first decade of the twentieth century; good for building the Model T but less than good for building character. “Being a parent” arises from the traditional standing of parents within all well-established functioning societies.

    With one exception, all other public pictures of the face of Professor Chua portray her with her signature toothy grin. The only one in which she is not smiling is that showing her imperiously overseeing her younger daughter during a music practice session.

    That this parenting nitwit can lay claim to so-called traditional Chinese values, while supplanting the very bases of those values with individual license to cruelty and an immodest flaunting of self at the expense of those children traditional values would obligate her to protect from adversity, is a revelation of ignorance and egocentricity wholly at odds with the established teachings of Confucius.

    André M. Smith, Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      March 12, 2012 at 14:13

      Amy Chua was born in Champaign, Illinois, which makes her an Asian American with Chinese roots. If she thinks of herself as Chinese, regardless of where her Chinese parents lived, that is her right.

      As an example: a United States Marine is always a Marine. When he or she leaves the US Marines with an honorable discharge from active service, they do not refer to themselves as ex-Marines but as former Marines. In addition, most Jews, no matter which country they live in, still consider themselves Jewish first.

      Most Chinese outside of China still consider themselves to be Chinese, hold many Chinese values such as the way children are raised and hold similar values regarding education, but are considered overseas Chinese to citizens of China and no longer 100% Chinese. However, the US State Department says that Asian-Americans are the most difficult to assimilate into the American mainstream and tend to hold the values they brought with them longer than other ethnicities—these values include respect for elders (something rare in the US among other ethnic groups) and value education highly.

      Amy Chua’s parents are ethnic Chinese from the Philippines who immigrated to the United States. Chinese have lived throughout all the countries of Southeast Asia, including the Philippians, for centuries—mostly as merchants. And yes, the Chinese tend to not associate closely with others outside of their racial group.

      Amy Chua’s father is of Hoklo ancestry, and his parents immigrated to the Philippians from Southern China’s Fujian province. He earned his BSEE degree from Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines in 1959, and then immigrated to the United States on a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also considered the father of nonlinear circuit theory and cellular neural networks and is the inventor and namesake of Chua’s circuit and discovered the memristor (whatever that is).

      Amy Chua’s mother was born in China in 1936 and then relocated to the Philippines at the age of 2, and was still raised by ethnic Chinese parents as was her husband, Amy Chua’s father.

      Therefore, technically, Amy Chua’s parents are considered overseas Chinese but are not of Philippine ancestry. Even then, the Philippines are still a Southeast Asian country influenced more by Asian culture and values than, let’s say, a third or fourth generation Asian American. Amy Chua was born in America and raised in America, and it appears that she is proud of her Chinese ancestry.

      Amy Chua’s husband is Jewish, which means family, respect for elders and earning a quality education through hard work ranks high as it does in Chinese culture. In fact, the Chinese have often been compared to the Jews and those Chinese that left China for other Asian nations have often been called the Jews of Southeast Asia.

      In addition, I have several close American friends that are Jewish and their children all became lawyers or doctors, which is comparable to many Asian-Americans becoming engineers, scientists and doctors.

      You call Chua a “nitwit”. I say that it takes one to know one and she probably would not call you a nitwit.

      Amy Chua has a right to think of herself as Chinese since there appears to be no Filipino genes in her DNA. Her grandparents were Chinese and those Chinese grandparents raised her parents—does it matter where they raised them?

      Here are a few facts about Asian-Americans:

      Studies show that the average Asian-American child and teen has the lowest self esteem when compared to all other ethnic groups in the United States.

      However, Asian-Americans have the highest graduation rate from high school and college, the lowest unemployment rate and the highest average annual earnings.

      Asian-American teens have the lowest rate of teen pregnancy, drug use, the lowest STD rate, and one of the lowest ethnic suicide rates when compared to all other ethnic groups in America.

      One thing they have in common from all East Asian countries are parents that, although they may vary in their methods, do not parent as the average American parent does but closer to how Amy Chua raised her two daughters. The oldest daughter is now a student at Harvard. My wife was born in China and was in her late twenties when she came to the United States. Our daughter is Asian-American, graduated from high school with a 4.65 GPA and is currently completing her second year at Stanford with a major in biology. Although my wife did not parent exactly as Amy Chua did, I witnessed many similarities such as any grade lower than 90% is unacceptable, our daughter plays piano and took ballet classes for most of your youth practicing hours at home with her mother beside her to get the moves perfect, which led to a gold medal at dance competitions.

      My roots are British-Irish. About 900 years ago, a Lofthouse, who was a member of the king’s bodyguard, saved the life of Alfred the Great and was made an earl. A few centuries later, a Lofthouse ruled Ireland as the governor general for the British Crown, and a Lofthouse still inherits the title of earl in England. My father was proud of our ancestry and our roots and he was proud of the fact that a Lofthouse still has a seat in the House of Lords or at least did the last time I checked.

      If Amy Chua thinks of herself as Chinese, due to her genetic roots and the fact that her parents were more Chinese than anything else since they were raised by Chinese parents, she has that right too. She is much closer to her roots than I am.


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