Citizen Journalists Report on Quake

No time for a proper post, but this McClatchy article is very interesting:

Amid a national outpouring of grief over a huge earthquake, China has relaxed its grip 鈥?perhaps briefly 鈥?on the Internet and some media outlets.

Chinese witnesses to the devastation in Sichuan Province have flooded internet websites with homemade videos of their own, filled chat rooms with commentary and let text messages fly from their mobile phones.

The disaster has provided an opportunity for 鈥渃itizen journalists鈥?to disseminate tidbits of information at a furious pace rarely seen before, experts said.

China鈥檚 conventional media, initially lagging behind bloggers and users of instant messaging services, have also found greater freedoms, showing often-distressing images of quake ruined areas without the sanitizing that censors usually demand.

The Central Government seems to be dealing with this crisis in a forthright, efficient and compassionate way.

Here is the link for Oxfam Hongkong to donate to their China earthquake fund.

Here is the link for Oxfam USA.

UPDATE: Here is a list of relief efforts”via China Law Blog.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 77 Comments

China’s ability to regulate internet traffic coming into China and within China may have been physically compromised to due central office destruction.

One thing we don’t know about is the extent of the damage to PLAAF and space launch facilities in Sichuan, and I imagine IT warfare and control systems are also in those facilities.

May 15, 2008 @ 5:10 am | Comment

Meanwhile, China prepares to invade North Korea:

http://tinyurl.com/5jhh2c

May 15, 2008 @ 5:14 am | Comment

Oh wow. Nice blog, Nanhe. That blog is like…the direct opposite of CCTV. Well, not quite, I guess. CCTV sometimes also reports bad things honestly. That blog seems to make everything related to China sound as bad as imaginable. I didn’t imagine a regular on the duck could willingly invest so much time and effort into frothing hatred. Credit should be given to you, however, for only trying to distract from sympathy instead of coming out laughing. It’s sort of like talking about Bush’s international relations fiascoes after 9/11 and the WMD in Iraq during Katrina. Disgusting and inappropriate, but strictly speaking nobody can really find you morally bankrupt.

May 15, 2008 @ 6:05 am | Comment

Kabab,

To make such brilliant comments, you must have made your mom high at least 5 times last night.

May 15, 2008 @ 6:55 am | Comment

Uh…look. I’m at work. I don’t really have time to play Net Nanny. Can we agree that insults to posters’ mothers are out of bounds?

Thank you.

May 15, 2008 @ 7:00 am | Comment

*raises hand*
I agree with Nanny Lisa.

May 15, 2008 @ 7:20 am | Comment

Judgment of Heaven—Let the Tibetans go!

“Pharoh of Egypt, You have not yet obeyed the LORD. Let my people go!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sTjIwe8s7Y&feature=related

May 15, 2008 @ 8:06 am | Comment

LOL. Yep. “Follow my orders or I will kill your babies and cows and then torture their dead corpses! Obey and worship me or I will have my believers wipe out your men and rape and enslave your women!! Reinstall the Tibetan slave lords or I will kill the traditional slaves myself!!!”

So glad modern day religions focus more on the love than the fear/hate. The human race has come a long way.

May 15, 2008 @ 8:24 am | Comment

Pharoh: “We shall learn if the God of a shepherd is stronger than the gods of pharoh.”

May 15, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Oy vey…

May 15, 2008 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Yay wrestling matches between gods? Too bad Buddha would automatically disqualify himself. Of all the religions I’ve read about, he seems to be the sweetest deity out there, if you ignore the karma and reincarnation stuff.

May 15, 2008 @ 9:15 am | Comment

@.@, leave the haters and imbeciles alone …

May 15, 2008 @ 11:11 am | Comment

@Blowback

I God that send pestilence and natural disaster to kill innocent people, specially children, may be your god.

But it is definitely not my God.

May 15, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Comment

“@.@, leave the haters and imbeciles alone …”

Well said!

May 15, 2008 @ 5:53 pm | Comment

Umm… isn’t this… a thread about an earthquake? And how can people who consider the plight of mostly “ordinary people” a divine answer to the CCP’s Tibet policies claim that the Tibetans are really their concern? Does Gawd_the_Awmighty have some plans I haven’t yet heard of?

May 15, 2008 @ 6:46 pm | Comment

“The great China scholar Burton Watson wrote:

Like the Greeks and Romans, the early Chinese firmly believed in the portentous significance of unusual or freakish occurences in the natural world. This belief formed the basis for the Han theory that evil actions or misgovernment in high places invites dislocations in the natural order, causing the appearance of comets, eclipses, drought, locusts, weird animals, etc… However interpreted, this theory of portents and omens had a tremendous influence upon Han political thought….”

May 15, 2008 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

I was under the impression that many of the victims of the Sichuan earthquake were ethnic Tibetans.

May 15, 2008 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Hey, stop pickin’ on Nanhe, will you? In his better moments as a debater, he would have most of you for breakfast. But he is just getting sloppy.

How about this: Right now, everyone’s attention is on how to help survivors of the quake, in fact, how to make sure there are as many of those as possible. Which is right and well.

But sooner or later, doubts will creep in, and questions will be asked. And not all of this will be an incidental product of grief, or crazy conspiracy theories.

In fact, you can hear some voices already:

“Several schools in nearby Dujiangyan collapsed while classes were under way. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited two of them, including Xinjian Primary School, where parents say officials told him the death toll was 20 pupils.

But enraged parents interviewed at the morgue on Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning say local officials lied to the prime minister to hide the true toll at Xinjian, which they estimate at more than 400 dead children.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/15/world/asia/15morgue.html?ref=asia

Or this:

“We have seen magnificent government buildings in poor cities where disasters frequently hit; we have seen officials in luxury cars though working in one of the most impoverished county. This time around, we saw elegant government buildings remain intact while dozens of schools crumbled like sand houses.”

http://www.eeo.com.cn/ens//Observer/2008/05/15/99788.html

The openness of all media at this time of strife is unprecedented, no two ways about it. But how long will it last when the dirty laundry gets dragged out of the closet? In fact, how much of it is already due to bowing to the inevitable on the part of powers-that-be?

May 15, 2008 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

Many of the nationalistic overseas Chinese students are the children of corrupt Chinese government officials who have incurred Heaven’s Wrath.

May 15, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

No offence, Blowhard, but when your mind goes off-line once in a while, remember to switch the sound off. Or is it “switch the keyboard off”?

May 16, 2008 @ 12:14 am | Comment

Blowback (BOB) needs to die in a fire. I don’t see how killing Qiang and Tibetans as well as innocent Sichuanese is a sign of “God”.

Your God doesn’t exist and if he did he would be a pedophile.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:37 am | Comment

@Neddy
“…hide the true toll at Xinjian, which they estimate at more than 400 dead children.” no two ways about it.”
“The openness of all media at this time of strife is unprecedented,officials lied to the prime minister to

That is the true function of a free and open media. To prevent hiding of information from interested parties.

Knowing what is really going on is the first step towards accountability

Hope the trends keeps going on, and actions are taken against those responsible.

Spring cleaning time in CCP?

May 16, 2008 @ 1:48 am | Comment

Second thought

The brownie points being currently collected by CH Prime Minister by the way he is handling current EQ crisis will come quite handy to help do some cleaning in CCP , and promote more honest cadres up the power ladder.

Also CCP cadres below the PM will feel increasing pressure to emulate his behavior, and be able to face the people when times of crisis/conflict come.

May 16, 2008 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Yeah, what eco said. A deed that, when done by a human, is considered monstrous beyond belief–the very act of attempting to attribute that to any benevolent deity should either be considered the worst form of sacrilege or laughed off as ridiculous. I prefer laughing.

May 16, 2008 @ 6:00 am | Comment

ferin: Your God doesn’t exist and if he did he would be a pedophile.

LOLWUT

May 16, 2008 @ 6:19 am | Comment

blowback, ferin, my suggestion is, you two go find a room someplace.

Jeez.

May 16, 2008 @ 7:23 am | Comment

I am a little jaded over all of this. Internet and picture restrictions have been lifted – well this is good but also bad – shows how well only certain news is allowed to be shown – censorship at it’s finest – and I’m appalled how quickly everyone forgets the censorship we saw just a few short weeks ago …..
And I read the articles of the grief-stricken parents and I mourn with them – but I also remember that doctors here will not tell pregnant families the sex of their child for fear of the girls being aborted.
And I see how many kids are turned out at ages 12-15 to go to Shanghai or Shenzhen or some other major city to get jobs and the heck with their education. So, grief-stricken is understood but needs to be looked at against other situations.
And as an American I have been asked to donate and help out …. which I have done – no problem. But just last week I was told that my country’s major problem is we get involved in other people’s business and we should just butt out – we are not needed around the world – noone wants us around. Hmmmm.

May 16, 2008 @ 10:46 am | Comment

One of the most corrupt sectors of the Chinese economy is the construction industry.

I wonder how many thousands of innocent people died (and will die) because of poor construction quality related to corruption?

This is an important question that must be asked in the Chinese media.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

But just last week I was told that my country’s major problem

Nobody said you shouldn’t donate little portions of your blood money. That doesn’t meab it “buys” you the “right” to invade other countries at will, killing thousands while destroying your own economy.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

“Ten times you have seen the miracles of the LORD and still you have no faith.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmEs0BhCNpA&feature=related

Let the slaves go free!

May 16, 2008 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

“Judgment of Heaven—Let the Tibetans go!”

You might want to look into the poor quality of “divine aim”. Destroying that “pesthole of sin” that is China probably commends itself to you.

But remember Hurricane Katrina?

Southwestern Louisiana is a “bastion of Christian faith” if there ever was one. There’s literally a church on just about every block. The local dummyvision station actually runs daily commercials for churches in *prime time*.

How could your Lord wreck such enormous devastation on his faithful worshipers? Is he just really sloppy? Was he aiming at Houston and *missed*?

Therefore, your “God” is either a incompetent crackhead or a man-slaughtering deity of fear and destruction.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

Then there’s Nagasaki taking out the Japanese Christians, saving them from that threat.

May 16, 2008 @ 12:51 pm | Comment

Jesus Christ. And I mean that in a non-religious sense.

Okay, no more comments about how the earthquake is God’s revenge and/or how God is an incompetent pervert. I will delete them.

Seriously, there are so many things to be discussed here, and this is the best you guys can come up with?

May 16, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

I read that the Chinese blogsphere is replete with speculation that the earthquake has cosmological significance and may mark a dynastic change in China.

It will be interesting to see if the Chinese people start to blame corruption as a cause of poor quality of construction that led to the tragic deaths of so many people.

other lisa, Please don’t use God’s name in vain. Many people in China are now looking to Jesus for strength in these difficult times. Thanks.

May 16, 2008 @ 2:02 pm | Comment

Guys have a good laugh, its freaking hilarious.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/15/hardball-shoutfest-matthe_n_102020.html

May 16, 2008 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

Other than donating money and blood, there are services and goods that the expat community can donate. I know of a German company that leases teflon tents for outdoor activities, how about clothes, food and toiletry items from Metro, Walmart and Ikea?

That stuff would go alot farther than money right now, those people are living in the rain with the clothes on their back and whatever rations the army has brought with them.

May 16, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

actually, I want to donate but refuse to stick a single yuan in a collection pot (for genuine fear that 8 mao will end up in some officials pocket – see what happened in the Yunnan floods several years ago). So what do I do? How can I make a contribution amidst such immoral corruption.

also, have any of the huge real estate barons and retail entrepreneurs come up with any big donations yet? how about petrochina and the like? China should requisition all the aid it needs. can’t get enough water? no problem, send a fleet of army trucks to the wahaha distribution factory. As for the shopkeepers in sichuan who are trying to sell goods at inflated prices (a la the great snow storm)? They should be beaten, arrested and their stock distributed for free.

china makes me so pissed off at times

May 16, 2008 @ 3:53 pm | Comment

Yao Ming has kicked in, as have some big American/multi-national corporations with operations in China.

I think at this point the problem is not the mobilization of the army – the government seems to be on top of that – but that the kinds of specialized equipment/teams needed are insufficient within China to deal with the scope of the disaster. I read today that a team from Japan is going in as is a team from Taiwan. But you really can’t have too much help with a disaster of this magnitude.

Medical supplies and personnel are also desperately needed.

May 16, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

to someone wants to donate but does trust chinese red cross, donate to 慈济. you absolutely can trust them.

http://www.tzuchi.org/global/help/index.html

May 16, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Comment

Just sayin’ hi,

Wow, it’s so hard to talk about God stuff… I mean, how can we know if God did it on purpose because of this or that???

I don’t know the people who got quaked, so I just don’t know, but I do think reincarnation and karma and stuff like that makes sense… But in Buddhism, I think it is said that the wheel of reincarnation is what suffering is from and death is just some natural process that reoccurs again and again…But, the people who lose their children and the people who suffer injustice and calamity, oh, the suffering, that is really something…

Personally I don’t believe in coincidences, so this is quite significant, but it is so far away…Anyway, something to think about…

Peace everyone

Thanks nanny Lisa for taking good care (-;

May 17, 2008 @ 10:04 am | Comment

On the plus side, whatever China’s problems and faults, which are legion, it is not Myanmar. At least China’s officials and institutions do recognize that there is a constituency that they are ultimately liable to, as demonstrated by their responses to the current quake. Yes, we would like them to be more democratic, and yes, Tibet deserves to choose its
w own future, but perhaps, in time, these things will come to pass. Sorry if I sound like a Pollyanna, but I remember the 1972 Managua earthquake all too well, and the Nica Guardia Nacional’s response was all too reminiscent of the Burmese Junta’s, and ended up being the catalyst that pushed so many Nicaraguans to support the Sandinista Front.

May 17, 2008 @ 11:53 am | Comment

China’s All Seeing Eye.

Isn’t there something about this in the Book of Revelation?

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/05/15/8970/

May 17, 2008 @ 12:04 pm | Comment

Book of Revelation – The Financial Beast

Global financial markets have become 揳 monster?that 搈ust be put back in its place? the German president has said, comparing bankers with alchemists who were responsible for 搈assive destruction of assets?
In some of the toughest comments by a leading European politician since the start of the subprime crisis , Horst K鰄ler ?a former head of the International Monetary Fund ?called for tougher regulations and the reconstruction of a 揷ontinental European banking culture?

May 17, 2008 @ 1:47 pm | Comment

Yikes!

Now this is extreme!

To bad the truth is so hideously ugly )- : )- :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLiugbx0kgo

I do think that the party can not hide that it did the cultural revolution and all the baggage truth that goes along with it.
But just because there is a lot of guilt to be accounted for, does not mean the Chinese people are demons. I think people who make this type of video, are upset that the truth is not dealt with properly.

It is true, instead a facing facts morally, they just make excuses. So that should be corrected by each person…

The Cultural Revolution needs to be addressed along with all the Chinese history that people are not allowed to understand.

I would like to know what the Chinese people think about this. Why not insist on for justice in China, you people deserve a lot better, I really mean that.

The end of this video should really show some people a look at themselves when it comes to rationality, they refused to let the man even speak, that is just so uncivilised and it shows that you cannot use reason to defend your stance, it shows you are afraid of differing point of view, just like CCP.

Anyway, I think this type of protest might be instigated by embassy, by children of CCP workers, by student unions corrupted by CCP and things like that so I won’t take then too seriously…

May 17, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Comment

Nanny Lisa just shakes her head at some of this stuff.

Does anyone have anything related to the quake that they would like to discuss? There have been some great, heart-breaking articles in the LA Times – Mark Mangier (sp?) and the ever-wonderful Ching-Ching Ni have written some wonderful pieces.

Doctors without Borders are also active in China and working in the affected areas, if you’d like to support them.

May 17, 2008 @ 4:01 pm | Comment

WRATH OF HEAVEN—-FLOOD

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/17/chinaearthquake.china2

May 17, 2008 @ 9:58 pm | Comment

It was interesting watching CCTV tonight.

The Chinese media is sending messages explaining the earthquake relief effort as an expression of “love of the Chinese nation and race.”

May 18, 2008 @ 1:09 am | Comment

Okay, I have to go right now. But when I’m back, I’m doing a little thread cleaning. Some of the religious references here are extremely distasteful.

May 18, 2008 @ 3:03 am | Comment

other lisa,

Religion is “extremely distasteful”?

May 18, 2008 @ 3:34 am | Comment

learn how to read?

“love of the Chinese nation and race.”

this is exactly what China needs, do you have a problem with it?

Many people in China are now looking to Jesus for strength

Jesus isn’t going to feed, clothe and educate them unfortunately. What’s with parasitical Jesus freaks using disasters as an excuse to proselytize?

May 18, 2008 @ 4:14 am | Comment

@other lisa

How about putting a donation banner?

For example

http://tinyurl.com/647a94

May 18, 2008 @ 4:49 am | Comment

Paul, you jackass, Lisa did not say religion is distasteful. She said the way some people are referencing it here is distasteful.

I am back from a few weeks of travel and meetings. Thanks to Lisa for keeping this site alive. The earthquake has brought the Chinese people together in a way I never thought possible; in my own company, the average donation per person was over 1,000 RMB, and for some of these people that is a significant chunk of change. This tragedy also reversed one of my long-standing misperceptions about people here, namely that most were not interested in giving to others. I admit, that is something I used to believe based on my own experience here. The outpouring of generosity by virtually everyone I know last week forces me to reconsider.

As to religion – the BS I saw in this thread (and in some other blogs) reinforces my long-standing belief in the inherent vapidity of organized religion. Maybe something will force me to reconsider this, too, but so far it hasn’t happened. I don’t blame those who let religion cloud their judgment – they’ve been scammed and conned, just as Mao’s Red Guards were. Some of my closest friends are deeply religious, and I never try to talk them out of it, though I always wonder how they let themselves get sucked in. If you are religious, I respect your choice. What I don’t respect are those who use the “Bible’ to claim God is punishing those killed in natural disasters, idiotic stuff like that.

One can live a very spiritual, moral life without the self-imposed yoke of organized religion.

Okay, now back to the earthquake.

May 18, 2008 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

ferin wrote:

“Jesus isn’t going to feed, clothe and educate them unfortunately. What’s with parasitical Jesus freaks using disasters as an excuse to proselytize? ”

On the contrary, what our Chinese brothers suffering in Sichuan need now more than ever is the power of religion.

Worldly power is insignificant compared to the spiritual power of God. When the Chinese earthquake victims call out in agony, they do not call out to government officials. Government officials do not have the power over life and death. Our Chinese brothers call out to GOD (according to their respective interpretation of GOD as Buddha, Heaven, Jesus, Allah, etc.).

I apologize to “other lisa”, if I misinterpreted her remarks.

May 18, 2008 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

what our Chinese brothers suffering in Sichuan need now more than ever is the power of religion.

Religion doesn’t perform surgery, shelter people, or dig up children from collapsed schools.

They also have their own religions. Go away.

May 18, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Comment

What westerners don’t understand is that Mandate of Heaven to the modern Chinese isn’t really about natural disasters in and of themselves. It’s about how those disasters are handled.

If a government botches disaster relief, it loses the mandate. in this specific case, if the government didn’t respond as quickly as it did and it turns into a human disaster, it would have lost its legitimacy very, very quickly. To the CCCP it’s a matter of survival. Compared to this the Olympics are just fluff.

China is prong to natural disasters. The Mandate of Heaven is a roundabout Confucian way of ensures that rulers step up and take responsibility in those times.

May 18, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Comment

ferin,

I do have a problem with propaganda that mesmerizes the Chinese people with themes of “love of the Chinese nation” and “love of the Chinese race” since this is fascism, i.e., race-based nationalism.

Yes, fascism is very “efficient” and can lead to rapid economic growth and national power in the short term, but as it’s basically institutionalized lunacy, which will eventually lead to the expulsion of foreigners from China (this is already happening), war, etc. We are already starting to witness the characteristics of mass lunacy in the Chinese people, for example, xenophobic protests, anti-foreign visa crackdowns, visions of a 5,000 Chinese reich, etc.

What the Chinese have basically done is to harness the religious impulse of the masses. Rather than looking to religion as a means of self-empowerment, they look to the state. This is extremely unstable, dangerous. It’s self-evident in comments by Chinese in the blogosphere to the effect that “yes, we know that it’s wrong, but we’ve now got the power to do it, so we’re just going to give you the Middle Kingdom Finger, so to speak.”

May 18, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Comment

fff,

“What westerners don’t understand is that Mandate of Heaven to the modern Chinese isn’t really about natural disasters in and of themselves. It’s about how those disasters are handled.

If a government botches disaster relief, it loses the mandate.”

You’re exactly correct in your observation above. Unfortunately for the government, there’s a direct relationship between corruption in China and poor quality construction which directly resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
I haven’t seen anything discussed in the Chinese media regarding this very obvious issue.

May 18, 2008 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

race-based nationalism.

i.e that same race-based nationalism that has given you every single thing you own at the expense of other peoples?

don’t worry, China’s not going to boil over like Nazi Germany. Even Russia is limited to gang raping and beating several “foreigners” a death a year, they haven’t invaded anyone yet.

May 18, 2008 @ 2:32 pm | Comment

ferin,

“don’t worry, China’s not going to boil over like Nazi Germany. Even Russia is limited to gang raping and beating several “foreigners” a death a year, they haven’t invaded anyone yet.”

Remember in the movie “The Green Berets” John Wayne’s (“The Duke’s) retort to the South Vietnamese army officer who said to THE DUKE:

“We want help to fight Charlie. Kill many V.C.!”

THE DUKE: “I like the way you talk!”

May 18, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Comment

“Global financial markets have become 揳 monster?that 搈ust be put back in its place?”

Leveraged paper on top of leveraged paper and all worthless.

Maybe China could reciprocate for the world and lean on the Myanmar thugs. The death toll is almost 100,000.

May 18, 2008 @ 2:56 pm | Comment

Richard,

You wrote:

“What I don’t respect are those who use the “Bible’ to claim God is punishing those killed in natural disasters, idiotic stuff like that.”

No one is claiming that GOD is punishing those killed in the earthquake. Adopting a Buddhist perspective, the material world is illusory. The innocent go to a better place no matter what one’s description of GOD is.

To say that the earthquake is the WRATH OF HEAVEN is just another way of saying that thousands of people perished because of poor construction directly related to official corruption. Because the corrupt do not lead a spiritual life, they sacrificed the people. As a result, they have incurred the WRATH OF GOD.

I share your concern about False Prophets. The prevalence of so many False Prophets in another sign of Heaven. Those who seek only money and power bear the Mark of the Beast.

What was the date of the recent Meteor Shower?

May 18, 2008 @ 3:44 pm | Comment

“Even Russia is limited to gang raping and beating several “foreigners” a death a year, they haven’t invaded anyone yet.”

The psychology behind ferin’s comment is interesting—homosexual dominant. Not that I have anything against homosexuals, mind you. It’s just that it reminds me of the alleged practice amongst the Taliban to use sodomy to dominate other males. Interesting.

May 18, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

Christian “tolerance”

http://www.godhatesfags.com/written/fliers/20080513_china-earthquake.pdf

I hope these goons get murdered when they picket at the Olympics.

May 18, 2008 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

Ferin, they are not representative of Christianity. They are freaks.

May 18, 2008 @ 10:42 pm | Comment

Ferin,

These people do not represent Christianity.

May 19, 2008 @ 12:07 am | Comment

Paul, or was it Bob…

As I heard from Buddhism, when a person dies, it does not mean he goes to heaven or a better place. In Buddhism don鑤 they talk about the cycle of samsara (rebirth), so, anyway…

I guess Richard, you have friends who do not give a good example of religion… Some people are cool witin teir religion, and some really put people off, it鑣 obvious, you have been embittered by some not so good guys… Anyway, I鑝 more about human rights than religion, freedom of thought and justice…Frankly, to be controversial,,, those don鑤 exist in China, does that have an connection with disastrous eartquakes etc., well, that depends on if their is a connection with the laws of nature and some higher intelligence and a natural justice. I dont know, but frankly I hope their is that connection because the way things are in the world today, the justice systems are corrupt and do not serve a very effective function. So who will fix things, us,,, I dont know.

May 19, 2008 @ 11:49 am | Comment

In my church, there’s a phrase: “You and God can move mountains together! So don’t be surprised when he gives you a shovel.”

I’m religious, and I can only speak for myself. I don’t believe God is “punishing” anybody with the earthquake. It’s an earthquake, caused by a whole bunch of geological factors that I don’t even begin to understand, but a good scientist can give a pretty good explanation.

It is my view that religious people, even those in organized religion, the good ones believe that we are all brothers and sisters and it is our obligation to help in every way. I don’t think Jesus is going to jump out of the sky and start doing surgery. But I do believe that people who believe in Jesus also believe that they need to do good, including going out to Sichuan to do surgery. It’s not necessary to believe in Jesus to do so, but it’s a great help for some people. And in the end, there will still be many victims whose families are gone, and no amount of blood donations, food, or money can bring them back. For some, having a hope in God and Heaven can translate to hopefully being able to see their family again. Knock organized religion all you want (and yes, some organized religion can be pretty evil), but I think most are generally good, and it’s still alright to hope for something in the next life. But it’s also my opinion that “heaven” is for those who make a heaven on earth.

If there is a God, I’m pretty sure he or she is pretty concerned about how we all help in this time of disaster. If there is a heaven, it will probably be filled with all the good athiests, christians, buddhists, muslims that tried their best to do what is right and good. And hell, if it exists, will likely be filled with people who get kicks out of telling other people God is punishing them. Just my thoughts.

May 19, 2008 @ 11:58 am | Comment

God or the CCP (take your pick) have blocked the BBC again. Mysterious ways indeed.

Perhaps it’s the anniversary of some perceived insult and they’ve decided to teach the Brits a lesson.

May 19, 2008 @ 1:26 pm | Comment

Isn’t it the case that many (if not most) religions in the world see an interconnectedness between the material and spiritual world? For example, a person’s mental state may result in physical changes, such as anxiety causing wrinkles in the face, depression causing obesity, etc.

Accordingly, I’m not one to rule out the possibility that spiritual calamity might result in natural disasters. Clearly, spiritual corruption on the part of government officials can lead to poor quality construction, wars for profit, etc.

May 19, 2008 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

@ferin:

Are you sure you’d completely rule out a “crossing of the Taiwan straits” at any point in the future?

Off topic: You’ve been immortalised in Encyclopedia Dramatica ;)

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/N/

May 20, 2008 @ 10:00 am | Comment

Oy vey…

I’m sorry, I didn’t get back here to thread-clean. Too busy. Would it be too much to ask that people stay sort of kind of in the near vicinity of the topic?

May 20, 2008 @ 4:03 pm | Comment

http://tinyurl.com/3wjjjs

May 21, 2008 @ 7:14 am | Comment

As human society has evolved to be come more humane, religions have also evolved to pick up more humanity (nevermind that they usually take credit for starting the trends that they only followed grudgingly). In the old days, organized religion used to be about “we have more people to lynch you with.” Nowadays, more of them are mostly about “we have more people to help each other everyday in every way.” Just because the holy books still need to be cleaned up a bit shouldn’t give anyone an excuse to evolve backwards. I like Chip’s church. =)

May 24, 2008 @ 6:46 am | Comment

“we have more people to help each other everyday in every way.”

i.e we have a bigger, better, more convincing and well-funded propaganda machine and can manifest ourselves variously as a right-leaning electorate that will vote in a new Adolf Hitler every thirty years or so

May 24, 2008 @ 1:02 pm | Comment

last part didn’t make sense because I deleted the more offensive examples -_-

May 24, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Comment

BUDDHA QUAKE 2008, China (PRC), Does anyone have a list of all the earthquake data from the China earthquakes that started on Vuddhas birth day i hear its over 70 quakes and i wanted to see there locations , dates and durations

May 31, 2008 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

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