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.

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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

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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