Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother Nature on a Rampage!

First the cyclone hits Myanmar, then a strong earthquake lays waste to central China. Lets you realize how fragile our hold on this earth is.

The body count is staggering: between 50,000 and 100,000 dead from the cyclone, and just this morning 18,000 reported dead and buried in Mianyang alone, one of several good-sized towns near the epicenter of the Chinese earthquake. You know that number will rise steadily.

I don't mean to be crass or uncaring, but if you were in Myanmar, without a home, your family killed, your job gone, your town wiped out, hunkered out in the mud, dealing with torrential rain storms, everything you know destroyed, and you're awaiting the world to send you some aid. . .you gotta be thinking "Damn, the timing of that Chinese earthquake couldn't be worse!" We all have a short attention span when it comes to nautral disasters. If it ain't on the front page, it's out of mind. And if it's out of mind, you won't be donating to the relief effort. It's not like the fundraising for assistance for the Myanmarians is going great guns, anyway. Seems like the rapid response by the world media to the Chinese earthquake is slowing efforts to raise money for Myanmar.

Here's one place to send money to help.
And another.

And of course, these disasters are being used for political gains. In Myanmar, you've got a fascist political regime that makes FEMA looks downright competent by comparison. George Bush is callin' them out on being slow to respond (perhaps he should send his old friend "Brownie" over to take control). And in China, you've got a communist government months before they showcase their country in the Olympic games being amazingly forthcoming with information and requests for assistance, unlike the China of old (a 1976 earthquake not too far from Bejing in 1976 killed over 120,000, but Mao's government was able to keep most of the new from the rest of the world).

Say a prayer, and send money if you can--that George Bush tax refund would be a good place to start, if you haven't spent it yet (easy for me to suggest, having blown all of it on paying down credit cards).

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