Roger L. Simon

Signs and Portents in China

As I recall, one of the rumors running around Harbin, in the midst of their water pollution disaster, was that an earthquake was about to hit them. Turns out the quake has hit central, rather than northern, China with at least 17 killed and thousands homeless at this wee insomniac hour here in California. Seismologists are reporting a 5.5 Richter scale quake – certainly substantial but nowhere big enough, it would seem, to be producing this kind of a carnage. Of course this is rural China where people live in a manner in no way comparable to the glittering big cities of Shanghai and Beijing. But one wonders how those monuments to instant development would withstand a serious shake.

UPDATE: And now Iran. It’s as if there were a cosmic conspiracy against the poor of these countries. And in the case of Iran, they are poor indeed, oppressed by a regime of religious psychotics that wants nuclear arms. for the sake of all of us, I hope they put them in earthquake secure missile silos. I hope the Europeans are starting to get the message that keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of the mullahs is not about George Bush, but about human life.