Roger L. Simon

Haiti and the rest of us

Having lived in Los Angeles since 1969, I am no stranger to earthquakes. I remember in the Sylmar quake of 1971, bricks poured down from a hitherto unknown walled-in chimney in my bedroom. It was about six AM and I was sleeping and the pile of flying bricks missed me by about two feet. One bedroom wall fell out, exposing us to the street from the second floor. A woman friend of ours, who had just arrived from New York with her family and was staying with us, woke up screaming, grabbed her children and took the first plane out, never, to my knowledge, ever to return to Los Angeles again.

Since that Sylmar quake I have had healthy respect for shakers. And it was only 6.7 on the Richter scale. Haiti was 7.0. Since Richter is a base-10 logarithmic scale, God knows what that would feel like. I don’t want to know. But watching the footage on television you get some sense of it, even if the videographers go for the most devastated parts. It’s bad.

On Greta von Susteren I listened to Bill Clinton do his plea for aid money. Whatever feelings one has about Clinton, he does this well. He is good at sound empathic. But in any case this is not about him. I was happy to hear they had made it easy to give money – by texting 20222, ten dollars gets charged to your account to help with relief. I’m going to do it a few times. I’m sure many of you will too. Or find other ways. Feel free to leave those here. This one doesn’t take much thinking.