Hurricane Ike, this year's reincarnation of Hurricane Katrina, has devastated Galveston and marched up though the nation's midsection, leaving problems in places you don't usually associate with hurricanes - yesterday, my daughter-in-law called us from Ohio to let us know they'd had 80-mph winds, lost some shingles from their roof, and are without electricity indefinitely. The crowning indignity is that both her place of work and my son's have electricity and are open...but the schools are without power and closed.
But let's return to Galveston and today's lesson in utter and complete stupidity.
As Ike was rolling across the Gulf of Mexico gathering strength as it headed for Texas, the National Weather Service started using expressions like certain death to describe what awaited those who ignored the mandatory evacuation order and decided to ride out the storm in Galveston. Satellite photos showed a storm so huge it filled the Gulf. Huge storm surges were predicted. Certain death was mentioned over and over. The mandatory evacuation was implemented, and the authorities were very clear that those who chose not to evacuate shouldn't expect anything.
Did I mention the parts about certain death and mandatory evacuation?
Well, what do you suppose happened?
According to this CNN article, and reporting on NPR over the last few days, about 15,000 to 20,000 people stayed on Galveston Island, ignoring a mandatory evacuation ordered in the face of a storm promising certain death...and now comes the whining about how FEMA isn't providing them with supplies and the government isn't helping them and nobody told them the storm was coming and blah, blah, blah.
My comment: too damn bad. You were warned for days that the storm was coming. You were told you faced certain death. You decided you were tougher than some old storm.
You were wrong.
You decided to act like an idiot, and I don't think it's my problem to bail you out of the fruits of your stupidity.
Why is it always this way? Why do we end up having our policies and efforts driven by the dumbasses from the shallow end of the gene pool?
I don't want to seem heartless, but in cases like this, I am. Having to rescue people who refuse to evacuate in the path of a monster hurricane is just as bad as ... oh ... rescuing fat cat CEO's that run their financial institutions into the ground and then stick the rest of us with the bill.
And it gets better - now the petroleum industry has a golden excuse to jack up the price of gasoline again. Aren't you glad?
Okay, I'm done ranting. For now. Somehow it's appropriate that today is the day I get to enjoy the sublime pleasure of my routine flexible sigmoidoscopy exam. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Or wait until you're a certified old goat like Mike and I.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
P.S. - Agnes's parents arrived yesterday - safe and sound, if a bit the worse for wear. Agnes is in a state of controlled fury because she'd arranged for the airline to meet her parents (86 and 90) with a wheelchair and assistance in getting through immigration and customs...and no one showed up to help them. Today would be a bad day to be the person she arranged all this with.