Random Asides

I don’t like Ike

Just wanted to give a shout out to our Texas readers. Hope you are all ok!  I went to High School in Conroe, and have many happy memories of Galveston. It’s a great city.

For the rest of us, if you have time, consider donating blood! There’s always a shortage of blood, and that’s one thing most of us can give, regardless of our economic status.

I’ll repeat my earlier offer for hurriane displaced skeptics, even if I’m a bit far away–you’re welcome to crash at the Bug House in Michigan if your home is damaged and you need a place to stay.

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Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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24 Comments

  1. The eye just passed over Conroe and they’re still getting blasted. Last report I heard from Galveston was that water came over the seawall and most of the island was completely underwater. 40,000 people chose not to leave the island even under mandatory evacuation.

    People, if you ever find yourself in the path of a hurricane, there is NO CHOICE. GET OUT. If you haven’t seen one then you have no idea. Even a category 1 can rip a house to shreds.

  2. No doubt many felt that way, but it’s an over-simplification. It’s hard to leave your home, even in the event of impending doom. There’s a feeling that if you’re there, maybe you can do something, or even that irrational feeling that being there will somehow mean it won’t be as bad as you leave. I had twinges of that, hardened skeptic that I am, and frankly it worries me. It’s way too easy to convince yourself of what you want to believe.

  3. Amen, Halincoe. Even Christians are supposed to use their “God-given” brains and stay out of danger.

    Having grown up in the Caribbean, I know the steps to take – none of them involve staying in a low-lying area and drowning in a place of known hazard like Galveston.

    I’ve never understood why people in our Deep South don’t build more like they do in Puerto Rico – all concrete block, flat roofs, steel louvered windows, decorative but very functional ironwork over the louvers, etc. It would take a direct hit from a Hellfire missile to wreck one of those houses. I suppose it’s because they don’t like how they look.

    I certainly hope folks on the blog will do things like donate blood (good call, Bug_girl) and donations to the Red Cross, ASPCA, etc. t0 help the victims. It appears that Houston also really got smacked hard by Ike. I’ve seen some pretty bad damage in the footage this afternoon.

    (At the risk of being snarky: This is the third hit on Texas this year. Where is Pat Robertson, “Dr.” Hagee and the rest? I thought they said that hurricanes were divine retribution for alleged sins? Is God maby a little upset with Bush? Naw-w-w-w. Can’t be. ;-) )

  4. I think it is important to remember that the government told the people who refused to leave. “You are facing certain death. We won’t be able to help you.” And they stayed.

    Of course god is pissed. He doesn’t like republicans and Texas is full of them.

  5. Gabrielbrawley has it right. I see no reason why rescue personnel should risk their lives to save people that were repeatedly warned to get out before it was too late. I’m no admirer of the Cuban government, but when they say “mandatory evacuation,” they mean it. Everyone goes, willingly or not.

    I think god may well love Texans and Republicans, but by their own Bible, he HATES hypocrites! ;-)

  6. I’m a little more concerned with Haiti being completely demolished by 2 hurricanes. The American media doesn’t seem to care that much, although they’re all aflutter about Texas. (No offense to Texans, it’s just a little frustrating sometimes the way things are framed in the media.)

  7. @Kimbo Jones:

    Its the same thing with virtually every natural disaster: if it hits brown people, it’s a blip on the news. If it hits brown americans, its a little more serious. But if it hits white americans, oh man, the sh*t is ON!

    Sorry to sound crass just now, but its rather hard to treat western media outlets with much respect when their none-too-subtle racism is at hand.

  8. Reminds me of the pictures in the news papers that were pointed out by the daily show and others after Katrina. The one with the white person acquiring food from a flooded grocery store had the caption stating that he was “finding” food, whereas the one with the black person doing the exact same thing was captioned as “looting” the store.

  9. Oh wow yeah, I remember that “looting” thing…that was so pathetic. And I guess I shouldn’t only pick on America, the Canadian news hasn’t been too concerned either. They’re too busy talking to politicians who are worrying about whether Canadians will watch the American election debates instead of the Canadian ones.

  10. I really hope that the people who stayed don’t have pets or children… kill yourself, fine, but leave the innocent ones out of it.

    Also, I would love to donate blood, but I can’t. I foolishly answered honestly to the question, “have you ever had sex with a man who’s had sex with another man” (yes), and I was told that I couldn’t donate. Despite being tested for STDs regularly (with negative results) and the sex in question having taken place many years ago, I am ineligible. I understand that limiting the risk of transmitting serious diseases such as HIV is a concern, but when it’s pretty clear that I am not carrying that or any other disease, why blacklist me? I find the policy to be, on the whole, discriminatory.

    Sorry for the rant, but the whole blood donation thing really gets to me. I was a regular donor of plasma and platelets for a long time, too…

  11. I agree, I also have trouble giving blood for what seems a silly reason–I have tattoos.

    I don’t live in Texas now–I am in Michigan. Just in case there was confusion. And I didn’t like Texas much, I’m afraid.

    Lastly, I think people are really not being fair about the whole “when the govt. tells you to get out, go” thing.

    That assumes that people have a WAY to get out. And that they are listening to the feds/local govt. Mighty Favog got it exactly right. Sometimes people are irrational.
    This surprises us as skeptics?

  12. Bug, I’m not sure that the irrationality is surprising to anyone, but just that it is disappointing and frustrating. No one wants to see needless deaths, compounded by the risk to rescue workers.

    Of course, that applies to those who have cars and places to go. Those who are reliant upon public transportation and housing have it much worse, though from the safety of Boston it seemed as though there was plenty of warning and opportunity for everyone to get out.

  13. There was transportation provided to those who couldn’t get out on their own. We learned one thing Katrina at least. I don’t want anyone to die but I don’t want any first responders to die because someone was stubborn or stupid. Once it is safe immediatly go in and help but that is the line. Galveston is small and it is inconceivable that the people didn’t know the danger or the way to get out.

  14. Yeah, we won’t help the Cubans after Ike because they’re “Communists,” even though they are about as dangerous to the US these days as Lichtenstein. We won’t help the Haitians after Ike because they are beneath our government’s notice. Imagine the world’s reaction if we offered the Cuban’s and Haitian’s assistance – assuming either of them would trust the current Administration.

    Sometimes, I’m ashamed of my country. I think one of the reasons that Wall-E hit such a nerve is that the depiction of most of the humans was entirely too accurate – a bunch of overfed, self-centered sheep.

  15. Houstonian here …

    We just got power back late yesterday (only 4 days without it, not as bad as most). We went 3 days without running water and rain water came up through the foundation in our apartment.

    Half of the street lights are still out and/or hanging from the wires. Lines are an hour long to get gas and ice.

    On the good hand, people are really coming together to help each other out—I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.

    I just wanted to give readers an update.

  16. I just got power back a little while ago. I’m still breathing and so is the orange cat for those of you that care.

    For the record – the last time we had a “mandatory evacuation” in this area, the evacuation killed far more people than Ike did. If you’re wondering why so many chose to stay, that’s why. Houston roads can’t handle the day-to-day traffic of operating the city, a mass evacuation would take a month. Hurricanes just don’t give you that much time.

    The people in Galveston should have left if they could, but there’s only one real way to the mainland from the island, and it’s not really equipped for a few hundred thousand to cross in a day. I guess they could have tried to take the ferry to Bolivar, but that’s not safer, and everyone on Bolivar was trying to take the ferry to Galveston so they could take the causeway to the mainland, so that should tell you what a piss-poor idea that would have been.

    Sometimes there’s no good option.

    For the record – I stayed because I’m a crazy bastard with pretty much nothing to lose.

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