Punchinello’s Chronicles

September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike Aftermath Contradictions

Seems to me that the rescue attempts and financial repercussions of the very large hurricane Ike are an example of what’s screwed up, these days. A couple of days ago, listening to the news, there were stories about how the weather people down in Texas weren’t holding back. “If you live in a one-family home, and you’re under a mandatory evacuation; if you don’t evacuate you’re definitely going to die.” It’s not an exact quote, but the part about surely dying is legit.

Once again, we have the news media licking their chops and rubbing their hands together contemplating massive catastrophe, loss of life, havoc, and destruction of Biblical proportions. If nothing much happens, everyone gets upset and looks out across the ocean to see if maybe in a week, there’ll be another chance.

This time, Ike was pretty good about causing massive destruction. So where are we going to get all the money that’ll fix things up again? A day after the main storm front, I’m hearing numbers in the $10-billion range, and that’s just to start. Insurance companies are worried they may go broke.

Then there are the stories of the thousands of people who didn’t evacuate and are a big problem for rescuers. How come they’re a first priority if they didn’t evacuate? Here in the midwest, Saturday afternoon at the hardware store was chaos. Everyone suddenly wanted a sump pump, what with floodding from days-long rain. Years of living somewhere, and what, ‘suddenly’ they get to thinking maybe the basement might flood?


Does everyone just sit around and dream that nothing really will happen in these storms? Isn’t this like the grasshopper and the ant, where lots of people do nothing and then assume someone else will help them when the crisis happens?

I’m right there when someone needs help due to unforeseen disasters. All kinds of things can’t be predicted, and when those happen, we really need to help. We all rally around, work together, and do whatever we can to deal with the problem. But more and more, I’m seeing this kind of suicide rescue taking place.

We hear that there’s a cliff coming up, the bridge is out, the highway is shot, it’s raining, and the brakes on the car haven’t been checked. We’re told to slow down, come to a stop, examine our plan, and turn around. There’s almost a zero percent probability that we’ll be able to avoid going off the cliff if we don’t change our current actions.

How come so many people simply ignore all the warnings? Do they want to go over the cliff? Are they trying to kill themselves? If so, then shouldn’t they be last on the list for rescue attempts? Why should the government (all the rest of us) be saddled (and blamed) with putting their homes and property back together again?

We should concentrate on helping the people who first did everything they could on their own to protect themselves. If there are leftover resources, then we might see about maybe helping those who did everything they could to worsen their own conditions.

If someone really wants to commit suicide, there’s not much anyone can do to stop them. Same thing with these hurricane situations: If someone really wants to die in a hurricane, then if they don’t it’s pretty much up to them to figure out what comes next, isn’t it?

Oh wait; I know; it’s the argument that a human life is priceless in every and all situations. No matter what, we cannot ever allow a human being to suffer, right? Actually, though, human life has been throughout history one of the least valuable commodities. Only a few times in history has civilization been advanced enought to try to improve human living conditions for everyone. And then, only when there’s abundance.

This phony-baloney moral position that victims have a “right” to take precedence over everything, no matter what, is just that: ridiculous.


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