Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Devastation and missing people

It was just reported on CNN that search and rescue operations are underway for an estimated 100,000 people who refused to evacuate in the path of Ike.

100,000 people? No way. Really? After seeing the aftermath of Katrina only 3 years ago? After hearing (undoubtedly) local history about the 6000 who died in Galveston, Texas in 1900?

100,000 actually refused to leave? Or were they perhaps unable to leave (for various reasons like ill health, lack of transportation, lack of housing, lack of information, lack of trust?)

Why is it that this never happens in Cuba; a country that is hammered by hurricanes (at full strength) nearly every year? Ike is really the first storm that has resulted in hurricane deaths - in Cuba - in decades. They lost under 10 people, which is remarkable considering how hard they were hit by the storm, and that it plowed right through Havana.

Cubans evacuate their people. I doubt they offer them an option. They do however make evacuation palatable... they bring their animals, livestock, provide transportation, food and housing. And their houses are protected until their return.

Are we doing that? Are we sure we are doing that? Or are we simply assuming that because our government says we are doing that... that they are making good on their word?

Because I just can't imagine why else 100,000 people would simply refuse to leave ahead of a monster like Ike. Almost every American has a television. Was it the label 'Cat 2' that caused them think this was just a ho hum, tropical storm? Or were they somehow more afraid of our government, of looters (that 'danger' everyone is always trumpeting,) or more worried about their 'stuff' than of the storm itself?

What went wrong this time?

Because if Cuba can get this right - an island nation with continual hurricane issues - surely we can eventually learn to get people out of harms way.

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