People are dumb.

Hurricane Ike has been cruising toward the Texas coast for several days, and emergency planners issued mandatory evacuation orders for everyone living on Galveston Island, the low-lying area where Ike would hit first with full force. They used terms like “certain death” for those who refused to leave.

But, of course, people ignored them. Estimates currently say that upward of 100,000 people might still be in that area, and it’s likely many of them are dead. I’m all for free will and choosing for thyself, but sometimes you just have to see that your defiance of a hurricane the size of Texas isn’t really going to change the reality that it’s going to flatten your house and wash you away in a thirteen-foot wall of water.

Here’s a classic quote from a guy named Steven Rushing, who lives on Galveston Island:

My family is traumatized. I kept them here, promising them everything would be alright, but this is the real deal and I won’t stay no more.

I guess that’s the last time your family listens to your promises, Steven.

Worse than those who choose to foolishly “brave” the storm are those who stay and then, at the last minute, decide it’s not going to turn out so well and try to leave. They call– nay, demand– help from emergency personnel, and then we have noble police and firefighters who risk their own lives to save the dolts who refused to leave while the leaving was good.

I’m sympathetic to those who were hurt or killed in the storm, and clearly it’s a huge tragedy on many levels. But it’s hard for me to conjure up sympathy for the idiots who refuse to listen to the experts who are telling them it’s going to be a big deal.