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Saturday, February 27, 2010

waiting for the Hawaii tsunami that wasn't

What we find is that rumors are their own kind of natural disaster. A siren at dawn. Loudspeakers on a truck. A sea of people moving this way and that, taking orders--buy 7 days of food and water, stay in your hotel... It's also true that this is a drill for The Next One. My problem with that? It's the third such drill this year in Hawaii. And I wonder what the experts knew and when they really knew it.

For instance, the local Star Bulletin led with a front page story on Tourism Returns to Hawaii, and buried the AP report on the tsunami on Page 5. This in Hawaii, where a similar Chile quake in 1960 devastated the islands? If it were truly news, and the Star Bulletin truly a newspaper, wouldn't that be on the cover?

My green author and blogging wife, Mindy Pennybacker, put some of these thoughts up on Huffington Post and drew a sharp series of "how dare you" comments. Yet we were in New York City on 9/11 and know people who lived that day because they disregarded those very pompous experts who like to believe they have the right to herd us like sheep.

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