Dispatch from Maui
“Hurricane Lane in 2018 was our wake-up call, but we went back to sleep.”
Dr. McCullough and I founded the Courageous Discourse Substack during a time when the state was behaving tyrannically and incompetently in equal measures. It seemed to us that what tyrants want most is for a free people to be afraid, because when we are afraid, we are easy to manipulate. Thus, we wanted to highlight the virtue of courage during times like ours.
“Courage, mankind’s finest possession,” as the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus called it, is what enables us to do the right thing, to face danger, and to enjoy life. People who live in fear are miserable. As Shakespeare put it in the mouth of Julius Caesar, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.”
During the pandemic, the state told us all—even the young athletes among us—to be terrified of SARS-CoV-2. Once we are all afraid, the state wasted hundreds of billions on countermeasures that were useless at best, and—in the case of COVID-19 vaccines—actually harmful. The young athletes that had nothing to fear from the illness are now dying of myocarditis caused by the shots.
Yesterday I arrived on Maui to research the Lahaina Fire, and I spent the afternoon and evening talking with witnesses. The picture that is rapidly emerging confirms my early intuition —namely, if there was one thing the STATE should have identified as an existential threat to Lahaina, it was FIRE.
Last night I had dinner with a man who has lived in Lahaina for 23 years and lost all of his property, but was thankfully able to escape with his two kids. He repeatedly emphasized that for the last five years, he has been very uneasy because the fire hazard revealed by Hurricane Lane in 2018 wasn’t addressed. As he put it.
Hurricane Lane was our wake-call. The conditions back then were almost identical. The wind, which was blowing east-southeast and down from the West Maui Mountains, sounded like a combination of a huge bellows and turbine engine, just blasting through the trees and power lines. That night I went up on my roof [in Lahaina] to survey the surrounding countryside, and I saw fire burning on the hill above town, moving towards town as fast as a galloping horse. I had no idea that fire could move that fast. I ran out into my yard and hosed everything down with a garden hose and called all my friends and told them to do the same. The fire stopped just short of my house, but many homes were burned.
After the fire was extinguished and total disaster was averted, some guys printed up T-shirts with phrases like, “I survived Hurricane Lane” and “Maui Strong.” That was all fine and well, but as far as I could see, NO investment was made to prevent the same sort of fire from striking the next time a hurricane passed south of the island. No substantial investment was made bolstering and modernizing the power lines, and nothing was done to mitigate the fire risk on the hills above town. After the plantations were closed years ago, the land has been colonized by invasive grasses and weeds that create tons of fuel in the dry summer months.
There has been a lot of chatter on the internet that the Lahaina Fire was caused by a Directed Energy Weapon fired by malevolent globalist actors or their state lackeys. None of the witnesses with whom I have spoken have countenanced this theory. With tons of fuel piled up and wind gusting to 80 mph, ANY source of ignition—a downed power line, a cigarette, a homeless guy smoking crystal meth, or an arsonist with a cigarette lighter—is sufficient to start a firestorm.
Likewise, I’ve heard chatter about how the high-pressure system to the north of the Hawaiian islands was induced by geo-engineering to coincide with the low pressure caused by Hurricane Dora to the south, thereby blasting Maui with high-speed winds at the height of fire season. I’m going to need to see supporting evidence before I can subscribe to this theory. I’ve spent several summers on Maui and have experienced trade winds gusting up to 45 mph while windsurfing on the North Shore in August. High-pressure systems in the North Pacific happen every summer. In all likelihood, this one just happened to coincide with the low pressure to the south created by Dora. These macro systems were accentuated in Lahaina by katabatic wind descending from the West Maui Mountains in the late afternoon.
Once the brush fire on the hills above town hit the town’s gas station and wooden structures, the conflagration became a perfect firestorm. Gas cans in garages, propane tanks next to houses, kiawe and ironwood pine trees in backyards, gas tanks in cars—all of these, fanned by winds that probably gusted over 100 mph—stoked a fire that resembled the incendiary bombing of Tokyo in 1945.
Back to the bungling STATE: little to no investment in fire hazard mitigation was first of many grave failures. Other notable failures include but are not limited to:
1). Failure to sound the civil alarm system. The state spent a fortune on the alarm sirens, and tested them on the first Monday of each month, but then did NOT sound them when an actual disaster struck.
2). Failure to invest in adequate fire-fire fighting equipment. Maui’s firefighters are skilled and brave, but they aren’t equipped to fight fast-moving dragons like the Lahaina Fire. One of the weapons in their arsenal are Hughes helicopters equipped with water buckets, but the volume of even the largest—2,600 gallons—isn’t nearly enough to smother a huge brush fire in a high wind. They also can’t operate safely in high swirling winds.
3). Failure to respond post-disaster with much-needed water, food, medicine, and other critical supplies. My brother and his friends delivered some supplies by road and by boat, but these were ad hoc shipments. My brother marveled that while one friend made multiple trips to deliver supplies in his small fishing boat, the fleet of naval vessels and Chinook helicopters stationed at Pearl Harbor, just 150 miles away, remained in port.
4). When federal authorities (FEMA) finally arrived, they PROHIBITED supplies from being delivered, claiming that only FEMA was authorized to deliver much-needed goods to the displaced and stricken townspeople. At one point an entire convoy of full-sized containers, organized and loaded in the port city of Kahului, was turned back.
The apotheosis of the state’s insulting incompetence occurred on Monday, when President Biden and his vast entourage of black Suburbans, flown in by military cargo transport, visited the island. At the solemnest of occasions, with hundreds of people (including many children) still missing and almost certainly dead, the President doddered around talking nonsense, appeared to fall asleep during a ceremony, and then told an incoherent story about his own close shave with fire.
In characteristic damage control mode for its puppet president, the mainstream media rushed to say that President Biden didn’t actually fall asleep. This is an abysmal performance standard to apply to the Republic’s Chief Executive and armed forces Commander in Chief.
In 1863 the war-torn nation was treated to President Lincoln’s sublime Gettysburg Address. The shell-shocked town of Lahaina got President Biden’s babble about almost losing his ‘67 Corvette.
Originally published on the author’s Substack
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