Sunday, April 17, 2011


As our American ship of state plows through the dark waters we are mere passengers peering into the fogy future straining to distinguish opportunity from danger among the vague ever shifting shapes ahead. But what if we spot calamity dead ahead?

We were in the position of a passenger at the bow of the RMS Titanic shortly before midnight on the 14th of April, 1912 who has figured out that there is an iceberg dead ahead. ♦

What'ya gunn'a DO? Ask the purser to wake Captain Smith so you can give him your opinion of his chosen course? Do you think the helmsman would obey your orders? Orders from a mere passenger? What'ya gunn'a DO?

After the first mate has refused to wake the captain ♦ ♦ and the threatened to call the master-at-arms if you continue to scare your fellow passengers; What'ya gunn'a DO?

Should you:
A. Rearrange the deck chairs so that everyone can get a good view of the collision?

B. Go into the casino and start taking bets on whether the ship will sink. Act as the bank and accept only cash bets (NO coins!)?

C. Realize that bad things are going to happen despite your best efforts and take responsibility for saving yourself and your family. Then go to the ship's kitchen, grab an ice pick and go about punching the pins out of hinges on as many of the wooden stateroom doors as you can so the doors ♦ ♦ ♦ can be used as floatation devices.
♦ Hyper Inflation? Hyper Deflation?

♦ ♦ Ever call the White House or one of your elected representatives? Do you think your message went any further than the staffer responsible for picking the correct form letter to send you?

♦ ♦ ♦ I read an account of one of the Titanic's lifeboats wherein an "Japanese man" was found clinging to a wooden door having tied himself to it after the ship sank. Doubtless he knew that because of the "morals" of the day he would be denied a seat in any of the lifeboats and so (thinking outside the box) took matters, and the door, into his own hands.

He survived.

1,517 people who followed orders and thought inside the box died.

"A little further on, we saw a floating door that must have been torn loose when the ship went down. Lying upon it, face downward, was a small Japanese. He had lashed himself with a rope to his frail raft, using the broken hinges to make the knots secure."

(Torn loose my rear axle! And the guy just happened to find a piece of rope floating around too?

No, the guy had a plan. First he removed the hinge pins from a door and hauled it upon deck along with a piece of rope.

Then he threw the door overboard and jumped in after it. Then he tied himself to the door using the rope. (He may have tied one end of the rope to a hinge before tossing it, that's what I would have done.)

Given the situation anyone with any sense (and enough time) would have put on wool clothing too.)

"As far as we could see, he was dead. The sea washed over him every time the door bobbed up and down, and he was frozen stiff. He did not answer when he was hailed, and the officer hesitated about trying to save him.

"What's the use?" said Mr Lowe. He's dead, likely, and if he isn't there's others better worth saving than a Jap!"

He had actually turned our boat around; but he changed his mind and went back. The Japanese was hauled on board, and one of the women rubbed his chest, while others chafed his hands and feet. In less time than it takes to tell, he opened his eyes. He spoke to us in his own tongue; then, seeing that we did not understand, he struggled to his feet, stretched his arms above his head, stamped his feet, and in five minutes or so had almost recovered his strength.

One of the sailors near to him was so tired that he could hardly pull his oar. The Japanese bustled over, pushed him from his seat, took the oar and worked like a hero until we were finally picked up. I saw Mr Lowe watching him in open-mouthed surprise.

"By Jove!" muttered the officer. "I'm ashamed of what I said about the little blighter. I'd save the likes o' him six times over, if I got the chance.""

What color is your door?

Desert (Have you even picked out a door?) Dave

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