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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  June 17, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Illegal Immigration...One more time.

Illegal immigration. One more time. Since cruises are popular, we’ll use one as an analogy.

So, you’re on an ocean cruise and you’ve been lucky enough to book passage on one of the best ships ever to roam the oceans.

Admittedly, she’s got her faults. Some of her systems need updating and there are rust streaks showing through her paint. On top of which, if you look hard enough, you can see several nice-sized dents testifying to past handling mistakes. Still, she’s the queen of the seas - a ship designed by masters, built by craftsmen, and loved by almost everyone who’s ever been on board.

One day, you hear a knock and open your cabin door. Outside, you’re met by a lot of passengers who seem to be a tad agitated.

They tell you that there are major leaks in the hull and water is pouring in. Worse, no one seems to be doing anything about it.

You scramble topside to find some crewmembers.

"Hey! We’ve got a problem. There’s water pouring in below decks and the whole ship is flooding."

"Oh, don’t worry. Everything’s under control. We’ve known about that for a long time."

"Under control? What the devil are you talking about? Nothing’s under control. The water’s everywhere and it’s getting deeper."

"Jut calm down. This is a huge ship and it’s well constructed. It can absorb a lot of water without any problems."

"I don’t care how well this ship is built, if you don’t stop the flooding, I guarantee that all of that water’s going to damage - if it already hasn’t - every system you need to keep this ship functioning and afloat. You’d better tell the Captain to get the damage control parties down there, pronto."

"Oh, the Captain knows. The one before him knew too. In fact, many previous captains and crewmembers knew about the leaks in the hull. We’re going to deal with the water but, instead of short-sighted measures, we’re planning on taking a comprehensive approach to the problem and all of the surrounding issues.

"So you’re not going to stop the flooding?"

"In time, we’ll get to it. It’s in our plan."

"Tell me, have you ever heard about how to eat an elephant?"

"Can’t say that I have."

"Basically, you take one bite at a time."

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

"When something’s gotten too big to handle all at once, you attack it in small bites. In this case, your first "bite" would be to stop the damned flooding."

"But that doesn’t address all of the issues."

"Neither does sinking, you nattering twit."

"I think you need to understand that there are many things regarding the water that need to be dealt with. We can’t just focus on one particular aspect and ignore the others."

"Dammitall, who’s ignoring anything? If you stop the flooding, you’ll give yourself time to deal with all of the water that’s already gotten in. With time, you can inspect the entire ship and pump out any that’s caused, or is causing, damage and look into ways to hold onto any that’s helping with stability."

"I’m afraid we’re not going to do that. In fact, we’re thinking about keeping all of the water we have and letting even more in."

"Letting more in? Does the name Titanic ring any bells? If you don’t stop the flooding,, I promise you won’t have to worry about any "issues" because we’ll all be resting on the bottom."

"Well, there has been a proposal to weld plates all along the hull."


"We put the first 3-foot plate in place last month."

"Three feet? Good grief, the ship is over a thousand feet long."

"We’ll get to the rest."


"Like I said, after we decide on all of the other issues. And, anyway, I’m not sure why we’re even talking. You’re just a passenger. Do you actually think you and the other passengers might have a better idea on how to deal with this flooding than we do?"

"As a matter of fact, that sure seems to be the case."


"And, I tell you what. I think a lot of us passengers are going to talk with the company about replacing the lot of you with a crew that has more than a passing acquaintance with common sense."

"I’d like to see that."

"Keep behaving like this and you just might."

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2007 by Larry Simoneaux
All Rights Reserved.

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