The Other McCain

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As a Commentary on Our Decadent Elite, the Missing Luxury Sub Is Near Perfect

Posted on | June 21, 2023 | Comments Off on As a Commentary on Our Decadent Elite, the Missing Luxury Sub Is Near Perfect

So, you’re a billionaire looking for “peak life experiences” — exotic adventures available only to people like you, with more money than anyone could ever possibly spend in a lifetime. You discover that someone is offering a deep-sea excursion to view the wreckage of the Titanic, more than two miles deep in the North Atlantic. And you can book this trip for a paltry $250,000 which, for someone of your near-infinite wealth, is mere pocket change. This explains why two passengers aboard the deep-sea mini-submarine OceanGate Titan were “British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son, Suleman, 19 . . . Mr. Dawood is a scion of one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, with a background in textiles and fertilizer manufacturing.” Piloting the sub was its inventor, a man of impeccable pedigree:

Stockton Rush, 61, was born into two illustrious American families. On his father’s side, he is a descendant of two signers of the Declaration of Independence: Dr. Benjamin Rush and Richard Stockton. On his mother’s side is an industrialist and the namesake of San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.
The Davies derived their immense wealth from Ralph K. Davies. Born in 1897, Davies was already working as an office boy at Standard Oil of California by the age of 15. He shot up the ranks, becoming the youngest person in company history to earn the rank of director. During World War II, he joined the Department of the Interior at President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request. He served as the petroleum administrator for the war throughout the conflict.
In the postwar years, Davies returned to the private sector. He served as the chairman of American President Lines, the shipping juggernaut, and resided with his family in Woodside. His wife, Louise Davies, became a patron of the San Francisco arts scene; she would later donate $4 million for the construction of the San Francisco Symphony’s new music hall. As a gesture of thanks, her name was, and still is, emblazoned on the venue.

This is real San Francisco aristocracy we’re talking about, which explains why CNN has been leading every hour with updates on the search for the missing sub, about which there were some doubts:

The tourist submersible that went missing while exploring the Titanic wreck was previously the target of safety complaints from an employee of OceanGate, the parent company that owns the sub and runs tourist expeditions of the wreck. That employee complained specifically that the sub was not capable of descending to such extreme depths before he was fired.
That’s according to legal documents obtained by The New Republic. According to the court documents, in a 2018 case, OceanGate employee David Lochridge, a submersible pilot, voiced concerns about the safety of the sub. According to a press release, Lochridge was director of marine operations at the time, “responsible for the safety of all crew and clients.”
The concerns Lochridge voiced came to light as part of a breach of contract case related to Lochridge refusing to greenlight manned tests of the early models of the submersible over safety concerns. Lochridge was fired, and then OceanGate sued him for disclosing confidential information about the Titan submersible. In response, Lochridge filed a compulsory counterclaim where he alleged wrongful termination over being a whistleblower about the quality and safety of the submersible.
Lochridge, in his counterclaim, alleged that “rather than addressing Lochridge’s concerns, OceanGate instead summarily terminated Lochridge’s employment in efforts to silence Lochridge and to avoid addressing the safety and quality control issues.”

Worse still, they went woke:

Since the Titan Five went missing, a two-year-old Zoom interview with Stockton Rush has gone viral, in which he indicates he prioritized diversity and youth over experience when hiring people.
“When I started the business, one of the things you’ll find, there are other sub operators out there, but they typically have gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and you’ll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys,” Rush told Teledyne Marine in the interview. “I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational, and I’m not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology. But, a 25-year-old, you know, who’s a sub pilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational. ”
Rush continued, “So we really tried to get very intelligent, motivated younger individuals involved, cuz we’re doing things that are completely new. We’re taking approaches that are used largely in the aerospace industry, as related to safety and some of the preponderance of checklists of things we do for risk assessments and things like that, that are more aviation-related than ocean-related, and we can train people to do that. We can train someone to pilot the sub; we use a game controller, so anybody can drive the sub.”

We’re now in Day Three of the search for the missing sub, and chances of finding them alive are . . . not good. One ought not to gloat about such deadly matters, but as a metaphor for the failures of our decadent elite, this story is almost perfect. Alas, in his quest for “inspirational” diversity, Stockton Rush was apparently unable to recruit a transgender Thai or a Latina lesbian to pilot the sub, so it’s not completely perfect.




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