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Old February 11th, 2014, 01:31 PM   #1
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But you did not die, right?

As the palace was rocked by a series of aftershocks following a large earthquake in the nearby provinces, the king was forced to camp on the palace ground at a safe distance from the palace building. One morning, four days after the large earthquake, he was informed that a city mayor, a regional police chief, a businessman and a forensic expert from the worst affected areas were waiting outside his tent to report to him about the disaster situation.

Emerging sleepily from the tent, his eyes were completely wide open after the regional police chief told him: "We had a meeting with the governor and based on the government's estimates, initially there are 10,000 casualties." The king dismissed the figure of 10,000 as a baseless estimate by officers too emotional involved in the trauma. He downplayed the impact of the disaster and put the death toll between 2,000 and 2,500.

In his response to the mayor’s report that his city was almost completely devastated by the earthquake, he criticised the local officials in the city for not being fully prepared for the devastation caused by the earthquake.

Reiterating his zero-casualty policy, the king said: "I am really personally keeping an eye on everything that is happening because of my guiding principle that in calamities like this the objective should be zero casualties. We value the life of every citizen. The citizenry should not be imperilled due to a lack of preparation.” He continued: "As your king, I am not allowed to get angry even if I am already upset. I will have to ‘stomach’ my anger.”

The businessman told him that armed men were looting the city and killing people. He told the king he was even held at gunpoint by looters. Irked by his complaint, the king snapped at him, “But you did not die, right?”

The king announced the official body-count procedure to ensure all data were accurate before releasing any figure of the dead. He told them that the bodies of the earthquake-ravaged province had to be identified and the data of each deceased had to be recorded under the following headings: region, province, number of victims, full name, status, age, gender, address, date and remarks.

The most interesting of all was the "remarks" heading, under which the “coroner” had to write down the cause of death of each deceased, for example: hit by falling tree while riding a motorcycle; fell from bridge while on their way to evacuation centre; found dead inside the tourist boat; hit by fallen branch of Gemelina tree; chest injury to concrete wall collapse; laceration with rib fracture; hit by fallen debris; toppled down by galvanized roof, etc.

“It’s because you have to make sure that there is the certification or a coroner’s report before it is made official,” the king told the forensic expert in reference to the supposed body-count procedure. However, she rebutted the king, saying he did not know what he was talking about. “Certification of a coroner’s report is needed before a body is counted?” The forensic expert asked. “Do you know, Your Majesty, that we don’t have coroners in the country?” She lashed out at the king, saying his method of slow and low casualty count had only exposed his gross incompetence and ignorance.

The forensic expert also lamented at how the king was running his government, saying he was afraid to face and confront the problem. “The one who is sitting on the throne now is allergic to bad news,” she said.

On hearing this, he almost flew into a rage. However, remembering that, as their king, he had to “stomach” his anger; he turned and went back into his tent at once without saying a word.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reedak View Post
As the palace was rocked by a series of aftershocks following a large earthquake in the nearby provinces, the king was forced to camp on the palace ground at a safe distance from the palace building. One morning, four days after the large earthquake, he was informed that a city mayor, a regional police chief, a businessman and a forensic expert from the worst affected areas were waiting outside his tent to report to him about the disaster situation.

Emerging sleepily from the tent, his eyes were completely wide open after the regional police chief told him: "We had a meeting with the governor and based on the government's estimates, initially there are 10,000 casualties." The king dismissed the figure of 10,000 as a baseless estimate by officers too emotional involved in the trauma. He downplayed the impact of the disaster and put the death toll between 2,000 and 2,500.

In his response to the mayor’s report that his city was almost completely devastated by the earthquake, he criticised the local officials in the city for not being fully prepared for the devastation caused by the earthquake.

Reiterating his zero-casualty policy, the king said: "I am really personally keeping an eye on everything that is happening because of my guiding principle that in calamities like this the objective should be zero casualties. We value the life of every citizen. The citizenry should not be imperilled due to a lack of preparation.” He continued: "As your king, I am not allowed to get angry even if I am already upset. I will have to ‘stomach’ my anger.”

The businessman told him that armed men were looting the city and killing people. He told the king he was even held at gunpoint by looters. Irked by his complaint, the king snapped at him, “But you did not die, right?”

The king announced the official body-count procedure to ensure all data were accurate before releasing any figure of the dead. He told them that the bodies of the earthquake-ravaged province had to be identified and the data of each deceased had to be recorded under the following headings: region, province, number of victims, full name, status, age, gender, address, date and remarks.

The most interesting of all was the "remarks" heading, under which the “coroner” had to write down the cause of death of each deceased, for example: hit by falling tree while riding a motorcycle; fell from bridge while on their way to evacuation centre; found dead inside the tourist boat; hit by fallen branch of Gemelina tree; chest injury to concrete wall collapse; laceration with rib fracture; hit by fallen debris; toppled down by galvanized roof, etc.

“It’s because you have to make sure that there is the certification or a coroner’s report before it is made official,” the king told the forensic expert in reference to the supposed body-count procedure. However, she rebutted the king, saying he did not know what he was talking about. “Certification of a coroner’s report is needed before a body is counted?” The forensic expert asked. “Do you know, Your Majesty, that we don’t have coroners in the country?” She lashed out at the king, saying his method of slow and low casualty count had only exposed his gross incompetence and ignorance.

The forensic expert also lamented at how the king was running his government, saying he was afraid to face and confront the problem. “The one who is sitting on the throne now is allergic to bad news,” she said.

On hearing this, he almost flew into a rage. However, remembering that, as their king, he had to “stomach” his anger; he turned and went back into his tent at once without saying a word.
The individual reporting on this terrible fiasco, failed to make any point whatsoever and thus no one paid attention to the failures of the imagined king.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
The individual reporting on this terrible fiasco, failed to make any point whatsoever and thus no one paid attention to the failures of the imagined king.
People's memory is short and plus a little bit of luck, it won't be surprising that the politician, the "imagined king" in the story, could be elected for another term despite his failures and "terrible fiasco" in handling the natural calamity.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Sounds like he was trying to have his cake and eat it too!

The piece of cake on the plate is too small for His Majesty's big mouth.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 05:31 AM   #5
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Reedak strikes again!

Sounds less about having cake and eating it too and more about those in power over-regulating in such a way as to make the stats show in their favor. One can imagine numerous instances where this metaphor applies today.
Thanks from reedak
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Old February 12th, 2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
Reedak strikes again!

Sounds less about having cake and eating it too and more about those in power over-regulating in such a way as to make the stats show in their favor. One can imagine numerous instances where this metaphor applies today.
Thanks for your comment. Besides deciding the outcome of a battle, history has shown that Nature (some people call it God) can mercilessly, through natural catastrophes, bring down a regime, a country, an empire (e.g. the Minoan Empire) or even an ancient civilization (e.g. the Harappan civilization).

The incompetent government leader in my political satire was quite lucky as he was saved from immediate downfall by large-scale international aid to his disaster-ravaged country.

Former US President George Bush was criticized for his administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina. Currently, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is facing a flood crisis in his country.

Katrina brings death, and more liberal idiocy

Katrina & Cindy bring bush Down!

Storms, high winds batter Britain - Channel NewsAsia

Cameron shuns flood crisis for Africa | UK | News | Daily Express

Does David Cameron's claim on flood defence spending hold water? | Environment | The Guardian

Britons rescued from floods as Cameron grapples with crisis

ATLANTIS - The Waves That Destroyed the Minoan Empire (Atlantis) - Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis

Ancient civilizations shaken by quakes, say Stanford scientists

Top 10 Most Terrifying Natural Disasters in*History - Listverse

TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY

Last edited by reedak; February 12th, 2014 at 06:16 PM.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 07:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Perhaps, but with the ambiguousness of Reedak's stories, just about any cliche' would fit!!!
I have mentioned last time that, like other writers of fairy tales, I prefer to leave the interpretation of any symbolic meaning to the readers.

As pointed out in my previous posting, a natural calamity could expose the gross incompetence of a government leader and cause his downfall, sooner or later.

Don't play, play with Nature!
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