Tag Archives: Isidor Straus

From The Titanic X-Files:Business Insider Looks At Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theory

conspiracy-theory-alertMike Bird, who writes for Business Insider,was intrigued by a Titanic conspiracy he had learned about on the Internet. Various Titanic conspiracy theories have been around for a long time. This one involves Benjamin Guggeheim, Isidor Straus, and John Jacob Astor. All three men, so the theory goes, opposed the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve. So their deaths on Titanic were not coincidental but purposeful and by the Rothschilds. Bird tracked down this theory along with others(The Jesuit and Illuminati ones). Needless to say, he was not impressed (nor are most people when they read up on the facts).

He mentions at the close of his article something I had not heard about:

There’s also a lot of chatter about the idea that the Titanic should
not have sunk just because it hit an iceberg — a sort of
jet-fuel-doesn’t-melt-steel-beams for the early-20th century.

Frankly I am not surprised at all if some out there are taking this
line. Some have no concept, either through ignorance of what icebergs are or simply not understanding the forces involved, that a giant block of ice can cause such crippling damage to the unsinkable Titanic. So if it could not be the culprit, then of course it opens up a world of things to consider. I will leave it at that and still pursue my personal theory that Titanic was sunk by Marvin the Martian playing with his ray gun.  🙂

Source:
There’s a crazy conspiracy theory that the Rothschilds sank the Titanic to set up the Federal Reserve (12 Oct 2015, Business Insider)

Titanic Week In Review

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1.Titanic Menu Up For Auction
BBC is reporting that a menu from Titanic’s first class restaurant will be auctioned off on 18 October by Henry Aldridge & Son. The menu, stuffed inside a coat pocket, is expected to fetch £70,000($112,528). A deck plan used to help a survivor find the way to a lifeboat on Titanic will be auctioned off as well.

2. Ancient Wreck Dubbed Titanic of Ancient World Proving To Be Treasure Trove
The 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck in Greece is the focus of a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) expedition reports LiveScience.com. The ship likely sank between 70 B.C. and 60 B.C while on its way from Asia Minor to Rome. It was found by sponge divers in 1900 and early efforts to retrieve valuables proved costly in human lives. Some of the earlier items brought up back then included bronze and marble statues of heroes and horses, jewelry, furniture, glassware and a a complex astronomical calculator called the Antikythera mechanism. Jacques Cousteau also dived to the sunken ship and brought up some amazing items as well. This most recent expedition from Sept. 15 to Oct. 7 also brought up some fascinating items as well. Also the dive allowed for the use of rebreathers to allow divers to spend more time down exploring the wreck. They also used high resolution 3D maps of the site that showed it much larger than previously thought. Another expedition is being planned for next year.

3. Premier Exhibitions Facing Stronger Criticism Over Bodies Exhibition
As noted in an earlier posting, human rights activists in Toronto is calling for the seizure of the human bodies on display claiming many of the Chinese included were imprisoned or killed by that government. The Toronto Sun reports that Choose Humanity spokesman Joel Chipkar says the cadavers on display (which include men, women and children)were executed for engaging in such acts as belonging to group such as Falun Gong. Premier Exhibitions has not issued a formal response to the allegation.

4. If You Have $10.9 Million This Former Straus Property Could Be Yours
The Straus inheritors wanted to live big in Red Bank, New Jersey. So they decided to build a huge estate on 29,000 square feet that would have included a 27-room chateau had the Great Depression not slowed down and ended construction. They did build some fine buildings based on 18th century Provence and imported nearly everything to make it look right. What could not be imported was made by French and Italian artisans who came over to do the job. It was sold in 1951 and the houses became part of a co-op. This being a very wealthy area though, it was not a commune but a very nice place for those with lots of money to live in a lovely estate and share common amenities like a pool (important on those hot summer days). Now the whole thing is up for sale. Just fork over $10.9 million and it is yours. Pool included.

Not Titanic
1. I like the ABC show Castle. And like everyone was stunned at how last season ended. We are now two episodes into this season and this is what we learned:that Richard Castle has a very dark secret. And somehow that caught up with him just before the wedding. And he apparently, in conjunction with others to cover it up (possibly not by choice), staged the disappearance and likely used drugs of some kind to permanently loose those memories. Does anyone think the movie Total Recall is being done on us just with a Castle twist? Personally it would have been more likely had old enemies of his father had staged it. Hey, maybe they did for all we know. Not really liking this at all. One hopes down the road Kate does not wake up to find it is the day of the wedding and all that happened really was a dream.

2. Hells Kitchen continues its tradition of D list cooks who seemingly fall apart under the intense scrutiny of Chef Hell (Ramsay) and his assistants. It is becoming easier though to pick the ones that are clearly just there to cause problems in the group.

3. Someone needs to tell the folks over at Amazing Race we really do not care or need to know someone really had to go to the bathroom bad during the race. But we also found out in the first episode that some people really are quite stupid. One of the real estate gals actually said the sun rises in the west and settles in the east. The stunned looks on the two who heard her say that was funny. Needless to say the real estate gals were eliminated. Hopefully by now they have figured where the sun actually rises and sets. And it has been doing it exactly that way for a very long, long time.

That’s all folks!


If You Have $10.9 Million This Former Straus Property Could Be Yours

In Red Bank, New Jersey the children of Isidor and Ida Straus decided to build a huge estate called Cobble Close in the 1920’s. It was modeled on 18th century Provence and no expense was spared to get the best of everything. Anything that could not be imported was built to on site by French and Italian artisans who immigrated to America for the job. The huge expanse of space-29,000 feet–allowed them to plan a majestic 35-bedroom chateau (not built), orangery, a barn and a caretaker’s cottage. The Great Depression slowed and ended the construction. The Straus family sold it in 1951. The estate buildings were turned into homes and a co-op was created so that the building owners could share use of the pool and other things.

Now it is up for sale, the entire estate. The buildings look really good as do the interiors. The area itself is quite wealthy and rated a nice area to live in. With 29,000 feet, you can certainly find a place to escape from the cares of the world. Just fork over $10.9 million and it is all yours.

Source:Macy’s Family Built This Frozen-In-Time Compound Between Titanic Disaster And Depression(6 Oct 2014,Zillow Blog)


Titanic Musings

With the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking over, things have quieted down. News wires were jammed with Titanic themed stories, sometimes just repeating what others wrote. There were remembrances galore, Titanic dinners, heartfelt commemorations. And then inevitably come the commentators all trying to write that piece that sums up Titanic. I lit a candle and watched the movie  A Night To Remember based on Walter Lord’s book of the same name. Though we have modern treatments like Cameron’s and a recent BBC miniseries, this movie still resonates.

I recommend the Criterion collection version which has commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. They provide lots of interesting details, historical and otherwise, to the movie. The movie does a good job of visualizing Lord’s book but does shift around some things and not always historically accurate (like the opening scene which depicts a ceremony christening Titanic which never happened). Captain Smith comes across as more decisive in the movie but in actuality less so. The movie tends to show the crew working better than in reality in lowering lifeboats. On Titanic most of the crew and officers were unfamiliar with the ship and there were no drills. We see also how frightening it was to step into those boats seeing how far down they had to be lowered. We also see two very different reactions to Titanic’s sinking on California and Carpathia.

The depiction of Lord in that movie caused the real Captain Lord to seek a new investigation believing he had been unfairly maligned. Lord came under severe criticism in 1912 for failing to act. Conflicting testimony and Lord’s own statement the ship seemed to steam away gave rise to theories of a third ship, but that has never been proven. What is damning is that neither the officers or him were that interested in that ship to wake-up the wireless operator. Had they done so the SOS would have been heard. Rostron on Carpathia sprung into immediate action once he got the information and immediately set off. It is that standard that Lord, fair or not, is held to. Now had Lord had learned the same information at the same time as Carpathia, the outcome would have been the same. Both would have arrived long after the sinking and most passengers had died. So to blame Lord for Titanic deaths is a stretch and both of those captains heeded the ice warnings and stopped for the night while Captain Smith sped on.

There are many stories associated with Titanic and one notable is about Isidor and Ida Straus. When Isidor declined a seat on a lifeboat insisting that women and younger men be saved before him, Ida declined a seat saying “I will not be separated from my husband.”  As we have lived so will we die together.” It is one of those stories, told by witnesses afterwords, that had a lingering impact on people who learned of it. Such a remarkable show of love and devotion tends to do that. While most people learn that Isidor Strauss owned Macy’s not much else is reported about his life. Wikipedia has a biographical sketch but does not give you a feel for who he really was.

Thankfully an article in Jewish Ideas Daily does. Born in 1845 in Otterberg, Germany, his family immigrated to America in 1854 and settled in Talbotton, Georgia. While his family was Jewish, the family no longer was observant and ate bacon from their own smokehouse. He tried enlisting in the Confederate Army but was too young (16) and spent the war working as a store clerk. After the war the family moved to New York where he and his brother Nathan ran a shop selling family glassware and crockery at Macy’s Department Store. By 1896 both Isidor and Nathan took over ownership after the Macy family decided to sell making Isidor a very wealthy man.

Despite having no Jewish education and a secularist, he supported many Jewish institutions and causes even many he did not agree with. He was ardently anti-Zionist and wrote scathingly of its cause. His brother Nathan though was a supporter after a trip to the Holy Land. Ida was more appreciative of Jewish traditions reminding her grown children to remember Pasach and to eat Matzos. Like many he believed himself no longer Jewish but assimilated. Isidor and Ida’s deaths was mourned. Many Jews had died on Titanic but their story was the most well known. Memorial services were held in many places, a park in their name opened three years later (Straus Park). There is a memorial plaque on the first floor of Macy’s in New York, a public school named after them, and Straus Hall at Harvard (a gift from his three sons).

Walter Lord Still Lives On

Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember  first published in 1955 is enjoying record sales, print and e-versions. According to an AP report, 30,000 downloads of the e-edition were recorded by Open Road Integrated Media–the digital publisher. This is an excellent book. Check your local library to see if they have the old or newer editions of the book. It is worth reading and Lord’s excellent writing style does not disappoint. His book about Dunkirk is also highly praised. Worth a read if you come across it.

The Dark Side of Titanic

Gerry Adams penned an op-ed piece in the Irish Echo about Titanic. Adams, of course, was one of those agitating against the British in Northern Ireland for many years. So it comes as no surprise, despite the peace accords, that he would take a whack at British dominated Ireland in 1912. Harland & Wolff did not hire many Catholics, some were expelled, beaten or even killed. He writes further of the bad conditions Catholics endured and the divisions festered by government and business owners. It is interesting that while Adams praises the promising jobs created by Titanic themed building in Belfast, he wants no one to forget the society that built it. He praises Titanic but rues the society that built it.

Here We Go Again….Titanic II

Right after James Cameron’s movie came out there were people saying they wanted to build Titanic II. Nothing came of them, except lots of chatter on the Internet. Fast forward to 2012 and guess what? Some very rich guy who lives down under wants to build Titanic II. Oh and with Chinese help! It is his money, of course, so he is free to spend it as he wishes. However one wonders if it all just publicity stunt for something else. Whatever. Not holding my breath for tickets available for Titanic II in the near future.

Tacky Titanic:Titanic icecube

 

Need I say more?