The Big Think

October 29, 2004


Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 12:38 pm

A friend of mine sent me the following link today about the supposed bulge in the back of President Bush’s jacket during one of the debates:

NASA photo analysis of bulge (site is not responding right now).

I’ve tried to stay away from politics in my blog lately (not always successfully). I don’t want this space to become antagonistic. Leave that to the instapundits and the Michael Moores of the world. But this story has pushed me Over. The. Edge. Here’s my reply:

It’s one of two things:

We all know that George W. Bush is so dumb (Yale and Harvard degrees notwithstanding), that he could never be president by himself. So the super-secret-stealth device that he risked his presidency by lying to the country about is either a radio so Dick Cheney can tell him what to say, or some kind of control system so that Rove and friends can manipulate him from a distance. Hey, I’ll take the word of some unknown guy over the president of the U.S. I mean, NASA trumps everybody in my book because people who work there are so much smarter and neutral than the rest of us.

It’s much less plausible to believe that Bush is wearing some sort of 1970’s era giant walkie-talkie (regardless of the fact that there are seriously small receivers now), than that it’s a badly tailored shirt. And why haven’t any of these conspiracy theorists mentioned the fact that he didn’t have any earpieces? Both ears were clear, and bone conduction only works when the contact point is relatively close to your ears. If it’s some newfangled hyper-advanced bone conduction system, why marry it to an easy to detect receiver?

Seriously, if Bush wanted to wear a wire, wouldn’t they make is so that you couldn’t see anything? When it comes to photographic evidence, I think the Face on Mars has taught us that seeing isn’t believing, and sometimes a shadow is just a shadow- “enhanced” or not.

This brings me to a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the rumored stupidity of our president. The guy went to Yale and Harvard! He flew jets in the reserve! He owned a professional sports team and a multi-million dollar company for years. He was governor of Texas, fer cryin’ out loud. If Bush is really as dumb as people portray him to be, he wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without slipping in his own drool. Now I’m not talking about the funny, over-done comedy type dumb of SNL, which is, I think, understandably extreme- the kind where Ted Kennedy is portrayed drunk all the time and Ford trips over everything in sight. Laughing at our leaders (and by extension, ourselves) is a healthy thing. But it seems like some people actually believe the meme that our President is either a moronic dolt or an evil anti-Christ. Maybe he’s an evil mastermind playing at being dumb! Yea, that’s it.

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Bush is smarter than most of the people in this country, myself included. Even if I want to dismiss the Yale and Harvard education as undeserved and a result of family connections, and say that it’s not hard to own a major league team (it probably isn’t… managing is the hard part), and say that he got lots of help from Daddy when he made millions owning his oil company. Even if I want to dismiss all of his life accomplishments as somehow lucky or aided or bought, you don’t learn to fly a jet in the military without an above average intelligence- especially when it’s pre-GPS/LORAN. I mean, have you ever tried navigation by ADF or dead reckoning? Takes more than a head full of rocks, if I do say so myself.

The “Bush is stupid” and “Bush is a pawn” and “Bush is being fed lines by Rove and Cheney” memes are as overdone and wrong as “Gore is a crank” and “Quayle is too stupid to spell”. These popular ideas are an illustration that there is a significant percentage of our population that acts as if they believe any president is illegitimate if they show any sort of personal deficiency whatsoever. It also shows a lack of sophistication on the part of a population that they will allow themselves to believe that one instance defines the whole. If we were all judged by our worst slip up, misspelling, or bad decision, none of us would merit any respect or understanding.

If people disagree with the president because they don’t like his foreign policy or disagree with the war on terror, or hate the fact that he’s run up big deficits, fine. I can respect that. I disagree with it, but I can see how an honest person could come to that position. But if they want to disrespect him by saying that he has the IQ of a monkey and they won’t vote for him because they think he’s a Trilateral commission pawn, that he can’t think for himself, or that somehow he’s the dumbest among us, then I have no time for them.

What do I think it is? It’s a badly tailored shirt.

I can hardly wait for November 3rd.


  1. Great comments Jason.

    As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve had to turn off all of the “news channels” during the day. They are full of nothing but hate and name calling. I will also be thankful when the election is over. I’m so sick of Martin Frost and Pete Session ads that basically claim the other candidate is Satan.

    I listened to Bill O’Reilly on Friday afternoon and he asked callers what would happen if their candidate lost. One lady said she’d stop watching the news.

    His point was that life would go on and for most people it won’t change drastically because of the election. I thought that was great to remember no matter who wins, you need to have a great attitude.

    Since our country has three branches, the control of one does not determine the entire destiny of the country.

    “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

    Comment by Michelle W — October 31, 2004 @ 3:33 pm

  2. Good response Michelle (and you, Robert).
    Hey Michelle, I saw your letter to the Baylor alum magazine! You go, girl!

    I had a follow up letter this afternoon about the lump. It’s long enough to make its own post, but I’m so tired of this whole political thing I’m just going to put it here (this may rival Giles’ Longest Comment in History over on Pat’s site):
    [on the very real possibility it was a bulletproof vest]
    Well, not that I can speak for the secret service or anything, but I’m sure there’s a limit to how thin they can make body armor and still be effective against reasonable threats (can’t wrap him in 2″ thick steel anti-personnel sheets). After that, you just depend on the fact that it’s not common knowledge, do your due diligence security, and hope for the best. I just don’t think they’d want him to say “what…that lump? That’s my bulletproof vest that I wear when I’m exposed in public… SO JUST DON’T SHOOT ME IN THE FACE”. Better to call it a bad tailor and get on to other things.

    Next time you stand behind a cop in the checkout line, look at the outline of his vest- it bears a very close resemblance to Bush’s “transmitter”, although it’s much thicker. I’ll bet el Presidente gets a much more advanced and expensive version that’s lots thinner and more discreet, but doesn’t stop the really big bullets (the kind that an ad hoc or poorly planned assassin isn’t going to have anyway). I’d bet that Kerry wears one as well. As a presidential candidate, he gets Service protection and I’ve noticed the Kerry campaign hasn’t said one word about it.

    What’s the line? “There’s no protection against a man who is willing to sacrifice his life to take yours”. I’m sure these are the guys who keep agents awake at night.

    Regarding [the press]: yeah, but this is the same press who spent weeks lambasting Bush for supposedly missing time during his National Guard service years ago because “it was fair game” (even though he hadn’t really run on his old service record) , and yet they didn’t ask Kerry one single question about his repeated, on-the-record Cambodia claims (okay, one joke on Letterman). So do you really expect them to take their responsibility seriously? As to “what the people want to hear”, I’d submit the stratospheric rise of talk radio and alternate media as illustrations that the press isn’t giving people what they want to hear. Or at least that many people no longer feel the press is carrying out their duty with integrity.

    I’ve come to believe that the media is the fourth branch of our politics- and the only one without a constitutional check or balance.

    On this note, one thing I’d like to see is some kind of law enacted where the press cannot “call” a state for one candidate or the other until that state’s polls are closed and the final vote is counted. Screw the freedom of the press. As far as I’m concerned, the press’s freedom extends up to the line of common sense and no further. If they can, knowingly or not, use their podium to effect a certain outcome in the elections, they should not be allowed the opportunity. I know, I know, it’s not that clear of an issue, but I think something is wrong if a biased media outlet (CNN, CBS, FOX, whoever), before voting closes, can say “we’re now calling state “X” for candidate “Z” based on exit polls” if this then causes many people to sit at home and not vote (See: Fla. 2000). I say muzzle ’em until every poll is closed and every vote is counted. They’ll scream that this will negatively impact their ability to bring the people the news that they deserve. I say tough cookies: it only negatively impacts their ability to get eyeballs and thus ad dollars. I won’t feel disenfranchised if I don’t know the instant outcome of every precinct and county in the country. The results are so important that I’d rather they be right than just fast.

    Sorry about the rant. It’s just that the world would be a much better place if I was in charge. 🙂

    Comment by Jason — November 1, 2004 @ 1:17 am

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