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Maybe Bush should be a usability tester

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2989000.stm

Tim Lara
Monday, June 16, 2003

Validating Segway's motto of "only an idiot could fall off one"

[grinning, ducking, running]

Philo

Philo
Monday, June 16, 2003

I guess 43 endorsed the Segway about as well as his Dad endorsed Japanese cuisine.

Jim Rankin
Monday, June 16, 2003

It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but someone has to suggest mastering pretzels before moving onto 2-wheeled machinery.

Had to be done.

Spam
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Bum I was going to say that given the pretzel lab that they were now supplied only in carefully pre sized bite chunks for the under 3's.

But there's not much point now.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

gawd that man is an embarrassment.

FullNameRequired
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Maybe he tried the pretzel again, but on the segway this time :-)

NSK
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

According to the BBC the instructions warn of "risk of death". I'm hoping he climbs on again tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Just curious..How many of you were able to flying fighter jets at any point in your life?

Yeah, that's what I thought...

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Fifteen years ago I was *launching* fighter jets. Does that count?

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I thought he skipped out on most of his "fighter jet" duty, which was in the reserves anyway.  Not exactly Top Gun material.

The Chimp is The Boss
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Well, I don't want to turn this into a pedantic argument about Bush, but my point was is that regardless of where he served, he was trained and qualified to fly fighter jets.

Whether or not you spend your entire career flying over South Dakota, or chasing MiGs near South Korea you have to be qualified to fly these things. And to get that qualification requires some degree of brains and physical stamina.

Enough of that......

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I used to teach Iberia pilots and their children. I got the inside information and it wasn't pretty.

In one year, one crashed the 747 drunk just outside the airport, and killed everyone on board, and another's last words before flying the airliner into a mountain was "bloody altometer's giving the wrong height again", or however you say that in Spanish.

I had another student i who became a fighter pilot for the Saudi Royal Airforce. His father was the head of the traffic department so he got us all our driving licenses and was given the corresponding lenency when it came to marking his exams. I supervised his college leaving economics exam. He asked to borrow a calculator; I asked him why and he showed me the calculation - he had to divide 36 by 4.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

"I had another student i who became a fighter pilot for the Saudi Royal Airforce. ...He asked to borrow a calculator; I asked him why and he showed me the calculation - he had to divide 36 by 4."

Now I see why the Saudis wanted American military around to defend them.

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

For some reason...I dunno...I'm guessing that to be a pilot in the US military, you have to be able to divide 36 by 4.

Last I checked, to qualify you had to have calculus and physics in order to get past the classroom portions of the training.

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Your right on that one Jim. There were stories in the Gulf war of Saudi pilots too fat to fit in the cockpit!

I suspect Mark is right and American pilots are a little brighter (though to be fair the guy could divide nine by four, it was just he was so used to a calculator that he had forgotten), and to be fair to Bush it has been his problems with language not Math that have exposed him to some derision. It does seem though that his talents have gone into giving a good impression rather than thinking things out.

It does seem puzzling on occasion how some politicians, who must have considerable talent to reach where they are - Bush is evidently much brighter than Dan Quayle -, then appear to have lost it all on the way up. In the UK John Prescott gives this impression, and there are a lot of others in both parties.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Stephen,

I suspect it's because once they begin to achieve some success as a politician, they are surrounded by handlers and minders who began to shield them from the real world. Over time, a "dumbing down" effect begans to take place.

Think about it...If you had a group of people every day telling you what to say, where to be, what to wear and whose hands to shake, don't you think you might begin to dull just a bit?

A notable exception was Lyndon Johnson. He was known as a brash, crude Texan who said what was on his mind. Even after he became President, he continued to say what entered his mind and didn't let his "handlers" have too much say in the matter.  Although I disagree with his politics, I have a lot of admiration for the way LBJ handled himself in office.

My favorite episode was during a press conference and some reporter asked one of this stupid, inane questions that reporters always asked. LBJ's response was:

"You are speaking to the leader of the entire free world and you ask me a chicken-shit question like that!?"

Gotta love that.

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

At least in the US you know you've got to go back to the real world after eight years. Where there is no time limitation politicians go completely crazy.  Gaddafi appears to have been crazy for at least the last twenty years, and even Castro's staunchest admirers will admit he's not the best of listeners.

Sadat had gone crazy before he was assasinated; he spent most of his last two years in office complaining how he was too good for the Egyptians who didn't appreciate his statesmanship as did superior beings like the British Prime Minister and American President. After he was assasinated they didn't allow any crowds near his funeral; many said that nobody would have turned up anyway.

Fellipe Gonzalez had the same idea - the great statesmen looked up to by other European leaders and unfairly treated by the ignorant Spanish (who proceeded to boot him out undecorously and put an end to his statemen like dreams). Thatcher went that way after she won the 87 election and Blair also appears to be psychologically unbalanced of late.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Just curious ... how many of you have influential parents who can get you into an Air National Guard unit staffed with other sons of privilege who are also hiding out from the Vietnam War draft?

Hmmm ... that's what I thought.

And how many of you went AWOL for a year anyways regardless?

Hmmm ... that's what I thought.

Regarding the theory of psychological imbalances in long-term dictators ... it seems Bush set records, going crazy even before he stepped into office ...

Alyosha`
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The thousands of Guardsmen who were sent to Vietnam would probably love to know that they were "hiding out".

SomeBody
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

For those who are tired of US politicos and would like to see a "speak your mind" President, I recommend reading Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders" - great stuff, especially if you're a conservative. (That's fiscal/political conservative, not moral/religious conservative)

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

... or support the candidacy of Howard Dean for the upcoming 2004 elections.  =-)

Alyosha`
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I wonder if Tom Clancy would have a shot at the presidency.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

This question keeps bugging me... I understand that back in the 70's Bush was qualified to fly F-102's for the National Guard and that in 1972 was grounded for failure to submit to a medical examination... and for the remainder of his Guard career, did not fly.

His recent photo-op where he was "flying" a fighter jet and landing it on the tarmac of an Air Craft Carrier brought up the question to me:  * It's been 30 years since he last flew a fighter jet... how on earth could it still be legal for him to fly it?  * Did they make some sort of exception for him (because he was President?)  * Is there some sort of exception when there is already a licensed pilot in the cockpit?

It seems to me that stringent flight rules would have to apply to military jets (considering each one is worth millions of dollars)

godiva de maus
Saturday, February 21, 2004

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