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  #1  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:24 AM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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Why do the secret societies have so much power and freedom in America?

My real question is: "Do secret societies have power in other countries"

Like communist countries for example?

I have already googled skull and cross bones to see if President Obama
is one of them ... shocking to find out who is.

Perhaps it's just a college thingy being Yale and President Obama being Harvard.

No hatred subject here (nothing to do with black and white) just wondering how they get away with being so powerful and free at the same time.

Surely other countries don't put up with it.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:26 AM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Free? yes. Powerful? not really. I don't think it's so very much to "put up with."
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:29 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I'm curious, Mr Quatro. What "power" do you imagine Skull & Bones has?
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Yeah, that's very much an "assumes facts not in evidence" sort of statement. I don't think you've shown they have any real power here much less in other countries.
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  #5  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:48 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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That's kind of like asking why the Whiffenpoofs are able to operate so freely...
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:51 AM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Free? yes. Powerful? not really. I don't think it's so very much to "put up with."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
I'm curious, Mr Quatro. What "power" do you imagine Skull & Bones has?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Yeah, that's very much an "assumes facts not in evidence" sort of statement. I don't think you've shown they have any real power here much less in other countries.
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Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
That's kind of like asking why the Whiffenpoofs are able to operate so freely...
Ha Ha! The secret SDMB society is already suppressing this information! Let me help:

Why so much freedom? Because everybody does.
Why so much power? Because your imagination is running wild. These organizations are basically laughingstocks or beer clubs. They're not the illuminati, secretly controlling the halls of power. (Or else they're very, very good at it.)
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:55 AM
Oldeb Oldeb is offline
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Correlation is not causation. Or at least in this case you have the cause backwards. The Skull and Bones attempts to recruit Yale students from wealthy families, politically connected families, or those with notable athletic talent. So if you look at their list of members you see... wealthy men, politically active men, and Olympic athletes. They're members because they were already on the way to achieving those things; they didn't achieve those things because they were members.


As for having freedom, I have no idea what you mean. They don't really seem to have any more freedom than other Frat groups. Maybe bit more because they have alumni who can lean on Yale to hide minor indiscretions, but I wouldn't consider them more free or powerful than a group like Tau Kappa Epsilon.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2013, 11:59 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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It's not secret societies that you need to worry about; it's the increased power, financing, and SCOTUS-blessed freedom of corporations and lobbyists that is going to implode our country at some point.
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:02 PM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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I guess I was just judging them from their members list as having polictcal power, power to vote, power to sway, power to plant seeds to do things their way.

Like someone else said it just a money thing with the Yale connection, but the real question is about why foreign countries don't allow this freedom to act indepently of the ruling parties will.

Wasn't there something about benjamin franklin that was due to a naughty society in England?
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:11 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
I have already googled skull and cross bones to see if President Obama
is one of them ... shocking to find out who is.

Perhaps it's just a college thingy being Yale and President Obama being Harvard.
First of all the name of the group is Skull and Bones. Skull and Crossbones is the thing on the pirate flag. Secondly, wrong college. Obama was undergraduate at Occidental College before transferring to Columbia. Skull and Bones taps Yale undergraduates. Thirdly my guess is that Skull and Bones' power might extend to knowing the secret phone number to Sally's Apizza (the true sign of a New Haven VIP).
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:12 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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What do you mean that "foreign countries don't allow this freedom to act indepently of the ruling parties will."

All politics in all countries are controlled by those already in power. People in power like to remain there, and they like to cultivate the next generation to continue in the same vein.

In the US, some of the cultivation is in the form of college clubs. It may take other forms in other countries. but it is still there.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:28 PM
moriah moriah is offline
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I just Googled that there are outer space aliens invading our society. Why does the government allow that to happen?
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:36 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
My real question is: "Do secret societies have power in other countries"

Like communist countries for example?

I have already googled skull and cross bones to see if President Obama
is one of them ... shocking to find out who is.

Perhaps it's just a college thingy being Yale and President Obama being Harvard.

No hatred subject here (nothing to do with black and white) just wondering how they get away with being so powerful and free at the same time.

Surely other countries don't put up with it.
How secret can they be if you can google their membership rolls?
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:38 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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If they're such a "secret," how do you know about them? It's the secret societies you DON'T know about that you have to worry about.
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:43 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
First of all the name of the group is Skull and Bones. Skull and Crossbones is the thing on the pirate flag. Secondly, wrong college. Obama was undergraduate at Occidental College before transferring to Columbia. Skull and Bones taps Yale undergraduates. Thirdly my guess is that Skull and Bones' power might extend to knowing the secret phone number to Sally's Apizza (the true sign of a New Haven VIP).
Truth.
If I had the political connections, maybe I wouldn't need to wait in line at Sally's, or I could use the (fabled) back entrance.
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:46 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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I guess I was just judging them from their members list as having polictcal power, power to vote, power to sway, power to plant seeds to do things their way.

Like someone else said it just a money thing with the Yale connection, but the real question is about why foreign countries don't allow this freedom to act indepently of the ruling parties will.
While there are lots of freedoms that foreign countries limit, I don't know how they could limit something like Skull and Bones, which is such a "soft" form of power. I mean, there's no conspiracy there. People like to work with people they already know, and that applies at any level of power or wealth. If you pass someone with a flat tire, you're guaranteed to stop and help if it's your mom. You'll probably stop for any family member or friend. You'll be more likely to stop for a casual acquaintance, but you'll almost certainly drive by if it's a complete stranger. The same is basically true for anything; acquaintances are more likely to be hired by a CEO, appointed by a President, etc.

Skull and Bones is notable because its members are notable. But there's no deep conspiracy there.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2013, 12:50 PM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
First of all the name of the group is Skull and Bones. Skull and Crossbones is the thing on the pirate flag. Secondly, wrong college. Obama was undergraduate at Occidental College before transferring to Columbia. Skull and Bones taps Yale undergraduates. Thirdly my guess is that Skull and Bones' power might extend to knowing the secret phone number to Sally's Apizza (the true sign of a New Haven VIP).
Wow! I missed that one ... yes it is Skull and Bones not the pirate one lol

but President Obama did attend Harvard it's just not quite clear how he paid for it (another secret)

"Sen. Obama has refused to instruct Harvard Law School to release any information about his time there as a student, or about his student loans."

Quote:
Newsmax contacted the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Financial Services, the Registrar, and the Bursar of Harvard Law School. None would provide any specific information on Barack Obama’s time at Harvard, except for his dates of attendance (1988-1991) or his year of graduation, 1991.

A spokesman for the law school, Michael Armini, said it was Harvard policy not to divulge information on alumni without their approval.


http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/...#ixzz2VGpyNU9Y
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:00 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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Cool. I would sue the britches off my alma mater if they released any of my records without my express permission.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:01 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Ummm...you are aware that Harvard and Yale are not the same place, right?
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:09 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
but President Obama did attend Harvard it's just not quite clear how he paid for it (another secret)

"Sen. Obama has refused to instruct Harvard Law School to release any information about his time there as a student, or about his student loans."
What conspiracy are you imagining about Obama's attendance at Harvard Law School?
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:14 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
Wow! I missed that one ... yes it is Skull and Bones not the pirate one lol

but President Obama did attend Harvard it's just not quite clear how he paid for it (another secret)

"Sen. Obama has refused to instruct Harvard Law School to release any information about his time there as a student, or about his student loans."
Puzzle solved.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:14 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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What conspiracy are you imagining about Obama's attendance at Harvard Law School?
And why is this sleezy innuendo-filled thread in General Questions?
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:34 PM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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And why is this sleezy innuendo-filled thread in General Questions?
because I had failed to read the mainboard topic about secret socieites first, that's why.

Cecil has all the answers on the mainboard:

Quote:
Do secret societies control everything?

By Cecil Adams
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:39 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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I just found out that out of 55 Prime Ministers of England/UK, 41 were involved in some shadowy agency called "Oxbridge."

Now THAT is a powerful institution.
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2013, 01:55 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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How secret can they be if you can google their membership rolls?
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  #26  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:08 PM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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What conspiracy are you imagining about Obama's attendance at Harvard Law School?
Clearly he got in on the Foreign-Born Muslim Socialists scholarship.
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  #27  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:17 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
Wow! I missed that one ... yes it is Skull and Bones not the pirate one lol

but President Obama did attend Harvard it's just not quite clear how he paid for it (another secret)

"Sen. Obama has refused to instruct Harvard Law School to release any information about his time there as a student, or about his student loans."
Blunnnnggggg!

I'm sorry. That was the sound of my eyeballs popping out of my head and hitting the monitor.

You hear that such people exist, but encountering one directly is like finding bigfoot in your bird bath.
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  #28  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:23 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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From Wikipedia regarding membership in Skull & Bones:

"If the society had a good year, this is what the "ideal" group will consist of: a football captain; a Chairman of the Yale Daily News; a conspicuous radical; a Whiffenpoof; a swimming captain; a notorious drunk with a 94 average; a film-maker; a political columnist; a religious group leader; a Chairman of the Lit; a foreigner; a ladies' man with two motorcycles; an ex-service man; a negro, if there are enough to go around; a guy nobody else in the group had heard of, ever ..."

How could Obama NOT be in such a group! I mean other than he didn't go to Yale.

Last edited by msmith537; 06-04-2013 at 02:24 PM..
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  #29  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:24 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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It's also not clear to anyone how I paid for Law School, except for the Law School, me, and my bank. It was all legit, but you may not have the details.
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  #30  
Old 06-04-2013, 03:27 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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You could make a much better argument that Harvard and Yale law schools now control the U.S., since every single one of the justices of the Supreme Court graduated from one or the another (except that Ginsburg transferred from Harvard to Columbia to stay near her husband):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States

Why is that? Well, these days the people who get into the top law schools are seldom old-money types. To get into a top law school, you have to have an absolutely stellar academic record through college. While it's theoretically possible to go to a second-rate law school and then show yourself to be a brilliant legal scholar there and afterwards, that's quite hard to do. Look at the background up to high school of the current justices. There's not much in common there except that they did so well in high school that they got accepted to a very good college. Harvard and Yale law schools have the best reputations, so they all applied to them after college and got accepted. If you do very well at those two law schools, you're put on the fast track to an eventual Supreme Court position. You have a very good chance to get a one-year clerkship to a lower-level federal court judge and a very good chance to get a second one-year clerkship to a Supreme Court justice. Then you can move up in the standard ways by taking a job at a top law firm or teaching at a law school and eventually being appointed a judge at some level.

This doesn't mean that everyone who graduates with very good grades from Harvard or Yale (or some other top) law school ends up as a Supreme Court justice. Most just end up as well-off but ordinary lawyers or low-level judges or even leave the legal field. Some graduates from second-rate law schools end up as judges. But the fast track to being a Supreme Court justice these days is clearly to go to a top law school (and then to do well at your jobs after that), and just by accident that happens to mean that all the present justices went to Harvard or Yale.
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  #31  
Old 06-04-2013, 03:38 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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At one point, I actually thought I should go to law school (although eventually I came to my senses and didn't). But my father wanted me to do so, so he took me to Yale Law School to meet some people. So as I was waiting to meet the dean or associate dean, I studied a picture on the wall of the law school class of 1966. I counted as I went, "Senator, senator, senator, judge, CEO, etc." It was amazing. I counted about six senators, five members of the House, various judges, etc.
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  #32  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:01 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I'll be happy to talk about how I paid for college and grad school. I grew up on a farm. Neither of my parents went to college. None of my grandparents went to high school. My father was a farmer and a factory worker. (My grandfather could make a living off our seventy-two and a half acre farm. My father couldn't possibly do it, so he worked full-time in a Ford engine plant and part-time as a farmer.) My mother didn't work outside the home after she got married because she had eight kids. Despite that, I graduated from a first-rate undergraduate college, got master's degrees in math and linguistics at excellent grad schools, and got a job as a mathematician which I've worked at now for thirty-one years and nine months.

There is no conceivable way that my parents could have paid for any except a tiny fraction of the cost of my education. That must mean that a secret society paid for it, right? Except that that's nonsense, and it's insulting nonsense. I paid for college and grad school the way that anyone lucky (and presumably smart) enough who comes from a working-class background does. Ford was offering competitive four-year scholarships to a small set of the children of blue-collar and low-level white-collar employees when I graduated from high school. I was lucky enough to win one. This paid all my tuition and most of my room and board. Even then I had to use loans to pay for the rest of my room and board, my extra expenses, and the cost of my traveling to college, since my parents essentially couldn't afford any of that. I paid for grad school with some financial aid and with teaching assistantships, plus some money from not very well paying temporary jobs. I made it through because I lived incredibly cheaply for the first twenty-nine years and five months of my life before getting a decent job. I'm not claiming to be a saint for doing that. Lots of people from working-class backgrounds did similar things, and many of them worked harder than me (and are now mostly better off than me). My point is that Obama or anyone else from something less than a rich family could almost certainly find a way to pay their way through a top law school. Incidentally, Obama didn't come from a working-class background. His mother eventually earned a Ph.D., his father earned a master's, his stepfather was a well-off businessman, and his grandparents (who he lived with for several years) were well off too.
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  #33  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:05 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Coincidentally, a Ford Foundation fellowship paid for my father's graduate work at Yale Law School.
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  #34  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:13 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
From Wikipedia regarding membership in Skull & Bones:

"If the society had a good year, this is what the "ideal" group will consist of: a football captain; a Chairman of the Yale Daily News; a conspicuous radical; a Whiffenpoof; a swimming captain; a notorious drunk with a 94 average; a film-maker; a political columnist; a religious group leader; a Chairman of the Lit; a foreigner; a ladies' man with two motorcycles; an ex-service man; a negro, if there are enough to go around; a guy nobody else in the group had heard of, ever ..."
Yeah, that sounds about right.

My dad was in Skull & Bones about the time of that quote - he keeps a picture of himself and a bunch of other serious kids in suits lined up in front of a Jolly Roger by the front door as a conversation piece. Now, depending on who's telling the story, dad was there as either the conspicuous radical, or the guy nobody had heard of (or, as I sometimes suspect, the notorious pothead with the 94 average); you'd think he was there as the token Jew, but actually, there was another Jewish guy in his class, although he may have gotten in on the "jock" and "son of a sports legend" ticket.

Anyway, I can assure you that my dad, while a great guy and a respected member of his community, does NOT control the world, or really anything much beyond his own back yard. He has a few rich friends, though.

Last edited by Alessan; 06-04-2013 at 04:15 PM..
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  #35  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:42 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Which one, Glenn or Stephen?
Koufax had no children. I checked.
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  #36  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:44 PM
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Damn it. I forgot how few American Jewish sports legends there actually are.

Steve, BTW. Nice guy.
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  #37  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:46 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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!!!!
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  #38  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:54 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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And that's why I shouldn't post drunk.
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  #39  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:06 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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. . . but the real question is about why foreign countries don't allow this freedom to act indepently of the ruling parties will....
Democratic countries do allow it, and secret societies, sometimes ones that include powerful people and people opposed to their country's government, do exist in other countries. (They undoubtedly exist in many undemocratic countries too, even those where they are not "allowed". If they are secret enough, their governments won't know to close them down.)

Consider the Cambridge (England) Apostles, for example. Many famous and influential people, including at least one cabinet minister, and several spies for the Soviets, were former members. Like the Skull and Bones, its existence has been known about for a long time. As far as I am aware, despite its having produced a few traitors (as well as many people honored and admired by the British establishment) it still exists.
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  #40  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:17 PM
CC CC is offline
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Ever vigilant! Semper fi!!!

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I guess I was just judging them from their members list as having polictcal power, power to vote...
What??!! Citizens in those clubs have the power to vote??!! I say there's something dangerously wrong in this country when members of fraternities can vote! What's next? Freedom of speech? Man, someone ought to do something about this. I'm glad you've brought it to our attention, Mr. Quatro.
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  #41  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:35 PM
moriah moriah is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
From Wikipedia regarding membership in Skull & Bones:

"If the society had a good year, this is what the "ideal" group will consist of: a football captain; a Chairman of the Yale Daily News; a conspicuous radical; a Whiffenpoof; a swimming captain; a notorious drunk with a 94 average; a film-maker; a political columnist; a religious group leader; a Chairman of the Lit; a foreigner; a ladies' man with two motorcycles; an ex-service man; a negro, if there are enough to go around; a guy nobody else in the group had heard of, ever ..."

How could Obama NOT be in such a group! I mean other than he didn't go to Yale.
What?!! How could they allow a Whiffenpoof without also allowing someone from Gryffindor?
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  #42  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:37 PM
Mr Quatro Mr Quatro is offline
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What??!! Citizens in those clubs have the power to vote??!! I say there's something dangerously wrong in this country when members of fraternities can vote! What's next? Freedom of speech? Man, someone ought to do something about this. I'm glad you've brought it to our attention, Mr. Quatro.
by the power to vote ... I certainly didn't mean the poor people's vote.

It was directed at the law makers in Washington ... the congress and the senate votes

one phone call to Sam Rayburn is all President Johnson needed, not that he was part of any secret society that is
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  #43  
Old 06-04-2013, 05:39 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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by the power to vote ... I certainly didn't mean the poor people's vote.

It was directed at the law makers in Washington ... the congress and the senate votes

one phone call to Sam Rayburn is all President Johnson needed, not that he was part of any secret society that is
Texas is just one big secret society.
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  #44  
Old 06-04-2013, 06:15 PM
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by the power to vote ... I certainly didn't mean the poor people's vote.

It was directed at the law makers in Washington ... the congress and the senate votes

one phone call to Sam Rayburn is all President Johnson needed, not that he was part of any secret society that is
Today on Facebook I checked into the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum. Coincidence? You decide.
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  #45  
Old 06-04-2013, 07:54 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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So... intelligent, talented, driven, ambitious, wealthy, charismatic people meet and associate with one another and form social bonds. As they climb the ladder of their ambitions, they help one another out when opportunities arise and work to give one another and their circle of friends and relatives a hand up. By and by they build a strong network composed not just of themselves but also of those who owe them favors or to whom they owe favors, and they prefer to associate with and direct work towards those who share that bond or who at least support their position.

That's no conspiracy. That's common human social practice since societies became sophisticated enough to have politics. When the society is large enough you have to establish at best a representative democracy and then the populace is voting for which elite do they trust to have its best interests coincide most closely with the People's.


And I find that given that, it's a very desirable situation to have private entities enjoy "freedom to act independently of the ruling parties' will".

Last edited by JRDelirious; 06-04-2013 at 07:56 PM..
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  #46  
Old 06-04-2013, 08:51 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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one phone call to Sam Rayburn is all President Johnson needed, not that he was part of any secret society that is
Right! And look how well that's working for Obama!
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:09 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Originally Posted by moriah View Post
What?!! How could they allow a Whiffenpoof without also allowing someone from Gryffindor?
Gryffindors are their own secret society. Much more secret than Skull and Bones.
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  #48  
Old 06-04-2013, 09:30 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Quatro View Post
but President Obama did attend Harvard it's just not quite clear how he paid for it (another secret)
Oh, for Pete's sake. Of all the conspiracy theory crap out there, this one has absolutely the least substance behind it. There's none at all.

Look -- my wife, who is from a desperately poor rural area, and whose family basically grew or hunted all their food, went to Harvard as an undergrad. She was a smart girl, studied hard, tested well, and was accepted. The Ivies are generally needs-blind. If you're accepted, you can go. They will work out whatever financial aid is needed, all the way up to a free ride. They're sitting on enormous endowments, so this isn't a big deal for them.

After graduating, my wife applied to law school at the same university. Again, she was accepted. Law schools don't throw money around. She financed law school with loans.

That's how Obama went to Harvard Law. And that's probably how he went to Columbia as an undergrad, too.

THERE IS NO MYSTERY HERE.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 06-04-2013 at 09:30 PM..
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  #49  
Old 06-04-2013, 09:37 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 17,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Texas is just one big secret society.
It's not. But, hooboy, do plenty of us who had the misfortune to spend more than a few days there wish it were!

Well, except for Austin. Let's not keep Austin a secret.
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  #50  
Old 06-04-2013, 09:43 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Texas is just one big secret society.
That we wish could stay a secret...
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