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The Obama–Skull and Bones connection

When all you have is two dots, there’s only one way to connect them.
—Dr. Conspiracy

imageI’m finally finishing up Arthur Goldwag’s book, Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies, and tonight read the entry on the Skull and Bones Society, Yale’s creepy, elitist, secret senior club, its members including US President George W. Bush and other notables. Goldwag wrote:

Another trick they play with time is to set the clocks within the clubhouse five minutes fast, to underline the difference between their privileged space and that of the outer—the “barbarian”—world.

imageImagine my astonishment when I read that sentence. High-resolution telephoto images that I took of Barack Obama during his past visit to Asheville, North Carolina, show that he sets his watch1 exactly five minutes fast too! Not 4 minutes, not 6 minutes but exactly 5.

What are the chances that this is merely a coincidence?

OK, you say that Doc is just being silly. But if there is no connection why were Barack Obama and the The Order of Skull and Bones co-defendants in a federal lawsuit?


1It’s reported that the watch shown was given to the President by an agent of a secret government agency.

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24 Responses to The Obama–Skull and Bones connection

  1. avatar
    ASK Esq May 17, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Doc, any Eli, Skull and Bones or not, would be up in arms at the suggestion that a Columbia/Harvard man such as Obama could be associated with their little club.

  2. avatar
    Majority Will May 17, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    ASK Esq: “up in arms”

    As provided by undisclosed, private military companies, of course.

  3. avatar
    Sef May 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    You, too, can have a watch like President Obama’s and set it 5 minutes fast, if you care to. Please don’t interpret this as spam.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    That watch was a gift from a Secret Service agent.

    Sef: You, too, can have a watch like President Obama’s and set it 5 minutes fast, if you care to. Please don’t interpret this as spam.

  5. avatar
    Horus May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Many people don’t even wear watches anymore since their clock is on their phone.
    I haven’t worn a watch for 5 years myself.
    My girlfriend keeps the clock on her phone 5 minutes fast, but women are not allowed in S&B.

  6. avatar
    Stephen May 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Horus:
    Many people don’t even wear watches anymore since their clock is on their phone.
    I haven’t worn a watch for 5 years myself.
    My girlfriend keeps the clock on her phone 5 minutes fast, but women are not allowed in S&B.

    The clock on my phone is set by the phone company as are all the other cell phones I’m familiar with, so how this girl friend sets her phone clock to anything else is amazing to me.

  7. avatar
    Sef May 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Stephen: The clock on my phone is set by the phone company as are all the other cell phones I’m familiar with, so how this girl friend sets her phone clock to anything else is amazing to me.

    Simple. You set your TZ offset to be 5 min east of your zone meridien.

  8. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Stephen: The clock on my phone is set by the phone company as are all the other cell phones I’m familiar with, so how this girl friend sets her phone clock to anything else is amazing to me.

    I’m looking at my phone (it’s not some fancy smartphone) and it has three options for “Time Zone Update”: Automatic, Prompt First, and Manual. When I set it to manual, it allowed me to manually set the time. However, switching back to Automatic wouldn’t take hold without resetting the phone.

  9. avatar
    James M May 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    As for nobody wearing a watch anymore, I can attest to certain fashion-sensitive professions where the wrist watch (and the fountain pen!) remain de rigeur.

  10. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    James M: As for nobody wearing a watch anymore, I can attest to certain fashion-sensitive professions where the wrist watch (and the fountain pen!) remain de rigeur.

    I always wear a watch when hiking in the mountains. Cell phone service is somewhere between spotty and non-existent. Also, glancing at the watch on your wrist is a lot simpler than digging a phone out of a backback.

  11. avatar
    Sef May 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    James M: (and the fountain pen!) remain de rigeur.

    Along with a pocket protector?

  12. avatar
    Majority Will May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Sef: Along with a pocket protector?

    And a slide rule.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    If I recollect Goldwag correctly, women are now admitted.

    Horus: but women are not allowed in S&B.

  14. avatar
    James M May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Sef: Along with a pocket protector?

    Yes, literally a pocket protector, at least in my dress shirts. On the average day I’ll have a fountain pen, a rollerball pen, and a mechanical pencil in my pocket. All (including the shirts) are prized possessions and get very frequent use. I consider it practical, but neither stylish nor old-fashioned.

  15. avatar
    James M May 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Majority Will: And a slide rule.

    Not since 1973. My only observation that I’ll make is that I believe kids don’t learn logarithms as intuitively today as when they had to understand slide rules.

  16. avatar
    Northland10 May 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Horus:
    Many people don’t even wear watches anymore since their clock is on their phone.
    I haven’t worn a watch for 5 years myself.
    My girlfriend keeps the clock on her phone 5 minutes fast, but women are not allowed in S&B.

    Apparently, I am stuck on my watch. I will check it for the date or time, while reading Doc’s blog on my phone (I know, the time is at the top of the phone… haven’t figured out why I forget it’s there). I only take it off when playing the organ or conducting. AT&T does not do a great job with the time on some of their towers so I have trouble trusting it for important things like catching the train.

    Now, since Obama is all powerful and now the conspiracy will place him closer to S&B, maybe he can find a way to set everybody else’s watch around here to 10 minutes fast. Then maybe people would show up on time.

  17. avatar
    The Magic M May 18, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    > When all you have is two dots, there’s only one way to connect them.

    In graph theory, this may be correct; in differential geometry, it is not (in non-degenerate cases). ;-)

    Nor is it in real life (because if you wanted to connect “The Magic M is German” and “The Magic M is an anti-birther”, you could connect this as “this means the pro-Obama conspiracy spans continents” or a million other ways).

    So either I don’t get the irony or I am missing something else (e.g. you could mean “… and that only way is the one that most strongly confirms one’s bias”).

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Being a mathematician by training, I was thinking graph theory; in graph theory nodes are either connected or they are not. The irony, such as it is, is connecting the dots at all. That is, “writing like a conspiracy theorists, I am forced to connect all the dots I have somehow.”

    The Magic M: So either I don’t get the irony or I am missing something else (e.g. you could mean “… and that only way is the one that most strongly confirms one’s bias”).

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 18, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    My dad was a watchmaker, and he advised me not to follow his occupation because mechanical watches would become a thing of the past. Nowadays, you can buy a new movement for an electric watch for way less than you can have a mechanical watch repaired.

    Horus: I haven’t worn a watch for 5 years myself.

  20. avatar
    JPotter May 23, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    Being an aspiring supervillain, I carry a pocket watch.

  21. avatar
    Keith May 23, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Horus: I haven’t worn a watch for 5 years myself.

    So… Egyptian not Greek, then?

  22. avatar
    Keith May 23, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    JPotter:
    Being an aspiring supervillain, I carry a pocket watch.

    So did I until my house got robbed while I was out playing volleyball.

    My Great-Grandad’s pocket-watch got taken along with about 4 broken clock radios and a TV set that barely functioned.

    I’ll bet the @sshole (or holes) got about 10 bucks for the lot, the fence tossed the electronics in the tip, and sold the watch for about $500 if he had any clue about anything at all.

  23. avatar
    misha May 23, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: My dad was a watchmaker, and he advised me not to follow his occupation because mechanical watches would become a thing of the past.

    There still is a need for horologers, though far less than before electronic watches.

    I have an 8-day Seth Thomas mantelpiece Westminster chime clock, and have had it cleaned and such twice.

  24. avatar
    MauiAL50 May 23, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    Skull and Bones was named in the lawsuit because they are alleged to have taken the remains of Geronimo. Mr. Obama was named “in his official capacity as President of The United States.” This means that he was named as a representative of the United States responsible for the actions of the government in regards to the issues of the case. If the writer had bothered to read the case in the link they would , or should, have realized that nothing in the case implies that President Obama is connected to Skull and Bones. He might well be, but nothing in the link proves such a connection.