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Don't Look or...?
August 5, 2005 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Even a cat can look at a king...but... According to the Daily Texan when GWB arrived in Texas Wednesday, residents close to where the President was going to be landing were told not to look out their windows. Why? ....more inside...
posted by Dunvegan (66 comments total)

 
From the Daily Texan:

"GRAPEVINE - Roads were shut down Wednesday and residents living in nearby apartments between Dooley and Ruth Wall Roads were warned not to look out of their windows Wednesday.

School busses from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD formed a perimeter around the site where President George W. Bush was scheduled to land.

No one was going to get a glance of the president on his way to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center."
posted by Dunvegan at 12:08 PM on August 5, 2005


An attempt to keep up people's morale?
posted by mmahaffie at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2005


Strange. I wonder if this is normal operating procedure for such an event.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:12 PM on August 5, 2005


the Gaylord Texan Resort

you're making that up
posted by quarsan at 12:18 PM on August 5, 2005


This doesn't sound unusual. It's pretty standard for the secret service to make sure windows are closed along a motorcade route.
posted by brain_drain at 12:19 PM on August 5, 2005


Why, this molehill is no mountain!
posted by ColdChef at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2005


On his way for summer vacation on his Crawford ranch, the president stopped at the American Legislative Exchange Council's 32nd annual meeting. The conservative organization of 2,400 members, mostly legislators, recognized the president with their highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.

Quick, somebody hook up Tom to a generator, he's gotta be doing about 15,000 RPM.
posted by keswick at 12:24 PM on August 5, 2005


Hail Caesar.
posted by rolypolyman at 12:24 PM on August 5, 2005


If some Secret Service asshole told me I can't look out my window because the W was passing by I would tell him to go ahead and arrest me now. Fuck that.
posted by wrapper at 12:30 PM on August 5, 2005


Maybe the emperor had no clothes?
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:31 PM on August 5, 2005


Believe it or not I live off of that very road in Grapevine, TX and they began setting up barracades one week before his visit. He took a very peculiar, behind the scenes route into the Gaylord Texas Resort (yes quarsan!) through amidst apraprtments. Presidential-type Marine helicopters were flying over my hometown earlier in the week too.

DFW is Bush territory big time. Being a liberal is not easy around here. Every other car is a Ford Expedition with a Bush sticker.

I met GW at a Texas Rangers game around 1990. Seemed like a nice enough guy, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you told me then that he would some day be president, I would have fainted.
posted by punkfloyd at 12:31 PM on August 5, 2005


amidst apartments sorry I can't spell.
posted by punkfloyd at 12:34 PM on August 5, 2005


School busses from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD formed a perimeter around the site where President George W. Bush was scheduled to land.

Filled with nuns and orphans for extra security.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:37 PM on August 5, 2005


Yeah, on his way to his 30 days vacations -- waging war is hard work. When was the last time you took 30 days off?
posted by NewBornHippy at 12:38 PM on August 5, 2005


He keeps referrencing "what we see on our TV's." I'm offended.
posted by 31d1 at 12:41 PM on August 5, 2005


I ate at GWB's favorite barbecue joint in some little town in Texas that we had to drive many miles to get to. There was a helicopter pad across the road from the restaurant for emergency pickups, I guess. It was a funky barn of a place, with a huge bar, pool tables, a jukebox and so on, but the food sucked, and it was super-expensive. Tiny portions, huge price tag, and no flavor -- the "rib plate" was just a couple of short bones and strips of fat covered in sickly-sweet, ketchupy sauce on supermarket white bread. (The metaphors abound.) I've eaten more authentic barbecue in San Francisco, forgodsakes.
posted by digaman at 12:48 PM on August 5, 2005


you know, there are so many different styles of barbeque... myself being partial to Detroit style Barbeque (as I was born and raised on it), but since i've moved on down to DC I've developed quite a taste for North Carolina Style BBQ. mmmmmmmmm.... "tangy"!
posted by indiebass at 12:54 PM on August 5, 2005


Feh. So goofy. Reagan landed at Purdue U. airport in '86. We were told to leave the building before he showed up but I had a pile of work to do, so I just stayed put. Watched (disinterestedly) as Air Force One landed, limos came round, blah blah blah. When I left at the end of the day (and had to hike a mile down the road to my car) , his motorcade drove by so slowly and so close that I could have knocked on the window. But I didn't want to encourage him

I still have my sight. My eyes were not gouged out as a result of this indiscretion. Though I have a tendency to get queasy if the name Reagan is mentioned now. Connection?

Hmmmm.
posted by jeanmari at 12:58 PM on August 5, 2005


I haven't had a vacation besides multiple stints of unemployment in the last 4 years.
however, when I was in the military we got 30 days for each year. Seeing as how he's the commander in chief, I won't begrudge him 30 days a year.
BUT ... it seems ot me he takes a month off every 3 or 4 months.

on the looking ...
If they ask me "not to look" at someone they can bite my shiny metal ass.
By asking me not to look at someone they are directly asking me TO look ... because it's a free country and I'll do what I please.
posted by Dillenger69 at 1:01 PM on August 5, 2005


He was in his alien reptile form and couldn't shape shift because it's molting season. Just ask David Icke
posted by doctor_negative at 1:03 PM on August 5, 2005


Did they let Dear Leader's feet touch the ground?
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2005


The first paragraph of this article is the news trade's equivalent of a bait and switch -- it sells the story with a detail and then changes subjects, never following up the initial detail with an explanation.

It violates the Chekhov's rifle rule: "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it."
posted by key_of_z at 1:09 PM on August 5, 2005


If some Secret Service asshole told me I can't look out my window because the W was passing by I would tell him to go ahead and arrest me now. .

And they probably would.
posted by agregoli at 1:11 PM on August 5, 2005


He was in his alien reptile form and couldn't shape shift because it's molting season.
-----------------------------------------
This seems to be the most logical reason; makes sense to me (^_^)
posted by mk1gti at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2005


His motorcade drove past the field where we were walking our dogs on the night of this speech. The secret service cars slowly backed up along the edge of the interstate, watching each of our 5 potential terrorist dogs very, very closely. My husband, who can read my mind, kept repeating "Don't even think about mooning him!"
posted by tizzie at 1:16 PM on August 5, 2005


This doesn't sound unusual. It's pretty standard for the secret service to make sure windows are closed along a motorcade route.
posted by brain_drain at 2:19 PM CST on August 5 [!]


This cannot be true. What if it passed a hotel or apartment building?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:20 PM on August 5, 2005


they can bite my shiny metal ass.

That one's going into heavy rotation
posted by Jikido at 1:25 PM on August 5, 2005




Unavailable for questions.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:28 PM on August 5, 2005


Ynoxas. In reality they drove about 1.5 miles from a field where his chopper landed, past a fire station, and 3 apartment complexes. Oh and past a field with some horses. I wonder if the horses could look?
posted by punkfloyd at 1:31 PM on August 5, 2005


key_of_z writes "The first paragraph of this article is the news trade's equivalent of a bait and switch -- it sells the story with a detail and then changes subjects, never following up the initial detail with an explanation."

Yes, it annoyed me too. Specially because the FPP also ended with a suggestive "Why?". I was certain the article would explain the looking at the window detail, but the writer never bothered.
posted by nkyad at 1:45 PM on August 5, 2005


I'd make sure they couldn't see though the blinds, and then watch the entire performance, just to see what would happen. (Something like bamboo, with tiny slits.)

But then, I am,
The Unrepentant Hippie.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:01 PM on August 5, 2005


It's pretty standard for the secret service to make sure windows are closed along a motorcade route.

Er, you realise that from a non-US perspective, that doesn't make it better, right?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:11 PM on August 5, 2005


ate at GWB's favorite barbecue joint in some little town . . .the food sucked, and it was super-expensive. Tiny portions, huge price tag, and no flavor . . . digaman

well what do you expect, texans know jack shit about barbecue.

"Q" as we like to call it in the south is pork, or fowl.
you no "Q" understanding bunch o' big hat wearing TeXans can keep your damn "brisket", i'll be having a nice slice of pork shoulder this weekend at frances, in hestand Kentucky thank you very much.

*waits for texans to go get a rope*
posted by nola at 2:12 PM on August 5, 2005


I wonder if the horses could look?

Oh man I bet that ended up looking like a production of Equus I tell you what.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:13 PM on August 5, 2005


Bothered me also. That's why the "Why?" in the FPP...I was hoping we here could illuminate what the Daily Texan article did not.Err...umm...well, sometimes, they do shoot horses, don't they?
posted by Dunvegan at 2:17 PM on August 5, 2005


Me: "It's pretty standard for the secret service to make sure windows are closed along a motorcade route."

dash_slot: "Er, you realise that from a non-US perspective, that doesn't make it better, right?"


I wasn't defending the practice. I was just pointing out that the story wasn't reporting anything unusual, at least as I understand the way presidential security works. Also, my guess is that the directive was not so much "don't look at the president" as "keep your windows closed," which are related but very different instructions. The Secret Service took a beating after the JFK assassination for not paying attention to open windows on a motorcade route, so I expect they are pretty sensitive -- perhaps oversensitive -- about this kind of thing.
posted by brain_drain at 2:49 PM on August 5, 2005


If some Secret Service asshole told me I can't look out my window because the W was passing by I would tell him to go ahead and arrest me now. .
And they probably would.


Actually the SS counter-snipers would probably think seriously about shooting you.
Although they'd probably only shoot you if you opened the window, not just looked. It's a needless distraction to have a bunch of people looking out their windows, lots of movement, etc.

I don't know how the SS spokesman phrased it. I'd like to hear a "please" and an explaination why.

Bush isn't King Hardecanute. We're not paying Danegeld. You don't have to bow to him.
Doesn't mean I don't think he's an asshole, but it's a reasonable precaution to ask for. I wouldn't agree with any sort of enforcement of it though.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:00 PM on August 5, 2005


Punkfloyd, I seriously feel your pain!
posted by whl at 3:13 PM on August 5, 2005



posted by kirkaracha at 3:18 PM on August 5, 2005


Yes...unfortunate events have happened to Presidents in Texas...reportedly from open windows along motorcades.

But I wonder...did the Secret Service also secure the grassy knolls along the drive?
posted by Dunvegan at 4:05 PM on August 5, 2005


Yes...unfortunate events have happened to Presidents in Texas...reportedly from open windows along motorcades.

Once as tragedy, once as farce, baby. And everybody likes a good farce, right?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:03 PM on August 5, 2005


I once stayed at a hotel in Philadelphia overlooking the arrival of the pope. Notes were slipped under our door telling us not to open our windows.

The notes explained that there were sharpshooters stationed on the roofs of all the buildings around the area and that any unexpected motion on our part might be misinterpreted, resulting in us being shot.

It was explanation enough for me. I didn't open my window.
posted by Geo at 5:04 PM on August 5, 2005


I'd be happy if he took 365 days of vacation per year, even with full salary!
posted by bikerdriver at 5:45 PM on August 5, 2005


I grew up in Grapevine. It's a small town outside of DF/W airport.

I also lived two of my teenage years in Margraten, a tiny village in Limburg, Netherlands.

Why is George W. Bush visiting obscure places where I once lived? (Oh, and I lived in Austin for about 12 years, too).
posted by swift at 6:24 PM on August 5, 2005


So Bush is so uncomfortable mingling with normal people that he doesn't even want to be looked at? Will our eyeballs befoul his rich-kid pride? Are we not worthy of gazing upon our dear leader? Or is he just so afraid that some joker is going to try to take him out that the SS resorts to lock-down security that few world leaders would even accept? If an elected official is so endangered by his own constituents, is he even capable of performing the duties of his office?

For all that Bush wants to be like Reagan, he's as paranoid and dislikable as Nixon.
posted by Saydur at 7:08 PM on August 5, 2005


Not a huge Bush fan, but isn't this common practice when presidential motorcades pass through residential neighborhoods?
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:35 PM on August 5, 2005


Man... so no one liked my Clash of the Titans reference?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:47 PM on August 5, 2005


I liked your reference, c_d, and (on an unrelated note) I really need to learn to read the comments more carefully.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:49 PM on August 5, 2005


dude i loved your clash of the titans reference.
posted by nola at 8:27 PM on August 5, 2005


It wasn't the practice of his father's. Bush (the first) made a few trips to the Bush Museum of the Pacific War in my hometown, and all the people living on that street were out and about in their yards, including my parents. The motorcade often stopped so the Bushes could chat with them ... yes, stopped and talked to normal random people. Also, when his dad came to speak at the commencement at my college one year, the motorcade passed right in front of my apartment building, and no one said anything to any of us about not just going about our daily lives, though they did spray the entire route for mosquitoes the night before, and it gave us all headaches.

I've seen a few Presidential motorcades in my life, and never been told to stay inside or not look out my window or anything like that. It just seems weird to tell people to not look out their windows as the President goes by, but then maybe more people dislike him than any of the other presidents.
posted by Orb at 10:36 PM on August 5, 2005


Are you seriously suggesting Bush has slain Medusa?!
posted by lacus at 10:40 PM on August 5, 2005


what kirkaracha posted. It's pathetic that Bush is the boy in the bubble. He's afraid of us--his bosses?
posted by amberglow at 10:44 PM on August 5, 2005


Soon you won't even be able to mention the president's name in speech or writing. It's only a few bills away.
posted by deusdiabolus at 12:13 AM on August 6, 2005


What happens to you if you do look out the window? Arrested? Shot by the snipers? Absolutely nothing? I wonder just how they worded the request to not look out the window.
posted by dopeypanda at 2:10 AM on August 6, 2005


Are you seriously suggesting Bush has slain Medusa?!

No, no. You're not getting it.

What happens to you if you do look out the window?

Obviously, you turn into Stone Cold Steve Austin, Texas.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:14 AM on August 6, 2005


Seems like a ring of school buses would be a nice targeting aid for a skilled mortar man. But then again, all I know about protecting the president I learned watching stupid movies about Secret Service men.
posted by surplus at 6:17 AM on August 6, 2005


Yeah, Bush Senior and his motorcade drove past my home when I lived in Pensacola (headed to dinner at a restaurant down the street.) I stood in my front yard all by myself and watched them go by, then a few hours later went back to watch them go back. Both times the 'cade included a hatchback full of folded-up secret service agents.

It was kinda surreal.
posted by konolia at 7:19 AM on August 6, 2005


CD, the "Clash of the Titans" reference totally won this thread.
posted by Dunvegan at 8:28 AM on August 6, 2005


You guys just don't get it. They make a big deal about not looking, and circling the school busses, to ATTRACT any possible maniac with a RPG. Bush wasn't anywhere near it.
Bush travels the same way that Cheney does, hunkered down in the trunk of a rusty Ford Taurus or similar, ariving from the other direction, snuck in through the janitor's entrance by the dumpsters and grease traps.

People are told not to look because they might just NOT see him. Bush isn't the kind of president that gives a shit what you think, doesn't want to see all your slobbering faces, and sure as hell isn't going to wave to you as he drives by. He isn't going to kiss your stinky baby, either. But he sure is scared that someone might just get in a lucky shot, and takes precautions as necessarry.
posted by Balisong at 8:33 AM on August 6, 2005


in the trunk of a rusty Ford Taurus

Wrong. It's a Ford Pinto. And there's no rust.
posted by ericb at 9:07 AM on August 6, 2005


The notes explained that there were sharpshooters stationed on the roofs of all the buildings around the area and that any unexpected motion on our part might be misinterpreted, resulting in us being shot.

Playing off your fears here. It's still illegal to murder someone even if they were looking at your very important boss.
posted by betaray at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2005


I used to live in on a highway that went to Beaver Lake in Arkansas and Clinton had friends that lived on the lake. One year while he was President he visited them and drove right past our house. He waved to everybody, spoke to a lot of people. This was not even in a heavily populated area, there were homes with 5+ acre fields and so there were just people in their driveways here and there, scattered around. But he behaved like he was driving through a downtown area with crowds of people.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:57 PM on August 6, 2005


It seems here that they weren't afraid of what people would do as much as they were afraid of what people will see. they would have told people to keep their windows shut, not to not look out.

I think Balisong is right. He arrived another way, and this was just a ruse.
posted by watsondog at 2:43 PM on August 6, 2005


the "Clash of the Titans" reference totally won this thread.

Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity, everyone.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:47 PM on August 6, 2005


I think that the secret service just keeps a constant look-out for snipers and such. People standing in front of windows will probably be noticed by someone and checked out by some guy with binoculars or even a rifle scope. They probably won't shoot you by mistake but the more people around, the harder it would be to spot the actual sniper.
I doubt they would use ruses like described in this thread very often, since there is always a chance of the the ruse being exposed which would be not only embarrassing but also somewhat detrimental to presidential security. Of course, it's quite possible that this was a ruse, perhaps due to some threatening letter or other information about a possible risk. After-all, the secret service is rather paranoid about such things.
posted by lazy-ville at 3:32 PM on August 7, 2005


Civil_Disobediant, the Clash of the Titans reference totally made my day.

And I think I'm starting to believe the alien reptile molting portion of this thread...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:09 AM on August 9, 2005


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