Obama's Teddy Imitation Falls Flat

The "New Populism" is unlikely to solve Obama's political woes.

Editor's Note: This column is reprinted with permission of the Washington Examiner. Click here to read it at that site.

For an increasingly uphill re-election battle in which he'll have to "go negative," I'd figured President Obama would imitate Harry Truman in '48, railing against a "do-nothing Congress." But it turns out he'll be running as Teddy Roosevelt instead.

Obama wrapped himself in T.R.'s mantle in a much-hyped speech last Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kansas. There, in 1910, ex-president Roosevelt proclaimed a "New Nationalism" that would involve "far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had." He'd go on to challenge President Taft for the Republican nomination, and then run as a Progressive when that failed.

Modeling your re-election strategy on an obnoxious authoritarian's failed third-party run for the presidency a hundred years ago is an interesting choice, but not necessarily a wise one. It's a move of desperation, unlikely to work.

GOP front-runner Newt Gingrich calls himself "a Theodore Roosevelt Republican." Despite (or because of?) T.R.'s many flaws, politicians from both parties have long found something irresistible about our pulpit-pounding 26th president.

But T.R.'s enduring appeal is an enduring mystery. What's so attractive about Roosevelt's political philosophy? A loudmouthed cult of manliness? A warped belief that war is a good tonic for whatever ails the national spirit? A contemptuous attitude toward limits on presidential power?

The late-stage T.R. -- the version Obama has chosen -- is a particularly unappealing model. Out of power, T.R. became increasingly unhinged and radical, proclaiming in 1911 that "we must abandon definitely the laissez-faire theory of political economy, and fearlessly champion a system of increased governmental control."

After losing the 1912 race, Roosevelt finished out his career calling Woodrow Wilson a coward for not getting us into World War I quickly enough. "This last phase," biographer Lewis Gould notes, "with Roosevelt almost a parody of his former self attested to how his charisma had curdled in the concluding decade of his public life."

Yet Osawatomie Obama's policy prescriptions aren't nearly as radical as Roosevelt's were a century ago. President Obama offered a familiar mix of higher taxes on the "1 percent," tighter financial regulation, and more government "investment" in infrastructure and education. This is pretty thin soup for the Progressive soul.

The "New Populism" is also unlikely to solve Obama's political woes.

The last economic-populist campaign for the presidency was a flop, as anyone who recalls Al Gore's monotonous 2000 refrain of "the people versus the powerful" can attest. With even his running mate, Joe Lieberman, conceding that the appeal hurt the campaign, in 2002 Gore penned a defensive op-ed in the New York Times, insisting that "Standing up for 'the people, not the powerful' was the right choice in 2000."

Obama's strategists believe Populism has a better chance in a stalled economy. Perhaps, but you go to class warfare with the candidate you have, and Obama is a spectacularly lousy demagogue.

In his Washington Post column a few months back, "Mr. Cool Turns Cold," Richard Cohen told what he considers a moving story about T.R.'s cousin, Franklin Roosevelt, weeping in the Oval Office about the plight of migrant workers. "Can anyone imagine Barack Obama doing anything similar?" Cohen asks.

No, and that's fine with me. We don't need an Empathizer-in-Chief. That Obama is visibly uncomfortable pretending he "feels your pain" is one of the only redeeming facets of his public persona.

But Cohen may be right that it's an electoral handicap for a would-be economic populist: "He could be defeated because he is cold."

Even in hard times, class warfare remains a hard sell in America. And this president just can't sell it.

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and author of The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power (Cato 2008). He is a columnist at the Washington Examiner, where a version of this article originally appeared. Click here to read it at that site.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    The Democrats are too stupid to realize Teddy Roosevelt was one of them. All they know is the fact that he was a Republican. So invoking TR won't do crap to boost Obama's numbers.

  • Sevo||

    "So invoking TR won't do crap to boost Obama's numbers."

    You're right. He's relying on the GOP to do it for him.

  • anon||

    Who are only slightly less progressive than the democrats.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: anon,

    Who are only slightly less progressive than the democrats.


    Or better at hiding their progressivism.

  • Progressive Democrat||

    You're just a conspiracy theorist suggesting that Teddy was a progressive!

  • Zeb||

    I've run into plenty of democrats that realize that TR is one of them. It is hard for me to accept too, but TR is widely very popular.

  • sarcasmic||

    TR created the inheritance tax.

    Progressives get wet over that one.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, mighty white of him to institute that after his own parents had died and provided him with his own windfall.

  • tote-road||

    Bully!

  • Old Mexican||

    Obama's strategists believe Populism has a better chance in a stalled economy. Perhaps, but you go to class warfare with the candidate you have, and Obama is a spectacularly lousy demagogue.


    Especially at this jucture when people already know he's a liar.

  • Team Blue Moron||

    But he's OUR liar!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Especially at this jucture when people already know he's a liar."

    But he evidently doesn't know that people know it.

    He's a con man who is conning himself.

  • ||

    Politics and history both are as much about aura and perception as reality. Marie Antoinette never said let them eat cake and avoided expensive jewelry once she was out of her teens. But alas, her aura and image is much different.

    Teddy Roosevelt was an early 20th Century progressive. He was a prototype do gooder. But his aura and reputation are of a tough guy macho Republican. I can't see Urkel in chief doing tough guy or macho very well. If that is what they Democrats want, they should run Michelle.

  • kinnath||

    Perception is reality in politics.

    George HW Bush was ridiculed in the press for being out of touch with real people when he reacted with awe to a demonstration of a scanner in a supermarket. What went unreported was that the person doing the demonstration was showing off new technology -- they tore a bar code into pieces, then taped it back together. The scanner read the taped up bar code without problems. George expressed some appropriate amount of awe, and then the press crucified him.

  • ||

    they tore a bar code into pieces, then taped it back together. The scanner read the taped up bar code without problems.

    No. Fuckin. Way. Now I'm awestruck. How much longer till store actually deploy this much needed technology? (Stupid question. The fairly upscale Safeway I shop at still has the original model self-checkouts.)

  • kinnath||

    In 1992, scanners were still somewhat novel and not exactly trusted by many people.

  • ||

    I blame Terminator.

  • kinnath||

    Terminator was 8 years earlier during Ronnie Raygun's second run to the white house.

  • kinnath||

    Terminator was 8 years earlier during Ronnin Raygun's second run to the white house.

  • kinnath||

    Fuck the squirrels.

  • ||

    What amazes me is how often Saturday Night Live parodies of Republican candidates are quoted as the real thing. eg Palin's "I can see Russia from my house" and Quayle's "I wish I'd studied Latin so I could talk to people in Latin America".

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    I can't see Urkel in chief doing tough guy or macho very well.


    And that is despite chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games. Honest.

    If that is what they Democrats want, they should run Michelle.


    She seems to be the power behind the meek.

  • k2000k||

    Well Teddys tough guy persona was justly earned. He was a rancher, a soldier,was recommended for the medal of honor by the way, and an explorer. A lot of his progressives policies I find distasteful, but his personal philosophies I find very alluring. Frankly America would be better off if more people were like TR, in terms of their personal life not politics.

  • ||

    Don't get me wrong. I would love to have known him. He was a great guy, just woefully mistaken about a lot of things.

  • ||

    Don't forget, back when TR was around, democratic statism was a novel thing. We're looking at things through the prism of the utter failure of the USSR, Labour Britain, and the LBJ-Nixon liberal consensus here in the US, so it's easy for us to criticize people who didn't have the benefit of that history.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: k2000k,

    Frankly America would be better off if more people were like TR, in terms of their personal life not politics.


    Well, he was kind of a nut, k. Still, he was the equivalent of "Dos Equis most interesting man in the world."

  • ||

    TR's reputation as "rancher, a soldier,was recommended for the medal of honor by the way, and an explorer" is due largely to a dedicated public relations campaign (one of the best) and is far more myth than fact.

    In one of John dos Passos' novels there's a passage about TR that tells how as the Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill they passed the Regulars who were coming down after just taking it.

    The Rough Riders were a pure publicity stunt. Most of them were so sick with malaria and other tropical fevers they could barely ride.

  • ||

    Dos Passos is a liar. The rough riders fought quite bravely. Yes, more of them died form malaria and tropical fevers than died in combat. But that was true of the entire Army.

  • ||

    Actually, the stuff about the insignificance of the RRs is from other accounts. Dos Passos reserved his scorn for TR himself.

  • ||

    You're claiming that something is not fact because it's contradicted by a novel?

  • ||

    Yes, no doubt dos Passos exaggerated (he didn't actually write the stuff in question, he was quoting from some contemporary critics newspaper accounts). keep in mind that dos Passos was a socialist at the time and quite likely favored much of TR domestic policy. It was with his foreign policy that people like him and Mark Twain had a problem.

    But the fact remains that TR was a self-agradizing poseur whose family fortune got to pay for an awful lot of good press. And both his foreign and domestic policies were disasterous and his blatant disregard for the constitution set a godawful precedent for those who came later.

  • Ice Nine||

    Actually, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. And - you beat me to it - he was indeed a genuinely tough guy, a fact well-established, especially by his determined, self-powered rise from his roots as a weakling. In that regard, Obama should not be mentioned in the same paragraph.

  • ­­||

    Twenty Medals of Honor were awarded for the Wounded Knee Massacre.

  • ||

    Originally it was the only American medal for valor. Now it's the top of a long list.

  • ||

    Yep - Why would the wimpiest guy ever want to model himself after the ultimate "rugged individualist"?

    Roosevelt was a deputy sheriff in Dakota who chased down outlaws. One day he walked into a saloon and discovered a guy with a gun robbing the place. TR punched the shit out of him and bounced his head off the bar. Tossed the dude and tossed him in a shed so he could have a steak.

    I love TR the person and don't like the deep-end he went off late in his career.

    http://www.correctionhistory.o.....f/ch17.htm

  • ||

    Obama got a lot of shit from his superiors in the Chicago Machine for not waiting in line to run for high office. There were some periods in his political career when he faced seriously strong headwinds.

    Not remotely comparable to TR's history, and he's had more lucky breaks than anyone deserves, but it's not like everything's been handed to him on a silver platter. There were some points in his life when a lot of people would have quit (and in retrospect I wish he were one of those people).

  • ||

    I mean, a lot of the prominent douchenozzles in the outrage industry (formerly known as the civil rights movement) were ripping him as "not really black" back in 2006, because of his white half and not growing up in the African-American community. It wasn't until he won a few primaries that they got behind him.

  • ||

    Wow, that is a story of courage comparable to the Rough Riders.

  • ||

    Both Theodore Roosevelt and his son TR Jr. were decorated with the Medal of Honor. The President presented TR's MoH to his descendents in Jan, 2001. TR Jr. actions on Utah Beach with the 4th Infantry Division on "D-Day" resulted in his MoH. Despite what is portrayed in the movie "The Longest Day" TR Jr. was not Henry Fonda and was often described as "ugly as a "mule skinner."

  • tote-road||

    I believe his son, Teddy Jr. (we'll start the war from right here) won the Medal of Honor. Or did both win it?

    Either way, we might need more of a Kermit Roosevelt type to deal with Iran.

  • Spencer||

    Um,

    I think Obama will win again. I don't see anyone offering an alternative that will actually beat him come voting time.

    (other than Ron Paul, but the GOP will screw that up so badly- see Johnson.)

    So, perhaps we should be readying ourselves for 4 more years of this crap instead of talking about how his tactics aren't going to work.

    (sorry, downer day.)

  • ||

    That is what you don't understand, elections are about the incumbent. The challenger is generally just a bystander. No popular incumbent ever loses and no unpopular incumbent ever wins. All that "we ran a brilliant campaign" Monday morning quarterbacking is just political consultants padding their book.

    So it really doesn't matter who the Republicans run. Unless and until Obama figures out a way to make himself more popular, he is going to lose.

  • Spencer||

    Not popular, but sympathetic. I don't believe Clinton was extremely popular when he won the 2nd time- but I was barely a teenager then.

  • ||

    When Clinton ran again, times were getting good with the internetz really taking off. It's the economy, stupid. And Obama is running in the midst of a depression.

    Is he fucked? Probably.

  • sarcasmic||

    But teh deepreshun is Boosh's fault!

  • Spencer||

    ^^THIS^^ will be the strategy. People are retarded. Retarded people will believe this strategy. People will believe this strategy.

    I just don't want to celebrate yet. I live in Texas where the rangers blew the WS and the cowboys just give games away for no reason.

  • ||

    No they won't. Some will, but those people would have voted for him anyway. If that strategy worked, the Democrats wouldn't have gotten beaten so badly in the midyear election.

  • Spencer||

    But by losing in the midyear the people have provided a foil for him to run against!

    it's all very depressing. Also, I haven't eaten lunch yet.

  • ||

    People expect results from the President. That whole "use them as a foil" is a bunch of horseshit. The only time it is supposed to have worked was Truman in 1948. But that is more myth than reality. What happened in 1948 is more complex than Truman running against Congress.

    First, the Republican Congress repealed the war planning and rationing the Democrats wanted to keep, thus saving Truman from having to defend radically unpopular policies. Second, the economy turned around. Third, Truman didn't just run against Congress, he ran the most disgusting, underhanded and personal Presidential campaign in the 20th Century against Dewey. I am sure Obama will beat that record. But, he doesn't have the economic conditions or Congress repealing his unpopular policies.

  • Apatheist||

    Meanwhile the Texans keep winning without their three best players (but the Astros suck total donkey dick). Hard to hate on the Rangers but the Cowboys blowing games makes me smile.

  • Spencer||

    The astros will win it all in 2015! You heard it here first!

  • ||

    Maybe if they realized Coughlin would pull a timeout just before a 47 yard field goal they could have tied it up. It's their own damn fault, you know.

  • k2000k||

    Yes it really is the Republicans election to lose. The only way would be for the economy to dramatically improve, not likely, an attempt on the presidents life, not as likely, or a Al Sharpton like gaffe, within the realm of possibility but still doubtful.

  • ||

    Clinton had a good economy, which Obama will not have. And Clinton had a third party challenger who took 8% of the vote. Clinton would have barely won re-election and might have been Gored (winning the popular but losing the electoral college) had Perot not run again. But Clinton faced no where near the problems that Obama faces.

    A third party challenger could save Obama. But nothing else will.

  • sarcasmic||

    But a vote for a Republican is to return to the failed (Bush) policies of the past that created this, the worst economy since the Great Depression!

    If you oppose Obama you must be racist (now that Cain is out)!

    The stimulus wasn't big enough! Krugnuts said so!

  • ||

    Good luck with that.

  • sarcasmic||

    I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.

  • Spencer||

    I will pay money for you to be wrong, but I won't bet against it.

  • ||

    Oh, I'm sure that "it's Bush's fault!" will be BO's main campaign thrust, but it's going to be seriously hard to pull off with independents. People aren't that stupid to not notice that his party had complete control of Congress for two years and still controls the Senate.

  • DLM||

    People aren't that stupid to not notice that his party had complete control of Congress for two years and still controls the Senate.

    You'd be surprised (maybe not).

  • Sevo||

    "A third party challenger could save Obama. But nothing else will."

    I think a Newt or a Mitt will.

  • kinnath||

    Clinton had a good economy, a solid third-party contender (who pulled from the Rs more than the Ds), and a dull Republican opponent (Dole) with an ugly monkey on his back (Gingrich).

  • Mr. Soul||

    Hang in there, John. Make no mistake, BHO is done. It will likely be Mitt. However, the prez won't matter at all if we send him a Congressional majority that clamps down on spending. In that case, I want a flip-flopper. He'll flop right over to signing what's in front of him.

    80% fiscal conservative majority or bust.

  • ||

    Can someone please explain to me how it is we're supposed to buy into populism and "taking on the establishment" from a guy who has been in power for the last three years? What's he promising to do, "stick it" to himself?

  • Spencer||

    No, he's got a lot of mileage with the base sticking it to the previous dude.

    I don't see why it won't keep working. I wish it didn't, but people are retarded.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's Team Red's fault that Obama hasn't put a pony in every garage yet. They are the political establishment despite the fact that Team Blue controls the White House and the Senate

    The economic establishment, of course, is those evil korporate 1%ers. Like the health insurers who helped write the ObamaCare bill, the automotive and bank execs who helped write the bailout bill, and the many teat-sucking government contractors who helped write the stimulus. Those are the bad guys, and Obama will totally take them down after their campaign contribution checks clear.

  • Brony||

    Ponies for everyone!

  • DLM||

    Ponies for everyone!

    We're already getting the horseshit.

  • ||

    What's he promising to do, "stick it" to himself?

    Gross.

  • tarran||

    Yes, we need to follow the lead of a huckster who lusted after war and whose thirst for self-aggrandizement in unslakeable.

  • ||

    Roosevelt didn't get the country into any wars as President. In fact, he helped end the Russo Japanese war. Funny how someone who never got the country into a war as President is dubbed a war monger.

  • Spencer||

    maybe a reference to his time in the spanish american war?

  • ||

    He talked a good game. And he quit and formed the rough riders. He certainly supported the Spanish American War. But the fact remains, he never got the country into any wars as President. That makes him less of a war monger than Obama.

  • Spencer||

    Well, technically, bush is less of a warmonger than Obama. How many POTUS have been involved with 2 wars and started a 3rd?

  • History Scholar Tonio||

    Harry Truman. But you have to count WW2 European Theatre and Pacific Theatre as seperate wars. Plus Korea.

  • Raven Nation||

    I believe you are definitely correct in saying he never got the US into wars (as opposed to his fellow progressive WW, who seemed unable to stay out of wars). But a lot of historians argue TR promoted a more aggressive US foreign policy backed by the threat of force (i.e. speak softly, etc.).

    So, he used the threat of force in negotiations with the British & Germans regarding Venezuela (1902), the US-Canadian border dispute (1902), Great White Fleet (1907). He also sent troops into the DR (1907) and Cuba (1906-09).

    He had also advocated in favor of the liberation of Cuba - which almost certainly would require military intervention.

    So, definitely not someone who started wars but, for may academics, an example of that unsavory American "militaristic" character.

  • ||

    a more aggressive US foreign policy backed by the threat of force (i.e. speak softly, etc.).

    I dunno, just maybe this explains, rather than contradicts, why we didn't get into any wars on his watch?

    If you want peace, prepare for war.

  • Raven Nation||

    Agreed. But, again, from the perspective of academic historians, TR still gets portrayed as a warmonger b/c of his apparent willingness to use US military force.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He didn't start wars as President, but as Asst Secy of the Navy he was one those pushing for the Spanish-American War. If the war hadn't happened, he would be tearing out his hair and calling McKinley nasty names.

    But, gosh, at least Cuba is free now!

  • chris||

    Does the Philippine Insurrection not count, or am I off by a few years on the time line for that action?

  • Raven Nation||

    TR was involved but not an instigator. Insurrection began 1899 in wake of Spanish-American War. Roosevelt became prez Sep, 1901 after McKinley assassinated (TR was not veep during McKinley's first term).

    Insurrection sort of came to an end early in 1901.

  • sarcasmic||

    Obama doesn't start wars.
    He's got a Piece Prize!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yeah, but Teddy got one before him.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

  • romulus augustus||

    Wasn't Teddy one of the most prominent agitators for getting into WWI? Had he opposed it, would that have given Wilson backbone to stay out?

  • ||

    He was a huge agitator for World War I. But it is a bit of a stretch to say that he caused us to get into the War. Wilson acted on his own. If anyone forced Wilson into the War it was the Germans.

  • tarran||

    The Germans only forced Wilson's hand in that they were bankrupting the English, and the JP Morgan Co looked like they were going to eat those loans they had made to the English. fortunately, JP Morgan knew a guy.

  • ||

    Then there was that small thing where they were sinking US ships and inviting Mexico to invade the Southwest. The Germans brought diplomatic incompetence to a new level. They brought the US into the war.

    Seriously, you were on here the other day defending the poor Japanese. Now today the Imperial Germans. Is there any war mongering imperialistic country you won't defend?

  • tarran||

    John,

    Attacking U.S. and English imperial ambitions != defending German or Japanese imperialism.

    You're a lawyer and I know you can make the distinction.

    Or when you discussed Othello in English class did you accuse the people who said "Iago sucks" of defending spousal murder?

  • ||

    But neither World Wars advanced imperial ambition. An imperial war is something like the Afghan or Opium Wars. Last I looked neither the US or Britain took any colonies on continental Europe.

    The Japanese were one of the worst regimes in history. The US putting an end to them is one of the good deeds of American history. How you can paint them as innocent victims or think the US was somehow at fault for them launching a surprise attack is beyond me. You just hate the US more than you hate aggressive fascist societies.

    Sorry but spouting moral equivalence is just as bad as defending those regimes.

  • tarran||

    Imperialism is not solely concerned with siezing colonies, John.

    Empires occasionally fight each other directly in order to grab/retain spheres of control.

    And again you seriously need to drop the moral equivalence meme because that's not going on here.

    Perhaps you're childless, so you've never experienced a situation where one child is trying to beat the crap out of the other after the other waltzed in dismantled #1's legos out of spite. Reprimanding #1 is not, repeat not rewarding or rewarding #2's bad behavior.

  • ||

    For the 500th time. We were the Japanese' allies throughout the 1920s and looked the other way while they raped Korea. It was only after they invaded China that we started to confront them. But the US hardly drove them to that. You are just wrong on this. The Japanese were bent on conquering and enslaving the entire continent of Asia.

  • ||

    Sort of like the original east-of-the-Mississippi US was bent on conquering North America?

    How could the Japanese NOT have learned from Western history that the way to prosperity is to take land away from other peoples?

  • chris||

    Not only that, but John misstated what the Japanese goals were at the time. The purpose of invading the Nanking region of China in the 30's was to counter the Russians who were quite expansionistic in their direction and sphere at the time. There growth as an empire was explosive, and quite alarming from the standpoint of an power that had to defend against it. However, by 1940 the policy was considered a failure in Japan. FDR undermined the westernphiles in Japan who were gaining political strength due to the embarrassment that ultra nationalist policies brought them. FDR did what he could to embarrass them to thwart any chance of a meaningful truce that would come at the expense of Uncle Joe.

  • chris||

    standpoint of an power

    standpoint of any power

    This should make up for it, big boned but beautiful (not fat, literally a mesomorph).

    http://www.wwtdd.com/2011/12/c.....alker-now/

  • ||

    Are you seriously suggesting that the history of empire-making by conquering other peoples didn't start until the "west" came to dominate the scene? All Japan had to do was look to their immediate west for those lessons. And those Asian empires had come into existence hundreds of years before the west came to power.

  • John's Nemesis Tonio||

    You're a lawyer and I know you can make the distinction.

    Pure comedy gold! Ha, ha.

  • tarran||

    Oh please!

    He tried to get the U.S. in WW I in 1915!.

    And his interventions on behalf of Russia during the peace negotiations did much to inflame Japanese hostility towards the U.S.

    Fortunately the Japanese never acted on their hostility.

    Mark Twain had his number.

  • ||

    And we spent the entire decade of the 1920s enabling and encouraging Japanese imperialism in Asia. Good thing that worked out well.

    And a lot of people wanted us to get into World War I, including last I looked, the President and Congress in 1917.

  • tarran||

    Next you'll be telling me that Alfred Rosenberg wasn't an anti-semite because lots of Germans hated Jews.

  • ||

    Supporting World War I doesn't make you the Alfred Rosenberg of war. And even if it was, isn't it your position that the Germans were the innocent victims of American aggression in World War II?

  • tarran||

    Nope. You're making a false dichotomy.

    The only "innocent" victims were guys like Franz Jägerstätter or Sophie Scholl.

    We can even give guys like the current Pope a pass because they were conscripts who feared ending up like ol' Franz.

    But Hilter didn't climb to power in a vacuum. The reason why his narrative that Germans were victims who should use force to take their rightful place in the world resonated because there were elements of truth in what he said. He could point to the starvation blockade that lasted well past the armistice. He could point to the crippling reparation payments they were paying as opposed to Russia (who had done a great deal to forment the War in its own right).

    When a whole people goes nuts as the Germans did, one has to ask why would a guy like Hitler make sense to them?

    Why did they listen to him while in the US Wesley Swift remains a nobody?

    In the U.S. we can't control what Russians do. We can't direct how the Japanese think. All we control are our own actions.

    And the actions of the U.S. government during its imperial adventures, particularly since the late 19th century have been spectacularly crappy. The u.S. has formented wars, participated in slaughters and engaged in pretty rotten behavior.

    I look at the Germans and Japanese populace in WW II, and I see how U.S. policies impacted them. The policies of the United States pushed them towards warlike behavior. The Japanese and Germans who gave into the warlike path are quite deserving of condemnation. But that in no way eliminates U.S. responsibility towards its contributions in making that path attractive.

  • ||

    See my post above. You are just wrong about the Japanese. We encouraged and coddled the Japanese throughout the 1920s. If anything US weakness contributed to the problem.

    And cry me a fucking river for the post war Germans. They started the worst tragedy in human history to that point. They bear the entire responsibility for the WWI. It was Germany who pushed Austria to confront Russia. It was Germany who invaded France. It was Germany who turned what should have been another Balkan war into a world conflagration. And it was German who released Lenin on Russia like some kind of political germ warfare.

    The Germans got everything they deserved in 1919.

  • tarran||

    You're arguing that German farmers deserved to watch their children suffer in a farmer because the Kaiser's foreign minister was a warmonger?

    Wow!

    You're verging into the territory of agreeing with Osama bin Laden's justification for murdering American citizens in response to the policies of the U.S. government.

  • tarran||

    in a famine not in a farmer... Damn and blast!

  • ||

    The Germans started the war. And certainly starving them out was one way to win it. As for the Germans themselves, tough shit. Don't start a war. And yes, they deserved to have to pay reparations for the war they started.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe more of a war enthusiast than a warmonger, then. I certainly get the sense that he was personally excited by the idea of war.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: John,

    Roosevelt didn't get the country into any wars as President.


    Except the Philipino Insurrection, which lead to the Moro massacre.

    Not that the Moros weren't deserving of being massacred - those guys are just way beyond being nuts.

  • ||

    I like that picture, but you should try to find one of Teddy killing a polar bear.

  • ||

    OK, I'm watching Star Wars (Episode IV) from a strictly critical perspective, and I've got to say, there are some serious contradictions and poor plot/character development in the movie.

    For instance, Luke uses the nickname "Threepio" pretty freely, even after only buying him the day before. And then Luke's despair when Ben dies? He had known the guy for two days, three tops, when Ben takes them into the Death Star with basically no plan and then commits suicide by Sith. Then, after escaping, they're all slapping each other on the back and Leia says, "We did it!" like she's all surprised/relieved/excited and then 30 seconds later, she's telling Han Solo he's a dumbass because the Empire let them escape.

    Then, Luke says to Leia before the attack on the Death Star how he just wishes Ben was there. Why? The old man never once flew, so it's not like he could have done that. And the X-wing's were single-seater. Unless Luke was planning on having Obi-wan ride in the back seat of a T-47 airspeeder (which may require an atmosphere), he would have been of no use.

    And no way, no fucking way would the Death Star commander not send out more fighters and use at least a star destroyer or two as an escort if he was going to attack the HQ of his enemy. That's Montgomery-level stoopid.

  • sarcasmic||

    And what's with the critter in the trash?
    Aren't space vehicles like sterile and stuff?

  • ||

    I'm thinking it's there for a reason. Perhaps to eat bacteria or something? There's no other reason for there to be all that water in the trash compactor area other than to provide it it's natural habitat.

    The little robot that flips out when Michelle Chewbacca yells at him, OTOH, seems to serve no purpose at all.

  • Spencer||

    But couldn't they just launch their trash into a nearby star all "Superman with the nukes" style?

  • ||

    They didn't want Zod to escape the Phantom Zone perhaps?

  • Apatheist||

    The little robot that flips out when Michelle Chewbacca yells at him, OTOH, seems to serve no purpose at all.

    Make work for the Empire's union workers?

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    I had a cheap remote control car that, did the same thing as that Droid, it would only turn going backwards.

  • JD the elder||

    The critter in the trash is called the Dianoga. You're welcome. Anyway: I always figured Darth Vader used to have a cute little pet that he bought in Trade Federation territory, but when it started getting too big, the Emperor made him flush it down the toilet, whereupon it started living in the sewers.

    But apparently canon holds that their larval forms are microscopic, so they stow away easily, and they're sometimes tolerated as living trash processors.

  • John's Nemesis Tonio||

    And great for rodent control.

  • ||

    Montgomery's fault was that he was too cautious not that he was reckless. Montgomery would have definitely sent out the escorts.

  • Spencer||

    And why destroy a planet and then not kill the princess? I mean, was she the ONLY rebel they could find?

  • Mike M.||

    "George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can't say it."

    -Harrison Ford, to George Lucas

  • ||

    You missed the most obvious one. How was Luke's uncle a farmer when the the whole place was a desert? Where were these "fields" they were always talking about? Why didn't they live near them and presumably the water they used to grow them rather than in the middle of a desolate wasteland?

    And what about the sand people? Who the hell are they? And why haven't the farmers formed some kind of militia and hunted them out of existence?

    Yeah, clear thinking and consistent plot were not real priorities for Lucas.

  • Jordan||

    It's mentioned that they were "moisture farmers" or something along those lines.

  • ||

    IRT the desert planet, most anywhere where irrigation is the main source of water would look like that. Large swaths of the central valley in CA look like that, with lush fields dotting the landscape.

    And the farmers would probably have to get permission from the Huts to go sand-people hunting. Remember, we're talking about a society that was OK with slavery.

    But you did get me thinking, Han Solo is pretty casual in the Mos Eisley cantina with Imperial troops walking around, even though he's on their shit list for smuggling. (Remember, he didn't know why they were there) And why does nobody seem to care that on a relatively lawlwss planet, nobody seems too concerned that an armed force has taken over their city. There would be at least a few people with the balls to stand up to them.

    Oh, and when they're giving Luke, Han and Chewie their medals at the end, where is the Empire? Didn't Grand Moff Tarkin at least radio in the location of the base? Wouldn't there be a bunch of Star Destroyers coming in to destroy the base even after the Death Star got blown up?

  • sarcasmic||

    IRT?
    Like Ice Road Truckers?
    Or IRT Deadliest Roads?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They must have evacuated to Hoth fairly rapidly, but that wouldn't stop them from having an honors ceremony for the heroes. Probably had the evacuation ships warming up on the runway.

    I assume the Tatooine denizens would be familiar with Storm Troopers coming in to look for rebels. Just keep your head down and they'll leave once their target has been captured/escaped. What are the storm troopers going to do, anyway, shoot you?

  • ||

    Oh, they didn't go straight to Hoth. Actually, they stayed on Yavin for a while, and the Empire raided them on a few occasions. As a matter of fact, Echo Base, on Hoth, was only occupied by a small contingent of Rebels, whereas most of them got killed in a final assault on their main base.

    Why they didn't GTFO as soon as they blew up the Death Star is beyond stupid. The smart money would have been to relocate to one of the outer rim territories that were easily defendable. And with the proliferation of asteroids hitting Hoth, and subsequently fucking up their radar constantly, that was not a good place to go. The Imperials were pretty much right on top of them before they could even establish their defenses. Of course, had Admiral Ozzel not come out of hyperspace so close to the planet, they would have caught the Rebels completely unawares and likely would have destroyed them and captured Luke in the process.

  • A Serious Man||

    Uncle Owen was a moisture farmer, meaning that, presumably, they gathered water from underground and sold it since it's obviously a valuable commodity in the desert. That's what those things sticking out of the ground around the house were.

    And Sand People are probably just like Indians. Yes, they attack you if you get too close to their territory, but at the same time Luke says that the Sand People had never done anything as big as masscreing Jawas.

  • ||

    If he only knew what horrors they committed with his grandma!

  • A Serious Man||

    Oh yeah, and Obi-wan says to Luke that Uncle Owen never liked him because he took his father away and that Anakin "should have stayed here and not gotten involved".

    Episode II makes it clear that Anakin and Owen knew each other for only a few days when Anakin showed up to find his mother. At this point he was both an adult and a Jedi knight, so what's it to Owen if some guy he barely knows goes off to do the job he's obviously qualified to do?

  • ||

    But maybe Owen was pissed at Obi Wan because he took Anakin away from his mother, which caused her to despair? It was his step-mother, after all, and had Anakin been around, maybe things would have been different.

  • MJ||

    Episode VI made it abundantly clear that Obi-Wan was a dishonest sack of fecal matter when he told Luke how he knew Luke's father. Nothing Kenobi says in that speech should be taken at face value.

  • ||

    Giving Luke a sugar-coated version of his father's history is understandable at that point. Things wouldn't have gone very well if Obi-Wan told him, "Your father got Borgified and galavants around the universe force-choking people".

    There's little reason for him to lie about the other stuff.

  • ||

    Episode II makes it clear...

    If you're going to admit the prequels into the canon, then nothing in the whole story is going to make any sense.

  • ||

    If he was just producing water, what the hell was Owen talking about with "the harvest" that Luke had to stay for? His wife also laments that Luke is "not a farmer" so they really must be producing crops of some sort.

  • ||

    I know Anakin's mom used to pick mushrooms near the vaporators. But look at my answer above in regard to the farming. Or just look at a map of western Kern County, CA.

  • ||

    Luke says that the Sand People had never done anything as big as masscreing Jawas.

    No, he said he'd never seen them attack a big Jawa tank. They probably killed tons of Jawas, just not while they were riding the transports.

  • ||

    And although not human, they're not devoid of intelligence. They can operate complex weaponry, domesticate animals (bantha), and manage to feed themselves.

  • MJ||

    As Jordan wrote, they said they were "moisture" farmers, so I presume the Lars family was extracting water from the atmosphere (a la "Dune") not growing plants. So they just needed a big empty space to put the wind traps. Who says the local farmer's did not form a militia? The impression I remember was that they were kind of out on the frontier.

  • ||

    The reason Luke got pissed was because Uncle Owen made him stay for "the harvest". I really doubt that's water.

    Also his aunt says Luke "isn't a farmer, he's got too much of his father in him". Not moisture farmer, just farmer.

  • Jordan||

    Ha, if you think that's bad, you really need to watch Plinkett's reviews of Episodes I-III. They are brutal and hilarious. They're under the redlettermedia channel on Youtube.

  • ||

    OK, on to Episode V. I will report back in the comments for the next "send us money" story.

  • Trespassers W||

    Seconded. You will never look at George Lucas again without burning, burning contempt.

  • ||

    He's on my shit list since he gave the new Star Trek a kid-gloves review.

    How he could nitpick ST:First Contact to death and then turn around and give that stinker the benefit of the doubt is beyond me.

  • A Serious Man||

    Biggest plot hole in entire Star Wars saga: in Episode VI, Luke asks Leia to describe her mother since at this point he realizes she's his sister. Leia than begins to talk about her mother being very beautiful and always sad and that she died when she was really young.

    Okay, but at the same time Episode III makes it very cleary that their mother Padme dies in labor, so who the fuck was Leia talking about? Bail Organa's wife? What was she so sad about? She got a daughter without having to get pregnant. Anyway, Lucas pretty much ruined that scene.

    And my other favorite: why doesn't Uncle Owne recognize the annoying C3PO when in Episode II they had been living together for almost a decade?

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm sure you can find the canonical-and-utterly-implausible rationales for these inconsistencies on Wookiieepedia, if you care to look for them.

    But I wouldn't.

  • ||

    "Wookiieepedia"

    Oh dear god, just reading this conjures the sad stench of obsession, Doritos, Mountain Dew, and isolation.

  • ||

    I think Owen recognizes C3PO. He tells Luke to erase the memories and sell the droids.

  • ||

    No, actually, he tells Luke to take R2D2 into Anchorhead in the morning and have his memory erased. Of course, R2D2 took off because Luke was too stupid to put the restraining bolt back on, and Uncle Owen's morning was pretty short.

  • MJ||

    One of the biggest plotholes caused by Lucas trying to make C3PO's backstory too cute (i.e Luke does have a claim of ownership on both C3PO and R2D2 as the former belonged to his father and latter belong to his mother).

  • ||

    I'll take this one. When Padme died, Luke and Leia were split up so the baddies couldn't find them. Leia was given to Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits, FTW), who was the Viceroy of Alderaan and had been a Senator until it was dissolved. When the kids are being given away, he comments that his wife had always wanted a girl.

    And there were plenty of droids that looked like C3PO, so I can't imagine why Uncle Owen would recognize him. (Remember in Episode V when they are at Bespin, C3PO sees one.)

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Uncle Owen is droidist. "You protocol droids all look alike," he's been heard to sneer derisively.

  • NoVAHockey||

    And it says to C3P0 "echuta"

  • MJ||

    "And there were plenty of droids that looked like C3PO,..."

    Which is odd, since C3PO is a handbuilt specimen with years between when he became operational and actually finished. Why should he look like a common mass produced model? Somebody bought a poor little slave boy a kit for Forcemas?

  • ||

    It's possible that he saw the mass-produced models and liked the design.

    I'm not clear on what use C-3PO would have been for a slave woman, though.

  • ||

    And it begins pretty early on in Episode V: The Tauntaun Han is riding has square teeth and lacks pointy canines, meaning it is probably a plant-eater. Only, where is the vegetation? That fucker is pretty big, too. I'd say at least 1,000-1,200 lbs by the look of him. That requires a lot of food.

  • ­­||

    According to wikipedia:

    "Hoth is an example of the science-fictional stereotype of a planet that has only one climatic zone. However, some Expanded Universe sources show that under-ice caves containing large lichen fields exist on the planet, on which Tauntauns feed."

    So, you know...

  • ­­||

    Oh, and what I'd like to know is, why did the Empire conduct a Gettysburg-style ground assault on the rebels and allow everybody to escape, when they could have just vaporized the whole base with a star destroyer in about one nanosecond?

  • Mike M.||

    My memory might be incorrect, but I thought that the base was shielded from air/space attack by some big power generators.

  • ||

    But partway through the assault, an Imperial Walker gets a shot off that destroys the energy shield. If he sent a message to the Star Destroyers, which he did, they would have blown the base to smithereens.

  • ­||

    Roughly how many times would you say you've seen this movie?

  • ||

    At least 50.

  • ||

    Roughly how many times would you say you've seen this movie?

    Er, the energy shield being up is a fairly major plot point which gets the original admiral strangled. "He is as clumsy as he is stupid." One viewing should be sufficient to grasp it.

  • ||

    Good thing for the Empire the Rebels left the generators outside the shield.

  • ||

    Apparently they're Star Trek-style energy shields, which don't block matter, Einstein be damned. So once the walkers got inside the shield they could use energy weapons on anything they wanted.

  • ||

    Padme died after Luke and Leia were born. So technically she did die when Leia was very young (and who knows what Organa told her).

    It's also possible that Organa's wife at the end of Ep 3 died while Leia was young, and Leia described her, not knowing she wasn't her real mother.

    Or she could have seen pictures.

    Or that stuff Yoda was babbling about seeing "old friends" via the Force is how it happened.

  • ||

    Just to geek out for a moment, but we have no basis for just how long it was between Luke meeting Ben and Ben's death by Sith. It could have been more then a couple of days. Not that it really makes it any better. Also, Ben told Luke that he flew with his father in the Clone Wars so yes he could actually fly.

    Everything else is pretty spot on.

  • ||

    OK, here's a serious question: If Kal-El had been sent to Tatooine instead of earth, how would he react to a red sun and yellow sun at the same time?

  • ||

    He'd have superpowers on his right side but not on his left.

  • A Serious Man||

    Okay, a Libertarian version of the Star Wars prequel trilogy:

    Firstly, the Separatists are NOT bad guys. Instead they have legitimate grievances against the Galactic Republic stemming from Senator/Chancellor Palpatine's deliberately oppressive tax and economic policies as Palpatine wants to provoke a civil war. Intended to recall the actual economic conditions that led to the American Civil War, which people never talk about.

    Secondly, the soldiers of the Separatists armies are not cartoonish and painfully lame battle droids, but rather real people/aliens that just want freedom, very much like the Rebel Alliance. This raises the ethical question of who is right and provokes some actual reflection within both the Senate and Jedi Order as the Republic becomes more and more despotic. Intended to show the illogic of centralized authority over larger swaths of territory when said centralized authority has no vested intererst in the welfare of the governed, much like the Federal government.

    Thirdly, after Palpatine stages his coup against the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance is formed between remanents of both the Sepeartists, the Jedi Order, and disaffected senators. Their goal is to form a more libertarian soceity of free trade and self-rule.

  • ||

    Episode V: Luke fights Vader in the cave on Dagobah. He hits Vader with a light-saber uppercut that looks to graze his face, yet his head comes clean off. How do you decapitate someone from that angle? And for that matter, why did Obi Wan Kenobi disintegrate when Vader cut him down? And why didn't his robe get cut in half as well? You can see it give with the "blade" of the light-saber. It's fabric, for fuck sake.

  • ||

    That was obviously supposed to be a hallucination. You've seen it 50 times and didn't notice that Luke sees his own head inside Vader's helmet?

  • ||

    Yeah, I noticed that, but at least make the angle of the strike match how it would have struck him down.

  • ||

    What will I find there?

    -- Only what you take with you.

  • ||

    And why the fuck does Vader need to carbon freeze Luke for his trip to the Emperor? There's no way Vader couldn't just capture him with a shitload of Stormtroopers? And since Vader is a lot more powerful than Luke (how does he even know Luke is a Jedi at this point?), he could use a little of that to sucker Luke into being captured.

    Fuck!

  • ||

    Did you finish Family Ties?

  • ||

    Nope. I got through Season 4 and couldn't take it anymore. Then that stupid Tina fucking Yothers started to get older and uglier and I was just unable to deal with her anymore.

    I called around, and it was going to cost me over $1200 to replace my TV, and I just wasn't prepared to risk not being able to overcome my urge to throw a brick through it. I had to give up.

    I've been on an Andy Griffith kick lately. Through Season 3 and Opie is starting to get on my nerves. Goober better show up soon or I'm gonna have the same problem I had with Family Ties

  • ||

    I like the episode where Andy talks the father of a rotten kid into taking the kid to a woodshed and beating the hell out of him.

  • ||

    Funny, that kid never showed up again.

    I like the ones with Floyd. He's obviously a gay pederast, but a great character.

  • ||

    I'm starting on Season 3 of Voyager. It is getting good, the messages are are now just ridiculously over-the-top heavy-handed instead of hitting-you-over-the-head heavy-handed. Chakotay gets in touch with his ancestral roots by building a casino. And the incredibly hot Jeri Ryan replaces the sensuously voiced Jennifer Lien. Visually it is now more appealing, but auditorily it is now less appealing.

  • ||

    I may just have to give Voyager a go. I just have a hard time getting excited about it.

    I sure with they'd get Gilligan's Island, Happy Days or Brady Bunch. That would make me very happy.

  • ||

    How are you streaming Netflix? If you are using X-Box, look me up. My gamertag is KaraDeAwesome.

  • ||

    I'm using my Wii, laptop or iPad depending on where I am. I'm debating the X-box or a PS3 for my kids though. The big turnoff on the X-box is the pay to play bullshit. Is it worth it?

  • ||

    Depends. It is a great social tool. But currently* not worth it otherwise. It is great for playing games and watching Netflix/Hulu with other people.

    *They soon will be streaming Youtube. I have no idea what it will entail and if it will be full access. If it is, then well worth it.

  • ||

    If they had GranTurismo for X-box, it would be a no-brainer. That and Final Fantasy are the only things keeping the PS3 ahead at this point.

    I'll probably just get whichever one I come to first in Game Stop this weekend.

  • SFC B||

    I can't help but think that a new Xbox (720?) is going to be revealed soon. The 360 is getting up there in years. I'd hate to commit to a new 360 only to find out it's being replaced in 12 months.

  • ||

  • ||

    And here's the trailer for the new Wii U. Damn, that looks pretty cool. If it plays BluRay discs, it'll be pretty badass.

  • ||

    Then that stupid Tina fucking Yothers started to get older and uglier and I was just unable to deal with her anymore.

    Once the girls get past 6th grade, they're just not interesting anymore? You'll probably get negative points this week on FF after that remark.

  • ||

    Um, it's Tina Yothers. I'm pretty sure God Tebow will reward the statement with a pick-six for the Packers defense.

  • A Serious Man||

    "I don't want the Emperor's prize damaged." And Vader had no idea how long Luke had been with Obi-wan, so he probably just assumed he was at least knowledgable enough about the Force to be able to avoid capture by stormtroopers. Freezing him would stop him from escaping.

  • ||

    Right, but he's the chosen one, FFS. And he would have sensed the Force in Luke if it was very strong when the MF showed up on the first Death Star. He only mentioned that he sensed Obi-Wan.

    Notice in Episode VI, he can sense Luke when they are on the shuttle to the Endor moon? Why not before? Vader only spent a few minutes around Luke in V, and that was fighting him. And how come he doesn't pick up on Leia's "scent" when they are on the way to the Endor moon? He spent a lot more time with her than Luke, and she's got the Force as well, as Luke trains her to be a Jedi after Episode VI.

  • A Serious Man||

    Hmmm, true, but at the same time he could have sensed both Obi-wan and Luke, but since he had no idea who Luke was he probably figured it was just Obi-wan. Furthermore, as he's targeting Luke in the Death Star trench (again not knowing who he is), he seems impressed at how strong the Force is with him, indicating that while he can sense the Force surrounding a person, he needs to actually see who it is in order to remember it for future reference.

  • ||

    That could very well be the case with Luke, but he specifically recalls Obi-Wan, not "Obi-Wan and some extra force."

    And as far as Leia, he couldn't tell she had the force when she resisted their torture and drugs from the medical droid in Episode IV? I call bullshit.

  • A Serious Man||

    Well he could have thought Obi-wan had become more powerful since their last encounter (in which Obi-wan kicked his ass).

    But the Leia thing is just a straight-up plot hole for the reasons you mentioned. There's no reason why she shouldn't be just as Force-powerful as Luke even if she doesn't realize it.

  • ||

    Leia had never trained to use the Force, while Luke had (even in episode IV).

  • ||

    Luke trained for about 20 minutes before they came out of hyperspace where Alderaan had been. He didn't get much more training in by the time they were on the Death Star. So are you telling me that in that 10 minutes, he'd picked up a detectable level of force powers? Come on, man!

  • Skip||

    "Sensing the Force" seems to be pretty hit or miss. I think it is stated somewhere that some Jedi are good at it and some aren't. Leia had no idea she could use the Force so maybe that is why it couldn't be sensed even by her own father.

  • ||

    And he would have sensed the Force in Luke if it was very strong when the MF showed up on the first Death Star. He only mentioned that he sensed Obi-Wan.

    Because he had no idea Luke even existed at that point. He could have just felt a strong presence of the Force, and some of it reminded him of Obi-Wan. They were right next to eachother in the MF's floorboards so it would have been hard to tell them apart.

    And as ASM says, Vader remarks after Obi-wan's death that the guy in the X fighter in front of him is strong in the Force.

  • ||

    Then he would have sensed a large presence of the Force in all the time he spent pumping Leia for information. And Luke had started his Jedi training all of 30 minutes before they ended up on the Death Star, so it's not like it was flowing through him.

  • ||

    What I said below; in the OT you're not born with Force powers. Before Lucas became a monarchist.

  • ||

    Read my comment at 12:59 just below. It pretty much disproves what you are saying.

  • ||

    In the original trilogy you're not born with Force powers, it's something you have to learn to master. The ease one does this with seems to be genetic but not the mastery itself.

    The mitochlorine bullshit only arose in the prequels.

  • ||

    I disagree. Obi Wan and Yoda would have been training random folk off the street if the Force were merely learned as opposed to people being born with it. They could have taught classes in Jedi training at the Rebel HQ and raised an army in no time. As it was, Obi Wan was sent to protect Luke because he was the genetic offspring of Vader, and he was "our last hope." Even though "there is another, his sister."

    How can you think it was learned if the two people who could save the galaxy just so happened to be the only two with (as yet undiscovered by the Empire) Jedi powers and happened to be the children of a formed Jedi and current Sith Lord?

  • ||

    He was their last hope because they didn't have the infrastructure to train a lot of Jedi by themselves (especially with Obi-Wan dead). They needed someone who could learn quickly and largely on their own.

    It would be like me trying to immediately produce legions of mathematicians all by myself. It's not possible without more people and more time. But if you give me a genius like Euler or Ramanujan I could probably do it in no time.

  • ||

    OK, end of Episode V. With all the Imperials around, why weren't any of them able to permanently disable the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon? Not just deactivate it, but destroy it completely? And shouldn't they have had Bespin on total lockdown to prevent any chance of escape? I mean, fuck! They leave the MF fueled and ready to go, thinking merely deactivating the hyperdrive is gonna suffice in the unlikelihood that they get to it, which they could have prevented by stationing a division of troops where it was sitting.

  • ||

    Their orders were to "deactivate" not to destroy. If I were them I'd make sure to follow Vader's orders to the letter and not take any initiative.

    For all they knew, Vader planned on using the MF as his "winter ship" and would Force-choke them if they wrecked it.

    A better question is why they didn't tow the Falcon away from Bespin entirely, or better yet, intercept them before they got to Bespin (since Lando says the Imperial troopers got there before the Falcon) and not have to deal with Lando and his people at all. I seriously doubt the Imperial fleet was worried about an engagement with those orange moccasin ships.

  • ||

    This scene in Jabba's palace is just fucking retarded. That lady with 6 tits dancing around and the three backup singers? Come on. None of that shit was in the real version. Just Max Rebo playing his keyboard a few bars and that hot chick dancing around that tries to kill Jabba.

  • ||

    I'm on to Episode VI by the way. Oh, and nobody guarding Jabba's main chamber when Leia goes to get Han out of the carbonite? No security measures to prevent any person that wanted to from turning it off and unfreezing him?

    I mean, fuck! There was already an attempt on his life by the dancer and a bounty hunter that threatened to suicide bomb the entire place (all that same day!), not to mention that Jabba himself was sleeping there.

  • ||

    Holy fucking shit does Carrie Fisher look good in that slave outfit.

  • Trespassers W||

    If you know what's good for you, you'd hit the pause button and leave it at that.

  • A Serious Man||

    I always thought it was a trap intended to get Leia to reveal herself. Jabba was waiting there behind the curtain.

  • ||

    That's debatable. I just watched the scene twice and I can't tell. Although Jabba appears to be wide awake and he's got a few of his crew with him. How did he keep everyone quiet, especially his little pet?

    Now, over the Great Pit of Carkoon. When the Sarlaac gets ahold of Lando, how is he able to keep from being pulled in? By gripping the sand really tight?

  • ||

    Yoda just died. Vanished into thin air. Every other Jedi that dies in the movies (except Obi Wan) dies by a wound.

    Perhaps when a Jedi commits suicide or dies of his own volition, he simply ceases to be. If they are killed by a force not their own, then they keep their form?

    Notice Obi-Wan lets Vader kill him, Suicide by Sith IMO. And Yoda says he's ready for the forever sleep, meaning he's ready to die.

  • A Serious Man||

    My theory is this: you're right that a Jedi can choose to 'die', that is, reintegrate himself with the Force. Obi-wan and Yoda did this, albeit for different reasons.

    But remember at the end of ROTS when Yoda tells Obi-wan that he has discovered how to communicate with Qui-gon Jin and that Yoda will teach him. So perhaps becoming a Force ghost requires some sort of secret knowledge that only an ancient Jedi like Yoda knows.

  • ||

    Bullshit on that because Anikin Skywalker becomes a force ghost at the end of Episode VI.

  • A Serious Man||

    Anakin/Darth Vader had 20 years to study the ways of the Force with the Emperor, so he could have learned from him. Sith and Jedi both have access to the same Force knowledge/powers, they just use it differently.

  • ||

    Then why wouldn't the force sith take on the force ghosts on their plane of existence? After all, force ghosts can train and mentor living Jedi, thus they would be a threat to the Sith.

    And Palpatine is featured prominently in I-III but he's never seen talking to ghost sith. And I don't want to get get into I-III, but how the fuck was Palpatine able to deceive the entire Jedi council? I could tell he was a shifty fuck the first time I saw him.

  • A Serious Man||

    Last post befor I go to work: firstly, Palpatine is a politician, and what politician isn't a shifty fuck? Pluse he had the ability to disguise his Force energy so that no one could sense him (remember how he deliberately feigned weakness when being attacked by Mace Windu?)

    Secondly, while I've never touched any Expanded Universe stuff, I imagine someone somwehere has written about what happens to Sith when they die. Maybe they do fight the Jedi in the afterlife or maybe they get sent to some version of hell.

  • Skip||

    The Sith can't do it. Becoming a Force Ghost is a light side power. Probably because it involves not being selfish or something.

  • ||

    You're implying that the Jedi aren't selfish. Qui Gon was pretty selfish when he only freed Anakin. He could have gone back for his mom after going to Coruscant. But no, he was only concerned with his new prize. Ditto Obi Wan after Qui Gon got fucked up by Darth Maul.

    Hell, Anakin was even heard to whine about missing his mom. Freeing her wouldn't just make Anakin a happier kid, it would also be righting an injustice.

    And the Jedi Council had some deep pockets. Just look at their digs.

  • ||

    Bullshit on that because Anikin Skywalker becomes a force ghost at the end of Episode VI.

    Going by the original version of ROTJ, how do we know the third ghost in the picture is Anakin? Nobody says he is, and it's not like Luke would recognize him. Maybe he was Jedi #82 who got killed in the arena battle in AOTC.

    And of course, if we admit the prequels as canon, then Anakin never looked like a normal middle aged guy anyway, since he was deformed as a 20-something guy.

  • ||

    That whole point is moot now. He really came back as the man in the Vader suit but with a fuller head of hair and a few less burns on his body.

    Fucking George Lucas!!!

  • ||

    Leia just jumps on a speederbike and takes off. On a planet that it would be unwise for a novice to even attempt to ride one, she takes off after a highly-trained imperial trooper on a cspeederbike?

    She grew up in a royal family. What's the likelihood she would have been exposed to that particular piece of technology (which is never shown again on any planet in any Episode) and would Bail Organa have let her ride something so inherently dangerous?

  • ||

    They just got snared in the trap. If Luke can use the Force, why does he ask Han if he can reach his lightsaber? Why doesn't he just levitate them out of it?

    And the Ewoks got there pretty quick. Is Luke's ability to sense life forms so shitty that he couldn't pick up an entire fucking Ewok army surrounding them?

  • ||

    Luke's pathetic. He decides to play some little bullshit game to let Leia know he's her brother instead of just coming out and saying it. He's the great hope for the Rebellion but he's too big a pussy to just say, "listen, this sucks but Vader's your dad too."

  • A Serious Man||

    Maybe he just didn't want to have to deal with this before going off to fight the Emperor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehEkCYjnLJ8

  • ||

    Haha. That's a good one.

  • ||

    All of the pilots of different craft have totally different uniforms, including the helmets. Why? They don't even have visors on some of the helmets, so it can't be for some kind of heads-up display.

  • ||

    What ground commander uses AT-ST walkers on a planet or moon with uneven terrain and a ton of foliage and tree coverage where enemies can hide and snipe at you?

    And why didn't somebody develop a grenade-type device in that galaxy? It would have worked wonders in an assault like this.

  • ||

    And there's Admiral Ackbar, who we've never seen before, is sitting in his command ship, which would be the first one targeted yet inexplicably isn't.

    What happened to the lady commander from Episode IV? She masterminded the attack on the first Death Star. Why not give her command again?

  • ||

    Luke telling Vader "your thoughts betray you," but somehow Palpatine doesn't pick up on it? And Vader is gonna chuck him over the rail in a minute and I'll ask myself how in the fuck Palpatine didn't pick up on it?

  • ||

    Boy, good news sure travels fast. Every planet in the galaxy is partying like it's 1999 right after the second Death Star gets blown up. Were the Rebels simulcasting the attack or something? Luke isn't even back at the Ewok village and everybody from Tattoine to Coruscant to Naboo is partying in the streets.

    ...aaaaaand here comes force ghost Anakin Skywalker, who is conspicuously young even though ghost Obi Wan and ghost Yoda are the age when they got died.

  • ||

    Thank God I'm done with that little experiment. It was kinda fun to see those movies. It's been like at least 2-3 months since I've seen them. But still, I will love them a lot less from here on out.

  • ||

    Boy, good news sure travels fast. Every planet in the galaxy is partying like it's 1999 right after the second Death Star gets blown up.

    Ah, that's your problem. You're watching the 2004 edition.

  • ||

    I'm critiquing the version Lucas wants us to see as his true vision. I'm just pointing out how fucked up it is in the form he wanted you to see it in.

    In the original, there's an explosion, a party with a bunch of Ewoks, a hug and the credits. The way it should have stayed.

  • ||

    Well in that case, you have to see the new Blu Ray version, with Vader doing the "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO" again in ROTJ.

  • ||

    Aw, get the fuck out of here. When does he do it?

  • ||

    When he throws the Emperor down the elevator shaft.

    It's sort of like Peter Jackson editing ROTK to have Gimli making a dwarf-tossing joke while the Ring sinks into the lava.

    Did you notice Jar Jar saying "Weesa fwee!" during the closing montage of the 2004 version?

  • ||

    He's the great hope for the Rebellion but he's too big a pussy to just say, "listen, this sucks but Vader's your dad too."

    He learned it from watching Obi-Wan.

  • ||

    You got that right. Obi Wan fucked him over good and hard the way he told him.

  • Skip||

    If my life depended on it, I could probably jump on a motorcycle and start riding it eventhough I have never done it before. But since Leia was a rich person, she might have gone speeder biking before anyway.

  • ||

    The speederbikes that are never, ever seen in any of the other films? And they're obvious purpose is to be used as a weapon. They're basically designed around the gun on them.

    I will keep my call of shenanigans active.

  • ||

    The controls could be similar to other speedy hovering vehicles. Indeed, one would expect this since stormtroopers probably got deployed all over the place and having to train them on new equipment in every deployment would be a pain.

  • ||

    Not that likely as Stormtroopers were clones that were specifically trained to complete a specific task. Those troopers were trained for jungle warfare. If you notice, there are regular stormtroopers guarding the shield generator and are also seen fighting outside when the rebels and Ewoks start fighting back. Totally different armor, style of fighting and overall skill-set.

  • ||

    Yoda just died. Vanished into thin air. Every other Jedi that dies in the movies (except Obi Wan) dies by a wound.

    Yoda and Obi-Wan are the only Jedi who die in the OT. Vader doesn't really count since he was an apostate.

    If you accept the prequels as canon then nothing in the entire story is going to make any sense, so you probably shouldn't.

  • ||

    That shithead Lucas claims they are canon. I'm gonna hold him to that and point out where he's fucked up the original trilogy by merely making the prequels.

  • ||

    I found a VHS copy of all three original trilogy movies at Salvation Army for $6. I'm clinging to those till the day I die, as I too got suckered into buying the 2004 edition on DVD.

    They did release a limited edition DVD set with the original theatrical version, but they're mad expensive and the same quality as the VHS.

    Lucas claims the prints of the original version of IV-VI were destroyed during the making of the 1997 special edition, and if that's true then we're never getting a better quality picture than exists on the VHS version.

  • ||

    One of Plinkett's most salient points in the Ep 2 review is that Obi-Wan's outfit in Ep 4 becoming the default "Jedi uniform" in the prequels means it was pretty stupid of him to wear it while trying to slip past stormtroopers in Mos Eisley.

  • Skip||

    It is mentioned in one of the Star Wars books, Tales form Jabba's Palace, that one of Jabba's flunkies informed him that Leia was impersonating the Bounty Hunter and was going to free Solo.

  • ||

    Then forget me questioning that. Still doesn't explain why Jabba let her free Solo from the carbonite. If it was his "favorite decoration," he'd want to catch her before she got him out.

  • ||

    We're admitting books as canon now? This is going to get ugly.

  • ||

    I've got nothing to do with that.

  • ||

    How did he keep everyone quiet, especially his little pet?

    He covered C-3PO's mouth, which really shouldn't work since C-3PO doesn't move his mouth while talking anyway.

  • ||

    Are you gonna do the Bowl Pick-em and try to redeem yourself?

  • ||

    Maybe. It might be better to go out like Kurt Warner rather than Brett Favre. Though I probably will text a few pictures of my little Bernanke to you guys.

  • first||

    Nicole has enchanted us here at Hegre-Art with her sultry beauty. We are sure she will do the same for you.

    Her striking good looks and breast-length brunette hair are only the start. Nicole has a degree in psychology. She has a wisdom and an understanding of the human heart not often found in a woman of only 22 years. Perhaps that is why she has that haunting smile. A touch of mystery mingling with sensuality.

    But in front of the camera there are no secrets. Everything is laid bare.

    Those famous Ukrainian looks and figure come to perfection in Nicole. From her amazing long legs to her raven hair - and everywhere in between - she excels.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I'm not sure what that was, but I feel sort of dirty now.

  • Trespassers W||

    Um, I suspect you're preaching to the choir here, "first".

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