18 Comments

  1. From the imagined Pitch Meeting for A New Hope:

    Pitch Guy: And Obi-Wan’s like “If you strike me down, I’ll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
    Executive: In what sense?
    Pitch Guy: In the sense that if he dies he’ll be able to communicate with Luke telepathically sometimes.
    Executive: That sounds like he’s just going to turn into a very specific type of mental Walkie-Talkie, I don’t know if that’s more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
    Pitch Guy: Well, maybe Darth Vader doesn’t have a very good imagination, we don’t know.

  2. Another way of looking at it is that a small thermal exhaust port, just below the main port, that’s only two meters wide is too small to hit with the targeting computer… it’ll just impact on the surface. But if one of your pilots happens to have a dead Jedi onboard when he fires, the dead Jedi can guide the torpedoes right into the target..

    Thus blowing this technological terror right the heck up, because the power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force, and the ability to blow space stations up.

  3. @ Mitch4 – I was rather amused by your use of “realize” in its secondary sense (“create” / “implement”). The German cognate (“realisieren“) is supposed to mean exactly that (and only that), but the word has been gradually contaminated by the other (primary) sense of the English word (“understand” / “comprehend”), to such an extent that it is difficult to find people who still use the standard German word for this meaning (“begreifen“).
    P.S. Mark Twain once wrote (in his essay “The Awful German Language“) that the way to save German would be to export a large number of English words into it. A century later, this is happening with rapid abandon (as voluntary imports from within), but the results are hardly an improvement.

  4. Getting back to the comics: In the third one, just wait until she sees the “probe” with which he intends to conduct that inspection… 😉

  5. I think “ankle monitor” would have been fine. In the early days of my career at MegaCorp, we had a rotating “security monitor” duty. Basically go around at the end of the day and see if everyone had locked up their secure cabinets. The was a sign that would be placed on your desk to let everyone know. Someone attached a picture of a monitor lizard to it at one point.

  6. @ Brian – Your “Ankle Monitor” caption would have been brilliant, but I doubt that I would have understood it immediately (without just having seen the words “monitor lizard” here).

  7. I’m not sure I get the 3rd one. Sure the shell is the turtle’s home, but how does the fact that he is becoming a home inspector “explain” what he’s doing?

  8. The radio program and podcast Radiolab had a segment on the Supreme Court decision of Marbury vs. Madison in which they used the “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine” line. Perhaps you could say the court struck itself down and became more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

    Outgoing President Adams appointed some judges, but a few of the commissions, including Marbury’s, were not delivered before Jefferson took office. President Jefferson instructed Madison, Secretary of State, not to deliver them. Marbury went to the Supreme Court to sue. Chief Justice John Marshall found that it was clearly illegal for Jefferson and Madison not to deliver the commissions, but he also knew that Jefferson and Madison were likely to ignore any court order he gave.

    Rather than find in Marbury’s favor and order the delivery of his commission, Marshall took a different approach. Marbury had gone directly to the Supreme Court because under a law passed by Congress, the Supreme Court had original jurisdiction for such a case. But while the Constitution gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction for some cases, it gives only appellate jurisdiction for a case such as Marbury’s. In other words, Marbury must go to a lower court first, according to the Constitution, and then appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary. So Madison declared that the Court did not have jurisdiction to originate Marbury’s case, striking down some of the Court’s power, and then declared that the law giving the Court original jurisdiction was contrary to the Constitution and thus could be struck down by the Court. Thus the Supreme Court gained unprecedented power.

  9. “Thus the Supreme Court gained unprecedented power.”

    Judicial review wasn’t unprecedented.

  10. I pretty much used the monitor lizard gag in a card I made for a couple who is having a baby. They’re outdoorsy, so a “baby monitor” becomes a baby monitor lizard (along with other dumb gags like a bassinet being a fishing net with a bass in it).

    So I’m feeling pretty good about my gag game right now…

  11. Mark In Boston: That’s a great use of that line!

    As a side note, there was nothing in that law that gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in Marbury’s case. Marshall had to really stretch to interpret the law in that way, in order to strike it down.

  12. “As a side note, there was nothing in that law that gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in Marbury’s case.”

    There was SOMETHING, because that’s where the case originated.

  13. “Judicial review wasn’t unprecedented.”

    Was there an earlier Supreme Court case that invalidated a law on Constitutional grounds? Or did it happen in some other country that had a Constitution?

  14. I wonder why Marbury vs. Madison is so important then, if an earlier decision had the same effect.

  15. Mark in Boston: I don’t think there are any earlier decisions that had the same effect, or even any comparable effect in the same ballpark. Marbury v. Madison was the first case that clearly stated that the federal courts had the ability to rule federal statutes unconstitutional, and to review decisions by the executive branch. And it was done in a masterfully political way, to look powerful despite the fact that the court didn’t have the ability to actually force the legislative or executive branches to do anything that they didn’t want to do. It’s generally regarded as the start of Marshall’s successful program of turning the judicial branch into an actual powerful branch of the federal government, rather than some boring minor adjunct to the more important branches.

  16. “I wonder why Marbury vs. Madison is so important then, if an earlier decision had the same effect.”

    I wonder where your assertion that earlier decisions had the same effect has come from.

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