Home / General / Scalia, law school etc

Scalia, law school etc


What if Napoleon had had a B-17 at the battle of Waterloo? What if Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia had been on the Supreme Court at the same time for the last 25 years?

I’ll be discussing the future of law school(s) here between 1 and 1:30 eastern today.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Joe
  • c u n d gulag

    Hey, Paul,
    While you were there at the Daily Beast offices, did pull any pranks on McArdle?

    Like pull all of the nummerals off her keyboard?

    Or put some wrapped Limburger Cheese in her All-in-one Blender/Mixer/Fondue Pot/Salad Spinner/Latke Maker/Creater of Wonderful Bechemel Sauces/French Julienne Fry Slicer – And Look At All Those Mounds and Mounds of Cole Slaw!!!

    Or, sadly, in this intertube age, did you send your post electronic pony express, and not go to their offices at all?

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      You shouldn’t take the number keys. Just mix ’em around.

      Which leads to the philosophical question: “if McArdle was calculating with a scrambled number pad, would anyone notice?”

  • UberMitch

    What if Scalia had an F-86 at the Battle of Hastings!

    • c u n d gulag

      Or Caesar crossed The Rubicon in a nuclear aircraft carrier?

      And even before that, where would Rome had been, if Hannibal had Panzers?

      • rea

        The Rubicon doesn’t have enough water to float a nuclear aircraft carrier, so that wouldn’t work.

        • rea

          And the Panzers would have all gotten bogged down in snow crossing the Alps.

          • c u n d gulag

            Not if the Panzers waited for global warming to take effect!

            It’s a good thing Tunisia doesn’t have a Hannibal, or else, if I were the Italians, I might start getting worried right about now…

            • RedSquareBear

              Or a tank force to speak of.

        • c u n d gulag

          Ok, how about a PT Boat?

          Ok, Chief…
          Would you believe… A boy scout with a rowboat?

        • allium

          That’s what the auxilia are for. Where there’s a flagellum, there’s a way.

        • r. clayton

          The Rubicon doesn’t have enough water to float a nuclear aircraft carrier, so that wouldn’t work.

          Edward Teller got there long before you did, and he got the right answer.

  • ABBA would be singing in French.

  • Murc

    Assuming the presence of a fully loaded and fueled B-17 with qualified pilots at the Battle of Waterloo under Napoleans command, what happens is that it makes one pass over the battlefield and drops its single load of bombs. Wellesley wonders what the fuck happened, but when no more weird flying artillery shows up, he kicks the shit out of Napolean anyway.

    Frankly, the B-17 would be of more use parked on a hill using its guns. But it would run dry fairly quickly and be overrun. It could make low-level strafing passes, but again, ammo is a concern.

    I do believe we’ve just written Harry Turtledove’s next novel for him.

    • MacCheerful

      You don’t think he could have disrupted Wellington’s infantry squares by machine gunning them? (I take your point that a B-17’s bombing accuracy might not have been sufficient to actually drop bombs precisely on the squares but now I am wondering how low a B-17 could go in dropping bombs. Was there a minimum effective height for bombing runs?)

      • Murc

        You don’t think he could have disrupted Wellington’s infantry squares by machine gunning them?

        The B-17 wasn’t really built to strafe. It could get pretty close to the ground and still bomb with accuracy, but the machine guns weren’t ground-strafing weapons.

        That said, it could definitely have disrupted Wellington’s army, because suddenly Napolean has this crazy flying piece of artillery and what the fuck, man, but again you come back around to ammunition and fuel. It would run dry fast and at that point you basically have a curiosity. The real question is can it disrupt the coalition forces enough to allow Napolean to score a victory, and I think the answer is ‘no.’

        At best, he forces them to quit the field, at the expense of having used up his one-shot superweapon, then he gets his ass kicked later.

      • RedSquareBear

        B-17s did skip bombing in the Pacific.

        Looks like this photo was just in training but I remember an old Time-Life book of my dad’s that had a B-17 maybe 30 feet off the water rolling a bomb into a Japanese ship. I think.

  • Bill Murray

    What if Napoleon had had a B-17 at the battle of Waterloo?

    Wouldn’t Napoleon have used a French bomber? So what if Napoleon had a Dassault Mirage IV

    • c u n d gulag

      No, because the B-17 would have come from Jefferson and America in lieu of some money, as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

      Even if he had gotten nothing but money, he could never have afforded a Dassault Mirage IV.

      He could have had several entire Air Cav Squadrons of B-17’s, for the price of one of those babies!

  • steve

    I realize we’re not being serious here but I read the Balkin eulogy and my first thought was “thank christ that didn’t actually happen.”

  • Alex

    I think a P-47 or a Corsair would have been better choice for Bonaparte. The B-17 had a nasty habit of dropping bombs on enemies and friendlies alike when used in tactical support.

  • mike in dc

    The original Saturday Night Live sketch specified a B-52, showed John Belushi as Napoleon strolling around inside the plane, and concluded with a mushroom cloud over Waterloo. Just a point of clarification.

    • Dave

      Given that Napoleon was exactly the kind of mofo who would have nuked an enemy if he could, I think we dodged a bullet there. More seriously, the kind of counterfactual that thinks it’s fun to figure out ways to keep that megalomaniac in charge of a whole continent ought to be treated more like the ones that go “what if the Confederates had AK-47s”, and less like the ones that go “what if we’d managed to assassinate Hitler in 1940”, IMHO. “Moar Napoleon” does not get you a better anything, dude.

  • Sherm

    OT — But the dismissal of the New York Law School fraud case was affirmed by the Appellate Division as per article in today’s New York Law Journal. No dissent. I doubt that the Court of Appeals will accept leave, but you never know.

It is main inner container footer text