Who Really Bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941?

Here is some clarification on our remark about who really bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941.

Yesterday we quoted this line from the movie “Animal House.” “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour? Hell no!” Boy did we hear it from readers. Our mistake was not putting the quote in quotes. The line from Animal House is so well known in America that we figured readers would get the reference. In our moment of amusement we forgot that our audience is Australian. Here are some of the responses we got…

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your newsletter. Just a little correction, if you don’t mind. Even though it has been the custom to blame everything on the Germans, I can assure you though that they did NOT bomb Pearl Harbour as you say in your latest newsletter.



And another…

I understand that you are blaming Adolf for Pearl Harbour. Is this a new conspiracy theory?



And another…

Hi there Dan:

Short note to say: (a) great job on your daily articles – they always make a lot of common sense and I enjoy the update thoroughly; and (b) in today’s letter you said “was it over when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbour?” – ummm – correct me if I am wrong – but wasn’t it the Japanese?!

Great stuff on the article – pleasure to read.



Yes. It was definitely Japan who bombed Pearl Harbour. Animal House is a classic American comedy. It gave birth to such famous lines as: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to through life son,” and “Please sir, may I have another,” and of course, “Toga! Toga!”

But our favourite scene is when John “Bluto” Blutarsky, played by the late comic John Belushi, rallies his fraternity brothers to fight back against the evil University Administration. We’ve passed the full transcript from the screenplay below for your enjoyment.

We are off to Sydney but will write on Good Friday with a review of Thursday’s market action in the U.S. Until then…


D-Day: War’s over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling.
Bluto: And it ain’t over now. ‘Cause when the goin’ gets tough…
[thinks hard]
Bluto: the tough get goin’! Who’s with me? Let’s go!
[runs out, alone; then returns]
Bluto: What the f- happened to the Delta I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my a from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer…
Otter: Dead! Bluto’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.
D-Day: Let’s do it.
Bluto: LET’S DO IT!

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

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2 Comments on "Who Really Bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941?"

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David Houser

This country’s going to the dogs! These kids today just don’t know classic film. I’m fairly sure that aside from “Please sir, may I have another” and “Toga!Toga!” the whippersnappers wouldn’t recognize any lines from that movie, and probably wouldn’t even be able to place those two. Cultural illiteracy is rampant!


Have no fear, Dan. Some of us American-expats got the joke (and then proceeded to blow coffee through our nasal passages at high velocity, and all over our laptops!)
Don’t worry though. My investments (as recommended by DR) will more than pay for the damages… ;-)

Feel free to keep the Animal House quotes rolling! I loved that movie to death, and you guys especially for quoting it.

Daily Reckoning is the greatest thing on the web, hands down. You guys keep on doing what you’re doing!

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