9/11 20th Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tony W says:

    I am reminded of the memes that came out last year in which the 10 deadliest days in United States history were listed. The information wasn’t exactly correct, of course, but it mentioned days like 9/11 along with “last Tuesday” because so many people are dying in today’s tragedy of COVID.

    How far we have fallen when thousands of American deaths every day – rivaling the 9/11 losses every two or three days even now – go largely accepted as inevitable despite the availability of easy mitigation. We shrug our shoulders in apathy as if COVID is a school shooting or a homeless person begging on the street for a sandwich.

    It’s good and fine to remember the event these 20 years later, but nationalistic displays and lofty speeches given from piles of smoking rubble won’t save the day with our current tragedy. We are going to have to genuinely care for each other, and apparently that’s a bridge too far.

  2. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    Some years back, I joked that when someone is killed by an Islamic terrorist they are twice as dead. Whereas someone killed in a mass shooting is only half as dead.

    That was pure cynicism, but it would follow that someone who dies of COVID is merely 1/100th as dead.

  3. charon says:

    This is the lady who was crying that there was nothing she could do about the unvaccinated in her state and the COVID wave they were causing.

    Now Biden’s doing something about it and she’s like “oh no you don’t.”

    “Bring it on,” eh? I do not think this is a fight the GOP wins.


    Here’s a Politico/Morning Consult poll on a vaccine mandates from August: 56% support, 37% opposition among RVs.

    38% strongly support, 27% strongly oppose

  4. charon says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W: It’s what happens when one political party sacrifices their citizens on the altar of electoral primacy.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    U.S. data on hospitalization from nine states during the period when the Delta variant was dominant also suggests that the Moderna Inc vaccine (MRNA.O) was more effective at preventing hospitalizations among individuals of all ages than vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) or Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).

    In that study of more than 32,000 visits to urgent care centers, emergency rooms and hospitals, Moderna’s vaccine was 95% effective at preventing hospitalization compared with 80% for Pfizer and 60% for J&J.

    Overall, the findings, released on Friday in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease show that vaccines continue to offer strong protection from COVID-19.

    And Republican governors are gonna “fight like hell” to keep Biden from putting these vaccines in the arms of their citizens because….


  7. steve says:

    I dont think you guys understand the conservative mindset at all. YOU think opposing vaccines is a losing tactic. The voters in the conservative states will view those governors as heroes, standing up to Biden, businesses, local businesses and anyone who tries to impose a vaccine mandate or passports. Have you already forgotten Trump? There was nothing that would shake his voters.


  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @steve: I dont think you guys understand the conservative mindset at all.

    We get it, we get it all too well. Those idiots are just dying to own the Libs.

  9. charon says:


    Have you already forgotten Trump? There was nothing that would shake his voters.

    They can’t vote twice. They are already committed partisans so there is no reason to care what they think of this. Fvkkem.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Washington Post

    Perspective | We conducted the largest study on masks and covid-19: They work

    Really? Wow. Never would have guessed that.

  11. CSK says:

    Literally dying to own the libs.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The full list of 2021 Ig Nobel award winners:

    Ecology Prize: Leila Satari and colleagues, for using genetic analysis to identify the different species of bacteria that reside in wads of discarded chewing gum stuck on pavements in various countries.

    Physics Prize: Alessandro Corbetta and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.

    Kinetics Prize: Hisashi Murakami and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do sometimes collide with other pedestrians.

    Transportation Prize: Robin Radcliffe and colleagues, for determining by experiment whether it is safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside down.

    More at the link.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yep.

  14. charon says:


    The voters in the conservative states will view those governors as heroes, standing up to Biden, businesses, local businesses and anyone who tries to impose a vaccine mandate or passports.

    Reason and logic have been tried, don’t work.

    Facts and evidence, the same.

    Sweet talk and cajolery also have been tried, failed.

    And, no reason they should work, given the desire of those people for partisan confrontation, the above all just show them who the enemy is.

    So if not coercion, what?

  15. CSK says:

    I think I may be able to address the burning question of why pedestrians don’t bump into other pedestrians:

    Because they usually look where they’re going and thus avoid collisions.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: And I can answer why they sometimes do: Smartphones.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Unearthed videos show pattern of violence by Louisiana state police

    As the Louisiana state police reel from the fallout of the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene – a case blown open this year by long-withheld video of troopers stunning, punching and dragging the Black motorist – an Associated Press investigation has revealed it is part of a pattern of violence kept shrouded in secrecy.
    AP’s review – coming amid a widening federal investigation into state police misconduct – found troopers have made a habit of turning off or muting body cameras during pursuits. When footage is recorded, the agency routinely refuses to release it. And a recently retired supervisor who oversaw a particularly violent clique of troopers told internal investigators this year it was his “common practice” to rubber-stamp officers’ use-of-force reports without reviewing body-camera video.
    Col Lamar Davis, the state police superintendent, said in a statement that the agency has completely revised its excessive force policies and practices and implemented numerous reforms in the 11 months since he took office.

    Davis said he did not believe a federal pattern and practice investigation is needed “at this time”. The justice department did not answer questions about whether it was considering one.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

    Recently, a federal investigation into Greene’s death was broadened to include allegations of obstruction of justice involving state police brass. Among the incidents now under scrutiny is the shutdown of a secret panel state police set up to investigate possible systemic abuse of Black motorists.

    The panel had been focused on reviewing thousands of hours of body-camera footage from about a dozen specific troopers in northern Louisiana’s Troop F. But according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, the panel was abruptly disbanded in July after just a few months’ work following leaks about its existence. State police did not immediately act on the panel’s recommendations, but Davis said the agency had since referred some of the problematic incidents to internal investigators.

    I mean it. Move. It. The. Fck. Out. Of. Here.

  18. CSK says:

    Yeah. I remember being in Boston just after texting became the latest big thing and watching people stumble off curbs, bump into streetlights, and crash into each other while tapping away frenziedly at their phones. It was like being in a city full of drunks.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Here in Chicago when the Pokkemon geo-caching craze was in existence, we saw the same thing.

    Forget about walking into other pedestrians; we had people walking out into rush-hour traffic!

  20. charon says:


    After going to great lengths to impair or sabotage our Covid recovery, Republicans are already running for 2022 on the idea that Biden and Dems are solely to blame for our failure to quickly defeat it.

    So Dems must make this an issue on their own terms:


    Opinion: How the GOP will exploit Covid to win power — and what Democrats can do about it

  21. Mimai says:

    I love the Ig Nobel Prizes. The creativity. The importance of the work (if one takes the time to look at the studies themselves). The good natured aspect of it all.

    My only annoyance is that it provides another opportunity for, er, opportunists to sneer at all these stupid scientists doing their stupid work while the rest of us are out here toiling in obscurity on essential world-saving stuff.

    Relatedly, I really like the Peace Prize winner:

    Ethan Beseris and colleagues, for testing the hypothesis that humans evolved beards to protect themselves from punches to the face.

    [Ted Cruz call your office]

  22. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Same here!

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: With me? It’s pretty girls. I once walked right into a sign post, “WHAMMMM!!!” staggered back 3 or 4 steps before steadying. My wife turned around and looked at me and without uttering a word said, “Idiot.” with a look that was a thing to behold.


    My only annoyance is that it provides another opportunity for, er, opportunists to sneer at all these stupid scientists doing their stupid work

    I don’t spend much time on the thoughts of idiots. Who says scientists can’t have a little fun too?

  24. Mimai says:

    Observation: this comments section spends a lot of time discussing “the thoughts of idiots.” 🙂

    Science is often incredibly fun. In fact, “have fun” is one of the key values of my lab. And most of the time, we live up to it.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    John Pavlovitz@johnpavlovitz
    Three weeks from today I’ll be in the ICU recovering from my brain tumor removal—providing I don’t get bumped by people who could easily prevent themselves from being in those beds, but who refuse to.

    The fact that I even have to be concerned about that makes my blood boil.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: Observation: this comments section spends a lot of time discussing “the thoughts of idiots.”

    You got me there, but I try not to comment about things I am not that knowledgeable of and avoid engaging with the JKBs and keefs of the world. I am not always successful.

    And yes, science is supposed to be fun. Sadly, I know a few who’ve burned out because like so many jobs, it sometimes becomes drudgery.

  27. charon says:

    From my link upthread to the Post:

    Democrats might also point out that GOP governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas are doing all they can to block local officials from implementing mask requirements to protect their communities. They might note the covid surges in their states, as cautionary tales about a return to GOP rule.

    Democrats should engage this forcefully not only because the majorities who favor sensible collective action on behalf of public health need to hear officials giving voice to their aspirations for recovery. It’s also because Republicans themselves will make the midterms about covid.

    To see how, check out this quote that a GOP operative gave to CNN:

    ” … Democrats ran an entire campaign dishonestly promising that they alone could fix a once-in-a-generation pandemic. Now that they’ve completely failed and their poll numbers are tanking, they are desperate to shift blame,” Michael McAdams, National Republican Congressional Committee communications director, said in a statement. … ”

    After having gone to great lengths to impair our response to covid at best, and to actively sabotage it at worst, Republicans will claim the covid resurgence is only the fault of President Biden and Democrats.

    Democrats can respond by directly calling out the ways that Republicans are standing in the way of recovery. The reason this could matter in the midterms is demographics.

  28. BugManDan says:
  29. steve says:

    charon- Everything you point out just convinces Democrats more that they should not vote for the GOP, but they weren’t going to do that anyway. It makes Republicans more likely to vote for those governors. I dont really know how to break the cycle.

    Mimai- I like the idea of fun. I had a nice talk with an advanced practice nurse who is joining our practice. She was an ICU nurse at one of our hospitals. She told me it was always her goal after she did her advanced training to come back and work with us. She liked a to fo things about how our group handled clinical issues and how we treated employees, but she especially liked the idea that even when caring for the sickest pts we always seemed to manage to have fun at some point with what we are doing. I am big advocate of that. First of all if you are n a profession you should be there because you really enjoy it, not the money. Yes, the money is important but what drives you should be that you get to do what you like to do. Then, if you like what you are doing you should be able to have some fun with it. Get to know and enjoy those with whom you work. That way most of the time when you get up in the morning you actually want to, or at least dont mind, going to work.


  30. Mikey says:

    On the evening of September 4, 2021, one week before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Glenn Vogt stood at the footprint of the North Tower and gazed at the names stamped in bronze. The sun was diving below the buildings across the Hudson River in New Jersey, and though we didn’t realize it, the memorial was shut off to the public. Tourists had been herded behind a rope line some 20 feet away, but we’d walked right past them. As we looked on silently, a security guard approached. “I’m sorry, but the site is closed for tonight,” the man said.

    Glenn studied the guard. Then he folded his hands as if in prayer. “Please,” he said. “I was the general manager of Windows on the World, the restaurant that was at the top of this building. These were my employees.”

    The man glanced over Glenn’s shoulder. “Which ones?”

    Glenn didn’t say anything. Slowly, he turned and swept his open palm across the air, demonstrating the scale of the devastation: All 79 names were grouped together. The guard closed his eyes. “Take as much time as you need,” he said softly.

    ‘I Was Responsible for Those People’

    The manager of Windows on the World survived 9/11, while 79 of his employees died. He’s still searching for permission to move on.

    That’s the beginning of the story, but there is so much more…just an incredible piece of writing. Definitely worth a read.

  31. CSK says:

    Trump did not attend any of the 9/11 events. He did, however, attack Joe Biden and pay a visit to the NYPD 17th precinct, where he hinted at a run for the presidency in 2024.

    Later today, he will sit ringside at a boxing match and provide commentary.

    Pure class, I’m tellin’ ya. Pure class.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, but the real question is how is it that so few collisions occur considering the ubiquity of smartphones and people looking down at them while walking. That’s why the study is important. 😉