Easter Sunday 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. Mu Yixiao says:


    (Gotta find some upside to spending the next 20 hours stuck on planes and in airports)

  2. Kathy says:

    Time for nostalgia, as this piece was probably made famous among generations of people by Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry.

    So, Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.2, the piano version, and an orchestra version.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida teacher fired for asking students to pen obituaries for active shooter drill

    A Florida teacher who was fired from his school after asking his students to write their own obituaries in advance of an on-campus active shooter drill says he has no regrets about the assignment that cost him his job.

    “It wasn’t to scare them or make them feel like they were going to die, but just to help them understand what’s important in their lives and how they want to move forward with their lives and how they want to pursue things in their journey,” the dismissed psychology teacher, Jeffrey Keene, told NBC News.
    According to NBC, Keene learned that his 11th- and 12th-grade students at Dr Phillips high school in the Orlando area would be rehearsing how to respond to a shooting attack at their campus during their first period on 4 April. That prompted him to ask his students to write their own biographical obituaries as classwork, reasoning that the assignment would cause them to reflect on their lives as they prepared to undergo the active shooter drill.

    “This isn’t a way to upset you or anything like that,” Keene recalled telling his class of 35 students. He added: “If you can’t talk real to them, then what’s happening in this environment?”

    Seeing the headline my first thought was, “Not the smartest move.” but finding it was a class of 11th and 12th graders, I’m a little more sympathetic. 16-18 year olds are already talking about it, but I guess school officials would prefer to pretend they aren’t.

  4. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve given up trying to make sense of how school administrators make decisions.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    CYA, avoid anything controversial. That occurs anywhere, even in the healthiest political climates, but here we’re talking about Fla…

  6. Kathy says:

    Watching video of musical performances has me thinking about instruments. I know little about playing an instrument, though I took piano and guitar lessons many decades ago (I learned I’ve neither aptitude nor the required dexterity to play anything, and that reading music is really hard).

    I have to wonder, isn’t there a better way to set up a violin? It seems rather hard to hold it with the chin, while one hand both holds the other end and sets the notes on the strings. Similar instruments, like the bass and cello, look more civilized (although a tripod to hold the instrument, IMO, might be a better idea than knees and one hand).

    Wind instruments are baffling, too. these days it shouldn’t be hard at all to make a noiseless. controllable air pump to do the work of lips and lungs.

    The piano, in contrast, is downright civilized. Although the left and right hand do essentially different things and each has its own set of musical notation to follow.

  7. Mister Bluster says:

    Since I was a child I have heard stories of people coming back from the dead. I’ve always wanted to see it happen. So today like every Easter I drive around the cemetery to be there if anyone pops up out of their graves as I circle around the headstones with my windows rolled down and Led Zeppelin playing at top volume. I figure that should shake them up!
    You guessed it. Nothing happened. Maybe next year.

  8. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Try an alarm clock next year.

    For the more recently deceased, a smart phone social media alert.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster: They’re coming to get you, Barbara!

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..more recently deceased
    This is the Woodlawn Cemetery near the center of town. I drive by it almost every day. It is the resting place for Civil War soldiers where tradition has it that an early Memorial Day observation was held in 1866. I think that a round of canon fire might be appropriate.

  11. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Ok. try the final part of the 1812 Overture. Music, bells, and cannon fire.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: these days it shouldn’t be hard at all to make a noiseless. controllable air pump to do the work of lips and lungs.

    Irish Bagpipes have had exactly that for centuries. In the video you can see him pumping a bladder/bellows with his right arm.

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    these days it shouldn’t be hard at all to make a noiseless. controllable air pump to do the work of lips and lungs.

    Such devices have been available since before symphony orchestras became a thing for “cities” to have. The devices are called “pipe organs.”

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d completely forgotten Irish bagpipes.

  15. Jen says:

    As a follow-up to the Justice Thomas billionaire gift shit-show, apparently the billionaire invited others on some of the trips/to meals/etc., just lil’ ol’ nobodies like the leadership of the American Enterprise Institute, executives at Verizon, and so on. In short, a Supreme Court Justice was a captive audience for anyone Harlan Crow felt like shoving in front of him. I hope someone is overlaying these events/attendees with issues that have been pending before the court.

    This whole mess stinks to high heaven and I am becoming more appalled by the moment that this was ALLOWED to go on.

    The other justices must have known. Why TF didn’t anyone say anything???

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: There’s an Irish pub in the Soulard neighborhood named McGurk’s. A buddy of mine and I went there all the time to see Irish musicians play. The first time I saw somebody play the Irish pipes I was like, “WTF???”

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:


    These cape lappet caterpillars respond to human voice and noise.

    [ Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust: https://buff.ly/3iAR9a3%5D
    [read more: https://buff.ly/3vN5LHb%5D

    Too funny.

  18. de stijl says:

    I never trusted Matt Taibbi. He has been in the news lately over the Twitter files thing. (Glen Greenwald, too.)

    Even back in the Bush era when he was writing for Rolling Stone he exhibited frightening conclusion jumps not based on fact.

    On the surface an ally. But a very sketchy one based on his written output and logic processing. A person willing to bend journalistic rules to make an unsupported point. Nope! Want nothing to do with that guy at all. Greenwald was and still is doing the same shit. Polemicists and demagogues disguised as journalists. I want nothing to do with that. Definitely not my ally. Nope.

    Taibbi got destroyed this week by facts over his Twitter files coverage. In that he got 90% of the basic facts wrong. Never trust anyone with a proven track record of confirmation bias.

    And now, his patron, Elon Musk, is unallowing all tweets that involve Substack. Basically deplatforming Taibbi on Twitter. Karma is a bitch.

    My gay-dar is intermittently spotty, but my “this-is-a-shitty-person” -dar is spot on.

  19. dazedandconfused says:

    You’ve sorta re-imagined the organ. The idea is to get all those horns blowing themselves as directed by a keyboard. Has its uses, but tosses nearly all ability to moderate tone in which there is much art. Miles Davis once said he quite playing for a year and swore he would NEVER do that again, as it took him months of hard work to get his tone back.

  20. dazedandconfused says:


    “The definition of an Irish gentleman is one who can play the bagpipes…and does not.”

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Tansu YEĞEN

    Experiencing the joy of hearing for the first time.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @dazedandconfused: I love bagpipes, Irish and Scottish.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    Taibbi got destroyed this week by facts over his Twitter files coverage

    I hadn’t heard about this. What platform?

  24. dazedandconfused says:

    For a reason incomprehensible to myself, the Youtube algorithm which monitors me has been shoving this in my face for about a week. How a vocalist can make simple soooo sublime.

  25. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Also, Northumbrian pipes, from NE England.
    Katherine Tickell is a master of them.

  26. Sleeping Dog says:


    Check at the Bulwark, Sykes or Last commented on Matt’s undressing and provided links to the video.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    Irish pipes, more formerly known as uilleann pipes and as JohnSF notes related to the Northumbrian small pipes. To my ear both sound much better than Scottish bag pipes, whose purpose seems only to clear the local at closing time.

  28. JohnSF says:


    “The definition of an Irish gentleman is one who can play the bagpipes…and does not.”

    That’s a joke re the Scots pipes. Uilleann and Northumbrian pipes are rather, different.
    Less damn noisy, for a start. More suited to ensemble playing, where Scots-style bagpipes would drown out everything else.
    In Ireland they were often known as the “war pipes”; so not really suited to a set in the pub.

    The music of The Chieftains is a good introduction to uilleann pipes (and Irish music in general IMO).
    Chieftains 5 is good starting place.

  29. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Beat me to it! LOL.

  30. Kurtz says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    No. You’re doing obviously doing it wrong.

    Did you use the the blood drained from three fledgling sparrows exactly 666 minutes before starting your car?

    Did you make sure you knew what music was playing when any of the people in that cemetery died?

    Details, dude. Details.

  31. de stijl says:


    Mehdi Hasan interviewed Taibbi on MSNBC about “Twitter Files” a few days back. Techdirt did a editorial write-up.

    Taibbi was shockingly factually sloppy (possibly intentionally so) on both premise and conclusion.

  32. dazedandconfused says:


    Much better. The loud background drone of scottish pipes must to be limited to small doses, such as Saving Grace, lest it produce migraines and spoiled milk.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Ouch. That was brutal. I wonder if his crummy “journalism” comes more from living inside the bubble than from deliberate dishonesty? Not because I find anything redeeming about Taibbi, but because I can’t imagine him doing an interview with someone who would fact check him if he didn’t believe his own BS.

  34. de stijl says:


    No idea why Taibbi agreed to that interview. Hubris? Ignorance? He thought no one would fact check him? I am befuddled.

    That was brutal. He got pummeled with facts. Ouch! Then Musk disallowed all Substack tweets. “Free speech absolutist” my shiny metal butt!

    Elon Musk will be an example in future economics and communications classes in how not to run a social media platform. How having a communications team benefits an organization. How personal pique is a shitty way to run (or buy) a business.

    I cannot think of another example of how badly an owner can step on his own [bleep] repeatedly, in public, and think he is the smart one in the aftermath. Runaway pride.

    This whole mess is a Greek tragedy about hubris.

  35. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I had organs in mind, though I’m certain no one ever blew into an organ as they do into a flute or tuba.

    In the future, maybe the near future at that, music will be synthesized from samples taken off acoustic instruments.

  36. gVOR08 says:


    The other justices must have known. Why TF didn’t anyone say anything???

    Because they’re doing the same thing.

  37. Just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Bagpipes were originally for keeping the trolls and demons away. (And they worked so well that to this day…)

  38. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha:
    Can’t find the pipes band version of Alex Harvey “Anthem”.
    But it does work, trust me.

  39. Thomm says:

    @Jen: I keep wondering about Sotomayor and her claim about him being such a great guy since he knows the janitors by name and such. Is she just in the bubble; or has this type of thing been normalized through more members than just him. Of course Alito has been known for having speaking engagements in front of some exclusive groups.

  40. Kathy says:
  41. Mister Bluster says:

    Obviously I am out of touch with the current popular culture. Who’s Barbara?

    Thanks for the tips. Gives me an excuse to take up bird watching and listening to old Civil War tunes like this one apparently recorded on E. Berliner’s Gramophone (1893).

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Please release my comment at 21:22 from moderation.

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Thomm: I would assume the corrupt behavior is normalized among the conservative justices. Probably the liberals too, but with fewer billionaires eager to handle them and without Leonard Leo to organize the handling. I also wonder if Sotomayor’s friendship with Thomas is real or if she’s working really hard to try to have some influence in a 6-3 Court.

  44. Jen says:

    @Thomm: One of nine is a very exclusive group. When you spend your work days seeing people behave in a manner that is inconsistent with a media portrayal, you probably start to have blinders on when legitimate criticisms arise.

    Thomas might be perfectly okay to work with, but that doesn’t mean that his colleagues should ignore this shady AF behavior.

    If they are “all” doing it, then we’ll find out about it soon enough. There’s no way that this story goes away if others are partaking in this sort of largess. I actually doubt they are, but we’ll see.

  45. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster: Belated reply, because this is the first time your comment appeared after being stuck in moderation.

    Obviously I am out of touch with the current popular culture. Who’s Barbara?

    I was quoting a line from Night of the Living Dead, where a young man is making fun of his sister for being spooked in a cemetery, just before a zombie appears and attacks them. The scene is here.