Monday’s 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. Sleeping Dog says:

    After Texas Sent Him to Washington, One Migrant Launches a New Life

    “I have nothing,” Mr. Alejos, 29, said on his third day in the city, “but I have the will to work and succeed.”

    Two months later, Mr. Alejos is making between $600 to $700 a week, saving up to buy a used car and planning to move out of the shelter.

    “There is so much opportunity here,” he said on Thursday, at the end of a day’s work. “You just have to take advantage of it.”


    “I feel fortunate the governor put me on a bus to Washington,” Mr. Alejos said. “It opened up doors for me.”

    That’s not the result Abbott planned on.

  2. Scott says:


    To Mikey:

    Today marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the U. S. Air Force. I served for 20 of those years. Are there any othe USAF retirees in this esteemed company?

    I tend to be offline on weekends so I’ll respond here to yesterday’s inquiry. Yes, I spend 20 years also. Retired in 2000. Doesn’t seem that long ago. Also spend another 20 years as a contractor for the AF. As I always told my contracting overlords: “I work for the Air Force, I just get paid by you.”

    So count it as 40 years.

  3. Kathy says:

    Today marks five years since the last damaging earthquake hit central Mexico. To mark the occasion, the whole city and metro area have scheduled an earthquake drill for today at precisely 12:19 pm, the minute the lat big one hit.

    Despite the fact the seismic alert goes off every so often when a quake is on the way, I do favor a drill from time to time. However, it shouldn’t be announced to the minute. It would be better if we were told “between the 17th and the 21st, at any time between 8 am and 6 pm.”

    That way you can’t be sure it’s a drill or a real quake. So you won’t finish your coffee, or save your work, or ignore it entirely.

  4. Scott says:

    I want one.

    Someone turned a Peugeot convertible into a battle buggy in Ukraine

    There’s a strong demand for aftermarket add-ons to cars. That can be new lights, spoilers, rims and in the case of war zones, guns and protection. After all, what is a technical but a specific type of aftermarket customization to a vehicle? That’s the case with this sports car coupe in Ukraine that’s now a weapon of war.

    Someone on the Ukrainian side of the war has taken a Peugeot 307 CC coupe convertible, a staple of the French automaker in the 2000s, and turned it into a kind of battle buggy. Look at it. It’s a pretty dramatic makeover for the car. The photo, taken by photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka for the Associated Press while documenting the aftermath of fighting in the recaptured town of Izium, shows the car with a gunner standing through the rear window, machine gun set up on the roof. It’s not clearly fixed to the car, but the setup is that of a technical. And despite all of the modifications to the coupe, whoever worked on the Peugeot kept the hard-top roof of the convertible in place.

  5. Joe says:

    After 40 years, they should name an Air Force base after you, Scott.

  6. Mu Yixiao says:

    5th Circuit upholds Texas law preventing social media platforms from moderating content.

    Trump-nominated Judge Andrew Stephen Oldham joined two other conservative judges in ruling that the First Amendment doesn’t grant protections for corporations to “muzzle speech.”

    John Bergmayer, the legal director of Public Knowledge (a public interest group defending online consumer rights), provided a statement to Ars suggesting that the 5th Circuit Court’s decision may not stand.

    “The Fifth Circuit has ignored decades of First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent— and contrary to recent Supreme Court orders—to reach a seemingly politically motivated decision that will have disastrous effects if it is not immediately reversed,” Bergmayer said.

  7. Jon says:


    they should name an Air Force base after you, Scott

    Heh, at first I read that as “they should name the Air Force after you, Scott” and though hell yeah, Army, Navy, Scott, and Marines.

  8. steve says:

    4 years active, 4 years reserves Air Force. (officer) 4 years Navy (enlisted)


  9. KM says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    It might not be what he intended but it’s the inevitable outcome. Anyone who has the ambition and initiative to travel across a continent often by literally walking the whole way is not just gonna sit around with their hands out. They got dreams baby, the drive to make it happen and the willingness to suffer through low, difficult times to succeed.

    Abbott and DeSantis thought they were sending burdens to bother liberals. What we got are future entrepreneurs and hard workers.

  10. Scott says:

    @Joe: LOL. They did. It’s called Scott AFB

  11. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I just don’t know how they can do this. What about social media sites where their business model doesn’t include or doesn’t want long running political commentary or discussions. I’m thinking of one that’s popular in San Antonio called Next Door. Primarily local neighborhood news, ads, lost dogs, etc. They have moderators that are aggressive in shutting down and deleting political commentary merely because they don’t want to go down the sewer hole of Facebook and Twitter. Doesn’t the company that creates and hosts their social media site have the right to decide that? I think so.

  12. Joe says:

    @Scott: Yup.

  13. Kathy says:

    Et tu, Joseph?

    Remember back in Spring 2020 when deaths were counted as a factor of 9/11? For the week ending in Sept. 18th, there were 2,991 deaths. that’s just five or six short of a 9/11.

    The pandemic is over, just over 425 people die every day of the trump virus.

    Doublethink much?

    How many more will die from not getting the new boosters, because the pandemic is over?

  14. Slugger says:

    @Mu Yixiao: What are some media sites with a right focus? I want to express my pro gender fluidity viewpoints. These views are an expression of my deeply held Satanic religion views.

  15. CSK says:


    Well, you could wander over to for starters.

  16. Mu Yixiao says:


    The law has a 25M user threshold. None of the far-right sites will hit that threshold, so they’re immune.

  17. Neil Hudelson says:


    I’ve only read the transcript, was Biden being descriptive or prescriptive?

    On the one hand, that mortality rate is double the weekly death rate of the 2018-2019 Influenza season in the United States (27,000+ total deaths during the 26ish week flu season).

    On the other hand, it’s 1/10th the Covid mortality rate from January 2021.

    At least in the U.S., most of society is now mask-less, with little or (likely) no limitations on crowd size, yet the mortality rate is 90% lower than it was 18 months ago, and it continues to fall. For most Americans, at least, the pandemic is over.

  18. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Mu Yixiao: So corporations that achieve a certain level of growth forgo constitutional protections, I guess.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    @Mu Yixiao: So corporations that achieve a certain level of growth forgo constitutional protections, I guess.

    That’s a construct that has appeal in parts of both the left and the right.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    It’s been over before:

    Summer 2020 and the mad rush to reopen
    Spring 2021 when vaccinations were on the rise
    Autumn 2021 when the Delta wave subsided
    Spring 2022 when the Omicron wave crested

    If it ends one more time, we will all die.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: It’s also not clear how many of today’s deaths are in unvaccinated people, or in people so aged and ill that any infection can result in death. But even accounting for that we are certainly well above the annual flu death rate. Given that for decades we have accepted that flu death rate as not justifying extraordinary interventions (quarantines, mandatory or even suggested mask wearing, etc) the question is: what is the upper limit rate that we are willing to consider normal? The worst year for flu death rate in recent times is around 50K. Right now we have an annualized rate due to COVID of just under 3x that. I think what Biden is saying, correctly, is that the public consensus seems to be that is tolerable.

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: People who used to die from the flu now dying of COVID?

    (I want a second booster, but want to wait until I can get my hands on something that can handle the latest Omicron variants.)

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    Someone just broke a pool cue in half and laid it on the Queen’s coffin.

  24. steve says:

    Its endemic now is how I look at it. That could change with another variant but the latest Omicron is so contagious its hard to avoid. The death rate remains high because so many people refuse to get vaccinated.

    As an aside, as an offshoot of the anti-vax movement we now have pets being admitted who ask if they can be transferred to their community evangelical hospital. No such thing exists in our area (any area?) but these people just know that if we arent the right kind of Christian we believe in voodoo medicine like vaccinations and not the good stuff like Ivermectin. It came up again at the trauma meeting this morning where a pt was banged up enough they shouldn’t be transferred at all if possible let alone some regular community hospital.


  25. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    That was the lord chamberlain’s wand of office. He broke it to signify the end of QEII’s reign.

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    People who used to die from the flu now dying of COVID?

    That’s more or less what I was getting at and while it may be true, I don’t know how, if at all, it should affect the statistics. In point of fact, the number of people dying from COVID + Flu is 3 to 4 times as many as the worst year for flu in the past several decades, so COVID continues to have a real impact. The real wild card is how many of these deaths are in people, especially the elderly, who have not followed the the vax plus boosters regimen. I know that to Public Health officials that’s just a piece of data to be understood in their efforts to reduce the death toll, but it affects my personal risk profile. Annualized, we currently have 140K deaths attributed to COVID. If it turns out that 100K or more of those occur in the insufficiently vaccinated, then the remaining deaths are in the range of a bad flu year, and I consider me and mine relatively safe. I don’t know anyone personally who has died of the flu, with the possible exception of some very elderly and ill friends and relatives who eventually succumbed to “upper respiratory infection”. That fact kind of sets my risk level. I’m sad for all those anti-vaxers who die, I truly am, but I put it in the same category of mountain climbing or deep sea diving.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @steve: Why do they come to your hospital in the first place? Why don’t they go to the Evangelical ones in the beginning?

  28. Kathy says:


    Charge them $500 for a transfer and pre-filled death certificate.

  29. Kathy says:


    Its endemic now is how I look at it.

    At some point in time, things like measles, smallpox, and polio were endemic, too. But there were also periods of active outbreaks when lots of people got sick and died in large numbers. we call those periods epidemics.

    Outside of epidemics, some people might fall ill and die, but overall there was no community transmission. That’s not an epidemic.

    The trump disease may be subsiding, but we’re still in the pandemic phase of the outbreak. Nature doesn’t care if you’re getting back to normal, or have pandemic fatigue.

  30. Scott says:

    @steve: Are those evangelical hospitals in-network for anybody’s insurance or are they part of the health sharing ministries?

  31. Joe says:

    @Neil Hudelson: This is what stands between OTB and chaos, at least until OTB grows to the size of FB.

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    Kevin Williamson is abandoning the NR for the Dispatch.

    Another NR refugee who wouldn’t drink the trump-aid moves to friendlier pastures. Not sure that this is a win for the Dispatch, but…

  33. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I would expect that the Twitters and Facebooks do not want to be overrun with Texas Nazis, Klansmen, NAMBLAs, etc., and would eventually resort to fencing off Texas as a means of complying, if this was upheld.

  34. Kathy says:

    Not 50 minutes after the earthquake drill, the seismic alert went off again. We evacuated the office again, and there was what felt like a light quake.

    I’ll post a bit more about odds later. Right now I’m across the street waiting for the all-clear.

  35. Kathy says:

    Preliminary reports say 6.8 Richter. things seem fine here.

    Here’s the thing, as noted in my earlier post, there was a big quake on Sept. 19th 2017. Before that one, there was the very big quake that leveled parts of the city in 1985, also on Sept. 19th.

    Wait, there’s more.

    There had been a city-wide drill just two hours before the 2017 quake.

    Those are really long odds.

  36. Beth says:


    I’m in a real estate closing and the Buyer and his attorney both have family there now. The attorney mentioned that there was an earthquake, and I was like, right after the drill? She looked at me like I was a crazy person.

  37. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Clearly, the drills are causing the quakes.

    Ok, how many drills per year and how many quakes? I’m expecting this is going to be one of those “put 24 people in the room together and the odds are good that two have the same birthday” scenarios that just initially sounds improbable, but turns out to be very likely.

    (Actually, no, I don’t want numbers, because then I would have to do math)

  38. Jon says:

    Popular Information has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.

    The allegation that the migrants were misled is legally significant. It would mean that the flights were not just heartless, but potentially criminal. If the migrants were misled, the scheme to transport them to Martha’s Vineyard could constitute fraud, false imprisonment, or kidnapping. “There is absolutely the possibility of both civil and criminal liability if people were lied to about where they were going [or] what they were going to get when they got there,” lawyer Susan Church told Politico.

    Full article here.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Thank you. I would have been amazed that security around the coffin was loose enough for some rando to leave a souvenir pool cue.

  40. Mu Yixiao says:


    It’s not an earthquake. The lizard people from the center of the Earth are celebrating a holiday. Those were the fireworks. (They’re also mourning the Queen).

  41. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    A real manly country would nuke the quakes, right?

    Reports are now saying the magnitude was 7.4. The 2017 quake was 7.1. I don’t put much stock in early numbers, and also wait for the type of quakes it was. We were all outside when it hit, about a minute after the alert sounded.

    Funny thing, we were out faster than in the drill. In part because the alert went off on the radio before it did on the speakers mounted all over town. so we got out before the rest of the office knew about it.

  42. dazedandconfused says:

    The rona is much much closer the to the flu than polio and smallpox and is consequently much more difficult, if not impossible, to totally eliminate with vaccines. We can’t stop this type of bug with vaxes yet. Our technology simple isn’t up to that job. As shown by the inability of accurately predict the seasonal variations in the common flu bugs. They adapt too quickly. As with the common cold, the cure has always been ourselves. Our ability to develop enough herd immunity to check it for a time.

    It appears that at some point it will be proper to “grasp the nettle” on this bug. Protect against serious disease with vaxes but let it be endemic so our immune systems can take it out by means of constant exposure providing constant “booster shots”. Our immune systems will have to be play hero. The main question is when that should happen. It seems to be happening by default now.

  43. Kathy says:


    The flu is very seasonal, and the trump virus is not.

    It does seem to strike more people during summer and winter, which is rather like some common cold varieties (at least I tended to get colds in summer and/or winter). This doesn’t make it seasonal, it only makes it worse during those times. Probably these are the times more people gather in larger numbers indoors.

    As for me, I’d rather limit my exposure to vaccines.

  44. Kathy says:

    The latest magnitude estimates are 7.7 That’s really strong. No reports of widespread damage or injuries as yet, though power seems to have gone out in some states.

    I changed my mind about giving exact timing of a drill. If given an interval, a real quake might hit and some people would fail to take it seriously because they’d think it’s the drill.

  45. Franklin says:

    @Kathy: If we’re looking for connections, maybe your recent power outage was foreshadowing the quake …

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: My old man was Army Air Corps, WWII, B-29s, crash landed on Iwo Jima twice. USAF Korean war. When he got notified he was being called up, he told my mother they should call off the wedding because he didn’t want to leave her a widow. Ma’s reply?

    “Fuck you. We get married now, or never.”

    They got married. He saved every letter she sent him. We have them.

    FTR: when he mustered out he was awarded the Order of the Purple Shaft, with Barb Wired Cluster.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Right across the river, for most of my life.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Doesn’t the company that creates and hosts their social media site have the right to decide that?

    If you are in my house, you don’t get to say racist shit. If the SC has a problem with that….

    You can fill in the blank.

  49. Mikey says:

    @Scott: I retired in 2006, hard to believe it’s almost as long retired as I served. Time marches on.

  50. Kathy says:

    Food news, everyone! (no, really). Audible is running a huge sale, almost everything’s discounted.

    You have to pay cash, not Audible credits, but there are a few great deals to be had. Sale ends on the 23rd.

    Of course, I’m checking at Scribd first before putting anything in the shopping cart.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’m still not seeing anything about your earthquake. Was the epicenter far away ?

  52. Kathy says:


    The Guardian has some info about it.

    Quakes tend to originate where tectonic plates meet, as was the case here somewhere off the Pacific coast.

  53. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: what’s almost funny is that so many conservatives think that sending immigrants to blue states is some kind of own. They don’t seem to realize that in general, blue states already have larger immigrant populations, documented and undocumented, than red states. As someone wrote on Twitter: “California has more immigrants than Texas. New York has more immigrants than Florida.”

  54. steve says:

    The community evangelical hospitals mostly dont exist as far as I can tell. Maybe there are some hospitals in some areas that bill themselves as such.