Open Forum

Where you can't be off-topic because there IS no topic.

The floor is yours.

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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In an article with the headline, Are the wheels coming off Boris Johnson’s bus?, Ben Quinn at the Guardian boils it down to this:

    At the end of the day, though, it is that fractionally small cohort of the population who ultimately matter. If this is an audience of voters who have been primed for some time to distrust mainstream media narratives and view the Guardian and BBC as hostile leftwing entities then, for all his campaign’s missteps, the negative publicity surrounding Johnson might yet reinforce narratives of persecution by a liberal elite.

    To which Boris responds with, “Hold my beer. Watch this!”

    Johnson first doubled down on his commitment to leaving on 31 October in an interview with Talkradio, saying he was in no way reneging on his firm pledge. “We are getting ready to come out on 31 October. Come what may,” he said. Asked to confirm this, he added: “Do or die. Come what may.”

    He then said he would scrap Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and seek a completely new deal before then, as minor changes would not satisfy him. “I mean more than a change,” he said. “It’s got to be, we need a new withdrawal agreement – if we’re going to go out on the basis of a withdrawal agreement.”

    Boris thinks he can do in 4 months what Theresa May was unable to in 2 years because the Tories couldn’t agree on anything? Pretty sure even he’s not that stupid. Get ready UK, a No Deal Brexit is coming and you are going to get it good and hard.

  2. Guarneri says:

    “To this very moment slavery continues in parts of Africa and the Islamic world. Very little noise is made about it by those who denounce the slavery of the past in the West, because there is no money to be made denouncing it and no political advantages to be gained.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Shocking photo of drowned father and daughter highlights migrants’ border peril

    The images, taken on Monday, show Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 26, and his daughter Valeria, lying face down in shallow water. The 23-month-old toddler’s arm is draped around her father’s neck, suggesting that she was clinging to him in her final moments.


    Their bodies were discovered on the bank of the river near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, just half a mile (1 kilometer) from an international bridge.

    According to Julia Le Duc, a reporter for the newspaper La Jornada, Martínez Ramírez had arrived in Matamoros on Sunday, hoping to request asylum from US authorities with his wife, Vanessa Ávalos, and their daughter.

    But when he realized that it could be weeks before they were even able to start the asylum process, Martínez decided they should swim across, said Le Duc, who witnessed Ávalos give her account to the police.

    “He crossed first with the little girl and he left her on the American side. Then he turned back to get his wife, but the girl went into the water after him. When he went to save her, the current took them both,” Le Duc told the Guardian.

    The image underlines the dangers which mostly Central American migrants face in their attempts to escape violence, corruption and poverty at home and find asylum in the United States.
    Claudia Hernández, a Mexican police officer in the border town of Piedras Negras, told the Guardian: “The river is treacherous and the people who aren’t from here don’t know that. I grew up here along the Río Bravo river [Río Grande]. I wouldn’t even go into that water to bathe or swim. There are springs and whirlpools and when the current takes you it can pull you under.”

    Isabel Turcios, a Franciscan nun, the director of the Casa del Migrante shelter in Piedras Negras said that local activists warn migrants not to try their luck on the river, but the US has drastically reduced the number of migrants who are allowed to request asylum each day.

    “People get desperate and cannot keep waiting. They just want to cross. So they go to the river and without any form of protection – no lifejacket, nothing to save them – they go into the river. They always tell me that if God wants them to make it then somehow they will make it.”


    Polling firm Parametría showed 58% of Mexicans opposing migrants entering the country from Central America. Just 32% of respondents expressed the same opinion on November, when caravans from Central America transited the country and were welcomed with outpourings of generosity.

    So in addition to exporting our drug war to Mexico, now we are exporting our xenophobia. Can you say “Stockholm Syndrome”?

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Guarneri: The hypocrisy of condemning slavery in other places while celebrating it in one’s own past is lost on those who just want to pretend that “it’s all better now.”

  5. Teve says:

    Russell Moore
    Jun 25
    The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.

    Jerry Falwell
    Replying to
    Who are you
    ? Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.
    4:12 PM · Jun 25, 2019

    nice big ratio you got there

  6. Kathy says:


    We can perfectly understand the religious right mindset if we add a caveat to their belief system. At the end of every “thou shalt” simply add “unless there’s no profit in it.” At the end of every “thou shalt not,” simply add “unless there’s a profit in it.”

  7. Teve says:
  8. Jen says:

    The Very Stable Genius had a total meltdown on Fox Business this morning.

  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Guarneri: Yes, that is sad. Fortunately, it affords the opportunity for the right to step into the breach and do what the cowards and greedheads of Liberalism won’t do.

    Now if the right only believed in denouncing slavery…

  10. Kathy says:

    Very practical philosophical question:

    If you work with a locked door, but will open it for anyone who knocks, never asking even who it is, is there a point to having the door locked?

  11. Jen says:

    @Kathy: Speaking on behalf of my own paranoid self, yes–it’s locked for the purposes of keeping out those who don’t knock. 🙂

  12. Teve says:


    If you’re white, and you’re telling Black people how Trump has done so much for Black people, and Black people aren’t agreeing at all, then you may want to reconsider your argument.

    Kevin M. Kruse

    Hmm, interesting.

    What if you’re white and you tell black people they don’t understand their own history and they’re really stupid and as a result they’re “stuck on the Democrat plantation,” would *that* be effective?

    Asking for half the trolls in my mentions.


    Nope! That would not work.

    Kevin M. Kruse

    Huh. Weird that they keep doing it.

  13. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, members of Parliament that recognize they have only three choices to decide between seem to be few and far between. (1) No deal; (2) May’s deal; (3) Rescind the Article 50 notice. It’s possible that the EU will grant another extension, but that seems increasingly unlikely unless the new PM can offer them something that is likely to turn into (3). Even the Taoiseach in Ireland seems to be resigned to no further extensions.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: And yet, choosing the current leading candidate will convert them from having 3 choices to one–namely option one. Why does “painting one’s self into a corner seem like such an apt metaphor here?

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @ James Joyner:.. why you repeatedly post this.

    A) To acknowledge the deliberations of 232 years ago this summer that established
    Our Great Charter.

    B) I have nothing better to do with my time.

    C) I just found out I need a root canal and I need a diversion from the impending physical and financial pain.

    Take your pick.

  16. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And it’s such an ugly color of paint too!

  17. Tyrell says:

    News you may have missed:
    Space XFalcon heavy rocket took off Tuesday morning with a load of DOD and NASA materials

    Chicago Police release Smollett hoax videos

    NY Yankees set home run record: Babe, Lou, Mickey, Roger, and Reggie are proud.

    Teen tourist gets sick in the Dominican Republic

    Air Canada passenger left sleeping on an empty plane for hours; she finally got door opened and used a flashlight to get help.

    Strange heavy summer snows hit the Rockies

    Federal Government releases more UFO videos

    Police in Missouri raid cancer patient’s hospital room and seize cannibis oil

  18. Teve says:

    Trump’s fans think he’s a macho he-man — he’s really a moral weakling who preys on women and kids

    Donald Trump’s fans are obsessed with the idea that their hero is the pinnacle of manliness, here to restore the supposed greatness of American masculinity after its alleged assault at the hands of feminism and “political correctness.” His fans paint semi-erotic art portraying Trump as handsome and virile, either with a couple of dozen pounds shaved off his waistline or as an over-muscular he-man. They are so sure that Trump radiates a vibrant masculinity that Trump fanboy and convicted criminal Dinesh D’Souza recently posted a picture of Trump sitting next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with the caption, “Masculinity in the twenty first century: which one is YOU?” The implicit assumption was that the orange-tinted primate, hunched over in a poorly-fitted suit was obviously more of a studly macho man than the suave young Canadian.

    To outsiders, the idea that Trump is a model of desirable masculinity is just plain bizarre, as he lacks not just the positive markers of traditional manhood — stoicism, strength and virility — but any positive human qualities at all. But this past month has offered a strong reminder of what, exactly, Trump fans believe makes Trump such a harbinger of restored masculine greatness: His viciousness and cruelty.