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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let’s get this day started on the right foot, er paw, er belly?Summer is a state of mind..

  2. Teve says:
  3. Teve says:

    Still no idea what Kawhi is gonna do.

  4. Teve says:
  5. Tyrell says:

    News you may have missed or maybe not.
    NASA says four asteroids on a path to Earth.

    Indiana Pacers get what they need in Jeremy Lamb; Brooklyn loads up Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in wild NBA moves.

    Hypersonic catapult will sling satellites into space (Forbes)

    Radiation levels of airline flights chart on Space Weather

    “Yankees thrill London with bomber ball!” Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Maris, and Jackson are happy!

    Geoengineering: Harvard pushes more aerosol spraying in the atmosphere; Andrew Yang talks about sun blocking.

  6. Joe says:

    I am fascinated to watch Hong Kong, which was returned to China the day my second son was born. I spent all day in the room with my now ex, waiting for him and reading about the return. He is a living reminder about how old that change is, just as my oldest was born on the first day of the Clinton presidency.

  7. Kathy says:

    Here’s a question that I ponder from time to time:

    Will humanity ever learn all there is to know about the workings of the universe?

    If we do, how will we know?

    There have been times when some people have thought a limit on possible knowledge had been reached. For instance, that we would never know much about stars and planets beyond their size, shape and movement, because we cannot reach them.

    Well, we can reach them now, but well before we could we found ways to learn about their composition, mass, and other things.

    Sometimes we look for things that aren’t there, like the infamous hunt for the planet Vulcan located between the Sun and Mercury. We got General Relativity instead.

  8. Joe says:

    I don’t think we will ever know “everything,” but I believe these two things to be true: Our knowledge as a civilization about the physical world around us will continue to grow as long as civilization lasts. Our personal knowledge about what life is and how to live it hasn’t changed in thousands of years and is for each of us to re-discover, one lifetime at a time.

  9. Teve says:

    Fact check: Trump told the troops he gave them their first raise in years. He didn’t.
    By Daniel Dale, CNN

    Posted at 3:17 PM ET, Mon July 1, 2019


  10. Kathy says:


    I don’t think we will ever know “everything,”

    That’s very definitive.

    I’m open to the possibility that we might, provided that 1) there is a finite amount of knowledge about the workings of the universe, and 2) we last long enough.

    another stumbling block may be the human mind itself. There may be things that are forever beyond our grasp, due to some peculiarity in our minds. though it might not be possible to ascertain even that, even if it were the case.

    Consider a simple analogy: it’s very easy to show the Earth is a near-sphere, but you must conceptualize a way of looking at things outside the entirety of your experience. Some people do this easily, some with difficulty, some apparently cannot.

    I’m rather excited about the long search for dark matter. It reminds me of the search for the Luminiferous aether, or the one for the planet Vulcan, or the attempts to isolate phlogiston. The first two are related to Einstein’s theories of Special and General Relativity, the latter resulted in the discovery, by isolation, of oxygen. But in each case the thing searched for did not exist. The explanations for the phenomena that made people look for them, had more interesting implications, more fundamental, than finding them would have been.

    So I’m kind of hoping there’s no such thing as dark matter.

  11. Teve says:

    Josh Dawsey
    Trump tells pool in Oval Office there will be tanks at July 4 celebration, as we reported this morning. “And we’re gonna have some tanks stationed outside… So we have to put them in certain areas but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abram tanks.”

    fun fact: the last Sherman tank was manufactured 11 months before Donald Trump was born.

  12. Kathy says:


    You can’t fit a Sherman tank in a DeLorean, or get it up to 88 mph if you somehow made it fit.

  13. Teve says:

    Twitter rumors say kawhi is going to the Lakers.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: 42

  15. Jax says:
  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I LOVED IT! :-))

  17. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I would say not, but because there is lots of stuff in the realm of metaphysics and the immaterial that cannot be “proven” or demonstrated but may well be real none the less. The easiest one is the existence of God. Can’t be proven, subject to belief and disbelief, but the problem is that the fact that one does not believe does not negate the possibility of the existence of God.

    Lot’s of things we don’t and won’t “know” because we can’t. Now, if you want to limit your inquiry to the material and physical, that’s a different issue altogether. Also boring to my mind.

  18. Kathy says:


    Yes, but what is the question?

  19. DrDaveT says:


    Yes, but what is the question?

    Canonically, it’s “What do you get when you multiply 6 by 9?”.

    Douglas Adams was really freaked out when someone pointed out to him that, in base 13, 6×9=42.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: On the more serious side, no matter how much time I spend with him, my cat will never be able to understand calculus. (Or, to be honest, even understand how doors work.) I think the odds of us being able to understand everything is vanishingly small. More likely, for a wide variety of important things we are to them as Pete the cat is to calculus.

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    I had a tomcat, Ratso Rizzo, that somehow got stuck between the front door and the screen door one time. Came home from work and there he was. Trapped.
    I could only figure that the screen door was not latched and he pulled it open from the outside, climbed into the space between the locked front door and the screen door then the screen door slammed shut and latched and he was trapped.
    Another time when the front door was open and the screen door was not latched I saw him push the screen door open from the inside to get out. He almost made it but the screen door slammed shut on his tail.
    The next time I saw him try to get out he pushed the screen door open with his butt and backed out keeping his tail from getting caught.
    Not fast enough though as the screen door slammed shut on his head!
    He did not give up. He wanted to get out.
    The next time I saw him attempt this he pushed the screen door open with his butt backing out and he quickly turned his head sideways so the door wouldn’t hit him.
    I tried to keep the screen door latched but I know I saw him do this a few more times.

    Ratso Rizzo 1978-1994

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump Trump 2020!

    Heard some radio talking heads speculate today that Pence will be dropped for the next campaign and that it will be Daddy Donald and Ivanka on the Republican ticket!

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Nah. Pence is better impeachment insurance.

  24. There is always speculation about a VP being dropped. It hasn’t happened since Ford swapped out Rockefeller for Ford in 1976. It won’t happen in 2020.

  25. Kathy says:


    I can’t say whether my cat understood calculus or not, we didn’t really communicate at that level. But she understood doors perfectly.

    Method one: stand by a door and meow, eventually a human will show up and open it.

    Method two: screw it. I’ll just take a short cut up three flights of stairs, through the deceptively tiny window, up to the roof, down the tree and around the house.

  26. Teve says:

    It’s very entertaining to me how conservative media treats its audience like complete idiots.

    TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): “Criminalize desperation” — and you thought this was your country, just because, like your ancestors, you were born here, just because you pay half your income to the government to keep the whole thing going, you thought it was your country. Think again, racist. America belongs to the rest of the world. Your job is to shut up and pay for it. Complain, and we will punish you.

    In case anyone missed it, the two whitest candidates on stage decided to repeat the point in stilted Spanish.

    Got that, gringo? You can add the English language to the long and growing list of things the Democratic Party considers racist. How long before you are banned from speaking it? Think we’re joking? Right. Better to learn Español if you want to talk to your grandkids. It’s a brand new world.

    Tucker Carlson tells his audience that liberals are going to ban English from America, and his audience doesn’t laugh him off the stage, because they are in fact idiots. 🙂 😀 😛


  27. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “It hasn’t happened since Ford swapped out Rockefeller for Ford in 1976.”

    Human cloning existed in 1976. Who knew?

  28. Teve says:

    Flourinated contaminants are turning up in agriculture, and wrecking farms.

    normally I wouldn’t link to Buzzfeed, but Carl Zimmer tweeted it, so it’s probly serious.

    Obviously the answer is further deregulation. We should probly just cancel the EPA.

  29. Teve says:

    “In 2017, Kentucky received $40 billion more from the federal government than it paid in taxes. That’s about one-fifth of the state’s G.D.P.; if Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale.”

    The Moochers of Middle America
    The Democrats aren’t radical, but Republicans are.

  30. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “On the more serious side, no matter how much time I spend with him, my cat will never be able to understand calculus. ”

    When I woke up this morning, it never occurred to me to say that this would be the day I discovered what I had in common with Marked Man’s cat.

  31. Gustopher says:

    With all the stories of abuse in the border (concentration) camps, and the administration trying to hide the conditions there*, am I the only one expecting stories of sexual assault and rape?

    I’d like to think it isn’t happening, but it usually goes hand in hand with men abusing women and children.

    I expect horrific stories and sudden surprise from punditry and a few bad apples and all that at any moment.

    *: if it was a funding issue, the administration would be letting in camera crews and talking about how those democrats just won’t give them the funding they need. This is just cruelty for cruelty’s sake. It’s not even cruelty as deterrent if they aren’t telling people about it.

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @wr:..”When I woke up this morning,..”
    Did you go out the back door?