Post-Election 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Some unarguably good news: Cleo Smith found: first pictures of smiling girl as Australian police detail moment of rescue

    “It is a really special day for Western Australia,” Dawson said. “I’m just the proudest police commissioner I think in the world at the moment.”

    Det Sgt Cameron Blaine, who was one of the four officers who raided the house in Carnarvon and was the one to ask Cleo what her name was, described the four-year-old as “very trusting and open” with officers. He also said she was energetic.

    “She’s a little Energizer bunny,” he said. “How she has that much energy. I wish I did. We all wanted to take turns holding her.”

    Blaine said Wednesday morning was “the best moment” of his career. He described the moment Cleo was reunited with her family and said the four-year-old exclaimed “mum”. There were “big hugs, kisses and lots of tears”, Blaine said.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Now, some “good” news:

    Kobe Bryant’s widow won’t have to undergo psychiatric testing for her lawsuit over graphic photos of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the basketball star, the couple’s 13-year-old daughter and seven others, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

    Los Angeles county sought to compel psychiatric evaluations for Vanessa Bryant and others to determine if they truly suffered emotional distress over photos of the crash scene and bodies that her lawsuit said were taken and shared by county sheriff’s deputies and firefighters.

    US Magistrate Judge Charles F Eick said that the county’s motion to compel an evaluation was untimely. Bryant’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit is scheduled to begin in February.
    Attorneys for the county had argued that Bryant had never seen the photographs and they weren’t shared publicly and wanted to determine whether she truly had suffered emotional distress. They had sought to require Bryant and other family members of the people who were killed in the crash, including children, to undergo psychiatric evaluations as independent medical examinations.

  3. Scott says:

    Air Force colonel claims she was fired for not ordering subordinates to get COVID vaccine

    An Air Force colonel who was relieved of command last month at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, claims she was fired after she refused to order her subordinates to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Col. Katheryn Ellis, the former commander of the 14th Medical Group, told Task & Purpose that on Oct. 12 she was told by the commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing, Col. Seth Graham, to issue an order for two of her civilian employees to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

    “My religious beliefs prevent me from taking the vaccine, actively promoting the vaccine, and from administering the vaccine to others myself.”

    However, Ellis believed Graham’s order conflicted with her own religious beliefs, as well as a request for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate which she filed on Sept. 17. Ellis did not feel comfortable sharing the specifics of her beliefs “other than they are sincerely held,” she said, but this was the first time a vaccine violated her religious beliefs.

    On top of everything else, I believe she is a liar.


  4. CSK says:

    Yes. That is indeed wonderful. A real day-brightener.

  5. CSK says:
  6. CSK says:
  7. Mu Yixiao says:


    “Air Force colonel fired for insubordination and refusal to follow a direct order”.

    Not seeing the problem there.

  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    Anyone have any matches?

    The Waterloo Region District School Board is undertaking a multi-year review of its library collections to identify and remove any texts deemed “harmful to staff and students.”

    “We recognize as our consciousness around equity, oppression work and anti-racist work has grown, we recognize some of the texts in some of the collections that we have are not appropriate at this point,”

  9. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Scott: The SECDEF has already issued the order so she’s full of it. We need the best talent we can get in a garrisoned military and senior leaders like this hurt retention.

    Get this idiot out of my Air Force.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    On a bright note, both Barrett and Kavanaugh were decidedly hostile to Texas’ position in oral argument re: Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson & United States v. Texas yesterday. I’m not under the illusion that they dislike the goal that SB8 set out to achieve, but the larger implications of allowing that legal methodology (essentially the gutting of judicial review) to stand were clear from the outset. B & K certainly didn’t miss them. I don’t have any illusions that they aren’t ultimately going to gut Roe, but I do feel fairly confident that they’re going to gut SB8.

  11. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Will they pass the Huck Finn test? (Not to mention the Lolita test?)

  12. DrDaveT says:

    Here’s an interesting story about a report from CNA* suggesting that some of the techniques and approaches for combating sexual assault and harassment in the military might be usefully repurposed for combating extremism in the ranks as well:
    (Sorry, no Link control available at the moment…)

    *Formerly the Center for Naval Analysis, now just “CNA”. Sort of like KFC.

  13. JKB says:

    Certainly won’t see the media cover this, but is seems, after another swinging election returns night, the way the mail in voting/counting is handled, election night return coverage is just something to not watch. They pretend to have the returns then about midnight admit that 40% of the mail in vote hasn’t been counted or something while their “estimates” show 95% of the vote in.

    The incentives between election official reporting and media needing to keep their eyeballs are just too far out of alignment to make election night coverage anything but mostly fake news in the age of widespread mail in balloting. And that is without any shenanigans on a partisan basis.

    Example, NJ governor’s race is going to likely be unresolved till the mail in deadline in NJ passes.

  14. inhumans99 says:


    Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, what the heck are you on about JKB? The “mainstream” media is all over the pounding Dems took last night, and I will just say that all I took out of your post is mail-in voting, and attempts to not disenfranchise voters equals good if the outcome benefits Republicans, but if it looks like it benefits a Democrat, that is bad, okay??? Go figure, some mail-in votes will be for a Democrat, and some for a Republican, the next thing you are going to tell me is that touching a hot stove will burn my hand.

    Yawn, wake me up when you have something new and interesting to report.

  15. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene has accumulated $48,000 in fines for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask in the House of Representatives.

  16. Jen says:

    @JKB: You do realize that since states control their own vote-counting processes, they set their own deadlines for mail-in ballots, yes?

    Some states allow mail-in votes to be counted before the general tallying starts, others require it after. Some states require ballots to be received by election day, others require ballots to be postmarked by election day, and still others allow them to be counted for up to two full weeks after election day.

    There is no standard, so no, “the media” won’t be reporting on an aspect of voting that is so varied because it is controlled by the individual states.

    You certainly aren’t advocating for a national standard, are you?

  17. dazedandconfused says:

    CSK, any noise in the RW blogs about this?

    Ever get the feeling you’re living in a zombie apocalypse?

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @inhumans99:..Yawn, wake me up when you have something new and interesting to report.

    You must have missed his KJQB scoop from Dealey Plaza in Dallas! The corpse of JFK Jr. was there!
    So was the Chump’s ugly carcass! Look! You can still see them there today behind the trees on the grassy knoll if you wear JQB’s patented X-Ray glasses!

  19. CSK says:

    None I’ve seen, although I only really check because the commenters there post articles from all over the loonysphere, including the absolute most crackpot blogs, so I’m saved the time and trouble of plodding through site after site of paranoid semi-literate nonsense.

    I think this might be too embarrassing for even The Gateway Pundit or The Conservative Tree House.

  20. Kathy says:


    Let’s see: plane crash, autopsy, and cremation.

    If he can survive that, he should paraphrase Yoda when he shows up to the loons and say “When dead you are for 22 years, look this good you will not.”

  21. CSK says:

    I’m puzzled as to why they think JFK, Jr. would want to go within 1000 miles of Dealey Plaza, given that that was where his father was shot to death.

    Did you catch the reference to Trump as “King of Kings”? If the Qanoners are religious, wouldn’t that be blasphemous?

  22. Kathy says:


    Did you catch the reference to Trump as “King of Kings”? If the Qanoners are religious, wouldn’t that be blasphemous?

    Yes, very much so. But I don’t think there are any Achaemenids, Parthians, or Sassanians left to raise a fuss.

    On the other hand, they lived in what is now Iran, so…

  23. Kathy says:

    I took a break from the biology lecture series. We’d gotten to embryonic development, which contains a lot fo details and requires much visualization. that’s kind of my personal intellectual hell, or would be if math were involved.

    While I rest my mind, I’m going through a Sci-Fi novel by Stephen Baxter called The Light of Other Days. The premise, minor spoiler, is the existence of a technology that allows anyone to see any spot on Earth at any time through a “wormhole camera.”

    No idea how it will end (I’m not very invested in the story and characters anyway), but I thought such a development, if feasible, would mark the end of human civilization. See, a large majority of people would do nothing but watch other people, so production would grind to a halt and we’d all starve.

    Then the dogs would try to claim the Earth, as of course they were our favorites. but would fail as they found out the cats were really in charge to begin with.

  24. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @inhumans99: Now, now, getting JKB to recognize that mailed in votes even count at all seems to be a step forward. We should be encouraging him.

  25. Mu Yixiao says:


    Well, that’s not the worst idea the Germans have had in the last century.

    Okay, I know you’re being snarky. But… this is actually a good idea. If you read through the original article, it explains why.

    TL;DR Being over-protective of our children has given rise to a generation who doesn’t understand how to assess risk–making them far more likely to suffer severe consequences as adults (to which I say “duh!”).

    Skinned knees, bruises, and the occasional sliver in the backside from using a 1×18 as a sled* teach you how to know your limits and understand risk. The article I linked to mentioned that “safe” play spaces actually resulted in more injuries–because (it appears) everyone assumed that there was zero risk.


    It would help to give some historical perspectives. I found a data source that has the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, private industry, 1972–2018. In 1972 the rate per 100 workers was 10.9 per 100 full time equivalent workers. In 2018 the rate was 2.8.

    Yes, historical perspective is good. So is context.

    I’m not going to look up the numbers, but I’m quite confident that in 1972 a far larger portion of the working population was involved in manufacturing and other “physical” industries. There wasn’t a “software/online” industry in 1972. What’s the US mining industry today vs. 1972?

    You attribute the decline to OSHA. But… How much of it was driven by insurance companies? How much of it was companies looking to reduce the amount of non-productive hours they were paying employees? Or how many law suits they lost?

    All of which is completely irrelevant to the changes that are being proposed. It’s mostly about how many hours minors are allowed to work, how late they’re allowed to work, and which restrictions are too restrictive.

    How many of those “10.9%” were under 18? And how severe were they? “I got a paper cut and need a band-aid” is an OSHA-reportable injury.


    Do you seriously believe that allowing 15-year-olds to go two steps up on a ladder, to allow them to use a sharp object (see below) to cut shrink-wrap off of packages or cut the tape on a box, to let them work until 9:30 pm on school nights (rather than 7:00 pm), or to let them work until 11:00 pm during the summer is going to cause deluge of injuries?

    Nobody is suggesting that OSHA or the safety laws it enforces be abolished. It’s about being more realistic in the risk assessments.

    There won’t be a bazillion teen deaths if we let them use a letter opener or a step-stool. There won’t be a bloodbath if we let them use a cheap box cutter.

  26. Mu Yixiao says:


    Will they pass the Huck Finn test? (Not to mention the Lolita test?)

    It’s Canada. I have no clue. (But I expect them to apologize to everyone regardless of what they do).

    On a serious note: Canada is frequently held up as an example of a wonderfully liberal country–often in opposition to the US. A governmental body in that “liberal bastion” is–quite literally–deciding which books school libraries are or are not allowed to keep on their shelves. Because they insist that words on a page may be “harmful” to not only the students, but the adult staff.

    Coincidentally: China is doing the same sort of thing with media.

    But China’s evil, and Canada is wholesome.

  27. Kathy says:

    Earlier this year as vaccinations ramped up, I had hoped we might end the pandemic with under 5 million deaths worldwide (official numbers, I know the real one are likely higher).

    As it is, between delta, those who won’t get vaccinated, the general weariness of mitigation and prevention measures, and winter and the holidays coming up, I’m afraid we may pass six million deaths before January.

    I hope the next pandemic won’t be more deadly. If it is, we’ll really suffer major consequences if our attitude to the COVID pandemic is any guide.

  28. Jax says:

    @Kathy: What we’ve learned over the past two years is that there’s no hope for humanity as a whole. Regardless of the method of our demise (aliens, plague, hostile climate changes), rest assured that we’ll go down fighting with each other about it, as opposed to using logic and science to ensure the continuation of our species as a whole. We’ll take most of the innocent species of earth with us in our death throes, possibly even the planet itself, and the moons of other planets/other planets themselves if we find anything valuable there before we manage to make this one uninhabitable.

    I mean, it’s just a matter of time before we discover we came from Mars and ruined that one, too. 😉

  29. Kathy says:


    I mean, it’s just a matter of time before we discover we came from Mars and ruined that one, too.

    It was part of the premise of H. Beam Piper’s Paratime Police series, that humans originated on Mars. In some timelines, the humans on Earth don’t even remember this.

  30. Jax says:

    @Kathy: There’s a book to be written about the Mayan culture and the fall of Mars, I think. Many lifeboats were sent out before the fall. Some lifeboats did better than others at remembering, and came back for their lost comrades.

  31. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    TL;DR Being over-protective of our children has given rise to a generation who doesn’t understand how to assess risk–making them far more likely to suffer severe consequences as adults (to which I say “duh!”).

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The one volunteer activity I have put the most time and effort (as opposed to $$$) into in my life is a children’s creativity competition called Odyssey of the Mind. I’m not crazy about the family that runs the program as their for-profit business, especially now that the founding patriarch is senile, but the program had one overwhelmingly important feature: the kids do everything for themselves, starting in Kindergarten. “No outside assistance” is the most important rule. The kids write the scripts, make the costumes, build the sets, design and build the gadgets. No adult hands at any time.* Actual independence, where if the kids don’t figure out how to do it nothing gets done and they suffer the consequences. We teach the kids to say “That’s a great idea mom/dad, but now we can’t use it.”

    I’ve had endless conversations with irate parents who didn’t understand why their kids got penalized because Dad cut the lumber or Mom applied the krazy glue or big brother/sister drilled the holes. To claims that they did it for safety, we would always reply “If you can’t teach them how to use those tools safely, then you have to require them to find some other solution that doesn’t require your help.” My wife was fond of saying “Protect your kids from maiming themselves, but don’t protect them from learning.”

    *Adults are encourage to teach the kids skills, and to expose them to reference works. By all means, teach them how to use a table saw or a sewing machine or a hot glue gun — on scrap pieces that aren’t similar to the actual design that the kids will be presenting.

  32. Kathy says:


    It might make sense. Some Mayan mythology is so bizarre as to seem alien.