Saturday Open Forum

It's the weekend.

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:

    The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked document.

    The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences. The study implicitly condemns the US bank’s own investment strategy and highlights growing concerns among major Wall Street institutions about the financial and reputational risks of continued funding of carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas. JP Morgan has provided $75bn (£61bn) in financial services to the companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement, according to analysis compiled for the Guardian last year.

    Its report was obtained by Rupert Read, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia, and has been seen by the Guardian.

    The research by JP Morgan economists David Mackie and Jessica Murray says the climate crisis will impact the world economy, human health, water stress, migration and the survival of other species on Earth.

    “We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened,” notes the paper, which is dated 14 January.

    Drawing on extensive academic literature and forecasts by the International Monetary Fund and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the paper notes that global heating is on course to hit 3.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. It says most estimates of the likely economic and health costs are far too small because they fail to account for the loss of wealth, the discount rate and the possibility of increased natural disasters.

    The authors say policymakers need to change direction because a business-as-usual climate policy “would likely push the earth to a place that we haven’t seen for many millions of years”, with outcomes that might be impossible to reverse.

    “Although precise predictions are not possible, it is clear that the Earth is on an unsustainable trajectory. Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive.”

  2. Sleeping Dog says:


    For a while, the finance and insurance industry has been fretting about climate change, at some point that fretting would become outright worry. We may finally be at the tipping point where banks refuse to fund some projects and insurers refuse to insure.

  3. Jax says:

    Meanwhile, here in Wyoming, our state legislators and Governor are going full speed ahead on fossil fuels. To the point where there’s a very fishy land deal about to take place, the citizens of Wyoming all just found out about it this last week. Apparently the state aims to buy 1 million acres of currently privately-owned property, some of which are actually in Colorado and Utah, and 4 million acres of mineral rights. Nobody knows what they have planned for it, how much it’s gonna cost (700 million has been bandied about, but nobody knows for certain), or where the hell the legislature thinks it can pull all this money from when they’ve cut everything else this budget session.

    I’ve never seen Democrats and Republicans agree on anything in this state, but this seems to have united them in opposition to the plan.

    Posting a link from my friend Cat, she’s been frantically searching for more information since the news broke last week.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Here’s hoping.

  5. Gustopher says:

    I start a new job on Monday.

    Years ago, a boss gave me some advice — have a work personality, with three anecdotes or so, and consider it like performance art. I then explained that my work personality was based on Phil Hartman’s character from Newsradio, the wonderfully arrogant and insecure grand diva Bill McNeill.

    Do I need a new work personality?

    Possibilities being considered include:

    – Angry Buddhist — allow all frustration to show on my face, and then pause to focus on my breathing, wait for a moment and then respond very calmly. This might be incredibly frightening.

    – Relentlessly Positive Guy — never stop smiling. Ever.

    – Really Old Guy — keep a canister of Metamucil on my desk, and never stop talking about my health problems. No cultural references in the past thirty years. Politics are a mixture of relentless both-siderism and a dash of QAnon. Can bore his way through concrete.

    – Woker Than Thou — pretty straight forward. Aggressively use singular they for everyone regardless of their preference, because I want to “normalize” it. Does not drink at company parties in solidarity with those who cannot drink, etc.

    – Pothead

    Anyone have any other suggestions? These can also be combined. Woker Than Though Really Old Guy, or the Arrogant and Insecure Grand Diva Who Doesn’t Shut Up About Meditation.

    What horrors shall I inflict upon an unsuspecting office?

    I get bored at jobs and need to do things like this to keep myself interested. It’s a problem. I have a bad motivator, just like the red robot from Star Wars

    (I do not know how R5-D4 has not become a cultural icon for Gen X Slackers. I have a vintage toy of him from 1978 that will be on my desk, and which I will never explain beyond “I don’t know, I kind of just like the red guy”)

  6. Kathy says:


    I get bored at jobs and need to do things like this to keep myself interested.

    Sometimes when I get bored at the office, I’ll actually do some work 😉

  7. DC Sachs says:

    Where’s Doug M.?

  8. Kurrtz says:


    So, the woker than thou old guy seems to be a decent starting point. But he needs some really incongruous taste in music or something.

    I’m also interested in the three anecdotes for the different personalities.

  9. @DC Sachs: We have not been in direct contact. I did see this via Jazz Shaw yesterday:

  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    I moved frequently, so I was always the ‘new guy.’ So, when I worked retail or restaurants I played super worker. I took every assigned shift, I picked up shifts any time someone wanted a day off, picked up for sick people. Pick up an entire extra station? Sure. Work Christmas day? Sure. I like work and I get high on (non-pharmaceutical) speed.

    I quickly became indispensable because there is nothing a manager likes more than a guy who will cover any shift, any time. If management was good to me, I was super employee. If they weren’t, I was still super employee, but I got mine back by skimming the register. So, super employee who gave himself raises as needed.

    I owe a lot of my writing success to waiting tables. I took every assignment. Write some Sweet Valley twins? Sure? Some Aladdin and some Mermaid for Disney? Sure. Write a book in two weeks? No prob. Write 14 books a year? Absolutely.

    I’ve always been about speed. Enough speed (again, not the drug) and you turn the mundane into a race. To this day I miss the high of a Saturday night, down a waiter, kitchen weeded, carrying my station and most of someone else’s, popping Advil to dull the pain in my feet, drinking bourbon shooters, head jammed with sequences I had to perform, trying to keep it all straight, all at jogging speed. It was a weird, sensory-distorted ecstasy. I’d have been a natural for an Amazon warehouse.

  11. Kathy says:

    Proof that climate change is a Chinese hoax:

    Average highs in Mexico City in February hover around 24 C, lows at 6 C. Whereas for the past few days the lowest high was 25 C, with a highest high of 30 C, and the lows have hovered at 12-14 C.

    Wait. Did I say hoax?

  12. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I would also say that talking to a diversity of people, whether back of house, front of house, or patrons, gives a writer insight into how people see and think their way through the world. It helps a writer look beyond archetypes and surface characteristics. You see people in monets of relaxation, frustration, tension, love and hate, lust and loathing, break-ups, first dates. The list goes on and on; so it goes.

    Restaurant work is a series of micro-deadlines, which is also helpful for a writer. So is storing and retrieving an extensive lists of tasks in your head.

  13. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gustopher:Channel Bernie Bro’ll be a hit

  14. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I just saw a Bloomberg ad on Local TV about making Black Wealth creation one of the centerpieces of his Administration. This guy is talking to the right consultants and pushing all the right buttons.

    After I finished rubbing my n1pples, at the conclusion of the ad I told my wife..Biden is in trouble.

  15. Michael Cain says:

    I’ve long been an advocate for some sort of normalization of the damned 1865-era checkerboard patterns, but a million acres out of the blue does seem strange. I haven’t looked to see exactly where this is proposed and what the wind resource is like, but what with coal customers disappearing rapidly, there are parts of Wyoming with some of the best land-based wind resources in the world, and you could sell huge amounts into California (assuming TransWest Express finally gets built) and Front Range Colorado.

  16. Sleeping Dog says:


    Office lecher? Probably need to retire that w/#metoo.

  17. DrDaveT says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I just saw a Bloomberg ad on Local TV about making Black Wealth creation one of the centerpieces of his Administration.

    Yeah, I saw that one last night and my jaw hit the floor. Say what you like about Bloomberg, the man understands how to directly address weaknesses. He might even mean what he says.

    And, ya know, addressing the wealth creation gap would probably actually be a more effective policy approach than going after the wealth gap directly…

  18. Teve says:

    Metro city sues drug manufacturer over ‘97,500% price increase’ for seizure medicine.


    MARIETTA, Ga. — The city of Marietta is suing a drug manufacturer because it claims the company jacked up the price of a specific drug 97,500%.
    The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims one city employee needs the drug Acthar, which is used to treat seizures in small children.
    “Acthar used to cost $40, but Mallinckrodt has raised the price of the drug to over $39,000 per vial,” the city claims in the lawsuit. “This eye-popping 97,500% price increase is the result of unlawful and unfair conduct by Mallinckrondt. The city has expended over $2 million for just one patient covered by the city’s self-funded health plan.”

    I need to stock up on guillotine supplies.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Gustopher:..keep a canister of Metamucil on my desk

    Ditch that. Make it Preparation H. The yellow packaging can’t be missed and everyone will want to hear about your hemorrhoids.

  20. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: That’s what they want you to do.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: “Leave me the fuck alone” guy.

    ETA: New guy on the job site (drywall crew). Foreman said, “Show him what to do.” The guy talked nonstop, about anything and everything. After 2 hours he finally said, “So Tom, what do you like?”

    “Peace and quiet.”

    He shut up.

  22. CSK says:

    In the Nevada caucus, CNN has, as of 7:11 p.m.:

    Sanders = 29.3%
    Warren = 18.7%
    Biden = 17.3%
    Buttigieg = 17.3%

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: A rich man do something good for a poor man? I’ve got a bridge to sell. Some ocean front property too.


    He might even mean what he says.

    No, no he doesn’t.

    Trust me guys, a rich man thinks he is better than you in every way and proves it every day by ripping you off in ways you don’t even know. That’s how he got his.

  24. Kathy says:


    A rich man do something good for a poor man? I’ve got a bridge to sell. Some ocean front property too.

    I’d buy it for a quarter 😉

    A rich person can, and often does, do something good for one or several poor people. But a rich person will never, or very rarely, approve or promote a policy that benefits all poor people.

  25. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well of course. But in today’s political environment, the average voter feels they have nothing to lose. Frankly, I’d roll the dice on a candidate that overtly addressed my interests over the candidate that basically has the standard Democratic platform which only indirectly addresses my interests.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Perhaps he did it to ensure you would never speak to him again. Maybe he was the “Leave me the fuck alone” guy.

    I’m a moderately senior software engineer, so part of my job is mentorship, and helping drive decisions. I cannot be the “leave me the fuck alone guy”. But, I really want them to leave me the fuck alone.

  27. Jax says:

    @Michael Cain: That’s what’s so weird about it, the current governor JUST gave his State of the State speech, and was all for coal. The legislature has gone as far as trying to tax or dial back any solar or wind energy production, in favor of coal and natural gas. Apparently this project has been in the works, IN SECRET, since Gordon (the Governor) was elected, and we are JUST hearing about it. There are two bills, one in the Senate and one in the House, that are already ready to be voted on this next week! As Cat stated in some more recent articles, some provisions of the bills allow the planning meetings to bypass the Open Meetings law!!!

    It’s really quite dramatic, for Wyoming. 😉 I’ve never seen people get whipped up so fast, regardless of party!!

  28. Gustopher says:


    A rich man do something good for a poor man? I’ve got a bridge to sell. Some ocean front property too.

    A rich man arrogant enough to believe he knows your life and problems better than you do? Who just thinks things would be better for you and people like you if he was in charge?


    Not all rich men just want to enrich themselves more. Some of them want power so they can reshape the world.

    People with that much money have weird motivations. George Soros wants to keep rubbing his secretary’s nose in the fact that she pays more taxes than he does. Bill Gates wants to drive a species into extinction*. Lots of crazy motivations and goals.

    Does an aloof white billionaire who sees lack of Black Wealth as a problem that only he can fix going to do more or less than a mediocre democrat who doesn’t prioritize it?

    *: not saying we should preserve malaria…

  29. Jax says:

    @Kathy: If you could turn the fan on and send some of that my way, we’ve hit -36 F at my house 5 times this week. It’s the kind of cold that sucks your soul out and dashes it into tiny ice crystals. Exhausting, to the bone….no equipment will start, the fuel is gelled up, but the cows MUST be fed.

  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @DrDaveT: Yes, this is where I feel Democratic strategists are culturally tone def. It’s not really our thing to hate on another man’s pocket. If you speak to how we can come up ourselves however…now you have more of the casual black voter’s ear.

    Look, the black vote is not a monolith and is complicated…but one thing you can count on in general is mistrust of the government. Despite that mistrust, we need the government to assure social and economic in this society. That does not mean that every government solution to problems is attractive. A larger percentage of black Americans are poor compared to the percentage of white Americans…but an overwhelming majority of us are not poor. Therefore their is interest in how governments can facilitate movement from working class and lower middle class into the upper middle class. Their is less interest in anti poverty programs. Most of the candidates campaign messaging is skewed to the lesser interests.

  31. Gustopher says:

    Oh, Mayor Pete, you have disappointed me. I want a President who can read, speak and write in many languages, not someone who is barely literate in his own.

    What is up with this?

    To those who questioned whether a Midwestern mayor could gather a national movement around a new kind of politics—your are the answer. And to everyone who believes in what we’re building—this is your night. This is your campaign.

    What is “your are the answer”? Shameful, that’s what it is.

  32. Kathy says:


    That’s just -4 F short of -40 C.

    If we could export heat to cooler climates, we’d grow very wealthy (but we’d also be messing up the climate even more).

    The first time I visited our company’s warehouses, the manager showed me around. At the refrigerated areas, he explained there was more capacity than we could use, so, he said, “we lease the cold to other companies.”

  33. Jax says:

    @Kathy: It’s not usually THAT cold around here this time of year. Some towns set new records (Jackson Hole was -22). Everybody’s wishing for “global warming”, and they don’t understand that this is the “extreme weather” that accompanies it. Yeah, in 50 years it might not get this cold, but for now, we’re gonna get super cold when we’re not supposed to.

    That said….I’d rather be in your neck of the woods with a fruity umbrella drink!

  34. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: If Trump issued a tweet with so few errors, people would suspect the government had a special sekrit anti-senility drug that just kicked in for him.

  35. Teve says:

    @Jax: Ima mail you a compass. The direction you need to head is “S”.

  36. Mister Bluster says:
  37. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Clearly he didn’t believe in airplanes.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @Gustopher: I have known lots of moderately wealthy people. Some of them were actually nice folks who cared about more than their own personal bottom line.

    But rich fucks? The Mercers, the Kochs, the Bloombergs, and yes even the Gates’? I ain’t buying it. Bill’s recent turn to philanthropy may actually produce a good thing or 2, but the business practices he engaged in that allowed him to accumulate so much wealth to begin with had their birth in a desire to first off, “rule over all”. Can a leopard change it’s spots?

    You said it yourself G:

    A rich man arrogant enough to believe he knows your life and problems better than you do? Who just thinks things would be better for you and people like you if he was in charge?

    That describes to a “T” damned near every rich person since the beginning of time. The only thing I have ever found to change that attitude is death, and most of them do their damnedest to reach from beyond the grave and control things then too.

  39. James Joyner says:


    What is “your are the answer”? Shameful, that’s what it is.

    Meh, it’s a typo.

    I’m a reasonably well-educated man. But I make typos on Twitter with some regularity. And, because there is no EDIT button, the choice once I notice them is to either live with them or delete them. If I notice immediately, I’ll copy, delete, and repost. But, once people start replying, liking, or retweeting, I tend to leave it.

  40. Jax says:

    @Mister Bluster: Rocketed himself right into a Darwin award. Turns out conspiracy theories really can kill!!