Saturday’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. Kathy says:

    Artemis 1 launch take two is scheduled for today at 2:15 pm EDT. You can watch live here.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    The hidden heroes in movie shoots are cameramen…

    Pretty cool 41 sec video.

  3. CSK says:

    Astonishing. I’ll never again watch a movie the exact same way. Thanks.

  4. CSK says:

    This explains how at least some of the stuff got stuffed in boxes and taken to Mar-a-Lago. Frankly, I suspected that since Trump believed he wasn’t going to leave the White House, his aides had to pack in secret.

  5. Lost in Quebec says:

    Read the end of this article to learn I don’t think the bishop is going senile.

    Greek officials, Church, condemn ex-bishop’s remarks on rape

    Greek politicians and the country’s powerful Orthodox Church joined in condemning a retired bishop who claimed Friday that women aren’t raped “without wanting it.”

    In an interview with private Skai TV, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Dodoni supported the Church’s official position against abortion, but added that there should be no abortion even in the case of rape.

    He then proceeded to question the notion of rape itself, saying: “A woman does not sit and get raped without wanting it.” He added that there can be no conception as a result of rape.

    Chrysostomos called abortion a “crime.”

    Politicians of all stripes condemned his remarks on rape.

    “The Metropolitan of Dodoni’s statement about rape is inconceivable and is to be condemned,” Education and Religious Affairs Minister Niki Kerameus tweeted. “It brutally insults society and does not agree with the position of the Church, which supports women victims of abuse and rape.”

    “We support victims of rape unconditionally,” added government spokesman Yannis Oikonomou.

    The Church of Greece’s ruling body, the Holy Synod, also condemned Chrysostomos’ remarks as “unacceptable for an Orthodox cleric and offensive for human beings and especially for women and victims of rape.”

    “The treatment of women, without exception, as equal to men and their protection from any abuse are the Church of Greece’s official position,” a Holy Synod statement said.

    Chrysostomos, 83, retired from active duty in 2011, and his title is honorific. While an active bishop he was known for his strong views. He once told a fellow bishop disagreeing with him during a Holy Synod meeting to “Go play with your dolls.”

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Matthew Sheffield

    1/2: In 2020, Trump called Democrats “fascists” in ’20 while surrounded by military officials.

    No one remembers it bc Dems didn’t feel threatened by his false claim.

    Today, MAGA Republicans are angry at President Biden for a similar remark. Because they know it’s true.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sweet Jeebus…

    Austin Bellamy, 20, climbed high into a lemon tree in Ripley, Ohio, last Friday to help trim it when he mistakenly cut into a bees’ nest, his mother, Shawna Carter, has recounted, in addition to authorities’ accounts of his injuries.

    “When he started cutting them, that’s when the bees came out, and he tried to anchor himself down, and he couldn’t … He was hollering, ‘Help! Help me! Help!’ And nobody would help him,” his grandmother, Phyllis Edwards, told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    According to Carter, Bellamy was unable to get down from the tree because he was harnessed. Edwards watched from below alongside Bellamy’s uncle as they were unable to climb the ladder since they were also under attack by the bees.

    “I was going to try and climb the ladder to get to Austin … I see how high he was … but I couldn’t get to him because I was surrounded [by] bees,” Edwards said.

    Paramedics and the Ripley fire department responded to the scene and had to cut Bellamy out of the tree.

    “He was just covered in bees … screaming and yelling, crying for help,” said Carter. “It was just too much for me to take. It looked like he had a black blanket on his head down to his neck, down to his arms.”

    Over 20,000 stings.

    On Wednesday evening, Bellamy woke up from a medically induced coma and is expected to make a full recovery, Carter said.

  8. Kathy says:


    Two things. Keep in mind that aside from being painful*, bee stings carry venom. If the man had been allergic, he’d have died.

    *I was stung by a bee only once, when I was 11. I can still remember it. Since then I’ve been very respectful of bees’ personal space.

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    Was you ever bit by a dead bee?

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: The venom is what makes the stings so painful, without it it would just be a pinprick. I’m not allergic (to them or hornets and wasps) but a life time spent out of doors gave me opportunity to be stung hundreds of times (once about a dozen of them got me while climbing out of a window on to a roof. don’t know how I didn’t fall off) and I am far more sensitive to their stings now. Got stung on my hand about a month ago and it swelled up enough that I quit what I was doing and put ice on it for a couple hours.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Quin Evans Segall

    Yesterday, someone I love needed life saving surgery for an ectopic pregnancy in Nashville. She waited hours at one of our major hospitals so the doctors could talk to lawyers & confirm that they could, in fact, save her life. /1
    1-2% of all pregnancies are ectopic. That is, they are very, very common. Ectopic pregnancies are also a leading cause of first trimester death in mothers. /5

    Talking about the harm posed by abortion bans to womens’ health isn’t a joke, a red herring, a siren call, or alarmist. It is, fundamentally, the scary, constant truth we’re facing now. /6

    If you think for even a second that someone you love won’t be touched by these bans, you’re wrong. /7

    If you think for even a second that your privilege will save you from harm from these bans, you’re wrong. /8.

    If you think for even a second that anyone who can bear a child will be okay for any reason whatsoever, you’re wrong. /9

    If you think for even a second that your blue state will save you from a national ban or that your blue state care won’t be affected by red state residents seeking help there, you’re wrong. /10

    If you think for even a second that you’ve used up all your rage & tears, let me tell you, you’re wrong. Because when these laws come for those you love, you’ll experience fear & rage & tears like you’ve never seen before. /end

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: At the bottom of that article is a link to this: Trump wanted to know everything about foreign leaders’ extramarital affairs: New York Times.

    Of course he did.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    I tried to like LOTR: Rings of Power, I really did. In part I wanted it to be great because there were so many people willing it to fail over supposed ‘wokeness.’ I doubted wokeness was going to be the issue. As it happens the two characters I sort of liked were the Black elf and the Black dwarf. Wokeness was not the problem. I worried from the start that the failure would be in the writing, and I think that turned out to be correct.

    The look is gorgeous, but with a caveat: I am sick of green screen. But as phony goes, it’s the highest level of phony. Pity there’s no story, and no compelling characters. The dialog is awful. Not overly-arch Tolkien awful, just straight-from-the-cliché-bin awful. CBS drama awful.

    Centering the story on warrior Galadriel was a big mistake, and I don’t know that they can recover from it. The actor, Morfydd Clark, in the role of a standard-issue Mary Sue, is just not interesting. She’s not Cate Blanchett. There are also no Viggo Mortensons, no Ian McKellens, no Andy Serkises. No one I cared about at all.

    It is, in short, beautiful but boring.

    And the story? Um. What story? The desperate hunt to stop Sauron who we know they will fail to stop? Who thought this was the way to go plot-wise? There’s no propulsion in the story. What’s the mission? What’s the point? Why is this show happening?

    But the thing that really stuck a fork in it for me was a particular piece of writer desperation: for reasons that make no sense at all, Galadriel at one point jumps off a boat into the ocean. Not just-off-the-beach, ocean, we’re talking ocean ocean. Her plan? Swim to shore. And how far is shore? Well, when last we see Galadriel she’s on a make-shift raft with random hot dude. So, apparently quite some distance from shore. And this cretin is our lead? Follow me! We’re gonna swim for, oh, let’s say 200 miles!

    Great plan, Galadriel. Why don’t you stick to twirling your sword and trying out your adorable fierce look.

    Casting? Not good. I didn’t buy Morfydd Clark for a minute. And Elrond? WTF?

    But the real fail is the writing. This was always going to be a very heavy lift. First of all, prequels are a bad idea, unless you happen to be Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. Second: you’re dealing with ‘canon’ and a bunch of people who think Tolkien was Moses. Third: Peter Jackson crushed it in the first LOTR, so a high bar was set. This called for very smart, gifted writers with outstanding endurance and an original vision. And it still would have been a case of scaling Everest in your underwear: hard.

  14. Joe says:

    @Kathy: I had a law school instructor who was affectionately called “Tree” because he was 6’8” and not skinny. Big people have big problems when there big metabolisms are shaken up. He was killed by a single bee sting.

  15. Jax says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It was….something to watch that wasn’t a Hawaii Five-O re-run. I’ll probably watch the rest. Maybe.

    Felt the same way about House of the Dragon. It’s better than nothing, maybe it’ll get better.

  16. CSK says:

    Indeed. Contrary to what some people said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump wanted to use the info for blackmail. Or leverage.

    As well as having a salacious chuckle.

  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    House of Dragons is more interesting, but not by much. It’s suffering from a severe lack of Dinklage. In both HOD and Rings, interesting actors have been replaced by not interesting actors. Casting fails in both shows, but the HOD writers at least have a story of sorts, not just an exposition dump.

  18. Slugger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was befriended by a man who was the camera operator on a bunch of outdoor adventure documentaries from about 1946 (his discharge from the military) to about 1980. He had a lot of stories involving shlepping the heavy cameras and film rolls of that era up mountains, through deserts, and across wilderness treks while the on camera talent tried to make carrying a simple backpack seem hard. He was envious and in awe of the light and compact cameras of the electronic age. He really respected the steady-cam operators who had real physical challenges. He thought that Leni Reifenstahl was evil but greatly respected her camera work. He has passed, but I always remember that every exciting real movie scene had someone dragging a camera for the shot.

  19. Kathy says:


    The venom is what makes the stings so painful, without it it would just be a pinprick.

    Hm. It could be. But the stinger is barbed and gets stuck in place.

    I don’t have that much experience with insect bites (I’m phobic and avoid all bugs at all times). Once I got a spider bite, and didn’t notice until the venom caused a reaction. I assume it was a spider bite because of the twin puncture marks in the center of the lesion.

    When the bee got me, I felt it at once.

  20. Michael Cain says:

    Today’s launch attempt is officially scrubbed now. Hydrogen leak. Next launch window is Monday, 90 minutes long. Technically there’s a launch window on Tuesday, but it’s only about 15 minutes. After that, October. Seems most likely to me that they’ll be rolling it back to the assembly building, although they may take the opportunity to practice some of the routines that only occur on the pad.

  21. CSK says:

    James Joyner’s post on Allahpundit has suddenly vanished. What’s up?

  22. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sometimes I’ll watch film and wonder “how did they get that shot”. I guess dollies and cranes a lot. Rollerblades would never have occurred to me.

  23. mattbernius says:

    I suspect James is rewriting the first paragraph as there is question as to whether the person named as Allahpundit is infact him.

    The way AP has described himself in the past is not really a match for Olasky.

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: I almost sherpaed a film crew into a big cave for a shoot. Was going to get paid $200 a day for caving. Unfortunately there was a dispute among the relevant authorities and it got canceled. 🙁 It really pissed me off because I had bought a new pack for the trip and had already made the necessary alterations so I couldn’t return it and get my money back.

    @Kathy: Yeah, I know they’re barbed but you’re right, they would be worse then a pin prick. It’s been a few decades since I had an altercation with a bee, memories fade. I’ve had a few spider bites too, never had a bad reaction. As many times as I’ve had face to face encounters with fiddlebacks, I almost have to have been bitten by one at least once. I can only surmise that I am not at all sensitive to their venom. A pipe fitter I worked with lost several feet of intestine to a fiddleback bite and a friend has a scar on her leg the size of a dinner plate. They are nasty little buggers.

  25. CSK says:

    Thank you. I was puzzled.

  26. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Not to mention that, though it’s based on very brief and sketchy writings, one thing Tolkein actually did state was that nobody knew good old “Annatar” who got the consulting gig on the rings was actually Sauron.

    Which is why he got to hang around right next door to Galadriel’s place, on chummy terms with a bunch of folks who’d have happily hoiked him with a halberd, had they known who he was.

    Without him being unrecognisable, none of it would make any sense at all.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    Yup, this is what Jesus would do.

  28. Sleeping Dog says:
  29. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..Yup, this is what Jesus would do.

    The Kansas City Star
    Suscribe to continue reading

    Would he pay with 30 pieces of silver?

  30. Arnold Stang says:

    Somebody (Putin) had some good dirt on him and used it to effect during his presidency. Trump realized he could use the intelligence he was seeing as president on others after he left. He wants to be a power player, just like Putin. But it’s blowing up in his face.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Subscribe

    (Please reset the EDIT key to run til the end of the day.)

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’ve only watched the first episode and don’t have an opinion yet, but this comment didn’t make sense to me, although I suppose it’s a matter of perspective:

    The desperate hunt to stop Sauron who we know they will fail to stop?

    If that’s a complaint, then it’s that we know they DO stop him, at least for a very, very long time, thousands of years. But that’s about all I know (although I never read “The Silmarion”). We know he was driven into the depths. And we know there were rings forged and given to men, elves and dwarves, but that’s about it, and that is a story I would like to hear.

    I agree with you that none of the acting seems compelling. The frequent cuts preclude us really getting to know the characters

  33. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I watched the first episode of House of Dragons, and was immediately struck by how the entire story was going to be “obviously super evil dude that everyone recognizes as super evil is in fact super evil”

    The villains of GOT at least started less cartoonishly evil, despite pushing a kid out of a window during their incestuous boinking.

    If this was set in Faux Ottoman times, rather than Faux England Middle Ages, the show would be over — Daemon would either be killed to consolidate the daughter’s claim to the throne, or he would have his nose and balls chopped off and would be shoved into a monastery somewhere far away.

    I was also bothered that they couldn’t get a helmet to fit Matt Smith’s head.

  34. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Despite looking like a Saturn V and a Shuttle had a baby, it is a new design. Multiple bugs are to be expected.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: As I understand it, it’s a television show. What would make someone think that there will be Mortensens, McKellens, and Sirkises on a TV show? But good on you for trying at least. If guys like you don’t try, HBO and the rest will have to resort to selling their product at prices and terms that crackers will pay.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Aha! I didn’t recognize that the guy on rollerblades was the camera man. That was my mistake.

  37. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: Geography may be a factor, I dunno, but I was able to open the article up here in the PNW just fine. Twice.

  38. JohnSF says:

    Also re Rings of Power
    I wonder if it deals with the underlying philosophical point Tolkien had in mind, and why the elves wanted the Rings in the first place?

    His “histories of the Second Age” have central the parallel destructions of the human realm of Numenor, and the elven realms of Eriador.
    For mirrored reasons: the Numenoreans becoming driven by the desire to escape mortality; the elves trying to escape the consequences of immortality.

    Somehow I doubt the show will deal with it.
    Be interesting to know, though.
    Albeit not interesting enough to get me to subscribe, LOL.

  39. Michael Cain says:

    Given the Shuttle’s history of problems with hydrogen leaks, you would think that once Congress forced LH2 fuel on NASA for the SLS first stage, NASA would have busted their butt to develop flawless plumbing for handling it. Instead, there have been one or more leaks on every attempt to fuel the vehicle. It begins to smell like something systemic.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..geography

    I live in Makanda Township, Jackson County, Illinois. About 350 miles to KC. I guess I could be in the Star newspaper market however that might be determined.
    Years ago there was a newspaper agency in town that sold out of town rags like the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times and Saint Louis Post Dispatch. That agency might have even peddled the Star at one time.

    Some day I hope to make it to Oregon and Washington State. I hope that I find the big sack of cash that I’ve been looking for while I am still able to drive.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    New York Times Pitchbot

    I can’t top this
    Quote Tweet

    Jonathan Turley
    With Hillary Clinton selling “But Her Emails” hats at $30 a pop, Merrick Garland will have to explain the prospect of one politician going to jail while the other goes retail.

  42. CSK says:

    Trump is holding a rally in Pennsylvania this evening for Oz and Mastriano. What do you want to bet he’ll spend 60 seconds on Oz and Mastriano. and the rest of the time whining about how he’s being persecuted?

  43. Beth says:

    So I’m currently at ARC Music fest, lounging in the fancy VIP for a bit before I spend the rest of the day, all of tonight and part of tomorrow morning dancing. In what I find to be quite strange is that with the all inclusive VIP package I can get all I can eat sushi. In a hot Chicago park. At an EDM fest. Seems like a questionable idea.

    I’ll stick to the delicious chicken tacos and white claws. Even if the taco guy looks at me like “are you sure” when I say yes to cilantro. Yes buddy, that stuff tastes amazing, load it up.

  44. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    From the link:

    Sandoval shares with parents the philosophy he says he uses with his own seven children: “I don’t care if you like me, I am not raising you for YOU to like ME. I am raising YOU, for ME to like you.”

    A few weeks ago when I said that part of the problem is too many parents see their children primarily as property, this is the sort of attitude I meant.

  45. JohnSF says:

    I recall seeing somewhere that to about a quarter (?) of people coriander aka cilantro tastes a bit like soap.
    Genetic thing with the chemo-receptors, IIRC (particularly marked in north-east Asians; but rare in south Asians

    Possibly taco guy was one of those affected?

    My mother loathed coriander, thought it “soapy”; my father liked it; I can deal with it in small proportions.

  46. Beth says:


    I was wondering if there was like a genetic opposite of the soapy taste. I think it tastes amazing.

  47. Kathy says:


    Irony must be spinning in its grave.


    Like he can focus on others for as long as a minute?

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I’ve always thought that with 3 or 4 hundred pages of foot/endnotes (in the copy I read), coming up with authentic-ish material for the new LOTR show would have been fairly easy, or at least not a futile effort. But I don’t follow the politics/drama (llamaish or otherwise) of Tolkien heir-ness, so I’m probably wrong.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: “Son, some day, someone is going come to you holding a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal has never been broken. He is going to want to bet you that when he taps the deck, the Joker will jump out of it and squirt cider in your eye. But I urge you to NOT take that bet because as surely as you do, you’ll end up with an eyeful of cider.”

    Hard pass on your bet, C. (I can call you “C,” can’t I?)

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Forgot to note earlier this morn: Cubs v Cards. 0-8

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: Yeah, I’m one of the soapy taste people, but that effect is muted greatly when I use it to season something I’m cooking. My enchilada recipe has extra cilantro in the sauce they cook in. No soapy taste at all. But I don’t like fresh as a topping or an addition to pico de gallo.

  53. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    You may call me anything you like, as long as it’s not shithead or fuckface. Or anything similar.

  54. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Back to the assembly building for the SLS. Anticipated “several weeks of work” to resolve the LH2 leak problem. I’m torn between whether to think it’s a “we cut a corner or two” problem or a “no one knows how to deal with LH2 reliably” problem.

  55. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Funny thing with me is that coriander seed is fine; fresh coriander depends.
    But I like it in pico.
    Within limits.
    Though my version of pico is probably heretical, ’cause I picked it up years ago, and the recipe includes avocado.

  56. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Episode 1 put me to sleep, but I liked episode 2.

    Liked, not loved, but I’m willing to give the series a chance, if only because my wife will insist on watching it and I do love hanging out with her.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: It may be ethnic sensitivity, but I draw the line at “dago” and “wop.” The other 2 don’t trouble me; they only reveal the character of the speaker.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: I’ve never eaten any pico with avocado in it. I would think it would become slimy as the avocado breaks down with people stirring the salsa, but that might be why the cilantro works, too.

  59. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Don’t blame you. I permit no ethnic or racial slurs.