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. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Um, did I sleep through Saturday or did you?

  2. CSK says:

    I believe it’s Saturday.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: I was up at 4:30 (as I am more often than not) but I had a 2 hour clean up of the kitchen awaiting me.

    ETA: and I am still not quite awake, just now noticed James’ mistake.

  4. Jen says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: Honestly, the worst thing about that for me was a “oh, crap” moment as I thought I’d missed a deadline. I WFH and am self-employed and sometimes the days run together. LOL.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Ha. I’ve done this twice in recent weeks. I’ll attribute it to grogginess. If I’m not posting until almost 8 it’s because I was up in the middle of the night and then overslept once I finally got back to sleep.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In March 2021, sheriffs in Etowah county, Alabama, arrested Ashley Caswell on accusations that she’d tested positive for methamphetamine while pregnant and was “endangering” her fetus. Caswell, who was two months pregnant at the time, became one of a growing number of women imprisoned in the county in the name of protecting their “unborn children”.

    But over the next seven months of incarceration for “chemical endangerment” in the Etowah county detention center (ECDC), Caswell was denied regular access to prenatal visits, even as officials were aware her pregnancy was high-risk due to her hypertension and abnormal pap smears, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday against the county and the sheriff’s department. She was also denied her prescribed psychiatric medication and slept on a thin mat on the concrete floor of the detention center for her entire pregnancy.

    In October, when her water broke and she pleaded to be taken to a hospital, her lawyer says, officials told her to “sleep it off” and “wait until Monday” to deliver – two days away. During nearly 12 hours of labor, staff gave her only Tylenol for her pain, the suit says, allegedly telling her to “stop screaming”, to “deal with the pain” and that she was “not in full labor”. Caswell lost amniotic fluid and blood and was alone and standing up in a jail shower when she ultimately delivered her child, according to the complaint and her medical records. She nearly bled to death, her lawyers say.

    After she was taken to a hospital, she was diagnosed with placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus and the fetus is deprived of oxygen, meaning there was a risk of stillbirth. The baby survived, but Caswell was immediately separated from her newborn.

    “Giving birth to my son without any medical help in the jail shower was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. My body was falling apart, and no one would listen to me. No one cared,” Caswell said in a statement. “I thought I’d lose my baby, my life, and never see my other kids again.”

    So, the sheriff and the entire jail staff are currently in jail for endangering the fetus. Right? Right? Stop laughing dammit, this is not a pro-life joke.

  7. charontwo says:

    I hope everyone gets now that the turmoil in the House is all about Trump trying to install a Speaker of the House who would definitely help him try to steal the 2024 election.

  8. Rick DeMent says:


    From now on every pregnant woman in Alabama will be assigned a Feteral Rights Attorney whose client is the unborn fetus. The attorney will consult with their client via a special right-wing wacko communicator that will perfectly divine the wishes of said fetus.

    I wrote something like this many years ago in a long, drawn-out online abortion discussion and I was told I was a hysterical deranged person being unfair to the “pro-life” movement.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rick DeMent: Pro-Life is shorthand for ‘women are 3rd class citizens.’

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    Wish you would have left the header on Sunday. Since I visit the
    Sudsy Dudsy on Saturday morning my laundry would be done now and I could sleep in.
    I’ll take time travel over flying cars anytime!

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Suspected bomb on Panama City flight actually a diaper, police say

    I did not have that one on my 2023 Headline Bingo card.

  12. Kingdaddy says:

    While the House Republicans continue to wreck the ability of the federal government to operate at all, here’s a great picture of the sort of work that people do to keep airports running, the type of service we take for granted:

  13. CSK says:


    How would one mistake an adult diaper for a bomb?

  14. CSK says:


    I wonder if Kathy, our aviation maven, has been on one of these.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Paranoia.

  16. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Wasn’t a huge surprise to me, as I’ve had courthouse and store security types inquire as to the purpose of the ostomy bag stuck under my shirt.

    So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to ask if they wish to examine the contents. But some days…

  17. Kathy says:



    But on the course of business, I’ve had a chance to visit several of MEX’s back offices.

  18. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    But isn’t the diaper rather obviously a diaper?

  19. Kathy says:

    BTW should anyone care, there’s an annular solar eclipse today. Google for local times. Depending on your position, you may only see partial eclipse.

    Me, since the Great Total Eclipse of 1991, I can’t get excited over anything less.

  20. Mikey says:

    Re: the diaper mistaken for a bomb, remember the guy who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight with a bomb concealed in his underpants? Fortunately, he failed, because he had worn the underpants for two weeks straight before his flight and the bomb components had become a bit too…moist.

  21. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    No, I can’t do it.
    I just can’t bring myself to say it.
    It’s just too juvenile.
    I’m going to go have some coffee.

    Just for today I’m going to try to be a better Luddite

  22. Bill Jempty says:


    How would one mistake an adult diaper for a bomb?

    Because what’s inside them can explode at any moment?

  23. CSK says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    You could look at it and tell it was explosive”

  24. DK says:


    Fortunately, he failed, because he had worn the underpants for two weeks straight before his flight and the bomb components had become a bit too…moist.

    Words fail. I–

  25. DAllenABQ says:

    @Kingdaddy: Great article about Dulles Airport. I grew up in Loudoun County just a few miles from the airport. Not nearly so big back then; it was literally surrounded by cornfields. This was the early to mid 70s.

  26. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Or if the sky is mostly overcast (as it is where I live), you may never notice the phenomenon at all.

    ETA: As I didn’t while I was walking home from breakfast at ~9:15 PDT.

  27. DrDaveT says:

    As election day approaches, Northern Virginia is enduring its usual barrage of political ads. This year I have been struck by the GOP messaging. No matter which race it is, all of the ads are on the same theme, with the same look and feel: “Democrat So-and-So is soft on crime. So-and-so released dangerous criminals back into the community. So-and-so wants to defund the police.” Images in the background are a mix of Mad Max and The Wire. The only thing that can be said in their favor is that not all of the boogey-men in the ads are black.

    I am struck by the fact that the GOP is down to this — they can provide absolutely no reason for an undecided voter to vote for a Republican except (overblown, irrational, unjustified) fear of crime.

    It won’t happen, but I have a fantasy about a Democratic ad that basically says “I bet you’ve been seeing a lot of ads like this one lately. Here’s what’s really going on. For every dangerous criminal who might have been released back into your community, there are a dozen nutjobs who have guns because the GOP has worked tirelessly to make sure that anyone can get a gun — including those criminals you are worried about. In the districts where these ads are being shown, you are far more likely to be shot by a police officer than by a released criminal. But then, you’re also more likely to be hit by lightning, or to die when you slip and fall in your shower. If those things paralyze you with fear, by all means vote for the Republican.”

    I know, it won’t happen. But it should.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to ask if they wish to examine the contents.

    Heh, You’re a stronger man than I Gunga Din.

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Or they could just run ads on all the GOP politicians currently under indictment and how the GOP excuses them. And when the GOP brings up Menendez, the DEMs can run an ad showing all the DEMs demanding he resign.

    Which party is the real “law and order” party?

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    Piper Laurie 91
    I was always enchanted by her name.
    Starred with Paul Newman in The Hustler.
    And was Carrie’s (Sissy Spacek) crazy mother in the Brian De Palma film.

  31. JohnSF says:

    Ireland 24-28 New Zealand
    Also, Wales 17-29 Argentina.
    Double dammit.

    The All Blacks vs Ireland was a epic game (even if the wrong side won 🙁 )
    So it’s NZ vs Argentina in one semi-final.
    The other semi contenders will be decided in tomorrows matches.
    England vs Fiji; France vs South Africa.
    I command you all to love Rugby Union, ye damn heathens! 🙂
    As Kraiklyn said: “It’s the game. It’s the only game.”
    (Apart from cricket, of course.)

  32. gVOR10 says:


    Which party is the real “law and order” party?

    Republicans. Lawnorder has never been anything but a dog whistle.

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:..Baffled by Browser Bummer

    I have discovered that the above link crazy mother opens in Google Chrome but not when I use Safari.
    May be another indication that my Safari needs to be updated.

    crazy mother link also works on my new iPhone. I guess I should update Safari
    if I want to continue to use it.

  34. Gustopher says:

    As we wander down this path of supporting a disproportionate counter attack that seeks to displace 1M, and collectively punish the Palestinians living in Gaza by cutting off food, water and medical supplies, let us remember the brutality of the Hamas attack, evidenced most clearly by beheading babies.

    Despite having been referenced by Joe Biden, who appeared to say that he had personally seen pictures of beheaded babies, no one can actually confirm the story, with Biden’s team “clarifying” that he never personally saw the pictures*, and the IDF also failing to confirm the reports.

    Just a friendly reminder to be wary of potential misinformation, be it beheaded babies or Israel using white phosphorus against a hospital (the current claim I see being repeated on lefty Twitter, being single sourced from HRW)

    I expect made up Israeli caused horrors to eclipse the actual horrors. Not sure if I believe that will be because of Nazis lying about Israel, or a clever psy-op to debunk those fake claims and cause people to question the real atrocities.

    (note the article I quote is two days old — I was half expecting mutilated child photos to pop up yesterday after the failure to confirm and people to argue on whether the child really qualified as a baby, and whether nearly beheaded is close enough)

    *: was there a shortage of actual horrors? Did the Biden administration have to go with a fake one? It’s like the Iraqis killing babies in incubators in Kuwait, or the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  35. JohnSF says:

    I know some Brit military who were reviewing the visual data for a number of reasons.
    The verified info re the Hamas actions is quite horrifying.
    “In short, they didn’t just kill”
    And no, it is NOT propaganda, or “both sides”.

  36. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK: It may have been packed in a travel bag and accidentally left on board. Typical for adults who need such to pack a spare in a travel bag all by itself, as that provides a way to store the used one they intend to switch it out for, if need be. Can’t flush the things.

    Unattended bags are assumed to be bombs until proved otherwise.

  37. Mikey says:

    @DK: I have actually seen the underpants. They look…exactly as you imagine underpants that had been worn for two weeks and then partially set on fire would look.

  38. DrDaveT says:


    And no, it is NOT propaganda, or “both sides”.

    Breaking my own vow to not participate any more in the “conversation” about what’s going on in Israel…

    I don’t think anyone doubts the horrific reality of what Hamas did, and will continue to do. Hamas has no defenders on any “side”. That was never the question, or the issue. The problem is all of those not-Hamas people living in Gaza.

  39. JohnSF says:


    Hamas has no defenders on any “side”.

    I am afraid you are mistaken.
    In Britain there are people saying that the actions of Hamas were justified.
    Or else, that any accusations are false.
    Or else, that they are both false AND justified, at the same time.

    There are, sadly, a lot of people, due to variety of contingent psychological reasons, who think that atrocities against Israelis are quite legitimate.
    The stupid bastards never stop to think what their effect of their “righteous” opining might be.

  40. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    That happened here too.

    Also, I had neither eclipse glasses, nor a piece of cardboard or paper with a pinhole in it.

  41. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Yeah, but having had people poke the bag and ask me what I have under my shirt has annoyed me a few times over the years. However my snarky Luddite usually rears his ugly head, and I’ve been known to launch into a spiel about colorectal cancer, the necessity for early checkups, and on occasion pull my aloha shirt up to demonstrate how the bag is affixed. At least on my part, good times and hilarity ensue. SWMBO doesn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.