Saturday’s Forum

The world was angry. The world was mean.

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:

    A righteous twitter rant:

    Covered Dish People

    “Re-opening” isn’t about saving ordinary workers and earners. You can’t save someone by infecting them with a deadly disease. In a world without contact-tracing, therapeutics, tests, PPE, santizing products, etc, more contact means more risk of illness and death. 1/

    “Re-opening” is about saving investors: the 1% who constitute the major shareholders in large firms whose calculus goes like this: “30% unemployment means that for every worker who dies on the job, ten more will apply to take their place.” 2/

    These people are willing to risk workers’ lives and shoppers’ lives because they believe they do not have a shared microbial destiny with the rest of us. They think they won’t get sick, and if they do, they think they’ll get better. 3/

    That’s because they never had to go without medical care because they lacked insurance or because their insurer-imposed rationing denied them the care their doctors advised them to get, so they are less likely to have chronic illnesses and other comorbidities. 4/

    They can afford premiums to gougers for PPE for shopping trips, and if they do get sick, they can afford private rooms, hoarded ventilators, and home care (with PPE for the workers who care for them). For the investor class, “re-opening” is low risk and high reward. 5/

    There’s only one fly in the ointment. People don’t want to throw themselves in a volcano to appease the economy gods. The vast majority of Americans think re-opening is a bad idea. 6/

    That’s why the gloves are off, like in Ohio, where bosses can use a confidential snitchline to rat out workers who won’t come back for fear of their lives: these workers will lose their unemployment benefits, their homes, their grocery money. 7/

    The right loves to talk about “moral hazard” in the context of social safety nets (“if we let people see a doctor without paying, they won’t take steps to keep themselves from getting sick or injured”). 21/

    But reality demonstrates, time and again, that the real moral hazard comes from letting investors socialize their costs and privatize their gains. eof/

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    An amazing and good story: The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

    I came across an obscure blog that told an arresting story: “One day, in 1977, six boys set out from Tonga on a fishing trip … Caught in a huge storm, the boys were shipwrecked on a deserted island. What do they do, this little tribe? They made a pact never to quarrel.”

    The article did not provide any sources. But sometimes all it takes is a stroke of luck. Sifting through a newspaper archive one day, I typed a year incorrectly and there it was. The reference to 1977 turned out to have been a typo. In the 6 October 1966 edition of Australian newspaper The Age, a headline jumped out at me: “Sunday showing for Tongan castaways”. The story concerned six boys who had been found three weeks earlier on a rocky islet south of Tonga, an island group in the Pacific Ocean. The boys had been rescued by an Australian sea captain after being marooned on the island of ‘Ata for more than a year. According to the article, the captain had even got a television station to film a re-enactment of the boys’ adventure.

    I was bursting with questions. Were the boys still alive? And could I find the television footage? Most importantly, though, I had a lead: the captain’s name was Peter Warner. When I searched for him, I had another stroke of luck. In a recent issue of a tiny local paper from Mackay, Australia, I came across the headline: “Mates share 50-year bond”. Printed alongside was a small photograph of two men, smiling, one with his arm slung around the other. The article began: “Deep in a banana plantation at Tullera, near Lismore, sit an unlikely pair of mates … The elder is 83 years old, the son of a wealthy industrialist. The younger, 67, was, literally, a child of nature.” Their names? Peter Warner and Mano Totau. And where had they met? On a deserted island.

    My wife Maartje and I rented a car in Brisbane and some three hours later arrived at our destination, a spot in the middle of nowhere that stumped Google Maps. Yet there he was, sitting out in front of a low-slung house off the dirt road: the man who rescued six lost boys 50 years ago, Captain Peter Warner.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    CNN reporter Martin Savidge:

    “Well, Gregory McMichael, who is of course former law enforcement, first thing he begins telling the officers when they arrive on scene after horrific shooting, says they were in hot pursuit of the suspect because of a series of break-ins in the neighborhood,” said Savidge. “This is a perception even some callers to 911 had said, so we went looking into the police records to find the reports about all the break-ins. You don’t find them. There’s one reported theft that occurred on New Year’s Day, a gun taken out of an unlocked pickup, that belonged, by the way, to the McMichaels.”

    “So when you hear this depiction there was this sense this was a neighborhood victimized by crime time and time again, it simply isn’t verified by police records or reports,” said Savidge.

  4. sam says:

    Story I read this AM.

    A Russian general is being briefed on a possible conflict with China. He’s shown a map that displays Russian forces spread very thin against the Chinese border.

    “So, general,” says an advisor, “if it comes to conflict, our forces will be up against millions of Chinese. We’ll be overwhelmed.”

    “Wait a minute,” says another advisor, “look at the Middle East. The Jews are massively outnumbered by the Arabs, massively, but they’ve held off the Arabs for over 60 years.”

    “Good point”, says the general, “But do we have enough Jews?”

  5. CSK says:

    Gee, there’s a surprise.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another item for the “Things That Will Never Happen in America” file:

    Police watchdog investigates London stun gun shooting

    Concerns raised about ‘disproportionate’ use of force after young black man is seriously injured

  7. CSK says:

    I don’t have the vaguest idea why my comment is in moderation.

  8. senyorDave says:

    Little Richard dies at 87. Truly an American original. It is hard to imagine a song that better epitomizes early rock’n roll than “Good Golly Miss Molly”. Interesting fact – Jimi Hendrix was part of Little Richard’s backup band, The Upsetters. He was eventually fired for straying from his role as a backup musician.

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Propaganda is exhausting. It’s just is an unending deluge.

    I am SO tired of hearing people say “it’s just like the flu”.

  10. sam says:


    “Little Richard dies at 87. Truly an American original.”

    I heard an interview with LR in which he was talking the ups and downs of his career. He said that just as his career was gaining some traction, with Tutti Frutti, “they laid Pat Boone on me.”

    If you’ve never heard Pat Boone’s version, believe me, the only response is “Jaysus Christ!”.

  11. CSK says:

    The organization American Atheists find that of all the states, Massachusetts is least likely to stigmatize the non-religious. I don’t know which state is most likely to discriminate against the non-religious, but I imagine it’s a southern or midwestern one.

    I think I’m unusual for my generation in having been raised by parents who weren’t even nominally observant. I also wonder how many people who affiliate with a house of worship are in it for the social and other advantages rather than out of religious devotion.

  12. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Awesome. Thanks for posting that.

  13. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That was a great story. Thanks.

  14. Teve says:

    Friend of a friend, about Little Richard

    I can’t do better than this text from a friend: “Ya he pretty much represented everything Ike-loving America hated at the time. He had the trifecta: black, gay, rock and roll…threw it right out there and gave zero fucks.”

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    No Little Richard, no Mick Jagger, no David Bowie and lots of others.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    You know how we all think we’re normal? I did an inventory of my ‘small talk anecdotes.’ They are:

    – That time when we were threatened by the KKK for having black people over.
    – That time when I dropped out of school because a teacher had the effrontery to make me do something.
    – That time a dude kicked in my door, me with a chef’s knife concealed, and it resolved when he managed to cut his own artery on broken glass.
    – That time when I had to listen to the aforementioned gentleman’s death bed apology.
    – That time when the fucker didn’t die and I bought a gun.
    – That time I tried to smuggle scrimshaw out of the Azores and bullied the airline into getting me the hell out of the country ahead of a bad check charge
    – That time I was held up at gunpoint.
    – That time I was chased through the streets of Crocket, CA by Hell’s Angels.
    – That time I accidentally fired a .45 with my sister and GF in the room.
    – That time I burglarized a Sambo’s.
    – That other time I burglarized a Sambo’s.
    – That time with the stolen money, the cocaine and the two women in a hotel in SF.
    – That time during a road rage chase when I maneuvered my pursuer into get t-boned.
    – That time when my jail buddy turned out to be a Nazi.
    – That time I was dragooned into a doomed jail break.
    – That time when I lived under a freeway.
    – That time Katherine was pistol-whipped.
    – That time when I spent a day drinking coffee that had been filtered through a cockroach.
    – The various times when I’d go to work and my boss would say, ‘your SS number doesn’t match…” and I’d be in the next state two days later.
    – That time when I gave my first born my then-current alias last name.

    Since having kids I have fewer dramatic stories, but this is why I don’t do cocktail parties. Other people tell stories that end in, “aww,’ or, ‘that’s cool.’ Mine end in, ‘what the fuck is the matter with you?’ I am the Gilfoyle of parties.

    Don’t invite me over. It never ends well.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    Proposal to give $2,000 per month to Americans gains traction in Senate
    When the news was that I would get $1200 from Uncle Sam deposited into my checking account just for living in the Good Old USA I said to myself “I’ll believe it when I see it”.
    I got that scratch last week. Thanks Sam!
    Now I am again skeptical of any more cash gains as this story only references Senate Democrats. Once again: I’ll believe it when I see it.
    In other personal finance news the 44 shares of Frontier Communications (FTR) that I received in June 2010 when FTR bought several Verizon Communications land-line telephone exchanges are now worthless as FTR has filed for Chapter 11. (I was a VZ shareholder at the time)

  18. mattbernius says:

    RIP Little Richard. Beyond his immediate contributions, it’s hard to think of a world where Prince would have happened without Little Richard first.

  19. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I hope you write your memoirs. I’d enjoy reading them.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: I just had to go look that up and got a YouTube tape from what appeared to be something like American Bandstand or Lloyd Thaxston. Although it is relentlessly white sounding, it’s no more terrible than George Thorogood singing the blues.

  21. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    – That time I burglarized a Sambo’s.
    – That other time I burglarized a Sambo’s.

    You complain about woke culture, and yet your life of crime involves burglarizing restaurants with racist overtones (or everything?).

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    All things considered, isn’t it better to rip off racist restaurants?

  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    … racist restaurants

    Funny thing: The restaurant was actually an amalgam of the two founder’s names: SAM Battistone Sr. and Newell BOhnett … Sam & Bo.

  24. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Welcome to the club. You can ask my friends… this is why too many of my stories end with some variant of “and that’s why I moved out of state,” or “and that’s why it’s a bad idea to do two hits of acid, half a lid of weed, and half a bottle of tequila before driving home from the party.” And I’ve had to learn to never, ever, talk about the stuff where the statute of limitations haven’t expired…
    On the other hand, my daughter still thinks I’m the second coolest dad ever.

  25. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    to say nothing of Debbie Boone. Relentless. Another reason I discovered recreational pharmateuticals.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    my daughter still thinks I’m the second coolest dad ever.

    You’re clearly trolling for the question of who the coolest dad is, but I’m not asking. I’m just going to assume that you and your ex-wife have shared custody and your ex’s new husband is the coolest dad.

    This is far better than any “truth” and anything you say otherwise is clearly you just trying to deflect from the humiliation.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I don’t know who the second coolest dad is, but I know that luddite and his lovely wife have been happily married (more or less) for over 30 years. Much better than I did–but I married almost 20 years later and learned that the only people skill that I was any good at related to marriage was introversion. Excellent at that. So good that I didn’t even notice that the marriage was profoundly dysfunctional from day one.

  28. wr says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: “Funny thing: The restaurant was actually an amalgam of the two founder’s names: SAM Battistone Sr. and Newell BOhnett … Sam & Bo.”

    Yeah, but having chosen the name they really leaned into the racism. Unless they had a third partner named “Little Black.”