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:

    So, two side effects of the AZ vaccine are body aches and fever. I know because I’m there. I felt fine right after, some tenderness on the injection site developed*, but by the time I arrived home around 7:30 pm I though I might be feeling chills. It was hard to say, because it was cold (7 C according to the weather app).

    A temperature definitely developed overnight, which funny enough gave me lucid dreams. Three of them. I found myself reasoning flawlessly, quickly, and effortlessly. I may post something about them later. The least interesting one had me solving the Middle East situation in two minutes, while Obama (I know) watched with an open mouth. Isn’t that ludicrous? I kept telling myself I couldn’t possibly be right, that it was al an illusion. It’s good to know I remain rational in lucid dreams.

    Anyway, the guidance from the NHS in Britain, which has extensive experience with the AZ shots, says tylenol is ok, and to watch for the fever and aches to go away in two days or so.

    Today instead of going to the store and cooking, I’ll just rest. Tomorrow I’ll do the cooking.

    *I wonder how I know the parking lot at Anahuac University feels tender.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Long Covid study finds abnormality in lungs that could explain breathlessness

    Abnormalities have been identified in the lungs of long Covid patients that could offer a potential explanation for why some people experience breathlessness long after their initial infection. The findings, from a pilot study involving 36 patients, raise the possibility that Covid may cause microscopic damage to the lungs that is not detected using routine tests.

    Breathlessness is a symptom in the majority of long Covid patients, but it has been unclear whether this is linked to other factors such as changes in breathing patterns, tiredness, or something more fundamental. According to Dr Emily Fraser, a consultant at Oxford university hospitals and a co-author of the study, the latest findings are the first evidence that underlying lung health could be impaired.

    “It is the first study to demonstrate lung abnormalities in [people with long Covid] who are breathless and where other investigations are unremarkable,” said Fraser. “It does suggest the virus is causing some kind of persistent abnormality within the microstructure of the lungs or in the pulmonary vasculature.”

    More work would be required to clarify the clinical significance of the findings, she added, including how the apparent abnormalities relate to breathlessness.

    Claire Steves, a clinical senior lecturer at King’s College London who was not involved in the work, said the findings would be of significant interest to anyone living with long-term breathlessness after Covid. “They suggest that the efficiency of the lung in doing what it is meant to do – exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen – may be compromised, even though the structure of the lung appears normal,” she said. “However, we really need to await the completion of the study to know whether these early findings are robust, and if so, how much they explain, and what the ramifications are in terms of potential treatments.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ryan Struyk

    Latest CDC weekly hospitalization data for Americans over 65 years old by vaccination status:

    Unvaccinated: 239.7 per 100k
    Vaccinated: 26.8 per 100k
    Boosted: 4.8 per 100k

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:


    A plane carrying mostly Mormon missionaries brought #COVID19 to Kiribati — one of the last places without any outbreaks.

    Passengers tested positive after arrival on the island nation, which closed borders for 2 years, despite being vaccinated. Cases there are now at least 181.

    Looks like the Good Word isn’t the only thing Mormons spread.

  5. CSK says:

    Well the Snowstorm of the Century isn’t exactly the Snowstorm of the Century, yet.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The day is yet young.

  7. CSK says:

    True. The forecast is still menacing.

  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    If he had just complied, he would still be alive:

    Former Washington State trooper Robert LaMay, who went viral when he was fired for refusing to get vaccinated and told the governor to 'kiss his ass,' has died of COVID-19— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) January 29, 2022

  9. Jen says:

    @CSK: It’s definitely unpleasant out.

    We just had to walk the dog–bio breaks are mandatory–and she was NOT having it. Thankfully did her business in short order and made a beeline back to the house.

    Looks like the worst will be starting at around 11 or so here.

  10. CSK says:

    Yes; it appears to be getting heavier here as well. Tiny flakes falling steadily. Are you in the 12-18 inch zone or the 24+ zone? At the moment, I’m in the Newburyport-Salisbury area, which has multiple warnings. No high winds yet.

  11. de stijl says:


    I had extremely vivid dreams when I had Covid. Even when I was not running hot temperature wise.

    And I remembered them and with precise details after waking much more so than usual for me.

    I actually wish I had dream recall to that degree now. Dreams are astonishingly creative and interesting.

    It certainly made life more interesting. My brain creates genius stories when I am not in control.

  12. de stijl says:

    I was working a letter substitution code / puzzle yesterday, and one letter was not substituted.

    C was C in the solution. Freaked me out when I had solved enough of it to contextually figure it out. My brain had to take a hard left to accept it as true.

    I think it was unintentional, but the effect was brilliant. Say you are doing a letter substitution puzzle and you anchor a few letters so J=T and also A=A. When a few letters are actually correct it makes the cypher way more difficult.

    You are looking for patterns and you accept the ruleset that Q=? not Q=Q. It made it way more difficult to solve because my brain was working under the assumption that all letters were substituted.

    It was a cool twist that delighted me.

  13. Jen says:


    We are in the 12-18″ zone.

    Not a whole lot of snow yet, but definitely windy. We are at a high point in the area, so we get wind even when it’s not typical.

  14. CSK says:

    We’re supposed to get 65-70 mph wind gusts, which is category one hurricane level, I think. So far, it’s calm.

    Sleeping Dog is, I think, right on the NH coast.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    Here in FL, a little south of Sarasota, we’re looking at a high of 55 and a low of 30. Not exactly brutal, but certainly odd. Glad we retired out of Cincinnati.

  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    I was working a letter substitution code / puzzle yesterday, and one letter was not substituted.

    C was C in the solution. Freaked me out when I had solved enough of it to contextually figure it out. My brain had to take a hard left to accept it as true.

    One of the big flaws in the Enigma machine during WWII is that none of the letters in the code could ever map to itself, and that was a big key to the Allies eventually being able to break the code, because it means any potential key that results in that happening for a particular message can be discarded from the search space, and the longer the message you’re trying to decode is, the more that condition cuts down on the number of possible keys left.

  17. Sleeping Dog says:


    It began snowing here around 6 AM, very small flakes and now at ~11:20 AM there is only about 2″ on the deck picnic table. The winds have only been gusting to the 30mph range and nothing like the winds from 10 days ago in that rain nor’easter. Those winds were well into 50’s and took down a 60′ section of a white pine that fortunately missed the house. Had the pines removed last week, thankfully.

    If this is going to be a foot- 2 foot storm, it is needs to get going. Predicted finish here is still 8-9 PM

  18. de stijl says:


    Myself, I kinda like cold weather and snow and accumulated snow for months until it sublimates or melts.

    I grew up in the north though, so my perspective is skewed towards that.

    An odd thing about walking in winter is that you walk across streets at the intersection only because the roadside snow banks make footing difficult and sketchy. Broke a rib once. Broke my left ulna another. Cross at the intersection. Way safer.

    You are never exactly sure when and if your foot is going to slip or if it will slip front or back or left or right so a big portion of your brain is continually focused on balance and weight distribution.

    I like winter until mid February when I start kvetching and longing for warmer days and green things that are not pine trees.

  19. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I don’t know if my dreams were more vivid at all. That was an overstatement. I do not know. Dream recall was enhanced, though.

    My ability to remember and recall them were certainly way out of norm for me then.

    Maybe my dreams are that gorgeous and strange and freaky and beautiful all the time every night, but I just normally lack the ability to remember them upon awakening.

  20. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    Martin Mull once said that his dreams were so vivid and entertaining that he wished he could sell tickets to them.

  21. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Another thing your sight latches onto while walking in winter is how will the sole of the footwear I am currently sporting grip on to that surface?

    Fresh snow is actually pretty grippy (if not on top of ice). I have purposefully walked in the snow beside the sidewalk many, many times if the sidewalk was iced up.

    Broken ribs really suck. Coughing, sneezing, breathing, standing up, sitting down, walking, number 2 waste elimination – all of those things really, really suck and I do not want a repeat. Ever.

    Visually scanning the potential footing ahead of you is key as is the haptic feedback you get from your feet. What is my likely grippiness if I step there with my weight forward towards the toes?

    It is a very complex analysis and procedure. Slow and balanced wins.

  22. CSK says:

    Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL as of today.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’m hoping this works. If it doesn’t let me know.

    Photos of my cardiac adventure.

    1) Me looking sexy in my hospital gown[1]. I don’t know what all the numbers mean, but… I’m guessing the basic translation is “not good”.

    2) It took me a two days to realize I had a gantry crane over my bed.

    3) I got two power bracers! Unfortunately, they didn’t come with instructions and the staff took them away from me before I could figure out how to use them.

    4) Meet Winstone (the stone around my neck). Yes, I named my EKG transmitter. Apparently, nobody else has ever done this, because the nurse was quite surprised (and amused)

    5) Private room.

    6) It’s good to have a plan (the (very hot) nurse didn’t comment on this).

    7) The view from my room. I really did have the best room in the wing.

    8) Does this qualify me as a cyborg? What’s the threshold?

    [1] Yes I did a search. Yes it is a (very popular, it would seem) fetish.

  24. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It’s not nice out, that’s for sure, but I’m really doubting that we’ll have that much accumulation here. It’s definitely blowing, and visibility is not good–and, the local Facebook page reports cars off the road in several spots nearby.

  25. CSK says:

    The heaviest snow and strongest winds appear to be occurring south of Boston. There were 90 mph gusts in Scituate, Mass.

  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    Here in LA we’re having our own bad weather. Thin cloud cover is blocking the sun, so we won’t even break into the high 60’s. According to however, the crisis will pass by tomorrow when we’ll be in the high 60’s, low 70’s.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:


    At the moment there is about 6″ on the picnic table and no wind to speak of. At this rate, if the storm runs to 9 PM we’d have a bit better than a foot. That would be at the low end of the NWS forecast.

    Just looked at the radar on accuweather, that shows strom intensity by color variation and that has our area in the most powerful part of the storm currently.

    Time for a beer.

  28. Kathy says:

    Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy books, and that’s pretty much the same thing.

  29. CSK says:

    Most people don’t like to read. I can’t imagine how dull their lives must be. But perhaps they’re too dull-witted to realize it.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: That’s a definite improvement over this past summer’s “102 and heavy smoke with a 60% chance of wildfire.”

  31. Sleeping Dog says:


    Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy books, and that’s pretty much the same thing.

    The guy variation of this is: If money can’t by happiness, how do you explain beer and motorcycles.

  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    Smoke? Fires? You must be referring to our frequent backyard barbecues. It just so happens our backyards extend into the mountains.

  33. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    You know well how much my husband agrees with you on that!

    I have just poured myself a glass of wine.

    @Kathy and @CSK I love to read, and buying books is a compulsion. I have to do it!

  34. CSK says:

    Even if your house starts to sink under the weight of them.

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping and motorcycles
    Reminds me of the time I was at the local Show-Me’s. A rip off of Hooters. The guy at the table next to me kept looking out the window and commenting on several bikes in the parking lot. Didn’t seem to pay much attention to the scantilly clad waitress bringing the suds to his table.
    “Why do you keep looking out the window?” I asked “The good looking women are in here.”
    “I can have the motorcycles.” he replied.

  36. Kathy says:


    Audiobooks and eBooks are surprisingly light.

  37. CSK says:

    Yes, ebooks are great if you’re traveling and don’t want to cart a load of the real thing with you. I know a lot of people love audio books, but I much prefer to read. Different strokes for different folks.

  38. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    “Steal a spoon and tunnel for freedom” damn near cost me a keyboard.

    Well done, sir.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:


    True, so true.


    Actually thought of him as I wrote that. Say hello for me.

  40. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Welcome back! In #1, the numbers are good. Bad numbers would all be in three digits, or all zeros (Look at it this way, the Russian judge gave you a good score on the floor routine).

  41. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    In a new interview, Michael Flynn says covid was intentionally introduced into the world by global elites like George Soros, Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and the Arabella Group so they can “rule the world,” “control humanity,” and defeat Donald Trump.

    Please tell me this is a joke. Even if it isn’t, please lie to me.

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    Offsides…False Start…

    Questions mount about whether Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL
    As the afternoon unfolded, the confusion mounted. Other reports said the Buccaneers leadership had not been informed of any decision yet. And KRON4 News, a local news station in the Bay Area, where Brady’s parents live, reported that Brady’s father had denied reports of his son’s retirement.

  43. Mister Bluster says:


  44. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    The latest seems to be that it’s the timing of the announcement that’s at issue.

  45. Mu Yixiao says:


    “Steal a spoon and tunnel for freedom” damn near cost me a keyboard.

    I’m hoping the nurses got as good a laugh out of it.

  46. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: Dream recall is something you can better at through practice. The traditional advice is to keep a notepad next to your bed; these days I use the virtual notepad on my iPhone. In any case, you are much likelier to remember your dream if you write it down immediately after waking up. If you think you’ll be able to remember it later on your own, you probably won’t. While I’m not totally brushed up on the scientific aspects of it, I think when it comes to dreaming we’re all basically like people with short-term memory problems; we remember it in the moment, but it soon just evaporates. We’re left with a general feeling that we were dreaming about something, but we can’t recall anything specific about it.

    Many artists, writers, and musicians claim to have been inspired by dreams. (The story to the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” is that Keith Richards dreamt the famous riff, woke up in the middle of the night and quickly recorded it, then fell back asleep and couldn’t remember it in the morning at all.) Now I’m not saying you have to be some famous musician or something to think dream recall is worthwhile. To some people it might just seem self-indulgent or masturbatory, but my point is that as long as you want to do it, there are techniques for getting better at it.

  47. MarkedMan says:

    Perspective is everything. The crew here often describes COVID in red areas as if there is a great die off. But I just checked the WaPo tracking site and the worst state in the country, Mississippi, still has only about a third of a percent of the population dead from COVID. Even the worst county in that state has less than three quarters of a percent dead.

    I suppose at this point those deaths are much more concentrated among the unvaxxed even in those counties, but it still probably means no more than 1-1.5%

  48. James Joyner says:


    Even the worst county in that state has less than three quarters of a percent dead.

    I suppose at this point those deaths are much more concentrated among the unvaxxed even in those counties, but it still probably means no more than 1-1.5%

    But 1.5% nationally would be almost 5 million people. We’ve “only” lost 880,000–many of those before vaccinations were available.

  49. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes, that’s a point I’ve tried to make to people who do the “Let’s go Darwin” bit, who link to all those Herman Cain Award websites. From the beginning, even before the vaccine, people who flouted Covid safety procedures and got Covid themselves and took loads of iverchloroquine from their fish tank were still, on an individual level, overwhelmingly likely to survive. Because most people who get Covid survive. Even people who are old with several comorbidities, at the end the day it’s more likely than not they’ll live to see another day. And that’s a reality liberals need to accept, because too many of them seem to have gotten this image in their head like the Covid-denialists and anti-vaxxers are all setting their hair on fire, when what they’re actually doing is exposing themselves to unneeded risk–but probably posing more danger to others than themselves. The kind of large-scale karmic retribution that a lot of liberals are imagining simply isn’t happening.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: Your numbers are right, of course, and so it speaks to the incredible disparity in red versus blue death rates. The best county in Maryland has a death rate of one seventh the worst county in Mississippi.

  51. Mister Bluster says:

    “karmic retribution…isn’t happening”

    This could be because karma does not exist.

  52. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    This could be because karma does not exist.

    Metaphorically of course. I think most liberals are thinking of it more as natural consequences. The problem is that they oversimplify the consistency of those consequences, and fail to appreciate how many innocent people are being harmed from stupid people’s decisions. They talk as though the people are stepping on a landmine in the middle of nowhere that Foxbart told them was safe.

  53. de stijl says:

    Karma doesn’t exist, but it should.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    But 1.5% nationally would be almost 5 million people. We’ve “only” lost 880,000–many of those before vaccinations were available.

    Excess deaths are running about 50% higher than that, and we know in many areas medical examiners (a basically unregulated position) are putting in causes of death other than covid just to keep families happy.

    I have not seen a county level distribution of excess deaths, at least from anywhere that I trust, nor any good analysis.

    Here is state level data, along with the levels attributed to covid.

    The percentage of excess deaths attributed to covid varies wildly, even in states with high per capita excess death counts. I think you have to take the numbers with a grain of salt.

    I’m guessing the undercount is among those who think covid is no big deal and who push back on cause of death. 1% dead, centered on antivaxxers and covid minimalizers could be enough to make a few swing states swing blue, even if they got the cause of death listed as lung failure or horse worms or whatever. It will have no effect on Mississippi.

    States with a low number of excess deaths also report a low number of them being from covid. I think the pandemic, lockdowns, economy, skipping doctors visits, etc have had a cost that we could probably figure out. Eyeballing the data in low excess death states suggests 20-30/100,000 — I’m guessing that where covid was rarer, it was harder to hide.

  55. Gustopher says:


    nor any good analysis.

    I put my back of the envelope guesstimates in the “no good analysis” bucket, by the way. 50 states is a small sample, and there are lots of variables I don’t know how to control, and I did very poorly in statistics.

    When there’s better data and analysis, I expect that there’s a really good chance that I am way off. Were there more people avoiding health care in Mississippi? Maybe! And maybe Connecticut’s and the Dakotas’ high attribution of covid deaths was due to it racing through hospice care centers and claiming people who were about to die anyway.

  56. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: There are a large amount of people in my red-state area who absolutely refused to get tested, period, and then the family called for a welfare check and they’re dead. Said families absolutely will not accept “Covid” as a reason, because it’s a “hoax”. They also send their children to school sick with high fevers and whatnot. The school nurse refuses to do covid tests onsite. “The parents can take them to the clinic.”

    I don’t know if we’re ever gonna know how many died from it as a direct cause, by not going to a hospital, or holding off on medical care because the hospital’s can’t take them.