Sunday’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. BugManDan says:

    Hey, you forgot to change the title from Saturday to Sunday.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @BugManDan: Thanks! I spent most of yesterday driving to our vacation spot, so my days are mixed up.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Authorities have said they arrested 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near an Idaho Pride event after they were found packed into the back of a U-Haul truck with riot gear. The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces when Coeur d’Alene police stopped the U-Haul and began arresting them on the side of the road on Saturday.

    “They came to riot downtown,” Coeur d’Alene police chief Lee White said at a news conference.

    All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanour, White said. The men were going through the booking process on Saturday afternoon and were scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, he said. Based on evidence collected and documents, authorities found that the group was planning to riot in several areas of downtown, not just the park, White said. Police found riot gear, one smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van, White said. They wore arm patches and logos on their hats that identified them as members of Patriot Front, he said.

    They want to “Reclaim America.” I hate to break it to them but the Bezos, Musks, and Theils who own it aren’t selling.

    Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, White said. Only one was from Idaho, he said.

    Ah yes, the proverbial “outside agitators.”

    “It appears these people did not come here to engage in peaceful events,”

    Said Kootenai county sheriff Bob Norris in the understatement of the year.

  4. CSK says:

    Exactly how did they plan to reclaim America? By rioting?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    America’s largest Protestant and second-largest Christian denomination is being roiled by a sexual abuse scandal that casts a harsh light on one of the most politically powerful religious groups in the country as well as renewing a focus on its racist past.
    But the SBC is now so mired in scandal that one recent former top official said it faced a “Southern Baptist apocalypse”.

    The issue at hand is the release by the SBC of a 205-page document naming hundreds of Baptist leaders and members accused or found guilty of sexual abuse of children. The list, which includes 700 entries on cases between 2000 and 2019, was released after a bombshell third-party investigation by Guidepost Solutions said the convention’s leaders in its executive committee failed the public and its community by mishandling sexual abuse cases and mistreating victims and survivors.
    The initial report was released after a seven-month investigation that revealed 380 leaders and volunteers in the SBC have faced public accusations of sexual abuse. It said that the SBC’s general counsel and spokesman had kept their own private list of abusive ministers and that leaders of SBC’s executive committee had focused for decades on trying to protect the SBC from liability for abuse in local churches.

    “In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy – even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation,” investigators wrote.

    Because always always always the institution is what is really important.

    But the publication of the report and the subsequent list of names has led to pushback within the organization – despite the horrific details contained within it. “I am terrified that we are breaching our longstanding position of being a voluntary association of independent churches, when we start telling churches that they should do this or do that to protect children or women,” said Joe Knott, a North Carolina attorney and longtime committee member.

    And we wonder why all they ever offer is “thoughts and prayers” after every school shooting. Oh and I love this part too:

    In 2019, the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, moved to resolve that “critical race theory and intersectionality should only be employed as analytical tools subordinate to Scripture – not as transcendent ideological frameworks”. The convention further resolved that “the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people and society”.

    As they cite the “gospel” in an effort to keep things from ever changing.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: By raping, pillaging, and burning all of Coeur d’Alene and blaming the gays for it, of course.

  7. CSK says:

    Gee, is that any way to form a white ethnostate?

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: According to them, it’s the only way.

  9. CSK says:

    All the commentators are saying that Trump threw Ivanka under the bus with his statement that she had “checked out” and was just being respectful of Bill Barr when she testified that she believed the 2020 election was legitimate.

    I don’t see it that way. I think Trump was trying to protect/defend/excuse his love/lust object, and that was the best rationalization he could manage.

    I also don’t think he could cope with open rebellion on her part. He can only pretend it didn’t happen.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    @James Joyner:

    Prof J posting from an undisclosed location. 🙂

    Enjoy your vaca.

  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    I agree. There was no bus.

  12. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Trump would have had to have denigrated Ivanka the way he denigrates all other women who disagree with him–Crooked Hillary, Crazy Nancy Pelosi, plus all the other “slobs” and “dogs” who’ve crossed his path–for there to have been a bus.

    He was excusing Ivanka.

  13. Kathy says:

    I’ve been thinking of a short story* by Ursula K. Le Guin recently, “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas.”

    Trying not to spoil it, I was hit with an interpretation when reading it yesterday: is the captive child a metaphor, whether the author intended it or not, for the working and middle classes who are squeezed more each day and get little in return, but who are also labeled “essential”?

    I don’t think this is what Le Guin meant, but symbolism creep is really a thing.

    *I’m not sure if a fictional work without a plot or a single named character qualifies as a “story.” But it’s very much worth reading. Very short yet with a high impact. much like Twain’s “The War Prayer.”

  14. Kathy says:


    I recommend this opinion piece by Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian: Ivanka turns on daddy but she’s just a Trump looking out for No 1 as usual

    Salient point: “Ivanka stuck close to her father when he was useful to her but now his star is on the wane she’s backing away quickly.”

  15. CSK says:

    And I agree with that.

    My point is that, while Ivanka feels no compunction–and who knows? Maybe even some pleasure–in throwing Daddy under the bus, Daddy will never toss his darling to the wolves.

    He’s probably deluded himself that she lusts after him the way he lusts after her.

    It would be a hell of a lot different if Eric or Junior had backstabbed him.

  16. gVOR08 says:


    They want to “Reclaim America.” I hate to break it to them but the Bezos, Musks, and Theils who own it aren’t selling.

    These bozos don’t realize it, but they’re “reclaiming” it FOR the Musks and Thiels, and the Koch’s and Mercers and Adelsons, and even the trusts of the long dead Olins and Bradley’s.

  17. Slugger says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is truly shocking. The governor of Florida will make taking a child to a SBC event reportable to CPS, I’m sure. This is clearly more dangerous than a cross dressing theatrical event.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    Way too much is being made of the testimony of Jared and Ivanka. The committee used the clips very well. But basically they got several hours of testimony from two not very bright people who were making an amateurish attempt to walk the line between perjury and incrimination, and made a couple more or less honest and exploitable remarks.

  19. Kathy says:

    I watched Ghostbusters Afterlife yesterday.

    The bad: for the first hour, more or less, very little of interest happens at all.

    The very bad: it’s mostly callback fan service to the first movie. The same Big Bad Guy, pretty much the same climax. With modifications, like how The Force Awakens isn’t quite A New Hope, but it’s there. Even some of the same lines and catch phrases from the 1984 movie. And of course appearances by the original cast, including Sigourney Weaver in a post credit scene.

    The good: Mckenna Grace playing the protagonist, Phoebe.

  20. Sleeping Dog says:


    Ivanka, unlike Tiffany, doesn’t need daddy for his money, that gives her the freedom to tell him to F-off. My take is he is trying to rationalize her statements. It is about him.

  21. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    That would be my take. And to protect her. That was the best he could do.

    Tiffany is engaged to the heir of a multi-billion dollar business, so she doesn’t need her father’s money, either.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: By overwhelming force at the ballot box (including making sure that only “real Americans” vote) if possible (the current SCOTUS improves their odds on this front). If that fails, by prying it out of our cold dead fingers. (I’ve traveled among this sort in a past life.)

  23. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I’ve long wondered how Civil War v.2 would work. Shoot your neighbor who disagrees with you politically?

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “[T]he convention’s leaders in its executive committee failed the public and its community by mishandling sexual abuse cases and mistreating victims and survivors.”

    Another fine example of “grace for us, law for you.”

    “The convention further resolved that ‘the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people and society,’” but only to the extent that people will use it to change themselves. The whole “you’re the only Jesus people will ever meet” thing continues to be problematical.

  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I think that we discount the whole “shoot your neighbors/white ethnostate” idea. I’m persuaded that the white ethnostate faction will be happy living in rubble as long as it’s rubble with no nKKKLANNNNGGGs in it.

    And besides that, the ethnostate will have a much MUCH lower population, so it could turn out to be paradise. (Sort of…)

  26. Sleeping Dog says:

    Senate negotiators have a gun deal.

    Not much, but take it and move on to the next battle.

  27. de stijl says:


    I know lots of people really like and love the OG Top Gun, but I freaking hated that movie.

    Went to see it with a friend who super into Tom Cruise.

    She loved it. I hated it.

    I thought it was unbelievable. I thought it was jingoistic trash. Well shot, well edited garbage. Not a movie for me, YMMV. I fucking hated it intensely.

    I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut. You don’t want rain on someone else’s parade. This was not someone I was dating, just a friend. Still, kept my mouth shut.

    I have zero desire to watch the new one. Less than zero. I would rather get a dislocated shoulder than watch that.

  28. Gustopher says:


    I’ve long wondered how Civil War v.2 would work. Shoot your neighbor who disagrees with you politically?

    You have it backwards you libtard, the neighbor will shoot you. But you will probably give up long before that’s necessary, at the sight of their majestic manliness.

  29. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: If it was Top Gun: In Spaaaaace! I might be interested.

  30. CSK says:

    Oh, quite. A beer-bellied jerk in a MAGA hat is my avatar of majestic manliness. Totally. I tremble before him and drop to my knees in awe and reverence.

  31. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I never saw it, either.

  32. Mu Yixiao says:


    I’ve been thinking of a short story* by Ursula K. Le Guin recently, “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas.”

    Have you watched this week’s episode of Strange New Worlds?

  33. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I have, but I thought bringing up Omelas in this connection would be a spoiler.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: It’s telegraphed so strong, and so early that I think you’re supposed to know the broad outline and the tension is watching the characters make decisions based on partial information until they figure it out.

    Good episode.

    (Dancing around spoilers)

  35. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Random aside: We know that Pike will eventually end up in the Beep Chair. Is that just a common thing in Star Trek, or is he the only person in such a chair.

    I’m wondering if there is a home for people in Beep Chairs.

    Also, I would enjoy a season of him in the chair with a sassy protocol droid by his side.

  36. Kathy says:


    In TNG days, Trekkies criticized the show for having too many “uniques.” Geordi was the only blind person with a visor, Worf the only Klingon in Starfleet, Deanna the only half-Betazoid, Jean Luc the only Frenchman with an English accent, and so on.

  37. wr says:

    @de stijl: “I have zero desire to watch the new one.”

    I always pretty much despised Top Gun. But I have to say, Top Gun: Maverick is infinitely better. Maybe because he’s in charge these days, and he’s a really smart filmmaker. It’s as close to a perfect Hollywood melodrama as we’ve seen in decades.

    Yes, of course it’s complete bullshit. But it’s exquisite bullshit.

  38. KM says:

    According to Lower Decks, there’s a vacation planet full of them, complete with Mai-tais and bikinis. The Farm is where the Federeation sends its incurable cases to live in comfort and style…. but getting there tends to take a while.

  39. Flat Earth Luddite says:
  40. de stijl says:

    My biggest problem with Top Gun was that I hated the protagonist. I thought Maverick was a jerk and an asshole. I despised him. I hate cocky jack-asses.

    He wasn’t even good at his job.

    In The Great Santini you are supposed to hate Robert Duvall. He is deeply flawed and a truly shitty person. We are supposed to identify with his son.

    In Top Gun we are supposed to root for Maverick.

    I cannot think of a less likeable protagonist we are supposed to root for in an A level movie. I hated that guy. Really, REALLY hated him.

    In The Thing Kurt Russell’s Murphy is a jack-ass. A mouthy, alcoholic prick. At the mid point I was rooting for him. Empathasizing with him.

    I empathize more with Christian Bale in American Psycho than I do with Tom Cruise in Top Gun.