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. Kathy says:

    The doctor cleared me to drive last Thursday. Friday I went to the bank to take care of some things, and I ran into a coworker. We talked a bit, and she caught me up on a few work items.

    It’s one of those times when major changes took place while I was away. Two people left the department, including one manager. One person who was hospitalized with COVID is now back, and looking as though they survived a major disaster.

    I go back to work tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.

  2. Mikey says:


    I go back to work tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.

    Good luck, I hope it goes very well.

  3. Kathy says:



    We don’t seem to be swamped with work, so that’s good.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Looks like I won’t have to travel to Wyoming for a vax after all, just up to Herman on Tuesday.

  5. CSK says:

    Is Hermann a long haul from where you live?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The long read
    Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years

    And once, when he was in an especially introspective mood, Knight seemed willing, despite his typical aversion to dispensing wisdom, to share more of what he gleaned while alone. Was there, the journalist asked him, some grand insight revealed to him in the wild?

    Knight sat quietly but he eventually arrived at a reply.

    “Get enough sleep,” he said.

    He set his jaw in a way that conveyed he wouldn’t be saying any more. This was what he’d learned. It was, without question, the truth.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: About 1 1/2 hrs away, not too bad.

  8. CSK says:

    Did that mean “you can get enough sleep in the wilderness” or “you should get enough sleep in the wilderness”?

    Curt locutions can be elliptical.

    Can you make a day of it with errands? I’d suggest a meal out, but that’s not really possible yet.

  9. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That is where my FIL and much of his family lives. Nice town, my wife tells me that they were very anti-mask when she was there taking care of him in the fall. So not surprising that they have plenty of extra vaccine.

  10. CSK says:

    The mayor of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency because of all the unmasked spring breakers thronging the streets.

  11. charon says:

    Pretty interesting thread re excess mortality v. COVID mortality, by states and counties:

    Graphic here:×900

  12. charon says:


    This is the underlying article:

    Undercounting of Covid-19 deaths is greatest in pro-Trump areas, analysis shows

    Tens of thousands of Covid-19 deaths are going unreported in the U.S., with far more missed in counties that strongly supported former President Trump, according to new research.

    The figures suggest that political leanings have helped suppress the true scale of deaths. In cases where the deceased didn’t have a Covid-19 test, a coroner or medical examiner has the freedom to interpret symptoms.

    “There’s potentially latitude to make a judgement call conditional on a set of beliefs about Covid and whether it represents a serious problem or a hoax,” said Andrew Stokes, a professor of global health at Boston University School of Public Health who performed the analysis for STAT.

    More than 413,000 people have died in the U.S. with Covid-19 attributed somewhere on their death certificate. The real death toll, as reflected in the number of excess deaths in 2020 compared with annual deaths from 2013 to 2018, is even higher. A separate study, led by Stokes, of 787 counties with more than 20 Covid-19 deaths from Feb. 1 to Oct. 17, 2020, found that while there were 199,124 official Covid-19 deaths in that time period, an additional excess 88,142 deaths weren’t attributed to the virus.

    Some of these excess deaths are likely due to factors that were exacerbated by the pandemic, such as overdoses and suicide in response to isolation and economic hardship, or subpar health care in an overrun system. But researchers believe many are Covid-19 deaths that go uncounted. Overall, the true Covid-19 death toll is 44% higher than official figures, according to the study, which has been submitted to PLOS Medicine.

  13. CSK says:

    The IRS and my state’s DOR have changed Tax Day from April 15 to May 17 because of the continuing Covid crisis.

    Procrastinators rejoice!

  14. charon says:

    If you look over the linked graphic, you see states like Maine, Vermont and Hawaii where excess deaths are much greater than reported COVID deaths.

    Others like Rhode Island and Massachusetts most excess deaths are reported as COVID deaths.

    So comparing one state to another based on reported deaths can be misleading.

  15. CSK says:

    The pro-Trump websites are full of tales about how deaths from auto accidents, heart attacks, strokes. etc. are being falsely attributed to Covid-19 to artificially inflate the death toll from the illness.

  16. Jax says:

    @charon: Wyoming has been very slow to count COVID deaths, we didn’t even know we had our first death attributed to our county until over a month after the person had died. The numbers are still trickling in. They have a boilerplate statement after each one, “An older adult Big Horn County woman died earlier this month. She was a resident of a local long-term care facility and had health conditions recognized as putting patients at higher risk of serious illness related to COVID-19”, it drives me nuts. It almost feels like they think it doesn’t count because they were in a long-term care facility or had health conditions.

  17. Jon says:


    It almost feels like they think it doesn’t count because they were in a long-term care facility or had health conditions.

    Yah. I mean, sure they had health conditions but they were still alive. Absent COVID, they would most likely still be alive, with those same health conditions.

  18. charon says:


    heart attacks, strokes. etc. are being falsely attributed to Covid-19

    Ignoring the fact that COVID attacks the heart, blood vessels and lungs that is real smart.

  19. charon says:


    It does not need to be plausible and they need not really believe it, it’s the party line to show group solidarity and own the libs.

  20. CSK says:

    Of course. Speaking of owning the libs, there’s an article in Politico today about how the be-all and end-all of the Republican Party has become owning the libs.

  21. charon says:


    There was a piece over at KOS about some news organization trying to find out how many congresscritters have been vaccinated, the preponderance of Republicans refused to answer.

    Best guess – they do not want to admit being vaccinated to their GOP base.

  22. CSK says:
  23. Mister Bluster says:

    #17 Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (Missouri Valley Conference) just wiped the floor with #2 overall University of Illinois (BIGTEN). 71-58.

  24. CSK says:

    According to Reuters, Trump is going to start his own social media platform in a few months. Jason Miller says it will remake the game.

  25. Teve says:

    I had an idiot relative tell me so and so got Covid and died three weeks later, but it wasn’t really a Covid death because he had diabetes.

  26. Jax says:

    @CSK: And I suppose the media is gonna go apeshit over his return to shitposting. (eyeroll) I was just thinking this morning that it’s been a wonderful 2.5 months of him not stinking the internet up.

  27. CSK says:

    Well, when he realizes he has to spend his money to do this, he may not be so enthusiastic. Remember Trump TV? That never panned out, either. Trump’s been a failure at everything he’s done. FFS, he went broke peddling booze and promoting gambling, something any halfwit could do.

    Anyway, I think Miller just said this to tantalize the rubes.

  28. Mimai says:

    Newbie question… Have the hosts ever done a “What do you all want us to post about? Send specific topics.” Of course, this would need to be circumscribed, as I suspect neither would be all that interested in suggestions about, say, string theory or cognitive neuroscience. But I think some boundaries could be articulated to make this a productive starting point. They could then select a few topics themselves, or they could narrow it down to a handful of “acceptable” topics and let the commentariat vote.

    They might have one call for topics that are focused on their professional areas of expertise. They could even articulate these in the call.

    They might have a second call for topics that are more personal in nature. They could leave this open-ended (probably unwise given some of the, er, lower quality commentators that occasionally drop by) or narrowed down to a few categories. For example, Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution) recently posted about his earlier experiences with “manual labor” – what they consisted of and how they impacted him. This lead to interesting and engaged discussions in the comments section (which varies in quality depending on the post).

    Anyway, thanks for entertaining my specific suggestions that are masquerading as a “newbie question.”

  29. Jax says:

    @Mimai: I think that’s actually how the Open Forum’s came about, if I remember correctly…the host’s post the stuff that interests them, and the Open Forum’s are available for the commentariat to initiate subjects that interest them.

    Today’s kind of a slow day, been a long time since an Open Forum has had this few people hanging around! I hope everybody’s out enjoying some spring weather. 😉

  30. Mimai says:

    @Jax: Gotcha, thanks. I was thinking this as more of a what we want to ask Jamesteven as opposed to what we want to discuss ourselves (which the open forum addresses). Eg, I could ask James how his thinking about defense policy might be different if he had served in OEF/OIF instead of Desert Storm. Or I could ask Steven how his thinking about US politics were shaped and shifted by living in Austin vs. Irvine vs. Troy. Stuff like that.

  31. CSK says:

    Ask here in this forum. No harm in trying.

  32. Mimai says:

    @CSK: Thanks, I may just do that. Was trying to be mindful of the (to me unknown) spirit of the open forum. And I also didn’t want to be the officer of the inquisition.

  33. CSK says:

    In the immortal words of Cole Porter….anything goes.

  34. CSK says:

    Actually, I do remember these incidents quite well. But I’m not clear why you, a Trump admirer, are bringing up the issue of his debilitation.

  35. Sleeping Dog says:


    Occasionally, a topic that comes up here, prompts a top line post. Particularly if it piques their interest and is under discussed here.

  36. Mimai says:

    @CSK: Bookmarking your post for future deployment. #pandorasbox

    +1 on the Cole Porter reference. Perhaps we should have a special “Let’s Misbehave” open forum edition.

  37. CSK says:

    I get a kick out of you.

  38. Mimai says:

    @CSK: In my defense, I’m a terrible disappointment IRL.

  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: @CSK: Also, if he’s on his own platform, it will be easier for all participants who wish to avoid him to do so. Just don’t go there and skip over news articles that have “Trump said” in the headline.

  40. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The chances of Trump starting his own platform are pretty remote. It’s probably just another tease to keep the rubes donating.

    They never seem to ask themselves why an alleged multi-billionaire should need to ask for money.

  41. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It’s the poison he’s spewing into the brains of my fellow Americans that bother me. And our current media situation is that they are currently decompressing from the Trump era, money (and the clicks) will lead them to report on every. single. misspelled. thing. the idiot has to say.

  42. DrDaveT says:


    Jason Miller says it will remake the game.

    From “9-Dimensional Chess” to “Go Fish”?

  43. DrDaveT says:


    Perhaps we should have a special “Let’s Misbehave” open forum edition.

    I’m there. I played Sir Evelyn Oakley in our high school production, and “Let’s Misbehave” was my big number. And if you think singing and dancing in your underwear with a beautiful girl in your arms in front of hundreds of people isn’t a big deal to a scrawny high school senior, you’ve forgotten what high school is like.

    (As it happened, I hit it off with the young lady in the stage crew who was in charge of smearing shaving cream on my face and helping me get out of my pants prior to that scene… She went on to have a very successful career in lighting design.)

  44. Jax says:

    Why isn’t my (Republican) Governor, and all of the other governors in the US, ALSO facing scrutiny for how they handled COVID in nursing homes?

  45. Mimai says:

    @DrDaveT: Wow, just wow! A roller coaster of free associations I had while reading that. I’m so discombobulated. A little nauseous too. And yet strangely interesting in hearing more.

  46. Kathy says:

    We can add boarding commercial aircraft to the list of things all parties involved want to fix, but all agree is impossible to fix.

  47. DrDaveT says:


    I’m so discombobulated. A little nauseous too.

    I’m told I have that effect on people 🙂

  48. DrDaveT says:


    We can add boarding commercial aircraft to the list of things all parties involved want to fix, but all agree is impossible to fix.

    Well, that’s not quite what they said. It’s impossible to fix if you also want to pander to your frequent fliers and people who pay for expensive seats. It’s impossible to fix if you don’t bother to track which passengers are accompanied children. It’s impossible to fix if you aren’t willing to tell people who cut the line that they @#$%ing well will wait their turn and get out of the way of the civilized people.

    Otherwise, yeah, impossible to fix.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Jax: Well, start up a lawsuit…

  50. Kathy says:


    I’ve never seen much enforcement of boarding order past the elites.

  51. Jax says:

    @Gustopher: Seems like the data is just sitting there, waiting for someone to do just that, when you look at the Wyoming Department of Public Health’s website and how the deaths they’ll “acknowledge” are mostly from nursing homes.

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: While I empathize, I can’t stop my fellow Americans from being stupid. It’s hard enough to for me to keep ME from being stupid.