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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There have been no COVID-19 outbreaks in San Francisco schools since students and educators went back into classrooms on Aug. 16, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced Thursday, noting that about 90% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated. An outbreak, the department said, means there are “three or more cases in non-related households in which the source of infection occurred at the school, and not another setting.”

    While the department reported there have been 227 COVID-19 cases — out of 52,000 students and nearly 10,000 staff — the “vast majority” of those cases are occurring outside of schools. Overall, the department said, the numbers of pediatric COVID-19 cases in the city have remained low throughout the pandemic, even during the most recent delta variant surge. “COVID-19 cases in children under 18 has remained less than 20% of overall cases throughout this pandemic,” the department said. “The vast majority of COVID-19 cases have been in adults.”

    Serious forms of pediatric COVID-19 are even more rare, with less than five children hospitalized for the virus at any given time in San Francisco. There are currently no children who are hospitalized for COVID-19 in the city, the health department said.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ellen Carmichael

    Say it with me now: vaccines work.

    (stark graphics)

  3. JohnMcC says:

    … Since August, the number of covid-related child deaths in the state has more than doubled….
    A politico analysis of weekly Covid-19 reports from the Florida Department of Health shows that 10 children under the age of 16 died from Covid-19 from July 30 to present as the Delta variant — which is much more transmissible — became the dominant strain. Previously, a total of seven kids died from the virus from the beginning of the pandemic through July, amounting to a span of more than 15 months.

    Gosh! What could possibly account for the difference between San Francisco schools and Florida schools?

    It’s mystifying.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: Where does Ron DeSantis go to get his blame?

  5. gVOR08 says:

    After the 2000 election a media consortium commissioned a detailed examination of all the FL presidential ballots. The results were by coincidence released shortly after 9/11. Digby has a post, extensively quoting Jonathan Chait, saying that Al Gore probably would have won a full recount had SCOTUS allowed the count to continue, but the media bowed to post 9/11 sentiment and spun the story in favor of Bush.

    Trump’s incompetent coup was the Republicans SECOND attempt, the first having been successful. And they will try again at the next opportunity. And are furiously passing state laws to facilitate such an opportunity.

    Say it loud and say it proud – AL GORE WON.

  6. de stijl says:

    I didn’t read the “Our Victory in Iraq” and comments until this morning.

    One thing that struck me is that no one brought up the fact that there was no rational valid reason to attack Iraq at all.

    Iraq and Hussein were utterly blameless for 9/11. Had nothing to do with it. The recent release of intel of Saudi involvement underscores it.

    The whole Iraq War was a red herring. A total waste of lives, time, money, and goodwill.

  7. CSK says:

    “We won the election by a lot and they rigged it and it’s a terrible thing and I do believe they are going to decertify this election.” — Donald Trump, in an interview with OAN.

    I can’t decide if he believes this or if he’s just saying it to keep the MAGAs inflamed.

  8. JohnMcC says:

    @de stijl: As I recall those days of long ago…. The RW screechers that I occasionally heard by accident were all over GHWBush because in the first Gulf War he ‘didn’t finish the job’. The combined armies stopped short of Baghdad.

    Whatever lies it took to take down Saddam Hussein is what they would do.

    So the Iraq war was necessary and successful. For the Right Wingers.

  9. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..can’t decide if he believes this or if he’s just saying it to keep the MAGAs inflamed.

    As far as I can tell Donald Trump doesn’t believe anything.
    Keeping his stooges enraged is his primary amusement in his pathetic life.

  10. de stijl says:


    To what end?

    I am convinced Iran conned us into invading Iraq and deposing Hussein. See: Curveball. Who would benefit?

    Well, not conned us so much as providing cover for the opportunist idiots in the Cheney circle to proceed as they wanted to. Iran played us.

    It spooks me we are capable of hiring “blood for the blood god” vengeance minded folks into positions of power and influence into high positions of authority.

  11. JohnMcC says:

    @de stijl: I guess what I’m trying to say is that the RW (as I knew it in those days, AM radio talkers) has made us stupid. No diplomacy. No thoughtfulness. All testosterone, all the time.

  12. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Add to that the fact that he’s picking their pockets.

  13. de stijl says:


    Within their RW mindset we still got nothing.

    We got blindside attacked by a dude and decided to retaliate against his second cousin. It made us look weak and foolish and cowardly. Lame and stupid.

    As a realist, increasing Iran’s power in the region was not a bad outcome as a counterweight. The Kingdom needed a counterbalance. Shia / Sunni, Arab / Persian, Gulf / East. We need not have spent the lives of our young men and women as the price.

    A savvy administration could have exploited that. Cheney’s could not not. It wanted blood and the political opportunity war provides.

    Our invasion of Iraq was unprovoked, unwarranted, and foolish. And Iran spoofed us into it.

    All things being equal retribution-wise we should have invaded Saudi Arabia before anybody else, but for many reasons we chose not to.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: I did allude in comments to the lack of stated, credible reasons for Iraq. The lack of apparent reasons for a thing is often not the result of stupidity but of hidden motives. Cheney’s not stupid. A vile, lying sack of puss who did huge damage to the country and the world, but not stupid. Remember that Cheney was cooking the intelligence and PNAC (there’s a WIKI page) set up to agitate for overthrowing Saddam long before 9/11. And if they were conned by Iran it’s because they wanted to be conned. If they won’t tell you their motives you’re free to speculate as best you can. My belief is we overthrew Saddam because nobody was making any money off embargoed Iraqi oil and it was regarded as politically unacceptable to just lift HW’s embargo.

    gVOR08’s Second Law – No matter how bad you think Republicans are, they’re worse.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    I think we overthrew Saddam because Cheney had a notion of remaking the entire middle east, first with Iraq, then Syria. It might have worked if we were Romans or Mongols. Sadly for Mr. Cheney, we are Americans, not Mongols, and we have no appetite for the kind of long-term, systematic brutality that would have been required.

    For better or worse we are not the people who will calmly butcher prisoners for hours and days on end, we’re the people who’ll spend billions to avoid hitting an innocent bystander. Sure, we’ll still kill an innocent aid worker, but we’ll feel the need to lie about it and then feel remorse. I don’t think Genghis’s boys or the Roman legionnaires spent a lot of sleepless nights after a day or a week of raping and butchering. In the heat of the moment we’ll talk ‘submit or die!’ but after a few weeks it’ll switch to, ‘come on, man, submit and we’ll give you stuff.’

  16. de stijl says:


    What’s your first law?

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: No idea. I make them up as I need them.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You credit Cheney with more public spirit than I feel is warranted. Why would Cheney want to remake the Middle East except to make life easier for his oil company sponsors, which probably included KSA? That and opportunities to enjoy more torture porn.

  19. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We did calmly torture.

    The White House sought and bought a ruling that exempted enhanced interrogation techniques as “thisclose” to torture but not actually it. Bullshit.

    It was and is torture. That was a war crime. We committed many acts of torture. Individuals are responsible for the act, but we as a nation are also responsible. We can’t dodge that.

    We, as a nation, condoned and committed torture.

    And for what? Short-term tactical intelligence.

    They, by their actions, shamed us utterly.

    I do not recall a national referendum on whether torture was something we should pursue.

    And then, inevitably, retreat and withdrawal when it became untenable.

    All that for nothing. We sold our fucking soul for nothing.

  20. de stijl says:


    I can accept that.

    Totally cool answer.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    I do not recall a national referendum on whether torture was something we should pursue.

    Unfortunately, if there were such a referendum, the pro-torture side would almost certainly win.

    Human rights are about the last thing that should ever be subject to referendum.

  22. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    John Yoo has a fancy pants job at UC Berkeley Law School.

    He should be in prison.

  23. de stijl says:


    Sadly true.

    I wish we were better.

  24. Michael Reynolds says:


    Looking at it from MBS’s point of view knocking off Saddam removed a threat to the kingdom. (See: Kuwait.) With Iraq and Syria in our pockets we and Israel would then turn our gaze to Iran, which is always the greatest Satan for right-wingers and the Arabs.

    Sadly for our good Saudi friends we botched Iraq and ended up enhancing Iranian power in that country. But hey, it’s all good for MBS, because the Arabs are now making common cause with Israel. The Americans might not be 100% serious about blocking Iranian efforts to go nuclear, (see: North Korea) but the Israelis certainly are. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that.

  25. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There is no way futzing with a Baathist Iraq does not benefit Iran. It’s majority Shia and majority ethnically Persian.

    Iran outsourced us to do their bidding by playing to our hubris.

  26. de stijl says:

    In January of this year we were having a 9/11 equivalent or more of deaths every day. Next day. Day after. Day after that.

    Everyday for several weeks we exceeded 9/11 death toll daily from Covid.

    What makes a 9/11/01 death more worthy and significant than an 1/11/21 death?

    And the day after and the day after that? Many thousands died every day.

    We assign value to the way death takes you.

    We are purposefully plastic in how we value life and death.

  27. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    We assign value to the way death takes you.

    We are purposefully plastic in how we value life and death.

    I think a lot of it has to do with imagery. The image of the burning, crumbling towers is seared in our minds forever. You might think pictures of people on ventilators in ICUs would do the same trick–but let’s face it, it doesn’t. Not to the same degree. It doesn’t have that immediate, visceral impact, even if far more people are dying.

    People aren’t affected by hearing that lots of people are dying. At a certain point large numbers stop having meaning to our brains. You know the apocryphal Stalin quote about how one death is a tragedy and a thousand is a statistic. About 600,000 Americans die every year from cancer. Even more from heart disease. We’re primed to pay more attention to Covid because it’s new (let’s put aside for the moment the issue of spread or the fact that it’s far more preventable at this point), but I just think people tend not to notice death from illness the way they notice terrorism. It may be because we think of it as more “natural,” and it may also be because the cause is invisible. There’s probably an evolutionary explanation somewhere, but we as humans just don’t have the greatest instincts for risk assessment in the modern world.

  28. Mimai says:

    Dropping bombs on members of group X.
    Torturing members of group X.
    Supporting others to do any of the above.
    Supporting policies that advance any of the above.
    Actively wishing for / hoping that members of group X die.
    Taking pleasure in learning that members of group X die.

    Fuzzy boundaries across these.

  29. de stijl says:


    I remember seeing folks jump off the building rather than being burnt to death. Easy choice in my book.

    What goes through your mind then? Do you find peace in the fall? Can you? Acceptance?

    I’m free / Free fallin’

    came to my mind and it haunts me.

    That song spooks me now.

  30. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: It does seem, rationally, that falling to one’s death is a better way to go than burning up. But I don’t know that any of those folks was making a rational choice; it may have just been blind panic.

  31. de stijl says:


    You have your mind during the plummet. If in fire it is pain and asphyxiation.

    During a fall you have a few seconds to realize. 32 feet per second per second until you hit terminal velocity. Maybe enough time for a brief thought of goodbye.

    Wasn’t even a choice – any animal flees intense fire heat.

    It wasn’t even choice. It was instinct. Jumping was the better option.

  32. de stijl says:


    In that comment you are speaking to right now, yes?

  33. JohnSF says:

    It might be worth thinking about what Bush, Cheney, Powell etc were thinking of.
    I suspect their concern was that the US was trapped between Israel and the Arabians.
    Worse, that the effective evangelical/ultra-settler alliance pinned Washington to one end of the Israeli political spectrum, and enabled Likud to continue to act out as a superpower-by-proxy.

    While on the other hand this continued to erode any popular base for the Arabian clan-monarchies, meaning the Saudis had no alternative to the Saud/Wahabbi dyarchy, and to look aside from “externalised” jihadism.

    What that administration desired, and arguably what the US needs, but cannot get, is a reformist, modernising, popular, Islamic, and, yes, “democratic” alternative to the monarchs, the Wahabbi ulama, the fundamentalists etc.

    Such a state might give some room for maneuver to ameliorate the Israel/Palestinian issues that could reduce the appeal of populist anti-semitism, and also possibly break the evangelical/Likud feedback loop.

    They failed.

    The US remains in the same position, caught in the same trap.

    The trap will close when the Arabian oil revenues decline enough to render the petro-welfare system inoperable, but while the Gulf oil flows remain critical to the global economy.
    Or when the Israel/Palestinian issue really boils over.

    Can you extricate yourselves, assuming Bush II strategy is dead?
    Who knows.
    But you might want to start thinking seriously about the problem.

  34. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Iraq is majority ethnically Persian?
    You might want to check that.

  35. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    …the Arabs are now making common cause with Israel.

    Some Arab governments are.
    Mainly the Arabians, because of the Iranian threat; and the Iranian threat is also, at least in part, a popular threat,
    Other governments?
    Not so much.
    Jordan? Maybe…
    Syria? Nope.
    Iraq? No.
    Tunisia? Uh-uh.
    Algeria? Nah.
    To a limited extent, insofar as the Egyptians are wary of populist fundamentalism, and fond enough of Saudi money to conceal their contempt for the Arabians.
    See also Pakistan, whose Islamic nationalist military elite utterly despise the oil sheikhs; but love their dollars.

    Any Israeli politician who is betting his country’s long term future on the rule of the al-Saud is a very silly Israeli indeed.

  36. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    Time independent. Hence, it does speak to now, yes.

  37. JohnSF says:

    Of course, you might end up with Saudi Arabia threatened by a popular revolt of Islamists and have the USA step in “against terrorism”.
    I have to say though, if you ask for Allied support in that matter…
    “New phone. Who’ this?”.

  38. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: Well shucks! I would have said the same — that Iran is a ‘successor’ so to speak of Persian civilization. Don’t know exactly where I picked that up. And of course the modern state has the same relation to ancient persia that we have to the England of the Magna Carta (or less). Understood.

    So I looked. Wikipedia says that Persians make the majority of Iranians with smaller populations of Kurds, followed by Gilakis, Mazandaranis, Lurs, Tats, Talyish, and Baloch. (Most of which I’d never heard of.)

    The CIA Factbook estimates 51% Persians. The Library of Congress is noted to have estimated 65% but they apparently mingle some of the above listed minorities as Persian based on language similarities. There is also a Turkic minority of undisclosed size.

    So I’m curious. Do you dispute this? Is there a larger point?

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: There is a waterfall in Mexico that I have stood at the very brink of during a full moon, wondering at the moonbows in the mists filling the canyon below me. It is a magical place of astounding beauty, one that I have been to a number of times. It occurred to me one day that if I ever got stage 4 cancer, taking my final plunge off it would be a great way to go.

    Even got a friend to promise to help me in that endeavor. That is of course too much to ask of anyone. It is the sort of thing that one must do on one’s own, or not at all.

    I now have a wife and I’m pretty sure I can’t do that to her. I’ll have to find a way to drag it out as long as I can until the pain gets to be too much and end it so that somebody else finds me.

  40. JohnSF says:


    Do you dispute this? Is there a larger point?


    Iraq is majority ethnically Persian?

    Note: IRAQ.

    I don’t want to bash de Stijl but I think he was getting Iran and Iraq a bit muddled up, given his reference :

    futzing with a Baathist Iraq …majority Shia and majority ethnically Persian

  41. JohnSF says:

    BTW: I know Pakistan is not Arab; but they are part of the “Greater Middle East” constellation, as is Turkey, Iran, Somalia, etc etc.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: I was actually curious about what was and wasn’t in the middle east once and tried to find a consensus. Much to my surprise, I wasn’t able to. s// But most maps had the ME ending with Iran.

  43. de stijl says:


    There is a waterfall up in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. A nice peaceful place. We had a great time visiting. Very calm.

    A local said you could dive off the cliff if you were brave.

    I wasn’t sold on the diving thing but I wanted to see it from the top of the falls and possibly to mark it off my checklist.

    We got to the top. Dude, sneaky fucker, said you have to scoot maneuver down this slope to get the good view.

    I did.

    No way back up. Not without a rope. Dude suckered me.

    There was no way down but to dive. You couldn’t even go feet first because of the slope. It was dive 40 feet or get a human chain to haul me back up the wet mossy impassible slope I was on. And absorb the mockery. I was stuck between a waterfall and a hard place.

    Below was a deep pocket just in front of the falls. A 10 by 10 foot deep hole I had to hit. Easy peasy, right?

    It looked tiny from that height. I dove. I hit the hole.

    I crunched up immediately so I wouldn’t smash into the bottom.

    I could have easily died or crippled myself that day.

    A badly judged push-off or a foot slip during push off and I would have been so fucked. All around was 6 to 3 feet deep. I would have broken like a porcelain doll.

    I was elated as I have ever been when I hit the surface. I also wanted to murder the fucking guy who put me in that position. What an asshole thing to do. I didn’t. I let him know my displeasure hard. That could’ve fucking killed me easy.

    That was intense.

  44. de stijl says:


    If terminal something catches me I’m going out on my terms, myself. No doubt about that. No prob. Get outta my way.

    I have seen deaths I do not want. Will not accept that for me. Nope.

    Your place / scenario is intriguing. Car camp the way down. Look at the sky. Breathe in. I love roadtrips. One of my favorite things.

  45. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: My new bifocals did not help my reading acuity, obviously. I did learn a little something new, though, so it’s good.

  46. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There is a wonderful story about how the European scholars who studied and mapped the globe in the 18th century determined what we call the Middle East. Unfortunately I learned it back in ’75 or so taking a grad course in area history. But if you’re curious and look it up I bet you’ll find it interesting.

  47. Mikey says:

    Author Summer Brennan is reaching out to her Twitter followers because her father is critically ill (cardiac, not COVID) in New Mexico and there are no ICU beds available anywhere:

    I appreciate the messages with suggestions, just need to be clear: I am being told there are NO ICU beds available in the states of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, or Arizona and that he cannot be transferred anywhere that has the care he needs.

    Brennan has 87,000 Twitter followers, so a lot of people now know of her father’s plight. How many other fathers will we never hear about? How many will die needlessly, because Donald Trump and the Republican Party have made supporting the worst possible response to the pandemic a test of political identity and loyalty?

  48. gVOR08 says:

    VOX has a piece up on a Brown University study attempting to add up the cost of the GWOT. 20 years, $8 trillion, 900,000 dead.

  49. JohnSF says:

    Definitions of “easts” have varied a lot over time.

    I recall an on old encyclopedia atlas of a grandparent I saw as a child, must have dated to about 1900-ish.
    “Far East” was China, Japan, SE Asia, East Indies.
    “Near East” was Ottoman Turkish Europe (ie what is now Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, etc) plus North Africa, but excluding Egypt IIRC.
    “Middle East” was most between but south of Russian Asia: from the Levant coastlands of the Eastern Med:Egypt, Turkey-in-Asia, Persia.
    But curiously British India (as then was) was sort of left out. LOL.

  50. JohnSF says:

    In British history what is always called the “Eastern Question” of the 19th Century refers to what we now call south east Europe.
    Tends to confuse people sometimes.

    Then there’s the “Schleswig-Holstein Question”.
    Of which the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston said:

    “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business.
    The Prince Consort, who is dead. A German professor, who has gone mad. And I, who have forgotten all about it.”

  51. de stijl says:

    I swear Rs are secretly worshipping Moloch and offering blood sacrifice to Him what with their stance on vaccination and gun laws. It’s creepy.

    More blood for the blood god.

    Of course the Bible is likely majorly distorting Caaninite contemporary religious practices.

    I kinda remember Yahweh telling Abraham to sacrifice his son as a sign of fealty. Abraham was ultimately down with that. At the last second Yahweh was all like “Whoa! Back off bro! I was joking. Can’t you get a joke?”

    The only person in this story who isn’t a total fucking asshole is the kid.

    And they thought Moloch and Baal were the dick gods. Yahweh was a total dick.

  52. de stijl says:

    Most armed conflicts are “unwinnable” nowadays.

    We lack the cruelty to do so. We don’t do total war anymore. Noncombatants can not be targets anymore. That is settled practice and protocol.

    That is a good development in human history by the way. We’re trending to the good.

    This is a good thing.

    I’m not sure Russia shares that outlook. Ukraine evidence points to no. Russia goes ham as default.

    China is smart enough to get it, I believe. I think we’re going to find out sooner or later.

  53. de stijl says:


    Very cryptic.

    I approve.

  54. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    Thanks! But I wasn’t going for cryptic.

    Apropos of nothing, Big Thief is one of my favorite bands right now. You might dig. Here’s their set from pitchfork last night.

    If you’re in a mellow mood, start at the beginning. If feeling a bit rowdy, start with Shark Smile at 33:00.

    These are top class musicians – Berklee grads. If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it. I can’t recommend more highly.

  55. Monala says:

    I posted this on the religious exemption thread. David Frum had a great Twitter thread today, pointing out that overwhelmingly, anti-vaxxers faced with vaccine mandates are complying:

    How’s the mass civil disobedience campaign against vaccine mandates going? At United Airlines, 50% of unvaccinated employees have already complied in the first 3 weeks of the 5 week grace period, according to CEO Jack Kirby.

    How’s the mass civil disobedience campaign against vaccine mandates going? At Delta Airlines, the vaccination rate has risen to 78% in just two weeks since a mandate was imposed, with no resignations, says the company’s chief health officer.

    How’s the mass civil disobedience campaign against vaccine mandates going? Tyson’s Food imposed a mandate in August, employee vaccination rate has risen from 45% to 72% – cutting number of unvaccinated workers in half in less than a month.

    How’s that mass civil disobedience campaign against vaccine mandates going? Only 2% of human-resource professionals surveyed say they have noticed any instances at all of employees quitting rather than be vaccinated. bloomberg

    How’s the mass civil disobedience campaign against vaccine mandates going? One of the first in the country was imposed by tax office in Florida’s Orange County. Vax rate doubled from 45% to 90%. Only 12 employees quit. And that’s FLORIDA.

    And I’ll add one I read about in my own community:

    Seattle’s electric utility had been braced for an “orchestrated” wave of people calling in sick to protest a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, but only two out of 250 actually did, @seattletimes reports:

  56. de stijl says:


    Tomorrow, I promise!

    I am surfing my own vibe of AJJ and The Mountain Goats.

    Temple Grandin (and Temple Grandin too)

    no children


    People II: The Reckoning

    Songs so seemingly antisocial it freaks most folks out. Seemingly antisocial is not actually antisocial.

    I love it when people get and understand anxiety and the weird places your brain can go. Express it boldly. I find it very refreshing and clarifying.

    The lyrics are incredibly frank. Often bizarre. Not my thoughts, but hearing a person like me bare their darkest frankly and clearly is profoundly uplifting.

    Finding these weird oddballs gave me great joy and relief. A profound uplift even in their saddest songs.

    I understand joy and melancholy on the same emotional plane. (Not A=B exactly but pretty damn close.) Most folks do no get it. I understand that. I front / present as normal really well 99.9% of the time.

    Sean Bonette’s brain goes way weirder than mine and that gives me great comfort in a strange way. Cuz he’s a seemingly pretty squared away dude.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    …that Iran is a ‘successor’ so to speak of Persian civilization. Don’t know exactly where I picked that up.

    I don’t know either, but I picked it up from a community college student from Iran who never identified himself as Iranian but always called himself Persian. From what I understood, his first language was Farsi, and that detail was part of the story.

  58. de stijl says:

    AJJ has an original OG People song.

    It’s quite uplifting.

    They also have People II 2: Still Peoplin’

    the name of the song I find quite amusing.

    But tonight I cannot get Temple Grandin out of my head.

    Goodbye, Oh Goodbye

    Brave As A Noun

  59. de stijl says:

    Brave As A Noun has 1.3m views.

    I am not as alone as I suspected. I have people.

  60. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Iranian is nominally a bit more inclusive than Persian, as it indicates all the Indo-European ethnicities, or even all ethnicities in the geographical area.
    But Persian/Iranian cultural influence is much wider.
    For instance Farsi/Dari is the “lingua franca” of Afghanistan; Urdu is a Persian/Hindustani hybrid derivation, and the official language of Pakistan, and also used by many Indian Muslims.
    And a lot of the the culture of central Asia is Persian-derived.
    Besides being one of the main influences upon the non-local aspects of Islamic culture generally; second only to the Arabic component.

  61. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve known a lot of people born in Iran and their parents left after the fall of the Shah / during the Revolution. Their cousins and nieces / nephews. Later their own kids.

    To a person they prefer Persian over Iranian. I barely used the word ever because there was little need and never the I word.

    Occasionally in college I had to explain America to some friends. They were all recent emigrants so some clarification was sometimes required.

    I kinda dated a young woman but she made it clear it was to be down low hush-hush. Our secret.

    Hey! Your brother is dating a white girl. Your cousin is a lothario. Why is this so different?

    It just was. Strongly patriarchal culture even among the Western oriented families. Boys were allowed to cavort, gallivant, sow their wild oats. Girls were not allowed. I wanted to express my thoughts on this matter but thought better and shut the hell up.

    To a person, they preferred Persian.

    For newer immigrants this word choice might not be true today. I do not know.

    My golly, they have magnificent food! Rosewater ain’t my speed, but wow the food was freaking awesome.

  62. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    To a person they prefer Persian over Iranian.

    The country started being officially known as Iran in the 1930s under Reza Shah, and the story I’ve heard is that it was an attempt to ingratiate himself to Hitler by emphasizing their being “Aryan.”

  63. JohnSF says:


    …started being officially known as Iran in the 1930s

    True as far as modern, Western, international usage goes; but the name “Iran” (in variant forms) designating the state (rather than just the people) goes way further than that, in local usage.
    At least as far as the Sassanian Empire IIRC which is third century CE.

  64. JohnSF says:

    Also, IIRC there was something about it not just being a gesture toward Germany in the 1930’s (and thus a way of tweaking the British and the Russians) but also related to asserting the states claim to rule over the non-Persian groups it included.
    Especially Kurds and Azeris.

    Some of the borders were relatively recent, and fought over.
    The Kurds had attempted to establish a state in the wake of the Ottoman collapse.
    The Russians/Soviets had only reconquered “Russian” Azerbaijan in 1920; and the Persian/Iranian state had only been forced to hand “Russian” Azerbaijan and much of Caucasia to Russia in the 19th century, and resented it.
    The Russians were suspected of designs on “Persian Azerbaijan” and in fact occupied it from 1909 to 1917, when it was the scene of Russian versus Ottoman fighting during WW1.
    At any rate, the Shah of Iran/King of Persia rather miscalculated, and got a Soviet/British invasion for his pains; and the Russians only left “Iranian” Azerbaijan in 1946, after American protests.

    There are still some “pan-Iranians” who aim at a “Greater Iran” encompassing Kurds, Azeris, Pushtun, Tajiks, and Balochs.
    Largely ignored by the recent rulers of Iran, who are more concerned with religion than ethnicity.

    The JTA article is interesting but:

    Fritz Grobba, Berlin’s envoy to the Middle East, and often called “the German Lawrence” because he promised a Pan-Arab state stretching from Casablanca to Tehran

    I cannot think of anything less likely to appeal to an Iranian ruler of any sort, LOL.