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. Stormy Dragon says:

    TIL: my old Corning Ware casserole dishes (the pre-1999 pyroceram kind) are collector’s items now

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Wooden bird bought for £75 revealed to be Anne Boleyn’s – and is now worth £200,000

    The exquisite and richly decorated oak carving is in such extraordinary condition that it even bears its original gilding and colour scheme. In 1536, barely three years after it was made, Boleyn was beheaded on bogus adultery charges – just because she could not give Henry a male heir, only a daughter, the future Elizabeth I.

    The falcon is to be placed on long-term loan to Hampton Court by Paul Fitzsimmons, a Devon antiques dealer, who spotted it in an auction.

    Tracy Borman, a leading Tudor historian and joint chief curator for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages Hampton Court, said: “The irony is that Anne Boleyn is the most popular of the six wives and she’s probably the one with the least surviving evidence … because she was obliterated by Henry. So that makes this really quite special and obviously I’m very excited about it. When I realised how this absolutely would have fitted with the decorative scheme, I had a shivers-down-the-spine moment.”
    Fitzsimmons, of Marhamchurch Antiques in Buckfastleigh, specialises in furniture and art from the 15th to 17th centuries. In spotting the carving, he “knew it was a good thing”. “I didn’t know immediately that it was the badge of Anne Boleyn, but I knew that it had some sort of royal connection because it had the crown and sceptre, and it was a royal bird.”

    It too was quite blackened, possibly with soot, so it may also have been above a fireplace. Noting its delicate restoration by Ian Crick-Smith, he said: “What’s amazing about it is the condition, which is almost like the day it was made … That’s so rare for a Tudor piece.” Measuring 20cm by 20.5cm, it is quite a size.

    so, a pretty cool find.

    Fitzsimmons said: “It needs to go back to the institution from where it came … It was the property of Henry VIII, [who] ordered them to be made for his new wife, but equally ordered them to be removed.

    “This could have been removed literally as Anne Boleyn was about to have her head cut off.”

    ummmm… no. not now, not ever. he f’n killed her.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    Something to kick of a discussion

    What Collective Narcissism Does to Society

    We occasionally fall into this trap.

  4. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    By “we,” do you mean those of us here at OTB?

  5. Mimai says:

    My dingo is getting old. And very arthritic. Fortunately, the daily anti-inflam meds and glucosamine supplements help a lot, but still. It’s tough to watch. Not because she’s in pain (she’s usually not), but because her dingo mind is still active and she so very much wants her dingo body to follow suit.

    She was a VERY active dog. Hard exercise twice a day, hiking/backpacking on the regular, ruler of the dog park (excepting that one time with a catahoula), etc. And now with the Fall season upon us, and all the smelly smells to smell and fat squirrels to, um, admire from afar (apologies to St. Columbanus), I can sense her dingo desire to explore like the good old days.

    It’s almost certain that her previous active lifestyle contributed to her current mobility issues. And that she was as happy as a dingo can be during these previous jaunts. In other words, her previous experiencing self was fully actualized.

    But she’s a dingo and, thus, does not have access to these memories. Unlike human me, who can recall fondly our many escapades, she doesn’t have a remembering self. No reminiscing about the good old days for the dingo.

    So this raises a question. Would dingo be better off if we had dialed back the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of her young/healthy adult years, thus reducing the accumulated wear and tear, so that she might have more enriching experiences in her older years?

    I’m trying to think of this from the perspective of current dingo, not past dingo, because current dingo is all there is (100% experiencing self, 0% remembering self). Of course, current human me wouldn’t have done anything different. The loss to my current experiencing self (eg, no 2021 Fall hiking) is dwarfed by the accumulated gain to my remembering self (eg, over a decade of past Fall hiking). But current human me is selfish. What about current dingo?

  6. Sleeping Dog says:



    In my view, group narcissism can befall any subgroup that has self reinforcing view points, which we do. Mostly this group is pretty much in agreement on most political issues and I’ll acknowledge that off the top of my head, the greatest disagreements come from Mu, Andy and Hal 1000. The uniformity of thought, too often leads to, rhetoric along the lines of, don’t those ____ understand that we liberals are trying to help them. There is often not enough listening going on.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joe Biden
    United States government official
    I am so happy to say that it’s infrastructure week.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:


    …but because her dingo mind is still active and she so very much wants her dingo body to follow suit.

    I can empathize with your dingo.

    But to answer your question, no you participated in activities that stimulated the dingo and were appropriate to the stage of life. There should be no regrets.

    Once I had a 15 yo Great Pyrenees, who barely could get up on her own and slept most of the day. Our walk time was always ~5 PM and she’d rouse herself, walk over to me at my desk, look at me, then turn and walk to the door. When she was young, she’d drop into the play position, then sprint for the door. She continued to enjoy life as much as she could.

  9. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Mu, Andy, and Hal are reasonable, intelligent, literate, and well-informed. It’s hard to find common ground with some paranoid hysterical semi-literate crackpot self-styled patriot who believes that ONLY TRUMP CAN SAVE US.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mimai: i think dingos remember. not the particulars but the emotions. we have 2 rescues and they both react to cues from the bad old days even while telling us how much they love these good new days.

    i look at it this way: they live in the current moment. I can’t fix their bad past moments anymore than i can assure their future moments. my job is to make their current moment as good as i can for them. i will make their future moments the best i can for them when the time comes.

  11. Mimai says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Thanks for the consideration and for sharing about your GP – fantastic beasts those.

    On net, I agree with your take. I’m thinking about the margins.

    Was the added value of going 150 mph instead of 100 mph with younger dingo worth it given the additional wear-and-tear? Current dingo could benefit greatly from an additional 50 mph (or half that). Probably much more so than younger dingo benefitted from the the additional 50 mph.

    These are not questions to be answered. Rather, this is merely one way I am coping with the reality of an aging dingo.

    And hopefully stimulating a discussion about dogs (and other pets). That is a topic where I will happily tolerate and contribute to “collective narcissism.”

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    nap time.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Mostly this group is pretty much in agreement on most political issues … (which) too often leads to, rhetoric along the lines of, don’t those ____ understand that we liberals are trying to help them. There is often not enough listening going on.

    I don’t know. The fact is that conservatives have largely removed themselves from serious discourse. Commenters here span the range from AOC to Manchin, and to the right of Manchin lies only gibberish and propaganda. I got dumped on yesterday by Lounsbury and Reynolds for a comment they (reading their own knee-jerk biases into it) thought insufficiently celebratory of the progressives backing down and passing the infrastructure bill.

    As to failing to listen, I’m getting tired of listening to a guy who make a living taking shots to the head quote MLK to justify his vax stupidity and people with nine kids (see my comment on the Econ thread) complaining about the cost of feeding them. Look, I worked with those people. I’m related to those people. I like most of those people. But they know less than jack about public policy and they are being misled into being a threat to the republic. Maybe it’s OK to mention that?

  14. Kathy says:

    As we head into winter, my thoughts dwell on how bad the COVID surge will be over the holidays.

    Yes, we are past Delta. Last winter we were past Alpha. Yes, we have a lot of people vaccinated. Last year we didn’t, true, but immunity is waning enough to require boosters far ahead of what we all thought would be necessary. Plus some other very contagious variant may crop up.

    But my big worry is that the world over people are letting their guard down. there are more gatherings, often indoors, without any masking at all. At the office, lots of people have stopped wearing masks, even in common areas.

    I guess we’ll find out how much immunity has waned and what variants show up, as case numbers rise and the bodies just keep piling up, and the pandemic enters its third year.

  15. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    There’s a faulty assumption that if two groups are in conflict, that they must have a perfectly symmetrical relationship. e.g. if the flat earthers won’t listen to anything the round earthers say and the round earthers won’t listen to anything the flat earthers say, then both groups must be closed to outside voices and need to start taking the other side more seriously.

    Thus we get BS articles suggesting progressives are narcissists if they don’t spend endless time coddling QAnon nuts because wanting universal healthcare is the same as thinking Joe Biden drinks the blood of children.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Too true, and I love your example. It reflects Krugman’s line about the supposedly liberal, bothsides press – opinions of shape of the Earth differ. It makes clear the absurdity of arguing for moderation, argumentum ad temperantium. One could argue we should maybe try for compromise, maybe agreeing the earth is mostly flattish, but in a rounded sort of way. An oblate spheroid. (Which has the virtue of being true, but only flattened by some 29 miles at the poles, about 0.3%.) And then slowly draw them into accepting greater roundness. But conservatives are Manichaean, flat is flat. They’d never accept compromise.

  17. gVOR08 says:


    I guess we’ll find out how much immunity has waned and what variants show up, as case numbers rise and the bodies just keep piling up, and the pandemic enters its third year.

    And Republicans and the supposedly liberal MSM blame Biden.

  18. Mimai says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @gVOR08:

    Are you referring to the linked article? I ask because your comments seem completely divorced from that article.

    Nowhere does the author argue for or even suggest that we “must have a perfectly symmetrical relationship” or that people must “coddl[e] QAnon nuts because wanting universal healthcare is the same as thinking Joe Biden drinks the blood of children.”

    In fact, most of the examples in the article are from Europe. And to the extent that US politics is referenced, the author cites data that goes exactly counter to your narrative. Namely,

    Collective narcissism can be found anywhere on the political spectrum, left or right, but it seems to be particularly alluring to populists. National group narcissism has been linked to support for populist parties and politicians around the world. One study found that collective narcissism was the second-strongest predictor (after partisanship) of voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It was also associated with support for Trump’s followers attacking the Capitol, and support for Trump staying in power using undemocratic means. (A longitudinal analysis even found that group narcissism uniquely predicted growth of conspiracy thinking over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.)

  19. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    How do you compromise with people who think the election was stolen, when there’s no data to even suggest so? Do you give back AZ and GA but keep MI, PA, and WI?

    But the crux is the Tip O’Neil principle: facts are not opinions.

    The Earth is round and the election was over 99.99% clean. Those are demonstrable facts backed by evidence, and can’t be argued over rationally with irrational people. I mean, claiming there’s a cover-up of their evidence is not evidence.

  20. gVOR08 says:


    Are you referring to the linked article?


    And I’ll let others speak for themselves.

    And see @Kathy:

  21. Gustopher says:


    So this raises a question. Would dingo be better off if we had dialed back the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of her young/healthy adult years, thus reducing the accumulated wear and tear, so that she might have more enriching experiences in her older years?

    My guess is that dingo would have gotten into trouble any time you turned your head, and would have accumulated the same wear and tear, while also destroying your couch and being a pain in the ass.

    Meanwhile, my young feline friend is clearly saving all her energy for later life. I’ve never met a cuddlier or lazier beast.

    Animals are going to be true to their nature. You can only direct that nature in less worse ways.

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    If we as a group agree that 2+2=4 is that narcissism? Is it a failure to listen to opposing viewpoints?

  23. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    If I grasp that author correctly, only if the 2+2ers have developed an inferiority complex.

    Academic labeling is a mental disorder,,,or a terrible disease…haven’t decided on the proper term for it.

  24. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Of course not. But when some idiot tells you that the reason there’s zero evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump is that the Deep State destroyed it, you can’t have a reasonable debate. It’s like trying to discuss Sandy Hook with someone who thinks the kids and teachers who were slaughtered, plus all the cops, EMTs, hospital workers, funeral home attendants, clergy, and spectators who showed up at the scene and in the aftermath were “crisis actors.”

  25. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    2+2=5 for very large values of 2

  26. Mimai says:

    @Gustopher: That is an excellent guess. It would probably hold for 99% of dogs. But dingo is different! It’s kind of her brand.

    Under-stimulated/exercised dingo —-> depressed, mopey dingo rather than destructive “Imma eat your baseboards, and when I’m done, Imma start in on the neighborhood children (babies first, natch)”

    @gVOR08: That makes a lot more sense now. Thanks.

  27. Monala says:

    CBS does a story about kids getting vaccinated, and a mom who went from Qanon believer to vaccine advocate . link

    The young girl at the end, eager to get vaccinated so she can resume sleepovers with her friends, reminds me of my teenage daughter. She eagerly signed herself up for a vaccine appointment as soon as she was eligible, because getting vaccinated meant she could hang out with her friends again.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: your comment reminds me of something I’ve been kicking around – Is liberalism really an ideology? Or is liberalism simply reality and sensible response to reality? A few observations:

    My own oft repeated observation that conservatism is the philosophy of “but”. We should help the poor, but. Wealth inequality is a problem, but. Blacks should be treated equally, but. We should address AGW, but.

    I’ve referenced Corey Robin, in The Reactionary Mind, arguing that conservatism is always just reaction to liberalism. That seems to say liberalism is an ideology, but it can also be read as there is what is, and conservatism is opposition to what is.

    Some years ago there was some discussion by conservatives that their ideology was better than liberalism because they have a corpus of belief: Hume, Burke, De Tocqueville, whoever; while who knows what liberalism even is because it has no such corpus. Someone sensibly replied that liberalism has a corpus of belief, Western Literature.

    The American Conservative had a series on what is conservatism. The upshot, after thousands of words, was that they have no idea, but they fervently support it. In these threads there’s been a lot of discussion of what “conservative” means. There must be some, but I’ve seen little discussion of what liberalism is.

    But what about communism and socialism, aren’t those liberal ideologies? I think you can make a good case that Marxism was a fair early shot at studying Economics, with a class viewpoint, which viewpoint made eminent sense at the time. Russian and Chinese Communism was conservative, authoritarian per Hanna Arendt. Definitely conservative per Wilhoit’s definition below. And is, say, Danish socialism an ideology, or just an attempt at good government?

    If somebody wants to argue “woke” is a liberal ideology, you’re on your own, I’d as soon discuss unicorns.

    But what really gelled this line of thought is Frank Wilhoit’s comment at Crooked Timber from a couple years ago. Everyone’s seen the money quote, “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” But I only recently read the full comment, which everyone should:

    There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.

    As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny.

    The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

  29. Just nutha ignint crackere says:

    @Monala: I hope her friends reciprocated rather than thinking “she got jabbed; cool now I don’t have to and she’ll still be ok.”

  30. Mimai says:


    One person’s “but” is another person’s “trade off.” An observation, not a commentary on what is or is not Conservatism. Or Liberalism for that matter.

    I’m not a political philosopher or a Conservative, but I think you are being uncharitable here. In the past, I’ve noted many individuals who identify as part of the Conservative tradition. And who have written a lot on the philosophical and practical from that perspective.

    You and I may not agree with them, but that’s not to say there is nothing there or that they have no idea.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mimai: I agree that conservatives have ideas and may be misunderstanding what those ideas are, but my sense of the ideas is that they center on the notion that nothing can/should be done to address/will result in any effective change of situation for selective sets of problems. Further, the common features of these problems is that they effect groups of people with whom conservatives tend not to hold common interests.

    As I say, this is my perspective–arrived at over many decades. Beyond that, I would observe that I’ve probably come to a point where these beliefs are what one of my professors called “bone deep” for me, so I will not be likely to a useful sounding board for comparative analyses or fruitful third way dialectical analysis.

  32. Jax says:

    Anybody else excited about the season premiere of Yellowstone? 😛

  33. senyordave says:

    Another “the Democrats just don’t understand rural, white America”.
    The article is pretty shallow, but there is a point. It is hard to imagine a way to reach any significant percentage of white people in Southern Virginia (especially if the people in the article are an example). Funny, I don’t ever see an article wondering why its only rural white people the Democrats can’t reach. Rural people of color seem receptive to Democrats. Maybe the Democrats should run a white nationalist candidate and then they could reach rural white people. A candidate who’ll have the guts to tell four Congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from”. And make sure the candidate is an amoral pig because what we all need is rural white people lecturing others on morality while they support a serial adulterer who was having an affair with a porn star while his wife was at home nursing their child.

  34. DrDaveT says:


    Is liberalism really an ideology? Or is liberalism simply reality and sensible response to reality?

    It only feels that way at the moment because conservatism has crawled so far out to the end of the branch.
    There used to be a reasoned discourse between liberals (who advocated for significant change in support of obvious goals) and conservatives (who argued that there might be better tactics for achieving those goals in the Real World). Nobody disagreed about what the goals were; the disagreement was about the tactics most likely to achieve them.

    The proto-Trumpists and their populist successors replaced this with a disagreement about the goals. And so now, yes, liberalism is just the position that those former shared goals are still the correct goals. And conservatism (aka anti-liberalism) is the position that no, those are bad goals and we should instead be trying to achieve [insert racist nationalist reactionary agenda here].

    All Christians look pretty much the same to a Buddhist. All conservatives look pretty much the same to a rationalist.

  35. Gustopher says:


    It only feels that way at the moment because conservatism has crawled so far out to the end of the branch.

    At the risk of the no-true-Scotsman fallacy, I would say that what is going on with the Republican Party isn’t conservative.

    It doesn’t fall neatly on the left-right spectrum, because it has gone way off on another axis, devoid of policy (what did they do when they had congress and the White House? Nothing. A tax cut to the wealthy, and scream about the outrage du jour without doing anything about it — a giveaway and theater). It delegitimizes government by others, promises the world, and seeks power just to have power.

    Do they even really hate brown people, or is this just a random cudgel like Dr. Seuss to rile up the base? I have no idea. What they say and what little they do is so disconnected that at this point I don’t even know if they are pretending to hate brown people, or whether they believe that JFK Jr. is coming back at any moment, I just know that they want the trappings of office. Trump’s only accomplishment was the exact opposite of his campaign pledge to make people like him pay more taxes.

    I kind of wonder whether we could just make the Republicans a decorative facade over the real government.

    Alternately, I wonder if we could run Bernie Sanders pretending to be a “conservative” in the Republican primaries and how he would do.
    – Put him in blackface a couple times to “own the libs”
    – Have him complain about Elizabeth Warren, AOC, and other women — a few “Lock Her Up!” chants would go a long way, and as Hillary Clinton’s continuing freedom attests, doesn’t actually affect anything.
    – Have him take a ridiculously hard line on immigration (“if we catch them in this country, we’re not just going to send them back, we’re going to make them second-class workers and make them work for American companies until they have paid enough taxes — vile, evil taxes — that they can pay off the costs of deporting them, and I don’t care if it takes a lifetime!”)
    – Go after “globalist” companies that aren’t putting “America First” by sheltering profits overseas where brown people and the French live
    – Claim global warming is a hoax, and that we should hoard our oil, coal and natural gas and keep it in the ground so it can’t be used to help “those people”

    I’m pretty sure we could slip a leftist agenda past if it’s phrased belligerently and with a few right wing dog whistles. It’s no more incoherent than what Trump proposed, and way more intelligent than the Q-tinged stuff that the Republicans fall into today.

  36. KM says:


    Nobody disagreed about what the goals were; the disagreement was about the tactics most likely to achieve them.

    Oh there was disagreement on what the goals were because fundamentally the goal of liberalism is to improve something existing for whatever reason and conservatism is to keep it as close to current or past iterations as possible while fixing only what’s necessary to function. It’s not an ideology so much as a mindset – “don’t fix what ain’t broke” vs “we can do better”. Just because they’re using the same term doesn’t mean they were speaking about the same thing – the goal might have been described using words that means something totally different to each party.

    You can get a fundie Christian, a hardline Muslim, a devout Sikh and dutiful Buddhist to all agree that God exists and we should follow their teachings. *WHAT* they mean by “God” however is where the sticking point comes in. When the fundie says “God” they don’t mean the same thing as the others; they’re not using a vague term to mean “benevolent superior being”. They mean God as they understand Him and think that the others are agreeing with their definition. It’s not a matter of disagreement on the best way to please Him but rather a fundamental deviation in understanding of the concept. Liberals and conservatives do not view the world in the same way or in the same framework; a similar goal is possible but do not think that the problem is arguing over how to get from A to B. It’s about what A really means and if it’s even worth the journey to B when they don’t agree with what it is or what it can achieve.