Thursday’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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. CSK says:

    Yesterday Michael Reynolds raised the possibility (and I agreed) that QAnon is fading. Well, perhaps not:

    UFOs aren’t real; they’re part of a deep state plot to distract us from the election fraud. At least I think that’s what they’re saying.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Meanwhile, dozens of family members have streamed into a reunification center set up in a county building. “They’re just sitting and holding hands and crying,” said Jeff Rosen, the district attorney of Santa Clara county, describing the scene. “It’s terrible. It’s awful. It’s raw.”

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Amy Cooper, the white woman who falsely told police that Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper had threatened her in New York City’s Central Park, is suing her employer for false dismissal.

    In a complaint filed on Tuesday night in Manhattan federal court obtained by Reuters, Cooper claims she was fired by her former employer, the financial advisory firm Franklin Templeton, without proper investigation of the incident and accused the company of falsely portraying her as racist.

    In the complaint, Cooper said the company’s actions’ “caused her such severe emotional distress that she was suicidal”. She is seeking unspecified damages for race and gender discrimination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, according to Reuters.

    OK, Karen.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Sweden’s gun violence rate has soared due to gangs, report says

    Sweden is the only European country where fatal shootings have risen significantly since 2000, leaping from one of the lowest rates of gun violence on the continent to one of the highest in less than a decade, a report has found.

    The report, by the Swedish national council for crime prevention (BRA), said the Scandinavian country had overtaken Italy and eastern European countries primarily because of the violent activities of organised criminal gangs.

    “The rate in Sweden ranks very high in relation to other European countries, at approximately four deaths per million inhabitants per year. The average for Europe is approximately 1.6 deaths per million inhabitants,” it said.
    Last year the country of 10.3 million people recorded more than 360 incidents involving guns, including 47 deaths and 117 people injured.


    Gun violence takes a devastating toll on Missouri

    • From 2008 through 2017, 9,590 people were killed with guns in Missouri.1
    • Missouri is among the deadliest states for gun violence. From 2008 through 2017, Missouri had the 11th-highest rate of gun deaths of any state, with a rate of 15.91 gun deaths for every 100,000 people. This rate is 46 percent higher than the national average.
    • From 2014 through 2018, there were 55 mass shootings in Missouri. A total of 61 people were killed and 196 were injured.

    Missouri has some of the highest levels of gun-related crime in the country

    • From 2008 through 2017, Missouri had the fourth-highest rate of gun murders, with a rate of 6.2 gun homicides per 100,000 people. This rate is 61 percent higher than the national average.
    • From 2008 through 2017, a gun homicide occurred every 23 hours.
    • Missouri has high rates of aggravated assaults committed with a gun. From 2008 through 2017, there were 104.8 aggravated assaults with a gun per 100,000 people in Missouri, giving it a rank of fifth highest among all states.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:


    To paraphrase a bromide; When anyone can have a gun, every criminal will have a gun.

    The other day I was at the Mpls Star-Trombone website and noted that the city had recorded its 31st homicide by gun in 2021. Curious I checked Boston’s stats, while I couldn’t find a clear single source, the most complete source showed that through early this week, Boston had recorded 9 homicides, only 2 by gun, the remaining mostly by knives. The big difference between the 2 cities is that it is hard to buy a gun in Mass and pretty easy in Minnesota.

  6. Scott says:

    Schadenfreude of the Day (this should be a regular feature).

    Trump wanted a quick tax break. His appointees are now stuck with big bills.

    Many of former President Donald Trump’s political appointees got a nasty surprise when they left the government: A big tax bill.

    They’ve been ordered to immediately repay months of payroll taxes that had been deferred under a bid by Trump to boost the economy ahead of last year’s elections — levies he had assured them would later be forgiven.

    That has left some shocked and angry.

    One former official called her $1,300 bill “unacceptable,” saying she and her colleagues “gave our time and effort to this agency and this is how we’re getting paid back.”

  7. Paine says:

    The university where I worked opened up their vaccination declaration system which allows those of us who have been fully vaccinated to go about our work in the office without facemasks. I’m not aware of any anti-vaxxers in my unit…

  8. Teve says:

    Facebook to Limit Reach of Personal Accounts That Spread Misinformation

    Something like 75% of anti-vaxx lies originate on 12 Facebook user pages. It’ll be interesting to see if this has any affect.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: Bet you that these nitwits thought they wouldn’t have to pay back the $$ at all.

    My agency was more intelligent. Warned all of us to set the money aside when we got our “free money” last year because we’d have to pay it back at some point.

  10. Jen says:

    This is strange. Any ideas on what’s going on here?

    Christine Wormuth Confirmed As Army Secretary—Then Unconfirmed Moments Later

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: According to the STL police department, as of May 25, STL has had 75 homicides (2019 population 308,174). That doesn’t begin to paint a complete picture tho as STL city is just one small part of the metro area which in addition to the city is spread across 3 MO counties and 4 IL counties.

  12. Teve says:
  13. Kathy says:

    Do you ever have a work week which seems so long, you’re honestly astonished Thursday is not Friday?

  14. CSK says:

    I can’t find any explanation yet, even in Defense News, other than that there was a “procedural glitch.’ Wormuth seems to have bipartisan support.

  15. @Jen:

    I’ve honestly never heard of this happening before

  16. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t have any defense of her actions, as she seems self-centered and unempathetic to the point of being a danger to those around her. But I think it is important that companies and organizations follow proper procedures and don’t simply fire people because “everyone knows” they are terrible human beings.

  17. Kylopod says:


    accused the company of falsely portraying her as racist.

    That’s going to be a hard sell given that she’s heard on video telling the guy she’s going to “call the police and tell them an African American man is threatening her.” I mean, is it even possible to get more explicit than that without using an outright racial slur?

    I’ve run through my head what would have happened if she hadn’t mentioned the guy’s race–if she’d simply said “I’m going to tell the police a man is threatening me.” My guess is that the situation and its aftermath would have proceeded pretty much the same–it’s just that more people would be reluctant to interpret her behavior as intentionally racist. Even then, I don’t think she’d have had much of a legal case against the company.

  18. CSK says:

    She may be relying on the fact that the D.A.’s office dropped all the charges against her. “See? The prosecutor says I’m innocent! How dare you accuse me of racism!”

  19. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: She wasn’t charged with racism, was she? I thought the charges concerned filing a false police report. But I’m not certain of the details.

  20. CSK says:

    No, but I think she’s trying to use the dropping of the charge of filing a false police report as proof she’s not a racist, if you see what I mean. It won’t work, of course.

  21. CSK says:

    And speaking of Qanon, as I did at the top of this thread, this piece has a ton of information:

  22. @CSK:

    The charges were dropped in exchange for her completing a course on racial equality

  23. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Sure, but I think she’s concentrating on the fact that the charges were dropped. To repeat, it won’t work. She and her lawyer are trying to split a non-existent hair.

  24. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Oh, I see…

    I’m not a racist… I hate everyone equally

    Now I understand

  25. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Some of the latest mass murders have hit close to home, literally, since they’ve happened close to where I live or used to live. I lived for close to two decades in the Bay Area, a short drive from San Jose.

    But even without the personal connection, I’d still feel the deep grief and despair over our national choice not to reduce gun violence. Based on the news reports, people who knew the murderer were not surprised. Known threats have easy access to guns. The numbers show the direct connection between firearms availability and gun violence. My heart is a dark place through which a cold wind blows.

  26. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kurtz, @Stormy Dragon, I was late to responding to your comments on yesterday’s post, but I did this morning.

  27. CSK says:

    According to Politico, Trump has told associates that he’s planning to run in 2024 provided he’s in good health.

    He’s not now, so why should 2024 be different?

  28. Kingdaddy says:

    More horrific gun violence in places where I used to live, a 6 year old child was murdered on the 55 Freeway during a road rage incident in Orange County, CA.

  29. Kathy says:


    I will pledge 1,000 hamberders, if the Turd promises to finish them within a month.

  30. CSK says:

    Will those berders be accompanied by covfefe?

  31. Kathy says:


    I don’t think he’d like my recipe.

  32. CSK says:


  33. CSK says:

    Breaking from AP: Christine Wormuth was unanimously confirmed as Secy. of the Army.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: I suspect NY isn’t one, but in “work at will” states, a person can be fired for no reason at all. As for this particular individual, that sound you hear is the wolds tiniest violin. IOW, in a perfect world, being a racist pos would be a fire-able offense and I can’t find it within myself to worry too terribly much over crossed i’s and dotted t’s.

  35. JohnSF says:

    In news from England with potentially vast international ramifications:
    I finally got my sweetcorn and bean seedlings planted out.
    It has at last stopped raining and climbed above 15 degrees C.

  36. KM says:

    Even in NY, you can’t make a viral spectacle out of your asshole yourself and expect your company to just accept it. If I remember correctly, she was a VP or head of something – mean she wasn’t just some faceless slug down in the sub-basement but someone rather high up in the food chain. That means she would have drawn intensive negative associations to her job; not only was she being a racist Karen, she was abusing her animal on camera and generally not acting like you want a VP to.

    She’s got no case because she’s in violation of a handful of policies – I’m betting there’s one about social media / appropriate media appearances and threatening behavior / harassment at the very least that video is clearly a violation of. She can cry racism and discrimination all she wants but in the end, that video’s the nail in her coffin.

  37. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: New York is an employment-at-will state. However, in NYC, an ordinance will kick in this summer that requires just cause for dismissal but in reading this article it appears to be narrowly tailored to the quick-serve food industry.

    This woman is ridiculous and is probably unable to find work elsewhere due to her antics so is trying to get a payout from her former employer. I don’t think it will work.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: This woman is ridiculous and is probably unable to find work elsewhere due to her antics so is trying to get a payout from her former employer.

    I had the same thought. She might have to move to Alabama, Arkansas, or Mississippi to find a job.

  39. Mu Yixiao says:
  40. Scott says:

    @Mu Yixiao: As for residential units, I envision Japanese style sleeping pods.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    I don’t even have to click the link. 🙂

  42. CSK says:

    I’m claustrophobic. I’d go nuts in one of those things.

  43. just nutha says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Always been my approach. I hate people in general without regard to race, ethnicity, or religion.

  44. JohnSF says:

    3 hours at about 250 and they’re nicely done.
    Serve with apple sauce and mustard.

  45. Stormy Dragon says:


    Amy Cooper is so Karen she demands to speak with HER manager!

  46. Kingdaddy says:

    Meanwhile, Alabama is safe from the insidious influence of yoga instructors, unless they scrub their language of any foreign phrases. Just substitute “Cheeseburger” for “Namaste” and you’ll be fine.

  47. dazedandconfused says:


    Those will be dubbed “regenerative alcoves” at Google. At Amazon? I believe they would be more properly labeled “cells”.

    I take issue with the article’s claim that very tall buildings are entirely suitable for SJ. So does San Andreas, who has a master’s degree in demolition.

  48. Kathy says:


    One would assume from things like these that Alabama must be a very cold place, with regular, heavy snowfall for as much as six months out of the year.

    Else, whence so many snowflakes?

  49. CSK says:

    It’s just owning the libs.

  50. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    My agency was more intelligent. Warned all of us to set the money aside when we got our “free money” last year because we’d have to pay it back at some point.

    While in theory the payroll tax deferral plan was available to private sector employers as well, essentially none of them implemented it, because:
    1. They knew it would be an administrative nightmare
    2. They knew some employees would mistake it for a tax break, not a deferral
    3. Their employees were, y’know, employed, and thus didn’t need immediate relief

    In the end, it was basically only federal employees who got burned by this, due to FG’s order that all federal agencies stop collecting those taxes. Republicans take a dump on federal employees, part 74,211.

  51. Kathy says:


    I’d say it fails, in trumpy terms majorly, when the reaction is mockery and ridicule.

  52. CSK says:

    It almost always is.

  53. Liberal Capitalist says:
  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Parody is dead. The Onion couldn’t top that.

  55. Christine says:

    @Scott: My accountant sister’s reply when I told her she nailed it last year when TFG was pushing the sh*t. She and I like the word sh*t.

    “Not surprised one bit. I KNEW all about it and what the consequences were, which is why I advised every single one of my clients NOT to do this deferral. The employees would receive more money in their checks then, but would then have to have those same amounts withheld later to pay it back. I had heard Federal agencies were forced to do it but it’s sh*tty that the employees were not allowed to opt out because private sector employees were able to do that even if their employer participated. Which is another reason I told my clients not to do it…..keeping track of that sh*t would be a nightmare!!!

    My takeaway…..another example of people listening to a dipsh*t who has no idea what he’s doing and trusting and believing he’s always right. Don’t care how much education those people have…they are dipsh*ts too!! If your employer changes your taxes so you now receive more money each paycheck, it is still your responsibility to understand how that will affect you. If any one of them had talked to a tax advisor, they would have been informed.”

  56. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    From the link:

    [..]and integrated high-powered firearms into regular church services, including wedding ceremonies.

    I think firearms at weddings in the South are a much older tradition that that, but usually they are shotguns.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Da(Y)go Brown

    A lady just came up to me and said “Speak English, we are in San Diego.” So I politely responded by asking her “how do I say ‘San Diego’ in English?” The look of bewilderment on her face made it feel like a Friday.

    Your welcome.

  58. Jax says:

    Poor Teve, Ozark’s determined to give him a headache today. 😛

  59. Father begs his faufgter fo not get vaccinated. Claims vaccines are “genetic theraoy.” Zrstger than actual vaccines.


  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Whitmire: Huntsville PD keeps a murderer on the payroll

    Three years ago, Huntsville police responded to a call from a suicidal man named Jeff Parker. Two officers arrived at the scene before Darby. Parker sat on a couch holding a gun to his head. One of the officers calmly attempted to talk Parker out of doing something tragic.

    And then Darby rushed in and did the messy part for him.

    Darby shouted at the other officers to point their guns at Parker. He told Parker to put his gun down, then he shot Parker in the face with a shotgun. Later, Darby would say he shot Parker after he saw the gun move.

    How someone is supposed to put down a gun without moving it is a riddle I still can’t solve.

    It’s like killing for Jesus.

    As with other police shootings, this one went before the city’s Incident Review Board. The district attorney, city attorney and Citizens Advisory Council have representatives on that board, but only the police department command staff make the final decisions. That board cleared Darby and the other officers.

    However, the other two officers — the ones who didn’t shoot a man in the face — were assigned to remedial training. Later, both of the other officers left the department.

    While the police department leadership saw nothing wrong with Darby’s actions, the Madison County District Attorney’s office disagreed. As did a grand jury that indicted Darby. As did the jury that convicted him.

    But at every step of the way, the city has sided with Darby. The city council agreed to pay Darby’s legal fees without first watching bodycam footage of the shooting. The city attorney’s office fought subpoenas to turn over evidence. After the verdict, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said he disagreed with the jury, and Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray said he still believed Darby was not a murderer.

    At least other police officials could see what city officials could not. The Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission suspended Darby’s certification, making it illegal for him to serve as a police officer.

    But instead of firing Darby because he can’t legally do the job for which he was hired, the Huntsville Police Department put him on paid leave. Then last week, city attorney Trey Riley said Darby was on accrued leave with pay and that his administrative hearings had been indefinitely postponed.

    Just about anywhere else, if you kill a man, your boss isn’t going to wait until you show up at the office again to fire you, but that’s the city’s story. And it’s refusing to say anything else.

    “These elements of the City’s personnel policies and procedures are mandated by federal law and uphold employee rights for which the City must abide,” Riley said without pointing to any specific federal laws or employee rights. “Additional details as to an employee’s leave status are also covered by federal privacy laws.”

    Just for the record, 2 former US attorneys disagree.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: I live to serve. bows most humbly

  62. Mikey says:


    Schadenfreude of the Day (this should be a regular feature).

    If you’re on Reddit, there’s Leopards Ate My Face.

  63. Jay L Gischer says:

    We have a desperate need to build more housing in Santa Clara County, so on that basis alone, I welcome the new Google complex. I am aware of other house projects that are being built and yet others that have failed to get approval because of Covid delays with planning commissions.

    The notion that the San Andreas Fault is to blame for no tall buildings in the County is a bit silly. The Fault is closer to SF than San Jose or Santa Clara, and they seem to do ok with tall buildings. The issue, I suspect, has a lot more to do with “quality of life” and also infrastructure, primarily transportation. A big surge in residents/occupancy will put a ridiculous load on highways and transit. Scaling up is hard.

  64. Teve says:

    @Jax: Nah. I sell expensive furniture in a rural location. Not a day goes by that some customer doesn’t come in ranting about “that so-called president Biden” and “Kamal-toe Harris”. Those shitheads’ give me headache’s. Ozark doesn’t give me headach’es.

  65. Jax says:

    @Mikey: Thanks for that, I had to bookmark it for later reference. 😉

  66. Teve says:


    “We are watching a slow-motion insurrection being carried out by Republicans in suits & ties in states all across the country. They are putting in place the pieces to do in the next elections what the mob failed to do on Jan 6.” @chrislhayes bullseye.

  67. Teve says:
  68. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    I didn’t know Jesus packed an AR-15. You learn something new every day–especially at OTB.

  69. Teve says:


    When elected Governor of California, I will CANCEL, cancel culture and wake up the woke.


    …you’re not getting elected to shit, you goddamn idiot

  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: We’d moved from “what would Jesus do” to “what would Jesus drive,” and now we’re going to “what would Jesus shoot?” Or are they more concerned about “who would Jesus shoot?”

    Evangelicalism needs to reassess what it believes it important. Again, the whole “you are the only Jesus most people will ever meet” thing seems to be working against Jesus’ interests more and more with each passing year. Yowie kazowie.

  71. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Interesting that this “church” is an offshoot of the Unification Church and is led by Reverend Moon Junior. I like the name of his brother, the arms manufacturer: Kook. Yes, yes, I know it’s a perfectly fine name is Korean, but to English speakers, it has…resonance.

  72. Teve says:

    How the golden retriever and German shepherd became best friends

    When I look at cute puppy and kitty videos on YouTube, I’m neither confronted with shitty Trump news, nor assaulted by Mitch McConnell’s hideous face.

  73. Teve says:

    (FWIW, his voice is twice as bad as his gruesome visage)

  74. CSK says:

    “The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.” This quote has been attributed to everyone from Frederick the Great to Mark Twain, but it serves well.

    I love doggie videos.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Damn. I’ll just have to try harder. 🙂

  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “who would Jesus shoot?”
    That’s easy. The rich.