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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jax says:

    Doug must be on hiatus again? Haven’t seen him commenting in a while, here or on Facebook/Twitter.

    Holy crap, I got an edit button right off the bat. I better go get me a lottery ticket! 😛

  2. CSK says:

    Did OzarkHillbilly get a decent night’s sleep for once, I hope?

  3. CSK says:

    A half hour after John McAfee was found dead in his Barcelona jail cell, a post of the letter “Q” appeared on his Instagram account. This will give the loons something to rave about.

  4. KM says:

    A second TV reporter has just ruined their career for Project Veritas. Things both have in common: dedicated maskholes, complaints about not being allowed to tell the hard-hitting stories their delusions made up, QAnon-ish beliefs and the conviction conservative bosses aren’t letting the truth out. The fact that they both are rocking the bleach blonde FOXbot look with eerily similar faces & clothes makes me think these ladies thought they’d be anchoring the main news instead doing weather or small stories and are *pissed*. O’Keefe probably rolled up, told them they’d be the new face of Veritas and they’d national news.

  5. Kathy says:

    I also managed to see “The Big Short” while on vacation.

    It’s a very odd movie, which I suppose it’s natural when trying to dramatize nonfiction. Beyond that, the use of celebrities to break the narrative in order to explain arcane terms of high finance was really weird. It makes the constant messing with the fourth wall far less relevant, too.

    Beyond all that, I have the same reservations I did with the book: the protagonists saw a major financial disaster coming, and they tried to cash in on it.

    Whether they succeeded or not is beside the point. For the world at large, it matters more they didn’t try to avert it. Maybe they couldn’t have. It was only a handful of people, not exactly even aware of one another. But they should have tried to do something about it.

  6. Kurtz says:


    Not to mention that random long clip of the Ludacris video intercut with scenes. I like the unconventional narrative, personally. But I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone.

    Gosling and Carell played their roles to perfection. After seeing Jeremy Strong in Succession, I also have appreciation for his performance as the gum-chomping dude.

    Like Zuckerberg in The Social Network, the movie version of Michael Burry may be easier to like than the real person.

  7. Kathy says:

    On the ongoing pandemic many are now pretending is over, the Delta variant is taking over wherever SARS-CoV-2 still spreads, meaning largely among unvaccinated people. This variant is more contagious, and apparently leads to more severe disease. Vaccines now in use were not designed for it, so they don’t offer as high a level of protection. They do confer perhaps an 85% chance of not developing disease, and far higher of not developing severe disease.

    On better news, vaccination for the 40-49 age group proceeds apace in Mexico. Two coworkers get their first dose this weekend, apparently of AstraZeneca.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Just saw on Twitter that Guiliani has been suspended from practicing law in New York.
    IF true…and I say IF…this is huge news.

  9. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    CNBC confirms this, as does the NYTimes.

  10. Mikey says:
  11. Mikey says:

    Here’s one of the amusing footnotes from the order suspending Giuliani’s law license in NY.

    In opposition to this motion, respondent refers to affidavits he has not provided
    (Giuliani affidavit ¶¶11, 50, 61, 62, 66). He also relies on a “confidential informant”
    (Giuliani affidavit ¶82). We do not understand, nor does respondent explain why, as a private attorney seemingly unconnected to law enforcement he would have access to a
    “confidential informant” that we cannot also have access to. At yet another point
    respondent claims he relies on a Trump attorney who chooses not to be identified
    (Giuliani affidavit ¶43). Respondent also refers to hundreds of witnesses, experts, and
    investigative reports, none of which have been provided or identified (Giuliani affidavit
    ¶14) and an Excel spreadsheet, also not provided, purportedly listing the names of
    thousands of deceased voters who allegedly cast ballots in Michigan (Giuliani affidavit

  12. CSK says:

    The Kraken seems to have been a guppy.

  13. Kathy says:


    Like Zuckerberg in The Social Network, the movie version of Michael Burry may be easier to like than the real person.

    That’s one movie I’ve very little desire to see.

    Burry figured larger in the book, kind of like the central protagonist. He appears far less in the movie, and does far less, too. He’s also the only one who appears completely certain and relaxed about what’s going to happen.

    I was rather impressed by Carell’s performance. Top notch.

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    My freude is over-schadened!!!

  15. Teve says:

    ‘Member how stratospheric lumber prices were killing us all? Everybody heard that, all over the news. How many people know lumber prices have collapsed over the last 6 weeks?

    we’re not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, but lumber prices have fallen nearly 50% since May 7.

  16. JohnSF says:


    “We do not understand, nor does respondent explain why…”

    Do I detect a hint of sarcastic lawerly exasperation here. 🙂

  17. JohnSF says:

    In Hong Kong the lights of liberal, law-based society continue to be snuffed by the government:
    Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper forced into closure.

    And Belarus government appears similarly determined not to let the rights of it’s people threaten their dominance as it put opposition leaders on “trial” in closed session.

  18. Kathy says:


    You know the adage “No news is good news”?

    It really means that good news are not news.

  19. JohnSF says:

    And in the Black Sea the Royal Navy and the Russian armed forces eyeball each other off Crimea.

    Interestingly, the Russians appear to be intent on magnifying the “incident” claiming they fired “warning shots” when the RN says they didn’t.
    Possibly related to Russian annoyance at HMS Defender’s visit to Odessa being related to a UK/Ukraine deal for joint build of eight new warships and naval support facilities.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday I mangled an attempt to demonstrate that being in a Republican controlled state was hazardous to your health. Here’s an excerpt from a Bloomberg article that states it more clearly:

    Covid-19 transmission is accelerating in several poorly vaccinated states, primarily in the South plus Missouri and Utah, and more young people are turning up at hospitals. The data present the clearest sign of a rebound in the U.S. in months.

    In Missouri, Arkansas and Utah, the seven-day average of hospital admissions with confirmed Covid-19 has increased more than 30% in the past two weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. In Mississippi, the hospitalization rate is up 5% in the period.

  21. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: I am the very last person to comment on movies. If I see one it’s because someone made me sit and watch. But I did make a special effort to see ‘Big Short’ and loved it. Even went to a theater! And there was a bit of a crowd that laughed when I did. It was great.

    There was another movie (“Recount”) detailing the shitshow that led to W Bush’s election. Very highly recommended. They sort of bookended the horrible administration.

  22. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: The Delta variant has found a home in Missouri.

  23. charon says:

    Former Ukrainian Ambassador Rudolph Giuliani banned from practicing law in New York City and Pyongyang.

    Is still however, allowed to give gardening advice on the street, sources say.

    License to practice law in Moscow and Florida remains intact.

    Me like DPRK_New

  24. Kathy says:


    I’d like to see a movie, or read a book, from the point of view of the people who securitized mortgages, and to know exactly what they knew and what they were thinking.

    One thing clear from reading The Big Short and other sources, is that none of the big brokerages or banks were in on the credit default swap market to short, or even hedge, the mortgage CDOs. I’d think if they knew the crash was coming, they’d have realized the huge windfalls they could get with them. So it would seem the crash caught caught by surprise, too.

  25. Mu Yixiao says:

    Brandeis University puts “Trigger warning” on a list of phrases that might… ummm… trigger people.

    (It invokes an image of guns)

  26. Kathy says:


    Interestingly, the Russians appear to be intent on magnifying the “incident” claiming they fired “warning shots” when the RN says they didn’t.

    What kind of weak ass ordnance does the Russian navy carry, that they can fire warning shots and the Royal Navy doesn’t even notice?

  27. JohnSF says:

    “I hear no shots, Hardy.”

    Apparently Russians now saying “Get you next time.”

    Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov:

    “We can appeal to common sense, demand respect for international law, and if that doesn’t work, we can bomb,” ….in future bombs would be sent “not only in its path, but also on target.”

    If a Type 45 destroyer cuts loose, hell is coming to breakfast.

  28. CSK says:

    That building collapse near Miami is horrific. As of now, 99 people are missing in the wreckage.

  29. Kurtz says:


    That’s one movie I’ve very little desire to see.

    It’s really well crafted.

  30. CSK says:

    Police were summoned to a Home Depot in Lackawanna County, PA in order to break up an exorcism in the lumber aisle.

  31. charon says:

    first they came for Rudy Giuliani’s law license, and I did not speak out-

    because I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath.

  32. dazedandconfused says:
  33. Kathy says:


    That’s ok. It won’t be the first well crafted film I’ve no desire to see.

  34. Jax says:

    Ohhhhh noooooo!!! Facebook figured out my trick to hiding all advertisers forever and won’t let me do it anymore!! Bastards! 😐

  35. Mu Yixiao says:

    Because I’m a sadist

    (And how many of you who clicked on that are questioning if you’re a masochist?) 😀

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Whether they succeeded or not is beside the point. For the world at large, it matters more they didn’t try to avert it. Maybe they couldn’t have. It was only a handful of people, not exactly even aware of one another. But they should have tried to do something about it.

    First off, averting disasters is what the regulators are supposed to do, everybody else is there to make money. That’s the system.

    As far as stopping the impending doom, hell no they couldn’t. They* couldn’t even get anyone to sit up and listen to them about how to make some of the easiest money ever.

    *Paulson did have some success, hence his $4 Billion payday.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: I have a 110% certain trick that blocks all advertisers on Facebook and they can’t stop me from using it.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Here’s a clue: I had a 6 am outpatient surgery today.

  39. CSK says:

    Well, that explains your absence. I hope the surgery went well, and that you recover quickly from whatever was afflicting you.

  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well my trick is that I don’t have a Facebook account. What’s yours?

  41. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I suspect his is the same. 😛

  42. bertstorey95 says:

    @KM: First Lady Jill Biden marked her 70th birthday with a quiet bike ride down Gordon’s Pond Trail, which was not closed to the public according to Secret Service, so onlookers who passed the Bidens by wished her well.