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Thursday, February 16, 2017


Well, we are home, and my wife seems fine.  She is upset that we cut our trip to Paris short, but I was adamant.  When your eighty-four year old wife with MS is taken to the emergency room, you come home to your own doctor, no matter how good she feels.  That is just common sense.

After we boarded the airplane at Charles de Gaulle airport, we sat for an hour and a half while mechanics looked for, found, and installed a door handle to replace one on our plane that wasn't working properly.  Many of the passengers were irritated, but with my new-found wisdom, I was not.  Suppose, I thought to myself, the pilot had said, "It is just a door handle, for heaven's sake," and had taken off on time.  And suppose we had crash-landed and the inability to open a door condemned ten passengers to a fiery death.  I am old enough to consider it a miracle that I can leave Paris at 10:45 a.m. and arrive in Raleigh-Durham airport eight and a half hours later.  I can wait another ninety minutes to be certain everything on the plane works, even the coffee maker.

While I was away, I see that the Trump Administration started to unravel.  Now is the time for us to maintain maximum pressure, especially in every single by-election, from House of Representatives to local school board.  Once I have unpacked, restocked the refrigerator, and gotten my sleep turned around, I shall have some things to say about what is happening politically.

There is something spiritually refreshing about not having to make excuses for a Democratic Administration that is only fitfully admirable.


Tom Cathcart said...

Welcome home, Bob and Susie! Eloise Cathcart, RN is adamant that the difference between seeing a doctor who knows you and your situation and one who doesn't is enormous in terms of the quality of care you receive. Good decision.

Chris said...

Read anything good on the plane?

Anonymous said...

The airline should have hired Tom Cathcart and S. Wallerstein to do their maintenance. With their higher IQ repair times would drop and flights would be a whole lot safer. Oh well. :-)

levinebar said...

Mike Flynn's gone first, with Priebus on his heels
the Trump administration's tumbling down
they'd signed on with the "Artist of the Deal"
but left when they discovered he's a clown
will confirmation hearings never cease
his cabinet drains out before it's filled
our senators won't know a moment's peace
until the whole Executive's been spilled
Bill Harrison held office thirty days
a record Trump's unlikely to unseat
but if Roy Blunt's investigation pays
Trump's win may be the GOP's defeat
the voters who hoped Trump would bring us change
are slowly grasping that the man's deranged

Tomasz J,. Popielicki, Warsaw, Poland said...

Dear Professor, I enclose my best wishes and regards to you and Mrs. Wolff. Please get better.
With warm thoughts,
Tomasz J Popielicki

s. wallerstein said...

Tom Cathcart and I don't have time for anything as banal as airplane maintenance right now. We're working on a free app which anyone can download on their smartphone or computer which will reverse climate change, end poverty, cure cancer and produce universal, enduring peace. We're only a few days away from perfectng our invention and you'll be the first to know about it here on this blog, so stay tuned!!

By the way, we've both decided that we're going to donate all our Nobel Peace Prize money to good causes.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

HELP!!!! Suddenly, this morning, I lost access to my blog as an administrator. I can no longer post anything. I have tried everything, many times, have reset my password, have received codes from Google, all of that, but I simply cannot get access. Google thinks I do not have a blog. UNC and UMass OIT help desks cannot help me. I am ready to pay serious money to someone who can help, but do not know how to find someone. if anyone has a suggestion, send me an email at

s. wallerstein said...

That's no fun, Professor Wolff and I have no idea how to recover your access.

However, you can open a blog in about 2 minutes, so why don't you just open a new one, give us the address in this thread and a few older ones (I assume that all your regular customers comment, if not in every post, in at least one out of ten threads), tell others, for example, Professor Leiter, to publish it in his blog and just continue blogging in the new space until you recover the older one?

Unknown said...


Below is the URL for the blogger support forum:!forum/blogger

You can post a new topic on the forum by clicking the red NEW TOPIC button on the top right hand corner. There are plenty of other entries complaining of the loss of admin rights. Unfortunately, the specific situations which led to the loss of admin rights are varied and sundry. A good first step would be posting to the support forum and waiting for the Google blogger support folks to respond.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

You can try the Blogger Troubleshooter at Google Support.

Michael Llenos said...

Dr. Wolff,
I have nothing bad to say about President Trump. I think he is a patriot in many ways. But for a long time now he has struck me as being the modern version of that great historical figure, Marcus Crassus. If anyone wants to read about Marcus Crassus then I suggest the penguin classics book called: Fall of the Roman Republic by Plutarch and Rex Warner. Crassus’ biography is in there. In #10 paragraph of Crassus’ biography, Plutarch mentions a large wall that Crassus built, throughout an isthmus, in the southern toe of Italy, to keep Spartacus and his slave-army from getting supplies (and possibly also to hem them in from doing mischief to the rest of Italy)—this forty mile long wall was built perhaps from the Ionian Sea to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Sound familiar? In #16 paragraph of Crassus’ biography, there is talk about Crassus’ desire to invade Syria and destroy the Parthians even after a lot of people didn’t want him to invade Parthia. Sound familiar? That attempt eventually led to his death at the Battle of Carrhae. And at the end of paragraph #31 it says that 20,000 roman soldiers were KIA and 10,000 captured. It may be ironic but it says (in the same passage) that Arabs hunted down the remaining roman troops that fled for their lives. I have nothing bad to say about President Trump or his administration; it is just that (in the same distinction of a warning prophet) I want to say that history often repeats itself and when it doesn’t repeat itself it often rhymes.

ES said...

In 50 AD as tragedy, in 2017 as farce.

Tom Cathcart said...

Correction: It is only s wallerstein who is donating his Nobel money to worthy causes. I'm taking mine and heading for the Caribbean. (s wallerstein is in Chile, where it's summer and it's easier to be altruistic.)

Yesterday's press conference was the looniest yet. I can only think that there must be backroom discussions going on, maybe including Republicans and maybe even White House and CIA people, who are saying, "OMG, what do we do now? Suppose this guy really is clinically nuts. At what point do we try to remove him under the 25th Amendment? How could we possibly get away with it, when 38% of the population thinks he's great?" When people like Panetta say, "I've never been so frightened," it's getting serious and very scary.

Meanwhile, Friday report: Gave a bit of $ to an unlikely group---the FDR Foundation at Adams House, Harvard, who, up till now has been dedicated to making a shrine out of FDR's room in Adams House, but who now are concerned about protecting immigrant students and faculty. More importantly, by far, Eloise and I had a talk with the woman who cleans our house every other week, and said, "We don't know your status or that of your helpers, we don't need to know, we don't want to know. We just want you to know that if anyone gets in trouble, we hope you'll include us as people you can reach out to for help." She played it very cool at first, not tipping her hand. Later in the day, I got a big hug.

Chris said...

You dabble in ethics! Question, is it 'bad' that I was howling laughing during the entire press conference and thoroughly enjoying it?

Jen said...

I write from afar (U.K.). It strikes me that in the short term the question must be how to ensure the Repugs will feel maximum embarrassment if they reject calls for a Special Prosecutor.

Tom Cathcart said...


Yes, bad but totally understandable. :-)