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Monday, September 23, 2019


The world seems to go on even when I stop talking about it for a few days.  Some items that call for comment, in no particular order:

1.         Thomas Cook Tours has collapsed, leaving 150,000 Brits stranded in this place and that.  The British Government is launching a massive repatriation effort.  Back when I was young, Thomas Cook was tours, just as Oxford and Cambridge were university education.  I guess not all of this can be blamed on Boris Johnson, but some of it can be blamed on Margaret Thatcher.

2.         Elizabeth Warren continues her slow, steady rise in the race for the nomination.  I am beginning to think Biden really is toast, or will be once the toaster heats up.  This is quite separate from the non-scandal concerning his unfortunate and ill-fated son, Hunter.

3.         We saw Downton Abbey yesterday.  It is a simply perfect movie.  I freely confess that tears came to my eyes during the last scene, the ball.

4.         Some data I extracted from Google earlier this morning, courtesy of the BLS: 
   Median weekly wages for full time workers with high school diploma [2018]  $730
   Median weekly wages for full time workers with BA [2018]  $1198
            So, for 2/3 of Americans, the median wage is $730, and for the other third, the median wage is 65% higher. 

5.         Now that Donald Trump has admitted committing high crimes and misdemeanors, we may ask why he has not been, and will not be, impeached and removed from office.  The answer is not Nancy Pelosi’s timidity or Jerry Nadler’s indecisiveness or the fecklessness of the Congressional Democrats or the gutless cowardice and criminality of the Senate Republicans, or any other such facts.  The reason is that since World War II, the delicate balance between the Congress and the Presidency has been destroyed.  For a variety of reasons, most notably America’s embrace of an imperial world stance, the Presidency has grown in power and inviolability until now the only constraint on a President other than defeat at the polls is some fragment of remaining shame or honor, neither of which the electoral process is designed to reward.

We might say, if literary allusions help, that Trump is the Smerdyakov to the Ivan of Reagan or Clinton or Bush.

6.         Brian Leiter tells me that visitors to my blog now get a Google warning that the site is unsafe.  Is that true?  And if it is, what do I do about it?


Anonymous said...

Stop presenting ideas not approved by the Department of Education.
Sincerely de Vos.

Dean said...

No unsafe site warnings for me on a Mac via Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, and attempting to connect via both https:// and http://

You can request a Google review of your site here:

LFC said...

I've not gotten the warning that the site is unsafe, but it may depend on the particular device one's using or other factors. As for remedies, not sure.

LFC said...

OK Dean knows more than I do about this, clearly. I posted before seeing his comment.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

LFC, as Roseanne Roseannadana used to say: "Never mind."

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Dr. Wolff,
Does Dr. Leiter have a sense of humor? If so, he may just be messing with your head.

s. wallerstein said...

I got no warning. I use Microsoft Edge.

David said...

I'm finding that the connection is secure as long as I use "https."

I'm not so sure Trump won't be impeached. Conviction in the Senate is another matter. Can you imagine a trial presided over by Chief Justice Roberts? That would be the trial of the century (so far).

Jerry Fresia said...

Re item #2:

Naomi Klein:

"Excited to spend the next few months explaining why there is absolutely nothing wrong with the son of a vice president being paid 50k a month to sit on the board of a tax evading gas company while his dad pitches natural gas as a 'bridge fuel' in the middle of a climate emergency."

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Jerry, that is not a scandal. That is capitalism. You need to distinguish, otherwise everything will strike you as a scandal. :)

LFC said...

Christopher J. Mulvaney,

Yes. I remember Gilda Radner. I am that old.

It was her character Emily Litella who had the "never mind" line, I think. But I can't imagine too many people care about this sort of nitpicking at this my bad. Or something.

Chris said...

When I connect to your site via http I get the warning using Chrome 76. Connecting via https does not give that warning.

As LFC said, there are tons of variables with OS, browser, etc.

I am not familiar with the Blogger platform. At my company I would automagically redirect http traffic to https to take care of this, but again, I don't know what the setting for this kind of thing is on Blogger.

I am hopeful for Warren to overtake Biden. No disrespect to any old white men on here (someday I will be an old white man), but I'm ready for an intelligent, capable, non-"old white man".

Chris in Nebraska

Robert Paul Wolff said...

https is apparently the cure, but how do I change the blog's url to that?

Dean said...

Here's how on Blogger:

It's possible that Brian's bookmark, assuming he uses one, links to http://, but even so you can redirect all traffic to https:// using the instructions at the support link.

Dean said...

Addendum to my comment @1:51 PM: I believe your blog URL already is set to https://, but you're not redirecting readers who target http:// to https://.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Holy Bat Cave! I think I did it. Thank you, Dean.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that should take care of it so long as the SSL certificate on the server is kept up to date! Browsers now will present that warning about any site not using HTTPS (SSL encryption over HTTP).

Jerry Fresia said...


Within the relations of production, then, what would constitute corruption?

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Chris in Nebraska, this is Chris in New Mexico. Be assured that, as an old white man, who was press secretary for Madeleine Kunin's successful run for Governor of Vermont back int he mid 1980's, no offense is taken.

Jerry Fresia said...


PS This is a sitting Vice President and 50k a month given to his son to solicit favors. To say it is just the machinations of capitalism is to indict our entire political system as well as the economy.

Jerry Fresia said...


PS This is a sitting Vice President and 50k a month given to his son to solicit favors. If one were to say that this corruption is essentially the machinations of capitalism would that not also be an indictment of our entire political system? (Or maybe your comment turns on the concept of "scandal" that you used in the blog....??)

Charles Pigden said...

No warning for me. I usually connect via Safari. A thought though. Could your supposed 'unsafeness' be due to your loose links with Leiter who is regarded as 'unsafe' in certain circles?

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Perhaps of interest to readers of this blog (h/t to Brian Leiter): The Future of Political Philosophy. The sub-heading reads: "For five decades Anglophone political philosophy has been dominated by the liberal egalitarianism of John Rawls. With liberalism in crisis, have these ideas outlived their time?"

This essay is adapted from a new book, which I very much look forward to reading, if I can get my hands on it: In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester.

LFC said...

@The Dude Diogenes

There was some discussion of the Forrester essay/excerpt at Daily Nous.

Matt said...

Here's the Daily Nous thread LFC mentions:

I have only looked at the excerpt/article that is linked in it briefly, and haven't looked at the book at all. I'm hesitant to comment more about the book, but will note that I thought some claims made in the discussion - which may or may not be claims made in a strong sense by Forrester - that "radical" views were "excluded" from elite philosophy (and poli sci and law) departments in recent memory, is transparently false. I hope she doesn't actually make _that_ claim, because there are interesting and arguably true ones that could be made, while that one is just obviously wrong.

Anonymous said...

"The presidency has grown in power and inviolability" unless you're Bill Clinton, that is.

Though maybe the fact that Clinton was technically impeached, but not formally removed confirms Prof Wolff's point (or is the exception that proves the rule?).