Coming Soon:

Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."

Total Pageviews

Monday, January 4, 2021


A few days ago, after observing that Ted Cruz went to Harvard Law School and Josh Hawley went to Yale Law School, I made a snarky remark about the Ivy League. Several of you were quick to question my animadversions. I just heard Anthony Scaramucci, who has now become all anti-Trump, remark that he had taken Lawrence Tribe's constitutional law class at Harvard several years after Ted Cruz did.

I rest my case, hem hem.

By the way, Hawley clerked for Chief Justice Roberts and Cruz clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist. Do you suppose they both belong to Mensa?


Anonymous said...

Italian economist Carlo Cipolla wrote a joke essay that I would guess is the best contribution to human knowledge by a non-Marxist, post-classical economist. He argued that stupidity is evenly distributed in any group of people. So far I have not encountered any group that disproves this.

David Palmeter said...

Slightly off topic but relevant to what is going on these days, two unexpected (at least by me) positive events:

1. The integrity of the Georgia Secretary of State in his telephone conversation with Trump. It's sure to cost him his career in Ga Republican politics, but he never wavered. Watching one craven Republican after another cave in to Trump, I wouldn't have expected it.

2. The letter/op ed from the ten living former Secretaries of Defense saying that the election is over and the military should have no role in reversing it. Apparently one of the instigators of the piece was Dick Cheney! How 'bout them apples?

David said...

That the ten Secretaries of Defense felt that they even needed to write the opinion piece is, of course, worrisome in itself.

To state the obvious, Trump is obsessed and hasn't given up. Jim Acosta is reporting that the White House attempted to contact Raffensberger 18 times before he took the call on Saturday.

Not that Trump makes a whole lot of sense, but why would he contact just one Secretary of State? Even if Raffensberger did the impossible, what good would it do to invalidate Georgia's EC votes alone? Biden would still be the EC winner.

And now Trump has tweeted that the inauguration can be postponed. Does he think that invoking the Insurrection Act would give him the power to prevent the inauguration?

Whatever the case, I'm not sure that Trump will give up until the last day. That's one reason I'm not sure that he will resign before the inauguration. Can he be pressured to resign by anyone?

David Palmeter said...

A Scottish newspaper is reporting that Prestwick airport has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757, that is occasionally used by Trump, on January 19. Trump owns a golf course in Scotland. He may be planning to spend his last day as President there. I wonder if there is some way we could keep him from returning.

gia_lege said...

What needs to be done is this: Sir Ian Mckellen should go to Scotland dressed as Gandalf the White and smack him in the head with his staff like he did with Denethor. 

I am not kidding.

Anonymous said...

Regarding ivy league credentials, stupidity, Mensa, etc: It seems Trump has something of an obsession with intelligence as measured by white supremacist barometers like IQ tests and the like.

He's often said he's putting the "most intelligent" people on such and such a task force, etc. (though it usually just means the most ideologically supportive loyalists, like getting Kris Kobach to head up an "election integrity" commission after claiming he would have won the popular vote in 2016 if it weren't for "millions of illegals" voting). He often calls his opponents "low IQ individuals." And of course, he likes to tout himself as a "stable genius."

Add to this his racist policies and white supremacist rhetoric (including praising a group of white supporters for their "good genes" at one of his rallies back in September), and we're in the territory of the old "race sciences" like eugenics, white supremacist ideologies that were also obsessed with intelligence.

Anonymous said...

In church last Sunday, I heard a sweet elderly lady in a nearby pew saying a prayer. She was so innocent and sincere that I just had to share it with you:

Dear Lord:

This last year has been very tough. You have taken my favorite actors Sean Connery, Kirk Douglas and Diana Rigg; my favorite television host, Alex Trebek; Carl Reiner from ‘Your Show of Shows’; my favorite singer from the 50’s, Little Richard; even Charlie Daniels and Kenny Rogers my two favorite country western singers; and from sports you took Gale Sayers and my favorite basketball player Kobe Bryant.

I just wanted you to know that my favorite politicians are Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

Anonymous said...

Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.

John Harington

Charles Pigden said...

Wouldn't the meter be neater with the following?

Treason never prospers, what's the reason?
For if it prospers, none dare call it Treason

Anonymous said...

It loses its authenticity without the “doth.”

Like changing “Candy wast dandy; but liquor wast quicker” to
“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

Danny said...

I saw your remark that commentators always say that Ted Cruz is smart because he went to Harvard Law school, and that now they are saying that Josh Hawley is smart because he went to Stanford and Yale law school, and 'I think it is about time that we take these and other similar facts as establishing that going to an Ivy League school is not in fact evidence of great intelligence.'

I think this is all fairly abstract and informally stated. Are there actually commentators who 'always say' that Ted Cruz is smart because he went to Harvard Law School? Who? Like, in so many words, or what? I have never seen any commentator offering that Ted Cruz is smart because he went to Harvard Law School. Now they are saying that Josh Hawley is smart because etc. Who is saying this? Josh Hawley would like you to know he is very smart, but surely that is different. This issue of intelligence gets emphasized around here as if the important thing in life is to be intelligent. The important thing in life is to be good looking, and we can all see for ourselves who is good looking. Maybe we can agree Richard Nixon was intelligent and conniving..?

mattt said...

Yes, obviously both of them could join MENSA, particularly since it's a given their SATs were high enough (back when mensa accepted SATs)