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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: My WordPress site has turned into a brick. I can neither create new posts, add users, accept comments, anything. I’ve wasted a half-dozen hours trying to fix this. Doesn’t seem to be a problem with my host server, so it’s an annoying WordPress problem. I didn’t change any settings yet the site went dead on me. I tried to disable all plug-ins, I updated the software, I used a default theme, and none of that worked. If/when I ever get time I have to uninstall and reinstall the site to see if that works. Maybe retirement is going to be forced on me. Anyone with knowledge of WordPress who is willing to waste their time helping me would be much appreciated. I can be reached at michael.rizzo@rochester.edu.


We should ban boxing, because it is degrading and risky.

We should ban fracking because it is potentially, possibly, maybe a risk that pales in comparison to serious risks and possibly has enormous benefits … it’s just too dangerous to health and climate

We should ban coal, well, just because it’s evil. And risky.

Great, I agree. And feel free to include some more of your favorites.

Now, if you think you should ban things that are REALLY risky to participants’ own health, and our own desires to do the thing make us irrational in the face of such risks (we just can’t comprehend them), and if our work has and surely will cause suffering for millions of people around the world, and has and surely will damage the environment in the future, I think it’s pretty obvious what ought to be banned next.

And what is that?

The Presidency of the United States.

It should certainly be obvious that through the Presidency, many actions detrimental to the environment and the safety of others take place, and surely with magnitudes far larger than those above. But of course, is there any job in America that poses greater risks to the health and well-being of the people doing it? Furthermore, the allure, the thrill, the power of the job is so great that participants are blind to that risk. To wit, there have been 43 men who have served as President of the United States across 44 Presidencies (Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms). And 4 of them (at a minimum) were murdered while in office. In other words, over 9% of the men who were employed as the head of the Executive branch were killed while in office. I am not aware of any other activity that gets you close to that kind of risk. So, with nearly a 1 in 10 chance of dying by taking the job, no one should be permitted to put themselves in that kind of harm’s way. So I look forward to all of the paternalists out there turning their attention to this most horrific of risk – I say end the Presidency. End it now. The world and our own selves are at far too much risk for its existence. And in the 21st century, surely no modern, civilied country could ever permit such atrocities to occur willingly right before our very eyes.

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