Kripke on existence

Bill has been reading Saul Kripke's  Reference and Existence and he has a quibble or two.  The first quibble is that Kripke endorses the Frege-Russell notion that existence is not a first level predicate, applicable to individuals (rather it is second level, applicable to concepts, where it is equivalent to instantiation) while also claiming that, since everything exists, one isn't saying anything meaningful or significant in saying that some particular individual exists.  I think Bill's point is that if one holds that the existence predicate is purely second level then it's a performative inconsistency to say that everything exists, since this clearly applies the predicate to individuals.  On the face of it this does look daft. But I think we can rescue Kripke by pointing out that any predicate ϕ(x) that's true at all values of x is redundant and can be eliminated from any expression in which it is found. So a first level existence predicate drops out.

Bill's second objection is that Kripke allows that the definition
ϕ(x) ⇔ (Ǝy)(x = y)
does give us a first level existence predicate and consequently sees the Frege-Russell position as inconsistent.  Bill's strongly held view is that ϕ comes nowhere near to capturing the notion of singular existence.  He claims that Kripke misses this.  He gives a modal argument for this (appropriate in a comment on Kripke, I guess) which I do not follow.  The argument involves the predicate 'possibly nonexistent', which Bill claims is first level.  I have written before that I cannot see 'existent' as a predicate, let alone 'nonexistent'.  Nor do I think one can qualify bona fide predicates with the likes of 'possible' and 'past' and others without falling into nonsense.

Browsing through Bill's 'Existence' category I came across this post from November 2009. Bill says,
2. But my wonder at the sheer existence of things in general -- at their being as opposed to their nonbeing -- is not a wonder at the being-instantiated of some concept or property or natural kind or cognate item. For existing things are not instances of some concept or property or natural kind called 'existence.' There is no such concept or property or natural kind.
Whereas, a year before to the day, in a reply to a comment of mine in which I claimed it was otiose to treat existence as a property, Bill said,
There are many existing individuals, and they all have something in common, namely their existence. Does this not suffice to show that there is a property of existence in a suitably broad sense of 'property'?  Since there are many existents, but they have one thing in common, their existence, this one thing they have in common cannot be identical to any one of them or to each of them. Existence is one to their many. Does this not show that, in a broad sense of 'property,' existence is a property?
This leaves me confused. 

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