Fill The Void Saturday

As nature abhors a vacuum, my brain abhors sloth (the lack of activity, not the animal). To me, life is not about doing as little as possible, even–or maybe especially–when retired.

As such, I have decided (was compelled, you choose) to offer a post today. Yes, some of my motivation is to reach one million words on this blog. In addition, I would like to write 200,000+ words on the blog this year, something I have never done.


This CNBC article reports that General Motors–you know, the company committed to an “all-electric” fleet by 2035–will invest $500 million in a plant in Texas to build the next generation of the Cadillac Escalade and other large SUVs. Apparently, these will be powered by Internal Combustion Engines.

Let’s see: an $800 million investment in the next generation of gasoline-powered small-block V-8 engines, a $1 billion investment in the next generation of large pickup trucks powered by ICE technology and now a $500 million investment in the next generation of ICE-powered large SUVs. That’s $2.3 billion of investment in a technology that, supposedly, is being phased out. “Don’t watch the man behind the curtain.”

Why doesn’t GM just admit they have come to the realization that the American consumer, for the most part, does not want to buy electric vehicles (at least not now)?! We all know the answer to that question, but I judge people/businesses by what they do, not by what they say.


I don’t have a subscription to The Wall Street Journal, but they have reported that China is going to build a spy base in Cuba. The Journal is hardly a tabloid publication only loosely wedded to the facts. They must have double-checked and triple-checked sources before publishing the piece.

Of course, the US, China and every major country on earth are engaged in spying. Still, the number of people in this country who worship the Chinese government, who want to use their system as a model for our country is beyond disgusting. The Chinese government is not the friend of anyone except Puck Futin. They are not to be trusted.


At this time last year I was in the middle of writing the Threes And Sevens series about US automobile history. The fifteen posts were published between April and August.

I am thinking, just thinking at this point, about a companion series called Zeroes And Fives. It would start in 1930 and end in 2000, meaning this series would also have fifteen posts.

If I had more information I would like to make Zeroes And Fives about the world automobile industry and not just the US, but my detailed historical automobile volumes are only about the US. My best source about the entire automobile industry is Beaulieu, but that is arranged alphabetically by make and not chronologically. I always research such posts, but I am not interested in spending many hours for each entry.

I would also try to include more information about what was going on the US and the world. As always, I welcome thoughts from you on what you would want to read in a Zeroes And Fives series. For that matter, I welcome thoughts from you about what you want to read regardless of topic.

If I write this series, here is one of the cars certain to be shown for 1930:


1930, Duesenberg, Model j, 331 2347, Convertible, Coupe, Murphy, Luxury, Retro Wallpapers HD ...


What is it? Well, some of you no doubt know, but the rest of you will have to wait until I begin the series, IF I begin it, at all.






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The Ultimate Performance

Tomorrow will be the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes. On this day fifty years ago, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes becoming the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown, which is winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in addition to the Belmont.

I tried to find a complete transcription of Chic Anderson’s legendary call of the race, but was unable to do so. Holding my nose, I am including a TouYube link to the TV broadcast of the race that features Anderson’s call. (About the only thing Anderson got wrong was calling the final margin of victory at 25 lengths–it was 31–but he later commented on-air, “It’s such a problem to count lengths. I said 25, it could conceivably have been more.”)

This piece by Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden, which won him the Eclipse Award, recounts the 1973 Belmont and “Anderson’s legendary call.” From the article:


“It was on that day at Belmont Park that Secretariat won the Belmont—and racing’s first Triple Crown in 25 years—by 31 lengths in a time of two minutes and 24 seconds, more than two seconds faster than any horse had run the race. The performance endures, both in the living memories of those who witnessed it, and in a second life on grainy video, receding through time but growing more mythic. Older fans weep in recollection; younger ones eschew the customary disdain for things old and distant. It remains the most significant moment in modern racing history, an event that reached beyond the racetrack and sank roots in the broader cultural landscape, even in a time of Vietnam and Watergate…It is the rare athletic feat that cannot become exaggerated over time, because it was impossibly large in its present, a giant chestnut colt thundering around the Belmont oval, never slowing, piercing a hole in the late spring air.”


Layden’s description is genius, in my opinion. Count me among those “older fans [who] weep in recollection.” I am simply not able to watch the race without crying. Those of you who are not fans of thoroughbred racing are probably not able to comprehend the magnitude of Secretariat’s performance that day.

Grasping for non-racing athletic achievements to which to compare Secretariat’s achievement…I can only liken it to a quarterback throwing for 600 yards and 8 touchdown passes in a winning Super Bowl performance or a pitcher crafting a perfect game with 20 strikeouts in the seventh game of the World Series. I have written before about Secretariat’s insane Beyer Number for the race, but again, if you’re not familiar with horse racing I can’t really explain that, either.

Three times a year, those of us who like horse racing are given respites of two to two-and-half minutes, respites from the mundane and the profane, when we can watch beautiful animals do what they were bred to do. If we’re lucky, we might be able to watch history being made. However, we will never again see the likes of Secretariat.








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100 Days At Goose Bumps

Yes, my wonderful wife and I moved into our house 100 days ago. Believe it or not, the fact that we have reached triple digits is of significance. In half the houses we have purchased (three of six) our tenure lasted fewer than 1,000 days, in other words, a triple-digit number. We lived in the first house we purchased in the mid-Atlantic for just 607 days. (Yes, I am assuming we will live here 1,000+ days.)

Our pattern, intentional or not, is that after we move to a new geographical location we move again in fewer than 1,000 days. I have learned never to say never, but I cannot envision a realistic scenario in which this house won’t be our primary home for many years to come.



“Speaking” of the Maserati, I decided to attempt the repair of the scratch on the lower part of the right front fender/valance. I am loathe to show it again, but here it is:



I ordered a touch-up kit that includes three ten-ounce spray cans, one each of primer, color coat and clear coat. I was able to choose the actual Maserati color (Bordeaux Pontevecchio) and the cost for the kit was $72. I received an email this morning that the order has been packed and I should be receiving it in two weeks or less.

Once again, I have seen jobs like this done dozens of times. Despite my loss of confidence due to my career meltdown, I decided to give it a try. If the scratched area were larger and/or in a more conspicuous place, I probably wouldn’t attempt the repair. Wish me luck.


From this piece comes this passage:


“Affirmative action is antithetical to the American spirit. It is simply unfair that some applicants have to show a greater level of achievement than others to gain admission. Colleges claim that race-based affirmative action is needed to correct historical injustices that put all Blacks and Native Americans of today at a supposed disadvantage, but they conveniently ignore the treatment of Chinese immigrants that built American railroads, Japanese internment during World War II, or the anti-semitism that Jews have faced for centuries. Immigrant groups worked hard and overcame many challenges to succeed in America, but affirmative action policies undermine their sacrifices.”


I can’t say I disagree.


Has the US government formally declared war on cryptocurrencies? On consecutive days this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance and Coinbase. Those two companies are crypto exchanges where customers can buy, sell and store those “assets.”

In the suit against Binance the SEC alleges that “Zhao [Binance founder Changpeng Zhao] and Binance publicly claimed that U.S. customers were restricted from transacting on, Zhao and Binance in reality subverted their own controls to secretly allow high-value U.S. customers to continue trading on the platform. Further, the SEC alleges that, while Zhao and Binance publicly claimed that Binance.US was created as a separate, independent trading platform for U.S. investors, Zhao and Binance secretly controlled the Binance.US platform’s operations behind the scenes.”

The suit against Coinbase alleges that the company was acting as an unregistered broker and exchange and demands that Coinbase be “permanently restrained and enjoined” from continuing to do so. As part of the suit, the SEC stated its belief that Coinbase’s flagship prime brokerage, exchange and staking programs violate securities laws and that the company “has for years defied the regulatory structures and evaded the disclosure requirements” of U.S. securities law.

Some people who are “prominent” in crypto investments are outraged at these lawsuits. People such as Anthony Scaramucci claim the US will fall behind the rest of the world in financial services if it fails to acknowledge crypto’s “legitimacy” by fighting it instead of regulating it.

In my opinion, while the Blockchain technology behind crypto currencies has merit, those currencies themselves are nothing more than electronic tulip bulbs. Once again, while sovereign fiat currencies are far from perfect, they are at least backed by governments’ ability to tax and to borrow. Crypto is backed by nothing except people’s faith in it.


I have owned the Mustang GT for about nine months. My wonderful wife took this photo a few days ago.



So, I am on pace to drive the Mustang about 6,700 miles in my first year of ownership. I actually think I will drive it less than that as I now have the Maserati and that will “absorb” some of my mileage. Either way, I don’t drive anywhere near as many miles as the average US driver, which is about 14,000.

As much as I would like to have five, seven, ten cars, etc., I don’t think I ever can even with “unlimited” resources. For the nth time, I don’t believe in owning de facto museum exhibits and I think cars have to be driven a minimum of 100 miles a month in order to keep them fresh. Given that I am retired, I just don’t drive that much to split the time behind the wheel among many cars.

I think that my practical limit on car ownership is three. That number dovetails nicely with the Goose Bumps house in that it has parking for five cars, which means my wonderful wife could–someday–buy a car as a companion to her Corvette.


Once again, I ask that you spread the word about this blog and share the URL, that you feel free to submit thoughtful comments as well as clicking on any ad in which you have genuine interest. I also ask that, if it’s not too difficult for you to do so, you read these posts by clicking on the post title and not just by reading them in an email and/or the WordPress Reader. Thanks.








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Happy Anniversary!

On this day in 1999, or 8,766 days ago if you’re counting, my wonderful wife and I married. Yes, two dozen years or one year short of a quarter century.

While, of course, we have our ups and downs (and not all of them related to the stock market), we are very happy and very grateful that we found each other. I LOVE YOU, V SQUARED!!!


I want to thank my brilliant high school classmate TI for calling me yesterday (wait, that’s not my name) from Switzerland. The line in yesterday’s post, “Is acute boredom terminal?” gave him some cause for concern.

As always, we had a great conversation and it lasted about 50 minutes. He reads Disaffected Musings quite regularly and, not surprisingly, retains everything he reads. Once again, in deference to him I will not reveal any details, but our conversations are most enjoyable and I remarked to him yesterday how much I relish the interactions.


So, what’s going on with my right pinky? Yesterday evening I wanted to soak the digit in a water/epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) solution, but as it turned out we didn’t have any epsom salt in the house.

Calling an audible I decided to soak the finger in a solution of very warm water, table salt and a little bit of Lysol. How many of you saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Michael Constantine played the father of the (eventual) bride and his character thought that Windex was a panacea. I have the same feelings about Lysol and did long before anyone had ever heard of the COVID-19 virus.

After the soak I covered the finger in Vaseline instead of antibiotic ointment and then placed a bandage over the wound. While the finger is not close to 100%, it does feel much better than it did yesterday. A little knowledge can, indeed, be a dangerous thing. I was imagining an infection in the joint between the distal and middle phalanges which would have been cause for amputation. Yes, that’s how my mind works, or doesn’t.

Of course, we ordered epsom salt on Amazon yesterday and if it arrives today as scheduled I will soak the pinky. Yep, a little Lysol will be included.


General Motors, “led” by one of my least favorite CEOs in history, has publicly committed to an “all-electric” fleet by 2035. OK, then why did they just announce an investment of more than $1 billion in two Michigan plants to produce the next generation of heavy-duty pickup trucks that will be powered by gasoline or diesel engines?!

Their “rationale” is that the profits from the trucks will help fund the transition to EVs. I think that, deep down, GM management knows most US consumers do not want to buy an EV, at least not now. Remember that they are also investing more than $800 million to develop the next generation of gasoline-powered small block V8 engines.

Why can’t the consumer explicitly be allowed to choose? Why don’t any American companies invest in synthetic fuel production? Remember that car companies are currently building ICE-powered cars, hybrids and pure EVs simultaneously and making profits. Something is rotten in the state of America…#DeathBeforeEV








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Monday Malaise

I almost titled today’s post No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

We have a problem with birds trying to nest in our backyard under the observation deck. Doing a little Internet research unearthed a few “potions” that might discourage birds from getting too comfortable there. (You might think birds are cute, but bird poo is among the most disgusting items in the universe to me.)

We purchased a plastic spray bottle to be used to dispense one of those potions. Of course, as is the custom for many things that are made today, the bottle would not spray.

Another plastic spray bottle was found in the house and the concoction was transferred to it. It sprayed two or three times, but then the bottle became difficult to spray. Since I was able to get it to spray with extra pressure on the trigger I thought I would use even more pressure to get the bottle to work. The plastic trigger violently snapped, the spring and other pieces of the assembly flew out cutting the dickens out of the pinky on my right hand.

This morning I think the finger is infected as it is swollen and painful to bend. I have religiously applied antibiotic ointment to it since the incident, but apparently to no avail. Maybe I should keep Betadine in the house.

I cannot tell you how mad I am this morning. I am just sick and tired of death by a thousand paper cuts.


Is acute boredom terminal?


I am still pissed about scratching the Maserati. Without further ado:



The crapfest that seems to have taken over my life has made me very reluctant to try to fix this on my own. The likely cost has made me reluctant to take it to a “professional.”

The scratch is probably not noticeable unless you know where it is, but to me it’s like a giant boil on the car. A little Internet research unearthed a two-part paint kit that, supposedly, matches the color and includes clear coat. The cost is about $100. I have seen such work done dozens of times, but when life does nothing except kick you in the shins for nearly 13 years you lose your confidence.

I can imagine, though, that the cost of having the scratch repaired in a shop would be many multiples of that $100. Car paint is now $500-$1,000 a gallon and that’s for American cars. Add the triple-digit per hour cost of labor and you can do the math from there.

The main reason why this scratch bothers me is that I went against my better judgment and tried to park the car next to one of those concrete berms. The Maserati does not have a front camera (nor a backup camera) and not having had it very long I am not that familiar with the functional exterior dimensions. Again, when you are constantly dealt crappy hands you wonder if you’re playing the game correctly.


I am sure his action was independent of mine (he does not follow my Twitter feed or my blog), but yesterday Brian Sullivan of CNBC tweeted the link to the “anti-EV” piece by Rowan Atkinson that my brilliant high school classmate TI sent me and that I included in this post. Sullivan also tweeted, “Good honest points here. Possible EVs themselves are soon rendered obsolete by zero-emission synthetic fuels or hydrogen?”

The zealot lemmings just don’t, and won’t, see the folly of their ways. Once again, #DeathBeforeEV.






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A Weird Trip Through Sunday

Many of you might think that most of my posts are weird trips, regardless of the day…


About whom was Roger Ebert writing in this passage:


“…reveals himself, alas, to have clay feet like the rest of us. He is immature, petty, vindictive, lacking a sense of humor, overly impressed with his own importance and not very bright.”


Do you want a hint? This is a person revered by many in his industry, but to me is an example of the emperor has no clothes.

About whom am I writing when I describe them as a “brain-damaged pawn of their spotlight-seeking parents and of clueless, intransigent zealots?”


The most read post in May was Philosophy In Strange Places, which accounted for three percent of all blog views in the month. The most read post for the year, so far, is The Balance Of Life from January, which begins with news about Damar Hamlin and then segues to an exposition about my marvelous mom.

Do you want to know which posts have been the most popular in a month or year? If you will read them, then I would be more than happy to list them.


For reasons still unknown, I was a bigger fan of the American Basketball Association (ABA) growing up than I was of the National Basketball Association (NBA). That was true even though in those pre-cable, pre-streaming days I could seldom watch any ABA games and that when I began following basketball Baltimore still had an NBA team.

This recent piece from AP Sports by Paul Newerry is titled, “Remember ABA and WHA during one of the greatest times of the sports year.” The piece begins:


“As we relish one of the greatest couple of weeks on the sporting calendar — the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final, going back and forth on alternating nights — a pair of long-forgotten leagues deserve a shoutout.

Take a bow, ABA.

You too, WHA.

The American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association have been gone for decades, but their brash challenges to the set-in-their-ways NBA and NHL left a mark that is still recognizable today.

The 3-point shot in hoops and Europeans playing key roles at the rink are two of the most prominent changes sparked by the rebel leagues, but their bigger contribution was opening the door to cities that had long been ignored by their established counterparts.”


Baltimore had an ABA team for a few weeks during the summer of 1975 as a group of Charm City “investors” purchased the “troubled” Memphis Sounds franchise and moved them to Baltimore. The Claws, as they were eventually known, folded before the regular season started.

My hometown also had a brief run in the WHA at the end of the 1974-75 season. The Michigan Stags folded in January of 1975; the league took over operations of the team and moved it to Baltimore where they became the Baltimore Blades.

The Stags/Blades finished with a poor 21-53-4 record. The team did draw better in Baltimore than it had in Detroit, but after briefly considering moving the team to Seattle, the WHA disbanded the franchise and its players were put in a dispersal draft along with those of another defunct WHA team, the Chicago Cougars.

The ABA (which began play in October, 1967) played through the 1975-76 season after which four of its teams were accepted into the NBA; however, the older league formally classified the de facto merger as an expansion. The WHA (which began play in October, 1972) played through the 1978-79 season and in a similar manner to the basketball resolution, the older league (the NHL) accepted some, but not all, of the teams in the newer league and called the merger an expansion.

Perhaps many don’t realize that The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, began his career in the WHA with the Indianapolis Racers before being transferred to the Edmonton Oilers during his rookie season. He had not signed a standard player contract, but a personal services pact with Racers’ owner Nelson Skalbania because by that point (the summer of 1978) it was well known that a majority of NHL owners were willing to absorb at least some WHA teams. While Skalbania knew it was unlikely the Racers would be one of these teams (in part because the WHA insisted that all of its surviving Canadian teams be included), he still hoped to keep the Racers alive long enough to collect compensation from the surviving teams when the WHA dissolved, as well as any funds earned from selling the young star. The announced price of the transaction, where Gretzky was sold along with two other players, was $850,000 (about $4 million in today’s money), but Skalbania actually received $700,000 from former business partner Peter Pocklington who owned the Oilers.

OK, that’s probably more about hockey than most of you want to read. To me, the ABA and WHA are just two more of the countless examples of why competition is usually good and amalgamation is usually not.


I actually had much more about which I wanted to write today, but I got carried away with the ABA/WHA material and can see by the word counter in the lower left that it’s probably time for me to sign off.


American Basketball Association ABA Greatest Players Gallery | Etsy

Pin on World Hockey Association







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Saturday Audible: Rowan Atkinson

Originally, I had intended to write about Ransom Eli Olds today. He was born on this day in 1864. However, since–in my opinion–most of Oldsmobile’s pioneering achievements happened long after Olds left the company, and since I think I have written about him on a previous June 3, I decided to do something else. Frankly, that something else was almost not writing at all today.

However, my brilliant high school classmate TI sent me this link to an opinion piece by Rowan Atkinson. Yes, the guy that played Mr. Bean. What many of you might not know is that Atkinson is a very intelligent person with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and a Masters degree in control systems. He is also an avid automobile enthusiast and racer.

His “op-ed” is about electric cars. The piece has so many good passages that I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I will just pick out a few:


“But if you zoom out a bit and look at a bigger picture that includes the car’s manufacture, the situation is very different. In advance of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, Volvo released figures claiming that greenhouse gas emissions during production of an electric car are 70% higher than when manufacturing a petrol one. How so? The problem lies with the lithium-ion batteries fitted currently to nearly all electric vehicles: they’re absurdly heavy, many rare earth metals and huge amounts of energy are required to make them, and they only last about 10 years.”

“A sensible thing to do would be to speed up the development of synthetic fuel, which is already being used in motor racing; it’s a product based on two simple notions: one, the environmental problem with a petrol engine is the petrol, not the engine and, two, there’s nothing in a barrel of oil that can’t be replicated by other means. Formula One is going to use synthetic fuel from 2026. There are many interpretations of the idea but the German car company Porsche is developing a fuel in Chile using wind to power a process whose main ingredients are water and carbon dioxide. With more development, it should be usable in all petrol-engine cars, rendering their use virtually CO2-neutral.

Increasingly, I’m feeling that our honeymoon with electric cars is coming to an end, and that’s no bad thing: we’re realising that a wider range of options need to be explored if we’re going to properly address the very serious environmental problems that our use of the motor car has created. We should keep developing hydrogen, as well as synthetic fuels to save the scrapping of older cars which still have so much to give…”


Everything Atkinson writes is absolutely true, yet the zealot lemmings refuse to acknowledge those truths. Once again, their blind, beyond ill-advised push for EVs has little to do with the environment and almost everything to do with their quest for control and punishment. #DeathBeforeEV

Many thanks to TI for sending me the link to Atkinson’s piece.






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Five Miles To Start The Month

I was originally going to title this post Five Miles And A Bald Head, but that’s another story.



For reasons I can’t really explain, I decided to “blow out” my workout yesterday and strive for five miles in 80 minutes. (My usual workout is 3-3.5 miles in 47-55 minutes. You’ll read why those times are so specific.) As you can see, I made it. Actually, if you look at the little “track” in the lower right you should see that I went a tad over five miles and that leads to another manifestation of my OCD.

My treadmill does not round up in measuring distance, average speed, etc. It only rounds down. Exactly five miles in exactly 80 minutes is 3.75 miles per hour. A little more than that distance in that time is, of course, a little more than 3.75 MPH. Note that the average speed shown is 3.7 MPH, which makes the per mile pace 16 minutes, 12 seconds. I sped up a bit near the end in the hopes the average speed would be shown as 3.8 MPH. (At that speed, the per mile pace would have been shown as 15 minutes, 47 seconds.)

My goal is to average no more than 16 minutes per mile and I did, but because the treadmill rounds down and only shows tenths of a mile and not hundredths, the “official” pace was shown as a bit slower than 16 minutes per. That drives me crazy, which–of course–is a function of my OCD.

So, how did I feel? If I weren’t in a hurry to reward myself with a Double-Double from In-N-Out burger, the nearest one being a half hour away and I didn’t want to arrive there too close to noon, I could have easily gone at least another ten minutes on the treadmill. My OCD being what it is, I will at some point push myself to 100 minutes just to see the timer start over. I assume the maximum time it can show is 99 minutes and 59 seconds. Oh, the burger and fries were awesome, but the place was packed even though I arrived around 11:30.

Which car did I drive to In-N-Out?



I mean, the car has to be driven, right? That is not the In-N-Out parking lot, by the way.

Exercise covers a multitude of “sins,” like an In-N-Out burger and fries. I am not patting myself on the back, but people in this country would live longer, healthier and happier lives if they exercised more. OK, maybe I am patting myself on the back a little.


This Why Evolution Is True post, The legality of diversity statements, begins like this:


This piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses an issue we’ve taken up here before: is it legal to require applicants for university jobs to submit DEI statements? The piece gives both sides of the argument, although I’ve long thought that such statements should be always be illegal on two grounds: they are irrelevant for nearly all academic jobs, and they violate the First Amendment because they’re a form of compelled speech. [emphasis mine]

When I first wrote about this, I thought that someone with standing should bring a lawsuit against a public university (such schools must adhere to the First Amendment), as diversity statements are a form of compelled speech as well as viewpoint discrimination, forcing applicants to voice certain approved political beliefs.

Now that lawsuit has been brought. As the article notes:

John D. Haltigan, the plaintiff, is being represented pro bono by the nonprofit Pacific Legal Foundation. He is arguing that the University of California system’s use of diversity statements in hiring violates the First Amendment and represents unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. Haltigan wants to apply for a tenure-track position in the psychology department at the University of California at Santa Cruz and is asking the court, among other things, for an injunction that would allow him to apply without submitting a diversity statement. The university system has required diversity statements in applications for tenure-track positions and promotions since 2018.


Jerry Coyne forgot to include the link to the piece, I guess. I think it is inevitable that this lawsuit, or a similar one, will find its way to the Supreme Court. If that happens in the next five years, it is highly likely the Court will rule that mandating DEI statements when applying for a job at a university that receives government funding is, indeed, a violation of the First Amendment.






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June 1, 2023 (!)



Yes, it is difficult for me to comprehend that it is June 1, 2023. Besides being the beginning of meteorological summer (as contrasted with astronomical summer that begins on June 21, 2023), today represents the beginning of the last month of the first half of the year, the year that seemingly just started.

The time compression that occurs as one ages can lead a person to believe that the time-space continuum itself is changing. Of course, even if it were how could we “prove” it?


Thanks again to Gary Trujillo, creator of Coco Crisp’s Afro. His mention of my blog, which included the main link, led to a two-day bump in blog views. If you are any sort of baseball fan I know you would like his blog.

However, despite the two-day bump, overall readership was disappointing for May. In a metric I use to track blog views, May’s figure was about 13% lower than the average of the previous five months.

For the nth time, I know that without using Fack Fucebook and/or Guck Foogle this blog will never see thousands of views a day. Yes, I began blogging for my own benefit. Still, the interaction with readers makes writing this blog much more enjoyable. The more readers, the more interaction.


This Free Press article is titled, “The Revolt Of The Farmers.” It is about Dutch farmers refusing to give up their land in the face of coercion by the Netherlands’ government to do just that.

While the author of the article (Jamie Blackett) downplays the thoughts of many that the United Nations Agenda 21/2030 actually advocates the end of private property and that we should be forced to live in cities that are supposedly climate-friendly, but will–in fact–allow us to be monitored more closely, the mere mention of that issue raises interesting questions.

Where should the line be drawn between individual rights and the “collective good?” I strongly believe that government should only exist with consent of the governed. A one-world government system is way beyond the ideal balance.

While I am also skeptical that we will see such a system anytime soon, if ever, I have no doubt that some people harbor fondness for such a scheme. The smugness, self-righteousness and arrogance of many ideologues know no bounds.


You have probably heard that the US House passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act yesterday that removes the debt ceiling for two years while putting some spending caps in place. The vote, 314-to-117 in favor, was far less close than I had thought it would be.

Although the bill passed, and still has to pass the US Senate, as expressed in this Why Evolution Is True post, “On the final vote, 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats backed the measure, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats opposed it. That was a blow to Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker Of The House, whose hard-fought victory on the measure was dampened by the fact that more Democrats ultimately voted for the bill than members of his own party.”

To me, the fact that this bill was opposed by those on the fringes of both parties is probably an indication that the legislation was a common sense way forward. Remember that Denmark is the only other democratic country that even has a debt ceiling and it is a technicality there, not something that looms over the country.

Blind adherence to any ideology is a road to ruin.


In Good Will Hunting (a blog post, not the movie) I wrote that it was highly likely I would not renew my subscription to Motor Trend+. Well, I actually cut to the chase and cancelled my sub about two weeks ago.

The programming has just moved in a direction that doesn’t interest me. As I wrote to Motor Trend when they requested feedback on my decision, “I liked Everyday Driver, British shows like Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars, AutoBiography. I liked the first season of Speed Is The New Black. I guess there’s no market for intelligent automotive programming.”

It seems odd to me that it was the History Channel, not Motor Trend, that produced and aired series on the development of the automobile. Can I really be in such a small demographic that Motor Trend just won’t produce shows that appeal to people like me?








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What Is The Truth?

First things first…I humbly thank Gary Trujillo who writes the blog Coco Crisp’s Afro. His blog is nominally about baseball and the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) A’s, but is actually about how the sport can be an important backdrop and contributor to life itself, although not always for the better. He graciously included a link to Disaffected Musings in his latest post and enough of his readers clicked on the link to send the number of yesterday’s blog views to the highest total this month.

I sent Gary an email that included the following:


I don’t think I have mentioned this, but the Indians were one of my clients when they acquired Crisp and I was one of the evaluators who recommended him as potential return for Chuck Finley. Of course, I called him Covelli Crisp in my scouting report.

Later, I was in on the trade that sent Crisp to the Red Sox as part of the trade for the ill-fated Andy Marte. That was a poor evaluation on all of our parts, including me, and taught a valuable lesson that the team that knows a player the best is almost always the team that sees the player every day. Marte had been highly touted while in the Braves system and the fact that they traded him to Boston should have been a clue that something was amiss. As sad as his early death was, it’s kind of fitting, in a somber way, for how his career turned out.

I also think I was still nominally working for the A’s when they signed Crisp as a free agent, but they were already easing me out of the picture by that time and I don’t recall having much input. I think they cut me loose (“We will not be renewing your contract”) after Crisp’s first season in Oakland.

So, you see that your blog and blog name has quite the connection to me.


It can be a small world. Do I have to explain that Coco Crisp was a long-time major league baseball player? I guess I do…

Thanks again, Gary.



The following is not intended to be a self-serving comment, but many times the reader comments are the best part of a blog post or article. (OK, maybe that is a passive-aggressive way to get more of you to read the comments here on a regular basis.)

Part of a comment from this Free Press article read:


That’s exactly the core of the problem: most people are incapable of getting the fact that reality is somewhere between black and white positions. It’s so easy to just join one tribe and reject blindly whatever “the other side” says.


I think that, especially in public, people take positions that may be more polar than what they actually believe as some sort of twisted “obligation” to counteract the other side. As I have often written, I think most policy prescriptions by both parties, especially the more extreme segments, are fatally flawed and lack common sense. I have also written that I think this country has become so divided, so polarized that “the truth” or best policy lies in the space where both sides are angry as opposed to the past where the optimal path was the narrow one where both sides were not too angry.


I added the segment divider above almost out of reflex and habit. I had intended to add some automotive content here, but the fact that Henry Ford signed an agreement on this day in 1929 to build cars in the Soviet Union is not, to me, something worth exploring in depth.

It is quite sad to me that cars have basically ceased to be an inspiration except in a narrow way related to thinking about the next car I might buy. For example, in my life I actually know very few people who want to buy an electric vehicle. It also seems to me that except in countries where the government heavily subsidizes the purchase of EVs (and heavily taxes the purchase of ICE-powered vehicles), such vehicles do not really have significant market share.

I am not an over-the-top conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that the relationship between government, big business and the media (including “social media”) is often too cozy for the good of the people. We have been hammered by EV propaganda for well over a decade and governments have had to take the step of outlawing the sale of new ICE-powered vehicles beginning at some point in the not too distant future precisely because they are not a product that most people want to buy. When I write #DeathBeforeEV I am not being glib. I think our rights are being usurped.

I will stick to cars like this, thank you very much.








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