Monday Musings 69

Like Galileo, many people today are being shunned for speaking the truth. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.

In this country, college educated whites under 40 and evangelical christians don’t have anything in common, do they? Actually, they do: both groups have a much higher proportion of anti-vaxxers than average.

The first group has fallen under the spell of “social media.” My writing this will not change anyone’s mind, but your cousin posting on Fack Fucebook that her husband’s cousin had a bad reaction to a vaccine, or that her friend heard that vaccines are an effort at mind control is not credible in any way, shape or form and certainly does not constitute meaningful data.

I know less about the second group but understand that many evangelicals have always been ambivalent at best and mistrustful at worst of large secular institutions. They interpret the “words” of Jesus of Nazareth that his followers are in the world but not “of the world” to mean they should engage with secular institutions with a certain measure of suspicion. Some skepticism about all institutions is healthy, in my opinion. Of course, they blindly follow their favored institution.

I have given up on the hope that most people will use their brains to seek real knowledge. I think we are headed to a new type of Dark Age, where people get off the information superhighway and use the technology of the day to reinforce their prejudices and misguided beliefs and to be “entertained” by mindless garbage.

In his review of one of my favorite movies, “Quiz Show,” the late Roger Ebert wrote this:


“The early quiz shows rewarded knowledge, and made celebrities out of people who knew a lot of things and could remember them. The post-fix quiz shows rewarded luck. On “The $64,000 Question” and “Twenty-One” you could see people getting rich because they were smart. Today people on TV make money by playing games a clever child can master. The message is that it’s not necessary to know anything, because you can be ignorant and still get lucky.

The 1950s have been packaged as a time of Eisenhower and Elvis, Chevy Bel-Airs and blue jeans, crew cuts and drive-ins. “Quiz Show” remembers it was also a decade when intellectuals were respected, when a man could be famous because he was a poet and a teacher, when TV audiences actually watched shows on which experts answered questions about Shakespeare and Dickens, science and history. All of that is gone now.”


I think those words are spot on. I will once again offer my opinion that much/most of the decay in the respect for knowledge stems from bad and/or indifferent parenting and the serious decline in the quality of public education. Political correctness is also a negative factor. I don’t think any of this is fixable at a macro level, anymore.


Here are two recent photos taken from our house:



I tried to keep my phone as steady as possible for the first picture. We have these views almost every day here. Oh, these photos were taken inside through a window in the bonus room on the second floor on the north side of the house.


Someone on our block has a first generation Firebird and first generation Mustang, each sporting Arizona historical license plates. The picture below is not of that specific Firebird, but of one I took earlier this month:



I think the first-generation Firebirds are at least as sharp looking as their F-body cousins, the first-generation Camaro. Both models took a bite out of the Mustang’s position in the niche they really created, the ponycar market.

Mustang production declined by about 135,000 units, or 22 percent, between model years 1966 and 1967. Of course, the latter was the first model year for the Firebird and Camaro. It is not true that Mustang sales declined by almost the same amount as Camaro sales or Camaro/Firebird sales. The two GM cars sold more than 303,000 units for model year 1967, of which 73 percent were Camaros. The entire ponycar market grew. Competition is not inherently evil.

A restomod first-generation Firebird (or Camaro) sounds like a great car to me, but one that I will almost certainly never own. Oh well, such is life…










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Tick Tock

As I begin to write this about 115 hours remain in this ghastly year. As I wrote to photobyjohnbo in replying to a comment, if 2021 is not better than 2020, then we’re in big trouble.

Like virtually the entire world I am looking forward to a much better year, but hope lessons have been learned that will always be applied. I am also hoping for many more opportunities to take pictures like this:



Sadly, the damn virus is still wreaking havoc on automobile events. As reported here, the Retromobile and Greenwich Concours events have already been postponed for 2021. The former, a huge collector car showcase held each February in Paris, has been pushed back to June while the latter has been moved from May/June to late October.

As I have written here before, and I admit this is a selfish perspective, I am hoping that my wonderful wife and I will be fully vaccinated in time so we can attend both the Mecum and Barrett-Jackson auctions that will take place in the Phoenix area in mid to late March. That would mean we would have to receive our first doses in mid to late February, which is extremely unlikely as far as I can tell. One can always hope, however…


On this day in 1941 the first rationing of any item was announced in the US in response to the country’s entry into World War II. Rationing of tires and rubber goods started on January 5, 1942 and the program ran through December 31, 1945. Local Tire Rationing Boards issued certificates for tires or recapping upon application. Certificates for new tires were restricted to vehicles for public health and safety (medical, fire, police, garbage, and mail services), essential trucking (food, ice, fuel), and public transportation.

While some people resisted, most US citizens willingly complied. Compare the response then to what happened when public health and government officials began to restrict the operation of businesses and issued mask mandates in response to the damn virus. A large percentage of the American public refused to comply and/or actively protested.

In the context of a country or society, absolute freedom does not and cannot exist. In that context, absolute freedom is anarchy. No political or behavioral paradigm is always appropriate.

Ignorance is not bliss…


I think this car looks like nothing else on the road, not that it is seen very often:



This is an Alfa Romeo 4C. The car was, face it, a failure especially in the North American market. Alfa Romeo has ended production of the 4C.

This car is not practical by any means, but for the nth time, in a country where more married couples live without children than with, and with millions of single-person households, I am just disappointed beyond words that interesting cars have such a poor track record in the US.

The 4C is not just an interesting looking car, it will accelerate and handle. Because the car is so light (the coupe weighs about 2,300 pounds, the spider a little more), its 1.75 liter/106 cubic-inch turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine–237 HP/258 LB-FT of torque–will propel the car from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds.

Does anyone have any opinions about this car they’d like to share? We’d like to read them.


114 hours to go…







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