Cars A To Z: D

Life goes on; sometimes it doesn’t.


An example of how much my life has changed: my wonderful wife and I watched most of the first half of last night’s Packers-Cardinals game. (Go Pack Go!) At halftime, I changed the channel and then started streaming an episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol. I forgot all about the game and we both fell asleep somewhere near the end of the episode. I didn’t learn until this morning that Green Bay hung on to win its seventh straight game and hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season.

If you had told the 30-year old me that I had forgotten to watch the second half of a football game involving one of my “favorite” teams and, instead, streamed a show about a veterinarian, I would have coughed up a lung laughing. (Never mind, of course, that streaming TV didn’t exist when I was 30.)

Of course, if you had told the 30-year old me that I would be diagnosed with bone spurs in addition to the bunions on both feet I might have used some choice language to convey that you’re crazy. Nevertheless, that is the diagnosis I received yesterday from the podiatrist.


In response to the news about Mecum Auctions’ broadcasts moving to Motor Trend starting in January, I texted Scott Hoke and John Kraman and cautiously asked them if that was welcome news. Hey, I didn’t know if all of the crew would be making the move.

Both responded enthusiastically, which was great to read. They both also offered condolences, which was appreciated, on the death of my wonderful wife’s mother.

I’m just happy I will be able to continue watching the auctions. If Scott is reading this, maybe he can chime in on whether or not the telecasts started in 2008 on what was then called HD Theater, which is now–in a roundabout way–Motor Trend. For Mark in Canada, if Discovery Velocity is still being shown you may now be able to watch the Mecum Auctions.


As many of you may know, Fack Fucebook has changed the name of its parent company to Meta Networks. Noted tech investor/commentator Roger McNamee composed this limerick “in honor” of the occasion:


“There was once a hacker named Zuck

Who screwed half the world for a buck

People hoped he’d do betta

So the name changed to Meta

But the name and the product still suck.”


Once again, a turd by any other name still stinks.


OK, to the “D” car in Cars A To Z. By the way, I think that most of my first posts after any kind of break, even just one day, are longer than average.

I could have written about the beautiful French makes Delage or Delahaye. I could have written about two of my personal favorites, DeSoto or De Tomaso. The 100+ year old American company, Dodge, could have been the topic. In the end, though, one “D” car stood out: Duesenberg.

How many of you know that a Duesenberg was the winning car in the Indianapolis 500 four times in the 1920s? How many of you know that a Duesenberg finished first in the French Grand Prix in 1921?

Frederick and August Duesenberg (Fred and Augie) could build some cars. (I listed Fred first because he was the older brother.) What they couldn’t do well was to run a business. Perhaps it was an inevitable manifestation of the rapid growth of the automobile industry at that time that their road cars ceased to be innovative by the mid-1920s.

Errett Lobban Cord, successful businessman and President/CEO of the Auburn Automobile Company, bought Duesenberg. Most sources say the deal happened in 1925, but The Beaulieu Encyclopedia Of The Automobile cites the year as 1926.

Anyway…inspired by Ettore Bugatti, Cord wanted to design and to build a new car that would outclass and outperform any other car made anywhere in the world and felt the Duesenberg brothers were the people to do it. In 1928, the Duesenberg Model J, designed primarily by Fred, debuted. While the company had been producing road cars, primarily the Model A, since 1921, it was the Model J for which the company is most remembered. A couple of relevant photos, OK the bottom photo is an SSJ, so sue me:


See the source image


Whether or not the 420 cubic-inch straight-eight engine could really produce 265 HP is a matter of some debate, but not completely relevant, in my opinion. The highest output for a 1929 Cadillac was 90 HP and for the same year Packard’s highest output was 130. If the Duesenberg motor really produced 225 or 240 HP, it was still way ahead of everyone else at the time.

Between EL Cord’s stock “machinations” and the Great Depression, his automobile empire, including Duesenberg, collapsed in 1937 and he sold the company to the Aviation Corporation. Don’t feel bad for EL Cord; he later made millions in real estate and was an early Radio/TV “magnate.”

Of course, Duesenberg is a legendary make today. Although no US company builds a no-holds-barred luxury car at present, that hasn’t always been the case. A fully completed Model J, including coachwork which came from an outside coachbuilder and not Duesenberg–they only built a drivable chassis, could cost as much as $20,000-$25,000. The most expensive Cadillac in 1930 was less than $10,000 and an eight-cylinder Caddy could be purchased for under $4,000. In 1931, it was possible to buy a Chevrolet for $445.

I will opine for the nth plus nth time that I think an American-made super-luxury car would be successful today. I wish I were in a position to make that happen.









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More Car Show Pics

First…my “political” statement for the day:



This is the t-shirt I wore as my wonderful wife and I did some trimming ordered by the HOA fascists. I really don’t care if they paint the few square millimeters of bushes sticking through the back fence, but they won’t paint the fence unless the bushes were “removed.” Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe the small-minded, self-righteous pinheads who serve on most HOA boards and the management companies that supervise them?


Here are some much better pictures:



Oh, you want to see the car…



You might recognize the Corvette on the right. The longer I have the new wheels, the happier I am with them.

I really liked the following car and we usually see something like this at this particular monthly gathering:



This is a beautiful 1933 Pontiac. They built about 90,000 of these in 1933 priced between $585 and $695.



The bottom photo is a current generation Acura NSX. Unfortunately, production of this car will end with the 2022 model year. Mecum auctioned VIN 001 for the last year of the NSX for charity at the recently completed Monterey event. I think the car hammered for $1 million, but I also think Mecum still collects a commission even for charity cars so the buyer paid $1.1 million all in.

Hope you have enjoyed the pictures; well, at least the ones about cars.









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Fast Friday Fricassee

No, I am not going to share a recipe for chicken fricassee, which by the way was apparently a favorite dish of Abraham Lincoln. I am going to share some links to articles, but not go into depth about them.


This piece is titled “Facebook and its advertisers are panicking as the majority of iPhone users opt out of tracking.” Here’s more:


“With iOS 14.5 released to the public earlier this year, iPhone and iPad users now have the ability to easily opt out of cross-site and cross-app tracking and targeting. New data from analytics firm Branch indicates that just 25% of users are opting in to tracking, which is causing panic in the advertising industry.”


Well done, Apple!


This link is to an op-ed about China titled, “American corporations must stop selling out to China’s brutal regime.” Bill Drexel and Paul Wolfowitz write, “The Chinese government’s ability to decisively influence even minuscule advertising decisions across America should be cause for great concern in a world in which U.S. movies, schools and publishers bow to Chinese fiscal pressure.”

The Chinese government is the opposite of altruistic and China’s “system” should not be a model for any country where freedom is valued.


This piece has the title, “Legal Aid Society demonizes progressive public defender who criticized racial tribalism.” More: “Why? Because she’s [Maud Maron] in the process of being canceled for writing a letter to the New York Post denouncing the racial tribalism promoted by Critical Race Theory and its everyday interpretations and tenets.”

Critical Race Theory is itself grossly racist. Cancel Culture is the antithesis of freedom of speech. Once again, the author of the linked blog is an American liberal, not a conservative.


Shifting to cars…this Hagerty article is titled, “The most valuable Corvettes from C1 to C6.” Not surprisingly, the most valuable Corvette from the first six generations was one of these (picture from Mecum):


1967 Corvette Coupe L88 front three-quarter


According to Hagerty a 1967 L88 in excellent condition has an average value of $2.5 million. Of course, only 20 of them were produced. This generation’s most valuable car had the lowest value among the six:


2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary front three-quarter


This is a 2003 Corvette Pace Car Convertible, with a value of $33,000 in excellent condition. Of course, this is a C5. I personally do not care for cars with writing on them and over the top ornamentation.


Hope you have enjoyed today’s post. I may engage in this type of writing on a semi-regular basis if the response is good.

Enjoy your weekend.







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Wandering Around

On this day in 1911, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil Company of New Jersey was guilty of monopolizing the petroleum industry through a series of abusive and anti-competitive actions. The Court’s remedy was to divide Standard Oil into many geographically separate and eventually competing firms.

Guck Foogle has a de facto monopoly in internet search and Fack Fucebook has a de facto monopoly in social media. The two companies have a de facto duopoly in digital advertising. Both companies have engaged in abusive and anti-competitive actions. Why have they not been broken up?

Our so-called representatives are asleep at the switch. We are governed by an unholy alliance of special interest groups and overly ideological politicians. Of course, a scary proportion of our “representatives” don’t even understand how Guck Foogle and Fack Fucebook work. They also don’t seem to understand the scary amount of power that all tech giants have, way too much power for a democracy to function properly.


Besides a cloud-based DVR that seems to have a mind of its own, the other annoying thing about Hulu + Live TV is the excessive number of promos for shows that seem beyond stupid, including some of its own original programming. I won’t dignify the show by mentioning it by name, but the show–a Hulu original–reviewed in the linked article seems to be the definition of unappealing to me.

I know I will sound like an old fogy, but whatever happened to “real” comedies with clever writing, character development, AND live studio audiences?! I also think that political polarization and political correctness have ruined the “entertainment” industry.

I always make sure I have several Mecum broadcasts on my DVR so that when I feel like watching TV I will have something to watch. It’s too bad that the Hulu DVR “forgets” to record them from time to time.


Well, I have taken the plunge and made the deposit for the work on my Z06. For many reasons, I have decided against the more invasive work that would have included the installation of a new camshaft, but would have also meant much more HP/Torque. This job is a “bolt-on” application.

Part of the job will include installation of an aftermarket heat exchanger for the supercharger in addition to a supercharger fluid expansion tank that adds 2 gallons of capacity to the stock system to slow the rise of intake air temps. More horsepower means more heat and in Arizona heat is already a concern.

It is possible the work could be done in late July, right after the expiration of my powertrain warranty. Oh, as if the car didn’t sound good enough as is, the new headers with a high temperature ceramic coating should make it sound even better. What does my car sound like now?



You know what the car looks like…












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The Beginning Of The Middle

Today’s post title refers to yesterday’s post/post title.


The good news is that blog views for April, 2021 were 16% higher than for April, 2020, when views took a quantum leap up in the wake of the damn virus. The bad news is that the average number of views per day for April, 2021 was 16% lower than the average of the previous six months.

As I wrote somewhere in this blog, I believe that the six months ending in March of this year will represent the high-water mark for blog views. As people stop being confined they will read less and spend less time with their computers and mobile devices. It is what it is.


From a speech by Vince Lombardi, thoughts on a theme about which I have written:


“We as individuals have struggled to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states. Therefore, freedom was necessarily idealized against order, the new against the old and genius against discipline. Everything was done to strengthen the rights of the individual and weaken the state…and weaken all authority. I think we all shared in this rebellion, but maybe the battle was too completely won, maybe we have too much freedom. Maybe we have so long ridiculed authority in the family, discipline in education and decency in conduct and law that our freedom has brought us close to chaos.”


That last sentence rings very true for me. I think about the assault on the US Capitol in January, about the Antifa riots, about people refusing to wear masks and get vaccinated, and I think people have lost all respect for anyone except them, for any ideas with which they disagree. I would add that this behavior also stems from excessive narcissism, but that could be partly explained by the struggle “to liberate ourselves from ancient traditions, congealed creeds and despotic states.”

I have no answers, only despair. I think “social media” plays a huge role in the decay of respect for others and for other ideas. It is my fervent, albeit futile, hope that Fack Fucebook is broken up and that Zark Muckerberg ends up in prison.


On this day in 1953 Zora Arkus-Duntov was hired by Chevrolet although, initially, he had no involvement in the recently introduced Corvette. However, before the year was over Duntov wrote an internal memo titled, “Thoughts on Youth, Hot-Rodders and Chevrolet.” He expressed his thoughts that an image for high performance cars should be developed by Chevrolet with the Corvette as the focus and, as such, was linked to that effort thereafter.

It was Duntov who first proposed a mid-engine design for the Corvette in the 1950s and that culminated in the first mid-engine Corvette prototype, the CERV I of 1959. That it took 60-ish years for Chevrolet and GM to actually produce a mid-engine Corvette…well, I guess large companies are like large ships in that it’s difficult to change direction quickly.

While I doubt my wonderful wife or I will ever own a mid-engine Corvette, I think the decision to produce such a car was the “right” decision and the overwhelming success of the C8 so far seems to confirm that thought. The obligatory picture of a C8 Corvette:


See the source image


Is it really May 1?!









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Frugal Friday: 25 Miles From Home And Turbocharged

First…this CNBC article is titled, “Apple CEO links Facebook’s business model to real-world violence.” Here is one of Tim Cook’s comments: “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves scorn.” Amen!

Here is another one of his remarks: “At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good and the longer the better.” Cook never actually mentioned Fack Fucebook by name (I try to avoid mentioning those criminals by name, as well), but his reference could not have been clearer.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


OK, I have decided to continue Frugal Friday on occasion, but only when I can really think of something interesting to me. By extension, I hope any Frugal Friday cars I choose are interesting to you, also.

In 2010, only about 5% of the new cars and light trucks sold in the US were turbocharged. By 2017, that percentage had increased to almost 28%. Intransigent proponents of all-electric vehicles dream about that kind of speed of adaptation.

While I would never impose my will and beliefs on others, I do think that all internal combustion engines should be turbocharged. Such engines can have smaller displacement, meaning better fuel economy, without sacrificing power. Turbocharged engines are also more thermally efficient than naturally aspirated motors and produce less emissions.

Long way ’round, today’s Frugal Friday cars are an interesting pair of turbocharged cars with fewer than 45,000 miles found on AutoTrader within 25 miles of my home zip code. In all, the search returned 645 cars and sedans were excluded.

Remember that I will not show pictures of the actual cars as AutoTrader aggressively breaks links to pictures on their website. Without further ado:


See the source image


From Auto Evolution a picture of a Saab 9-3 turbo convertible. The AutoTrader car, a 2004 model, is Black over Gray, has about 41,000 miles and an asking price of $11,500. The two-liter turbo four produces 210 HP/221 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has a 5-speed automatic transmission.

My wonderful wife’s father owned a Saab convertible and he really liked it, except the time he parked it with the top down and birds pooped on the interior. Oh, I do not like the term “in-law.”

From Drag Times, a picture of a car like one currently offered on AutoTrader:


See the source image


This is a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line. As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know, I am a big fan of these cars AND think General Motors should have given Buick an improved and upgraded version of this car as a halo car after it and its close cousin, the Pontiac Solstice, were discontinued due to the GM bankruptcy and the end of Pontiac and Saturn.

The AutoTrader car is in Midnight Blue over Black, has 43,000 miles and the asking price is $14,999. The two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produced 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. When this engine was introduced in the Red Line and Solstice GXP it had the highest specific output (HP per unit of displacement) of any engine in General Motors history. The car for sale has a 5-speed manual transmission.

Two interesting (IMO) cars that are turbocharged and convertibles, no less, for under $15,000 each. Sounds good to me…if only we had room for another car. 🙂









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A Real A Or B

OK, two pics first…



That white smudge is Venus. Not sure why the pic is so blurry; it looks fine on my phone. Must be a resolution thing. Any help, photobyjohnbo? Ironically, I named the photo “A Better Picture Of Venus” before I saw it here. No rest for the “wicked,” I guess.



That is my wonderful wife holding up my newest acquisition. While Guck Foogle T-Shirts are plentiful, I had to have this made. I will wear it as often as possible and when it wears out, I will buy one or two more. Fack Fucebook!


OK, today’s A Or B is not a theoretical exercise. Tangent…looking out my office window can be quite the distraction. I can’t get a good picture because of the window screen and schmutz (“dirt” in Yiddish), but my eyes and brain are having quite the feast at present with the bands of orange, the cactus and the distant mountain peaks. Just since I began writing this tangent, the sky has developed a large orange-pink feature. (Sorry, I am partially color-blind and terrible at assigning the “right” name to many colors.) It’s still 10-15 minutes before “sunrise.”

Anyway, back to the cars…as every regular reader of this blog knows, my wonderful wife and I are on the verge of buying a car, I think. While we will make the final decision, of course, I would like to get your choice and read your thoughts about these two cars:


See the source image


The photo comparison is not apples to apples because the picture of the Lexus RC is of “studio quality” and the picture of the Cadillac ATS coupe is not.

OK, what do you want to know? For this exercise price does matter and assume the Lexus is $5,000 more expensive, let’s say $30,000 compared to $25,000 for the Cadillac. Assume the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for each car.

The rear seats in the Cadillac are larger, but the trunk space is virtually the same. I have no “data” on how the RC drives because we haven’t driven one, yet.

If you want more info before casting your vote, please feel free to let me know. OK, Lexus RC or Cadillac ATS coupe? Thanks.








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Not So Frugal Friday

First…perhaps this lawsuit is a last-ditch effort by a lame-duck administration to gain notoriety, but Fack Fucebook has been sued by the Department of Justice alleging the “company” discriminated against American workers in the way it hired foreigners for high-paying positions. From the linked story in US News & World Report:


“A lawsuit filed Thursday by the Justice Department accuses Facebook of refusing to recruit or consider U.S workers for some 2,600 positions from January 2018 to September 2019, instead reserving those jobs for H-1B temporary work visa holders that the company sponsored for permanent residency, often known as a green card.

Federal law requires companies to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers for a position before it offers the job to a foreign worker on a temporary visa who the company can then sponsor for an employment-based green card.

DOJ alleges in its lawsuit that Facebook reserved those thousands of jobs for foreign workers it sponsored for green cards through a federal immigration process dubbed PERM. Facebook did not advertise the positions on its careers website, required applicants to apply by mail and refused to consider U.S. workers for the roles, the Justice Department alleges.”


Why should anyone be surprised by a company that even puts itself in a position for such a lawsuit when it’s run by a person who has said, “You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life?” As I wrote here someone who admits unethical behavior is almost certainly not opposed to illegal behavior, despite Muckerberg’s statement to the contrary.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


My wonderful wife and I test-drove a Buick Cascada yesterday. Although the ride was a little “floaty” and the car did have the convertible wobble going over bumps, it was very comfortable and while it is certainly no C7 Corvette, it had more oomph than its power-to-weight ratio would have suggested.

However, while we were waiting for the Cascada to be brought around for the test drive, I saw this car in the showroom:



This 2019 Z06 convertible took my breath away. No, I/we am/are not going to buy it, but I started thinking about having a different set of constraints. I don’t mean an unlimited budget or a bigger house with a 6-car garage, but being able to spend for the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion an amount similar to what we spent for our Corvettes, about $60,000 each. The car would still have to have four seats and a decent-sized trunk.

Using AutoTrader for such a search yielded a lot of German cars. In fact, and perhaps somewhat unfortunately, I may have to “hold my nose” when we buy the next car because if we don’t insist that it is a convertible, then it may be a German car although it would never be a Volkswagen or Porsche. Here is one of the only cars that met all of our criteria and wasn’t from a German company, picture from 0-60


See the source image


This is a 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Once again, this is not the actual AutoTrader car as links to pictures on their website break quickly. The AutoTrader car is White (not a preferred color for us) over Red, has about 27,500 miles and the asking price is $56,199.

Believe it or not, the trunk in these cars is quite large at over 16 cubic feet. Supposedly, the car will seat five, but it should certainly be able to seat four comfortably.

That would be cool having a 700+ HP grocery car/taxi. With the intake and exhaust mods on my Z06, that would give us two cars with 700+ HP. We would almost have a 2,000 HP garage. Still, we are not going to spend $55,000-$65,000 on this car, but I wanted to imagine what we could buy if we were willing AND the car had four seats and a decent-sized trunk.

As for the Cascada, we are not buying anything before the new year–which is scarily just four weeks away–but yesterday’s test drive did not eliminate the car from consideration. With the top up, the trunk has enough size for groceries and the back seats can comfortably carry two normal-sized people. Although I was somewhat facetious the first time I wrote this, the fact that the car was built in the country of my parents’ birth–Poland–is drawing me to the car. The fact that it’s a Buick, at least in name, is also a plus as buying it would be an homage to the car I grew up with and the first car I ever drove, my father’s 1956 Buick Century. Also, having another convertible in Arizona is not overkill. The test drive was with the top down…in December.

If anyone has any additional thoughts on this matter, I would be happy to read them. Thanks.










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Throwback Thursday 43

First…yesterday I criticized those who think taxes have no impact on behavior. Yes, there really are people who think taxes don’t affect how people act. This story from CNBC is about yet another of the countless examples of how taxes profoundly influence behavior.

Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir and founder of a venture firm named 8VC, is moving his company headquarters from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. In an interview, Lonsdale specifically cited California’s high taxes as a key reason why the company was moving to Texas. Peter Thiel, co-founder and Chairman of Palantir, recently announced that his company headquarters were also leaving California and moving to Denver, Colorado.

If they can, people vote with their feet. Making rich people poorer will not make poor people richer, at least not in the developed world. The politics of envy are a road to nowhere.

Second…Hallelujah! Fack Fucebook is likely to be the subject of two antitrust lawsuits, including one that could be filed as early as next week. State attorneys general are preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook as soon as next week and at least 20 to 30 states could join in. Many sources are reporting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also likely to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

Facebook has a de facto monopoly on “social media” especially when one considers that they own Instagram. I have tremendous respect for Jim Cramer of CNBC, but disagree with him on this issue. The possibility that the cost of digital advertising will increase if Facebook is broken up is a poor reason for not doing so. The power the company has is dangerous and time and time again they have shown disrespect for the data of their customers.

Delete Facebook! Fack Fucebook!


What was the best-selling car in the US fifty years ago, or 1970 for those of you who are mathematically challenged? It was a model that sold over a million units for model year 1965 and even though by 1970 that figure had diminished by more than half, it was still at the top of the heap. Here is a picture (from Classic Car Database):


See the source image


This is a 1970 Chevrolet Impala. For that year about 496,000 Impalas were produced. Based on my admittedly less than thorough research, I believe the #2 car model was the Ford LTD at about 374,000.

For a model that was so successful for so many years, it is quite sad to me that the Impala is no longer being produced and probably never will be again. From the first year that the Impala was a completely separate model, 1959, through 1968–ten model years–more than seven million Impalas were produced.

As I have recounted before in this blog, I have a sentimental attachment to the Impala. When my ’67 GTO was wrecked in an accident two weeks before I was to leave for college for the first time, it was my father’s ’61 Impala that got me back and forth between home and college during my first semester. My aunt and uncle owned a ’64 that they would let me pretend to drive.

Car enthusiasts, particularly American car enthusiasts, should acknowledge the significance of the Chevrolet Impala.











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Wandering Wednesday

First, an apology to WordPress, the platform that hosts this blog. In yesterday’s post, Strange Minds, I asked why the word “dreamt” was underlined in red while composing a post since it is a real word. Well, I asked one of the WordPress engineers that question and they replied that WordPress does not have an active dictionary monitoring posts. The engineer suggested it could be my browser or even operating system.

Second, while I am always grateful for views/comments by markcars2014 and other Canadian readers, I want to note that Disaffected Musings has, seemingly, developed regular readers in Italy, Norway and my ancestral home of Poland. I hope they will continue reading and, hopefully, spread the word.



How many of you have heard of the site postsecret? It was created by Frank Warren in 2004. People anonymously send in their secrets on postcards, which are often homemade, and some are shown on the site.

It is a relic, for lack of a better word, of the days on the Internet before Fack Fucebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The site has always been ad-free. For a time, so many secrets were sent in that Warren was able to publish several books containing them.

Some of the secrets are shocking and/or sad. I have always suspected that some proportion, say 20%, are not real. I don’t mean that Warren sends them in himself or via proxies, but that the “secrets” on some postcards are simply made up, perhaps as some sort of wish fulfillment.

Anyway…the picture above is captured from postsecret. I love Fack Fucebook being on the list of apps that don’t bring joy to the user. Here are two results from a study by Stanford University:


Facebook deactivation reduced political polarization

One of the biggest issues supposedly affecting the US voting base at the moment is political polarization — this is the idea that Democrats and Republicans are unwilling to compromise on issues that affect the entire country.

The study found that deactivating Facebook pulls former users more into line with the average position in their respective political parties. Essentially, this means that Facebook deactivation brings users closer to the political center. But, has social media actively led to the increase in polarization, or have the parties and voters drifted further apart of their own volition? According to the study:

“The figure shows that deactivation moves both Democrats and Republicans visibly towards the center. In the control group, the issue opinions of the average Democrat and the average Republican differ by 1.47 standard deviations. In the treatment group, this difference is 1.35 standard deviations — about eight percent less.

“Are these polarization effects large or small? As one benchmark, we can compare these effects to the increase in political polarization in the US since 1996, well before the advent of social media. Using data from the American National Election Studies… [another academic] calculates that the change in a different index of polarization… increased by 0.38 standard deviations between 1996 and 2016. The 0.16 standard deviation effect of Facebook deactivation on political polarization in our sample is about 42 percent as large as this increase.”


Facebook deactivation marginally improves subjective wellbeing

Perhaps the most interesting revelation from the study is that Facebook “does indeed have adverse effects on subjective well being.”


I know that my anti-Facebook rantings will not get anyone to stop using it. I suspect a larger proportion of readers of this blog don’t use Fack Fucebook than the proportion of the general public. I will make a strong statement: I think Mark Zuckerberg is the chief criminal of his criminal company and I think that Facebook should be forced to divest itself of Instagram and What’s App. The possibility that such a divestiture may raise the unit cost of digital advertising is a very small price to pay for stripping Fack Fucebook of its de facto monopoly of social media and for reducing the dangerous amount of power it has. Oh, here’s a remark made by Zuckerberg:


“You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life.”


For me, someone who admits to unethical behavior has no real constraints against using illegal behavior. That’s a trade-off almost no one can negotiate successfully. Fack Fucebook! Delete Facebook!


Given the dramatic slowdown in the number of showings we’ve had for our house between weeks one and two on the market, I must admit to having some doubt that the move to the desert will take place as quickly as I would like. Of course, that means that the quest for a Corvette Companion/Grocery Car has been pushed to the back burner.

Still, I look on car sales websites almost every day although the “journeys” are much shorter than before. I have to admit that despite the change to looking for more modern cars, every now and then I look at something like this:



From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1963 Buick Wildcat with an admittedly less than desirable 87,000+ miles on the clock and an asking price of $19,900. Throw in the black interior, a no-go in the desert, and this becomes an impractical purchase. Nevertheless, I am really drawn to this car. The heart wants what it wants.









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