Munday Mosings

Who said this?


“Those who claim that the availability of firearms is not a factor in murders in this country are not facing reality.”


That remark was uttered by none other than long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Yep, J. Edgar Hoover. Who wrote the following?


“I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.

Today we are much closer to a general acknowledgment that government must encourage business to expand and grow…We intuitively know that to create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.”


The actual passage is much longer. Would you believe the author was the one-time darling of liberal America, George McGovern?

To clarify, I used J. Edgar Hoover as someone who was supposed to represent the “Right” part of the American political spectrum advocating a position that today’s “Right-Wingers” refuse to consider. I used George McGovern as someone who was supposed to represent the “Left” part of the spectrum also advocating a position that today’s “Left” will not acknowledge.

Blind adherence to any ideology is the road to ruin. It will be the road to the dissolution of the US.


Here are links to a couple of posts from Why Evolution Is True.


Fracas at Washington Post leads to firing of reporter

Here is a brief passage from this post:


“Even I [the blog author], a free-speech defender who would argue that Sonmez has the right to say what she wants on public media, cannot argue that the paper must keep her on whatever she says, including accusing it of being racist. This is one of the consequences of public speech: you are not free of disapprobation by your employer.”


Freedom of speech does NOT mean freedom from consequences. Freedom of speech does not mean that everyone, or anyone for that matter, has to listen nor does it remove the responsibility to be informed. Too many people forget the axiom that it is often better to be silent and thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and to remove all doubt.


American hospitals refuse to adhere to new price transparency law


Medical care is the only good or service that one purchases without having real a priori knowledge of how much it will cost. Any law is only as good as its enforcement.


This piece from Classic Cars is about a new exhibit featuring Postwar Turnpike Cruisers at the Audrain Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. My wonderful wife and I spent a week in Newport one year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Of course, with my luck the museum was closed while we were there so it could change over to a new set of exhibits.

While I don’t think a Plymouth Superbird or Oldsmobile 4-4-2 really counts as a turnpike cruiser, some of the cars in the exhibit are the very definition of such an automobile. From Audrain via Classic Cars are pictures of some of the cars in the exhibit:


1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz


From top to bottom: a 1948 Hudson Commodore (that was the first model year for Hudson’s Step-Down design), a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz and a 1965 Chrysler Imperial that was a gift from Spencer Tracy to Katharine Hepburn.

I think some of those Hudson models from 1948 through the last ones that were really Hudsons and not badge-engineered Nashes are quite stylish. It is a 1-in-300,000,000 shot I will ever be in a position to do so, but if I were I would probably buy one of these Hudsons and have it resto-modded.


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Monday Musings

28 days in a row and counting…

This is the 23rd post with the title Monday Musings. Just to change the pace I was thinking of titling the post Monday Mueslix or Monday Molasses. Strange, you say? Well, if the shoe fits…

See the source image

The top picture is from, the bottom from the manufacturer, Golden Barrel.


On this day in 1954 (yes, before even I was born) the last “real” Hudson automobile was manufactured. In May of that year Hudson and Nash merged to form American Motors Corporation, but auto production can’t just change right away.

Hudson was founded in 1909 by Howard Coffin (I think I would have changed my last name), George Dunham and Roy Chapin. Chapin’s son, also named Roy, would eventually be named CEO of American Motors. The name Hudson came from department store magnate Joseph Hudson who funded the venture.

Early in its history Hudson was an innovative and successful company. The company built mainly closed cars from the beginning, which were different from the open buggy-type design of most American cars. They built the first engine with a balanced crankshaft (in 1916), which made the engine run much more smoothly than most engines of competitors.

As was the case for many companies, the Great Depression really hurt Hudson. In 1928 Hudson sales (including its companion Essex make) totaled 282,000. By 1933 sales had plummeted to 41,000.

Hudson gained some traction (no pun intended) after World War II when it introduced its Step-Down design. Here is an example:

From a picture of a 1948 Hudson Super (and, apparently, its owner). From this article on comes this description of the Step-Down design:

“Hudson introduced its all-new Step-Down series, beating Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler to the punch with an all-new postwar automobile. Radical for its time and incorporating a number of advanced features, the Step-Down Hudson has made a lasting impression to this day…Not an originator of unit body/frame construction, more of an early adopter, Hudson called its design Monobilt. Under chief engineer Millard H. Toncray, the company’s design philosophy was based on a property he called ‘roadability,’ which emphasized ride, road holding, and passenger comfort on the less than optimal two-lane roads of the day—there were no Interstates then. As a result, the Monobilt structure was massively over-engineered and overbuilt for maximum stiffness and silence. In another radical departure, the frame rails passed outboard of the rear wheels…”

These cars had a lower center of gravity than other cars of the era and had exceptional ride quality. Believe it or not, Step-Down Hudsons dominated NASCAR racing in the early 1950s.

However, Hudson’s refusal/inability to produce a V-8 engine hurt the company during the burgeoning horsepower wars of the 1950s. Hudson sold 159,000 cars—about three percent of the US market—in 1949, but by 1953 that number had dropped to 66,000 and only one percent.

The Hudson name didn’t survive the merger for very long. (Neither did the Nash name.) Hudson and Nash shared a platform, which took away from the individuality of both cars, but especially Hudson. Although the decision was made very late in the process (drawings for new Hudson and Nash bodies that would have been placed on the Rambler chassis were made in August of 1957), Hudson and Nash were discontinued after the 1957 model year.

Unfortunately for Hudson and all car enthusiasts, this car from 1954 was only made in very limited production of about 25 vehicles:

(Picture obviously from The Hudson Italia was basically a Hudson Jet with a fancy Italian body, but it’s a handsome and distinctive car.

Please don’t forget companies like Hudson, Nash, American Motors and the like.