I was remiss in not noting that this past Friday (the 27th) was the one-year anniversary of our reaching a tentative agreement to sell our house in the mid-Atlantic. In some ways, it’s not so difficult to think it’s been a year although in some ways it is. We didn’t actually close on the sale until early November as the house needed major repairs–primarily to the stucco in the front of the house–before we could close.
This post claims that evidence is waning for the theory that the damn virus escaped from the virus lab in Wuhan, China. Here is an excerpt from the post:
“While we’ll never know for sure where the virus came from, the wet-market origin is looking increasingly likely…the precautions we’d take depend on the pandemic’s origin. If it came from a wet market, we’d want to take a close look at these markets, and possibly close them. (I think they should be closed anyway, for, as I’ve seen, the animals for sale are kept under horrible conditions.) If it escaped from the WIV, on the other hand, we’d want to institute more stringent regulations in lab.”
The Chinese government’s unwillingness to cooperate with any real investigation will always cloud any judgment. It should also serve as a reminder that their government is not one “of the people, by the people, for the people,” the phrase Lincoln used in his Gettysburg Address. They can call themselves the People’s Republic of China, but it’s just a name, not reality. Oh, I think the wet markets are disgusting. I don’t care how elitist or racist that may sound.
This Hagerty article is titled, “9 tragically flawed GM vehicles whose heroic fixes came too late.” Here are pictures of the first two cars listed:
Of course, the top photo is a Cadillac Allante (the article specifies the 1993 model, the only year the car was equipped with the Northstar V-8) and the bottom shows the last two Pontiac Fieros ever built meaning they are from the 1988 model year.
Both of these cars have been written about and shown in this blog with the Allante earning a place in Ultimate Garage 3.0. Oh, here is the opening to the Hagerty article, which I think is extremely descriptive:
“Decades upon decades passed when General Motors could do no wrong, and the products rolling off its assembly line were proof positive of its business model’s supremacy. But nobody’s perfect, and mistakes had to be addressed to meet stockholder’s expectations. GM’s design and engineering teams made some great cars with serious potential that were packed with tragic flaws—and received heroic fixes that came right before their curtain calls. It’s all rather tragic, so here are nine examples to prove the point.”
General Motors descent from invincible leviathan to village idiot (OK, maybe that last phrase is a bit of an overstatement) did not, of course, take place overnight and in one giant fall. Still, in the early 1960s GM was very worried about being the target of government action because it occupied more than half of the US automobile market. Three decades later and three decades ago (1991) GM lost $4.5 billion and announced a plan to close 21 manufacturing plants. Of course, by 2008 GM’s losses ballooned to almost $31 billion and the next year the company had to file for bankruptcy and be reorganized.
Since the bankruptcy and reorganization, General Motors has usually been profitable. For 2018-2020 the company had an aggregate profit of almost $21 billion. Still, it is not the king of the hill and it doesn’t seem as if it ever will be again.
Just as some automotive historians think that Studebaker’s bankruptcy and receivership of 1933 meant the company was ultimately doomed, GM’s bankruptcy will prevent it from regaining its dominant status, at least for the foreseeable future.
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