“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Here We Go Again in Lebanon


  1. they love death more than you love life

  2. I gotta little play on words on them trees in the previous thread!
    Whata World!
    No such thing as a Coinkey-Dink,
    I always say.

  3. FWIW, Trish, I linked to this story goin on 24 hours ago over at BC.
    Just so you know.

  4. Doug,
    Carmel and the Concourse ..whata great show and venue. And Laguna Seca, one of the most famous tracks in the world. I use to go to races there all the time. Drive over from SFO in my Lotus Europa, 1975 JPS with the filly de jour. Then to Clint Eastwoods' Hogs Breath Inn...heavenly weekends in the '70's ...

  5. Doug, I held the story because I did not want to slow up the momentum on the immigration.

  6. Get the big mo' goin'

    Don't want to get stuck in any quagmires

    No siree bob

    Notice none of the uniforms have body armor, not even helmets, just berets.

    Ready to rock & roll.

    Dance all night.

    In the belly of a 113

  7. Saw the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby put on a concert at Laguna Seca. Quite the deal.

    Had a brew or two at the Hogsbreath. But stayed in Monteray most of the time, weekends down to Big Sur with the local girls, damn, over 20 years ago, now.

    South of Bug Sur was a little eatery & bar perched on a cliff, hangin' out over the ocean, seemed to be. Used to road trip down there for a beer, on my short timer circut.

  8. I knew that girl was prejudiced and don't like me!
    "I have news for Mark Steyn, he is from Canada, a place where every one looks as if they should be named Doug or Brenda."
    Some people can't write about this subject without resorting to outrageous hyperbole and false charges, over and over.
    Ain't that some sort of "tell?"

  9. That was just an inside joke for Trish, Deuce, no offense:
    Immigration should be front and center until that pig is poked, or we accept our dhimmitude, and I'm just too damned old to let that happen w/o a fight.

  10. My favorite place at Laguna was at the top of the hill where there's a sharp left at the end of a straight.
    Still can see Birdcage Maseratis, Chapparals, Scarabs, (!) and all belching fire as they braked for that turn, then accelerate downhill through the S turns in the Oaks.
    Reventlow, and I think Dan Gurney, came in 1-2 in his Scarabs one year. Beautiful cars, great sounding Chevy V-8s, those were the days!

  11. ""I'm disappointed — almost heartbroken — because we made some progress toward getting to this new framework, but the political wheeling and dealing and compromising and splitting the baby has resulted in a circumstance that, you know, we just didn't get far enough," Sessions said."

    Jeff is about the only guy I trust, and even he may get pushed around by the corruption and perversion that powers that place.

  12. "FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (AP) - A federal judge Monday blocked enforcement of a voter-endorsed ordinance preventing apartment rentals to most illegal immigrants in this Dallas suburb, opponents of the ban said. "
    What else is new?
    California voters passed some spiffy propositions only to have the courts overrule the people.
    ...leading to CA's destruction.
    People shouldaa listened better to the Birchers when they said:
    "Impeach the Warren Court!"

  13. McCain also criticized former Sen. Fred Thompson, who is considering running for president, for opposing the immigration measure but didn't get nearly as personal as he did with Romney.

    "I was a little disappointed in Fred because, again, he had a different position not that long ago," McCain said. "But since he's not a declared candidate, I think that Fred will be able to articulate his position."

    In a statement last week, Thompson said: "We should scrap this bill and the whole debate until we can convince the American people that we have secured the borders or at least have made great headway."

    Target Romney

  14. Chapparal Cars

    In 1966 Chaparral introduced the 2E for the Can-Am series. With its high mounted wing it was the car that changed racing forever.

    It scored a one-two finish at Laguna Seca with Phil Hill and Jim Hall driving.

    1966 also saw the Chaparral 2D in World Championship Endurance competition winning the Nurburgring 1,000 kilometers event, driven by Phil Hill and Jo Bonnier.

    In 1967 Chaparral introduced the 2F, a high winged coupe for World Championship Endurance Racing. It set the fastest lap in five of its eight entries and won its final race at Brands Hatch.

    In 1970 Chaparral introduced its most controversial car, the Chaparral 2J. This car had a separate engine to drive two fans that exhausted air from beneath the car to create suction down force. The car was quickly banned after sitting on the pole in three of its four starts.

    In 1978 Chaparral won Indy with a Chaparral prepared Lola driven by Al Unser. For 1979 Chaparral decided to build its own Indy car, Chaparral 2K. Al Unser lead the race from the outside pole until 2K's transmission failed. In 1980 Johnny Rutherford won both the Indianapolis 500 and the USAC and Cart National Championships in 2K.

  15. It seems there might be some momentum in the immigration bill story, with the Senate putting it off until June.

    The hero of our Moscow shoot-out was one Peter H.--20 year old UofI student who lived a few houses down. Heard the shooting and grapped his .45 auto and headed out to help. Turned out the cops had not quite arrived and he took four hits from either an M-1 or an Ak-47, the shooter had both. He is in the hospital holding on. You got to hand it to this kid. While he didn't change the outcome any, he 'headed right over there to help.'

    If you pray, pray one for this kid tonight.

  16. By golly Doug you're a motorhead..DR too..

    I started following F-1 when Wolfgang von Tripps "Taffy" and Phil Hill were both driving for Ferrari. Phil won the championship when von Tripps was kill at Monza on the high banking they no longer use. He had a shunt with a rookie....Jimmy Clark.
    I've got bound Road and Tracks dating back to 1958.

    I saw what has been called one of the greatest GP's ever at Long Beach when Nikki Lauda(Ferrari), Mario Andretti (Lotus 72) and Ronnie Peterson (Lotus) went nose to tail for 78 of 80 laps. I had tickets at the Queens Hairpin where mario on lap 78 outbraked Lauda and went on to win..he won the F-1 title that year too.

    The irony is that just as Phil Hill won his and was the first American to do so, Mario won his in the same having his teammate lose his life at Monza!

    I saw Sterling Moss drive a Birdcage Maser for Team Camoradi at Sebring in '59. It broke. I saw the wonderful 24 hour races at Daytona when all the big factories participated,Ferrari, Porsche,Alpha Romeo,French Matras, Lola T70's, Cobras, Chaparells..what fun.

    The track at Riverside ,Ca was also a great track to go to with a long gone.

    My next motor venture is the Goodwood Festival of Speed either this year or next.

  17. Habu, you've mentioned various types of UNDERWEAR in your posts at times. Check this out.

  18. "We are deeply concerned about the developing humanitarian crisis, particularly the danger to civilian lives," UN Palestinian refugee agency director Richard Cook said.

    Doctors have describing seeing bodies strewn on the streets of the Nahr al-Bared, which like all other refugee camps in Lebanon remain outside the control of the government and in the hands of Palestinian factions.

    "The electricity has been cut, there's not much water and the camp's bakeries are shut," said Hajj Rifaat, an official from the mainstream group Fatah, which denies any links with Fatah al-Islam.

    In Lebanon

  19. Forgot about the Lola T70, liked that car.
    My dad took me to Indy (in a DC-4 or 6) in 58, I think, or 9, when Jack Brabham brought his Cooper, giving away 500cc I think, and lots of power, but he could just about go flat out all the way around, and came in 10th!

    Dad took a helicopter ride at riverside in 55, don't know what was state of the art then!
    Mojave had a great course in the middle of nowhere.

    It was Chuck Daigh driving with Reventlow.
    Lance ended up another victim of GD lightplanes in CO at 36.
    Didn't know that, it was 72 when we lived w/o any connection to any grid.

    In Santa Barbara, they had a showing of Indy on the Big Screen. Saw Stewart win, I think, those were about the most beautiful formula cars ever made, before all the aero stuff.
    MacDonald's go cart with 13 inch wheels and the awful napalm explosion on the first lap when he hit the wall with a full load of gasoline.
    Goes on and on, don't it?
    McClaren's won for quite a few years too.

  20. Only now is Mickey Thompson's killer paying his dues. Mickey built Macdonald's car, I think.

  21. And of course, Ascari, Juan Manual Fangio, and Stirling Moss!

    ...wish I could remember Biblical stuff as well.
    Psych problem, I think.

  22. Did you ever see the Ford race at Sebring?
    That's about the only car I never saw.
    Just remembered how dominant the D-Jag was for quite a while.

  23. Ok, last one:
    Saw races at Chavez Ravine!
    New Vette and Cobra.

  24. Habu,

    Luxuria is playing spy master music:

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Alvah Robert "Al" Holbert (born November 11, 1946 at Abington, Pennsylvania, died September 30, 1988) was an American automobile racing driver who was a five-time champion of the IMSA Camel GT series.
    The son of racecar driver Bob Holbert, who also ran a Volkswagen-Porsche dealership in Warrington, PA, near Philadelphia, Holbert worked for Roger Penske whilst studying at Lehigh University. In 1971, Holbert scored his first race win in a Porsche and would turn professional in 1974 and scored his first of his two IMSA titles in 1976 and 1977 in a Chevrolet Monza, being a Porsche person, Holbert allowed Porsche technicians to inspect his Monza, that would eventually lead to turbo car being permitted to compete which Porsche wished for. As their latest cars were turbo models such as the Porsche 934, that led to a Porsche dominance for the following years as well as Holbert jumping ship to the Stuttgart marque.
    From 1976-1979 Holbert raced 19 career races in NASCAR. In those 19 races, in which he drove primarily for James Hylton, Holbert scored 4 top ten finishes.
    He also added a Can-Am championship title in 1983 along with an IMSA GTP title in a Porsche powered March 83G when Porsche were unable to make their 956 eligible for competition that year. Holbert finished fourth in the 1984 Indianapolis 500, and led the Porsche IndyCar effort in 1987-1988. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983, 1986, and 1987, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1986 and 1987 and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1976 and 1981. Holbert was the head of the Porsche North America's Motorsports Division and ran his own racing team, Holbert Racing. In 1988, Holbert realised that the Porsche 962 that had brought him success in his earlier years was becoming outmoded by the newer generation of racers from the likes of the Jaguar XJR-9 and the Electramotive's Nissan GTP racer, planned to build an open top Porsche engined racer for customer teams.
    On September 30, 1988, Holbert was at the IMSA Columbus Ford Dealers 500. That evening, Holbert was fatally injured when his plane crashed shortly after takeoff near Columbus, Ohio after he diverted his aircraft away from a group of houses where it was heading toward to when it developed an engine failure. At the end of the season, the team was disbanded and IMSA would retire his race number 14.
    Holbert Racing, notably employed chief mechanic Kevin Doran, who would later become a noted team owner.
    Son Todd was also a mechanic, and is currently with Toyota developing their NASCAR Tundra and Camry vehicles.

    In 1962, I was with Al and another friend when Roger Penske loaned Al one of his cars. It was a Chevy 409 if my memory is correct. The car was impeccable and on a Saturday afternoon we were in heaven. Al was doing a little show boating and we were distracted looking at some girls. Al rear ended another car with Roger Penske's beautiful car.

    When explaining it to Roger Penske, Roger said the worst thing possible to sixteen year old boys, "Al, I am dissapointed."

    The last time I saw Al was in 1972.

  27. In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing book-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.

    Thirty-six hours before he was killed by U.S. forces, Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah said he was training American and British citizens to carry out suicide missions in their home countries

    sleep tight
    good night

  28. Nobody comes close to Penske when it comes to car ownership.
    Have no idea how many years he has been dominant, but nobody's in the same league.
    Perfection in Car Preparation, that musta been one shame-filled moment!
    You reminded me of the old Porsche Spyder and RSK's.
    When I was at UCSB they did real well on the Goleta Airport course there.
    Lost my job at Shakeys cause I couldn't tear myself away.
    Used to put a drop of detergent on a big glass when I was tending bar and fill it with dark beer.
    No foam, so it looked like Root Beer!
    Lot's of Pizza and Beer and BS was shared by all!

  29. A friend of mine who was a Chemistry Genius and Teaching Assistant at the time used to be a regular at Shakeys.
    One night he was headed home on his Honda Superhawk, and just happened to drift off the road a bit right where the curb started!
    After a flight of some duration, he ended up with a steel plate in his forehead, and a hole (depression) right between his eyes where you could see his pulse when he got angry!
    Then when he got married, the frigging Doctors managed to ruin his wife's spinal cord in childbirth, and she was wheelchairbound.
    His dad was a doctor, and he was one angry young man when I last saw him.

  30. Oh yeah, and a few cubes of ice, just for realism's sake.

  31. The last time I saw Al, I was married to a beautiful stunner that was a double for Ali McGraw. We were at a party and Al did not know I was married to her. They were talking and Al was really coming on to her telling her what all about what he did. She asked where he was from and after he told her she said, "you must know my husband." Al looked at me and got so flussterd he almost choked.

  32. Where's Paul Harvey when we need him?

  33. This part of the ceremony starts when Nikki Bazooka
    places a saddle on Jimmy's headstone. Then we tried to sing Amazing Grace.
    Maybe next year we'll bring papers with the words.

  34. Parkfield (pop 35) and Cholame (pop ~5) part of my stomping grounds in my youth.

    Cholame, where Jimmy Bought the Farm in his Spyder.
    James Dean Memorial Junction

    If you click the "Photos" Button, you get
    a page of slideshows,

    1. the first, "the car"
    has a perfectly restored Spyder done to replicate Jimmy's
    "Little Bastard"
    Built in 55, it still looks great today, esp from behind with the red highlights on the fenders.
    Jimmy's car was a little different from the rear, don't know if it's an earlier model or not.

    2. The second slideshow, "the site"
    shows the Jack Ranch Cafe - the original building, which was a Standard Oil Truck Stop and Cafe in 1955.
    The Japanese, who are completely nuts about James Dean, had the Stainless Memorial Built under the Oak Tree.

    Guy writing a book on the 1906 quake tours the fault:

    My dog, Bailey, who accompanied me on my peregrinations along the fault, walked with me up to the low summit, where we found a wooden hut with Yehuda Bock, a scientist born in Israel, inside, who, when I asked, was equally eager to show off what he was doing.
    ''Isn't this God's country?'' he kept saying.
    ''You can see the fault's effects everywhere.
    They're not just amazing -- they're beautiful, too.''

    And I had to agree. Up here, where it wasn't so dusty, and where a breeze stirred the oak leaves and left it a little cooler than below and where you could see signs of the geology changing across the two plates -- the hills a different shape, the color of the meadows subtly varied -- the awe I had felt in the creek below returned, in spades. God's country, indeed.

    Ten miles up the road an even more ambitious program, a collaboration between the United States Geological Survey and Stanford University, is in the works: a deep bore hole is being drilled so that geologists can drop instruments down into the very heart of the fault and measure its creaks and groans

    Although Parkfield is, perhaps, the most idyllic and bucolically endearing place to see the fault, there are scores of other sites between Shelter Cove (where the San Andreas comes ashore in northern California's Humboldt County) and the mud volcanoes at the southern end of the Salton Sea (where it fades away into the baking desert of the Imperial Valley) where a casual wanderer may witness it.

    The Pinnacles National Monument, a set of curiously shaped rocky spires is another: the feature is actually split into two parts, one on the west side of the fault, another on the east, and the two are separated by the more than 120 miles that the San Andreas has moved since the lava that formed the pinnacles was extruded.

    There is also Olema, 30 miles north of San Francisco, where farm fences sitting on the fault were broken and moved no fewer than 21 feet by the savagery of the 1906 earthquake.

    And at nearby Point Reyes, the fault passes out into the Pacific Ocean. Geologists find Parkfield especially fascinating because the fault here is unlocked, the plates on either side edging slowly past each other.

  35. Hard to believe Wolf, his Mechanic survived!
    I didn't know that at the time.