“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."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport


  1. But, can it climg up Mica Mountain in four wheel drive?


    Fuckin' piece of shit.

  2. Manual, two-person roof removal. An umbrella like soft top and a $2.1 million price tag.

    Such a deal!

  3. 252 mph?

    A farmer from Kansas took a mustang out to the salt flats, poured some moonshine in it, and did 252. For about $2 million less money.

  4. And don't forget the Darwin Award winner who strapped a JATO unit on a '58 Impala and blasted off down a desert highway.

    I think the story goes they later found the wreckage at the foot of a cliff, and could see where the car impacted somewhat above where it was found.

    Brakes were burned out.

    Just picture that.

    Maybe myth, makes a good bar tale.

  5. "NIF's success will be a scientific breakthrough of historic significance; the first demonstration of fusion ignition in a laboratory setting, duplicating on Earth the processes that power the stars."Lawrence Livermore Laser

  6. Forget Bugatti, most of us are going to be driving GM's Renault and Yugo like Federally mandated eco sedans.

  7. I want one of those Thrust SSC's.

    1997 THRUST SSC (Andy Green) Black Rock 763.035

  8. Maybe at 75 cents a share, GM wouldn't be a bad buy, right now.

  9. 763.035!

    Fascinating. I had no idea.

    Them folks is crazy. Mostly Brits, of course.

    What's the odds it don't go bankrupt, MOnday? 30 - 1? 50 - 1?

    If it doesn't go bankrupt it goes to $4.50? About the same as Ford.

    Let's see: 30 - 1 you lose. Get paid 6 - 1 if you win.

    I don't know.

  10. 763.035!

    That's a real beer run, Rufus.

  11. Bob, you might've been "tipsy" when you started the run; but you would have been Stone Cold Sober by the time you got home.

  12. Talk about your "Buzzkill."

  13. George Jones The Corvette SongThem Euroweenies don't unnerstand CARS. American Understand CARS!

  14. Seeing Chukchi

    Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 4:20 PM PT

    Energy: As administration officials tilt at windmills and talk of painting our roofs white, a real energy solution has emerged from the Arctic deep.

    So why has only Alaska's Sarah Palin noticed?

    Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska's Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.

    "It's a very nonsensical position we're in right now," Palin told us. "(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources."

    At the time, it was thought that Chukchi's waters northwest of Alaska's landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

    Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world's supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.

    That's enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again.

    The only thing left to do is drill. "Congress can do that for us right now," Palin told IBD, urging Washington to open the territory.

    That Congress hasn't is the biggest part of the problem.

    "Alaska should be the head, not the tail, to the energy solution," Palin said.

    It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

    The alternative isn't reassuring: If we don't drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

    Already, undersea volcanic activity has melted much of the Arctic ice cap and enabled more exploration than in the past. The U.S. has as much claim to the region as the Russians, but only the Russians seem to be taking advantage of the geological bounty.

    It's pure energy, not theoretics. That's significant because Steven Chu's Energy Department is spending too many resources trying to figure out how to turn all the weird wind power and switchgrass schemes into viable energy resources.

    His latest idea is to paint roofs white. None of this puts significant energy out to consumers. Nor does it come close to matching oil in energy value.

    A recent study by Exxon Mobil calculated that even as efforts to develop alternative fuels move forward, oil will remain the dominant energy source through at least 2030.

    Domestic oil and gas development is an off-the-shelf (dare we say "shovel ready"?) solution that can serve a bridge to all the green experiments if any someday pan out.

    Drilling Alaska energy beats kowtowing to the Saudis or waiting for odd energy sources like wind power to become economical.

    Since neither of those are solutions for America's energy security, the best way to handle this is the third way, the Palin way: drilling.

    Now that the resources are there, it's time to do it.

  15. The Germans did "Planes" pretty good, though. Until they Met their Match. Snoopy vs. the Red Baron

  16. That's the pristine wilderness, tha John McCain compares to the Grand Canyon, is it not, bob?

    Which like the rest of the Federals lands, are outside the realm of economic development, just as you desire.

    Now you can go up there, to those Federal lands in Alaska and fish and walk even canoe, to your hearts content, without fear that the economic exploitation of those fabulous Federal lands will spoil your fun.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. We cannot sell or lease those lands, to some capitalistic, multi-national oil company, that would then post "No Trespassing" signs and curtail public use of that land.

    Why it's unAmerican to even propose such a thing!

  19. developing Alaska's Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters--

    ah, Rat.

    I'm not opposed to utilizing the national forests for timber, for instance, as long as it's well managed.

    Multiple use, skiers, hikers, fishing, hunting, taking no more timber out than grows, drill some holes for oil, that sort of thing.

    You proposed selling the whole lot off to Russel and Company or somebody.

    Multiple use!

    Everybody wins!

    Go, America!

    I'm goin' to the casino where everybody wins!

    Free coffee!

  20. Gary Owen, rufus.

    Remember the Cavalry, it may come yet!

  21. Here's an old one. Done a little bit differently. Larry Donegal. Midnight Special

  22. No, bob, I want to sell pieces of Federal land to those that would use it. For whatever economic or emotional reason that motivated them.

    The Capitalist Way.

    You want to have common ownership and central planning manage those land.

    The Socialist/Communist Way.

    Seems clear enough to me.
    The Socialist are winning and the managers of the commons, they've decided. We'll save those resources for our posterity. Maybe they'll sell those assets, to pay off the debt we've accumulated.

    At least we will not take those energy assets from our grand children AND leave them saddled with the debt with which we financed what has been referred to as our "unnatural exuberance", by a central planner.

    The Socialist Swede vs the Capitalist Rat.

    Little wonder the boyfriend wants to emigrate, from Sweden. He tells me they are much, much further down that road to the lowest common denominator.

  23. bob embraces the concept of a Planning Czar, until he has to deal with one.

    But does not see correlation between community planning in Moscow, Idaho and the oil fields of Alaska.

    The Federal Government, holding so much of the land in the Country is the Planning Czar writ largest.

    On the local level, a waste of time, money and an affront to his rights, but on the National level, he thinks it is a "good thing".

    It is a real continuing revelation, conversing with you, bob.

  24. Can we be continually revelated?

  25. Leaving the Federals in control of the transportation cycle, from the management of the energy production that fuels it. To the design, manufacture and service of the vehicles that we drive.

    The Socialist Swede's model and method is winning, pity the politically unconnected Capitalist Rats.

  26. bob's local actions and global thinking, they're diametricly opposed.

    He is in favor of phone taps and surveillence of subversives, until he and his are classified, as subsversives.

    Then is amazed that the Federals would want his picture, for their files.

    Now, rufus, he's happy to pose for the photo. Proud to, really. And I do not think he's afraid to admit it. Just another small sacrifice he'd make, for the common good.

    rufus might not even see getting his photo taken as a sacrifice, at all. He might just see it as a privilege, a right not enjoyed by most folks in the world.

    Myself, snap away. These tea parties are public affairs that may just draw a McVeigh type of an actor onto the stage. Never can tell what one may learn, on a stake out of subversive political gathererings.

    I had no ideological problems with the Federals infiltrating groups like the Black Panthers, Weather Underground or KKK. I have less problem with them observing self proclaimed radicals of any or all ideological stripes.

    I do have a problem with entrapping idiots in conspiracies that are organized, aided and abetted by the Government.

    But then, it's better to be safe than sorry, aye

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. "This is a very important moment for Obama and for the Middle East," said Rosemary Hollis, of the Chatham House thinktank. "It's important he speaks to Arabs to convince them he wants genuine change. If he wants to turn things around for America, he's got to get on the front foot and show them that he represents a new, clued up, plugged in administration."

    The location is significant because of Cairo's position at, in the words of White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, "the heart of the Arab world".
    Obama's words will be monitored, for substance as well as style, in Lebanon and Iran – where the conclusions may impact on upcoming elections. Three days later, Lebanese voters will choose between a pro-western coalition headed by Saad Hariri, son of the murdered prime minister Rafiq Hariri, and an opposition bloc that includes Hezbollah.

    So serious is western concern at the prospect of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, proscribed by the US and Israel as a terrorist organisation, taking power that Obama sent his vice-president, Joe Biden, to Beirut last week to bolster Washington-friendly parties.

    ... With the polls too close to call, a powerful presidential speech in Cairo that convinces Arabs of a fundamental rectification of American and western policy could help to tip the Lebanese scales

    Middle East hangs on Obama's words.
    A strong speech in Cairo could help tip the balance in Lebanese and Iranian elections and convince Arabs of American intentions.

    So here's the the next test of Obama's soft power methods.
    The elections in Lebanon.

    wio", K and others, myself included have reservations about Mr Obama being solely responsible for the success that Team Obama has had across the ponds, to date.

    Now both K and wi"o" have expressed the prediction that Hezzbollah will take the Lebanese elections, ruining any chance for a lasting and secure peace. Destroying the years of work that Team43 put into the Green Revolution. The democratic dream for the Middle East that was at the core of US policy for so long, nothing but a mirage.
    One that fooled a Connecticut Cowboy and the Republican foreign policy elites.

    Mr Obama has already done what he could militarily, providing UAV technologies and gaining Turkish support for the current government and the Army. Those actions alone will not sway the Lebanese electorate, that is a given.

    But his speech just may. It is the soft power option, the Green Revolution Phase II, applied.

    So here is a clear test. Can the US hold Lebanon, democraticly?

    If the current government in Lebanon prevails, the credit goes to Obama. Pure and simple, as wi"o" and K have already written it off.

    If the government falls, the blame is shared across the both US pitchers that played.
    Mr Bush on the mound for 8 innings put US behind, Obama is about to throw his first serious pitch of the Game.

    It's time for those rally caps!

    Go Team America!!
    Fuck Yeah!!!