Wednesday, January 10, 2007

James Bond?

Several weeks ago I thought of writing a piece illustrating that more and more we seem to actually be living in the world of James Bond.

Or at least, that the supervillains turned out to be real.

But that having a James Bond to fight them (that is, the national will to consider a License to Kill) remained fictional.

Once again, illustrating the zeitgeist of internet punditry, though I didn't get around to writing that, the same idea -- with the same grim punchline -- was blogged at Belmont Club.

Interestingly, however, the final motivating news item that put the thought in my head was different from the one that sparked wretchard's analysis -- indicating there is plenty of independent evidence for our observations!

At Belmont Club, the final straw was of course the SMERSH-like polonium poisoning of the Russian spy Litvinenko:
Litvineko died gamer than the fictional Le Chiffre. His last words were: "The bastards got me, they won't get us all".

They were all real. Rosa Klebb. "Red" Grant. Le Chiffre. Not literally but as archetypes of something we prefer to forget existed. Bolshevik priests. The angels of revolution. Men without pity and often -- except in Le Chiffre's case -- without fear. And in an age where Political Correctness has covered their tracks, our sole authentic glimpse of these monsters survives only in fiction. We are told that these monsters never existed; but the truth is that they never died. One wonders though, whether of all the characters in Fleming's books the most fictional figure of all was not James Bond himself. It's hard to imagine that he ever existed; that the West had men who -- in novels at least -- were willing to shoot it out with the Checkists.
For me, it was seeing a news item about a mystery buyer of huge tracts (165,000 acres!) of open land in west Texas who turned out to be wacky billionaire Jeff Bezos of -- for the purpose of building a private Spaceport. See Blue Origin for photos of his space vehicle design and video of a test launch and landing.

More recent details:
After years of work behind closed doors, founder Jeff Bezos has gone public with a plan to build a suborbital space facility on a sprawling ranch under the wide open skies of West Texas.

Bezos' Seattle-based Blue Origin suborbital space venture is starting the process to build an aerospace testing and operations center on a portion of the Corn Ranch, a 165,000-acre spread that the 41-year-old billionaire purchased north of Van Horn, Texas. Over the next six or seven years, the team would use the facility to test components for a craft that could take off and land vertically, carrying three or more riders to the edge of space.

Blue Origin's team has been laying the groundwork for the hush-hush project from a 53,000-square-foot warehouse in Seattle, but this week's announcement fills out a puzzle that previously could only be guessed on the basis of isolated rumors. Blue Origin has been the most secretive of several space ventures bankrolled by deep-pocketed private backers — a club that also includes software pioneer Paul Allen (SpaceShipOne), Virgin Group entrepreneur Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) and video-game genius John Carmack (Armadillo Aerospace).
Imagine that.

If Bezos -- or any of those billionaires -- had nefarious intentions, they could easily make a weapon-armed orbital platform a reality! It is no longer wild fiction.

Rremember, non-state action works both ways.

What in the world would imperialist islam-backing states like Saudi Arabia or Iran do if rich westerners decided to attack their interests with plausible deniability?


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