Ah, Hollywood

Bad news from Lileks:

Over the fire I chatted with a neighbor who’s working on the “Red Dawn” remake. Get this: in the new version, China and Russia invade the US – to put a stop to our greed. There are times you wish you had a mouthful of kerosene so you could do a flaming spit take. If this is how the film turns out, it’ll be hilarious; it’s as if the filmmakers were a bit ambivalent about all the horrible jingoism that such a film might unleash, so they had to temper it with a bit of theoretical altruism that could be true, you know, in a sense. I almost expect the Russians and Chinese to invade to enforce Copenhagen protocols, and the brave Americans fight back for a modified rollout of carbon emission standards that will allow domestic industry to perfect the new HydroWind Energy System, which the Chinese don’t want because they just signed a UN agreement to respect patents of other countries.

Jeebus weeps.

[Afternoon update]

I have a confession to make. Despite accusations by leftist trolls in the past that I’ve worn out the video from watching it so much, I’ve never actually seen Red Dawn.

The Capitalism Of Ayn Rand

This is a good illustration of how misunderstood the concept of “capitalism” is, and why we should prefer some other word to express the concept of a system of free markets.

[Late Sunday night update]

More thoughts at Volokh, with lots of good comments. Particularly on the distinction between Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.


When They Say “Do It For The Children”

…they’re talking about themselves:

Those unentranced by the magic flute have an obligation to remember what happened; to keep the history books free of revisionism so that by shame and memory those pied pipers who led a generation astray can never return unchallenged to sound their witching tune again. But for the children already lost to the dark we can only wish that wherever they have gone, they’ve found what they were looking for.

It’s unlikely. What they’re looking for doesn’t exist, and never will.

Non-Space Media Coverage

John Johnson, who I saw out at the test site in Mojave on Wednesday, has a story about the Masten feat at the LA Times today, illustrated with a photo by XCOR’s Mike Massee. My only problem with it is that he understates NASA costs:

NASA’s next-generation rocket, the Ares 1X, which was test-launched Tuesday, has cost tens of millions of dollars. Xoie and her predecessors have cost about $2 million.

Actually, while it’s technically true that Ares 1-X cost “tens of millions” (over forty tens of millions), it would be more accurate and less misleading to say that it cost hundreds of millions. Not to mention the fact that it flew Wednesday, not Tuesday. Tuesday was the originally scheduled launch date, but it was delayed until Wednesday.

So much for those much-vaunted “layers of editors and fact checkers” at the Dog Trainer.

Following Masten

Ian Kluft is tweeting progress. Sounds like a much calmer day than the last two, which should be good for accuracy. I think that Armadillo got overconfident. As people noted in comments at Clark Lindsey’s place, they had another opportunity in September to go for a tighter landing, and declined it. They may end up regretting it, but only if Masten can shake whatever’s been jinxing them for the last couple days.

[Update at 10:10 AM PDT]

They should be flying in a minute or sofew minutes.

[Update at 10:20]

They took off and are hovering off their required three minutes before landing.

[11:25 update]

They’re refueling and preparing for the trip home. They landed about a foot from the target on the first flight. I don’t know how that compares to Armadillo’s flight, but I suspect it’s tighter.

[11:29 update]

The vehicle is fueled (alcohol). Now it just needs to be oxidized, with LOX.

[Update early afternoon]

I missed it, because I was in a meeting, but congratulations, Masten. They not only accomplished the goal, but they snatched first place from Armadillo.

John Carmack is understandably unhappy, but as he admits, he had a chance to better his score earlier, and didn’t take it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Alan Boyle has a fairly up-to-date story, including a preview of this afternoon’s first attempt by Unreasonable Rocket.

The Saga Continues

Lileks finishes out Frankenstein movie review week in grand style:

This one has Boris Karloff, but he doesn’t play the Monster; he’s a Mad Scientist who’s escaped from jail with his assistant, who naturally has a hunchback. It was the law in those days. (If you weren’t Mad, but merely Peeved or perhaps an Irritable Scientist, you could get someone who stood erect but tended to slouch.)


Know What A Bandwagon Is?

This is a bandwagon:

Former New York Gov. George Pataki endorsed Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman tonight, the clearest sign yet that even the most establishment New York Republicans now view Hoffman as having the best shot at preventing a Democrat from winning next Tuesday’s special election.

When a squish like Pataki is jumping aboard, you know it’s got unstoppable momentum. And you know who started it? That idiot ex-governor from Alaska, who endorsed him before it was cool. Wonder how long Gingrich will hold out?

“There go my people. I must catch up so that I can lead them…”

Some Advice For Obama

…from the previous most powerful writer in history:

No doubt the brother would rather lay down the slapahoe against his domestic haters, but even then he’s just a punkass Roman wannabe. Take this Fox News / radio orators thing. Plebeian bitches serve him some straightup insolent haterade, and what does Obamacus do? Sends out his Praetorian guards to whine like pu**ies and rattle their fasces. Yo Obamacus, Rome up your s**t! If you knew the first thing about handlin’ your s**t SPQR-style, you’d be turning Capitol Hill into Crucifixion Hill. Glennus Beckus? Boom! Up on the cross, bitch. Rushus Limbavus? Boom! You been served. Shit, send the survivors a bill for the nails. Believe the Juice, if you want to consolidate power and keep it real with your base, start lining that Washington Mall with Fox talking heads. Up on pikes.

Same thing with these tea party douchebags. Back in the BC, a mack dictator like the Juice didn’t put up with that open rebellion s**t. Come on player, get your game on! Confiscate that damn football stadium you got sitting over across the Potomac, and get yourself a couple bargeloads of pit lions from the Ethiopians. Let’s see how those teabaggers enjoy being the halftime entertainment at the Redskins-Giants game. LMAO bitches, thumbs down. And believe me, nothing boosts an imperator’s public approval rating like turning the opposition into lion snausages. Your loyal plebes will love it, and after the games you can hand out free bread. And healthcare.

They just don’t make dictators like they used to.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!