Category Archives: Economics


What’s at stake:

So God was Venezuelan. But the ruling class became corrupt, and wrecked the place. This was part of a disappointing global pattern, as many social democrats, many of whom had been active in the late Cold War fight against Communism, were corrupted, both in Latin America and Europe. The list of such leaders includes Nicaragua’s Carlos Andres Perez and European socialist anti-Communists such as Mario Soares (Portugal), Felipe Gonzalez (Spain), and Bettino Craxi (Italy), as well as Czech followers of Vaclav Havel.

Most of those countries have long since voted out the corrupt governments with which they were afflicted, but Venezuelans were not so fortunate. Not only was the economy ruined, but their rulers joined the ranks of a world-wide alliance aimed against the United States, Israel, and the West European democracies. Just look at the global lineup for and against Maduro today, and you can see it, just as General Mike Flynn and I wrote in our best-seller, The Field of Fight. Here is Maduro’s team: Cuba, Turkey, Russia, Iran, China, Nicaragua, and Hezbollah, Iran’s terror proxy. One will get you ten that North Korea is in there too.

That is the correct way to look at the turmoil in Venezuela. It isn’t just an internal affair; it’s part of a world war. You have surely noticed the reports of aircraft arriving in Caracas from Russia and other friendly countries. And you can bet that the Iranians and Russians are telling Maduro how to cope. You know what they’re saying: kill the ringleaders and arrest everyone else.

Yes, the war against communism never really ended with the fall of the wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. It just took on a new form. And now much (more) of the Democrat Party are on the other side.

[Saturday-morning update]

The shadow war with Russia.

The Stainless-Steel Starship

Elon explains.

I would note, though, that the idea of transpiration cooling has been around for a long time. It’s just never been implemented. But I guess what he’s saying has never been proposed before is the structure also serving as heat shield.

[Update a while later]

New Glenn has been redesigned. Looks like the upper stage is expendable.

Looks like they were inspired in part by Falcon 9. It’s interesting that we’re starting to see spacecraft designs converging, as aircraft designs did in the thirties.