Communism

Commemorating (but not celebrating) a century of it:

It would be simplistic to blame all of these events on ideology. We live in an imperfect world and those imperfections have been unequally distributed. No conceivable government of Russia, or China, or Venezuela would have left no citizens impoverished or oppressed. Nonetheless, a hundred years of communism has presented us with an intimidating record of catastrophe, in a moral, political, and economic sense. Time and again, ambition has exceeded potential. Time and again, coercion has encouraged conflict. Time and again, violence has perpetuated itself. Time and again, absolute power has hardened into tyranny.

These disasters were concealed, excused and exacerbated by Western apologists and traitors. Walter Duranty of the New York Times lied to America about the scale of the Soviet famine. Intellectuals from George Bernard Shaw to Jean Paul Sartre to Eric Hobsbawm rationalised atrocities. Spies in British and American institutions betrayed military and intelligence secrets. As Europe reeled from the horrors of world war, and as the West endured the austerity of the depression, the impulse towards radicalism was understandable. But as the reality of communism was exposed even dull-minded apologists ran out of excuses.

A recent article in the New York Times offers a nostalgic account of growing up as a communist. Its author implies that the reality of Stalinism was made clear by Kruschev in 1956. But two decades earlier, Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge had exposed widespread starvation in the Soviet Union. The show trials had been reported across America and Europe. The Madden Committee had revealed the truth of Katyn. Orwell had published Animal Farm, and Koestler Darkness at Noon. By 1956, ignorance was abominable.

And it should be even more so today, but it has a sick appeal to something in human nature.

[Update a few minutes later]

I wish this were less related: The Cruelty Of Blue. As goes Puerto Rico, so will go many Democrat-run cities on the mainland.

The Engine Competition

The race between Aerojet Rocketdyne and Blue Origin heats up. But as noted in comments over there, there’s a big word missing in the story: Reusability. And the issue isn’t so much reusability of the engines themselves (though I’ve heard nothing to indicate that the AR1 will be reusable), but in the vehicle design. ULA does not want to continue Atlas with a new engine; they know they need at least a recoverable propulsion/avionics unit of Vulcan to even hope to be competitive with SpaceX (and Blue Origin).

ObamaCare

“My husband would have died if he’d relied on it.”

All of the mendacious hysteria over this bill has been incandescent, especially compared to the very real disaster that the ACA has been (and which many of us warned about).

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!