Venezuela was hitting the skids when oil was $100 a barrel. Cheap oil isn't the problem, here. The price of oil is irrelevant when you can't produce any, and they had to import the stuff long before the stores emptied out.
Communism is the only economic system that can force an oil-rich country to import oil.
* * *
Media is trying to pin the failure of Obamacare on Trump. Let's see, the stupid thing was passed when? And Trump has been President for what fraction of that time?
Obamacare was designed to fail, intentionally or not. There's no way in hell it can fix what's wrong with the medical system in the US when it wasn't designed to address any of the actual causes of health care being as expensive as it is.
But I think it was intentional, because Obamacare was supposed to be the excuse for socializing the health care system: "We tried this and it didn't work, so we're just going to have to implement single-payer. GYAAA HA HA HA HA WE FINALLY GOT IT ALL THAT LOVELY MONEY IS OURS AND WE'LL NEVER LOSE ANOTHER ELECTION AHH HA HA HA oh is this thing still on?"
* * *
Power went off today. ComEd didn't bother warning anyone; just shut off the power while two guys on the ground watched one guy on a ladder do some wiring on the transformer in the neighbor's back yard. The wiring looks the same after as it did before, so I have no idea what they did or why. Then again, power distribution is not my strong suit.
* * *
Added eight more pages to the novel last night. Finally working on denouement to the first space war, also trying to figure out how to lead into the second.
"Sir Not Appearing in this Novel" finally made his appearance. This character is problematic for me; his opposite number, originally a villian, here merely an antagonist, is much more interesting to me.
...or was, until I realized that Sir NAITN should himself become a lot less civil and a lot more chaotic than originally. Both characters are unlimited psionics, each having certain speciailities which lead to them both being evenly matched. They've always been enemies, but that may change, given that there's absolutely nothing in the universe which could prevent them from annihiliating each other, so they both should have been dead centuries ago but for the fact that they're so evenly matched.
Anyway Sir NAITN wipes out a squad of enemy soldiers, "cause of death: he died", without an afterthought. That kind of ability is why I have to be careful with these guys; they're too powerful. That's why NAITN originally wasn't going to be in the story: when you can have some guy teleport in, pop a cap in a guy, and teleport out, where the hell is the conflict? His newly chaotic nature fixes this. He's unreliable to a fault, flightly, unpredictable, and unbelievably violent when crossed.
"Newly chaotic"--as originally designed the guy was meant to be a "random element" meant to jumble things up. In practice he was only chaotic when the story called for it, and it was never inconvenient. Now I'm trying to write him as if people are just as happy that he's not around, because whenever he appears, things go pear-shaped in a hurry.
But he wasn't always like this, either, the same way his calm and measured opposite number did not always have respect for human life (or even an identifiable conscience).
The opposite number, he recuses himself from human endeavor, by and large. When he does need to involve himself, he uses conventional means instead of his powers, and otherwise concentrates his efforts on the purpose given to him by his creators. NAITN's efforts are meant to oppose his, but it's the nature of chaos to sow the seeds of its own destruction; and he's so chaotic, so inefficient, his victories are few and far between.
NAITN is a problem, but the solution is coming, albeit slowly. I briefly considered writing him out entirely, but where's the fun in that?
Originally NAITN was supposed to be the good guy, and Opponent was the bad one; but they've evolved beyond that, such that now they're neither good nor bad. That's appropriate, given that they're psionic supermen, and they eventually meet their mutual end fighting something bigger and badder than either of them. But that's a tale for another time.
* * *
Saw a video where a guy bought a 1996 Cherokee for $300, not running but no rust. A new starter got it running; then he spent more money, a total of $1800 all told (including the initial $300) and ended up with a rust-free Cherokee in good running order with 250,000 on the odometer. The straight-6 in the Cherokee will, with decent maintenance, run approximately forever. Mostly, rust kills Cherokees, not mechanical problems. Heck, at the time she died, my sister had a '94 sitting in her yard which had only been taken off the road because the rocker panels rusted out and it couldn't pass inspection. The mechanicals--270,000 on 'em!--were still in great condition. Assuming it's still there, I'd bet a battery and fresh gas would be all you'd need to start the thing and hoon it around the farm.
* * *
Trayvon Martin gets a posthumous honorary degree in aeronautical science from Florida University. Shouldn't it have been in something more appropriate? Ballistics, maybe, or pharmacology? Or black studies?
* * *
Anyway, up late writing--intended just to do a little bit, ended up with those eight pages, and then did not sleep as much as I'd hoped to. Dang.
After charging overnight, the motorcycle started right up and ran fine, and re-started just fine when I stopped at the post office. I'm going to go check the rectifier, of course, because it needs doing.
What a day. Well, Monday; what do you expect?