What a wonderful thing travel bureaus are. You plan to take a short trip to Cuba, for instance. You go in for information about the broadening influence of travel, and before you know it you're not only being broadened, you're flattened. When you get back your suitcase is plastered with foreign labels. Your pockets are loaded with knick-knacks and your brain is full of undigested scenery. And the only place in the world you HAVEN'T seen is Cuba.In fact Elvia could have picked ANY country as the intended destination. All countries were open to visits and open to mention and discussion. How about the content of advertising? An ad for sleazy carnival supplies in Billboard, mid 30s. A modern sleazy advertiser would have to ask: Is Egypt among our VALUED ALLIES or is Egypt part of the AXIS OF EVIL? It's a VALUED ALLY when I write the ad, but it could easily be an AXIS OF EVIL by the time the ad is printed. Is Buddhism a SPONSOR OF TERRORISM or is Buddhism a PROTECTED CLASS? Let's check... as of right now, it's a PROTECTED CLASS but by the time the ad is printed Buddhism could be a SPONSOR OF TERRORISM. Better skip all references to foreign countries and religions. = = = = = Shortwave listeners were accustomed to picking up all countries, and writing to major stations in all countries for QSLs and propaganda. Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Turkey, USSR, Cuba. All available for listening and communication. Not now. Iraq and Libya and Somalia are in total chaos because of our endless aggressive wars. USSR and Turkey are on the Index Expurgatorium. Listening to Russia can lead to real trouble. Cuba is in a dubious condition. Banned or open? Nobody knows. Better to avoid listening. = = = = = Just how open was Russia from OUR side? (Careful sidenote: Of course these things were NOT open from the Russian side in the '30s. They were strictly official, and we understood that they were strictly official. THAT'S THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT. THAT'S WHY I USE THE TAG SWITCHOVER.) An arctic expedition with US and Russian scientists helping each other. A "quiet" visit by a Russian official to gather info about radio, which will lead to profit for American manufacturers and jobs for American workers. What's that called? FREE TRADE. Modern "FREE TRADE" means that half of the world is closed to our manufacturers, and the other half is totally exploited by our manufacturers so they can starve American workers.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.