Steve Pollock

Since 1963.

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 86)

‘Splaining Things to the Kids

A Democratic Socialist explains «what Democratic Socialism actually is»: Not just a return to the halcyon days of the New Deal.

“I’m a staff writer at the socialist magazine Jacobin and a member of DSA, and here’s the truth: In the long run, democratic socialists want to end capitalism. And we want to do that by pursuing a reform agenda today in an effort to revive a politics focused on class hierarchy and inequality in the United States. The eventual goal is to transform the world to promote everyone’s needs rather than to produce massive profits for a small handful of citizens.

“Democratic socialists share goals with New Deal liberals. But they want to go further.

“Pooling society’s resources to meet people’s basic needs is a tenet of social democracy, one that’s been advocated domestically by much of the labor movement and many of its political supporters among New Deal and post-New Deal liberals. This is a vision we share. But we also want more than FDR did. A robust welfare state in an economy that’s still organized around capitalists’ profits can mitigate the worst inequalities for a while, but it’s at best a temporary truce between bosses and workers — and one that the former will look to scrap as soon as they can.”



Those Who Forget the Past …

Looks like my second book (about microburst crashes) just gained a new chapter, «as described at AvHerald». Passenger-point-
of-view videos are also posted; pretty amazing. (Don’t watch if you can’t deal with intemperate language spilling out of people who are slammed to the ground and cheating death.)

And if you want to know what really happened with any airliner incident, big or small, Simon of AvHerald knows all. How he gets what he does from his Czech Republic base is amazing.

[A caveat: The comment section of AvHerald, like every other comment section in every other corner of the internettubesweb, is highly toxic. So, read Simon’s reports on the day’s incidents/accidents, but ignore the comments. Fair warning. The capacity of people to be nasty to each other upon the slightest context will always amaze me.]

A somewhat weird good morning Rochester today as steam from a power plant drifts across the rising sun. Wind is calm, …

Posted by Steve Pollock on Monday, February 1, 2016

Arriving, Late 2013: 'A Threatening Sky'

A Threatening Sky: Braniff 250 and Other Bitter Lessons of the Early Jet Age by Steve Pollock will be published by «McFarland Publishing» in the Christmas 2013/Spring 2014 time frame. McFarland is a quality publisher which produces around 400 books per year for public and academic libraries, as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and electronic vendors. They have been extremely supportive for this project and I am excited to work with them and get this story into print.

While Braniff 250 will be the touchstone of the book and get the most detail/attention, other incidents/accidents will be detailed along the way. Those include Pan American 115 (North Atlantic 1959); Northwest 705 (Miami, 1963); United 764 (O’Neill, NE, 1963); Eastern 304 (New Orleans, 1964); Braniff 250 (Falls City, 1966). In addition, the involvement of Dr. Ted Fujita, creator of the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, will be detailed; he provided key scientific research into the Braniff crash.

Overheard in the House

From the right-wing side of the aisle comes this absolutely fabulous quote (wonder how long his staff worked on this gem?). It’s off-the-charts hyperbole, infinitely untrue, but a classic, nonetheless. Is this really what you Republicans are reduced to?

“You’ll be getting your pre-natal care from TurboTax!!”


They Left Me

I was the first registered Republican in my family. I cast my first vote in a presidential election for Ronald Reagan, the second for George H.W. Bush. I listened to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, thought I was a Dittohead, and was one of the few who watched and liked his television show. I actually cried when George Sr. and Barbara left the White House to Bill and Hilary in January 1993.

And then the Republicans lurched to the fringe, became immoderate, aggressive, in-your-face, and triumphal, became harnessed to extremist religious philosophy. They attacked anytime President Clinton breathed. Limbaugh yelled (in 1992) that he was happy to be in the opposition; it’s more fun, you can snipe and bitch and moan and not have to actually do anything. The Republicans launched their Contract on America (er, I mean for).

And then, in 1994, came Harry and Louise. Corporate money flooded in, and the Republicans steamrollered and destroyed health care reform, dooming hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to premature death over the next 16 years. The militias and ti-foilists, precursors to the Tea-baggers, came out. And all that culminated in terrorist Timothy McVeigh’s murder of 168 people in my own backyard in the service of a right-wing political philosophy.

I mourned the loss of health care, as well as the Murrah Building, and ranted and railed against my party. In 1996, I registered as a Democrat, voted for Bill Clinton and then watched the Republicans continue to make war, year after year, against the middle class, and especially against gay and lesbian Americans like me.

I’ve been trying to remember exactly what the turning point for me was. And I’m almost 100% certain it was health care reform. When the Republicans attacked and destroyed the possibility of a saner, more humane health care payment system, they also attacked and destroyed me. I returned to the Democratic fold where my family had originally been for the better part of a century.

I didn’t turn on the Republicans, as the saying goes, they turned on me.

Their behavior right now, as we wait for the final House vote, is beyond disgusting. No lie too big or too outrageous to read into the Congressional record or give to the cameras at CNN.

But to me, it doesn’t matter what happens in November; I realize the Democrats will probably pay a price. And I don’t care. It takes courage to do the right thing, they’ve finally grown a bit of a pair, it’s the right start. And if they lose control, fine. The resulting nastiness will, once again, prove to Americans who too easily forget history, that the right does not have our best interests at heart, only those of corporate boards and religious charlatans.

Will watch the final vote and the president’s statement following. And be finally relieved that 100 years of obstruction of a basic fundamental human right has finally ended.

Beagle Escape

They led us on a merry chase, but cold, dark, and snowy meant that they were soon back and wanting inside to their warm, priviliged lives.

Facebook Fail

After a dispute of a couple weeks, I’m finally rid of Facebook and all of its horrible, horrible design, navigation, usability, corporate snobbery, etc. It feels so good!

Of Interest: 12-Jul-09

• In Minneapolis, the New York Times turns up «a fascinating, heartbreaking, and ultimately, important story» of povery, terrorism, Somalia, teenagers, Facebook, and oddly enough, the building used to depict Mary Richard’s later apartment on the Mary Tyler Moore Show back in the 1970s, all of which may add up to the “most significant domestic terrorism investigation since Sept. 11,” 2001.

• On PBS, «Bill Moyers has a bull session with the former corporate communications director of Cigna Health Care, Wendell Potter», who describes his come-to-Jesus moment in Wise County, Virginia, where he was faced with the truth about his industry and what it has to American health care. A full video of the session, plus word-for-word transcript, is available and should be watched by every American, especially Barack Obama.

i• In Washington state, «brother and sister recant» 20-year-old claims of sexual abuse that sent their father to prison; brother tells judge “he made the allegation after months of insistent questioning by now-retired Clark County sheriff’s detective Sharon Krause just so she would leave him alone.” Krause allegedly gave the sister ice cream; that cone put daddy in prison for 20 years and slapped a sex offender label on him that is proving hard to scrape off.

• In Anchorage, the Crazy Train continues puffing up the tracks as soon-to-be-former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin «announces she will campaign for anyone who will have her» (including conservative Democrats) and that even her own son is not a Republican (he’s “unaffiliated” like his daddy, meaning, one assumes, a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which, among other things, “advocates an in-state referendum which includes the option of Alaska becoming an independent nation,” according to its website).

• In Washington, D.C., it was revealed that «Dick Cheney ordered the concealment from Congress of a CIA counterterrorism program» and that Attorney General Eric Holder is contemplating opening a criminal probe of possible CIA torture. President Obama is sticking to his “let’s move forward stance” and appears worried that healthcare reform will be “derailed by partisan bickering over torture.”

• In Los Angeles, «LaToya Jackson believes she knows» who the real killers are.

• Yale University Press produces a book called Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, which reveals that «Ernest Hemingway was “for a while on the KGB’s list of its agents in America”». The book is co-written by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, and is “based on notes that Vassiliev, a former KGB officer, made when he was given access in the 90s to Stalin-era intelligence archives in Moscow.” The book apparently has no definitive answer to the main question posed in the article: “Was he only ever a pseudo-spook, possibly seeing his clandestine dealings as potential literary material, or a genuine but hopelessly ineffective one?”

Another fabulous summer week in America!

Yes / No

Picture of Obama's Hope PosterPicture of McCain Nope Poster

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