EP On With Bill Meyer (Slingshot/End-Running Uncle)

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Here’s the audio clip of yesterday’s Bill Meyer Show out in Oregon. We mostly talked about the Slingshot and other ways of end-running Uncle. Enjoy!


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  1. Crony Capitalist Zero – Robert Moses

    This is where our modern ills began. The guy who made govt work. Inventor of the divided highway. The mind behind the New Deal we’re all still being dealt.

    The worst conspirator of the Jewish Conspiracy imaginable. Interstates. Beltways. Tollways. Public Parks. Impervious Public Project Corporations. An assimilated Jew. So assimilated, he was a Nazi.

  2. Jane Jacobs > errr ummm Quotes, yeah thats what we’ll call em… fine young libertarian cannibals find her delicious I spose… “moral cannibals,” “gigolos of science” “academic prattlers” all the librotarian unmakers of the “anti-industrial revolution… got to gets me to the auto dealer then thuh auto parts store for some more dead hunks of brute hulking metal awwww hyuckkkk!

    Wontcha Bee Mai Neigh Bore???

    Back to Jane, no more Torzan…

    “Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.”

    My take: Merkin Sitties are centers of great debt. And enslavement of all to all because of this unpayable incalculable debt. Even all the surrounding suburban, rural, and open spaces are sucked and frogmarched into the dense black hole of debt enslavement.

    The saddest thing is the city slave, so very proud of his urban helot status. Gee what do them poorfolks out in the sticks do, without all the vast pyramid ponzi schemes we urban debt slave cowboys have to rassle up and then get stampeded by in the holy name of progress. Why we should all get together and build them some stuff on credit so they is as debt ridden rich as us. Maybe a grain silo with a big golden spinning rim on it yeehaw!

    “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
    “To seek “causes” of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.”
    “A city street equipped to handle strangers, and to make a safety asset, in itself, our of the presence of strangers, as the streets of successful city neighborhoods always do, must have three main qualities:

    First, there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space. Public and private spaces cannot ooze into each other as they do typically in suburban settings or in projects.

    Second, there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The buildings on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn their backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind.

    And third, the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity.”

    “By its nature, the metropolis provides what otherwise could be given only by traveling; namely, the strange.”

    “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.”
    “There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.”

    “You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. ‘Artist’s conceptions’ and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use.”

    “Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations.”

    “You can’t rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.”

    “[Cities] are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.”
    “[Public housing projects] are not lacking in natural leaders,’ [Ellen Lurie, a social worker in East Harlem] says. ‘They contain people with real ability, wonderful people many of them, but the typical sequence is that in the course of organization leaders have found each other, gotten all involved in each others’ social lives, and have ended up talking to nobody but each other. They have not found their followers. Everything tends to degenerate into ineffective cliques, as a natural course. There is no normal public life. Just the mechanics of people learning what s going on is so difficult. It all makes the simplest social gain extra hard for these people.”

    “As children get older, this incidental outdoor activity–say, while waiting to be called to eat–becomes less bumptious, physically and entails more loitering with others, sizing people up, flirting, talking, pushing, shoving and horseplay. Adolescents are always being criticized for this kind of loitering, but they can hardly grow up without it. The trouble comes when it is done not within society, but as a form of outlaw life.

    The requisite for any of these varieties of incidental play is not pretentious equipment of any sort, but rather space at an immediately convenient and interesting place. The play gets crowded out if sidewalks are too narrow relative to the total demands put on them. It is especially crowded out if the sidewalks also lack minor irregularities in building line. An immense amount of both loitering and play goes on in shallow sidewalk niches out of the line of moving pedestrian feet.”
    “Neighborhood is a word that has come to sound like a Valentine. As a sentimental concept, ‘neighborhood’ is harmful to city planning. It leads to attempts at warping city life into imitations of town or suburban life. Sentimentality plays with sweet intentions in place of good sense.”
    “…frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbouhood.”
    “Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems. Big cities have difficulties in abundance, because they have people in abundance.”
    “We expect too much of new buildings, and too little of ourselves.”
    “To generate exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts four conditions are indispensable:

    1. The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two…

    2. Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent.

    3. The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained.

    4. There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there…”
    “(The psuedoscience of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success.)”
    “Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.”
    “The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity. ”
    “The trouble with paternalists is that they want to make impossibly profound changes, and they choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.”
    “His aim was the creation of self sufficient small towns,really very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own and did not mind spending your life with others with no plans of their own. As in all Utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belonged only to the planner in charge.

    “Neighborhoods built up all at once change little physically over the years as a rule…[Residents] regret that the neighborhood has changed. Yet the fact is, physically it has changed remarkably little. People’s feelings about it, rather, have changed. The neighborhood shows a strange inability to update itself, enliven itself, repair itself, or to be sought after, out of choice, by a new generation. It is dead. Actually it was dead from birth, but nobody noticed this much until the corpse began to smell.”

    “Everyone is aware that tremendous numbers of people concentrate in city downtowns and that, if they did not, there would be no downtown to amount to anything–certainly not one with much downtown diversity.”

    “Automobiles are often conveniently tagged as the villains responsible for the ills of cities and the disappointments and futilities of city planning. But the destructive effect of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building.”

    “Dull, inert cities, it is true, do contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.”
    “No neighbourhood or district, no matter how well established, prestigious or well heeled and no matter how intensely populated for one purpose, can flout the necessity for spreading people through time of day without frustrating its potential for generating diversity.”

    “I have been dwelling upon downtowns. This is not because mixtures of primary uses are unneeded elsewhere in cities. On the contrary they are needed, and the success of mixtures downtown (on in the most intensive portions of cities, whatever they are called) is related to the mixture possible in other part of cities.”

    “Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”

    • “there must be a clear demarcation between what is public space and what is private space”
      The simple way to accomplish that is to do away with the fiction of ‘public’ space. Otherwise we end up with what the Puritans found, the tragedy of the commons. If someone owns something, he takes responsibility for it, takes care of it. If everyone owns something, no one takes responsibility.


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