​Copied from a friend: 

​“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.” Donald Trump, April 2014, Fox News interview.

​“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon, Nov 2013, Daily Beast interview.

I think a lot of people are still in denial about what we are up against here. This is a fascist coup d’état, whose first step is to deliberately sabotage the government and turn the U.S. into a failed state. If you sit around waiting for the next election, I promise you there will not be another election. Any effective resistance must be more visionary and more revolutionary than the fascists.

Copy, paste, mutate, disseminate.

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Lying is the worst of all evils. Everything else that is diabolical comes from it. And we have been lied to; public opinion is constantly deceived.  Not a page of a newspaper is free of lies, whether it deals with political, economic, historical, social, or cultural affairs.  Truth is under pressure everywhere; the facts are distorted, twisted, and made into their opposite. Can this turn out well? No, things can’t go on like this, for the sake of human nature and the free human spirit. The liars and those who distort the truth must perish and be deprived of their power to rule by force, and then there may be room for a freer, nobler kind of humanity again.

— from diary of Cpt. Wilm Hosenfeld, German Army, late August 1942, excerpted in the second edition of Władysław Szpilman’s The Pianist.

…as we have learned over the last fifty years, living in suburbs has hidden costs that make New York City look like a cozy Swiss hamlet. A hidden but far greater environmental price tag is borne through the driving, emissions, and maintaining and building of new roads.

— J. Sadik-Khan, Streetfight, p. 24.

Due to a mid-word page break, initially read this as “…far greater mental price tag…”

…which I think also works….

Dr. Heinrich Koppers, a German inventor, developed a process to distill and capture the by-products of coal combustion…. Dr. Koppers developed his new process in Germany, and he was brought to the United States in 1908 by US Steel to build by-product coke oven for its use.  As war clouds gathered, Dr Koppers became anxious about mounting anti-German sentiment, the possibility of war, and the seizure of his patents and operations.

Following the German attack on Belgium, the demand for the by-products of Dr Koppers’ ovens skyrocketed. “With the advent of war came the realization that the striking power of a nation in modern warfare is largely determined by it supply of coke.…Altogether the company played a most important part in the successful prosecution of the world conflict.”

In 1915, the Mellons moved in, reorganized, and effectively secured control of the company, leaving the inventor with a 20% share. When the United States declared war on Germany, the Koppers Company, undoubtedly motivated by the deepest patriotic sentiment, notified Attorney General Palmer of the German inventor’s stake-holding, whereby his share was confiscated and sold at auction to the sole bidder — the Mellon interests.

— McCollester, The Point of Pittsburgh, citing David Koskoff’s The Mellons: Chronicle of America’s Richest Family and Frank Harper’s Pittsburgh of today: Its resources and people.

In order for low-income housing to be acceptable to the general public in the US, the buildings must look poor and smell poor. Even a cheap grade of deodorant must be used in the insecticide for the control of cockroaches in this housing. The poor must be kept in their place and made to grovel.…When a window is broken or some equipment requires replacement, the length of time before repairs are carried out serves as a type of penitence for being poor, and also proves to the general public that people on welfare destroy property.…Middle-class Americans want the welfare recipient to wear a scarlet “P” on his chest.

I once heard a bright young architect lecture that it is possible to design housing that will cause crime, divorce, and family strife. Little does he know that many housing authorities and private companies are already in this business.

—Robert Snetsinger, Diary of a Mad Planner.

Once again, not much has changed in 40 years….

If, like me, you’ve ever wondered where some of the Pittsburgh region’s odder town boundary lines came from…

“Here is a town dependent on one of the great industries of America, which has profited by brilliant invention, by organizing genius, by a national policy of tariff protection. It was studied at the close of one of the longest periods of prosperity known by our generation. What has that prosperity brought to the rank and file of the people whose waking hours are put into the industry?”

…Around the turn of the [20th] century, creative political gerrymandering carved wealthy supervisory and professional enclaves that garnered the taxes paid by industrial properties, leaving the more densely populated working-class districts with school and borough taxes that were substantially higher…. The Borough of Edgewood, for example, was created to include all but the front gate of the Union Switch & Signal under its taxing authority, while Swissvale, where most of its blue collar employees lived, got very little tax benefit from the facility. A similar situation existed between Homestead and Munhall…. The burden on the working poor was accentuated by the fact, common to all the industrial towns, that while mill property was assessed at thirty percent of its value, residential property was assessed at eighty percent of market value.

— Charles McCollester, The Point of Pittsburgh, quoting Paul Kellogg, Director of the Pittsburgh Survey, Editor’s Foreword to Homestead: the households of a mill town

A map of Edgar Thomson Works, greatest and last of the Mon Valley's integrated steel mills, with the boundaries of the boroughs of Braddock and North Braddock overlaid.
This coiled mass of rail lines is Carnegie’s Edgar Thomson Works, built 1873, both one of the earliest and the last of the Mon Valley’s great integrated steel mills. The red box marks the Borough of North Braddock, incorporated 1897 to prevent the mill from being annexed to the fledgling East Pittsburgh, just off the map to the east. Only the westernmost thousand feet (or less) of the plant is actually in Braddock Borough, the town most associated with it.

The questions “who is an American?” and “what is an American?” were central political issues in the first half of the 20th Century. They have reemerged early in the twenty-first.… Is an American someone who has loyalty to a set of ideals including freedom of speech, assembly, and religion, who pledges allegiance to a government that provides for the common defense and promotes the general welfare? Or, does being an American come wrapped in an Imperial flag, demanding unregulated private control of the nation’s wealth and lifeblood, and use of its military to pursue ambitions of expansion and domination at home and abroad?

— Charles McCollester, The Point of Pittsburgh