Oakland Fire….hideous malfeasance

I’m furious.  We’ve all been hearing about what’s being called the “Oakland warehouse fire”.  When I first heard about this, I wondered why the national news was covering one warehouse burning in Oakland, California.  Then we learned.  It turns out this building was a total deathtrap.

It was known that artists had divided up the space into studios.  People knew that the only stairwell was a bunch of wooden pallets piled up to the mezzanine or second floors.  There had been numerous complaints to the city, one finally getting them to open an investigation in mid-November.

Today, the fire and police officials are touting their amazing work in the aftermath of this fire, stressing their goal of sensitivity to those missing loved ones.   The powers that be who are talking at the press conferences seem so proud of the work they’re doing in this ‘peace/love/dove’ liberal city of Oakland.   I believe their work should have been padlocking a building as dangerous as that.  There are people dead now who paid to hear music in this death trap with bars on the windows with no real staircase, a building whose floors caved in.

I don’t like to see a situation like this and start slamming officials in hindsight but this is a slam-dunk and I talk about it because it should NEVER EVER happen again.  We have police and fire departments and local OSHA people and other city council positions who are to keep an eye on buildings and making sure they’re habitable, etc.   These people FAILED those dead today.

“Dealing with the families now is the worst,” they’re saying.  I say “No, not having dealt with this building, not having locked it up and letting it stand like that, THAT is the worst.”

I wrote that Sunday morning…..it’s now Sunday afternoon and I see that the news media’s picked up on what I wrote …that somebody REALLY screwed up.   I hate to think what the amount of deaths will be by Monday morning.

Here’s an interesting thing I heard a Sergeant say at a Presser Sunday afternoon….The city of Oakland is offering counseling to the victim’s families.  Is that the responsibility of the city?$$$   I don’t know how I feel about this but I think it’s an interesting conversation…what do you think?


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34 Responses to Oakland Fire….hideous malfeasance

  1. fredd says:

    If the entire city of Oakland burnt to the ground, California would be better off. The place is an embarrassment, and that’s sugar coating things. This particular crime on behalf of the Oakland city government is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Isn’t Oakland a sanctuary city?


  2. bocopro says:

    Symptomatic of the long-term ravages of “progressive” philosophy focused on the individual’s right to be as eccentric as desired, non-conformist to the extreme of being universally defiant of common-sense laws protecting citizens from illegals, drugs, aberrant sexual behavior, and habitual criminals.

    I spent 6 months in the early 60s and 16 months in the mid 60s in SFran and had a guh-RATE time. Wouldn’t go back there now without kevlar, a trunk full of weapons and ammo, and an inexhaustible supply of top-grade antibiotics.


  3. Silverfiddle says:

    Oakland is a basket case. Read the book, Bullies, by Alex Abramovitch to get a street-level view of the city. The mayor, Jean Quan, is a Maoist.


  4. Kid says:

    Are they offering counselors because they feel guilty? Anyway, what does a counselor do ? They’re dead.


  5. It turns out this building was a total deathtrap.

    Those people who went in there should have known better! They are/were adults.

    And Oakland is guilty as hell in this, too.


  6. “They are/were adults.”
    Have you seen video of the survivors?


  7. bunkerville says:

    Another failed city….. only no one wants to admit many of our cities are no less failed then a number of countries. Chicago case in point.


  8. geeez2014 says:

    The mayor of Oakland is Libby Schaaf.
    SF, I’d like to know more about that book’s overview because Oakland has some very nice parts, too….

    fredd, Oakland actually has some amazingly nice sections….and yes, to see the types of people in charge gives us pause….. Yes, it is a sanctuary city….apparently it’s more important to spend money on illegal sanctuary to non citizens than to keep buildings safe for citizens.

    I just can’t avoid thinking that this mostly very loose, liberal city’s attempts at political correctness caused this. FOR EXAMPLE:
    IMPORTANT: When the mayor was questioned about why artists were allowed to keep studios and even live in that deathtrap, she kept underlining the city’s need of artistry, how important artists are to that ‘vibe’, how wonderful it is for the city that artists add to the culture, etc etc. I kept thinking “Important enough to DIE?”

    Kid, counselors for the survivors. Do you think they should be paid for by the city?

    Ed, those I saw who either survived or had friends inside were heavily metalled….as a matter of fact, the cops did ask for tattoo or piercing information for identification.

    BUnk…Oakland is not quite yet Chicago, but seems to want to follow in its bloody footsteps. We only hear the worse and that’s just the way news is.

    AOW: I think Oakland’s guilty in this, too. The people were punk kids who wouldn’t have a clue about permits, etc…but wouldn’t you think that stairs built of wooden pallets might give a clue that things aren’t right in there?!!!

    EVERYBODY: Does a city owe it to victims and victims’ families to give expensive counseling, therapy dogs (they used them, too), etc.?? Or perhaps the counselors were volunteers, which would be a good thing.


  9. Mustang says:

    My solution: a one time tax-payer funded program designed to train people how to cope with tragedy. Oakland … who elected Jerry Brown as their mayor. Cripes.


  10. Kid says:

    Z, My question was what is a counselor do for the survivor. Rhetorical of course.


  11. bocopro says:

    I could corral up a few thousand words to express my feelings about namby-pamby milquetoasting, but they would pale in comparison to the classic eloquence of Kid’s “Nope.”

    Oh, and, you’re welcome.


  12. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, I still miss your point…sorry!! Ya, the counselors are for survivors who are grieving….helping them cope. I personally feel that NOT coping well is the first healthy part of getting thru these things.

    Bocopro…yes, “nope” says it all, doesn’t it!

    It really perked my ears up when I heard counselors were available from the city….IF the counselors are volunteering, more power to them..but for tax dollars to pay for counseling? Not sure. Gad, I HATE those big GROUP HUGS when kids’ friends have died, etc….I don’t know why it bugs me so much….Deaths like these in Oakland are HIDEOUS…BURNED TO DEATH, SMOKE INHALATION!>>>AWFUL. What good can counselors SAY?…. “they were happy when they died because music was happening? They were doing what they loved to do?” NO! They were crowding to the ONE damned door trying to get OUT and unable to breathe, one survivor had to leave his friend inside when he said he felt his skin melting and had to run!
    It’s BAD. SUFFER for your loved one. THEN you will survive.
    Gad, I sound like a horrible hard nose but I think we’re so ‘counselered up’ that nobody knows how to cope on their own anymore.

    Mustang; not the best idea 🙂


  13. Mal says:

    It was another disaster that never should’ve happened. This was a no-brainer. And typically, they are being reactive instead of proactive.


  14. bocopro says:

    As a kid I got advice and counsel from the grandparents who raised me after raising their own kids. All my uncles except one were in WWII (one was too young to go, but went to Korea in the Army later). Bob was shot 3 different times during the Pacific campaign before they sent him home. Dave flew dozens of recon and bombing missions over France and Germany. Bill had a ship sink from damage in a typhoon in the western Pacific. John was an Army lawyer. My stepfather was a D.I. at Ft. Bragg. My bio-father was in state prison.

    When my first dog died from some kind of disease (I was around 6 at the time), my grandmother told me that it was good because he was no longer in pain. My grandfather said, in essence, that’s life and for me to get over it. So he got me another dog. Think maybe their combined words to me on the event totalled around 50 or so.

    My uncles told me never to come home with a bloody nose unless I had the other guy’s blood on my knuckles.

    And EVERYbody, including the pastor at the Baptist church where my grandmother took me every Sunday morning, told me that if I did my chores, studied my homework, listened to my elders, and treated everybody the way I’d like them to treat me that my life would be pleasant and productive . . . hard at times, but rewarding.

    In those days a large house might have as many as 4 generations living in it. Great Grampas died with dignity in their own beds in their own homes surrounded by their family. They weren’t warehoused in a facility managed by strangers. Death was a natural moment in the cycle of life and we all went to the funerals and listened to the preachers and then went home and had a big meals with pies and cakes and got on with life.

    The kid with the best grades was the valedictorian. The kid who could run the fastest got the blue ribbon. The team that won the most games went to the sectionals and on to the regionals and finally to State if they played well enough. If they didn’t, they came home and started practicing for the next sport or the next season. They got the appropriate number of handshakes and pats on the back if they won, and brief “Nice try. You’ll get ’em next year” if they didn’t.

    I donno what the hell went wrong along the way, but it sure’s hell did. I know that my life today is much more comfortable than it was when I was a kid. My wife and I have comforts and gadgets we couldn’t even dream of back in the 60s. And I understand how the mind tends to suppress the bad memories and exaggerate the good ones, but I know for certain that I had more fun between 1940 and 1980 than I’ve had in the 35 years since.

    If someone had offered me grief counseling when Mother died, I’d have had no idea what to do with it. Just not the way I was raised. You put on your Big Boy hat and keep on keepin on. America the Wussified.


  15. Kid says:

    Z, Like bocopro said, I can’t imagine, even in the abstract, what a counselor would do to be of benefit. I lose a loved one, the last thing I want to do is talk to some stranger about it.

    Unless the loved one was someone like Mike Brown and some idiot wants to give me a couple million for raising a thug son and being a deadbeat parent.


  16. Mal says:

    A lot of Bocopro’s memories are like mine. I was like his youngest uncle. Too young for WW ll but drafted for Korea @ age 22. It was a different world at that time, for sure. I miss most of it, but not all. We tend to recall only the good stuff, not the bad. I wouldn’t want to go back to mowing with a non-motorized mower, for example, or drive a car that needed to be “warmed up” first, spewing exhaust fumes until the choke opened up, or driving a car with manually operated windows, seats, and locks, (and no A/C), or watch a black and white T.V., or when you wanted to make a quick phone call when away have to look for a public phone booth, ………………….I could go on, but you get the drift.


  17. cube says:

    This is a complicated question about something wrong on so many levels… where to start?

    First, I feel for these people and their families. This is an horrific event that should never have happened.

    I don’t know anything about Oakland so I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the issues of city codes or city government, but, no matter your location, you get what you vote for and that’s a fact. Not an inspector, but even I can see that the building on the news looked like a tenement that should’ve been demolished long ago. How’d the local government you voted into office help out in this regard? Should you continue to vote this way?

    As to counseling, it wouldn’t help me at all. I do think the city is racing to “help” now that the worst has happened perhaps in an effort to assuage their guilt, I don’t know. In hindsight, taxpayer money for counseling would’ve been better spent on keeping disasters like this one in Oakland from happening at all.


  18. cube says:

    I’m with Kid on the counseling. I don’t like the idea of unloading on a stranger about my feelings when I’m trying to deal with the loss of a loved one. It’s just not my way of dealing with grief either.


  19. Silverlady says:

    That building could have been boarded up, barricaded, & padlocked ten times over. Wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. Those idiots, yes, they were idiots to locate in there, still would have broken in, ’cause it’s their feel good ‘right’ to do what they want, & be where they want to
    be. This was not the same as the Coconut Grove fire of 1941, or the Triangle Shirt Factory fire, tragic as those conflagrations were, as there were not the codes & regulations there are today, but a holocaust due to the miserable laissez faire attitude of their elected officials to the ‘free thinking’ attitudes that prevail in the once-Golden State.

    Oakland had better get the $$$$$$$$$$$$ ready, ’cause the law suits (that’s lawyers in suits) are lining up even now. I can hear them smacking their lips all the way here to Louisiana.


  20. Sparky says:

    My brain is fried with a sinus headache, so, hope this doesn’t sound harsh. I feel great sympathy for the victims, their families and the firefighters that risked their lives. I know they’re all a bunch of liberals but they do need Christ. It’s painful to think that the ones who perished may not be in Paradise. That’s my thoughts.
    On the other question, I don’t think the citizens of Oakland should be paying for any counseling. It does sound like they have a guilty conscience.


  21. geeez2014 says:

    I’m with all of you on the counseling. When my husband died 7 years ago, it was suggested I go to grief counseling, maybe a group. This might sound harsh, but I was of the mind of my mother who’d gone through the same thing about 15 years before me..” Why do I want to go hear a bunch of other sad widows tell their stories?”
    I KNOW I KNOW some people benefit from it but I’ve never been a big joiner and especially not a joiner with my FEELINGS. I had feelings..the death was a shock and beyond horrible, but, with my friends and family, and my God, I’ve made it out very well…had a few tears again today over something, but that happens. I think I did at least as well as most widows and don’t think a group would have made it different,…or better. There IS no better in that case.

    If a family needs counseling with special situations after these awful deaths in that warehouse, that’s THEIR prerogative, and they should pay;
    Sparky’s right…guilty conscience? (feel better Sparky!)

    Bocopro, I’m using your post for my blog tomorrow…….I want to get some input THERE, hoping a lot of people read it. I hope you don’t mind. I think it’s a HUGE subject, this ‘wussification” and I have some questions for you and everyone else tomorrow….


  22. geeez2014 says:

    oh GAD! Did anybody else with WORDPRESS have the blog-writing page completely change for the worse? Mine just did! And I can figure it out, but don’t WANT to…and they don’t allow colors in the test!

    HELP!!! 😦


  23. Silverlady says:

    Austin Bashore (whoever that is!) on Gatlinburg fire: ‘Let them burn.’. It’s on michellesmirror.com yesterday. Must be ’cause only one country in Tenn. went blue.


  24. John M. Berger says:

    I was stationed on Treasure Island, sort of under the Oakland Bay Bridge, adjacent to Alcatraz, in transit, 1963*. I was in Oakland once and saw no reason, whatsoever, to return. I was sure happy to receive orders to report to the USS Frontier, in Long Beach!

    *During the “Great Escape”


  25. bocopro says:

    As I told my students, once I publish somethin it’s on its own. Only thing I ask is that if it’s borrowed in whole or in part and my name is attached, don’t deliberately alter the tone, intent, or truth it holds.

    Lots of articles and rants and screeds are out there on the wussification of America. Some are lamentations, some are suggestions, and some are admonitions.

    I usually end my rants on the topic with something like “the American of today resembles those pioneers who built the place in much the same way the Italian of today resembles the Romans who conquered their entire known world.”

    When I first joined the USN way back when, it still had lots of guys who’d seen action in Korea, and a few veterans of WWII. They told me how easy and soft I had things compared to what it was like in “their day.”

    Then when I retired after nearly a quarter century, I told my son that the Navy I was leaving was lazier and wimpier than the one I had joined. He signed up a few years later and did HIS 24 years, and when he retired he told me, “Dad, today’s Navy is nothing like the one I joined. You’d hate it.”

    I see a trend there. I have immeasurable admiration for the guys who rode those Fletcher-class 2100-ton tin cans with no air conditioning, no reliable reefers, primitive radars, and unreliable radios. They drank water that always tasted like diesel and wore clothes that smelled like landfill.

    Ditto for the sewer-pipe sailors in their tiny little diesel coffins, and the zoomies who flew those B-17 and B-24 deathtraps, and the grunts who slogged through the jungle muck and slept on the ground with the bugs and snakes, and those magnificent bastards of Bastogne whose CG replied to the German Commander’s demand for surrender with “NUTS!” (even tho that is a much romanticized version of what actually happened).

    O.K. That said, I still like to believe that if a some alien force came in and bloodied our collective nose a la Pearl Harbor, a tide of raw-boned mean-ass kids would rise out of the heartland to man up and do whatever necessary to keep the place safe and the flag flying. Don’t believe that? Go spend some time with a buncha Marines.

    World consensus on Americans back in the late 30s was essentially what my 3rd paragraph (above) says. Same prob’ly goes today. But don’t forget what we did in Desert Storm with an all-volunteer force.


  26. Baysider says:

    Re: counseling. The hospice group where my mother died virtually chased me with mailers for counseling. They had a counselor/pastor on the spot, too, but I shared Jesus with her and told her how He was bringing me through it.

    Bocopro, loved your posts. Especially “the American of today … “


  27. Kid says:

    This may sound harsh. But our existence is based on Survival of the Fittest, It is how we progress. It is the only way we progress. People inventing things better than what someone invented yesterday. People acheiving higher than what someone did yesterday.

    obama has been the great bar lowerer. Ditto the democrat party in general.

    Briefly, counselling, petting ponies, play doh, coloring boooks for college students, awards for mediocrity, are all Orwell Guaranteed ways to destroy a society. Believe me, the rest of the world reads this crap about Americans and it emboldens them to attack us. On the other side, having people unable to suck it up makes us weak beyond description. Retards getting uptight about a pop tart eaten into the perceived shape of a gun. This crap has been allowed to go way too far into the evil zone.

    This is one of the biggest threats to American culture if not the biggest. It is fueled by PC – a cancer as big as the islamomaniacs.

    Suck it up kids.


  28. Kid says:

    PS – Too add more of my feelings on the matter would violate Z’s rules of commenting.


  29. geeez2014 says:

    bocopro, I will not publish what you call your daily rants….but I am publishing today’s comment, did use your moniker, and don’t change words unless I ask…thanks.

    EVERYBODY: Come back tomorrow and let’s discuss bocopro’s piece that I HOPE is ready; with the WordPress change, I’m not sure what I’m going to get tomorrow; I think I did it correctly.


  30. geeez2014 says:

    SilverLady, I have barely heard of the Gatlinburg fire….sorry to say. But anybody who says LET THEM BURN is a swine.


  31. Kid says:

    Guess who could capitalize on setting fire to the entire country….


  32. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, it’s crossed my mind…for a long time. horrifying thought.


  33. Pingback: Wussification…and America | GeeeZ ….

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