December 6, 2016

"I agree WaPo's comments policy is capricious and arbitrary. I suddenly hate this paper more than usual."

"Can someone please explain why comments are actually open for this article? It seems to meet the criteria that has, up to now, been consistently applied by the WaPo to disable comments for incidents involving tragedies. If this doesn't qualify then I don't know what would."

From the comments section of the WaPo article, "'All we could do was stand there': She watched Oakland’s inferno consume the one she loved the most."

53 comments:

EDH said...

Is this another "man hands" thread?

Nonapod said...

I suspect WaPo is secretly hoping for some sort of generic trollish homophobic nonsense in the comment section so they can be all self righteous about shutting it down. They can then say "See?! we live in a hate filled society full of bigoted monsters!".

D. B. Light said...

I remember a time when the WaPo served as a mild counter to the excesses of NYT reporting and opinion. Then Bezos took over and the paper descended to the Times' level. I now read the NY Post and the Washington Times and to Hell with the former "papers of record".

rhhardin said...

Tragedy is entertainment.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

They don't see burning up people as the smell of victory in the morning. Maybe this will remind today's Japanese that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were actually merciful acts, because they allowed the creepy Jap sun god warlord, who had started WWII, to stop the war to conquer Asia that he stubbornly refused to do as Curtis LeMay systematically incinerated the other wood and paper Jap cities for five months.

rhhardin said...

Thurber described "The boy stood on the burning deck / whence all but he had fled" as the biggest ramshackle in the English language.

Jupiter said...

As rh noted, most-newsworthy incidents have at least some element of tragedy. Most WaPo subscribers regarded the outcome of our recent elections as a tragedy, but it doesn't seem to have reduced their desire to comment.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is what happens when a Scientific Progressive is allowed to control the Washington Post's comments policy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It’s almost at fault that we ignore some of these risks, but I think it’s hard to think about those things when you’re mainly thinking about creating a safe space.

Have you ever considered that your analysis of safe and unsafe might be lacking?

Balfegor said...

So . . . Cash was a heterosexual man, then? Transitioning to become a lesbian woman? The cant around TG gender pronouns makes this needlessly confusing -- they could have left out the bit about him transitioning and it would have been a simple, tragic story about a lesbian perishing in a fire as her girlfriend looked on helplessly. But they threw in that paragraph which distracts the reader onto this mildly comedic cross-gender business with the . . lesbian? stepfather and so on.

The article -- the selection of quotes and details -- is not written in a particularly sympathetic voice given that 30 people just died.

Jose_K said...

It is common around the world. To avoid stupid insensitive comments like those after the fire in Tennessee

Balfegor said...

The quote Ignorance is Bliss highlights, really, seems like the tell that the author of the article is deliberately inviting mockery of the subjects.

mockturtle said...

It seems to meet the criteria that has

Wow, that's pathetic.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Levi Starks said...

I went and read a few comments, what I'm getting is that the people who demand unfettered freedom to live and behave as they please (even if it's counter to established social codes) are upset, and demanding justice in that the local governmental agency under which they live, failed (by not enforcing building codes) to provide them a safe place to be anti establishment.

rhhardin said...

Indians had this trouble when there was bow-drill carelessness.

William said...

I'm against people burning to death. I don't even like to read about people burning to death. It's hard to take a subversive or controversial stand on this issue......OK, I'll try. I've seen pictures of the inside of that club. The decorations were imaginative and intelligent. How can someone with that much intelligence and imagination not be capable of visualizing a fire? There's something especially enfuriating about smart, talented people who do stupid things.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

EDH said...Is this another "man hands" thread?

Capricious and arbitrary.

JAORE said...

" There's something especially enfuriating about smart, talented people who do stupid things."

There are varying types of "smart".

The absent minded professor, now the socially unaware nerd, is a stereotype for a reason. (I was, briefly, a physics major in school. Ho Lee Katz what an out of touch group).

My theory is that, for some of these geniuses, they use so much of their mental abilities for math that they have no reserve for "normal" life.

On the other hand, most of my friends in college were art and theater majors. They had no concept of things like cause and effect.

Same theory.

Big Mike said...

I've tried to be careful about which Althouse and Instapundit links I click on, but it's only the morning of the 6th and I've already hit the paywall. Screw them.

David said...

I do wonder why so many people were unable to discern the danger in the layout of the building, and the menace of it's psychopathic manager.

rhhardin said...

One safety thing that might help is prohibiting selling extension cords that look hefty and are not. The serious ones I use are awg 10 or awg 12, which equals the house wiring.

Some awg 16 or 18 cords look the same but are great fire-starters.

(smaller number = heftier wiring)

Big Mike said...

"Them" == the Post, of course. Not the two law professors.

BTW, Professor, when will you know whether you are granted emeritus status?

rhhardin said...

What are the suffixes for emeritus for the various genders, is the question.

Latin still has it based on plumbing.

James Pawlak said...

When will WalPo register as an agent of the DNC?

Bay Area Guy said...

I think it's important to start with the primary observation: this was an epic tragedy and senseless loss of life.

However, since I work in Oakland, and am quite familiar with the City, I do have some percipient observations:

The Ghost ship was a known disaster in the making. There were multiple complaints about fire hazards before the deadly fire.

Hordes of people, mostly young artsy fartsy types, were living there in squalor. The premises were replete with used condoms, cat feces, piles of garbage. People sleeping, people partying, people renting space, people performing music, coming and going.

If there were a charismatic leader (say, David Koresh), it would have been the equivalent of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. But there wasn't. It was just mostly unfettered chaos and disorder, and to be fair, probably some fun, while it lasted. Imagine your kid's dorm room in college, then take away all adult supervision, authority, structure, and classes, and see what happens in 3-4 months. There was no concept of getting permits or basic safety, or maintenance.

Having said all that, Yes, I love art and music, and did stupid things in my 20s. And, Yes, when you're young you should embark on adventures, before you get on the track to career/marriage. But this was simply weird, counter-cultural leftwing madness, that tragically devolved into negligent homicide. I'd rather coach Little League baseball, and go hiking around Lake Merrit.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I clicked and read just enough to be sorry I clicked.

Repugnant. Absolutely repugnant.

Henry said...

I worked, then lived in a warehouse loft for a few years. The landlords were not visionaries. They were old-school SOBs who ran a printing business in half the building and realized that renting the rest to artist would occupy it with people who would improve it for them. These guys were hostile to the city inspectors. They were they type of business that would dump their ink into the city sewers. In thunderstorms, the overflow would run off multicolored.

But one thing the SOBs insisted on: don't mess with the sprinkler system. You can run your own electrical, heat with kerosene space heaters, vent your toilet with a cheater filter, but don't mess with the sprinklers.

It was an interesting experience, but I don't miss the place.

Oso Negro said...

Maybe the lesbi-queer curriculum should be modified to include physical hazard recognition. I am also forced to call utter bullshit on the need to create safe spaces for lesbian bands in the Bay Area in 2016. We had perfectly awful lesbian bands in Texas in the late 1970s and early 1980s and no safe spaces were needed.

Mark Cunningham said...

Never enter a room you don't know to get out of. Doesn't anyone go Infantry anymore?

robother said...

Propane heaters, candles, funky electrical wiring, and--as if those weren't hazard enough--campers with gasoline engines (and god knows what kind of heating) parked in the warehouse. I can imagine being utterly heedless of the risk when I was 19, though.
Plus in all these major costal cities, artist/musician/bohemians are always just one step in front of the gentrifiers.

paminwi said...

"Cash’s stepfather, Sunny Haire, is a transgender man and skilled guitarist who for years worked as the manager of one of the last lesbian bars in San Francisco,..."
Excuse me, but this Oakland,CA. This area is one of the safe spaces for the LGBTQ community in the whole USA. "One of the last lesbian bats in SF." I call complete and total bullshit on that comment.
This population doesn't seem to be happy anywhere-even when they are predominately surrounded by their own.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Shaking my head in sad amusement at people from the queer community who are afraid of the nightlife in the Bay Area--the Bay Area--but not of a obvious deathtrap of a building.

whitney said...

That was a weird article. They kept interviewing people who said the warehouse was a safe space for them. So strange that they don't realize that terminology has become ludicrous in the face of reality

madAsHell said...

Cash was a heterosexual man, then? Transitioning to become a lesbian woman?

This has to be a joke. Since when does a man need to transition to being a lesbian?

Susan said...

And by calling this deathtrap a "safe space for them" they meant that they saw more danger in being called by the wrong pronouns than in burning to death in a fire trap.

Not too tight a grip on reality.

Bay Area Guy said...

Here's a local piece about the Ghost Ship.

It's a bit sanitized -- they don't quite delve into the ugly underside. But, they do give you a clearer picture of makeshift propane tanks, revolving doors of poor artists, and goofy nature of the tenants.

SukieTawdry said...

Cash’s stepfather, Sunny Haire, is a transgender man and skilled guitarist who for years worked as the manager of one of the last lesbian bars in San Francisco...

What, there are no lesbian bars left in San Francisco? The hell you say.

@Bay Area Guy: Imagine your kid's dorm room in college, then take away all adult supervision, authority, structure, and classes, and see what happens in 3-4 months.

We're talkin' Lord of the Flies, am I right?

rhhardin said...

What is it with modern male action heros acting out tough emotional moments?

This can't be for the male audience.

e.g. new Jason Bourne brings it up, but a few other DVDs I've run into recently too. This is a bad trend.

Joe said...

I'm a little confused on this article. Clearly, some people chose to live there and knew there were serious issues, even if they chose to ignore them. But other people were visiting and may have suspected it wasn't entirely up to building codes, but were likely ignorant of the fact that there was no code at all.

I've no problem with the first group making an adult choice to live in a risky place. I have a big problem of the first group putting the second group at risk.

Would it be valid to argue that the building owners bear primary responsibility for the occupants, but those occupants who invited guests over share responsibility for their fate?

Bob Ellison said...

This story is strange. 30+ people don't easily die in a building fire in a temperate climate in a first-world nation. I suspect weird goings-on, like explosives, combustible material, or chicanery of some sort.

Balfegor said...

Re: paminwi:

Excuse me, but this Oakland,CA. This area is one of the safe spaces for the LGBTQ community in the whole USA. "One of the last lesbian bats in SF." I call complete and total bullshit on that comment.
This population doesn't seem to be happy anywhere-even when they are predominately surrounded by their own
.

To be fair, San Francisco has some of the most judgmental and narrow-minded people I have ever met in the US. I still remember with a shudder of revulsion the smarminess of a particular receptionist when I was making small talk, waiting to be interviewed at a firm in SF -- he probably assumed that since I look ethnic, I would naturally agree with his hyper-white progressive nonsense, but it was honestly nauseating (though of course, I smiled and nodded my head, no doubt reinforcing his prejudices). I've had progressive Whites elsewhere make similar assumptions, but none have ever been quite as creepy.

Anyhow, I can well imagine that the sort of people who live in SF would blow up trivial gradations of sexual identity in to full-on Bolshevik vs. Menshevik ideological war. So perhaps they couldn't find a bar that catered to their precise flavour of lesbian.

mockturtle said...

To be fair, San Francisco has some of the most judgmental and narrow-minded people I have ever met in the US. I still remember with a shudder of revulsion the smarminess of a particular receptionist when I was making small talk, waiting to be interviewed at a firm in SF -- he probably assumed that since I look ethnic, I would naturally agree with his hyper-white progressive nonsense, but it was honestly nauseating (though of course, I smiled and nodded my head, no doubt reinforcing his prejudices). I've had progressive Whites elsewhere make similar assumptions, but none have ever been quite as creepy.

Lamar would've set him straight. ;-)

wildswan said...

If we all died when we did something really, obviously dangerous and stupid, we'd all be dead. Almost all of us get another chance. These poor people burned to death.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

Wildswan, I agree. But I also believe the City of Oakland and certainly both the owner and leaser are guilty of criminal negligence.

Henry said...

To Joe's and Bob Ellison's points -- The Station Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island killed 100 people in a single small bar with a legal capacity of 404. 462 were in attendance for a Great White concert. The band's pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing polyurethane foam in the walls. The smoke from the burning foam quickly blacked out the room.

The band manager -- who lit the pyrotechnics -- and the owners of the nightclub were each charged with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The band manager plead guilty to all counts and served two years before being released on parole. The brothers plead no contest and accepted a plea bargain. One brother served time.

narciso said...

Yes I was reminded if that incident, the unacesible exits reminded me of the pulse club in orlando

Rusty said...

mockturtle said...
"Wildswan, I agree. But I also believe the City of Oakland and certainly both the owner and leaser are guilty of criminal negligence."

Commercial and industrial building are supposed to be inspected each year by the fire marshal and the city code inspector. If there are serious violations, non working exit signs, blocked exits, filth etc. you get ticked and another inspection is scheduled to see if you complied.

Chris N said...

On 1st Avenue in Seattle, there used to be The Lusty Lady, an old Peepshow, which probably couldn't afford rising rents and has been vacant for years (must be something going on with permits, because it's prime real estate)

Last weekend we passed by and the door was open: It appeared to be a similar squatter's camp/'art space'/Community gathering space. Probably not safe.

I wouldn't be surprised if the People's Democratic Council of Seattle see this as some sort of protective space for Humans to make art, or an upscale homeless tent-city.

The politics here is really that silly.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Henry said...To Joe's and Bob Ellison's points -- The Station Nightclub Fire in Rhode Island killed 100 people in a single small bar with a legal capacity of 404. 462 were in attendance for a Great White concert. The band's pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing polyurethane foam in the walls. The smoke from the burning foam quickly blacked out the room.

I won't link to it, but there's a video of that fire on Youtube--shot on a handheld camcorder from inside the club by a guy who got out just before all the accessible exits got jammed. It's not pleasant to watch, especially knowing how many people died, but it's educational: things go wrong so quickly and you really have to have an idea of how to get out (and be in a position to do so) at all times to have a chance of surviving. The guy shooting the video walks around the building to a side exit that very few people used (blocked by flames/smoke I think) and calls inside for any survivors, but no one comes out. He goes back around to the front and you can see dozens of people stacked up at the front door as others try and pull people off of the pile.
Anyway, it's difficult to watch but it's about as educational as its possible to be--fire safety is not a joke.

DavidD said...

"Levi Starks said...
I went and read a few comments, what I'm getting is that the people who demand unfettered freedom to live and behave as they please (even if it's counter to established social codes) are upset, and demanding justice in that the local governmental agency under which they live, failed (by not enforcing building codes) to provide them a safe place to be anti establishment.

12/6/16, 9:56 AM"

...

"The irony; it burns."