John Middle 
Member since Jun 20, 2013

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Recent Comments

Re: “Arson in Oakland: Is Someone Torching New Developments?

The phrase "God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water the fire next time" was the source of the Baldwin quote above. It should be understood that the fire referred to in this passage was divine in nature and potential origin. The idea of humans invoking and exacting such a level of biblical judgement is cause only for concern given the arrogance and limitation endemic to mankind.

Posted by John Middle on 07/11/2017 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Arson in Oakland: Is Someone Torching New Developments?

Fulani. perhaps you are forgetting that fires can and frequently do KILL people. No matter where you stand on gentrification, the notion of burning down constructions sites/buildings by way of protest is absurd. Constructing a rationale for arson like this is in my view irresponsible. It could only serve to encourage such criminal activity.

Posted by John Middle on 07/11/2017 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Relative to this point above...." While seemingly ignoring the absolutely essential, day to day issues for the city of Oakland." This comment was aimed at Annie Campbell and another council member. I would like to attest as a resident in Annie Campbell's district to her hands on approach to our local concerns. For example when the community pushed back against the incursion of a massage parlor into a primarily residential area in the Allendale Park neighborhood she stepped in to facilitate direct action. This is ongoing but her willingness to take on a gritty grass roots issue like this speaks to a level of integrity and caring that should not be taken for granted.

Posted by John Middle on 05/04/2017 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Reading up in this chain ... I see that Charlie Pine wrote something very similar. In fact more succinctly. I agree with Charlie!

Posted by John Middle on 05/04/2017 at 8:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

I just looked at the original proposal and specifically the language therein related to the disbursement of these funds. I recommend that you all do this as it provides some insight. From what I can discern from reading the measure .... It appears to identify the general fund as the designated bucket into which this revenue would flow. At the very least it is very ambiguously worded if this was not the case. If this was NOT the intention of the folks who authored the measure they should have been far more careful in the way in which it was written in respect to this detail. Assigning blame accordingly seems to speak more to political motivation than it does to any legitimate outrage in my view.

Posted by John Middle on 05/04/2017 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Operator of 'Ghost Ship' Lived Inside Site of Oakland Warehouse Fire with Wife, Children, Was on Probation

It is sad to see such scurrilous and needlessly caustic responses to this article which was to all intents and purposes a non-starter. So he is on probation. How does that pertain to this tragedy? So he is staying in a Hotel. His house just burned down, he has to stay somewhere with his family. I don't know him and I do think he has some responsibility for this very unfortunate situation. At the same time he is a victim too and deserves to be given some space at this point for that reason alone. Beyond this, the fact that local politicians are using this as grist for the mill in their attempts to position themselves for future advancement represents the worst kind of opportunism. The Bay area is a very difficult place for artists and musicians these days. If it wasn't for their creative abilities and their application thereof to the problem of housing and so on we would see their exodus. Their contribution (generally poorly compensated) constitutes one of the primary reasons that the Bay area has the elevated and progressive culture that we all enjoy as residents. The inevitable over-reaction to this tragedy from a crackdown standpoint is unfortunate and represents a loss of macro perspective overall. Warehouses are the traditional home of counter-culture in the East Bay. I have been to hundreds of events in similar spaces. There must a hundred events like this going on every weekend in Oakland alone. Scale this across the Country and the probability that a tragedy like this is going to unfold is inevitable. It is a numbers game. I lost a couple of friends in this fire for the record. I see the need for a practical approach to implementing safety measures in such instances. It is important to recognizing that people are living in warehouses, legal or not. If this is the case let's make the owners of such spaces responsible for at least the minimal improvements necessary to make a big difference. Things like sprinklers and fire escapes do not constitute a massive expense. But a hardcore crackdown on semi-residential warehouses across the board would be an additional blow to the artistic community which is already reeling from the loss at hand.

Posted by John Middle on 12/07/2016 at 9:27 PM

Re: “W. Kamau Bell Grilled Mayor Schaaf Live Last Night


I appreciate your insight and position. Thanks for sharing your perspective. It is good to see folks caring enough about Oakland to intelligently engage in this sort of discussion.



Posted by John Middle on 03/23/2016 at 8:58 PM

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