West Berkeley is trying to outlaw duplexes so we can have more McMansions. This is an unacceptable transgression, tantamount to direct class war.

What? Aren’t there already duplexes and apartment buildings in West Berkeley?

Yes. There are. Many of them are already illegal according to the city’s laws on housing. They are a “legal nonconforming use” — a subliminal state between worlds. When they too grow old and die, they’ll be knocked down. Turned into something else, just as long as that something else is a pair of single family homes.

Much of West Berkeley is zoned for “R-1A” uses…


Coughing. I cough a lot, lately. Something’s in the air and it fills my throat.

August is part of wildfire season in California. They’re in the news a bunch and sometimes the bay fills with a sickly smog. I see it from the waterfront, I breathe it in, and I cough.

August is also heavy with pollen. Some years ago I was diagonsed with a form of asthma and I carry an emergency inhaler with me in case my maintenance inhaler isn’t enough.

Just in case, I mean.

Some mornings I’ll wake up gasping. Or coughing up something that never…


Boy oh boy do I hate the word “progressive”.

Self-labeled Progressives are considering imposing a $450 per year fee on affordable housing units in Berkeley, plus an initial $10,000 fee. When you move in to a below market rate unit, you’re subject to annual income verification to make sure you’re still low income enough to say, and the city also verifies that your landlord is charging the right rent. In California, we pay everything with a fee because taxing the rich is a politically difficult question.

In short, these Progressives are asking that the poor pay for their own means…


How could a person such as myself organize in support of privately owned, built, and operated housing while still identifying as a Socialist?

This question was asked of me at a recent meeting of the East Bay DSA; here I expand on my answer and repeat it for others to read.

The MacArthur Mammoth was approved at the Oakland Planning Commission and subsequently at City Council in early 2017. …


I intend to argue that YIMBYs need to move left, not just talk to the left, if we are to remain a viable alternative to the status quo.

The YIMBY platform was written just over a year ago, in the movement’s nascence. It was left vague enough to be interpreted by other groups in various forms if they so chose to endorse it. It contains a litany of demands and one in particular feels as though it has been left behind:

Housing is Infrastructure.

I believe that housing is a human right. Housing must be treated as any other public good if we…


I don’t need to remind people about the horror unfolding across national politics in our country. Millions of immigrants, undocumented americans, people outside the confines of the “cis straight white dude” descriptor are under direct threat of a fascist government.

These people need somewhere safe to go, which is the intent behind a city declaring itself to be a Sanctuary City. Unfortunately, Oakland does not have the room to fit these people that are being internally displaced by an oppressive government. This is your friendly reminder that in all of 2015, Oakland issued 20 occupancy permits to new construction.

The…


The 2016 election has given me a fuckton of questions to answer. Enough such that I had to fit an entire two evenings of study into my calendar to answer them all.

California, this is stupid.

But anyways, here’s my slate for the 2016 ballot in Oakland, CA.

Federal

President and Vice President: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine

United States Senator: Kamala Harris

United States Representative: Barbara Lee

State of California

State Senator: Nancy Skinner

State Assembly: Rob Bonta

Superior Court Judge: Scott Jackson

Prop 51: Yes

Prop 52: No

Prop 53: No

Prop 54: Yes

Prop 55: Yes

Prop 56: Yes

Prop 57…


The inevitable #thoughtpiece about the latest craze that has millennials glued to their phones. No, that other one.

I had a chance to play Pokemon Go over the weekend, and I failed to understand the craze behind it during my one hour of wandering downtown Oakland.

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t play the game. By all means, go seek fulfillment however best you are able. I do not judge anyone for playing it.

Instead, I seek to relate my own experiences about the last major Virtual Reality craze that is still fairly well-played: Ingress.

Ingress on an Android device

Ingress is a game…


The UK’s recent #Brexit vote serves to further illustrate a divide in global politics that is widening into a vast chasm. The old political framework of neoliberalism has lost its grasp on reality and is in the process of being replaced with something new.

Capitalism is best explained as a market system based on neoliberal principles. Markets in and of themselves are not inherently harmful; they’re an efficient mechanism of distributing resources to actors that have demand for those resources by way of exchanging values. …

Victoria Fierce

Hacker. Irritatingly loud. Volatile when wet. Organizer for @EastBayForward. https://patreon.com/tdfischer

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