U.S. out of San Francisco!

In a brazen display of Michael Moore style triumphalism (and a slap in the face of all World War II veterans), the San Francisco City Council has refused to allow the historic U.S.S. Iowa a home in San Francisco's maritime museum:

The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nationís most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific.

Instead, it appears the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of Californiaís annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fishermanís Wharf its new home.

But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the militaryís stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a "very petty decision."

"This isnít the San Francisco that Iíve known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.

San Franciscoís maritime museum already has one military vessel - the USS Pampanito, an attack submarine that sank six Japanese ships during World War II and has about 110,000 visitors a year.

There's nothing surprising about it. What is surprising to me is to see San Francisco continue to allow the presence of an attack submarine guilty of racist war crimes against the valiant forces which opposed white supremacy and imperialism. (Amazon link here.)

MORE: Ross Mirkarimi, the supervisor quoted above, is a gun-toting gun-grabber (yes, there are such things) who takes his lessons in Constitutional Law from Michael Moore films:

ďSupervisor-elect Ross Mirkarimi, who himself owns two handguns because of his job as an investigator in the district attorney's office, said he supported the ordinance.

"How many more Michael Moore films does it take to tell us that the Second Amendment is absolutely archaic, and other nations do it better than we do?" said Mirkarimi, who plans to donate or sell his own guns. "We should absolutely go forward with it despite the constitutional challenges."

MORE: Considering the title of this post, it occurred to me that the polite thing to do would be to at least provide a link to San Francisco's secessionist movement.

UPDATE (08/23/05): August 20, 2005 seems destined go be a date which will live in political infamy, as many Republicans are on record as agreeing with Dianne Feinstein. Writing for GOP Bloggers, Jason Smith (in a piece called "Mark this date: I Agree With Diane Feinstein!") supplies this list of how San Francisco supervisors voted:

Tell them what you think:

Supported the Permanent Berthing of the U.S.S. Iowa as a Museum at the Port of San Francisco:

DID NOT SUPPORT the Permanent Berthing of the U.S.S. Iowa as a Museum at the Port of San Francisco:

MORE: Eugene Volokh correctly describes the supervisors' action as appalling:

Just appalling. This ship helped protect America and the Free World from the Japanese and the Nazis. It helped protect the South Koreans from being overrun by the North. Yet somehow that's all outweighed in the Supervisors' minds by the Iraq war and of the military's policy on homosexuality. What a shocking lack of perspective and lack of respect for the institution that has helped (and continues to help) to protect San Franciscans -- and, I should mention, gay and lesbian San Franciscans, who would have suffered far worse than exclusion from the military in the hands of our WWII-era enemies, or of our modern enemies -- alongside all other Americans. (For more on a similar lack of perspective on the part of law schools that refuse to let the military interview on campus, see here.)
It's political correctness carried to a monstrous extreme. What I find most appalling is that these attitudes now typify smug San Francisco, and are considered trendy. The facial expressions of the attendees at this exhibition of "vintage" Black Panther art -- reviewed by S.F. Supervisor Mirkarimi -- in my view typify the trendy smugness.

Maybe I'm wrong; should I have said "smug trendiness"?

posted by Eric on 08.21.05 at 10:07 AM







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Comments

The Japanese had a funny way of opposing white supremacy by aligning themselves with Hitler.

My thoughts about San Francisco Supervisor-elect Ross Mirkarimi are unprintible. For once, I find myself in agreement with Dianne Feinstein.

In 1960 the battleship USS North Carolina was in mothballs when an editorial by Orville Campbell appeared wondering if there was any interest in bringing her to the state as a WWII memorial. I sent in a week's allowance, which turned out to be the first donation; I was 11 at the time.
How attitudes toward the military and national defense have changed since then, and not for the better.

Aristomedes   ·  August 21, 2005 9:04 PM

I was 5 in 1960. Yes, that era, the early 1960s, was a nobler age than ours is today. I often think of it as the "square" era. I am a "square" -- proudly.

The style of that era. Men cut their hair and wore fedoras. The TV shows, the cartoons, the comic strips, the comic books ($00.12 each back then), all of it. Andersen's fairy tales, L. Frank Baum's Oz books, Stories From Old Egypt -- all of those shaped me. Those old World Book encyclopedias and other books with charts contrasting forms of government, Communism vs. Freedom. Many good Conservative and anti-Communist books and booklets were written then, I have shelves full of them. We still dreamed of going to the Moon. The planet Munimula ("Aluminum" spelled backwards"). I have such good memories of those days....

....And, yes, the military were honored back then. We used to watch convoys of men in Jeeps and tanks rolling down the highway back of our home. Some Soldiers stopped at Tom's Drive-In once to get burgers and shakes, and I saluted them. My father had fought the Nazis in World War II.

It is no longer the San Francisco I knew and loved. Hope there's a renaissance some day.

Eric Scheie   ·  August 23, 2005 3:42 PM

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