No Battleships Allowed in the Gay BayI don't know what happened to the plans to go to Stockton (the city has financial problems so I'm sure that played a role in the decision), but this morning the USS Iowa could be seen floating off of San Pedro as it was being towed in to port:
In a fit of anti-war and pro-gay pique, the city supervisors in San Francisco have rejected the placement of the retired USS Iowa battleship in San Francisco as a permanent museum. Wait until you read why:
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 nation's most deadly military accidents.For once I agree with Senator Feinstein. This was an unusually petty decision, and a slap in the face of military veterans - especially those who served on the Iowa or on the many Navy ships which cruise the waters of San Francisco Bay every day.
Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that 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 that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's 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 Fisherman's 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 military's 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 isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.
I think the Navy should plan their own response to this nonsense. As each ship passes San Francisco, the sailors should line the rails, and then on their skipper's command, raise their hands and tell San Francisco "you're Number One", if you know what I mean.
Perhaps if the Navy can create a warship that shoots flowers out of the 16 inch guns, the city supervisors will be willing to have it as a neighbor. Of course, they'll have to paint it pink and fly a rainbow flag on the bow. That'll scare the terrorists.
Actually, it just might scare the terrorists. If they knew the ship was based in San Francisco, they'd probably run when they saw it out of fear that they might catch something.
San Francisco can go sit on it.