a few months ago, one of my friends told me that i work myself into a frenzy with all of this doom-and-gloom news reporting, and they were probably right. but at the same time, it is astounding to me how many of my fellow humans can be so selectively blind when it comes to issues that will affect the normal passage of their lives, and it’s even more astounding to me that i am posting something that i found on a conservative web site, considering that i am one of the most liberal radicals i know. it is also interestingly frightening to consider how many of these corrupt politicians are now candidates for the upcoming presidential elections…
Reality mining and your cell phone – and people wonder why i am paranoid about cell phones and search engines… the only real advantage that i’ve been able to see to cell phones is that people no longer look at you as though you’re crazy when you walk down the street talking to yourself. 8/
SEATTLE SPAMMER INDICTED FOR MAIL AND WIRE FRAUD, AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT AND MONEY LAUNDERING – i am a part of that lawsuit! and i hope he gets his balls ripped off, slowly, and fed to him in tiny bites! >8( really… even with the decrease in spam messages that i get in my inbox (which is around one or two a day, compared with the 75 to 100 messages i was getting last year), words cannot convey how intensely i despise the actions of this man. it’s getting to the point where i’m about ready to black-hole every IP address in asia, and about half of the IP addresses in europe, to prevent spammers from getting through. i have enough to worry about already without also having to deal with your noxious spew, and the fact that my name is a part of that lawsuit gives me a great deal of pride.
Domestic spying inquiry restarted at DoJ – now that bush has an attorney general that he can trust not to make him look bad…
Judge orders White House to hold e-mails – riiiight… 8/
Former FBI, CIA Employee Pleads Guilty to Computer Crime – thank you, homeland security… 8/
a personal transcript of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Waterboarding and Torture…
November 5, 2007
Finally tonight, as promised, a special comment on the meaning of the story of the former US Acting Assiatant Attorney General Daniel Levin. It is a fact, startling in it’s cynical simplicity, and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed.
The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush. All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity, all the invocations of World War III, all the sophisic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets, all the claims of executive priveledge, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists; all of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the re-focusing of our entire nation, towards keeping this mock president and this unstable vice-president and this departed, wildly-self-overrating attorney general and all the others from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of our country.
Waterboarding is torture, Daniel Levin was to write. Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protester, he was no trouble-making politician, he was no table-pounding commentator. Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American and a brave man. Brave not just with words or with stances, even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared or bought off. Charged, as you heard in the story from ABC News last friday, with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the pandora’s box that is the Orwell-worthy euphamism “enhanced interrogation”, Mr. Levin decided that the simplest and most honest way to evaluate them was to have them enacted upon himself. Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be waterboarded.
Mr. Bush, ever done anything that personally courageous?
Perhaps when you’ve gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen, and then gone back to the White House and confirmed and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen. Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you’ve spoken of American triumphs, and the triumph of freedom and sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety, and then permitted others to fire, or discredit, or destroy anybody who disagreed with you, whether they were your own Generals, or Max Cleveland, or Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, or Daniel Levin?
Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honour in Washington right now. Instead, he was forced out as Acting Assistant Attorney General, nearly three years ago, because he had the guts to do what George Bush could not do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right. And they waterboarded him, and he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die, still with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terrors screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us, the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves like purpose and name and family and love, he could not convince his being that he wasn’t drowning.
Waterboarding, he said, is torture. Legally, it is torture. Practically, it is torture. Ethically, it is torture. And he wrote it down. Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country’s 43rd President: “The United States of America does not torture.” Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush. Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.
Waterboarding had already been used on Kalid Sheikh Muhammed, and a couple of other men none of us really care about, except, sir, for the one detail you had forgotten: That there are rules. And even if we just make up these rules, this country observes them anyway, because we’re Americans, sir, and we’re better than that. And we’re better than you! And the man your Justice Department selected to decide whether or not waterboarding really was torture had decided. And not in some phony academic fashion, nor while wearing the Walter Mitty “poseur” attire of flight-suit and helmet. He had put his money, Mr. Bush, where your mouth was. So your sleazy, sychophantic henchman, Mr. Gonzales, had to have him append an asterisk suggesting his black-and-white answer wasn’t black-and-white after all, that there might have been a quasi-legal way of torturing people, maybe with an absolute time limit, and a physician entitled to stop it. Maybe, if your administration had bothered to set any rules or guidelines. And then, when your people realised that even that was too dangerous, Daniel Levin was branded “too independent”, and “someone who could not be counted on”. In other words, Mr. Bush, somebody you couldn’t count on to lie for you.
So Levin was fired, because if it ever got out what he concluded, and the lengths to which he went to validate that conclusion, anybody who had sanctioned waterboarding, and who knows what else, anybody – you yourself, sir – you would have been screwed. And screwed you are!
It can’t be coincidence that the story of Daniel Levin should emerge from the black hole of this secret society of the presidency just at the conclusion of the unhappy saga of the newest Attorney General nominee. Another patriot somewhere listened as Judge Mukasey mumbled like he’d never heard of waterboarding, and refused to answer, in words, that which Daniel Levin answered on a waterboard somewhere in Maryland or Virginia, three years ago. And this someone also heard George Bush say “the United States does not torture”. And he realised that either Mr. Bush was lying, or that this wasn’t the United States of America any more, and either way, he needed to do something. Not in the way Levin needed to do something about it, but in a brave way none the less.
We have United States Senators who need to do something about it, too. Chairman Lehey, of the Judiciary Committee, has seen this for what it is and said enough. Senator Schumer has seen it, reportedly, as some kind of puzzle piece in the New York political patronage system, and unfortunately, he has failed. What Senator Feinstein has seen to justify in joining Schumer in rubber-stamping Mukasey, I cannot guess. It is obvious that both these Senators should look to the meaning of the story of Daniel Levin and recant their support for Mukasey’s confirmation.
And they should look into their own committee’s history, and recall that, in 1973, their predecessors were able to wring, even from Richard Nixon, a guarantee of a Special Prosecutor, ultimately a Special Prosecutor of Richard Nixon, in exchange for their approval of his new Attorney General, Eliott Richardson. If they could get that out of Nixon, you, before you confirm the president’s latest human echo, tomorrow, you better be able to get a yes or a no out of Michael Mukasey. Ideally, you should lock this government down, financially, until a Special Prosecutor is appointed. Or fifty of them! I’m not holding my breath. The yes or the no on waterboarding would have to suffice. Because remember, if you can’t get it, or you won’t, the time between tonight and the next presidential election is likely to be the longest year of our lives.
You are leading this country, and all of us, to the waterboards, symbolic and otherwise, of George W. Bush.
Ultimately, Mr. Bush, the real question isn’t who approved the waterboarding of this fiend Kalid Sheikh Muhammed and two others, it is why were they waterboarded? Study after study for generation after generation, sir, has confirmed that torture gets people to talk, torture gets people to plead, torture gets people to break, but torture does not get them to tell the truth.
Of course, Mr. Bush, this isn’t a problem is it, if you don’t care if the terrorist plots they tell you about are the truth, or just something to stop the tormentors from drowning them. If, say, a president needed a constant supply of terrorist threats to keep the country scared, if, say, he needed phony plots to play hero during, and to boast about interrupting, and to use to distract people from the plot he did not interrupt – if, say, he realised that even terrorised people still need good ghost stories before they will let a president pillage the constitution – well, heck, Mr. Bush, who better to dream them up for you than an actual terrorist? He’ll tell you everything you ever fantasised doing in his most horrific of daydreams, his equivalent of the day you “flew” onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you’d won in Iraq.
Now if that’s what this is all about, you tortured not because you’re stupid and you think that torture produces confession, but you tortured because you’re smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction, well then you’re going to need all the lawyers you can find, because that crime wouldn’t just mean impeachment, would it, sir? That crime would mean that George W. Bush was going to prison.
Thus the master tumblers turn, and the lock yields, and the hidden explanations can all be perceived in their exact proportions, and in their exact progressions. Daniel Levin’s eminently practical, eminently logical, eminantly patriotic way of testing the legality of waterboarding had to vanish, and him with it. Thus Alberto Gonzales has to use that brain that sounds like an old car trying to start on a freezing morning to undo eight centuries of the forward march of law and government. Thus Dick Cheney has to ridiculously assert that confirming we do or do not use any particular interrogation technique would somehow help the terrorists. Thus Michael Mukasey, on the eve of the vote that will make him the High Priest of the law of this land, cannot and must not answer a question, or even hint that he’s thought about a question, which merely concernes the theoretical definition of waterboarding as torture.
Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed. From it’s beginning, as the most neglectful protection ever of the lives and the safety of the American people, into the most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country’s history. And then to the giddying prospect that maybe you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s, and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism itself would be nearly invisible. But at last this frightful plan is ending with an unexpected crash. The shocking reality that no matter how thoroughly you might try to extinguish them, Mr. Bush, how thoroughly you might try to brand disagreement as disloyalty, Mr. Bush, there are still people, like Daniel Levin, who believe in the United States of America as true freedom. Where we are better not because of schemes and wars, but because of dreams and morals. And, ultimately sir, these men, these patriots will defeat you, and they will return this country to it’s righteous standards, and to it’s rightful owners, the people.
Good night and good luck.
so i submitted pictures of my art car to the national 2008 Art Car Calendar.
this was the response they sent me:
You have a beautiful car, but I do have a problem with the swatstika on top.
Yes, I know that I am ignorant and narrow minded, but the image is embedded in my brain as an evil symbol of hate.
Next year if you would allow me to cover it up or replace it with another symbol, then I would feel more comfortable to have it in the calendar.
I truly apologize if I have offended you in any way, but that is my opinion and I publish the calendar.
Thank you for submitting your car for the calendar.
so this was the response i sent back:
if people like you continue to be in positions where they can determine what other people see, then the swastika will never regain that which it had for everyone, for literally thousands of years before anybody ever heard of the nazis. if that happens, it will be a sad day for humanity.
one of the reasons why i put a swastika on my car is to show people that it had another, entirely opposite meaning from the one people like you have put upon it in the past 85 years.
you may not cover or alter the artwork on my car. to do so would be a misrepresentation of what i meant for my art car, and i will not permit you to do so.
i am offended, but i will get over it. however, you should examine your prejudices again in a year or so and see if they haven’t changed, because if they haven’t, then it is possible that you have offended The Remover of Obstacles, and i can’t speak for Him.
University of Washington Neurological Vocational Services – Harborview Medical Center
We have appreciated working with you for purposes of vocational rehabilitation. As per our discussion, we unfortunately need to terminate our service arrangement at this time for the following reason(s):
We have been unable to identify a funding source for your service. Please consider WorkSource and call us as we may know of a community program in your area.
[handwritten]recommend EnSo for your business needs. Good luck.[/handwritten]
Again, our best wishes in your future employment efforts.
except that EnSo is a place that gets personal assistants for people with developmental disabilities, and doesn’t have any way to deal with a person with a brain injury who wants help with his business.
i also talked with the legal assistant for the attorney that is supposedly handling my SSDI appeal yesterday. she says that there is a fourteen to sixteen MONTH waiting period for a hearing, and they just submitted my request for a hearing in july, so it’s probably going to be september to november of 2008 before i even hear anything from them… what do they want me to do in the mean time? the only way they are willing to "expedite" the waiting list process is if the person requesting the hearihg is dying. they also said that the hearing is where most people get approved. i wonder how many people go homeless and starve while waiting for a hearing because they don’t have enough money to shop or pay rent… i wonder how many people die because they’re waiting for a hearing and they can’t get it "expedited" because they’re "not dying"… but, instead, our government is apparently willing to ignore our lying president and fund two wars over a commodity that is going to be gone in 50 years anyway…
and people wonder why i’m depressed…
however, there is a bright spot in all of this. i called the woman at EnSo, and she told me that she had received email indicating that DVR had actually got a new director and was eliminating their waiting list. she forwarded this article to me and encouraged me to call DVR and “light a fire under ’em”, which i did. the result is that instead of 2 years, they have me down to 3 months, so it’s possible that, by january, i might have some help with my business… but i’m not gonna hold my breath, because i’ve been burned by government organisations that were supposed to help me in the past.
Oil Prices Hit New Record of $86 Per Barrel – meanwhile, there are people affected by homelessness, hunger, and disease who are suffering because the United States, collectively, can’t get off it’s ass and change things… 8/
this is the democrats that “unveiled” this bill… it was my impression that the democrats were supposedly less repulsive than the republicans, but they’re apparently not…
Bush pushes for telecom immunity
By JENNIFER LOVEN
President Bush said Wednesday that he will not sign a new eavesdropping bill if it does not grant retroactive immunity to U.S. telecommunications companies that helped conduct electronic surveillance without court orders.
A proposed bill unveiled by Democrats on Tuesday does not include such a provision. Bush, appearing on the South Lawn as that measure was taken up in two House committees, said the measure is unacceptable for that and other reasons. Continue reading what!?!?
6 years later, US expands Afghan base
October 6, 2007
By JASON STRAZIUSO
Six years after the first U.S. bombs began falling on Afghanistan’s Taliban government and its al-Qaida guests, America is planning for a long stay.
Originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces, the sprawling American base at Bagram, a former Soviet outpost in the shadow of the towering Hindu Kush mountains, is growing in size by nearly a third.
Today the U.S. has about 25,000 troops in the country, and other NATO nations contribute another 25,000, more than three times the number of international troops in the country four years ago, when the Taliban appeared defeated.
The Islamic militia has come roaring back since then, and 2007 has been the battle’s bloodiest year yet. Continue reading this seems vaguely familiar…
Retiring military chief declares: American people can’t vote to end Iraq war
4 October 2007
By Patrick Martin
In a statement remarkable for its blunt rejection of democracy, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said Monday that opponents of the war in Iraq could not bring it to an end by voting.
Pace made his comments before an audience that included President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and hundreds of high-ranking Pentagon civilian and military officials, as he swore in his successor as the president’s top military adviser, Admiral Michael Mullen. None of those present made any objection to Pace’s statement.
Outside Ft. Myer, where the ceremony took place, a handful of antiwar demonstrators used a bullhorn to shout their opposition. Reporters inside could hear, “Stop the Killing, George!”, “Arrest the Liar for War Crimes!” and other denunciations of the administration and the Pentagon.
Noting the presence of the demonstrators, Pace said the protest against the war was an exercise of the right of free speech, but that there were limits:
“I just want everyone to understand that this dialogue is not about ‘can we vote our way out of a war.’ We have an enemy who has declared war on us. We are in a war. They want to stop us from living the way we want to live our lives. So the dialogue is not about ‘are we in a war,’ but how and where and when to best fight that war.”
Pace was employing the standard “big lie” technique of the Bush administration, presenting the war in Iraq as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Continue reading fuming rage!!!
Bush vetoes child health insurance plan
03 October, 2007
By JENNIFER LOVEN
WASHINGTON – President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children’s health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush’s presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year’s elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number. Continue reading no child left behind? not likely… 8/
McCain: No Muslim president, U.S. better with Christian one
September 29th 2007
BY HELEN KENNEDY
GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn’t want a Muslim in the Oval Office.
“I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it,” he said. “But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”
In a wide-ranging interview about religion and faith with the Web site Beliefnet, McCain said he wouldn’t “rule out under any circumstance” someone who wasn’t Christian, but said, “I just feel that that’s an important part of our qualifications to lead.”
A Mormon such as rival candidate Mitt Romney, he said, would be okay.
“The Mormon religion is a religion that I don’t share, but I respect.
“More importantly, I’ve known so many people of the Mormon faith who have been so magnificent,” he said.
McCain later clarified his remarks, saying, “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and to defend our political values.”
A Muslim rights group ripped the Arizona Republican’s remarks.
“That kind of attitude goes against the American tradition of religious pluralism and inclusion,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
He urged McCain to “clarify his remarks” and “stress his acceptance of political candidates of any faith.”
The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, could not be reached for comment because its offices were closed for the Sukkoth holiday.
In the interview, the senator also said the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”
There is no mention of God, Jesus or Christ in that entirely secular document.
The interview, which included the revelation that he’s talking to his pastor about undergoing a full-immersion baptism after the campaign, sent Beliefnet’s irreverent “God-o-meter” spinning.
“How can the religious right hate this guy?” the site asked.
Beliefnet columnist David Kuo said McCain was “pandering to what he thinks the Christian conservative community wants to hear” and predicted he “will have a lot of explaining to do about this interview.”
The remarks came as he was starting to show gains in the polls.
McCain alienated evangelical voters in 2000 when he branded the Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell “agents of intolerance.”
U.S. Navy to spend money on masking swastika snafu
September 27, 2007
A U.S. Naval base that appears in the shape of a swastika when seen from above will receive a US$600,000 make-over after sparking concerns from Jewish groups.
“It doesn’t make any sense that a building on government property would be built in the shape of one of the most hated symbols in human history,” Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Director in San Diego, told CNN.
Barracks at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, Calif. were built as four L-shaped buildings, four decades ago.
But it wasn’t until online satellite imaging tools such as Google Earth made pictures from above readily accessible that the shape sparked controversy.
The swastika, a symbol forever tied to Nazi Germany, is visible to anyone with access to the Internet.
The Navy has said the barracks, used by the Seabees, were constructed in the late 1960s and were not intended to resemble the Nazi symbol.
Casuto readily admits that it was likely an oversight when the complex was built, but says that doesn’t make it right.
After nine months of conversation with the ADL, the Navy has decided to spend US$600,000 on landscaping and architectural changes that would obscure the swastika shape from the air.
“The Navy came to realize that this is a symbol that thousands of people died to defeat and it was inappropriate to have that shape on a military base,” Casuto told Reuters on Wednesday.
Richard Rider, a member of the San Diego Tax Fighters, said spending money on cosmetic changes to military bases is wasteful.
“Should we spend $600,000 on landscaping and cosmetic changes or should we buy three heavily armored humvees for our forces in Iraq?” he told ABC. “Don’t go to the American taxpayer and say we’d rather spend your money on flowerpots and sidewalks than fighting vehicles for our men.”
But the whole debate has flown over the head of John Mock, the architect who designed the buildings, who told CNN last year there was no malicious intent.
“It’s four L-shaped buildings — looking from the ground, the air — it still is,” he said.
The ADL is fighting the appearance of another immense swastika, this one carved into a cornfield in rural New Jersey.
“At a time when Jews around the world and in New Jersey are celebrating the High Holidays, we are confronted with this ugly symbol of hatred against Jews,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL New Jersey Regional Director.
According to the ADL, it’s the third time a swastika has been cut into a New Jersey county cornfield.
from the book “Gentle Swastika – Reclaiming The Innocence” by ManWoman:
Webster’s New American Dictionary (1959) gives this definition for Swastika: “An ancient Jewish religious symbol…”
From the second century BC to the end of the first century AD, a secret, monastic brotherhood of Jews called the Essenes lived in Palestine. Living communally and shunning public life, this hermetic group stressed purity and profound spiritual seeking. The swastika to them was a sacred sign representing the Wheel of Eternal Life. It symbolized the inner movement of the soul which leads through death to resurrection.
Jesus of Nazareth is said to have been trained in his mystical path by the Essene brotherhood, who are probably the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls…
There are associations with the swastika in Hebrew Qabalah, a Jewish mystical teaching. “Aleph” (א) is composed of two “Yodin” (י) and a cross-bar, which is a “Vau” (ו). It represents the World Above separated from the World Below by the Vital Force…
Aleph is symbolic of the primal motion of the Great Breath, the action of the creative center. This may be the source of the swastika as a Jewish religious sign. Some Qabalistic diagrams of the Sepiroth Wheel show a ten-legged swastika-like symbol portraying the manifestation of Primordial or Heavenly Man (Sephiroth) from the Infinite (En Soph)…
The Jewish Defense Leage and the B’Nai Brith Society have been trying to stamp out swastikas, even ones in Chinese shops…
The Jews of the world need to know that there is a gentle swastika, and that they are connected to it by their deepest religious philosophies. Only time can heal the wounds left by Hitler, time and the truth — and that is my purpose in writing this book. Have I chosen an impossible task? I don’t think so.
What do I want from Jews? I want them to realize that the swastika has a life separate and distinct from the nazis.
Swastika building embarrasses US Navy
September 28, 2007
The US Navy will spend thousands to camouflage a California barracks resembling a Nazi swastika after the embarrassing shape was revealed on the internet.
Navy officials said they became aware the barracks looked like a swastika from the air shortly after its 1967 groundbreaking — and had decided not to do anything.
According to The New York Times the resemblance went unnoticed by the public for decades until it was spotted in aerial views on the internet.
The Navy now plans to spend $682,000 on “camouflage” landscaping and rooftop adjustments to hide any aerial view of the San Diego barracks, known as Naval Base Coronado.
“You have to realise back in the 1960s we did not have the internet,” base spokeswoman Angelic Dolan said. “We don’t want to offend anyone, and we don’t want to be associated with the symbol.”
Ms Dolan said when officials first noticed the swastika look there was “no reason to redo the buildings because they were in use”.
But an anti-bigotry group based in San Diego is not impressed.
Regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Morris Casuto, said: “We told the Navy this was an incredibly inappropriate shape for a structure on a military installation.”
He said his group “never ascribed evil intent to the structure’s design” and praised the Navy for recognising the problem and “doing the right thing”.
The naval spokeswoman said the barracks were in a no-fly zone that was off limits to commercial airlines, so most people would not see the offending building from the air.
Navy to mask Coronado’s swastika-shaped barracks
Ground level isn’t a problem but aerial views of the Coronado site spark outrage.
September 26, 2007
By Tony Perry
CORONADO, Calif., — The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees.
From the ground and from inside nearby buildings, the controversial shape cannot be seen. Nor are there any civilian or military landing patterns that provide such a view to airline passengers.
But once people began looking at satellite images from Google Earth, they started commenting about on blogs and websites about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis.
When contacted by a Missouri-based radio talk-show host last year, Navy officials gave no indication they would make changes.
But early this year, the issue was quietly taken up by Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director in San Diego, and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego).
As a result, in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Navy has budgeted up to $600,000 for changes in walkways, “camouflage” landscaping and rooftop photovoltaic cells.
The goal is to mask the shape. “We don’t want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika,” said Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, the command that is responsible for maintaining buildings on local bases.
The collection of L-shaped buildings is at the corner of Tulagi and Bougainville roads, named after World War II battles.
Navy officials say the shape of the buildings, designed by local architect John Mock, was not noted until after the groundbreaking in 1967 — and since it was not visible from the ground, a decision was made not to make any changes.
It is unclear who first noticed the shape on Google Earth. But one of the first and loudest advocates demanding a change was Dave vonKleist, host of a Missouri-based radio-talk show, The Power Hour, and a website, www.thepowerhour.com.
In spring 2006, he began writing military officials, including then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, calling for action.
That August, he received a response from officials in Coronado, who made no promise to take action and said, “The Navy intends to continue the use of the buildings as long as they remain adequate for the needs of the service.”
In December, the now-defunct San Diego Jewish Times wrote about the buildings and the controversy.
Soon Casuto and Davis got involved.
Casuto began an on-and-off dialogue with the chief of staff to Rear Adm. Len Hering, commander of Region Southwest. He said that several members of the Jewish community had complained to him.
“I don’t ascribe any intentionally evil motives to this,” Casuto said, referring to the design. “It just happened. The Navy has been very good about recognizing the problem. The issue is over.”
Davis, who is Jewish, is also pleased with the Navy’s decision.
During a discussion with military officials on other issues, Davis had mentioned the Coronado buildings and suggested that rooftop photovoltaic arrays might help change the overhead look. The base gets 3% of its power from solar energy and has been looking to increase that percentage.
Reached in Versailles, Mo., vonKleist, the talk-show host, said he was ecstatic.
“I’m concerned about symbolism,” he said. “This is not the type of message America needs to be sending to the world.”
what about hindu anti-defamation? the swastika is a sacred symbol to hindus, and by “camouflaging” it, they are doing a disservice to people (like me) who are trying to reclaim the swastika from people who think that it only means nazi.
let me make it very clear: the swastika has been around for thousands of years and it has only been within the last 100 years that it has meant anything other than good luck, peace and love! even the jews used the swastika as a sacred symbol: the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says “The swastika appears on various articles excavated in Palestine, on ancient synagogues in Galilee and Syria, and on the Jewish catacombs at the Villa Torlonia in Rome.” there are swastikas that decorate the floor of ancient synagogues in tel hum (capernaum). from the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, again: “In modern times, anti-Semites have given the swastika a baleful significance by adopting it as their symbol; their claim that it is of “Aryan” origin is absurd.” the fact that the US navy is “camouflaging” their swastika-shaped building is an indication that they are buying into the common myth that it means something else.
i understand that it is a common myth, but that doesn’t make it any more right for our government to “disguise” a building that has been in existance since the 1960s, and it is offensive to me that they would disguise it solely because somebody found a satellite photo of it on internet.