Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stupid is as stupid does

I know one thing, I can think of a lot of things I would like to do for my Sailor's housing challenges with $600,000. But to spend that much on something that you cannot see except from a computer if you actively look for it is just the height of mindless folly.
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.
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.

I will admit it looks bad if you make the effort to look at it, but all the hyper-sensitive people involved in this should of ashamed at themselves. Have they shown that much interest in the housing problems of actual serving servicemembers? Actual wounded veterans? Do they expect others (aka taxpayers) to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to address every invented slight?

I don't know who is more stupid, the architectural review personnel in the 1960's who approved the construction, or those who made this worthy of Congressional Action in the 21st Century. The only smart people I see are those who after the ground was broken the and discovered the mistake decided that a military at war has more important things to spend its money on something no one would see (oops).

BTW, if you want to find real Nazi architecture hidden hither and yon, go here.

Hat tip Mike.

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