September 27, 2007, - 3:00 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re tired of government waste, as I am, then you’ll be disappointed to learn of two recent developments.
The first is a set of U.S. Navy buildings in Coronado, California (near San Diego) that look like a swastika. The buildings, erected in 1967, were apparently designed by some smart aleck with leanings to the Third Reich. They are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees. But for 40 years, no-one ever noticed, until Google Earth came into play. Since the five-sided set of buildings we all know as the Department of Defense headquarters is called the Pentagon, I’ll nickname this one, “the Swastikon.”
Enter the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a liberal Democratic Congressman from San Diego, and several bloggers who are up in arms. We, as Americans, cannot allow buildings that look like a swastika from a satellite up in space to remain standing as is, they say. So, in response to their whining and fingerpointing, the federal government, at the cost of $600,000, will redesign the building, adding walkways, camouflage landscaping, and rooftop “photovoltaic cells” to hide the swastika design.
Sorry, but as a proud Jew, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, and daughter of their daughter who was a Displaced Persons camp resident, I think it’s a ridiculous waste of money. Sure, $600,000 is pizza money in the vast scheme of government trillions and gazillions. But, come on. No one even noticed the Swastikon until 40 years after the fact. And no-one will notice it unless they’re an astronaut going into or returning from space prior to driving to Florida in a diaper. The buildings are not under any flight pattern, so you wouldn’t see them from a plane, either.
I really don’t see the need. We as Americans know who fought and defeated the Nazis. We know who liberated the concentration camps. And we know who decimated the Third Reich. We know that America–but for its ever-growing Islamic population–is the least anti-Semitic country and the most anti-Nazi. Whether or not 40-year-old buildings resemble the Nazi symbol to outer space creatures and Google Earth obsessive-compulsives, should not be the subject of government spending on a perfectly good building, Swastikon or not.
I’m sure the Navy has more pressing needs for the $600,000, like better equipment for troops and the like.
Then, there’s the penny redesign. While a bunch of Congressional idiots and others are calling for the penny’s demise (which will only lead to every price and every state’s sales taxes being rounded upward to the nearest 5 or 10), the U.S. Mint (part of the Treasury Department) is doing something even more stupid: redesigning the penny. We already know that the penny costs more to produce than the 1 cent value on its face. So, why waste more money redesigning it?
As a coin collector and afficionado myself, I understand the value of making collectibles and getting collectors to hoard them (I love Wheatback and Indianhead pennies). But how valuable can gazillions of pennies redesigned actually be? And since there are only four, if every collector pockets each of the four versions, the government will make . . . 0 cents (again, it costs more to make them than a penny, so the govt. is losing money on them).
This begs the question–and I gotta ask: Doesn’t the Treasury Department have better things to do with its money than pay artists and numismatists to redesign money-losing coins?
If it doesn’t, time for Congress to cut Treasury’s budget. Congress should probably do that, anyway.
If there’s any upside, it’s that the penny marks the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth and depicts various parts of his life. Maybe that will get the many brain-addled kids, who learn less and less of White Man’s history in America, more interested in this White Man of merit and what he contributed to American history.
But I doubt they’ll even bother to look at the coins and take notice.
Tags: America, Anti-Defamation League, astronaut, California, cent, coin collector, collector, Congress, Coronado, Debbie Schlussel, Defense headquarters, Democratic Congressman, Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, federal government, Florida, Google, Holocaust, Jew, Lincoln, Navy, Pentagon, San Diego, Swastika Building, the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the Anti-Defamation League, United States Navy, USD