Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

San Francisco's Anti-Military Values

San Francisco is a town where, as the saying goes, the personal is political. So avoiding politics in any discussion of the city by the bay is no easy task.

City officials certainly have a habit of politicizing every aspect of residents’ lives, from banning the smoking of cigarettes at bus stops to mandating what type of water bowls "pet guardians" use for their dogs.

Now it seems the San Francisco Board of Education has decided that the 90-year old Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program is to be banished from the city’s schools. Earlier this week the board voted 4-2 to phase the program out over two years and the city’s been buzzing about it ever since.

Needless to say, the over 1,600 students (the majority of them Asian-American) currently enrolled in the JROTC and their families are none too happy about the school board’s decision. Many attended the board meeting where the ban was decided and made their feelings known, but in typical totalitarian fashion, the board simply ignored their input.

Using the fig leaf of the U.S. military’s enforcement of the federal "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy concerning gay service members, not to mention a desire to "teach a curriculum of peace," the school board demonstrated its complete and utter disregard for the place of the military in American society.

Never mind that the JROTC does not enforce the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy and in fact, has openly gay students enrolled. Or that its membership is entirely voluntary. Or that it provides students with valuable skills in leadership and discipline. Or that in the last two years, only 5% of JROTC cadets actually ended up joining the military upon graduation. It’s enough that the JROTC is related to the military to get it banned in the self-proclaimed bastion of "tolerance" and "diversity."

San Francisco values indeed.

In fact, the school board's decision was just the latest in a long line of anti-military actions taken by city officials and in some cases, supported by their left-leaning constituency.

The toothless "College Not Combat" initiative, passed by San Francisco voters in 2005, sought to ban military recruiters from schools and colleges. The same year, the Board of Supervisors voted against docking the WWII era USS Iowa as a floating museum at the Port of San Francisco for no apparent reason except that it was deemed a "celebration of war."

Then of course, there were the embarrassing comments of Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval on the Fox News program Hannity and Colmes earlier this year when he said that, "the United States should not have a military." Sandoval appeared again on Fox News earlier this week, this time on The O’Reilly Factor, to discuss the JROTC ban and predictably, he defended the school board’s decision.

And such examples are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Clearly, San Francisco’s political establishment has been co-opted by ideologues that are intent on imposing their views instead of doing their jobs. The school board’s decision was the culmination of a dictatorial trend that for too long has simply been shrugged off as part of the "eclecticism" of San Francisco.

If city residents don’t start fighting back, they will be ceding power to the zealots.

It’s that simple.

Cross-posted at The Washington Post's PostGlobal and at Kesher Talk.


Blogger Jeremayakovka said...

In SF a generation ago you were likely to hear something like, "Hello, sailor!" Nowadays you're more likely to hear, "Goodbye, sailor!"

Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:48:00 PM  
Blogger The Nittany Turkey said...

If the majority of San Francisco voters are capable of voting for a ban on guns, what makes you think that they'll do anything but support this measure? (Not that they're being asked to, or anything.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I am a JROTC alumni from San Francisco, and all I can say is that those Board Members don't know what they're talking about when it comes to JROTC.
I've never heard of any of them actually going to the high schools and talking to the students. All their arguments are about the military branding our kids, or that the "don't ask don't tell" policy trickles down to JROTC as well... Let me ask them this, the military is a significant part of our history. Neglecting the need of a military is just extreme-liberalism, that I'm starting to feel disgusted about. And for all the LGBT issues, ask the students!! There were and are openly gay students in the program... can you imagine a guy saying that he's gay on the football or wrestling team?? They'll get more abuse than ANYONE in JROTC...
I wanted to settle back to San Francisco, and have my kids go to public schools there, but now that there's no JROTC, I'm thinking twice about it...

Friday, November 17, 2006 6:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the federal government could encourage some other country, say Mexico, to invade SF from the sea and take it over as part of their country. We would soon see how much SF has against the military. They would be screaming from the rafters about Bush's incompetence and how much he failed to do his duty to protect all Americans.

Friday, November 17, 2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the issue of gay discrimination concerning ROTC is a specious argument. The argument should be solely that we want to study peace not war and we don't want anyone in the military gay or otherwise. Our military is draining our treasury, destroying young lives and giving credence to the idea we can solve problems with violence. We should not perpetuate war machines but figure out another way to protect ourselves when necessary without destroying half the world to do so or inculcating the idea of militarism that requires blind acceptance

Friday, November 17, 2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

We should not perpetuate war machines but figure out another way to protect ourselves when necessary...

Okay, Antonia, you let us know when you figure that out. You could always contact al-Qaeda and see how they feel about "peace." In the meantime, the grown-ups will be engaging with reality.

Friday, November 17, 2006 1:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Be kind to Antonia. She may have consumed a dangerous quantity of Gene Rodenberry, a condition for which there is little but palliative treatment available.

Wondering what both of you would look like in liberation sacks (niqabs).

Friday, November 17, 2006 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe when the next big one hits the Bay Area the city of SF will ask the government not to send the military to help, especially the National Guard, since they’re all a bunch of mean homophobes. We wouldn’t want to impose on the rights of San Franciscans by having people risk their lives who don't fit a certain political profile.

Friday, November 17, 2006 4:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great to see more American entertainers finally get it, as did this Australian singer/songwriter?

Poster Girl (Wrong Side Of The World)

No one hates war more than those who have fought in them, but we see the threat and feel a duty to our citizens many can't understand.

Unfortunately, Antonia, Kumbaya doesn't translate into the language of the terrorists.

Maybe SF would reconsider their stance is every last Military dollar was no longer coming into the city.

Saturday, November 18, 2006 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a graduate of Lowell High over 50 years ago, I took great pride in how hospitable the City was to the troops stationed in the Bay Area. It just gives me the creeps how a few hippies living in the Haight-Asbury district in the 1960's has turned the City upside down in their treatment of the military. Now, I don't even go there for a visit.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger RedNeckoBlogger said...

Are San Franders anti-military or just anti-American military?.. they do not seem to have a problem with Che or Fidel’s military, or even Hezbollah. I suspect years of bad drugs have taken its toll on the fair city of the bay.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 8:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I served proudly in our nations military from 1969 to 1994. In one state and one city was I spat upon whenever I passed through. I try not to go there any longer, but if I could, I'd wear the uniform again to give those folks the right to be able to show their disdain for me, and to spit to show that disdain. A very unfriendly state and city to people who just happen to wear a uniform.

Saturday, July 04, 2009 5:20:00 AM  

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