The Chron's bizarre attack on Milk Airport

SFO could be HMO

It must have been hard for John Diaz, the Chron's editorial page editor, to just come out and oppose the idea of renaming San Francisco International Airport for Harvey Milk. So instead he put out a tortured argument that goes like this:

It's too easy to put things on the ballot in San Francisco. To wit:

San Francisco has a system that is ripe for abuse by politicians who want to call attention to themselves or want to try to acquire at the ballot box what they could not otherwise attain by working with their colleagues.

He actually quotes Lite Guv Gavin Newsom who says, apparently without blushing, that he went to "excrutiating lenghts" to avoid putting things on the ballot that he couldn't get passed through the Board of Supervisors. Excuse me? Care Not Cash? WiFi?

More Diaz:

The renaming of SFO is an example of an issue that demands a thorough public airing: about its cost, about the implication for the airport's global brand and about whether other San Franciscans should be considered. The regrettable upshot of the Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport proposal is that it could devolve into a referendum on the late supervisor's worthiness for such an honor.

Wait: You don't think the supervisors will discuss this, that there won't be public comment, that this proposed city charter amendment won't go to committee for discussion? You don't think that's already happenning, or that a ballot campaign won't involve all of those issues? That's just silly.

Yeah, there have been things put on the ballot in the past without adequate hearings, but that's certainly not the case here. This thing will be discussed and dissected and cost-analyzed and debated at great length. And in the end, it ought to go on the ballot. The Diaz argument is just an excuse to oppose something that's hard to fight on the merits; if the supes had just gone ahead and done it on their own, we'd be hearing the opposite, that the voters need to weigh in.

And this?

There may be a time when an airport naming makes perfect sense, perhaps because of a San Franciscan's contribution to the airport itself or aviation generally. Harvey Milk simply does not offer such a natural connection.

Please. John F. Kennedy may have sent a man to the moon, but had nothing substantive to do with New York City aviation. Ronald Reagan didn't even fly into National Airport; Air Force One lands at Andrews Air Force Base. And his major contribution to civilian aviation was firing all the air traffic controllers and breaking their union.

Naming SFO after Milk would be a political statement on a grand scale. The City and County of San Francisco would be saying that a gay person deserves a monument of international scale, that Milk's contributions to changing the world are something this city should treat as so special that we should tell the whole world, loudly and forever.

I'm all for it. But if you're not, let's at least debate it on the merits


Milk was a lowly supervisor in a second-rate city.

Posted by anon on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

JFK wasn't president for very long, and didn't do all that much. His greatness lies in the symbolism he holds for the baby boomers, and in his assassination. Similarly, Milk's symbolism has to do with the civil rights struggle of the last quarter of the 20th and, so far, first part of the 21st centuries.

Posted by Hortencia on Jan. 24, 2013 @ 6:56 am

Greg hates Asians hence he opposes naming the airport after our first Asian senator, S.I. Hayakawa. Only an ogre could hate a man who went through so much and accomplished so much. a racist ogre.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 9:54 am

Racism against whites and asians is perfectly acceptable to him.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

Why the Guardian allows such "yellow peril" racism from him on a continual basis is mystifying. Haven't Asians suffered enough with the Chinese Exclusion Act and internment during WWII and all the rest? Must Greg add to their misery? What's next - a Charlie Chan movie fest narrated by Greg himself?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

matlock evidently did a web search for "righteous indignation" and pasted an article he found which he doubtless did not read or comprehend, evidently thinking it related to what you had written and answered it in some substantive fashion. It does not.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

Thanks. Ironically, people who SHOULD read and understand that article like Greg, Eric Brooks, Marcos, Lilipublicans, etc. are the people least likely to comprehend/absorb/read it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

So because I want to keep it SFO, I'm homophobic? How about I just don't want my local airport named after someone? I don't care if it's Milk, Moscone, Bush, Willie Brown, or John Wayne.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

Because if it was anybody else, you wouldn't be agitating against it.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

wanted to name it after Reagan you would be pro alzheimer's?

You are such an idiot Greg.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 3:12 am

He was a symbol of diversity - Canadian, well-known semanticist, head of SFSU during a tumultuous time, senator and finally the most important - a Japanese American who broke down barriers in the Senate. I feel like he's earned it.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 9:33 am

...didn't become the human symbol for a whole movement. Naming the airport after Milk would really be about the gay rights movement, personified by no one more than Harvey Milk.

Posted by Hortencia on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

Vs the region which surrounds it? San Francisco is a lot more than The Gays. Hayakawa is a powerful symbol of the tearing down of walls, of barriers - the naming of the airport after such a man would serve as a healing bridge to the new diversity of the 21st century.

Either that or Tania International Airport. I won't settle for less!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 5:58 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

we can't do both.

How about fixing potholes instead of instituting a nudity ban?
How about fixing potholes instead of doling out tax breaks to Twitter?
How about fixing potholes instead of trying to remove the elected sheriff?

I'll have to remember the pothole angle every time I want to argue against a stupid right wing idea.

Somehow the pothole police was nowhere to be foound when the city government was doing any one of a number of needless things that took up way more time and money than this. Oh but honoring Harvey Milk suddenly brings the pothole police out of the woodwork. You homophobic trolls are so transparent. You can't fight this one on the merits so you'll look for any bogus excuse.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

Of course it is.

Big troll lie #7 is that there's always something more "responsible" for government to be doing than whatever popular initiative is currently being advanced.

Not surprisingly, the same false notion that two things cannot occupy the concern of government at one time is never brought up when numerous "moderate" programs are in the offing.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 21, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

Purely symbolic things like renaming a street or airport are, or should be, the bottom of the pile.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

From The Eagle to the runways of SFO - Campos will protect and defend our queer spaces!!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 10:23 am

I am not against Harvey Milk, just would like to see other names. Just would like to see other names. From Wikipedia, list of names that are associated with San Francisco. Just some names


Ansel Adams
William Ware Theiss.


Isadora Duncan
Mervyn LeRoy
Gracie Allen
Mel Blanc
Bruce Lee
Natalie Wood
Bill Graham
Jerry Gacia
Tupac Shakur

Living Entertainers
Carol Channing
Tony Bennett

Dashiell Hammett
Jack London.

Living Writers
Armistead Maupin
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Here is something I would like to add for fun.
Del Martin and Phiyllis Lyon Memorial Terminals.
Mark Twain
Andrew Smith Hallidie
Phoebe Hearst
Cecil Willians
Robert McNamara

Just a small amount of people, I put more on dead people but living ones are great too.

Posted by Garrett on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

Why does he prefer to impose his own politics onto the name of SFO?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

Except Tupac was really from Marin.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

Patty Hearst International Airport!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 8:48 am

I think we have a winner - who captivated the heart of fake-black-talking radicals everywhere? Tania!! Only she can bring is back together once again.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 9:54 am

Hmmmm I know Tupac Shakur is from Marin but somehow associated with San Francisco. Each person was either born in or came to San Francisco, to do whatever they wanted to do.

Posted by Garrett on Jan. 23, 2013 @ 10:12 am

It will never be HMO.

The FAA won't let airports change their three-letter identifier, so it will stay SFO even if the city makes this happen. Fresno tried for years to lose the FAT associated with their airport after they renamed it Fresno/Yosemite International (from Fresno Air Terminal), but the FAA wouldn't budge.

Posted by Orlando Chavez, Jr. on Jan. 27, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

Seeing HMO under the photo was the best part of the whole story. But anything to distract Campos and the rest of the SF supervisors from offering any meaningful actions to tackle the severe lack of newly built affordable ownership housing in the city is good, so hopefully the airport renaming issue will keep festering for a few more months.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

Hi, thanks for sharing

Posted by tiger on Apr. 11, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

Why would Harvey be put forward, there must be other worthy candidates as well?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 6:01 am