Dean Clough

May 29, 2023

Portico Darwin: Shows of Strength


1 Minute Read + Gallery
Flag of Ukraine.jpg

I am not gay.  I have never been gay.  But wow did we glorify this phallic weapon stuff, and I have to admit it caught my eye. 

Oh, and Happy Memorial Day.

Yes, that's my snarky (with no disrespect intended) intro to a gallery I am putting together celebrating the 50th Anniversary of my beloved Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).  You know, the National Park here that encompasses The Presidio, Fort Mason, Marin Headlands, Crissy Field, Fort Baker, Fort Point, Fort Funston, Fort Miley, Kirby Cove - oh, wait:  am I banging on and on?

As a refresher, in 1972, Congressman Phillip Burton had the foresight to draft a law that assured the National Park Service would obtain ownership of the land that at the time housed vast military bases and facilities here.  As those operations reached obsolescence, they became a huge part of today's Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

I am proud to introduce the gallery's first installment, highlighting two shows of strength:  the missiles themselves, and then the dumping of missiles for meadows.  Because these photos are all from what are now spectacular parklands here in The Bay Area.  For the record, most feature Nike missiles, the foundation of our air defense against Soviet bombers during the 1950s and 60s.

This next one I particularly love.  "Damn it, man, this is a launch pad, not a National Park!"


But here's a random photo of the many I have taken of today's GGNRA.  This is from the former Fort Baker, now the Diamond Certified Cavallo Point Lodge, and it features, from left to right, my better half, Byron Browne IV, Primo Harvey PhD, and Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels.  This was during Julie's 60th birthday there a couple of years back.

Missiles to meadows, indeed.

This is probably as good a time as any to update my list from Friday on how to address our nation's annual deficits and total debt:

  • Remove the cap on income applicable to FICA tax withholding
  • Institute means-testing for Social Security and Medicare
  • Tax capital and labor at the same rate 
  • Let the Trump tax cuts expire
  • Rationalize our national defense budget and neuter the Military Industrial Complex

If you'd like your mind blown on about how much we and the world piss away on killing machines, you should definitely visit the Stockholm International Peace Research InstituteOn this Memorial Day, let's ponder a world where we communicate with our adversaries and turn down the madness, in the interest of every nation spending more on people, and less on stuff that kills them.

Because that would be a show of strength.


Thanks to those reaching out with kind words regarding the Sonoma Coast Camping Travel Guide.  It was a great trip, and ask me sometime about what Arthur did as a follow-up - I still get a little choked up thinking about it. 

And the Portico Darwin love kept coming:  Max "Madras" Ryder left no doubt, as if any remained, about his overall affection for this blog.  In fact, he could barely contain himself:

It’s so nice to have you back . . . I feel complete!

Here's a guy with something like 8 houses and this blog makes him complete?  

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Let me rock several worlds at once.  Here is a video of Professor Howard Blum Esq.'s favorite band, Counting Crows, covering Hunter Deuce's fave song, Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi".  Which of course features the lyric:  "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot". 

Or a missile range.

About Dean Clough