by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
I hate those damn planes. I hate the sight of them. I hate the god-awful sound they make as they flaunt this country’s military might across the sky. I hate the fact that they’re allowed to fly over San Francisco. What ever happened to San Francisco as the peace and love capital of the world? Wear a flower in your hair? More like ear plugs and gas mask.
The Blue Angels are major polluters. They use a fuel that is highly toxic and contains known carcinogens, both for the pilots and for those on the ground below. Wake up parents. Don’t bring your kids to see an air show that is making their planet less livable and endangering their health and well being. Better to teach them about the evils of war and military weapons.
Aiding and abetting the destruction of our environment is bad enough, but the planes also eat up a chunk of our tax dollars. According to the Blue Angels website, each plane costs $21 million, but that’s before the extras are added on.
The gas they use has a ridiculous price tag of $8-$12 a gallon. One of those damn ugly planes burns about 1,200 gallons an hour. Multiply that by the number of planes and the number of hours pilots spend training and soaring overhead and you have a pretty hefty sum just for fuel.
According to the Mobtown Shank website which did the math, it costs about $112 million for this military PR stunt every year, a stunt to recruit people into the Air Force to fight endless wars that are costing trillions of dollars and making huge profits for a handful of individuals and corporations. Not to mention slaughtering innocent people in other countries, people who did nothing to this country.
At a time when seniors are barely making it, when unemployment benefits aren’t stretching enough to maintain families, when the working-class and poor, among them vets and children (3,000 here in SF alone), are being forced to live on the streets because they have no other option, when millions are living below the poverty line in every state in this nation, we keep hearing from the millionaires in Congress and in state legislatures that the richest country in the world can’t afford vital programs to keep people housed and their stomachs full, but it can easily spend money for a display that proves that we have a bigger dick than other countries. Panem et circenses, but where’s the free bread?
The military and national security, including Homeland Security, which spies on citizens engaged in exercising their First Amendment rights and treats them as terrorists, consume 64% of the federal budget. According to the American Friends Service Committee, that’s more than education (6%), HUD (3%), environmental protection (1%) and other programs (4.5%) which I guess includes welfare, Social Security and unemployment benefits.
Doesn’t anyone else see something radically wrong with this picture? Obviously not enough people do.
Ban the damn Blue Devils now!
See also my piece on Columbus -- hint: as a southern Italian I hate him.