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08 October 2007


Wow. That's a nice shot of the F18 with the Golden Gate.

I too enjoyed the roar of the jets overhead via a friend's rooftop on Van Ness. The guys put their lives on the line for the show (10% fatality rate for Blue Angels fliers).

Bleeding heart patriotic or not, it was a thrilling show.

"We believe we speak for many citizens of the City and Country of San Francisco..."

Oh sure, so typical of you megalomaniacal Friscans to consider yourself an independent country :-).

Those right wing attacks are nuts. Who *are* those people? Does one person write the story, and then send it out to each of them? Sometimes I think the Daily Show orchestrates the whole thing to ensure they have enough material for Jon Stewart.

Ha! Freudian typo fixed. Thanks for the catch, and thanks for supporting the Blue Angels.

As much as you may enjoy preaching to the choir, there are plenty of legitimate reasons we don't like these jets streaking over our houses for a week every fall. If you want air shows, put them in the desert where they won't bother -- or potentially endanger -- anyone.

I love the ships. I love the Navy. I am a patriot.

Simulated bombing runs over our heads, waking babies, scaring children, distracting drivers, threatening birds in the middle of their fall migration for five days running?

I don't care where you stand politically: That's just rude.

But watching it all in the context of our city is precisely what makes it so wonderful -- for the rest of the year, when I walk down Mission Street, I'll continue to savor the view I had of the Blue Angels racing toward downtown. The desert is for Burning Man. The Blue Angels are an urban tradition.

Meanwhile, our 10 week-old baby loved the sound -- she cooed as we watched the Angels from Bernal Hill. But that might well be a genetic predisposition.

Damn it's a bugger living in the wrong hemisphere. Seeing that kind of a show over where you live/work/play would be beyond awesome. Admittedly, the whole F-111 dump and burn thing with accompanying fireworks is pretty good too, but there's only one or two of them....

With all the press it received, I thought the Daly proposal had actually gotten somewhere. It says something that it died in committee, when so many other crazy things reach the full board.

I still don't know why some people are soo concerned about the safety of this once a year event. I'd be much more worried about the hundreds of planes flying over every day of the year, many of which likely have pilots with far less training than the Navy folks.

It's too bad I missed this year's Fleet Week, particularly with the addition of A380 flybys. Maybe the Blue Angels can stop by Interior Alaska next year?

as a somewhat intelligent left-wing SFer, i'd like to ask you to consider a more nuanced view of fleet week. while i sat outside and marveled at the scalar incongruity of fighter jets soaring around suddenly defenseless skyscrapers, i was awestruck.

i was also scared. in many parts of the world, for many years, these same jets, pilots and same loud sounds destroy lives and property. what you see as a marvel of technology, others see as a harbinger of death. really.

not to belabor the point, but i thought that of all US cities, SF (and its citizens) would have more sophisticated opinions on the military rally that is fleet week. it shouldn't be denounced because its loud or distracting, it should be denounced because it is a vulgar display of power, and a reminder of our nation's (not-so-proud) legacy...

Bill, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

However, we are most definitely not left-wing, nor liberal. Nor are we right-wing, or conservative. We lie somewhere between those two extremes.

We do believe that America's armed forces are a necessary component of our survival on the global stage. And that being the case, we also believe that if we must have an armed forces, it behooves us to have a good one. Thankfully we do, and the Blue Angels embody that tradition of excellence.

More fundamentally, we also believe there is an important distinction to be made between the tools and symbols of our armed forces, and the political uses to which they are applied. We can confidently say that the Iraq War is the greatest strategic blunder in American history, and the moral stain that the United States has accrued because of it may take decades to purge.

Yet the F-18 would be a necessary piece of equipment, with or without the criminally incompetent Bush Administration, just as the Swedes need their Saab Gripens, and the French need their Mirage 2000sand the Indians need their Mig-29s -- as well as the skilled pilots to fly them.

And all that being the case, we do not find it difficult to maintain a distinction between an airshow by the Blue Angels and ill-conceived American military interventions elsewhere in the world. To confuse the two is to confuse ends with means. It is to become obsessed with symbols, when the problems at hand are substantive, more direct, and in no way abstract.

Whether any of this renders us somewhat intelligent, or not, we humbly leave it for you to decide.

Nicley posted, and well put.
I consider myself a pacifist, but I really enjoy watching an airshow. I believe we can draw the distinction between marveling at our technological achievements and glorifying warmaking.

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