Duck! It's the Blue Angels!


My poor dog will be hiding under the table when I get home, hyperventilating. I'm trying to make phone calls -- and I feel like I'm in a war zone. I know, I know -- it's fleet week and we support the troops and an expensive, dangerous, ostentatious display of military might should make us all feel better.

But I'm not feeling it.

I like a noisy event as much as anyone else. I'm all for street fairs, music in the parks, random shouting ... it's all good. This is a big city.

But do we really have to have Navy jets buzzing over us for several days? Is this a good way to spend our tax dollars? Does a city where JROTC is a huge issue need to celebrate what's really primarily a military recruiting event?

Or am I just jealous because they won't let me fly one?



JROTC was opposed primarily because of the exclusion of LGBT people from the US military. That is now over.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

Actually, I opposed jrotc, and still do, because I don't think military recruiters should have access to high school kids. Recruit once people turn 18, but leave the kids alone.

Posted by tim on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 10:05 am

To join a student has to have their parents approval.

What business is it of yours after that?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 10:15 am

If students want to play soldier, great, do it on your own time and on your own dime.

The schools have no business promoting military recruitment, it shouldn't count for any kind of credit, and it shouldn't be coming out of the schools budget.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:05 am

well no.

I would be all for your position if it included all forms of indoctrination and programs based on a narrow special interest. But since you're picking and choosing your way through "recruitment" agenda's how is your position "fair."

I remember in high school my pals and I used to antagonize the Christian kids and teachers about starting a satanist after school group like they had. They made the same arguments you do. One of the teachers even went to the same church as my mother and complained to her about it.

I fully understand that you have defined the world in such a way that your view of positive government means spending money on your agenda is only common sense and thus irrefutable... but anyone can make those claims.

Lets clarify

Your position here is that you don't want the public schools spending money on things you don't like, based on how you have defined the world for yourself and everyone else should adhere to that. Correct?

If one group adheres to all the rules and follows all the legal requirements they should have the exact same access that every other group that does same? Yes or No?

Or should schools in Christian areas be allowed to deny gay clubs or anything else that offends them?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

Charlotte air show anyone?

It's been all of what, 2 weeks since the single plane crashed into the crowd and killed 9 people and injured dozens of others? Hasn't been 3 years since the Blue Angels themselves had a plane crash over the suburbs somewhere and killed people on the ground.

Hey, I'm a Navy vet and I love the Angels. I love Fleet Week. I served on the USS Enterprise for awhile for God's sake.

I just don't think they should fly low level through the most dense parts of the City and I know that they don't do that in any other metro area and you know why?

Cause SF voters refused to let Queen Di anchor the USS Missouri here in the 80's (I was in favor - but against the Iowa which remains a symbol of military homophobia - don't get me started) ... after DiFi lost we got the Angels buzzing us a tree top level to punish us on behalf of Feinstein.

The Angels could do their wonderful show just as well if they approached the crowd (great crowds - like Daytona 500) ... Angels could perform the same show by coming in from the seaside of Golden Gate Bridge instead of from over the Tenderloin.

And, it would be safer.

Just a matter of time before the inevitable happens.

Hey, I can understand that these air jocks get a kick out of risking their lives.

But, they have no right to risk mine too.

Go Niners!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

Come on Tim, why the hell do you support the troops? That liberal bullshit is the most idiotic weak-assed shit I've ever heard. If you don't support what the troops are doing, which is mainly killing, injuring, and threatening people in other countries for oil, why would you support them?

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

I am thankful that people are willing to lay down their lives in doing what they think will keep me safe. However, I do not think that putting their lives at risk in this manner will keep me safe. To the contrary, the US military acting as it does is the initial provocation that leads to asymmetrical attacks that put American civilians at greater risk.

When I go to Trader Joe's, the checker ask me if I found everything alright. After they reorganized the store in the past few months, I answer "no, you all keep on moving stuff around and that makes it hard to find everything I am looking for." Sometimes the checker takes that personally, and then I explain that I take issue with the pirate committee that runs TJ's, not you, the line checker just doing their job.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 9:30 am

What is it going to take for this to end? People getting killed in Reno is apparently not enough. Apparently they're waiting for one of these assholes to go kamikaze into an apartment building. Blue Angels are a recruitment tool for the military, glorifying war at a time when we're occupying two nations and bombing and killing with impunity. It's a disgusting orgy of spending, watching government literally burn our money in the smoke of jet fuel exhaust, as the rest of us fight for scraps amidst 15% unemployment.

Oh, but they accept gays now, so I guess it's all Ok.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

lighten the fuck up

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:58 am

Just enjoy the show.

You can't live on circuses alone, you know. The government's forgetting the masses need bread too.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:08 am

Should be on the ballot.
Let's fight it out.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 06, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

Quality of life issues are important when it's you getting put out?

Wasn't the big issue around JROTC the whole gay thing? It wasn't a huge issue, it was a cause whined out by a bunch people who complain that parents should have choices in their children's education, as long as those parents make the right choices.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 1:31 am

@h. Kinda good to find an issue on which we are probably in substantial disagreement, ain't gonna get into it here and now, but it gives me opportunity to say that you are nothing but an ignorant, befuddled, geriactic lush who wouldn't know a bite if it jumped up and truthed him, and can't tell his hole from an arse in the ground, so there, nyah, nyah, nyah...ooops my glass is empty. Nite, nite, sleep tight, don't let war birds fright.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 1:39 am

Technologically, the jets are an amazing example of what humans are capable of.
The fact that our best efforts are first used to snuff each other is a little disappointing, but it's historically the norm.
It's a surreal experience to watch the jets pass over the cityscape, and the sound is incredible. If you hate it, well, it only lasts for a few days.
As far as military recruitment, teach your children well. If they hit 8 and don't know soldiers often get exploited to do the errands of the rich and powerful and come home without arms, legs, parts of brains, or in bags, with a nice thank you note and maybe a regular trip to the VA, well, that's on you.
On the other hand, if we were to magically get rid of these jets and all the soldiers and our other cool weapons, another country would be here in five minutes with those same fucking planes and guns and we would be doing whatever they told us to from here on out.
So, in a way, it's cool to have ridiculous jet planes roaring over us. Provided they aren't being used against us.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 7:27 am

And it's not so that we can see a cool show. It's a recruitment tool, pure and simple. And it's way too simplistic to say "teach your children well." The military knows all too well that not everyone will teach their children well, and it preys upon those kids who weren't taught well. It's nice to say that it's the parents' fault, and maybe it is, but it's not the fault of the kids for being raised in an atmosphere of blind jingoism.

It's also way too simplistic to say oh another country would just invade if we didn't have all these fancy toys. Maybe if you phrase it *that* way... and even that's debatable. The US had no standing army before 1940, and we did fine. Nobody invaded us, and we even managed a few wars of aggression here and there. But nobody is suggesting an all-or-nothing approach like the straw man argument you put out. If we cut say to the level that other large powers like Russia or China spend on their defense (that is to say cut by about 90%)... I think we'd be just fine.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:22 am

indoctrination of our school age youth?

As a progressive?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 10:18 am

Because, like, both sides are equally bad, right?
Where have we heard that before?
From you. Every day you're on here, whining about how unfair it is.

Grow a pair, and at least come up with new subject to whimper powerlessly about.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:42 am

your sides antics?

Why is your sides revealed world better than the one anyone else has?

It's odd that some on your side have the view that all cultures are equal and the try and force theirs on everyone else?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:59 am

I'm not an idiot like you who is compelled by a complete lack of imagination to pick "a side".

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

Read Brecht?

"I have been to the jungles and the low lands beneath
where tigers question jaguars about their teeth ...

and, never forget the moral that I trace ...
this world is a dangerous place."

The world is indeed a dangerous place and we need a military.

How it's used is another issue. Clearly it has been used chiefly to forward the cause of economic imperialism and to enslave third world populations by installing compliant dictators who answer to Wall Street.

But, the country elected Obama to stop all that right?

I voted for Gonzalez/Nader

Adachi for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!

Yankees and their 200 million plus payroll sent packing by Detroit!


Posted by h. brown on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 7:33 am

I am an anti-war, native San Franciscan, andI love the Bluie Angels. Fleet Week is one of my favorite weeks of the year in San Francisco. I still remember running to the windows in my classroom in elementary schools hoping to take a glimpse of the Angels flying past. When I hear the jets roar over the City, I am brought back to being a 10 year old and I love the feeling. It may be nostalgia, but I love it and hope it continues.

Keep the Angels flying over the City!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 9:07 am

If they fly into an apartment building and slaughter a few dozen people, are you just going to say "oh well, shit happens. Still love the Blue Angels." ?

It's only a matter of time.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:12 am

sometime mean that something that brings enormous pleasure to an enormous number of people is instantly invalid?

People die at circuses, NASCAR, swimming, ski-ing and all kinds of activities. You can probably remove all risk in the world, but if that leaves a boring planet, what have you really achieved?

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:35 am

and the Blue Angels.

Those people CHOSE to participate in those events. You know that if you go to one of those NASCAR rallies, you have a chance of dying if some car careens into you. Congratulations, you just won the Darwin award, but that's your choice and more power to you.

If you want to go out into the desert and subject yourself to that risk, knock yourself out. But you have NO RIGHT to subject me to the same risk in my own HOME!

Another difference: all those other things are private. With the Angels, not only are you putting me at risk against my will, but you're doing it with MY MONEY.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

right on Carnival.

Two days a year I live right in the center of it. When they start that business on Harrison I'm up at the crack of dawn. It was tolerable 18 years ago, every year it gets more annoying as you hipsters discover your ethnic side mixed with PBR. I went once in 1992 and have never seen the parade. Right in front of my house the cops and the thugs have had dealings and it seems every year there is some sort of low level loser thug violence. Something that puts me at risk.

But people seem to enjoy it, so eh, I deal. I don't know who I would complain to(Chris Daly?) and they wouldn't care anyways. And I'm just not one of those people like you who thinks they should go through life un-offended.

What I find most interesting again is your entitlement to have your tax money spent the way you want it to be and it makes you all worked up. I feel your pain, when I see all the money the city and state throw at idiocy that you defend I get upset too.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

Equating Carnival to the Blue Angels is reductio ad absurdum.

Of course we can't eliminate ALL risk. I'm not saying that we should even try. But I know of nothing else where I don't even get the choice to avoid that risk by staying in my own home!

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

Than being hit be a blue angel. Best to never go out.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

There's a good reason why people have a very low chance of being struck by lightning. Generally, they don't go hanging out in open areas when there's lightning around. When they do, their chances go up exponentially.

Same reason why my chance of being killed at an air show is really low. I don't attend things like the Reno Air Show. The problem is that by coming here, they're making the whole city into an air show, and EVEN IF YOU DON'T GO OUT you're still at risk IN YOUR OWN HOME.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

hit by a stray bullet during carnival by walking the 1/3 block to the store.

Right directly in front of my house the cops and the local thugs have had business.

I deal with it.

It's so strange, part of the progressive world view is that living in the city you have to deal with shit that happens here, unless it might put them out.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:17 pm
Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

Or any of your other little pussy friends who complain about the Blue angels.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

What isnt just a matter of time. Can you point me to anything in the world that wont happen in just a matter of time?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 11:30 am

until a meteor crashes into the Pacific and creates the mother of all tsunamis, wiping away all life 50 miles inland on the Pacific coasts of North, Central and South America.

Why are we building cities here?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

One thing that's NOT just a matter of time:
Me getting killed at the Reno Air Show. In fact, I have a 0% chance of getting killed at the Reno Air Show.

Why? Quite simple, I don't attend. I want that choice for the Blue Angels too.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

If you're tired of the Navy flying over San Francisco, please join:!/pages/1-million-people-against-the-Blue-Angels-flying-over-San-Francisco/165877100093659?sk=wall

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

If you're tired of the Navy flying over San Francisco, please join:!/pages/1-million-people-against-the-Blue-Angels-flying-over-San-Francisco/165877100093659?sk=wall

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

Is that what it's called in the facebook lingo?

I don't do facebook for many reasons, but I'm just curious... how many "likes" do you guys have so far? Anyway, put one down for me.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

I was a kid in Toronto in the mid 1960s when I saw one of the Blue Angels go down during the Toronto Air Show. The Toronto Star ran a front-page photo of the guy's helmet, found some distance from the crash, presumably with his head still in it. So much for macho fantasies about dying for one's country! The BA is a complete waste of life and money -- and let's face it, its aim is to propagandize for a vicious military-industrial machine and the undying imperial ambitions of its operators. / By the way, my thanks again to the SFBG for running the Peter Byrne story pointing to long-festering problems with Mr. Blum. Byrne is a HEROIC journalist and the Chronicle should be ashamed of itself for treating him the way it has. I spent seven years at the Chron (I covered UC Regents meetings that dealt with the nuclear weapons labs, 2000-2007) and I saw that kind of editorial management go down all the time. But what else would you expect from the newspaper that brought you the Spanish-American War? Nanette means well but she's a "company man" like anyone else who is left there; all the people with spine and extraordinary talent left, or were dumped, years ago. Thank God I'm out!!!

Posted by Guest J. Keay Davidson on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

"During its history, 26 Blue Angels pilots have been killed in air show or training accidents. Through the 2006 season there have been 262 pilots in the squadron's history, giving the job a 10% fatality rate.

1946 – September: Lt. "Robby" Robinson was killed during a performance when a wingtip broke off his Bearcat, sending him into an unrecoverable spin.

1952 – Two Panthers collided during a demonstration in Corpus Christi, Texas and one pilot was killed. The team resumed performances two weeks later.

14 October 1958 – Cmdr. Robert Nicholls Glasgow died during an orientation flight just days after reporting for duty as the new Blue Angels leader.

15 March 1964 – Lt. George L. Neale, 29, was killed during an attempted emergency landing at Apalach Airport near Apalachicola, Florida. Lt. Neale's F-11A Tiger had experienced mechanical difficulties during a flight from West Palm Beach, Florida to NAS Pensacola, causing him to attempt the emergency landing. Failing to reach the airport, he ejected from the aircraft on final approach, but his parachute did not have sufficient time to fully deploy.

2 September 1966 – Lt. Cmdr. Dick Oliver crashed his Tiger and was killed at the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto.

1 February 1967 – Lt Frank Gallagher was killed when his Tiger stalled during a practice Half Cuban 8 maneuver and spun into the ground.

18 February 1967 – Capt. Ronald Thompson was killed when his Tiger struck the ground during a practice formation loop.

14 January 1968 – Opposing solo Lt. Bill Worley was killed when his Tiger crashed during a practice double immelman.

30 August 1970 – Lt. Ernie Christensen belly-landed his F-4J Phantom at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids with one engine stuck in afterburner. He ejected safely, while the aircraft ran off the runway.

June 4, 1971 – CDR Harley Hall safely ejected after his Phantom caught fire and crashed during practice over Narragansett Bay near the ex-NAS Quonset Point in Rhode Island.

8 January 1972 – Lt. Larry Watters was killed when his Skyhawk struck the ground while practicing inverted flight.

8 March 1973 – Capt. John Fogg, Lt. Marlin Wiita and LCDR Don Bentley survived a multi-aircraft mid-air collision during practice over the Superstition Mountains in California.

26 July 1973 – 2 pilots and a crew chief were killed in a mid-air collision between 2 Phantoms over Lakehurst, NJ during an arrival practice. Team Leader LCDR Skip Umstead, Capt. Mike Murphy and ADJ1 Ron Thomas perished. The rest of the season was cancelled after this incident.

22 February 1977 – Opposing solo Lt. Nile Kraft was killed when his Skyhawk struck the ground during practice.

8 November 1978 – One of the solo Skyhawks struck the ground after low roll during arrival maneuvers at NAS Miramar. Navy Lieutenant Michael Curtain was killed.

April 1980 – Lead Solo Lt. Jim Ross was unhurt when his Skyhawk suffered a fuel line fire during a show at NS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. LT Ross stayed with and landed the plane which left the end of the runway and taxied into the woods after a total hydraulic failure upon landing.

22 February 1982 – Lt. Cmdr Stu Powrie, Lead Solo was killed when his Skyhawk struck the ground during winter training at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California just after a dirty loop.

13 July 1985 – Lead and Opposing Solo Skyhawks collided during a show at Niagara Falls, killing opposing solo Lt. Cmdr. Mike Gershon. Lt. Andy Caputi ejected and parachuted to safety.

12 February 1987 – Lead solo Lt. Dave Anderson ejected from his Hornet after a dual engine flameout during practice near El Centro, CA.

23 January 1990 – Two Blue Angel Hornets suffered a mid-air collision during a practice at El Centro. Marine Corps Maj. Charles Moseley ejected safely. Cmdr. Pat Moneymaker landed his airplane, but it never flew again.

October 28, 1999 – Lt. Cmdr. Kieron O'Connor, flying in the front seat of a two-seat Hornet, and recently selected demonstration pilot Lt. Kevin Colling (in the back seat) struck the ground during circle and arrival maneuvers in Valdosta, Georgia. Neither pilot survived.

2 December 2004 – Lt. Ted Steelman ejected from his F/A-18 approximately one mile off Perdido Key after his aircraft struck the water, suffering catastrophic engine and structural damage. He suffered minor injuries.

21 April 2007 – Lt. Cmdr. Kevin J. Davis crashed his Hornet near the end of the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort airshow in Beaufort, South Carolina and was killed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

Valuable stuff. I had no idea that it's this bad. 10% is much greater than the chance of being struck by lightning. Having them fly over San Francisco is reckless endangerment.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

There's not a lot you can do about homicides, but Blue Angels are state-sponsored endangerment that would be easy to eliminate with a stroke of a pen.

Besides, unlike homicides, you don't HAVE to leave the house to be put at risk from the Blue Angels.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:25 am

When homicides went down in the city in the last few years everyone was claiming credit.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:46 am

I was in NYC on 9/11, where they flew fighter jets all over the city for days afterwards. I didn't realize that those jets affected me until one of the Blue Angels buzzed my apartment complex. I can't help it, whenever they go over I find it hard to breathe and feel panicked. I hope they go away soon. I'm glad they bring other people joy though, I've always really loved the Blue Angels. I wish I could enjoy them.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

same old boneheads protecting their right to be buzzed by loud pretty "angel" killing machines.... A great distraction for those tougher and dumber than rocks. Sign up for war and u idiots will get to see all this and more, go to you're nearest recruiting station good luck suckers....oh and thanks for defending our freedoms u morons....

Posted by GuestPatriots? on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 9:30 am

Right. This was obviously written by some one lik me, who just wants to make the other side look bad. Freedom hating conservative like GuestPatriots? should just calm down and let the progressive side make themselves louk bad which is wat they do best.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:45 am
Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:43 am

I've read all the comments here and appreciate both sides. Although my own bias might be against such a blatant display of military might which only serves the interest of "The War Machine", I'd be willing to live with whatever my fellow SFers decided.
What about putting the issue of the Blue Angels flying over SF to a vote of the citizens of San Francisco? Shouldn't those impacted have a say in the matter? Regardless of the outcome, I, for one, would be willing to live with the results of a vote.
And yeah, I understand that this type of solution would never satisfy the "absolutists" on both sides and might be flawed but is there a better solution out there? If so, tell us!

Posted by GuestCurtisPSF on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:56 am

outside a handful of people grousing here, it seems pretty popular.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:07 am