August 01, 2002
A word from Seattle

Alert reader Carol fired off an e-mail to alert me to what I was missing in the Seattle papers in my absence. Yesterday's Seattle Times had a pair of doozies that inspired me to blog a little more.

First, we have a fairly standard "We hate the military" snivel:

We had planned an important trip for the first weekend in August (a family reunion), which we are now obliged to cancel having realized that the dreaded Blue Angels will be buzzing our home and terrifying our pets for three solid days. It is impossible to leave them with a pet sitter under the circumstances, as (the pets) quake and shudder in the basement or attempt to run away.
Must we go through this every year? And especially this year! After 9/ll, the roar of a plane about to hit one's home is less appealing than ever.
How are the Blue Angels funded and what do they cost? What if you were to simply cut them out of the budget and blame Tim Eyman?
John Aylward and Mary Fields, Seattle

(Notes to readers: Tim Eyman is a Seattle area anti-tax gadfly, hated by the local big-government types. The Blue Angels are the Navy's flight demonstration team, similar to the Air Force's Thunderbirds.)

The Blue Angels are in Seattle once per year, for SeaFair. The Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island, the Air Force Base to the south, Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, and Boeing Field (where several Boeing products are manufactured, and flown) are here all year long. Do they send your pets into a frenzy? If not, it is rather unlikely that the (relatively quiet) F-18 aircraft used by the Blue Angels will agitate them.

As to their financial source—they are funded by the Department of the Navy. The Navy spends a good deal of money to maintain and operate the squadron, but the public relations and recruiting interest they generate cannot be bought at any cost; they are an invaluable tool, and banning them because they displease you is *not* an option.


The next is a "Cuba is paradise, America is repressive" template:

I may or may not have just returned from Cuba. Either way, my hat is off to all legislators who voted to ease the travel ban on Americans traveling there. Simply stated, there could not be a clearer, more fundamental example of tyranny than a government that seeks to govern its subjects outside of its very borders.
Don Hanzel, Seattle

Except, perhaps, for one that doesn't allow its subjects outside of its very borders?

I've not noticed a great trend towards immigration to Cuba, but I certainly saw a lot of immigration from Cuba.

In any case, Mr. Hanzel's rhetoric is overheated; most countries have nations to which travel is prohibited.

UPDATE: Seattle reader FH informs me that I may have been a mite too critical of Mr. Aylwood and Ms. Fields. Apparently the Blue Angels can be a bit loud over the skies of Seattle. I will retract some of the vitriol from my original post.

posted on August 01, 2002 01:32 PM


Not too much vitriol was retracted, I hope. That was a stunningly myopic, self-centered, and, yes, moronic letter, even if you were not quiote right about the amount of noise an F/A-18 makes.

posted by The Dodd on August 5, 2002 06:17 PM

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