Imagine with me;

You’re standing on the corner of Main and Clinton, in downtown Rochester, NY. There’s a fair amount of vehicle traffic and a very good amount of foot traffic, given that its lunch hour, and we’re office workers are left in downtown Rochester are out seeking their new day meal.  Or, perhaps they’re just enjoying a midsummer’s day, before having to reenter their particular salt mines.

blueangelpullingvapor.jpgWithin a second, that pattern of activity, and the sound that goes with it, is shattered by a hugely loud jet.  It’s moving so fast you have trouble locating it. Finally, you catch a glimpse of it as it seems to be moving impossibly fast between downtown buildings.  The plane is blue and yellow, you notice, as its streaks by.  Then you notice it looks to be right down in the concrete canyon of what is Clinton avenue.  It’s going so fast you have trouble estimating how high it really is. Right smack dab in the middle of North Clinton avenue, this guy who already has everyone’s attention in town, pulls a U-turn right over Main and Clinton, pulling at least five G’s in the process, and disturbing so much air that his wings turn white.. as he banks at 90 degrees, then he tops it…does something I’ve never seen before… he slides around 180 degrees laterally, and slides to a near stop, hovering for just a second on the sheer power of the jet engines….and then escaping from the canyon in the same way he came in, and seemingly twice as fast. The best way I can describe it is a hot rodder pulling a 180 degree slide and spinning his tires momentarily as he grinds for some traction.  Finding it, he gets going faster than any car has a right to. Zoom, gone.

Again, this is over city streets.

The whole display is over in perhaps five seconds.  And yet, that five seconds leaves you breathless… with an impression that you’re going to carry for the remainder of your life. “Damn, these guys can FLY….”  Trust me, my friends, that’s a display I will never forget.

I wrote about the experience of the show itself some years ago, as a sidebar to the New Years’ eve celebration we’ve been taking part in the past few years.

The only thing in real life I’ve seen that comes close is The Blue Angels airshow taking off, while you’re directly under their flight path, as happened to us last summer, during their show in Rochester. I have a mental picture of myself standing with my family at the end of the runway… and we could see the jets coming, like cats on the hunt. It’s nearly silent, though you can see the event coming… and then suddenly, you’re standing in a full force gale, your chest vibrating, your ears complaining about the pressure, and your eyes not wanting to blink for fear of missing it. What a rush!

In some ways, the run-up to the show, was more exciting than the show itself.  Perhaps it was the anticipation level that was helping them along.  Or perhaps it was the virtuosity of the pilots , or perhaps it was just the unusual sight of a fighter jet flying seven stories over the main drag in downtown Rochester.

Here’s some video.

Anyway, what draws me to write about all of this is that its fleet week in San Francisco.  Personally, I love the smell of burning liberals in the morning.  And lately, that’s what fleet week in San Francisco has become.  Cinnamon Stillwell writes about that this week. 

The truth is San Francisco is a city that likes to pretend its favored existence has nothing to do with the generations of fighting forces that have shed blood, sweat, and tears on America’s behalf. When Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval foolishly stated on “Hannity and Colmes” in 2006 that “the United States should not have a military,” that pretty much said it all.

Well, not quite.

Update: The first hour of the KQED radio show “Forum” this morning featured a discussion on this very topic or, as it’s put it in the website description, “the complicated relationship the Bay Area has with the military.” The guests were Edward Leonard, chairman of the San Francisco Fleet Week Committee (and a veteran), Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle, and, of course, lefty supervisor extraordinaire Chris Daly.

Daly, who one has to give points for at least being up front about his anti-military political proclivities, did the rest of the country a favor by demonstrating exactly what ails San Francisco leadership. Then there was the caller who felt that bringing his 3-year-old son to the Folsom Street Fair (captured by Zombie in all its degenerate glory) would be preferable to the little tyke being subjected to the horrors of the Blue Angels “war machine” (in fact, some parents did see fit to bring their children to the S&M fest). Surreal, even by San Francisco standards. Listen here.

I’ll ask the same question today that I asked day before yesterday; Do you begin to understand what mainstream America is up against with these people?

(BBCT: Michelle)

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