One of the nice things about living here is the proximity to New Orleans NAS in Belle Chase and Keesler AFB over near Biloxi, Missibama. Thanks to those two, I get a pretty good air show most week-ends and some week-days as F-15, F-16 and F-18 aircraft overfly the city, often coming right over my house at pretty low altitude. Elements of two and four fighters often fly overhead and the sight and sound is fantastic, especially when they kick in some power.
But that's only half the fun. The other hald is looking at my neighborhood's social media page, aka the "bitch and whine" site. Every time the jets come over more than once or twice, the posts start:
"Anyone have any idea why all the military planes are flying so low over the city?"
"Those planes are shaking my house again! Why are they doing this?"
"I'm calling my councilman again. Those WAR machines have no business over our city!"
And my favorite: "Anyone notice how it's much more frequent since 45 (President Trump) got in? It's like he's trying to show us all that he's in charge!"
Yes, snowflakes. All of that proficiency training is just The Man trying to keep you personally down. And they actually say this stuff. Under their own names. Because they believe it. And they support and validate each other and each thread becomes more ludicrous. "They're training to go to Afghanistan to kill innocent people!" "They're desensitizing us for when they declare martial law!"
And so on. It would be laughable if these people weren't also allowed to vote in elections and raise kids.
Cue the heretic. Enter me, stage right.
"Man, don't you all just love those jets this morning? That's the sound of FREEDOM, right there! God bless our military aviators who are up there keeping us safe today!"
And this, dear readers, is why the dogs and I don't get invited to too many neighborhood parties.
They also seem to get a tad touchy when I try to sympathize with them. "Yeah, I know. It sucks when you move into a city and the Navy and Air Force come along and build bases right down the road, don't it?"
I've even helpfully reminded then that moving vans go both ways. But the ungrateful bastards still don't appreciate me for some reason.
One of my favorite ones is Muffin. Yes, I swear to God, her parents actually named her "Muffin" and now in her early thirties, she still goes by it. Of course her occupation, per all of her social media feed, is also "artist", so you get the idea. Muffin, a former New Yorker, is one of the hordes of transplants who rushed into this city after Katrina when it became hip and fashionable to do so. They bought or rented properties cheap in formerly black neighborhoods like the Bywater and then sat around accusing everyone else who moved in after they did of "gentrifying" the neighborhoods. And this is the crowd that hates President Trump, and statues of Civil War heroes, and the police that they nonetheless call every time someone steals their crappy bike, and the military.
But back to Muffin. Muffin is now demanding to know how much it costs to fly these planes over the city. Specifically, she wants to know how much gas they burn per hour, because that's the only real cost associated with flying a jet fighter. I helpfully tried to point out that fuel costs were minimal compared to the other costs associated with aircraft operation, and try to form, Muffin posted back: "I'm not an idiot. I know that they have to be worked on. I just want to know about the fuel costs, because people in this gas and oil crazy state will understand when I point out how much gas and oil they waste flying around like this every day!"
Muffin has also claimed that it's dangerous for these jets to fly over the populated cities, because when one has a problem, there's nowhere it can go except into a neighborhood. I told her that she had a great point and that we should probably close Louis Armstrong International Airport in neighboring Kenner too, because all of those passenger jets fly right over the same neighborhoods every day. This only seemed to make her madder though. She responded that passenger jets are worth the risk because there is a public benefit to them, "but MACHINES OF WAR (and yes, she always capitalizes that) have only one purpose, and it's to kill people and terrorize the populace."
Admittedly I took the cheap shot and pointed out that that was two purposes. Pretty sure that she hates me right up there with President Trump, the police, the jet pilots and Robert E. Lee right now. But at least I'm in good company.
PS--I wish Ed Rasimus was still here. I'd seriously go to the trouble of getting him signed up to our community forum just to watch the fireworks.