Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thunderous Bird Shit Over Vermont

On Thursday last week we got a prelude when the Thunderbird jets were rehearsing for Saturday's pollution and noise assault on Burlington. I phoned the Mayor's office to complain (left a message on Bob's voicemail - he never got back to me) and then I bothered the BPD, too. A very nice officer phoned me back to say that the noise ordinance did not apply to the event because the sponsors had a permit to do it. "I don't want to sound cold," he said, but there was not a thing BPD could do. He told me I couldn't even get the President of these United States to stop it if I wanted him to. I ranted a bit about traumatised children, pets and aged and infirm people who might not have a clue about what's going on. Of course, it's all about potential income to the city's businesses with the masses coming into town to see this extravaganza of military entertainment. Indeed money talks.

Well my money talks. This week I'll be going down to TDBankNorth to close my personal bank account. The bank was one of the sponsors of the TBird air show yesterday. (On Friday afternoon, I joined several Burlingtonians, some from the Peace & Justice Center, to make a mostly silent protest outside their office on Main and St. Paul.

I missed the 'Bikes Not Bombs' ride yesterday - I got separated from my friend whom I was to acompany. But I ended up biking on my own. I wore my t shirt I'd purchased at the AFSC's well-attended exhibit, Eyes Wide Open on the lawn of the UU Church at the top of Church Street in Burlington. The imprint on the shirt: "War is costly" & "Peace is priceless." The reactions I got were mixed, but mostly glares. I just responded by smiling and making the peace sign.

David Zuckerman's comments were spot on:

“My reaction is that in a time of war like we have today, it’s appalling! To people in the war zones around the world, these sounds could mean instant death,” said Zuckerman, “and for us to take pleasure in looking at them is unfortunate. We really need to think about what these things mean.”

“Technologically, they’re fascinating," said Farmer Dave, as two more roared overhead. “But in a time in the world we’re in today, it is inappropriate to get excited watching war machines.”

BurlingtonLib had a few choice words here and here.

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