Connect
To Top

“I Hate All You Fucking Liberals!”

 

As thousands of SUVs, trucks, and autos streamed into the former Brunswick Naval Air Station this weekend for the Great State of Maine Air Show, I stood (sat because aching knee waiting for replacement) with maybe two dozen friends to protest the show. Organizers believe their estimates of 40,000 to 50,000 paid viewers will be exceeded this year. The cost to put on this “show” of military might is in excess of $500,000.

Watching this steady stream of traffic from 8:45 am to a little after noon provided time to reflect on many things. While a handful of folks – and children – waved, gave the thumbs-up, or honked their horns, several others expressed their disgust with us by shouting profanities, shaking their heads, and of course, the universally understood middle finger salute. But some shouted out the most troubling slur that is indicative of great swaths of Americans today: “I hate all you fucking liberals.”

As I watched carloads of people enter the base, I wondered how many of these folks managed to pay $40 per adult and $25 for children (under age 3 – free). Drinks and food not allowed meaning concession food was going to be another significant expense. My thoughts drifted to the millions of people who paid $100 to watch “the fight of the century” on pay-per-view TV, and the millions who watched it in sports bars over dinner and drinks. This weekend, with the Red Sox embarrassing themselves once again for the third game in a row, Fenway parked was a sellout. Tickets for today’s game start at $34 for bleacher seats, not including beer, hot dogs, peanuts, Crackerjacks, and parking. And now that NFL football is in full swing with preseason games, most of those stadiums a filled to capacity.

What troubled me most was a long-held belief of mine that most Americans have no idea what is happening to them, their country, and the rest of the world in their name, distracted as they are with bread and circuses. Most, if not all, of the people paying to watch the air show surely believe this is just good, wholesome, family fun and great entertainment. And most, I suspect, believe this over-the-top demonstration of military might assures them that it keeps us safe. I carried a large multi-colored flag with the word Peace that fluttered in the nice breeze. One guy who passed me as he walked into the show said, “Peace through strength, right?” I’m sure that’s what most Americans believe about America’s war machine that has killed untold millions of innocent civilians around the world. So much for spreading peace, security, freedom and democracy to the people in Central and South America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and countless other places this mighty killing machine has operated since 1798.

No thoughts about America’s 16 year, $5 Trillion lost cause in Afghanistan, nor the trillions of dollars in destroying the ancient cultures and peoples of the Middle East. No thoughts about a national debt that exceeds $20 Trillion. No thoughts about most people in this country living on credit card debt, student debt, mortgages and auto loans. No thoughts about the lack of free health care for all; the outrageous cost of a college education; the lack of jobs, even for people with advanced degrees; no thoughts about our failing infrastructure. And no thoughts about all of the personal freedoms and privacy we have lost since 9/11…all in the name of keeping us safe.

But, in reality, these shows perpetuate a culture of violence.

But the thought that bothered me the most yesterday was watching all of the children enter the show, not to mention the thousands who watched from vantage points along the Old Bath Road. All of this was pretty cool. I mean, those F-18s ($70 million each), F-16s ($17 million each) performing unbelievable, precise, acrobatic, aerial maneuvers. That’s really cool stuff! Poor innocents don’t realize this is all an insidious recruiting tool masked as good, wholesome, family entertainment. Nobody tells them that these “angels” drop bombs that kill kids and families just like theirs every day right now in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria.

As I stood on the busiest corner in downtown Brunswick last Thursday protesting this air show, the Navy Blue Angels (insidious use of the world “angels”) flew low over the town and right down Maine Street, low enough you could see into the cockpit. The roar was deafening, so loud we had to cover our ears. I kept thinking what this terrifying sound means to children in those faraway places where these “angels” of war drop their bombs. Seconds after the roar, they are dead or maimed for life.

Bottom line I thought those of us who protest against wars and injustice have lost the battle. There were no young people with us protesting how their futures are being destroyed. The good news: tens of thousands of show-goers saw us and read our signs and banners. I hope maybe it raised some blood pressure and maybe some conversation.

Photos by Peter Woodruff, Regis Tremblay

Video by Regis Tremblay

Photo of boy “playing” with a machine gun – unknown.

 

 

  • 312capri

    As an octogenarian who lived through WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan I tell you if not for my generations tenacity and military might you sir would be living in a different world today. So F U!

    • RegisTremblay

      You sir and the Allies did not defeat Nazi Germany. The Russians did and it cost them 27 million lives. You sir, fought in a war financed by corporations and bankers in this country who financed the Nazis. Regrettably, your generation did not end all wars but gave birth to the military industrial complex that has put this country on a perpetual war footing ever since…and your hero general and president Ike warned the nation about this on his way out….after he couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it.

      Peace to you in your autumn years.

      • Sabrina

        Regis – I hope 312 listens to you and learns some history. Our media brainwashing and lying to citizens over the generations produces men like him. Sad. These are the ones who support wars – they don’t see the light.

      • Mike Schroer

        Regis – 312capri said he lived through WWII, he never said he served in the military. As a Vietnam war combat veteran I have since studied history and learned how wrong that war was. As well as Korea, Cambodia, Laos, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Iran, Iraq, and other numerous countries. Hopefully we can encourage people to study some history, something it appears 312capri has not taken the time to do. I to, wish him peace in his remaining years.

  • Bruce Gagnon

    Good and honest comments Regis and really agree about the Russians doing the most to take down the Hitler Nazi Army – can’t deny the numbers…….

  • Zinn12

    Must agree with Regis as his comments ring true – if 312capri researched some history – for ex., Banker and financier, Prescott Bush, father of George H. W. and grandfather of George W., he would discover that Prescott was the middleman for Brown Bothers (and Harriman, if I remember correctly) in arranging loans and completing business deals for Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in the 1930’s, and even into the early 40s (when Prescott was almost indicted for violating the US law, “Trading with the Enemies Act.” Ford provided factories for Germany for trucks which later morphed into creating tanks and other war equipment. IBM did a brisk business and its earliest “computers” were used to keep track of Jews during the Holocaust. Texaco sold oil to the Nazis and there were US and British Banks and companies that also traded with the Nazis. Maybe one of your heroes, Charles Lindbergh, was an “American Firster,” sounds familiar? FDR policies vis a vis toward Japan forced their hand which eventually led to their infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. Much of what passes for history is not what it appears to be. It is said that in war, the first casualty, is truth. I echo those sentiments. And, as Regis, I send greetings of peace.

  • Raymond Luxury Yacht

    100% accurate read on the meaning of such displays. Good for you. Mr. Tremblay, you exemplify the highest goals of humanity – peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit. It sickens me also to see the start of every sporting event exploited as a recruiting and propaganda tool. Real heros take a knee to those kinds of display.

  • Robert L. Schmidt

    As citizens we have already paid for the planes, the fuel, the base. Why is anyone being charged anything to come and see this military airshow? I am pretty sure the one in Tampa is free. Lakeland’s Fun and Sun Airshow is not military based and does charge and have the usual inflated prices on concession food and drink. Yes, the military airshows are recruitment endeavors. So are the NFL football stadium flyovers etc. The more excited patriotism they can create, the fewer enlistment bonuses they will have to offer to meet signup #’s. Also helps if the economy sucks. Thanks for standing out there and presenting the other side of the picture. Much needed.

  • Robert L. Schmidt

    Addendum. Sidenote would be that as cash strapped schools have cut back on music, drama, and gym classes, new recruits are failing their physicals and PT training at higher and higher rates. Look for required gym classes to return to the schools before music classes etc.

  • subhuti 2

    Had it not been for Smedley Butler, Fascism would have come in 1934. Judging from the number of happy slaves paying for their chains when the already bloated military budget should have made it a free event, it looks like the USA has finally arrived as a military fascist dictatorship. It still allows a modicum of dissent by tireless truthtellers like Regis, but the trajectory is pretty clear. No strong peace movement, no peace.

  • Eric

    Great thoughts Regis. I appreciate how honest and forthright you are about how destructive the military is. Furthermore, the violence implicit in these air shows is difficult to expose as it is shrouded in, as you say, “good, wholesome, family fun and great entertainment” and illusions about the military keeping us safe, so I praise you and the others for going out there to protest it.

    However, I take issue with your last paragraph, specifically the line “There were no young people with us protesting how their futures are being destroyed.” I heard this lamentation a million times during my time as a student working with MPAC and the P+J Center, and though I don’t deny the truth that young people are not very involved in anti-war actions, it is a cliche that offers little. Instead of asking “Where are the young people?” the better question is “How are we recruiting young people, and since there aren’t any here, what could we do better?”

    Moreover, young people across the country are heavily involved in actions to promote peace and justice, just in different spheres. I know countless youth who are involved in the fights against white nationalism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia. These are the issues that are grabbing their attention, so as a way to connect with them and get them involved in anti-war actions, start with what they’re interested in and make the connections. For example, you could say “You’re opposed to racism and xenophobia? Well, the military trains soldiers to dehumanize and “other” people so that it is easier to kill them, breeding a culture of racism and xenophobia.”

    I hope this hasn’t been too preachy. Thank you again for your words and your actions against the Blue Angels!

    • RegisTremblay

      Thanks for your comments. I was thinking back to the 60’s and 70’s when the Civil Rights and Anti Vietnam War movements were made up of millions of young people. We’ll agree, I’m sure, no such efforts exist today. That’s not to deny that there are lots of young people involved in a variety of issues.

      The last time we saw the nation’s youth out in force was during Occupy, and we and they saw how that ended.

      I would have thought if today’s under 30 generation realized how threatened their futures are by changes in the habitat, they be out in the billions world-wide. Actually, there is no more critical and urgent issue threatening life on the planet in the near-term. I believe it is quite probable that they will experience extinction in their lifetimes.

  • fredpa

    Great column.

  • Ernest

    Oddly, the modern manifestation of “liberals” hate us the most. Their obsession with attacking Russia and a hundred other ways to get us dead are a true pathology.

More in Thirty Seconds To Midnight

Copyright © 2015 Regis Tremblay.