What does the Fairy Shrimp, the Coastal California Gnatcatcher, and sage scrub all have in common? The recently acquired ability to consume huge amounts of a green substance that is already becoming scarce – cash! These also have the ability to make worthless bureaucrats feel self-important. Hold this thought for a bit, I’ll get back to it.
It was announced today that the Marine Corps will take delivery in 2012 of the long-awaited F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin’s newest and sneakiest means of bringing death and misery to crazy dictators and smelly jihadists.
The B version was designed specifically for the Marine Corps in that it can take off and land vertically like the aging Harrier it will replace. It’s stealthy design means it’s radar signature is no bigger than a golf ball, so that the Iranians or North Koreans manning their radar posts will look at their monitors and think “golly, someone at the driving range just hit a doozy! I wonder if he’s using a graphite club? That golf ball is coming straight toward…” BOOM!!! – bits of burnt Iranian everywhere (or, North Korean, for those of you who prefer oriental rather than middle-eastern cuisine)
Many of these aircraft will be stationed at Miramar, California. Most people who live near airbases have little to no problem with the frequent sound of jets overhead; they know it comes with the territory. But a few residents are whining. One complained that the noise caused his children to wake up crying at night. Well boo-hoo. Tell your snot-nosed brats to toughen up. As the signs say in front of the main gates at MCAS New River and the auxiliary air field in Beaufort NC “Pardon our Noise – it’s the Sound of FREEDOM”.
Now we bring the Fairy Shrimp and his friends back into the story. The new jets will require the Marine Corps to invest $446 million to modify facilities at Miramar, with construction peaking in 2015, which will include measures to “limit the expected impact on the San Diego fairy shrimp, the Coastal California Gnatcatcher and coastal sage scrub.” Oh geez! Are you kidding me? Please tell me this is a joke. The Fairy Shrimp averages about 2 centimeters in length. Anything that can only be measured in centimeters or requires a picture of it to be magnified shouldn’t be of any concern. Elephants on the runway would be a cause of concern. What do they think a plane flying overhead will do to shrimp, or the coastal sage scrub?
The California Gnatcatcher is a tiny bird (not much bigger than a hummingbird) that eats gnats. If planes flying overhead disturbs this critter’s gnat catching, then it can flutter over here by my house; there’s not much air traffic, and there are gnats-o-plenty! And there’s no need to worry about any increase in the gnat population in the absence of gnatcatchers because along with stealth technology the F-35 has nearly unlimited gnat-catching capabilities built into it’s jet intakes – and the unsuspecting gnats will never know they’re coming! Any gnats that manage to avoid getting sucked in to the jets aren’t out of the woods just yet, now they have to dodge heat-seeking missiles.
I wonder what these same people would do if they wanted to pour a concrete driveway at their home and there were scrubs or a puddle with microscopic shrimp in it. How much of their own money would they spend doing an “environmental impact study”? I’ll charge them $50 bucks and advise them to use a weed eater on the weed, and fill in the puddle with dirt. There’s really no shortage of scrub or microscopic pond-critters. These species will be just fine. We need to apply some reason and common sense instead of stupidity because we have more pressing and real things to concern ourselves with – like turning communists and smelly jihadists into bacon-bits.