Rancho Mirage sits between Palm Springs and the Coachella festival. The people are rich and generally Republican — the moderate show-biz GOP reigns in this land of Gerald and Betty Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono and his widow, the longtime congresswoman Mary Bono Mack. And now this fancy desert resort town is deciding whether to ban aerial drones from the skies, which would make Rancho Mirage only the second town in the nation to outlaw the robot spy planes. (The first is tiny St. Bonifaciuis, Minnesota; a Virginia city passed a resolution “urging” the state to do something about drones.)
It would be wonderful to realize our rich citizens in the wealthy suburban zones are also worried about Police State androids scanning us from the skies. But this isn’t the case. The rich dude in Rancho Mirage responsible for the possible banning of local drones was angry about the noise. What was that, a leaf blower or something? On a Sunday?
“It sounded like a weed-eater, or weed whacker, and I wondered, ‘Who’s out doing their landscaping on a Sunday afternoon?” said Steve Sonneville, who was trying to relax in his backyard about six weeks ago. “Then I heard it getting louder and louder, and I looked up and realized it was coming from overhead.” The airborne drone, held up by four rotors, was about 50 feet above him.
“It was slowly going back and forth over the backyard of my home,” said the defense contractor who works out of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. “I knew right away what it was and what was going on.”
Hahaha he’s a defense contractor at the Mojave Desert base where these things are always buzzing around. That’s his work. The issue here isn’t Freedom, but whether a gardener was using a leafblower on this guy’s precious Sunday. Rich people HATE gardeners, who are employed strictly by rich people. But gardeners are only allowed on weekdays.
Still, this guy may be a secret civil rights hero. After all, Rosa Parks just wanted to sit down because she was tired from working. Perhaps this defense contractor in the gated community is the 21st Century Rosa Parks.