No, We Would *Not* Like You to Spy in Your Beautiful Balloon


(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)

The arrival of the now-famous Chinese balloon over Montana has occasioned not only some fine humor on the intertoobz, but also some distilled crazy from our political class. For example, Rep. James Comer, the rodeo clown who now chairs the House Oversight committee, lost no time in losing his mind. From The Hill:

Comer told Fox News’s Harris Faulkner in an interview on Friday that he is concerned that the federal government “obviously” does not know what is in the balloon. “Is it bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” Comer said, referring to the Chinese city where the COVID-19 virus was first discovered. “We don’t know anything about that balloon.”

Remember how, during the propaganda ramp-up to the Iraq War, we were warned that Saddam Hussein would send an escadrille of balsa gliders over here to spray anthrax all over the landscape? This is even nuttier. Others of the usual suspects chimed in as well. Via Yahoo! News:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tweeted Thursday afternoon that Biden "should shoot down" the balloon, which she said would never have been allowed to enter U.S. airspace when former President Donald Trump was president. "Biden should shoot down the Chinese spy balloon immediately. President Trump would never have tolerated this," Greene wrote in a tweet Thursday. "President Trump would never have tolerated many things happening to America."

"Maybe if the Biden Administration wasn't so worried about banning your gas stoves, they would have seen this Chinese spy balloon coming," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted Friday[...]"Joe Biden's headed home for vacation in Wilmington tonight while a CHINESE spy balloon flies over our country," the House Judiciary account said in a tweet.


Chuck Grassley also provided us with his insights (Grassley speaks fluent Seventh Grade):

Truth be told, I am also concerned that, since the idea first wandered into the brain of Ronald Reagan, this country has poured $280 billion into missile defense, but we get surprised by one damn balloon that gets all the way from China to Montana before anyone notices? I am also concerned that the denizens of the monkey house will screech and howl and fling poo over this for weeks, waiting for the thing to drop Hunter Biden's laptop on Missoula. From Politico:

A senior Defense Department official told reporters Thursday that the U.S. prepared fighter jets in case of a decision to shoot down the balloon, but senior Pentagon leaders opted against it due to fears of falling debris hurting people on the ground. Another DoD official on Friday said the military had estimated the shooting down of the balloon would create a debris field 20 miles by 20 miles. “Last thing we wanted was for something the size of a school bus to go through the roof of a preschool,” the official said[...]Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) said on CNN Friday that low-orbit Chinese satellites have flown over the U.S. for years. “They’re there all the time,” he said. “I don’t want the American people to think this is something new and that all of a sudden we have a concern that we didn’t have before. Those concerns are there. They have to be mitigated, they have to be addressed. We have to confront the Chinese government.”

watch now

Ah, cooler heads, which are often said to prevail. However, cooler heads are on a terrible losing streak right now.

(I can't be the only person with this earworm burrowing through the cerebral cortex now. Nor can I be the only person struck with the memory of a certain episode of F Troop—"It is...BALLOOOOOOOOOOOON!")

I don't want to alarm anybody, but what in the Tasmanian devil is going on at America's zoos? From NBC News:

The person who stole the animals in Louisiana broke into Zoosiana in Broussard — a city about 7 miles southeast of Lafayette — just before midnight and stole the animals from a squirrel monkey exhibit, the zoo said in a Facebook post. “It’s a very sad situation, obviously, we’re heartbroken," Zoosania General Manager Matt Oldenburg told the NBC affiliate KLAF of Lafayette. The zoo's veterinarian and animal care team have inspected the remaining monkeys and determined "there are no other apparent issues affecting their health or well-being."

This is curious in light of recent events at the Dallas Zoo, where they are having all kinds of trouble keeping track of their residents. Over the past month or so, the Dallas facility has been the subject of vandalism, the mysterious death of one of the its Lappet-faced vultures, the disappearance of a clouded leopard named Nova from her vandalized enclosure, and the theft of a pair of Emperor Tamarin monkeys that later were found in a closet in an abandoned house. (Local police say they have a suspect in the latter abduction.)


Both the clouded leopard and the Lappet-Faced vulture are considered "vulnerable" due to habitat destruction and (in the case of the vulture) deliberate elimination. In Namibia, 86 of the species were poisoned at one time, a total that represented 10 percent of that country's vulture population. (Even the squirrel monkeys are imperiled in the wild.)

It's hard to know what's behind these attempts to steal vulnerable animals. I don't know if I'd screw with clouded leopards, though. They might eat your face.

FromEsquire US

View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Charles P. Pierce
Charles P. Pierce, lead for Esquire Politics US, has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.
View Other Articles From Charles
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us