So I'm kind of intrigued by this whole "eeeeeevil tricksy Chinese spy balloon" thing.
Apparently the Chinese are having a hoot with it, too:
I mean...I guess it seems deeply weird. The oldest "reconnaissance overflight" thing in the world seems to be "when you see the enemy hide under a bush".
How hard would it be to hide from this party favor?
The PRC obviously knows that the U.S., a hugely militarized nation bristling with surveillance gadgets would track this. Was it some sort of way of drawing aerial surveillance fire? Getting the U.S. to give away it's ability to track, umm...a big fat slow moving object?
And the PRC obviously has reconnaissance satellites, too - possibly not as sexy as the USAF/Spaceies have - and those are perfectly capable of looking down at the continental U.S.
Like I say...the whole thing just seems truly, deeply weird. I'd love to know what the fuck this goofy thing is and what it's supposed to do. Is it just stupid? Or, as my old drill sergeant used to say, if it's stupid and it works, it's not stupid.
And speaking of deeply weird and stupid, this is the Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio, J.D. Vance...
...apparently guarding his woodpile from a Chinese balloon that is floating at something like 9 or 10 kilometers of altitude with an AR-15 knockoff that has a maximum effective (horizontal!) range of about 400 meters.
Don't look at me. I sure as hell didn't vote for this nimrod.
Update 2/4/22: Andy (in the comments) suggests this gasbag was basically a SIGINT thing...which sounds as reasonable as anything else. Kinda hard to go completely radio silence for the whole time this birthday party favor floats by, but who knows?
Apparently this is a sort of thing; several more of these rascals over flew over the Trumpies' heads, too, but (I suspect) the biznay was kept on the downlow so Donnie didn't look like he was being cucked by his pal Xi.
Anyway...just kind of funny and kinda cool that here we are - flying faster and higher than anyone in the 18th Century could have imagined - but the Montgolfier Bros tech still works.
Update 2/16: Wins the Internet for today: