Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

White House: These UFOs Are Not Aliens

Continuing with the "slow news day" theme, the second biggest story of the day related to the ongoing, and increasingly epic, saga of all the myriad objects that are apparently hovering in the air above North America. Specifically, the White House found it necessary to clarify that whatever these objects are (the administration has been somewhat vague on that point), they are not transporting extraterrestrial life forms.

It does not, in our view, reflect well on the American people that this clarification was necessary. It is highly probable that intelligent life exists somewhere in the universe beyond planet Earth. It is highly improbable that the laws of physics will be tamed in such a manner that those beings can visit us, or that we can visit them (sorry, Zefram Cochrane!). And if E.T./Spock/ALF/Klaatu/Superman somehow have overcome that little problem, it seems rather improbable that they would, upon arrival, switch from their warp-speed high-tech spaceships into clumsy, barely controllable floating deathtraps. Of course, once the Biden administration issued the "they're not aliens" clarification, many conspiracy-minded folks online responded with various versions of "well, of course the President is going to deny it."

Assuming that you, like us, have naively swallowed the White House's narrative that these are not spacemen or spacewomen, then it does leave open the question of what is going on here with all these floating objects. There would seem to be three basic possibilities:

  1. This has been going on for a long time, but nobody noticed/cared until the Chinese balloon was sighted
  2. This has been going on for a long time, but the technology to notice it was not available until recently
  3. This is a new development, and speaks to some sort of organized plan or plot that's underway

Of course, it could be a combination of these things. Maybe there are lots of floating objects up there, but the Chinese decided to up the ante by deploying a particularly large and particularly mysterious one guaranteed to draw attention. They surely know that Americans are prone to paranoia and overreaction when these things happen, and it is very possible that Xi Jinping is sitting back with his popcorn right now and enjoying the show that his balloon unleashed.

It could be a good thing that this problem, such as it is, is getting attention before one or more bad actors floats one or more really bad things over the United States. That said, the U.S. cannot scramble F-22s every time a blip shows up on someone's radar. Someone is going to have to figure out, pretty soon, how to separate the legitimate threats (which are presumably very small in number) from the stuff that's no big deal. Fortunately, in view of the item above this one, the person who is going to have to solve that problem is an appointee of Joe Biden, and not of Donald Trump. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates