Funny — to me — news: A Chinese spy balloon was sighted drifting over Montana. It’s funny to me because in 1957 my father’s army job was to coordinate electronic surveillance flights over China. Those were prop planes taking off from a base in Taiwan. Now China has managed to return the favor but using a balloon.
I don’t know why they assumed it was a Chinese balloon. Why couldn’t it have been Russian or North Korean? Or Iranian? OK, probably not Jamaican. That would have blown over the U.K. instead of Montana. Speaking realistically.
The Pentagon considered shooting the balloon down but decided not to because the debris could fall on someone and hurt them. It’s like, war is hell, you know? So why go there, dude? I’m also thinking, what is the balloon going to see? Billings? Helena? I suppose it could map out some missile silos here and there, but it’s a balloon, right? How could it be guided to the sites? Am I missing something? Is it really a guided unmanned dirigible?
Well, maybe it is. Our military is now saying the balloon is the size of three buses. So maybe it could be steerable, like any average three buses.
Then again, maybe it’s all part of a Festival of Lanterns ceremony.
Things have seemed to come full circle since 1957. Back then, China was threatening to shell and possibly invade Taiwan, and now it’s doing it again. The U.S. just made a deal to expand its military presence in the Philippines, a move that technically doesn’t look like defending Taiwan/Republic of China, but we all know it is. They’re just defending it from a distance using new bases that will be built in plain sight. Just like China is now spying on us remotely, in plain sight. It’s an interesting dance.
Speaking of dancing, Kevin McCarthy is not going to try to kick George Santos out of Congress, even though no one can figure out whether Santos has ever said one single true thing about anything at all. He’s been stripped of committee positions, but he will still get to vote for his district. Because, McCarthy says, George Santos was elected. But was he? Who did the voters really elect? Which version of Santos? Anthony Santos, Anthony Devolder, Anthony Zabrovsky, Kitara Ravache? Or George? Or someone else?
Santos has used pseudonyms more often than Trump has. Who remembers John Barron? John Miller? Carolin Gallego? Santos just takes it all to a higher level and lets the lies be obvious. He barely tries to cover them up. At least “John Barron” consistently denied being Trump. George “That’s the ticket!” Santos can’t be bothered.
“Oh, did I use a different name? My bad. Not!”
Locally, there’s good news. Washington state is going to give qualified homeless people free state IDs, and some low income people on welfare will be eligible for steep discounts, such as $5 for an ID. This is wonderful news. The cost of replacing a lost ID card has been more than most homeless people could bear, and homeless people are more prone to losing IDs than housed people for numerous reasons I will refrain from listing at this juncture.
State legislators are considering banning free right turns on red near schools, libraries, parks and senior centers to reduce the dangers of collisions with bike riders and pedestrians. This may help me reduce my level of swearing at drivers for almost hitting me in crosswalks. Damn kids with their metal chariots, not watching where they’re going! There’s an old man walking here! Curse you!
Last, but not least, Beth’s Cafe is reopening with limited hours. I’ve never had the 12-egg omelet there, but I’ve always felt good about it being a possibility. It means a lot to me that I could do myself in that way. Better than getting run over by a car.
Omelets are my favorite food, even more of a favorite than cheeseburgers. I like a three-cheese omelet with cheddar, blue cheese and grated hard mizithra, for texture. There can be ham too, if you please. But no more than three eggs until I’m ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. To sleep, perchance to dream, yadda yadda.
A 12-egg omelet should be steerable and equipped with remote guidance.
Dr. Wes is the Real Change Circulation Specialist, but, in addition to his skills with a spreadsheet, he writes this weekly column about whatever recent going-ons caught his attention. Dr. Wes has contributed to the paper since 1994. Curious about his process or have a response to one of his columns? Connect with him at [email protected].
Read more of the Feb. 8-14, 2023 issue.