Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2023

China Rejects "Shoot First, Talk Later" Attitude

Here is demonstration of typically childish-arrogant behavior of the U.S. government towards foreign countries.

China Isn’t Ready to Pick Up Phone After Balloon Incident
Chinese officials rejected a request from the U.S. defense secretary to speak with his counterpart after an American fighter jet shot down a Chinese spy balloon.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that China had rejected a request from Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to speak with his Chinese counterpart on Saturday soon after an American fighter jet shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

That statement by the Pentagon immediately raises a question. Why hadn't the U.S. defense secretary called the Chinese defense minister before shooting down the Chinese weather ballon?

The U.S. apparently detected the balloon on January 29 when it was over the Aleutian Islands. Austin could have called his Chinese counterpart anytime in the seven days between that detection and the time the decision was taken to shot it down:

“We believe in the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and the P.R.C. in order to responsibly manage the relationship,” Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said in an emailed statement, referring to the People’s Republic of China. “Lines between our militaries are particularly important in moments like this.”

It was not to be. “Unfortunately,” General Ryder said, “the P.R.C. has declined our request” to arrange a call with Wei Fenghe, the Chinese defense minister.

The purpose of high level lines of communication between military and political leaders is to prevent that crises happen or, if one has happen incidentally, to prevent their escalation.

Before the shot down the Chinese defense minister Wei Fenghe likely would have taken that call. But the U.S. decided to shoot first and to talk later. That was and is inappropriate.

On January 29 the Chinese weather balloon was drifting westward over Alaska and Canada. There was no expectation that it would cross into the United States. But an unusual low pressure formation over east Canada eventually caused that. Low pressure areas in the northern hemisphere turn counter-clockwise. High pressure areas turn clockwise. The unusually strong low pressure zone over east Canada pushed arctic air masses south through Canada and then south west to west to New England. This phenomenon, on February 1 and 2, caused a cold snap in east Canada and the northeast of the U.S.. But the wind also caused the 200 feet high balloon to turn south.

Picture the coldest Canadian night imaginable. What did you think of it? Clear skies? Calm winds? A deep snowpack? This cold snap had none of these ingredients align because this type of cold is different. Meet advection cold.

The cold air wasn’t developed on location. The imported cold was fed south by a strong low and the trajectory of the polar vortex. The polar vortex was swirling near Hudson Bay and was slingshotted south by favourable atmospheric dynamics.

The cold air wrapped around a developing low, lifting across Labrador. Not just any cold air, either -- the stratospheric polar vortex mixed down in what’s known as a tropopause fold and occurs near the core of a jet stream.

A wind and pressure map from February 3 shows the then already waning low pressure area in the upper right. The red arrow shows the balloon's course.


Both the cold snap and the balloon's turn were surprising. The jet stream would usually have prevent both from happening. But this time the low pressure area proved to be stronger if only for a short moment. It is the reason why the balloon ended up crossing the U.S.

Source: Wikipedia - bigger

There was no way the balloon could have been steered against the prevailing wind. Here is a CBS meteorologist, who had used NOAA software to predicted the course of the ballon, confirming that fact:

Ed Russo @EdRussoWX - 11:37 UTC · Feb 4, 2023

Replying to @soonersfan2022
The balloon is flying at the height of the jet stream. The jet stream winds will steer the balloon… even a simple rudder won’t be a match for the 200+ mph upper level winds.

By no means could China have planned the balloon's course. Any allegations that the balloon was being 'steered' and intentionally crossed U.S. missile fields and military bases to 'spy' on those are thereby bogus. China has some 300 satellites in the earth's orbit. It does not need balloons to take aerial pictures of static missile silos in the mid-west U.S.

The NYT also writes:

China has insisted that the electronics-laden machine was simply a weather balloon that had drifted off course.

The balloon debris has not been recovered yet. Based on what fact is the NYT then claiming that it the balloon was an 'electronics-laden machine'?

China is not happy that the Biden administration is hyperventilating over the incident. But it will keep its calm:

Different political forces within the US, including President Joe Biden and the Republican Party, are still hyping up the incident of a Chinese civilian unmanned airship in the US media in order to gain political interests ahead of the annual State of the Union address, rather than making efforts to cool down the matter.

Chinese experts said on Tuesday that it shows that the chaotic, messy and sick political situation in Washington means that China-US tensions are unlikely to ease in the near future. It also proves that the Biden administration is incapable of setting so-called guardrails for bilateral ties under the complex situation within the US.

China will keep calm and observe what the US does next, and whether Biden creates conditions for engagement or Washington allows bilateral ties to keep worsening, China is ready to handle any possible moves by the US, experts noted.

Austin's attempts to call his Chinese counterpart AFTER the shit happened is seen as an attempt to additionally insult the Chinese government.

Austin will not be given a chance to do that.


Posted by b on February 8, 2023 at 14:34 UTC | Permalink

next page »

China is insisting that it is not a military balloon, it's a weather balloon, in which case it's none of General Austin's business.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:44 utc | 1

Americans are very weak mentally. They need to constantly feel on top, to have their egos stroked and to act macho. They needed to shoot down the balloon to make up for their hurt feelings about Afghanistan, and other geopolitical losses. Look how tough we are, was the message. We have jets and missiles too, hear us roar! Americans don't even know that the world laughs at them. The trouble is that this feeling of powerlessness, humiliation and failure is being projected onto China in the form of baseless accusations, creating more tensions. It was a weather balloon for heavens sake. So, American incompetence and emotional fragility turns into dangerous geopolitics, threatening the world. The nation is a psychopath.

Posted by: Sam B | Feb 8 2023 14:50 utc | 2

@ Sam B | Feb 8 2023 14:50 utc | 2
Americans are very weak mentally.
Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

Our leaders in Washington and the collective west in general are lost in their own sea of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence. They are also certifiably insane. They will escalate the world into oblivion.

Posted by: JustAMaverick | Feb 8 2023 14:55 utc | 4

If it really was a "spy balloon", then it was clearly being used to test a Chinese Weather Control device, as it would never have reached the lower 48 without that low pressure system.

Posted by: Jim Phillips | Feb 8 2023 14:59 utc | 5

Let's just for the sake of argument assume it was a spy balloon.


1. The Imperialist States of Amerikastan detects it over the Aleutian Islands, does nothing.

2. Waits for it to fly over its slave and the world capital of nazism, Canadastan, and does nothing.

3.Waits for it to fly across most of the mainland Amerikastan, does nothing.

(Meanwhile, a balloon can't steer itself; can't return to sender; and unless a Chinese ship was waiting in the Atlantic for the balloon to fly overhead, any spy data it collected would have to be beamed either to a satellite or to some ELINT planes flying at the edge of space outside Amerikastani airspace. Meaning that by the time this "spy" balloon crossed Amerikastani airspace into the Atlantic its mission was fulfilled anyway.)

4. Then, when it is out to sea, finally destroys it with a missile, the method most likely to leave no useful wreckage behind (if it were indeed a spy balloon) but the maximum useful unrecognisable wreckage behind (if one wanted to pretend a harmless weather balloon was a spy balloon).

Obviously if the Imperialist States really thought it was a spy balloon it would have been destroyed on sight, no matter what the risk (actually about zero) to anyone on the ground.

The Bidet regime, in other works, went to lots of effort to raise tensions with China.

I'm sure it's a great mystery why.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 8 2023 15:01 utc | 6

I wouldn't be surprised if the balloon had been electronics-laden. It's a balloon for observing things. It will measure more than altitude, pressure, temperatue and location. Probably it takes pictures too and some pictures may be of a military base. That would still be normal for a civilian balloon.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Feb 8 2023 15:11 utc | 7

The ballooners are hard at bwork
from, Feb 6

. . .The USS Carter Hall, an amphibious landing ship, is collecting debris in the vicinity of the splashdown, he said.
The USNS Pathfinder, a survey ship, is mapping the ocean floor using sonar for the debris search, VanHerck said.
Explosive ordnance members and at least one unmanned underwater vehicle are also participating, he said.
In addition, VanHerck said the Coast Guard cutters Venturous, Richard Snyder and Nathan B. Bruckenthal, along with Coast Guard aviation support, are keeping the area safe for military personnel and the general public.
The FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents are embedded with salvage operations personnel to assist in counterintelligence work, he added.
VanHerck mentioned that the Federal Aviation Administration was helpful in closing air space when the balloon was being shot down.
It's truly been an interagency team effort, VanHerck noted. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 15:18 utc | 8

Balloons can be "steered" by changing altitude and picking up winds of different directions - although the desired wind directions might not always be available, and it's not clear that this Chinese balloon had significant altitude-changing capability.

But surely a remote controlled balloon should have an emergency descend ability? Once the Chinese saw it veering off course, why didn't they just bring it down? Once the United States saw it drifting over US territory, why didn't they politely ask the Chinese if they could bring it down in a controlled manner to avoid it becoming a navigational hazard? If the balloon had no emergency descend command, that's simple negligence on the part of the Chinese. Certainly rockets and unmanned drones have destruct commands in case they veer off course. If nothing else, if this was a weather balloon, the Chinese should have informed us and apologized for the inconvenience.

Maybe the Chinese are just messing with us and having a good laugh as the monkeys run in circles. Or maybe this is just another example of stupidity on both sides...

Posted by: TG | Feb 8 2023 15:19 utc | 9

Dear Don, in our country it is like everywhere - including the US. Half of the people have an above-average IQ and the other half have a below-average IQ. The average is the average.
But are u sure that the "average" US citizen knows anything relating outside the US - especially complicated relations between foreign countries aside from your big-media? And I would interprete average in a wider meaning leaving the 80/20 rule.

Posted by: mac | Feb 8 2023 15:22 utc | 10

Biden, State of the Union speech . .China's balloon "threatens our sovereignty."

. . .But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China’s[sic] threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.
And let’s be clear: winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 15:29 utc | 11

I will approximately requote George Carlin - "Remember, if you think the average person is stupid, 50% of the population is worse!"

Posted by: HOBO 3 | Feb 8 2023 15:35 utc | 12

I will approximately requote George Carlin - "Remember, if you think the average person is stupid, 50% of the population is worse!"

Posted by: HOBO 3 | Feb 8 2023 15:35 utc | 13

China did exactly the right thing not to accept the call. The world is watching the idiot American bully while China calls them out by not taking the call after the fact.

I wish China would cut off some resource the American MIC needs that only China or Russia can provide until the American bully returns what is left of the balloon.

Has the balloon electronics been recovered or not?

Posted by: Alayna | Feb 8 2023 15:42 utc | 14

Get a grip, this was nothing more than a PR stunt by an administration desperate to stem falling popularity in the polls.

The rest is just narrative and spin, that is obviously contradicted by many facts.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 8 2023 15:43 utc | 15

@mac | Feb 8 2023 15:22 utc | 10
Half of the people have an above-average IQ and the other half have a below-average IQ. The average is the average.

Damn mac, thanks for the IQ description. . .Who knew? You must be in the upper bracket.
As for your attack on US citizens, I've lived in many other countries as well as studied them and I contend that few on the planet know much nor cares much about "complicated relations between foreign countries." Why should they? The average world citizen has better things to occupy his or her mind. So you don't need to preach to the masses, from whatever country you're in.

In fact mac the majority of American people according to polls aren't happy with both the Congress and the direction of the country. But it's not a democracy, mac, which is governance by the people, and what the people may think is not a factor so why bother with it. And don't blame them for anything on foreign affairs, which George Washington said the country should avoid and he was right. The government-media machine just does what it does, and we learn about it and comment on it at MOA. Welcome to the club, mac.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 15:43 utc | 16

Balloons by design cannot be both durable and controllable. Given their huge cross section, true directed flight would take a lot of energy, not something available from a modest solar panel. Changing altitude consume either the gas that fills the balloon or the ballast. Spherical balloons are more durable because they very slowly loose the gas, so ballast would be the only option but it would work perhaps once or twice, so not worth bothering. Changing altitude would "control" only if you know wind speeds at different altitudes, and the purpose of "everyday weather balloons" is exactly that. Typically, USA-Americans refuse to provide any hint of proof for their suppositions. For example, if the balloon was controlled, there would be a change in its altitude, and there was no record of that, or that a change of altitude would change the direction. To the contrary, the weather report on YouTube with engaging discussion on that stressed that the speed of the balloon was quite a bit slower than the jet stream speed, but tracking the same course. Of course, staying significantly above the altitude of jet flights makes those balloons very safe for commercial traffic, while the data on winds on that altitude are covered with most detail.

Most importantly, USA-Americans (Estadounitense) created a national and international incidents, almost hysteria, from the type of event that happen regularly and with no protestations from countries around the globe, whatever the precise international law on the issue (it is not precise). This is the reason why the initial detection of the balloon did not raise any reaction and why Canada "suffers" those overflights without protesting, and even USA when no one is interested in creating problems out of nothing.

Anyway, USA was already not agreement capable, but now they are not capable of normal conversations.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2023 15:45 utc | 17

I wouldn't be surprised if the balloon had been electronics-laden.

Posted by: tuyzentfloot | Feb 8 2023 15:11 utc | 7

Nowadays, even a toaster is "electronics-laden", and electronics of a washing machine may control a drone (allegedly, it seems that it is cheaper to make a multifunctional chip than a single purpose chip; this discussion reminds me words I once heard, "cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block", you can find it on YouTube).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 8 2023 15:51 utc | 18

As regards the previous post, perhaps weather balloons such as this don't have altitude control. But still: surely they can be commanded to descend in a controlled manner if they veer off course? It would be a one-way trip, surely, but still not hard at all to rig up.

Above the altitude of jet flights and thus not a hazard? I suppose. But still, flying under a big balloon that might fall or drop stuff without warning? I could see air traffic controllers getting nervous and wanting to re-route flights, especially if they have zero information as to what the balloon is carrying.. I still say that at least it was impolite of the Chinese not to inform us.

Posted by: TG | Feb 8 2023 15:56 utc | 19

Biden is the apt POTUS for the Outlaw US Empire at this point in its career--he's got dementia and the Empire is clearly demented: an excellent match. What the RoW is busily doing is insulating itself from this reeling, demented group of Pleonexia afflicted immoral humans. And its continual arrogance only serves to further separate the Empire from the rest of humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2023 16:12 utc | 20

the 'electronics laden' is purely loaded word usage to insinuate bad intent. It will allow the narrative to persist if they find there was an infrared camera for instance.

Slightly different is 'loitering above a military base' as was used in the NYTimes. If you want to loiter in a high altitude balloon then in general you have to descend as much as possible. It's conspicuous behaviour, not something you have to guess.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 8 2023 16:13 utc | 21

I'm very critical of the US when it's warranted, but in this case, wouldn't it actually be the Chinese that should be responsible for making the call? It was *their* mess up, after all? It was their balloon entering another country's airspace, it's their responsibility to make the call, not the US'. I'm not saying it was necessarily the right thing to do to blow the balloon up, and that might very well have been used for political purposes, but blaming the US for not making the call seems wrong to me. Either way, now the Chinese themselves are also making this issue with a goddamn balloon bigger than it needs to be. It's just a balloon.

Though it actually might have been a spy balloon (still wondering why use a balloon when you have satellites), quoting from a Zerohedge article: "As for China's 'weather balloon' claim, the head of Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, Cheng Ming-dian, thinks not.

"In the meteorology world, I haven’t found a person who has seen or heard of a weather balloon that looks like this."

Posted by: just somebody | Feb 8 2023 16:18 utc | 22

I think b's interpretation of China's reaction to Us delusions of grandeur is carefully crafted and 100% accurate.

I don't know why anyone would be surprised that AmeriKKKa acts like an evil and stupid spoilt brat. A majority of US Congress Critters have been in "Israel's" pocket since before the start of the Fake War On Terror. It's the same in Oz. If Bibi came to Oz, all the Liberal & Labor politicians would be queueing up to lick his boots - despite the fact that "Israel" is the most violent, racist and juvenile Mock Democracy on Earth. Whining incessantly about one holocaust whilst perpetrating another...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2023 16:19 utc | 23

@Pjotr Berman only after that the penny dropped :)

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 8 2023 16:21 utc | 24

While I am very critical of US when warranted, blaming them for not calling China doesn't sound right. It should have been the Chinese calling the US, it was their balloon after all. Their mess up, they should have called. I don't think it was necessarily the right choice to shoot the balloon, but it was in the US' airspace and they do have the right to do it. Especially if there really was concern that it really was a spy balloon.

Quoting from a ZH article: As for China's 'weather balloon' claim, the head of Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, Cheng Ming-dian, thinks not.

"In the meteorology world, I haven’t found a person who has seen or heard of a weather balloon that looks like this."

Posted by: just somebody | Feb 8 2023 16:21 utc | 25

Piotr B @17 Excellent post; I concur. I've been having a good snicker over the emphasis on an F-22 having been used to shoot the balloon down. A balloon is probably one of the few targets an F-22 can safely engage, lol.
Thanks for the update on the daily China hate, b.

Posted by: robjira | Feb 8 2023 16:24 utc | 26

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

wonderful self-own.

"Mentally weak", aka "low mental resilience", is very different from "low IQ". What OP said was that USians, as a culture, have ego problems, which is very apparent just by the number of flags by square kilometer one can see in the USA.

Your wish to have the last word no matter your understanding of the post is a beautiful example of that.

Posted by: Lemming | Feb 8 2023 16:33 utc | 27

I'm guessing that the reason the Pentagon was not alarmed about the balloon is because a weather balloon is not alarming. It would be very difficult for a balloon to cross America without going over a military base, because military bases cover a great deal of US territory.

But when the US media pulls out all the stops on the Mighty Wurlitzer of propaganda, even a balloon can be made dangerous, scary and a threat to our beloved democracy. A few years ago it was clowns that had Americans in an uproar.

As the hysteria hit a fever pitch, the Pentagon succumbed to the pressure and shot the balloon in the back as it left US air space.

I can't believe the hysteria has lasted this long, but our overlords are masters at propaganda. It's how they control us. Having the rest of the world know about the Scary Balloon Over America shows that the reach of US propaganda is worldwide.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Feb 8 2023 16:34 utc | 28

More inflated balloonacy to obfuscate global reality is what I see

The shit show will continue until it doesn't and the adjustment period will be difficult

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2023 16:37 utc | 29

I’d like to pick up where Piotr Bergman @ 17 left off. Hysteria from the US, not a stir in Canada… and b, I’m sorry but the polar vortex was forecast well in advance. By the time the balloon arrived near Alaska, they’d know it was going to drop down south. So - are you perhaps saying the trajectory could not have been anticipated before Operation Noble Defender was scheduled in the Arctic?

Ok - if the hysteria was present in Montana and absent in Alaska, maybe the deal is Montana?

Apparently Bozeman is a bit of a Silicon Valley redux.

Then there’s the US/Canadian border which was shut down there last year on Jan. 30th due to truckers’ protesting for freedom

As with all international borders everywhere, there is also the question of contraband

And human trafficking (yesterday’s Mexicans are today’s Ukronazis?)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 8 2023 16:37 utc | 30

The farcical capper on the whole farcical episode is that they shot it down only after it had completed its journey over the US, therefore completing any spy mission it allegedly had. The fact that they thought this slamming shut of the barn door after the cow was gone (if there ever was a cow in the first place) would look impressive just shows how out of touch with reality they are.

Self-evidently, whatever the character of the balloon-in-itself, the only interest the US political elites had in it was to use it, and their own hysteria over it, for domestic fake-fighting between Dembots and Repbots, squabbling like the retards all of them are over who's more soft on balloons. This took precedence even over looking tough and resolute to the world at large. (Otherwise they would just have ignored it and said nothing about it.) They still don't even care that the whole world was laughing at them.

Now this attempt to talk to China is a belated recognition that they're not quite ready yet to break relations, especially over a balloon.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | Feb 8 2023 16:38 utc | 31

thanks b... i like the line ''shoot first, ask questions later.' that seems to sum up american foreign policy in a nutshell... now, just how much of this is a reflection of the american people, i am not sure... but i like and agree with @ Sam B | Feb 8 2023 14:50 utc | 2 overview and would throw canada and much of this western gang led by the usa into the same camp.. why pick just on usa when we can pick on all of them at the same time!

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2023 16:40 utc | 32

Given the news, I thought it relevant to share this delicious piece of propaganda music dating back from 2001: Toby Keith - American Soldier

Posted by: Lemming | Feb 8 2023 16:43 utc | 33

speaking about ''shoot first, ask questions later'', i see hersh is in the news today..
"The Navy proposed using a newly commissioned submarine to assault the pipeline directly. The Air Force discussed dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely. The CIA argued that whatever was done, it would have to be covert. Everyone involved understood the stakes,” the report read.

No evidence Russia linked to Nord Stream sabotage – German prosecutor
Read more No evidence Russia linked to Nord Stream sabotage – German prosecutor
The source told Hersh that everybody involved understood the operation was not some “kiddie stuff” but was actually an “an act of war.” Throughout “all of this scheming” certain officials urged the White House to drop the idea entirely. “Some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out,’” according to the source."

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2023 16:50 utc | 34

sorry.. i see there is a whole thread on that... i was shooting first, and examining the situation later, lol..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2023 16:51 utc | 35

Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

I have no evidence to prove otherwise, but I no longer believe such a statement.

America is overrun with mental midgets.

Posted by: Michigan Dude | Feb 8 2023 16:52 utc | 36

Regardless of whether it was a weather balloon or a weather balloon set up to spy via powerful cameras, a US official should've phoned Beijing and told them that they were going to shoot it down BEFORE they did shoot it down, shooting it down first, and releasing the footage of it being shotdown to the world only heightens tensions between the USA and China now that the lines of communication have gone silent.

In this occasion China is the adult in the room, but then again its probably true to say that the USA is trying to rile China as much as it can, as we can clearly see that they are doing with regards to Taiwan.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 8 2023 16:55 utc | 37

china has no need to talk to the "leadership" of the US for the same reason they doubt an actual "kinetic" war will happen any time soon: for all the pissing and bitching the DoD and "lawmakers" engage in 24/7 it's the business folks who are fine with china and they're the ones who actually run shit. it's pretty much the same reason apes like the saudi royal family get to run around doing ape stuff and bombing kids and dismembering people and such: they're easy to bomb but not so easy to disinvest.

those countries (and putin) know who the "bosses" are and as lucrative as the death industry is for lockheed and their ilk it pales in comparison to the rest of the economy and the tendrils it has deep in china's infrastructure and economy. talking to middle men like austin is a waste of time.

Posted by: the pair | Feb 8 2023 16:58 utc | 38

Meanwhile, there's this promising news about Taiwan and the upcoming KMT visit to mainland and reopening of transport between Mainland and Taiwan. IMO, China's soft power remains very powerful regarding Taiwan for reasons the Outlaw US Empire will never comprehend.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2023 16:58 utc | 39

Don, US average IQ has declined to 96 in recent years, and is substantially below China’s 104. The US unfortunately doesn’t make the Top Ten lists, and Forbes even put it at 28th.

It pains me as an American to say this, but there are consequences to accepting masses of third worlders, like Somalis, in the vain attempt to find even cheaper laborers to do the work that pampered millenials find beneath them ... then again, who really wants to change Boomers’ bedpans ... and stupider still to elect them to the US Congress and potentially the US Presidency in their second generation.

As the Pretenders once sang, Hey, oh, way to go Ohio.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Feb 8 2023 17:00 utc | 40

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

I interpret the phrase "mentally weak" to mean that the average american is all too susceptible to obvious propaganda, not as referring to intelligence.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 8 2023 17:02 utc | 41

If it was a weather balloon, which the Chinese have stated all along and this article more or less confirms, then the wreckage will reveal nothing but some sophisticated weather-related instrumentation.
If it was a spy balloon, then anything revealing or compromising on board would have been destroyed remotely, or auto-destructed, the moment it became a liability to the Chinese government.
We likely will not be told the truth either way. Instruments or slag?

Posted by: pasha | Feb 8 2023 17:22 utc | 42

In this case, I disagree with B. It is irresponsible for China to just launch a big balloon that will end up God-knows-where. We should have just shot it down when it entered our airspace - it would have been doing China a favor

Posted by: ian | Feb 8 2023 17:39 utc | 43

@Don Bacon "Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?"

That assumes the distribution is symmetric, which it can't be, since it is impossible to have a negative IQ. For example, the 3 numbers 0,0, 300 have 100 as an average.

Posted by: ian | Feb 8 2023 17:46 utc | 44

I thought blowing the balloon to bits was theatrical overkill. As others have suggested in previous balloon threads, there must have been a way to safely puncture the balloon when it was over Montana.

I'm reminded of an incident covered by b/MoA several years ago (2014-ish?) near Russia. The Ru Navy wanted an intruding foreign patrol boat to buzz off and the skipper was pretending not to under stand the Ru 'request'. So the Ru skipper used his deck artillery to fire a couple of non-exploding shells through the intruder's superstructure.

The result? Instant crystal clear interpretation, and minimal damage or harm and nothing blown up or killed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2023 17:49 utc | 45

I thought blowing the balloon to bits was theatrical overkill. As others have suggested in previous balloon threads, there must have been a way to safely puncture the balloon when it was over Montana.

I'm reminded of an incident covered by b/MoA several years ago (2014-ish?) near Russia. The Ru Navy wanted an intruding foreign patrol boat to buzz off and the skipper was pretending not to under stand the Ru 'request'. So the Ru skipper used his deck artillery to fire a couple of non-exploding shells through the intruder's superstructure.

The result? Instant crystal clear interpretation, and minimal damage or harm and nothing blown up or killed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2023 17:49 utc | 46

Posted by: pasha | Feb 8 2023 17:22 utc | 41

f it was a weather balloon, which the Chinese have stated all along and this article more or less confirms, then the wreckage will reveal nothing but some sophisticated weather-related instrumentation.

Hence the Administration waiting until it was over the Atlantic before destruction so that no independent inspection of the debris could be made. Voilà ... a errant weather balloon is a now "confirmed" as a spy balloon and Sean Hannity, Tom Cotton and John Bolton DEMAND ANSWERS AND A FIRM RESPONSE! There's no dumbass caper Neocon/Neolib fools won't scheme, no opportunity they won't exploit, to foment discord around the World. Sinister dimwits all. Dangerous combo of treachery and buffoonery (baloonery?) Sickens me as an American.

Posted by: Drake Schroeder | Feb 8 2023 17:54 utc | 47

I.Q. measures a certain kind of intelligence and does not reflect the full spectrum of various kinds of intelligence. I.Q. is mainly about the ability to solve relatively straightforward problems with specific solutions--part of real intelligence is the ability to understand context and the peculiarities of the moment which is always changing. I've been around extremely high I.Q. people and they were intelligent about certain things that required systematic kinds of thinking but often are unaware of their environment. I.Q. works for professional-class types and therefore is highly rewarded in societies which reward narrow thinking.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Feb 8 2023 18:07 utc | 48

I thought it was Gen Milley who telephoned his counterpart in China to warn the President was a loon ? Has that practice ceased ?

@Don Bacon "Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?"

Truth is Americans are ill-educated, ill-informed, terribly ignorant about the outer world, few have passports, and fewer still speak another language.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Feb 8 2023 18:07 utc | 49

> Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.

If it was meant as a clever joke, that's OK. If not, then this question is proof that there is something wrong with education in the US.

Posted by: hes | Feb 8 2023 18:33 utc | 50

Earlier in 2022
US Military to Use High-Altitude Balloons Against China, Russia: Report
Photo of Joe Saballa Joe SaballaJuly 6, 2022
1 minute read
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Reddit Share via Email Print

The US military is working on using high-altitude balloons to monitor China and Russia, according to a report by POLITICO.

The balloons, capable of flying at up to 90,000 feet (27.4 kilometers), would reportedly become a part of the country’s extensive surveillance network for tracking hypersonic weapons.

The development comes amid international concern that Russia and China are ahead of the US in hypersonic missile technology.

According to budget documents obtained by the outlet, the US Department of Defense has signaled its intention to move the technology beyond the scientific community to various military services.

“High or very high-altitude platforms have a lot of benefit for their endurance on station, maneuverability and also flexibility for multiple payloads,” senior fellow for the International Security Program Tom Karako said.

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Feb 8 2023 18:51 utc | 51

1. Deep-seeded insecurities is a mental weakness. 2. Lack of critical thinking skills is a mental weakness. 3. Condescension is a mental--and emotional--weakness.(See #1) The compulsion to have the last word is a mental weakness. And yet, here's high-IQ Don Bacon, smartest guy at the bar, displaying them all. Hope your head doesn't explode, pondering that, Don.

Posted by: LastLaugh | Feb 8 2023 18:59 utc | 52

I remdind you all: If their lips are moving, they, these prime suspects, are lying.
Consider today's "shallow water" (43'- 50' depending on phase of the moon) continental margin briefings:
from DE,
DW | US uses underwater drones to find Chinese balloon fragments, formerly "wreckage", formerly "remnants"

...Unnamed officials told the newspaper the ["]surveillance airships["], operated by the Chinese military, have been spotted over five continents. The US believes such balloons were used to collect intelligence on strategically [sic] relevant territories.

from Wendy Sherman (Guadalcanal historian and radiation expert)
yahoo! Fox News | US officials briefed nearly 150 foreign diplomats in 40 nations [NATO+] on Chinese spy flight: report

According to Reuters, U.S. officials presented information in the Beijing briefings that demonstrated the balloon was not for weather research, as China claimed, but an airship that was used for espionage. Diplomats in Beijing said they were told by the U.S. embassy that the solar panels on the balloon meant that it needed more power than a weather balloon, and that its flight path did not conform with natural wind patterns

from The Hill,
Northeast heat wave and tornado storms — a month of weird weather across the US (08.02.23)

and from
jet streams circumnavigating the earth (annotated by yours truly)

Posted by: sln2002 | Feb 8 2023 19:01 utc | 53

This set of observatons by "B" is a masterful display of adroit observations both on the political cumuli clouds and on the weather influences at the time -- of "hither hurried whence", as old Omar Khayyam has said, who was after all also a meterologist of sorts. My most high regards to Hamburg from Ultima Thule, where the science of weather forecasting first got its stars 160 years ago!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Feb 8 2023 19:13 utc | 54

As some of the commenters seem not aware: the NYT made the point in one of its articles that satellites could make just as good pictures. The advantage of a balloon would be in picking up mobile phone communication and other signals. Not only is it closer, it also stays along for a long time so that it gets more than fragments.

Posted by: Wim | Feb 8 2023 19:22 utc | 55

Alanya no 14

"Members of the navy's explosives disposal group hauled, what is described as a high-altitude surveillance balloon, out of the waters off the coast of Myrtle Beach.

Sheets of white debris and black poles can be seen being handled by sailors, with officials describing the balloon as being roughly 60m (200ft) tall and most likely weighing 71st (1,000lbs).

Two navy ships, one with a crane for recovery, were sent for the removal but the photos showed material being pulled by hand."

(On the sheets were the words "made in Taiwan") 😂😂😂

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Feb 8 2023 19:23 utc | 56

on US Navy

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been offered opportunities to carry out naval exercises with the United States, but declined, and is instead proceeding with Exercise Mosi II with Russia and China later this month.

Posted by: Arioch | Feb 8 2023 19:28 utc | 57

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored 39

If 100 is 'average' IQ then 96 is below average. Half of Americans have above median IQ if it is the median of the US population. So there's that.

Posted by: Mike R | Feb 8 2023 19:30 utc | 58

It is doubtful that the debris will reveal anything. The sidewinder HE-frag warhead of 9.6 kg mass will have reduced most of the payload to smithereens in air already, the fall of the debris from 19k to the surface will have done more, impact on water surface with speeds of 50-500 km/h depending on shape of the fragment and its atmospheric friction is not considerably smoother than impact on solid ground, actio = reaction everywhere. Salt water will have done to electric and electronic parts most of the rest.

The advantage for US propaganda is that they may assert and speculate about everything: "this corroded some centimeter part clearly was hi-tech spy equipment" .. ok or not.

If they had e.g. pierced the ballon hull by a fighter machine cannon (impact, not explosive or incendiary ammo), the balloon would have come down ways slower, and would have landed more or less in one piece. Moreover, it would have been possible to ask the Chinese for a method of smooth landing for nearly a week. That it was not even attempted indicates that the US were aware that an inspection of the device would not reveal any evil intent.

Posted by: aquadraht | Feb 8 2023 19:40 utc | 59

If I was any of the countries the US bullies (or tries to bully) for shits and giggles, I'd induct a colorful cadre of professional humorists, and officially classify them as some sort of diplomat to receive each and all calls from US, UK and EU offices; take the piss for a while; then at the end of the week maybe somebody more serious reads the transcripts.

Let them answer by sound-only, and discretionary capacity to say fucking whatever they come up with, so long as they don't make it sound like it's binding.

IDK if the western cunts would go back to actual diplomacy, or scrap it altogether, anyhow it'd be a blast.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Feb 8 2023 19:42 utc | 60

A great piece of simultaneous facts about politics and meteorology: Thanks, b!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Feb 8 2023 19:46 utc | 61

For future reference, here is a link that can be used to track winds in the stratosphere. This link provided shows the wind over the Antarctic just now at 10 HPa, but adjust the settings and go back in time and there is data that that with either explain the pathway of the poor balloon got shot down one way or the other.
Not kidding around. Here is the link:,264.72,556
Now, that is the south pole, and just to prove to you that I'm not kidding around, here is the north pole presently.,76.95,639
Lots of data out there just waiting to be mined.
Dimwits abounding and balloon killers all around no hapless ones cheering for what I wonder?

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 19:57 utc | 62

Lost in all this kerfuffle is the question of how often US weather balloons wander around the world and whether the US itself makes polite phone calls to the countries of overflight. Quite often, and never is my wager.

The whole thing is clearly theatre to puff up China as America’s adversary. Not too different from what the deep state did with Russiagate. I used to think that Russia Russia was about getting Trump but it’s clear now that even then they had conflict over Ukraine in mind and were prepping the public mind for it. If the past is any guide to the future we can expect shots fired in China’s direction in the next few years.

Posted by: Phil Garber | Feb 8 2023 19:57 utc | 63

The very people who sold out our working class for cheap Chinese labor now tell us China is our biggest threat.

Posted by: Fred777 | Feb 8 2023 20:01 utc | 64

Oh, and just for the sake of accuracy, the unit of Pascal (Pa) is a unit of pressure, and the unit of pressure used at the aforementioned link is top down such that the lowest number is actually the highest place in the atmosphere of planet earth. In such a way, 10 HPa is the lowest pressure reported and the highest level by feet or meters (you figure out the translation) in the earth's atmoshpere.
Moreover, if you click on the "Earth" tab you can adjust settings to see whatever you might be interested in - now that is science in action, is it not, assuming the data is accurate, and up till now, I have no reason to doubt it.
Lastly, I have 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, so maybe there is something in a base-8 numerology, but if dimwits keep shooting down balloons already traversed the whole place of it all, then I doubt we will ever know one way or the other.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:02 utc | 65

Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ. How is it in your country?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

In my country, half have an above mean IQ, which is different from average.

The USA's average is 98...

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 8 2023 20:19 utc | 66

Gen. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?

Capt. Mandrake: No. I don't think I do sir, no.

Gen. Ripper: He said war was to important to be left to the Generals. When he said that, fifty years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Posted by: Squeeth | Feb 8 2023 20:20 utc | 67

What is this shit? You guys are drifting towards mainstream attitude that one side is all good and other side is all evil.

So the balloon was supposed to be only over alaska and canada. Is alaska not the US territory? And it is ok for China to fly unauthorized balloons over china? Maybe someone should send a weather balloon over beijing.

And all the responsibilty of clarifying the matter rests on US, the aggrieved party? China should have come out and made public the complete information on the ballooon in a transparent manner as soon as it drifted into another soverign territory. They had plenty of time to do that and now MoA crowd is condemning the US. You guys are no better than the deep state media.

Once your AIRSHIP goes over another sovreign territory it is in foregn AIRSPACE, and it will be be justifiably shot down. Don't get your panties in a wad and because you have a suck and swallow attitude towards chinese rear.

Posted by: Surya Mitra | Feb 8 2023 20:24 utc | 68

Thank you B, this really helps to understand what happened but I fear that the details really don't matter and the US should not be underestimated. They are busy manufacturing consent for an eventual military conflict with China. This is just one of many little incidents eg Pelosi's provocation, designed to plant a seed in a critical mass of the population's minds that China is out of control and needs to be confronted by the democratic, freedom protecting, righteous USA. There is no amount of research and posting of detailed analysis that is going to undermine the success of the US strategy .... If 50% of the population rejects the narrative on balloongate, that's a US state win because 50% swallowed it. Gradually over a series of events, a critical mass of people who are deeply suspicious of China will form and regardless of any rational, intellectually sound protestations, consent will have been successfully manufactured.

Posted by: Joffan | Feb 8 2023 20:24 utc | 69

It's funny people are mixing up average with median. Remember bell curve population, there average = median, but in general they are two different quantities.

Posted by: Calgary Guy | Feb 8 2023 20:25 utc | 70

@Opport Knocks | Feb 8 2023 20:19 utc | 64

In my country, half have an above mean IQ, which is different from average.
Thanks for indicating which half you belong to 😎

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 8 2023 20:28 utc | 71

I think any IQ test is bullshit just like AI is these days and I refuse to acknowledge dimwits operating out of sheds of foolishness.
What is the IQ required to make the statements above....not the one just above, but all the other ones above?
And by the way, who gives a shit.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:36 utc | 72

@Paul Greenwood | Feb 8 2023 18:07 utc | 48
Truth is Americans are ill-educated, ill-informed, terribly ignorant about the outer world, few have passports, and fewer still speak another language.

Well let's take a look
>education: Some of it is good, and some bad.
>ill-informed: Its not the citizen's fault that ninety percent of the media is owned by six corporations producing fake news.
>terribly ignorant ..blah...blah: opinion
>few have passports: In 2021, 145 million US citizens had passports (google is your friend Paul).
>speak another language: We have many citizens that speak Spanish, but generally there's no need to speak another language in a rather insular nation.

But Paul that stuff is all irrelevant to what the country does. The US is not a democracy, government by the people, and so the citizens never have an opportunity to (let's say) enable forever war as a good thing, or hating certain countries is a good thing, or the 800 billion dollar military budget is good, etc. (none of which is correct or true.) The US citizens have no part in any of these matters. Foreign affairs rarely if ever arise in the pre-election showcase "debates" etc. .So it doesn't matter what the citizens think or know. They play no part in the process.

This non-involvement in foreign affairs will actually make a lot of sense as the US world hegemony shrinks and multipolarity increases. Foreign affairs instead of being conducted stupidly by Blinken-types all over the world will be done by mature diplomats more locally. . . .That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 20:41 utc | 73

I believe the Chinese have more wisdom with respect to diplomacy, but I also think some good ideas regardless of where they come from, be they Jefferson or Madison or whoever or a group effort, are not to be dismissed idly just because they are young.
I also think, and I wonder about this and that....
time will tell.
It seems like it would be obvious to figure out if the balloon path was accidental or not, so why can't anybody do that?
And then afterwards, taking evidence at face value, why can't we all act like adults and work out a solution.
It ain't complicated but longer kabuki theatre remains in favor (no dishonor to that form of theatre but politics requires resoluteness), the more likely of unforseen consequences seems obvious to even a peasant.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:43 utc | 74

It is just a balloon. The amount of handwringing and hysteria this business has generated is amazing. The media can't even seem to understand that balloons don't fly, they drift. If the Chinese did this just to troll the U.S. establishment, it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Posted by: Quentin Rakestraw | Feb 8 2023 20:48 utc | 75

Opport Knocks
I suspect I could deduce this, and that data is likely flawed in some ways, but has somebody done a study to compare IQ versus income as measured by some measure I reckon......
If not, I suspect they would be wasting their time because the IQ tests are bullshit and income in most measures today is disconnected with what it means to be a home sapiens sapiens - assuming that species has any chance and if they don't, then it has been good knowing you and like I said - who gives a shit about how IQ is measured.
What I care about is common sense and more than that I care about the future.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:54 utc | 76

Many Americans may not be aware that the Chinese government and their entertainment industry are preparing the Chinese people for direct war with America and their sock puppets supporters in the very near future and that they will suffer loses but in the end will be victorious. How do I come to this conclusion? If you have not watched the most watched and highest grossing Chinese movie "Battle at Lake Changgung 1&2" which was directed by their most famous director, Tsu Hark, you will be surprised but how well done the movie was and more importantly how the american armed forces can be beaten back as they were forced to flee the Chinese attack in Korean. Check it out and you will see the Chinese are getting battle ready.

Posted by: Tonymike1918 | Feb 8 2023 20:55 utc | 77

My supposition is that IQ measured fairly, if that could ever be done, in independent of income.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:57 utc | 78

Posted by: Tonymike1918 | Feb 8 2023 20:55 utc | 75
I doubt that highly.
For one, it is inconsistent with Chinese history.
For two, it would be harmful to both sides.
For three, it makes no sense.
What is your IQ may I inquire?
For five, who amongst us peasants desires this?
For six, some shapes are resolute.
For seven, nitrogen blows in the wind.

Patrons at the bar - please consider the above a poem.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 20:59 utc | 79

Re ian | Feb 8 2023 17:46 utc

Referring to median intelligence would have been correct, regardless of the distribution.

Posted by: spudski | Feb 8 2023 21:04 utc | 80

Battle at Lake Changjin 1 movie and their is a second part which is equally good. The movie also shows the total brutality of war and is unlike most western movies which show little to no bloodshed and that hollyweird BS about the US always being right. It may be Chinese propoganda, but it is well done propoganda.

Posted by: Tonymike1918 | Feb 8 2023 21:09 utc | 81

I've made this point on other venues: the claim is that the Chinese released this balloon in their own territory for the purpose of it drifting clear across the Pacific to then overfly super-secret military installations in mainland USA.

To my mind their are two conclusions to be drawn from that hyperventilation.

(1) Chinese super-computers are so f**king awesome that they can predict weather patterns to a preposterously accurate degree
(2) The USA is so f**king covered with super-secret military installations that it really doesn't matter where that balloon drifts, coz where-ever it goes there are juicy things to see on the ground.

Are there any other possibilities? Are we really expected to believe that Chinese balloons can travel against the wind? Or are we just not expected to think at all?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 8 2023 21:09 utc | 82

I agree with Number 6. I'm an American and felt we handled it completely wrong. But as Obama said, don't underestimate Joe's ability to F things up. It certainly could have had spy devices on it, but we knew it was coming. Call China and say WTF? We are going to shoot this thing down if it enters our airspace and shoot it down soonest if it does. OBTW. Canada and the US share responsibility for securing our airspace. Ever hear of NORAD? There are Canadians working there too. It's not like we would wait for a Russian Nuclear bomber to approach our borders after flying over Canada first, we would smoke it as soon as we could.

Posted by: Azrael | Feb 8 2023 21:27 utc | 83

Judging by observing. Most US citizens seem to have a relatively short remembrance of things, or short attention span. The balloon event is just another PR-stunt, perhaps to take the focus away from faltering Ukraine or make the administration seem tough Patriots, they need all the help they can get.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 8 2023 21:44 utc | 84

In response to Yeah, Right at what 21:09 i reckon utc time and #80 presently
You must know, there are other options than the two you proffer up.
I suspect the most likely option is there are a "few" dimwits still living in the 20th century way of thinking....and truly, that must be the century to be forgotten if homo sapiens sapiens has any hope of a better future.
Do you want me to spell out the other options besides the two you profferred, because I think neither of them are correct.
For example, it could be there are dimwits in DC, lost in delusion of misbegotten hegemony formed after WWII that think the world is not in flux? That would be another option, but begs the question - why are these folks the ones making decisions?
Something has to change soon seems the evident conclusion of anybody got an IQ with any common sense.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 21:50 utc | 85

Sorry for the all the damn bold text above - but there is no way to edit at the bar I reckon.

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 21:51 utc | 86

Don Bacon's comment @ 3 has certainly sparked off a discussion about how statistics and even terms and definitions in statistics are misinterpreted and misused by the general public.

His comment would seem to assume that we barflies know what the average IQ is in the United States. According to this site, average IQ in the US is less than 100.

Also, what the public takes to be the average is very different from how statisticians define the term "average" and use it. The public understanding of "average" is more akin to what statisticians call the "median value" (middle value, below which 50% of a sample of figures or data will place, and above which the other 50% of figures or data will place).

This suggests that if our friend Don takes an IQ of 98 to be the "average", then the overall intelligence levels of Americans look quite bad. The reality though is that most American people's intelligence levels, when tested using current questionnaires or tests, cluster around the 98 figure and most people's test results will fall into a range of 90 - 110. So Americans aren't quite so stupid as Don believes them to be.

Also what most IQ tests measure may be biased against what the general public is capable of. Most IQ tests probably still emphasise logical and abstract thinking abilities, and most ordinary people who are not engaged in academic work or work requiring postgraduate qualifications do not get a chance to exercise such abilities. They are more likely to be involved in work and activities which don't need (or even discourages) much thinking or planning ahead, or which demand quick reactions based on gut feeling or the demands of the situation at the time.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 8 2023 21:54 utc | 87

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

Go research "intelligent YET idiot" theory😏

Posted by: Per/Norway | Feb 8 2023 21:58 utc | 88

The USA's average is 98...

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 8 2023 20:19 utc | 64

Wow! The IQ global map looks more like a test of 'whiteness" to me...

Posted by: irish al | Feb 8 2023 22:02 utc | 89

So in response to Jen above at 21:54....hope this ends the bold text but whatever.....
Doesn't that mean it is unwise to bunch all "Americans" together?
Likewise, does it not mean that all Chinese are not the same?
Moreover, and most importantly, does IQ speak to common sense?
Lastly, I put forth, that IQ even if it can be measured is independent of income earned.
With Respect,

Posted by: Buffalo_Ken | Feb 8 2023 22:04 utc | 90

Every day, in every way, I am falling a little more in love with China and the Chinese people.

Their patience, as a Westerner, fills me with awe.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Feb 8 2023 22:13 utc | 91

Posted by: Mike R | Feb 8 2023 19:30 utc | 56

“If 100 is 'average' IQ then 96 is below average. Half of Americans have above median IQ if it is the median of the US population. So there's that.”

IQ tests are designed to have 100 as average, and are occasionally adjusted to return to that as the mean value for the target population, but IQs vary significantly by populations around the world. There is also some discussion of the Flynn Effect, i.e. people in general are developing logic and reasoning skills that allow them to score higher. So the tests need to occasionally be recalibrated.

The ongoing recent drift of the US average IQ to below the current target average is another animal altogether, and while it could very well be due to our schools dumbing people down, it may also likely be significantly contributed to by the influx of lower IQ people from lower IQ nations.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Feb 8 2023 22:31 utc | 92

The royal hitman nytimes dutifully does its job again: China Sends Spy Balloons Over Military Sites Worldwide, U.S. Officials Say (may be paywalled, only saw the headline). The editor forgot to make a critical correction, the headline should be amerikkkans Sends Spy Balloons Over Military Sites Worldwide, amerikkkan Officials Admit and all appearance of China in the article should be corrected with amerikkkans.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Feb 8 2023 22:55 utc | 93

i blame sam b @ 2, lol...

@ Azrael | Feb 8 2023 21:27 utc | 81 quote -

"Ever hear of NORAD?" yeah.. worked like a hot damn on 9-11, lol..

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2023 23:15 utc | 94

I had to laugh at the Reuters posting title below

U.S. briefed 40 nations on China spy balloon incident, diplomats and official say

When I saw the story last night it read that 150 nations were contacted so maybe 110 of them did not return the call like China....../s

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 8 2023 23:31 utc | 95

@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

Actually Don, half of Americans (US) have an IQ above the median, and an equal number below.

This would not be true of the average - there is likely skew.

Most Americans weak in statistics (and finance), in particular.

Posted by: jared | Feb 8 2023 23:46 utc | 96

Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3
Well, no. Half have an IQ higher than the median IQ - average is just a smoothing out. Lots of low IQ with a few brilliant IQs will raise the average - the median tells more about what's actually going on.

Posted by: Jon L | Feb 8 2023 23:47 utc | 97

Sam B | Feb 8 2023 14:50 utc | 2
Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3
hes | Feb 8 2023 18:33 utc | 49
Opport Knocks | Feb 8 2023 20:19 utc | 64
and others

Originated in 1933, the term "dumbing down" was movie-business slang, used by screenplay writers, meaning: "to revise to appeal to those of little education or intelligence." For those with little drive or purpose, the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy find great comfort in the constant flow of dribble a cell phone can provide. In short, dumbing down is the deliberate oversimplification of intellectual content in education, literature, cinema, news, video games, and culture.

Posted by: ΚΓΨ | Feb 8 2023 23:58 utc | 98

This is in response to several commenters who complain that China was impolite, was on the wrong first, should have inform or apologize, blah, blah, blah. Please note the following facts and arguments:

1. Weather balloons are released regularly by many countries in the world. There are about 1000 weather stations in the world that release balloons, some on daily basis. It is simply not possible, not feasible and not productive for everyone to inform everyone of the whereabout of every balloons everywhere, every time. Imagine, for example, every European country has to inform others of their weather balloons - that would be a very unproductive use of time for even a mid-sized country like Germany, let alone small countries.

2. There is no international agreement nor protocols about the weather balloons. In fact, the common practice is for everyone to ignore weather balloons from others - because it is acknowledged that the research and data are for the common goods of all humanity. As an example, the Chinese balloon travelled through the airspace of Russia, Korea, Japan and Canada (and probably some others as well) - none of them made a noise. There were also at least 3 Chinese weather balloons that came into US airspace during the Trump Administration, and US government was NOT complaining either.

3. There is no international agreed limit on how high the airspace a nation is entitled to have sovereignty. In fact, US is the main obstacle in reaching the agreement because she wants to use her technological edge to spy on others (actively did and still doing that), and purposely wants the limit to be ambiguous. It is not clear how high the Chinese balloon was when it entered the US sky, and whether it was within the limit of US airspace. The Chinese might not even know that initially.

4. The Chinese balloon was launched by a private company within China, NOT by the Chinese government. Even if we would to concede that the Chinese was wrong / impolite (they aren't), it was still not the Chinese government's fault. Again, imagine if Microsoft would to make a mistake (says a bug in their software that endangers others' data or security), is it US government's responsibility to inform other country governments? The answer is no. It is Microsoft's responsibility.

5. This was what happened. When foreign journalists first inquired the Chinese government about the balloon, the official actually didn't know about it. Several hours later, the official informed the press that it was a weather balloon from a civilian company, and it went off-course due to uncontrolled factor. The Chinese government regretted for the event and promise to answer further question. Is this impolite or wrong by anyone's standard?

By complaining against the Chinese government, those commenters play exactly into the hand of the mainstream media as b describes: happen first, then complain; or change the rule after the fact. It is sad that as the West declines, all previous practices and cooperation considered common good to humanity are being abandoned one-by-one because the West could no longer compete fairly, e.g. free trade, cultural and scientific exchanges, immigration..., and now, not even weather research. Recall those days when Westerners could go to any country to colonize, invade and made wars... The people that try to pretend to be "balanced" by criticizing both US and China equally have exposed themselves to be either hypocritical or ignorant. It is not only an insult to China and Chinese people, but also an insult to the intelligence of the readers.

Posted by: d dan | Feb 9 2023 0:02 utc | 99

@ Sam B | Feb 8 2023 14:50 utc | 2
Americans are very weak mentally.
Actually half of Americans have an above-average IQ.
How is it in your country?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 8 2023 14:53 utc | 3

@Don Bacon

Sam B was not talking about American IQ, it's their insecurity he's talking about.
If Americans' IQ is above average like you said and they're acting the way Sam B said, then I believe there's something wrong and worrying.

Posted by: in_Oz | Feb 9 2023 0:08 utc | 100

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