Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bunch of Clowns Defend Balloon Use

Here's the short version of my feeling on things like fireworks & helium balloons: Bad for the environment? Yes. Should we minimize their use? Yes. Worth picking a fight over? No. OK, onto the snark.

The Sun Gazette once again this year is obsessed with Arlington Democrats for RUINING THE
COUNTY FAIR by not giving away balloons at its booth, citing environmental concerns. Scott McCaffrey must love balloons more than this kid because he's already devoted two articles to it this year.

So in the face of this tiny, insignificant step to look out for our environment, who's willing to take a stand for weirdness and contrarianism? The Arlington Republican Party, of course:
The GOP Web site directs readers to information on latex balloons, arguing that the balloons biodegrade at about the same rate as “a leaf from an oak tree,” and pose little threat to people or animals.
The Sun Gazette (ever the journalistic paragon) fails to report that the "information" comes from a website that sells latex balloons. Clearly an objective source of data.

Here's the lingering question, one that the Sun Gazette (wait for it) fails to address: Might there be any, I don't know, state law that establishes what the common sense is on this issue? Hmmm. If only there was a way to quickly and easily search large amounts of online information.

What's that now? "Google"? What a funny name! I'll give it a shot:
VIRGINIA

§ 29.1-556.1. Release of certain balloons prohibited; civil penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly release or cause to be released into the atmosphere within a one-hour period fifty or more balloons ...
So while accidentally releasing a balloon or two isn't illegal, Virginia state law agrees that it's good idea to do your best to minimize balloon releases. (Note historical moment: The Green Miles and Virginia law agree on something.)

Look, I'm not going to go all OMG TEH REPUBLICANS WANT TO KILL AMINALS!!!!1! I just think it's yet another sad example of how out of touch Republicans are on just about everything.

Judge Sotomayor? Lie about her and vote against her despite majority support. Health insurance reform? Clean energy? Lie and do the opposite!

Arlingtonians love the environment and are probably indifferent about the balloons? Lie and do the opposite! I don't feel sorry for the Arlington Republican Party, which has a long record of buffoonery. I do feel sorry for their local candidates like Eric Brescia, who is apparently trying to run a real campaign while his party apparatus is clowning around with balloons.
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