Oh Look! A Balloon!

Yes, I saw the movie “Up.” But I honestly think that there is no connection with that flick with the CCP balloon currently floating above Montana.
The people of Montana are asking the Defense Department to “Shoot. It. Down.” Although I have never been in Montana (or N Dakota or Idaho), I have seen many pictures, and the excuse that the government is foisting on us that the attachment to the balloon is the size of three Greyhound busses and it is flying above commercial and military air tracks, so is not a threat to aviation. If they shoot it down, there is the possibility that remnants of that load may injure/kill people and destroy property.
I am assuming that we have the ability to shoot it down from either airborne weapons systems or even the ground. I remember when Francis Gary Powers flew his U-2 over large segments of the western part of the Soviet Union, there were no protests because his altitude was above the capacity of the then-current anti-air missiles to shoot it down, so although national sovereignty extends ad coelum (literally to the skies), if you can’t reach it, you can’t protest incursions.

[A quick statement on the limits of sovereignty: the thought of projecting national sovereignty to the seas was limited originally to three miles, that just happened to be the limits that shore batteries could fire to protect the coast. It has been extended as the range of shore batteries has increased, and the generally accepted Exclusive Economic Zone is now, according to UNCLOS — the United Nstions Convention on the Law of the Sea — and this is can be protected and enforced. For many nations, EEZ is 200 miles. What about vertical? Again, it can be claimed to be “to the skies” but it must be able to be enforced to be effective.]
So, let’s assume that the US has the capability to shoot the balloon down and there is no danger of fragments doing any damage or killing any Americans. Do we know what this balloon is doing? Most likely, it has some high resolution cameras that are attempting to get information from several military bases in Montana. (Did we actually observe the balloon’s track across the Pacific, over Alaska and western Canada? Did the Canadians protest? What military facilites has it already overflown?)
The pictures taken, and I am assuming that there are also other measuring devices, like heat sensors and possibly sound detectors, that are giving the Chinese valuable military information on American capabilities and also, because the Chinese are so good at reverse engineering and also accepting American secrets from some American politicians, who will remain nameless but their initials include Bill Clinton, there is no question that this is merely a Chinese civilian weather balloon measuring meteorological conditions. How many civilian companies are in cahoots with the PLA and the Chinese Communist Party?
What if we shoot it down and find the name of Hunter Biden on some of the equipment? Wouldn’t that be an embarrassment? 
I just saw that the State Department is delaying the trip of Secretary of State Blinken to China to meet with Xi until this “incident” gets off the front page. If there is a Blinken, where are Winken and Nod?
How much farther does this balloon go? What is the projected track, allegedly using the jet stream? 


The balloon was finally shot down — over the Atlantic, so that there would be “no danger” to civilians. Now the US has no idea (conveniently for someone?) what the purpose of the balloon was.