Nanny State

Brickbat: There Once Was a Vote in Nantucket


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Voters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, have banned helium balloons. Those who introduced the measure at a town council say the ban will protect marine animals, which mistake the balloons for food.

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  1. “I think their heart was in the right place … but a ban on balloons is going a little crazy,” said Glowacki. “I didn’t think it would ever pass.”

    But then he was reminded he lives in Massachusetts.

    1. Saigon…

      1. Shit, I’m still in Nantucket.

  2. As long as the kids can still huff helium and talk funny, then freedom is not yet wholly dead.

    Money quote from the article: “Personally, it’s not going to affect me a lot, because I’m a balloon twister and I don’t use helium.”

    1. Balloon twisters…one step above Juggalos.

      1. Whoop whoop!

    2. Don’t worry, you’re turn is coming.

      1. I agree. He is turn is coming.

        1. All you’re turn are belong to us

        2. I’ve been saving this for you.

          1. Lets call the whole thing off

    3. No, if you read the story, it outlaws the sale & use of all balloons, as long as they’re made of latex, plastic, or Mylar & can be inflated with a lighter-than-air gas?which means all balloons. Helium’s got nothing to do w it.

  3. Good one for the day that the people of Massachusetts celebrate “Patriots Day” (the Battle of Lexington and Concord – the shot heard ’round the world).

  4. This isn’t such a huge brickbat. Nantucket is a coastal community and there is a lot of noise about endangered animals being harmed by balloons and plastic bags. Whether it is justified noise, I couldn’t say.

    Also, it sounds like they exercise direct democracy in Nantucket – so the nanny in this case really is “us”.

    1. Since I do not live in Nantucket, and don’t vote there, I am going to say the nanny in this case is really “them”.

    2. Maybe if they hadn’t dumped their untreated sewage (filled with used condoms) into the ocean, the sea animals might not have developed a “taste” for deflated rubber bags with a creamy center.

      That is the reason they are wolfing down those balloons.

      If only we had heeded the Catholics and banned condoms. None of this would be happening.

  5. Honestly, we should ban helium balloons period, because we have a finite supply of helium and we will probably need it for important things in the future. Once it runs out, it runs out.

    Just wasting it on balloons and other trivial stuff is completely insane.

    1. soooo where do you think Helium comes from in the first place? Helium mines? Helium farms or Helium factories…the monumental ignorance associated with this post is positively stupefying…you tool.

      1. Sarcasm can be fun, Radioactive.

        And to answer your questions, helium is exceedingly rare and difficult to mine, harvest, and produce:

        1. See my post below. Helium on earth is, in fact, mined, and is a nonrenewable resource.

          1. only of concern if your zeppelin is sagging

      2. Never fear, Top Men have saved us!…..rtage.html

      3. Helium is actually a nonrenewable resource on Earth. Yes, it’s the second most abundant element in the universe, but it is so light that on Earth, any helium that escapes into the atmosphere tends to bleed off into space. Helium is, in fact, found underground in air pockets, typically mixed in with natural gas. It forms on Earth via alpha decay of radioactive elements, but this process is rather slow, hence helium reserves on earth are finite. Once they run out, the only way to get helium will be to bring it back from space.

        Though who knows how much there really is? The loons have been saying we’ve hit peak oil for decades and that hasn’t exactly panned out. I have no reason to believe we’ve hit peak helium. My point is that yes, helium is, in fact, mined alongside natural gas and there is only so much on Earth.

  6. Ah, phuket. I got nothing.

    1. If you got nothing in Phuket you really are a sad case.

  7. Ontario: Canada’s Massachusetts!

    “Ontario is expected to make history soon by becoming the first jurisdiction in Canada to ban menthol-flavoured tobacco products.”…..e24011120/

      1. ^^ THIS

        *burns awful, awful Craven M*

        I used to smoke Craven M’s when I was, like, 12. It weaned me off both Menthol AND Canadian sawdust sticks (AKA “cigarettes”). Marlboro Man for…30-sih years, till I finally quit.

  8. Leonard said stray balloons may seem like they’ve floated away for good, but descend to the ground when they deflate.

    Not necessarily. For instance, they could be sucked into a jet engine or get caught on a high-voltage line.

  9. I hate to burst Nantucket’s bubble, but hey dropped the ball on this one. Rather than *banning* helium balloons, they should have required tagging with chips registered to the purchaser, who would have to return the entire balloon (*perhaps* not the helium) within two working days or face stiff fines. Additionally, with GPS technology, loose balloons could be tracked and the purchaser fined according to distance traveled and importance of landing location. Think of the JOBS!

    1. Federal government to Rich: “You’re hired.”

      1. *** perks up ***

        As a *consultant*?!

        1. the ban will protect marine animals, which mistake the balloons for food.

          Another modest proposal: Make the balloons out of marine animal food.

          That will be $5000, please. Tax-free, of course.

          1. $5000?! Have you lost your mind! Surely that speck of wisdom is worth at least $50,000, we wouldn’t want any government consultants starving to death!

            1. No doubt. Any respectable government grant reviewer will snort with derision at a request for a mere $5K.

              1. $500*K*!! It was a typo!!

                *** files protest ***

    2. Two working days seems like it would be a bit short.

      When my kids were smaller and lost one of their balloons when it floated to the top of a vaulted ceiling it was almost a week before their wailing stopped being funny.

  10. Hey kid, wanna buy a helium ballon? /Ice cream truck dude

  11. Couple of strange things about this. 1st, helium has nothing to do with it if the problem is the balloon material over the ocean. 2nd, the ordinance doesn’t ban helium balloons, it bans balloons that can be inflated with a lighter-than-air gas, whether they’re inflated or not, let alone w a lighter-than-air gas?meaning it bans balloons, period?which actually makes more sense in its effect, but the whole reference to the gas is irrelevant.

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