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President Trump issued some important executive orders Thursday, all aimed at China.

Two of the orders were to ban transactions with the popular video-sharing app TikTok and the social media app WeChat in 45 days. Their parent companies are the Chinese-owned ByteDance and Tencent Holdings. Both orders warn that the apps automatically capture “vast swaths of information” from users, amounting to actions that threaten “to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.” According to an internal document obtained by the Epoch Times, TikTok's parent ByteDance employs at least 138 members of the Chinese Communist Party, many in high managerial positions. To paraphrase comic Yakov Smirnoff, in communist China, video app watches YOU.

And in another long-overdue move, Trump issued an order designed to ensure that essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment are made in the United States. The order has several components to persuade manufacturers to move plants back to the US from China and to keep that move from raising prices for consumers. We never should’ve relied on China for all our medicines and medical supply needs, but COVID-19 brought home the urgent need for a change. You can read more about that EO here.

The Worms Are Turning

August 8, 2020

And the great turning continues, as liberal institutions that went all-in on supporting lawlessness and anarchy realize it’s going over with voters like a punch bowl full of manure. First, the mayor of Portland – PORTLAND! – admitted that people who throw incendiary devices into occupied buildings with the intention of murdering the people inside are not “peaceful protesters” (I’m sure that was a difficult concession for him to make.)

And now, the New York Times (!) has actually printed an in-depth article about the living hell inflicted on the people whose businesses were inside CHOP, the area of Seattle that the mayor turned over to violent leftist, Antifa anarchists, some armed, and tried to pass off as the new “summer of love.” Those businesses are suing the city for the massive costs inflicted upon them when officials failed to do their most basic duty of protecting public safety and private property. None of this is news to you, of course, but for the Times to suddenly wake up to reality is massive.

(The Times is behind a paywall, so I’m linking to a lengthy excerpt at Instapundit. There’s a link there to the full story if you are a Times subscriber. I also wanted you to see the comment by Instapundit founder, Prof. Glenn Reynolds, that all this abrupt backpedaling away from supporting rioters by leftwing politicians and media suggests that the Democrats’ internal polling on this issue must be truly awful.)

Between this lawsuit and others like it in similar blue cities, Nick Sandmann’s lawsuits against the media outlets that slandered him, all the lawsuits against leftist college administrators who denied students due process and First Amendment rights, and the countersuit the NRA just filed against New York’s Attorney General…

…it appears that conservatives have learned from the lawfare that liberals have been waging and are turning the left’s favorite weapon against them. It might even be more effective than expected, thanks to all the Trump judicial appointees who actually respect the Constitution -- one of the top reasons why it's so important not to believe any johnny-come-lately "law and order" rhetoric from the left and instead to reelect Trump.

You would think that the idea of a city doing away with its police force would be idiotic enough just on the face of it that no sane person would actually suggest it. But if you think beyond the surface inanity, there are also further negative consequences that advocates haven’t even considered. Here’s one of them.

City dwellers don’t like to think about this, but they are heavily dependent on us rubes outside the city to create all the products they consume, like food, and to deliver them into their barren concrete jungles. Trucking companies aren’t too thrilled about the idea of sending expensive trucks loaded with valuable merchandise into cities where the police have allowed armed gangs to take over the streets. Just because the people were foolish enough to elect politicians who left them at the mercy of criminals, that doesn’t mean trucking companies outside the cities have to risk their drivers' lives, trucks and merchandise to keep them afloat.

As the trucking company owner at the link says, any states that defund the police, truckers will avoid for safety reasons. He estimates that the food chain will collapse, the people will run out of food, and there will be complete chaos within 72 hours. Then again, in places with no police, there may already be so much chaos that they won’t even notice more.

Deadly inaction

August 7, 2020

There was a massive explosion in Beirut this week that killed at least 135 people, injured 5,000 more and caused devastating damage that’s left up to 300,000 people homeless. Investigators have been trying to ascertain if it was an attack, a hidden weapons cache or what? Now, it appears that it might have been due to Russian fertilizer.

A Russian ship called the MV Rhosus that was carrying agricultural fertilizer with 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate came into port in Beirut in 2013. It had technical and financial problems, was abandoned by its owners, and the crew sent back to Russia. It’s been there for years, despite multiple warnings from the customs director to the judiciary that it was a “floating bomb,” warnings that were apparently ignored. So the explosion wasn’t due to a deadly action by a foreign government, but deadly inaction by Lebanon’s own government. And yet some people still insist that we need to entrust every important aspect of our lives to the care and efficiency of government bureaucrats.

Gallup and the Knight Foundation just released a massive poll on Americans’ views of the media. No wonder people weren’t as outraged as the media thought they should be when President Trump called them “the enemy of the people!”

The survey of more than 20,000 adults found pessimism about the news media delivering factual, nonpartisan information deepening. A staggering 86% of Americans see at least a “significant” amount of bias in the media (49% see “a great deal” of it), and 73% say there’s “too much bias in the reporting of news stories that are supposed to be objective.” They don’t buy that it’s unintentional or just their subjective perceptions: 54% believe the media knowingly misrepresent facts, and 28% think they make up facts entirely (believe me, I could do a “Fake News” feature every day.)

As for all the divisiveness that the media blame on Donald Trump: 48% of Americans say the reporters deserve “a great deal” of blame for our deep political divisions, while another 36% let them off easy with only “a moderate amount” of the blame.

Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Republicans express more negative sentiments about every aspect of the media’s performance than Democrats. Maybe that’s because you’re less likely to be negative about people who are biased toward your side. But then, to approve of their bias is to admit they’re biased. And since 86% of Americans agree they are (and 86% aren’t Republicans), that means a lot of Democrats must know the news they’re watching isn’t objective or trustworthy, but they approve of it anyway. These Americans are known as “MSNBC viewers.”

Here’s Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media, with some bluntly-expressed examples of the most egregious recent media bias and why it’s so dangerous to America.

An unintended positive consequence of the pandemic is that college students who have to attend online will not be getting their standard fall dose of leftist, anti-American brainwashing.

And here’s a piece by a New York City nurse who points out that she has spent months working directly with COVID-19 patients, and grocery store employees kept working, so why should teachers be considered any less “essential?” Her husband, who is a public school teacher, opposes a strike and feels it’s his duty to serve in the classroom. My observation: some of those grocery workers are no doubt high school students themselves, so even the kids continued working while their teachers’ unions are fighting going back to work.

(FYI, that’s in the Atlantic, so of course the writer blames New York’s problems on the federal government and President Trump, who made sure New York had no shortage of ventilators or hospital rooms, and not on her own local and state Democratic leaders, who made every possible wrong decision and turned nursing homes into killing fields.)

From Carol:

If you won the lottery, would you mail in your ticket or take it in person? Some things are important enough to do in person. For me voting is one of them.

From the Gov:

I couldn't have made the case for in-person voting better than you just have. Everyone pushing for mail-in ballots should have to answer your question.

Then, there was this, from Kathi:

Governor, I agree with your entire column up to the point that you started mask pandering by telling people to mask up and go vote. A virus with a 99+% recovery rate no longer requires and actually never did require a mask. Free Americans need to be free to vote as free Americans, and that includes having the CHOICE to mask up or not. I ask you to please #StopMaskPandering! #StayFree

From the Gov:

Kathi, if (when!) you go to the polls, and they insist that you put on a mask before you can come inside --- and they will --- what are you going to do? Elbow your way inside and demand a ballot? I guarantee, that will not get you anywhere. You will be made to leave, by force if necessary, and your voice in the 2020 election will not be heard.

No, if the mask issue is all-important, you will just have to vote absentee or, in the states that institute it, with a mail-in ballot. I suggest you think about Carol's letter, above, before deciding.

Is winning that one "mask" argument on that all-important day so vital to you that you will risk your vote not counting, or walk away rather than vote at all?

If you don't like the intrusion of "mask" rules, remember that if the Democrats take the White House, we will face intrusion into our lives such as we have never seen. If you don't want to put on the mask for any other occasion, we can have that discussion, but in this one case, I will say again, put on the doggone mask and vote.

Some Presidential endorsements are starting to come in, and they practically tell the story of this epic contest all by themselves. Police unions that normally back Democrats are lining up for Trump. The American Postal Workers’ Union’s national executive board voted to endorse Biden, which should really fill you with confidence in the trustworthiness of mail-in ballots. And most impressive of all, Joe Biden just picked up the coveted endorsement of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.

Party leader Bob Avakian says Biden and the Democrats are still “representatives and instruments of this exploitative, oppressive, and literally murderous system of capitalism-imperialism,” but communists must vote for Biden because it’s imperative to remove the “Trump/Pence regime.” Or maybe he looked at a list of Joe’s campaign advisors and realized it contained a treasure trove of “useful idiots.”

Well, I think that should tell you who to vote for. In fact, since Democrats claimed to be so outraged over a false claim that Trump was a puppet of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, I assume they’ll now want to put their anti-communist concerns to good work by voting to reelect him instead of the candidate openly endorsed by the head Communist Revolutionary.