🇺🇸 A COVID Uprising

Plus, the word of the year.

The Flag

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FLAG POLLS

📉 President Biden Job Approval: Approve 45, Disapprove 54 (Rasmussen Reports)

📉 President Biden Job Approval: Approve 37, Disapprove 57 (Reuters/Ipsos)

📉 President Biden Job Approval: Approve 42, Disapprove 56 (Politico/Morning Consult)

📉 President Biden Job Approval: Approve 45, Disapprove 50 (Economist/YouGov)


TRENDING

Left: Is this really the best argument for Kevin McCarthy as speaker? (CNN)

Left: Trump Demands Kari Lake Be Made Arizona Governor After Her Defeat (Huffington Post)

Left: What’s going on with Kanye West, from antisemitism to the Mar-a-Lago dinner (Vox)

Right: If Senators Care at All About Their Constituents' Religious Freedom, They Must Amend The Anti-Marriage Bill  (The Federalist)

Right: Parents Apoplectic After Oregon Board Goes Virtual Amid Gender Ideology Concerns (Daily Wire)

Right: A Predictable, and Dumb, Criticism of Ron DeSantis (National Review)


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QUICK CLICKS

Home Price "Collapse" Coming, First Eruption since '84, Big Tech War

US: "Collapse" in home prices is coming, experts say (Axios)

US: California family murdered by Virginia man who 'catfished' teen girl: police (Fox News)

US: World's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, erupts in Hawaii (NBC News)

US: Buffalo grocery store mass shooter pleads guilty to terrorism and murder charges in racist attack (CNN)

Business: Twitter's Elon Musk threatens war with Apple (Axios)

Sports: Man carrying Pride rainbow flag storms Portugal Uruguay World Cup game (Daily Mail)

US: White House reveals Christmas decorations with 'We the People' theme (NPR)


CHINA

A COVID Uprising

This past weekend protests broke out in China in response to Beijing's “zero COVID” policy. People took to the streets in major cities across the country, and clashes with the police ensued.

Reporting from the Left: China’s Xi faces threat from public anger over ‘zero COVID’ (Associated Press)

Reporting from the Right: China's COVID lockdown unrest is 'more dangerous than Tiananmen Square massacre', author warns (Fox News)

From The Flag: Residents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Asian nation’s harsh COVID-19 rules, which have also upended China’s economy – the world’s second-largest. In April we looked at lockdowns as they were unfolding in Shanghai. Here’s more from both sides.


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

First Came Misery, Now Comes Bravery from the Chinese People

  • After 10 people died in a fire, with the response possibly slowed by “zero COVID,” people are fed up and willing to act out.
  • China’s leadership faces a difficult choice because granting the protesters’ demands could lead to a health crisis.
  • President Xi is obsessed with proving authoritarian rule is best, but he is putting his authority and China at risk in the process.

“China’s Revolt Against Zero-Covid” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “China’s Communist Party runs the world’s most extensive surveillance and police state, so any public protest against its policies takes courage and runs great personal risk. … They reveal the public’s deep frustration after three years of the world’s most restrictive Covid policies that have shut down entire cities for weeks and months on government orders… The trigger for the protests seems to have been an apartment fire in Urumqi, in Xinjiang province. Fire trucks reportedly had difficulty getting access to put out the fire, which killed 10. Xinjiang has been under its most recent Covid lockdown since August… Local protests aren’t uncommon in China… But these protests are notable for criticizing a national policy and Communist government excesses. Video from Shanghai even showed Chinese shouting ‘Xi Jinping, step down!’—referring to the head of the Communist Party… Even saying those words aloud could land them in prison.”

“Will China’s anti-lockdown protestors succeed?” Bill Hayton, Unherd: “Less than six weeks after Xi Jinping doubled down on his Zero Covid strategy, a swelling sea of discontent is finally breaking on its rocks. … It hardly needs stating that this is a delicate moment for the Communist Party. Giving the protestors what they appear to want — a relaxation of Covid controls — will almost certainly lead to a massive wave of death across the country. The impact of many Covid variants on a poorly vaccinated population of 1.4 billion, and the medical services that sustain them, will be catastrophic. But not giving the protestors what they want will also cause the pressure on the system to increase. Prospects for many young people in China are bleak. Official youth unemployment stands at 18%, with hundreds of thousands of Chinese parents voting with their wallets and sending their precious offspring to study abroad. As growth continues to slow at home, even those studying at elite institutions feel pessimistic.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Fury over China’s insane, endless COVID lockdowns exposes the idiocy of President Xi Editorial Board, New York Post


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

President Xi Is Losing His Grip with Many at the End of Their Rope

  • Local officials are harshly enforcing COVID lockdowns, but they also have little connection to Beijing, lessening accountability.
  • While “zero COVID” has helped keep deaths from coronavirus low, China also has a major mental health crisis on its hands.
  • Frustration and fear have been building for months, and that finally bubbled over with these protests.

“Xi unlikely to tolerate dissent as momentous protests shake China” Patrick Wintour, The Guardian: “Just five weeks after being elected to a historic third term, President Xi Jinping suddenly faces cracks in the facade of unchallenged authority… For groups of protesters, apparently without central coordination, to take to the streets across China and to social media, and for some then explicitly to call for Xi and the Communist party to stand aside, is a seismic shock. … One of the difficulties for the government is that compliant local officials, worried about retribution from above if an outbreak occurs, have imposed stringent controls, and yet have no real power over a centralised policy that offers no timetable for the cycle of lockdowns and protests to end. The sight of maskless spectators from around the world enjoying football in Doha (Qatar) is even more galling for a country that, it seems uniquely, cannot after three years live with the virus.”

“In zero-Covid China, a different death toll emerges” Matthew Bossons, CNN Opinion: “While I fully agree that China’s hard-line approach to Covid-19 containment has saved lives, the policy’s impacts are beginning to seem worse than the disease. Economically speaking, all is not well in China, and the situation is at least partially to blame on China’s uncompromising stance on Covid-19. … China’s anti-virus measures are becoming increasingly difficult to defend as implementation becomes inconsistent and, at times, downright illogical. … Most troublingly, I suspect China is on the verge of an explosive mental health crisis caused — or exacerbated —- by the isolation and uncertainty… Demand for counseling services is up, and a nationwide survey conducted across China in 2020 found that nearly 35% of respondents were dealing with psychological distress amid the pandemic. During Shanghai’s marathon two-month lockdown this year, phones were reportedly ringing off the hook at the offices of mental health specialists. In my apartment complex, two people tragically took their lives.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: The wave of protests testing China’s zero-Covid policy, explained Ellen Ioanes, Vox


FLAG THIS

How Chinese Life Has Changed

A survey conducted last month found Chinese consumer confidence is below 50% as sporadic lockdowns continue.

Nearly one-third of all respondents said their household income and savings had decreased in recent weeks.

Eight in 10 reported they have reduced or changed their out-of-home activities (McKinsey).


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Eisenhower in Korea, Uncle-Mom, Unexplored Oceans

On November 29, 1952, making good on his most dramatic presidential campaign promise, newly elected Dwight D. Eisenhower went to Korea to see whether he can find the key to ending the bitter and frustrating Korean War. Above is Eisenhower (far left) pictured with Korean military officers.

GRID: DNA showed a mother was also her daughter’s uncle — how scientists solved this medical mystery

NPR: Better late than never! Take it from these late bloomers who followed their dreams

kitchn11 Grocery Shortcuts You Should Stash in Your Fridge, According to Chefs and Pro Cooks

Today I Learned more than 80% of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans. As a result, we know more about the surface of Mars than Earth.