LBN Examiner 7/5/2020

*NIGHTMARE! EX-NYPD COMMISH BRATTON WARNS OF U.S CRIME REVOLUTION:

Painting a dire portrait of crime and policing in America, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton laments he has “never seen it so bad in terms of the potential for continued disarray,” pointing to a return to the dangers of the 70s and 80s. “We are a country – in cities, all of our cities – whose social norms of behavior and criminal justice system are in extreme disarray, and it’s getting worse, not better,” Bratton, who has spent 50 years in policing, running police departments in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles. Bratton noted disturbing trends in Democrat-run cities – “tilting incredibly fast to the far left” – working to reduce police forces while civil unrest burns. “We are rapidly moving toward a repeat of the 70s and 80s that led to our worst crime year in our history in our country, 1990,” Bratton said. “In city after city, shootings, murderers, violence, and other forms of crime are on the increase. And nobody’s paying any attention to it. It’s amazing. They will start paying attention to it farther into the summer because there’s no sign that it’s going to abate.”

There had been progress in the past 30 years, Bratton noted, but it has become erased at one shake of a former child’s toy. “It’s an Etch-a-Sketch moment,” Bratton said. “It’s as if all of a sudden all of the good has been erased, and all we’re focusing on is the bad.” Bratton does admit there are bad police officers who need to be dealt with, but vilifying the good people risking their lives to protect our cities is demoralizing them, too. “It’s understandable that they are demoralized; unfortunately they’re going to get even more demoralized if you look at what’s going on in the criminal justice reform movement,” he added.


*THE GLOBAL DIVIDE ON HOMOSEXUALITY PERSISTS:

  Despite major changes in laws and norms surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBT people around the world, public opinion on the acceptance of homosexuality in society remains sharply divided by country, region and economic development. As it was in 2013, when the question was last asked, attitudes on the acceptance of homosexuality are shaped by the country in which people live. Those in Western Europe and the Americas are generally more accepting of homosexuality than are those in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. And publics in the Asia-Pacific region generally are split. This is a function not only of economic development of nations, but also religious and political attitudes. But even with these sharp divides, views are changing in many of the countries that have been surveyed since 2002, when Pew Research Center first began asking this question. In many nations, there has been an increasing acceptance of homosexuality, including in the United States, where 72% say it should be accepted, compared with just 49% as recently as 2007.

*SIBLINGS OF BLACK COP INVOLVED IN GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH WANTED HIM TO BE CHARGED:

  The mother of former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Kueng, now facing charges of aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd, told the New York Times that her son had joined the police force to bridge the gap between races. In a painfully sad interview, Kueng’s white mother Joni Kueng said she raised him alone after his father, who was from Nigeria, left. She said he was troubled after a Black sibling was harassed by police and decided to join the force. “He said, ‘Don’t you think that that needs to be done from the inside?’” his mother said, referring to increasing police brutality against Black offenders.

“That’s part of the reason why he wanted to become a police officer—and a black police officer on top of it—is to bridge that gap in the community, change the narrative between the officers and the black community.” Floyd’s death occurred on Kueng’s third shift as a full officer with the Minneapolis Police Department. Kueng sister Radiance told the Times that, as a Black man, her brother should have intervened. She planned to change her surname. “I don’t care if it was his third day at work or not,” she said. “He knows right from wrong.” Another sibling, Taylor, called for the arrest of Kueng.

*HARVARD GRAD BLAMES ‘TRUMP SUPPORTERS’ AFTER BEING FIRED FOR HER ‘DREAM JOB’ OVER TIKTOK THREAT:

A Harvard graduate is blaming supporters of President Donald Trump after being fired from her “dream job” at financial services and consulting firm Deloitte LLP after she made a “threat” against individuals who say “All Lives Matter” instead of “Black Lives Matter.” Claira Janover posted a video to TikTok several days ago, and in it, she used a poorly crafted metaphor to explain the difference between “All Lives Matter” and “Black Lives Matter” — a metaphor that read, to some on social media, as a direct threat of violence.

Janover complained about “the nerve, the sheer entitled Caucasity to say ‘All Lives Matter’” and talked about “stabbing” as a way of demonstrating the difference between “All Lives Matter” and “Black Lives Matter.” “I’ma stab you,” Janover says in the video, zooming in on her face. “I’ma stab you, and while you’re struggling and bleeding out, I’ma show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut matters, too.’” She says the “stabbing” bit was meant to be an analogy, according to the New York Post, but the diatribe cost her her job, regardless. “Standing up for Black Lives Matter put me in a place online to be seen by millions of people,” Janover said in a new video posted to TikTok Wednesday. “The job that I’d worked really hard to get and meant a lot to me has called me and fired me because of everything.” “During the video, Janover gestured to what appears to be a page from the company’s website and noted that she was axed ‘even though they claim to stand against systematic bias, racism, and unequal treatment,’” per the post. Her now-former employer, Deloitte, has not made a statement in regards to Janover’s dismissal, but Janover suggests she was targeted by “Trump supporters” who simply did not want to hear her message.

*EXAMINER – READER POLL: LAUGH OR CRY? YOU DECIDE–THE MOST ‘WOKE’ STORY OF 2020? CHILDBIRTH SITE WANTS LESS GENDERED LANGUAGE LIKE, “BIRTHING PERSONS”:

The child birthing information web portal likely received a spike in traffic after it posted a new list of suggested “woke” terminology to be used when speaking about the birth of a baby. Suggesting a switch to more “gender-inclusive” language sparked considerable mocking on social media. For example, the mother should now be referred to as a “birthing person” and the act formerly known as breastfeeding should be called “chest feeding.”   “Part of its mission, though, is to make the childbirth experience less-gendered, and in order to do that, you need to use less-gendered language. For example, instead of ‘mother,’ use ‘birthing person.'” – via Twitchy.com.  We get it. The farthest edges of the liberal Left side of our world is intent on eliminating all gender references.

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FLASH

Let’s assume that 100 people are infected with the Coronavirus out of a population of 1,000, with one in 10 wearing masks, keeping an appropriate distance, and quarantining if necessary. The model shows that 30 days later, the virus would have killed 156 people. After three months, the death toll reaches 460—with 510 now infected. However, our model shows that if half the population practices safe protocols, infections after 90 days drop to 293 and deaths drop even more dramatically, to 149—about one-third of the lives lost under looser measures.

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

George Washington spent his entire campaign budget (50 pounds) on 160 gallons of liquor to serve to potential voters.

*EXAMINER – THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

“The truth is: a critical mass of mainstream journalists do not want to reflect or report on anything that they might disagree with. They see opposing views as ‘violence’ and the attempt at objectivity a cover for ‘white supremacy’. They are a disgrace.” — Andrew Sullivan

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  *EXAMINER – BUSINESS INSIDER:
HALF-YEAR STOCK REVIEW

  NASDAQ 9,874.15 + 10.05%
  S&P 3,053.24 – 5.50%
  DJIA 25,595.80 – 10.31%
  GOLD 1,781.80 + 17.22%
  10-YR 0.634% – 128.60 bps
  OIL 39.24 – 35.89%
Stocks: A global stock market crash on March 12 set the worst single-day decline for stocks since 1987. But in Q2, major indexes clawed their way back on the promise of economic reopenings. Filled to the brim with tech companies, the Nasdaq has distanced itself from the Dow and the S&P. Fed: The Fed slashed interest rates in March to stem the economic bleeding, and in early June said it would hold rates near zero through 2022. Oil: In late April, oil prices crashed below -$37 a barrel as plummeting demand from lockdowns left traders with nowhere to put their oil. Following an agreement by OPEC+ to reduce supply by 9.7 million barrels a day, prices are slowly rebounding back to March’s highs. 

*EXAMINER – CARTOON:

 “For today’s punishment, you’ll be listening to my mom talk about her foot pain.”

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ARE YOU FASCINATED BY THE “BEST” OF LOS ANGELES?


Few cities on the planet can compare to the great city of Los Angeles. LA is literally one of the few places in the world where people from every nation come to see their dreams come true, to achieve their goals, and to reach their ultimate potential. It is a city that is about opportunity, creativity, culture, and experience.

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LBN Examiner Edited By: Aurora DeRose  LBN Examiner Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN Examiner accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN Examiner is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN Examiner 6/28/2020

*MINNESOTA TOWN GOES WOKE, PLEDGES NOT TO CALL COPS, IS NOW ‘OVERRUN’ BY HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT:

A Minneapolis community, just a few miles away from where George Floyd died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, pledged to “check its privilege,” allowing hundreds of transients and homeless individuals to take up residents on their front lawns and pledging not to call the police to handle incidents of drug abuse and mental illness. Now that same town’s residents are concerned things have gotten out of hand. Crime is rampant and the homeless encampment now has more than 300 people. The New York Times reports that Powderhorn Park residents — mostly left-leaning white women — were instrumental in declaring their town a “safe zone” for the underprivileged and pressing the town’s residents to agree to a pact not to call the police or other public safety resources if they felt threatened. After all, their opposition to crimes, including property damage and theft, was born of white privilege.
 

“In light of Floyd’s police-involved death,” the New York Post added, “residents there have vowed to avoid calling the cops, feeling that doing so could put people of color in danger. But now with hundreds of outsiders flooding the park — drawing in more car traffic, including drug dealers, and resulting in at least two overdoses — the neighbors are facing a moral dilemma.” In preparation for the project, the women “promised to ignore any property damage, including to their own homes, and filed for a block party permit to limit cars in the neighborhood,” the Post continues. Instead, the women agreed to call a community service organization, the American Indian Movement, to handle incidents of violence or potential violence, and to help constructively quell concerns of mental illness and drug use.


*HIGH LEVELS OF ARSENIC FOUND IN U.S WHOLE FOODS’ BOTTLED WATER BRAND:

Bottled water manufactured by Whole Foods and sold in most of its US stores and on Amazon contains potentially harmful levels of arsenic, according to new tests by Consumer Reports (CR). CR recently tested dozens of bottled water brands and found that Starkey Spring Water, introduced by Whole Foods in 2015, had concerning levels of arsenic, ranging from 9.49 to 9.56 parts per billion (PPB), at least three times the level of every other brand tested. Federal regulations require manufacturers to limit the amount of arsenic, a potentially dangerous heavy metal, in bottled water to 10 PPB. CR experts believe that level does not adequately protect public health. CR also tested samples of Starkey Spring Water in 2019, finding levels of arsenic that approached or exceeded the federal limit: three samples ranged from 9.48 to 9.86 PPB of arsenic; a fourth registered 10.1 PPB. Those results are cited in two pending consumer lawsuits over Starkey’s arsenic content.

*E-BAY CAUGHT – A CYBER STALKING STORY THAT’LL MAKE YOU SQUIRM:

U.S. Attorney General Andrew Lelling announced that six former eBay employees are being charged for an extensive intimidation campaign against a Boston-area couple who reportedly criticized the company in their online newsletter. The charges: cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.  The specifics: Mailing the couple a Halloween mask of a bloody pig face, boxes of live cockroaches and spiders, and a book about surviving the loss of a partner. Doxing the couple by posting their address on Craigslist and soliciting sexual partners. There’s more. The harassment was “a systematic campaign fueled by the resources of a Fortune 500 company to emotionally and psychologically terrorize this middle aged couple,” Lelling said. If you’re thinking “that’s just a few rotten apples”…Lelling counters that given the involvement of multiple higher-ups (including, ironically, a former head of safety and security), the harassment can’t be written off as “rogue” behavior. For its part, eBay investigated the suspicious activity last August following an FBI tip and fired all six employees a month later.


*STEVE BING PALS – SUICIDE SPURRED BY MONEY, DRUGS, AND MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLE:

Hollywood and business mogul Steve Bing died by suicide following a yearslong battle with depression and financial woes after blowing much of his $600 million fortune, friends said.
Bing, 55, died after jumping from his 27th-floor apartment in LA’s Century City on Monday. He was a notable philanthropist and Hollywood investor, including as a producer for the Sylvester Stallone remake “Get Carter.” Bing dropped out of Stanford after receiving a $600 million inheritance from his grandfather, a real estate developer. He is perhaps best known for being the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s son, Damian, born in 2002. Bing initially denied he was his father, but a DNA test proved otherwise.

While the Hollywood community remains shaken by his death, those close to Bing say his jet-set life was enviable on the surface — with close friendships with President Bill Clinton and billionaire Ron Burkle and relationships with a host of beautiful women — but in reality, he was very troubled. One friend, who asked not to be named, said, “Steve was the most charming, caring and generous guy you could ever meet. Yes, he liked beautiful women, but it never worked out. He has gone through a dark time for years. He talked about battling mental illness, bipolar disorder. His close friends are devastated about his death but, sadly, not surprised.”

The source added, “Steve did have a drug problem, but it was the mental issues that tormented him. He would often disappear for long periods of time. He didn’t have a strong relationship with his kids, and he was sad about that. “And, as surprising as this sounds, he had financial problems in the end. He made a lot of ill-advised investments. His latest film with Warren Beatty went upside down, and many people took him for a lot of money. People imagine it is impossible to run through $600 million, but he did. He was too generous.” A second source added, “Steve recently sold his jet, his home, and was very depressed.”

*FEDS CLOSE TO SPENDING MORE THAN ON REVOLUTIONARY, CIVIL WAR, WWI, II COMBINED:

A coalition of conservative leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warning that the congressional spending in the coronavirus must stop because it’s getting very close to $10 trillion, which is more than the government spent fighting the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I and II combined.  The Save Our Country coalition, which is made up of conservative leaders, called on Trump and Republican congressional leaders to “Stop the Spending.” The coalition consists of: Stephen Moore, co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity; Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks; Jim DeMint, chairman of Conservative Partnership Institute; Lisa Nelson, CEO of American Legislative Exchange Council; Arthur Laffer, Laffer Associates; Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago; Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots; Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; William Bennett, former Reagan cabinet member; Brent Bozell, founder and president of Media Research Center; Scott Garrett, former member of Congress; Bob McEwan, Center for National Policy; Ed Meese, former Attorney General of the United States; Jim Miller, former Office of Management and Budget; and William Walton, Center for National Policy.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, they released new budget projections showing government spending is headed to 51 percent of GDP for the first time ever. The federal government has already spent trillions in stimulus funds, and the White House and Congress are considering plans to spend at least $1 to 3 trillion more. “Congress has already spent more than $2 trillion on CoronaVirus relief packages. The irresponsible Pelosi bill that passed the House a week ago would raise that spending total to $5 trillion, which is on top of the $4.71 trillion that Congress already authorized,” the coalition wrote in the letter. “We are getting very close to an unthinkable $10,000,000,0000,000 (ten trillion) federal budget, which is more money in one single year than the United States government spent, adjusted for inflation … to fight the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I and World War II – combined,” they wrote.

*NFL ANALYST SAYS SAQUAN BARKLEY, NFL STAR RUNNING BACK, HAS CHANCE TO WIN NFL MVP AWARD:

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants running back, was as strong as expected after he was picked second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Barkley secured the backfield of the Giants, and offered the squad a real running back workhorse who could excel on all three offensive downs. The young player has 1,000-yard seasons back-to-back and to his credit a Pro Bowl. Last season Barkley ran for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns. He missed some games due to injuries but managed to get 52 catches for 438 yards receiving. With the Giants improving their offensive line and a second season under quarterback Daniel Jones, could Barkley be in for another strong season? The Giants have a chance to feature Barkley more effectively this season, according to NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. As the former NFL head coach recently proposed on NFL Total Access it might contribute to a potential MVP campaign. “Six running backs have made MVP in the last 25 years, but they did something special like rush for 2,000 yards or break the rushing record like LT did with 28 rushing touchdowns,” Mariucci said. “But Saquon is versatile. He had 91 receptions and a bunch of yards rushing as a rookie. He’s going to go over 2,000 yards again. He’s got a chance. If that team can get better and have a winning season, Saquon Barkley.”

Barkley provides a rare mix of creativity that is both receiving and running. He is a good check-down option, managing 25-30 touches a game. The Giants have in for Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, a potential offensive coordinator. In Houston, Garrett is sitting back on Ezekiel Elliott for a parallel three-down. He likes to establish the running game and build off the momentum of the offense. Barkley might be a key part of helping effectively run Garrett’s offensive scheme. Barkley understands how Garrett wants to execute his system after having played for two seasons against the Cowboys. He has also confirmed that he looks forward to participating in the system. “I played against [Garrett] for two years,” Barkley said. “I know how he likes to use his running backs. There’s only so much Zeke can tell me that I haven’t seen with my own eyes. Zeke had a lot of success, but it wasn’t only Zeke. It was multiple players — all the tight ends and wide receivers, Dak [Prescott] had a great year and career so far. We can fit that mold with the talent we have.”I think it’s been going well.”


*EXAMINER – ECONOMY: I SENT CHECKS TO DEAD PEOPLE

$1.4 billion worth of stimulus checks was sent to more than 1 million dead Americans, a congressional watchdog said yesterday. That happened partially because the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which was in charge of sending out stimulus checks, didn’t have access to the Social Security Administration’s set of death records.  So who is this watchdog that would dare hold the government accountable? The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which released a 403-page report evaluating Washington’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conclusion: room for improvement. The GAO knocked the Small Business Administration for dragging its feet in complying with its investigation and for not addressing fraud risks stemming from the Paycheck Protection Program. It also said the CDC’s initial COVID-19 tests had “accuracy and reliability issues” that hurt the U.S.’ early response. As the economic recovery takes shape (or doesn’t), there’s going to be an intensifying battle on Capitol Hill over the next stimulus package. The GAO will expect better oversight.

*EXAMINER – THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES: NEW JERSEY IS LEAST PATRIOTIC STATE IN AMERICA

A new study ranked New Jersey the worst patriotic state in America. WalletHub released its 2020’s Most Patriotic States in America survey on Monday morning. WalletHub used 13 categories to break down which states showed the most patriotism including, the state’s military enlistees, the number of adults who voted in 2016 and volunteer rate. New Jersey came in No. 50 for overall patriotism and No. 49 in veterans per capita. Pennsylvania ranked No. 37 overall, and Delaware came in No. 31. WalletHub says many Americans feel their patriotism has been affected by the recent protests against police brutality and many find it hard to celebrate a country that continues to have racist incidents persist.

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FLASH

One positive side effect of coronavirus restrictions — fewer car crashes — is creating a negative side effect … longer waits for organ donations. The data makes it clear … deaths from car accidents are the biggest single source of organs for transplant — 33% to be exact — according to the United Network For Organ Sharing, which runs the country’s organ transplant system. But, ever since the novel coronavirus started the wave of shelter-in-place orders across the country … car crashes, and deaths from them, are in steep decline. In California, for instance, car fatalities were down 50% during the first 3 weeks of safer-at-home orders, according to a study by UC Davis. Similarly, drowning deaths are also way down … a whopping 80%.

*EXAMINER – CARTOON:

“I swear to sell my book, my whole book, and nothing but my book.”

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*EXAMINER – U.S. SAVINGS – REPORT:
 
 Americans aren’t spending squat during the pandemic. The U.S. savings rate rose to 33% in April, the highest level on record and it’s not even close. At the same time, consumer spending fell 13.6% (also a record). There are a few reasons why this happened: There’s nothing to spend money on. Office work, events, sports, conferences, vacations, weddings, birthday parties, and more were all canceled. Stimulus checks of up to $1,200 hit millions of households, driving up personal income to record levels. With unemployment at 13.3%, Americans are feeling nervous about their job prospects. But not all Americans saved equally
Findings from a Harvard-based research group show that high-income Americans are responsible for most of the reduction in consumer spending. Lower-income Americans, on the other hand, are now spending nearly as much as they did pre-pandemic—but they’re suffering as the rich hoard their wealth. Almost 70% of low-wage workers working in the highest-rent ZIP codes lost their jobs, the researchers note. Why it matters: It further confirms that this recession is one of the weirdest ever. In past downturns people stopped spending on big-ticket items like cars, while keeping up their spending on basic services. That’s flipped this time around, because many of those services (like haircuts) require in-person interactions that can lead to the spread of the virus.

Looking ahead
The research is telling us something very important: even if government restrictions were lifted, Americans still wouldn’t be spending at pre-pandemic levels out of fear for their health. Which means the NFL could announce tomorrow it’s allowing fans to attend games this season and not many would bite. 

Bottom line: Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of U.S. GDP, so an elevated savings rate could be detrimental to the economy in the long-run. After all, writes the Carnegie Endowment, one person’s spending is another person’s income. 

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ARE YOU FASCINATED BY THE “BEST” OF LOS ANGELES?

Few cities on the planet can compare to the great city of Los Angeles. LA is literally one of the few places in the world where people from every nation come to see their dreams come true, to achieve their goals, and to reach their ultimate potential. It is a city that is about opportunity, creativity, culture, and experience.

Now you can join our free “Best of Los Angeles Award” community and communicate with 6,600 members all interested in the best of L.A. No ads. No B.S. Simply visit the page, click “Like”, and you’re in.

LBN Examiner Edited By: Aurora DeRose 

LBN Examiner Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN Examiner accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN Examiner is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN Examiner 6/21/2020

*SHOCK POLL – 55% OF DEMOCRATS SUPPORT DEFUNDING THE POLICE:

Over half of Democrats support the movement to defund the police, according to a new poll published Friday. Just 34% of Americans support defunding the police, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll. This includes 55% of Democrats, but just 9% of Republicans. Support for the movement also cuts across racial lines, with 57% of African Americans supporting the movement to defund the police, compared to 42% of Hispanics, and 26% of Whites. The poll has a margin of error of roughly 4.2%. Calls to defund the police have escalated in recent weeks after four

Minnesota police officers were charged in connection with George Floyd’s death. A “veto-proof” majority of the Minneapolis City Council now supports defunding the city’s police department in the wake of Floyd’s death. Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said during a CNN appearance Monday that the desire to call the police during an emergency situation “comes from a place of privilege. Some prominent Democratic politicians, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have signaled support for the movement to defund the police, while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said he does not support the idea.

A majority of Americans disagree with the call to defund the police and the proposed reallocation of funding, a national poll taken amid demonstrations for George Floyd found.  Almost two-thirds of Americans are against defunding law enforcement while 34% agree with the movement, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday. When asked about reducing the police budget to put resources toward other health and social programs, 60% of Americans opposed the idea while 39% supported it.

*PREPAREDNESS -THE NEXT PANDEMIC: WHEN, NOT IF
In a 2015 Ted Talk, Bill Gates declared, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus.”  He probably should have said “viruses.” As humans crisscross the globe with increasing frequency, dive deeper into natural ecosystems, and contribute to climate change, medical experts warn it’s basically inevitable we’ll experience more viral outbreaks.  “You asked what keeps me up at night,” CDC Director Robert Redfield told a House committee. “I know it’s a pandemic flu.” So what have we learned from COVID-19? That we need to do a lot better next time around. Here are a few proposed solutions from medical experts… More funding: Redfield told Congress that his agency didn’t have the money to fulfill the “core capabilities of public health.” The UN says we need to spend $11 billion more to fight global pandemics. Reforming the WHO:Global cooperation is critical to fighting a pandemic, but critics argue the World Health Organization has serious flaws in its design. Strengthening the medical supply chainto ensure critical drugs are available when needed. More surveillance:As David Ecker writes in Scientific American, “The best way to prevent pandemics is to apply the same principles as we use to prevent catastrophic forest fires: survey aggressively for smaller brush fires and stomp them out immediately.”

*NEARLY 3 OUT OF 4 DC POLICE OFFICERS READY TO LEAVE THE FORCE:

Nearly three-fourths of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a poll that they are considering leaving the force amid a police reform bill recently passed by the D.C. Council. The proposal would require law enforcement body camera footage to be released to the public more quickly following a police-related shooting and would restrict when officers can use lethal force. It also would prohibit the department from purchasing military-style equipment from the federal government. Local lawmakers stopped an attempt by one council member at large who proposed to limit the size of the force and cap it at 3,500 from its current size of 3,863. However, several hundred on the force revealed to the D.C. Police Union, which represents 3,600 Washington officers, detectives, and sergeants, that they are looking to leave anyway. According to the survey of 600 local law enforcement members, of the 71% considering leaving, 25% may retire earlier than planned, 35% are seeking jobs at other law enforcement agencies, and 39% are considering leaving law enforcement altogether. Additionally, 96% of those members polled said they believe crime will increase, and 88% said officer safety will plunge.


*ALARMING STUDY FINDS U.S. PUBLIC PENSIONS TO RUN OUT OF MONEY BY 2028:

At a moment a number of US public pension plans have barely recovered – if at all from the 2008 financial crisis – now to be hit with continuing economic fallout from the corona-crisis and domino effect of historic unemployment, an alarming report in FT warns that seven major public pension plans are due to deplete their assets by 2028. “The correction in the US stock market has increased the long-term structural problems across the entire US public pension system, particularly for the weakest funds,” FT observes.

A new, detailed study attempting to forecast the near term struggles of public pensions at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found: “Public plans with extremely low funded ratios in 2020 may face the risk of running out of assets in the foreseeable future if markets are slow to recover,” according to researcher Jean-Pierre Aubry. The depletion would impact many hundreds of thousands of Americans and their retirement, assuming a potential slow recovery for the US stock market. FT summarizes the Center for Retirement Research’s analysis according to the following study highlights:

  • Over 320,000 members of the New Jersey Teachers and Chicago Municipal public pension plans: “A slow recovery for the US stock market could result in Chicago Municipal’s funded position falling from 21 per cent this year to just 3.6 per cent by 2025. This would leave assets to cover just three months of the fund’s retirement payments…”
  • New Jersey Teachers: “…funded position projected to decline from 39.2 per cent to 23.2 per cent over the next five years. By that time, New Jersey Teachers would have assets to cover 19 months of retirement payments.”
  • Police and fire departments: “public pension plans of Kentucky and Providence along with Dallas Police and Fire, Charleston Fire and Chicago Police could all end up with less than three years of retirement benefit payments saved as assets.”
  • “Chicago has particularly high pension risks. The city has built up very large unfunded liabilities through years of very weak pension contributions,” a senior credit officer at Moody’s.


*WORLD’S TOUGHEST MEN COME TOGETHER WITH A MESSAGE OF TOLERANCE, UNITY, AND RECONCILIATION:

Former wrestler, promoter and podcaster Rick Bassman was chatting to legendary tough guys, such as Sting, Butterbean, The Hulk, and Malibu. To Rick, they are Steve, Eric, Lou and Deron. At five feet, four inches, Rick was always the smallest guy in the ring, but he felt that together they could deliver a big message. “With the Talking Tough podcasts, I wanted to see if these legendary tough guys could tell their stories, share what they had learned the hard way and help people better navigate their lives,” explained Bassman. After a life filled with ups, downs and twists that most reality series only dream of; Bassman fit easily into his role as a host who demands honesty. And one who with the inside stories and fortitude to ensure that truth is delivered.

When coronavirus and protests changed America; Rick and his fellow tough guys once again took stock. Arenas, gyms and stadiums were silent. But, the smallest guy in the (now-virtual) room once again delivered a message that resonated. “I was dumbstruck for way too long,” Said Bassman. “But eventually, it reached a tipping point and I decided I needed to get off my ass and do something.” Rick asked his testosterone-heavy friends how they felt about a simple message of peace and positivity; delivered in the most straightforward way possible – #BEGOOD. He was shocked by the response. “They were all on board. And I think the shared hope among us is that when times are tough, it might also be a time when tough guys can cut through the static and be heard,” explained Rick.

Joining the four tough-guy athletes and celebrities Rick started with are MMA legend Bas Rutten, fitness icon Mine “Titan” O’Hearn, martial arts Hall of Famer, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, LAPD’s “Angel of Skid Row” Deon Joseph, stuntman extroirdinaire Tanoi Reed, the Hell’s Angels’ Rusty Coones and viral sensation Naphil “I’m Tyrone” Hitson. Other big names are expected to join in as momentum continues to build. To help deliver their message, Bassman reached out to Showrunner/Director Tim Prokop. “I was excited about the premise,” said Prokop. “And I view this as an opportunity to tell universal stories, because as big as these guys are – nothing came easy for them.” After meeting with dozens of charities; Bassman and Prokop decided on two beneficiaries for the first ever #BeGood live online event. National Cares Mentoring Movement started after Hurricane Katrina and is dedicated to providing vulnerable youth the guidance, education and support they need to succeed. Reverend Michael McBride and LiveFreeUSA work tirelessly to bring equal justice and opportunity to communities who need it most. Bassman didn’t expect the response they received. “The phone started ringing off the hook. We hadn’t even announced it, but I started getting call, after call, after call.

*EXAMINER – ECONOMY: MORE! MORE! MORE! – FEDERAL SPENDING AND DEFICIT SET RECORDS THROUGH MAY

The federal government set records for both the amount of money it spent and the deficit it ran in the first eight months of fiscal 2020 (October through May), according to data released in the Monthly Treasury Statement. During the October-May period, the government spent a record $3,899,536,000,000 while it collected $2,019,240,000,000 in total taxes.

The resulting deficit of $1,880,296,000 was the largest the federal government has ever run in the first eight months of a fiscal year.

  *EXAMINER – A LOOK BACK:

President Lyndon B. Johnson drives his Amphicar on April 10, 1965. This amphibious land-to-water vehicle of West German origin was produced for several years during the 1960s.

Johnson, a practical joker, reportedly enjoyed bringing unsuspecting guests into his Amphicar and exclaiming that the car’s brakes had failed as it sped toward, then into, the lake on his Texas ranch.

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

Over 600 East German border guards defected from the East to the West across the Berlin Wall. No one ever defected the other way.

*EXAMINER – COMMENTARY by Farhad Manjoo:

A chilling word keeps coming to mind this week, like a scratched-up record stuck on a lazy loop in my tweet-addled brain. Impunity. If you can bear it, watch one of the videos of George Floyd’s death last week at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Focus on the eyes of Derek Chauvin, the officer who has been charged with murder and manslaughter for pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for a torturous eight minutes and 46 seconds. At several points, Chauvin makes smirking eye contact with the camera. He even halfheartedly reaches for what looks like pepper spray when the phone-wielding bystanders get a bit rowdy in their insistence that Floyd is dying before their eyes. But the presence of the bystanders doesn’t stop him; it’s almost as if Chauvin knows nothing can touch him. Impunity is the only word I can think of for it.
  Keep a close eye, too, on Tou Thao, Chauvin’s partner, who engages with the crowd in the manner of a security guard at an amusement park. As Chauvin pins Floyd down, Thao is almost polite in his colloquy with the people recording the scene. It’s as if he knows he’s going to be all over social media later, so he’s going to play it cool. I’ve watched the Floyd videos at least a dozen times, and every time, it’s Thao’s composure that stiffens the hairs on the back of my neck. Thao comes off as completely unashamed of the misconduct he witnesses and, with his silence, encourages, in full public view. Cameras were supposed to eliminate this sort of horror. Here, they hardly make it better. Beyond outrageous!
  As these cameras have become ubiquitous, we have gotten a better picture of the scale of the horror. At times, as in the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014, bystanders have managed to capture the precise moment at which police misconduct becomes fatal.  Yet in the Garner video, the police try to push the camera away. The cops seemed at least embarrassed by it. What’s particularly nauseating about the Floyd videos is that the officers know they’re being watched, yet they are not deterred and don’t even seem bothered by the cameras.

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