December 26, 2018

*FREE MONEY – Consequences of Exploding National Debt Are Far-Reaching:

In some sense, the national debt and its drivers represent the most predictable crisis in U.S. history. The Congressional Budget Office has been ringing the alarm bells loudly and clearly for several years. U.S. public debt is projected to exceed 100 percent of gross domestic product in the next 10 years and continue growing on a rapid, upward trajectory from there.

The consequences are far-reaching, from higher interest rates to lower economic growth, and the potential for a severe fiscal crisis and a reduced ability to meet national security demands to keep America and its allies safe. And yet, instead of engaging in crisis prevention efforts, legislators are still looking the other way and further worsening the dooming fiscal outlook by voting for big spending packages that fuel already heightened deficit spending.

The 2018 “cromnibus” package, which busted the budget caps by $300 billion over just two years, is merely the latest example.The sad part is that this overspending is wholly unnecessary for the federal government to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.

The coming crisis is one of Congress’ own making. Starting decades ago and repeatedly since, Congresses have promised far more in benefits than they ever made provision for the American people to pay for. Legislators concerned primarily with getting re-elected, and meeting immediate desires of constituents, tend to be shortsighted when it comes to addressing big challenges for which they are unlikely to reap much credit.

Reforming programs that drive the debt today would unleash greater prosperity and economic growth in the future. Today’s legislators would face the political costs, while future legislators might get the credit for a stronger economy during their terms in office.

The spending crisis that fuels the growing deficit and debt is a glaring example of politicians’ myopia.

*Google CEO Explains Why Trump Images Are ‘Best Results’ for ‘Idiot’ Inquiry:

Asked how an image search for the word “idiot” produced pictures of President Donald TrumpGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai defended his company’s search results at a House hearing on Tuesday.

Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told Pichai that she had just performed a Google image search for “idiot,” which produced a picture of Pres. Trump, and asked why that happened:

“Manipulation of search results. I think it’s important to talk about how search works. Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot,’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that. How would that happen? How does search work so that that would occur?”

Pichai explained that Google’s analytical process “tried to rank and find the best results for that query,” which were then evaluated by the company’s “external rankers”:

“We provide search for any time you type in a keyword. We, as Google, we have crawled, we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of pages in our index and we take the keyword and match it against the pages and grant them based on our 200 signals; things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it, and based on that, you know, at any given time, we tried to rank and find the best results for that query.

“And, then, we evaluate them with external raters to make sure that, and they evaluate it through objective guidelines, and that’s how we make sure the process is working.”

*CBP: Illegal Families Crossing Border at a Rate That Will ‘More Than Double Last Year’s Record Number’:

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin Aleenan said Tuesday that at the rate that illegal immigrant family units have entered the U.S. in the last 30 days, they will more than double last year’s record number of family units.

“At the border, we face changing trends in illegal crossings that impact security, exploit our laws and challenge our resources and personnel. To put this aspect of our mission in context, one day of crossings, last Monday, December 3rd highlights the trends that we are confronting,” McAleenan said in his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“On that day, we saw the highest numbers of arrivals at our southwest border in years – 3,029 illegal entries in inadmissible persons arrived at our border last Monday. Eighty-five percent of them crossed illegally. CBP apprehended or encountered 1,731 members of family groups and 350 unaccompanied children,” he said.

“This means that the illegal crossings and inadmissibles last Monday included over 1,100 children in a single day. This snapshot is emblematic of the steady trends that we’ve been seeing for many months – increasing crossings overall with a dramatic surge in a percentage of family units and a growing proportion of Central Americans coming to our border,” McAleenan added.

*Pakistan, With Its Severe Blasphemy Laws, Says It’s ‘A Multi-Religious and Pluralistic Society’:

Pakistan – whose prime minister said recently there was “no mention of Jesus in history” while calling for greater global awareness of how much Muslims revere Mohammed – said Wednesday it was “a multi-religious and pluralistic society.”

Condemning the Trump administration’s decision to blacklist the country for religious freedom violations, the foreign ministry said there were “serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.”

“Pakistan is a multi-religious and pluralistic society where people of diverse faiths and denominations live together.”

The world’s second most-populous Islamic nation enforces blasphemy laws that have disproportionately targeted non-Muslim minorities. Consecutive governments have refused to rescind or amend the laws, which make insulting Mohammed a capital offense.

*‘Bringing Home The Bacon’ Is Now Offensive. Guess Who It Offends?:

The common phrase “bringing home the bacon” may now be offensive to some. According to the Independent, phrases like “bringing home the bacon” and “putting all your eggs in one basket” aren’t merely “harmless quirks of the English language,” but actually phrases that “could be offending vegans and vegetarians.”

The Independent article is based off another article from a researcher who wrote in the Conversation that meat is not just a “form of sustenance,” but “a source of societal power.” Throughout history,Shareena Z. Hamzah wrote, meat was something only the wealthy could afford, while peasants had to subsist on a “mostly vegetarian diet.”

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*EXAMINER–INVESTIGATES:

CIA agents during the Cold War used a method of communication based on how their shoelaces were tied. The shoelace patterns could convey messages such as “I have information,” “Follow me,” or “I have brought another person.”

*EXAMINER–VIDEO:

Episode 2 of the revealing TV interview show – “Without Notes” – With acclaimed attorney Robert Shapiro—-https://youtu.be/POrIKae1J4E

*EXAMINER–R.I.P.:

Simcha Rotem, the last surviving fighter of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, died in Jerusalem on Saturday at the age of 94. Rotem, was only 15-years-old when World War II broke out and Nazi Germany invaded his home of Poland. As a teenager he was active in Zionist youth movements, where he became committed to armed resistance against the Nazis. In April of 1943, the Nazis circled in on the Ghetto, leading to the outbreak of violent resistance.

Rotem and his fellow insurgents preferred to die fighting instead of in a gas chamber, where the Nazis had already sent more than 300,000 Warsaw Jews. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is the greatest incidence of Jewish resistance to the Nazis and is a monumental symbol in Jewish and Israeli lore. At a 2013 ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the uprising, Rotem said he and his comrades launched the uprising to “choose the kind of death” they wanted.

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*EXAMINER–COMMENTARY by David Brooks:
I’ve only been around Phil Anschutz a few times. My impressions on those occasions was that he was a run-of-the-mill arrogant billionaire. He was used to people courting him and he addressed them condescendingly from the lofty height of his own wealth.

I’ve never met Ryan McKibben, who runs part of Anschutz’s media group. But stories about him have circulated around Washington over the years. The stories suggest that he is an ordinary corporate bureaucrat — with all the petty vanities and the lack of interest in ideas that go with the type.

This week, Anschutz and McKibben murdered The Weekly Standard, the conservative opinion magazine that Anschutz owned. They didn’t merely close it because it was losing money. They seemed to have murdered it out of greed and vengeance.

John Podhoretz, one of the magazine’s founders, reports that they actively prevented potential buyers from coming in to take it over and keep it alive. They apparently wanted to hurt the employees and harvest the subscription list so they could make money off it. And Anschutz, being a professing Christian, decided to close the magazine at the height of the Christmas season, and so cause maximum pain to his former employees and their families.

*EXAMINER–COMMENTARY by Jonah Engel Bromwich:
Tinder and Bumble are desperate to convince you that you’re not desperate. Dating, they promise, is fun, so fun, that when one date ends badly, it’s a barely disguised blessing: You get to stay on the apps and keep on dating!

Both companies are pushing this message with recent advertising efforts. Tinder has a new publication, Swipe Life, specializing in personal essays that reinforce the idea that dating misadventures are cool, or at least exciting, invigorating and youthful. (The site’s “About” page compares downloading Tinder to buying your first beer and losing your virginity.)

Bumble is selling itself as a means to personal betterment and greater sophistication. It is profiling good-looking, high-achieving New Yorkers on articles on its blog, The Beehive, and on bus stops and billboards around New York City. The dating-slash-friendship-slash-networking app is hoping to sell users on various types of upward mobility. The right romantic partner is surely on the app, but making other connections could serve you just as well.

Other dating apps are also getting into the content business. Grindr has its own news site, Into, on which it aggregates and comments upon reporting of the day; Hinge, as part of an advertising campaign last year, published short-form fiction on walls and billboards.

*EXAMINER – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….


LBN Examiner Edited By:  Cedric Houle