January 16, 2019

*Remember When Starbucks Caved And Opened Their Bathrooms To Non-Customers? Here’s How That
Worked Out:

There are so many contrived outrages in a given week, let alone a year, that it can be hard to recall any individual instance of outrage after it has already passed. But the infamous Starbucks bathroom outrage was so disconnected from anything resembling logic or reason, that it deserves to be remembered. In case you need a refresher course: a Starbucks manager at a location in Philadelphia came under heavy fire last spring after refusing restroom privileges to two non-customers. The men, who happened to be black, asked to use the restroom but were informed that only paying customers were granted access to the facilities. This was not a policy she invented on her own. At the time, many Starbucks locations enforced this rule, just as many other restaurants and stores enforce similar rules.

The men sat down and took up a table while refusing to purchase something. They were informed, again, that they would have to buy a coffee, or a snack, or anything else, if they wanted to sit at a table or use the bathroom. They continued to refuse. Finally, the manager called the police and reported them for trespassing. The incident went viral. “Racism” was immediately assumed, despite a total lack of evidence to support the charge. The Starbucks CEO publicly threw the loyal employee under the bus. Finally, in their last act of corporate cowardice, Starbucks reversed their restroom policy and announced that anyone, even non-customers, could sit in their restaurants and use their bathrooms.

Fast forward a few months. Certain Starbucks locations, less than a year after announcing this enlightened new restroom philosophy, now must install special disposal boxes for used heroin needles. They’ll also be removing regular trashcans from some bathrooms after employees expressed concern about getting pricked with needles while changing out the bags. There have been reports of condoms, alcohol bottles, and blood stains on the floors. Indeed, this bathroom free-for-all has made bathrooms ironically less accessible as some Starbucks restaurants have had to close their stalls for extended periods due to, says the New York Post, “prolonged cleaning.”

It may be fairly pointed out that Starbucks probably had many of these problems even before the new policy. Yes, and that’s exactly the point. That’s why the policy existed in the first place. A spacious, private, single-stall bathroom at a Starbucks in an urban area is an attractive place for drug addicts, drunks, vagrants, and other assorted characters. Most businesses are not interested in becoming de facto homeless shelters or halfway homes. Historically, that’s why they reserve their bathrooms and their tables for people who are actually interested in purchasing their products. It’s not a fail-proof plan, but it’s relatively effective. There’s a reason why these needle disposal boxes only became necessary after they changed the policy.

So, what have we learned here? It’s likely that the suits at Starbucks have learned exactly zilch. The rest of us, though, have again discovered that caving to the unthinking, outraged masses will profit you nothing in the end. If you abandon a thoughtful, well-reasoned path just because a bunch of imbeciles are shouting some word that ends with -ist or -phobic, you will ultimately pay a much higher price than whatever price the imbeciles may have been able to extract. You’ll wind up shamed and embarrassed, with blood stains on your floor and heroin needles in your trashcan.

*State Dep’t Approved 8,482 Child Bride Requests:

Between 2007 and 2017, the U.S. State Department approved 8,482 child bride requests, adults seeking to bring into the country a minor spouse or fiance and minors petitioning to bring in an adult spouse or fiance from abroad, according to the Associated Press. In addition, the U.S. government approved 204 requests by minors to bring in their minor spouses/fiances.

“In nearly all the cases, the girls were the younger person in the relationship,” reported the AP.  “In 149 instances, the adult was older than 40, and in 28 cases the adult was over 50….”

Some of the examples cited included, “In 2011, immigration officials approved a 14-year-old’s petition for a 48-year-old spouse in Jamaica. A petition from a 71-year-old man was approved in 2013 for his 17-year-old wife in Guatemala.”

“The country where most requests came from was Mexico, followed by PakistanJordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen,” said the AP.  “Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions.”

*Kanye West Booted Out of Coachella After Demanding a Giant Dome:

Just two days before Coachella was set to announce Kanye West as one of the festival’s headliners, the the unpredictable hip-hop artist sprung a last-minute demand on festival executives—a dome.  Instead of performing on the main Coachella stage, West asked the festival to construct a giant, custom-built dome in the middle of the concert grounds.

When senior executives explained to West, who was on vacation with his family at the time, that the dome would be impossible to build in four months and would require them to rearrange the entire festival site, West became irritated, reportedly declaring that he was an artist with a creative vision and hung up. Before the day was over, Coachella had replaced Kanye with Ariana Grande as the main headliner.

*Jakiw Palij, Former Nazi Guard Deported After Decades in U.S., Dies at 95:

Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who lived for decades in New York City and resisted deportation for 14 years, died on Thursday in a retirement facility in Ahlen, Germany. He was 95. German officials confirmed the death, according to an American Embassy official. No cause was cited.

Before investigators traced him to the borough of Queens in 1993, Mr. Palij had lived for decades in anonymity, a Polish-born draftsman in one of the most diverse neighborhoods of a city famous for its immigrant communities. He had arrived in the United States in 1949 in his 20s, after receiving a visa meant for people left homeless by World War II, according to Peter Black, the former chief historian for a Justice Department unit devoted to deporting former Nazis.

On his application, Mr. Palij claimed to have worked on his father’s farm and then as a factory worker in Germany during the war. Mr. Palij told the truth on one account — he was born on Aug. 16, 1923, in the village of Piadyki, then part of Poland and now Ukraine — but lied about his life during the war.

In reality, Mr. Palij had volunteered to serve in Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, or SS, in February 1943, according to records unearthed by the Justice Department. He went through training at the Trawniki labor camp in Poland, where the Nazis prepared for Operation Reinhard, the planned extermination of Poland’s two million Jews.

*Joe Biden’s Brother Says Family Voted For Trump:

Frank Biden, younger brother of former Vice President Joe Biden, ripped Hillary Clinton in a recent interview, saying the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate blew Pennsylvania and that many in his family didn’t even vote for her, opting to pull the lever for President Trump. Biden said his brother would have won his home state of Pennsylvania and would never have insulted more conservative voters as “deplorables.”

“We never would have lost Pennsylvania, and all my relatives — the Finnegan family [his mom’s family] — who voted for Donald Trump because they felt slighted by Hillary and her campaign,” Biden, 65, told Florida’s Palm Beach Post. His brother, who is mulling his own run in 2020, is a native ofScranton. Biden also said his brother would not have ignored Michigan, which, like Pennsylvania, voted for Trump in 2016.

“We never would have not gone to Michigan as the [Clinton] campaign decided not to do because they felt entitled to the votes of those people. Assumptive politics is losing politics. You have to work for every single vote and people have to know individually, collectively and severally that you care about them, that they’re important,” he said.

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*EXAMINER–INVESTIGATES: Serial Killers:

•    A serial killer is someone who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with a cooling-off period between murders. The motive is usually based on psychological (often sexual) gratification, though the motives may also include anger, thrill, money, and attention seeking.

•    According to the FBI, more than 70% of serial killers experienced problems related to substance abuse. While only a few serial killers were actually addicted to alcohol and substances, many of them encountered them in their youth.

•    Many serial killers experienced sexually stressful events in childhood.

•    Dr. Harold Shipman (1946–2004) is regarded as the most prolific serial killer in modern history, with over 250 murders ascribed to him. He was a British doctor who murdered his patients: the oldest was a 93-year-old woman, and the youngest was a 41-year-old man. He hung himself in his cell in 2004, a day before his 58th birthday.

•    The blockbuster movie Se7en is a creepy thriller about a serial murderer who contrives to kill his victims in accordance with the seven deadly sins (lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, anger, and envy). Another blockbuster about a serial killer is the Oscar-winning thriller Silence of the Lambs.

•    America’s first serial killer is considered to be Dr. H.H. Holmes, who confessed to 27 murders in the late 1890s. He claimed that he could not help the fact that he was “a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.”

•    Almost all serial killers admit that they started by acting out their fantasies on small animals before they moved to humans and that animal torture brought them a great source of pleasure. Given that most serial killers are from dysfunctional families, such pathological and abnormal behavior may be ignored. Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, for example, had no qualms that his son performed animal dissections.

•    Former FBI Special Agent Robert K. Ressler (1937–2013) is the man credited with coining the term “serial killer” in 1971.

•    Steven Egger, in his book Murder Among Us, notes that serial murderers are frequently found to have an unusual or unnatural relationship with their mothers (Hitchcock’s Norman Bates is an archetype).

•    While many serial killers were abused or beaten as children, there are exceptions. Jeffrey Dahmer had an apparently normal upbringing, yet became one of the most horrible sex murderers in popular culture. His father wrote a book, A Father’s Story, which searches for explanations for his son’s deviance.

*EXAMINER–INVESTIGATES:

Nebraska produces an estimated 250 million pounds of popcorn per year-more than any other state. This is equivalent to a quarter of all the popcorn the United States produces every year.

*EXAMINER–VIDEO LINK:

The concluding final episode of the revealing TV interview show -“Without Notes” with acclaimed attorney Robert Shapiro. Episode 3 —– The Brent Shapiro Foundation https://youtu.be/sA35lsoZB1U

*EXAMINER–SITE OF THE DAY:

Consumer Reports: How to Delete Online Accounts You No Longer Need.

“Deleting online accounts is one of the best ways to protect your data security and privacy. The less data you have stored on corporate databases scattered across the internet, the safer you are from the misuse of personal information.”

*EXAMINER–MUSIC INSIDER:

For years, rumors have circulated among Bob Dylan fans that a documentary about his legendary, star-studded “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour of 1975-76 was in the works, and occasional whispers had a name attached: Martin Scorsese. Now, the cat can come officially out of the bag.

Variety has exclusively learned that Netflix plans to release the movie in 2019, with the director’s name actually in the title: “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.” The tightly-under-wraps project is said not to be quite as much of a straightforward documentary as Scorsese’s previous Dylan film, 2005’s “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,” which zeroed in on Dylan’s crucial 1965-66 “going electric” period. “There’s a reason the word ‘story’ appears in the title,” said a source, hinting that the director may be playing with the form more in this particular film.

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Novelist Sophie Mackintosh along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.
*EXAMINER–COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman:
Back in 2007, I wrote a column calling for a “Green New Deal,” and I later expanded on the idea in a book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded.” Barack Obama picked up the theme and made a Green New Deal part of his 2008 platform, but the idea just never took off. So I’m excited that the new Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others have put forward their own takes on a Green New Deal, and it’s now getting some real attention.

There is no agreed-upon policy road map for a Green New Deal. But as one of the leading climate bloggers, Joe Romm, recently pointed out, “Since the midterms, dozens of U.S. representatives and at least four Democratic senators have pledged support to create a Select Committee to create legislation for a Green New Deal. The goal is a ‘detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan’ to rapidly transition the country away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, such as a solar, wind, and electric cars.”

The Green New Deal that Ocasio-Cortez has laid out aspires to power the U.S. economy with 100 percent renewable energy within 12 years and calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one,” “basic income programs” and “universal health care,” financed, at least in part, by higher taxes on the wealthy. Critics argue that this is technically unfeasible and that combining it with democratic socialist proposals will drive off conservatives needed to pass it.

Myself, I like the urgency and energy she and groups like the Sunrise Movement are bringing to this task. So for now I say: Let a hundred Green New Deal ideas bloom! Let’s see what sticks and what falls by the wayside.

*EXAMINER–A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

*EXAMINER-SPOTLIGHT:
 Larry Grobel has written his first book of short stories (his 28th book!). It’s called The Narcissist, and no, it’s not about Donald Trump, though there are a few stories which touch upon what’s going on today.  Here’s a  link that will allow you to  take a “Look Inside.” The first two stories are free!  If you like them, there are 23 more.

https://www.amazon.com/Narcissist-Stories-Lawrence-Grobel/dp/1720250537/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546462766&sr=8-1&keywords=lawrence+grobel+the+narcissist