LBN Examiner 10/02/2022

THEY WERE ENTITLED TO FREE CARE – HOSPITALS HOUNDED THEM TO PAY:

With the help of a consulting firm, the Providence hospital system trained staff to wring money out of patients, even those eligible for free care. In 2018, senior executives at one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital chains, Providence, were frustrated. They were spending hundreds of millions of dollars providing free health care to patients. It was eating into their bottom line. The executives, led by Providence’s chief financial officer at the time, devised a solution: a program called Rev-Up. Rev-Up provided Providence’s employees with a detailed playbook for wringing money out of patients – even those who were supposed to receive free care because of their low incomes, a New York Times investigation found. In training materials, members of the hospital staff were instructed how to approach patients and pressure them to pay. “Ask every patient, every time,” the materials said. Instead of using “weak” phrases – like “Would you mind paying?” – employees were told to ask how patients wanted to pay. Soliciting money “is part of your role. It’s not an option.” If patients did not pay, Providence sent debt collectors to pursue them.

A Shrinking Margin:

In Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, he won the Hispanic vote over Mitt Romney by 40 percentage points – 70% to 30%, according to Catalist, a political research firm. Four years later, Hillary Clinton did even better, beating Donald Trump by 42 percentage points among Hispanic voters. But then something changed.

The economy became even stronger at the start of Trump’s presidency than it had been during Obama’s. The Democratic Party moved further to the left than it had been under Obama. Trump turned out to have a macho appeal, especially to some Hispanic men. And some Hispanic voters became frustrated with the long COVID shutdowns.

Whatever the full explanation, Hispanic voters have moved to the right over the past several years. As a group, they still prefer Democrats, but the margin has narrowed significantly. In 2020, Joe Biden won the group by only 26 percentage points. And in this year’s midterms, the Democratic lead is nearly identical to Biden’s 2020 margin, according to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll – a sign that the shift was not just a one-election blip.

Being Unhappy Or Lonely Speeds Up Aging – Even More Than Smoking:

Being unhappy or experiencing loneliness accelerates the aging process more than smoking, according to new research. An international team says unhappiness damages the body’s biological clock, increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. The team reports that they detected aging acceleration among people with a history of stroke, liver and lung diseases, smoking, and in people with a vulnerable mental state. Interestingly, feeling hopeless, unhappy, and lonely displayed a connection to increasing a patient’s biological age more than the harmful impact of smoking.

Examiner – Lens:

A worker clears notes placed in the cracks of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, to make space for new notes ahead of the Jewish New Year, in Jerusalem’s Old City, September 20.

Crime And Inflation:

Thefts and robberies in major cities increased by around 20% in the first half of 2022, after falling or plateauing the previous two years, the Council on Criminal Justice found.

Several factors explain the increases, experts said. A big one is inflation. America’s last major crime wave, from the 1960s through the early ’90s, happened alongside a rise in inflation for much of the same time period. That likely was not a coincidence, said Richard Rosenfeld, whose research has linked crime and inflation.

How can inflation lead to more crime? For one, there is a direct link: People might try to get around higher prices by stealing. But a bigger dynamic is also at play, Rosenfeld said: Higher prices can push people to seek cheaper – and potentially stolen – goods at gray markets, such as pawn shops. These purchases effectively boost demand for stolen goods, enticing more thieves and robbers.

In 2022, inflation does not seem to be leading to more shootings and murders – a sign that the other forces, like the receding of COVID, may be even stronger. Inflation is obviously not the only cause of the increase in property crimes. As COVID has eased, people are spending more time outside their homes and in more situations where they can be stolen from or robbed, said Anna Harvey, a public safety researcher at New York University. And in response to the spikes in murders and shootings, the police may have shifted resources away from nonviolent crimes, allowing more of those offenses to happen unchecked.

Assault Weapons Makers Pulled In Over $1 Billion As Violence Surged, Report Says:

The leading manufacturers of assault rifles used to perpetrate the deadliest mass shootings in the United States have collected more than $1 billion in revenue over the past decade as gun violence across the country has surged, according to a House investigation set to be presented on Capitol Hill. The findings, released before a congressional hearing on the marketing of assault rifles, indicate that the gun industry has thrived by selling and marketing military-grade weapons to civilians, specifically targeting and playing to the insecurities of young men, while some have made thinly veiled references to white supremacist groups. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform opened an investigation into the gun manufacturing industry in May after the gun massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 elementary school students and two teachers and a racially motivated mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 people.

Examiner – Lens:

After criticism by Arab American and Muslim filmmakers led to the film being shunned by festivals, Meg Smaker renamed her documentary “The UnRedacted.”

Examiner – Commentary by Shawn McCreesh:

** SF Crime won’t quit. It’s hard to decide which part of this big new San Francisco Chronicle poll is more shocking. Is it that “nearly half of respondents said they were victims of theft in the last five years”? Or is it that “roughly a quarter were physically attacked or threatened”? Midtown Manhattan is starting to seem a whole lot nicer.

** A third-world water crisis right here in America: What’s happening in Europe is pretty luxe compared to what the people of Jackson, Mississippi have been dealing with. After nearly seven weeks, their governor lifted the boil-water advisory that had been in effect. The city, which is almost 83% black, has nightmarish infrastructure problems. Aging pipes froze last February, cutting off water. When it does run, it often isn’t safe for consumption.

** Speaking of energy cutbacks… what about all those dead oligarchs? So far, in 2022, 12 Russian oligarchs have mysteriously – and violently – met their ends. Most appear to have committed “suicide.” Some were murdered along with their wives and children. Alexander Subbotin was discovered in a shaman’s basement, outside Moscow, having reportedly died from a drug-induced heart attack (which may have included the typical toad poison) that was part of “an anti-hangover session.” The same phenomenon has been reported in China. Maybe the lesson here is: There is no such thing as independent wealth in authoritarian regimes. Just wealth that is dependent on the good graces of the powers that be.

** Oh look, Facebook is doing something creepy again: The social media giant banned filmmaker Joshua Newton from promoting his Holocaust movie, Beautiful Blue Eyes, because it ran afoul of the social media giant’s policy against content that “includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race.” The reference to “blue eyes” apparently refers to a key scene about a child in the movie. Newton, who is the son of two Holocaust survivors, told Rolling Stone: “This is the action of haters – and there are sadly many in our society – who seek to damage the film in order to trivialize the Holocaust.” The cyborgs at Facebook seem to have learned little from the global backlash that ensued in 2016 after they banned one of the most important images in the history of photography – the picture of the little girl fleeing a Napalm attack in Vietnam that was taken by the Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Ut.

** National Adderall shortage: More than six in 10 pharmacies are having trouble stocking the ADHD drug, according to a survey last month from the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Examiner – Look Back:

A couple at Woodstock 48 hours after meeting each other, and the same couple 50 years later, still together.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** In popular culture the midlife crisis is fodder for comedy, personified by the 40-something guy who suddenly hankers to sky-dive or buy a convertible. In scientific circles the midlife crisis is sometimes said not to exist at all: “Epidemiological study of psychological distress in adulthood does not suggest that midlife is a time of out-of-the-ordinary distress,” said an article in 2000 in the journal Motivation and Emotion. But new research says that midlife crises are very real and nothing to be laughed at. “Something elemental appears to be going wrong in the middle of many of our citizens’ lives,” says a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research released this month. —- Peter Coy

** A staggering 83% of Americans believe the economy is poor or not so good, according to a May Wall Street Journal-NORC poll. And an equally staggering 83% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, according to a Gallup poll. Parties get punished when they make mistakes. Recently, Democrats have made the kind of mistakes that make voters furious. —- David Brooks

** We now face the threat of a future pandemic in a country in which a large number of people no longer trust public health authorities. What happens when we have a novel, highly contagious, airborne virus with a much higher fatality rate than that of COVID-19? We desperately need to rebuild public trust now. That begins by having public health officials apologize for being dogmatic in their pronouncements, when the correct answer should have been: “We don’t know.” One lesson we should all learn from COVID-19 is that we should not put our entire faith and trust in one physician. —- Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H., a Johns Hopkins professor and public policy researcher, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, writes for the WSJ and the Washington Post, and is author of the NYT bestselling book, The Price We Pay

** A lot has been written about the broader meaning of the attack this month on Salman Rushdie, for which a Muslim religious fanatic has been charged with attempted murder. Not enough has been said about the evil of the regime that presumably inspired the deed and so many others like it – or of what it says of the wisdom of trying to strike a nuclear deal with it. The Islamic Republic of Iran did not take responsibility for the murder attempt on Rushdie. But Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against him for “The Satanic Verses” remains in effect, and in 2007 Rushdie reported that every Feb. 14 he receives a “sort of Valentine’s card” from Iran recalling its promise to kill him. Following this month’s attack, Iranian state media called it “divine retribution.” —- Bret Stephens

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:

SHOULD CREDIT CARD COMPANIES TRACK GUN PURCHASES?

We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Examiner readers have spoken.

EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

** Nonbinary athletes will be able to run the 2023 Boston Marathon without having to register with the men’s or women’s divisions, CBS reports. READ

** China tests new cars that hover an inch above roads using magnets. READ

** Height Surgery – These men want to be taller, so they’re undergoing a costly surgery – and a break to both femur bones – to add a few more inches. READ

** Why do Russian Executives Keep Dying? – At least a dozen wealthy Russian executives have met their ends under questionable circumstances since the beginning of the year. Is it a coincidence or conspiracy? READ

** AI imagines how deceased celebrities may look today. READ

** A stunningly large sturgeon fish. WATCH

** A doctor answers the internet’s burning questions about the gut. WATCH

** The Poet and the Machine – Robots are writing poetry, and many people can’t tell the difference. What does that mean for the future of the art? READ

** Exercise stimulates brain cell growth, promotes up to 40% higher levels of dopamine in mouse study; chemical boost lasted for a week after exercise regimen. READ

** Johns Hopkins students design edible tape to keep your burrito wrapped. READ

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A 24-7 Fishing Operation:

A single country has accounted for about 80% of the fishing in the international waters just off Argentina, Ecuador and Peru this year. And it is not a South American country. It is China. In recent years, hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels have begun to operate almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week, off the coast of South America. The ships move with the seasons, from Ecuador to Peru to Argentina. China has focused on these faraway waters after depleting fish stocks closer to its own shores.

Mariah’s Business:

A source close to the legendary Mariah Carey says that the Songstress and recent Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee decided it was time to move on from Boulevard Business management and return to her previous acclaimed Business Manager Michael Kane at Miller Kaplan, a firm noteworthy for dealing with musical artists and publishing catalogs at the highest level.

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Examiner – Business:

** FedEx will hike delivery rates and make several cost-cutting moves in 2023. The company shook the market last week after reporting global declines in package volume. READ

** Instagram is testing a filter that will prevent users from DMing each other unsolicited nudes. READ

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Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002

The LBN Examiner was founded on June 1, 2002, an incredible 20 years ago. Let’s take a look back at what was going on in 2002:

** On October 6, the French oil tanker Limburg was bombed off the coast of Yemen.

** On October 10, Hungarian writer and Holocaust survivor Imre Kertész was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Examiner – A Different View:…

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LBN Examiner 09/25/2022

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:

Members of Congress sometimes have access to private company information many Americans do not. They may buy and sell stocks, as long as they adhere to the ethics rules and not engage in insider trading. An appearance of a conflict of interest may occur if they or family members profit through buying, selling or trading stocks connected to those companies. Among the conflicts uncovered, according to a New York Times investigation: “The wife of Representative Alan Lowenthal, a California Democrat, sold Boeing shares a day before a House committee that he sits on released a report exposing the company’s mishandling of its 737 Max jet, which had been involved in two deadly crashes. Representative John Rose, a Republican of Tennessee, sold $100,000 to $250,000 in Wells Fargo stock a few months before a committee he is on released a report that was critical of the bank. Senator Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and his wife sold options tied to Microsoft less than two weeks before the company lost a $10 billion contract with the Defense Department.”

“Both the House and the Senate have been trying to develop legislation to tighten the rules, but whether a bill will be passed by both chambers and make it to President Biden’s desk this year remains in doubt, despite rare bipartisan support,” according to the Times.

Martha’s Vineyard Shelter Coordinator – ‘They Have To’ Go ‘Somewhere Else’:

Remarks from Lisa Belcastro, the coordinator for Martha’s Vineyard homeless shelter Harbor Homes, went viral Thursday after she was asked about 50 illegal immigrants arriving on the island. Belcastro’s remarks come after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis sent the illegal immigrants to the island off the coast of Massachusetts. “Yes, Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard today were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” an official for DeSantis’ office said in a statement. “States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies.” In this past legislative session, the Florida Legislature appropriated $12 million to implement a program to facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants from this state consistent with federal law, the official added. The 50 illegal immigrants landed on the small island, where ultrawealthy progressives like former President Barack Obama live.

Examiner – Lens:

Dima, a three-year-old boy who was wounded during the shelling of Mariupol, lies in a bed in a hospital children’s ward in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 29.

Minnesota Massive Fraud Scheme:

Nearly 50 people in Minnesota have been charged with laundering an estimated $250M in pandemic relief aid, which was intended to provide meals to children from lower-income families. The case is the largest fraud scheme to take advantage of federal pandemic programs, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Prosecutors claim 47 individuals tied to Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding Our Future falsely reported serving tens of thousands of meals to children across 250 sites and sought reimbursement for the cost of those meals from the Department of Agriculture’s Federal Child Nutrition Program. The individuals then allegedly laundered the funds through shell companies to buy luxury cars, property, jewelry, and other personal items. They have been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery. To date, more than $8B in suspected pandemic fraud has been found, including in more than 1,500 criminal cases.

New Orleans Becomes Murder Capital Of America, Overtaking St. Louis:

New Orleans has overtaken St. Louis as the murder capital of America as the city sees a 141% increase in homicides when compared to recent years. According to data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission, an organization that tracks crime and also tries to bring it down, there have been 52 homicides per 100,000 residents as of September 11. In St. Louis, there have been almost 45 homicides per 100,000 residents as of September 17, according to data from the St. Louis Police Department. By comparison, there have been almost 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 residents and 3.5 in New York City. Homicides in New Orleans are up 141% when compared to 2019 and up 78% when compared to 2021, according to the data, which states that there have been 205 homicides in the city from the beginning of 2022 until September 11.

Examiner – Lens:

Karen O, born Karen Lee Orzolek, was 21 years old when she took the stage with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the first time in September, 2000, at Mercury Lounge, opening for the White Stripes. The band – Karen, the guitarist Nick Zinner, and the drummer Brian Chase – had practiced together as a trio exactly once. Karen downed four margaritas, drenched herself in olive oil, and stepped into the persona that would catapult the Yeah Yeah Yeahs into the rock pantheon.

Examiner – Commentary by Noam Blum:

(Co-host of the Ambitious Crossover Attempt Podcast and All Crossed Out on Callin.)

** The Bitter Bus Battle: The war of words over Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to bus migrants who cross the border into Texas from Mexico to major cities in blue states escalated this week, with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stating that “this is not Christianity” and that Abbott merely “professes to be a Christian” after 50 more migrants arrived in the Windy City, bringing the total number to 103. Abbott responded that Lightfoot should address her concerns to “the real cause of the border crisis: Joe Biden.” Abbott also clashed last month with New York Mayor Eric Adams over the migrants who arrived in the city, which was odd considering that last year Adams called his “City of Immigrants” a place where “people from every nation seek refuge” and that his government “will reflect that.”

** BLM Steals Even More Money: Everyone’s favorite financially responsible nonprofit is at it again, with a new lawsuit accusing an executive at the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation of “siphoning” more than $10 million from donors. The executive in question, Shalomyah Bowers – who denied the “harmful, divisive, and false” allegations – was hired by none other than Patrisse Cullors, the BLM co-founder whom you might know better as the proud owner of a $1.4 million Topanga Canyon home and a $6 million mansion in Studio City. Cullors departed the organization in May 2021 for reasons that were definitely, entirely unrelated to said home and mansion.

** Tragic End to the Eliza Fletcher Story: A body found in Memphis on Monday was confirmed to be that of 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher, a kindergarten teacher, wife and mom of two. Fletcher had been missing since early Friday morning, after surveillance footage showed her being forced into an SUV while jogging around 4:30 a.m., several miles from where her body was discovered. Cleotha Abston, 38 years old, who was arrested for the kidnapping over the weekend, will now also face charges of first-degree murder. Abston has a lengthy criminal record dating back to age 11. He was released from prison in 2020 after receiving a 24-year sentence in 2001 for the “especially aggravated kidnapping” of a Memphis lawyer. If Abston had served out his entire sentence, he would have still been in prison on the day the young mom went jogging.

** Terror After Dark: Memphis police scrambled to track down the perpetrator of a string of shootings that left four dead and three injured Wednesday night. Nineteen-year-old Ezekiel Kelly, identified by authorities as the perpetrator, live-streamed the shootings on Facebook Live, and was eventually arrested after crashing a stolen car. Kelly pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in April 2021 and was sentenced to three years, but was released after 11 months. Meanwhile, in Maryland, Prince George’s County authorities have announced a curfew for anyone under 17 after a string of shootings and carjackings involving teenagers. According to NBC4 Washington, the 30-day curfew comes in the wake of the county’s deadliest month in at least 13 years, with nearly double the number of arrests of juveniles as last year.

** Gibson’s Bakery Finally Gets Its Due: Nearly six years after Oberlin College falsely slandered the 137-year-old family business, the school is finally coughing up the $36.59 million judgment it owes the family. If you missed our recent investigation on Honestly – or Lorna Gibson’s moving essay about the lengths she has gone to restore her family’s good name – please give them a listen or a read. This is a story about much more than the usual town-gown tension. As our friend Leighton Woodhouse put it: “Oberlin College’s character assassination of a local bakery is a perfect analogy for how the new upper middle class language of social justice is deployed as class warfare.” As of last week, the bakery, which had been decimated by boycotts, was on the brink of bankruptcy. “Calling us racists wasn’t just wrong,” Lorna Gibson wrote, “It was deeply painful to our core.” On Thursday, after years of appeals, the college finally initiated payment. The sum will be paid in part by the college’s insurance. In a statement, the school said: “We are disappointed by the Court’s decision … This matter has been painful for everyone.” On the matter of their historic win, Gibson’s legal representative said this to Common Sense: “Truth still matters, and David has overcome Goliath. While Oberlin College has still refused to admit they were wrong, the jury, a unanimous panel from the court of appeals, and a majority of the Ohio Supreme Court decided otherwise. Now, the Gibsons will be able to rebuild the business their family started 137 years ago and keep the lights on for another generation.” Oberlin might think of their students as customers who are always right, but the actual city of Oberlin, the small businesses there, the locals – they go by different rules. Apparently, so do Common Sense readers, who jumped to order sweets, t-shirts, hats and totes from the Gibson’s site. A lawyer for the family tells us that the bakery received “literally hundreds of online and telephone orders” as a result of our coverage of this case.

Examiner – Look Back:

Pamela Anderson the morning after she slept with Tommy Lee for the first time in February 1995.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** While it’s important that the U.S. maintain its longstanding alliance with Saudi Arabia, I wish President Biden had used Zoom for his recent meeting with the Saudi leadership. It was a bad look and bad energy policy for the U.S. president to fly all the way TO Saudi Arabia to plead for more oil output when all he had to do was fly to Houston. —- Thomas L. Friedman

** Well, I made it. I am 100 years old today. I wake up every morning grateful to be alive. Reaching my own personal centennial is cause for a bit of reflection on my first century – and on what the next century will bring for the people and country I love. To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I may be in better shape than our democracy is. I was deeply troubled by the attack on Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 – by supporters of former President Donald Trump attempting to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Those concerns have only grown with every revelation about just how far Mr. Trump was willing to go to stay in office after being rejected by voters – and about his ongoing efforts to install loyalists in positions with the power to sway future elections. I don’t take the threat of authoritarianism lightly. As a young man, I dropped out of college when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. I flew more than 50 missions in a B-17 bomber to defeat Fascism consuming Europe. I am a flag-waving believer in truth, justice and the American way, and I don’t understand how so many people who call themselves patriots can support efforts to undermine our democracy and our Constitution. It is alarming. —- Norman Lear, a father of six, an Emmy-winning television producer and a co-founder of the advocacy organization People for the American Way

** I had always felt at home in America. It was my home and my parents’ home and my grandparents’, and it never seemed like it could be any way else. But three weeks from now, I am leaving the place where I was born and making a new life in Israel. The story of why is the story of a growing cohort of Gen Z Jews who see what the older generations cannot yet see: That the future doesn’t feel like it’s here as much as there. When people ask me what the origin point is – when I knew I would leave – it’s not one particular moment, but a collection. Among them: The drunk girl at my alma mater, George Washington, caught on video in November 2019, saying, “We’re going to bomb Israel, you Jewish pieces of shit.” The Hillel that was spray-painted with “Free Palestine” in July 2020, at the University of Wisconsin. The Chabad House set on fire in August 2020, at the University of Delaware. The Jewish vice president of student government at USC who resigned in August 2020, after getting barraged with antisemitic hate. The University of Chicago students who, in January 2022, called on their fellow students not to take “sh*tty Zionist classes” taught by Israelis or Jews. The Jewish fraternity at Rutgers that got egged in April 2022 – during a Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration. The Chabad menorah that was vandalized for the fourth time in two years, in May 2022, at the University of Cincinnati. The protester who hurled rocks at Jewish students in June 2022, at the University of Illinois. The swastikas that turned up in July and August 2022, at Brown. The Hillel that was vandalized in August 2022, at USC. The innumerable, antisemitic incidents at San Francisco State University, which the Lawfare Project, a Jewish nonprofit, has called “the most anti-Semitic college campus in the country.” The two girls recently kicked out of a group that combats sexual assault, at SUNY New Paltz, because they had the temerity to post something positive about Israel. The universities, which bend over backward to create safe spaces for most students, increasingly making room for antisemites in lecture halls and at graduation ceremonies (see, for example, Duke, Indiana University, the University of Denver, Arizona State University and CUNY). The proliferation of statements and articles and open letters proclaiming support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – a political movement that has as its stated goal the dismantling of the Jewish state – from Harvard to Pomona to Berkeley to the University of Illinois, along with the conviction, widespread on many campuses, that Jewish students should be barred from conversations about BDS, because, well, they’re Jewish. In college, for the first time, I began to feel the way Jews have often felt in other times and places: like The Other. —- Blake Flayton, a weekly columnist at Jewish Journal Los Angeles and a recent graduate of George Washington University

** It’s an appalling thing to ask the average American worker, who is struggling to afford groceries and gas, to subsidize the college debt for a household making six figures. It’s even more astonishing to ask a worker to do so during the worst inflation in half a century. Yet that is exactly what President Biden just did. The White House claims that its plan, announced last week, “cancels” $500 billion in student loan debt and relieves 40 million borrowers. But “loan cancellation” is an Orwellian phrase. You can’t cancel debt – someone always has to pay. And I know exactly who will: Workers just like my mom. —- Senator Tim Scott

** “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” —- Warren Buffett

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:

SHOULD RELIGIOUS UNIVERSITIES HAVE TO RECOGNIZE LGBTQ STUDENT CLUBS?

We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Examiner readers had spoken.

EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

** 95% of U.S. teens use YouTube, 67% use TikTok, and 32% use Facebook (down from 71% in 2015). Plus, 36% say they spend too much time on socials, and 8% say they spend too little. READ

** “Everybody is armed”: More than 1,400 people have been shot in Philadelphia this year, more than in New York or Los Angeles. Read

** The F.D.A. approved Daxxify, a facial injection against wrinkles and competitor to Botox. READ

** Fat sensors in the gut shown to trigger brain signaling that increases the desire for additional fatty food; findings may provide new interventions to facilitate healthier food choices. READ

** Mobile Gambling’s Risk: As more states legalize sports betting and license mobile apps to offer it, gambling addicts find there’s less stopping them from spiraling. READ

** Researchers use publicly available videos to piece together the suggestion that elephants mourn their dead, including some never before observed behaviors such as comforting living relatives of the deceased. WATCH

** Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display. READ

** Study links type 2 diabetes with accelerated brain aging; patients with progressive forms of the disease saw a 26% quicker decline on average. READ

** German man breaks world record for the biggest wave ever surfed. WATCH

** Study reveals how the human brain links memories together, suggests a common HIV drug may help reverse memory decline during middle age. READ

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‘Magic Moral Time Machine’ – Bill Maher Calls Out Woke Historians Over Slavery ‘Presentism’:

Holding historical figures up to modern-day woke values is silly scholarship, Bill Maher declared in his latest “Real Time” lecture to leftists. The old-school liberal made the point about so-called “presentisim” in the “New Rules” segment of his HBO show while discussing a controversial essay by American Historical Society President James Sweet. The historian, who later apologized for writing that judging historical figures by contemporary standards “ignores the values and mores of people in their own times,” shouldn’t be sorry, Maher said. “Being woke is like a magic moral time machine in which you judge everyone by what you think you would have done in 1066, and you always win,” Maher said, adding that presentism is “just a way to congratulate yourself about being better than George Washington because you have a gay friend and he didn’t.” “But if he were alive today, he would too, and if you were alive then, you wouldn’t,” Maher added.

‘Blazin Asian’ Influencer Christopher Kim Jr. Hands Out Free Weed:

He’s living the high life. Social media influencer Christopher Kim Jr. – who goes by the nickname Blazin’ Asian, and has 50,000 online followers – earns $2,000 a month performing outrageous pot-smoking challenges and sparking up with strangers. “I made my first money off Instagram when I was 18,” the 22-year-old college senior said. “I got $25 just by linking to some CBD company’s website. I thought, ‘Oh s—t. I made money from smoking weed – something I’ve been doing my whole life.’” In his most recent YouTube video, Kim, of Bergen County, NJ, and fellow influencer SpiceddieOG, visited Washington Square Park and stuck their heads inside five-gallon water jugs rigged up to a giant bowl. Immediately after lighting the ganja, their faces disappeared behind clouds of white smoke, and 25 seconds later, they ripped the jugs off, coughing their lungs out and nearly puking.

THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT – READ LBN EXAMINER:

Fight back against biased news and information from the mainstream media by reading one of the world’s “most fearlessly independent and unbiased news and information sources.” The LBN Examiner has proven to be a visionary in letting readers make up their own (damn) minds. The LBN Examiner is now read in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries since 2002.

Now you can invite your friends, family, and associates to sign up for free. www.LBNExaminer.com

Examiner – Business:

** White House health officials released new messaging that suggests COVID shots will move to an annual cadence, like flu shots.

** Visa, Mastercard, and American Express will roll out a new merchant code to track gun and ammo store sales, and potentially flag suspicious activity. READ

** Uber was reportedly hacked by an 18-year-old, who told employees about the hack in Uber’s company Slack channel. READ

** Uh-oh: FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam said the company is seeing declining shipment volume in every segment around the globe, sparking recessionary concerns. READ

** Peloton Row, the company’s long, long, long-awaited rowing machine, is up for preorder starting at $3,195. It’s eight feet long but can be stored vertically. READ

Your Entrance Into The World Of Entertainment And Media:

ENTRY-LEVEL SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR FOR AWARD-WINNING, PROMINENT P.R. – BRANDING FIRM

PART-TIME, FLEXIBLE HOURS, WORK REMOTE FROM HOME: (Approximately 10 hours a week) “A chance in a lifetime in a lifetime of chance” Opportunity to begin a career in the dynamic world of entertainment media. If you have been longing to explore a career in the entertainment industry or media, this is your golden opportunity.

Salary $650 a month – Benefits: Flexible Schedule

mlmediapr2021@gmail.com

Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002

The LBN Examiner was founded on June 1, 2002, an incredible 20 years ago. Let’s take a look back at what was going on in 2002:

** On September 26, an overcrowded Senegalese ferry capsized off the coast of Gambia killing more than 1,000.

** On September 27, Timor-Leste joined the United Nations.

Examiner – A Different View:…

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 09/18/2022

AMERICANS SPENT MORE ON TAXES IN 2021 THAN ON FOOD, CLOTHING AND HEALTH CARE COMBINED:

According to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans in 2021 once again spent more on average on taxes than they did on food, clothing and health care combined. During 2021, according to Table R-1 in the BLS’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, American “consumer units” spent an average of $15,495.28 on food, clothing and health care combined, while paying an average of $16,729.73 in total taxes to federal, state and local governments.

“A consumer unit,” the BLS says in the glossary for its Consumer Expenditure Survey, “comprises either (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal arrangements; (2) persons living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or (3) two or more person living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.”

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $8,289.28 on food; $1,754.39 on clothing (apparel and apparel-related services); and $5,451.61 on health care. That equaled a combined $15,495.28.

At that same time, American consumer units were paying an average $16,729.73 in net total taxes. These included $8,561.46 in federal income taxes; $5,565.45 in Social Security taxes; $2,564.14 in state and local income taxes; $2,475.18 in property taxes; $105.21 in other taxes – minus an average of $2,541.71 in stimulus payments received back from the government.

Violence Hits ‘Epidemic Proportions’ In Pandemic-Era California, Study Shows:

The Golden State is losing its luster. A troubling new report labels physical and sexual violence in pandemic-era California a statewide “epidemic.” To put it simply, violence is on an alarming rise. According to the new annual report from the California Study on Violence Experiences across the Lifespan (CalVEX), violence statistics have seen a significant increase since COVID-19 emerged. The report, conducted by scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, reports more than one in six Californians (18%) experienced either physical or sexual violence in just the past year. Meanwhile, one in every 25 Californians experienced intimate partner violence. Overall, rates of both physical and sexual violence have seen an uptick since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with physical violence nearly doubling among men between 2020-2022. Study authors say demographic disparities in the results may provide further insight into potential contributing factors that could have been exacerbated during the pandemic.

Drunk Driver With Cocaine In System Kills Even Drunker Driver With Meth In System:

They say “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” – unless you go out drunk driving while high on cocaine and crash into a car, killing a person who is also drunk driving while high on meth. Then, what happens in Sin City becomes national news. KTLA reported that Summer Butler, 37, is facing charges of DUI resulting in death, reckless driving, and being in possession of a controlled substance in relation to a crash that killed an unidentified victim. According to police, Butler was driving on January 14 with a blood alcohol level of .102. Blood tests also revealed that she had cocaine in her system, compounded by the fact that while a medic was tending to her injuries sustained from the crash, “a small baggie containing a white substance fell out of the left side of her bra,” police alleged.

However, her victim this past winter was allegedly even drunker than she was. Police claim that the deceased had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit and had a substantial amount of methamphetamine in his or her system as well. It is unclear why it took so long for Butler to be taken in by authorities, but KTLA reported that an arrest warrant was placed on the suspect in June. After being arrested on August 30, Butler was offered a $15,000 bail.

Examiner – Lens:

Homelessness near the City Hall of San Francisco on August 29, 2022.

General Patton Letter In Which He Refers To Jews As ‘Sub-Human’ Goes On Sale Online:

A “dark and disturbing” letter typed and signed by Second World War hero General S. Patton exposing his deep antisemitism, is up for sale on a historical memborabilia website. The letter, dated October 4, 1945, and addressed to former aide Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman, was written just three days before General Eisenhower relieved Patton of his command of the Third Army and just two months before Patton’s death from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. In the letter, Patton seems to respond to a combative press conference that took place just two weeks prior in which Patton was blamed for the appalling living conditions at many camps for Displaced Persons, many of whom were Jews. As a result of this press conference, General Eisenhower reportedly ordered Patton to improve the camps under his area of command and to attend a Yom Kippur service. The letter, all but confirming the poor conditions of the Displaced Persons camps, reads: “So far as the Jews are concerned, they do not want to be placed in comfortable buildings. They actually prefer to live as many to a room as possible. They have no conception of sanitation, hygiene or decency and are, as you know, the same sub-human types that we saw in the internment camps.” The letter also refers to the people of the Soviet Union as “the degenerate descendants of Genghis Khan” and says the envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness in Europe “passes beyond belief.”

Carnegie Mellon University Responds To Professor Who Called For ‘Excruciating’ Death Of Queen Elizabeth II:

Carnegie Mellon University condemned a professor on Thursday who called for the death of Queen Elizabeth II to be “excruciating[ly]” painful, saying that the professor’s tweet was “offensive and objectionable.” Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the British throne at age 25, counted Winston Churchill and former President Reagan as close friends, and became the longest-reigning monarch in the nation’s history, died Thursday at the age of 96. Professor Uju Anya, who teaches linguistics and critical race studies at Carnegie Mellon University, according to the school’s website, sent out her remark via Twitter. At the time, the beloved queen’s death had not yet been announced. “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” she tweeted. “May her pain be excruciating.” “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account,” the university said in a statement. “Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”

Examiner – Lens:

Actress Chloë Sevigny.

Examiner – Commentary by Meghan Daum:

(Meghan Daum is the host of The Unspeakable Podcast and the author of several books, most recently The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through The New Culture Wars. She also co-hosts, with Sarah Haider, the podcast A Special Place In Hell.)

** Third World, U.S.A.: If you live in Jackson, Mississippi, make sure to shower with your mouth closed. That’s the latest public service announcement from local officials confronting a failed water-treatment facility. On Thursday, Jackson, a city of 150,000, began its fourth day with little to no potable running water; people are waiting in lines for bottled water so they can safely brush their teeth. The chief culprit here, we’re told by The Washington Post and other pillars of the legacy media universe, is climate change with a side order of structural racism. We wonder if decades of mismanagement, corruption, or poverty has something to do with it.

** Chaos in Portland, OR: This city cannot catch a break. Last weekend, there were nine shootings. Eight of them happened on Sunday during illegal street racing takeovers, in which crowds blocked intersections and people were seen carrying flamethrowers. Elsewhere in the city, six people were shot in the last week, including one man who was killed while dumpster diving. There were 788 shootings in Portland as of July 31 of this year. That’s 67 more than last year. And it’s 415 more than in 2020 during the same time frame. (Read more here.)

** Men’s Health sex columnist declares straightness a “fetish”: Remember the good ole days when sexuality was something to be ashamed about? Well, those days are right now. According to the sex-advice column in Men’s Health, being solely into “vulva-owners” – don’t shoot the messenger – is technically a “fetish” (no different than loving blondes or feet or whatever else) that is also potentially “offensive.”

** Pass the chronic: Regular cannabis use now outpaces cigarette smoking in the U.S., according to a new Gallup poll. Of the American adults surveyed, 16% said they currently smoke marijuana and half said they’d tried it in their lifetime. Only 11% reported smoking cigarettes regularly. When the question was asked in a 1969 survey, 40% of respondents said they’d smoke cigarettes that same week whereas only 4% said they’d ever tried marijuana. It’s worth noting that 1969 was the year President Nixon enacted Operation Intercept, which all but shut down U.S.-Mexico border crossings (for less than a month) in an attempt to curtail Mexican marijuana from coming into the country. This led to a weed shortage that then drove people to use harder drugs.

Whole Foods CEO – ‘I Feel Like Socialists Are Taking Over’:

“My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over,” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said on Reason magazine podcast. “They’re marching through the institutions. They’re … taking over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing. You know, I’m a capitalist at heart, and I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values. And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat.”

Examiner – Look Back:

A Puerto Rican couple and their nine children, 1992.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** About three million first-time college students will soon be arriving on campus – most of them coming directly from high school. About one million of them won’t make it through their first year or return as sophomores. This attrition is financially and emotionally devastating for families, and destabilizing for colleges. What goes wrong for so many stud? And how can we stop the bleeding? Financial challenges account for the largest chunk of these departures. But many others leave because the support services they and their parents feel they have been promised are often impossible for colleges and universities to provide. The number of students with mental health challenges has been rising for years – around 44% of all college students report symptoms of depression and anxiety. The rate of students taking psychiatric medication doubled between 2007 and 2019, and is now at 25%. —- Lee Burdette Williams (I’m a long-time higher education professional interested in student and staff well-being)

** “The Quakers, more than any major Protestant denomination, fostered a style of life which Max Weber called worldly asceticism – the idea of living in the world but not of it. Work itself became a sacrament, and idleness a deadly sin.” —- David Hackett Fischer

** At a church book sale in my Toronto neighborhood, I found The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook, a bestseller by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf first published 30 years ago. I always gravitate to books like this – first to see whether there is anything new in this world, and then to remind myself that the overly simplistic answer is no. (See also the 1995 compendium Debating Sexual Correctness. The #MeToo discourse existed prior to #MeToo.) It seems we’re living through a kind of 1990s revival – fueled, I suspect, by nostalgia for pre-COVID, pre-9/11, pre-internet times. Or maybe just by teenagers’ timeless desire to dress the way everyone did decades ago. The front cover of the dictionary shows a man, a woman, and a dog, each affixed with labels such as “hair disadvantaged” (he’s balding), “woman of noncolor” (she’s white), and “nonhuman animal companion” (it’s a shaggy dog). None of them, though especially the woman and the dog, would be out of place in a 2022 farmers market. (Again: cyclical fashions.) —- Phoebe Maltz Bovy

** “One of the most important reasons for studying history is that every stupid idea that in invoked today has been tried before and proven disastrous before, time and again.” —- Thomas Sowell

** No world leader has a bigger place in the history of the late 20th century than Mikhail Gorbachev, for the pivotal role he played in the peaceful end of the Cold War. The free world will be forever grateful to him, even if many of his fellow citizens are not. —- James A. Baker (James A. Baker, III was the 61st U.S. secretary of state from 1989-91.)

** Defeating Trump means making him seem small. Biden’s speech last week did the opposite. —- Bret Stephens

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:

HAS THE RISE OF VAPING SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED ADOLESCENTS’ HEALTH?

We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Examiner readers had spoken.

EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

** This is how the 78 long minutes of the Texas school shooting unfolded. READ

** Psilocybin regimen found to reduce alcohol consumption by more than 80% in patients exhibiting alcohol use disorder in pilot study; marks the latest research to suggest the positive medical uses for the psychoactive compound. READ

** Chris Rock reportedly declined invite to host 2023 Academy Awards. READ

** Study projects ice melt in Greenland will cause global sea levels to rise by at least 11 inches over the next century as the ice sheet adjusts to elevated temperatures in recent decades. READ

** Was It Really a Suicide? Millionaire businessman Dan Rapoport, a critic of Vladimir Putin, fell to his death from a luxury Washington, DC, apartment this month. Police don’t suspect foul play, but Rapoport’s political allies aren’t so sure. READ

** Poland plans to seek $1.3T in reparations from Germany for damages caused by the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of the country. READ

** History of the TSA – Reflecting on two decades of pat-downs and shoe removal at US airports and whether the process has made it any safer for travelers. READ

** Visualizing various animal sleep patterns. READ

** 17% of all shark attacks on humans occur in Florida despite the state just having 0.29% of the world’s population.

** Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes requested a new trial after a witness visited her to express regret over his testimony. READ

** Regular exercise was linked to lower risk of getting COVID. READ

** Five famous historical stories debunked. WATCH

Rogan, Rowling And Chappelle Prove The Online Mob Has No Power:

Why is anyone still listening to the Wokesters? They’re not a majority – or even close to being one. They have no Army, Navy or Air Force. They don’t even matter in the marketplace. The only power they enjoy is the power the rest of us have chosen to give them. We should stop. As the events of the last six months have neatly demonstrated, almost everything that the woke demand can be dismissed with a single word: “No.” To be effective, wokeness requires its targets to fold at the first hurdle. If we refuse to acquiesce, there’s no Plan B. For years now, non-woke Americans have chosen to cower beneath their desks when presented with an ever-more-absurd set of demands, unaware that we could have lopped off the belligerents’ knees with a single, well-timed demurral. At long last, that seems to be changing. Despite protests from both the public and Netflix employees …

Take J.K. Rowling, who has been lambasted for claiming that biological women and trans women are not exactly the same. A steadfast holdout against Internet bullies, the author has not merely refused to bow to the loudest voices within transgender movement; she has begun to make hay out of their attempts to cancel her. Rowling’s latest novel, “The Ink Black Heart,” is a murder mystery about an artist who is “persecuted by a mysterious online figure” for being a transphobe (sound familiar?). Upon release, the book went straight to the top of the best-seller list. Or take comedian Dave Chappelle, who also ruffled feathers with his jokes about transgender people in his Netflix show “The Closer.” At no point since the online mob began its relentless assault against him has he elected to apologize. Instead, he has said, “I don’t give a f–k, because Twitter is not a real place.” Which, of course, is correct.

Bluebird Bio’s $2.8 Million Gene Therapy – Criminals In Healthcare:

The 1983 Orphan Drug Act revolutionized drug policy. Government incentives helped stimulate the approval of over 600 products for rare diseases; however, with sky-high prices, the diseases are still orphans. Bluebird Bio’s recent approval of their $2.8 Million therapy to cure Thalassemia rewards criminal activity. New York Supreme court case 150856/2017 is overflowing with proof that Nick Leschly and other executives of Bluebird Bio and Third Rock Ventures willingly committed insider trading and fraud. They collectively made billions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wc1aiPx2tY

THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT – READ LBN EXAMINER:

Fight back against biased news and information from the mainstream media by reading one of the world’s “most fearlessly independent and unbiased news and information sources.” The LBN Examiner has proven to be a visionary in letting readers make up their own (damn) minds. The LBN Examiner is now read in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries since 2002.

Now you can invite your friends, family, and associates to sign up for free. www.LBNExaminer.com

Examiner – Bookkeeping:

** U.S. Secret Service recovers $286M in stolen pandemic loans for businesses. READ

** Utah businesses are caught in an alleged $722M cryptocurrency fraud scheme. READ

Your Entrance Into The World Of Entertainment And Media:

ENTRY-LEVEL SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR FOR AWARD-WINNING, PROMINENT P.R. – BRANDING FIRM

PART-TIME, FLEXIBLE HOURS, WORK REMOTE FROM HOME: (Approximately 10 hours a week) “A chance in a lifetime in a lifetime of chance” Opportunity to begin a career in the dynamic world of entertainment media. If you have been longing to explore a career in the entertainment industry or media, this is your golden opportunity.

Salary $650 a month – Benefits: Flexible Schedule

mlmediapr2021@gmail.com

Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002

The LBN Examiner was founded on June 1, 2002, an incredible 20 years ago. Let’s take a look back at what was going on in 2002:

** On September 17, at the 27th Toronto International Film Festival, “Whale Rider” directed by Niki Caro won the People’s Choice Award.

** On September 22, some winners at the 54th Emmy Awards were The West Wing, Friends, Michael Chiklis and Allison Janney.

Examiner – A Different View:…

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.