Monthly Archives: June 2021

LBN Examiner 06/27/2021

*COLORADO MAYOR SPARKS OUTCRY BY BANNING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND THREATENING TO KICK OFFICIALS OUT OF THE MEETING WHEN THEY DEFIED HIM AND STOOD TO RECITE IT:

Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman banned the Pledge of Allegiance at public meetings over what he called ‘direct threats’ The mayor of a small town in Colorado has banned his Board of Trustees and guests from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at public meetings because of what he called ‘direct threats’ in his community. Shane Fuhrman, the mayor of the 550-person mountain town Silverton, announced at a board meeting on June 14, which is Flag Day.  But the entire room of attendees, and two board members, stood up and recited the pledge anyway, to which Fuhrman responded by threatening to kick them all out of the meeting. Fuhrman explained that he made the executive decision to ban the pledge ‘due to direct and indirect threats and inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings and the general divisiveness of issues created in our community’.

*RITZY ATLANTA COMMUNITY MOVES TO SEPARATE FROM CITY AMID CRIME SPIKE:

An exclusive Atlanta neighborhood plagued with a rash of violent crimes has reportedly decided to separate from the sprawling Georgia capital and create its own police force. Bill White, chairman and CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, told Fox News on Thursday that the decision to split was made as crime in Atlanta has skyrocketed while police are underfunded. “We filed our divorce papers at the city of Atlanta — and our divorce is final,” White told hold Bill Hemmer, adding: “We have two bills in the Georgia legislature dropping in January to decide this referendum ballot.” White estimated that nearly 80 percent of his community will vote in favor of the separation. The new community, Buckhead City, will have its own law enforcement system, he said.  “We’ll have our own court. We’ll have our own judge. We’ll have our own jail,” White said. “And we are going to put the smackdown on this crime once and for all here, because the people of Buckhead have had enough.” He said Mayor Keisha Bottoms’ woke policies have emboldened criminals and let the police force down.  

*CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT DECLARES  RACISM A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS-AND GIVES $10M IN COVID MONEY TO FIGHT IT:

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has declared racism a public health crisis – and will give $10million in Covid money to fight it. The Democrat said on Thursday: “At almost every single point in our city’s history, racism has taken a devastating toll on the health and wellbeing of our residents of color, especially those who are black…Ladies and gentlemen, it is literally killing us.” Lightfoot’s declaration came after a Chicago Department of Public Health report showed a 9.2-year life expectancy gap in the city with black Chicagoans living on average 71.4 years while non-black residents live 80.6 years.  The city will allocate $9.6 million of Covid money from the CDC to set up “healthy Chicago equity zones.” The mayor added: “When we think about racism, many of us think about its visible and audible forms. “But the reality is, the insidious nature of systemic racism has other impacts that are every bit as deep and harmful but are often ones we can’t see, like impacts on the psyche and other impacts on our bodies that are just as, if not more, deadly.”

*’WOKE’ UNIVERSITY DOCTORS CALL FOR NEW LAWS TO PROTECT ANIMALS FROM HATE SPEECH:

It says “speciesist” hate speech is as bad as racism. The proposals — published in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies — would see cats, dogs, farm animals, even seagulls safeguarded. And the plans ignore the fact animals can’t be offended by words. Last night Tory MP Nigel Mills branded the idea “utter woke nonsense” and “a complete waste of time”. Dr Josh Milburn and Dr Alasdair Cochrane of the University of Sheffield suggest it could be hate speech to say the lives of a non-native species matter less than a native one. They say it would be impractical to censure wounding words “only if they actually wound”.

*IRAN ELECTS HARDLINE CLERIC LINKED TO MASS KILLINGS AS PRESIDENT:

An ultraconservative cleric linked to the mass execution of political prisoners has been elected Iran’s new president. Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s judiciary chief who has been rumored to be a potential successor to the Ayatollah, emerged victorious in a controversial election in which critics say moderate candidates were purged. Turnout was low—48 percent, according to election officials—as many voters saw the election of a hardliner as a foregone conclusion. Raisi, who is under U.S. sanctions, will replace president Hassan Rouhani at a time of heightened tensions with the West and Israel. Human-rights groups have called for Raisi to be investigated for his “crimes against humanity,” including his reported involvement in death panels that executed thousands of political prisoners in the ’80s after the Iran-Iraq war. Iran has never totally acknowledged the mass killings.

*AMERICAN AIRLINES HIT BY PILOT SHORTAGES, CANCELS HUNDREDS OF FLIGHTS AND PLANS TO CUT MORE:

A lot of people want to get back in the air as the pandemic eases and American Airlines, facing pilot shortages and recent bad weather, is struggling to keep up with demand. The U.S. carrier cancelled hundreds of flights over the weekend and says that it will be cancelling hundreds more through mid-July to help minimize disruption. Before COVID-19, American was the largest airline in the world by fleet size and number of passengers carried, but sank to a full-year loss of $9.5 billion as crews were furloughed.

An American Airlines spokeswoman blamed the cancellations on labor shortages, bad weather at its main hubs, and “the incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand.” But Dennis Tajer of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s roughly 15,000 pilots, told CNBC the company had to offer more advance overtime and give pilots more flexibility to make up for staffing shortages. “They’re trying to put a Band-Aid on something that needs stitches,” he said. American is expected to cancel about 1 percent of flights, or 50-80 flights a day.

*VICTORIA’S SECRET TRIES NEW LOOK:


After years of waning popularity, Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie giant known for its hypersexy image, is undergoing a major rebrand. One of the biggest changes: no more Angels, the scantily clad supermodels like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks who posed exclusively for the company. In their place is “the VS Collective,” seven women who will advise and promote the brand, including the soccer star Megan Rapinoe and the actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Victoria’s Secret has long “epitomized a certain widely accepted stereotype of femininity,” Sapna Maheshwari and Vanessa Friedman wrote in The Times. But that model is outdated now. Over the past decade, there has been a rise of “the anti-Victoria’s Secrets,” as Rory Satran wrote in The Wall Street Journal. Competitors like ThirdLove and Cuup prioritize “comfort as well as sexiness and structure, inclusive sizing and non-objectifying advertising imagery featuring a diverse group of models.”

Victoria’s Secret has been slow to adapt. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want,” Martin Waters, the chief executive of the brand, said. In stores, mannequins will now come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The company will also start offering products like nursing bras and sportswear.

One question remains: Will women buy it?
 
 

*WHAT’S UP? BY SARAH GARCIA:
  What to say about the Bronx and Manhattan district attorneys throwing out most of the looting and vandalism cases from the wake of the George Floyd protests last year? Outrageous doesn’t quite cover it. Shameful, disgraceful, disgusting, as local businesses put it. All true. But above all else, these sorts of games by our elected prosecutors are dangerous.  In New York, people were caught on camera pulling up in SUVs, stealing goods by the trash-bagful, and driving off. This is peaceful protest? This is social justice? And yet Bronx DA Darcel Clark and Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. claim they can’t prove cases, so they are tossing them by the hundreds. BULL. They don’t want to put in the resources and work to see thieves and rioters get punished. 

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an astounding 90% of our $3.8 trillion in healthcare spending goes toward the treatment of mental health conditions and stress-related chronic diseases that can be managed and even prevented, like heart disease and diabetes.

*EXAMINER – A LOOK BACK:


July 1959. “Actor Charlton Heston at the site of his house being constructed in Coldwater Canyon, a hillside community above Beverly Hills. Includes Heston inspecting construction and wiring; playing with son Fraser; looking at house plans with wife Lydia.” Photo by Earl Theisen for the Look magazine assignment “The house that Ben-Hur built.

*EXAMINER – LENS:

Warren Higgs says his kidneys “grow continuously,” and are crushing his lungs and heart.


*EXAMINER – BUSINESS: MOVIEPASS WAS SHADY


 
Remember MoviePass? It’s the now-defunct startup that offered unlimited theater movies for a cheap monthly subscription price of $9.95. Many were skeptical of the business model, which seemed to go against the laws of… math.

The business math was so bad…
… that MoviePass — which started its wild all-you-can-watch experiment in 2017 — turned into a slow-burning dumpster fire. Turns out when your costs (full movie ticket price) are significantly higher than your revenue (cheap monthly subscription), business not good. It culminated in MoviePass’ parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics shutting down the company in 2019 and declaring bankruptcy early last year.

How MoviePass screwed customers
Details of the company’s shady tactics come from a Federal Trade Commission investigation. To stop people from watching (and slow its cash burn):

· Account passwords were falsely invalidated for “suspicious activity or potential fraud”

· A bogus ticket verification process was implemented to create friction

As if this wasn’t enough, MoviePass grossly mishandled customer data. An FTC settlement with the company’s execs is meant to prevent any future business tomfoolery.


*EXAMINER – MUSIC:

Billie Eilish sketches a creepy, controlling, exploitative relationship on “Your Power,” a single from her July album “Happier Than Ever.”

*(NOTABLE) REMARKS:

‘People Are Afraid to Speak Honestly’ They meet once a month on Zoom: a dozen doctors from around the country with distinguished careers in different specialities. They vary in ethnicity, age and sexual orientation. Some work for the best hospitals in the U.S. or teach at top medical schools. Others are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable populations in their communities.  The meetings are largely a support group. The members share their concerns about what’s going on in their hospitals and universities, and strategize about what to do. What is happening, they say, is the rapid spread of a deeply illiberal ideology in the country’s most important medical institutions.  This dogma goes by many imperfect names — wokeness, social justice, critical race theory, anti-racism — but whatever it’s called, the doctors say this ideology is stifling critical thinking and dissent in the name of progress. They say that it’s turning students against their teachers and patients and racializing even the smallest interpersonal interactions. Most concerning, they insist that it is threatening the foundations of patient care, of research, and of medicine itself. —- Katie Herzog

*THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT: (Make Up Your Own Mind) – READ LBN EXAMINER:

Chloe from Paris, France has been reading LBN Examiner since October 2014

*EXAMINER – HEALTH: INTERMITTENT FASTING IS ‘NOTHING SPECIAL’ FOR WEIGHT LOSS:

Intermittent fasting approaches to weight loss such as alternate day fasting or the ‘5:2’ diet have exploded in popularity in recent years. Now, a new study is challenging intermittent fasting’s claim as the most effective weight loss avenue. Researchers from the University of Bath report that at the end of the dieting day there’s “nothing special” about the restrictive diet. You’ve probably seen miraculous body transformations attributed to fasting on social media, or perhaps noticed a celebrity or two endorsing some variety of intermittent fasting. On the scientific side of things, however, research supporting intermittent fasting as a cut above all other traditional diets is lacking. Consequently, the team at UB set up a randomized control trial with 36 volunteers separated into three experimental groups:

  • Group 1 fasted on alternate days, with researchers asking them to eat 50 percent more than usual on eating days.
  • Group 2 reduced calories across all meals every day by 25 percent. This group represented more traditional dieting strategies.
  • Group 3 fasted on alternating days like group 1, but ate a full 100 percent more food than usual on eating days.

Ultimately, both groups 1 and 3 ended up losing less weight than participants in group 2. This held up even when calorie intake was virtually identical across groups.

*WHO READS LBN EXAMINER?:

Actor Stephen Fry, 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 – LENS:


   “I’ve held onto it the way you hold on to something you love,” Stephen King said about “Lisey’s Story,” the rare novel he has adapted for TV himself.

*EXAMINER – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

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LBN Examiner 6/20/2021

*WITH JUNETEENTH, FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NOW GET 44 PAID DAYS OFF EACH YEAR:

With the stroke of his pen, President Joe Biden signed legislation giving millions of federal employees Friday off to celebrate Saturday’s new federal holiday, Juneteenth. This makes 44 paid days off for the average federal employee annually, which is nearly nine full weeks of paid-time off each year. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The Civil War was America’s bloodiest war, with between 752,000 and 861,000 soldiers dying on the battlefield. 49 states have already recognized Juneteenth as a holiday (South Dakota is the only holdout), though only a handful give it as a paid holiday to state employees. On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, after the U.S. Senate passed it the day before.

Signing it into law on Thursday, Biden made Juneteenth – observed this year on Friday, June 18 — a federal holiday for which “most” federal employees will have off.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management tweeted Thursday that in observance of the federal holiday, “most federal employees will observe the holiday tomorrow, June 18”— since the 19th falls on Saturday this year. There are about 2.1 million civilian federal employees, another 1.3 million active-duty military personnel, and more than 500,000 postal service employees. Before Thursday, federal employees received pay for 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days and 20 vacation days per year on average. Our auditors at OpenTheBook.com estimate these benefits cost taxpayers $22.6 billion annually.

*’FENTANYL HAS CHANGED THE WHOLE LANDSCAPE’: SAN FRANCISCO FACES WORST DRUG EPIDEMIC EVER:

A physician, two nurses, a professional athlete, a drug dealer and a lawyer who had nodded off in court. Teenagers, specifically a 14- and a 15-year-old. And a 7-year-old who got into a stash in her mother’s purse. These are some of the types of people Dr. Christopher Colwell, the chief of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, has recently seen in the emergency room for medical issues related to fentanyl use and overdoses. “That’s just in the last couple weeks,” Colwell said. “It’s really remarkable because it runs the entire spectrum. This affects all walks of life, all folks. It’s hard to overstate how impactful it can be to anyone. It doesn’t seem to care about race or background or gender — or anything.”

Colwell said on average about 10 to 15 people who’ve taken fentanyl are treated in the San Francisco General emergency room a day, sometimes more. And that’s at just one hospital in the city. The majority of people are found passed out and brought into the emergency room by emergency medical services. Most are very sleepy and unable to stay awake. Those who are on both fentanyl and methamphetamine can be very agitated and unable to stay still. Naloxone (Narcan) is a medicine used treat a fentanyl overdose and prevent death, and when administered, patients actively vomit and sweat.

*FILTH AND FECES, REPORT FINDS INCREASE IN DIRTY SUBWAY CARS:

As people return to the subway system in New York City, they are finding more trash and filth, according to a new report. There has been a rise in soiled train cars this year according to Daily News including cases of feces, vomit, and blood. The paper cited internal MTA reports. An increase in used syringes is also being found amid growing drug use in the subway system. “Incidents like this are unfortunate. They’re unsanitary for our customers and deeply unfair and disturbing for transit cleaners. They’re also a reminder of the need for more mental health outreach and social service support in the city and throughout the system,” MTA spokesperson Andrei Berman said in a statement to the paper. Rising crime in the subway system is also a problem. Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said people just don’t feel safe riding trains. “They have to feel safe. Do they feel safe now? No,” Cuomo said at a news conference. The governor says there need to be more NYPD officers in the subway system.  

*TEXAS NEWSPAPER REFUSES TO GIVE DESCRIPTION OF SUSPECT IN MASS SHOOTING BECAUSE OF “STEREOTYPES”:

A newspaper in Texas said on Saturday that it is not publishing the description that local law enforcement gave of a man suspected of shooting 13 people on Friday night because it “could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes.” “Someone opened fire in a popular entertainment district in downtown Austin early Saturday, wounding 13 people, including two critically, before getting away,” the AP reported. “Investigators were looking into what sparked the shooting but were not able to get a detailed description of the shooter, though they believe it was a man and were going through surveillance video and other evidence, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said at a 4 a.m. news conference.” The Austin American-Statesman reported that law enforcement had “zeroed in on two suspects” believed to have been involved in the shooting. At the bottom of the Austin American-Statesman’s report, the newspaper explained that it was not going to give the description that law enforcement provided of one of the suspects.

*KEVIN HART TRASHES CANCEL CULTURE SUPPORTS: ‘SHUT THE F**K UP!

“Nobody’s perfect” seems to be the rallying cry of those opposed to cancel culture — including Kevin Hart. In an interview with the Sunday Times, the comedian and actor attacked the internet trend, saying, “Shut the f–k up!” Cancel culture — the viral phenomenon of “canceling” people, brands, companies, and shows because of problematic ideologies either from the past or present — has changed comedy, according to Hart, 41. Things that used to be funny or accepted are now cancellable, and the possibility of old stand-up bits and tweets resurfacing could “bite you in the ass.” The only way to grow, he said, is to mess up and learn from it. “If you allow it to have an effect on you, it will. Personally? That’s not how I operate,” Hart told the UK outlet. “I understand people are human. Everyone can change.” Hart, having been canceled a number of times in recent years, also reflected on stepping down from hosting the Oscars in 2019 after receiving backlash on the internet over homophobic tweets and old jokes.

*SPEAKER TELLS HIGH SCHOOL GRADS THEY’RE ENTERING A WORLD OF “CAPITALISM” AND “WHITE SUPREMACY” ENCOURAGES THEM TO REMEMBER “JIHAD” AND REJECT OBJECTIVITY:

 A school board member gave a graduation speech in which she told a mainly-immigrant class of high schoolers that they were entering a world filled with “racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, [and] white supremacy,” and encouraged them to remember their “jihad” and reject the concepts of objectivity and neutrality. Fairfax County school board member Abrar Omeish gave the keynote address at the commencement for Justice High School in Falls Church, Virginia on June 7.  The ceremony began with a ceremony in which JROTC military cadets were the only people at the graduation who wore masks. 

The class president then led what she called “the nation’s anthem,” referring to the pledge of allegiance, in which she said the U.S. was “one nation under Allah.” Omeish was out of view of the camera, but a picture from another recent graduation shows her as the only person without her hand over her heart during the pledge. The president of the student government then introduced Omeish by noting that she was “Virginia co-chair for the Bernie Sanders campaign” and that her father, Esam Omeish, was a “leader and a board member of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center” who “raised his daughter to be an outspoken woman.”

*EXAMINER – HALF WAY YEAR REPORT – 2021:


MARKETS: YEAR-TO-DATE
 
Nasdaq 14,069.42 +9.16%  
S&P 4,247.44 +13.08%  
Dow 34,479.60 +12.65%  
Bitcoin $38,905.50 +34.15%  
10-Year 1.453% +53.4 bps  
Ethereum $2,519.50 +241.49%  

*HE WILL BE MISSED:


Actor Ned Beatty recently passed away at age 83. He had been a loyal reader of this LBN Examiner for over a decade and will be missed.

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

 While the buttercup looks innocent, it is among the more deadly garden plants. If eaten, this innocent-looking flower can cause painful death resulting from organ and nervous system intoxication.
*(NOTABLE) REMARKS:


Recently we marked the 77th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. On that day, Operation Overlord began, launching the Allied invasion of Europe that would spell the beginning of the end of the Nazi regime. At least 4,400 Allied troops died in the Normandy landings, and another 10,000 were wounded. As the invasion started, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took to the radio airwaves to ask Americans to join him in prayer: “Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity … let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. “Nearly eight decades later, President Joe Biden had nothing to say or tweet about the D-Day anniversary. Breaking with bipartisan precedent, Mr. Biden remained silent on that topic. The next day, however, Mr. Biden did tweet something noteworthy about bravery: “To transgender Americans across the country — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know your President has your back.”

Bravery circa 1944: young men charging from the choppy seas of the English Channel onto the corpse-strewn beaches of Normandy, hellfire raining down upon them, to liberate a continent. Bravery circa 2021: young men identifying as women, and vice versa. Our definitions of bravery have shifted rather dramatically. Our old definition of courage used to comport with the Aristotelian notion of virtue. The virtue of courage — andreia, or manliness, in Greek — lay in recognition of serious risk in pursuit of a heroic telos, a final end. “The courageous man withstands and fears those things which it is necessary (to fear and withstand), and on account of the right reason,” Aristotle explains in “Nichomachean Ethics.” Courage is calculated and calm risk-taking for the sake of the noble and the good.

Not anymore. Now, courage lies in authenticity. Authenticity has not been, until recently, conflated with courage. In fact, authenticity very often cut directly against the virtue of courage: After all, wallowing in the solipsistic generally involves ignoring the demands of a higher noble goal. But now, our higher virtue isn’t in upholding and defending some standard for civilization at risk to ourselves. Higher virtue lies in finding our personal truths, and then demanding applause from the rest of the world. Heroism lies in forcing the world to bow before our subjective ideas of truth and decency. —- Ben Shapiro

*EXAMINER – A LOOK BACK:

Clinton Engineer Works, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1944. “Calutron Girls — Gladys Owens (foreground), one of the workers monitoring ‘Calutron’ mass spectrometers at the Y-12 uranium isotope separation and enrichment plant. Like many of these women, she did not realize the significance of her work in the development of the first atomic bomb until long after the war had ended.

*EXAMINER – LENS:

Madonna, age 62, marked her return to New York with a series of sexy selfies.

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*EXAMINER – SEE IT:

Gondoliers help tourists to board gondolas, as the region of Veneto becomes a “white zone”, following a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions with only masks and social distancing required, in Venice, Italy, June 7, 2021.*THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT – MAKE UP YOUR OWN (DAMN) MIND: READ LBN EXAMINER

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*P.R. PRIME ROCKETS TO TOP GOOGLE NEWS RANKING

In just over one year, the new, innovative press release writing and distribution service P.R. Prime (www.PRPrime.net) has rocked to the top rankings of Google News, the world’s largest news portal with over thousands of views per month.  Google News is a news aggregator service developed by Google. It presents a continuous flow of links to articles organized by thousands of publishers and magazines. Google News is available as an app on Android, iOS, and the Web. Google released a beta version in September 2002 and the official app in January 2006. P.R. Prime, which offers a low-cost high-impact press release writing and distribution service has been used by clients throughout the world will outstanding results including a 90% effectiveness rate in achieving the Number 1 position in Google News.

“What clients throughout the world seemed to most love about pure prime is that its low-cost high impact and comes with a complete 100% satisfaction guarantee. There is no risk for the client. If for any reason a client is not satisfied they simply get 100% refund no questions asked” said P.R. Prime managing director Aurora DeRose. P.R. Prime writes and distributes press releases for clients and then sends them to specially targeted media including radio television newspaper magazines and the Internet. And it can all be done in as little as 48 hours. “PR prime is a remarkable innovation!” said P.R. Prime client Dr. Jay Grossman, founder of the acclaimed veteran’s homeless charity homeless not toothless — homelessnottoothless.org.

For additional pricing information on PR prime please feel free to contact your order at Aurora411@TimeWire.net.
*WHO READS LBN EXAMINER?:

Former Los Angeles and New York City Police Chief Bill Bratton 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 – A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

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LBN Examiner 6/13/2021

*AMERICA HAS A DRINKING PROBLEM:

Americans tend to drink in more dysfunctional ways than people in other societies, only to become judgmental about nearly any drinking at all. Again and again, an era of overindulgence begets an era of renunciation: Binge, abstain. Binge, abstain. Right now we are lurching into another of our periodic crises over drinking, and both tendencies are on display at once. Since the turn of the millennium, alcohol consumption has risen steadily, in a reversal of its long decline throughout the 1980s and ’90s. Before the pandemic, some aspects of this shift seemed sort of fun, as long as you didn’t think about them too hard. In the 20th century, you might have been able to buy wine at the supermarket, but you couldn’t drink it in the supermarket. Now some grocery stores have wine bars, beer on tap, signs inviting you to “shop ’n’ sip,” and carts with cup holders.

Actual bars have decreased in number, but drinking is acceptable in all sorts of other places it didn’t used to be: Salons and boutiques dole out cheap cava in plastic cups. Movie theaters serve alcohol, Starbucks serves alcohol, zoos serve alcohol. Moms carry coffee mugs that say things like This Might Be Wine, though for discreet day-drinking, the better move may be one of the new hard seltzers, a watered-down malt liquor dressed up—for precisely this purpose—as a natural soda. Even before COVID-19 arrived on our shores, the consequences of all this were catching up with us. From 1999 to 2017, the number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. doubled, to more than 70,000 a year—making alcohol one of the leading drivers of the decline in American life expectancy. These numbers are likely to get worse: During the pandemic, frequency of drinking rose, as did sales of hard liquor. By this February, nearly a quarter of Americans said they’d drunk more over the past year as a means of coping with stress.

Explaining these trends is hard; they defy so many recent expectations. Not long ago, Millennials were touted as the driest generation—they didn’t drink much as teenagers, they were “sober curious,” they were so admirably focused on being well—and yet here they are day-drinking White Claw and dying of cirrhosis at record rates. Nor does any of this appear to be an inevitable response to 21st-century life: Other countries with deeply entrenched drinking problems, among them Britain and Russia, have seen alcohol use drop in recent years.

*IRAN STEPS UP EFFORTS TO SOW DISCORD INSIDE THE U.S.:

Iranian state actors are intensifying their disinformation campaign on social media to spread discord and anti-Semitic tropes inside the U.S., two U.S. intelligence officials say. Social media accounts tracked to troll farms run by the Iranian government have ramped up disinformation after several major events this year, including Biden’s effort to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, the April 14 announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin on April 20, and the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas that started on May 10. “It’s a significant level of activity,” one official tells TIME. “It’s active enough that we’re tracking it.” The officials did not offer details on the specific disinformation activity after the events.

But within days of the conflict beginning last month in Israel and Gaza Twitter accounts linked to Iran were amplifying anti-Semitic messages in English, including the phrases “hitler was right” and “kill all jews” at a rate of 175 times per minute, according to analysis by Network Contagion Research Institute, which studies disinformation and is affiliated with Rutgers University and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “You’ve seen tons of misinformation,” says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the ADL, which monitors hate speech in the U.S. “Many of them have been Tweets associated with troll armies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The new spike in online provocations follows months of intense activity by Iran during the 2020 presidential campaign, when Tehran spread messages aimed at amplifying existing social divisions with the U.S and hurting former President Donald Trump’s chances of winning re-election, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. While Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 and 2020 elections and undermine trust in American democracy have been well documented, less is publicly known about Iran’s increasing online influence operations inside the U.S. “Russia wrote the playbook, but others are using it,” says the U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal analysis.

*BLM INFIGHTING GETS UGLY AS MEMBERS BLAST NATIONAL GROUP AMID SPENDING CONTROVERSY:

Dissident members of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters are demanding more accountability and transparency from the BLM Global Network in the wake of revelations about co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ lavish spending. Cullors announced she would resign from her post as executive director of the organization in late May, amid controversy over the group’s finances. She’s been in the spotlight for lavish spending on real estate., including a $1.4 million LA home she encircled with a $35,000 electric fence. BLM10Plus, comprised of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters and some of BLM’s newer chapters, repeated calls Friday for the BLM Global Network’s leadership, to open the books about the structure of the sprawling organization.

In a statement Friday, it said the public should know about how many chapters there are, how the various legal entities under the Global Network are related to each other, the salaries of staff members and the founders, deals with contractors and more. “The little we do know, has come from persistent requests for transparency over the years,” said the statement, which is titled, “Tell No Lies.” It described tangled negotiations involving where official chapters were located and which ones got funding.

*PRISON BREAK: 29 INMATES ESCAPE FEDERAL LOCKUPS IN 18 MONTHS

Over the past 18 months, 29 prisoners have escaped from federal lockups across the U.S. — and nearly half still have not been caught. At some of the institutions, doors are left unlocked, security cameras are broken and officials sometimes don’t notice an inmate is missing for hours. At one Texas lockup, security is so lax that local law enforcement officials privately joke about its seemingly “open-door policy.” Prisoners have broken out at lockups in nearly every region of the country. Twelve of the inmates who escaped in 2020 — from prisons in Florida, California, Louisiana, Texas, and Colorado — remain at large. Two others who escaped since January this year have also not yet been caught. Their crimes include racketeering, wire fraud, bank robbery, possession of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and other drugs.

*YIKES – HEAVIER PASSENGERS ON PLANES MEAN NEW SAFETY LIMITS FOR AIRLINES:

Passengers keep getting bigger. Now airlines must account more accurately for that. The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring updates to passenger and baggage weight estimates that airlines use to keep each flight within airplane safety limits. Each U.S. airline must submit a plan by June 12 explaining which average weights for passengers and baggage they’ll use, down to phones and clothing, and how they estimated those weights. The FAA must approve each airline’s plan. Airline officials say the weight estimates used for passengers and baggage are going up between 5% and 10%. That will affect some flights, possibly requiring that more passengers get bumped or more baggage left behind. Impact is likelier on unusually hot days and in cities higher above sea level, when the weight an airplane can safely carry is reduced because wings won’t generate as much lift. Flights into stiff headwinds that require more fuel also may face more weight issues.

*TINDER USERS CAN NOW BLOCK EVERYONE THEY KNOW IN REAL LIFE:

Ever embarrassingly come across a colleague — or, gulp, an ex — on Tinder and think to yourself while shaking your head: “Did that really just happen?” This week, the popular dating app is fixing that.  Tinder is introducing a brand-new feature called Block Contacts that will allow users to avoid awkward encounters with exes, cousins, bosses or just about anyone they would rather not see — or be seen by. The new feature will allow users to block any or all of their phone contacts within the app. “We may not be able to save you from awkward run-ins at the coffee shop, but we are giving you more control over your experience on Tinder,” said Bernadette Morgan, the company’s group product manager for trust and safety. “We’re rolling out Block Contacts as an additional resource empowering members with peace of mind by helping create a worry-free space for them to spark new connections.”

*SHOPLIFTERS SKYROCKETS IN SAN FRANCISCO, FORCING RETAILERS TO CLOSE STORES:

Shoplifting has become so rampant in San Francisco that retailers are closing stores. The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this month that stores like Walgreens and CVS are closing locations in the city due to “out of control” shoplifting. The outlet spoke to 77-year-old John Susoeff, who used to pick up his prescriptions at a Walgreens two blocks from his home until it closed in March. Now he has to walk six blocks to the next nearest pharmacy. Susoeff sometimes requires a cane to walk, and also picks up prescriptions for his neighbors who have mobility issues. “It’s terrible,” he told the Chronicle, explaining that almost everything in the store was locked up just before it closed. “I don’t blame them for closing.” A nearby CVS closed in 2019 after similar issues, the outlet reported.The problem, retailers told the Chronicle, is apparently organized retail crime:

Retailers attributed a majority of losses to professional thieves instead of opportunistic shoplifters who may be driven by poverty, with one CVS leader calling San Francisco a hub of organized retail crime. Losses have shuttered drugstores providing vital services, even more critical during the pandemic as some stores give out vaccines. “This has been out of control,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who held a hearing Thursday with retailers, police, the district attorney and probation departments. “People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly. We can’t just as a city throw up our hands and say this is OK. We have to come up with solutions.” The increase in shoplifting has caused Walgreens to close 17 locations in San Francisco over the past five years. It still has 53 locations.

*EXAMINER – READER QUESTION:

Add cheap weed to California’s growing list of vaccination incentives. A Contra Costa County cannabis dispensary is offering select products for a penny to anyone with a valid COVID-19 vaccine card.

Do you approve or disapprove? Send your reply to: LBNExaminer@TimeWire.net

*EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:

Mattel created a Barbie made from recycled plastic that was destined for the ocean.

*EXAMINER – A LOOK BACK:

Actor Michael Keaton 2015 at the Oscars.

*EXAMINER – LENS:


A tax-policy protest near a mansion owned by Jeff Bezos in Washington.

*IT’S TIME TO GET BACK IN THE GAME – READ LBN EXAMINER:



*EXAMINER – HEALTH: PLANT-BASED EATERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO GET SEVERE

Vegetarians are missing out on more than just meat — and it’s a good thing. Researchers have revealed a link between diet and COVID-19 which showed plant-based eaters were 73% less likely to come down with the virus compared to those who include animals in their diet. Meanwhile, pescatarians, whose primary protein source is fish, were at a 59% lower risk. The new study, published in The BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, based these findings on a self-reported questionnaire submitted by a total of 2,884 individuals, all healthcare workers, from six European countries, 568 of which had had confirmed cases of the coronavirus during the previous year. Among those cases, 138 said they suffered moderate to severe symptoms, while the remaining 430 experienced mild effects of the respiratory illness.  
*EXAMINER – SEE IT:

In “Kevin Can ____ Himself,” Annie Murphy plays the latest in a long line of knockout sitcom wives married to schlubby guys. But this time, she’s had enough.
(NOTABLE) REMARKS:

From time to time, I make sure to re-read George Orwell’s classic essay, “Politics And The English Language.” It remains the best guide to writing non-fiction, and it usually prompts a wave of self-loathing even more piercing than my habitual kind. What it shows so brilliantly is how language itself is central to politics, that clarity is as hard as it is vital, and that blather is as lazy as it is dangerous. It’s dangerous because the relationship between our words and our politics goes both ways: “[The English language] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” We create language and language creates us. If the language is corrupted, so are we.

Near the end of the essay, Orwell lists a few rules to keep writing clear, accessible and meaningful:

i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Originality, simplicity, brevity, active verbs, everyday language, decency: as simple as it is very, very hard. It’s a relief in a way to recall that Orwell thought things were pretty damn shitty in his day as well, but the more you read broadly across most elite media platforms these days, the more similar it all sounds. To reverse Orwell’s virtues: so much of it is repetition, complexity, length, passive verbs, endless jargon, barbarism.
—– Andrew Sullivan *THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT – MAKE UP YOUR OWN (DAMN) MIND: READ LBN EXAMINER



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