LBN Examiner 01/29/2023


Spotify became the latest tech giant to shrink its staff, announcing it would cut ~600 workers, or 6% of its workforce. That brings the total number of tech layoffs in 2023 to ~57K, following ~159K in 2022, according to The Great Reduction is happening in a labor market that, for the most part, is humming along just fine. Why is it 2023 for most industries and 2000 all over again for tech? For one thing … tech companies hired a ton of employees from 2020 to early 2022, when it seemed Americans might never leave their homes again. Alphabet said it would slash 12K jobs on Friday after adding 30K+ jobs in 2022, per the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft said it would cut ~10K jobs last week after adding 40K in the last fiscal year. Basically, tech companies are backing away from staff counts they believed were necessary for a tech-centric future that hasn’t come to fruition.

Cosmetic Surgeon Performing Trans Surgeries Reportedly Posts Photo Of 15-Year-Old Girl With Breasts Removed:

A North Carolina cosmetic surgeon who posts photos of patients on whom she has performed radical surgeries to remove their breasts or genitalia reportedly posted a photo of a 15-year-old girl who had her breasts removed. Dr. Hope Sherie, a “double board-certified surgeon with over two decades of experience and a gift for long-term client relationships,” according to her website, had formerly served as an Air Force surgeon. Sherie’s website includes “before” and “after” photos of clients who have had the radical surgeries and one photo allegedly showed a 15-year-old who underwent a double mastectomy.

Miami-Based Restaurant Asks Fox News Analyst To Leave Over Conservative Political Views, Interaction Resembles ‘Jim Crow South’ Commentator Says:

Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell criticized North Miami, Florida, restaurant owners after the food establishment asked the conservative commentator to leave the eatery due to his political views. Paradis Books and Bread owners kicked Caldwell out of the restaurant, claiming the “behavior” and “words” of the group he dined with made the employees and other patrons in the space “very uncomfortable.” Caldwell explained the situation to “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Rachel Campos-Duffy, noting that the group had discussed several topics, including working at the legacy media outlet, values, violent crime, and progressive district attorneys. Restaurant owners then approached Caldwell and his companions, saying they were “not welcomed there because we aren’t politically aligned.” “This situation reminds me of something that MLK said in 1963, a very simple truth,” he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – and what I experienced yesterday, me and some of my neighbors, who I’m just getting to know, was an injustice.”

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NYC Bodegas Padlock Laundry Detergent As Shoplifting Scourge Hits New Low:

Desperate Bronx grocers are cracking down on serial thieves by slipping steel chains through the handles of laundry detergent bottles and securing them with padlocks – a new low in the shoplifting scourge across the Big Apple. “I put the detergent in jail,” lamented Jose Dario Collado, owner of Yankee Food Deli in University Heights, which began locking up $27.99 bottles of Tide and $12.99 containers of Dreft because thieves were cleaning up – to the tune of at least $1,000 a month in detergent alone. “Before the pandemic, New York was the best. Now, I don’t know what happened to the people,” huffed Collado. Four miles away at Pamela’s Green Deli in Crotona Park East, the ‘Tide’ has also turned. Near the back of the store, $21.99 bottles of Gain and $6.99 bottles of Era detergents are secured with a yellow chain and Tuff Stuff padlocks.

Study Shows Potential Link Between Eating Meat and Multiple Sclerosis Development:

Several genetic and environmental factors cause multiple sclerosis and a new report suggests these may include eating meat and having a less diverse gut. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. There is no singular cause of MS, but some research suggests outside factors such as where a person lives or their diet can influence their risk of having it. Gut bacteria are of particular interest because certain bacterial species regulate the immune response and are affected by a person’s diet. The team studied the gut microbiome, immune response, diet, and blood metabolites of 25 people with multiple sclerosis and 24 healthy people who served as a control group. The strongest association towards multiple sclerosis came from eating meat. People who eat high amounts of meat were more likely to have lower amounts of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron in their microbiome. This bacterial species plays an important role in breaking down carbohydrates from vegetables.

by Nellie Bowles:

** Four months ago I believed I gave birth to a perfect angel. In an unexpected twist, our daughter – whom I have extended meetings with at 1 A.M., 3 A.M., and 5 A.M. – appears to be an active member of ISIS, sent here to break us.

** On Amtrak, one breakdown this week was so extreme, so inexplicable, that passengers began assuming they’d been taken hostage. An accident along a track between Virginia and Florida added 12 hours to one train’s journey. Staff needed to be switched out. At one point, panicked passengers started calling 911. You know it’s bad when you, as a train conductor, have to reassure your passengers they are not hostages in a terrorist plot: “Once again, for those of you calling the police, we are not holding you hostage. We are giving you all the information we have and apologize for the inconvenience.” I used to like Pete Buttigieg because he was my type of politician (a technocratic McKinsey shill with a sassy partner) but McKinsey would never put up with this.

** More drugs and surgery for kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics this week came out with new recommendations: Obese children should be given weight loss drugs and surgery at ages as young as 12 and 13, respectively. Now, that is probably the right thing to do for severely obese children. But also: The new recommendations argue that “obesity is a chronic disease.” Obesity, in the new mindset, can never be about choices. It is not a lifestyle problem. The message is: body positivity and junk food are a-ok (can’t be shaming anyone!) until the American medical establishment can profit, and then it’s a sharp pivot to hardcore drugs and surgery. It’s cheap, government-subsidized corn products shoveled into school lunches, then a series of expensive drugs for chemically imbalanced adolescents. There is no middle ground. One thing I noticed in the new pediatric guideline is they use the word overweight in a way I’d never seen. It goes: “youth with overweight and obesity.” As in: “This is the AAP’s first clinical practice guideline (CPG) outlining evidence-based evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity.” Obesity and “overweight” is a disease you catch. …

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Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** Over the years, when I felt twinges of envy, gazing at other people’s glamorous travelogues on Instagram or visiting friends who seemed to have the perfect lives, I summoned these comforting lines: The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. It is a fantastic reminder that people who seem to have it all – looks, talent, money, love – can make themselves miserable, while people who are not blessed with any of those things can be perfectly content. It is within our own power to be happy – or to self-destruct. —- Maureen Dowd

** It began with a joke. Actually, it was a retweet of a joke. The Washington Post’s politics reporter David Weigel retweeted the following joke … “Every girl is bi. You just have to figure out if it’s polar or sexual.” I know what you’re thinking: Call the police on this man immediately. I smirked when I read it. Not a full laugh, but a chuckle. Weigel apologized for the “offensive joke” later the same day: “I apologize and did not mean to cause any harm,” he said. But it was already too late. His colleague, Felicia Sonmez, had seized on the tweet, starting a public shaming of Weigel as a sexist. She’s spent the past few days reposting others calling her a hero; slamming one colleague who was silly enough to defend Weigel; posting about that colleague and tagging the bosses. Oh, and throwing editors under the bus (repeatedly). Never mind collegiality or handling minor disputes privately. Never mind that Weigel quickly took down the post and apologized for the poor taste. Never mind that they were friends and he had signed onto a petition in support of her as she geared up to sue the paper for discrimination (that suit was dismissed with prejudice by a D.C. judge in March). It was David Weigel’s time to be punished. “I have long considered Dave a good friend,” Sonmez wrote. “It’s painful and confusing when friends say and do things that are wrong, and makes it all the more uncomfortable to call them out – even though it’s necessary to do so.” The Post’s response … was not to chide Sonmez for indiscretion, or to suggest a Twitter time-out, but to suspend David Weigel for a month without pay. —- Bari Weiss

** DeSantis, unlike Ronald Reagan, is a supremely practical man. To the two dozen Floridians interviewed for this story, the governor is more defined by his actions than his ideology: He kept the schools open and taxes low. Period. Even the culture-war bombs he’s tossed – like going head to head with the Magic Kingdom over the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill – served to squeeze tax dollars out of a massive corporation. (This is, in fact, disputable. The showdown, which led Florida to strip Disney World of its independent status, may force nearby county governments to pay for services once covered by Disney.) While Reagan was a mythical figure, a movie star who trafficked in big, sweeping ideas, who liked to tell big, Hollywood-esque stories about himself and America, DeSantis is none of that. When you talk to people who like DeSantis, they use words like “effective” and “chief executive” – boring words, words that feel, in this moment of great national stasis, kind of reassuring. —- Olivia Reingold, politics and culture staff writer, The Free Press

** It’s dawning on many on the political center and right that the current younger generation in America is not like previous younger generations. They’re immaturing with age. Zoomers and Millennials are further to the left to begin with and, more critically, don’t seem to be moving rightward as they age. —- Andrew Sullivan

** Like many Americans, I’ve gone on a real journey with Harry and Meghan. When they first got together, I loved everything about what they symbolized. I loved that she was a California girl. I loved that they seemed so genuinely in love. But by the time the Sussexes landed on that Montecito veranda with Oprah I had been reduced to just one reaction: Oy. I didn’t think it could get more uncomfortable. I clearly suffer from a lack of imagination. —- Martin Clarke

** The war in Ukraine was a cascade of failures, and at the top is Putin’s own misguidedness, his own isolation and his own conviction that he knew what was best. The Russian military was unprepared all the way down to a tactical level, like using Soviet-era maps. Like using their cellphones to call home, which gave away their positions and allowed them to be ambushed or attacked. There wasn’t enough food to feed the soldiers. We got hold of actual copies of some of the invasion plans that some of the Russian military units had, which showed them expecting to race toward Kyiv within hours of invading. Russian military leaders didn’t think they’d need any reinforcements. I talked to many people who knew Putin personally, and they told me that the decision to go to war was based on his gut feeling. Putin didn’t seem to think he needed advice on the wisdom of this invasion. Putin was convinced that he knew best, that he understood Ukraine and its place in history as well as his own. —- Anton Troianovski, New York Times

** “Twenty-five is the new 18,” said The Scientific American in 2017, pointing to research that extended adolescence is a byproduct of affluence and progress in society. Which is why the finiteness of a mid-thirties half-life is such a surprise to those in their 20s and 30s. It runs counter to every meme and piece of advice young people receive about building a career, a family, a company and in turn, a country. If you still believe you’re a child at 30, there may be a hot crypto exchange in the Bahamas looking for a buyer. —- Katherin Boyle

Fans Bid Farewell To Disney World’s Splash Mountain As It Closed After 30 Years Due To Racism Assertions:

Disney World’s iconic Splash Mountain ride just went on its final run, and some people are not happy about it. Fans took to social media to share a retrospective of the water ride’s decades-long past, including footage of the doors to the ride closing for the very last time. The hashtag “goodbyesplashmountain” currently has 1.7 million views on TikTok. “I will miss you forever. Goodbye, Splash Mountain,” one video caption read. Another video noted that the line to board the ride was two hours long on its last operating day. Enterprising park visitors allegedly took water from the log flume and were reselling it on Ebay (sic) for up to fifty dollars per bottle. The ride opened in 1992 and has been a popular staple of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ever since, with celebrities like Princess Diana going for a ride. But the company announced in 2020 that it would shut down Splash Mountain, which was accused of having racist themes, in favor of creating a more inclusive Princess Tiana-themed ride in its place.


** How the invention of the microwave was an accident. WATCH

** Disney prices are … going down? With Bob Iger back as CEO, select parks will offer more lower-cost days, free parking, and free digital photo downloads. READ

** The changing world population, visualized. READ

** U.S. natural disasters caused $165B in damages in 2022, per an analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. READ

** Representative George Santos’s campaign commissioned a study of his background in 2021, and the results were so alarming that his own vendors urged him to drop out. READ

** Why flying on an airplane stopped being glamorous. WATCH

** Researchers identify a single protein that blocks a wide range of toxins in rattlesnake venom; may lead to improved treatments for snake bites, which cause 120,000 worldwide deaths each year. READ

** How the second half of “I Have a Dream” was spontaneous. WATCH

** Mars is ditching its M&Ms “spokescandies” over conservative backlash accusing the characters of being “woke.” Maya Rudolph will become the candy’s spokesperson instead. READ


For too long, companies have relied on offering ideas only by supplying data, numbers, statistics, analytics, and so on. We’ve heard for years now that “PowerPoint is dead,” yet time and again this is the expected form of communicating an idea or proposal. Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers in the use of simple images and one-line concepts to support his verbal storytelling. TED Talks have carried that practice forward and their world-class speakers are expected to speak in simple narratives, using stories and powerful imagery to convey their messages.

School Board Orders Dress Code After Trans Teacher With Giant Fake Breasts Sparks Protests:

A Canadian school board has demanded a new “professional” dress code for teachers following months of backlash over a trans teacher with “clownish” giant prosthetic breasts. Trustees on the Halton District School Board unanimously passed a motion on January 3 ordering the director of education to develop a policy to ensure “appropriate and professional standards of dress and decorum in the classroom.” The district’s Director of Education Curtis Ennis will have until March 1 to create the policy. “The HDSB’s commitment to human rights remains rooted in our core values and commitment to each and every student and staff who identifies as a member of an underserved and underrepresented group, and our approach is informed by opinions from leading employment law firms with human rights and equity advisors,” Ennis said. “This commitment and approach will continue to be applied as the HDSB looks to fulfill this motion.”

R.A. Lee’s 5-Star Grown-Up Twist on Snow White Now An Audiobook:

A princess in peril. A queen on her trail.

Thieves Make Off With $2M In Jewels In Less Than A Minute In NYC Smash-And-Grab Heist:

A crew of masked thieves pulled off a brazen smash-and-grab heist at a high-end Brooklyn jewelry store – making off with up to $2 million in gems in less than a minute. Employees and shoppers were still inside Facets Jewelry in Park Slope, New York, when the three crooks stormed in, threatened to shoot a worker, and began smashing display cases with hammers, police, and witnesses said. “I am shocked,” shop owner Irina Sulay said. “Honestly, it’s very scary. I couldn’t even talk yesterday. I was hyperventilating, crying, sobbing, and shaking.” “The whole thing lasted 38 seconds. They took two and a half full cases of diamond engagement rings, newer pieces we’ve designed in-house, and pieces we’ve collected – art deco and Edwardian rings,” she said. “I want to say 100 rings,” Sulay said the stolen goods are valued at between $1 million and $2 million.

Examiner – Facts:

** Broadway recently saw its best week of ticket sales since before the pandemic.

** The Louvre has limited daily visitors by a third.

Fatal Slashings And Stabbings In NYC Are Up 37%:

Fatal stabbings and slashings are up an alarming 37% in the Big Apple this year. The NYPD has logged 96 blade-involved killings so far in 2022, compared with 70 for the same period in 2021, according to department stats. Stabbings and slashings overall are up 10% in 2022, with 4,344 compared to 3,954 last year, the stats show. The disturbing data, which cover January 1 to December 11, come as NYC was racking up 16% fewer shootings, which dropped from 1,757 to 1,474 so far this year. “Not everybody can buy a gun, so what’s the next best thing everyone has access to? A knife,” observed Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective who is now an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “There isn’t real consequences if you get arrested with a knife; it’s probably just a misdemeanor and you’re going to be given a smack on the wrist,” he added.

Examiner – Reader Poll:


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Examiner – A Different View:…

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LBN Examiner 01/22/2023


A surge in Cuban and Nicaraguan arrivals at the U.S. border with Mexico in December led to the highest number of illegal border crossings recorded during any month of Joe Biden’s presidency, authorities said. The extraordinary influx came shortly before Biden introduced measures on January 5 to deter Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. U.S. authorities stopped migrants 251,487 times along the Mexican border in December, up 7% from 234,896 times in November and up 40% from 179,253 times in December 2021, Customs and Border Protection said. Cubans were stopped nearly 43,000 times in December, up 23% from November and more than quintuple the same period a year earlier. Nicaraguans were stopped more than 35,000 times, up 3% from November and more than double from December 2021. More migrants were also stopped from Ecuador and Peru. The influx from Cuba and Nicaragua made El Paso, Texas, the busiest of the Border Patrol’s nine sectors on the Mexican border for a third month in a row. The city was overwhelmed with migrants who were released to pursue their immigration cases in the U.S. in the weeks leading up to Biden’s visit on January 8, his first to the border as president.

Cancer Deaths Plummet:

Deaths from all types of cancer in the U.S. fell by an estimated 33% since 1991, saving a cumulative 3.8 million lives, according to a report released by the American Cancer Society. Progress was attributed to improvements in cancer treatment, early detection, and significant drops in smoking. Lung, breast, and colorectal cancers account for the highest number of deaths in women. However, cervical cancer rates have dropped 65% among women ages 20-24 from 2012-19, largely credited to the introduction of the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine. For men, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers are the deadliest. The report highlighted a 3% increase in prostate cancer from 2014-19, driven by an increase in advanced disease diagnosis. To combat the rise, ACS announced an initiative to increase access to screening and treatment for prostate cancer. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 1.9 million people expected to be diagnosed with cancer resulting in an estimated 610,000 deaths this year.

TikTok’s New Plan To Avoid Getting Banned In The U.S.:

The TikTok algorithm is so good that it can basically read your mind. Now, to maintain ownership of its U.S. operations, TikTok will consider allowing third-party monitors to review its vaunted algorithm, according to The Wall Street Journal. U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher told the WSJ he fears Chinese officials could hide videos criticizing the country’s regime or highlight propaganda. About 33% of TikTok users get news from the app. In 2020, U.S. TikTok executives discovered employees in China had rejiggered the algorithm to downplay certain videos about the U.S. election. To soothe these concerns … TikTok is now sending all data from U.S. users to business partner Oracle. The potential next step is letting Oracle and other third parties review TikTok’s algorithm. The monitors would check for any manipulations to the algorithm. Concerns would be brought to TikTok leadership and potentially the U.S. government. TikTok wants to move quickly, but the process ahead may be arduous. Skepticism of TikTok runs deep among U.S. politicians, and the Chinese government would likely need to approve any deal regarding the algorithm.

Examiner – Lens:

An explosion after a Russian tank fired on an apartment building in Mariupol, Ukraine.

Jack Nicholson’s Friends Fear ‘Reclusive’ Actor Will Die Alone:

Jack Nicholson’s friends have shared concerns about the actor’s solitary lifestyle, saying they’re worried about the end game. The three-time Academy Award winner hasn’t been seen out in public in over a year as his pals claim he’s “living like a recluse.” Multiple sources told RadarOnline that the 85-year-old actor “doesn’t leave his house anymore” and that his “mind is gone,” listing concerns of possible dementia. The father-of-five was last seen at the Staples Center for a Los Angeles Lakers game with his son Ray in October 2021. Nicholson spends most – if not all – of his time in his plush Beverly Mansion, according to the report. He purchased the lavish property from his friend, the late Marlon Brando, for $5 million back in 2005. The 3,303-square-foot pad boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a pool.

Best Medicine For Curing Depression And Anxiety? Kindness, Study Suggests:

A little bit of kindness shown toward others can help beat feelings of depression and anxiety, according to a new study from The Ohio State University. Scientists report that performing good deeds leads to notable mental health improvements not seen in two other therapeutic techniques commonly used to treat the conditions. Perhaps just as importantly, study co-author David Cregg, who led the work as part of his PhD dissertation in psychology at OSU, adds that acts of kindness toward others was the only studied mental health intervention that resulted in subjects feeling more connected with other people. “Social connection is one of the ingredients of life most strongly associated with well-being. Performing acts of kindness seems to be one of the best ways to promote those connections,” Cregg explained.

Examiner – Lens:

Senator Joe Manchin walks to a morning session at the Sun Valley conference in Idaho July 7, 2022.

Wildly (Politically) Incorrect by George Vandeman:

Pronouns Update:
** This was the best one I have ever heard. Elon Musk tweets that his pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci.”

Political Correctness Update:
** Oregon has a Woke “well-being” survey for school kids. The version for 6th graders has 12 gender and sexuality options – including “two spirit,” “demiboy” and “demigirl” and “agender.” Another question asks them whether they would define themselves as a girl or a boy.

** A Massachusetts library has sparked an uproar after refusing to put up its annual Christmas tree because it made some people uncomfortable. However, the same library continues to celebrate other special events such as Pride Week and Juneteenth.

Biden’s Cabinet Update:
** Sad news. Biden’s non-binary nuclear waste guru Sam Brinton leaves his position in the Department of Energy. Sam’s pronouns were “they/their.” Probably still are. He has been charged with stealing women’s suitcases in two separate instances. His antics will be missed by the non-binary crowd.

Examiner – Lens:

Military personnel from the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps board a C-17 transport plane for deployment to Eastern Europe, amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, February 3, 2022.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** Once, when I thought of child sacrifice, I thought of ancient shibboleths. In Aeschylus, Agamemnon lures his daughter, Iphigenia, to a spot she thinks is for her wedding, as the chorus urges: “Hoist her over the altar like a yearling, give it all your strength … gag her hard.” Agamemnon agonized but felt he had to sacrifice his daughter to appease a goddess and be granted favorable winds to sail against Troy. Small sacrifice to get your fleet moving. In Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus kills his daughter, Lavinia, at the dinner table, after she has been raped and maimed by attackers. “Die, die, Lavinia!” he cries. “And thy shame with thee.” Small sacrifice to save your honor. On “Game of Thrones,” Stannis Baratheon orders his sweet child Shireen burned at the stake, as she cries out for the father she adores, so black magic will melt the snows. Small sacrifice to get your starving army on the march. Now, however, I think of child sacrifice as a modern phenomenon, a barbaric one that defines this country. We are sacrificing children, not only the ones who die, but also those who watch and those who fear the future. —- Maureen Dowd

** Although PTSD became an official diagnosis in 1980, doctors still have not found a surefire cure. “Some treatments are not helpful to some veterans and soldiers at all,” said Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and retired U.S. Army brigadier general. As many as half of veterans who seek help do not experience a meaningful decline in symptoms, and two-thirds retain their diagnosis after treatment. But there is growing evidence that MDMA – the illegal drug known as Ecstasy or Molly – can significantly lessen or even eliminate symptoms of PTSD when the treatment is paired with talk therapy. Last year, scientists reported in Nature Medicine the most encouraging results to date, from the first of two Phase 3 clinical trials. The 90 participants in the study had all suffered from severe PTSD for more than 14 years on average. Each received three therapy sessions with either MDMA or a placebo, spaced one month apart and overseen by a two-person therapist team. Two months after treatment, 67% of those who received MDMA no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis, compared with 32% who received the placebo. As in previous trials, MDMA caused no serious side effects. —- Rachel Nuwer, New York Times

** “Human beings must make difficult choices. We are no longer in Eden. The world does not flow with milk and honey.” —- Todd G. Buchholz, “New Ideas From Dead Economists,” revised edition (2007)

** In June 2020, Gordon Klein, a longtime accounting lecturer at UCLA, made the news after a student emailed him asking him to grade black students more leniently in the wake of the “unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.” Klein’s response was blunt. It stated in part: Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota. Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we’ve been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? He went on: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the “color of their skin.” Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK’s admonition? Thanks, G. Klein. Klein’s response enraged students. They organized a petition to remove him that quickly gained nearly 20,000 signatures, resulting in the professor being placed on leave and banned from campus. But the story got national attention, and a counter-petition signed by more than 76,000 people demanded his reinstatement. In less than three weeks, Klein was allowed to return to the classroom. —- John Sailer is a fellow at the National Association of Scholars

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** General Motors reclaimed its throne from Toyota as the top U.S. car seller in 2022, selling 2.27M vehicles, or 165.6K more than Toyota. READ

** Debunking common myths about food. READ

** The Association of Pickleball Professionals estimated 36.5M+ Americans played pickleball between August 2021 and August 2022. Earlier estimates pegged participation at 5M in 2021. READ

** Weirdest things TSA agents have found at airports. READ

** Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Google, Meta, and Snap alleging that the companies have profited off “causing a youth mental health crisis.” READ

Michigan And California Institutions Ban The Word ‘Field’ As Racist:

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Southern California’s school of social work have taken steps to ban the word “field” on official documents, citing racist implications. In a Monday memo, the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work informed students, faculty, and staff that it would no longer use the word “field” or “field work” in its curriculum and would now use the term “practicum” instead because the word “field” was linked to slavery.


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N.Y. Times’ Own Poll Shows Americans Reject Terms Like ‘Chestfeeding’ And ‘Latinx’:

The Big Brother of George Orwell’s “1984” was not content to simply police his subjects; he had to convert them. By changing the language from English to Newspeak, “In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” But what if the masses aren’t buying it? This week, the New York Times published an online quiz of “offensive” words, with an accompanying poll of 4,000 adults asking which terms they would or would not use. The most rejected word was “chestfeeding,” 90% of respondents say they wouldn’t use that word, while 85% say they would use “breastfeeding.” “Birthing parent”: 66% say no, while 86% say yes to “pregnant woman.”


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Examiner – Business:

** Rolls-Royce had a record 2022, selling 6,021 cars last year at an average price of $534K. Sales were up 8% annually, despite broader auto industry sales down 8%.

** Disney employees must work in-office four days a week because, per CEO Bob Iger, nothing replaces “the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together.”

** Kohler’s new $8.6K toilet brings you “the finest in personal comfort and cleansing,” AKA self-cleaning, hands-free opening, heating, and, of course, Alexa-enabled speakers.

** Much to customers’ chagrin, Ronzoni is discontinuing its tiny star-shaped pasta due to difficulties with a long-term supplier.

** Lemonflation: As COVID cases spike in China, fruits rich in vitamin C are selling there for 2x-3x their usual prices.

** A new study from a Stanford economist found learning losses among K-12 students during the pandemic could result in 5.6% lower lifetime earnings if not reversed.

** That’s cool: An iPhone 14 was in a car that fell 300 feet into a canyon. It detected the crash and automatically contacted emergency services.

** Cash is king: 82% of companies fail due to poor cash flow management.

** Dell plans to have all chips in its products made outside of China by 2024. The company is the third-largest computer manufacturer by shipments.

Broken Windows, Broken Business Book:

More Broken Windows in the Airline Industry

Frontier Airlines cut its customer service phone line, requiring passengers to instead use its website, live chat, or social media.

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Nina Totenberg Podcast “That Said” With Michael Zeldin:

Join Michael Zeldin in his conversation with Nina Totenberg about her new memoir, “Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships,” which describes her nearly 50-year relationship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It also traces her trail-blazing career in journalism including the obstacles she faced, the “Old Girls Network” of friends she made, and the importance of meaningful friendships in all of our lives.

Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR’s critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. Totenberg’s coverage of the Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition. She is often featured in documentaries – most recently RBG – that deal with issues before the Court. As Newsweek put it, “The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the crème de la crème is Nina Totenberg.” In 1991, her groundbreaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill’s charges. NPR received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage – anchored by Totenberg – of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Hill’s allegations, and for Totenberg’s reports and exclusive interview with Hill.

Listen To The Podcast

Examiner – A Different View:…

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LBN Examiner 01/15/2023


Several of the nation’s largest urban mass-transit systems are at a crossroads, with ridership still depressed three years into the pandemic and federal aid running out. While offices have largely reopened and travel has resumed, many commuters are only coming in a few days a week. That shift has left subways, buses and commuter trains operating at well below capacity – particularly on Mondays and Fridays. The ridership shortfall is forcing transit authorities to question their decades-old funding models for public buses, subways and trains, which are based on a combination of rider fares and public money. On average, fares provided about a third of the operating income for transit systems nationwide in 2019, according to the Federal Transit Administration. In major cities such as New York and San Francisco, transit authorities have been leaning on emergency funding to plug budget holes and prop up operations. In all, Congress approved about $69 billion in three separate COVID-19 relief packages in 2020 and 2021. The ridership drop also has fueled an increase in transit crime, which in turn has pushed away more riders. “The more you lose a ridership base, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a level of service that people are used to,” said P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “It’s becoming a vicious cycle.” In New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has disclosed plans to cut some Monday and Friday service and increase rider fares this year.

12 Terrorism Suspects Nabbed Sneaking Across Southern Border, According To DHS Data:

Border Patrol agents caught 12 illegal immigrants in November whose names popped on the terrorism watchlist, according to new data revealed this week by the Department of Homeland Security. That’s up from nine terrorism suspects nabbed in October and brings the total to 21 through the first two months of the fiscal year. That is well above the pace of last year, which set a record with 98 terrorism suspects nabbed. By contrast, from 2017 to 2020 – roughly matching the years of the Trump administration – Border Patrol agents caught a total of just 11 terrorism suspects at the southern border.

Billionaire Home Depot Co-Founder, 93, Blames Socialism For Destroying Capitalism:

The co-founder of Home Depot slammed “woke people,” and said nobody wants to work anymore. Bernie Marcus, 93, believes the success the company he began with Arthur Blank in 1978 couldn’t happen today because of people standing in the way of the business community. “We would end up with 15, 16 stores,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “I don’t know that we could go further.” Marcus added that he’s worried about capitalism and said thanks to socialism, “Nobody works. Nobody gives a damn. ‘Just give it to me. Send me money. I don’t want to work – I’m too lazy, I’m too fat, I’m too stupid.’” He also listed human resources executives, government bureaucrats, socialists, Harvard graduates, MBAs, Harvard MBAs, lawyers and accountants as the obstacles to entrepreneurial success in 2022.

Examiner – Lens:

A view of the dust covered sky during a sandstorm in Baghdad, Iraq, May 5.

Ozone Layer Recovery:

Earth’s ozone layer is expected to return to 1980 levels in the next few decades, according to a United Nations report released yesterday. The once-every-four-years assessment confirms the collaborative efforts of one of the world’s most successful treaties, the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which saw 198 countries agree to ban the use of ozone-depleting substances. In the 1980s, scientists discovered diminishing levels of UV-blocking ozone in the stratosphere, particularly in the Earth’s polar regions. Researchers noted chlorofluorocarbons – used widely in fire suppression, refrigerators, and aerosol sprays – broke down into ozone-depleting bromine and chlorine in the stratosphere, contributing to a decline in the ozone layer. Concerns over the damage a thinner ozone layer would have on Earth’s ecosystems led to the rapid adoption of bans on ozone-depleting substances. See the global reduction in harmful chemicals here. The report claimed average global ozone levels will reach pre-1980 levels in 2040, while the Antarctic region will do so by 2066.

Victoria’s Secret’s Brand CEO Out As Company Struggles Following Pursuit Of Wokeness:

Victoria’s Secret brand CEO Amy Hauk, who was also CEO of the company’s Pink brand, announced this week that she is leaving the company after less than a year on the job. “Amy Hauk will be stepping down as CEO of Victoria’s Secret and Pink in order to spend more time with her family in Florida,” a spokesperson for the company said. “Amy has graciously agreed to a managed transition between now and the end of March. There are no plans to replace her role.” It was reported over the summer that the company did away with the iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels, replaced models with the likes of soccer star and liberal activist Megan Rapinoe, and even hired the company’s first biologically male transgender model – but, unsurprisingly, the wokeness has not paid off. Victoria’s Secret fired 160 management-level employees over the summer at its Ohio headquarters in an effort to save the business $40 million. Notably, sales at the lingerie company dropped by 4.5% to $1.5 billion earlier in 2022, the New York Post reported, adding that comparable sales from the same period in 2021 had declined by 8%.

by Nellie Bowles:

** Just a little $1.7 trillion bill: It wasn’t a great year for anyone’s 401(k), not that you need me telling you that. The NASDAQ is down nearly 34% since the year’s start, the S&P down 20%. Tens of thousands of tech jobs have vanished. Even Goldman Sachs, that old vampire squid, is planning to lay off 8% of its workforce. But the Biden administration is ending the year flush. Biden just signed a $1.7 trillion spending bill, which had to be flown to St. Croix where he is on vacation at the home of wealthy donors. It includes another $50 billion in aid to Ukraine. Also, per the The Free Beacon: half a million in funding toward artificial intelligence that will detect microaggressions online. This is thanks to a movement that genuinely believes rude things should be illegal to post.

** November marks another record at the border: The border crisis continues to escalate, and this November saw the highest number of border crossings yet. More than 200,000 people were intercepted, and an estimated 73,000 illegal immigrants got through. This is a lot of people. The news is carefully buried by mainstream publications, whose staffers are more-or-less in favor of open borders. My thing is: If the Biden administration wants to dramatically increase immigration, at least be honest about it and help the southern states absorb all these new arrivals. Instead, the admin and the press that serves it cry racism when southern governors try to get national attention on the issue. Remember the rage over the Martha’s Vineyard stunt? All year, the social safety net in border states has been strained. The city of El Paso has declared an extended emergency.

** Where did all that Stacey Abrams campaign money go? Stacey Abrams, the progressive who twice ran and twice lost a bid for governor of Georgia, raised $100 million through her PAC this most recent time. That’s a lot of money! Yet she owes vendors at least $1 million. Maybe she should check in with her campaign chair and close friend, whose firm made at least $10 million from Abrams in 2019 and 2020. Can’t wait to see how much it was in ‘21 and ‘22.

** We have a dangerous oversupply of History PhDs: America’s graduate schools are hellbent on making thousands of unemployed people fated to wander the country reminding us that they have PhDs and that we should call them “doctor.” From Inside Higher Ed: “Between 2019 and 2020, 1,799 historians earned their PhDs, and only 175 of them are now employed as full-time faculty members.” What are the 1,624 remainders doing? Mostly screaming on Twitter, I guess? Cornering people at otherwise normal dinners to explain how their thesis shows mid-century modern furniture is homophobic? These people are highly educated, highly articulate, saddled with debt and understandably full of rage. It’s a national security issue. We should probably create special PhD playrooms for them, Potemkin faculty lounges, pretend academic journals for them to bicker about.

** MIT signs on for freedom of expression: The faculty of MIT are the latest to sign a pledge asserting that they value free expression and debate. The freedom agreement reads in part: “Learning from a diversity of viewpoints, and from the deliberation, debate, and dissent that accompany them, is an essential ingredient of academic excellence.” Yes, it is odd this even needs to be said. Who knows if they can hold to it. So many other universities haven’t.

** Meantime, Stanford says more censorship please: Sometimes there is news that is so perfectly crafted for TGIF I almost feel bad. The fruit is too low. The fish are just waiting to get shot in that barrel. This week that comes from Stanford University, which has released a list of verboten words so crazed, so long, so thorough, that it would truly take a four-year $250,000 degree to learn it. Some words that pretty soon can get you fired: basket case, blind study, blind review, handicapped, handicapped space, lame, brave, tribe, mankind, manpower, seminal (“this term reinforces male-dominated language”), stand up meeting, senile, you guys, abort, peanut gallery, American, Hispanic, user, victim, master, rule of thumb, disabled person. Even the verb submit has dangerous connotations: “the term can imply allowing others to have power over you.” Read the whole list here, and if you go to Stanford, I have this to say: You guys, do not submit to these lame basket cases. It’s a good thing Stanford administrators have nothing else to worry about …

** TikTok, a tool of the Chinese Communist Party, is running roughshod over American civil liberties. I don’t expect the American press to stand up against the CCP, which is their preferred government, but I’m surprised there’s so little appetite in Congressmen and women for anything beyond deleting it from their own phones. …

Examiner – Lens:

Samy Nemir Olivares made gender inclusivity in politics a cornerstone of his campaign for New York State Assembly last year. The caftans and dresses he wore on the trail were all part of the message.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** If a critical mass of elected officials are, in effect, OK with mass shooting deaths being a new normal in our country, then any reckoning would have to address the sad fact that after close to 250 years, America is simply broken. —- John McWhorter

** I now consider it a blessing that my best friend and I have different opinions. I think that the American policing system needs more reform than she does. I love Brown’s study-whatever-you-want, no-graduation-requirements curriculum, whereas she prefers more traditional, structured learning. We talk about these disagreements and we’re better thinkers and better friends for it. Among so many other things, she has taught me the importance of resisting the tide. I’ve taught her … something, I hope. The adults in charge too often deprive us of one of the most important human experiences: engaging with smart, thoughtful people who don’t see the world the way we do. That’s something we used to value deeply. It was assumed to be a necessary step in teaching young people how to think critically and how to govern themselves. How are we going to govern ourselves – to say nothing of our country – without it? —- Maya Rackoff

** I had always thought a primary job of the press was to be skeptical of power – especially the power of the government. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, I and so many others found that the legacy media had shown itself to largely operate as a messaging platform for our public health institutions. Those institutions operated in near total lockstep, in part by purging internal dissidents and discrediting outside experts. Twitter became an essential alternative. It was a place where those with public health expertise and perspectives at odds with official policy could air their views – and where curious citizens could find such information. This often included other countries’ responses to COVID that differed dramatically from our own. But it quickly became clear that Twitter also seemed to promote content that reinforced the establishment narrative, and to suppress views and even scientific evidence that ran to the contrary. —- David Zweig, writer for the Atlantic, New York magazine, Wired, and other outlets

** When Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, Vt., in 1981, he shocked a meeting of the Chittenden County United Way by saying, “I don’t believe in charities,” arguing that government should be responsible for providing social services. The Times reported that he brought “a shocked silence to a packed hotel banquet room.” Sanders’s opposite might be John Stossel, the libertarian commentator, who argued two years ago that charity is better than government. “Charities are free to help people who truly need help while giving a push to people who need ‘a kick in the butt.’ Government’s one-size-fits-all rules discourage that.” —- Peter Coy

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** Egg prices rose 30%+ in 2022 – the greatest increase of any grocery item – as bird flu has reduced America’s egg-laying chicken population by 5%+. READ

** When it comes to Integrating women into combat ranks, it’s worth noting that many physical requirements have been suspended because the brass couldn’t devise a test that women could pass.

** Japan is giving families 1M yen (~$7.6K) per child to move out of Tokyo and diversify aging populations throughout the country. READ

** The world’s wealthiest pets. READ

** Denmark, the world’s second-happiest nation, saw zero bank robberies in 2022 due to increased security and minimal cash use.

** Minimum wage got a bump in 23 states. Nebraska saw the largest hourly increase, from $9 to $10.50, while Washington, D.C. has the highest wage overall at $16.10. READ

Johnny Depp’s Attorney Lands New Gig:

Attorney Camille Vasquez has landed a new gig as a legal analyst with NBC News. Vasquez became a household name after she helped actor Johnny Depp win his defamation case against his former spouse, actress Amber Heard – and according to new sources, at least three national news outlets had expressed interest in working with her after the trial came to a close.


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Jail Trying To Accommodate Accused Idaho Killer’s Vegan Diet But Won’t ‘Buy New Pots And Pans’:

The Idaho jail where the man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students is being held is trying to accommodate his vegan diet requirements. Latah County Sheriff Richard Skiles told NewsNation that he hasn’t heard of anything out of the ordinary when it comes to the suspect’s behavior in jail. He did say, however, that jail officials are trying to accommodate the suspect’s vegan diet, “but we are not going to buy new pots and pans or anything like that.”

Examiner – Bookkeeping:

** Calls to poison control centers about children aged five and younger consuming marijuana edibles containing THC rose 1,375% from 2017 to 2021, study finds. READ

** Google and Meta’s combined market share of U.S. digital-ad spending falls below 50% for the first time since 2014 as Amazon and TikTok make gains. READ

** Southwest Airlines expected to report a loss of up to $825M in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to late December travel issues. READ

Bertha Mae’s Brownies:

100 years after Bertha Mae’s birth, we decided to share this recipe with the world and Bertha Mae’s Brownie Co. was born.

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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.