ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSINGS SURGE TO HIGHEST OF BIDEN’S TERM:
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:
** 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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EXAMINER – INVESTIGATES:
** 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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Examiner – Reader Poll:
SHOULD LOW-LEVEL SOLDIERS BE TRIED FOR ALLEGED WAR CRIMES?
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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.
Examiner – A Different View:…
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