LBN Examiner 01/30/2022


Retail crime has been rising throughout the U.S. for the past five years, with organized criminal rings targeting stores everywhere from Woonsocket (Rhode Island) to Greensboro (North Carolina) to Grafton (Wisconsin). The National Retail Federation reported that store losses mounted from $453,940 per $1 billion in sales in 2015 to $719,458 in 2020. The biggest increase over that period happened not during the pandemic but in 2019, when total losses from shoplifting surged to $61 billion, up from $50 billion the previous year. The COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and early 2021 moderated losses, largely because stores were closed or had curtailed operating hours. Now that retailing has resumed, crime has spiked again. Shoplifting no longer fits its traditional mold as a nonviolent crime perpetrated mostly by teens or substance-abusing adults. Nearly two-thirds of the retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said that violence associated with store thefts has risen, led by organized gangs that resell the goods they steal. Like retailers, top law-enforcement officials place some of the blame for the crime surge on a widespread lessening of penalties for shoplifting. “Without deterrents and accountability, communities will be victimized, and businesses terrorized,” said Laura Cooper, head of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Golden State Tarnished: Ex-Pats Reveal ‘Why We Left California for Good’:

According to the California Policy Lab, which is affiliated with the University of California, the number of people leaving the state is up 12 percent since before COVID-19. In fact, there are more people heading out than coming in. Even before the pandemic, a survey from Edelman Intelligence found that more than half of residents in California said they wanted to high-tail it to another state. Among millennial residents, it was almost two-thirds. Chalk it up to cost of living – the 13.3% max income tax rate is the country’s highest – as well as safety and other quality of life issues. And then there are the housing prices: Per Zillow, the median home value in San Francisco is almost $1.4 million.

Ali Wolf told The New York Post she left San Francisco for Nashville, Tenn. Wolf, 32, grew up in California and had spent the bulk of her career working there as a TV anchor and reporter, most recently in San Francisco. Fed up with quality-of-life issues there, she – along with her husband and one-year-old daughter – now live in Nashville, where Wolf hosts the Mom’s Calling podcast. “Growing up in Del Mar, Calif., my best California memories are by the ocean. I’ve always cherished taking leisurely morning beach walks with the perfect weather. I started thinking about moving away shortly after moving to San Francisco for a job at one of the major Bay Area stations. That was in 2019. I covered issues as a news reporter: affordability, housing, homelessness and safety. I also experienced the effects of those same issues on my quality of life daily. My husband and I lived in a very expensive, very small one-bedroom apartment in the Nob Hill neighborhood. On the streets surrounding our home, it wasn’t uncommon to see people passed out in tents or on the sidewalk, using orange needles to shoot up. Several of my friends were mugged, attacked or assaulted on city streets. And traffic: I remember it once took me 45 minutes to drive two miles home from a simple errand in Palo Alto. I wanted to live somewhere where daily errands weren’t a hassle. My rose-colored glasses came off.”

Most Pornhub-Obsessed Cities Revealed – And New York ISN’T Top of the List:

A GLOBAL sex report has revealed the most Pornhub-obsessed cities in the world and you may be surprised at which location is on top. The research was conducted by LookFantastic with the aim of finding out how the world’s view of sex is changing in 2022. Although the report labels the U.S. as “the most sexually aware country,” it wasn’t an American city that was spotted searching for PornHub the most. London came in joint first place with Paris. London is said to be the location of 4,090,000 PornHub searches a month. Paris was also found to have the same number of PornHub searches per month. New York took second place on the list with a monthly PornHub search volume of 3,350,000. The U.S. city was joint second with Los Angeles.

Examiner – Lens:

The Ethiopian entrepreneur Sara Menker founded Gro Intelligence, which uses artificial intelligence to forecast global agricultural trends and battle food insecurity.

Illegal Alien Entered U.S. Pretending To Be Unaccompanied Minor, Murdered Man Who Took Him In:

An illegal alien from Honduras who reportedly entered the U.S. earlier this year pretending to be an unaccompanied minor went on to brutally murder a man in Florida who took him in, according to law enforcement. Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, who recently turned 24, “was busted October 7 in Jacksonville when he was found covered in blood after allegedly killing Francisco Javier Cuellar, 46, a father of four who had taken in the immigrant who told authorities he was 17,” The New York Post reported. “Ulloa, who turned 24 on Friday, had duped border authorities in Texas several months earlier by claiming he was a teenager named Reynel Alexander Hernandez – and even told his mom about the ruse.”

The Post noted that it was not clear how Ulloa made it to Florida after being detained in Texas or if he was transported across the U.S. on the Biden administration’s secret late night flights. The Post added that Cuellar’s daughter, MaryCarmen, believes that Ulloa was on one of those flights because she said that her dad went to the airport one day and then Ulloa “came out of nowhere.” “My dad seemed like he was doing a favor for somebody because where [Ulloa] came from they are super poor,” MaryCarmen told the Post. “We feel that someone asked my dad to do it. My dad was really compassionate like that, he would help someone who needed it.”

Day Trader Who Used PPP Money to Buy Tesla Stock is Thrown in Prison:

An Oregon man who lied his way into getting $3.4 million in federal COVID relief funds, before pouring it into Tesla stock, has been sent to prison for four years. Andrew Aaron Lloyd, 51, was granted forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans when he falsely said he employed hundreds of people in various home care, shopping, and construction businesses. Through “sheer dumb luck,” he transferred $1.8 million of the windfall to a brokerage account that purchased Tesla stock that soared in value to $13 million, prosecutors said. Along the way, he purchased 25 rental properties in Oregon and California valued at $5 million. However, his nine loan applications included identical employee information for different businesses, raising the suspicion of the IRS, FBI, and Small Business Administration. The feds have since seized $18 million in securities and cash from Lloyd’s accounts and, in addition to his prison sentence, he has been ordered to pay $4 million in restitution.

LBN Examiner Celebrates 20th Anniversary:

The LBN Examiner, one of the world’s most well-respected independent news and information sources on the web, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an extraordinary list of influential readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries.

The LBN Examiner, which started in June of 2002, is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of independent news and information on the web. Started before Facebook, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and other popular web news sources, the LBN Examiner has pioneered a rich reputation for “fearlessly independent” and “unbiased” news and information delivered to the world weekly.

At a time when Americans are relying heavily on the media for information about the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential activity, and other momentous events, the public remains largely distrustful of the mass media. Four in 10 U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” (9%) or “a fair amount” (31%) of trust and confidence in the media to report the news “fully, accurately, and fairly,” while six in 10 have “not very much” trust (27%) or “none at all” (33%).

“People who are sick and tired of the biased, politically correct nonsense put forth by the mainstream media, day in and day out, week in and week out, owe a great debt of gratitude to the LBN Examiner and its fearlessly independent and unbiased approach to news and information,” said a retired Yale professor Simon Zenn.

THINK FREELY – BE INDEPENDENT: Make Up Your Own (DAMN) Mind – Read LBN Examiner:

“Fearlessly Independent” and “Unbiased” since 2002. Read in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Now you can invite your friends and family to sign up for free (if they’ve got the guts):

Examiner – Did You Know?

Did you know that the LBN Examiner is read all over the world including in the city of Beni, in eastern Congo.

Examiner – Lens:

Michelle Fluegge wants everybody to see the photo of her on a ventilator during her very worst days because it shows what can happen if you fail to get vaccinated. “If I can help even one person,” she said of the picture, which shows her unconscious on a ventilator, her face pallid, the endotracheal tube down her windpipe held in place by a head strap, and two other tubes inserted in her nose.


Should members of Congress be barred from trading stocks directly?

Examiner – Lens:

People queue in their cars to be tested for coronavirus as the country faces a surge in Omicron variant infections in Ashdod, Israel, January 3, 2022.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** I have hit a wall with COVID. I’ve done every stage of this pandemic: The “Tiger King” stage, the 10,000 steps a day phase, the adopting a dog phase, the regret of having adopted a dog phase, and the inability to imagine my life without the dog phase. And the sweatpants phase that I truly worry will never end. I wore the mask (sometimes two). I sprayed down the groceries (remember that?). I’ve had my nostrils violated countless times. I’ve canceled plans. I’ve stayed home. And I got the vaccine the moment I could. But two weeks and some 650 days into “flattening the curve,” I’m done. I don’t care what cable news is blaring on about these days: In this house, COVID is over. On New Year’s Eve, do you know who we hosted? Two beloved friends who were positive for Omicron and stuck at home alone with mild colds. I feel great about that decision. (And I’m still negative.) —- Bari Weiss

** As I’ve noted before, one reason I pay very close attention to the Israeli-Palestinian arena is that a lot of trends get perfected there first and then go global – airline hijacking, suicide bombing, building a wall, the challenges of pluralism and lots more. It’s Off Broadway to Broadway, so what’s playing there these days that might be a harbinger for politics in the U.S.? —- Thomas L. Friedman, N.Y. Times

** The president’s Tuesday speech in Atlanta, on voting rights, was a disaster for him. By the end of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s answering speech on Wednesday you knew some new break point had occurred, that President Biden might have thought he was just crooning to part of his base but the repercussions were greater than that; he was breaking in some new way with others – and didn’t know it. It is poor political practice when you fail to guess the effects of your actions. He meant to mollify an important constituency but instead he filled his opponents with honest indignation and, I suspect, encouraged in that fractured group some new unity. The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels. Presidents more than others in politics have to maintain an even strain, as astronauts used to say. If a president is rhetorically manipulative and divisive on a voting-rights bill it undercuts what he’s trying to establish the next day on COVID and the economy. The over-the-top language of the speech made him seem more emotional, less competent. The portentousness – “In our lives and…the life of our nation, there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before them from everything that followed. They stop time” – made him appear incapable of understanding how the majority of Americans understand our own nation’s history and the vast array of its challenges. By the end he looked like a man operating apart from the American conversation, not at its center. This can be fatal to a presidency. —- Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

** Poor Joe. Oh, the tribulations of Job Biden! Kyrsten Sinema humiliated him. Mitch McConnell disrespected him. The Supreme Court blocked him. Vladimir Putin scorned him. Inflation defied him. COVID stalked him. Even Stacey Abrams stiffed him. —- Maureen Dowd, N.Y. Times

** This has to stop in 2022: using American schools and students as a prop for hysterical posturing. We’ve distanced ourselves, masked ourselves, and vaccinated ourselves. We’ve all done what was asked of us. We cannot be conditioned or acculturated to a new ethic of constant crisis. It’s not a crisis. It’s a radicalism of ruin. We need an exit ramp and then we need to exit – soon. —- Jeremy S. Adams is the author of the recently released book Hollowed Out: A Warning About America’s Next Generation. He has taught high school and college civics for 24 years in Bakersfield, California.

Examiner Readers All Over The World – Dublin, Ireland:

An LBN Examiner reader walks his dog past a mural depicting a frontline worker amid the spread of the coronavirus in Dublin, Ireland, on January 12.

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Examiner – Investigates:

The Toll on Children

Children fell far behind in school during the first year of the pandemic and have not caught up. Among third through eighth graders, math and reading levels were all lower than normal this fall, according to NWEA, a research group. The shortfalls were largest for Black and Hispanic students, as well as students in schools with high poverty rates.

“We haven’t seen this kind of academic achievement crisis in living memory,” Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute told Politico.

Many children and teenagers are experiencing mental health problems, aggravated by the isolation and disruption of the pandemic. Three medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health. They cited “dramatic increases in emergency department visits for all mental health emergencies.”

Suicide attempts have risen, slightly among adolescent boys and sharply among adolescent girls. The number of ER visits for suspected suicide attempts by 12- to 17-year-old girls rose by 51% from early 2019 to early 2021, according to the CDC.

Gun violence against children has increased, as part of a broader nationwide rise in crime. In Chicago, for example, 101 residents under age 20 were murdered last year, up from 76 in 2019. School shootings have also risen: The Washington Post counted 42 last year in the U.S., the most on record and up from 27 in 2019.

Many schools have still not returned to normal, worsening learning loss and social isolation. Once-normal aspects of school life – lunchtime, extracurricular activities, assemblies, school trips, parent-teacher conferences, reliable bus schedules – have been transformed if not eliminated.

Behavior problems have increased. “Schools across the country say they’re seeing an uptick in disruptive behaviors,” Kalyn Belsha of Chalkbeat reported. “Some are obvious and visible, like students trashing bathrooms, fighting over social media posts or running out of classrooms. Others are quieter calls for help, like students putting their head down and refusing to talk.”

“Intel for Influencers” – Who Reads the LBN Examiner?

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Examiner – Reader Poll:


New York City will take a patient’s race into account when distributing potentially life-saving COVID treatments, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene revealed on their website. The city will “consider race and ethnicity when assessing individual risk,” reads the agency’s official guidance from December 20, which adds that “longstanding systemic health and social inequities” can contribute to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Examiner – Reader Comments:

** One of the most puzzling conundrums about “progressive” prosecutors, who favor de-prosecution and de-carceration, is to ascertain their motivations. It must somehow go beyond that are simply insane. —- Dr. Craig H., Seattle, Washington

Examiner – Cartoon:

“It sounds like taking over as their leader would actually be extremely ineffective.”

Examiner – A Different View:…

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