LBN Examiner 02/27/2022


Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine had President Trump still been in office, a majority of Americans said according to the results of a new poll. The survey released Friday from the Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll found that 62% of Americans believed Putin would not have pulled the trigger if Trump were still president.

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Amazon Suspends Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation from Its Charity Platform:

Amazon suspended Black Lives Matter from its charity platform AmazonSmile this week for failing to disclose where its $60 million in donations has gone. The social justice organization, which has been facing intense scrutiny over financial transparency, will be deprived from funds raised on AmazonSmile “until they’re back in compliance,” a spokesperson told the New York Post. It was unclear how much money had been raised on the platform. The suspension, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner, deprives BLM of revenue from the organization, which has provided $306 million to U.S. charities. It comes after charity auditors expressed alarm at the management of BLM’s donations when no one seemed able to say who was handling the finances and the group’s reluctance to release financial records.

NYC Subway Stabbings Rocket by 35% in a Year, Eric Adams Deploys 1,000 Cops in Bid to Stomp out Soaring Crime:

New York City subway stabbings have skyrocketed by 35% in a year, with a Trader Joes’ worker being one of the latest victims after being horrifically slashed across face for standing up to a rude passenger. The subway stabbings and slashings have spiked 29% in the last year, with 182 incidents compared to 141 a year before in 2020. And 2022 is squaring up to be even worse. So far this year, there have been 27 subway attacks on passengers – a 35% increase on the 20 reported for the same period of 2021.

The $12B+ Sleep Industry Explained:

Did you get less than 7 hours of sleep last night? If so, you’re in the majority. More than ⅔ of Americans fail to hit that number for daily ZZZs, per The Economist. This sleep deficit leads to problems – like poor health and lower productivity – estimated to “cost America’s economy as much as $400B a year.” The culprits are many. Widespread caffeine and alcohol consumption doesn’t help. Neither does having a rectangle distraction machine in our pockets all day. Back when there were no smartphones or laptops, the great-grandparents of today’s Americans got an average of 2 more hours of sleep a night.

Sleep tech is trying to fill the void. Per The Economist, the industry was worth $12.5B in 2020. Major consumer tech players – like Huawei, Google, and Samsung – also sell sleep-tracking products. Meanwhile, a small company called Apple has activated 100m+ smartwatches with sleep (and health-tracking) features. Does any of this work? The Economist says that ~40% of sleep-wearable users “abandoned their device” when the effects didn’t take hold. Also, the tech lacks the “gold standard” to prove health efficacy: randomized controlled clinical studies. But with a total addressable market of **checks notes** anyone who sleeps, the business case for sleep tech isn’t going anywhere.

Examiner – Lens:

N.Y. subway decay and depravity underground.

Amazon’s Plan to Dominate the Grocery Business:

The grocery business operates on razor-thin margins. While this has scared off many entrepreneurs, it attracted a certain tech behemoth that just so happens to love razor-thin margins: Amazon. After acquiring Whole Foods in 2017 and launching Amazon Fresh in 2020, the company’s path to grocery dominance is taking shape.

Whole Foods was once nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” for its ~20% premium relative to other grocery stores. Since Amazon’s acquisition, that premium has dropped to ~10% and in some cases, shoppers have found Whole Foods to be cheaper than competitors. Besides lowering prices, Amazon has introduced delivery and pickup options to increase convenience at Whole Foods.

Amazon Fresh is the firm’s new grocery subsidiary that aims to offer an even more convenient shopping experience. The store’s high-tech innovations include Just Walk Out, Amazon’s cashier-less tech that allows shoppers to grab and go without visiting a register, and Dash Carts, Amazon’s shopping carts equipped with built-in checkout functionality. Amazon Fresh has 23 stores in operation, including a number in close proximity to Whole Foods.

In areas where both stores operate, Amazon has found little crossover in the customer bases. Specifically, the company has found Amazon Fresh attracts value shoppers who wouldn’t usually shop at Whole Foods. Amazon announced plans to open 40 new Whole Foods locations last May, and Amazon Fresh has at least 2 dozen locations in the pipeline. What was that saying Jeff Bezos made famous? Oh yeah: “Your margin is my opportunity.” Sounds like something a grocer might say.

Exercise May Enhance the Effects of a COVID or Flu Shot:

Taking a long, brisk walk, jog or bike ride after your next COVID or flu vaccine might amplify the benefits of the shot, according to a new study of exercise and immunization. The study, which involved 70 people and about 80 mice, looked at antibody responses after a jab with the influenza vaccine or both rounds of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It found that people who exercised for 90 minutes right after their shot subsequently produced more antibodies than people who did not. The extra immune boost, which should help reduce their risk of falling seriously ill from those diseases, did not seem to trigger an increase in side effects. The study’s results are preliminary and need to be tested in larger numbers of people. But the findings add to mounting evidence that being fit and physically active may prime our bodies to respond with extra robustness to flu and COVID vaccines.

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Examiner – 20 Years – A Look At 2002

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

** On March 3, 2002, at the 33rd NAACP Image Awards, “Ali” wins Outstanding Motion Picture.

** March 18, 2002, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Isaac Hayes; Brenda Lee; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; Gene Pitney; Ramones; Talking Heads; Chet Atkins; and Jim Stewart.

Examiner – Lens:

Bridget Fonda is seen at left in 1997 and at right running errands in L.A. recently.

Political Correctness Run Amok Update By George Vandeman:

** An Arizona mom blasts Delta Airlines for refusing to let her buy a gender “X” airline ticket for her non-binary child, age 21. Customer Services tell her that the airline only recognizes male and female genders.

** Microsoft’s Word program goes Woke. A new feature has been introduced that suggests politically correct alternatives when someone types in words or phrases that could offend snowflakes, like “mankind.” If you are typing Neil Armstrong’s “one giant leap for mankind” phrase, “humankind” is the suggested alternative. I wonder if you can disable this feature. I then wonder if you disable it, will Microsoft tell the world about it? President Biden? Attorney General Merrick Garland?

** The world of fashion now has a “woke-walk.” Gen Z trendsetters are wearing oversized and shapeless clothes in a bid to look “genderless” and are turning away from brands made specifically for one sex. You mean that there are only two sexes? This trend means, of course, that non-artistic people like me can start designing clothes!

Examiner – Did You Know:

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The Real Story by Sarah Garcia:

** Our ruling class, to whom the world struggle is between autocracy and democracy, are willing to fight for the triumph in lands far away. The other half of America is more concerned with the character and composition of their own nation, present, and future, which appears to be passing away.

** America has run up a national debt larger than the entire U.S. economy. Its trade deficits are at record levels. Its borders are being overrun by migrants from all over the world. And its disposition to intervene, engage and fight for democracy has rarely been lower.

Examiner – Lens:

Actor John Malkovich transforms into Meryl Streep.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** For decades, San Franciscans have been fed the line that people are not on the street primarily because they are addicts, but because of high rent and lack of housing. The most powerful proponent of this view is Jennifer Friedenbach of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness. She blocks the closure of open drug scenes, calls people who disagree with her fascists and racists, and organizes protests at the homes of politicians. “They’re screaming for housing,” she has said of the city’s homeless population. But that is not what addicts on the street tell me. On Saturday, I talked to a 37-year-old heroin addict originally from Alabama who has been living on San Francisco’s streets for seven years. He told me that for the majority of homeless people “addiction is the main driving force.” —- Michael Shellenberger, Best-selling author of “Apocalypse Never” and “San Fransicko” (HarperCollins) :: Time Magazine “Hero of Environment” :: Green Book Award winner :: Founder and President of Environmental Progress

** At this point all I can say is: go and see it. Over the past two years, more than 1,360 people have died from drug overdoses in San Francisco. That is more than double the number who have died from COVID. But you don’t need more stats. You don’t need more numbers about how the tent encampments are exploding. Or about the amount of money that the city is paying for each person doing drugs on the sidewalks. You need to see it. I’m serious. Everyone in San Francisco should make a trip downtown. Walk around. And do not avert your eyes to the people dying slowly on the streets. The politicians that run my hometown are relying on you not noticing what’s going on because it’s been bad for so long and who cares if it gets a little worse. Don’t let them. Go see it. —- Nellie Bowles

** “A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.” —- Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

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Examiner – Bookkeeping

> 1.42 billion: The number of chicken wings Americans were expected to eat for the Super Bowl.

> 31.4 million: The number of Americans who planed to wager a total of $7.61B on the Super Bowl.

> $5.3M: The amount of money a jury awarded a coffee worker for lung damage from chemicals released in the coffee-making process.

> $4.3M: The amount an anonymous buyer paid in cryptocurrency for a 555.55-carat black diamond called “The Enigma.”

> 75 years: The length of time it took two letters to arrive at their final destination.

Examiner – Readers Speak:

Are K-5 students too young to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity?

Examiner readers from all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries have spoken.

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Examiner – Commentary by Madeline Hill, 17:

** During [the height of] COVID, I didn’t come downstairs unless I had to go to the kitchen to eat. I didn’t take showers, or really use the bathroom, unless I really needed to. I kind of just lived in my own filth. I was a little bit of a robot. I didn’t really eat or sleep or drink of my own volition, but I did homework. We are in this state of: You just put all these live shrimp into a boiling pot, and you just expected them to hang in there, and wait for the finished product. But they are in this pot and they’re squirming in there, and they have no idea what’s going on. We’re really struggling, and your issues are our issues now. Things that were once not a thought, or an afterthought, or maybe just a blip in somebody else’s existence, are now my existence.

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Examiner – A Different View:…

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