LBN Examiner 04/17/2022


The leading U.S. drug enforcement agency issued an unprecedented warning to law enforcement nationwide to brace for a spike in “fentanyl-related mass-overdose” deaths as Mexican cartels push the drug into the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration sent a letter to federal, state, and local law enforcement departments nationwide, alerting officials they should prepare not only for deaths caused by fentanyl to rise but also for mass-casualty events in which a group of people dies as a result of knowingly or unknowingly overdosing. “Fentanyl is killing Americans at an unprecedented rate,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in a statement. “Already this year, numerous mass-overdose events have resulted in dozens of overdoses and deaths. Drug traffickers are driving addiction, and increasing their profits, by mixing fentanyl with other illicit drugs. Tragically, many overdose victims have no idea they are ingesting deadly fentanyl, until it’s too late.” A mass-overdose incident occurs when three or more people overdose at the same place and time. These types of incidents have occurred in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Nebraska; and other cities this year.

Nine Mass Shootings:

Many crime experts define a mass shooting as an event in which four or more people are shot. Last weekend, there were a shocking number of them – at least nine – across the U.S. Murders have risen more than 30% since 2019, recent data suggests. They are still far below the levels of the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s but have reached the highest point in more than two decades. “We can’t endure this anymore, we just simply can’t,” Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach, said after two shootings led the city to impose a midnight curfew.

What explains the crime wave? There is no fully satisfying answer, but experts point to several plausible partial explanations. They include: Social isolation and frustration caused by the pandemic. A sense of lawlessness stemming from police violence (like the murder of George Floyd). Police officers’ timidity in response to recent criticism of them. And a rise in gun sales during the pandemic. Yet the crime wave seems both too broad and too distinctly American for any one of these factors to be a tidy explanation.

Examiner – Lens:

The body of a soldier, without insignia, who the Ukrainian, military claims is a Russian army serviceman killed in fighting, lies on a road outside the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 24.

Glimpses of Afterlife? ‘Near-death’ Experiences aren’t Hallucinations, Scientists Conclude:

What happens when we die? It’s a question people have been asking throughout time and the answer is still a mystery. Now, a review of research exploring what people experience when they’re close to death leads scientists to one important conclusion – “near-death experiences” are a real thing, even if we can’t explain them. Countless people have claimed that their life “flashed before their eyes” or that they actually left their body and traveled somewhere else while close to death. Critics have called these experiences hallucinations or illusions, but researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine say something else is actually happening. The team of scientists across several medical disciplines – including neurosciences, critical care, psychiatry, psychology, social sciences, and humanities – have come up with a number of scientific conclusions after reviewing unexplained lucid episodes which involve a heightened state of consciousness.

The main finding is that these events don’t have much in common with the experiences someone has if they’re hallucinating or using a psychedelic drug. Instead, people who have a near-death experience typically report five different events taking place:

  • A separation from their body with a heightened, vast sense of consciousness and recognition that they’re dying
  • They “travel” to a different location
  • A meaningful and purposeful review of their life, involving a critical analysis of all their past actions – basically, their life flashes before their eyes
  • Going to a place that feels like “home”
  • Returning back to life

Researchers note that the near-death experience usually triggers a positive and long-term psychological transformation in the person. The team notes that people who had negative and distressing experiences while near-death did not experience these kinds of events.

New York Times Updates Twitter Policy for Reporters:

The New York Times is updating its policies for how its journalists use Twitter, and is emphasizing that use of the social media platform is optional given the dangers of online harassment. In a memo to employees, Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s top editor, announced what he called a “reset in our approach,” handing down new guidance dictating that “maintaining a presence on Twitter and social media is now purely optional for Times journalists.”

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 April 13, the Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert was held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers included: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Nina Simone, Smokey Robinson, Lulu, Patti Labelle, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, Wynonna Judd, and Rebecca Del Rio.

Examiner – Lens:

Caetano Veloso, Brazil’s most celebrated musician. “I’ve always noticed the singularity of Brazil,” Veloso said. “I perceived a mission for us to take to the world.”

Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** BLM may be the biggest nonprofit scam of our generation: For a while, the Black Lives Matter organization and its allies were very good at getting people to do their bidding. They could bully journalists into ignoring the organization’s issues (being called racist is terrifying and not worth the scoop). They could convince social media companies to happily block critical commentary and reporting on the organization’s financial improprieties. Now, slowly, the truth is leaking out. We already know BLM used funds to buy an $6.3 million party house in Toronto, called Wildseed Centre for Art and Activism, which lists no public events. This week, thanks to a dogged freelance investigative reporter named Sean Kevin Campbell, we now know that Black Lives Matter also used nearly $6 million in donated money to buy a Los Angeles mansion. That’s Part One of the scam. Part Two, broken by the New York Post: They bought it from a friend who paid $3.1 million for it six days earlier. So they got themselves a party house with donated funds and kicked nearly $3 million of donor funds to a buddy. Who knows how the fat thereafter was split up. From the house, they posted a video of the leadership crew having fancy outdoor brunches. One founder, Patrisse Cullors, began a YouTube cooking show in the expansive kitchen. (After the story on their property came out, they took both videos down.) They called the holding company used to buy the house 3726 Laurel Canyon LLC, an address that can be shared since it was bought with tax-deductible charitable dollars. Patrisse Cullors took to Instagram to slam Sean Kevin Campbell, who is black, and to slam the outlet that published his reporting, New York Magazine, calling the piece a “despicable abuse of a platform.” She added: “Journalism is supposed to mitigate harm and inform our communities.” She said the house, which has a pool and a sound stage, “was purchased to be a safe space for Black people in the community.” It’s important not to forget how BLM leaders like Cullors raised these tens of millions: It was by chanting the names and showing the photos of dead black children.

** California’s math wars: In San Francisco, eighth grade Algebra is a Forbidden Course. Separating kids by math ability in eighth grade too often meant that white and Asian students were in the Algebra course, while black and Latino kids were in pre-Algebra. So the thinking was: Slow it all down, keep kids together by keeping them all together in pre-Algebra, and stop making high school calculus the primary goal for any of them. The debate over this practice is heating up as the whole state considers emulating San Francisco. Meanwhile, eighth grade math scores across the state are now at fifth grade levels. Smart analysis here from Freddie deBoer that points out what’s already happened in San Francisco: “Rich kids can always get Algebra or Calculus.” Their parents just pay for tutors. All that banning 8th grade Algebra does is knee-cap kids from poor Asian families. But here again: That’s the point.

** Oberlin College still owes that $31 million for smearing local bakers as racist: When a small local bakery, run by one family for five generations, caught a shoplifter in 2016, Oberlin college officials went nuts. The shoplifter was an Oberlin student who had used a fake ID and tried to steal two bottles of wine. The son of the bakery owner chased after the kid and apprehended him before police could arrive. The kid was black. The next day, hundreds of students gathered to protest the bakery. The school cut ties with the bakery. The shoplifter pleaded guilty, but it didn’t matter. Among the protestors was the college’s dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, who handed out a stack of flyers accusing the Gibsons of a long history of racial profiling. Even after the student pled guilty, one administrator wrote to Raimondo: “I hope we rain fire and brimstone on that store.” Raimondo wrote about wanting to “unleash the students” on a critic. Turns out, it’s a good bakery and apparently not racist. A court rejected Oberlin’s appeal and upheld the $31 million judgment against the college. Two of the bakery’s patriarchs died before the final judgment could come, which is a shame, but their names are cleared. Congratulations to Gibson’s Bakery.

Examiner – Did You Know:

Did you know that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was an occasional reader of the LBN Examiner throughout the years and even wrote us a couple of notes over the last decade?

Now you can invite your friends and family to sign up for free (if they’ve got the guts):

IRS Chief: 53% of Agents Work from Home Full Time:

In testimony to the Senate Finance Committee, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said that over half of the agency’s employees work full time from home. Rettig said: “53% of the employees are in a full-time telework capacity. The rest of the employees either have a blended capacity or they are onsite.”

Examiner – Lens:

After 50 years, Francis Ford Coppola still isn’t finished with The Godfather – and it isn’t finished with him, either. Coppola made his bones with that crime epic, which won three Academy Awards, including best picture, made untold millions of dollars for Paramount Pictures and influenced a half-century of filmmaking in the process. But times have changed. It’s not like the old days. And yet The Godfather continues to age like a satisfied don sitting blithely in his garden. In efforts to preserve The Godfather for future generations, Paramount, Coppola and his colleagues at American Zoetrope previously worked together on repaired and revitalized versions of the film as recently as 15 years ago, in what was then billed as “The Coppola Restoration.”

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** It feels like we’re stumbling into a world that is hard and serious and maybe brutal – and that, at least in the West, we don’t have any leaders who feel up to that challenge. —- Bari Weiss

** With every passing day, the war in Ukraine becomes a bigger tragedy for the Ukrainian people but also a bigger threat to the future of Europe and the world at large. There is only one country that might have the power to stop it now, and it’s not the United States. It’s China. If China announced that, rather than staying neutral, it was joining the economic boycott of Russia – or even just strongly condemning its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and demanding that it withdraw – it might shake Vladimir Putin enough to stop this vicious war. At a minimum, it would give him pause, because he has no other significant ally aside from India in the world now. —- Thomas L. Friedman, N.Y. Times

** China and Russia share some major interests. They both would like American influence to wane, so that they have a freer hand to dominate their regions and exert global influence. These shared interests help explain why Xi Jinping and Putin released a joint statement last month, professing their countries’ friendship and harshly criticizing the U.S. “Both share in the belief that the United States is determined to hobble the ascent of their countries,” Amy Qin, who covers China for The Times, told me. “And they have signaled a desire to see a world order in which Washington’s influence is far diminished.” But the China-Russia relationship also has its limits and tensions. The two countries compete for influence, in Asia and elsewhere, and have fundamentally different diplomatic strategies. China is trying to shape and lead the existing world order. “It benefits enormously from international stability,” Fareed Zakaria, the foreign-policy journalist, has pointed out. As The Times’s Thomas Friedman wrote, “Peace has been very good for China.” —- David Leonhardt, N.Y. Times

** Companies aren’t just complying with government sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. In many cases they’re going beyond what’s required. Last Friday, Shell bought 100,000 metric tons of Russian crude oil at a record discount, a fantastic bargain that would ordinarily be cause for celebration at the company. Not with blood being shed in Ukraine, though. On Tuesday, Shell’s chief executive officer, Ben van Beurden, apologized, even though the purchase didn’t violate sanctions. “We are acutely aware that our decision last week to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil to be refined into products like petrol and diesel – despite being made with security of supplies at the forefront of our thinking – was not the right one and we are sorry,” he wrote in an extraordinary mea culpa. It’s not just Shell. The Yale School of Management maintains a running count of companies that have fully or partly suspended business with Russia, including such giants as Amazon, Apple, Hyundai and Volkswagen. As of Wednesday more than 300 companies were on the list. Russia can get by without some of them, such as Norwegian Cruise Lines, but it’s severely hampered by the exit of others, such as Visa and Mastercard. —- Peter Coy, N.Y. Times


“Fearlessly Independent” and “Unbiased” news and information since 2002. Now you can invite your friends and family to sign up for free (if they’ve got the guts):

Examiner – Bookkeeping:

~$17,000: The cost of first-class suites on Singapore Airlines.

85%: The percentage of Americans who are expected to travel this summer.

5: The additional number of women who will appear on US quarters next year.

Examiner – Readers Speak:

Should the U.S. impose penalties on China if it continues to trade with Russia?

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

Examiner – Lens:

Jessica Simpson celebrates wearing a bikini: “I Gained and Lost 100-Lb. 3 Times.”

Examiner – Investigates:

** Intelligence officials say Russian state-sponsored hackers had access to Defense Department contractors, retrieved sensitive technologies and intellectual property. READ

** Scientists uncover a key mechanism for how the brain organizes memory in time; progressions of experiences are encoded in neural networks in the hippocampus. READ

** Knowable | Bob Holmes. Neuroscientists are beginning to more fully understand the effects of oxytocin, the so-called love hormone – and it’s much more complicated than previously believed. READ

** The first-ever 911 call in the United States happened on February 16, 1968, in Haleyville, Alabama. It wasn’t until 1999 that Congress directed the FCC to make 911 the universal emergency number for the United States for all telephone services.

** New York City has the rudest Uber riders. READ

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

Film director John Waters along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.

Now you can invite your friends and family to sign up for free (if they’ve got the guts):

Wildly (Politically) Incorrect by George Vandeman:

** A UCLA official wishes for Justice Clarence Thomas to die: “no one wants to openly admit it.” Can you guess which official made this statement? If you guessed UCLA’s Race and Equity Director, you win.

** A Washington state school district encourages teachers to consider students’ race when dishing out punishments. This is called “culturally responsive discipline” factors. Supporters claim that it is a way to reduce racial disparities in disciplinary measures. Critics say that the new policy will result in harsher punishment for white students. Ya think?

** Does anyone want to guess what is happening to the phrase “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” at Disneyland’s fireworks show? Disney parks are axing the gendered language “boys and girls.” Disney’s diversity and inclusion manager now says the greetings must be “Hello, everyone” or “Hello, friends.” I wonder when these Woke executives at Disney and every other company that has them are going to run out of things to change.

Examiner – Reader Question:

Should mentally ill homeless people be institutionalized?

Send your reply to:

Tell Your Story in the LBN Examiner:

“The Best Promotional Deal on the Web”

Now YOU can tell YOUR unique story in the world-famous LBN Examiner – – and communicate directly with LBN readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries.

Amazing coverage with YOUR story, YOUR headline, YOUR photo and YOUR website. And then, of course, you can share this LBN story on all YOUR Social Media! And it’s really easy to do. Simply send your story (not to exceed 250 words) including a photo and link to: We will approve and run.

The cost is a mere $250 payable via PayPal or credit card. This is (by far) one of the best deals in the world of digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.

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.