LBN Examiner 05/15/2022


Doctors may soon be writing a very simple prescription to improve your mental health: “get off social media!” A new study finds avoiding social media platforms for just one week significantly improved a person’s well-being and also lowered levels of both anxiety and depression. A team from the University of Bath found that social media users can sometimes spend up to nine hours on their favorite platforms in a single week. This includes endlessly scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Previous studies have found conflicting data when it comes to the benefits and harms of social media. While some reports have disputed claims that social media is addictive (especially for children), others have noted up to 50 harmful effects of constantly browsing these platforms.

Workplace Identity Crisis – 3 in 5 are Hiding Something from Their Employer:

Most American workers are keeping something a secret from their employer and co-workers – their “real” personality. A new survey finds 64% are fearful of being authentic around others in the workplace. In fact, seven in 10 say they adopt an entirely different personality when they’re at work, compared to their normal persona at home. The poll of more than 1,900 American workers, commissioned by JobSage, also found that nearly two in three employees (64%) have experienced some sort of backlash from their colleagues when a private detail of their life became public knowledge. Although three in four people say their current employer claims to value individuality over conformity, many are simply not comfortable being themselves. The survey reveals the most common information workers hide from their employers are their political views (37%). Personal information about their family followed closely behind (36%).

BLM Co-Founder Reveals She Hosted Parties for Biden’s Inauguration and Her Son’s Birthday:

BLM’s co-founder Patrisse Cullors has admitted she lied when she said she had only ever used the group’s $6 million L.A. mansion for official business. Cullors, 38, told the Associated Press that she used the opulent seven-bed Studio City compound – purchased in cash by BLM in October 2020 – for her own recreation twice. The first instance saw her hold a party to toast Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration as president and vice president in January 2021. Then, in March the same year, she commandeered the luxury property – whose purchase has sparked fury among other racial justice campaigners – for her school-aged son’s birthday party.

Cullors said of her earlier decision to lie: “I look back at that and think, that probably wasn’t the best idea.” She previously issued a statement denying that she’d ever lived there or used the property for her personal gain after its purchase was revealed by New York magazine, triggering allegations of racism from BLM. The purchase of the 6,500 square-foot Studio City property – which officials previously said was reserved exclusively for official foundation business – was disclosed last month by NY Mag. News of the previously under-wraps transaction – made more than a year and a half ago – triggered a firestorm of criticism concerning the financial practices of the foundation’s top brass, which have already come into question in recent months. Black Lives Matter raised $90 million in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and still has an impressive $60 million of cash at hand.

How Big Tobacco Used George Floyd and Eric Garner to Stoke Fear Among Black Smokers:

Newport cigarette maker Reynolds American’s multibillion-dollar market is under threat. About 150 cities and counties have placed some sort of restriction on the sale of menthol cigarettes, the flavor of choice for the vast majority of Black smokers. If California votes to prohibit the sale of menthols in November, it would be the second state to do so. The Food and Drug Administration has drafted a national ban that could follow in the next few years. Since last summer, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have tracked strategic efforts across the country by Reynolds American to keep menthol cigarettes in the hands of smokers. The company has hired a team of Black lobbyists and consultants and sponsored the organization led by civil rights activist and MSNBC political show host the Rev. Al Sharpton. Those figures have in turn stoked fears among Black communities about what the bans could mean.

Walking Fast is the Key to a Long Life? Study Links Pace to Aging:

A brisk walk could help add 16 years to your life, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of Leicester have discovered a link between a person’s walking pace and the rate at which they age. Specifically, a lifetime of brisk walking leads to longer telomeres. These are the protective “caps” on the ends of your chromosomes – sort of like the plastic tabs on your shoelaces. Although they don’t carry genetic information, telomeres play a vital role in keeping DNA stable. Scientists measure these end caps to calculate a person’s biological age. The longer they are, the younger a person is in terms of biological age – which can be much different from chronological age (your birthday).

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 May 12, President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a visit with Fidel Castro. He was the first U.S. President to visit since Castro’s revolution in 1959.

** On May 15, Bowling for Columbine, a documentary by director Michael Moore, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Examiner – Lens:

Super model Bella Hadid.

Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** CNN+ shuts down: A reported $300 million was spent on CNN+ and it lasted less than a month. (And we thought Quibi’s demise was epic.) It turns out Americans just aren’t interested in paying for content from Don Lemon and Rex Chapman. Brian Stelter, who also had a show on the short-lived service, quoted the new CNN CEO who called it “an incredibly successful launch.” We’re not cable TV experts, but we know that we have more subscribers than CNN+ did. RIP. Meanwhile on Apple TV+, “The Problem with Jon Stewart” – a mush of lefty rants from a couple years ago warmed up and served again – is a ratings disaster dropping by the fifth episode to just 40,000 viewers. And on Spotify, The Obamas’ deal with the company has fallen apart and they will seek a new podcast home.

** Everyone say “Putin Price Hike”: That’s apparently going to be the official line from Washington. Biden could say something about inflation resulting from hard choices made during a terrible time, a recession staved off during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, but the president is instead opting to go for a class Democrat standby: Russia did it. “I’m doing everything I can to bring down prices and address the Putin Price Hike,” Biden said this week. CNN White House correspondent John Harwood came out with a strong defense: “Biden confronts a host of problems he can’t do much to solve.” Harwood lists: Inflation, COVID, and immigration.

** Young black Americans turn against Biden: In 2014, there were 6,095 black Americans murdered. In 2020, that number rose to 9,941. That’s almost 4,000 more deaths. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a new poll from Pew asking people to identify the number one problem in communities in which they live finds that, yet again, black Americans choose the issue of crime/violence as their No. 1 concern, far above COVID, racism, and even housing. And while a broad swath of young Americans have turned against Biden, with 18-34 year olds showing a 20 point drop in job approval since Jan 2021, according to a Civiqs poll, and the drop is even higher among young black Americans. Biden has seen a 30 point drop among that group. (The sharp Derek Thompson pointed that out.)

** Google Docs is our sensitivity reader now: A new update rolling out to Google docs – which we couldn’t live without – is prompting people to use more inclusive language in their writing. The software wants kinder, gentler words used for derided minorities like landlords. May Google Docs suggest proprietor instead? The word mother is of course verboten. When a reporter for the tech news site Motherboard wrote the word Motherboard, Google docs underlined it and alerted the reporter: “Inclusive warning. Some of these words may not be inclusive to all readers. Consider using different words.” The site, which I will now call Parentboard lest my Google yell at me, called the update “very broken.”

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Secret Service Paying Over $30K Per Month for Malibu:

Hunter Biden is apparently spending his father’s presidency living in luxury in Malibu – and so is his taxpayer-funded security detail. The Secret Service detail protecting the president’s controversial son has been paying more than $30,000 a month to rent out a swanky Malibu, California, mansion for nearly a year, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Examiner – Lens:

For decades, economists like Larry Summers championed policies that prioritized efficiency. But they also left the system vulnerable.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** China’s partners in East Asia, North Korea, and Russia possess nuclear weapons. But none of America’s allies – Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines – has ever tested a nuclear weapon. —- Patrick J. Buchanan

** I think we have to reinvigorate our civil liberties. I don’t think we’re going to get that from the current administration because, frankly, a lot of the pressure for censorship and deplatforming is coming from the Democratic Party. This is not a partisan point. If you look at polling about views about censorship and deplatforming, there is a huge divide between Democrats and Republicans on this issue. If you go back ten years ago, both parties had the same views on censorship. They were against it. Everyone was in favor of free speech, but there’s been a huge divergence. And so I think it’s going to take a new administration – presumably, the next Republican administration – to want to take action. And we’re going to have to reinvigorate our civil liberties by realizing that these private actors have huge amounts of control over our right to speech, our right to commerce, our right to make a livelihood, and they should not be able to exercise those powers. They should not be able to use those powers to deny us those liberties. —- David Sacks is a paradox. The entrepreneur and venture capitalist helped lay the foundations of the digital world we now live in: He was one of the members of what’s known as the PayPal Mafia, alongside people like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and Max Levchin. He’s also been an early investor in some companies you may have heard of: Airbnb, Facebook, Slack, SpaceX, Twitter, Uber

** It is impossible to predict how the war in Ukraine will end. I fervently hope it’s with a free, secure and independent Ukraine. But here is what I know for sure: America must not waste this crisis. This is our umpteenth confrontation with a petro-dictator whose viciousness and recklessness are possible only because of the oil wealth he extracts from the ground. No matter how the war ends in Ukraine, it needs to end with America finally, formally, categorically and irreversibly ending its addiction to oil. Nothing has distorted our foreign policy, our commitments to human rights, our national security and, most of all, our environment than our oil addiction. Let this be the last war in which we and our allies fund both sides. That’s what we do. Western nations fund NATO and aid Ukraine’s military with our tax dollars, and – since Russia’s energy exports finance 40 percent of its state budget – we fund Vladimir Putin’s army with our purchases of Russian oil and gas. Now, how stupid is that? —- Thomas L. Friedman, N.Y. Times

** Within Russia, the war has already served Putin’s political purposes. Many in the professional middle class – the people most sympathetic to dissidents like Aleksei Navalny – have gone into self-imposed exile. The remnants of a free press have been shuttered, probably for good. To the extent that Russia’s military has embarrassed itself, it is more likely to lead to a well-aimed purge from above than a broad revolution from below. Russia’s new energy riches could eventually help it shake loose the grip of sanctions. This alternative analysis of Putin’s performance could be wrong. Then again, in war, politics and life, it’s always wiser to treat your adversary as a canny fox, not a crazy fool. —- Bret Stephens, N.Y. Times

Examiner – Lens:

Rosalía has evolved from flamenco experimentalist to international deconstructionist, grabbing elements from Latin reggaetón and Japanese and Korean culture.

Examiner – Readers Speak:

Will the fraction of people identifying as LGBTQ continue to rise?

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

Examiner – Lens:

“When there’s been trauma, your memory hides things from you,” filmmaker Sarah Polley says. In the fall of 2015, the filmmaker was at a swimming pool near her home in Toronto, rummaging through a lost-and-found bin for her hair dryer, when a jostled fire extinguisher fell on her head. Polley’s vision went blurry; the world tilted and slowed. It turned out that she had a concussion, one severe enough to keep her bed-bound for weeks, and foggy and hindered for months, then years. A movie that she was writing had to be abandoned; the scope of her life dramatically compressed. Again and again, Polley was advised to respect her limits for fear of doing further damage. Not until she consulted a doctor who told her that she could recover only if she agreed to “run towards the danger” – to push herself past her enduring pain and illness – did she finally start to get well.

Examiner – Investigates:

** The trendiest baby names since 1930. READ

** Visualizing the U.S. companies that have failed in China. READ

** An amazing drumming duck. READ

** How to Clean Anything – Cleanliness is said to be one of the top rungs on the ladder going to heaven. Even if you are unsure how to clean or what do first when it comes to house cleaning, there is a trick to being a good housekeeper. You don’t have to be a household tips queen like Heloise to learn to clean anything and have a clean house. READ

** Burnout – and how to avoid it. READ

** The history of the first smartphone that came too early for its time. WATCH

** Pepsi is launching new nitrogen-infused drinks. READ

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Bristling Against the West, China Rallies Domestic Sympathy for Russia:

While Russian troops have battered Ukraine, officials in China have been meeting behind closed doors to study a Communist Party-produced documentary that extols President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as a hero. The humiliating collapse of the Soviet Union, the video says, was the result of efforts by the United States to destroy its legitimacy. With swelling music and sunny scenes of present-day Moscow, the documentary praises Putin for restoring Stalin’s standing as a great wartime leader and for renewing patriotic pride in Russia’s past. To the world, China casts itself as a principled onlooker of the war in Ukraine, not picking sides, simply seeking peace. At home, though, the Chinese Communist Party is pushing a campaign that paints Russia as a long-suffering victim rather than an aggressor and defends China’s strong ties with Moscow as vital. Chinese universities have organized classes to give students a “correct understanding” of the war, often highlighting Russia’s grievances with the West. Party newspapers have run series of commentaries blaming the United States for the conflict.

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Washington State Plans To Outlaw Most New Gas Cars:

Washington state is preparing to ban most new gasoline-powered vehicles within the next eight years. SB 5974 – a piece of legislation recently signed by Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) – establishes a target that “all publicly owned and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in Washington state be electric vehicles.” An “interagency electric vehicle coordinating council” created by the new law is directed to “complete a scoping plan for achieving the 2030 target.” “Transportation is our state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation,” Inslee said at the bill signing. “This package will move us away from the transportation system our grandparents imagined and towards the transportation system our grandchildren dream of.”

Examiner – Reader Question:

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