LBN Examiner 06/12/2022


** January 19, Baltimore: A man who worked for a gun violence reduction program was killed in an East Baltimore neighborhood, along with two others. A fourth person was injured.

** January 23, Milwaukee: Five men and a woman were found shot to death at a Park West neighborhood home. The police believe the attack targeted specific people.

** January 23, Inglewood, Calif.: The same day, a shooting at a birthday party killed four people, including two sisters, and wounded a fifth. The shooting was gang-related, the mayor said.

** January 29, St. Louis: A shooting near an intersection killed three young men and wounded a fourth. Police said they had no suspects.

** February 5, Corsicana and Frost, Texas: A 41-year-old man murdered his mother, his stepfather, his sons and the son of his ex-girlfriend in an overnight shooting. The man later fatally shot himself.

** February 28, Sacramento: A man shot dead his three daughters and their chaperone at a church during a court-approved visit. The children’s mother had a restraining order against the shooter, who killed himself.

** March 12, Baltimore: A shooting in Northwest Baltimore killed three men in a car and wounded a fourth.

** March 19, Fayetteville, N.C.: A Saturday night shootout in a hotel parking lot killed three people and wounded another three. The shooting may have been linked to a fight between motorcycle gangs.

** March 19, Norfolk, Va.: Hours later, an argument outside a bar escalated into a shooting that killed three young bystanders. One of the victims was a 25-year-old newspaper reporter whose editor called her to cover the shooting, not realizing she had been killed.

** April 3, Sacramento: At least five shooters fired more than 100 rounds a block from the State Capitol, killing six people – three men and three women – and wounding 12. The police described the shooting as gang-related.

** April 20, Duluth, Minn.: A 29-year-old man who said he suffered from mental illness killed his aunt, uncle, two young cousins and their dog in their sleep. He later killed himself.

** April 21, Mountain View, Ark.: A man killed his parents, another woman and her son at two homes half a mile apart in a rural community, the police say.

** April 27, Biloxi, Miss.: A 32-year-old man killed the owner of the Broadway Inn Express motel and two employees in an argument over money. He fled to a neighboring town and fatally shot a fourth person. Police later found the gunman dead, barricaded inside a convenience store.

** May 8, Clarkston, Ga.: Three people were shot to death and three others were wounded at a suburban Atlanta condo complex on a Sunday night.

** May 14, Buffalo: An 18-year-old avowed white supremacist killed 10 people and wounded three more with an assault-style weapon in a live-streamed attack at a supermarket.

** May 24, Uvalde, Texas: An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

** May 27, Stanwood, Mich.: A 51-year-old man allegedly killed his wife and her three young children at a home in Mecosta County before shooting himself, police said. The man remains in critical condition.

** June 1, Tulsa, Okla.: A gunman killed his back surgeon, another doctor, a receptionist and a visitor at a medical building. He then killed himself.

As long as this list is, it’s also a very incomplete accounting of American gun violence. It doesn’t include the at least 60 shootings that left three people dead but don’t technically count as mass shootings (because fewer than four people were shot). It doesn’t count shootings that wounded people without killing anybody, like one in Milwaukee that injured 17 people. And it leaves out the individual gun homicides and suicides that make up a majority of the gun violence that kills more than 100 Americans on an average day.

Nude Hunter Biden Cavorts with Hooker, Illegal Gun in Latest Mess for President:

Hunter Biden shows himself to be a real first son-of-a-gun in the latest embarrassing personal video leak for President Biden’s scandal-scarred offspring. A naked Hunter casually waves around a handgun and even points it at the camera while cavorting with a nude hooker in a swank hotel room, according to video. The cavalier clip of Hunter Biden holding the apparently illegally obtained weapon emerged amid the rash of mass shootings – and random gun violence in major cities – that included 11 incidents on Saturday and Sunday alone that left at least 15 people dead and 61 injured across the U.S., data shows. It also came just days after his dad called on Congress to pass new gun-control measures to stem the slaughter, declaring in a televised, primetime address last week that “the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) slammed the apparent hypocrisy. “Before proposing or passing any new federal gun legislation the Biden administration ought to enforce existing laws, regardless of who is violating them, even if that person is the president’s son. “I’ve written oversight letters to the U.S. Secret Service, FBI and ATF regarding the incident involving Hunter’s gun dumped in a trash can behind a grocery store across from a high school in Delaware,” added Johnson, who’s been investigating the Biden family’s controversial overseas business dealings. “Unsurprisingly, I have not gotten a satisfactory response from these agencies.”

Hunter Biden recorded the video on October 17, 2018, according to Radar Online, which first revealed its existence. The outlet and a Post source described his companion in the video as a prostitute. Five days earlier, he bought a .38-caliber handgun in Delaware, Politico reported last year. In order to make the purchase, Hunter Biden answered “no” to a question that asked, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Politico reported last year. Hunter Biden has acknowledged repeated struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism, and Radar’s report included a photo of what appeared to be crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia, including a spoon, on a pair of plates. Hunter Biden, whose addiction issues and cheating led to his 2017 divorce from Kathleen Buhle, was discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve three years earlier after testing positive for cocaine. Just weeks after Hunter illegally bought the weapon, Biden’s lover, Hallie Biden, the widow of his late brother Beau Biden, tossed the gun into a supermarket garbage can, setting off a Secret Service and FBI probe. No charges were ever filed.

Las Vegas’ Elvis Weddings in Jeopardy:

It’s a classic move: go to Las Vegas, get hitched by an Elvis impersonator. But those days might be over. Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the company that licenses Elvis Presley merchandise, issued a cease-and-desist order to several Vegas chapels. The Las Vegas wedding industry is worth $2B, attracting 70k couples a year and employing 18k people. There are 55 free-standing chapels in the city, and all of them offer an Elvis impersonator as officiator – even this zombie-themed wedding package has one. These demands wouldn’t affect Elvis-themed concerts because tribute shows are protected in Vegas by a right-of-publicity statute. But Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who oversees the city’s wedding marketing, told the Review-Journal that this “might destroy a portion of our wedding industry” – a sector only just rebounding from the pandemic.

Why now? ABG bought the rights to Presley from CORE Media Group in 2013, from which it also acquired the rights to Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali. It co-reps Presley’s music catalog with Universal Music Publishing Group. But Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis is set to premiere later this month, which may drum up renewed interest in the Elvis wedding. For now, at least one chapel has switched to generic rock-themed weddings, while another told a local news station they’re looking into their legal options.

Examiner – Lens:

Illegal asylum-seeking migrants from Central America sit next to a vehicle that was stopped by police after crossing the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass, Texas, from Mexico along U.S. Route 90, in Hondo, Texas, on June 1. U.S. authorities, blocked by a federal judge from lifting COVID restrictions that empower agents at the U.S.-Mexico border to turn back migrants, continue to enforce the Title 42 rules which result in the fast expulsion of migrants to Mexico or other countries.

For the Best Sleep, Survey Finds You Should Get to Bed by 9:39 p.m.:

It’s official: the best sleep comes from huddling under a cozy blanket in a quiet, cool room. That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans that found just two in five would rate their quality of sleep as “excellent” (41%). However, just a third of adults feel refreshed when waking up in the morning (30%). A report from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School cited the various effects sleep has on wellness, such as reducing the risks of serious health conditions and increasing the chances of a greater lifespan. This could be why seven in 10 Americans say they need their nighttime environment to be a certain way to get their best sleep (71%). The average person falls asleep by 10 p.m., but nearly a fifth of respondents go to bed later than this. Those who claim they have “excellent” sleep prefer to hit the hay a little earlier at 9:39 p.m.

A Hotter World:

India has contributed little to climate change: Home to 18% of the world’s population, it has emitted just 3% of planet-warming greenhouse gases. But India is suffering from climate change. Over the past three months, a heat wave has devastated North India and neighboring Pakistan. Temperatures surpassed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It is so hot that overheated birds fell out of the sky in Gurgaon, India, and a historic bridge in northern Pakistan collapsed after melting snow and ice at a glacial lake released a torrent of water. Scientists say global warming almost certainly played a role in the heat wave. And rising temperatures stand to make unusually hotter weather more common not just in India and Pakistan but around the world, including in the U.S.

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 June 11, Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the U.S. Congress.

** On June 11, American Idol, created by Simon Fuller with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, premiered on Fox.

Examiner – Lens:

Not everyone knows who Alex Cooper is, but she’s trying hard to change that. The 27-year-old host and producer of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Cooper has quickly become one of the country’s most popular podcasters, developing a following of millions of loyal listeners since debuting her raunchy sex-and-dating show on the aggressively laddish Barstool Sports site in 2018. Last summer, Cooper parlayed her success on Barstool into a more than $60 million deal to take that show to Spotify.

Examiner – Bookkeeping:

** A man broke into the Dallas Museum of Art, damaging $5.2M worth of property.

** Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” guitar sells for $4.6M at auction.

** Employees at Alphabet (Google) received a median salary of $295K in 2021.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** “The beginning of every war is like opening the door into a dark room. One never knows what is hidden in the darkness,” opined a certain Austrian maniac. And what we are discovering about Putin’s Russia as this brutal war continues, is something extremely dark. The rhetoric in Moscow is now outright eliminationist toward not just Ukraine, but Ukrainians as a people. The more bogged down the Russian military, the more intense the “de-Nazification” memes. With each defeat, from the failure to take Kyiv to the sinking of the Mockva, the sense of humiliation and anger grows. In the words of one Kremlin propagandist: “It’s no accident we call them Nazis. What makes you a Nazi is your bestial nature, your bestial hatred and your bestial willingness to tear out the eyes of children on the basis of nationality.” Ukrainians are being dehumanized – deemed not just victims of a “Nazi” regime but somehow Nazis themselves. It’s hard not to recall Aleksandr Dugin’s 2014 remark when asked his view of Ukraine: “Kill! Kill! Kill! There can be no other discussion. This is my opinion as a professor.” —- Andrew Sullivan

** There’s a common question in Silicon Valley about what makes an extraordinary entrepreneur. Experienced investors point to various traits. Perseverance. Grit. Overcoming adversity. Hustle. Innate genius. A good childhood. A bad childhood. Luck. But the trait that is most meaningful is the hardest to describe. It is the fire in the eyes, the ferocity of speech and action that is the physical manifestation of seriousness. It is the belief that God or the universe has bestowed upon you an immense task that no one else can accomplish but you. It is a holy war waged against the laws of physics. It is the burden of having to upend sometimes hundreds of years of entrenched interests to accomplish a noble goal. When you see that kind of seriousness in a founder, the common response is to laugh or mock it. Who is he to believe he can colonize Mars? Who are they to think people will hop in cars with strangers? But investors like myself run toward such serious people because this rare quality – a potent combination of capability and will – inspires others to reach beyond what seems conceivable. —- Katherine Boyle

** “The money that we possess is the instrument of liberty; that which we lack and strive to obtain is the instrument of slavery.” —- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau” (1903 translation)

** Why do so many people of prime working age – 25 to 54 – remain out of the labor force, even though the COVID pandemic has eased and employers are dangling big pay hikes? A working paper calculates that increased substance abuse accounted for 9% to 26% of the decline in labor force participation at prime ages between February 2020 and June 2021. A New York Times article in March 2020 described the pandemic recession as a “national relapse trigger.” People without college degrees are more likely to abuse opioids and methamphetamine and have dropped out of the labor force at a higher rate, says the study, which is by Jeremy Greenwood of the University of Pennsylvania, Nezih Guner of Autonomous University of Barcelona and Karen Kopecky of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. —- Peter Coy, New York Times

Examiner – Lens:

Mark A. Davidson, the curator of the Dylan Archive, holds an original notebook containing handwritten Bob Dylan lyrics. Many fragile parts of the archive are off limits to those visiting the Bob Dylan Center.

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Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** Why was the shooter inside for 40 minutes? With the killer alive, inside that fourth-grade classroom, the police worked furiously … outside the school. According to emerging reports, their focus was on the parents who had raced to the school when they heard news of the shooter. During the 40-60 minutes that the shooter had in that classroom, police tackled one father, pepper-sprayed another, and handcuffed at least one mom. That mom was Angeli Rose Gomez, a farm supervisor, who convinced police officers she knew to remove the cuffs. Gomez then walked a few paces away, jumped the fence, ran into the school, grabbed her two children and sprinted away. All the while, the shooter was inside murdering children. All of this is baffling. Why were there early police reports that the killer was confronted by school security and then later clarifications that actually he wasn’t confronted by cops at all? The door was unlocked, and the killer just walked in. Responding officers pulled away and called for backup. Why did it take so long before anyone got into that fourth-grade classroom? The big sacrifice we ask of the police is that, when the time comes, they will put their lives on the line for us. An investigation has begun into the law enforcement response to figure out what, if anything, went wrong. A lot of parents are saying it did.

** College enrollment keeps falling: Even without COVID restrictions on campus, young Americans are still opting out of college at a dramatic rate. Enrollment as of Spring 2022 is down 4.7% from a year ago, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Since the start of the pandemic, the shift is even more dramatic: Total undergraduate enrollment has fallen by 9.4%. One thing that’s real about the #cancelstudentdebt movement is the pain: Onerous loans from overpriced schools stuffed with bureaucrats have crippled young people. A lot of teenagers today are looking at the deal and thinking, maybe there’s something better? And with a very strong job market right now, there often is. The drop in enrollment actually makes me hopeful: Colleges and universities can easily get better – start with scrapping a lot of unnecessary administrators – and now they’re finally being incentivized to do so.

Examiner – Readers Speak:

Can legislation reduce the incidents of mass shootings?

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

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Examiner – Cartoon:

If you don’t make this right, I’ll never fly your airline again unless it’s the cheapest option!

Examiner – Humankind:

** Kansas dad saves 4-year-old boy with autism from drowning. READ

** Watch a 5-year-old piano prodigy play Mozart at a music competition. WATCH

Examiner – Reader Question:

Should the U.S. increase oil production to reduce reliance on foreign countries?

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