LBN Examiner 06/26/2022


The vast majority of U.S. adults believe in God, but the 81% who do so is down six percentage points from 2017 and is the lowest in Gallup’s trend. Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% of Americans believed in God. Gallup’s May 2-22 Values and Beliefs poll finds 17% of Americans saying they do not believe in God. Gallup first asked this question in 1944, repeating it again in 1947 and twice each in the 1950s and 1960s. In those latter four surveys, a consistent 98% said they believed in God. When Gallup asked the question nearly five decades later, in 2011, 92% of Americans said they believed in God. A subsequent survey in 2013 found belief in God dipping below 90% to 87%, roughly where it stood in three subsequent updates between 2014 and 2017 before this year’s drop to 81%. Gallup has also in recent years asked other questions aimed at measuring belief in God or a higher power. All find the vast majority of Americans saying they believe; when given the option, 5% to 10% have said they were “unsure.”

Man, 66, Barred from Donating Blood After Refusing to Answer if He was Pregnant:

A 66-year-old Scottish man who has donated blood for years says he was turned away after refusing to answer if he was, or had recently been, pregnant. Leslie Sinclair has donated over 125 pints of blood in the last half century, according to the Daily Mail. But when he most recently showed up to do his part to save lives, he says he was told to fill out a form asking if he was or had been pregnant anytime within the past six months. “I indicated to the staff that I could not be in this position, but they told me that I must answer, otherwise I would not be able to donate blood,” Sinclair, of the central Scotland town of Stirling, told the Daily Mail. “I told them that it was stupid and that if I had to leave I would not come back and that was it, I got on my bike and left.”

Examiner – Lens:

Illegal migrants walk in a caravan to cross the country to reach the U.S. border, as regional leaders gather in Los Angeles to discuss migration and other issues, in Huehuetan, Mexico June 7.

Where Are All the Public Restrooms:

There are few things worse than having to hold it. Unfortunately, your chance of finding a public restroom in many American cities has been falling for years, and recent news suggests it could get worse. Starbucks, which opened its restrooms to non-paying visitors in 2018, may be reverting its policy, per Bloomberg.

Starbucks isn’t the first private establishment to be known for its lavatory. The U.S. has a long legacy of businesses using restrooms as a selling point, including: Saloons, which were one of the most reliable places for men to relieve themselves in the 19th century, as long as they bought a pint; Department stores, which made clean restrooms for women a selling point in the late 19th century after realizing there were few facilities dedicated to women; Gas stations, which became a popular restroom destination with the advent of the automobile. But it raises the question – why do we rely on private businesses for restrooms in the first place?

It’s complicated. Public restrooms experienced a boom in the early 20th century due in part to Prohibition, as some feared that shutting down saloons would result in a toilet shortage. But several factors slowed momentum: High costs: Early 20th-century public restrooms (or “comfort stations”) were built with high ceilings and ornate tiles to give the image of high sanitation standards, but also made for expensive upkeep. Suburban flight: As Americans left cities for the ’burbs after World War II, the focus shifted to highway rest stops. Safety concerns: In the 1960s and ’70s, public restrooms became known for violence and drug use, leading many cities to shut off access.

So, what now? Starbucks is still a viable option, you may just have to purchase something. If you’re against spending to pee, The Portland Loo, based in Oregon, is an affordable, single-user public toilet designed to deter crime. It’s also been installed in Denver, Cincinnati, and San Antonio.

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 21, Disney released the animated movie Lilo & Stitch written and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois.

** On June 29, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was made Acting President for two and a half hours while President George W. Bush had a colonoscopy.

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Examiner – Lens:

The Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja makes photographs using herself as a model, but her images are less self-portraits than still-lifes. A deadpan protagonist – or a jarring centerpiece – she appears amid carefully staged arrangements of household objects, gazing into the camera with rich dispassion.

Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** Over at Amazon: A few dozen Amazon employees are staging a “die-in” protest where they are laying down on the street because the company sells Common Sense friend Abigail Shrier’s book about adolescent girl gender transitions being in part – brace yourselves – a social trend. These employees seem to have no problem when their company partners with the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda arm to, among other things, remove negative reviews from a film called Amazing China. No die-ins for the Uyghurs. None for the Amazon warehouse workers. But when you come for teenage mastectomies, you better watch out!

** Time Laundering! Let me explain. If I get a present I don’t want but can’t return or give away without offending the gifter, there’s something I do that I call Time Laundering. I leave the item in its box in my closet for a year, maybe two, maybe if it’s from my mom who I love very much then it’s even three years. When enough time has passed, I can look at the item, say oh my gosh it’s been three years and I’ve never worn this, and give it to a friend or to Goodwill, guilt-free.

** This is how American mainstream news handles the most interesting stories of the day when they happen to be inconvenient to the prevailing narrative. The best example of this is the Hunter Biden laptop, which was only allowed in right-wing media and was declared fake news – until it wasn’t, but not until 18 months after it mattered. Or disinformation, which was delineated by God and could never be questioned, until the conservative press had loosened up the jar and the topic could be looked upon. There are endless examples. Two just this week: Harper’s can now safely bring us this skeptical piece about COVID controls being maybe also about social control! Years in, after all the socially risky reporting done by very bad people, the New York Times can bring us a thoughtful and smart piece on Lia Thomas and trans athletes. These ideas have now been gently tumbled in the time laundry machine. Those who did the dirty work of breaking these stories? Those who didn’t wait the appropriate number of years? Shhh, a new New Yorker podcast just dropped, apparently Bill Clinton went on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane.

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

A young lady reading the LBN Examiner on a phone at the local Boys and Girls Club in Glasgow, Kentucky, 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):

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** If you’re an average homeowner who owns a home for the national average of seven years, your mortgage will account for only about 30% of your total cost of homeownership, according to a study by two economists at Fannie Mae, which packages mortgages for resale to investors. About half of the total cost of ownership for the average homeowner is other ongoing costs, including taxes and utilities, according to the study, by Jaclene Begley, an economist, and Mark Palim, vice president and deputy chief economist. The killer? About 20% of total costs are incurred in two narrow windows at the beginning and the end of ownership: expenses related to buying and selling. —- Peter Coy

** Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory – not prolonged indecision. —- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

** Discrediting a thinker’s broad worldview or legacy by discovering some statement from the distant past revealing him or her to be a bigot by today’s standards is a depressing degeneration in our intellectual life. It speaks of a compulsion to moralize rather than to understand, to shut down rather than expand debate. Picasso was morally monstrous; but his painting is transcendent. And if you cannot disentangle the two, you are attacking a key liberal principle: that ideas and works of art should be considered on their merits, and not on the virtue or vice of their proponents. But what makes this illiberalism even more repellent is how selective it is. For a few generations now, critical race theorists have attempted to cancel one Enlightenment thinker after another, excoriating Thomas Jefferson as a bigot and hypocrite, David Hume as a vicious racist, Immanuel Kant of all people for white supremacism. The Age of Reason has been recast as the Era of Hate. In his new book, The War on the West, Douglas Murray quotes Black Studies professor Kehinde Andrews explaining the rationale for this: “A defense of liberalism is the worst possible thing you want to do. Because liberalism is the problem. It is the Enlightenment values which really cement racial prejudice.” The notion here is that human beings had no tribal, racial prejudices until the Age of Reason dawned. Racial hatred was invented by and is the exclusive property of white people in the last few hundred years. Seriously, that’s what the woke believe. —- Andrew Sullivan

** In every country, people get into arguments, hold racist views or suffer from mental health issues. But in the U.S., it is easier for those people to pick up a gun and shoot someone. That reality is what allowed an 18-year-old to obtain an assault rifle and kill 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school classroom in Uvalde, Texas. And it is what makes the U.S. a global outlier when it comes to gun violence, with more gun deaths than any of its peers. This chart, looking at public shootings in which four or more people were killed, shows how much the U.S. stands out: —- German Lopez, New York Times

How Elon Musk Could Win the War on Spam Bots:

It looks like Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is a go. The board recommended that shareholders vote to approve his $44 billion acquisition of the company. There is one “unresolved matter” standing in the way. Bots, or the fake accounts found on the site. Twitter maintains that only 5% of the users are fake, but Musk estimates 20% and even declared war on the bots. If Musk does succeed in his acquisition, many wonder what could be done to stop fake accounts. For a lot of technologists, the answer is in email validation, or proving that there’s a real person behind an account.

“Getting rid of bad data is crucial, but fake accounts are particularly insidious,” Brian Minick, COO of email validation service ZeroBounce, said. He went on: “If they validated the email address of every person on Twitter, it would drastically reduce the problem.” ZeroBounce’s technology identifies spam bots and all manner of invalid and harmful email addresses. But, once the spam bots and fake accounts are purged from Twitter, what would prevent them from infecting the site all over again? ZeroBounce CEO Liviu Tanase says the solution is simple. “The signup form on Twitter could have a real-time email checker assessing the validity of new accounts. Right now, there are vulnerabilities in the signup process. You can easily set up a fake account in a little over a minute.”

Curious about how email validation works? ZeroBounce lets you check 100 addresses for free.

Washington State Reports 10,024% Jump in Catalytic Converter Thefts Since 2019:

It’s no secret, catalytic converters have been targeted ferociously over the past few years. In fact, Washington state reported just 42 of these thefts in 2019. Two years later, in 2021, it reported 4,252. BeenVerified, a public data company, looked at the numbers deeper, saying catalytic converter reports jumped 10,024% in just two years. Washington is not alone in this problem as the rest of the country saw an estimated 26,000 thefts in the first four months of 2022, a 33.5% increase.

Author Ted Baxter – Stroke/Aphasia Survivor on Aphasia Awareness Month:

June is Aphasia Awareness Month, an ideal time to shed some light on this little-known condition, which has been in the news lately due to Bruce Willis. The family of actor Bruce Willis recently announced that he would be stepping away from acting following an aphasia diagnosis. While Willis and his family are to be applauded for bringing aphasia into the light – it’s the first time many had heard of it – most people are still unclear about what aphasia is, its effects, and the best ways of dealing with it.

Aphasia is an impairment of language caused by damage to the areas of the brain responsible for expression and comprehension. It causes difficulty producing or understanding words and language and may include problems with reading and writing. Usually, aphasia does not affect a person’s intellectual faculties but can make them unable to communicate their thoughts. Aphasia is not well known or understood, and some researchers classify it as an “invisible disability.”

Aphasia often results from damage to certain areas on the left side of the brain where language is produced. It typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, which is exactly what happened to Ted Baxter, as he details in his heartfelt memoir, Relentless: How a Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better.

Regardless of the type of aphasia, there is really no cure for it once someone develops it, but treatments can significantly enhance patients’ ability to communicate and live their lives to the fullest. First, having a positive mindset and hope are key to this equation. Among the key components to rehab and recovery are things like having a solid support system, applying the concept of neuroplasticity, and having solid Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) in your court. They can help people maintain the language skills they still possess and relearn language and grammar. Says Baxter, “In my experience, the road to recovery is long and arduous, but as long as one has the drive and resiliency, it’s definitely possible to improve.”

In These Places Most Kids Don’t Live with Dad:

On the map above, all of the blue areas are where most kids don’t live with two parents.

LIFE HACKS by Kevin Kelly:

** When you have 90% of a large project completed, finishing up the final details will take another 90%.

** Getting cheated occasionally is a small price to pay for trusting the best in everyone, because when you trust the best in others, they will treat you the best.

** Purchase a tourist guidebook to your hometown. You’ll learn a lot playing tourist once a year.

** The thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult.

** It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse.

** Just because it’s not your fault doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility.

** Ignore what they are thinking of you because they are not thinking of you.

** If you think you saw a mouse, you did, and if there is one, there are others.

** The biggest lie we tell ourselves is, “I don’t need to write this down because I will remember it.”

Examiner – Cartoon:

Careful, they say that blue light and the world falling apart can affect your sleep.

Study Shows Massive Disconnect Between Journalists, Public:

To say there’s a disconnect between many journalists and the public they serve is a gross understatement, according to a new in-depth survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Per Pew, 65% of the nearly 12,000 journalists surveyed say the media do a solid job of “covering the most important stories of the day” and reporting news accurately. But a solid majority of the American public at large has the opposite view, with just 35% feeling the same way. That’s a 30-point perception gap.

The facts are clear, the mainstream media is overwhelmingly biased and follows a herd orthodoxy with little or no independence. This explains the LBN Examiner’s success; according to media experts, LBN was founded in 2002 and has been fearlessly independent and unbiased according to reader polls.

Examiner – Reader Poll:

Should airlines face federal penalties for non-weather-related flight cancellations?

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