LBN Examiner 08/14/2022


Inflation has dominated the news about America’s economy in recent months as prices for food, gas and other goods have increased faster than they have in four decades. But inflation is a global phenomenon right now – and the U.S. has actually fared better than other countries in recent months. In June, consumer prices in the U.S. increased 9.1 percent over the previous year; they increased 9.6 percent across the E.U. in the same time period. Much of the public discussion about inflation in the U.S. has focused on domestic problems, particularly President Biden’s policies. Critics argue that the American Rescue Plan, the pandemic relief bill that Biden signed into law 16 months ago, has supercharged consumer demand by sending $1.9 trillion to Americans, state governments and other programs. As higher demand has chased limited supplies of goods, prices have soared. The law has certainly played a role in increased inflation, economists say. But the global trends suggest that focusing solely on the U.S.’s role misses a big part of the story – how external forces have driven up prices, too.

Bill Maher Says Woke ‘Fat Acceptance’ Is Now A National Security Issue:

Talk show host Bill Maher has railed against the fat acceptance movement – which he said has become a national security issue as obesity rates drive down military recruitment. “It’s literally a national security issue now,” Maher said in the closing monologue of his show Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. “Military recruitment is down by the most since the end of the draft, because mainly 17 to 24 year olds are too fat to fight.” He cited a 2019 New York Times article showing that about one-third of potential recruits are too overweight to enlist in the US military.

The article also noted that obesity rates in the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have doubled in less than a decade, while in the Navy, obesity rates have risen six-fold since 2011. Those rates could negatively impact “physical performance and military readiness,” the authors of the Defense Department’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report wrote at the time. “At some point, acceptance becomes enabling,” Maher said of what he describes as the “Orwellian” fat acceptance movement. “And if you’re in any way participating in this joyful celebration of gluttony that goes on now, you have blood on your hands, full stop.” “You can make believe you’re fighting some great social justice battle for a besieged minority, but what you’re really doing is enabling addicts – which I thought we decided was bad.”

Calm Your Dog In The Car With Some Reggae Or Soft Rock Hits:

If your dog gets stressed on long car rides, don’t worry, just put on some Bee Gees! Researchers are sharing the 10 most calming songs for dogs, with the 1977 hit “How Deep is Your Love” topping the charts. It turns out two in three dog owners say their furry friends gets stressed out while traveling. That’s bad news for the 75%; planning to take their pet on a staycation this year, with 72% of these dog owners traveling by car.

Examiner – Lens:

A bus carrying wounded service members of Ukrainian forces from the besieged Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol drives under escort of the pro-Russian military upon arrival in Novoazovsk, Ukraine, May 16.

The Thermostat:

It’s called the thermostat theory of politics. It’s the idea, developed by the political scientist Christopher Wlezien, that public opinion often moves in the opposite direction as government policy. When policy begins changing, many people worry that the shift will be too radical, and their views move the other way – much as a thermostat regulates a house’s temperature. During Donald Trump’s presidency, public attitudes moved left on immigration. During Barack Obama’s presidency, attitudes moved right on gun control and taxes.

Abortion policy now seems to be offering the latest example of the theory. As more states have enacted laws restricting abortion in the past few years, support for abortion access has risen. It may have risen even more in the past few weeks, with the Supreme Court potentially on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Shortly after Politico reported in May that the court had tentatively decided to overturn Roe, a University of Chicago research group conducted a poll for The Wall Street Journal, asking about Americans’ attitudes toward abortion. The poll is especially useful because it has been asking the same questions since the 1970s. Last month, it found that 57% of Americans said they favored legal abortion if a woman wanted one for any reason, up from 54% last year and only 44% in 2016.

Half Of Americans Admit They Can’t Touch Their Toes Without Straining:

More than seven in 10 (73%) Americans are eager to increase their physical activity to keep up with their children. That’s because the pandemic kept many individuals from taking care of their bodies as well as they were prior to COVID-19. A recent study polled 2,000 U.S. adults to see how they’re staying active as their routines and lifestyles have undergone drastic change over the past two years. Only half of respondents (51%) can touch their toes without straining. However, people are looking to change their habits, with 70% making more of an effort to move around and be physically active more now than at the start of the pandemic.

Examiner – Lens:

Desiree Andrade, whose son Julian was murdered in May 2018, with Phil Stirling, the lead prosecutor on the case. Both are critics of radical Los Angeles DA George Gascon.

Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** It’s not a recession if Biden didn’t see his shadow: With news that the economy shrank by 0.9% in the last quarter, you might think that we’ve entered a recession, which is commonly defined as an economy shrinking for two consecutive quarters. But that old way of thinking is over. Recession is a very mean word that we don’t use under President Biden. The White House is denying all past statements from White House officials who used the old forbidden definition: “That’s not the definition,” the press secretary said this week when confronted with the banned one. They even put out a special update on the meaning last week to prepare us, with the first line being, “What is a recession?” How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? The media is ready to go carrying the administration’s water. Here’s the Associated Press: “By one common definition – the economy shrinking for consecutive quarters – the U.S. economy is on the cusp of a recession. Yet that definition isn’t the one that counts.” Online encyclopedias and social media are following suit. The Wikipedia page on “recession” is getting furiously updated. (The crowd-source encyclopedia now contains a note on the “recession” entry that all previous definitions are false: “An outdated version of this article has been widely circulated. Please verify that claims or screenshots you may have seen are consistent with the actual content here.”) The economic historian Phil Magness posted on Facebook about the White House word games with recession and got a warning tagging it as “false information” and adding a “fact check.” Government is inefficient in most ways, but when it comes to coordinating with our social media oligarchs, it’s a well-oiled machine.

** Republicans block bill for veterans exposed to toxins: Republicans this week voted against a measure that would expand coverage for veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits while serving. The measure – called The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act – was celebrated by veterans and looked good to go, so the failure was a surprise. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said, among other things, he didn’t like how it would change prior discretionary spending on veteran care into mandatory spending. Veterans groups and Jon Stewart are, rightly, pretty pissed off.

** Proud forever-masker is now a top figure at WHO: Susan Michie, a professor at the University College London and a very committed communist, is the new chair of the World Health Organization’s “Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights.” She has argued that Covid-era face masks and social distancing should “continue forever,” which her university was proud enough about to post on their website.

** Fake science: In one week, three major debunkings are a good reminder that “trust the science” is silly. Science is always a work in progress. First: Depression seems to have nothing to do with a chemical imbalance. All that talk about how depressed people don’t make enough serotonin? It’s not really true – at least according to a new study. Lead author Joanna Moncrieff said: “I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities.” That’s not to say depression is fake. And SSRIs do indeed seem to work for a lot of people, but now no one is quite sure how. Second: The theory that Alzheimer’s is caused by plaques in brain tissue is based on falsified images. Tens of millions of dollars in research funding – and 16 years of scientists’ time – has been misdirected and relied on possibly fabricated results because of this “shockingly blatant” image tampering. The lead author of the earlier reports, Sylvain Lesné, a neuroscientist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, has stayed really quiet. Third: Puberty blockers absolutely have deep and irreversible effects, including that they can cause brain swelling and loss of vision, which was added to the warning label by the FDA in early July.

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

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Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** The evidence of the harm done by Juul’s products is scant, especially when compared to highly toxic combustible cigarettes. But the anti-Juul moral panic was given an assist by media puritans, who wrote countless nearly identical stories – often in nearly identical language – who amplified every shoddy study claiming vaping might even be as bad as smoking (many of which have been ably debunked by Dr. Michael Siegel of Tufts University Medical School). It became something of a requirement for reporters to describe the device as being “cool,” “resembling a USB drive,” and warning the students were being ensnared by “kid-friendly flavors” like … cucumber. —- Michael C. Moynihan

** One hundred and fifty minutes a week. That’s the minimum recommended amount of moderate-intensity exercise that the federal government advises the American people to do to optimize their health. One hundred and fifty minutes a week. That number wasn’t pulled out of thin air. There is a bunch of observational data that shows that people who are more physically active have better health outcomes. Those who hit that 150 minutes – a-week mark have around a 30% reduction in overall mortality rates, even when you control for health status at baseline. —- Dr F. Perry Wilson (Yale School of Medicine)

** Denying the biological differences between men and women not only threaten women’s rights, it threatens our safety. Not only are we shutting women out of competitive sports, we are also shaming girls into silence in the face of abuse and harassment. —- Tulsi Gabbard

** “The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.” —- Lady Bird Johnson

** My advice to married parents: As often as you can, arrange for a sitter so the two of you can spend time together, on dates or otherwise. After all, there’s nothing that makes children feel more secure than knowing their parents are taking good care of one another. —- John Rosemond, best-selling child rearing author

** I’ve been covering politics for 72 years (!), and in all that time there seldom if ever has been as complicated a political picture as what we have today. If you were to ask me, “Which way is the wind blowing?” I would respond with a simple but perhaps unsatisfying answer: everywhere. By traditional metrics, the looming midterm elections would shape up to be a disaster for the Democratic Party, and indeed that is a possible outcome. —- Dan Rather

Examiner – Lens:

In the book “The Mind and the Moon,” Daniel Bergner explores how much we know – and how much we don’t – about mental health.

Amtrak Rewarded Executives With Six-Figure Bonuses As Rail Service Struggled:

Amtrak’s top executives received six-figure incentive bonuses in 2021, their biggest payouts in years, despite the service’s lackluster financial performance and weak ridership caused by the pandemic, according to data obtained. The compensation data, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, showed that annual incentive payouts made to Amtrak’s senior leaders have grown significantly in recent years. Nine top executives received bonuses exceeding $200,000 in the 2021 fiscal year, up from six executives in 2019. Far smaller bonuses were awarded in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and none were given in 2015 or 2020.

Examiner – Lens:

Writer Jennette McCurdy’s relationship with her mother is the narrative force at the center of her memoir: “It’s the heartbeat of my life.”

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:

** In a reader poll of LBN Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States in 26 foreign countries, 78% said they felt Donald Trump would indeed run for president again.


** The evolution of dinosaur effects in the “Jurassic Park” films. WATCH

** How one woman teeters above massive canyons on two-inch wide surfaces. WATCH

** Prince Charles’s charity accepted more than $1 million from the family of Osama bin Laden. READ

** More school employees are carrying guns to defend against school shootings. READ

** Bill Maher – Logic on fire. WATCH

** Former Amazon employee found guilty of hacking customers’ cloud data systems, stealing information linked to 2019 Capital One data breach that exposed more than 100 million records. READ

** Study reveals how tuberculosis-causing bacteria are able to rapidly evolve in response to new environments; results may lead to more effective drug treatments against the disease. READ

** Soft sounds may help dull pain, new neurological study in mice shows; under certain conditions, signaling from the brain’s auditory cortex may inhibit pain processing in the thalamus. READ

Examiner – Lens:

Abbi Jacobson co-created and stars in this new Amazon series, which expands the story told in Penny Marshall’s 1992 film. In “A League of Their Own,” Abbi Jacobson was a player-coach onscreen and off.

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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 August 11, at the British Open Women’s Golf, Karrie Webb won by 2 strokes from fellow Australian Michelle Ellis & Paula Martí.

** On August 20, a group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein took over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.

National Vaccine Law Conference To Discuss & Debate Legal Aspects Of Vaccines & Immunization September 15-16:

The first National Vaccine Law Conference will take place on September 15 and 16, 2022, at the Antonin Scalia Law School on the campus of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. The conference has been called to address the urgent need for an increased understanding of the interrelated operations of different aspects of vaccine, vaccination, and immunization law. Conference chair Brian Dean Abramson, the author of a leading treatise on vaccine law, notes that “we are now seeing an unprecedented confluence of misinformation, not just about the science of vaccines, but about the law, which is contributing to a potentially historic public health crisis.” The conference will feature over 40 speakers from different areas within the legal profession.

For more information, please contact Brian Dean Abramson at:, or visit the official conference site at:

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