LBN Examiner 09/04/2022


Taking cannabis regularly in your mid-20s can cause permanent damage to the brain and its legalization in some states has wrongly suggested to many that it is safe, the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently said. Dr Nora Volkow, who has led the agency for almost two decades, warned that cannabis use among young adults was a “concern” and called for more “urgent” research into the “potential health risks” for the age group. Her agency – which is part of the National Institutes of Health – revealed Monday that a record number of 19 to 30-year-olds were using cannabis in 2021, with one in 10 admitting to using it every day. Around 30% used the drug at least once a month, with 4-in-10 having used the drug at least once last year.

Numerous studies have warned that regularly using cannabis can harm brain development – which continues into the mid-20s – and that repeated users are more likely to struggle socially and face career and relationship problems. But it is now only fully illegal in just four states – Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina and Wyoming – with 19 approving it for recreational use and nearly every state already giving it the green light for medicinal use – typically to treat chronic pain. Experts warn that legalizing the drug has led to it gaining acceptance in recent years, leading more people to try it. Stress from the COVID-19 pandemic has also driven up the number of people using it.

Elon Musk Issues Dire Warning About Rapid Shift To Green Energy:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk cautioned that the global economy places itself at risk by pursuing a rushed transition to renewable power. Energy prices in many developed countries – particularly nations in western Europe heavily dependent upon renewable sources – have soared following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with natural gas prices in Germany and France soaring to an order of magnitude higher than usual levels. During an energy conference in Norway, Musk remarked that “some additional exploration” of oil and gas resources “is warranted at this time.” “Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters. “One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy. That will take some decades to complete.”

Many developed countries are indeed shifting their energy portfolios toward renewables and away from conventional sources. As a result, Norwegian production of oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels reached a peak in 2004 and has steadily declined since, according to data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. More broadly, the European Union – of which Norway is not a member – aims to be “a climate-neutral society” by 2050 in accordance with the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, Switzerland and Germany are among several countries progressively shuttering nuclear power plants in reaction to the 2011 meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. Germany – which imported 55% of its gas from Russia before the war – will likely proceed with the scheduled closure of its three remaining nuclear facilities before the end of the year.

Drew Barrymore Accused Of Racist Appropriation For Posting Video Of Herself Frolicking In The Rain:

Actress Drew Barrymore is being accused of cultural insensitivity toward “black creators” for posting a video of herself enjoying the rain, which at least one critic says is an appropriation of the “black men frolicking” trend. Many social media users were confused by the criticism posted by TikTok user amushroomblackly, who chastised Barrymore for the video clip by saying she was a “colonizer” who made it possible for millions of her followers to “dismiss and disrespect the boundaries that black creators have set.” The TikTok user was upset because she saw Barrymore’s video as an extension of a TikTok trend called “black men frolicking.” It began with the user thexsadxoptimistic filming himself happily running through a field of flowers. The clip got shared on Mashable in May and quickly went viral, inspiring other social media users to copy him. It allegedly spread to black women as well.

Examiner – Lens:

A child points a water pistol at a statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin riding a tank by French artist James Colomina in a playground in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City.

3.8 Million Renters Likely To Be Evicted In Next Two Months:

As pandemic eviction moratoriums expire and rent payment relief programs end across the U.S., a rental crisis is beginning to crest. About 8.5 million people are behind on rent as of the end of August, according to Census Bureau data. Of those renters, around 3.8 million say they are somewhat or very likely to be evicted over the next two months. Meanwhile, rents continue to tick up and topped $2,000 a month in June for the first time on record. Before the pandemic, rents have increased by almost 25% and 15% in just the past year, according to Zillow.

Evictions are spiking in major cities across the country as well. In Tampa, Florida, evictions were 52% above average in August, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. In Houston, they were 90% above average, and in Minneapolis–St. Paul they were 94% above average. With eviction moratoriums ending, many delinquent tenants are finding themselves in a tight spot. Still, some landlords are breathing a sigh of relief after months of housing people who stopped paying long ago.

Mexico Arrests Top Prosecutor In Case Of Missing Students And, Issues 80 Warrants:

The country’s former attorney general, accused of covering up the probable massacre of 43 students, was charged with forced disappearance, torture and obstruction of justice. Mexico’s former attorney general was arrested recently in connection with the violent abduction and likely massacre of 43 students in 2014, a significant breakthrough in one of the most notorious atrocities in modern Mexican history. He is the first high-level official to be detained in connection to the case, and the authorities said Friday that they had also issued more than 80 arrest warrants related to it, including for military officers, police officers and cartel members. It was not immediately clear if any of those warrants had led to other arrests, but their sudden announcement came just a day after the Mexican government said an official inquiry had found the disappearance of the students to be a “crime of the state” involving every layer of government.

Examiner – Commentary by Nellie Bowles:

** Oh and $80 billion to the IRS: The IRS gets a huge new slush fund. And it looks like they’re going to be armed and ready to kill?! Is the IRS allowed to do that? I guess yes! Here is one of the new IRS job listings: Major Duties: Adhere to the highest standards of conduct, especially in maintaining honesty and integrity. Work a minimum of 50 hours per week, which may include irregular hours, and be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends. Maintain a level of fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations on the job. Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary. Be willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments.

** Islamist from New Jersey attacks Salman Rushdie: As the novelist sat on stage at the Chautauqua Institution, about to have a conversation on the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers, a 24-year-old named Hadi Matar rushed the stage and stabbed Rushdie. Iran put a fatwa on Rushdie’s head in 1989, offering more than $3 million to anyone who managed to kill him. Thankfully, Matar failed at that task, but he did stab Rushdie many times. Rushdie is now recovering but will be forever damaged by the attack (likely losing an eye and the use of an arm). Apparently none of this has given pause to a White House that is reportedly in the final stretches of the long delayed Iran deal, which has been an obsession of the left since Obama’s scuttled 2015 effort. If it passes, the genocidal regime would have access to over $100 billion in foreign cash reserves and get a lot closer to having a nuclear bomb. Looking back at Salman Rushdie, you can play a sort of “where are they now” with the early pro-fatwa characters. Like where is Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, Iran’s former ambassador to the U.N.? Teaching at Oberlin, of course! He’s the Nancy Schrom Dye Chair of Middle East and North African Studies. “At Oberlin, he developed innovative courses with an interdisciplinary approach to friendship and forgiveness studies and also initiated the Oberlin annual Friendship Day Festival.”

** Boston Children’s Hospital’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week: One of our country’s most prestigious hospitals for children recently released a series of slick, beautifully produced videos advertising their services for gender non-conforming patients. The services include “gender affirming hysterectomies,” “chest reconstruction surgery” (aka double mastectomies) – all the classics of the modern pediatrician’s office. They put out videos with doctors saying things like “a good portion of children do know as early as from the womb” and “we see a variety of young children all the way down to ages 2 and 3.” Another video says that “playing with the opposite gender toys” is an indication of transness.

** Segregation is back, back again: UC Berkeley’s Person of Color Theme House has reportedly banned white guests from common spaces “to be able to avoid white violence and presence.” “When students do bring a guest, the rules direct them to announce it in the house guest chat and note ‘if they are white,’” reports campus news site The College Fix, which broke this story. What about other races? Do you have to announce if your guest is Asian, Latino? What about biracial? These nuances are unclear, and dare I say it, problematic. I would gently suggest that bringing back segregation is a risky move.

** Speaking of illegal: The Minneapolis teachers’ union put a clause in their contract that white educators can get laid off first regardless of seniority. And no doubt, with all the kids leaving public schools, layoffs are inevitable. The new race-rule is meant protect teachers of color and “to remedy continuing effects of past discrimination,” according to the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. This is, of course, against the law. The troublesome 14th Amendment with its Equal Protection Clause, goes something like: “No State shall blah blah blah deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” What kind of monster would write that? …

Examiner – Look Back:

New York circa 1910. “Traffic at Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street.”

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** Why is Donald Trump so powerful? How did he come to dominate one of the two major parties and get himself elected president? Is it his hair? His waistline? No, it’s his narratives. Trump tells powerful stories that ring true to tens of millions of Americans. The main one is that America is being ruined by corrupt coastal elites. According to this narrative, there is an interlocking network of highly educated Americans who make up what the Trumpians have come to call the Regime: Washington power players, liberal media, big foundations, elite universities, woke corporations. These people are corrupt, condescending and immoral and are looking out only for themselves. They are out to get Trump because Trump is the person who stands up to them. They are not only out to get Trump; they are out to get you. —- David Brooks

** “Always make new mistakes.” —- Esther Dyson

** A couple of glasses of wine or a few drinks in the evening will probably make you fall asleep faster than normal. Who among us hasn’t left the dishes for the next morning or neglected a skin-care routine after a dinner party or festive night out? But even if you thud into dreamland, there’s a good chance that too much alcohol will mean a fitful night of sleep. That’s because alcohol disrupts what’s known as your sleep architecture, the normal phases of deeper and lighter sleep we go through every night. A night of drinking can “fragment,” or interrupt, these patterns, experts say, and you may wake up several times as you ricochet through the usual stages of sleep. —- Amelia Nierenberg

** We need to rethink the entire practice of treating unpretty sentiments as if they summed up anyone’s life or work, whether you’re talking about a political titan or a contemporary celebrity. That Thomas Jefferson was an enslaver and thought of Black people as inferior is a sad aspect of his totality, and his hypocrisy on race should be noted. But it doesn’t negate all else he accomplished, including drafting the Declaration of Independence, a document that guides and governs our very way of life. —- John McWorter

** There’s no ducking this fight. Any decision a company makes will anger someone, and the consequences could be severe. Consider the threats that 14 Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives made in May to Lyft’s chief executive, Logan Green, after he said the company would cover travel costs for employees enrolled in a U.S. medical benefit plan who had to travel 100 or more miles to find an in-network abortion provider. (A Texas law that’s been temporarily blocked is set to ban all abortions except those that would save the life of a pregnant woman or prevent “substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”) —- Peter Coy

Examiner – Lens:

Three years after giving birth, comedian Amy Schumer has found new ways to joke about sex and its consequences.

Examiner – Readers Have Spoken:


We asked Examiner readers in all 50 of the United States and in 26 foreign countries for their thoughts. The Examiner readers had spoken.


** There was so much fraud in federal COVID relief programs that prosecutors have struggled to keep up. READ

** PTSD may be diagnosed via saliva samples; study of 200 Israeli veterans shows a link between symptoms and unique oral bacteria populations. READ

** Visualizing the world’s worst data breaches. READ

** Bye debt: The Biden admin wiped $3.9B in debt owed by former students of ITT Technical Institute, a now-defunct for-profit college chain accused of misleading students about its programs.

** The five states where owners spoil their dogs the most. READ

** Visualizing the world’s biggest military spenders. READ

** Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster from Moderna shows eightfold increase in antibodies effective against dominant strains versus current shot, trial data show. See U.S. COVID-19 data here. READ

** Watch a sea turtle deftly escape a tiger shark. READ

** Nanoparticle sensors can distinguish between viral and bacterial pneumonia, allowing doctors to avoid prescribing unnecessary antibiotics. READ

** Visualizing the projected shift in global economic power. READ

Examiner – A Look Back:

Sara Nelson, the head of the flight attendants’ union, leads her members through turbulent times and mounts a major organizing drive at Delta. Nelson, the head of the A.F.A., has spoken out forcefully against passengers “using flight attendants as punching bags.”

Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was Suppressed In ‘Conspiracy To Get Rid Of’ Trump, Bill Maher Says:

The media conspired to keep news about Hunter Biden quiet until after the 2020 election in a bid to help President Biden win, Bill Maher charged. “Hunter Biden’s laptop was buried by the press, even the head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, said that was a mistake. They buried the story,” Maher told his guests comedian Rob Reiner and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota). The host then went on to reference author Sam Harris’ recent podcast interview claiming a coordinated effort to suppress Hunter Biden news was “warranted.” Bill Mahr pointed out that Big Tech bosses such as Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg regretted censoring the Post’s Hunter Biden exposé.


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Patrick Girondi’s Flight Of The Rondone Just Released As Audiobook:

Patrick Girondi’s audiobook Flight of the Rondone, a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, has just been released featuring the author’s own voice reading and his original music at the start of each chapter.

Flight of the Rondone is a rough and tumble story which starts on the streets of Chicago. The story then moves to trading in the U.S. and other international stock, commodities and option exchanges, and culminates with Girondi pioneering gene therapy on a mission to cure Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia.

Examiner – Did You Know?

** A judge ruled that a required virtual scan of Cleveland State University student Aaron Ogletree’s room prior to an online test violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

** France now offers ~$4k to anyone who trades in their gas car for an electric bike, in hopes that 9% of the country will swap by 2024.


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Examiner – Watch:

** Saying goodbye to Tokyo’s tiniest shop. WATCH

** An epidemiologist answers common questions about monkeypox. WATCH

** Ambidextrous artist paints six portraits upside down with her hands and feet. WATCH

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 September 4, Doris Roberts testified before a U.S. Congressional panel that age discrimination is prevalent in Hollywood.

** On September 4, Kelly Clarkson was crowned the winner of the first series of “American Idol.”

Examiner – A Different View:…

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