LBN Examiner 09/18/2022


According to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans in 2021 once again spent more on average on taxes than they did on food, clothing and health care combined. During 2021, according to Table R-1 in the BLS’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, American “consumer units” spent an average of $15,495.28 on food, clothing and health care combined, while paying an average of $16,729.73 in total taxes to federal, state and local governments.

“A consumer unit,” the BLS says in the glossary for its Consumer Expenditure Survey, “comprises either (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption or other legal arrangements; (2) persons living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or (3) two or more person living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.”

On average in 2021, American consumer units spent $8,289.28 on food; $1,754.39 on clothing (apparel and apparel-related services); and $5,451.61 on health care. That equaled a combined $15,495.28.

At that same time, American consumer units were paying an average $16,729.73 in net total taxes. These included $8,561.46 in federal income taxes; $5,565.45 in Social Security taxes; $2,564.14 in state and local income taxes; $2,475.18 in property taxes; $105.21 in other taxes – minus an average of $2,541.71 in stimulus payments received back from the government.

Violence Hits ‘Epidemic Proportions’ In Pandemic-Era California, Study Shows:

The Golden State is losing its luster. A troubling new report labels physical and sexual violence in pandemic-era California a statewide “epidemic.” To put it simply, violence is on an alarming rise. According to the new annual report from the California Study on Violence Experiences across the Lifespan (CalVEX), violence statistics have seen a significant increase since COVID-19 emerged. The report, conducted by scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, reports more than one in six Californians (18%) experienced either physical or sexual violence in just the past year. Meanwhile, one in every 25 Californians experienced intimate partner violence. Overall, rates of both physical and sexual violence have seen an uptick since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with physical violence nearly doubling among men between 2020-2022. Study authors say demographic disparities in the results may provide further insight into potential contributing factors that could have been exacerbated during the pandemic.

Drunk Driver With Cocaine In System Kills Even Drunker Driver With Meth In System:

They say “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” – unless you go out drunk driving while high on cocaine and crash into a car, killing a person who is also drunk driving while high on meth. Then, what happens in Sin City becomes national news. KTLA reported that Summer Butler, 37, is facing charges of DUI resulting in death, reckless driving, and being in possession of a controlled substance in relation to a crash that killed an unidentified victim. According to police, Butler was driving on January 14 with a blood alcohol level of .102. Blood tests also revealed that she had cocaine in her system, compounded by the fact that while a medic was tending to her injuries sustained from the crash, “a small baggie containing a white substance fell out of the left side of her bra,” police alleged.

However, her victim this past winter was allegedly even drunker than she was. Police claim that the deceased had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit and had a substantial amount of methamphetamine in his or her system as well. It is unclear why it took so long for Butler to be taken in by authorities, but KTLA reported that an arrest warrant was placed on the suspect in June. After being arrested on August 30, Butler was offered a $15,000 bail.

Examiner – Lens:

Homelessness near the City Hall of San Francisco on August 29, 2022.

General Patton Letter In Which He Refers To Jews As ‘Sub-Human’ Goes On Sale Online:

A “dark and disturbing” letter typed and signed by Second World War hero General S. Patton exposing his deep antisemitism, is up for sale on a historical memborabilia website. The letter, dated October 4, 1945, and addressed to former aide Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman, was written just three days before General Eisenhower relieved Patton of his command of the Third Army and just two months before Patton’s death from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. In the letter, Patton seems to respond to a combative press conference that took place just two weeks prior in which Patton was blamed for the appalling living conditions at many camps for Displaced Persons, many of whom were Jews. As a result of this press conference, General Eisenhower reportedly ordered Patton to improve the camps under his area of command and to attend a Yom Kippur service. The letter, all but confirming the poor conditions of the Displaced Persons camps, reads: “So far as the Jews are concerned, they do not want to be placed in comfortable buildings. They actually prefer to live as many to a room as possible. They have no conception of sanitation, hygiene or decency and are, as you know, the same sub-human types that we saw in the internment camps.” The letter also refers to the people of the Soviet Union as “the degenerate descendants of Genghis Khan” and says the envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness in Europe “passes beyond belief.”

Carnegie Mellon University Responds To Professor Who Called For ‘Excruciating’ Death Of Queen Elizabeth II:

Carnegie Mellon University condemned a professor on Thursday who called for the death of Queen Elizabeth II to be “excruciating[ly]” painful, saying that the professor’s tweet was “offensive and objectionable.” Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the British throne at age 25, counted Winston Churchill and former President Reagan as close friends, and became the longest-reigning monarch in the nation’s history, died Thursday at the age of 96. Professor Uju Anya, who teaches linguistics and critical race studies at Carnegie Mellon University, according to the school’s website, sent out her remark via Twitter. At the time, the beloved queen’s death had not yet been announced. “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” she tweeted. “May her pain be excruciating.” “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account,” the university said in a statement. “Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”

Examiner – Lens:

Actress Chloë Sevigny.

Examiner – Commentary by Meghan Daum:

(Meghan Daum is the host of The Unspeakable Podcast and the author of several books, most recently The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through The New Culture Wars. She also co-hosts, with Sarah Haider, the podcast A Special Place In Hell.)

** Third World, U.S.A.: If you live in Jackson, Mississippi, make sure to shower with your mouth closed. That’s the latest public service announcement from local officials confronting a failed water-treatment facility. On Thursday, Jackson, a city of 150,000, began its fourth day with little to no potable running water; people are waiting in lines for bottled water so they can safely brush their teeth. The chief culprit here, we’re told by The Washington Post and other pillars of the legacy media universe, is climate change with a side order of structural racism. We wonder if decades of mismanagement, corruption, or poverty has something to do with it.

** Chaos in Portland, OR: This city cannot catch a break. Last weekend, there were nine shootings. Eight of them happened on Sunday during illegal street racing takeovers, in which crowds blocked intersections and people were seen carrying flamethrowers. Elsewhere in the city, six people were shot in the last week, including one man who was killed while dumpster diving. There were 788 shootings in Portland as of July 31 of this year. That’s 67 more than last year. And it’s 415 more than in 2020 during the same time frame. (Read more here.)

** Men’s Health sex columnist declares straightness a “fetish”: Remember the good ole days when sexuality was something to be ashamed about? Well, those days are right now. According to the sex-advice column in Men’s Health, being solely into “vulva-owners” – don’t shoot the messenger – is technically a “fetish” (no different than loving blondes or feet or whatever else) that is also potentially “offensive.”

** Pass the chronic: Regular cannabis use now outpaces cigarette smoking in the U.S., according to a new Gallup poll. Of the American adults surveyed, 16% said they currently smoke marijuana and half said they’d tried it in their lifetime. Only 11% reported smoking cigarettes regularly. When the question was asked in a 1969 survey, 40% of respondents said they’d smoke cigarettes that same week whereas only 4% said they’d ever tried marijuana. It’s worth noting that 1969 was the year President Nixon enacted Operation Intercept, which all but shut down U.S.-Mexico border crossings (for less than a month) in an attempt to curtail Mexican marijuana from coming into the country. This led to a weed shortage that then drove people to use harder drugs.

Whole Foods CEO – ‘I Feel Like Socialists Are Taking Over’:

“My concern is that I feel like socialists are taking over,” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said on Reason magazine podcast. “They’re marching through the institutions. They’re … taking over education. It looks like they’ve taken over a lot of the corporations. It looks like they’ve taken over the military. And it’s just continuing. You know, I’m a capitalist at heart, and I believe in liberty and capitalism. Those are my twin values. And I feel like, you know, with the way freedom of speech is today, the movement on gun control, a lot of the liberties that I’ve taken for granted most of my life, I think, are under threat.”

Examiner – Look Back:

A Puerto Rican couple and their nine children, 1992.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** About three million first-time college students will soon be arriving on campus – most of them coming directly from high school. About one million of them won’t make it through their first year or return as sophomores. This attrition is financially and emotionally devastating for families, and destabilizing for colleges. What goes wrong for so many stud? And how can we stop the bleeding? Financial challenges account for the largest chunk of these departures. But many others leave because the support services they and their parents feel they have been promised are often impossible for colleges and universities to provide. The number of students with mental health challenges has been rising for years – around 44% of all college students report symptoms of depression and anxiety. The rate of students taking psychiatric medication doubled between 2007 and 2019, and is now at 25%. —- Lee Burdette Williams (I’m a long-time higher education professional interested in student and staff well-being)

** “The Quakers, more than any major Protestant denomination, fostered a style of life which Max Weber called worldly asceticism – the idea of living in the world but not of it. Work itself became a sacrament, and idleness a deadly sin.” —- David Hackett Fischer

** At a church book sale in my Toronto neighborhood, I found The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook, a bestseller by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf first published 30 years ago. I always gravitate to books like this – first to see whether there is anything new in this world, and then to remind myself that the overly simplistic answer is no. (See also the 1995 compendium Debating Sexual Correctness. The #MeToo discourse existed prior to #MeToo.) It seems we’re living through a kind of 1990s revival – fueled, I suspect, by nostalgia for pre-COVID, pre-9/11, pre-internet times. Or maybe just by teenagers’ timeless desire to dress the way everyone did decades ago. The front cover of the dictionary shows a man, a woman, and a dog, each affixed with labels such as “hair disadvantaged” (he’s balding), “woman of noncolor” (she’s white), and “nonhuman animal companion” (it’s a shaggy dog). None of them, though especially the woman and the dog, would be out of place in a 2022 farmers market. (Again: cyclical fashions.) —- Phoebe Maltz Bovy

** “One of the most important reasons for studying history is that every stupid idea that in invoked today has been tried before and proven disastrous before, time and again.” —- Thomas Sowell

** No world leader has a bigger place in the history of the late 20th century than Mikhail Gorbachev, for the pivotal role he played in the peaceful end of the Cold War. The free world will be forever grateful to him, even if many of his fellow citizens are not. —- James A. Baker (James A. Baker, III was the 61st U.S. secretary of state from 1989-91.)

** Defeating Trump means making him seem small. Biden’s speech last week did the opposite. —- Bret Stephens

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.


** This is how the 78 long minutes of the Texas school shooting unfolded. READ

** Psilocybin regimen found to reduce alcohol consumption by more than 80% in patients exhibiting alcohol use disorder in pilot study; marks the latest research to suggest the positive medical uses for the psychoactive compound. READ

** Chris Rock reportedly declined invite to host 2023 Academy Awards. READ

** Study projects ice melt in Greenland will cause global sea levels to rise by at least 11 inches over the next century as the ice sheet adjusts to elevated temperatures in recent decades. READ

** Was It Really a Suicide? Millionaire businessman Dan Rapoport, a critic of Vladimir Putin, fell to his death from a luxury Washington, DC, apartment this month. Police don’t suspect foul play, but Rapoport’s political allies aren’t so sure. READ

** Poland plans to seek $1.3T in reparations from Germany for damages caused by the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of the country. READ

** History of the TSA – Reflecting on two decades of pat-downs and shoe removal at US airports and whether the process has made it any safer for travelers. READ

** Visualizing various animal sleep patterns. READ

** 17% of all shark attacks on humans occur in Florida despite the state just having 0.29% of the world’s population.

** Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes requested a new trial after a witness visited her to express regret over his testimony. READ

** Regular exercise was linked to lower risk of getting COVID. READ

** Five famous historical stories debunked. WATCH

Rogan, Rowling And Chappelle Prove The Online Mob Has No Power:

Why is anyone still listening to the Wokesters? They’re not a majority – or even close to being one. They have no Army, Navy or Air Force. They don’t even matter in the marketplace. The only power they enjoy is the power the rest of us have chosen to give them. We should stop. As the events of the last six months have neatly demonstrated, almost everything that the woke demand can be dismissed with a single word: “No.” To be effective, wokeness requires its targets to fold at the first hurdle. If we refuse to acquiesce, there’s no Plan B. For years now, non-woke Americans have chosen to cower beneath their desks when presented with an ever-more-absurd set of demands, unaware that we could have lopped off the belligerents’ knees with a single, well-timed demurral. At long last, that seems to be changing. Despite protests from both the public and Netflix employees …

Take J.K. Rowling, who has been lambasted for claiming that biological women and trans women are not exactly the same. A steadfast holdout against Internet bullies, the author has not merely refused to bow to the loudest voices within transgender movement; she has begun to make hay out of their attempts to cancel her. Rowling’s latest novel, “The Ink Black Heart,” is a murder mystery about an artist who is “persecuted by a mysterious online figure” for being a transphobe (sound familiar?). Upon release, the book went straight to the top of the best-seller list. Or take comedian Dave Chappelle, who also ruffled feathers with his jokes about transgender people in his Netflix show “The Closer.” At no point since the online mob began its relentless assault against him has he elected to apologize. Instead, he has said, “I don’t give a f–k, because Twitter is not a real place.” Which, of course, is correct.

Bluebird Bio’s $2.8 Million Gene Therapy – Criminals In Healthcare:

The 1983 Orphan Drug Act revolutionized drug policy. Government incentives helped stimulate the approval of over 600 products for rare diseases; however, with sky-high prices, the diseases are still orphans. Bluebird Bio’s recent approval of their $2.8 Million therapy to cure Thalassemia rewards criminal activity. New York Supreme court case 150856/2017 is overflowing with proof that Nick Leschly and other executives of Bluebird Bio and Third Rock Ventures willingly committed insider trading and fraud. They collectively made billions.


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Examiner – Bookkeeping:

** U.S. Secret Service recovers $286M in stolen pandemic loans for businesses. READ

** Utah businesses are caught in an alleged $722M cryptocurrency fraud scheme. READ

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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 September 17, at the 27th Toronto International Film Festival, “Whale Rider” directed by Niki Caro won the People’s Choice Award.

** On September 22, some winners at the 54th Emmy Awards were The West Wing, Friends, Michael Chiklis and Allison Janney.

Examiner – A Different View:…

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