LBN Examiner 11/28/2021


Birth rates in the United States dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic amid the twin public health and economic crises, lending evidence to predictions from early on in the outbreak that economic uncertainty might trigger a baby bust. This continued the downward trend in U.S. fertility rates, which were already at a record low before the pandemic began. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that a rising share of U.S. adults who are not already parents say they are unlikely to ever have children, and their reasons range from just not wanting to have kids to concerns about climate change and the environment. Some 44% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 say it is not too or not at all likely that they will have children someday, an increase of 7 percentage points from the 37% who said the same in a 2018 survey. Meanwhile, 74% of adults younger than 50 who are already parents say they are unlikely to have more kids, virtually unchanged since 2018.

Cancer Mortality Falls:

Deaths from all types of cancer in the U.S. fell by an estimated 27% over the past 50 years, according to a new analysis. The timeframe reaches back to the passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act, now responsible for more than $6B in annual cancer research. Progress was attributed to improved preventative screenings, advanced treatments, better healthcare access, and drops in smoking-related lung and oral cancers.

Rates did not drop continuously throughout the timeframe. Cancer mortality continued to rise until the early 1990s, after which it began to rapidly decline. Deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S. have fallen by 44% since its peak. Lung and bronchus cancer remains the deadliest form of the disease, representing more than one in five U.S. cancer deaths each year. Cancer still claims the lives of more than 600,000 Americans annually.

North Korea’s Nuclear Bomb Capability Far Higher Than Previously Known, Satellite Image Analysis Suggests:

A new report out Thursday appears to show that North Korea has a far stronger nuclear-bomb-making capability than previously thought, The Wall Street Journal reports. An analysis by Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation suggests that Kim Jong Un has the potential to enrich more uranium and other base ingredients for deadly weapons than was previously known. The research group based its findings on satellite imagery analysis of a uranium mining complex in Pyongsan county. Researchers also analyzed deforestation levels to ascertain mining activity. Previous estimates of North Korea’s annual uranium ore output came in at around 30,000 metric tons; the new analysis shows it could actually be as much as 360,000 metric tons.

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In Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan, Infant Girls Offered for Future Marriage Amid Economic Crisis:

The last time the Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan, rates of child marriages were among the world’s highest, and amid a deepening economic crisis, the United Nations’ children’s agency is concerned that the numbers are likely to rise once again. “We have received credible reports of families offering daughters as young as 20 days old up for future marriage in return for a dowry,” UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said. “The extremely dire economic situation in Afghanistan is pushing more families deeper into poverty and forcing them to make desperate choices, such as putting children to work and marrying girls off at a young age,” she said. The UN has warned that Afghanistan is on the brink of the world’s most serious humanitarian crisis, with 23 million of its 38 million people unlikely to have sufficient food through the coming winter without assistance.

Examiner – Lens:

“Sex, Love & goop,” is a Netflix documentary series in which the onetime Academy Award-winning actor and now entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow helps couples improve the quality of their erotic lives.

Texas School Board Meeting Erupts After Pro-CRT Speaker Warns Parents He’s Got 1,000 Soldiers ‘Locked And Loaded’:

A pro-Critical Race Theory parent told attendees at a Texas school board meeting that he has 1,000 soldiers “locked and loaded” for those who “dare” question the need for race-based curricula. Malikk Austin turned to address parents who had expressed their discontent over Critical Race Theory (CRT) pedagogy being taught in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) during the public comment portion of the meeting, according to video footage of the incident. “For those who got an issue with this critical race theory, equity it’s something I fought for for my children,” Austin said to meeting attendees. “How dare you come out from here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through, the lynching, the oppression, Jim Crow. My kids are still being afflicted by this. How dare you come off in here and challenge me on critical race theory.” CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

Stress Over Vaccination Seen as Main Cause of Side Effects:

Anxiety over the vaccination itself is believed to be the cause of the vast majority of side effects experienced among those vaccinated against the novel coronavirus at a mass vaccination site in Tokyo, an analysis by the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital has found. About 90% of the acute-phase side effects experienced by 2,930 people after receiving the vaccine at the Defense Ministry-administered vaccination site were believed to stem from stress accompanying anxiety over the vaccination. Those in younger age group made up the largest share of those affected.

Examiner – Video Spotlight:

** A cool animation demonstrating how mRNA vaccines work. WATCH

** Just a fox, listening to a banjo. WATCH

** Tat Granny goes viral on TikTok. WATCH


Get your business and products on Google in time for the holiday shopping rush. —-

Examiner – A Look Back:

Hitler declares war on the United States, Dec. 11, 1941.

Man, 83, Acquitted of Wife’s Murder – After Serving 45 Years:

When Isiah Andrews was first tried for the 1974 stabbing murder of his wife, a Cleveland jury was not told that police had originally arrested another man for the crime. Andrews was convicted and served 45 years in prison, always maintaining his innocence, until an appeals court last year ordered him retried because of prosecutors’ failure to disclose key details. A jury that had all the facts acquitted Andrews, News5 Cleveland reported. “Today the jury got it right,” his lawyer, Marcus Sidoti, said. “He is finally vindicated. Isiah will never get these decades of his life back, but he can now live the remainder of his life a free man.”

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

•• In a recent essay on great-power competition and climate change, Rob Litwak, an arms control expert at the Wilson Center, recalled a question that President Ronald Reagan posed to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, after they took a walk during their 1985 Lake Geneva summit. As Gorbachev put it later: “President Reagan suddenly said to me, ‘What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?’ I said, ‘No doubt about it.’ He said, ‘We too.’ So that’s interesting,” Gorbachev concluded. —- Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times Op-Ed columnist

** “Russia’s and China’s positions in the world economy have been reversed since they implemented different modes of marketization. Russia’s share of world G.D.P. almost halved, from 3.7% in 1990 to about 2% in 2017, while China’s share increased close to sixfold, from a mere 2.2% to about one-eighth of global output. Russia underwent dramatic deindustrialization, while China became the proverbial workshop of world capitalism.” —- Isabella M. Weber, “How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate” (2021)

** So much is broken in America. But higher education might be the most fractured institution of all. There is a gaping chasm between the promise and the reality of higher education. Yale’s motto is Lux et Veritas, light and truth. Harvard proclaims: Veritas. Young men and women of Stanford are told Die Luft der Freiheit weht: The wind of freedom blows. These are soaring words. But in these top schools, and in so many others, can we actually claim that the pursuit of truth – once the central purpose of a university – remains the highest virtue? Do we honestly believe that the crucial means to that end – freedom of inquiry and civil discourse – prevail when illiberalism has become a pervasive feature of campus life? The numbers tell the story as well as any anecdote you’ve read in the headlines or heard within your own circles. Nearly a quarter of American academics in the social sciences or humanities endorse ousting a colleague for having a wrong opinion about hot-button issues such as immigration or gender differences. Over a third of conservative academics and PhD students say they had been threatened with disciplinary action for their views. Four out of five American PhD students are willing to discriminate against right-leaning scholars, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology. The picture among undergraduates is even bleaker. In Heterodox Academy’s 2020 Campus Expression Survey, 62% of sampled college students agreed that the climate on their campus prevented students from saying things they believe. Nearly 70% of students favor reporting professors if the professor says something students find offensive, according to a Challey Institute for Global Innovation survey. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports at least 491 disinvitation campaigns since 2000. Roughly half were successful. —- Pano Kanelos, President of the University of Austin. Former President of St. John’s College. Shakespeare scholar. Liberal Arts advocate. Old soul

Mobile Cannabis Dispensaries are Coming:

Californians who enjoy cannabis may no longer have to go to the dispensary. Instead, the dispensary will come to them. Once-illegal cannabis sure has come a long way. In 2020, weed sales were worth $4.4B in California alone, an increase of 57% from 2019. And it’s never been easier to get. Instead of covert cash sales, many patients and recreational consumers can now get it delivered straight to their door – which 60% of them did in 2021, per WeedMaps.

But can it get even easier than that? Typically, ordering cannabis would mean choosing items from a local dispensary’s online shop, then waiting for someone to drop it off. But this can take a while, especially if the nearest dispensary isn’t close by. Bay Area startup Meadow provides POS systems specifically for cannabis retailers, processing $1B+ in sales since 2014. Its “dynamic delivery” offers the tools for faster on-demand, mobile delivery, per TechCrunch. It can:

  • Dispatch drivers
  • Manage real-time inventory
  • Process payments
  • Help ensure compliance with local laws

Delivery vans can carry up to $3K in merchandise, per California law, or $5K if preorders are included. Meadow can also set up specific zones to vend near (e.g., near events or neighborhoods without dispensaries), and send notifications and discounts to customers within those zones. Stuff like this may be fun for recreational consumers, but will be greatly appreciated by medical cannabis patients who can’t easily leave their homes or travel far. Meadow is starting with California, but may also expand to Michigan, Massachusetts, and New York.

Examiner – Investigates:

** In a rapidly aging Japan, older adults now use more diapers than babies do.

** The price of a gallon of milk is up 26% – an average of $3.59 – since bottoming out at $2.84 in July 2018.

** California consumers ordered 12% more weed on Election Night 2020.

** Not everything about “King of Cool” Dean Martin was what it seemed. The dashing playboy and heartthrob was actually a devoted family man to eight children. The legendary drinker – who always had a tumbler in hand – secretly filled his glass with apple cider. And that gleaming grin masked pain.

** Visualizing the size of the solar system’s biggest asteroids and comets. WATCH

** Mapping the geographic center of the U.S. population since 1790. WATCH

** Stunning high-definition time-lapse footage of the sun. WATCH

Examiner – Lens:

Actress Kristen Stewart used to learn her lines right before filming, so that it would seem, on camera, as if they had just occurred to her.

“Minnesota! The Modern Day Selma is the most important film of our era.” – Faizon Love

Minnesota! The Modern Day Selma, winner of 13 Film Festival Awards is now live in the Academy Screening Room for Oscar® consideration. Said film director, Michael Douglas Carlin, “we were in Minnesota when buildings were burning in a dangerous situation capturing the essence of the George Floyd Murder protests. Our Film sheds light on the issue of police violence as several families tell heartfelt stories detailing their loss of a family member.”

Academy members can view the film online and beginning December 5 can vote to get the film on the short list of 15 documentaries. So far, Minnesota has won 13 film festival awards including Best Feature Documentary at the Marina del Rey and Silver State Film Festivals as well as Best Director at the Silicon Beach Film Festival. MVD Entertainment releases the film in January.

The Academy Qualifying Theatrical release was in October in a time, post COVID, when almost anything can happen. Minnesota racked up an impressive weekend per screen average of $1,420 on a single screen at the Laemmle Monica Film Complex in Santa Monica. Minnesota beat out big screen films including Disney’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jungle Cruise, 20th Century Studios’ The Last Duel, Free Guy, Bleeker Street’s Mass, I’m Your Man, A24’s Lamb, National Geographic’s Becoming Cousteau, Universal’s Candyman, Dear Evan Hansen and Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye: In most cases by nearly double.

Amazon Recommends Business Book Classic “Broken Windows, Broken Business”

Amazon, the world’s largest bookseller, has recommended the revised edition of the business book classic “Broken Windows, Broken Business – The Revolutionary Broken Windows Theory: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards.” For more information click here – Broken Windows

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