LBN Examiner 12/19/2021


Children need a mother and a father – a context that more American youth than ever are lacking. Among the 130 million households in the United States, only 17.8% feature married parents with children – down from over 40% in 1970, according to the Census Bureau. There are currently just 23.1 million American homes with those “nuclear families,” which is the fewest since 1959. The reasons given for the drop include the pandemic delaying marriage and a continued decline in birth rate. The average age of a woman at her first marriage is now 28.6 years. In the 1950s and 1960s, women typically married at 20.4 years old. The average age for men to marry for the first time in 2021 was 30.4 years old. America’s fertility rate dropped to 55.4 births per 1,000 in the second quarter of 2021, down from 58.5 in the same period of 2019.

Americans are also living alone at a higher rate than they used to. The percentage of adults in the US living with a spouse was 50%, down from 52% 10 years ago. Over 37 million adults lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million in 2011. As far back as 1960, 87% of adults lived with a spouse. Analysts and commentators have pointed toward declining rates of religiosity, higher living expenses, the permutation of LGBTQ ideology, and even climate alarmism to explain the erosion of the American family. Indeed, the United States economy is already feeling pressure from the nation’s demographic crisis – for example, through the looming insolvency of Social Security and other programs.

Employers are Spying on Workers:

As remote work rose amid the pandemic, many employers began trying to monitor workers in their homes. A new report indicates that – unsurprisingly – this does not improve morale. The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, recently released its “Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance in the Workplace” report, which examined 398 articles about workplace surveillance. It found that in 2020:

  • Global demand for employee monitoring software increased by 108% in April and 70% in May, compared with 2019.
  • Online searches for “how to monitor employees working from home” increased by 1,705% in April and 652% in May.
  • Employee monitoring software companies saw increased sales inquiries. For example, inquiries for tracking app DeskTime were up 333% in April.

At-home monitoring techniques vary…but typically involve tools that track employees’ keystrokes, communication, social media accounts, desktops, or – gulp – even webcams. Sneek, a service that snaps webcam photos of employees every 5 minutes, saw its signups boom tenfold and reached 10k+ users amid the pandemic. (Sneek says it’s not for spying, but building office culture.) Moving into serious yikes territory, employees at a UK call center were told they’d be monitored by webcams and AI that would report infractions like eating or being absent from their desks. To avoid being reported, employees could click a “break” button and explain where they were going (e.g., to the bathroom, to get water).

Ex-New York Times Reporter Nellie Bowles Says Paper Held Story About Kenosha Riots Until After 2020 Election:

A former New York Times reporter claims the newspaper held her story about the ravaging effects of the Kenosha riots on impoverished neighborhoods until after the 2020 elections. Nellie Bowles went to the Wisconsin city to report on the racial justice riots in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, according to a Thursday post on partner Bari Weiss’ Substack channel Common Sense. Protests, riots and civil unrest engulfed the city for days, and the events were the backdrop of then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s fatal shooting of two people. Bowles said she was sent to report on the “mainstream liberal argument” that vandalizing buildings for racial justice was not detrimental because businesses had insurance. “It turned out to be not true,” Bowles wrote. “The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots. It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered.”

Examiner – Lens:

Syukuro Manabe’s models were among the first to reliably assess the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

Miracle – First Person Cured:

Brian Shelton may be the first person cured of Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes experts were astonished but urged caution. Shelton was the first patient to receive an infusion of lab-grown cells that produce insulin. Now his body automatically controls its insulin and blood sugar levels. The study is continuing, but the results so far have given experts hope for the 1.5 million Americans living with the disease. “It’s a whole new life,” Shelton said. “It’s like a miracle.”

Emerson College Prof. Who Said White and Black Women Can’t Have ‘True Friendships’ Promoted to Leadership Position:

A Boston-based professor, who once wrote that white and black women cannot have “true friendships,” was promoted to a leadership position at her liberal arts college. Professor Kim McLarin was promoted from her position as a creative writing professor at Emerson College to the interim dean of graduate and professional studies, according to a press release from the school’s interim president William Gilligan. The announcement was made on November 1 that McLarin would begin her graduate dean position in January 2022. The Federalist highlighted a handful of McLarin’s writings, including a 2019 op-ed for the Washington Post titled, “Can black women and white women be friends?”

“Generally speaking, it’s not that I dislike white women. Generally speaking, it’s that I do not trust them. Generally speaking, most black women don’t,” McLarin wrote. The professor went on to admit that such observances were “highly unscientific” and based on a survey she conducted of her friends and friends of friends. “Put simply, white women have power they will not share and to which they mostly will not admit, even when wielding it,” McLarin continued in her op-ed. “This is what black women know: When push comes to shove, white women choose race over gender: Every. Single. Time.”

Examiner – Investigates:

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There’s a Cream Cheese Crisis and Bagel Shop Owners are Panicking:

Supply chain issues have claimed a new victim – breakfast. Bagel shop owners from New York City to the Carolinas are struggling to find cream cheese and fear the supply shortage could continue leaving bagels high and dry.

So what’s a shop owner to do? The raw cream cheese that bagel shop owners purchase is unwhipped and unprocessed, which means they can’t just raid the shelves of local grocery stores. While some shop owners make do with lighter orders or lower-quality products, others have considered raising prices, temporarily removing less popular flavors, and putting limits on orders. Some New Yorkers have even gone as far as making the trek to *gasp* – New Jersey – to replenish their stash.

Bagels are only the beginning. While bagel shops are feeling the shortage most acutely, many bakeries use cream cheese for cheesecakes and other holiday-themed desserts.

Examiner – Site Of The Day:

Museum of Failure

Museum of Failure is a collection of failed products and services from around the world.

The Real Story by Sarah Garcia:

** Boy, does Hunter Biden get a ton of breaks. The White House has basically given up on setting any ethical rules for the First Son, while the cultural elite rush to cover for his sleaze. Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to commit to “basic transparency” about Hunter’s divestment from an investment fund owned by a Chinese-state entity during a White House Press Briefing. She also refused to admit his infamous laptop is authentic.

Examiner – Lens:

Residents of Aguililla, Mexico, and other nearby communities who are fed up with the army’s strategy of simply separating the Jalisco and the Michoacan-based Viagras gangs, march against roadblocks in Loma Blanca, Mexico, Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The army policy effectively allows the Viagras, best known for kidnapping and extorting money, to set up roadblocks and checkpoints that have choked off all commerce with Aguililla. Limes and cattle heading out, or supplies heading in, must pay a war tax to the Viagras. The Mexican government is rapidly running out of tools to control the expansion of the feared Jalisco cartel on the front lines of Mexico’s narco war in the western state of Michoacan and the stalled ground effort is being supplemented by an increasingly sophisticated aerial conflict. Jalisco, Mexico’s most militarily powerful drug gang, has begun organizing townspeople to act as human shields against army troops, which now just try to keep rival cartels apart.

Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** Our times often put me in mind of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” when Big Daddy says: “What is the smell in this room? Don’t you notice it, Brick? Don’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?” These days, an aroma of delusion lingers, with ideas presented to us from a supposedly brave new world that is, in reality, patently nonsensical. Yet we are expected to pretend otherwise. To point out the nakedness of the emperor is the height of impropriety, and I suspect that the sheer degree to which we are asked to engage in this dissimulation will go down as a hallmark of the era: Do you believe that a commitment to diversity should be crucial to the evaluation of a candidate for a physics professorship? Do you believe that it’s mission-critical for doctors to describe people in particular danger of contracting certain diseases not as “vulnerable (or disadvantaged)” but as “oppressed (or made vulnerable or disenfranchised)”? Do you believe that being “diverse” does not make an applicant to a selective college or university more likely to be admitted? —- John McWhorter, N.Y. Times

** If the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse was an affirmation of our system of justice, the reaction to the not-guilty verdicts in his case exposes an ongoing, foundational threat to the rule of law.The progressive clerisy – and its fellow-travelers in the media – had no interest in the facts or the law. They demonstrated this with easily disproven false statements about the trial from beginning to end. The only thing they cared about was an outcome in keeping with their ideological presuppositions. —- Rich Lowry

** By the early 1990s the American left had spent a generation earning a soft-on-crime image in an era of growing lawlessness. In 1988, Mike Dukakis secured the Democrats’ third landslide loss thanks in no small part to his stalwart opposition to the death penalty. Four years later, it was difficult to imagine any Democrat reaching the White House without a literal blood sacrifice to the gods of law and order. Now Democrats seem intent on reviving that reputation. In Waukesha, Wis., six people were killed and at least 60 injured when Darrell Brooks drove his Ford Escape through a Christmas parade, according to the police. Brooks already had a lengthy rap sheet and had reportedly run over a woman with the same S.U.V. early this month. But, as The Times reported, he had been “quickly freed from jail on bond after prosecutors requested what they now say was an inappropriately low bail.” What happened in Waukesha is among the consequences of easy bail. And bail reform – that is, reducing or eliminating cash bail for a variety of offenses – has been a cause of the left for years. —- Bret Stephens, N.Y. Times

** Many of you will recall the horrendous way in which the Catholic Church hierarchy responded to the AIDS crisis. Many blamed homosexual sex and refused to endorse condoms for heterosexuals. It was extremely hard for me to hang in there in this period, and I had to take months away from Mass after various appalling statements. It was a time when I first experienced the love of God and the intimacy of Jesus in contrast to the church that claimed to represent Him on earth. —- Andrew Sullivan

** As Joan Didion put it, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” And in all good stories, as in the stories of our lives, growth and transformation are central. That’s the whole point of life, but right now our culture has conflated redemption and forgiveness with exoneration. But if we can’t learn from our past, we can’t build a better future – either individually or collectively. —- Arianna Huffington

Examiner – Lens:

“Like anybody else, I had a number of hugely upsetting events happen in the last two years,” actress Mackenzie Davis said. Her latest role in the new HBO Max series “Station Eleven,” provided a chance to grapple with some of those feelings.

Examiner – Investigates:

** Dogs bearing an uncanny resemblance to celebrities. READ
** Glass takes one million years to fully degrade in a landfill.
** Now, and four decades in the past. READ
** Eye drops may eliminate the need for reading glasses. READ

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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