Marijuana Use Soaring Among College Students While Alcohol Use Drops, Study Finds

two people passing a blunt

Marijuana use among college students has surged while alcohol use dropped, according to a recent National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse study.

The “Monitoring the Future” study found that 44% of college students said they used marijuana in 2020, an increase from 38% in 2015. More, “daily” or “near daily” marijuana use among college students increased from 5% to 8% over the last five years.

The number of college students who said they consumed alcohol, on the other hand, dipped from over 62% in 2019 to 56% in 2020, according to the report. Binge drinking among college students, defined as having five or more drinks in one outing, decreased from 32% in 2019 to 24% in 2020.

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An Analytical Review of the Central Scientific Facts About the Efficacy of Face Masks and Claims They Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

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Poll: Republican Trust in Media Lower Than Ever as Partisan Divide Widens

people using their phones while standing

The percentage of Republicans who say they trust the news has plummeted over the past five years despite Democrats’ faith in media remaining high, as the partisan gap in media trust continues to widen.

When asked “how much, if at all, do you trust the information that comes from national news organizations,” only 35% of Republicans said they have at least “some” trust, down from 70% in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Monday. Meanwhile, 78% of Democrats said they have “a lot” or “some trust” in the national news media, a slight drop from 86% in 2016.

The partisan divide in media trust is at its widest, and Republican trust in national news is at its lowest, since Pew Research Center began asking the question in 2016.

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Commentary: Christian Schools Vastly Outperforming Public Schools During COVID-19, According to New Survey of Parents

Among last year’s other lessons, none may be more important than this: Our taxpayer-funded education establishment cares more about adults than children.

Consider the evidence: public school union bosses pressured officials to close schools and keep them shuttered beyond what medical authorities recommended. In spite of the obvious harm to children of school closures, unions throughout the country lobbed threats and issued demands. In Chicago, the union went so far as to sue the Mayor to keep schools closed; in San Francisco, the city had to sue its school board.

A public education system that failed to do right by our children has kept union bosses empowered and politicians cowed. Thankfully, our country offers an alternative—one that proved its mettle this past year. In a recent survey of public school and Christian school parents, the Herzog Foundation found that parents of children who attended a Christian school were vastly more satisfied with their school experience.

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Commentary: Climate Change Activists Misrepresent Extreme Weather Events

The Pacific Northwest was hit with a record-shattering heat wave in June, with temperatures over 35 degrees higher than normal in some places. On June 28, Portland, Ore., reached 116 degrees. Late last week the region suffered another blast of hot weather, with a high in Portland of 103 degrees. The New York Times didn’t hesitate to pronounce the region’s bouts of extreme weather proof that the climate wasn’t just changing, but catastrophically so.

To make that claim, the Times relied on a “consortium of climate experts” that calls itself World Weather Attribution, a group organized not just to attribute extreme weather events to climate change, but to do so quickly. Within days of the June heat wave, the researchers released an analysis, declaring that the torrid spell “was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

World Weather Attribution and its alarming report were trumpeted by Time magazine, touted by the NOAA website  Climate.gov , and featured by CBS News, CNBC, Scientific American, CNN, the Washington Post, USAToday, and the New York Times, among others.

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The Number of White People in America Has Declined for the First Time Since 1790

Crowd of people walking in New York City near the subway

The number of white people in the United States has dropped for the first time since 1790, according to new data from the 2020 Census.

Data from the 2020 count of people living in America shows that the country has become substantially more ethnically diverse, particularly in the under-18 category. Additionally, the country’s population grew 7.4% in the last ten years, a slower rate than any decade since the 1930s.

The numbers indicate that growth in the American population for the last decade has been driven by minority populations. While whites still make up a little less than 58% of the American population, that figure dropped below 60% for the first time since the census-taking began.

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U.S. Economy Added Whopping 943,000 Jobs in July as Recovery Accelerates

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 943,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 850,000 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 8.7 million. Economists projected 845,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The jobs recovery is continuing, but it’s different in character to any we’ve seen before,” payroll software firm ADP economist Nela Richardson told the WSJ. “I had been looking at September as a point when we could gain momentum—with schools back in session and vaccines widely available. But with the delta variant, we need to rethink that.”

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Kids’ Suicide, Mental Health Hospitalizations Spiked Amid COVID Lockdowns, Research Finds

Girl with blonde hair, covering her face with her hands

COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.

Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.

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Facebook Faces Lawsuit for Suspending User Who Cited Lack of Evidence for Masking Children

Blonde child wearing hair up, holding journal and wearing a mask

An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”

Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.

A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Mind of a Writer

Macbook pro with cup of black coffee and notepad next to it

The late Kurt Vonnegut had a simple yet profound approach to writing. “When I write,” he said, “I simply become what I seemingly must become.”

Stephen Hunter, another great American writer, has a similar approach to his craft today. His process isn’t so much about writing prose or creating plot or conducting research. What really matters, he says, is that the book becomes your life, always either on your mind or in your subconscious.

As Hunter explained to me this week on my podcast, “Newt’s World,” writing has become a part of his normal life, like brushing his teeth.

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Commentary: The Intelligence of Canines

Dog lying on magazine with glasses on

Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marie Curie. Gaia. The first person came up with the general theory of relativity. The second is regarded as perhaps the greatest classical composer of all time. The third is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. The fourth isn’t a person at all; it’s a dog.

All might be considered geniuses.

Some individuals are supremely gifted, with abilities that the vast majority of people cannot hope to replicate even after years of dedicated practice – the adolescents who are chess grandmasters, the musicians with perfect pitch, the professional athletes who make their colleagues look like amateurs. Scientists have been studying these people for decades, hoping to uncover genetic, environmental, or social underpinnings for their talents. Researchers have yet to find satisfactory answers.

Which brings us to dogs.

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Three Scientists Remove Their Names from Lancet Statement Denouncing Lab-Leak Theory

Doctor with protective gloves handling vaccine

Although the magazine Lancet has doubled down on its efforts to defend China and claim that there is no evidence behind the lab-leak theory of the coronavirus origins, three prominent scientists who originally agreed with this assessment were absent from the magazine’s latest statement, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

On July 5th, the magazine published yet another statement, with numerous signatories, claiming that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the suspicious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Although many of the names signed onto the statement were the same as those who made a similar assertion back in February of 2020, at least three names are missing.

One of the names is William Karesh, who serves as the executive vice president for health policy at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. As has been widely documented, EcoHealth was a major benefactor of the WIV, providing gain-of-function research funding directly to the institute after the funds had been granted to the nonprofit by the United States government.

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Commentary: Researchers Urge Americans to Focus on Loneliness Epidemic

Woman sitting in a chair, looking out the window, alone

As the pandemic recedes and Americans re-enter public life, the surgeon general and other public health experts are urging the country to focus on another national crisis, one that has lingered for decades and worsened in recent years: loneliness.

For many, pandemic-related lockdowns, social distancing, and physical isolation resulted in their most severe experiences of loneliness. Studies have shown that an uptick in loneliness and other mental health issues coincided with the pandemic, and that lockdown requirements almost certainly exacerbated pre-existing mental conditions. But for researchers who have studied loneliness, the recent increase is only one notable event in an extensive history.

Loneliness is not just a crisis in America, but also in Europe, Canada, Japan, China, Australia and, increasingly, South America and Africa. Loneliness also occurs regardless of race, class, culture, and religion. Even before the lockdowns, tens of millions of people throughout the world felt isolated.

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Catholic University Professor in Ohio Undertakes COVID Research Following Pro-Life Principles

A biology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville has started a study to look at herd immunity, while ensuring that his research also upholds pro-life principles.

Part of Professor Kyle McKenna’s research into herd immunity involved the development of an antibodies test that “did not utilize any materials produced in cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue,” he said.

“The Catholic Church has indicated the need for alternatives to the use of cell lines, derived from tissues of elective abortions, in vaccines and medical testing,” McKenna told The College Fix via email. “We saw the opportunity to provide an alternative by creating a test for evaluating antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 that used no materials that were produced in cell lines derived from elective abortions,” McKenna said.

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Majority of Americans Want the Government to Fight Income Inequality, Poll Finds

Group of people gathered, talking next to an office desk

A majority of respondents believe that the federal government should push policies that reduce income inequality in the United States, according to a poll released Friday by Axios.

The Axios poll shows 66% of respondents say the government should work to lower the level of income distributed unevenly, up 4% compared to 2019.

Republicans surveyed who agreed the government should tackle income inequality increased by 5%, and Independents who responded similarly increased by 2%, according to the poll. Democrats saw an increase of 7% in favor of such policies compared to 2019.

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Commentary: New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed

"Closed until further notice" sign

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

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Commentary: Minimum Wage Hikes Led to Lower Worker Compensation, New Research Shows

Opponents of minimum wage laws tend to focus their criticism on one particular adverse consequence: by artificially raising the price of labor, they reduce employment, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.

“Minimum wage laws tragically generate unemployment, especially so among the poorest and least skilled or educated workers,” economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1978. “Because a minimum wage, of course, does not guarantee any worker’s employment; it only prohibits, by force of law, anyone from being hired at the wage which would pay his employer to hire him.

Though some economists, such as Paul Krugman, reject Rothbard’s claim, a recent study found the overwhelming body of academic research supports the idea that minimum wage laws increase unemployment.

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Feds: Illegal Immigration Continued to Worsen in May

Temporary soft sided facilities are utilized to process noncitizen individuals, noncitizen families and noncitizen unaccompanied children as part of the ongoing response to the current border security and humanitarian effort along the Southwest Border in Donna, Texas, May 4, 2021.

The surge in illegal immigration at the southern border continues to worsen, May numbers show, as the Biden administration takes more criticism for its handling of the issue.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released new data on the crisis at the southern border, showing the federal law enforcement agency encountered 180,034 people attempting to illegally enter the country last month.

May’s numbers were a 1% increase from the previous month, but illegal immigration since Biden took office has soared.

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Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Teaching Critical Race Theory in Schools

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

A new poll shows that the majority of American voters are deeply opposed to having critical race theory (CRT) principles being taught in schools.

The survey, conducted by Competitive Edge Research for Parents Defending Education, also shows that people overwhelmingly prefer Capitalism to Socialism (61.8% to 31.4%), frown upon “cancel culture,” (62.7% to 10.6%) and believe the United States is headed “on the wrong track” (60.7% to 32.8%).

Additionally, more respondents had a negative opinion of Black Lives Matter, than had a positive opinion (48.1% to 44.4%).

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American Higher Education Has Deep Ties to EcoHealth Alliance, Wuhan Institute of Virology

Person holding bottle of COVID Vaccine

Several American researchers have worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance on coronavirus-related research, including gain of function research, dating back more than a decade, and emails reveal that several professors were in contact with Dr. Anthony Fauci during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As the intelligence community commences its investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, a series of scientific papers and studies belie a close relationship between American academia and the Wuhan lab, as well as EcoHealth Alliance, the multinational organization through which the NIH sent $600,000 to study the transmission of coronaviruses.  

What follows is a brief timeline of research publications on which university researchers collaborated with partners from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance. 

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Fauci Once Argued That Gain-of-Function Research Was Worth Risking a Pandemic

Person in green protective gear in lab with safety glasses and mask on

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci argued in 2012 that the benefits of gain-of-function research were worth the risk of causing a pandemic through a lab accident.

In a paper for the American Society for Microbiology, unearthed by the Australian, Fauci wrote, “the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.” He also wrote, “it is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature.”

Gain-of-function research involves “juicing up” viruses to make them more infectious and deadly in humans.

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University Research Finds AOC, Bernie Sanders Highly Ineffective

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are some of the least effective members of Congress, according to a new study by researchers from Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia. 

The researchers, who generated their data using computers and basing their scores on 15 criteria, say the proof is in the math. 

Their equations factored how many of a congressman’s bills pass committee, make it to the other house, and eventually become law. They established a benchmark score of 1.5 and above as “Exceptional” and scores of .50 and below as “Below Expectations.”

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New Senate Legislation Targets Foreign Theft of US Research

A new bill looks to grant the government additional oversight on foreign access to U.S. research and intellectual property.

The legislation comes as a response to recent incidents of high-security concern which concern China’s relationship with the US, including Chinese programs that seek to recruit American scientists, and the widespread failure of U.S. universities to report foreign funding.

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