Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (8/28/18)

Large majorities of both parties say voters cannot agree on basic facts

“Nearly eight-in-ten Americans say that when it comes to important issues facing the country, most Republican and Democratic voters not only disagree over plans and policies, but also cannot agree on basic facts.

“About eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (81%) say Republican and Democratic voters disagree on basic facts of issues. A similar – albeit slightly smaller – share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (76%) say the same. Just 18% of Republicans and 23% of Democrats say that voters of the two parties can agree on basic facts even if they disagree over policies and plans.

Source: Pew Research Report


Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed

MENTAL HEALTH CHAT-(U.S. suicide rates surges to a 30-year high)

Many research shows that mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. It suggests multiple linking causes. Lifestyle, genetics and your environment can influence whether someone develops a mental condition. A stressful home life, stressful job or stressful school environment makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Basic brain structure, biochemical processes and circuits may play a role too.

Remember that you important and loved by many. Why? Because you are a living soul and you matter to us. So, if you are having suicidal thoughts, PLEASE CALL 800-273-8255.


Cartoon Politics

White House

President Trump commemorated John McCain for his life of service to the country — but it took him all day to get there. After ignoring questions about the late senator and taking flack for raising the flags at the White House after briefly lowering them after McCain died, Trump put out a statement expressing his “respect” for the former POW and war hero. Trump later said he appreciated “everything that Sen. McCain has done for our country.” And he ordered flags lowered again. Pressure from Trump’s aides and criticism from the American Legion seemed to push the President to say more about McCain.

Meanwhile, Trump celebrated movement in the NAFTA talks. The President said the US is dropping NAFTA in favor of a bilateral agreement with Mexico and possibly a second bilateral deal with Canada. But what he announced Monday isn’t there yet. So far, there’s only a deal between the US and Mexico on how to resolve key issues in the trade relationship. That was enough for Wall Street, though. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at all-time highs, and the Dow finished over 26,000 for the first time in six months.



North Carolina
The congressional map in the Tar Heel State might be redrawn before this fall’s crucial midterm elections — just 10 weeks from today. A federal court threw out the map, ruling it was drawn to favor the GOP and so amounted to partisan gerrymandering. This is a big deal because Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 seats in the US House, and a redrawn map could put more seats in play for Democrats as they try to win back the House. The Supreme Court may end up getting involved, since we’re so close to the election. The Supremes, by the way, have never ruled partisan gerrymandering to be unconstitutional.


Air pollution
Is dirty air making us all dumber? Well, yes, says a new study. Our cognitive abilities take a big hit when we breathe in pollution over a long time, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Taking in contaminated air causes a “steep reduction in verbal and math tests scores.” Researchers found that the biggest decline in verbal scores were found in older, less-educated men.


Trump announces trade deal with Mexico
President Trump on Monday announced that the U.S. and Mexico had reached an agreement on a tentative, revised trade deal intended to eventually replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. “It’s a big day for trade. It’s a big day for our country,” said Trump, who spoke by phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Several factors remained unresolved, including whether Canada, the third NAFTA party, would sign the deal. White House officials said the terms focused on manufacturing and would help U.S. workers by making it harder for China and other rivals to ship cheap goods destined for the U.S. through Mexico. The agreement also aims to bring labor and environmental rules into sync across the border to protect U.S. salaries and jobs. One senior administration official conceded that the cost of certain goods, such as automobiles, might be driven higher.

SOURCES: The New York Times, The Washington Post


Primary voters head to polls in Florida, Arizona, and Oklahoma

Florida voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections that will provide the latest test of President Trump’s influence with Republicans. Trump endorsed U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in a race to pick the party’s nominee to replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott. DeSantis got into the race in January shortly after Trump tweeted he would make “a GREAT governor,” vaulting into contention against the early favorite, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. On the Democratic side, former Rep. Gwen Graham is facing four challengers in her bid to become Florida’s first woman governor. Scott is expected to win the GOP primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Voters also go to the polls in Arizona, where Republicans are holding a contentious primary for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake (R). In Oklahoma’s gubernatorial primary, Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt are facing each other in a runoff.

SOURCES: The Associated Press, Vox


Macron says European leaders can’t rely on U.S. for security
French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that Europe could no longer rely on the U.S. alone to guarantee its security. “It’s up to us,” Macron told a gathering of France’s ambassadors. Macron and President Trump appeared to hit it off in their first meetings, so well that they were teased about their “bromance.” Since his election last year, Macron has urged Trump not to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, or impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum. He has failed to win over Trump, and his speech appeared to signal a change of approach. Macron called for the European Union to take greater responsibility for its own defense and make the European Union more “sovereign.”

SOURCES: The Washington Post, The Independent


German Protesters Clash Over Migrants
Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the outbreak of violence in the eastern city of Chemnitz that left several injured after two days of clashes between far-right protesters and counter-demonstrators. The showdown erupted after the arrests of a Syrian and an Iraqi on suspicion of stabbing a German man to death Sunday. Local reports described street battles featuring flying projectiles and anti-immigrant street mobs hunting foreigners. Police are investigating reports that a Syrian, an Afghan and a Bulgarian were attacked. Merkel’s spokesman said, “This has no place in our cities.”


Scientists Discover Unique Human Brain Cell


What are we thinking? An international team of researchers attempting to identify every type of cell found in the brains of mice, monkeys and humans has isolated a previously unknown type of neuron that is so far unique to humans. The discovery of the “rose hip neuron” could explain why some experimental treatments for brain disorders fail to help humans despite being successful on mice. The cells appear to assist in regulating the flow of information to the brain, sparking researchers to further examine their role in neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia.



“One of the most painful things is this deep question I have of: Do I trust my church with my kids? And the answer right now is:
Kinda, no.”
Susan Reynolds, an assistant professor of Catholic studies at Emory University in Atlanta and the mom of two young daughters, on raising a family in the church amid the clergy sex abuse crisis

Source: CNN




Good News- (We may be living in some strange times, but there’s still a lot of good in our communities)

Disney offers to pay tuition for thousands of workers
The Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday said it was offering to pay full tuition for hourly workers seeking a college degree, finishing high school, or training to acquire a new skill. The program could benefit as many as 80,000 hourly workers in the U.S. Disney said it would start paying tuition for employees in online classes this fall. Disney plans to invest $50 million in its “Disney Aspire” program initially, then add up to $25 million a year. “The Walt Disney Company will cover 100 percent of tuition upfront and will also reimburse application fees and required books and materials, removing the worry of paying to start or continue school,” said Jayne Parker, Disney’s chief HR officer, in a blog post. The entertainment giant is the latest major corporation to offer such educational benefits as executives seek ways to attract and keep employees in a tightening job market.


Parkland Students Are Getting An Official School Therapy Dog
The Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting is getting a therapy dog to help students who need emotional support.
River, a 3-month-old female Bernese mountain dog-poodle mix, has been adopted by Ray and Diana Haneski.
Diana is a library media specialist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where she helped shelter 50 kids during the attack.
Now she’ll be able to take River into the school for anyone who needs comforting.
She told NBC 6 after meeting the dog Thursday that “it’s magical.”
As she tries to prepare herself to return to the school, she said, “River’s going to help in the future with a lot of struggles and trouble.”
A mini bernedoodle like River averages 30 to 45 pounds (14 to 20 kilograms) fully grown.



$41.6 million
That’s how much Houston Texans star J.J. Watt has helped raise for Hurricane Harvey relief.


LOVE FOR SELF AND OTHERS, I agree with the saying that happiness is indirectly proportional to love. Well, I want to remind you to look in the mirror at some point today and say I love you to the person you see. Add some happiness and love in day.



Written out
John Goodman says Dan will be “sad” on “The Conners” because his wife is dead, a clear sign of how Roseanne Barr’s exit from the show will be handled.

True blue
Her school said her blue-black wig was a dress code violation and shouldn’t be worn. But a student with brain cancer said it gave her strength in her fight.

Rock of ages
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson became a rock for a family reeling after a mother and daughter were killed in a wrong-way car crash.

Under the sea
It’s not the Great Barrier Reef, but the newly discovered giant deep-sea coral reef, off South Carolina’s coast, is still a pretty significant find.



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