Getting Up To Speed with Oursociety911 (02/12/19)

Quick News, Concerning America, Current Events and Mental Health



“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”

—W.E.B. Du Bois




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



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

Image result for Serena Williams

Big shout out to Michael Phelps, DeMar DeRozan,  Serena Williams, Kevin Love, Steve Smith Sr. and Brian Dawkins and Brandon Marshall who recently opened up about their battles with depression and mental health. Human brains are just like any other part of our body. Once injured, there are steps that you can take to bring you back to a healthy state of mind.

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





Cartoon Politics









 Negotiators reach ‘agreement in principle’ on government shutdown

Republican and Democratic congressional negotiators late Monday agreed in principle to a border security deal that could avoid another partial government shutdown. With a Friday deadline looming, key House and Senate members settled on $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new bollard fencing, made with spaced steel posts, at the Mexican border, 10 miles less than Democrats agreed to before regaining control of the House, and a fraction of the $5.7 billion, 200-mile wall President Trump demanded through the recent government shutdown. The deal still must quickly pass the House and the Senate, and get Trump’s signature, to keep all government agencies open. Negotiators also agreed to reduce the number of migrants who can be held in detention, although Democrats backed away from sharper limits that threatened to derail the talks. (The New York Times, USA Today, The Week)




Trump, O’Rourke hold dueling border rallies in El Paso

President Trump delivered a speech in the Texas border city of El Paso to rally support for building a wall on the Mexican border. Within earshot of Trump’s event, former Texas Senate candidate and potential 2020 Democratic contender Beto O’Rourke held a rival rally, where he told supporters, “We are not safe because of walls but in spite of walls.” Trump told his allies that his administration had already started building a “big, beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande,” although the Los Angeles Times noted there did not appear to be evidence to support his claim. His supporters chanted “Build the wall!” as they have at previous Trump rallies, but Trump interjected, saying, “You mean finish the wall.” (Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Week)




Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for Israel remark after criticism

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other leading Democrats rebuked Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), one of the first Muslim members of Congress, and called on her to apologize for a tweet widely criticized as “anti-Semitic.” Omar recently tweeted that GOP leaders’ support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” suggesting money was influencing Republican views on the Israeli government. She elaborated by tweeting “AIPAC,” referring to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, a nonprofit that donates to pro-Israel lawmakers. Pelosi said in a statement that “Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted, and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception.” Omar promptly apologized “unequivocally” via Twitter, saying her “intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.” (ABC News, The Week)




Virginia delegate eases push for Fairfax impeachment proceedings

A Virginia state lawmaker, Delegate Patrick Hope, on Monday backed away from his plan to file a resolution to start impeachment proceedings against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) over two women’s sexual assault allegations against him. Hope, who is white, had circulated the proposed legislation a day earlier. It would have told a House committee to determine whether the allegations “constitute conduct sufficient to provide grounds for impeachment.” Hope backed down after members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, calling for an investigation before any impeachment talk, expressed anger about the speed of the actions against Fairfax, who is black, while no action is pending against Gov. Ralph Northam (D) or state Attorney General Mark Herring (D) over their acknowledgement that they had dressed up in blackface in the past. (The New York Times, The Week)




Michael Cohen delays congressional testimony for 3rd time this month

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, has postponed his plan to testify before Congress for the third time this month. The Senate Intelligence Committee agreed to the postponement “due to post surgery medical needs,” Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said Monday. He was scheduled to appear publicly before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, and behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee hearing the next day. Cohen is now scheduled for an interview with that panel on Feb. 28, and its chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), said Cohen is being “fully cooperative.” The committees want Cohen to testify before March 6, when he starts serving a three-year sentence for tax crimes, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. (CNN, The Week)




Utah Republicans scale back Medicaid expansion approved by voters

Utah’s Republican-led legislature on Monday passed broad changes to a Medicaid expansion approved by voters. The bill, which Republican Gov. Gary Herbert promptly signed, reduced the number of new people covered by about half, and added work requirements. Voters had previously approved two measures: one that expanded Medicaid to people making less than $17,000 a year, and another that raised the sales tax in order to cover the expansion. The new plan that passed the Republican-led legislature only extends Medicaid to 80,000 people, letting 70,000 others buy subsidized insurance on the marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act. State Sen. Allen Christensen (R) sponsored the changes, and claimed there wasn’t enough money to cover a full expansion. (The Associated Press, The Week)




Pompeo warns allies against using Huawei equipment

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned Western allies that using Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies’ equipment in their countries could hurt their chances of partnering with the U.S. Washington is worried Huawei gear can be used for espionage by China. Pompeo made the comments as he started a trip that will take him to Hungary and Poland, two countries where Huawei, the worlds’ biggest maker of telecommunication equipment, is seeking to expand. Huawei denies any involvement in spying for the Chinese government or any other. (Reuters, The Week)




Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty

Robert Bowers, the man prosecutors say carried out the mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that left 11 people dead in October, pleaded not guilty to 19 new charges on Monday. Bowers in November had already pleaded not guilty to 44 counts in connection with the shooting, but in January, a federal grand jury indicted Bowers on additional counts, which included 11 hate crime charges. During the shooting, which has been described as the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, Bowers allegedly yelled at police that he wanted “all Jews to die.” Federal prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will seek the death penalty for Bowers. (USA Today, The Week)





Judge orders woman to start sentence for texts urging boyfriend’s suicide

A judge ruled Monday that a 22-year-old Massachusetts woman, Michelle Carter, should start her 15-month sentence for sending her suicidal boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, text messages urging him to follow through with a plan to kill himself. Carter was sentenced in 2017 for her role in Roy’s 2014 death, but she had been allowed to remain free pending her appeal. The state’s highest court upheld her involuntary manslaughter conviction last week. A lawyer for Carter had argued that she should remain free while her lawyers appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roy’s aunt said the family was relieved. “We hope that no one else ever has to feel this pain,” Becky Maki said. “His life mattered.” (The Associated Press, The Week)




Kyler Murray picks NFL over MLB

Kyler Murray, a two-sport athlete and Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterback, announced on Monday that he is officially committing to football over baseball. He was a first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2018, for which he received a $4.66 million signing bonus. Major League Baseball position players are scheduled to report for spring training on Friday, but analysts like The Ringer‘s Michael Baumann said it was more “financially prudent” for Murray to join the National Football League, where he’ll be on a faster track to stardom and a major contract. “Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray wrote on Twitter. (Kyle Murray, The Week)











Good News


Heartwarming Photo of Man Holding Stranger’s Baby While She Does Paperwork Blows Up Internet


Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’


Good neighbors
Meet the neighbors who’ve helped a woman who uses a wheelchair get into bed every night — for 10 years.


Nice neighbors
A cotton farmer in Texas is battling cancer and couldn’t harvest his crop. So, his neighbors did the job for him.



Healthy You, Healthy Community

LOVE FOR SELF AND OTHERS,  Remember that you are a precious gift, respect it and be respected. Love yourself and be loved. Know your value and don’t accept being treated in a way less than you deserve.





Watercooler Chat


Map makeover
Some of you still manage to get lost while traveling, despite those fancy smartphone apps. Google hopes giant virtual arrows will help.

Patriotic pair
Two boys in North Carolina stopped in the road to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and social media erupted with joy.

Kind of blue
Fans were ticked that Will Smith wasn’t a blue genie when we got our first look at the new “Aladdin.” Now in the latest trailer, he’s blue … and fans are ticked.

Going the extra mile
A pair of firefighters in St. Louis walked a mile on ice to get an injured patient to the hospital.

Oh, baby
Congrats to Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva. The 69-year-old actor and his wife just welcomed a baby boy into the world.




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