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what you need to know with sybil wilkes

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Monday, February 6, 2023







Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts

Monday, February 6, 2023

Happy Birthday to:

Comedian, Actor, Writer, Director, and Producer Robert Townsend

Rapper The Lady of Rage,
born Robin Allen

We Remember:

Songbird Natalie Cole, born in 1950

Reggae Pioneer Bob Marley, born in 1945

The “Great Debaters” Coach of Wiley College and Poet Melvin Tolson, born in 1898

1. This is Not a TikTok

US has shot down Chinese 'spy' balloon Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


A presumed espionage drama that developed in the sky across the country came to an end Saturday over the Atlantic Ocean. A balloon, believed to have been launched by the Chinese government in order to spy on the United States across the country, was ultimately shot down by the U.S. military. Once the balloon traveled over the Atlantic and no longer posed any imminent danger to anyone on the ground, it was brought down by the American military.


The Chinese government, the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC), defended itself, calling the launch of the balloon for weather-related research purposes. The PRC added, the civilian airship “accidentally strayed into U.S. airspace.” The U.S. government stated the balloon, in its week-long travels across the country, had all the characteristics of a surveillance mission, determining the possible silo sites (of nuclear weapons). 


Reports of the balloon began early last week in parts of Canada and the U.S., but according to Fox News, the balloon made trips across the country several times but went undetected. Fox added that a senior administration official stated, “U.S. intelligence, not the Biden administration” assesses that PRC government surveillance balloons transited the continental U.S. briefly at least three times during the prior (Trump) administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time.” Adding that “at least one Chinese spy balloon flew over portions of Texas and Florida during the Trump administration.” Most recently, Fox News reported that a Chinese spy balloon crashed into the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii four months ago.”


News reports indicate President Biden gave orders to shoot down the Chinese balloon Wednesday, but only during a situation in which no harm would come to American citizens. That time arrived Saturday afternoon. After a U.S. military plane shot down the balloon that sailed about 60,000 feet in the air, within U.S. waters, a nautical ship including Navy divers and other equipment, was employed to retrieve the debris.


Why You Need to Know:


Foreign policy officials note this situation undertaken by the Chinese government is not doing anything to improve U.S.-China relations, especially as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine. In addition, Republicans for the most part are pushing back against orders issued by a Democratic President. House Republicans are said to be considering drafting a resolution to condemn the president’s handling of the Chinese situation. It could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday, the same day as President Biden will present his State of the Union Address. No irony here.

2. Black Caucus Continues Push for Policing Legislation


What You Need to Know:


One day after the funeral of a Black man killed by local police, the Congressional Black Caucus met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House to discuss police reform. The Thursday meeting reportedly was another step in exploring all options regarding legislative and executive actions. The legislation includes passing the long-awaited George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, designed to bring an end to  “chokeholds” by police, “no-knock warrants” and “qualified immunity for police,” along with the creation of a nationwide database to prevent  “bad cops” from moving from one law enforcement job to another, without accountability.


During the funeral for a 29-year-old Black motorist, Tyre Nichols, Vice President Harris told the church the White House would settle for nothing less than legislation to address police brutality.

“We should not delay. And we will not be denied,” Harris said. “It is non-negotiable.” 


Passing legislation is not the work of a single party in this era of small majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate. As noted by CBC Chair, Congressman Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), “This is going to require all of us, including Republicans, to get across the finish line,” Horsford said.


Bipartisan efforts in Congress to reach an agreement on policing legislation stalled more than a year ago, and the president signed an executive order named for George Floyd, whose 2020 murder at the hands of Minneapolis police set off nationwide protests.  


Why You Need to Know:


Despite support for President Biden for what he has accomplished during the first half of his first term in office, there is still frustration among Democrats who are looking for more progressive leadership. The younger Democrats, including the first or second-term representatives, want a more forceful leadership.


The Associated Press quoted Rep. Jamaal Bowman, (D-NY). “I think the president is missing the opportunity to be a historic president when it comes to social issues that continue to plague our country.” AP added that Bowman called on the president to be more of “a champion of a new vision for America.”

3. California Won’t Require COVID Vaccine to Attend Schools

Digital Vaccination Certificate for Covid-19 Corona Virus with blurred flag of US California in background for copy space. Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state.


Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all of California’s 6.7 million public and private schoolchildren.


But since then, the crisis first caused by a mysterious virus in late 2019 has mostly receded from public consciousness. COVID-19 is still widespread, but the availability of multiple vaccines has lessened the viruses’ effects for many — offering relief to what had been an overwhelmed public health system.


Nearly all of the pandemic restrictions put in place by Newsom have been lifted, and he won’t be able to issue any new ones after Feb. 28 when the state’s coronavirus emergency declaration officially ends.


One of the last remaining questions was what would happen to the state’s vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, a policy that came from the California Department of Public Health and was not impacted by the lifting of the emergency declaration.


Friday, the Department of Public Health confirmed it was backing off its original plan.


“CDPH is not currently exploring emergency rulemaking to add COVID-19 to the list of required school vaccinations, but we continue to strongly recommend COVID-19 immunization for students and staff to keep everyone safer in the classroom,” the department said in a statement. “Any changes to required K-12 immunizations are properly addressed through the legislative process.”


The announcement was welcome news for Jonathan Zachreson, a father of three who lives in Roseville. Zachreson founded the group Reopen California Schools to oppose many of the state’s coronavirus policies. His activism led to him being elected to the Roseville City School District board in November.


“This is long overdue. A lot of families have been stressed from this decision and worried about it for quite some time,” he said. “I wish CDPH would make a bigger statement publicly or Newsom would make a public statement… to let families know and school districts know that this is no longer going to be an issue for them.”

4. Police Fatally Shoot Double Amputee. Ridiculous, to Say the Least!




What You Need to Know:


Anthony Lowe, a Black man whose legs were amputated at the knees, was shot by police on January 26 in Huntington Park, California. According to his family, Lowe lost his legs to Texas police in 2022. The family said they were never informed of the specifics or the location of the incident, or what caused Lowe to lose his legs. He used a wheelchair to get around and was due to pick up his new prosthetics within a few days.


According to police, Lowe dismounted from his wheelchair and stabbed a 46-year-old male “…in the side of the chest with a 12″ butcher knife” without warning. The victim suffered a collapsed lung and internal bleeding.


According to a police statement, Lowe was then discovered nearby with a huge knife while defying police orders. A shaky cellphone video posted on Twitter shows Lowe leaving his wheelchair and stumbling along the sidewalk while being pursued by officers pointing weapons. Although the video didn’t show the shooting, police claim they used two tasers after Lowe “threatened to advance or throw the knife” at them. Police then shot Lowe, who died from his injuries.


The involved officers are on administrative leave pending an investigation.


According to the family, they weren’t notified until the following morning, despite his identification listing his mother’s address. Lowe was a devoted father, brother, and former dancer who never missed one of his son’s football games. He was the third of eight children, and after losing both of his legs to Texas police last year, he had been living with his mother.


“I don’t know how police could create any reason for feeling intimidated by a double amputee in a wheelchair,” said Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter-LA.


Why You Need to Know:


Even with a knife, the video shows the man running away. I’m SURE an amputee running on what remains of his legs can be tackled. RIDICULOUS! I never see police using pepper spray or other safe and effective takedown methods on Black people, but I do see them using weapons that injure or kill.

5. Candle Holder on Pew – Anglican Cathedral

Candle Holder on Pew - Anglican Cathedral Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


By definition, MIRACLES are extraordinary and astonishing happenings that are attributed to the presence and action of divine power. In laymen’s terms, MIRACLES are unexplainable and supernatural things that happen in your life and the lives of others and you know it had to be GOD. 


God performs miracles for two reasons…two strengthen our faith and to do good deeds. There is a plethora of miracles in the Bible including, God created the Heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1), the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), the Virgin Birth Of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25), Jesus feeding thousands with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:19 & 20, 15:36 & 37), the resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24:1-7), Jesus healed the woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48), and God forgives us for our sins (that’s a big miracle right there with the stuff we do). 


Just those good deeds alone should increase your level of faith. But we don’t have to look to the Bible for miracles. There are miracles that God performs every day in your life.  If He woke you up to see another day, that was your first miracle of the day.  As old folks used to say, a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, those are miracles that some people are praying for right now. 


Speaking of praying, one of the best ways to have a miracle happen in your life is to pray. Praying is an action word, and when you pray to God, that sets the miracle you are praying for into motion. You know, He is always waiting to hear from us. You can block a miracle by not asking God to perform it. He is just waiting on us to ask Him for help. Now, when He performs that miracle for you, tell somebody. That miracle was not only meant to help you and build your faith, but it’s also to help build somebody else’s faith too. When He performs that next miracle for you, big or small, share the GOOD NEWS. That’s not boasting. That’s your testimony to let someone know that through their faith, they too can receive the MIRACLES OF GOD!