Sky Links, 12-1-18

Christmastime is here
h/t @RealJamesWoods

h/t @juanitamoutlaw

It is worse to be evil than to do evil.  It is worse when a liar tells the truth than when a lover of truth lies, worse when a person who hates humanity practices neighborly love than when a loving person once falls victim to hatred.  The lie is better than truth in the mouth of a liar, as hatred is better than neighborly acts by a misanthrope. (It is better when a truthful person lies than when a liar speaks the truth- paradoxically expressed!  So also with service to his neighbor.)
-Ethics, Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Works, Vol 6, 2005, p. 77

Social Justice
The deepest reason for ethical confusion [in Germany today] has much more to do with the fact that the greatest injustice, as it is embodied in the Nationalist Socialist regime, was able to clothe itself in the garb of relative historical and social justice...[so that] only a small remnant was able to perceive, precisely here [in Hitler], Satan in the form of an angel of light. (DBW 16 [2/11]:538); see 2 Cor. 11:14: "Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." -A response to William Patton's book The Church and the New Order; Bonhoeffer, 1941; ibid.

Ethics for Paul is ultimately a theological issue pure and simple. Everything has to do with God and with what God is about in Christ and the Spirit. Thus:
(1) the purpose(or basis) of Christian ethics is the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31);
(2) the pattern for such ethics is Christ (11:1);
(3) the principle is love, precisely because it alone reflects God’s character (8:2-3; 13:1-8); and
(4) the power is the Spirit (6:11, 19).”
-Toward a Theology of 1 Corinthians, Gordon Fee, Society of Biblical Literature, Pauline Theology, Vol. 2; 1 and 2 Corinthians, pp. 51, 53

h/t @Jason50405349

Larry Schweikart's analysis of the past two years:

In a two year retrospective, it now seems Trump was way, way ahead of everyone including @kausmickey and those of us who wanted either the "Deep State" investigated or immediate shut-down-the-government-over-the-wall.
I'm talkin' "here come da judges." Trump apparently instinctively (because almost everything Trump does is instinctive--best instincts since Ronald Reagan) that there would be a successful leftist/Swamp reaction to his policies.
It now seems clear that he realized immediately that the ONE area where he would have full cooperation from Yertle was with judges, and that THAT area could not (likely) be stopped by DemoKKKrats in 2018's elections.
It now seems clear that he realized immediately that the ONE area where he would have full cooperation from Yertle was with judges, and that THAT area could not (likely) be stopped by DemoKKKrats in 2018's elections.
Trump grasped that these would be permanent changes with extremely long-lasting effects, that in most cases over time they would validate most of MAGA, and that the left had no control over an army of judges.
Instinctively, Trump understood that MAGA's best chance of surviving the Deep State and whackadoodle DemoKKKrats would be to have an impervious network of judicial "#1 draft picks" coming onto his team.  Just speculating, but this would explain why he "went along" with . .the Mulehead investigation, knowing (as I said from the outset) that Presidential capital---even for the most popular---is limited and transitory. As I said in early 2016, "you can have Trump's agenda, or you can have Cankles in jail, but not both".
So far, this has been my best prediction to date: the struggle and infighting that would have come from a full assault on the Deep State would have possibly met with LIMITED success, but to the detriment of every single other Trump agenda item.

h/t @Neville_Garnham

h/t @Jordan_Sather_

John Solomon:
We journalists have more freedom, more reach, and more ability to inform today than ever before. But with those advantages comes an even greater responsibility to the public, one I fear is being denigrated by journalists who substitute opinion for facts and emotion for dispassion.
Beyond the killings, the threats, and the vitriol, what most threatens journalism today is the behavior of its own practitioners.
We have become too full of our own opinions, too enthralled with our own celebrity, too emotionally offended by warranted and unwarranted criticism, and too astray from the neutral, factual voice our teachers in journalism school insisted we practice. …
And it was that relentless but emotionally detached commitment to truth, context and fairness — even when enemies sought to discredit us — that exposed such wrongs as Watergate, the Tuskegee experiments and the deplorable treatments at Walter Reed Hospital.
The traits that have made journalism great and respected and impactful for most of the past century are sorely lacking in many of today’s practitioners.
Instead of facts, many journalists today trade in supposition and opinion. Instead of dispassionate neutral coverage, many have offered emotional rants that border on disrespect. Instead of covering all sides of the story, entire news organizations have chosen to pick one side over another. And Donald Trump’s broadsides have only forced reporters to hunker down even more with these harmful practices.

The greatest threat to American journalism: the loss of neutral reporting -John Solomon

Almost blue California
On Nov. 6, the Democrats returned 44% of the absentee ballots. The Republicans, 31% These statistics come from PDI. That 13 point difference equaled 580,000 votes. But that is not the issue. In 2016 AB 1921 was signed by Governor Brown—members of the Assembly and State Senate voted for it—or against it. The governor signed it. Yet, the Democrats got a massive number of absentee ballots presented on election day because they had a plan to go door to door to “harvest” the ballots. As best as I can tell, no GOP candidate had such a plan or project.
“AB 1921 would allow anybody to walk into an elections office and hand over truckloads of vote by mail envelopes with ballots inside, no questions asked, no verified records kept. It amounts to an open invitation to large-scale vote buying, voter coercion, “granny farming”, and automated forgery. AB 1921 solves no problem that a simple stamp can’t solve.”
Did Unlimited Ballot Harvesting Kill The GOP on Nov. 6? -Stephen Frank

The next-gen gap: why younger leaders prefer new churches (Thom Rainer, 2014)

(Millennial = age 19 to 36)
1. Millennials perceive established churches to have values that are entrenched in non-missional traditions. Millennials have values that focus on community, cooperation, and service to others. They see established churches as barriers to those values, institutions that are more concerned about maintaining the status quo rather than making a missional difference.
2. They perceive that much time in established churches is wasted catering to members’ personal preferences. For a number of Millennials, the established church feels more like a religious country club rather than an outwardly-focused organization. Budgets, ministries, and activities seem to be focused on preferences of members rather than reaching out to others.
3. Many established churches are denominationally loyal; but many Millennials see denominations as antiquated organizations. If a church is affiliated with a denomination, this younger generation views both the church and the denomination as anachronisms. They don’t see either as effective or relevant.
4. Millennials don’t see established churches as community-centric.The men and women of this generation typically have a heart for their community. Many have become key to the revitalization of urban communities and other locales. But they see most established churches with a minimal focus at best on the community in which they are located.
5. Millennials see church planting as a far superior alternative. To use a well-worn phrase, they would rather have babies than raise the dead. They see futility in wasting precious resources of people, time, and money on churches that will not likely budge or change.
5 Reasons Why Millenials Do Not Want to be Pastors or Staff at Established Churches

Have you switched to Duck Duck Go yet?

Here's how