Daily Briefing: June 15, 2017

Posted by    |    June 15th, 2017 at 6:29 am

T O P   N E W S

GOP House Whip Steve Scalise remains in critical condition after shooting at baseball practice (CNN)

“Scalise was in critical condition after suffering damage to internal organs, and his injuries will require additional operations, according to a MedStar Washington Hospital Center medical update.
“Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” MedStar said in a statement put out by Scalise’s office. “He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations.”

Nick Note: The man suspected of opening fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team early Wednesday morning was distraught over the election of President Trump and traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest. Through maps and photos, here is what happened. The softball game has become one of the last vestiges of congressional camaraderie and bonding. Candidates on the right tried to raise funds off the tragedy andnewspaper op-eds on the left tried to politicize it. But President Donald Trump’s reaction to Wednesday’s shooting is being praised by all sides as they gauge his temperament in a time of crisis. This morning, I am not going to complain about individuals who politicize tragedies, but rather note the beauty of politics and our increasing expectation from politics. Though it is sometimes messy, politics is the process whereby individuals can debate ideas without debasing individuals, demeaning characters, or resorting to violence. We debate ideas but we are more than our ideas (Isaiah 1:18). Our identities are much richer than Democrat or Republican. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings (Romans 8:14-16). We can disagree with each other without demonizing one another because our value and worth are not at stake when it comes to debating ideas. Our identity was solidified on a cross 2,000 years ago. Because our value is found at the cross and worth was demonstrated on the cross, this should compel us out of gratitude to not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). And perhaps goodness is just what we need. David French is right: “All too often, the response to a breakdown in this scheme — and make no mistake, an act of political terrorism represents just such a breakdown — is to try curtailing liberty, rather than repairing moral order…Absent virtue, liberty can lead to disorder. In the face of that disorder, however, we shouldn’t restrict liberty; we should rebuild virtue.”

Four dead in San Francisco shooting after UPS worker opens fire at facility (SF Gate)

“Four people are dead after an employee opened fire at a UPS facility in San Francisco on Wednesday morning, killing three and injuring two before turning the gun on himself, police said. Officers responding to the scene encountered multiple shooting victims before cornering the shooter, whose identity was not divulged, assistant police chief Toney Chaplin said at a news conference. The gunman was armed with two weapons, Chaplin said, and killed himself with an assault pistol. The shooting was not a terrorist attack and the gunman appeared to be acting alone, he added.”

Nick Note: Violence is all too often becoming the answer some choose when facing the question of how to respond to difficulty in life. But violence is not always the answer. Tragically, these troubled, isolated people often do not have a community to listen to them, counsel them, and walk through life with them.They are lonely and this morning, four families woke up (if they slept at all) feeling the pangs of loneliness after losing a loved one to senseless violence. Let’s pray for them and recommit ourselves to building intentional communities that reach out to the marginalized (Romans 15:30, Matthew 25:36-40).

U.S. Charging at Least 10 Turkish Security Officers in Embassy Melee (WSJ)

“Federal prosecutors have filed charges against at least 10 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail who are accused of having played a role in last month’s beatings of demonstrators protesting the Turkish leader’s visit to the U.S. capital, officials said Wednesday.
“The charges, which one official said include felony assault against some of Mr. Erdogan’s guards, are likely to inflame existing tensions between Turkey and the U.S., which now will have to decide whether to seek extradition of the suspects, or to bar them from returning.
“Nine people were hospitalized after members of Mr. Erdogan’s security detail took part in beatings of  demonstrators gathered outside the ambassador’s residence to protest the Turkish leader’s visit. One police officer and two members of the U.S. Secret Service also were injured.”

Nick Note: Do you remember the video of these Turkish officers fighting with protestors on American soil? “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers (Proverbs 21:15).”

Georgia Escapees Steal Second Vehicle as Manhunt Continues (NY Times)

“The two escaped inmates who the authorities say killed two Georgia prison guards stole a second vehicle overnight as they began their second day on the run.
“The inmates, Donnie R. Rowe and Ricky Dubose, commandeered a white 2008 Ford truck from a rock quarry sometime between 6 p.m. Tuesday, when the business closed, and 6 a.m. Wednesday when it reopened, Sheriff Howard R. Sills of Putnam County said.
“The truck was taken about nine miles east of a home in Morgan County, Ga., that law enforcement officials believe the inmates burglarized Tuesday after they shot the corrections officers, escaped from a prison bus and carjacked a green Honda Civic.”

Nick Note: You can run, but you cannot hide for long and from all. “For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves (Job 34:21-22).”

Southern Baptists Grapple Over Calls to Condemn Alt-Right (WSJ)

“Southern Baptists on Tuesday initially declined to move forward with a resolution denouncing  the alt-right, a political term, short for alternative right, that describes a loose agglomeration of groups with far-right ideologies, some of which embrace the tenets of white supremacy.
“But within hours, the conservative evangelical denomination reversed course, following pleas on the convention floor that failing to take some action would leave Southern Baptists open to charges of racism.”

Nick Note: Here is an explainer on the alt-right movement. The alt-right is “an umbrella term for a host of disparate nationalist and populist groups associated with the white identity cause/movement.” As Joe Carter so rightly notes: “The alt-right is anti-gospel because to embrace white identity requires rejecting the Christian identity. The Christian belongs to a “chosen race” (1 Peter 2:9), the elect from every tribe and tongue (Rev. 7:9).”

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

Sony Is Selling Censored Movies, and Hollywood Is Mad as Heck (Bloomberg)

“Sony announced last week that it was making the edited versions of movies, with all the mature content snipped out, available as a free extra for consumers who buy the theatrical version. The clean variants aren’t newly edited but merely the ones that already appear on airlines and television. The first wave includes 24 films, from comedy romp Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to Academy Award-nominated drama Moneyball. Classics aren’t safe either, with sterilized versions of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II lined up as well.
“This is a pilot program, developed in response to specific consumer feedback, that offers viewers the option of watching an airline or TV version of certain movies when they purchase the original version.”

Nick Note: “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your vision is clear, your whole body also is full of light. But when it is poor, your body is full of darkness. Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness (Luke 11:34-35).”

Pay to sway: report reveals how easy it is to manipulate elections with fake news (The Guardian)

“The report from Trend Micro, a cybersecurity firm, said it also costs just $55,000 to discredit a journalist and $200,000 to instigate a street protest based on false news, shining a light on how easy it has become for cyber propaganda to produce real-world outcomes.
“The report delves into the underground marketplaces that can allow campaigns, political parties, private companies and other entities to strategically create and distribute fake content to shift public perceptions…To maximize the reach of the content, campaigns can spend $6,000 to gain about 40,000 “high-quality” likes. Within these fake news services, it can also cost $5,000 for 20,000 comments and $2,700 for a false story. Campaigns can further buy retweets and other promotional services, such as the placement of related videos on YouTube that help the stories go viral. It can cost $10,000 to announce and promote a resulting protest on social media.”

Nick Note: This may win elections but it chips away at the foundation of our society. The American project, according to John Adams, was made only for a moral people. Religion and the virtue that is a byproduct of it are the pillars upon which our society rests. Fake news strikes at this foundation. “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy (Proverbs 12:22).”

This Is the Age When You Become ‘Old,’ According to Four Different Generations (Time)

“Millennials hold the least generous views on aging, saying that you are old beginning at just 59, according to a new study by U.S. Trust. Older groups, however, put the starting point further out.
“Gen X on average bumps the beginning of old age to 65, while boomers and the silent generation both agreed that age 73 is the start….Surprisingly, millennials were the most inclusive when it came to defining who is young, saying that only at age 40 does youth end. Of course, this means they think middle age spans only 19 years.”

Nick Note: Another millennial told me I was old because I used the word “awesome.” I refuse to say something is “lit” or the “bees knees.” I have standards. But the reality of the matter is that Aaliyah was right: Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. You may be like Taylor Swift and be feeling 22 while you dress up like a hipster, but as medical advances elongate life and improve the quality of life, “old” will continue to fluctuate. In the biblical narrative, Abraham laughed when God told him that 90-year-old Sarai would give birth. She was too old, he thought (Genesis 17:17). But a good reminder: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).”

Kind World #39: Dying Words (WBUR)

“She was in her early 20s when they finally learned why: Arpy had frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. His form of dementia mainly affected speech, and some motor function.
“As his vocabulary shrank, Arpy would endlessly repeat the words he still had, using his tone of voice to talk between the lines. Father and daughter would have whole phone conversations like this, and he called her something like 10 times a day.
“By then, there were just two full phrases that her father could still say. One was “proud to be your dad,” and the other was “I love you.”

Nick Note: Must read of the day. How Deep the Father’s Love For Us

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

Here’s a happy hamster eating cookies to brighten your day

Nick Note: Watch it here. May you seize the day as the hamster consumes the cookie. “Go, eat your bread with joy… Enjoy life with the wife whom you love (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9)”

Dad’s Sweet Way Of Calming Crying Daughter Is Melting Hearts Around The Web.

“In the video, the little girl sobs incoherently about something that’s troubling her: mustard. It’s unclear if she’s upset because she wants some mustard and didn’t get it, or if she doesn’t like mustard… who knows. But, for whatever reason, she’s upset.”

Nick Note: Watch the video here. Whether it is distress over mustard or a life circumstance, your heavenly father draws near when life gets hard. “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe (Psalm 61:1-3).”

You won’t believe how much Russell Westbrook’s baby looks like him

Nick Note: I have my dad’s smile, slightly wavy hair, cheeks, and nose. Do you look like your father? How do you look like your heavenly father (1 Corinthians 11:1)?

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