In The News 10/18/18

Trouble was brewing in Portland, OR again. Patriot Prayer, an organization The Oregonian describes as “right wing,” held a march for “law and order” in Portland on October 13. The event turned into a melee when members of antifa, which The Oregonian does not describe as “left-wing” but simply “black clad,” confronted the Patriot Prayer marchers. The brawl only lasted about a minute, as Portland police officers moved in and broke it up. This was quite different from the week before, when antifa held a march in the streets of Portland to protest the killing Patrick Kimmons, shot by police after he allegedly shot two others and charged police officers with a gun. Portland police were criticized for their hands-off approach to the antifa march, even as the protesters basically took control of the streets on which they marched, demanding that those driving cars go where the protesters directed them and even banging on cars with sticks or throwing themselves onto the hoods of cars. Portland is becoming something of a mecca for violence against those who do not support leftist politics.

“Stephen Miller’s Third-Grade Teacher: He Was a ‘Loner’ and Ate Glue.” Yes, that’s an actual headline from an actual news publication. Out-doing even the best efforts of Brett Kavanaugh’s opponents to question him about flatulence jokes from his high school yearbook, The Hollywood Reporter actually ran a story in which Stephen Miller’s third-grade teacher revealed the horrible truth that the senior political adviser for Donald Trump was a loner who ate glue when he was a student in her class at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica, CA in 1993. Apparently, the crimes and misdemeanors of third-graders are now the stuff of legitimate journalism and political hay for Trump opponents. The teacher, Nikki Fiske, as been suspended while the school district decides if any disciplinary action should be taken against her.

A genuinely ominous turn is apparently being considered by Google, the internet search engine. An 85-page internal document, entitled “The Good Censor,” bandies about the idea that the American tradition of free speech ought possibly be shelved in favor of a more European model. American free-speech, meaning essentially unfettered speech where anyone can say virtually anything and policed only by other speech that critiques or exposes nonsense, is being challenged by the notion of speech being censored for the sake of making the internet a “well-ordered space for safety and civility.” In other words, sacrifice liberty for the sake of security. Hmmm … where have we heard that before. Oh, yeah, several times over the course of history, whenever governments decided that certain liberties needed to be curtailed for the sake of “national security” and “public safety.” Only, in the case of “The Good Censor,” it wouldn’t be the government deciding what’s potentially dangerous, but the guardians at Google deciding what crosses the line of incivility. Google downplayed the document as an internal briefing meant only to consider various approaches to the question. But, Google spent a lot of resources putting the document together and has already adopted some of its suggestions. Free speech is not the sort of thing that is squashed outright by brutal pogroms, usually. Instead, it dies the death of a thousand cuts. Google seems to willing to pull out the razor.

 Be Christ for all . Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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