Was Jesus a nice guy? Or was he a troll?

Was Jesus just a nice guy?  Some Christians seem to think so.  They are very concerned with being proper and polite.  They immediately disavow anyone who is discovered to have a less than pristine past, even, and perhaps especially, those who have been allies in the culture war.  Apparently for fear they be tainted by association or some sort of holier-than-thou position, they quickly throw said offender under the bus. So much for “there but for the grace of God go I” or Jesus’s treatment of say, the woman caught in adultery. This attitude seems a far cry from Jesus’s relationship with sinners.

Or was Jesus a troll?  Blogger Fencing Bear at Prayer (by day a tenured professor of Medieval Studies at Chicago University), thinks Jesus was likely seen as a troll during his lifetime (and perhaps if we paid attention, he’d be viewed that way today too).  She has recently written some controversial things, for which she has of course been attacked.  Her worst offense? Defending Milo: “I have said over and over again, much to the ridicule of many of my academic colleagues and the journalists who have gotten wind of my blog, that the reason I love (yes, love, in the Christian sense of profound charity) Milo is because he tells the truth.”   Unsurprisingly, she also describes herself as a “Catholic catechumen.”

It’s hard being a Christian. On the one hand, there is the image that everyone has from going to Sunday School, of Christians as goody-two-shoes…

On the other hand, there’s Jesus. Jesus drank with sinners. Jesus ate with tax collectors. Jesus made friends with women of ill repute. Jesus wandered about the countryside gathering crowds and scaring the authorities.

Jesus was a troll.

Think about the day he announced himself to his village. He stood up and read the Scriptures for the day:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And then he gave the book to the attendant, sat down, and said:  “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

And all wondered and said, how could it be, wasn’t he Joseph’s son? At which he replied: “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.”

And the people rose up against him, and drove him out of town.  This was only the beginning of his trolling.

***

Jesus knew they all hated him, both the Pharisees on the Right, who tried to live purely according to the Law, and the scribes on the Left, who were functionaries of the Jewish state. And he denounced them regularly in his preaching as hypocrites and fools.

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

And then he marched into Jerusalem, straight up to the most holy place in the city, and vandalized it.

“It is written,” he said, “‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of thieves.”

Authorities on both the Right and the Left were not pleased.

You know the rest of the story.

Jesus so enraged the holders of power in his community that they trumped up charges against him, trying to get him to blaspheme so that they could invoke the death penalty against him.

When Truth speaks to Power, Power bites back. Hard.

But what Power does not know is that Truth will prevail. Because Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world.

People who value the Truth are the ones who don’t gloss over this side of Jesus, because this Jesus is just as true as the one who said “to turn the other cheek” — it seems a contradiction, and for some, it’s easier to focus on the nice Jesus and forget that this other part of Jesus exists.  But this is God we’re talking about here, so we shouldn’t be too surprised by qualities that are both complex  and difficult to understand.

Mathew Kelly writes in Rediscovering Jesus, that Jesus was a radical:

What does radical mean?  It means to get to the “root” of things.  Jesus was interested in getting deep down to the root of things.  He was interested in what was essential — not the fluffy periphery, but the core, the center, the heart of things.  He wasn’t burdened with the need to be liked by people.  He wasn’t moved by desire for expediency or convenience.  Instead, he simply allowed truth to reign supreme.

Truth is radical.

People who love the Truth, love Jesus.  Those who don’t know Jesus, but pursue the Truth are seeking God, whether they know it or not.  If you seek Truth long enough, it will lead you to Jesus.

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life –  John 14:6

 

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A Day Without [Feminist] Women

One is tempted to say “good riddance.”  The only impact they’re likely to make unfortunately is to hurt other women who are forced to take the day off to watch their kids who can’t go to school because so many teachers took off that schools had to be closed. Many of these women will be of lower incomes who cannot afford to miss a day of work or pay for extra childcare.  It’s also possible that some of the women who strike today will lose their jobs — tomorrow may be a repeat DayWithoutJobs (as it was for those immigrants who decided to take the day off without permission).  I’ve seen several comments saying this could actually help businesses weed out the crazies – ‘ah, they’ve identified themselves; that makes it easy to pick who’ll be in this next lay-off!’

According to protest spokeswoman Cassady Findlay:

the action is aimed at highlighting the effect of women on the country’s socio-economic system and would demonstrate how the paid and unpaid work of women keeps households, communities and economies running.

“We provide all this value and keep the system going, and receive unequal benefits from it,” Findlay said.

Findlay said it is important for white women to be in solidarity with minority women… “It’s when women of all backgrounds strike and stand together that we’re really going to see the impact.”

Unlike the Women’s March, Wednesday’s protest focuses on the absence of women, who are being steered to local rallies and community groups and away from work or shopping in stores or online. Organizers also are asking women to wear red to signify love and sacrifice.

What exactly do they mean by “unpaid work”? Homemakers and stay-at-home moms?  So you’re going to not bother to feed your children today?  Let the kids run in the street so you can lie on the couch snacking and binge-watching Netflix?  Let your home become a pigsty?  This proves what exactly?  How is this supporting any cause?

Most families do appreciate the women who help to run things and take care of them.  Ask most men and they’ll express gratitude for what their wives do (and insist they’re very happy they don’t have to do those things!).  Sure, sometimes women are taken for granted in domestic settings, but how often does anyone, female or male, get praised to high heaven for the work they are expected to do for their jobs?  The unequal benefits women supposedly receive for their work is a feminist propaganda point that has been disproved so many times it’s like beating a dead horse at this point.  Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers goes over the facts again here.

How about about wearing red to signify love and sacrifice?  Sounds nice doesn’t it?  But how does spitefully refusing to do your jobs (whatever they may be) and ignoring your responsibilities prove your worth  or demonstrate love and sacrifice?  Selfish whining, self-importance, and grown-up (sort of) versions of temper tantrums sound like the opposite of love and sacrifice to me.

Despite platitudes about solidarity among women, let’s not forget that women of all backgrounds aren’t actually welcome in this protest.

It’s being billed as “A Day Without a Woman,” but apparently only pro-union, pro-choice, anti-Israel women who can afford to skip work need apply… Like the Women’s March, however, the event is embedded with political messages that many women may find objectionable.

The Day Without a Woman manifesto includes strong support for unions, a “living wage,” “fair pay” and “solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement,” without explaining what those policies entail.

One of the group’s premier partners is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which effectively shuts out pro-life women, said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

“Does Planned Parenthood, a main sponsor of the Women’s March, approve the closing of schools and putting unnecessary burdens on women, especially working mothers who rely on a regular school schedule?” said Ms. Hawkins. “Are they OK with children from low-income families who will go hungry on Wednesday? Women’s empowerment shouldn’t rely on putting other women and children in precarious situations just to make a point.”

Aside from the slew of parents complaining about school closures, there have been plenty of other criticisms.  One writer claims that ‘A Day Without a Woman’ is a strike for privileged protesters:

Make no mistake, March 8 will mostly be a day without women who can afford to skip work, shuffle childcare and household duties to someone else, and shop at stores that are likely to open at 10 and close at 5. As for wearing red, what is the dress code, exactly? Are you supposed to wear your pink pussy hats, too?

***

A Day Without a Woman seems especially poised for unquantifiable results, given the diffuse nature of its platform.

 Any male who complains about having to pick up the slack left by striking/boycotting women can count on plenty of eye-rolling invocations of the popular refrain “I Drink Male Tears.”

Meanwhile, for the millions of women who have no choice but to show up and meet their responsibilities on March 8 (and every day), it will be business as usual.

Which, when you stop to think about it, is kind of the point, isn’t it? At least it should be. We are nearly half the labor force now. We are just as important in the workplace and to our families’ fiscal welfare as men. All things being equal (which is what we’re after, right?), we are too essential to play hooky.

That’s why the idea that women should take a day off en masse to make a political point is both self-defeating and vaguely insulting. It’s meant to highlight how crucial we are, but its very premise also suggest the opposite: Women are expendable. A Day Without a Woman plays into the idea that we entered the workforce not to support ourselves and our families but to combat boredom or to boost our self-esteem. For all but a very few affluent women, that’s never been the case.

Demonstrating yet again that they don’t actually care about real women, their children or their families, privileged feminists Strike and March and Protest to end imaginary wrongs. They don’t even have concrete objectives or policy suggestions to end these supposed injustices, much less notice or care about the true injustices in the world today.

Marine Le Pen, Savior of France?

This is a very different type of I’m with her: Marine Le Pen as Joan of Arc.  She gave a speech standing in front of a statue of St. Joan of Arc and inspired supporters to create images like this one:

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Despite recent legal challenges (which illustrate France’s free speech problem), Marine Le Pen “remains in the lead in polling for the first round of the French presidential election, three points ahead of centrist Emmanuel Macron.”  She’s certainly got the opposition scared.

French President Francois Hollande has admitted that “There is a threat” that she might actually win and that he would “do everything” in his power to stop her.  He also vehemently opposes her desire to sever France from the EU: saying “it was his ‘last duty… to do everything to ensure that France is not convinced by such a plan’ of taking the country out of the EU.”  First Brexit and now maybe Frexit?

Although The Spectator is no friend of Le Pen (saying her “victory would be the worst crisis for half a century”), they nevertheless had some interesting observations in their article: The French election is now Marine Le Pen vs a collapsing French establishment.

Is France on the brink of a political revolution? Already, four established candidates for the presidency — two former presidents and two former prime ministers — have backed out or been rejected by the voters, and another, François Fillon, is on the ropes. The campaign is being taken over by outsiders …What kind of shake-up might it be — socialist (the least likely), liberal with Macron or nationalist with Le Pen? Or can the outsiders still be beaten by an electoral system designed to keep them out of power? … the two-round ballot, designed in the 1820s to prevent hotheads … from winning elections. It gives voters and politicians a second chance, not so much to reconsider their own choices as to react against the choices of others. In the first round you vote for the person you want; in the second you vote against the person you fear.

This evolved historically into what was called ‘republican discipline’: in the first round there could be a range of competing candidates of all shades, but in the second round all loyal republicans, from the mildest liberal to the reddest communist, would vote for the candidate best placed to beat the enemy of the republic — usually a royalist or authoritarian nationalist. … The crucial question in this election is whether the republican reflex still operates. If not, Marine Le Pen could win.

***

France is the most anti-capitalist country in Europe.  There are benefits. Many British people have happy memories of French hospitals, schools or trains. But one does not need very right-wing views to see the accumulating disadvantages. The highest taxes in the developed world, especially on businesses. Chronic unemployment, worst among the young and ethnic minorities. Slow growth, including among small companies afraid of the burden of regulation incurred by getting too big. Crumbling infrastructure. Anyone who arrives at the Gare du Nord must see that something is amiss. People in France do too, and have done for years. Even in the 1980s President Mitterrand lamented national ‘moroseness’. Bookshops have long been piled high with works by economists, politicians and academics warning that France was in accelerating decline. Young people emigrate, over 200,000 to London alone.

On top of this chronic malaise has come the tension between republican secularism and Islam, sparked off three decades ago by a row about girls wearing headscarves in a provincial secondary school. It is a fraught mixture of cultural difference, social deprivation and historic mistrust, but none can doubt its brooding presence, hugely inflamed by a series of terrorist attacks. Had I risked forgetting this, I would have been dramatically reminded a few weeks ago when in a quiet street in Paris I walked into a 25-man military patrol in full combat gear.

None of these observations is unique to France. Characteristic of France, however, is the seeming inability of the political system to do much about them, even over many years. Here we come back to the ‘stalemate society’ problem.

 

***

So is France in crisis? … many voters really have lost faith in the established parties and see change as coming from outside the system. The main embodiment of disillusion is Marine Le Pen. Her Front National continues to grow in rust-belt regions and those with high levels of immigration, largely by attracting disaffected working-class voters. It is probably France’s largest party, supported by nearly a third of the electorate.

Le Pen has laboured since taking over from her father in 2011 to convince voters that the Front National, though still radical, is no longer ‘anti-republican’, and indeed is the staunchest upholder of republican secularism against Islamic encroachment. The message is that voting for her is not a betrayal of the republican heritage so central to France’s self-image.  She has added to her nationalist agenda vehement denunciation of the European Union as a foreign capitalist plot.

***

Le Pen will surely win through to the second round of the election, and it is quite possible that she will head the poll in the first round on 23 April…  Brexit and Trump have created a sense that the unthinkable is possible, which could further weaken the taboo against voting for her. But it will mobilise her opponents too. I cannot believe that enough moderate voters will stay away from the second-round poll to let ‘the fascists’ win. ‘Republican discipline’ should still rally support for whoever polls best against Le Pen, which at the moment looks likely to be Macron.

Nevertheless, few now rule out a Le Pen victory completely, and if Macron’s campaign runs into serious trouble, all bets are off. Every new scandal or terrorist incident plays into her hands. If she did become president, France would face a genuine crisis, the worst for half a century. There would certainly be strikes and violent demonstrations by those who would see themselves as defending the republic against fascism. How she could form a viable government or win a majority in parliament is unclear. We would see a conflict between the Fifth Republic’s powerful president and its parliament under a constitutional system that one liberal critic has called dangerous even in the hands of a saint. The consequences for the euro, the EU, western security and Britain’s relations with one of its closest allies would be dire.

[above emphasis mine] — Sounds like the author is saying is that the establishment, pro-immigration, pro-globalization, pro-EU folks would throw a fit and try to sabotage her at every turn if she were to win the election.  They would paint themselves as defenders of the innocent against “fascists.”  Sounds familiar.  Where have we seen that before?

March 4 Trump

Over the weekend, across the nation “from Colorado’s state Capitol to Trump Tower in New York and the Washington Monument, groups of hundreds of people rallied for President Donald Trump.”  The crowds that came out to support Our President were incredibly diverse.  Check out Joy Villa’s speech in DC and how she turns the left’s treasured words, love and tolerance, back on them.

While many rallies went well, and Trump made a brief appearance at one, Berkeley was again a touch point for the conflict between Trump supporters and opponents (though it wasn’t the only one: antifas trying to pick a fight with a big vet at the Texas rally).  If the hysterics of the left and their violent tactics make you think the world is going crazy, you’re not alone.  Some Black Guy described it thus, “we’ve entered into a place where… fiction has started to merge with reality.”  Others aren’t shocked, saying this escalation of violence is to be expected and may be only the beginning if the Left won’t stop attacking. Quite a few people on the Right are singing to same old song about violence never being justified.  But can that be true?  Don’t they believe in self-defense and defense of others?

The march at Berkeley was planned to support President Trump and freedom of speech, partly in response to the riots that prevented Milo from speaking there.  The result was unsurprising: counter-protesters (aka antifa/black bloc) showed up and violence broke out.  This time however the violence wasn’t as one-sided.  Having learned a thing or two from the Milo Riots, many Trump supporters came prepared.  Some, like instant internet sensation BasedStickMan, fought back.  These folks will be presented badly in the media, no doubt, but can you really blame them?  At some point, people can only take so much.  If you look at the video slowed down, it does look like he’s acting to defend someone who is being attacked.  I haven’t been able to find footage leading up to this incident to give more context.  Unfortunately, he was arrested and faces some pretty serious charges.

UPDATE: at beginning of this it shows that Based Stick Man’s friend (the guy with the red helmet and “tacti-kilt” – they’re seen together chatting elsewhere) is being attacked.  He’s apparently defending his friend (and perhaps others).

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Based Stick Man

According to attendees (and a CBS affiliate), the police were almost as passive as at the previous Berkeley riots.  The antifas stole and burned MAGA hats, signs (including one that said “free speech”) and flags.  They beat people bloody and pepper sprayed them – including little Asian women and old men.  The images of harassing older men (often vets) and women are really disgusting.  And they of course attacked people when their backs were turned and wore masks – because they’re so virtuous and brave.

There are dozens (probably more) videos on the marches with hours and hours of footage so it’s hard to sift through.  Here’s one where a lady asks, “can’t we be peaceful?” while antifas get in the faces of Trump supporters:

In case you can’t stand to watch 20+min of raw footage, here are few “highlights” from the following vid.  Based Stick Man appears at the beginning talking, disavowing white supremacism, being heckled, trying to avoid a confrontation while explaining why he came dressed as he was.  Also, could that be Yvette Felarca (the pro-violence lady Tucker interviewed) at 3min chanting “racist scum get out of the way” and holding a sign?  It probably is.  Somebody keep yells “stop using violence” and “why are you attacking us?” at the antifas while they’re throwing smoke bombs at the patriots.  The antifas chant cleverly: “F%#k Donald Trump!”  You can hear Trump supporters say things like, “I don’t want to fight ya’ll.”  Several patriots try to engage the antifas in conversation/debate but the answer is usually name-calling and expletives.

Fox News interviews a mom who was there:

Why Utopia Fails

The battle of the day is about government/leftist attempts to control speech (and just about everything else), but this is a symptom of their core mission to create (force-ably if necessary) the “perfect” society of their dreams — where everyone obeys their wishes.  This desire to create their vision of “heaven on earth” comes with a hefty price.  Even a cursory look at history paints a somber picture of experiments in utopianism; they tend to fail, lead to great human suffering and frequently high death tolls (of which people today are often ignorant).  There’s a reason that depictions of these attempts in fiction, whether text or film, also end badly.  Storytellers understand something about human nature that liberals cannot allow themselves to recognize: Eden was lost by the sin of our first parents and there’s no going back; human nature and our world are fallen, broken, incapable of perfection until the end of time.  You cannot will Earth back to the state of an Eden.

The term Utopia, from the title of St. Thomas More’s influential book, has a bit of a double meaning even from its inception:

Derived from the Greek, that title means “no place”, but it hints at an alternative meaning: when the book was first published in 1516, it included a short poem claiming that the better world More described really was “Eutopie”, a “happy place”. It’s a paradox and a pun, playing on the British inability to distinguish between the pronunciation of the two terms, and it suggests that something’s not quite right. (The word “dystopia” seems to be a much later invention.) Is this paradise, whichever name you give it, unobtainable? That’s assuming the place really is meant to be a paradise in the first place.

[The] description of Utopia has meant different things to different readers. In the 19th century, it could be drawn on as a prototype for Communism. A historian interested in the Tudor period could draw satirical lines between Utopia and the disorderly London that More knew all too well in his capacity as one of the city’s undersheriffs (he once had to face down a rioting mob). A good Roman Catholic familiar with him primarily as Saint Thomas More (he was canonized in 1935) could point out how divorce, married priests and euthanasia might not fit that easily with their beliefs.

All of these approaches ought to make us question what we think is going on in the book, just as More’s contemporaries and fellow humanists were invited to do… there is also a fine tradition of Utopias going terribly wrong when people tried to put their ideals into practice… acting on a dream can sometimes land you in a nightmare.

Utopia, And Why It’s A Bad Idea:

Everyone who knows their political philosophy, knows that the main difference between conservatism and communism lies in utopianism – communism supports it, conservatism rejects it. The striving for utopia is old. No-one knows when it started, but the idea of the “perfect society on earth” has always had a strange appeal on humans. However, conservatives, being realists, reject utopianism: We don’t think we can great the perfect society. As a matter of fact, conservatives have always found utopianism – the idea that humans can turn the world into paradise – to be harmful…

Those who believe utopia to be possible are willing to do anything to achieve it.  Let that sink in. Doesn’t it kind of make sense? If it is possible to create a perfect world, then we should do whatever it takes to achieve it. It’s basic economics really: The bigger the reward, the more work you’ll be able to put in to earn that reward. You may be willing to work 1 hour for say $25, but if someone wants you to work 4 hours, you want $100. Now, what if the reward is infinite? What if someone offered you an INFINITE amount of money? How many hours would you be willing to work, and what would you (not) be willing to do, to get that? The entire cost-benefit analysis gets screwed up, as the benefit is so big it can’t be measured – it’s infinite. And that, dear readers, is what communism offers – or claims to offer. If you believe in the promises of communism, then you’ll be willing to sacrifice anything to reach the “worker’s paradise” that is promised. Anything.

And that is why communism leads to totalitarianism.  Think about it: Wouldn’t it be OK to restrict freedom of speech a little, if it led to paradise? Sure it would – I mean, you get paradise in return, of course it’s worth it. And wouldn’t it be OK to do away with a few dissenters, who might otherwise threaten the coming paradise society? Sure, can’t let them stand in the way. Oh, and what if you had to do away with a little bit of material wealth, just temporarily for a while, just so we can be happily ever after? No problem.

The focus on paradise allows the government to infringe on basic democratic rights – “just give up your rights and paradise will be just around the corner”.

Now suppose someone said “Give up your right to vote and the economy will grow 2 % faster”, or “Give up your right to vote and unemployment will be cut in half” – you probably wouldn’t agree to it. Why? Because now suddenly, the benefit isn’t infinite anymore – it’s measurable. Once goals become measurable, people become less willing to give up essential freedoms, and they begin to ponder other ways of reaching these measurable goals (maybe we could just cut down on regulation to reduce unemployment?). However, with immeasurable, infinite benefits, that isn’t nearly as easy. Utopianism is blinding. It makes us ignore our rights and instincts. Anything can be done in the name of paradise. Those on the far-left like to claim that the fact that every communist country that’s ever existed has been a dictatorship, is just a coincidence. Or that it’s a result of external factors. Or that those weren’t “real” communist countries. And, even among more moderate leftists, you will hear things like “communism was a good idea, applied badly”, or “the concept is good, the leaders were evil”. That to me shows that they just don’t get it – communism is not a good idea, because it assumes that every negative human trait (you know, those traits that makes paradise on earth an impossibility) was caused by capitalism and can be removed. It assumes that humans really have a perfect “core” that has been corrupted by a bad economic system. Therefore, all we need is a state that can remove these traits, and we will get a perfect world – a utopia. Now if this means re-education camps, sending dissidents to Siberia and just in general oppressing free thought – so be it. This flawed assumption – that humans are good – is what makes communism flawed. The totalitarian governments and genocides are just natural consequences.

Internet Censorbot in Development

The Regressive Left is at it again: trying to squelch free speech.  Do they ever stop?  They’re probably working around the clock to shut up everyone who disagrees.  Who’d have thought we’d be rooting for the trolls over “polite society”?  We’ll take the internet’s free — even though sometimes “impolite” or even downright nasty —  speech over a sanitized, leftist-policed version — if that’s what we wanted, we’d just watch the MSM exclusively.  Thinking people can sift through the internet’s chafe to get to the wheat.  We’re not interested in having predigested propaganda served up to us.  It’s not surprising that the Media are the first ones calling this developing tech a good thing.

Have these people never seen/read any dystopian stories where an A.I.is developed to control people in some way?  Yeah, that always ends well.  Any time humans try to forcefully create Utopia by taking away the freedom of others, people suffer greatly.  Even in the novel from which the term is taken, it quickly becomes apparent that Utopia is really what we’d call today a dystopian society.

Here’s hoping that if this thing ever gets off the ground there will be ways around it and/or a legion of hackers to destroy it.  War on Comments: Google Built an A.I. to Censor the Web, And the Media Is Celebrating:

“What if technology could help improve conversations online?”
That’s the lowkey Orwellian message that greets visitors to the website of Perspective, Google’s new AI system for detecting (and potentially deleting, hiding, or burying) “toxic” comments on the web.

Perspective is still in early days of development, but in the future, you may have to adjust your speech in order to satisfy the lofty standards of Google. Otherwise, the company’s faceless AI might just have to “improve” you. Where’s Sarah Connor when you need her?

The good news is that, for now at least, Perspective is about as effective as C-3PO with a lisp. Software engineer and columnist David Auerbach has found the program woefully inept at sorting “toxic” comments from ordinary ones. Because the AI currently focuses on words rather than meanings, inoffensive comments like, “Rape is a horrible crime,” or, “few Muslims are a terrorist threat,” were assigned “toxicity” ratings of over 75 percent.

Of course, even if Perspective could successfully sort “toxic” comments from innocuous ones, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be deleted or buried. According to the project’s homepage, the system performs no function other than detection.

But statements from the project’s developers make it clear that censorship is the end goal. Indeed, the system seems to have been developed to augment the left’s ongoing war on comments sections. The software was initially made available just to organizations that are part of Google’s Digital News Initiative, including the BBC, The Financial Times, and The Guardian, which promptly began testing the software to moderate their comments sections.

“News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content, but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labour and time,” says Jared Cohen, president of Jigsaw, the Google social incubator that built the tool. “As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want.”

Google couldn’t be clearer: it’s a censorship bot. And just because it’s currently limited to news sites and comments sections doesn’t mean it won’t be rolled out to social networks and the rest of the web. Twitter, which just introduced yet another system to punish users who hurt celebrities’ feelings, would probably love to get their hands on a working version of Perspective.

Twitter already has a tremendous depth of data on its users, including gender, location, and personal interests. Imagine that data, combined with an AI tool designed to pinpoint inconvenient content, in the hands of a CEO who has done little to conceal his political biases.

The idea of an all-powerful Google robot watching over us all, making sure our speech is “improved,” has greatly excited mainstream media…