Wednesday, 8/20/14

  1. The increasingly intermediated cop
  2. Just like capitalism except …
  3. The dominant story of modern culture
  4. Degrading slavery


Jonathan Coppage discusses requiring police to wear cameras for encounters. Here’s the logic:

The Rialto police chief William A. Farrar observed, “When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better … And if a citizen knows the officer is wearing a camera, chances are the citizen will behave a little better.”

Adding mandatory Google Glass or the like to militarized police is carrying coal to Newcastle. Coppage asks if we can’t take a step back:

Yet even setting aside the natural privacy concerns raised by strapping recording devices to every patrol officer circumambulating their city’s streets, it is worth raising a smaller, subtler, but nevertheless potentially significant concern: the increasingly intermediated cop. One only has to glance in the window of a local patrol car to see the sprawling array of screens, keyboards, and communication devices designed to link the officer to all the information they could need. The problem being, of course, that the most important information the common cop needs still can’t be pulled up within his car: the knowledge gained from building relationships with those in the community he patrols.

Recall in a similar vein Mark Steyn’s comments.


“Distributism is just like capitalism, except that we differ on the nature of man, the purpose of economic activity, usury, the maximization of token wealth, the role and legitimate exercise of the state, empirical economics, the meaning of subsidiarity, subordination of economics to the higher sciences, our ends, our means, what money is, what wealth is, what a free market is, production and consumption, regulation, free trade, the moral and divine law in the social and economic order, and, yes, what liberty means.”  —

(Richard Aleman via David W. Cooney)


[T]he dominant story of modern culture is rooted in idolatry: an ultimate confidence in humanity to achieve its own salvation. Thus, instead of allowing the Bible to shape us, we may in fact be allowing our culture to shape the Bible for us. Our view of the world and even our faith will be molded by one or the other: either the biblical story is our foundation, or the Bible itself becomes subsumed within the modern story of the secular Western world. If our lives are to be shaped and formed by Scripture, we need to know the biblical story well, to feel it in our bones. To do this, we must also know our own place within—where we are in the story.

(From Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen, The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004) via Mars Hill Audio Addenda – no, not Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church; a much saner Mars Hill)


The Church is the only thing in the world that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.

(G.K. Chesterton)

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.