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Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady rightly deplores the blindness of many Americans to what tyranny has done, and continues to do, to the people of Cuba. A slice:

The New York Times report on Cuba’s attempt at a Covid-19 vaccine was laughable. Toilet paper is scarce in the socialist paradise. But in February 2021 the Times breathlessly hyped—in language dripping with contempt for the U.S.—the Havana line that a breakthrough was looming. “The vaccine heading for a final phase of trials is called Sovereign 2, in a nod to the pride the island takes in its autonomy, despite decades of hostility from its neighbor to the north. Already, Cuba is floating the idea of enticing tourists to its shores with the irresistible cocktail of sun, sand and a shot of Sovereign 2.”

Lots of Cubans were given a shot, but who knows what was in it? In August 2022, the Economist tallied excess-mortality data on the island to estimate the Covid-19 death toll per capita. It found Cuba’s rate to be “among the 20 worst” across the globe and far above the country average in the region.

Cuba’s revolutionary pact was that the regime would guarantee food and medicine and, in return, Cubans would surrender their liberty. Now that they have none of the above, they’re angry.

Arnold Kling writes with his usual insightfulness on “the intention heuristic.” Two slices:

What I call the intention heuristic takes two forms:

Good intentions necessarily lead to good consequences.

Bad consequences necessarily indicate that someone had bad intentions.

Consider the case of Communism. It might seem that “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” constitutes a good intention. Yet Communism in practice has turned into a totalitarian nightmare wherever it has been tried.


If you follow the first form of the intention heuristic, you would have to insist that Communism is actually good. The bad examples are “not real Communism.”

If you follow the second form of the intention heuristic, you would have to insist that Communists never had good intentions. Anyone who ever supported Communism did so in order to advance the cause of evil totalitarianism. That, too, is a simplistic conclusion.

True wisdom requires discarding the intention heuristic. It requires accepting that the world is complex and that each individual is complex.

Bruce Rottman rejects the religion of recycling.

GMU Econ alum Daniel Smith explains how subsidies for sports stadiums reveal tensions in Democratic Party politics.

Michael Strain warns of the consequences of “debt and dysfunction” in the United States.

Alexander Riley isn’t impressed with Michael Bérubé’s and Jennifer Ruth’s It’s Not Free Speech. (HT George Leef) Two slices:

It’s Not Free Speech is a shameful exercise in the deceptive assertion of the prerogatives of expertise by people who consistently break their own rules regarding how expertise is supposed to work. The authors, Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth, demonstrate by their every word that their claim to respect expertise as something more than just an exercise of power in the service of an ideology is utterly hollow.

This is evident from the book’s first pages. The authors begin with ignorant vilification of two of the most courageous professors on American college campuses today, Amy Wax and Bruce Gilley. The authors, miming the rhetorical manner of the BLM street activist, casually refer to these fearless critics of anti-intellectual dogma as white supremacists. The evidence? Wax dared to argue that some cultures are more effective than others at preparing people for social success in the modern West, and Gilley argued that colonialism offered some benefits to the colonized. Both defended their claims in a scholarly manner, and they responded articulately to the kind of absurd charges made in this book.

But this book’s authors know that most of their readers—leftist academics—will need no skillful argumentation to agree with their denunciation. Those readers are also unlikely to ask how the book’s authors qualify as experts to evaluate the arguments of Wax and Gilley. For here we have a professor of English (Bérubé) and a professor of film studies (Ruth) asserting their right to adjudicate truth, without discussion of any particulars, regarding matters—the causes of racial inequalities and the consequences of colonialism—on which they have no relevant training or expertise.


It takes but a few minutes of examining the curriculum in the typical African studies program to realize that it can be adequately summarized as political propaganda, in which the feeblest of far-left claims are presented as dogma and no contestations are tolerated. The authors do note that part of the scandal around [Damon] Sajnani had to do with his cheering, on his Twitter account, the killing of police officers, which probably tells you something about the direction and quality of his pedagogy. But Bérubé and Ruth are untroubled by this.

They believe that universities need special committees of “trained expert faculty” to decide what other faculty members can and cannot say, teach, and write on matters of leftist political concern, and especially on race. You can surely guess who will control such committees. It will be Sajnani and others in the various politicized “studies” fields populated by woke professors who believe what he believes.

It may well be that the universities are completely lost. Books like this one make clear the profound nature of the ideological disease they suffer.