Adam Smith’s Condemnation of Slavery, 1759

Adam Smith fulminated against the injustice of slavery in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, speaking of the slave traders as the refuse of the jails of Europe:

There is not a negro from the coast of Africa who does not, in this respect, possess a degree of magnanimity which the soul of his sordid master is too often scarce capable of conceiving. Fortune never exerted more cruelly her empire over mankind than when she subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the jails of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtues neither of the countries which they come from, nor of those which they go to, and whose levity, brutality, and baseness, so justly expose them to the contempt of the vanquished. (The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 206-7)

The Foxes’ Bureaucratic Capture of the Henhouse

What happens when you put the foxes in charge of the henhouse?

The answer to that riddle is nothing good, unless you’re one of the foxes. In economics, that question is built into a concept called regulatory capture, which is a bad thing. Here’s a good definition:

Regulatory capture is an economic theory that says regulatory agencies may come to be dominated by the industries or interests they are charged with regulating. The result is that an agency, charged with acting in the public interest, instead acts in ways that benefit the industry it is supposed to be regulating.

Will Cuba’s Vaccine Rollout Live Up to the Ad Copy?

“Cuba’s socialist approach to developing vaccines against Covid-19 differs strikingly from that of capitalist nations of the world developing vaccines. Socialist Cuba’s production of four vaccines is grounded in science, in a dedication to saving the lives of all Cubans, and in international solidarity.”

That quote is from “Cuba develops COVID-19 vaccines, takes socialist approach,in the February 4 People’s World, a continuation of the Daily Worker, founded in 1924. According to its author, W. T. Whitney—a “Cuba solidarity activist,” and former pediatrician—the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “may be less safe than the one used in Cuban vaccines.”

The American approach to producing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines, Whitney contends, is not like that of Cuba, a country not subject to the profit motive. All told, the People’s World piece is not far removed from the story on Cuba’s “homegrown” vaccination program by Dr. Marianne Guenot in the February 15 Business Insider

A Well-Crafted Action Movie, Run Hide Fight Contributes to Larger Discussion of School Violence

I had mixed feelings when I queued up the action movie Run Hide Fight on the Daily Wire. I knew this narrative film about a high school mass shooting, if done well, was likely to hit a raw nerve.

After all, I am a martial-arts trained self-defense coach, a faculty member at a public university whose office sits just a few hundred feet from the site of a deadly school shooting, and mentor to students who have lost friends in other mass shootings (including the Parkland high school and the Tallahassee Hot Yoga shooting). School shootings and their trauma are not fantasy.

The movie, as expected, hit a raw nerve. But the story is well-crafted, and the content is tailored to contribute to an important contemporary social issue. It’s grounded in certain uncomfortable realities that should be in the forefront of current discussions on school violence and how to respond to active shooters. In short, Run Hide Fight hits notes sorely missing in public discourse on school violence.

Concentration Camps for Uighurs Reflect China’s “Different Norms,” Says Biden 

In a CNN town hall on February 17, President Joe Biden said, “I am not going to speak out against what he’s [China’s president Xi Jinping] doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan.” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken agrees that the Communist government is perpetrating “genocide” against the Muslim minority, but Biden told CNN, “culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.” So the president of the United States was not going to speak out against genocide, and that should come as no surprise. 

Rush Limbaugh on Air

After failing at numerous radio jobs in the 1970s, in which he tried out various styles, including his first broadcast gig at KUDL in Kansas City, the famed talk-radio giant Rush H. Limbaugh III (1951–2021) began his real radio-broadcast career when he hosted a daytime talk show that innovatively mixed conservative politics and humorous entertainment from 1984 to 1988 at the KFBK-AM station in Sacramento, California. According to Forbes’ Dawn Chmielewski,

California Bureaucrats Behaving Badly

Californians have had to endure one of the strictest COVID-19 lockdown regimes in the United States. The state has imposed stay-at-home orders and curfews on its residents. It has also imposed draconian restrictions on how many businesses and other organizations in the state may operate.

Only recently have some of those restrictions begun to be lifted. Some have yielded to public pressure, others have required intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court because of the abuses of individual rights by California’s bureaucrats.

Dr. Fauci’s Refusal to Face New York Nursing Home Deaths Is Revealing

Thousands more nursing home residents may have died from COVID-19 than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has publicly acknowledged, according to a January 30 report by New York Attorney General Letitia James. As investigators learned, nursing home deaths had been undercounted, even in facilities the state health department had made public. As ProPublica noted, “the true death toll among nursing home residents was not mentioned in Cuomo’s much-publicized memoir on his leadership successes handling the pandemic.”

Could the IMF’s Recipe for Recovery Spell Economic Ruin?

The International Monetary Fund is advising countries around the world to spend even more taxpayer money and continue to print paper currency as the only solution to the economic disaster caused by Covid-19. It recently put out a statement trying to demonstrate that global debt would rise “modestly” after the $14 trillion spent by governments around the world to combat the virus last year, and we have seen several industrialized nations announce plans to add several trillion dollars to the bill on both sides of the Atlantic.

Does Burma Smackdown Signal Biden the Brave?

The military must relinquish power they’ve seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma as expressed in their November 8 election.” That was President Biden on February 11, imposing sanctions after a military coup in Burma, also known as Myanmar. For Biden, the statement was something of a departure. 

  • Catalyst