Compassion is a Funny Thing These Days

Shark-attack warning posted on the cost of Cape Cod (Quincy Walters/WBUR)

Good morning. Yesterday’s quote was Stanford economist Thomas Sowell on a politician’s top priorities. Today Los Angeles bucks the science; BLM found a group it won’t criticize; Australia works to protect shark feelings; and The Economist convolutes the truth. Here is today’s quote:

Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo. This cruel and inhumane policy, instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government, is at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis. Since 1962, the United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba by cutting off food, medicine and supplies, costing the tiny island nation an estimated $130 billion.


You may have thought that the lockdowns were over in the United States several weeks ago. You may have thought that there would be no need for additional restrictions once you were vaccinated. You may have figured that politicians claiming to “follow the science” would understand the unbridled effectiveness of these vaccines, too—wrong you would be. The city of Los Angeles re-imposed its mask mandate for all individuals—even if you’re vaccinated—while indoors, ostensibly to combat the Indian variant.


As Cuba continues to imprison (or worse) its protesters, there has been an interesting shift in the US cultural space. Media giants like Reuters fell back to its familiar trope, blaming anti-government protesters for the spread of COVID-19 and, in effect, claiming that the virus spreads faster depending on your political beliefs. (You may recall this article by The Economist, or others like it, which claimed that BLM protests did not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.) More striking is the fact that Black Lives Matter finally found a group they are willing to criticize: the Cuban dictatorship, which is living and breathing their Marxist ideals.


Australia is through with the term “shark attacks.” Apparently, the phrase was too mean to the animal, which Australian officials claim has been unreasonably scrutinized since the movie Jaws came out almost 50 years ago. The preferred term is now shark “interactions” or “negative encounters,” which will help to dispel the “inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless man-eating monsters.”

Media Spotlight

On Sunday, Italy won the European soccer title for the first time since 1968. Following the historic factory, The Economist—always the diversity hawk—had this to say:

The most striking aspect of Italy’s 26-man squad before it took to the pitch was that, alone among the main contenders, it did not include a single player considered as being of color.

Another way of saying the same thing: Italy’s team is full of Italians.

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