Noon Ethics Munchies, 7/14/2021: On Cuba, Big Lies, Roy Moore, and More [Corrected]


1. The President gets a cheap shot...Commenting on Joe Biden’s generally hysterical speech about “voter suppression,” “Bonchie” writes on the conservative blog Red State,

“Of note here is that Biden is channeling Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels by using the phrase “big lie” to disparage Republicans who have concerns about the 2020 election. Yet, despite the phrase’s murderous, anti-Semitic past, the president seems to have no problem saying it repeatedly. In doing so, he echoed CNN’s Jake Tapper and others who have also been fond of the phrase.”

There is nothing wrong with using the phrase or the description. The device was championed by both Goebbels and Hitler, and is an accurate description of a propaganda tactic, an unethical but powerful one, used by both the Right and the Left. Whether the description is used fairly in any particular case is a separate issue. “Big Lies” is a very accurate description of the assault by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/mainstream media against Donald Trump—can you think of a better one?—which is why Ethics Alarms used it here and elsewhere.

What would be fair to note is that Biden has often been an eager employer of Goebbels’ favorite trick himself…as noted in this post.

2. Does anyone understand why Democrats are trying to downplay the current Cuban protests against the Communist government? This makes no sense to me. Thousands of anti-regime protesters took to the streets across the island over the weekend, waving American flags and chanting “Freedom!” and anti-government slogans. Cuba has been a repressive Communist regime since Fidel Castro pulled his bait and switch with the U.S. in 1959, but the most extreme elements in the Democratic Party, the proto-Marxists, have always thrown Cuba metaphorical kisses, like Michael Moore. Barack Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy by opening relations with Cuba without requiring any human rights concessions in return. One would think an outbreak of democracy on the island would be viewed as a good thing, but Biden’s paid liar, Jen Psaki, absurdly explained that the reason for the protests was “concern about rising COVID cases, deaths, and medicine shortages” rather than political oppression.

While Republicans have immediately announced their support for the Cuban people, Reps. Bobby Rush (D., Ill.), Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.), Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), Gwen Moore (D., Wis.) and the more 70 members of Congress, including “The Squad,” of course, signed a letter asking Biden to lift Trump sanctions Cuba in March. They have not had any comment on the demonstrations so far.

Then there is newly-tenured Howard professor of anti-white studies, or something like that, Nikole Hannah-Jones. On a Vox podcast in 2019 before anyone had heard of the “1619 Project’s” fake historian, she told Ezra Klein,

“If you want to see the most equal, multiracial democ… it’s not a democracy – the most equal, multi-racial country in our hemisphere it would be Cuba….Cuba has the least inequality between black and white people of any place really in the hemisphere. I mean the Caribbean – most of the Caribbean it’s hard to count because the white population in a lot of those countries is very, very small, they’re countries run by black folks, but in places that are truly at least biracial countries, Cuba actually has the least inequality, and that’s largely due to socialism, which I’m sure no one wants to hear.”

Remember, this woman was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Yes, it’s true, Cubans of all races are equally miserable, and almost all of them would flee to the U.S. given half a chance.

3. BREAKING: California sometimes gets it right! California forcibly sterilized over 20,000 citizens over seven decades under a eugenics law enacted in 1909. Some of those sterilized were as young as 11, and even after the law was repealed in 1979, the state continued to sterilize women in prison according to a 2014 state report that followed an exposé by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Now California is prepared to spend $7.5 million to find and pay an estimated 600 surviving victims of coerced sterilization about $25,000 each. It’s far from a faircompensation, of course, but it’s something, and it is the right thing to do. Virginia and North Carolina have set up similar funds.

The eugenics movement of the early 20th century, championed by, among others, revered Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, is an excellent example of how terrible, destructive, misbegotten ideas can take hold in our society and do terrible damage before people wake up.

I’m sure you can think of some current examples…

4. Signature significance! Former DNC chair Donna Brazile said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday: “I’m an election official, OK? And if I began to give people access to the ballot through online applications for absentee ballots, I can be arrested. It’s criminalizing voting in ways we should not criminalize voting.”

That’s right, Brazile, who has been a regular participant in Sunday morning talking head news shows for decades, why I don’t know, can’t understand why violating voting laws should be considered a criminal offense. At least she’s not a lawyer (I checked). She is also, you will recall, the cheat who used her status as a CNN contributor to secretly slip Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton the questions she would be asked in a CNN “town hall” in advance of the broadcast.

5. Funny! But unethical… I don’t know how to feel about this one. Former judge and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore attended an interview with comic and actor Sasha Baron Cohen in Washington, D.C., where he expected to receive an award for supporting Israel. Cohen was disguised as fictional Israeli anti-terrorism expert Erran Morad. When he met Moore, he waved a wand-like device that he said detected pedophiles over Moore, and it beeped. Moore walked out. After the gag was broadcast on Showtime in 2018, Moore sued Cohen, Showtime and its parent ViacomCBS for defamation.

U.S. District Judge John Cronan in Manhattan ruled that Moore’s signed consent agreement barred him from suing, and that the beeping wand couldn’t be taken seriously as an allegation of child sexual abuse .Cronan concluded that the segment was “clearly a joke,” and no reasonable viewer would see it differently.

“It is simply inconceivable that the program’s audience would have found a segment with Judge Moore activating a supposed pedophile-detecting wand to be grounded in any factual basis,” Cronan wrote. Moore is a blight on the law, politics and society, but Cohen’s stunts are unfair and unethical. I doubt there are grounds for defamation damages. I am not sorry to see Moore humiliated. Still, Cohen and his ilk are arrogant jerks, and apparently never heard of the Golden Rule.

29 thoughts on “Noon Ethics Munchies, 7/14/2021: On Cuba, Big Lies, Roy Moore, and More [Corrected]

  1. That settles it—I officially need a vacation. I had this post done before one pm, and forgot to post it. I think that’s the second time I’ve done that in ten years. Bah.

    • Yes, you clearly do.

      While I usually jump in to the Jack Marshall typo breach, this is more stylistic:

      “I don’t know how to feel about this one. Former judge and Senate attended an interview with comic and actor Sasha Baron Cohen in Washington, D.C., where he expected to receive an award for supporting Israel. Cohen was disguised as fictional Israeli anti-terrorism expert Erran Morad. When he met Moore….”

      Former Judge [WHO?} and Senate (typo)…finally getting to Moore (without further identification) in the second sentence.

      This is the guy from Alabama, right?

      If you can’t take a vacation, take a nap. No baseball until tomorrow anyway.


  2. They have 100% literacy and a great health care system in Cuba! Forget that the regime has been murderous bastards for 60+ years, systematically persecutes Gays and dissidents, targets religious leaders – especially non-Catholics, and has an illustrious history of their biggest export – the methods of Che.

  3. I think Democrats are downplaying Cuban dissatisfaction with their communist government because they’re not sure how to play it. American socialists have a soft spot for Cuba. Criticizing Cuban communism, regardless how deserved, is a loss, and they just aren’t willing to take the L. And because the party absolutely refuses to even acknowledge that their extremists are bonkers, they aren’t allowed to do it. They’re held captive by their lowest common denominator.

    I am positive that around the dinner table and other private settings, every level of Democrat leadership is aware of reality and to some extent, they’d be willing or even eager to express that, but they know they’d get the Manchin treatment, and they aren’t brave enough to take the heat.

  4. Cuba’s a one party totalitarian state where the government controls education, communication, the media, and most of the important aspects of it’s citizen’s lives. Why would the democrats reverse position and oppose that?

    • And Cubans who have gotten out of their workers paradise and came to the U.S. generally vote Republican and sometimes even wind up as U.S. Representatives !! We can’t have that now. Better to use the Coast Guard to force them back to Cuba where they will wind up in a very nasty prison.

  5. I have no use for Donna Brazile, but I don’t think she’s saying that violating voting laws oughtn’t to be illegal. Rather, she’s saying that we need to follow existing law, but that the law ought to be changed. I think that’s a defensible position, whether or not I agree with it.

  6. #2 is fundamentally easy to understand. It’s no longer a cliched slur against Democrats –

    they flat out enjoy totalitarian regimes, especially left-leaning ones.

    They don’t hide it.

  7. 2. Does anyone understand why Democrats are trying to downplay the current Cuban protests against the Communist government?

    Me, me, me, teacher! I have the answer! Call on me!

    I grew up in Miami, Florida. I was born there in 1951 when it was a little redneck town next to all the retired Brooklynites on Miami Beach. I remember late in the fifties watching black and white news reports about some strange fighting in a sugar cane field somewhere. Then Cuban refugees flooded into South Florida. A classmate in seventh and eighth grade, Armando Escoto, his father was murdered by Che Guevara in a Castro brothers prison. Nice. Most of my Cuban buddies’ families arrived with the clothes on their backs, assuming they would be going back in a few days. They left their pets in the care of their domestic help. When we showed up in their homes in high school wearing “bellbosums” (Spanglish grand parent speak for bell bottoms) they would gasp and say, “Communistas!” Trust me, I could go on.

    When I arrived in upstate NY at a preppy college in the fall of 1969, I was rushed by a junior or senior at the college to “go to Cuba to cut sugar cane and help with the harvest.” I was stunned.

    All of which is to say, absolutely nothing has changed, other than the American left has, over the years, become even more enamored of Communism. It’s always been there and it’s toxic. The Castro brothers are greedy murderers.

    The Democratic establishment of the Cuban Missile Crisis is long gone. (And why did the revered JFK fail to give air cover to Alpha 66 and let them be slaughtered at the Bay of Pigs? Nice work, Jack ((Kenney)). What a shit.)

    Now that no one seems to care about keeping the Florida Straits free for navigation between the Mississippi and NYC and the entire east coast, Cuba’s just a cute little socialist laboratory. And of course, it’s all the fault of Trump, who re-enhanced the embargo. Query: If the great socialist nation of Cuba is so wonderful, why does it need trade with the evil capitalist mother of all evil to its north to survive? It needs American … capital? Can’t it survive by trading with the entire rest of the world, including Russia, North Korea, Venezuela and Vietnam and Communist China, not to mention Canada and Mexico and the entire EU and all of South America?

    And of course, China and Russia and Iran are telling Joe Biden not to interfere in Cuba’s internal affairs. Of course. And Joe’s head of the DHS is telling Cubans (and Haitians) not to try to enter the US by boat. Why not? Beats me. Kamala Harris tells Nicaraguans don’t come and she gets lambasted. The U.S. summarily changes it’s sixty year old “any Cuban who gets to the U.S. is good” policy, and … crickets?

    Let’s face it, the Democratic party wants to make the U.S. Cuba north. That’s the answer to “why Democrats are trying to downplay the current Cuban protests against the Communist government.” They’re rooting for the wonderful, iconic Cuban government to crush the Cuban citizens (and those bastard Cuban refugees who voted for Trump in South Florida) who dare to want freedom and wave American flags. Clearly, they are white supremacists there in Cuba. The Squad it going to do anything to help these white supremacists?

    I could go on, but I won’t.

    • The hard left has been in love with Communism since after the end of World War II. Some of them have just been a little less obvious about it, and a few have been a little more obvious about it. Ever since Walter Durante and John Read returned from behind the proto iron curtain, there have always been true believers.

      However, the Democratic party was not dominated by the hard left until the dislocation created by the Vietnam War and Reagan’s success in the Cold War. There was really no way to successfully oppose what Reagan stood for except by going very far left, and that’s where you got the extreme left like Ted “the swimmer” Kennedy, now gone more than a decade, Ramsey Clark, Carter’s near traitor Attorney General, and a wild-haired, seedy looking, loud mouthed, failed carpenter turned mayor, turned congressman named Bernie Sanders.

      The fact is also that winning the Cold War was not always as clean as launching submarines, moving missiles around Europe, and threatening flights of aircraft. Some really ugly stuff went on behind the scenes, and the hard left was eager to jump on it. Of course they all too eagerly believed the out-and-out lies to come out of the Soviet Union and Cuba. I believe the term for people like that was useful idiots.

      The thing is, a then relatively young congressman from Delaware named Joseph Biden never embraced any of this far left stuff, nor would he in the senate in the decades that followed. Yet now he says nothing. Was he dissembling all those years, and is now just revealing who he really is, or is this just more proof that he goes where the political wins take him? If it’s the first, then he was a liar, if the ladder, he is simply a political hack.

      • Joe’s neither a liar nor a hack, Steve. He’s just a prop from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” He doesn’t think or believe anything because he’s currently incapable of doing either. Charlie McCarthy had more beliefs than Joe has. Ron Klain is the sitting president of the United States, who spends all his time simply catering to the multitudinous Democrat factions at his table. Joe just says and does whatever he’s told in order to make sure he “doesn’t get in trouble.”

      • Like OB says, Steve-O, at this point Slojo’s pretty much just a puppet. For years, he was the ultimate hack, from the self-dealing family arrangements, to selling out the country to the banksters, to his resume-padding lies that got him kicked out of earlier presidential runs, Joe served Joe.

        Delaware remained a slave state throughout the war of secession, and was the last northern state to ratify the 13th amendment…in 1901! Its voting laws are more strict than the new ones of Texas and Georgia. Somehow, this was never an issue, but voting security in other states is now the new Jim Crow per Dim Joe. He still has some hackery left in his rapidly decaying old noggin.

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