White Powder, USA, 1929

The new Republican President never touched liquor before his March, 1929 swearing-in ceremony. Indeed, nearly three decades earlier he palmed off all hospitality cordials on his Chinese interpreter, who sometimes had trouble navigating after Hoover’s visits to hosts.

Peter Lorre movie poster

Chapter 43

White Powder

In New York there was something of a stir when, Superintendent of Banks Warder suddenly resigned his post and was replaced by Joseph A. Broderick. Awkward questions were being raised before a grand jury in connection with the handsome sums Mr. Warder had been receiving quite apart from his salary as a public official. So awkward were the questions and vexing the official secrecy surrounding Mr. Warder’s beneficiary, the failed City Trust bank, that Manufacturers Trust cancelled its planned takeover of the institution. City Trust’s depositors had no such easy way out.[1]

Two federal agents paid a discreet visit to the Hubinger corn sugar plant in Keokuk, Iowa, on February 23, but left with the impression that the plant owners had not grasped the seriousness of the situation. The presence of federal agents at the Hubinger corn sugar factory was not reported, but the sentencing of the former mayor of Herrin to two years at Leavenworth for alcohol was widely covered. On Capitol Hill, the Jones Five and Ten bill passed the House February 28 and became law March 3. Herbert Hoover was inaugurated the following day promising vigorous enforcement of every such law.[2]

The U.S. Embassy in London continued to assemble newspaper clippings on the Naarden narcotics conspiracy and send them to the State Department, while the London Times praised the U.S. government for helping to stamp out opium traffic even as the League of Nations rushed in to claim it’s share of the credit.[3] The grand jury probe ground on and the House voted to investigate federal judge Winslow—with the Senate first horning in on the act, then blocking the investigation entirely.

On the Teapot Dome front, Edward Lawrence Doheney Jr.—the oilman’s son who had allegedly delivered $100,000 to Interior Secretary Albert Fall—was murdered by his personal secretary who immediately shot himself February 16.[4] On the income tax front, beleaguered Staten Island brewer J.J. Dunne was indicted for income tax evasion and former judge Nash Rockwood pled guilty to the same charge.[5] Back of all this lurked the latest round of WWI reparations talks. Germany now sought to blackmail American investors by holding private loans hostage to a reduction in reparations payments awarded to the European Allies.[6]

Excerpted by permission from Prohibition and the Crash by J Henry Phillips

[1] (NY World Almanac 1930 98, 99) (NYT 3/2/29 7)

[2] (Lawrence 1929 97; 119) (Docket 11070 4) (NY World Almanac 1930 100; 1931 358) (Hoover 1929 1974 2-10)

[3] (Taylor 1969 231f) (NYT 2/19/29 2:1; 2/21/29 12)

[4] (NY World Almanac 1930 99)

[5] (NYT 2/21/29 2; 3/3/29 9; 2/27/29 48, 25:2; 3/26/29 33)

[6] (NYT 2/13/29 1, 6; 2/22/29 1)

The Five and Ten Law, March, 1929

Light beer (and even sauerkraut) became a major federal felony 24 hours before Herbert Hoover, a lifelong teetotaler, placed his hand upon a religious tome and became President. 

Chapter 42

The Five and Ten

 Senator Wesley Livsey Jones of Washington—possibly the most fanatical prohibitionist in the upper Chamber—again pressed for his year-old “increased penalties” plan on February 19.[1] “Be it enacted,” he proposed in his bill, “That wherever a penalty or penalties are prescribed in criminal prosecution by the National Prohibition Act, as amended and supplemented, for the illegal manufacture, sale, transportation, importation or exportation of intoxicating liquor, as defined by Section 1, Title II of the National Prohibition Act, the penalty imposed for each such offense shall be a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both.”[2] The national media dubbed it the Five & Ten, but the Chicago Tribune preferred to call it the Jones Law.

The gauntlet was thrown. Drys, championed by Senator William A. Borah of Idaho, hailed it as essential to maintaining a constitutional form of government. Wets, led by Senator James A. Reed of Missouri, classed it as improper, unjust and cruel, and on raged the debate. The Tribune compared it to the Fugitive Slave Law, but the Senate passed it anyway, albeit with the added proviso that “it is the intent of Congress that the court, in imposing sentence hereunder, should discriminate between casual or slight violations and habitual sales of intoxicating liquor, or attempts to commercialize violations of the law.”[3]

The House passed it as it stood, and President Calvin Coolidge signed it into law just twenty-four hours before an optimistic Herbert Hoover was to blithely take an oath to enforce it. But Hoover wouldn’t let it go at that. To this lynch mob atmosphere of hysteria he added: “Of the undoubted abuses which have grown up under the 18th amendment, part are due to (…) the failure of some States to accept their share of the responsibility for concurrent enforcement and to the failure of many State and local officials to accept the obligation under their oath of office zealously to enforce the laws. With the failures from these many causes has come a dangerous expansion in the criminal elements who have found enlarged opportunities for dealing in illegal liquor. (…) I have been selected by you to execute and enforce the laws of the country. (…) To those of criminal mind there can be no appeal but vigorous enforcement of the law. Fortunately they are but a small percentage of our people. Their activities must be stopped.”[4]

A delegation from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was photographed on the White House lawn. Herbert Hoover had lunch with Assistant Attorney General Mabel Walker Willebrandt, then met with Senator Morris Sheppard of corn-producing Texas, author of the 18th Amendment. Time called Hoover the “Dry Hope,” and those first few days in office seemed to confirm exactly that. Bootleggers took no comfort whatsoever, and some of them began to wonder whether they’d overstayed the market.

An excerpt from Prohibition and the Crash, by JHenryPhillips.com

[1] (NYT 3/24/29 27)

[2] (Time Capsule 3/4/29 66)

[3] (CT 2/19/29 1, 3, 2/21/29 12)

[4] (Hoover 1929 1974 2-10)

Useless Drones Claim to Represent Science Beehive–as reported by Ron

This week the AMS (American Meteorological Society) sent a letter chastising Scott Pruitt for keeping an open mind on the question of man-made global warming/climate change. The letter (here) referred to the AMS institutional statement on the matter, and summarized their position in this paragraph: In reality, the world’s seven billion people are causing climate […]

via The Weathermen vs. EPA’s Scott Pruitt — Science Matters

Avoiding Mac Sierra OS

Remember when Microsoft released Vista? When was the last time you saw them brag about that?

Apple’s Sierra is as miserable a turkey as Vista or Windows 8 or 10. But there is a way to avoid the pitfall.
Regular Mac users can upgrade from the cat family OSes (Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, etc) to Yosemite by going to Purchased items in the Apple Store. I discovered this only after Sierra ruined my system, and am studying methods for rolling back the install and starting fresh with Yosemite.  (Yosemite includes functional multi-language speech-to-text dictation features).

Expect to see about as many people looking to roll back to El Capitan or Yosemite as there were trying to remove Vista and install Windows XP.  These are the sorts of releases that make people appreciate Linux…

Prohibition and the Crash–guest appearance

The following post The Drug Problems Jeff Sessions Complains About Are Caused By Prohibition appeared first on A Libertarian Future at A Libertarian Future – Spreading a Libertarian message across the internet.. Many libertarians were upset with Rand Paul for voting to confirm Jeff Sessions because the Attorney General has an enormous amount of leeway…

via The Drug Problems Jeff Sessions Complains About Are Caused By Prohibition — A Libertarian Future

Altruism versus logic

The initiation of force is good by the standard of altruism, but not as a generalization because generalizations are useful in logic. So what are the special cases altruists prefer?

Democratic and Communist party members agree that to send tax agents with guns to confiscate people’s homes, guns and tools is a good and necessary thing, even if the people voted libertarian and are not represented by the looter politicians declared victorious by secret ballot. This lay coalition does not, however, want men with guns to threaten doctors who safely care for pregnant individuals–even individuals who choose to not be pregnant.

God’s Own Prohibitionists (Rep, Tea, Const, Prohi parties) agree that to send drug agents with guns to confiscate people’s property, and police agents to arrest (or shoot) doctors who enable individuals to safely not be pregnant are good and necessary things.

Clearly, both agglomerations of special interests believe in altruism. Each agrees that the initiation of force is good when the deadly force threatens THE OTHER coalition. This happened in Germany when lay looters wanted to tax and nationalize everything and religious looters wanted to nationalze and tax everything EXCEPT CHURCH property. Conservative socialists wanted religious laws to force people to be christians–and disarm non-christians. Other socialists wanted tax laws to strip wealthy christians of their property through taxation and forfeiture. Adolf Hitler’s national socialists told both coalitions they were right and used he government monopoly on force to eliminate all individual rights. That is the logical altruism that so impressed Hanna Arendt, but not Ayn Rand.

A much better solution would be to agree with today’s lay and religious socialists, but let each faction initiate its own deadly and coercive force against the other, without involving the Political State at all. All each would have to do would be waive its own rights, which is what each asks of the other anyway. If they lack the courage to act on their convictions, then they are parasitical cowards who want us to do their killing for them. There is no sensible reason why we should sacrifice freedom so cowards can use us to bully each other. Instead of war, the President could proclaim a Roman Holiday and stadium owners sell tickets and cable transmission rights to the melée.

I pledge to buy a ticket, no questions asked. Until then, my libertarian spoiler votes will repeal laws rooted in altruism and superstition.

Tradução de ementas

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No cotidiano o cliente mostra o que está em pauta, pede orçamento, aprova proposta e sinal e o tradutor faz, entrega e as partes acertam o saldo. Mas com a importação de médicos formados pela ditadura da Cuba comunista–onde mesmo antes de 1959 já havia 3 vezes o número normal de médicos–acelerou-se a evasão de brasileiros formados em medicina. Para exercer a profissão na América do Norte, suas ementas e documentos devem ser traduzidos e avaliados. O perigo é que algumas dessas agências avaliadoras de credenciais são gatekeepers (cuja função é excluir concorrentes estrangeiros) ou monopolistas (que fazem in-house as traduções por um adicional barato, mas bloqueiam ou atrapalham as traduções dos autônomos mediante mecanismos coercitivos).

Alguns sinais de perigo já alertam o tradutor experiente:
1. A escola deve nos mandar sua matéria curricular diretamente, “para preparativos”.
2. Oferecemos vantagens às entidades que recomendam exclusivamente a nós.
3. As traduções têm que ser “word-for-word.”

A primeira às vezes resulta em a agência preparar um PDF criptografado (que não permite OCR) com identificadores no pé de cada página. Assim fica difícil converter em texto eletrônico e usar ferramentas CAT. A segunda (2) já acena com o perigo de eles fecharem a concorrência por implicância com bobagens insignificantes. Já vi uma reclamar de um carimbo evidentemente idêntico em cada folha mas faltando algum detalhe em umas ou outras (tipo metade do CEP) pela posição do contato ou falta de tinta no carimbo. O monopolista vê toda concorrência como usurpação. A terceira (3) é  especificação que o mercado identifica como defeito. A literalidade é característica de “tradução” sobremaneira malfeita–de palavras em vez de conceitos e expressões–por principiante sem noção. Essa especificação eu interpreto como um aviso em vermelho com imagem de caveira.

Como se proteger? Leia as instruções e especificações desses serviços (plural) de avaliação antes de escolher. Caso contrário, há risco de mandar traduzir (e pagar) duas vezes o mesmo documento. Pergunte ao tradutor se esse garante que o documento será aceito. Money-back guarantee é muito comum nos EUA. Afinal, se a tradução é rejeitada o tradutor deve consertar a situação, devolver o dinheiro, corrigir e re-enviar ou trabalhar com outro tradutor que possua as credenciais necessárias para conseguir sua aceitação pelo órgão relevante. Procure outras pessoas que passaram por situação semelhante para ver se oferecem indicações. Para economizar dinheiro não ofereça traduzir o documento. A tradução para nós é fácil, mas específica. Já, se vc produzir uma versão que inclui todas as informações do original, formatados tal e qual em formato de processador de textos tipo Open Office, isso facilita a vida do tradutor e pode resultar em desconto.