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.

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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 ou contratar perito em conversão de PDF para fazer 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.

Tem recomendações para facilitar a vida dos retirantes em busca de melhorias? Escreva.

Two solutions to ABBYY highlighting

Ever use ABBYY to convert a document composed by someone not very literate–like a clueless defendant or respondent? It takes forever if you let ABBYY agonize over every letter, but the program ignores settings telling it not to smear light blue highlighting everywhere. So how do you clean the exported Word doc of unwanted highlighting that is unresponsive to normal removal of highlighting?

Method 1 by Steven Marzuola:
To fix this shading in Microsoft Word

Ctrl-A to select the entire document (or just the pertinent text)
Open the Borders and Shading box. Simplest is Alt-O, B
Go to the Shading tab.
Take note of the setting in the “Apply to:” box. It’s probably “Paragraph”
Under Fill, click “No Color”. (Even though the window already says “No Color”)
Click OK.
Make sure that the correct text is still selected.
Open the Borders and Shading box again (Alt-O, B)
In the “Apply to:” box, change to “Text”
Under Fill, click “No Color”
Click OK.

BTW, the Alt-O, B keyboard shortcut is a holdover from pre-1997 versions of Word. There was a pull-down menu called “Format”, which used Alt-O instead of Alt-F because that was already used for the “File” pull-down.
Since 1997, the official way to bring up the Borders and Shading dialog box using the ribbon interface is:

Click the Home tab.
In the Paragraph group, click the triangle by the Borders button.
Choose the Borders and Shading command.
***
Method 2 by Hank Phillips:
Open the document in Open Office
Select everything
Use the highlighting tool to specify no highlighting.
Save the file in the same Word format.

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The Corn Sugar Connection–1929

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The yeast and glucose trusts bought Prohibition

Chapter 41
The Corn Sugar Connection

            The heat was definitely on, and Chicago bootleggers departed in droves for Miami. The general hysteria began to worry cooler heads, among them the Prohibition Commissioner, Dr. James Doran. A professional chemist and head man in the Federal department charged with enforcing prohibition laws, Dr. Doran knew better than anyone how the liquor traffic operated.

This unfortunate business involving the Hubinger corn sugar factory at Keokuk, and those wealthy Italian entrepreneurs was most distressing. Unfolding, as it was, in the shadow of the Illinois State Capitol, the investigation was fraught with potential for sticky political repercussions if not nicely handled. Chicago bank stocks had been sliding and even the nation’s stock markets were reacting badly. He was also aware of the pressure on Congress to do something foolish, so he boldly ripped the lid off of one of the best-kept secrets in the trade: “Ninety-five per cent of the whiskey consumed in the United States,” he told reporters “is made from corn sugar.” The good doctor then explained how moonshiners discovered that corn sugar was not only several cents a pound cheaper than cane sugar but was far more practical and the primary source of moonshine, with a 95% market share.[1]

At least 25 million bushels of corn were needed to fill 1928 demand for corn sugar, and it was “generally conceded” that the new moonshiner market was a large factor in boosting corn prices. Reporters observed that the dry Middle West corn belt, largely responsible for the enactment of prohibition, owed much of its present measure of prosperity to the widespread violation of that very law. Now the cat was out of the bag, but way too late.

Frustrated for years by arrogant scofflaws, reviled as bigots by the wet press, belittled and shamed in such popular novels as Elmer Gantry, and ridiculed at the Tennessee “Monkey Trial” and elsewhere by the likes of H.L. Mencken, the drys were not going to let pass this opportunity to exploit the famous massacre.

Coming up: The Five and Ten

Read this in Portuguese at my other blog.

[1] (CT 2/18/29 6)

Libertarian spoiler votes repeal bad laws. GOP hurting from unpopular win. LP covers gap in 11 states aggregating 124 electoral votes

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Libertarians cost GOP Popular vote win: Prohibition Repeal Introduced!

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