Houston Translator Association Irregularities

The Houston Translators and Interpreters Association has in recent years been a model of competence in the industry. Yet the current bylaws amendment ballot looks more like a model of practices to avoid. The online bylaws dated April 14, 2010, define members as follows:

Article III – Membership…

Section B – Classes and Qualifications

The Association has three (3) membership classes: individual, corporate and institutional.

  • Individual: An individual who is engaged in translating, interpreting or related work (and may include students)

  • Corporate: A business with an interest in translation or interpretation

  • Institutional: An institution with an interest in translation or interpretation.

Directors elected in single-candidate elections now propose to change those member classes by creating a special class of students who at this time would not be allowed to vote to elect their teacher nor be listed in the online members directory (where the public expects to find professional linguists). To propose the change, voters were told that “new text is indicated by underlining, deleted text by strikeout.” But for the ballot proposal sent to members to change the bylaws, the board of directors approved the following:

Section B – Classes and Qualifications

The Association has four (4) membership classes: individual, corporate, institutional and student.

The above introductory sentence (followed by four, not three bullet items) appeared with no underlining for the new text nor strikeouts for deleted language. It gives the incorrect impression–instructions elsewhere to the contrary notwithstanding–that the student category already exists whether one likes it or not, and that there is mere quibbling to be decided on some trifling point of verbiage in the last of four preexisting bullet points.

In an association of quilt-makers, brewers, basket-weavers or kickboxers, the omission might be brushed aside as simple incompetence, the result voided and new ballots produced. Indeed, one such error in ballot translation into Spanish for the Texas State government had precisely that outcome and cost taxpayers about $100,000 to reprint.

The bad ballot language at issue, however, is presented as approved by the very people immigrants depend on for legal defense of their individual rights in courts that order execution by letal injection. Credible fear reviews can shield dissenters or whistleblowers from extrajudicial execution or torture by junta-style dictatorships, and HITA hosted a presentation on those. Professionals educated abroad want their syllabi competently translated with all legalities accurate so they may exercise a profession despite entrenched lobbyists erecting barriers to entry.  Our newsletter and web tips just now alerted linguists of at least a dozen different fraudulent scams. But more perfidious scams are perpetrated from within the profession. Must we circulate ballots that are an indictment of the board’s competence to frame and edit a simple bylaws amendment proposal?

For over a decade beginners were advised by prominent HITA and AATIA members not to bother to apply for municipal and county court interpreting in Texas. From a position of public trust they emphatically proclaimed that a license was required as a prerequisite. Nevermind that this was a law urged by three individuals claiming to represent the profession without their lobby efforts appearing in our trade publications. The persistent lie was finally exposed at a regulatory meeting at which a government regulatory attorney explained on the public record that the law meant nothing of the sort.

The old law merely formalized a procedure for showing an incompetent interpreter the door and ordering up a substitute, typically someone grandfathered in irrespective of real credentials or ability.  The dissembling was a sales platform for quickie diploma mill courses pushing test answers, podiums for grandfathered insiders to talk down to aspirants, and a loophole enabling agencies possessed of counsel to quietly and without fanfare exploit inexperienced youngsters at pauper rates. The law was only repealed after a libertarian interpreter put up a website playing a recording of the regulatory lawyer’s explanation in language too clear and simple to falsify.

If sidetracking students from earning a degree liable to make them employable is deemed a good idea, it ought to be passed by honest vote of fully-informed members using a ballot prepared in conformity with its own instructions and specifications.  Leaving out the underscores and strikethroughs is a demonstration of lack of competence or subterfuge that can only lead to the outcome being challenged. That is not the sort of attention the board needs to be focussing on the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association.

Any association of actual linguists can raise revenue and provide a public service by hosting interpreting contests. Winners selected by the attendees could thereby earn credible credentials by live testing. A similar competitive approach is used to select and rank athletes, speakers, dancers, writers–even tire-changers or jugglers performing at association events. An interpreting contest need be no more complicated than a live debate or a spelling bee, and its results would carry weight with the membership, judges, attorneys, doctors and honest regulators interested in an objective assessment of competence in performance.

If you are an interpreter or translator interested in the honest defense of individual rights, by all means do get in touch.

 

Climate Change & Nonaggression Pact

National Socialist–Soviet Socialist Pact, (August 23, 1939)–Paris “Agreement” November 4, 2016… a comparison

The National Socialist–Soviet Socialist pact is also called the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Nazi–Soviet Pact and the German–Soviet Non-aggression Pact and Russo-German Pact.** In much the way Global Cooling morphed into Anthropomorphic Global Warming, then (to cover all bases) Climate Change (which was everywhere long before mankind).  All of this is old hat. Externally, the socialist “non-aggression” treaty was short and flowery, with phrases like:

In any event both Governments will resolve this (Poland) question by means of a friendly agreement.”

and

“Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.”

The treaty closed with a nondisclosure agreement that masked the existence of additional deals, but the thing was outwardly cute and fuzzy, as one might expect from neighboring altruistic People’s States. The fact remained that the preceding war had been largely a dispute over heroin markets in which to sell Papaver somniferum products grown in the Balkan States. Those markets and competition still existed in 1939.  The secret additional deals amounted to a divvying-up of the opium-producing Balkan States.

When the Democratic Party gained power after the George Waffen Bush asset-forfeiture crash and depression, it preserved existing domestic prohibition, high-taxes, asset forfeiture looting and other victimless “crime” legislation. However, stung by the Y2K election results in which the Green Party weighed in with enough spoiler votes to block Democrats from jobs, boodle and pelf, the Democratic platform committee hewed as close to the Republican line as possible–except for the part about trying to ban reliable power generation.

Bans on reliable power generation have been enacted in the People’s State of Australia (which replaced voluntary democracy with mandatory voting), and the Democratic People’s Republic of Germany. In both cases, utility bills skyrocketed and rolling blackouts and brownouts became familiar features of the environment. These provide pretexts for additional regulatory meddling. The result of curtailment of power generation anywhere is a net increase in the mortality rate in those places–in other words, a health hazard.

This latest Paris pact aimed at lowering life expectancy is couched in the most florid prose imaginable:

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development

Translation: (c) Robbing taxpayers and monopoly victims to subsidize unreliable energy experiments

Propaganda expert George Orwell commented on totalitarian persuasion:

It is important to notice that the cult of power tends to be mixed up with a love of cruelty and wickedness FOR THEIR OWN SAKES. A tyrant is all the more admired if he happens to be a bloodstained crook as well, and ‘the end justifies the means’ often becomes, in effect, ‘the means justify themselves provided they are dirty enough’. This idea colours the outlook of all sympathizers with totalitarianism, and accounts, for instance, for the positive delight with which many English intellectuals greeted the Nazi-Soviet pact. (George Orwell)

Russo-German Pact of 1939. [Note 1, below] And when news of the Pact broke, the most wildly divergent explanations were of it were given, and predictions were made which were falsified almost immediately, being based in nearly every case not on a study of probabilities but on a desire to make the U.S.S.R. seem good or bad, strong or weak. (Orwell)

-issues like Poland, the Spanish civil war, the Russo-German pact, and so forth, are debarred from serious discussion, and that if you possess information that conflicts with the prevailing orthodoxy you are expected to either distort it or keep quiet about it–(Orwell)

If this sounds like 2017, welcome to the world of alternative facts.

** [Note 1: An example is the Russo-German Pact, which is being effaced as quickly as possible from public memory. A Russian correspondent informs me that mention of the Pact is already being omitted from Russian year-books which table recent political events. (George Orwell)]

There is a genuine non-aggression principle that socialists struggle to evade:

“I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”

This is the pledge required to join or donate to the Libertarian Party.

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

Physics melts political phiction–thanks to Tony Heller

NOAA shows US December temperatures increasing at 0.1F per decade since 1930. Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) They are actually decreasing at 0.1F per decade since 1930. In order to make Zeke happy, I used only a stable set of stations which haven’t changed latitude since 1930. The NCDC…

via Corrupting December At NCDC — The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

Why Dems lost election and pseudoscientists get fired…

Zeke Hausfather has provided the latest excuse for trying to erase the hiatus, so let’s have a look at his work. He claims my US temperature adjustment graph is flawed because of changes in average station latitude and altitude over time. Zeke’s graph below also shows huge amounts of data tampering by NOAA, but shows 1940 cooler than…

via Zeke Debunks Himself – Twice — The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

Two Can Play… econazis demanded initiation of force, right?

No elected representative has done more to speed climate research up: Donald Trump to sack climate change scientists Myron Ebell, who led Mr Trump’s transition team at the agency, said that he expects the new President to sack at least half of the staff there. He also hopes that the organisation will have its budget…

via Trump to sack climate change scientists and slash EPA: Unskeptical scientists are terrified — JoNova