Watching Nick Sarwark get bushwhacked by the debating tactics of a libertarian-impersonating anarchist made for a sense of foreboding over Jacob Sullum debating a prohibitionist. The opening argument–that violent narcs murder and maim people–could have been copied from the 46-year-old news clipping above. (link) Sullum recited almost identical stories of brutal mayhem against bystanders and even brought up the deliberate mass-poisoning of populations by adding wood alcohol to ethanol–of which practice God’s Own Prohibitionist (a novelist and pseudoscience hack) feigned ignorance, even surprise. Continue reading
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.”
“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.
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…
Need a translator able to read a thermometer?
This is Rudy’s presentation. Rudy’s baccalaureate was in Geology, followed by an MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a programmer, chip designer and detector of pseudoscientific flim-flammery much like Prof. Petr Beckmann. Here he is in the Southern Hemisphere Land of Auz, in the half of Planet Earth that is home to only 1/9 of humanity.
A statistical breakdown of ATA-certified Portuguese translators. These are translators who have passed a relatively simple test by translating some 700 to 800 words in three passages selected out of a total of five. Three major errors or 20 minor errors suffice to fail a passage, and one has to pass two to pass the test. From 1981 until 2004, passing at least one of these tests was a requirement for voting in the association. People who have passed the tests are usually listed on the ATA website and hence are verifiable.
More and more entities are exercising responsible stewardship by checking translator qualifications. So, what is an ATA-certified Portuguese translator? Of the 987 persons claiming the ability to translate to or from Portuguese with professional competence, only about 16% have passed either of the two separate and distinct tests. Four out of five alleged Portuguese into English translators have never passed that specific test and only 14% of those claiming the ability to translate from English into Portuguese have demonstrated that ability by passing the other specific test. Most of the people who pass either test are native speakers of the target language, meaning that is their dominant language.
If someone says “I am an ATA-certified Portuguese translator,” that doesn’t tell you very much unless they mean they have passed the tests in both directions. Only one percent of all of ATA members claiming some competence as Portuguese translators have passed the certification tests in both directions. That works out to exactly 12 listed translators at the time of writing (2 more are unlisted). Although certification in one direction is better than no certification at all, only one in about 18 certified translators can reliably work in both directions for Portuguese. Here is a breakdown of the numbers:
|ATA members who||Claim E-P||Claim P-E||Claim Bidirectional|
|Claim direction ability||441||546||643 (estimated)|
|Certified f/direction(s)||86||75||12 (or 14)|
Most certified translators only assert that they are certified in one particular direction. The ATA, for reasons of internal politics, goes to great lengths to suggest that certification tests have nothing to do with interpreting ability. I have observed many interpreters, and every one of the certified translators who has passed the test in both directions has turned out to be capable of interpreting with professional competence in both directions (without necessarily liking the work). Somewhere in between 284 and 643 of these interpreters claim competence in both directions. The data tell us nothing about overlap, but the ratios of certified to uncertified (as translators) appear to be in the same ballpark for interpreters as for translators. As you might expect, most (but by no means all) of the better bidirectional interpreters in the ATA have passed at least one of the tests as near as I can ascertain.
Looking at the ATA as a whole, one is struck by the tiny number of people are certified into three different languages. When total membership stood at 8000, there were three such members. It is probably a safe bet that there are approximately half a dozen translators certified into three target languages today.