Friedman and Draft

Milton Friedman was on the commission that ended the draft in the US. I knew he had to be behind it before I found out about this. Hah!

Friedman is the founder of US neoliberalism. Severing the contract between the citizen and the nation-state from both ends was his raison d’ētre.

Full Circle

I once talked to a Marxist colleague about Stalinism. He dismissed everything I said about Stalinist horrors with, “yeah but the US is so much worse!”

It’s quite disappointing to discover that some people on the Right have embraced the same mentality. Whatever you say to them about terrible things happening anywhere, they come back with, “we can’t judge because the US is worse.”

Congratulations, You Are a Leftist!

I want to remind everybody that I spent 20 years on the American Left. I have heard the narrative that “the US is the worst country in the world” many times. I find it neither original nor interesting. The fact that some simpletons only recently discovered it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s moronic and profoundly leftist.

Natural Progression

Exactly. Remember Abu Ghraib? There was enormous, widespread outrage in the US over the torture of Iraqi prisoners. But in Russia people sincerely don’t understand why it’s not cute and funny to watch videos of Russian soldiers castrating Ukrainian POWs.

Remember a few years ago when Russians fed a polar bear who had just had cubs some explosives, filmed the animal’s gruesome death and gleefully posted it online? Yes, a human being is not an animal but this gives you a good indication as to where a culture is heading. What we see today is a natural result of the direction of Russian progress.

Ukrainians have been sending the bodies of the dead Russian soldiers back home. There was a hope that once parents saw their dead boys, they’d oppose the war. But the opposite happened. The grieving parents are swapping the bodies for cash rewards and old cars that the government gives them and eagerly sending more of their sons to war in hope of another payout if another son is killed. They post joyful videos of driving these old clunkers they get as a reward. It’s really weird to watch but it’s not surprising because I’ve seen how N’s mother treats him, and she’d totally not mind getting this kind of reward.

I’ve been saying for years that not all cultures are the same. People aren’t widgets. There are cultures with a completely different understanding of life and family. We make a huge mistake when we assume that everybody feels as we do.

Of course, when I say these things, somebody immediately points out that murderers, serial killers, and bad parents exist everywhere. They do but that’s not what I’m talking about here. There either is a widespread societal approval of these behaviors or there isn’t. And once there is, things get really scary.

Snowflake Competition

While other nations win wars and stun the world with bravery and resilience, Americans are snowflaking the day away:

The Burns brought the suit after seeing a viral video of another incident of alleged discrimination that happened to a family from New York. That video showed a performer dressed as the character Rosita seemingly ignoring two young Black girls while then reaching toward another girl – who the family’s lawyer said was white – and giving her a hug.

The lawyer for that family, B’Ivory LaMarr, called the incident a “racist act.” The girls’ mother and aunt has demanded the performer be fired, but she has said that she would rather avoid a lawsuit. LaMarr said Sesame Place should be made to cover any expenses related to the mental health of the girls, who he said are now dealing with “severe emotional distress. . . Burns, the plaintiff from Maryland, said he was “hurt” and “devastated” by the alleged treatment of his daughter.

More about Translation

Curiously, the only kind of translation for which I have used Google Translate so far is the literary translation. There are descriptions of military operations in the novel that are boring, do I just put them in GT.

For medical, I haven’t used it because the client has a glossary of the terms they use and they need complete compliance with the glossary. For the Ukrainian videos, I didn’t need it because there’s nothing people say in Ukrainian that I can’t say in English. For a both company, they give me .pdfs where parts of the document are handwritten in Ukrainian. All of the translations I do are Ukrainian or Russian into English. And GT sucks ass with Ukrainian anyway.

Unleashed

Russians massacred Ukrainian POWs. Tortured them in horrific ways, filmed the torture, and proudly sent the videos to their relatives. In one of the videos, a Russian soldier castrates a Ukrainian POW with a penknife. It’s clear from his stupid, greasy face that he has never heard the word “NATO” but is very happy to be able to mutilate live human beings.