Author: arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.

Human Rights – Article Ten

Public Domain

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Article Ten

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

A fair trial, should it come to that, is everyone’s right. Even before that, they’re entitled to have any judgements of them be made in public, by an independent body.

Translation — Titiriteros Parásitos


As I announced last Fall, David, at Artifacs Libros is translating the Green Comet trilogy. After fighting through the complications presented by COVID 19, he wrote to let me know that he has finished translating the second volume — Parasite Puppeteers. I have had a look at it and it appears to be well done. The layout is good. The modifications to the cover are good. The front matter is better than the original. However, since I can’t read Spanish I can’t say anything about the translation itself. I ran the Green Comet translation — Cometa Verde — through a translator to see how it looked back in English, and found it to be quite different from the original. That makes sense when I think about it.

Given that, I would really appreciate it if any of you who can read Spanish would download Titiriteros Parásitos and let the rest of us know what you think.

Thank you.

rjb

The Great Crested Orange Twat

The Great Crested Orange Twat — var. The Great Crested Orange Twit or The Great Crested Orange Twitter — is a contemptible bird, in keeping with the definition of its name. Twat: A contemptible and stupid man. Of course we’re talking about a bird and not a man, but for this bird the definition is apt.

This is a rare bird found in North America, and it is notably insecure in its natural habitat. Its behaviors and habits make it almost universally despised, except among those impressed by its orangeness. Even though its self-centered paranoia makes it dangerous to any other bird that gets too close, even those of its own species, many birds find themselves drawn to its ostentatious displays.

The Great Crested Orange Twat is an unfaithful mate, with the male engaging in a sequence of quasi-monogamous relationships. The female seems to be aware of this shortcoming and compensates by extracting as much of the Twat’s prestige and territory as it can before he loses interest and goes in pursuit of a younger mate.

Its displays are meant to not only attract a temporary mate, but also to impress other birds and win them over as allies, to increase its power and mask its insecurity. Its interest in said allies is also temporary and it will abandon them with the least provocation.

The Great Crested Orange Twat seems to have formed a mysterious relationship with a bird on a distant continent, even though the prospect of sharing the same habitat would seem to be highly unlikely. Even so, the Drab Eurasian Horse Pecker and the Twat somehow manage to help each other succeed in their respective territories. Ornithologists are still unable to agree on how this symbiotic relationship works, though there are many theories.

Native to the vast metropolitan concentrations of the North American eastern seaboard, but preferring open spaces such as golf courses, the Twat paradoxically wins most of its admirers in the less-populated heartlands. While other birds tend to fly over this seemingly uninteresting expanse, it regularly visits to reinforce the admiration and loyalty of its allies there. Showing particularly fervent displays of their devotion are the loud, if not melodious, Red-Capped Nutwings.

The Great Crested Orange Twat is often seen strutting and preening in public places, basking in the attentions of its admirers, but its mood can turn in an instant if it suspects that the adulation isn’t genuine. When that happens, any birds without the appropriate camouflage can find themselves the focus of violent retaliation. It’s this sort of contemptible behavior that earned the Twat its name.

rjb

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