Be aware that come companies are advertising translations for US$27 and US$30 a page. Some matters should be considered before you entertain the validity of such offers.

One would assume that translations for US$30 a page mean that every page would be charged this amount, irrespective of word count. At least, one implies that from such ads. The reality is quite the other.

All such sites impose a condition – the low price applies to documents that are 250 words or less. That would mean very short documents, such as a birth certificate, a drivers license etc. That is not what their ads say, or the landing pages of some sites. Their intent is to get you on their page, and then flip flop on you.

Many birth certificates have more than 250 words, and some of then have less than 250 words, but two pages! For the 2 pager with less than 250 words, the company would then charge you US$60.00! That is, more than we charge. Not only that, some companies charge an additional US$10.00 to issue documents on paper (!), and US$10.00 for mailing. Thus, this 2-pager (advertised for US$30.00) would cost a whopping US$80.00, whereas, with our company you would be paying only US$56.00, including priority mail.

Adding insult to injury, a lot of these companies issue so-called summary translations, based on pre-prepared templates. These are often rejected by the Immigration and other entities. We prepare the full text of the translation, including any remarks, we do not use templates.

Other companies make the text run longer than 250 words, by describing stamps with very long descriptions. Others charge for notarization on the side!

As for the exclusive use of electronic translations, as opposed to paper documents, we beg to differ on the information that electronic documents are widely accepted. Most agencies, including the USCIS, insist on paper documents. And that is why the company is charging an additional US$10.00 for the paper document. 

You, as a consumer, must weigh your risks before doing business with any company.

You should get your birth certificate translated by a company that promises a fixed price including the following:
– irrespective of the number of pages of the birth certificate
– irrespective of the number of words of the birth certificate
– you must get the paper document at no additional charge, and if you want, a PDF by email for free
– price including notarization by a Notary in good standing;
– the notary and translator should not the same person
– full text translated, not templates.

As for other one page documents, in my long experience deling with international documents I have seen 1 page documents with as many as 1000 words, depending on the nature of the document! Powers of attorney run at least 600 words a page, and transcripts can be more than 500 words a page. Their US$30.00 or US$27.00 a page soon becomes US$72.00 a page!

However, because you have landed on their site, you might end up doing business with them!

So, be careful, weigh your options. Do not be fooled by switch and bait techniques.

I recommend this company

The Game Mentality in the Business World


Back in the old days, if you had a credit card and skipped a payment, or sent it late, you could bet on the day after the due date you would get a call from the credit card company. At first, nice. With every successive call, the level of nicety dropped a bit, until, I suppose, they would get very nasty.

Then credit card companies discovered that rather than placing what they liked to call “courtesy calls”, they could amend the contracts and charge late fees! This allowed companies to charge you, let’s say, US$39.00, even if you owed only 1 buck. A stroke of game genius.

Then more genius emerged in the form of punitive APRs. Not only would credit card companies get to charge the late fees, but also be allowed to raise your APR to the roof, should you be late a couple of times during the course of a twelve month period. Noticeably, the windows between due dates and bill dates also got shorter.

The excuse offered by banks was that “courtesy calls” cost a lot of money, so they were replaced for the more pragmatic – and lucrative, I might add – late fees and punitive APRs.

The one thing that credit companies fail to explain is, if “courtesy calls” are so expensive, how come credit card companies continue to bombard credit card holders, on the phone, with myriad offers for crummy offers such as high priced life insurance, credit card insurance, and lots of bogus clubs and what not. Are the people placing these calls working for free? Am I the only one that continues to get these calls on a weekly basis?

In other words, they just play games with consumers.

The credit card companies should be punished. They should be getting a US$39.00 dollar fine for every unwanted call they make. While at it, pay 30% for the money I have on my money market account, as punitive interest…

Nation building, political correctness and cultural relativism


The other day I wrote somewhere about cultural relativism and political correctness, two forces today that vie to take the place of traditional Judeo-Christian moral values. These two could not be farther apart, although, in true Machiavelian style, sometimes they walk hand in hand to try to displace what used to be known as moral.

For they are mutually exclusive, political correctness and cultural relativism. In fact, it is the reason why the concept of nation building simply does not work too well. We simply assume that every nation on earth wants to be just like us, so we try to apply the standardization so typical of political correctness, only to find out that maybe folks in the Middle East are happy to be the way they are. So, the Pentagon is now trying to find out what strikes the fancy of the Iraqis, by sending social scientists on the field! I reckon some four years too late.

The real problem is that we use cultural relativism when it is convenient, then we shift to political correctness, when it isn’t. And keep on toggling these two. We talk about cultural wars, then shift to ideology wars. Why don’t we try to do nation building in China, for instance? For the country violates many of our precepts of human rights, governance, democracy, tenets of capitalism…So, we don’t force the issue on China because, after all, they are 1.3 billion people. In this case cultural relativism works and we accept the giant communist-capitalist regime, don’t try to change it at all.

The same applies to Saudi Arabia. In this cause, it is not billions of people, but billions of petro dollars. The country is a `friend` (!!!), so we accept its many `flaws`, and its different way of seeing and dealing with the world, which is very much politically incorrect!!!! Yes, cultural relativism is good here…

We attack certain dictators, such as Chavez, as the most vile political force in the world, yet, we find the Pakistani dictator acceptable, after all he is also deemed to be a `friend`. If we don’t walk by principles, then we can’t convince anybody that we indeed walk a higher moral ground, all we do is look hypocritical and our way of life does not look desirable at all.

This is all caused by the replacement of good old values by this sad new mixture of oil and water. They simply do not mix, but they make us feel superior, more evolved human beings, we get goosebumps all over our bodies, after all `we understand`. A patronizing attitude indeed. We are a society that supposedly accepts others, yet we are constantly trying to change everybody…

Get rich schemes


The first time I was exposed to get rich schemes was around 1986. I had a room mate that used to receive a magazine called “Income Opportunities”. I was fascinated by the set up, but not sold. In fact, everything looked silly to me.

The magazine was laden with full page advertisements of people who claimed to have become rich quickly, who wanted to share their new found techniques with the world. Curiosity got the best of me, and I ordered a few of these reports, and one was worse than the other. The road to riches included “business” plans such as looking for money under stadium bleachers and other things akin to picking up aluminum cans on the street.

It seemed obvious that the real money (although nothing like the tens of thousands of dollars advertised on the magazine) was in selling dreams. In other words, writing such silly reports and sell them, putting together seminars, sell books and booklets, and tapes. In other words, deceive people, con them into thinking they were becoming waelthy.

I thought it was nigh time somebody would bring down this “industry” and started writing a report of my own, that reviewed the information from these advertised reports. My idea was, buy the report, then write a review of the get rich scheme and expose it. I thought it was an honorable thing to do, and perhaps, good business too

Rather unfortunatelly, it sold very few subscriptions, and the project died a quick death. I realized that people would rather dream and spend thousands of dollars on such schemes (shall I say, scams) than hear the truth.

Such scams live to this day. In addition to hundreds, if not thousands of MLMs (Multi Level Marketing) that border on illegitimate (those which are legitimate are basically dream houses, too, and the only ones that make money are the companies themselves), envelope filling positions, management positions offered on job searching websites, the “industry” has gotten more technologically savvy.

A lot of it, these days, seem to hinge on get rich schemes using google’s adsense or affiliate programs. More often than not, the former results in website delisting, but there are other iterations of the same theme. There are, of course, the Section 419 email messages that come in droves everyday, but these are downright criminal activities, so I guess I will not include them in this category.

The methods may have changed, but other than winning the lottery, there is no such a thing as an easy get rich scheme.

Watch your words


I have had, in my time, to swallow some words I have spoken. I will not expose myself to ridicule, but will mention a few famous songs, to make my point.

When he was 16, Paul McCartney wrote the song “When I am Sixty-Four”. Full of youthful exuberance, Paul for sure thought he would be happily married by the time he was 64, and the song is written addressing his future wife. Unfortunately, Linda McCartney, who McCartney loved, died of cancer before his 64th birthday, and Paul ended marrying Heather Mills in 2002. It seems ms. Mills was not to enthused about life in the country, as Paul and Linda were, and Paul’s big 64th birthday gift was separation from Mills, ending on an expensive divorce.

Pete Townsend became famous for his “My Generation”, an anthem for a whole generation of angst-driven rebel youth all over the world. In it, Pete says, “I hope I die before I get old”. Well, one half of the Who has passed away, and good ole Pete still resists, unquestionably an old man. And now he is planning to write another Rock Opera, this time, the theme being aging…

As for John Lennon, his most famous solo song has to be 1971’s Imagine, his second peace masterpiece which says “Imagine all the people living life in peace”. By 1973 John would show the world why peace on our terms is such an impossible endeavor in a macro level, for we are unable to achieve it even with the people we love, in the micro level. Estranged from wife Yoko Ono, John wrote “Mind Games”. Eventually they were back together, but it is questionable he ever achieved the peace he seemed to desire so much. Actually, on the same album “Imagine”, John lays the dirt on Paul McCartney on the song “How do you sleep”. So much for peace.



I have been following up on a list of countries that have donated money to Haiti, and found one most interesting fact. No Arab country has donated money to the country.

This is not to say that Islamic countries have not donated money – Turkey, Indonesia and Morocco have donated either money, goods or equipment.

This is a very peculiar thing, for some Arab countries are very wealthy, and donating a few million would not break the bank for them.

Mind you, poor countries as Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Guiana have indeed donated money.

As one of the 5 tenets of Islam is charity, I just wonder about these countries interpretation of their own religion.

Shame on them.