Saturday, December 31, 2016

Uncle Block - Amateur Sleuth

By now I'm sure you have heard of the mortgage fraud committed by the couple in Toronto.

If not, you can find the details here.

With nothing better to do, I decided I would go to work and apply my own amateur internet sleuthing skills to this problem. I've already seen this done on several exciting spy movies.

I decided to start with the female suspect. Take a look at the image below.

First off, I would like to say that it strikes me as being a little bit strange that someone looking like this could get a mortgage in the first place. If I saw someone like this heading toward my cab I would be quickly contemplating evasive maneuvers. If escape was impossible I would definitely be asking for cash up front.

So I uploaded this image to Google's image search app to see if I could help the police out a bit. Man, did Google ever return a lot of possible suspects.

Some of them were easily dismissable because they were the wrong gender, or were dead.

Like this one,

I am sure that if I were to send this one to the cops I would probably get arrested for mischeif.

I think the same could be said about this suspect,

After closely examining the first thirty or so images, I was finally able to focus on one very suspicious looking character. This one is number ten in the list. No name is given for this individual but the artists states that it is a very recognizable person....


Now on to the second suspect in the crime.

I thought for sure that the second suspect would be easier to pin down, but I was wrong.

Curiously, these two guys showed up in the list....

and,

but they don't work for me. The first guy is too clean shaven and the second guy is hard to figure out because he is wearing a Halloween costume.

If I were really pressed, I would suggest they open an investigation into this guy,

or this guy,

or this guy,

but they all have solid alibis.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Uber Drivers are Refusing Short Fares!

An Uber driver sits airing his foot out the window. Making too much money?

I sense such bittersweet irony as I sit back and watch Uber Taxi stumble as it baby-steps into the realities of the industry it intends to dominate.

Going back a couple of years I recall the indignant calls to radio talk shows when every citizen who ever had an issue with a taxi driver would call in and air their grievances.

One of the common complaints involved the number of times passengers would approach the first taxi in a queue, only to be refused service if they were not going far enough. There was never any attempt to probe this issue in any depth to discover the cause of the problem.

The cause, by the way, in that case, was negligent government regulation. Specifically, the senseless issuance of licenses into a market that had long since passed the saturation point.

Uber was supposed to fix all of that.

Now that we have had a few years to study the evolution of this great new technology that Uber has invented, I.E. taxi service, we can see the exact same problems cropping up.

Go figger!

Uber Drivers Stiff Passengers After Finding Out Final Destination

Sounds suspiciously like the same old, same old, same old problem of drivers refusing fares in saturated markets, no?

Uber released a statement about the practice.

“Ridesharing apps are changing a transportation status quo that has been unequal for generations, making it easier and more affordable for people to get around, no matter where they live and where they're going."

Yes but, when it comes to the rough and tumble of taxi driving, nothing has changed. Nothing at all. It's still the same old business.

Uber is changing the transportation status quo that has been unequal for generations, and it is making it even more unequal. Instead of the thousands of taxi millionaires across the globe, Uber is creating a few taxi billionaires, all bearing a suspicious resemblance to the notorious 1% ers we've been hearing about at the top, and an army of hapless dupes working for peanuts at the bottom.

You have to wonder why so many of our politicians, who are always so keen to put on this front about how much they "care" about the underprivileged are, at this very time, turning themselves into pretzels in order to facilitate Uber Taxi's ambitious drive to take over the taxi industry.

See the latest report here.


Uber Drivers in their Own Words.

Note: Their spelling, not mine.

"Get a ping and it says a grocery store. my gut says NOOOOOO uberfast, but I did it anyways.

Pick up a dude with a cart FULL of groceries. FULL!!!

Help him put sheet in my drunk and back seat, take 1.7km down the street. Help him unload sheet at his crib. 23 minutes and $4 later he says "thanks man, you cool B". No tip... dude spends $150 on groceries but can't drop an extra fin on his uber driver."

Reminds me of that old Mexican joke. "If you sheet on my bed, I keel you." Pardon me for being culturally insensitive right now.

One driver replies,

"I don't do grocery stores anymore for this reason. More specifically, Walmart and similar discount stores.

If you don't help them with groceries into the trunk and out of the trunk, you get 1 star, WTF? Would rather cancel and not make any money at all...."

Just like the old cab driver at the front of the queue. He would rather refuse a customer and not make any money at all.

"Park in parking lot, wait for 5 min, cancel no show. pax couldn't find the vehicle..."

Using this trick, the Uber driver collects a $5.00 "no show" fee for a passenger he deliberately avoids.

Yep. Uber is a technology company that knows sweet sheet all about the taxi business.

All of which goes to show that the problem is not restricted to Washington-area airports.

Oh sure, Uber can react by "deactivating" it's "self-employed" partners if they refuse to accept fares. This practice has been common in the "horse and buggy" cab business ever since I joined in 1977. Of course, they didn't use such high-tech terminology back then. They simply said, "You can't just pick and choose the trips you like. No more trips for you. You're parked."

Finally, this entry from a poor Uber sucker who bought into the schtick about this brand new technology called "ridesharing" only to discover that he was just a common taxi driver,

"I used to be a real go-getter love to drive,but after this xmass my spirit has finally been broken.Sick of people sneaking in food and beers.

I had a lady try to bring 5 kids in my car plus herself and I had to ask her if she was serious.

Then a family of four start sharing a bag of chips and leaving the crumbs all over my seat. Im not cut out as a teacher of respect."

He's not cut out as a taxi driver either.


I feel sorry for this poor woman.

First, she lets herself be taken advantage of by the Uber/Goldman Sachs et.al. gang. She burns up her own capital and pays Uber 20-25% of her earnings for the "privilege."

Talk about a new twist on the Marxist theory of labour being exploited by the owners of capital (thanks for that Jille,) this sucker allows herself to be exploited by a company that cons her into using her OWN CAPITAL to earn a subsidy for her mileage.

But just like the other heroic granny who completed an 800 mile round trip for a paltry $139, she probably does it just for the "adventure."

On top of that, she puts herself through all of this stress with the same criminal government that is playing both ends off against the middle.

I used to believe that sacrificing one's own life in idiotic wars for "one's country" was the ultimate in human stupidity.

But doing it to make Travis Kalanick and Goldman Sachs investors rich?

That's a whole new level of self-immolative insanity, like punching holes through your own flesh to attach jewelry.

Read about it here.


Now that I have bored you with some of the complexities attending the Uber scam, I invite you to sit back and relax with something much more entertaining....


and then there is this,


Who's Driving You?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Do Uber taxi drivers commit more sex assaults?

Incentives Matter

You kinda gotta expect it. I mean, superficially, there ought to be no statistical disparity between the number of small and independent taxi drivers and the number of corporate Uber taxi drivers who commit sexual assaults. Employees of both the politically favored Uber and the maligned incumbent taxi operators will often find themselves in the proximity of vulnerable people. Yet the news reports continue to stream in about Uber cabbies assaulting their customers.

Is it real? Or just an anomaly?

I see one significant difference, though, between Uber cabbies, and those who complied with government taxi industry mandates.

The average non-Uber taxi driver enters the trade as a means to a livelihood. He obtains a license. It costs him time and money. It becomes a thing of value to him. He doesn't want to take unnecessary risks by preying on, rather than serving, customers.

HE DOESN'T WANT TO LOSE HIS TAXI LICENSE.

The average Uber taxi driver, on the other hand, couldn't give a shit.

He doesn't have to get a license. All he has to do is fill out a form and provide a driver's license and proof of car ownership.

The average Uber driver is NOT MOTIVATED by the desire to make a living driving a cab. Just read the Uber driver forums, as I do. Other than the few bullshitters, and they have always been around in the cab business..... you know the guys who boast they make 2X or more of the average on any given night, most of the Uber cabbies are either whining about how little they earn, or boasting that they don't really do it for the money. They do it for fun and adventure, or to alleviate boredom on Friday nights, like the granny I wrote about a week ago, or so, who completed an 800 mile round trip for Uber for a lousy $139 which covers barely half of her vehicle costs for that trip, let alone providing her with anything approximating a wage.

She said it was worth it to her because of the "adventure."

So it gets down to some lonely Travis Bickle type maniac, suffering from severe akathisia, deciding to take the opportunity Uber offers him, to cruise the bar districts at times when the supply of vulnerable, attractive, and mostly young, women goes into *surge* mode.

I think this is where the equilibrium between the frequency of Uber cab drivers vs. incumbents will experience a nudge in the direction of a larger number of Uber cabbies committing sexual assaults.

Paul Bernardo would have loved Uber.

And perhaps what pisses me off the most about this is that the politicians who are responding in knee-jerk, gutless, spineless, opportunistic, and completely predictable fashion to facilitate Uber's drive for power and profit, seem blissfully unaware, or sociopathically unconcerned with the monster they are unleashing.


London Uber driver CHARGED with sexually assaulting passenger.


One final comment.

Whenever I hear some spineless, gutless, politician or bureaucrat say, "Well, we will have to see what is being done in OTHER JURISDICTIONS," in other words, classic passing of the buck, I want to

PUKE.

In their minds, obviously, it's not a question of right or wrong. It's about the cowardly security that can be experienced by creatures whose main survival technique consists of blending with the herd, like so many wildebeest or striped zebras.

And then, to make matters even worse, I can't help but think of the salaries these paragons of public virtue receive compared to the pittance that cab drivers earn.

PUKE

doesn't quite describe it.

More Uber news.

Uber is hiding everything it can from users and investors who deserve to know the facts

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hilarious Comments from an Uber Spokesperson!

This is Uber's idea of effective public relations?

"Susie Heath, a spokesperson for Uber Canada, tells us they’ve worked with law enforcement agencies to help build a series of tips for consumers. (I.E. Uber customers.)

Tips include sitting in the back seat so you can easily exit the car in case of emergency, following your intuition, planning ahead by letting family & friends know where you are, giving Uber feedback and being respectful in your driver’s car."

Try to imagine any other corporation feeling the need to "work with law enforcement agencies" in order to protect the public from their own employees! It might take the form of a large poster installed at every Walmart entrance.

Without Uber, I couldn't make this stuff up.

I mean, I can understand why some pharmaceutical companies might be required to inform the public that the use of their product might result in anal leakage, but, have standards dropped so low that companies now have to warn the public about the possibility of being raped by their employees?

Attention Walmart Shoppers. Beware of Walmart employees.

Tips include:

  • keep a safe distance between yourself and Walmart staff.
  • know where all of the exits are in case of an emergency. You never know when a Walmart employee might try to pull an Uber.
  • follow your intuition, whatever that is supposed to mean.
  • plan ahead by letting family and friends know you intend to go shopping at Walmart.
  • give Walmart feedback if you find yourself turning down the wrong aisle, only to be confronted by some sex-crazed Walmart employee offering you free merchandise in exchange for a blowjob. Remember, Walmart hires anyone who walks in the door as long as they have a driver's license and a car.
  • be respectful when visiting your friendly Walmart location. For example, don't vomit on the merchandise, in the aisles, or on fellow shoppers.

Walmart has been working with law enforcement to help build a series of tips for Walmart shoppers. This should make you feel very secure when visiting Walmart.

Walmart is all about sharing.

Please come again!

Is it just me? OR is it a brand new interpretation of the old warning, "Caveat emptor?"


See:

Uber Driver Charged in Sexual Assault of Passenger.

Oh. And let's not forget the fact that the corporation that is now working with law enforcement to warn the public about using its own service was the same company that had the balls to rip its customers off with a "safe ride fee" that has magically morphed into a "booking fee," much like the fraud of Global Warming has morphed into "Climate Change."

"You don't believe in climate change? Let me guess, you probably don't believe in gravity either."


See also:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What happens in a taxi, stays in a taxi. When you choose Uber, God is watching.

After Uber blew onto the scene I was stunned to experience something I never expected to happen. I found myself entirely at odds with my own home political movement, the libertarians.

I was called a "hypocrite," a "Luddite," and a "parasite," because I dared point out the fact that Uber did NOT represent a pivotal point in the libertarian battle for human freedom. While a majority of libertarians and free market conservatives were creaming their jeans over the Uber phenomenon, I was pointing out that Uber was NOT about deregulation of the taxi industry, but about changing the regulations in order to create a lop-sided, two-tiered regulatory system with a whole new set of rules designed to guaranty success to Uber and failure to every other taxi company.

For decades, I have experienced a growing disgust and loathing for politicians. My analysis reveals that most politicians are cowards and moral hypocrites. However, there was always an element of doubt in my mind. I have always felt compelled to leave a spot open in my mind for the possibility that my understanding of issues is not quite deep enough to be 100% certain that politicians are just a bunch of posturing phonies with the same old motives as everyone else.

Self-interest.

As I live and learn, I realize that I don't know enough about medical care, education, banking or climate science to be 100% confident of my impression of the dishonesty practiced by politicians.

But when it comes down to the taxi business, I can see what is being perpetrated with crystal clarity.

It would not be correct to say that most politicians in most Ontario jurisdictions have been bending over and spreading their ass cheeks in order to appease and accommodate Travis Kalanick because politicians NEVER spread their own ass-cheeks if they can find someone else's ass-cheeks to spread.

In a nutshell, this is how politicians handle most issues:

Lie (The law applies equally to everyone.)

Deflect (It's not about taxis, it's about technology.)

Spin (it's not a garage sale, it's the new "sharing economy.")

Distort (The taxi industry had decades to change its business model (even though the government mandates prevented it) and, taxis charge too much for their services (even though the government mandates their prices, as well.)

Sacrifice (others) (Oh jeez, look at all these people who are facing homelessness and poverty! How can "we" help them? Oh, let's get the taxpayers to pay.)

Pretend you care. (At least the Marxist-Leninists were somewhat honest with their slogan, "Make the Rich Pay!" Our modern politicians don't bother themselves with such triffles. "Make someone else pay!" is good enough.)

If you need proof, consider this:

It is not the politicians who are being reamed up the butt by Uber, it's the less politically powerful taxi operators.

So back to the questions of starry-eyed libertarians who embraced, en masse, this vile and corrupt political organism, there was one other voice from the libertarian side who saw Uber for what it is, right from the start.

His name is David Knight.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Travis Uber is the 21st Century Version of Tom Sawyer.

Back in 1987 when I worked for the Du Pont Corporation, the company would compensate me for the cost of using my own vehicle at a rate of 25 cents per kilometer. That's equivalent to 40 cents per mile in Canadian dollars.

The equivalent in U.S. dollars at $1 CDN = $.75 U.S. would be about 30 cents, U.S. per mile.

Any decent company that asks its employees to use their personal cars for business will offer fair compensation for the use of that vehicle. Even the government offers compensation.

Janis Rogers's round trip consumed 397 X 2 = 794 miles.

If Uber were to offer its employees fair compensation for the use of their own cars, at 1987 levels, this sweet li'l ol' granny should have received 794 X $.30 = $238 for the use of her car on this assignment. If she were to be paid for her 15.5 hours at, say, $7.00 per hour she would receive an additional $108.50.

That would achieve a grand total payout of $346.5.

Instead, she says she made about $9 per hour (=139.50) for her troubles after paying $32 for her own gas.

So, when the estimated cost of using her own vehicle (at $.30 per mile) is taken into account, her actual pay, if she were compensated fairly, would be her vehicle cost plus a wage. It would be $346.50. Instead, she claims that she got a paltry $139.00.

Now multiply that ripoff by the total number of Uber cabbies, and you begin to see where the Uber corporation could make some money for its rich investors. Except that it doesn't.

Now according to this sweet li'l ol' Uber granny,

“This was not lucrative,” she said. “I did it because it was an adventure.”

Yep.

Paying the Uber corporation 25% or so of the amount the customer pays for the use of your time and your automobile is one heck of an adventure.

Maybe Janis Rogers is willing to work for nothing in order to enrich Travis Kalinik and his investors because it is all just a great "adventure." I guess the subsidy she gets from Uber for the high-tech version of picking up hitch-hikers is just a kind of bonus.

I have used ballpark numbers for this analysis. I decided it was not worth the effort to go digging down into Google holes to collect more current data. Suffice it to say that the 25 cent per Km. payout I received from Du Pont in 1987 has gone up since then. Therefore, the situation for Janis is likely even worse than I have described.

Uber is just a modern re-telling of the old Tom Sawyer tale, "Whitewashing the Fence."

Maybe this is why so many aspiring cab drivers have jumped on to the Uber bandwagon, not for compensation, but for adventure. Maybe this is also why Uber has issued a new set of directives to both its cabbies and its customers. (Uber tries to solve sexual misconduct issues by banning riders from flirting)

Most of the time, when I am in my cab and an Uber driver is beside me, I notice with some amusement that they rarely make eye contact. It's as though they feel guilty in the knowledge of the damage they are doing to their legally straight jacketed competition.

The joke is on them.

This Just In

According to one of my sources, a taxi owner who was recently subjected to a mandatory City of Hamilton taxi inspection, was told he had to replace his vehicle, even though it had another year of useful life under the six-year bylaw limitation.

The reason?

Because the "check engine" light was glowing on the dash, and even AFTER the owner had had the issue resolved by a mechanic, he was STILL FORCED to replace the vehicle.

Not one Uber cab has undergone a similar inspection to date.

You would have thought that, given the City of Hamilton's disgusting abeyance of Hamilton's taxicab regulations in order to accommodate the Uber corporation, they would have, at least, eased up on their heavy handed treatment of the incumbent taxi operators.

You would have been wrong.

This is what bothers me most about the slime-handed way in which the City of Hamilton has handled the Uber issue. They relentlessly harass the incumbent operators while giving Uber a free pass.

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." -- H. L. Mencken

At this point, I am quite proud of myself. I have managed to write another commentary on the morally questionable Uber corporation, and the ass-kissing of that same corporation that has been displayed by the equally morally corrupt government of the City of Hamilton without using ONE SINGLE EXPLETIVE.

That's FUCKING AMAZING!


How the Uber Scam Actually Works.


The Actual Life of an Uber Cab Driver.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Poor Uber drivers are whining. (A profanity-free Blockrant.)

From the Uber driver's forum,

"Made 9$ today in 3hours
I got three pings
One I took was 4.9
The two I skipped on were both pax under 4.4."

I have been predicting this outcome all along. I knew from the start that Uber's much-praised "business model" would result in misery and disaster for ALL cab drivers. Uber is NOT about technology and it is NOT about a free market revolution. It's about corporate manipulation of the taxi business via a broken political system.

Nothing has changed in the cab business since it was regulated in London in 1654.

In a free country, dominated by pure laissez-faire free markets, there would be plenty of alternative employment opportunities. Such huge disparities between the incomes of low-skilled, low investment employees, and the wages of the rest of the employed population, as we are now seeing happen to all cab drivers, whether they work for Uber or less politically privileged taxi brokers, would not exist.

Unfortunately, the economics of the taxi industry are not hermetically isolated from the wider economy. Limited opportunities in the wider economy, (A.K.A. - involuntary unemployment or under-employment) will result in a higher number of entrants into the taxi trade as would otherwise be the case.

The Trudeau government's decision to import more hundreds of thousands of potential cab drivers will only make the situation worse for those attempting to eke out a living in this industry. If you want to know whether federal immigration policy is bringing in too many, too few, or just the right number of people from third-world countries, all you need to do is observe the rate of change in the numbers of cab drivers and compare it with their average income performance.

The popular move toward increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will only serve to create even MORE taxi drivers as it destroys entry-level jobs, since minimum wages have not yet been imposed upon the taxi trade and the artificial surplus of labour will easily migrate into Uber, and Uber-like occupations, where employment has not been effectively prohibited by statute. This would suit the Uber corporation just fine since it will continue to extract it's 25% commission from the taxi-using public, regardless of whether there is a 10% surplus of cab drivers or a 2,000% surplus of cab drivers.

There is also the matter of resource deployment.

In Hamilton, before Uber was given the nod, there were 447 licensed taxis. Most of the time, these resources were only being utilized 25% of the time due to negligent regulatory policies. That was bad enough.

Wasted fuel. Wasted steel and rubber. Wasted insurance premiums. Wasted time.

Wasted lives.

Now that the City of Hamilton has decided to give the Uber corporation an unlimited number of taxi licenses, the numbers of under-utilized private hire vehicles can be expected to vastly multiply. As if the City's backward-looking anti-car traffic philosophy hasn't caused enough gridlock, with it's attendant gaseous and particulate emissions, the doubling, tripling or who know's what multiple, of excess idle taxicabs can only make the situation worse.

I am just a simple cab driver. I am awed by the plethora of issues the decision-makers in the city government deal with. Such an endeavor far exceeds my own feeble abilities.

All I can confidently comment on is the city's traffic and road construction philosophy, and it's failure to effect a rational taxicab regulatory policy.

Sometimes, Hamilton's politicians strike me as having to be extremely intelligent, given the number of issues they deal with on a daily basis.

But when I consider the possibility that their incompetence in road policy and cab regulation may indeed infect all of the other areas in which they have been given public trust and authority, contemplation of the sheer enormity of the damage is truly disheartening.

It's a good thing we live in a country that still has enormous wealth. People don't pick up the pitchforks and grease up the guillotines until they are reduced to eating rats, shivering in the cold, and seeing their relatives dying in droves.

"What good fortune for governments that the people do not think." -- Adolf Hitler.

So long as there is sports on the TV and an ample supply of beer, they barely take the time to notice.

History has demonstrated that this could all change in a heartbeat.


"It is dead slow. I think i need to get up early. There is nothing during the day after rush hour." -- source, UberPeople.NET.

Friday, December 2, 2016


Block Report: Hamilton's War on the Car a Stunning Success!

This past week the City of Hamilton has provided us with a spectacular display of the quality of thinking that goes on at our City Hall. Something the city planners could not accomplish after spewing millions of dollars into an increasingly creative array of impediments to vehicular traffic, from two-way streets, to crackhead bicycle lanes, to artificial potholes, etc., appears to have been accomplished by mother nature with a mere shifting of the ground adjacent to the Claremont Access.
The gridlock the City politicians have been slyly implementing for the last quarter of a century was doubled in an instant with the closure of the downbound lanes of the Claremont Access. One commenter on the Hamilton Spectator's report on the closure states:

"Almost speechless... i am utterly disappointed, i work at 2 locations and used the up. James access daily, which should only take me a 8 min drive home, It took me over an hour yesterday."
Think about that for a moment.
While Hamilton politicians blow scarce tax dollars on juvenescent tricks to discourage citizens from driving their own cars, their decision to simply neglect the Claremont Access has increased one commuter's wasted time from 8 minutes to more than 60 minutes.

(Speaking of juvanescent, it's not ironic that Kids voted on how to spend $1M on Hamilton street projects. Maybe they should just fire the entire traffic department and let kids in JK do the job. It's not like the results would differ much.)

Increasing someone's commute by 750% has to merit a prize-winning spot on the list of "planet-saving" shenanigans by phony politicians whose only real skills involve public bamboozlement. Well done, Hamilton politicians!

(Speaking of public Bamboozlement, hey, Mayor Fred, why not try to get out in front of this one and turn the downbound Claremont into a pedestrian mall, like you wanted to do with King Street? The traffic impact would be the same but it wouldn't cost the city a cent.)
I said it about twenty years ago, back when Bob (Flower Power) Morrow and Mar Vin Caplan were still posturing as wise guardians of the interests of Hamiltonians.

"Well, if greater traffic congestion is called for why stop at two-way streets? Why not quit repairing the roads!? Let those potholes proliferate. Imagine what a combination of two-way streets and potholes will do to revitalize the core!" -- source
In retrospect, that comment strikes me as funny. They could have followed my advice, or they could have chosen to do something really stupid instead. Now they are installing rubberized potholes all over the city. Instead of letting nature take its course, they had to piss money away on an artificial "solution." If a bunch of schoolkids were to run around with sledge hammers and picks, poking holes in the roads, it would be called "vandalism." When the city government does the exact same thing, they call it, "planning."
Here's just one example of the butterfly effect in Hamilton as it applies to the recent closure of the Claremont.

The Jolley Cut.

If John Street had been left alone as a one-way street, the chaos that is now creating such a "pedestrian friendly environment" on that street would have been completely avoided. Northbound traffic would have had the benefit of synchronized traffic lights and any increase in traffic volume would have dissipated quickly and efficiently. Unnecessary idling would have been minimized. Pedestrians on the sidewalks and people living in the neighborhood would have been exposed to a minimum of tailpipe emissions. The spread of particulate matter from brake dust and other automobile-induced PM due to unnecessary anti-car shenanigans would have been minimized.

"Traffic-related sources have been recognized as a significant contributor of particulate matter particularly within major cities. Exhaust and non-exhaust traffic-related sources are estimated to contribute almost equally to traffic-related PM10 emissions. Non-exhaust particles can be generated either from non-exhaust sources such as brake, tyre, clutch and road surface wear or already exist in the form of deposited material at the roadside and become resuspended due to traffic-induced turbulence. Among non-exhaust sources, brake wear can be a significant particulate matter (PM) contributor, particularly within areas with high traffic density and braking frequency. Studies mention that in urban environments, brake wear can contribute up to 55 % by mass to total non-exhaust traffic-related PM10 emissions and up to 21 % by mass to total traffic-related PM10 emissions, while in freeways, this contribution is lower due to lower braking frequency." -- italics: mine. source
In other words, Hamilton's war on the private transportation option is, arguably, creating more pollution than it is preventing.

James Mountain Road.

If you think the idiocy that the city has engineered at the bottom of the Jolley Cut is the end of the story, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The results of the conversion of James St. from one-way to two-way absolutely deserves a Nobel Prize for MONEY WASTING POLITICAL STUPIDITY.
In the old days of evil capitalist efficiency, James Street was a one-way street from Barton to St. Joseph's Drive.
There were four lanes of traffic available for south-bound traffic. The buses and postal vans could clog up the right-hand lane but three lanes would remain for the remaining traffic, to be exploited in accordance with the skills and foresight of the drivers. People making left turns from James Street could do so, smoothly and efficiently, without having to wait for non-existent opposing traffic to clear.
And even if those desired left turns were delayed by pedestrians using those intersections, there were still TWO LANES available to southbound traffic.
After the GENIUS conversion of James St. to two-way traffic, the whole pattern of traffic flow on that street was reduced to the lowest common denominator. (I.E. that to which the political philosophy of socialism appeals.)
Now, if the right lane is blocked by a Canada Post delivery vehicle, and the left lane is blocked by pedestrians or northbound traffic, you have no choice but to waste time, fuel and quality of life in order to participate in the charade that the lost minutes of your life are, somehow "saving the planet."
Well, I guess you already know what I have to say about that.
It's
COMEDIC CHAOS!
And I haven't even got to the worst part yet.
In the "old days," northbound traffic on the James Mountain Road, upon arriving at St. Joseph's drive, could easily slide into the east-bound lanes of St. Joe's and continue their journey over to John St, for a comfortable glide down one-way street John Street, with synchronized lights and MINIMUM DISRUPTIONS.
Now they have to wait for the light to change, so that those drivers wishing to use the new northbound James idiot lanes, cars who are blocking the right turn option can proceed after pointlessly wasting the time of the vehicles behind them. What brilliance. Who could not have seen it coming? The result was entirely predictable.
I documented the outcome of the City of Hamilton's IDIOTIC traffic plans in 2013 with my YouTube video.
As if this kind of BULLSHIT is going to save the planet.

Conclusion

As if it isn't obvious.
If a private corporation were to attempt to get away with the kinds of utter lunacy the City of Hamilton has adopted as its dominant philosophy, they would have gone broke decades ago.
What have they achieved so far? Wasted money? -- Check. Traffic chaos? -- Check. Examples of what happens when you elect totally incompetent people into positions of "law making?" -- Check. Zero positive results? -- Check.
No wonder Donald Trump won the election.
---
The government of Hamilton is a fraud.
You know it. I know it.
Government is a business. It just operates under a different set of rules. Just like Uber.
Related:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I have a loved who has been targeted by one of the ACTION teams the Spec article talks about.

The table below contains a rundown of the fines he got over a period of time. In 2010 he was 17 years old. In 2010 he became the victim of a serious illness.

Notices of Fines and Offence Dates from the Ontario Court of Justice






Date Offence Amt. Due. Total




March 31, 2010 LIQUOR ILLEGAL PLACE $130.00 $130.00
March 31, 2010 UNDER 19 YEARS HAVE LIQUOR $130.00 $260.00
March 31, 2010 SOLICIT NEAR TRANSIT STOP $70.00 $330.00
April 6, 2010 ENTER PREM WHEN PROH $70.00 $400.00
April 10, 2010 ENTER PREM WHEN PROH $70.00 $470.00
October 4, 2010 ENGAGE IN PROHIBITED ACTIVITY $70.00 $540.00
November 8, 2010 SOLICIT NEAR PUB. TRANSIT STOP $70.00 $610.00
July 22, 2012 SOLICIT NEAR VEH/IN PARKING LOT $70.00 $680.00
November 15, 2012 ENGAGE IN PROHIBITED ACTIVITY $70.00 $750.00
November 15, 2012 DISOBEY SIGN $115.00 $865.00
November 15, 2012 SOLICIT NEAR VEH/IN PARKING LOT $70.00 $935.00
April 6, 2013 SOLICIT NEAR PUB. TRANSIT STOP $70.00 $1,005.00

What interests me about the Spectator report, is not that the police officers might have been writing ghost tickets, in which case I sympathize with them for having the clarity of thought to understand that the entire enterprise was a total farce, typical of the kind of policy horseshit that the government of Hamilton is so stunningly good at performing, but that these officers are being penalized for refusing to waste their time, assuming the allegations are true.

Why risk confrontations with the targets of city policies (the homeless, the addicted, the lost,) many of whom are mentally ill, and could become agitated in confrontations with police, and end up dead in the street, all over the issuance of tickets that will never be paid? Why bother with the performance of meaningless rituals? (Then again, that is 99 per cent of what government is all about.)

If the allegations are true, these cops should be given medals.

Even one of the police supervisors could see that this whole campaign was nothing more than a bunch of political posturing designed to make the politicians look like they were "doing something." They are doing something alright.... they are fucking up everything they touch. Look at what they've done to our streets with all of their pro-idling traffic disruptions! (two-way street conversions, artificial potholes (A.K.A. speed-bumps), buffer zones, crackhead bike lanes and retarded snail-paced speed limits.)

Sgt. Michael Dunham, Team One's supervisor in 2014, testified to the seemingly pointless exercise of issuing tickets.

It "was going nowhere" and was mostly for the public to see police doing something about problems downtown.

"But, you know, there's nothing going to happen to them (the panhandlers, drunks and loiterers). They weren't going to pay the tickets. They weren't going to court."

"Unfortunately, we dealt with the same 25 people day in and day out, 365 days a year."

Yeah. He got it right. It was "mostly for the public to see police doing something about problems downtown." Political posturing.

Real problems get swept under the rug. The homeless and mentally ill targets of these policies need help, not tickets. And when they are not sweeping real problems under the rug to hide their impotence, they are manufacturing fake problems, and outrageously proclaiming that they can effectively solve them. Like "climate change."

It reinforces my belief that most politicians are a bunch of flaming charlatans. They are not interested in solving real problems. They are only interested in the optics.

Guess what? I think a lot of other people are starting to come around to my way of thinking. They are starting to see through the phony problems politicians wring their sweaty, grubby, ambitious hands around, and they can't miss the real problems, because those are the ones that directly affect them.

No. They are not terribly concerned about allegedly vanishing polar bears. Not rising sea levels. Not racists lurking around every corner planning their next move to oppress people of colour. Not Christian bakers refusing to serve gay couples. Nor trannies who get upset about the limited array of bathroom choices.

They are more concerned with the problems that they can feel. The problems that affect them on a day to day level.

Like their sky-rocketing hydro bills, their declining standard of living, depressed sons and daughters rendered hopeless by unemployment and tales of doom unless they turn out their lights and freeze in the dark, public school "education," Islamic terrorism (a real problem) and even their freedom of speech and thought.

Yep. I think people are starting to see things the way I see them.

As evidence, I offer the election of Donald Trump.

---

This rant was inspired by the following article from the Hamilton Spectator. By the way, it pisses me off that the Spec has apparently chosen to disable comments for this report. What's up with that?

Nearly 300 tickets, none paid: panhandler tells trial.

---

Oh, and one final thought.

It concerns the popular vote in the recent election.

One source I googled had Clinton ahead.

"Clinton now leads the popular vote by 1,152,016 votes and 47.8% to 46.9%."

Now, considering that half of the population have an IQ of 100 or lower, where would you guess the IQ level of the people smashing windows and electrical boxes, beating up "suspected" Trump voters, and burning garbage in the streets is?

I'm just wondering.

---

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Uber and the Surveilance Society

Yeah, this is just great.

As we move headlong into the total surveillance, totally cashless, and eventually private-car-less, driver-less, computer-controlled, collectivist transportation network so loved by crypto-communists, anti-human climate change hoaxers, and their parasitical corporate donors and beneficiaries....

..... Uber unabashedly promotes itself by bragging that its marvelous technology allows its zombie acolytes to,

"5. Retrace your steps

Classes, practices, clubs, parties—it’s a lot to keep track of. Luckily, your Uber receipts provide a record of everywhere you’ve been and what time."

For one thing, who cares about "keeping track" of the stuff you've ALREADY DONE?

The NSA?

Before local governments mandated spy cameras for all non-Uber taxis they were fairly private conveyances. Since these cameras are only accessed in response to reported incidents, privacy in cabs is still very secure, especially for those who pay with cash.

What happens in taxis, stays in taxis.

In a sane society, the fact that Uber boasts about its collection of all of the classes you attend, the bars and parties you go to should be enough to convince most people to avoid Uber like the plague.

But instead, in this day and age, privacy is becoming a dirty word.

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." -- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943)

And for those boneheads (you know who you are) who, at this point say,

"I don't need to value privacy. I haven't done anything wrong," I recommend you read, "Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" by Harvey Silverglate and Alan M. Dershowitz,

and get back to me.

From the description,

"The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets. The dangers spelled out in Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to “white collar criminals,” state and local politicians, and professionals. No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance."

Another book I recommend is "Battlefield America: The War On The American People" by John W. Whitehead for a nightmarish account of where we are heading.


Update: April 26, 2017 see "Uber Secretly Tagged User's Phones."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Alicia Machado

As I watch this interview (at 7:12 right now) I am wondering what, if anything, the CBC has "reported" about this Alicia Machado thing.

When I finish watching the interview I will check the CBC website and report back. (I expect the usual CBC infovomit, by the way. Let's see if I am correct.)


Ok. So now I will check what the CBC has to report on the matter.

Well, lookee here. Right off the bat we get this headline...

Trump shames ex-beauty queen for sexual history

Yep. Just as I expected, and I am only on the second paragraph and I am already puking. Get this fucking line, " USA Today broke with its tradition of not taking sides in elections with an editorial that said the Republican candidate is "unfit for the presidency."

Greg Hunter at U.S.A Watchdog.com has been pointing out just how disgustingly one-sided U.S.A. Today's reporting has been for some time now. The claim that U.S.A. Today has only just now "broken with tradition" is complete horseshit. But it's typical of the kind of effluent that is common on the CBC.

"The outburst was an extreme reminder of how Trump has seemed unable to restrain himself from veering into unhelpful territory, even with the election less than 40 days away." it says further down the page, even though it was Crooked Hillary who intitially veered into "unhelpful territory" during the debate.

And the CBC pukefest goes on.

So yes. It turns out that the "information" provided by the Candian Government's Complete Bullshit Channel is as irrelevant and useless as ever, unless the CBC has also suddenly "broken with tradition" of "not taking sides" and come out against Donald Trump. Ralph! (No offense to guys named Ralph.)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Funny that this news report should come up today!

Earlier this week, I was considering ordering one of Trump's red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps. Then I thought better of the idea by realizing it might turn me into a lightning rod for verbal or physical abuse by diversity-loving tolerant leftists.

The same thought applied earlier in regard to getting a pro Trump bumper sticker for my car.

Remember that scene in one of the "Die Hard" films where Bruce Willis found himself in a ghetto neighbourhood wearing a sandwich board?

That was pretty funny twenty years ago.

Fast forward to today and all you have to do is visit that same neighbourhood with a sign saying, "All Lives Matter."

.... or even a "Make America Great Again" baseball cap.

Is this what we call "progress?"



Can you spot the Samuel Jackson character in this video?



"The SA was also used to intimidate any opposition."



15 Questions White People Have For BuzzFeed Racists

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The City of Ottawa, Uber, and Unbridled Political Sleaze

On August 12, 2016, the Ottawa Citizen reported that "Ottawa taxi drivers launch $215M lawsuit against city." [Source.]

The suit was launched in response to Ottawa's decision to allow the global taxi company, Uber, to set up its taxi operation the city without having to jump over the barriers to entry that the city had set up fifty years earlier and which all other taxi providers were required to overcome.

On September 16, 2016, the CBC reported that Ottawa had filed a defense in the taxi industry lawsuit. [Source.]

In the opinion of this author, the taxi industry lawsuit is entirely justified. It is also the opinion of this author that the industry's lawsuit is hopeless. Western mixed economy welfare states have given up on pretending that justice has any role to play in political outcomes. The astute observer of the contemporary political scene is already familiar with that simple truth. Economic outcomes are not decided by cumulative decisions made by consumers. They are determined by money and politics. As Democratic presidential nominee, the ailing Hillary Clinton, has so aptly demonstrated during her amazingly successful criminal career, it's "pay to play." And Uber has the means to pay. (See "The Companies That Are Funding Uber and Lyft," [Source.])

While it is my opinion that the outcome of the Ottawa taxi industry lawsuit is a foregone conclusion for reasons stated, I would still like to comment on one or two of the reasons the city of Ottawa has used to defend its transfer of the Ottawa taxi industry to Uber.

To keep it brief, I shall use the CBC report's synopsis of the City's defense rather than delving into the nuts and bolts of the formal legal defense.

In its statement of defense against the suit filed in August by Capital Taxi and Marc Andre Way, whose family owns the largest number of taxi plates in the city, the city says it has no responsibility to protect the taxi industry from any financial losses that might arise from the regulatory changes.

Because the city allows a limited number of taxis on the streets, new taxi plates are hardly ever issued. For decades, the only way to enter into the city's taxi business was to buy a plate from a current holder — a practice which the city has been aware of and has done nothing to stop in its 50 years of regulating the industry.

Observe the misleading wording of the CBC's report, "a practice which the city has been aware of and has done nothing to stop in its 50 years of regulating the industry."

Not only has the city been "aware of" this practice. The city created it. The reason the city "has done nothing to stop in its 50 years of regulating the industry," is because the city created it in the first place. And over that 50-year span, the city was perfectly content to allow the market in taxi licenses to function until Uber blew in and "opened their eyes." Then it did an about-face without any regard to the financial destruction their sudden adoption of a two-tiered taxi system would have upon local citizens who had invested their lives and fortunes in the city's own taxi license franchise system.

Yet, the city claims it has "no responsibility to protect the taxi industry from any financial losses that might arise from the regulatory changes." That's like a hangman saying he has no responsibility for the broken neck that occurs after he releases the trap door on the scaffold.

If there were actually any intelligence behind the city of Ottawa's decision to give Uber a fast-pass to its taxi market one could reasonably argue that the whole taxicab regulatory system was a set-up from the beginning. That the city would now claim that it has no responsibility to protect the financial losses it exposed industry participants to in the first place is laughable.

But that is how politics works.

I have been writing about it for years. Much of my work can be seen at my blockrants website.

Then there is this gem,

Buying and selling those taxi plates "created a speculative and artificial secondary market for time-limited taxicab service licenses" that the city had nothing to do with other than register the plate transfer, according to its statement of defense.

Since the city created the market in taxicab service licenses in the first place, the claim that they had "nothing to do with it" is gut-wrenchingly nauseating.

Yet, they will probably get away with this incredible horseshit once they present it in a government-run court.

Just when you think I am finished, I get to the best part under, "Taxi industry failed to 'innovate'."

Blame the Victim

It added that the taxi industry failed to "innovate" to compete against Uber, even though it had "historical" advantages.

"Rider preferences showed generally that taxicab service providers were incapable of matching the transportation service experience provided to users of the Uber Apps," said the statement of defence.

Let's start with, "Rider preferences showed generally that taxicab service providers were incapable of matching the transportation service experience provided to users of the Uber Apps."

The main "preference" that Uber riders have when choosing between taxi providers is this one: price.

And the reason Uber is able to charge a lower price is, not because the taxi industry "failed to innovate" when it came to service pricing, but because taxi rates are dictated by the local government. Any other taxi operator who tried to "innovate" by charging rates other than those mandated by the government would be fined and/or shut down.

Blame the victim?

Uber has also introduced several other "innovations" into the taxi business that have a lot to do with its ability to charge a lower price than competing taxi service providers.

Uber hires unlicensed cab drivers. If another taxi brokerage were to employ this "innovation," they would be fined. So there's that.

If a traditional taxi brokerage were to match riders with drivers by signing up a fleet of private, unlicensed taxicabs, this "innovation" would run afoul of the city's regulations. The brokerage would be fined and/or shut down.

If a traditional taxi brokerage started to dispatch fares to people driving their own personal cars without proper commercial insurance the city would not only frown on such an "innovation" but would act swiftly and decisively to put an end to the practice, unlike their response to uninsured Uber taxis.

Another Uber "innovation" is to save money by ignoring certain mandatory "innovations" that traditional taxicabs are required to adopt, such as spy cameras, amber 911 lights, identification numbers and markers, roof lights, strict vehicle age limits, regular inspections, trip sheets, tariff cards, accessible vehicles and a plethora of other impositions that all have an impact on the price of non-Uber taxi services.

It can not be argued that the alleged failure of the traditional taxi industry to "innovate" is the fault of an industry that has had to operate under a government mandated straight-jacket since before most current industry stakeholders were even born.

For the city of Ottawa to adopt the defense that the taxi industry failed to innovate while simultaneously being subjected to a spectrum of costly and, often idiotic, government regulations exemplifies the depths of the criminal mentality that imagines the city of Ottawa has any "defense" at all in response to its disgustingly preferential treatment of the Uber bully.

Conclusion

Predicting the weather remains fraught with uncertainties, as my good friend Harvenut Puritan has pointed out in his most recent guest rant. I have never been much good at predicting the weather. There are too many variables.

On the other hand, I have been astonishingly prescient in my ability to predict political outcomes. It is derived from my ability to accurately assess the character of most of those who enter the field of politics as a vocation. Politicians buy and sell human beings. They lie and cheat while pretending to act out of a concern for justice. Many would kill their own family members for political advantage, as history clearly shows. (See Henry VIII, Peter the Great, Hitler and Stalin and countless others.)

And many more will not shirk from destroying people who they don't even play golf with.

Like taxi drivers.


Monday, September 5, 2016

While he was a member of Hamilton's Taxi Advisory Committee, it was my opinion that Mr. Butt was driven by nothing more than a mad desire to see the license owners and brokers suffer.

Though he posed as a representative of the rank and file drivers, it was obvious to me, that he would be willing to sacrifice their interests as long as it damaged the brokers and owners.

At one of the meetings, a vote was proposed. The resolution was whether the City of Hamilton should impose a 100% accessibility mandate upon the city's taxi owners, at 100% their expense.

Ejaz was ecstatic. He clapped and cheered when the vote was announced, declaring, "Accessible transportation is not a privilege, it is a right," along with other less enthusiastic members.

I voted against the mandate.

To me, it seemed unjust to saddle the taxi owners of Hamilton with tens of thousands of dollars in additional compliance costs, just to make those moral hypocrites at City Hall and Queen's Park *look like* they cared about the disabled.

His exact motives were unclear to me, but what was clear, was that he was driven by a white-hot hatred of those who had achieved relative success in the Hamilton taxi industry.

And then after those caring political hypocrites encountered the Uber invasion, their phony "compassion" collapsed in an instant. They did an about-face on the disabled lobby in order to "accommodate" the sexier Uber mania. Politically, it seemed to them, that it would be easier to abandon their activist supporters in the disabled community than it would be to accommodate Uberlegislation.

Just in case anyone gets the mistaken impression that I have an obsession with former religious leader, ousted union leader, failed mayoral candidate and now, enthusiastic Uber "partner," let me just say this.

I use Ejaz Butt as a perfect example of the kind of person who runs for political office in Canada. In fact, it would not surprise me if someday in the future he tries to run as a candidate for the Liberal Party.... and they accept him. He'd fit right in with the McGuinty-Wynne model of governance.

Secondly, Ejaz loves publicity and is obviously a proponent of the claim that there is no such thing as negative publicity. I am testing that idea.


Why The Disabled Oppose Ride Share Services Like Uber And Lyft



Comments have been disabled in the TO Sun article (see link) so I will comment here.

"People are putting themselves in charge more often -we have more people owning businesses, more people moving into self-employment... and don’t want anybody, whether it’s a company or a union telling them what to do.”

What a pile of BULLSHIT!

How do I know that?

Try purchasing "ridesharing" insurance for your own personal car without signing on to be raped by Uber's 25% fee or *tax.* In other words, try setting up your own "ridesharing" operation.

Uber, in obvious collusion with the government, cleverly rigged the insurance regulations in Ontario so that insurance is ONLY AVAILABLE to those who become *taxpaying* citizens of the Uber system.

How can anyone who doesn’t "want anybody, whether it’s a company or a union telling them what to do,” possibly applaud such a rigged system?

Fuck Uber. Fuck the shills who falsely herald Uber as "People putting themselves in charge more often."

And most of all, fuck the governments at all levels whose absolutely LAST PRIORITY is in allowing people to put themselves in charge of *anything* more often.

Man. I need some gravol.

Can the labour movement survive in the age of Uber?


As I have been writing for many years now, most politicians are rampant sociopaths. I don't require evidence of bags of cash being passed under tables, nor shady hitmen lurking in shadows. All I need to is listen to what comes out of their mouths and compare it to their actions.

When it comes to the dirty, underhanded treatment of the small taxi operators in Ontario, by politicians at all levels of government, the willingness of politicians to facilitate horrendous injustices in order to shunt Uber to the front of the line in the taxi business makes my assessment blazingly clear.

There is only one other possible explanation for the politician's response to Uber in Ontario that is only slightly less flattering than my first, ignorance and stupidity.

Perhaps, if enough politicians actually understood the damage they are doing, it would be easier for people like me to determine the exact ratio of sociopathy to ignorance and stupidity.

The impact that current political shenanigans are having on members of the taxi industry, therefore, should be made as clear as possible to that segment of the decision-making classes who suffer from the lessor evils. It should not be swept under the rug.

Financial stress the #1 cause of mens’ suicide.


An Uncle Block Public Service Announcement

Friday, August 26, 2016

On August 16th of this year, I received a copy of an email that my friend, Paul Morris, A.K.A. "Bubbles," sent to mayor Fred and a few other local politicians. (Sam Merulla, Tom Jackson, Terry Whitehead and Maria Pearson.)

Here is the email Mr. Morris sent:

"As a long time taxi driver in this city, I would like to ask what (if any) tangible action plan the council has for dealing with Uber. I am all for competition - as a consumer of various goods / services myself, I appreciate choice - BUT it needs to be FAIR, and on a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD so to speak. How does the city justify its inaction and ineffective addressing of this issue while they continue to maintain the stauts quo for those involved in the taxi industry as to licensing, bylaws and regulation. fees collected, fines for violation of said bylaws / codes, and generally just raking in $ for all these years from those in this industry?

Then there's the issue of allowing a mega US corporation to flout the existing system so to speak, by their inaction. In conversation with my fellow drivers, it's an accurate observation to say, that Uber has gobbled up at least 50% - and on weekend nites more - of the business, while those in the taxi industry who have to follow all the regs, codes, and be licensed, as well as pay many types of fees etc, suffer the loss.

One of my fellow drivers took a cab recently in Toronto and in conversation with the driver, was informed that there, apparently, the city has begun taking steps to help the taxi industry. They still have a way to go however but at least they're trying. All this money being funnelled out of country to a corporation that at the same time doesn't pay taxes in Canada on the money they earn here, thus depriving this country / province / city of much needed revenue to address needs here.

There was a meeting last month, hosted by Monica Cirello which apparently accomplished littel to notihing to sovling the aforementioned issues. Is this the way you repsond to issues of concern - for appearances sake go thru a charade of seeming to deal with the problem?

Given the number of emails I have sent the mayor and councilors that almost NEVER see a response, Bubbles actually received the following reply from the mayor:

Hello Paul,


 

Thank you for reaching out to me. The motion that passed at Council is to introduce a licensing category for ride-sharing applications similar to the by-law passed in Edmonton a few months ago. The intent is to ultimately legalize ridesharing in Hamilton while also ensuring public safety and promoting fair competition within the industry. We expect this will be coming to Council in the fall.


 

Should you require more information or have other concerns, please let me know.


 

Cheers,


 

Fred

Analysis and Translation

Some might think it rare that a politician would answer a question with such direct honesty as Mayor Fred has done in this instance.

Also, to be fair to the mayor, he does point out that the motion was passed by city council, not just him. Therefore, the blame is to be shared.

In essence, the mayor's response to Paul's concerns about equal application of the law, the reasons for his and council's unfathomable obeisance to this American corporation that has shown nothing but contempt for our laws, and his response to the fact that many Hamilton cab drivers have had their livelihoods, and lives, turned upside-down by this corporate rogue is a simple,

Paul,

Fuck You.

We don't really give a rat's ass about your little problems.

You object to the harm being committed by this rogue corporation, and the fact that the city just sits back and does nothing? Well, guess what? We are going to add icing to the cake by legalizing, it. (Besides, the city of Edmonton has already done so, and I read over and over again that Edmonton's is a "model" for other cities. So there.)

I must say, such honesty coming from a politician is rare.

The indefatigable, Bubbles, wrote back to the mayor,

Fred

thanks for your reply to my query.. I'm not sure what Edmonton did, but you still made no comment re all the fees etc the taxi industry pays and what if anything, will be done about easing them. If a cabbie has to pay (including abstract and photo) over 200$ / year at present, for a taxi licence, and owners/ lessees have to pay more on top of that, what will be done to give some relief? I mean the info is all on file on computers, including the photos, so why the extortionate fees for less than 15 min of work by city staff to issue a new version? Even an Ontario driver's licence / permit doesn't cost so much, and it's good for 5 years!

To which the mayor, again, responded,

Hi Paul, by licensing uber, we are hoping to level the playing field. Staff have been working with our Licensing, cab company and uber representatives to do just that. Edmonton created a licensing class for uber/ride sharing applications. That is what we are doing as well.

Even though this response from mayor Fred is shorter than the first one, it remains highly revealing as to the mayor's commitment to honesty.

Consider the statement, "by licensing uber, we are hoping to level the playing field."

This statement is so staggeringly preposterous that base stupidity could not, alone, explain it. Though maybe it does, given all of the idiocy we have seen of late in road reconfigurations in Hamilton.

The literal translation of the mayor's words goes thus:

"by licensing bandit cabs affiliated with uber, and giving them an entirely separate set of rules that leave their competitors in the other taxi companies straight-jacketed, we are hoping to level the playing field. (!) "

Speaking colloquially for a moment, have you ever heard a bigger crock of shit?

Note his use of the dishonest "ride sharing" euphemism for bandit taxis. By perpetuating the fraudulent idea that bandit taxis are not taxis, and are an entirely different mode of transportation than taxis, the mayor tries to pull the wool over the eyes of one of his constituents in order to further the interests of Uber.

Why doesn't he just HAVE THE BALLS to tell it like it really is?

Prediction

The mayor and city council will go ahead and legitimize Uber bandit cabs. The spin in the media and Uber's own money power will Trump any of the concerns of local plebes. The facts that Uber's profits are siphoned away to the Netherlands at the expense of local businesses, that Uber takes advantage of innumerate "partners" by charging them 25% for the work they do with their own time and resources (just like an income tax,)

The fact that Uber relies upon dangerous distractive technology to dispatch its cabs

The fact that Uber's use of unmarked taxicabs normalizes the questionable practice of riding in cars with strangers....

will not deter the City of Hamilton from welcoming this monstrous corporate bully into our midst, regardless of how many lives are destroyed.

Is there a lesson to be learned here?

Yes. As all of the cab drivers who jumped through, and over, the city's hoops and barriers to employment in the cab business, and to all of the plate owners who invested a major part of their lives in the City-created taxi license franchise system, the lesson is SCREAMINGLY CLEAR!

Never trust a politician.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Stranger Danger - The Uber "Business Model."


Update: August 24, 2016

Uber and Lyft have successfully undone sixty or more years worth of warnings against getting into cars with strangers.

The reports continue to roll in. Here is another report of an attack by someone driving an unmarked bandit cab.


Uber has a "cut and paste" response whenever these types of Uber-driven incidents occur. It goes something like this,

"Uber has a page of advice for riders on how to be safe when taking an Uber journey. It notes that when you’re matched with a driver through the app, you will see their name, license plate number, photo and rating so you know who’s picking you up. It also advises you share your ETA with friends and family so they know when to expect you."

The fatal flaw in this, arguably fake, piece of advice, is that the times of heaviest cab use are usually during bar closing times when many users are so drunk they can hardly see. let alone follow all of Uber's sage advice. The following video demonstrates the condition of many taxi passengers after the bars close.

Stephen King's "It" (Georgie Scene)

Fake Uber Driver Arrested After Brutal Sexual Assault of Passenger in Westlake: LAPD

http://ktla.com/2016/04/11/fake-uber-driver-arrested-after-brutal-sexual-assault-of-passenger-in-westlake-lapd/

Saint Stephens College principal will warn parents about high demand for Uber by Gold Coast students

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/saint-stephens-college-principal-will-warn-parents-about-high-demand-for-uber-by-gold-coast-students/news-story/851517ba08395810cd3945129b37c462

Lyft user 'mistakenly gets into the wrong car after a night out partying' and is stabbed to death by the driver

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3748152/Texas-man-stabbed-death-getting-car-mistakenly-thought-Lyft-ride.html


Finally, a Public Service Announcement warning about the dangers of something the politicians are scared to death of addressing: Distractive Technology.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Death of Surge?

Something odd happened to me last week during bar closing time.

Despite the deluge of Ubergulls in one of the bar districts, there seemed to be a sudden "surge" in street hails for rule-abiding taxicabs.

Sure enough, I managed to hook a fare going to the east end. They asked me if they could make multiple stops, which means that they intend to continue the shared ride after reaching the first destination.

But something odd was going on during the shared ride. The guys in the second and third rows of the van were huddled around a smartphone. I kept hearing Uber this, and Uber that. It was kind of irritating.

When we arrived at the first destination they told me they were all getting out there. They were now going to hook up with an Uber taxi.

He arrived almost as quickly as any cab. Couldn't have been too busy. Dark car with dark tinted windows, like something out of a stalker thriller, and some or all of them piled in.

So, of course, I was left wondering, "why would they choose to switch cabs in the middle of the trip?"

Then I remembered my prediction about Uber's surge pricing policy. Once the public got wise, they would begin to compare prices. They would take Uber when the rates were half of regulated taxi rates, but they would start taking standard cabs when the surge exceeded taxi rates.

My theory is that this is exactly what happened in this case.

Uber was probably surging in the bar district at 2:30 A.M., hence the bump in demand for the cheaper alternative at that time, standard taxis. So they engaged me. But they monitored the Uber rates during the ride until we entered a zone that was not surging, where the sucker Uber drivers were depreciating their capital for half the mandatory taxi rates. At that point, they decided to switch to Uber taxis.

Makes sense to me.

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Ayn Rand was Not a Whore.

This is rich.

Get what the Data Engineer at Uber says.

"Basically this scenario involves both rider and driver partaking in fraud."

Where is the fraud?

Uber has repeatedly said that all it does is connect riders with drivers. It's "just a technology company."

Having done that, where do they get off in claiming the driver owes them anything more? That, having full-filled their stated function, that of connecting willing riders with drivers they expect also to get a cut of what the passenger pays the driver for the actual ride?

In other words, how does the "service" of matching riders with drivers translate into a continuing obligation for the driver to pay Uber one red cent?

Uber drivers pay Uber 25% of their gross just for dispatching them. Traditional taxi dispatchers in my city only charge about 6% for the same service.

Uber is a colossal scam.

And talk about scams. How about Hillary Clinton and the DNC in Philadelphia?

Uber partnered with the DNC.

Yeah right. Uber is part of the new libertarian revolution.

Travis Kalanick is NOT the new Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand was NOT a whore.

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Updates: August 4, 2016

Kenyan Uber drivers want Uber to lower its brokerage fee to 15%!!!

Are they nuts? Uber's commission should be no higher than standard taxi brokerage fees of about 6%. Paying the Uber brokerage more than 6% is being royally scammed. Clearly, part of Uber's "amazing" success is it's ability to recruit witless trendies who have no idea how to calculate true costs. Once Uber has performed its "matchmaking service" the driver ought to have no further obligation to pay them anything.

If I were driving an Uber cab I would flag the meter as soon as the passenger was in my cab. Uber would get their "booking fee" ($2.50) and 25% of the drop ($.63), for a grand total of $3.13 and not one penny more. The actual trip could be negotiated in cash, credit or debit and there are lots of smartphone meter apps that can be used for the actual ride. Giving Uber 25% of the total cost of the ride is incredibly stupid.

Don't fall for it.

Here's another story. Uber has been funnelling money to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving.) According to this report, Uber has "donated" between $100,000 and up to almost $500,000 to MADD in order for MADD to endorse Uber's "Distractive technology" based method of taxi dispatch. Critics say the MADD study was cooked. ("Last week, I (and everyone else) reported research by the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed Uber has had no measurable impact in reducing drunk driving.")

We need a new group called, Mothers Against Distracted Driving to warn trendy youngsters about using distractive technology based taxicabs which continue to claim innocent lives.

Taxi Driver's Lives Matter!

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Hmmm...

and hmmmm....

Holocaust Denial?

I've just finished reading a very interesting article that came to my inbox today from Paul Craig Roberts. As a climate emergency skep...