Sunday, February 4, 2018

Religionphobia

I'm not really too put off by the Muslim practice of having more than one wife, but it does lead to the question, how does that add up?

Assuming the gender balance is about 50-50, notwithstanding the plethora of new genders that have been recently introduced, if some guys have more than one wife, others will have none. It's a zero sum game. Maybe balance could be achieved by allowing women to have more than one husband.

I'd be cool with that. So, I would expect, would be Kathleen Wynne. Whether such a policy would garner much support from Muslim voters remains an open question.

Warfare, where most of the dead are males, could also relieve the imbalance, along with life-like robots and cloning.

I don't have a problem with Islam. Many of my coworkers in the cab business are Muslims. I am fortunate to be friends with many of these people, and to learn that they are the same as everyone else, or perhaps more precisely, as unique as everyone else.

On the other hand, I don't ever want to have anyone's religion shoved down my throat. After all, I think that all religions are nothing more than superstitious bullshit. To be commanded to respect what is, in my opinion, a bunch of irrational horse-shit, is highly offensive to me. And don't I   have the right not to be offended? Or is that "right" to be portioned off to certain identity group members, in proportion to how many votes sleazy politicians figure this identity-group gerrymandering will earn them?

There-in lies my dilemma, and the core of my concern about immigration policy.

Europe: Making Islam Great Again

I am an Islamaphobe. I am also a Christianityphobe, a Judaismphobe, and a phobe of any similar system of thought that attempts to enslave the mind of man with any arbitrary series of edicts or rituals, the stated goal of which is to guarantee moral stature, personal fulfillment, and possible immortality. But the result of which is the cultivation of a bunch of compliant sheep. I don't want to be a part of anyone's flock.

Which, by the way, is also why I fucking hate communism.



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Politics 101

I'm sitting here watching "The Peaky Blinders."

It's not for everyone, but I love it. The musical accompaniment is worth the price of admission alone. Especially if you add a little of that, soon to be legalized, recreational spice.

Anyway, in one scene this guy came up with one of the best descriptions of politics I have ever heard.

"Politics is deliberately making things better for some people, by deliberately making them worse for others."

So simple, yet so true.

Think of Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberal party, for example.

Or bike lanes. A few avid cyclists, (and crack-heads) get their very own special bits of road space, while countless drivers rip their hair out of their heads. Pollution increases from eons of pointless idling. And there's the excessive brake dust generation from a multiplication of unnecessary, and pointless stops.

"Politics is deliberately making things better for some people, by deliberately making them worse for others."

Brake dust. Especially unnecessary brake dust, makes things worse for anyone who happens to live in the area. It's probably not a big threat to the locals but hey, why do it in the first place if it accomplishes nothing? Why not just hand out free smokes? At least some people would be thankful.

Who was that comedian that popularized the joke, "She: Mind if I smoke? He: No. Mind if I legislate a little extra brake dust into your living room?"

While I am on the subject I think I will go a bit further.

Think about all of those new stop signs, stop lights, speed bumps, bike lanes, and bollards etc.

In theory, they are all about preventing grannys from getting hit by cars, and of course, about saving the planet from a changing climate, like that hasn't been a problem for the last 4.5 billion years.

In reality, what they do is impede traffic flow. Every driver knows this to be true. The countless hours wasted in compliance with government mandates.

No left turn. Why? Because in the next thousand years there is the possibility that some crackhead, or Hamilton's mayor, who is "all about using bike lanes," might be whizzing down the bike lane to your left, and if you turn, well, he is going to crash right into you. And it will be your fault.

One more time.

"Politics is deliberately making things better for some people, by deliberately making them worse for others."

Take those words to heart. Roll them around in your mind. I promise you will never look at a politician the same way again.

Thinking of Kathleen however, makes me want to add that the best politicians are those who are adept at fooling the greatest number of people into believing they are in the first group, like the poor buggers who will lose jobs and hours, and those who will never find work in the first place, because of Ms. Wynne's wave of her magic wand to raise the wages of some Ontario workers.

In my simple mind, the game of politics is less than a zero sum game. It is a negative sum game.

Because my math tells me that, in addition to making things better for some people, politicians also tend to make things better for themselves. I seek balance. It's a habit of mine.

And if politicians are making things better for themselves.............

Finally, as if to confirm that the one hand of government literally does not know what the other hand is doing, the City of Hamilton, which has been promoting unnecessary idling for going on twenty-five years now, has an anti-idling bylaw! This kind of stupidity can't be by accident. It's part of a psyop that derives its effect by barraging citizens with diametrically opposed mandates. The end goal, is to create apathy so that voters will accept any insulting lunacy that politicians can dream up.



Uber Driver In US Illegally Charged With 4 California Rapes

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Blast from the Past

From blockrants, April 8th, 2012


(Editor's note: After reviewing this essay, I am reminded of the number of times I have wondered about why they haven't yet come up with something real to go after Donald Trump with. Those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome have left no stone unturned in their efforts to overrule the decision of the American electorate in 2016. Given the complexities involved in running any business, and in Trump's case, a large number of businesses, it puzzles me that the anti-Trumpers have not yet come up with one single technical felony with which to attempt to invalidate the decision of the American electorate.)


April 8th, 2012

Those man in the street interviews where respondents are asked how they like the newest form of Gov. Inc. surveilence always feature some respondents saying, "Well I don't mind the [cameras, microphones, income tax audits, digital money trails, interrogations, checkpoints, naked body scans and genital groping] that Gov. Inc. does because "I have done nothing wrong." I cringe at how naively so many of the zombie sheeple trust Gov. Inc. Maybe Alex Jones is right... it's the flouride in the water that has everyone lobotomized.

I think a more credible explanation is that the response is the result of the conditioning applied in Gov. Inc. brain farms where the baby cattle are taken at a very young age to be properly trained in service of the state. (I.E. Public Schools. Company Schools. Gov. Inc. Schools.)

It started out as a vague thought some time back. I wondered how many crimes I must commit in a day. I throw cigarette butts out of the window while changing lanes without signalling and exceeding the speed limit by 10 km/hr while drinking coffee and picking my nose. And that is just while driving the length of one block.

There's enough there, already, I guess to cost me a year's wages in fines and extra insurance premiums.

Then there were the stories like the one about Abner Schoenwetter, a Miami seafood importer, who spent six years in prison, for importing lobsters in plastic bags.

I wonder how Abner would have responded to the survey before his ordeal? Would he have said, "I have nothing to worry about. I have done nothing wrong. Go ahead and touch my lobsters."

The point is that to anyone paying attention these days, you just don't know if you've done anything wrong. ... correction, you just don't know if you've done something that Gov. Inc. can nail your ass to the wall for.

And according to lawyer Harvey Silverglate, the average American commits three felonies a day.

Three felonies a day!

So, if the average American (and I don't think the situation is much different for Canadians) commits three felonies per day then we are all guilty of something .....

Which means any one of us can find our lives seriously disrupted, at any time, without warning.... fined or incarcerated over something we didn't even know was "wrong!" (I.E. contrary to Gov. Inc. edicts. -- not necessarily wrong in any moral sense.)

And boy.... Gov. Inc. has it's ass covered in case you decide to plead that you didn't know it was "wrong."

.... because....

"Ignorance of the law (Gov. Inc. law) is no excuse before the law. (Gov. Inc. law)"

So, basically, you're fucked.

Consider also the construction of the Utah Data Center.

"The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”"

It will all be there. A digital record of everything you say, write, do or buy.

Of course, if you're one of those zombie sheeple noted above, none of this will concern you. You have done nothing wrong. Or so you believe.

But what if you piss the wrong people off? What if you make the mistake of, say, calling Ontario Premier Dagwood McGoofball a low-life scumbag, as this author has done in various ways?

If you piss the wrong people off all they have to do is manufacture some "probable cause," ... or maybe even not... then comb through the database and find out how many felonies you have committed and you are toast.

I believe it will be called, "Selective Law Enforcement."

You might still think you have freedom of speech but will you dare exercise it?


And it's happening everywhere.

Big brother getting bigger in the UK?


Stand Up


I am not sure which one I am. I am not religious but many would describe me as a fanatic.

PENTAGON BRIEFING ON REMOVING "The God Gene"


New!

Trump Has Deep State Terrified – Kevin Shipp

Kit Kat restaurant owner gives icy response to King streetcar pilot

Click here.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

My Conversation with an Autophobe

After my March 30, 2014 rant, Hamilton Ontario - The City of Stupid Ideas I received a response from a prominent Hamilton pro-bicycle lane, pro-government social engineering activist.

His remarks, in quotes, appear below along with my rebuttals.

“OK, I'll bite.”

“1. The capital cost is a one-time cost and is a tiny fraction of what the cost of infrastructure to carry an equivalent number of people in cars would cost. I don't recall your outraged blog post when the city decided to spend millions of taxpayer dollars replacing the highway-style overpass system at the intersection of King and Kenilworth, instead of making it a regular intersection. We're also forgoing around $200,000 in property tax revenue on all the land being wasted for the on-ramps and off-ramps. And we'll have to spend millions more to replace it all again in 25 years.”

The key phrase here is "equivalent number of people." That's like Taco Bell announcing that their meat "starts out as real beef." I don't doubt that your claim is 100% true. Unfortunately, I doubt very much that these bike lanes will carry anywhere near the "equivalent number of people" over the next 1,000 years, even if the city were to start handing out free crack at every intersection. If we were instead to perform our calculations based upon "actual number of people" using these crack super-highways I think the cost per inch of rubber contact with the road would fall solidly in favor of my proposition that the whole idea is utter bollocks.

Which has been my point all along.

“2. The operating cost cited for the cycle track is a maximum upset estimate if the next three winters are at least as snowy as this one was exceptional. The actual operating cost is more likely to be much lower.”

I'm glad you brought up the issue of operating cost for these crack super-highways. Even if the operating cost is much lower in future winters it still promises to be exponentially higher in terms of carrying "an equivalent number of people."

I think the same principle would manifest itself if the city went even further in its demonization of private automobile use and threw in a few extra lanes for ox-carts and goat herders.

“3. The operating cost cited does not subtract the current cost of snow clearing for that lane, which it would replace, and which was also exceptionally high this winter (for every street).”

Good point. Unfortunately, it does little to offset the absurd cost per *actual* number of people, no matter how you cut it.

This gets me thinking about Councillor Terry Whitehead's desire for an "off-ramp to make the lanes three-season-only if winter maintenance proves too costly."

I have an idea. Forget about an "off-ramp." Don't even bother to clear the snow in the bike lanes. It will satisfy the anti-car agenda of restricting traffic flow. Maybe those bike lanes could be re-designated for cross country skiers and snowshoe aficionados during the snowy months. Surely the cost per "equivalent number of people" over one or two eons would be attractive to you.

“4. Driving automobiles around for free on 100% publicly-funded, publicly built and maintained public land is a hilarious definition of "capitalistic private" transportation.”

True, the roads are a socialist enterprise. Road socialism dominates the planet. It's going to be around for a long time. I accept that situation for now. The only question that remains is whether or not those roads should be configured sensibly to make the best of an innately flawed system or whether they should be vandalized by "progressive" politicians and activists in favor of ridiculous ideas like bike lanes for crackheads.

Besides, your claim that automobile owners drive around "for free on 100% publicly-funded, publicly built and maintained public land" is ridiculous on it's face and further discredited by this report.

“5. No, drivers don't pay for roads. If you add up 100% of all the taxes, fees, fines and so on that drivers pay, it does not come close to covering 100% of the cost of building and maintaining our road system. In Ontario, it falls short by several billion dollars a year. That doesn't even include the health care or opportunity costs of all the people who are hospitalized and killed prematurely each year due to air pollution from vehicles and injuries in vehicle collisions.”

Now you are starting to sound ridiculous. Drivers don't pay for the roads? Who does? Crackheads?

Regardless of who pays for the roads it still makes no sense to gum up the smooth operation of those roads in pursuit of some pie-in-the-sky eco-whackjob "vision" of total gridlock.

“6. Cannon Street has some of the lowest property values and most underperforming retail frontage in the city. A big reason for that is the street design, which is dangerous and hostile to pedestrians and harms the value of adjacent properties. The bike lanes will pay for themselves many times over in increased economic value on the street.”

Right. The odd crackhead will be able to buy his bag of Dorito's faster.

You don't get around much, do you? You should pay a visit to Upper James. It is a two-way street with what appears to be well performing retail frontage.

Oh?

You have been to Upper James?

Maybe I am the crazy one, but Cannon St. doesn't come close when it comes to a (two-way) street design that is dangerous and hostile to pedestrians.

I know you already have an answer to the Upper James problem. Turn it into a pedestrian mall from Rymal to the Brow.

The cost in terms of "equivalent number of people" travelling from A to B along that route would be reduced to a fraction of its current price.

The cost due to people being "hospitalized and killed prematurely each year due to air pollution from vehicles and injuries in vehicle collisions." would approach zero.

Unless someone needed an ambulance.

“7. Cannon Street carries 9-10,000 cars a day. Four lanes for that volume of cars is massive overkill and a wasteful use of scarce taxpayer dollars.“

Cannon Street carries 90 to 100 crackheads a day. Two bike lanes for that volume of crackheads is massive overkill and a wasteful use of scarce taxpayer dollars.

“8. Roadway wear and tear is an exponential function of vehicle weight. For example, an SUV causes 8 times as much road damage as a small car. It costs around $750,000 per lane-kilometer to reconstruct a road. If converting one lane-kilometre of road to a protected bike lane adds 5 years to the average 25 year lifetime, it will save $125,000 in lifecycle costs. If it extends the life by ten years, it saves $215,000. (And that assumes the capital reconstruction cost is paid directly upfront rather than financed over the lifetime of the infrastructure.)”

So what you are saying here is that roads are expensive to build and maintain.

Agreed.

I just don't agree with your "solution" to lowering the cost of roads by making them unusable for automobile owners.

In favor of the crack trade.

That's just plain dumb.

When it comes down to the desire to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator, the ultimate goal of all socialists, I deny your accusation that I am the socialist.

No Sir.

I respectfully pass that title to you.

By the way, if you like the idea of two-way bike lanes funded by Gov. Inc. you'll just love this idea....

Friday, January 12, 2018

Some Things are so Predictable

Here is just one of many reports that continue to trickle in, in the wake of granting the Uber taxi corporation legal exemption from the bylaws covering all other taxi operators.

Alleged fake Uber driver charged

Predicting this outcome was not rocket science. (Published on Aug 21, 2016)


Meanwhile

and so true to form, the same boneheads who created this monstrous two-tiered taxi system in Hamilton are now setting their sights on "fixing" the payday loan industry.

The campaign, spearheaded by none other than the prominent fake social justice warrior, Matthew Green, and seconded by the mayor, who never met a touchy-feely, virtue-signaling slogan he didn't like, aims to "help" vulnerable people.

And this is where the true genius of these infuriating politicians really comes out. They think they are going to "help" people without bank accounts by reducing the number of payday outlets to 15.

Duh!

How is limiting competition supposed to lower the costs of these services? And how is limiting the number of locations supposed to "help" the desperate and poor by forcing them to expend more of their limited resources in getting to those outlets?

If there were more payday outlets they would:

A: face more competition. Competition always drives prices lower. The vulnerable would like that. (Don't expect a politician to understand it.)

and B: it would remove barriers to the desperate and poor by making them easier to get to. This would lower the true cost of payday loans. (Don't expect a politician to understand it.)

Leave it to virtue signaling politicians, who rarely spend five minutes in the real world, to get it all ass-backwards, again.

From my cab experiences, I can remember taking many of these vulnerable people to Money Mart when it was just about the only game in town at 15 King Street East. Some would spend as much as $40 or more, in today's rates for the round trip, ON TOP OF whatever Money Mart charged them. It was always a stressful trip, because I would have to wait in the no stopping lane while they went inside to argue about whether the check was any good. This often happened around rush hour. Buses would rudely honk at me for occupying their stops. Parking enforcement officers were swirling around like flies around outdoor privies, and some countries.

I HATED those trips.

And to make matters worse, if the check was no good, the desperate and poor cab driver didn't get paid. Where is Matthew Green when you really need him?

These phony virtue-signaling politicians would probably support having zero payday loan outlets in the city. Then the vulnerable might have to take cabs to Toronto to cash their checks.

But since most desperate and poor payday customers don't have credit cards, it's doubtful they'll be using Uber cabs to get their money.

Another virtual signaling fake, a guy by the name of Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is also doing some hand-waving, and other mystic gesticulations to pretend that he is doing "something" to eliminate poverty. And just like all of the other members of his cult, he's busy cooking up ideas about how someone else could, followed by should, followed by be ordered to, solve the problem. Or else!

"Banks also have a role to play in opening up their credit services to customers they're now turning away, Cooper added."

Yeah. A really innovative idea. Make someone else pay.

You can read all about this latest initiative from Hamilton's roster of busy-body interlopers in the link below. It might be advisable to have a motion sickness bag handy while you do.

New bylaw to cap payday lenders at 15 in Hamilton

You have to thank the many private citizens and businessmen who, through the production of real value through hard work, continue to do a great job making Hamilton a livable city, in spite of the interminable efforts of Hamilton's politicians to screw things up. If it were left up to the politicians, who's handiwork is most visible in the condition of our streets, Hamilton would be a real shithole.



Wikipedia: Virtue signalling.

You want to know what the best definition of a politician is? He's the guy who wants to be in charge of handing out the goodies.



Ezra Levant: Meet Journalist Fired by Anti-Racism Agency for "Islamophobic" Article


Calgary Uber driver removed from app after sending profanity-laced, sexual email to customer

Friday, January 5, 2018

Matthew Green in a Nutshell

Well, not just Matthew Green. These criticisms broadly apply to most politicians, especially those of a communist, or "liberal," bent.

But since Mr. Green seems to enjoy the publicity he gets when squirting his virtue signals on every political hydrant he can find, to bolster his self-image as some kind of hero for the marginalized, I will use him as an example in this analysis.

He just got more digital ink on (where else?) the CBC website.

Now he's pretending to care about people who, for whatever reason, choose to patronize payday loan places. He claims, "he's tired of what he says is a predatory industry that preys on Hamilton's most vulnerable." And by this, he is not referring to that predatory industry that pays his salary at the expense of the tax vulnerable customers of the Corporation of the City of Hamilton. (You know, like the people who are being forced to pay for engineered gridlock on Hamilton's downtown streets.)

Nope. He's talking about expanding the market for his own business. I.E. Government Inc. The bigger Government Inc. gets, the more secure Mr. Green et. al.'s careers become. And he wants it all done without lifting a finger, or spending a penny of his own. Just like his soul brother in Queen's Park.

What does Mr. Green want?

Here is the list from the CBC report:

  • For the mayor to write to the province asking it to strengthen the Payday Loans Act.

  • For the letter to include a request to let municipalities limit the number of payday loan businesses in their cities, and to regulate the locations.

  • For city staff to research the feasibility of establishing a licence for payday loan outlets.

  • For city staff to map out payday loan and check-cashing outlets and report back on possible "alternative accessible financial services."

Let's go over these one by one.

1 - For the mayor to write to the province asking it to strengthen the Payday Loans Act.

Brilliant. Make it more difficult for payday loan places to operate, and expect that the price of their services will go .... down. This kind of economic thinking is all too comon. Also common, is that those advocating the policy do basically nothing more than advocate it. No personal risk or expense is involved.

2 - For the letter to include a request to let municipalities limit the number of payday loan businesses in their cities, and to regulate the locations.

Sure. Brilliant idea Mr. Green. Limit the number of payday loan businesses, thus limiting competition among them, and expect the price to go ... down.

Not to mention that, limiting the number of payday outlets only makes it harder for the people whom Mr. Green pretends to care about to access the services they value. Duh!

Not to mention it will cost Mr. Green $0.

3 - For city staff to research the feasibility of establishing a licence for payday loan outlets.

To do what, exactly? To give people like Mr. Green more power in manipulating the market? To, for example, mandate the rates that will be charged?

But what if Uber decides to get into the payday loan game? Just tap an app and poof! There goes up to 50% of your digital paycheck. Will Uber get an exemption just like the one they got with taxi licenses?

With this current crew of politicians on city council, anything is possible.

How much would this "solution" cost Mr. Green? Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Would Mr. Green end up with a seat on the licensing tribunal, with the power of life or death for people caught in its net? I'd be willing to bet that he would.

Politicians, man. Their motives and incentives are so blazinlgy transparent. Government is a business, just like any other. And it's officers and employees are governed by the exact same forces as govern those in the non-exempt sectors.

If they figure out a way to rip you off, they'll do it.

4 - For city staff to map out payday loan and check-cashing outlets and report back on possible "alternative accessible financial services."

Again, such imbecility from the Pavlovian mentality of a politician. If there were possible "alternative accessible financial services," the people who are being ripped off would already know about them. By the time "city staff" ever got around to identifying any of these "alternative accessible financial services," the world would have already changed, rendering their discoveries worthless.

But again, none of this pissing away of public resources would cost Mr. Green one red cent. If it turns out to be a wild goose chase, no one will even know about it. And if, by some remarkable anomaly, it returns something of value, Mr. Green will be happy to take credit.

Politics is so easy to understand.

My advice is, don't buy it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Hamilton's Check Engine Light Crisis and Other News

  • Unanimous Pro-Uber City Council Vote: The Damage

  • "Check Engine Light" Crisis

  • Uber MADDness

Uber Hamilton by the Numbers

Working with numbers can be a lot of fun. At least, I think so. I once took an in-house course, back when I had a real job, called "Strategies of Experimentation." I can't remember anything I learned in that course, but it made an impression on me that impacts my thinking to this day. It says that if you don't have solid data to work with, use the next best thing. Try to build a cloud of probability. Use whatever information you do have and think about whether it falls within the realm of reasonable expectation.

The following analysis attempts to use this approach to some degree.

What is known for sure is the approximate amount each taxi operator pays to the taxi broker for the service of matching riders with drivers - just like any other "technology company." That is $500 per month, per cab, or $6000 per year, per cab. With 448 licensed cabs in Hamilton, the two brokers share an income of 448 X $6,000 = $2,688,000 (two million, six hundred and eighty-eight thousand dollars.)

In accordance with Hamilton politician's shady deal with the Uber corporation, the city has declared that it expects to receive an initial bribe of $50,000 (the so-called Uber license fee,) plus an additional bribe of $20,000 to exempt Uber from any accessible transportation mandates. In addition to that $50K the deal that received "unanimous" support from council, Uber, the two brokers, and the taxi school, requires that Uber transfer six cents from every Uber ride to the City. According to published reports, the city estimates that Uber drivers will run one million trips per year. At $0.06 per trip that adds up to $60,000 extra dollars for the city.

It will, of course, be very interesting to see how the real numbers add up, now that Uber has been operating under this deal for almost a year.

In the meantime, I will use the City's estimates to arrive at a picture of how much local Hamilton money is being extracted and sent to Uber's banks in the Netherlands, for eventual distribution amongst Goldman Sach's, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of Uber's investors.

First off, there is Uber's $2.80 "booking fee," the equivalent of the non-exempt taxi brokerage fees. At one million trips per year in Hamilton, Uber makes $2.8 million dollars. That amount, alone, exceeds the $2,688,000 the two brokers earn for doing the same thing as Uber.

The real brilliance in Uber's "business model" is not the technology built in to its dispatch software (a dime a dozen,) but in its ability to sucker its hundreds of thousands of drivers into surrendering an additional 25% of the income they earn after rider and driver have been matched, using "assets they already own" in Tim Hudak's famous words. In other words, Uber's driver/"partners" turn assets they already own (or financed) into income for Uber.

It's a stroke of pure genius.

Note: My calculations exclude HST.

In the absense of data, I will asume that the average Uber trip in Hamilton runs about $12.00. Minus the $2.80 booking fee, the remaining $9.20 is composed of the $2.50 basic fare, the $0.90 cents per Km charge, and any time charges at $.15 per minute.

Out of that $9.20, Uber receives an additional 25%, or $2.30. Multiply that by the estimated one million Hamilton trips per year, and Uber sends another $2.3 million dollars to its Netherlands banks.

Adding that $2.3 million dollars to the $2.8 million dollars, it emerges that Hamilton City council basically handed the Uber corporation $5 million dollars per year to provide a redundant service.

Hamilton's non-exempt taxi sector was already at roughly 400% over-capacity. (That is why you see long queues of taxicabs all over the city. They have been idled by regulatory incompetence. Are you pissed off by that taxi driver loitering in the parking spot you wanted? Don't blame him. Blame the city council.)

Correspondingly, the Hamilton City Council transferred about one million trips per annum from the non-exempt taxi drivers to Uber.

One million trips per annum, at an estimated $12 per trip for non-exempt taxis equates to about a $12 million reduction in income amongst Hamilton's 1,200 non-exempt cab drivers, or $10,000 per driver. This estimate jibes with the cab driver I interviewed regarding Mayor Fred Eisenberger's fake news. When I asked this driver how much income he has lost as a result of Uber partnering up with the city he stated, "Oh, a couple hundred per week." $200 per week times 52 weeks equals $10,400 per year. Two numbers in the same ball park.

Again, these numbers are ball-park. The real number could be between, say $8,000 and $12,000. (Or wider. Prove me wrong if you can.) If anyone reading this has better data, I beg you, please share it with me. Similarly, if anyone wishes to quibble with my arithmetic, please speak up.

Numbers aside, from some of the feedback I have been getting from some of the drivers I have spoken to, the City's rigging of the local taxi market in favour of Uber has really hurt them. Many have resorted to paying Uber to use their personal cars as taxicabs.

One driver told me, "I never would have believed I would find myself wishing I was ten years older, so I could be out of this mess."

Another driver expressed delight at the fact that his diabetes condition had escalated to the point where his prescription costs finally made him eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP.)

Think about that for a second. ODSP is now seen as a step up the career ladder for some Hamilton cab drivers.

The members of council had to be aware of the harm and hardship their decision to allow Uber to enter the Hamilton taxi market would impose on the most vulnerable members of the taxi industry. Yet they went ahead and did it. If the mayor is to be believed, the council vote was unanimous.

Last night (Dec 4, 2017) one driver told me he had to use overdraft protection to pay his rent, for the first time ever.

Thank you, Hamilton City Council.

And then think about this the next time you see one of our local politicians flatulating about their desire to eliminate poverty in Hamilton, or virtue signaling their approval of the pending minimum wage hike, which will only serve to lotterize (my word invention - "to make a lottery of") income distribution for those on the margins. Just like McWynne's guaranteed income project.

And then think again, about the $5 million dollars Hamilton City Council handed to Uber on a silver platter on the pretext that this had anything to do with "technology."

The same tales of misery have been replicated in every jurisdiction in Ontario where local politicians complied with Uber's business model.

It's Sickening.

-- More info.

Taxi turmoil caused suicides - See here.

Of note: "Mr Rowe said drivers are working increasingly long hours and being fined by gardai as they are unable to even find a place to park on a rank." (See Hamilton GO station, or King St. near the Sheraton Hotel.)

50 taxi driver suicides in past 4 years - See here.

‘There is no future’ - See here.


December 2017 - Hamilton's "Check Engine Light" Crisis

The latest in Hamilton's Fake Campaign to "Level the Playing Field" between Exempt and Non-Exempt Taxi Companies

Over the latter part of November, I started to hear several reports about the newly deployed "Mobile Enforcement Officer(s)" accosting, and in one case, following and cornering a non-exempt cab driver for on road spot checks. In too many of these reports, the cabs were cited for having "check engine" lights glowing on the instrument panels.

Last summer, then Senior Project Manager for the city, Monica Ciriello responded to an inquiry by taxi school lobbyist, Steve Jones, regarding the status of the City's enforcement of the terms of its new arrangement with the Uber cab company. In her response, she noted that the city was in the process of hiring a mobile enforcement officer to perform on road spot checks.

I suspected at the time that this would be another one of the City's classic bait and switch tactics. Yes, one or more mobile enforcement officers would be deployed, but instead of focusing on the invisible Uber cabs, they would end up targeting the non-exempt taxis.

As the reports started coming in to me, I felt vindicated. I can read this city government like a book.

In the case of Uber, the City collects a six cent per trip dividend from Uber. The City, therefore, has a built in incentive to see Uber not only succeed, but expand. In effect, Uber and the City of Hamilton are now partners. The non-exempt taxi operators are their competition.

On 25 November, 2017, I sent a followup to Mr. Jones' email to the addressees, which included the members of council as well as Director of Licensing, Ken Leendertse, requesting the following:

Would you be kind enough to let the people on this list know how many Uber cabs have been inspected by the City's mobile enforcement officers vs. non-Uber cabs, and how many, if any, compliance orders and/or fines were issued to them vs. the Uber cabs?

As I have come to expect, the response was D E A D    S I L E N C E.

A Small Break in the Silence

One of the places cabs like to queue up in Hamilton is at the designated taxi stand just outside the GO terminal at 36 Hunter St. E. The City has allocated four spaces for cabs to wait for bus and train passengers. Even before Uber, the city had issued too many taxi licenses. Therefore, those four spaces are not nearly enough to accommodate all of the policy-idled cabs that line up, on Hunter St. east of John for one of the coveted legal spots at the stand.

It was Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at approximately 7:30 P.M. when one of the City's white law enforcement SUV's showed up at the designated cab stand at the GO, and cornered one of the cabs waiting there. Suddenly, the other three coveted parking spots became vacant.

Not a single cab parked on the east side of John moved across John to occupy one of the now vacant spots. The sight of those white SUVs strikes fear into the hearts of Hamilton's cab drivers these days. The slightest flaw, like a glowing "check engine" light is often enough to have the cab pulled off the road until the problem is fixed. The driver loses even more income. The owners also lose time and money as they must now drop everything and try to get the cab back on the road, lest some faulty O2 sensor jeopardizes public safety. The icing on the cake, of course, is that while this harassment is going on, the exempt Uber cabs continue to swirl around them, unhindered, like buzzards cleaning the last pieces of flesh from the carcass of the once vibrant taxi economy.

When it appeared the mobile enforcement officer (MEO) had finished with the cab he had detained, and it looked like he was going to cross John St. and accost the hapless hacks sitting back there, I left. I was willing to sacrifice my position in line, and extend the waiting time before my next fare, rather than risk being yanked off the road, or getting fined for one of the encyclopedic list of finable violations contained in the bylaw as it applies to non-exempt taxicabs. I circled around the block, but I guess the rest of my fellow drivers all had the same idea, because when I got back to the GO station all of cabs were gone and I was able to slide into the first spot.

It seems the MEO has already caught on to this cat-and-mouse game, because he also drove around the block and swooped down on me from behind. There was no escape. For whatever reason, I was not cited with any violation even though there is probably not one single cab operating in Hamilton that is in full compliance. So I took the opportunity to dig for an answer to the question I had sent to City officials just three days prior.

Me: How many Uber cabs have you inspected, by the way?

MEO: We're actually doing a blitz on those guys this Friday and Saturday.

In other words, the answer to my question was "none." But a blitz was planned. He said if I visited Hess Village on Friday and Saturday, I would see him and two of his officers doing a "full out" blitz on them. I speculate that he was a relatively green MEO by the way he tried to assure me that the MEO's were driving around, and actually trying to "help" us by trying to make "us" safe. Yeah, "I'm from the government and I am here to help you." Going by actions, rather than words, it would appear that most of the cabbies who scoot away from the scene whenever an MEO show's up fear the harm that the City government might inflict on them far more than the extreme danger that might occur should they have a failed O2 sensor or loose gas cap.

MEO: What can I do? The only thing I can do is make sure they are following all the guidelines that were set out for them.

As the conversation progressed, he informed me that the MEO's would be looking for Uber drivers that are not supposed to be driving the vehicle, I.E. people who are not the person using the Uber taxicab dispatch app. He also stated that he would be looking for Uber drivers who "are picking up hails, which means waving people down." Talk about chasing ghosts, especially if the white MEO SUV's are seen in the area. Talk about a sting operation that was hatched right out of the pages of Monty Python. In my forty year span in Hamilton's taxi business I have only seen two instances of cab drivers "waving down" random passers by in an attempt to solicit business. Both were very recent. One was a Toronto taxi driver fishing for a passenger for his return trip. The other was an Uber driver, or alleged Uber driver who recently tried to scoop up a young woman who was trying to hail passing cabs from the front door of the GO.

MEO: We're trying to enforce that they have stickers on the back. It's in the bylaw that they should. (and also) We're going to take the numbers of Uber cabs that are driving around without stickers and then go to Uber and (demurely?) ask them why those cars don't have stickers.

In other words, there will be no tickets issued to Uber drivers who have ignored the bylaw as it relates to the stickers. And of course, none of them will be pulled off the road.

So I guess it comes down to how Uber will rule on this sticker issue and whether Hamilton's politicians will comply with Uber's business model. Their performance to date indicates that the politicians will toe the Uber line.

After all, if Uber had to follow the same laws that apply to non-Uber taxis, how could the Uber business model succeed? And what would happen to the City's six cent per trip dividend?

The systemic incentives tip the scales against the non-exempt taxi operators. It's Kindergarten simple.

For my part, the prospect of having to work my shifts in constant fear that the City's Taxi Gestapo will swoop down on me at any moment and impose further barriers to my efforts to avoid poverty have turned what once used to be a job with which I had a love/hate relationship into an unambiguous nightmare. I almost wish I had diabetes.

Papers, please?


MADD Canada Whoring for $Uber$

Distracted driving is gaining increasing attention as a contender for preventable death and injuries on the roads. MADD Canada is obviously being very selective about the kind of impaired driving they oppose. Drivers impaired by alcohol are demonized, while drivers impaired by Uber's "Distractive Technology," are encouraged and promoted by MADD Canada in exchange for cash.

Right, MADD. Encourage parents to tell their kids it's safe to ride with a bunch of inexperienced, GPS addled, fly-by-night, amateur taxi drivers. As both a parent, and a taxi driver, I can offer this advice to parents who would place their trust in Uber to get their kids home safe: Don't Buy It. The thought of some naive parent advising their kid to "take an Uber" evokes in me in the same reaction I would get I heard a parent telling one of their kids to eat glass.

If there were an organization called, "Drunk Drivers of Canada," (DDC) which purported to accept only well trained, responsible drunk drivers, with no testing, no trainining, so long as they own a car and pay a membership fee, and kick some $$$ back to MADD, no doubt MADD Canada would be happy to partner up with DDC too.

Shows you what MADD Canada is really about.

MADD Canada and Uber Canada fight impaired driving.

The saddest part of all of this is that the destruction of viable, full time, professional taxi driving occupations brought on by Uber and its sycophantic politicians has resulted in an exodus of experienced drivers from the non-exempt taxi sector as well. This only compounds the risks to the public.

Meanwhile, the City of Hamilton hires a crew of "Mobile Enforcement Officers," to run around the city making sure the taxis don't have glowing "check engine" lights.

Duh!

"More than 3,470 lives were claimed due to distracted driving in 2015, according to statistics furnished by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Taking your eyes off the road for seconds at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded, the agency said."


Hit and Run on Main St. E. Near Holton Ave. S. caught on dashcam.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:10 P.M.

Is It Safe to Drive with the Check Engine Light On?

It is unlikely that you are at risk, but your car is.


Puke Advice

What happens in a taxi, including Uber taxis, stays in a taxi... including residuals from unpleasant body effluents.

"About 2-3 months a go, a drunk rider took a piss on the back seat of my car. When asked for a cleaning fee, Uber only gave me $150. Needless to say, the piss was dried and cleaned by other riders sitting on top of it. I don't know of any professional that would clean the seat for just $150."

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