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Showing posts from December, 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 de…
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 …
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.…

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 wa…
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…

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…

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. Unfortu…
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…