Archive for the ‘Rube-Tool’ Category.

The President is not my King or my God

[George] Washington was, as David Boaz put it in his excellent essay of that title, “the man who would not be king.” He would not accept a title or an honorific, and established the excellent republican practice of referring to the chief executive simply as “Mr. President.” George Washington did not need the presidency — the presidency needed him.

. . .

The presidency today is a grotesquerie. It is a temporary kingship without the benefit of blood or honor or antiquity, which is to say a combination of the worst aspects of monarchy with the worst aspects of democracy, a kind of inverted Norway. (King Olav V, the “folkekonge,” was famous for using public transit.) It is steeped in imperial ceremony, from the risible and unworthy monkey show that is the State of the Union address to the motorcades and Air Force One to the elevation of the first lady (or, increasingly, “First Lady”) to the position of royal consort; our chief magistracy gives the impression of being about five minutes away from purple robes, if not togas.

. . .

But the president is not the tribune of the plebs. He is not a sacred person or the holder of a sacred office. He is neither pontifex nor imperator. He is not the spiritual distillation of the republic or the personification of our national ideals and values. (Thank God Almighty.) He is not even primus inter pares like the chief justice of the Supreme Court or the Patriarch of Constantinople. He is the commander in chief in time of war (which, since we have abandoned the advice of Washington and Eisenhower, is all of the time, now) and the chief administrator of the federal bureaucracy. That is it.

He is not a ruler.

But men demand to be ruled, and they will find themselves a king even when there is none. (Consider all of the hilarious and self-abasing celebration of Donald Trump as an “alpha male” among his admirers, an exercise in chimpanzee sociology if ever there were one.) But they must convince themselves that they are being ruled by a special sort of man; in ancient times, that was the function of the hereditary character of monarchies. In our times, it is reinforced through civic religion, including the dopey annual exercise that is Presidents’ Day.

Abolish Presidents’ Day – It is time to roll back the imperial cult.

Statolatry and Ozymandias

See also “The President is not my “boss” nor my king nor my God. Rubes

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China Continues to Persecute Christians

China’s “utterly disgraceful” human rights record is not just bad, it’s getting worse every year, a new Congressional report has warned.

“The Chinese government’s human rights record is utterly disgraceful, continuing a downward trend over the past three years,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Committee on China, which published the report, stated on Thursday.

“The Chinese government took extraordinary and unprecedented steps last year to decimate the ranks of human rights lawyers, crush independent civil society and religious groups, and expanded controls over the Internet and the press.”

. . .

“China – now ranking as the world’s second largest economy – has benefited greatly from the international rules-based system in driving its economic transformation and growth,” the report’s executive summary stated.

However, it added, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has not improved its human rights record and respected the rule of law as it has been expected to by the international community. From suppression of religious freedom to detaining dissidents and human rights activists to forced population control, the Chinese state “has run roughshod over human rights” Rep. Smith stated, and it must be held accountable.

. . .

The Chinese government also cracked down on the rise of non-sanctioned religious groups in 2015, the report said, and on Friday it exerted greater control over the practice of religion through its new regulations of religion.

“In both law and practice, the Chinese government continued to violate the rights of its citizens to religious freedom,” the report said, noting the state has “broad discretion over religious practice, internal affairs, and interpretations of faith, which is often exercised based on Party and government policy interests.”

Party officials warned at April’s National Conference on Religious Work that religious groups must be loyal to the state and signaled that they will exercise tighter control on religion in the future to guard against the supposed infiltration of foreign powers through religion.

When the party released its religious regulations on Friday, Rep. Smith called it “stunning, but not surprising.”

“Religious practice is exploding in China, particularly among Christians, and the religious life of Tibetan Buddhist, Uyghur Muslim, and Falun Gong practitioners persist despite decades of the worst abuses,” he said.

However, religious groups must register with the government, and in China there is a state Catholic Church and an “underground” Catholic Church. Local and national officials have harassed or persecuted Catholics who are not part of the state Catholic Church, destroying churches and detaining or harassing bishops and priests.

China’s ‘disgraceful’ human rights record gets worse every year

And it seems Malaysia is not far behind: “Taking the rap: Malaysia’s culture of tolerance is under threat

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Sugar, Carbs, and Fat. And Cronyism.

Recently, 45 international medical and scientific societies, including the American Diabetes Association, called for bariatric surgery to become a standard option for diabetes treatment. The procedure, until now seen as a last resort, involves stapling, binding or removing part of the stomach to help people shed weight. It costs $11,500 to $26,000, which many insurance plans won’t pay and which doesn’t include the costs of office visits for maintenance or postoperative complications. And up to 17 percent of patients will have complications, which can include nutrient deficiencies, infections and intestinal blockages.

It is nonsensical that we’re expected to prescribe these techniques to our patients while the medical guidelines don’t include another better, safer and far cheaper method: a diet low in carbohydrates.

Once a fad diet, the safety and efficacy of the low-carb diet have now been verified in more than 40 clinical trials on thousands of subjects. Given that the government projects that one in three Americans (and one in two of those of Hispanic origin) will be given a diagnosis of diabetes by 2050, it’s time to give this diet a closer look.

. . .

Yet there’s another, more effective way to lower glucose levels: Eat less of it.

Glucose is the breakdown product of carbohydrates, which are found principally in wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, fruit and sugars. Restricting these foods keeps blood glucose low. Moreover, replacing those carbohydrates with healthy protein and fats, the most naturally satiating of foods, often eliminates hunger. People can lose weight without starving themselves, or even counting calories.
Continue reading the main story

Most doctors — and the diabetes associations — portray diabetes as an incurable disease, presaging a steady decline that may include kidney failure, amputations and blindness, as well as life-threatening heart attacks and stroke. Yet the literature on low-carbohydrate intervention for diabetes tells another story. For instance, a two-week study of 10 obese patients with Type 2 diabetes found that their glucose levels normalized and insulin sensitivity was improved by 75 percent after they went on a low-carb diet.

Before You Spend $26,000 on Weight-Loss Surgery, Do This

The link between a high-sugar diet and the development of metabolic problems had begun emerging in the 1950s. In 1965, a group called the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) funded a study assessing previous studies on this possibility. That literature review, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, concluded that fat and cholesterol were the real culprits when it came to coronary heart disease.

“The SRF set the review’s objective, contributed articles for inclusion, and received drafts,” according to a new paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine “The SRF’s funding and role was not disclosed.”

The New York Times wants this to be a story about junk-food bigwigs screwing with science to the detriment of American health. And it is, in part. But beyond that, the findings also indict “dietary science” that the U.S. government has been pushing for decades, and still continues to push.

As we know now, high cholesterol levels in the blood may portend heart problems, but consuming high-cholesterol food—such as eggs, long demonized as a heart-health no-no—doesn’t correlate to high blood-cholesterol. And saturated fats come in many forms, some bad for you and others some of the healthiest things you can consume.

But for decades, conventional wisdom in America said that dietary fats and cholesterol were to be extremely rare in a nutritious diet. Meanwhile, sugar got a rep for rotting your teeth (and maybe packing on a few pounds) but was otherwise considered benign. And this demonization of fat actually helped increase U.S. sugar consumption, as health conscious Americans replaced morning eggs and sausage with carbs like bagels, or turned to low-fat and fat-free offerings where added sugar helped fill the taste void.

Drafter of U.S. Dietary Goals Was Bribed by Big Sugar to Demonize Fat

End sugar and all other government subsidies.

Ozymandias

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Statolatry, Ancient and Modern

Ancient regimes were intellectually and morally self contained. They themselves were their own frame of reference for good and evil, better and worse. Their gods were the gods of the city or of the empire. When they worshiped those gods, they essentially worshiped themselves. There was no difference between politics, religion, and society. Hence, there was no basis for individual freedom. The closest to ancient polities in our time, prior to, say, the last forth years or so, was Japan—the world’s largest tribe.

Christianity, which gave medieval regimes their character, which character endured in the Western world up until recent decades, revolutionized life by recognizing each individual’s direct relationship to God—the creator of the universe, the essence of goodness, and hence the one and only standard of right and wrong. This, including Jesus’s mandate to separate duties to God and to Caesar, made it possible for life in the West to be lived on several independent levels. This is (or was) our charter of freedom. As Luther put it: “Be on you knees before God, that you may stand on your feet before men.”

Modern regimes, by denying the existence of God and his laws have, once again, placed their own human authority beyond any challenge but by power. Collapsing the distinction between freedom and power quite simply destroys the autonomy of individuals and of society—hence of freedom.

. . .

In today’s America, right and wrong, better and worse, have become mere appurtenances of partisanship and power.

Politics, Religion, and the Ruling Class

A culture of death. Ozymandias

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You’re Not Actually A Hero

Every day there’s some story focusing on false heroes and pseudo-bravery masquerading as some valiant or defiant action. Not only on the political front, but in culture, where fake courageousness not only dilutes the genuine heroic actions of others, but is used to create the false impression that people are engaged in actions far more important than they really are. Bravery is not synonymous with “you agree with me.”
. . .
Few people would argue that someone who puts it all on the line to try to save the lives of strangers is not a hero. But it’s pretty rare. Maybe in a pluralistic and free society we don’t need as many heroes. That might be a good thing. But what we shouldn’t do is confuse heroism with the actions of someone who is merely reaffirming our own worldview. Yet that seems to be the case quite often.

Guess What? You’re Not Actually A Hero, by David Harsanyi

SJW’s and other moral preeners are not heroes.

If you want to change things, pray: “How Desperation and Devotion Can Change Your Prayer Life

Rosary:
Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries with Fr. Peyton

Pray the Joyful Mysteries with Fr. Peyton

Pray the Glorious Mysteries with Fr. Peyton

Pray the Luminous Mysteries of The Rosary with Father Patrick Peyton, CSC

Continue reading ‘You’re Not Actually A Hero’ »

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Police State

When a governor can be indicted for vetoing a bill, when a university regent can be threatened with criminal prosecution for exposing corruption, and when you have armed men kicking down your door because you signed the wrong petition, you don’t live in a free society—you live in a police state.

Kevin Williamson

Continue reading ‘Police State’ »

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#UberXploits – Uber Drivers are NOT “Partners”

Uber will fire a driver if his or her performance rating (an aggregate of the ratings provided by customers of that driver) falls below a certain level. Imagine the fear under which an Uber driver operates. Assume that a driver buys a one-year-old Toyota Camry and drives around Boston for 10 to 12 hours a day providing rides. He picks up a bunch of spiteful teenagers intent on dodging the fare, and they ding the driver’s rating because of a routing mistake or just for fun. A few such rides can get him fired. There is no mentoring, training, or improvement program—nothing.

In addition, and equally unfortunate, Uber is enticing some of its drivers to get into debt. The company helps drivers without good credit get on the road by financing the car purchase. A full-time driver in a city like Boston can top his income at between $600 and $1,000 per week. Out of this the driver has to pay, each month, between $200 and $300 for the car loan and at least $300 in car expenses (such as fuel, maintenance, and depreciation). A sick driver, or somebody unable to work for other reasons, still has to pay the loan, even though he or she might not be able to work for weeks.

Uber has also allegedly used underhanded tactics to recruit drivers and sabotage the business of its main competitor, Lyft, as reported recently by the New York Times and the Verge. Such shenanigans reflect a general disregard for the importance of developing human resources. People are treated as replaceable parts.

A cavalier approach to workforce management also shapes the company’s contracts of employment. To avoid liability, Uber deals with its drivers as independent contractors, creating a 21st century version of an old employment model, wherein day laborers stand on a street corner and wait for the boss to dish out work to a privileged few. It’s true that the rating system and the other quality control measures used by Uber can mean clean cars and polite drivers. And for some people, it provides a new route to part-time employment. But treating drivers as disposable elements does not make sound business sense because drivers play a key role in Uber’s service as well as other delivery offerings.

A Failure to Treat Workers with Respect Could Be Uber’s Achilles’ Heel, by Yossi Sheffi

Last week, Uber announced the rollout of UBERMilitary – a program intended to onboard 50,000 members of the military community to the company’s fleet of drivers over the next 18 months.

The ridesharing company joins a growing number of big businesses reaping tremendous social capital from hiring programs that significantly under employ military veterans.
. . .
Here’s the problem: the platitudes aren’t accompanied by an employment program that capitalizes on the very skills Uber is praising. Rather, Uber offers these “talented and skilled leaders” work as freelance drivers, responsible for their own insurance, medical care, car maintenance, and more.

In short, Uber pays lip service to valuing those who have served, while making no mention of hiring a single veteran for the company’s leadership or management teams.

The cruel irony of “military friendly” hiring programs: How Uber and other businesses are reaping big rewards for under employing veterans, by Lydia Davey

#UberLies


These 2 members of the Clerisy just can’t gush enough.

#UberXploits

#UberLies

At some point, there will be a limit to fare cutting. Either Uber will not be able to attract drivers, or the drivers will not maintain their cars, or the service will deteriorate, as cut-rate services tend to do. But when equilibrium is achieved, will an Uber driver’s ability to make a decent living factor into the equation, or will we wind up with more people without traditional employment supports — social security contributions, health benefits, sick time, vacation time — who must rely on our shrinking social safety net to get by?

Driving A Hard Bargain: Calculating The Toll Of Uber’s Reduced Fares, by Paul Fallon

Ridesharing is a racket. There’s nothing “disruptive” about taking an idea that already exists, like taxies, and figuring out how to become a cab company without owning a single car. In their current configurations, Uber and Lyft are entirely dependent on their drivers, who are currently in open revolt and quitting in disgust over the latest price cuts as Uber and Lyft fight it out to see who will win the rideshare wars. Despite constantly recruiting new drivers and offering incentives like wage guarantees and bonuses during the first month, after that initial trial run, the cold, hard reality of driving for hire in your own vehicle becomes painfully apparent.

Just like a traditional taxi company, ridesharing is built on the backs of drivers. But for full time drivers, ridesharing is becoming less and less viable. The money just doesn’t add up anymore. And the associated risks with ridesharing only make things worse.

Drivers all across the country are coming to this realization. They’re pissed beyond belief. They’ve taken to Facebook to voice their anger and organize protests, strikes, class action lawsuits and to form a union. They’ve even joined forces with the Teamsters.

WHY I UBER ON: The Reality of Ridesharing

In fact, if you ask Uber drivers off the clock what they think of the company, it often gets ugly fast. “Uber’s like an exploiting pimp,” said Arman, an Uber driver in LA who asked me to withhold his last name out of fear of retribution. “Uber takes 20 percent of my earnings, and they treat me like shit — they cut prices whenever they want. They can deactivate me whenever they feel like it, and if I complain, they tell me to fuck off.”

In LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, tension between drivers and management has bubbled over in recent months. And even though Uber’s business model discourages collective action (each worker is technically in competition with each other), some drivers are banding together.
. . .
But that is just empty spin: drivers aren’t partners — they are laborers exploited by their company. They have no say in business decisions and can be fired at any time. Instead of paying its employees a wage, Uber just pockets a portion of their earnings. Drivers take all the risks and front all the costs — the car, the gas, the insurance — yet it is executives and investors who get rich.

“Sharing economy” companies like Uber shift risk from corporations to workers, weaken labor protections, and drive down wages.

#UberXploits #UberScam

Continue reading ‘#UberXploits – Uber Drivers are NOT “Partners”’ »

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Saving the earth from too many poor people

Today we are given environmental reasons for saving the earth from the burden of too many people. Ironically, it is always the poor who seem to be burdensome, and never too many jet-setters—who consume the goods of the world with rapacious greed.

Wi-fi Eugenics, by David Beresford

Overpopulation, however, is an invented threat meant to stoke fear in an already apprehensive public. Even the left-leaning Slate.com published a recent article chronicling the earth’s stalled population growth, noting the approximately 7 billion humans currently alive will, given current reproduction rates, shrink to just half that number by the year 2200.

Still, this doesn’t prevent Gore and others from dictating what individuals in other nations should do with their lives. Dr. Lubos Motl, a Czech physicist, examined the utter fallacy of his position.

“It is impossible not to think that there’s some racism and stunning hypocrisy if a jerk who has produced four children is ‘working’ on the reduction of the number of newborn babies in a completely different nation,” he wrote.

While he conceded Africa certainly has its issues, Motl noted that they aren’t “caused by overpopulation” but are “mostly due to the insufficient sophistication of their economies….”

Gore, however, will likely never be convinced he is wrong. Apparently, inventing the Internet has given him an unshakable superiority complex. He now projects himself as the arbiter of international reproduction rates.

Along with Barack Obama, this Nobel Peace Prize winner definitively proves the tragic irony with which such a prestigious honor is often bestowed.

Al Gore Thinks Killing Babies Will Save The World, by B. Christopher Agee

Adam Carolla

Our political class and the Clerisy have become burdensome. Mockery and truculence are called for.

#Clerisy

Continue reading ‘Saving the earth from too many poor people’ »

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Craigslist Uber Scam #UberScam

Craigslist Uber Scam posts are starting to show up around the country (text and screen shots below).

Orlando

Philadelphia

Nashville

DC

Greensboro, NC

Chicago

Also see UberX Driver – Your Private Underpaid Driver

Uber ads on Craigslist would be more accurate if they read something like:

Make a few extra bucks every week!

You can join the 50,000 others who already have new jobs this month! (Err, freelance gig with no wages, no benefits, AND you provide your own car and buy all the gas!)

Good Money Our top partners typically make minimum wage AFTER expenses (such as Self Employment tax, gas, depreciation, maintenance, tires, etc., etc.) and some make as much as $GodOnlyKnowsAskTravis. Get checks deposited into your bank account weekly via Uber-cool and Uber-new direct deposit! (Don’t worry, we won’t start charging you weekly data fees and phone deposits until after the rate cuts that follow our promotional discounts!)
Flexible Hours Unlike other minimum wage jobs where the employer provides the tools of work, you can work when you want! And did we mention you get to use your own car and buy all the gas?!! (Oh happy day!)
Safe and Transparent Your riders (even the drunk ones!) rate you and you rate your riders (especially the ones who go on short trips and don’t tip and failed to give the correct location to be picked up!). And just ignore that $1 “Safe Rides Fee” that we collect on each and every trip, no matter how short! We provide some kind of commercial liability insurance (but please do NOT mention to your auto insurer that you are driving for Uber! Mum’s the word. Shhhhhh).
Good Communication We provide every single one of our suckers (err, “partners”) with an email address that they can use 24/7/365 to communicate with Uber about their concerns. We guarantee to use our best standard-form responses! And we will respond eventually!
Don’t have a car, or have one that is too old? Want to get a new car to use with Uber? We can help connect you to companies who will offer you special rates available to virtually any driver. And the payment will remain the same even after we unilaterally drop the rates with little advance notice to you! You could be in a brand new car within a week, regardless of credit history! And remember, the payment will remain the same even after we unilaterally drop the rates with little advance notice to you!

Easily make a few extra bucks every week!

So come on, sucker!

Apply today!

UberDrivers on reddit.

UberPeople.net

DC

(image 1) (image 2)

UBER SCAM (ALL LOCATIONS)

uber’s whole game now is to offer riders fares that are so low that only a math-challenged or truly desperate person would provide services in THEIR personal automobile for less than minimum wage.

Continue reading ‘Craigslist Uber Scam #UberScam’ »

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UberX Driver – Your Private Underpaid Driver

(Also see Craigslist Uber Scam #UberScam)

Potential UberX drivers, do not rely on what Uber tells you about how much you will make. The inflated figures Uber bandies about on Craigslist and in its PR about how much you might make are 1) inflated, and 2) before expenses. So you must discount what you make from Uber by 50% to account for Self Employment taxes (remember that you will be paying both the employee and the employer portion of these), fuel, depreciation, maintenance, and income taxes.

And after Uber has been in a city for a while, and after Uber runs its promotional discount during which drivers do not take a hit, Uber will unilaterally cut rates with little advance notice to drivers, and you will then make even less (and if you unwisely used Uber-arranged financing to buy a car, you are really stuck).

Even before your costs and deductions, Uber’s take is more like 25% of the “fare” charged to riders after Uber deducts the “Safe Rides Fee” ($1 per ride) and its 20%. Yet Uber shows the rider the top-line “fare” to the rider and to you as if that is what you earn. It’s not.

Uber’s “Safe Ride Fee” of $1 per ride is shown to the rider as part of the fare, but Uber shows the $1 fee separately when it pays drivers. So Uber makes, at the outset, $1 on every single trip. #UberLies

For example, a $6 “fare” will result in the driver being paid $6 – $1 Safe Rides Fee = $5 – (20%) $1.00 = $4.00. $4.00 / $6 = you making 67% of the “fare”. Uber’s take is more than 30%. (A $10 fare results in the driver being paid $7.20, which means Uber’s take is 28%, not 20%.) And if you think “fares” under $10 are unusual, especially after a rate cut, think again.

Uber gets so much positive press because it is allegedly “high-tech” and “innovative” and “disruptive”. But it is building its valuation on a very shaky foundation of grabbing market share by lowering rates and thus lowering driver quality and increasing driver churn. And many journalists who cover Uber have no clue about and are not interested in the misrepresentations of “income” that Uber uses to recruit drivers. After all, most journalists, like most UberX riders, love riding around for cheap, without wanting to know that UberX driver car equity is helping pay for that cheap ride.

Don’t believe us? Then read the stories linked below and listen to the Columbus, Ohio UberX driver who quit (YouTube at bottom). You have been warned.

See
Some Uber drivers say company’s promise of big pay day doesn’t match reality, by Luz Lazo
Uber’s EPIC blunder, on UberPeopel.net
Beautiful Illusions: The Economics of UberX, by Justin Singer
Ride-share service Uber drivers say pay is shrinking, by William D’Urso
Driving in LA since the latest pay cut, on UberPeopel.net
Uber’s Battle Against Its Drivers Continues, by Olivia Nuzzi
What Uber Isn’t Telling uberX Drivers, by Nate Boroyan

PS. Are you sure your auto insurance covers you? Are you sure your policy won’t be canceled if your agent finds out?

Uber as a company is very disrespectful of its (mostly brown and black male) drivers. After Uber runs it promotions discounting rates (especially UberX), and stressing that the drivers are not losing anything, at the end of the promo period Uber then announces to its riders that lower rates are here to stay, making the decision unilaterally and with only a few hours advance notice to UberX drivers. The new rate reduction DOES impact drivers as the entire rate reduction comes out of drivers’ pockets. (In some cities that have had recent rate cuts, some UberX drivers did not work the Labor Day weekend to protest those rate cuts.)

Uber has recently pulled this underhanded trick on UberX drivers in Boston, Washington DC, London, Los Angeles, NJ, Tampa, Fresno, and Seattle, among other cities. So, current and potential UberX drivers, be prepared to see Uber unilaterally cut your fares by 15% to 20% while letting riders know how great Uber is for cheap rates, and giving drivers little advance notice of the new “improved” 15% to 20% pay cut.

In response to Uber unilaterally lowering rates, many Uber drivers are now attempting to cause surge pricing.

Continue reading ‘UberX Driver – Your Private Underpaid Driver’ »

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