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Comment What made Uber popular is they're cheap (Score 2) 309

and quick. Mostly cheap. There were so many recently out of work people who still have cars from when they had jobs that Uber didn't have trouble finding employees.

The reason they might be doomed is they're subsidizing those rides with investment capital. OTOH they might be like Amazon, e.g. allowed by investors to operate at a loss with the expectation of massive profits when they clear up their legal troubles (allowing them to pay much, much less than minimum wage while paying no benefits whatsoever) and finish crushing/buying out any competition.

Comment Uber has an enormous barrier to entry (Score 2) 309

namely that what they're doing (treating employees as contractors) is patently illegal. It's a minor miracle they haven't been shut down like several other "It's Uber for X" services when the governments demanded they pay minimum wage, benefits and various mandatory insurances.

Uber's legal risk is monumental. I'm not sure if it's luck or connections that have kept them going but you can't just do what Uber's doing because what they're doing is not legal...

Comment Times have changed (Score 1) 1083

and your guns are useless against a modern military. Don't kid yourself. You and your ar-15 don't stand a chance even if you set it to full auto. Hell, we didn't even win the revolutionary war. France stepped in with the supplies and also tried up England. You need to focus on keeping things from getting to that point. If it ever gets there it'll be too late.

That said, while I'm not opposed to more gun control I understand there are millions of Americans with a strong emotional attachment to guns. Guns are a community for them as well as a symbol of strength. That's not going to change. As a lefty I'll happily drop the gun issue if I could get folks on the right to help fix the systemic problems (poverty, lack of health services, no social safety net) that result in all these mass shootings. Yeah, I still have some issue with the widespread availability of guns (I've know people with temporary depression who've blown their heads off; it's too easy to kill yourself with a gun) but ultimately I'm a progressive and will take the best route to progress.

Comment In a room full of people (Score 1) 1083

still pretty good. And still better than if the person has a gun.

As for it 'not being wrong' well, that doesn't make it bullshit. You're side stepping my point, which is that guns make it _too_ easy to kill people. You can do it on a whim. Just point, pull trigger, done. Bullets travel in a span of time you can't even measure without special equipment or techniques.

You're right about the wishful thinking part though. Wishful thinking never gets you _anything_. Including a reduction in gun deaths. It takes action. Australia took action. The banned just about everything and, well, what do you know. Gun deaths plummeted and they haven't had a mass shooting since the ban.

Bans work, but America has a gun culture that means a ban is political suicide. So I'd settle for more root cause work. Social programs to eliminate poverty and address mental illness. But I can't even get those. So we're back to wishful thinking. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Comment Your post borders on Troll (Score 1) 1083

but it does make me question the easy availability of guns. The trouble with guns is they make it easy and oh so quick to make a snap judgement that changes everything. It's a big problem for the suicidal and hell, this guy just basically committed suicide. His life is more or less over. He might not die in prison, but he'll be pushing 60 when he gets out.

Comment I think the difference is (Score 5, Insightful) 1083

your odds of surviving a knife attack are orders of magnitude better than surviving a shooting.

You might think that folks getting shot is a price to pay for the freedom to own fire arms. I'm not gonna bother arguing that point yay or nay (and I wish the left would drop it, it's a losing issue). But the phrase "Guns don't kill people" is verifiable bullshit. It bothers me that a sentiment so obviously wrong can get so much traction with the American people.

Comment I've had packages lost over the years (Score 1) 150

and a buddy of mine who's a prolific ebay seller has had dozens. As long as you insure it they pay out within a few weeks (which is better than average for any kind of insurance).

If I ship my kid a $50 dvd and it goes missing I don't care if the post office finds it. I get my money from the insurance and buy another copy. The last thing I want is the post office spending millions of dollars tracking packages full of easily replaceable crap.

It's just standard biz practice. All things being equal if it costs $100 to find something you lost and that something's worth $50 you lose $50 bucks looking for it. Unless it has something beyond it's intrinsic value or it's value is unnaturally high (like it was here) then there's no point. Like I said, I don't care if my kid's DVD goes missing as long as it gets replaced.

Comment You have absolutely no idea what the hell you're (Score 2, Insightful) 359

talking about.

Gettos aren't "nice little teapots of dependence" (you're right about the misery part though). They're examples of what systemic poverty does to people.

Katrina was exactly what happens when there isn't an organized response to a large scale disaster. It happened because Bush/Cheney diverted resources meant for disaster preparedness to the war in Iraq (and by extension their own pockets).

Folks don't get depressed by dependency. If they did Paul Ryan (who's family's fortune was made paving roads for the government) would be suicidal. People get depressed by constant set backs in their lives caused by the one step forward, two back that is the high cost of being poor.

I'd like to say you're just somebody who never experienced real hardship in lift by I know better. Even folks who experience hardship soon forget it unless their characters are among the best (FDR comes to mind. Liz Warren & Sanders, Alan Grayson, Robert Reich).

Don't kid yourself. You're not being compassionate or decent. At best you're making yourself feel better and at worst you're twisting the knife in the guts of the poor.

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The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad