News Domestic and International

Uber accused of “erasing public life”

Hot Air - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:41

We’ve grown used to seeing the endless attacks on Uber and Lyft in the press by now, but this new piece at the New Yorker from Nikil Saval is definitely breaking some new ground. The usual Uber hit pieces employ talking points about how ride-sharing services are driving up congestion in the cities, taking jobs away from taxi drivers and they raise suspicions about how Uber drivers are more likely to commit crimes. Saval touches on all those to be sure, but his main thrust appears to be how the gig economy is driving people away from using mass transit (buses, trains, the subway) which is not only bad for the transit authorities but bad for society as well. It’s destroying our “public lives.” (Emphasis in original)

Uber’s most significant contribution to mobility in cities may be our increasing lack of it. A growing chorus of engineers and traffic consultants have demonstrated that Uber, along with its smaller rival Lyft and other transportation network companies (T.N.C.s)—more commonly known as ride-sharing services (a euphemism, since most rides are not shared)—are sapping transit ridership and clogging streets. A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, published in October, concluded that, from 2010 to 2016, over fifty percent of the increase in traffic delays in San Francisco were due to Uber and Lyft—and that Uber and Lyft cars constituted an estimated quarter of the total delay on the city’s streets. Another study, of twenty-two large U.S. cities by three University of Kentucky civil engineers, which was presented at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting, in January, deduces that T.N.C.s create immediate declines in bus and rail ridership—declines so steep that, in the next eight years, some transit agencies would have to increase service by more than twenty-five percent just to retain their normal ridership…

A more serious proposal might start with the possibility that Uber is opposed to public transit by design—every ride taken on a subway or bus is competition for its growing supply of cars. The app’s interface—that empty map—declares its priorities: the individual, the vehicle, and a place to be. It erases public space and public lives. The public good is not far behind.

After reading this several times, I remain unsure of precisely what the author is driving at when he says that Uber is “erasing public spaces… public lives.” And eventually “the public good.” The accusations are embedded almost entirely in the summary of the negative impact Uber has on transit ridership. Are we to take from this that fewer people riding the subways means that we have less interaction with our fellow humans on the subway platforms and in the crowded rail cars?

If so, I’d like to know where Mr. Saval lives because it’s certainly not New York City or Washington. Have you seen the people you run into on the Metro?

He treats the loss of transit ridership as some sort of “trick” that Uber is playing on the world. It’s true that their early advertising made reference to a great way for you to get from your home to an airport, rail or bus station to get you on your way without taking a car. But people still do that. I’ve taken Ubers to both the airport and the train station. But that’s for longer trips. Uber will never be as fast as an airplane nor as affordable as a train over long distances. Where ride-sharing really shines is in short or even medium-range trips.

In those applications, hailing an Uber is far superior to waiting around for a bus or subway car and being packed in like sardines, assuming you don’t mind paying the extra five or ten dollars. And you are taken from your home to your destination, not to another transit station where you still need to find a ride to your actual destination.

So what Saval describes as a deteriorating situation is actually just another symptom of superior service overcoming inferior service in the free market. If Uber wasn’t such a substantially better way of getting around, public transit wouldn’t be losing riders at those rates. If they can’t compete, their market share is going to decline. It’s the way of the world, and I’m not going to be made to feel guilty about the Metro losing ridership over it.

The post Uber accused of “erasing public life” appeared first on Hot Air.

Look up TONIGHT for the 'Super Snow Moon'

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:40
The lunar marvel is an ongoing event that is expected to be the largest and brightest full moon of 2019. it will be visible to people around the world.

I'm not proud of role I've played in toxic public debate. I plan to change. (Kirsten Powers/USA Today)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:35

Kirsten Powers / USA Today:
I'm not proud of role I've played in toxic public debate.  I plan to change.  —  Whether it is the Covington controversy or the abortion debate, it's critical to remember that people are not the sum of their worst moments in life.  —  CONNECT11  —  TWEET11  —  COMMENT11  —  EMAIL11  —  MORE11

Everything about Karl Lagerfeld was extraordinary, from his 300 ipods to writes RICHARD KAY

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:31
RICHARD KAY: The monstrous ego and acid asides — as well as a deliberately misleading narrative about his past — were the other ingredients of a useful and subtle subterfuge.

Hill Democrats say Education Dept. tried to interfere in probe, remove investigator (Heidi Przybyla/NBC News)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:30

Heidi Przybyla / NBC News:
Hill Democrats say Education Dept. tried to interfere in probe, remove investigator  —  Democrats say they've seen evidence of “troubling efforts” to influence investigation of Education Secretary DeVos.  —  WASHINGTON — House and Senate Democrats say they have obtained evidence …

“Right” Amount of Dopamine Improves Cognitive Ability

Info Wars - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:28
Study participants given fruit juice for memory tasks

Cut out an hour of sitting every day to slash your heart disease risk by 25%, study says 

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:27
A new study from UC San Diego found that women who sat for uninterrupted long periods of time had a 52% higher risk than those who sat for the same amount of time but in short, interrupted periods.

Michael Avenatti Jumps on Trump Train

Black Sphere - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:24
Apparently Michael Avenatti has had enough. It seems a couple of ass-kickings by Donald Trump jarred loose a few brain cells. Thus, Avenatti seems to have boarded the Trump train. In an odd request, Avenatti asked a federal judge in California to dismiss Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Trump and Michael Cohen. Further, the lawsuit […]

HAMMER: Roberts And Kavanaugh’s Death Penalty Betrayal Again Shows Why Conservatives Never Win The Long Game On Judges

Daily Wire - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:22
How many betrayals from Republican-nominated Supreme Court Justices will it take to finally convince conservatives that the judicial deck is systemically stacked against us in such a way that we will simply never ultimately prevail?

Democrats accuse Education Department of interfering in probe of DeVos (Gigi Sukin/Axios)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:20

Gigi Sukin / Axios:
Democrats accuse Education Department of interfering in probe of DeVos  —  House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Tuesday alleging they have proof of the agency urging an independent watchdog to drop an active internal investigation into DeVos' reinstatement …

REPORT: Chase Bank Suspends Conservative Jewish Activist Laura Loomer From Her Online Banking Account

GatewayPundit - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:19

THE TECH GIANTS CONTINUED THEIR WAR ON CONSERVATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE VOICES TODAY—

The Republican Party and conservative leaders are AWOL on this issue as the tech giants continue to ban, de-platform and demonetize conservative voices.

Conservative activist Laura Loomer was already banned from Twitter months ago. This was after Laura attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar on her own record and beliefs.
A CAIR activist was reportedly behind the silencing of Laura Loomer.

In January Laura Loomer was banned by PayPal.

Democrats are now going after commerce and and incomes of their political opposition.
This is America today.
This is like something you would read about in a banana republic.

And today Laura Loomer was blocked from her Chase Bank app.

Laura Loomer told The Gateway Pundit she spoke with the company today and she is not able to access her account online.

Laura told The Gateway Pundit:

Chase Bank targeting a Jewish Conservative activist and journalist is a disgusting attack on our rights as Americans. First they marginalized a colored man for his support of President Donald Trump. Then they targeted combat veteran Joe Biggs. Now they have suspended my access to the Chase app which I used to manage my bills. These censorship tactics that are being carried out by left leaning executives like Jamie Dimon, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg are disgusting and depraved. I’m the target today. Tomorrow, it could be any one of you who dares to have a conservative opinion or idea. These Nazi like censorship tactics send a clear message that supporting Donald Trump can bankrupt, silence, and marginalize people who ought to be considered a protected class. I’m sick to my stomach knowing that I am being targeted by billionaires who have now suspended my access to my online banking via the Chase App, and I am contemplating ways to fight back. The suspension of my chase app comes just weeks after I was banned by PayPal. Why am I being treated like a terrorist in my own country? Is it now a crime in America to be a supporter of President Donald Trump? It sure feels like it.

This is an initial report.
We are waiting to hear more from Chase Bank.

Republican leaders remain silent.

There is a petition at Change.org to restore Laura Loomer’s Paypal account.

Laura Loomer is planning a protest outside of the Twitter headquarters in New York City on Wednesday.

Laura Loomer is planning a protest outside Twitter's NYC office tomorrow. Here's an email sent to people who work in that building. Apparently she has a permit for up to 600 people. pic.twitter.com/cg6f2Ub9Kr

— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) February 19, 2019

The post REPORT: Chase Bank Suspends Conservative Jewish Activist Laura Loomer From Her Online Banking Account appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Ilhan Omar, Islamic law and the U.S. Constitution

Geller Report - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:15

Central to the controversy surrounding the anti-Semitic and disparaging remarks about Jews and Israel made by the newly elected (some argue, fraudulently) Somali-born Congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, is the distinction between two laws: Islamic law and the U.S. Constitution.

It is unlikely that Omar would present a history of making such claims if she were not an adherent of Islamic ideology rooted in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the basis for Islamic law, just as the U.S. Constitution is the basis for U.S. law.

Discussions about Omar’s apology are ongoing; numerous elected officials have requested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

A petition on Change.org has more than 178,891 signatures calling for Omar’s removal as of Feb. 19; the number has grown by more than 10,000 signatures daily. Another petition demands Omar be censured for her “repeated history of false, derogatory and hateful communications that go well beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse….”

Still others are calling for her removal from office altogether. Brigitte Gabriel, founder of Act for America, a grassroots organization exposing Sharia law in America, said, “Ilhan Omar is a danger to our nation’s national security. She married her brother to commit immigration fraud. She has allegiance/ties to terrorist groups that have declared war on the United States. She has clearly proven to be a raging anti-Semite.”

In the U.S., it is legal to hate Jews and be anti-Semitic. One’s belief is not a crime. But hate crimes are.

The critical distinction is that the Qur’an, and therefore Islamic law, instructs its followers in more than 100 verses to wage war and commit violence against non-Muslims. The U.S. Constitution does not.

The underlying impetus for Omar’s claims appears to be rooted in Shari’a law—which means submission to the law of the Qur’an. Because Omar self-identifies as a Muslim, and by the very definition of Islam, it appears that her allegiance to the Qur’an outweighs any allegiance she may have claimed to make to the U.S. Constitution.

Australian Imam Mohamad Tawhidi hinted at this in his response to Omar’s disparaging statements about President Trump. Tawhidi said, “Amazing what time can do. Little girl from the deserts of Somalia speaking like that to the President of the United States. If you had tweeted that to President Farmajo of Somalia, he would have applied Sharia Law onto you; the law you cherish so much. Behave yourself, guest.”

In my forthcoming book, “What Christians in America Should Know About Islam,” one third of the book defines Islamic jurisprudence, which includes Jew-hatred.

The Qur’an refers to Jews as “apes, despised and hated.” (Surah 2:65; 7:166) Jews are “worse than [transgressors] in retribution… and whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, … and serve Shaitan (Satan).” (Surah 5:60)

Jews are the “vilest of animals” who “break their agreement every time.” (Surah 8:55-56) Jews, like Christians and polytheists, “are the worst of men.” (Surah 98:6)

The Qur’an instructs its followers: “O you who believe! do not take not the Jews and the Christians for friends,” whom the Qur’an describes are “unjust people.” (Surah 5:51; see also 57ff)

These examples exclude the more than 100 commands to commit violence against and murder non-Muslims.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has translated into English and published hundreds of expositions Islamic leaders have given about Jews.

For example, Egyptian cleric, Hussam Fawzi Jabar, explained, “This is the nature of the Jews. By nature, they abhor keeping their commitments. By nature, they hate peace. By nature, they love treachery, betrayal, deception, killing, and blood. This is their nature.

“One of the most amazing things I have read is that Hitler said: ‘I could have annihilated all the Jews of the world, but I left some of them, so that you would understand why I did this to them.’ Hitler was right to say what he said and to do what he did to the Jews.”

Sheikh Bassam Al-Kayed, the Head of the Association of Palestinian Islamic Scholars said on Hamas’ official television station, an organization Omar supports, “The Jew is a Satan in human form. Allah inflicted the Jews upon humanity in its entirety, and especially upon the nation of Islam, including the early prophets and the Prophet Muhammad.”

In Houston a few months ago, Raed Saleh Al-Rousan, of the Tajweed Institute, a Florida-based Islamic organization, said Muslims will kill Jews on Judgment Day. MEMRI translated and published his remarks, which garnered international attention. In response, Gilad Katz, the Israeli Consul General for six states including Texas, said, “We should not be tolerant towards hatred. Hatred should be met with a very strong fist of the law, and should be dealt with seriously.”

But Al-Rousan was likely referencing well-known texts in the hadith, which are volumes of transcribed instructions and testimony from Muhammad’s followers. Combined as the Sunnah, the hadith are considered second to the Qur’an when discerning Islamic law.

The texts he most likely referenced include: “The hour will not come until Muslims fight and kill the Jews and the Jews will hide behind trees and rocks, and these trees and rocks will cry out saying, ‘O Muslim, slave of Allah, this Jew is hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 4, Book 52, No. 176, 177; See also: Vol. 4 Book 56, No. 791; Sahih Muslim Book 041, No. 6981, 6983-6985)

Unlike the Qur’an and the hadith, the U.S. Constitution was created to protect the inalienable rights of U.S. citizens, including freedom of speech specified in the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not protect hate speech, and hate crimes are felonies investigated and reported on by the FBI.

The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” The FBI notes that hate itself is not a crime. Hate crimes, depending on the severity, carry sentences of ten years to life in prison, and death, depending on the state where the crime was committed.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCRP) began collecting hate crime data in 2011, and added race and ethnicity data in 2013. Since 2013, it reports that more than fifty percent of the victims of anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. are Jews.

In 2014, the first year the UCRP published data, there were 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes reported in the U.S. Of them, “56.8 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.”

In 2015 this number increased to 1,402 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, of which “52.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.”

In 2016 (the latest data available), the number increased to 1,584 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, of which “54.4 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.”

Whether or not any remarks Omar has made (or will make) are deemed as hate speech remains to be seen.

What should be acknowledged is that the Qur’an appears to legalize hatred of specific people groups. It is also a crime to contradict Qur’anic law under apostasy and blasphemy laws. The Pew Research Center reports that 90 percent of Middle East and North African Islamic countries criminalize blasphemy; 70 percent criminalize apostasy. Somalia criminalizes both.

Fortunately, Islamic law according to the Qur’an has no legal standing in the U.S. As long as the U.S. Constitution remains the harbinger of freedom, Jews who remain the most targeted victims of anti-religious hate crimes in America, will be defended and protected.

Ambitions for an 'Arab NATO' Fade Amid Discord (Dion Nissenbaum/Wall Street Journal)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:15

Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
Ambitions for an ‘Arab NATO’ Fade Amid Discord  —  Washington to host a meeting of Mideast allies that will focus on modest security goals amid divisions over the proposed group's mission  —  WASHINGTON—American efforts to create a new alliance of Middle East nations to counter Iran …

Police: Tip that Smollett, 2 brothers together in elevator (Don Babwin/Associated Press)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:15

Don Babwin / Associated Press:
Police: Tip that Smollett, 2 brothers together in elevator  —  CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are investigating a tip that on the night “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested …

BREAKING: Nick Sandmann's Lawyers File Massive Lawsuit Against The Washington Post

Daily Wire - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:13
Lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a massive $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post on Tuesday and warned "this is only the beginning."

New York City Mayor Confirms What We Already Knew: “There’s Not $3 Billion In Money…”

Info Wars - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:08
The money in question was a tax incentive that was to be “given” to Amazon AFTER it had relocated!

Doughboys became polar bears: Forgotten story of U.S. troops who fought - and died - in Russia WWI

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:08
Mere months before the November Armistice that ended WWI, Woodrow Wilson deployed American troops into Russia in what became the forgotten war known as The Polar Bear Expedition.

ISIS bride Hoda Muthana begs to be let back into US with a handwritten letter

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:08
ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, 24, has penned a handwritten letter begging to come back to the US. The letter was released by her attorney Hassan Shibly.

After Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth, New York Wants to Shut Down Christian Adoption Agency

Info Wars - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:07
State office takes issue with agency policy prioritizing placement of children in homes with married mother and father.

Kashmir Attack Could Spark Armed Conflict Between India And Pakistan

Newsy - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:03

Watch Video

The nuclear-armed nations of India and Pakistan are getting dangerously close to armed conflict in response to a recent terrorist attack.

A suicide bombing last week killed dozens of Indian soldiers in Kashmir - a disputed territory both countries claim is theirs. India has vowed retribution in the wake of the attack, and accused Pakistan of harboring and even encouraging terror groups.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing severe political pressure to respond with military force. The country's heading to a general election in a few months, and all major political parties are eager to take a hard stance on terrorism.

But Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised to retaliate if India attacks his country. And any armed conflict risks ramping up into a more protracted battle — potentially even involving nuclear weapons.

A similar incident took place in 2016, when India retaliated for a terrorist attack with a series of ground-based "surgical strikes" in Pakistan-controlled territory. That response was designed not to provoke further escalation; this time around, political support for retaliation might lead to a more severe attack.

So far, the U.S. has largely stayed on the sidelines of the conflict. While a message from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned  the initial attack, the U.S. hasn't publicly interceded to mediate the brewing dispute.

This video includes reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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