What’s That Sound What’s That Sound?

Is it Freekbass gettin’ down?

I don’t think so. Not funky enough.

It’s an unknown sound disrupting an Oregon town and it has experts stumped.

It’s a high-pitched squeal almost like a boiling tea kettle or crazy flute, has no apparent pattern or timing, and it’s source cannot be found.


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Locals claim this same thing happened and was never solved decades ago. They complained to the gas company and the fire department but both are stumped. The gas company said everything passed diagnostics and inspection and the fire department has had no luck catching the creator of this very loud sound. The police said if it’s man-made a ticket will be written.

I listened to the cell-phone version posted here and to me it sounds like pressure relief, like air coming out of a balloon. But with no explosions or other seismic activity reported, I’m stumped too.

About Uber

I like progress. I like convenience. I like affordable services. I like apps. I like technology when it is used to take some of the toil out of life.

With that said, I should like the Uber ride sharing service. I might if I travelled more, but in the last couple of years my job has not required much travel and when I do it’s with family or around town in my own car. So I have been watching the debate as an interested observer, not a regular user.

I have many friends who love Uber. One comment perceived as negative will evoke their full-throated defense of the service and every driver they’ve ever had.

“Works good”
“quick and affordable”
“cool, modern”
“you never know who you’ll meet!”
“way better than taxi’s”

These are some of the things I’ve been told. I don’t dispute any of that. But it’s not the whole picture. Laws are in place for when things go wrong.


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When Uber goes wrong. Who’s liable again?

 


 

How does Uber get there so fast and charge so little? By ignoring the rules/laws that other companies have to play by.

If you need a ride from point A to B and you are not at an airport or train station where cab’s congregate, a Taxi company has to schedule a trained, licensed cab driver in a cab (livery vehicle) to get to point A. The cab usually takes 10-30 minutes to get to you. Your trip is usually metered by time, the price somewhere in the $1-$3 per minute range.

If a Taxi company has 50 cabs working the city at any moment, Uber might have 200 private drivers reporting from their app. That’s the secret to their timeliness.

The taxi vehicle is used all day and night to transport riders and their bags. The taxi driver has been trained in operation of the vehicle and customer service, particularly how to deal with unruly customers.

There are safety mechanisms in place for both the driver and the passenger. The driver probably clocked in, has a dispatcher, and received a full-life background check including fingerprints in order to get hired. The driver has applied and received a special license from the state. The driver is in constant contact with a human at dispatch and usually has relationships with co-workers.

The taxi vehicle is insured and serviced as a livery vehicle. The company is insured as a livery service. Liability is with the company should anything go wrong on that ride.

[not including musical choice, accent, oder, or headwear of the driver]


 

Something went very wrong with an Uber ride in Kalamazoo, Michigan this weekend. For no obvious reason, the white guy driver went on a killing spree while driving his car for Uber.

I won’t say he worked for Uber because he really didn’t. Just like all of them, he was a private contractor that applied online, passed a very flimsy background check, took on the liability, and started picking up strangers in his personal car, under his personal auto insurance.  That’s how Uber works.

So many things happened in Kalamazoo that would not have happened if he were a crazed Taxi driver. For one, he continued to pick up Uber riders during his killing spree.

His first passenger of the night, a single guy, jumped out of the car halfway to his destination, ran, and dialed 9-1-1 after the driver ran stop signs, drove over medians, sideswiped a car and received personal phones calls that irritated him. The passenger ran to his girlfriend’s house and tried contacting Uber through the app. All he could do was fill out a form and report “erratic driving”. His girlfriend posted a warning to Facebook.

The 911 operator filed the report as ‘erratic driving, Uber’ and since the caller was safe – ended the call. The cops had nothing to go on.

The police called him back 2 hours later, after several more murders had occurred, perhaps because there was no dispatcher to contact, no taxi number to track, and no Uber representative assisting law enforcement like a Taxi company would. Uber took no action, claiming “there’s millions of riders a day, we can’t immediately respond to every bad driver complaint.”

The witness provided information to the cops but it didn’t help much because the driver stopped home, switched cars, and kept his Uber app going for more riders.

Another fare was a family of 4 that had already heard rumors of shootings that night, so instead of walking home they took an Uber the 1-mile distance in order to feel safer. The father, sitting in the front seat, asked the driver directly if he had heard about the shootings and if he was the shooter (!?!). Flustered, the driver said no, mumbled small talk, and dropped them safely. He then continued getting Uber riders through his app and killed others.


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Random crazies aren’t Uber’s fault. But they also aren’t Uber’s responsibility according to their fine print.

Now that murders are occurring while on-duty, we shall see if the drivers personal car insurance, or Uber’s corporate ownership, pays the victim’s families accordingly. I suspect not. Insurance companies could put an end to ride sharing services.

Get your own damn ride, don’t you have 100’s of Facebook friends?

Uber’s driver background check (if they do it at all) uses SS#, Name and License# and only goes back 7 years. If you did something horrible before 2009 you can still drive for Uber. If you can borrow (or forge), scan, and email some basic documents you can drive for Uber. There is no fingerprint, there is no full history check, there is no in-person meeting, there are no co-workers.

Doing full background checks and offering proper livery insurance would drive up Uber rates and reduce their driver count drastically. This would make Uber similar to taxi companies without the safety or piece of mind.

Their business plan has lots of holes in it.

Progress is great, but cheating in the hopes of nothing ever going wrong is not progress.

Pro Torture, Pro Deferment Republicans

Donny says he’s pro-torture:

“I said they’re chopping off our heads in the Middle East. They want to kill us. They want to kill us. They want to kill our country. They want to knock out our cities. And don’t tell me it doesn’t work. Torture works, okay folks?…Believe me, it works.”

When asked if he’s reinstate water-boarding, and other “enhanced interrogation” used during the Bush years..

“Absolutely,” Trump said, as he has said before. But there was more.

“I said I’ll approve it immediately, but I’ll make it also much worse.”

I would love to see Donny thrown in jail for some of the things he advocates. The man understands very little about American values. I’d also like to see him waterboarded but that would be illegal.

It’s sick that he says it, and it’s sick that most of his audience cheers like rabid dogs.  “Fuck the constitution! We’re scared!” the mindless dolts shout.

 


 

 

There is one way Trump is very republican – his daddy kept him out of Vietnam. He got multiple deferments, like most republican war mongers, when it was his time to serve. His daddy greased the wheels a bit and little donny had sore heals and couldn’t go to war — just like W, Cheney, Rush, Newt, and most other Republican politicians. Talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

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Aren’t I a handsome soldier? 4 deferments later, I never served. But I got this picture.


 

 

So I guess we are supposed to be more scared of ISIS than Al-Quaeda? The new boogey-man?

Trump obviously is. He knows a free lunch when he sees one.

No one in America wants to say how ISIS was formed. As usual they want to blame Obama (thanks Obama!) , but if you study you will find that most of ISIS’s leadership are the Ba’athist military members that used to run Iraq’s army for Saddam.

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Ba’athist Saddam Hussein and the guy he was about to replace, 1978.

When Bush/Cheney invaded Iraq in 2003 and the Iraqi army folded we had no plan for them. We prepared nothing for them. We wouldn’t take their loyalty oath and let them stay on post for us. We didn’t find them new positions, labor perhaps. We wouldn’t imprison them. We wouldn’t hold them for more than a few days. We wouldn’t pay them equivalent to their army paycheck to stay home. We wouldn’t ship them to the other side of the country, or out of the country. None of the above.

In fact we banned all Iraqi’s from being in the Ba’ath party at all. Many of them were teachers, doctors, lawyers, business leaders, as well as soldiers. We just took their guns, banned their jobs, told them we’d kill them if we saw them on post again, and left them alone.

Guess what they did? Thousands of trained, armed, nationalistic types sitting around for years watching their country fall into more chaos. ISIS was born. Half of Syria and Iraq were ripe for the taking, especially since the US took out Saddam and the rest of his power structure in Baghdad, and everyone knew they would be leaving soon, surge or not.

ISIS isn’t Obama’s fault. It’s origins can be seen with the botched invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003-2008. Staying in Iraq and killing hundreds of thousands more would not have corrected the situation. In fact the body count has been much smaller since Obama took command.

Also don’t forget about who took out Bin Laden, the last republican boogie-man. Watching republican idiots try to explain how W deserves the credit here is amazing.

February Horserace Update

The horserace is getting interesting now with Valentines Day around the corner. The Republicans are facing armegeddon, the Democrats facing deja-vu.


 

On the redneck side there’s donny wreaking havoc. He’s bullied his way to the front of the pack, and since rednecks love a bully and worship money they are delirious with “pussy” taunts and the reality TV fodder of this carnival barker.

No matter that he’s a pro-choice, womanizing billionaire New York liberal that speaks with the cadence, and often content of, a 4th grade rich little fuck.


 

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These 3 men have a lot in common but only 1 had a wealthy daddy that wouldn’t sell houses to people like the other 2. Woody Guthrie wrote a song about it too.


No matter he’s been called the white Don King, or charges $400 for room service in his hotels, or is on his 3rd trophy wife, or prefers immigrants to both marry and hire under the table, or promises nothing more than “it will be great, you’ll see – so great, greater than ever before!”, nothing political stops him because he’s an entertainment show.

Most rednecks are xenophobic emotional types that respond to authoritarianism, and he’s giving it to them more than perhaps any presidential candidate ever. The new brownshirts – ignorant, racist, and demanding to be entertained. These are not political people or concerned citizens.


 

MeinTrumpf

Hi there handsome. Same premise, same pose, same stare. The mustache does make the man though. Donny’s hair is his version.


So it’s a full scale wrestling match now between donny and every ounce of republican establishment remaining. He’s winning the popular vote easily but has almost no congressional support. He’s winning the media game but almost all of it is negative.

I foresee a brokered convention: Cruz/Rubio and donny battle it out to a near draw as the chaos continues. The GOP is fractured, reeling, and desperate. Backroom politics goes around the donny show and nominates speaker of the house Paul Ryan with someone like Bush or Fiorina as VP. The Cleveland convention goes down in history.


 

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Calm waters outside but some serious hardball will be being played indoors in Cleveland this summer.

Of course, this forces donny to run 3rd party and he attempts to sue his way onto state ballots way beyond the deadline. He does his usual victim/bully 2-step, claiming it is un-american that he can’t run 3rd party and screams and shouts until his face is red and his hair goes crazy. His people scream and scare everyone. Oh wait….

 


 

With the blueberries we have a near repeat of 2008. Hillary Clinton is the established moderate democratic candidate – socially moderate, hawkish on war, and in bed with the media and the unions. Old news. Very hard to trust, in a vintage 20th century politician sort of way.


 

Hillary Clinton discusses her plan for health care reform March 20, 1994 in Florida.

Hillary Clinton in 1994. She should have run back then but her husband got in the way.


From left field comes a new, charming face that uses populist plain-talk and truth-telling to shine the light on the broken promises of the american dream. Other countries have better services and better responses to citizens needs! Other countries can do it, so can we! It’s the lefty version of Make America Great Again, but the model isn’t 1920’s america it’s 2020’s northern Europe.

Bernie is old, grumpy, and doesn’t always have specifics for how to move the country further to the left. He’s talking about some free college education for every citizen, he’s talking about single-payer healthcare (medicare for all), he’s talking about direct investments in infrastructure and cleaner power sources. He’s talking like Obama talked but wasn’t able to deliver. He would be the first jewish president, at least as big of a deal as being the first woman president.

No matter how many incredulous times FoxNews sneers socialist? like we’re in 1915 Russia – people want their government to serve them, not corporations and foreign conflicts.

bernie_vdakre

no sleep til’ brooklyn!

My crystal ball is foggy here. I don’t know if Bernie has the stamina, chops, and overall appeal to knock off Hillary. Her inevitability is there, both helping to hold ground and hurting the overall package. It feels like we already had the Clinton thing, and while it was good for what it was, this ain’t the 1990’s anymore.

But I’m not ready to feel the Bern, which basically means going after Hillary. I hope those two save their powder to decimate whatever disaster represents the rednecks this time. At least Bernie is starting the discussion about modern democratic-socialist government and hopefully educating americans on the reality of the world.

We are stuck in the two party system and things like democratic-socialism (and the Tea Party, if that still existed) help us break the grip of the 2 parties.

I don’t believe R & D are a mono-party but I think they make more easy money in a stalemate, easily achieved with only 2 powers.

Ignoring Pussy

Made you click!

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Donny just called Teddy a P-U-S-S-Y because he doesn’t torture enough.

On mic, in front of a podium. Called that man a pussy. For not torturing enough.

Like Donny always does, he hid behind barely-plausible deniability. He led the crowd to the word then paused. A woman in the crowd shouted it out and well donny wanted us all to hear it, her word not his, that Ted Cruz is a pussy. He even mouthed the word, the crowd cheered, then started chanting the word.

But this isn’t the real story. We all know Trump’s schtick and crowd is pro wrestling trash. He’s the heel.

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The entire media, particularly the conservative media, is ignoring this!  Drudge – nothing. Fox – nothing. CNN, NBC, HuffPost – nothing. Pro-Trump sites like Breitbart and Lucianne? Crickets.

The candidate just called another candidate a pussy and there’s media silence on it.

kitty1

Very strange. Points to conspiracy theory type of stuff. Would it not be good TV ripping this guy apart? Yet they seem bought off. Follow that Trump money I bet it props up some of those TV networks.


Or maybe this country is just in a spot where president bully calls people pussies as part of his communication style.

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Idiocracy is coming sooner than I thought.

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Streaming’s Shortcomings

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If everyone got their music from streaming?  That’s a big problem.

Streaming…

  1. has no cross promotion with local events or the local economy.
  2. has no cross promotion with local unsigned bands.
  3. has no direct connection back to the artist.

  4. completely ignores the purchasing power of the listener.
  5. has a limited and unstable (ever changing) catalog.
  6. pays a lower royalty per listener than other performance licenses.

  7. is the worst sound quality of all distribution platforms.
  8. has no production credits or copyright information.
  9. has no writer, composer, or publishing credits.

  10. has no human interaction for discovery of new music.
  11. assumes genre and style over all else when mixing music.
  12. assumes what you liked yesterday morning is what you will like Friday night.

  13. avoids selecting album/deep cuts and non-hits nearly as bad as top 40.
  14. requires multiple subscriptions (network and provider) to be active and paid up.
  15. cannot be rewound and reviewed for additional enjoyment.

  16. cannot easily be recorded or mixed into playlists and sets.
  17. contains only a low-resolution cover image, not complete artwork.
  18. contains no lyrics or artist notes.

  19. just got The Beatles in 2016.
  20. requires almost no paid humans to get it to your ears.

 

I’ve been around streaming for literally 20 years now, and have programmed it and listened to it since the beginning. If it truly is taking over the music industry we have to be honest about it’s shortcomings. That’s the only way we can start to address them.

Another internet casualty

Another internet casualty

 

The Worst Don Moment Yet?

OK this one’s getting creepy – here’s a photo featuring donald the proud papa at one of his resorts with his then-15 year old daughter Ivanka, done for Vanity Fair.

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Um. yeah. What’s that saying, you can’t un-see that. Wow. She’s leaning into daddy all right.

good lord the parrots are fucking too.

The Stool Is Dust

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A nice explanation of the donald phenomena here – basically he’s smarter than he acts and he’s in no way a conservative. He’s his usual opportunist self, sensing that the GOP was so weak that it was ripe for conquest.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 10.33.21 AMReagan famously described the GOP as a three-legged stool with legs of financial conservatism, national defense, and social conservatism. All three must be balanced for it to stand.

Trump was smart enough to realize that it had expired. Bush/Cheney/Palin/Fox News killed it. All of the Bush-era bailouts scared off the financial conservatives, all of the pointless Bush-era warmongering scared off strong defense types, and the latest supreme court decision to uphold gay marriage rights crushed the social conservative angle.

None of Reagan’s 3 stool legs are now required to get the GOP nomination. All that is left is personality and promotion and donald has been mainlining that his entire life.

His company does little more than buy property, put gold and TRUMP signs all over them, and resell for more money. It’s primarily branding used to make millions in real estate.

Don builds his brand and this is his primary motivation. All of his profit is derived from this ego-driven branding.


 

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